Mama rant: How old is too old for a stroller?

Both my children are pretty tall for their age and their speech is quite developed, so they are frequently mistaken for being older than their years ( or year in Rufie's case!). My daughter is three but she is the average height of a five year old and since before her second birthday, I have consistently received negative comments from people about her using a buggy. I mean back then we were talking about a toddler here who hadn't even been walking for twelve months at the time! Those people were always shocked when I replied telling them how old she actually was.

We live in London and can't always drive everywhere so often we'll need to walk long distances which a three year old couldn't manage. These days we use a lightweight pushchair ( check out the range at Tesco online, they have a huge selection!) Occasionally we do still use the double stroller, although these instances are getting more and more rare as she prefers to use the buggy board these days. If we're going out for the day, we will always have one of our strollers with us. Strollers really are lifesavers because as all mamas know, tired kiddiewinks equals a higher chance of a mega meltdown, so it's great for them to be able to take a break and relax or sleep.

Aside from the convenience factor, puschair use often comes down to a safety issue too. The roads of London are busy and there are some crazy drivers. I generally feel safer with them strapped in the buggy rather than risking them running in the road. Busy pavements aren't very child friendly either with people often in a hurry or not looking where they are going, the children will get bumped or bashed on the head with bags, my oldest has even been knocked over, so at least in the stroller they are protected somewhat. 

I get that with rising child obesity rates in this country, it is important that children get plenty of exercise so I do take them for plenty of trips to the part where they can run freely and they both also attend regular toddler classes that involve dance & exercise, my oldest does ballet classes too.

I really don't understand why people have such an issue with this or why they feel the need to pass judgement. It's not really anyone's business but mine! So, over to you now. Do your childrenstill use strollers and if not, when and why did you stop?


Chelsea in Bloom 2015

Woweeee the shops around Chelsea have really excelled themselves with their floral decorations in honour of The Chelsea Flower Show this year. The results are truly spectacular as the shops compete to win the coveted Best Floral display for Chelsea in Bloom. This year's theme is Fairy Tales, which my daughter of course adores and we have spent most afternoons this week checking out the shop displays. Here are some of our favourites:

The huge pink flamingos outside last year's winner, Kate Spade are extremely impressive but it's only when you put two three year olds next the display that you realise exactly how enormous it actually is.

There were tons and tons of people taking photos and quite a few of them got annoyed at E and my niece for wanting take a look up close at the displays. To begin with this irked me because we were only spending a minute or two at each installation. Then I noticed that one of the women huffing and puffing had just wanted us to move so she could photograph her own kids, she spent aaaages there. I then thought to myself - the displays are there to be seen and experienced up close, there are heaps of perfect photos on Instagram already if that's what you want. So, we allowed the girls to enjoy the displays, without actually touching the flowers - and ignored all the miserable 'tutters'!

The girls were enthralled by the 'poison apple' display outside luxury florist Moyses Stevens and the fairy garden next door at Basia Zarzycka.

Just around the corner on Sloane Street there were gorgeous purple butterflies and toadstools adorning the entrance to Smythson.

But our absolute joint favourites and the displays that get our votes were side by side at Browns and Bruno Cucinelli. At Bruno Cucinelli the girls discovered enormous toadstools, a Cheshire cat, the white rabbit and the mad hatter's tea party. This installation was truly magical and equally stunning was the Cinderella themed display next door at Browns complete with a floral version of Cinderella's blue ball gown, a glass slipper and the golden carriage. We'd seen a similar display a few days earlier outside LK Bennet which was also pretty impressive but I think Browns' version slightly pipped them to the post.

Fluttering fairy wings at Rag & Bone on Sloane Square:

Further on down, Sloane Square had been transformed in to a green and floral wonderland with magic mirrors scattered around.

There were a few 'Alice in Wonderland' themed displays (which E is quite in to at the moment as I mentioned in yesterday's post) but curiously we hadn't caught sight of Alice herself, until we reached Duke of York square...... and there was the lady herself, serving Pimms from a giant teapot- who knew! E and cousin M waved at her and she came bounding over, she was super friendly and happily posed for a photo with my starstruck girlie and my niece. The girls were both uber excited and it was the perfect end to our walk.

We all absolutely adored visiting the floral displays this year and it really made me think that despite all the negatives of living in the centre of a huge bustling city there really are some magical moments which we most certainly wouldn't find anywhere else in the world. I have lived in Chelsea for a long long time and I am ashamed to admit that I have never been to the flower show so it's up there on my to-do list for next year!


Little Jones Style: Trotters

As I mentioned on my Facebook page the other day, it's been absolutely ages since I've done a style post for either for myself or for the kids. I think I get a bit depressed with winter clothes and I rarely feel inspired to blog about them, they're just so drab and we wear them for so long. It seems such a shame that we only get to wear all the beautiful brightly coloured summer clothes for a few short months ( if that!)
Lately I have been shopping for summery clothes for E and Rufio. My favourite places to shop for them this year have been The White Company, Trotters and Next. I have also recently discovered C de C and Amaia, much to Mr Jones' dismay!!

Yesterday I picked up these gorgeous tops for the E and Rufio in Trotters. E and I are completely obsessed with the Alice in Wonderland Liberty Print. The Chelsea Flower Show is on at the moment and there seems to be a bit of an Alice in Wonderland theme going on with so many of the floral decorations around Sloane Square. E is now quite in to Alice in Wonderland as a result, so she was thrilled with this outfit. They also do a gorgeous tea party dress in the same print which I also have my eye on.

I just love the little guards theme for boys. The next size up is in dark grey which I didn't like quite  as much for summertime but thankfully Rufio squeezed in to the 24 months range, usually I would buy him 2-3 in Trotters. I find the sizing really strange there, the t-shirt E is wearing is age 6-7 and she is three! I also bought Rufie a pair of the Hampton classics Nantucket canvas shoes mainly because they were the cutest pair of boy shoes that I could find which would stay firmly on his feet. My little munchkin is going through a phase of kicking his shoes off when out in the buggy and I have been forced to spend hours traipsing up and down the Kings Road trying to find them!

Where are your favourite placed to shop for little ones?


Thomas & Friends 70th Birthday Party and the British Museum

The weekend before last we were all extremely excited to be invited to a very very special birthday party to celebrate Thomas the Tank Engine turning 70 years old.  The party was held at the British Museum, I have never been before (I am half Greek and well we all know the dramas about the British Museum housing the controversial Parthenon/ Elgin marbles.... ) Anyway, I feel a bit silly for not visiting sooner because the building is absolutely spectacular. Thomas's birthday was absolutely fantastic, both E and Rufio are in to Thomas in a big way at the moment so I knew how much they would love this party and I feel very fortunate to be able to take them to such events thanks to my job.

When we arrived Rufio was still asleep and E made an immediate beeline for the face painting! She has never had her face painted before as she's usually too impatient to wait in line. So this time I was really proud of her for being so patient and when her turn came, she jumped confidently on to the chair and asked the lady for a rainbow butterfly. Three is such a gorgeous age, I love watching her confidence grow as she becomes more and more independent. I have to remind myself sometimes that she is still really just a baby, albeit a very very tall one!

Now that Rufio is nearing two, he often wakes up in a bit of a grump and it takes a while for his mood to improve. Thankfully not today though, he was super excited to wake up to an almost life-size Thomas and some of his celebrity friends.

Both E and Rufio had the best time and in the days since the party they have woken up asking to go to Thomas' party again, they were so busy throughout the entire duration of the event. E made a birthday card for Thomas and did some 'colouring in' which is her absolute favourite thing to do. There was balloon making, storytelling and we watched some episodes of Thomas & Friends at the in-house cinema. We even sang happy birthday to the birthday boy himself and then devoured the delicious birthday cake.

Since the party all our Thomas & Friends DVDs have been on non stop. We were recently sent the latest releases to review- Thomas & Friends, The Complete Series 16 and Thomas & Friends, Trouble on the track and these two are the current favourites. Series 16 is a bumper treat for kids with 20 episodes and containing over 3 hours of Thomas stories. If I didn't know the words to the theme tune before then I do now! Trouble on the tracks is a fun and and exciting escapade as Thomas and the gang do their best to not go completely off the rails as chaos ensues around almost every corner.


Nails of the Week : Non Toxic Nails from Kure Bazaar

Since I was first pregnant with my daughter a few years ago, I suddenly became more aware of all the chemicals that we are exposed to throughout our daily lives. I have tried to avoid nasty chemicals as often as possible but since going through something of a health scare a few months ago I have decided that as a family we should eat cleaner -cutting out processed foods and lowering our consumption of sugars and non organic fruit & veg. I have also given my beauty regime a bit of an overhaul too and I am gradually making the transition towards cosmetics and beauty products that are more organic and more organic and non toxic. I'm going to use up what I have left of my existing products and when they run out, the intention is for them to be replaced with products free from harmful chemicals and preservatives. 

My biggest issue is of course my favourite beauty product of all- Nail Polish. I have cut down on my beloved gel polish as I have been noticing that I get headaches whenever I apply it (but don't worry I am looking in to ways of extending regular manicures which I will blog about very soon). 
Fortunately for me, more and more brands are ditching the nasties such as Formaldehyde and Toluene. This amazing new brand Kure Bazaar which I discovered on my trip to Fortnum & Mason the other week is not only free of the four most toxic chemicals often found in nail polish but UP TO 85% of the formul derived from natural products such as wood pulp, cotton, potatoes and corn! 

Ok so it all sounds lovely but the question everyone wants to know is does it actually work as well as old fashioned nail polish? 

The answer is 100% yes!!! 

I actually got 3 days out of this and that is unheard of for me. Sadly I'm a one-day-and-it-chips girl. The Kure Bazaar colour range is quite lovely too, I treated myself to this summery orangey red called Juicy and it has been on my fingers & toes for the past week or so. I now definitely have a good excuse to pop back to Fortnum & Mason's beauty room!!

Have you tried any organic or natural beauty products that you would recommend? I'm thinking of writing a more detailed blog post of my findings in future.


Fortnum & Mason Beauty Room Launch

Last week I was given a tour of the new beauty rooms at Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly. To say that I was just a teensy bit excited would be a slight understatement- Kid in a sweetshop would no doubt be a better description.

Since I was a child, I have always found Fortnum & Mason to be a treasure trove of items that you couldn't find anywhere else and I am pleased to say that the new beauty department reflects this. When you step out of the lift you're immediately greeted by a huge chandelier, adorned with hundreds of jewel like perfume bottles. As turn left into the fragrance section, you get the feeling that you are entering a beautifully curated art gallery complete with white walls, wooden floors and a collection of perfumes that I could easily spend hours browsing. I was informed that there is even an in store 'Nose' who will sit down with you and help you chose the right fragrance for you from their enormous collection.

On to the art deco luxe inspired beauty section. Recently I have been doing some research in to transitioning my cosmetics and beauty products to organic and natural brands so I was really pleased to see organic brand Iila featured in the beauty section right along side established brands such as Guerlain and Chantecaille and Cosmetics a la Carte. I also came across a nail polish range made almost entirely from natural materials called Kure Bazaar. I of course treated myself to a bottle which I will review for you very soon! p.s. it's A-mazing!! I also discovered a gorgeous new brand called Deliah thanks to a beautiful pink blush that was part of the incredible goody bag I came home with.


The new beauty rooms are something of a sanctuary for the discerning beauty enthusiast, I will most certainly be back for another browse, preferably to try out the soon to be launched Bamford spa which sounds absolutely devine!

 The tour of Fortnum & Mason's newly launched beauty rooms was very kindly organised for me by the fantastic Talk to Mums community.

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