Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Extreme Beauty

My skin is gross right now - I have had a huge spot on the left side of my chin for days, its a giant throbbing mountain of pain. Every time I move my mouth, it aches and feels sore and get this, there are not 3 yellow heads on it but 5! Sorry if I am grossing you out - but my hormones are raging.  I turn 39 in under two months and this is soooo not right. Why am I still getting spots (OK just the one but its MASSIVE)? I had the worse skin ever when pregnant and its been 16 months since I had the twins so why is my complexion still behaving so badly - always in the same place. I have avoided wearing make-up so not to aggravate the problem and the clay volcano look - no amount of Laura Mercier camouflage concealer was going to hid this blemish!

I know I have left the old beauty routine slip since having the 3 kids but this evening I made a supreme effort to fit in some treatments in-between the dinners, bathing and tots bed-time. First off was Decleor Purete exfoliant micro exfoliating gel which you apply to cleansed skin, wait a few minutes for it to dry slightly then massage into the skin gently  to scrub off the flaky bits and rinse off with warm water.
 It was followed by Elemis Tri-Enzyme resurfacing gel mask.. It really tingles when on the skin but in a good way as you feel its doing something. Wash off with warm water and pat face dry. 

I should say at this point I got interrupted by the Curly Haired Beauty who barged in to use her Fifi the flower tot pink potty. She was greatly amused by the colour on mummy's face. After explaining patiently that when mummy is in the bathroom it is her 'private time' - she scooted off to carry on reading her Princess magazine in her bedroom. Then I apply some Liz Earle Smoothing Line Serum, to make my skin feel super soft.

I have run out of SK ll Cellumination Essence which was a lovely freebie from Mummy Bear at She was not at all domestic which I have to say was probably THE best facial serum I have ever used. Liz Earle is not a bad runner up but you can really feel the difference on application. Then to try and address the Zit problem I apply some Elemis SOS Emergency Cream to the affected area and then a dab of Decleor Prolange Gel to help lessen the redness and reduce scarring (this really works even on stretch marks and op scars). 

Finally to moisturise I use Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and Elemis Pro-Collagen eye renewal around the eyes (only apply around the orbital bones).

There, that's me face done for the evening. Hopefully this will help my skin and it will lovely and renewed after a good night's sleep for tomorrow. 

Just in time - September Sample Sales

Restock the ClosetSeptember 2010 Sample Sales courtesy of Daily Candy

london september sample sales!
Summer is over (did it ever really begin?). Start your winter wardrobe with this month’s best sample sales. What: The Secret Sample Sale & The London Accessory Sale
Why: Jimmy Choo pony fur bag, £499 (reg. £1,290); Vivienne Westwood scarf, £29 (reg. £89); and up to 90 per cent off designers including Sophia Kokosalaki, Moncler and more. When: 2-5 Sept. Thurs., noon-9 p.m.; Fri., noon-8 p.m.; Sat., noon-7 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m. Where: T2, The Old Truman Brewery, 85 Brick Ln., E2 6QL (020 7770 6000). Map It
What: Boutique Sale
Why: Up to 90 per cent off clothing from Missoni, Vanessa Bruno, Sonia Rykiel and more. When: 8-12 Sept. Wed., 1-7 p.m.; Thurs., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: The Old Truman Brewery, Shop 14, 15 Hanbury St., E1 6QR. Map It
What: Rupert Sanderson
Why: Shoes from £75, including Alcazar pink suede shoe boots, £200 (reg. £645), and Asteroid black platform sandals, £150 (reg. £795). When: 17 & 18 Sept. Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Where: The Music Room, 26 S. Molton Ln., W1K 5AB (020 7491 2220). Map It
What: British Designers Sale Why: Goods from Jenny Packham, Edina Ronay, James Lakeland and others from £10. When: 17 & 18 Sept. Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Where: Chelsea Town Hall, Kings Rd., SW3 2EE (020 7627 2777). Map It
What: Designer Warehouse Sale
Why: Jil Sander cashmere coat, £399 (reg. £1,655); Moncler puffer jacket, £299 (reg. £625); Etro cashmere jumper, £99 (reg. £475). When: 17-19 Sept. Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: 5-6 Islington Studios, Thane Works, Thane Villas, N7 7NU. Map It
What: Margaret Howell
Why: Up to 80 per cent off ready-to-wear. When: 23 & 24 Sept. Thurs. & Fri., 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Where: The Music Room, 26 S. Molton Ln., W1K 5AB. Map It
What: Temperley
Why: Up to 80 per cent off ready-to-wear, bridal and accessories from the Brit designer. When: 23 & 24 Sept. Thurs., 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri., 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Where: 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Gr., W11 2QA. Map It
What: Georgina Goodman
Why: Up to 75 per cent off boots and evening and day shoes in sample sizes (37 and 40). When: 27 Sept.-2 Oct. Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Where: 12-14 Shepherd St., W1J 7JF (020 7499 8599). Map It
Photo: Getty Images

Monday, 30 August 2010

Bloggers for Bangladesh and the situation in Pakistan

Copied and pasted from Holly's Blog its a mummy's life please pass this message on, thank you .

Yesterday three bloggers from the parenting community travelled to Bangladesh to report on the work Save the Children are doing with mothers and children there.   This will kick start a campaign to put pressure on world leaders  when they meet at the UN summit to deliver on their promises to mothers and children around the world.

We have all seen the pictures on TV when various crises occur in other parts of the world where children are so badly affected. It's easy to turn over, a bit harder to watch, almost impossible to stop the tears.  We can't imagine living in a world where food and water are such valuable commodities, we take so much for granted.  

What these women Josie, Eva and Sian are doing is an important part of raising awareness to affect change for these women and their children.  They will be tweeting, creating videos and writing about their experiences direct.  

You can support Save the Children by visiting the campaign's facebook page .


I thought it might be worth including in this post an update from Save the Children about neighbouring Pakistan and the flood situation there.  Here is what they sent me: 

As floodwaters continue to move to southern areas of Sindh, causing further damage, it is likely that the number of people in need of assistance across this province will rise.

More than 200 people, mostly children, have died of gastro and other diseases in relief camps. Health officials admitted that more than 500,000 persons are suffering from various diseases in camps and may lose their lives if they are not treated in time. 

Some 7,820 schools are now reported to have been fully or partially damaged, and 4,935 schools are being used as relief shelters.

At least half a million pregnant women need special care and attention in these flood-affected areas. Over 100,000 are expected to give birth within the next three months. With very little maternal and newborn healthcare available, women and their babies are in severe danger. Most of the lady health workers in the flood-hit districts have also been affected by the floods and hence there is a dearth of maternal and newborn healthcare throughout the flood zone.   

The NDMA now reports that 1,226,678 houses have been damaged or destroyed, with the highest numbers being reported in Punjab (500,000) and in Sindh (462,251).

The Ministry of Livestock and Dairy Development estimates that 1.2 million large animals and 6 million poultry have been lost across the country. At least 3.6 million hectares of standing crops have so far been damaged or lost. Loss of draught animal power and seeds as well as damage to agricultural land and infrastructure has crippled farmers’ production capacity for the next planting season.

800,000 people could be reached only by air, said the United Nations, and it called for 40 more helicopters from the international community to help deliver aid.

According to the United Nations, there have already been over 120,000 documented cases of dengue and malaria, while hundreds of thousands have been affected by skin infections and diarrhea.

Overview of Save the Children response
In 26 days, Save the Children has reached over 162,000 people through emergency medical care and distribution of tents, shelter kits, hygiene kits, food and other supplies.

Save the Children provided healthcare to 5607 patients through static clinics in district Shikarpur and Sukkur, Sindh Province, in collaboration with the district health department. 

In Swat, seven health facilities are functional; total consultations in last four days was 2931. In DI Khan, 5 static health facilities and 1 mobile team continued providing health services to flood affected villages, 2 Save the Children ambulances are supporting the DoH flood relief services; 2318 patients have been treated this week.

In the remote and inaccessible village of Kund in Allai, KPK, Save the Children medical teams treated 472 patients.

Save the Children has provided emergency health care services to 1,325 people in district Muzaffargarh while two days camp in affected union councils of Multan have treated 386 men, women and children.

Save the Children launched mobile health teams in district Rajanpur with a local partner RDO on August 8th, 2010. To date, these mobile health teams have provided emergency medical aid to 12,800 people in the district.

In partnership with WFP Save the Children distributed food to 600 families at a relief camp in Sukkur. In DI Khan, 600 families who received food rations; In Swat, food has been distributed to 2316 families, 1978 in Kalam and 348 in Babozai.

Save the Children teams provided 915 families with 79 MTs of food supplies in several union councils of tehsils Kot Addo, district Muzaffargarh. To date, 3100 families have been provided 267MTs of food supplies in district Muzaffargarh.

In DI Khan, 320 families were given tents and household kits. Non Food Items comprised of a tent, jerry cans, water buckets and blankets has been provided to 243 families in district Muzaffargarh.

In Swat, 1604 families were provided NFI packages including tents, and health and hygiene kits, and household Kits. In Allai, 300 families were provided with one month food rations and NFIs. 

Save the Children is advocating for the following for the flood emergency:

  1. Urgent and substantial humanitarian funding is required to meet the critical needs.
  2. The Government of Pakistan and the international community should not forget to focus attention and resources on the longer-term effects of the floods on food security and livelihoods in the affected areas.
  3. Emergency education and child protection should be prioritized.
  4. The Government of Pakistan and international partners should make every effort to ensure humanitarian relief is delivered by civilian agencies.

Our aid workers are in Pakistan, responding to the devastating floods that have now affected around 20 million people. Those who have survived the floods now face homelessness, debilitating hunger and disease. We’re reaching families now with food, shelter and medicine – but we want to help 2 million people within six months and we need your help to do this. Find out more atwww.savethechildren.org.uk/pakistanfloods 

Saturday, 28 August 2010

I do like to be beside the seaside

Bank Holiday weekend, Rain, check! Oh well it was always too much to ask for a nice sunny one for a trip to Brighton. The place of my birth will always be very dear to me but also a place I couldn't live on a permanent basis. When the weather is as grim as it currently is - its a gentle reminder that during winter this coastal region is too depressing and makes me so pleased my parents moved us on and into London. Don't get me wrong I love Brighton, spent many happy trips here with family, friends, boyfriends, husband. Tried on the biggest diamond ring ever (7 carats) in a local jewelery shop, I wouldn't have been able to do that in Bond Street! It actually looked really ridiculous on me - too big and fake looking so a lucky escape for the boyfriend (now husband).

We recently returned from a lovely jaunt to celebrate his birthday - Yay without the kids in tow. The big 4-0. Happy times and had a lovely meals at Englishs Seafood restaurant. I had a pint of prawns followed by locally caught lobster, spaghetti with courgette, basil and chilli. D has potted shrimp and grilled Dover sole washed down with a good bottle of Sancerre. I love the seating arrangement inside Englishs - its very cosy and you get to sit next door to your dining companion rather than sit opposite. Much more intimate I think. We shared a banana and chocolate sundae and ear wigged actress Sarah Miles telling her dining companions how she turned down the role in Kramer Vs Kramer - who knew they were going to re-do that weepy movie??? The Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep classic - actually all I remember from that film is her in the classic trench coat.
Shows you how my mind wondered watching that movie....Its funny how things swing round again - Meryl's film wardrobe wouldn't look out of place worn for this A/W10.
Don't you think she looks a little like Leighton Meester in this still?

After our meal I quickly popped into Cath Kidston nearby - yes I am a guilty addict and my home couldn't be more filled with her cheery prints. Had a quick rummage in the sale bin upstairs and got some lovely check fabric to upholster my sofa with.

Its something I have been meaning to do for ages. Our current sofa is in a sorry state - its covered in beige linen, dry clean only, and is looking worse for wear after 3 babies, potty training etc. I can't afford to get the whole thing covered as it takes a lot of fabric, so I'm getting the cushions seats recovered and having arm covers done. God bless my mum who is a whizz at the sewing machine.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Wet wet wet

It's wet and wild out and I have been fed up with waiting/checking to see when the Anya Hindmarch for Barbour Minx Coat is going to be ready to purchase. Their people say it will be in-store and on-line by the end of August. HELLO it is the end of August and the weather man say more rain is on its way for the Bank Holiday weekend. Mmmmm wet wet wet I just love this British Summer. I trawled through the various waterproof jackets  available on ShopStyle and found this beauty by Barbour and it was marked down - I do love a bargain, so I had to snap this up. I know I should have probably waited a few more days for the AH coat but this jacket will be the perfect cover up for my trip to Brighton sans enfants; Mods and Rockers here I come! I love the biker jacket styling, the quilting will give it some warmth and it promises to dry out quickly, so immensely practical too. Now should I pack my wellies just in case? Shock horror they are not Hunters but bright pink ones with polka dots. Its really too soon to dig the Uggs out and my cowboy boots are not really waterproof or comfy enough for the pebble beach. 

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Fashion Night Out

Otis Purple Suede


Wednesday, 18 August 2010


There are two of these monsterous  Vitra  alcove sofa's for sale at Lots Road Auctions this Sunday. They are HUGE and weirdly remind me of a padded cell; being bright red it does not go with my decor or would fit through my front door. But I can't help thinking my home would not be complete without one! Thing 1 and Thing 2 can bounce around quite safely on it and Curly Haired Beauty will think its the best ever boat,ship, rocket ever in her make believe world. Estimate is £400-£600 which I think is a steal for such an amazing design. Cheaper than Habitat and doing your part for recycling/low carbon footprint too.  

Monday, 16 August 2010


I was a bit premature about summer being over yesterday - this morning was truly gloomy - I wore shades of grey and black to reflect the sky above. By lunchtime I was sweltering in thick black tights and wool kilt as the heavens turned blue and the sun shone brightly. I'm not complaining but my goodness it was hot and sweaty on that tube later. Do people think its OK to smell unwashed and go on public transport.....

Anyway I digress - I was out and about on my lunch break looking for tights! Yep on another mission to stock up and Falke hit the mark for patterned tights. I know I should have been scooping up the dregs of the summer sales or making more investment purchases for A/W10 or just enjoying the summery weather before it really does disappear again. Did anyone hear the weatherman say its suppose to be damp through to November?? I just wanted to be prepared for the inevitable.
When I got home, I headed to the garden to check out what's left of the vegetable patch, now our glut is over (we ate courgettes every night for a week) - 2 yellow courgettes and 1 petit pan and the lone Sunflower has made an appearance! Leaves all mottled with holes but a perfect sunny face after being a green bud for so long. It was a seedling purchased at the pre-school May Fair to raise funds. Its taken its own sweet time but its so lovely to look at now, in all its sunny radiance. I should have taken a photo but Thing 1 chose the time to hurl himself off the trampoline and Thing 2 was heading for the still damp and slimy slide. Gazebo is still up - it resisted the rain last night - that was such a great cheapy purchase last year. I shall be really sad when it does keel over as I know I will be rubbish at packing it away. The winds will sweep it away to the church next door.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Summer really is over

Not much sun and fun this weekend - lots of rain here and the gazebo is heaving with the strain of rainwater and no doubt will collapse by tomorrow morning. So here are a few cheerful flowers to make me smile. I love  brightly coloured blooms, the bigger the better!

Wish my garden was full of flowers but the snails have attacked a lot of the vegetation and my sunflower (just the one that survived!) has only started to bud, so who knows if I will get a happy sunny face before the summer ends. Next month I am hoping to be more organised and will actually plant some bulbs ready for next year; crocus's, daffodils, tulips, irises,  alliums. Although I know by next Spring, Thing 1 and Thing 2 will be 2 years old and will take great delight in beheading any blooms with a stick (happened with my sister and her kid). 

Friday, 13 August 2010

Busman's holiday trip to W1 for fun

Curly Haired Beauty and I took a trip into W1 today, I choose Friday the 13th for a girl's day out. What's the worse that could happen? There was an ulterior motive - I had booked her in for a measles booster jab at SameDayDoctor. After much anxiety when she was a baby (we didn't want to have the MMR) and lots of research, we chose this clinic as the vaccine they use contain no mercury and provides 95% coverage for this type of childhood illness.

As a sweetner prior to the jab I thought a trip to the ultimate toy shop Hamleys would be fun. On the 3rd floor they have a whole department dedicated to all things girly. CHB loved it - there was Tantrum Boutique, where you can have your hair done (curled or straightened), coloured clip on hair extensions, Fairy Princess make-overs and nail art. Wow what a choice they had and for £8 a speedy 15 mins later CHB was the proud owner of a set of flashy nails. She picked neon pink with white dots. (the above are not her hands! - she wouldn't sit still for the photo). A quick tour of the Hello Kitty section (mmmm nothing here for this mummy), Barbie and tea sets of various designs, sizes. CHB wanted a pair of silver glitter shoes, Princess dress and maybe a giant Hello Kitty toy. We negotiated that she could pick only one item (3 1/2 and a mean negotiator already) - she would bloody choose the most expensive item; another Snow White Princess dress, the Deluxe version with cape, headband and flower detail. We already have one at home, and a Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Fairy etc. Why she couldn't choose a different one I will never know???

I haven't been to Hamley's since I was a kid and the place felt very small and the ceiling very low...I know I was really short as a kid but I remembered it being so much bigger inside. The ice cream soda fountain is no longer there - or am I getting it mixed up with Fortnum and Mason's?  Note to self - you cannot power walk along Regent St/Oxford St with a push chair and the amazingly slow tourists getting in the way. I know I have mentioned it before - I sound like a broken record about the backpackers and language students - but its so frustrating  for me! Every day going to and from work I run into these hoards - who just love to stop for no reason at the narrowest point on the pavement.

So for lunch we grabbed some sandwiches from Pret a Manger (they now do children's sarnies with less filling) and went to Cavendish Square just behind John Lewis. It had only just stopped raining so I put some plastic bags on the bench before we sat down. Lots of pigeons sniffing around for a crust or two but I had to discourage CHB from feeding all her lunch to them. As the wind blew, the trees above dripped water onto our heads. CHB had her hoodie up and I turned up my collar up to stop the rain water trickling down my neck.

After eating we headed to the clinic in Wimpole Street- I was a bit apprehensive as although I have explained in my best Dora the Explorer voice "Toy Shop, Lunch, Injection!" and gave her a map of where we were going - I don't think she fully understood that a strange woman was going to stick a needle into her thigh....well she was a true star - no tears, didn't even see it go in, as she was busy colouring in a picture and got a big sticker for being brave. There was no localised swelling and no high temperature afterwards. If only everything was that simple.

I spoke at great length with the nurse about Thing 1 and Thing 2 egg allergy - the single measles and MMR jab both contain egg.  There is one clinic I found on Google based in Sudbury that uses a measles vaccine which is egg free but it is imported from India. We have no way of knowing how effective this one would be and how reputable this place is. Another horrifying Google search came up with the suggestion to have children with an egg allergy have the vaccine administered  in hospital so if they went into an anaphylatic shock they would be in the best place to be treated! I really don't want to put my two babies through this terror - it was bad enough having to rush to A&E after they ate scrambled eggs. We are still waiting for the appointment with St Thomas's Allergy clinic and hope to find out how severe their allergy is to egg. Possibly they may out-grow it by three and can go ahead and have the vaccine. But it will still be a worrying time and a long period to wait - anything can happen in-between. CHB is already at pre-school and is constantly exposed to lots of germs and bugs and no doubt bring home the dreaded nits at some point in time (she is going through a no hair-brushing phase). What a do and what shall I do?

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Twin Thursday

Thing 1 and Thing 2 at: 2 month old, 5 month old (in Christening outfits - yes I chose ivory silk romper suits and look how unhappy they are!) and 15 months old.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Wordless Wednesday

On sale at Top Shop , plastic cape £25 - perfect cover up for the forecasted gloomy wet weather ahead....

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Maxx Time

I've spent the last few weeks resisting the lure of the newly opened TK Maxx store in Charing Cross Road. You can't miss all the advertising locally, at Tottenham Court Road tube take exit 2, 3 mins walk away. Today I finally succumbed, it was a horrible wet lunch break and I just wanted to go somewhere nice and dry and have a browse away from the sodden tourists mouching in Oxford Street.   With the Cross Rail building work - the local landscape has changed dramatically, lots of buildings have been knocked down and I couldn't remember what used to be there. I think it may have been a book shop right on the corner of Denmark Street meets Charing Cross Road. Inside TX Maxx the ground floor had their new ModBox range, aimed to be more fashion forward but I had a quick scan and didn't see anything for me. Aimed at Heat readers it was mostly for the graphic tee tops and jeans brigade. Round the other side they had a rail of the Premium Designer range and I was pleasantly surprised to see Missoni, Jill Sander, Stella McCartney & Blumarine. Big discounts on the outfits but to spend £399 in there and no size choices I would rather head to Selfridges and have a proper 'shop' experience. In my mind's eye TK Maxx is the equivalent of a guilty Nando's (Primark is a dirty MacDonalds) - go figure my questionable thinking here...

Anyway to cut a long story short - nothing here for me on this visit - its a smaller shop compared to the branches in Hammersmith and Croydon. I headed upstairs and lucked out for the tots - scooped up two baby sleeping bags for the Thing 1 and Thing 2. I don't usually buy them matching gear but as they are both mad for In The Night Garden I had to get them the same thing.

I always do very well here for kids stuff. Curly Haired Beauty had an amazing sweet Snow Suit bought from them. It was such a shame when she outgrew it. Came in very handy when we had that big dump of snow. I have now passed it onto a friends little girl and she loves it as much as mine did.

TK Maxx is one of those places you just have to keep checking back in to see what's in and you may luck out.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Swayed by Suede

From Jaeger, grey suede waterfall jacket with studded trim - a perfect transitional piece to throw over and luxe your outfit.
This little suede/chiffon cutie is from TopShop - me like it a lot!

And this Biker number by Oasis is on sale for half price - best hurry to grab a bargain.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Another super sample sale

BE & D

We went to the Be&D sample sale last season and we ALL bought one of their amazing butter-soft leather bags. Here's your chance! Prices starting from £50!
Thursday 19 August (5pm – 8pm); Hoopla PR, 10-11 Archer Street, W1D 7AZ, London.

Handbag line Be&D is the result of the eclectic partnership between Be Inthavong - a Laotian native whose fashion education began in his family's silk mills, and Steve Dumain - a downtown New York screen writer. The line is equal parts hand-finished luxury and edgy rock-chic details. Designs are crafted to perfection with modern touches that include ruffle frills on clutches and faux buckle detailing on totes.
Courtesy of Fashion Confidential / Net-a-porter