• Review: Molly Brown London Children’s Jewellery

  • Film Review: The Marmalade Challenge to celebrate #Paddington2DVD

  • Usborne Books for Easter

  • How to keep running beyond January when you have family commitments

Review: Molly Brown London Children’s Jewellery

As Fifi gets older she is developing her own sense of style. She’s a very different girl to me and very glamorous which is a learning curve for us both! She was asked by Molly Brown London if she’d like to choose herself some jewellery from their website and was absolutely delighted. Molly Brown London are a British children’s jewellery company that specialise in good quality simple designs.

Molly Brown Honey Bee necklace

Fifi had a great deal of agonising over what to select as she absolutely loved everything on the site. I thought this was great because jewellery is a brilliant keepsake gift for little girls and I often wonder if I’m choosing something that would be loved long term. Clearly you cant go wrong shopping on the Molly Brown London website!

Fifi chose the Molly Brown London Honey Bee necklace. This is a beautiful necklace made from silver and 9ct gold vermeil. Its adjustable so it will grow with her which makes it a perfect gift for a special occasion like becoming a bridesmaid or a birthday. I’m very jealous and Fifi loves it!


Film Review: The Marmalade Challenge to celebrate #Paddington2DVD

If you are a regular reader you’ll know just how much we loved Paddington 2 when we went along to the press screening. Its a fantastic feel good movie which is perfect for the whole family. It’s so good its nominated for 3 BAFTAs! If you didn’t get a chance to see it at the cinema then you’ll be pleased to hear that its out from today on digital download, DVD, Blu-ray and 4k UHD + Blu- ray. My kids are thrilled as they’ll now be able to watch it over and over again.


To celebrate the release we were asked if we’d like to take part in the Marmalade Challenge to design our very own marmalade sandwiches. Now, this was a tricky one- do you go traditional? Off the wall? or shaped? My kids threw some spanners or curve balls at it as they pondered whether marmalade is better on sourdough or traditional bread. Hmm, tricky! This left us with no choice but to try a selection over the weekend, using low sugar marmalade of course. We concluded that the best marmalade sandwiches are traditional white sandwich tin bread (from the bakers not the processed stuff from the shop), but we also give you the option of wholemeal here. Let me know what you fancy the most in  the comments.

Since its the perfect film for our Friday movie nights I anticipate making a lot of marmalade sandwiches!

About the Film

The much-anticipated sequel to the worldwide hit family film finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief…

Paddington’s biggest adventure yet sees Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson joining the all-star returning cast of Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Ben Whishaw as the voice of the beloved bear.

A Heyday Films and STUDIOCANAL production, Paddington’s return to our screens is helmed by BAFTA nominated director Paul King (PADDINGTON, COME FLY WITH ME, THE MIGHTY BOOSH) written by Paul King and Simon Farnaby (YONDERLAND and MINDHORN). 

PADDINGTON 2 is produced by multi award-winning David Heyman (producer of all eight of the HARRY POTTER films, GRAVITY, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM).

The PADDINGTON 2 Blu-Ray and DVD Extras include a director’s commentary, ‘Rain on the Roof’ with Phoenix Buchanan (Full Screen), Paddington 2: The Challenges of Making the Film & a BAFTA Q&A with David Heyman, Paul King, Simon Farnaby, Hugh Grant and Pablo Grillo. iTunes Extras include exclusive junket interviews with Cast & Crew.

PADDINGTON 2 is nominated for three 2018 British Academy Film Awards: ‘Best British Film’, ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’: Hugh Grant, and ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’: Simon Farnaby and Paul King.

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Usborne Books for Easter

If you have a little one you’ll know how hard it is to restrict their sugar intake over Easter. Fortunately Usborne books have come to the rescue and I think these little board books would make a great gift instead of yet another Easter egg!

For children who love the ‘That’s not my…’ series there are volumes on bunny’s and chick’s which are so adorably cute you wont be able to resist reading them. At just £6.99 each you’ll get loads of use out of these, my eldest who is ten had lots of the “That’s not my…’ books and reading them with him was such an important part of his toddler years I’ve still got them.

For toddlers that like peep through books Usborne have produced Are you there little bunny? which is so lovely that you’ll definitely end up reading it many times! It priced at just £5.99 which I think is money well spent!

Usborne books have also got lots of great free Easter activities on their website: www.usborne.com/easter

Disclaimer: We were sent these for review

How to keep running beyond January when you have family commitments

One of the reasons that this blog has been quiet for a while is that alongside my job and the daily trails of looking after three children I have been doing a lot of running again. Without seeming evangelical about it running is such a brilliant way to deal with the daily stresses of everyday life, it provides me a bit of me time and feels like the only thing I do entirely for myself. A couple of years ago I ran the Cancer Research Race for Life 10km and so this is the distance I’m working with at the moment. I’ve entered several 10km races both virtual and organised and i’m looking forward to creating some new personal bests.

Maintaining motivation is one of the biggest challenges for any sort of exercise and I must admit the only way I’ve managed to do this is by literally bribing myself with the odd new bit of kit here and there. I was absolutely thrilled when JD Williams offered to provide me with a selection of their JD Williams Activewear kit. JD Williams has been on my radar for a while as I’ve read quite a lot in the press about their ethos which is around championing and celebrating confidence and style at any age. This is the perfect ethos for me as i’m finding that in my forties its actually quite hard to find suitable running kit that doesn’t look frumpy, gimicky, suitable for teenagers or is just out of my price range.


I selected several items from the range and I’ve been absolutely thrilled with my choices. I’ve been out running in all of the kit and its great. I’d love to show you lots of pictures of me running along looking glam, but frankly I don’t have any. I generally look a bedraggled mess and unlike many of these fitness bloggers I don’t have someone taking photos as I run along. So you’ll have to make do with these 2 shots!

I absolutely love this kit, its top quality and so reasonably priced. JD Williams is my new go to place for sports kit, i’m going to have to treat myself to some of their fashion next! Click the links to find the sweatshirt , running jacket and leggings.

But onto my top tips- how do you manage to keep up running after that initial burst of January enthusiasm when you’re also juggling family commitments?

Running Jacket and Leggings

An an extra hour in your day

I’ve found the only solution to genuinely finding time for yourself to workout (without putting the kids into childcare) is to get up early and go for it. As soon as I wake up I get up and go, If I give myself time to think about it I wont go. I’m back before the rest of the house has finished breakfast.

Goal Setting

I don’t have a personal trainer or even a plan of action for my runs. I started C 2 5K ages ago but didn’t get along with it. I work on the basis of mentally looking at distances and pushing myself a bit further (or faster) each time. For example, try to run to a landmark like a bench or a lamp post and then next time try to run to the one just past it. I’m now setting myself distance goals using my Runkeeper and have signed up for some Virtual Runner challenges which works for me.


In order to keep motivated I set myself little challenges and reward myself with a new top or leggings or something nice to eat.

Get the Family Involved

I often go for shorter runs with my 9 year old daughter. Her enthusiasm is infectious and we always have a fun time. I feel as if i’m setting her a good example and we are both getting fit, what can be a better incentive.

Disclosure: I was gifted the JD Williams kit for this post

Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic at The Victoria and Albert Museum

winnie the poohThis blog has enabled me to have some fabulous experiences and in many ways it has changed our lives as a family and for that I will be very grateful. However, one of the biggest treats has been the chance to visit an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum before everybody else. As a museum curator I used to work across the road at The Natural History Museum and I’d dream of visiting the galleries at the V & A without the usual crowds of people. I never thought in a million years that I’d have the chance, but this week I did and what an absolute delight it was!


winnie the pooh

The children can enjoy a slide!

winnie the pooh

Go camping in the V & A!

winnie the pooh

Play Pooh Sticks

Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic is a completely ground breaking exhibition for the museum as it is the first time that they have attempted a family friendly exhibition. Complete with a slide, a table set for tea (or drawing), a river to pretend playing pooh sticks and some doors only suitable for kids you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the Discover Children’s Story Centre rather than at the rather adult surroundings of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Recently the museum has really upped its game in terms of the staging of its exhibitions and this exhibition was jaw droppingly stunning, a real visual feast. It really is something that I could only aspire to with the exhibitions I (rarely) stage myself.

winnie the pooh

There really is something for all age groups in this exhibition, after all who doesn’t like Winnie the Pooh? The exhibition starts with an array of Pooh related objects, some familiar like Cath Kidston’s collaboration dress some not so and more historic. You can also have a look at the teddy bears which were the inspiration for Pooh himself.

winnie the pooh

A door for little vistors

winnie the pooh

I loved all the child friendly activities and specially written child friendly labels

Winnie the Pooh

For me, the joy of the exhibition was the chance to actually see some of the original illustrations created by E. H. Shepard, along with A. A. Milne’s family photographs and some of the original printers proof’s. There is a real thrill to seeing the originals of illustrations you are so familiar with and which are part of treasured childhood memories.

Winnie the Pooh

Carefully chosen quotes from the book highlighted around the gallery left me felt inspired to re-read the stories again with my youngest child. In fact, the whole space was a real delight to be within.

winnie the pooh

Sadly, my children were at school during my visit to the exhibition otherwise I know for sure that they would have loved it. I know what we are going to be doing this holiday…

There are loads of family friendly events and activities to go alongside the exhibition and you can find out more here: https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/winnie-the-pooh-exploring-a-classic