#CityCountryLife Lunch at L'Entrecote Marylebone

#CityCountryLife is a series run by myself and my gorgeous friend Lizzie. Living in the heart of London, I write about life with kids in the capital city and Lizzie writes about all the wonderful things that country life has to offer.

Years ago when I working in Marylebone as full time as an analyst, pre-kiddiewinks, My French colleagues would all rave about L'entrecote on Marylebone High Street and we would often sneak off  there for lunch breaks.

My friend Sarah of My City My London blog, invited me for lunch here at L'Entrecote a few weeks ago and I couldn't wait to go back. L'entrecote serves the yummiest steak frites in town and best of all, you get seconds!!

In my student years, I spent a year at university in Paris and as a result I adore French food, especially the delicious bread and simple salads.

The salad comes as standard, you can however request it instead of chips with your main, which I have done in the past for a low carb option.

The restaurant is really unique because they only serve one dish, Steak Frites!! You can of course decide how you would like your steak cooked.

The best part is that there's the option to have more if you're still hungry, which you rarely are, it's that good!

If by some miracle, you still have room for desert then contrary to the main menu there are far too many too chose from! Sarah and I ordered Tarte au Citron and Chocolate cake. So good!!

The restaurant decor is really simple and very French which I love!!

As I said, I hadn't been there for such a long time that I had almost forgotten about the place. I will be sure to go back again soon with Mr Jones.

Don't forget to link up your City & Country posts below:


Girls Rainbow / Rainbow Dash Hair Tutorial

On the last day before half term, E had mufti day in school to raise money for Great Ormond Street hospital. The theme was 'Bad Hair Day' which left me with a bit of a conundrum.

You see, it's virtually impossible to make E's beautiful curls look bad!!

Compliments on her curls and the beautiful blond ombre shade are pretty much a daily occurrence, with people stopping me and asking me how I style her hair.

I don't!

She wakes up and it looks amazing, we just use a detangler and a tangle teaser to brush it gently.

I guess I'm always amazed by her hair because mine is just so awful. It's thick, coarse and seriously difficult to manage, one of the reasons why I hacked it all off into a Lob.

Anyway, I digress. E and I decided to alter the theme of the day to crazy hair as she's seriously in to My Little Pony at the moment, especially Rainbow Dash and her distinctive rainbow mane. So Rainbow dash became our inspiration for the day.

School mornings are always a rush with a 4 year old and an unruly 2 year old so I needed something that wouldn't take up too much time. A little bit of research lead me to non- toxic hair chalks on eBay, which were an absolute steal at £2.50

Here's now we achieved the effect in minimal time:

Hair Chalks in assorted colours
Water Spray
Hair Brush
2 Crocodile Hair Clips
Old Towel

1. Place an old towel over the shoulders

2. Brush out any knots

3. Section off your first area at the front with a crocodile clip. I used segments of about 2-3 cms but of course you can adjust this according to how many colours you're going to use.

4. Chose your first rainbow colour,  we started with pink.

5. Spray the hair with water, focusing on the ends if you're going for an ombre effect as we did. The more water you use the more intense the colour.

6. Starting from the middle ( for ombre) run the chalk along the hair and repeat according to how strong you want the colour to be.

7. Once you have finished with this segment, clip it out of the way and section of your next chunk of hair and repeat the instructions above.

8. Repeat until you have the desired rainbow effect

9. You can give the hair a quick blast with the hair dryer if it's still wet, this supposedly helps seal in the colour too.

Et Voila!! Rainbow Hair!!

It was a huge success, she couldn't stop admiring it and keeps coming up with excuses for me to do it again.

P.S. This is totally temporary and washed off after one shampoo.


DIY Heart Crayons

This morning we recycled all our old crayons and melted them in these super cute heart shape moulds, to make brand new ones. It's really super easy to do and a great rainy day activity for half term. Here's how you do it:

Gather together all those annoying little broken crayons and peel off all the wrappers. Then sort them in to colour groups, breaking the larger crayons in to small pieces and then pop them in to your mould. I found our mould from Ebay for about £4, it's made from silicon and is heat resistant.

Heat the oven to about 150 degrees. Once it's reached it's temperature, put the mould on to a baking tray and then put it in the over for 10-15 mins until all the crayons have melted.

Once you've taken the crayons out of the oven, let them cool and solidify for a further 10-15 mins.  Once they're ready they'll pop out of the mould really easily and are ready to be used!

Yep! It's really that easy :)  

Such a fun and super easy craft for kids, they make perfect gifts for valentines day but really you can use any shape of mould that you like. Why not try lego shapes or robots, either would make great party favours!!


Five reasons why I love Snapchat!

Move over Instagram, I'm all about Snapchat right now. I'm a social media nut ( it's kind of my job!) and I love discovering the latest platforms so of course I downloaded Snapchat a while ago. I have to be honest with you though, it sat there on my phone for a looooong time before I really got in to Snapchat. Call me granny if you like, but it took me a while to work out what it was all about. Now though, I am well and truly addicted! It's basically the perfect antidote to Instagram which feels like such a time vacuum sometimes.

1. I used to love how quick and ephemeral Instagram was but now it feels as though I need to spend hours arranging a shot, editing it and then writing the perfect quote. I'm a mummy and I work, I just don't have the time! Snapchat on the other hand is about sharing in the now, there's no need to spend forever editing your shot because it will disappear in 24 hours anyway. This leaves you more time for work, your kids or your latest hobby ( you could even try mobile casino or vipclubcasino )

2. Equally I'm finding this whole perfect life that everyone portrays on Instagram, quite tiresome. Snapchat feels a whole lot more real. You don't have to worry about contaminating your profile page with uncoordinated squares, because there isn't one.

3. I often blog about things to do with the kids in London and Snapchat provides the perfect platform to share what we're up to there and then. It also means that I don't have to bombard my Instagram followers with a gazillion posts.

4. Fun filters - Ok so it doesn't have the ability to edit your shots in the same way as Instagram or even Facebook & Twitter. But do any of them have a crazy chef's hat filter that throws veg at you- nope!! Keeps the kids entertained for hours, lol!

5. I love to swap between videos and still,  add captions, scribbles and emojis. All great ways to make to make the mundane and everyday more fun.

Is it for teenagers?- So many of my friends say to me, but who will I follow? Isn't it just for kids? Well yes it does have a huge teen following but don't forget that Facebook started out with University students and now it's considered the social media platform for older people! More and more bloggers are jumping on board and here are some of my favourite people to follow ( by account name):

Buynowbloglater- my all time favourite blogger along with Emily Schuman of Cupcakes & Cashmere below.
emilyharvey London mummy blogger, beauty addict, fitness nut!
Carter Marissa -  founder of Cocoa Brown, she gives great daily beauty advice

If you'd like to follow me, I'm mrsjoneslondon and here's my latest beauty post :


My Favourite Family Activities in London

With half-term creeping up on us in the next few weeks, a few people have been asking me to recommend some things to do with the children in London. So, with out further ado, here's a list of our favourite places to go as a family:

Aquarium - A trip to the aquarium is the perfect day out at this time of year, when outdoor options are limited. It's great for all ages, there is something for the whole family. Here's our review from a few years back. It's also really close to other attractions such as The London Eye and Big Ben, if you're looking to make a day trip up to the capital.

Chiswick House- A hidden gem, this is our favourite spot to chill out all year round.

Kidzania: Kids get to try out grown-up jobs for the afternoon, such a cool concept!! You can read more about our trip to Kidzania Here. There's even a parents lounge with wifi so you can chill out for a couple of hours, read a book, catch up on your favourite blogs or even play more of mobile bingo  .

Unicorn Theatre- A theatre for children of all ages, dedicated to inspiring and invigorating young minds.

Natural History Museum - Home of Dippy the enormous Diplodocus who greets you as soon as you enter the museum. This is the perfect day out for Dino fans! It is also hosts to some of our favourite seasonal activities, Sensational Butterflies in summer and Ice Skating in Winter.


How I Pamper Myself

Some people clean the house, others take up boxing and take it all out on the punchbag. However,  we all know that my favourite way to destress is to pamper myself. Here's how:

Nails- Going for a mani/pedi is my favourite way to pamper myself. Beautiful, shiny, jewel toned nails are an instant pick me up and make me feel a whole lot more 'put together'. With two young children, its not always that easy for me to get to the nail salon so I've pretty much managed to perfect my manicure technique myself.

Hair/Tan - You can call me shallow but seriously, give me a tan and a good blow-dry and I can conquer the world!!

Early Night- Pre-kids I was a teensy bit nocturnal. Forget nights out, my ultimate treat these days is an early night to catch up on those Zs- sleep deprivation is no joke!

Bath- Once I've decluttered the bath from all those pesky soggy bath toys that my kids love so much. I fill up the bath and pour in some Epsom salts and soak away all the stress of the day.

TV- It's impossible for me to watch anything on TV when my kids are awake without causing some sort of tantrum because someone would rather be watching Paw Patrol. As soon as the monsters are in bed, I love to catch up with favourite shows on Netflix, Mr Jones and I are Loving House of Cards at the moment! If box sets aren't your thing, you could try online bingo games such as harrysbingo.co.uk


#CityCountryLife Ice Skating at the Richmond Rink

#CityCountryLife is a series run by myself and my gorgeous friend Lizzie. Living in the heart of London, I write about life with kids in the capital city and Lizzie writes about all the wonderful things that country life has to offer.

There's so much to do in the run up to Christmas that and I never seem to be able to make the most of everything that's on offer. E and I managed to fit in Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum but I didn't manage to take Rufio. He is still only 2 so really we needed to go to a morning session in the week whilst the bigger kids were in school but I never got around to it.

Then, my good friend Kerrie-Anne from London Mothers Club suggested that we take our kids to the Richmond Rink on a Friday morning a few weeks ago. I didn't even know this place existed and we were super excited to find somewhere still open in January. It was the last day before the rink closed until next Christmas so we had the ice to ourselves! It was brilliant!

No fighting for the penguins- seriously I saw 14 year olds using them at the Natural History Museum, I mean why????

The little ones had these funky double bladed skates that attach themselves to their shoes. They remind me of those Fisher Price roller skates everyone used to have when I was a kid.

I wasn't sure how Rufio would cope on the ice but in his usual style he approached it with heaps of confidence and didn't seem to mind when he took a tumble.

The back drop of Strawberry Hill House was sooooo beautiful and I would have loved to explore the area a little more. Sadly it started to rain and we had to run for cover!

So we sipped marshmallow laden hot chocolates while we defrosted our tootsies before heading back home.

I have put together a list of some more Ice Rinks still open in London. Meanwhile, don't forget to link up your Winter Activities with us:

Where to Skate in London after Christmas

I love all the little outdoor ice rinks that pop up all over London around Christmas time, Our favourite is the one at the Natural History Museum. However, there are just so many things going on in December that I always wish that the Ice Rinks would stay put a little longer to brighten up those dreary weeks of January and February.

Well guess what?? There are still a few ice rinks open past 31st December. The Richmond Rink ( which closed for the winter last week) will feature in my #CityCountryLife later today, so don't forget to look out for that but until then, here are some great places for you to do your best 'Bambi on Ice' impersonations:

Canary Wharf Ice Rink : situated in the heart of London's Canary Wharf, it's the only rink in town to feature a skate path that leads skaters along a trail of fairy lights beneath the soaring sky scrapers

Broadgate Ice Rink: Located in the City, this is a great rink for skaters of all levels and all ages. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafe in nearby Broadgate Circle, ideal for a great day out.

Alexandra Palace- This is the place to skate all year round, whatever the weather at an iconic London location.

If you can't make it up to the capital you can still get a feel for the big smoke online- for example could play online bingo games at houseofbingo.co.uk where they fun have a Big Ben game.


5 Tips to Destress

I know so many people who find the first few months of the year incredibly stressful, often due to the Christmas hangover. Here are some great tips for de-stressing at this time of the year.

1. Take up yoga! The basic yoga breathing will instantly make you feel more relaxed, it's great exercise and you'll feel better about yourself too. If you're not ready to commit to classes, there are heaps of tutorials available online. Even if you can only fit in 15 minutes a day, you will feel the benefits.

2. Me Time- take some time to switch off and do something that you love. Whether that's reading a book or getting a manicure, it's always important to nourish your soul.

3. Online Bingo- this is a great way to relive stress and meet like minded people online. Play bingo games at www.landmarkbingo.com

4. Early Night- Not always the easiest to schedule but a good night's sleep will help your body regenerate and put you in a better frame of mind to start a new day

5. Switch your Phone off- although your phone can be a great place to interact with 24 hour social media, texts, voicemails, Skype, phone calls etc your phone can be a source of stress without you even realising. Take some time away and switch off, start with mealtimes and build up to switching it off for the whole day- yikes!!

© Mrs Jones London . Design by Fearne.