Dance in to the Holiday Season with L'Occitane

My fondness for L'Occitane began years and years ago as a student in Paris, studying at the Sorbonne. At that point I don't think that L'Occitane was even sold in the UK, it was THAT long ago! Back then, on my meagre student budget, it was a huge indulgence to buy myself treats from L'Occitane. I would purchase their home fragrances in an attempt to freshen up my room within gothic halls of residence, infused with the deep aroma of the millions of Gauloises consumed within those walls over the years. I can even remember bringing back a tube of the cult favourite Shea butter hand cream as a Christmas gift for my mother.

L'Occitane have released this beautifully made video which inspires you to dance in to the holiday season this year with their beautiful range of Christmas gift ideas. The clip evokes the fresh rustic charm of Provence, with subtle suggestions for exquisite gifts to delight everyone.

If like me, you are pushed for time when it comes to Christmas shopping, then I strongly recommend that you waltz on over to L'Occitane to take a look at their Christmas gift collection. Here you will find festive limited editions, rich in colour and bursting with scents from mother nature. I find male relatives notoriously difficult to buy for at this time of year and L'Occitane's Perfect Shave set would make the ultimate gift. For my darling mother there are Shea Butter gift sets a plenty, with many of them on offer too! Of course being the beauty product junkie that I am, there are quite a few things that I have my eye on, with the Relaxing Lavender Collection at the top of my list.

*pr collaboration 


Izabela Peters Children's Apron Review

Everyone says that E is a carbon copy of me when I was little both in appearance and in her manner. Even I sometimes do a double take at photos of us both and I do have a giggle at some of the things she does, I know where she's coming from. Of course, she is her very much her own person too and one of the things that she DEFINITELY hasn't inherited from me is her love of cooking! She will sit there for hours watching Daddy in the kitchen and begs me to bake cupcakes with her at the weekend ( The Peppa pig just add water ones are about my level)

I was asked by Izabela Peters to review their products, they design some beautiful items for children, for the house and for Christmas and I chose this gorgeous apron for E. I loved the vintage rose design, inspired by 1950's glamour. It is made from 100% cotton which is thankfully machine washable. I ordered this in age 2-5, E is three and quite tall for her age and this fits perfectly. It has an adjustable neck tie which means that the apron can be lengthened as she grows and another tie at the waist. There is also a little pocket at the front which E uses to store her kitchen utensils when she's wearing the apron to play in her toy kitchen.

This apron is from the Vintage Rose collection, it comes in four different colours and I chose taupe and I'm even contemplating getting the adult version for myself, it's about time I learned to cook! This apron would make a fantastic Christmas gift for any little girl and there are tons more gift ideas for the whole family on the Izabela Peters website.



Christmas Photo Cards: Minted

We have family all over the world who sadly don't get to see E and Rufio regularly so I really like being able to send them photo keepsakes whilst making wonderful memories for ourselves. 

Call me a humbug but writing boring old Christmas cards sometimes feels like such a chore, so for the past few years we have been making personalised photo cards using pictures of our children. In the time it takes to write uninspired Christmas messages, I can photograph, edit and upload images of my little beauties.

This is last year's photo which still sits on quite a few mantelpieces, I loooove it so much!!

Lately I've been thinking about ideas for this year's photo card, I have a few friends who are professional photographers, including my talented little sis, and they have all pointed me in the direction of a company called Minted. I have been assured that their photo cards are far superior to any other professional stationary printers, with outstanding print quality, a fantastic selection of designs and a very quick turnaround for proofing. There is a good choice of delivery options available, I am told that delivery is very punctual and despite coming from the US, orders are actually arrive quicker than many UK based companies! 

So, I've been having a little browse though their new collection and quite honestly I am spoilt for choice. Here are some of my favourites, I especially love the beauty and functionality of card number 1 and the cheekiness of card no 2!

Decisions...... decisions...... what do you think?



A VIP evening with Fireman Sam at Battersea Park Fireworks

One of the loveliest things about having a family of my own is being able to develop our own little traditions and customs throughout the year. Up until now, we have felt that the little ones have been too small for fireworks displays so we haven't really bothered. That plus the fact that I have suffered with PTSD following an incident in London, years ago which means that I am really sensitive to loud noises and bangs and I often end up having panic attacks as a result. This year however I decided it was time the children saw their first fireworks display, and my first in over 9 years!

So in the pouring rain, we trudged through the streets of Chelsea and over the beautiful Albert Bridge to Battersea Park, where we had been invited to watch the fireworks with Fireman Sam, in a VIP enclosure. Both E and Rufio have been fans of Fireman Sam's for a while now, but since we were invited to the screening of the Ocean Rescue DVD back in September, the obsession has gone through the roof. We really don't mind though because Fireman Sam is such a great role model for kids, each episode always has a very important message and of course he is WELSH, so major brownie points there from Mr Jones!!!

Despite the weather, we had a fantastic evening and the fire works were absolutely incredible. E was just having the best time watching the display with her idol Fireman Sam and Rufio sat there totally unphased by the bangs, pointing at each firework. As for me, well a couple of glasses of mulled wine staved off any panic attacks and definitely softened the blow.

Here's a little video montage of the event from the lovely people at Fireman Sam and below, Bonfire and Firework Do's and Don't from the man himself!

Bonfire Dos and Don'ts
·          Site bonfire well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs AND ALWAYS AWAY FROM FIREWORKS.
·          Build the bonfire stack so that it is stable and never light with flammable liquids.
·          Keep everyone away from the fire, especially children who must be supervised at all times, and pets who are best kept indoors.
·          In case of an emergency, keep buckets of water, the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready.
·          Pour water on the embers before leaving.

Firework Dos and Don'ts
·          Keep fireworks in a closed metal box and take them out one at a time.
·          Follow the manufacturer's instructions on each firework. Read them by torchlight - NEVER a naked flame.
·          Light fireworks at arm's length using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick. NEVER go back to a lit firework.
·          Always wear gloves when handling sparklers and hold at arm’s length. Once finished, put in a bucket of water.
·          Never give sparklers to children under 5.


Nails of the week: Autumn shades

My poor nails have been pretty much neglected lately, as you can probably tell by the lack of 'Nails of the Week' posts here on the blog. Being a mama, working AND blogging is pretty full on, something has to give right? Seriously Yummy Mummies? How do you do it all, I am in awe!

Anyhow I did manage to sneak a few minutes the other day to paint my nails. I chose some neutral shades, honestly because they show the chips less!! but I thought I'd mix them up a bit to make it a little more interesting and I kinda think they look a little Autumnal.

Here's what I used:
Essie: Sand Tropez (Little finger and middle finger)
Barry M: Gold Glitter (Ring finger and middle finger)
Barry M: Yellow Topaz (Ring finger)
Barry M Gelly Nail Effects: Coconut (Index finger and thumb)

I'm just in love with all these shades, they are super wearable and flattering to my skin tone, especially Barry M Coconut which is just a classic that seems to suit almost everyone.


Not On The High Street- Spooky Storytime App

I love how something so mundane to us adults can seem incredibly exciting to a three year old! This was certainly the case last Monday when we took the bus to Picadilly when we were invited to Not on the High Street's Spooky Storytime at Soho House. I take the bus most days and don't particularly enjoy it but to my little E, it was a huge adventure. She actually protested when I hailed a taxi to take us home instead of taking the bus, I will remind her of this when she is older!!

Spooky Story time was organised by Not On The High Street, to lauch their new Storytime Sounds App. The app consists of six themes with various realistic sound effects designed to help bring story time to life. My children adore this app and have been requesting it every night.  Rufio who is 15 months, is just getting in to bed time books and the sound effects help keep him engaged in a way my (not so) funny voices can't. At the momebt his favourite book is Dear Zoo, and the Lost World sound effects work really well with this. E loves Mog & Meg and we use the Halloween and Fairytales sections to complement this story.

The theme was of course Halloween but my mini fashionista did her own thing and went dressed as a not very scary Princess Sofia

We left with fun goody bags for the children and a box of delicious biscuits by Nila Holden for the grown ups.




Ouf, so half-term is almost over and I think I need a half term of my very own to recuperate! E's nursery school had two weeks off and since she has been going to school she has tons more energy in the mornings. She becomes bored really easily if we don't have a ton of activities planned for her. Of course we did the obligatory pumpkin carving but this was a challenge in itself, we needed to find a non scary pumpkin stencil! E seems to be having loads of nightmares lately and is scared of so many things all of a sudden, she is even scared of the Little Mermaid which has been one of her favourite films for a while now.

Now E is three, she is just starting to get in to Halloween, it is such a fun day for little ones. When I was young, Halloween basically amounted to a black bin bag costume for a witch or an old sheet with eye holes cut out for a ghost with a game of ducking apples If, IF you were lucky!!! But now there are so many cute (non scary) outfits to be found and tons of fun decorations.  We had some friends over for a spooky playdate and it was such a warm day ( 23 degrees!!) that the children went for a run around in the park. I thought that this would make a great photo opportunity with the children in their costumes and the beautiful autumn leaves on the ground, but of course baby brain here forgot to put a memory stick in the camera! Nevertheless I still managed to get some decent photos on my iPhone, good old apple!

What did you do for Halloween?
© Mrs Jones London . Design by Fearne.