Five Fabulous Luxury Easter Eggs


Luxury Artisan Chocolate Easter egg

The countdown to Easter has begun, especially for all those ladies out there who have chocolate up for Lent (I was not one of them!). Bug, who is 2, could care less what eggs the Easter Bunny will bring this year, as long as they are chocolate. I, on the other hand am hoping that said bunny remembers that I am an awesome mummy and would like a chocolate egg too. A luxury Easter egg would get that bunny a lot points in my book.

To help him out, I have pulled together Five Fabulous Luxury Easter Eggs. (Clockwise from top right)

1. Prestat Dark Chocolate Easter Egg 

The lovely folks at Prestat sent me this chocolate egg which I am saving for a moment when no one else is around and I will devour it bit by bit. This dark chocolate egg of 71% cocoa made from single origin beans is filled with truffles. There is also a Salted Caramel version. Nom nom nom!

2. Rococo Roald Dahl Roly Poly Egg

A favourite character from one of my childhood books, this Roly Poly Bird chocolate egg it adorable. There is also an Enormous Crocodile egg available which is filled with tiny chocolate crocs. Take a look at the delicious Rococo Chocolate breakfast date I had with the founder, Chantal Coady, last week.

3. Artisan du Chocolat Kaleidoscope Egg

Last year I met co-founder Anne Weyns at one of the Artisan du Chocolat stores for a Chocolate 101 tasting. It transformed my opinion on chocolate and turned me into a bit of a choccie snob (in a good way). This Kaleidoscope Egg is made with dulche de leche milk chocolate and is accompanied by mini eggs and some of Artisan du Chocolat’s fine chocs.

4. Godiva Beaded Easter Egg

A sparkly, beaded egg filled with Godiva’s chocolate eggs. What more could a girl ask for from this world-famous chocolate brand? Each of the brightly coloured eggs has a different filling – from hazelnut praline to speculoos mousse.

5. Charbonnel et Walker Mini Eggs 

 

 

I haven’t met a person who doesn’t like mini eggs and what could be better than Charbonnel et Walker speckled eggs this Easter? Choose between an Easter Chick or Easter Bunny and if you spend over £60 on Easter chocolates online you will receive a limited edition luxury Peter Rabbit toy.

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New Book | Kids Don’t Come With a Manual

Kids Dont Come With A Manual

When a book titled Kids Don’t Come With A Manual dropped through my postbox, my immediate thought was “No kidding!”. How often do you feel like you have hit a major milestone with your child only for them to revert back to their old ways the following day. I cannot count the number of times I have rolled my eyes behind my toddler’s back as she defies common sense. Just this morning she plonked herself in the middle of the Waitrose entrance, as the electric doors opened and closed, and people on the way to work literally had to step over her to get their coffee and croissant.

So what am I supposed to do with my my defiant, strong-willed toddler who wants to ‘go shopping NOW mummy!’ instead of continue on her scooter to nursery? Well, my parenting style is winging it. I trust my gut and follow my instinct which works most of the time. But sometimes I need help, which is when I turn to Google (my oracle), parenting books and social media.

But we are often felt inundated with conflicting parenting advice. There is no consensus or middle ground on parenting challenges such as tantrums, sharing, eating balanced meals and sleep routines. So I skim my resources until I find something that sounds reasonable and sensible. Which is why I am so happy to have been given a copy of Kids Don’t Come With A Manual by Carole and Nadim Saad. This book is practical, based on evidence and research, and most importantly for me, has a balanced approach which helps us “harmonise our different parenting styles, rather than making us feel guilty for failing to fit into an ‘ideal’ parenting mould”.

The book has useful tools to help parents in typical challenging situations, such as handling ‘mis’behaviour and developing children’s self-responsibility, self-discipline and emotional intelligence. There is also a troubleshooting section that tackles arguing, tantrums, sibling fighting and feeling insecure, to name but a few.

I have read and re-read the Terrible Two’s – Saying No! All The Time section. Putting it into practice went a little something like this:

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Me: C’mon, get up off the floor. Let’s get moving or we will be late for nursery. And everyone is having to step over you to get into the shop.

Bug: No!

Me: OK, we can come back to the shop this afternoon, after nursery. You can help mummy choose dinner. [Tool: Positive Redirection]

Bug: No!

Me: Right poppet, you have two options. Would you like to get on your scooter and scoot yourself to nursery or would you like mummy to pick you up over her shoulder and carry you to nursery like a sack of potatoes? [Tools: Limited Choices and Humour]

Bug: Carry like potatoes!

Argh… next time I will have to think of better options that don’t involve me carrying her over my shoulder. But it worked.

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Check out Kids Don’t Come With A Manual if you would like to find out more about the book and the tools I used. There is also a free app that you can download.

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Rococo Chocolates | Top of the Chocs

Rococo chocolates

Only a fool would turn down an opportunity to eat chocolate for breakfast. Last week I joined a few fabulous ladies at Rococo Chocolates’ store on Motcomb Street, Knightsbridge. Chantal Coady who founded Rococo Chocolates back in 1983, hosted the scrumptious feast. We got to know a bit more about her and her passion for chocolate, for which she was awarded the first OBE for chocolate making in 2014.

I experienced chocolate like never before at Rococo Chocolates. From delicious granola and yogurt with raspberries and cocoa nibs to delicate chocolate mint madeleines, all served at the back of the shop where they have a cafe. I was particularly fond of the Caramelia chocolate spread (I would have got stuck in with a spoon if no one was watching). We also sampled a “shot of chocolate” which is basically hot chocolate in an espresso cup and made only with water. It is rather intense and nowhere as sweet as traditional milky hot chocolate. I quite like it as I tend to lean towards more bitter/savoury foods if given the choice. To add to the decadence, I dunked a home made raspberry marshmallow into my chocolate shot for good measure.

Rococo chocolates Rococo chocolates Rococo chocolates Rococo chocolates Rococo chocolates

Chantal showed us some of the Easter treats that are now available, including Roald Dahl themed eggs. As we munched our way through the feast, she also shared what it was like to receive an OBE. It really warmed my heart to hear that she took her mum and mother-in-law as two of her three guests to the ceremony, much to her children’s surprise. With mum’s always being their kid’s greatest cheerleaders, its always good to hear stories of when mum’s can share in their kid’s success.

Chantal showed us around her secret garden on the ground floor where she grows gorgeous violets and customers flock for their chocolate fix in the warmer months. I know I will certainly be back!

Rococo chocolates Rococo chocolates Rococo chocolates

To find out more about Chantal, her chocolates and events, take a look at Rococo Chocolates online.

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My Mother’s Day Wish List

Let me start by saying that all I really want for Mother’s Day is breakfast at home with my girls and hubs. A handmade card with a hand print or scribble, freshly baked croissants and a good, strong coffee whilst being showered with cuddles by my family is my idea of absolute bliss.

But if I had to pull together a wish list, this would be it:

Valentino Va Va Voom Shoulder Bag

 

Valentino Va Va Voom_

Who can forget Zoolander making an appearance at the Valentino show at during Paris Fashion Week. Social media went nuts with videos and pictures of the stars strutting down the catwalk. I may not have nailed the Blue Steel look just yet but I would look like one Glam Mummy if I had the Valentino Va Va Voom Shoulder Bag. It just oozes glam with its blush-coloured calf leather and iconic gold studs.

Live The Process Leggings

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Loving the monochrome look of these Live The Process Leggings. These panelled, jersey stretch leggings would make me look super slick during Paola’s BodyBarre classes.  The palm print will encourage me to daydream of sunny beaches whilst getting my body into bikini shape.

Chanel Espadrilles

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I have been lusting after these Chanel Espadrilles for what feels like years. And I will continue to lust after them because they are just so cool. One day, one day…

Bobbi Brown Brow Kit

Bobbi Brown Eyebrows

One of my fabulous friends recently told me “Don’t mess with your brows, they are serious real estate!”. She is so right. Your eyebrows frame your face and their shape and tone can completely change your look. I’ve started paying a lot more attention to my eyebrows and this Bobbi Brown Brow Kit would help me out.

Jo Malone Limited Edition Fragrance

Jo Malone

Somehow I have become a bit of a collector of the Jo Malone Limited Edition Fragrances.  They recently launched their Rock The Ages collection made up of 5 different fragrances. I wouldn’t mind one (or all) of the four above: Tudor Rose & Amber, Lily of the Valley & Ivy, Geranium & Verbena,  Pomegranate Noir. I left out the fifth one as I don’t think so keen on Birch & Black Pepper.

So there you have it, my mother’s day wish list. What is on yours?

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Joolz News | Now Available at John Lewis

Joolz

My favourite luxury travel system, Joolz, is now available at John Lewis. I could not be prouder of this fantastic company who are going from strength to strength with their fantastic product. This is a brand to watch!

My Joolz Tailor is my everyday run around pram when out and about with my girls. I love the Personalised Bumper Bar and mums at nursery and in coffee shops often ask me about it.

John Lewis Nursery Buyer, Caroline Bettis comments, “At John Lewis, we strive to create a strong assortment of products and introduce relevant brands which meet the needs and aspirations of our customers, Joolz is a young and innovative brand known for its strong quality and design as well as key functional features which enhance the lives of new parents.”

Joolz John Lewis

Joolz is available to buy from selected John Lewis stores and will be available online soon.

Three cheers to Joolz!

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Paola’s BodyBarre | Kicked My Butt into Shape and a Mother’s Day Special

Paolas Body Barre

Paola’s BodyBarre (based in Fulham) is offering a special package for mums to celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday!

I signed up to Paola’s BodyBarre last October, when my littlest was just 6 weeks old and got the doctor’s sign off. Having just recovered from my second c-section, I knew that building my core was important to getting back in shape but I also knew that I had to do it carefully to protect my stomach muscles.

Despite me feeling like the flabby blob in the corner who couldn’t touch her toes, I told myself that “the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do”. That was just over 4 months ago and the difference I have seen since starting Paola’s BodyBarre is remarkable. Despite taking a long break over Christmas and time off for a bug that was going around, I have been training with Paola in her Body Barre classes four times a week.

Paolas Body Barre Paolas Body Barre

I find each class a challenge due to Paola switching up the exercises and pushing you as far as you can go. At the end of the session (and pretty much throughout the session) I want to collapse in a heap. My muscles aching, my forehead sweating and my body spent!

What keeps me going back to Paola’s BodyBarre for each of these gruelling workouts? I’m now stronger, more supple, more toned and more flexible than my 20 something year old self. And I am now a 31 year old mum of two kids. Enough said.

Oh and Paola is a gem! Each time she shouts “tuck your tummies in” I know its a gentle prod to the person who has just had a baby (ahem, me). As a mum of three herself, Paola is proof that having kids isn’t a reason not to have a six pack (I’m working on it!). Also, she makes SUCH an effort to know each and every person in her class. I can’t actually believe how many names she remembers and I feel like she is the first to point out and praise positive changes in my body.

Paola's Body Barre

Yummy Mummy Paola Di Lanzo

Paolas Body Barre2

Paola’s BodyBarre is currently running a promo for mummies to celebrate Mother’s Day…

£60 for unlimited PBB classes in the 8am and 9am slots every week day. Treat yourself, your mother your sister or your wife! For creche enquiries email paola@paolasbodybarre.com.

Book on-line now at Paola’s Body Barre.

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(All images via PBodyBarre Instagram. Follow for inspirational pics and some celeb spotting!)

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The Collective Suckies | New Blueberry Yoghurt Pouches For Kids

The Collective SuckiesThe Collective Suckies has added yummy Blueberry to its range. The Collective is up there as one of my favourite yogurt brands. I’m the first to admit that I am not a huge yogurt-lover but when I do feel for a yogurt it has to be a proper yogurt. None of this fat-free, sugar-free, fun-free nonsense which is why I would 9 times out of 10 reach for one of The Collective’s tubs of live gourmet yogurt at my local Waitrose. And the yogurt connoisseur in our house, a two-year old who would eat her weight in yogurt if she could, would agree with me.

I recently discovered  The Collective Suckies which are pouches of their yummy yoghurt for kids. They have no bits but have the same yummy goodness as the tubs that I usually purchase. They sent me a fabulous gift pack to mark the launch of their latest flavour, Blueberry, and little miss Bug tucked into two of the pouches within minutes of me opening the pack. They also sent some goodies along for me which was very thoughtful.

The Collective Suckies The Collective Suckies

The Collective Suckies make it easy for mums on the go and you can pop one in your bag as a snack. They come in a variety of flavours: strawberry, tropical, peach, kiwi and now blueberry. I often take one with me to give Bug after nursery in the evenings because it will keep her quiet on the walk home. In summer you can freeze the Suckies so that they will stay chilled for a while.

Best of all, they aren’t full of the junk that sends kids into a frenzy. The Collective states that they are great because:

NO colours • NO artificial flavourings • NO artificial preservatives • NO GM ingredients • Only contains sugar from fruit • Made with whole milk goodness  • Gluten free  • Vegetarian • No pips or bits allowed!

Have your kids tried The Collective Suckies yet?

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Girls’ Weekend | 48 Hours in Munich


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One of oldest friends, who happens to also be one of my favourite people in the world, sent me a message last week asking “Why don’t you meet me in Munich?”. After sorting out logistics and childcare, I booked flights and accommodation and started the count down to the moment I’d step onto the airplane and head to meet my friend in Munich.

To be honest, Munich has never been on my bucket list of European cities to visit and I didn’t know anything about it other than bratwurst and beer. Now, I do not drink beer and I had never eaten a bratwurst before my trip to Munich. I’m not a big fan of Bavarian-style food, and prefer to eat food that is leaning towards raw and crunchy. So what were two non-beer drinking girls going to end up doing in Munich in the middle of winter?

Well, thanks to a fantastic concierge at Le Meridien (our hotel) and regular searches on Google, we found some great restaurants to eat at, bars to drink at and things to do in Munich.

Stay

We stayed at the Le Meridien simply because it is really central and we could walk to most of the major sites and shopping areas. Le Meridien is also across the road from the main train station, Munchen Hauptbahnhof, making it easy to travel to and from the airport. The train takes the same amount of time as a cab to the station but for a fraction of the price and since I didn’t have much luggage it was a breeze.

Breakfast and Lunch

There are cafe’s and bakeries pretty much on every street in central Munich which makes grabbing a bite for breakfast and lunch really easy. We had breakfast in the hotel for the first morning as we were unfamiliar with the surrounding area but ended up kicking ourselves when we realised how much cheaper it is to venture out. Le Meridien does have a fantastic juice bar, however, with fresh juices on tap during the breakfast buffet.

Le Meridien Munich Juice Bar

Le Meridien Munich Juice Bar

Dinner

Our concierge recommended some great restaurants for us to try and they were conveniently situated near trendy bars  (not beer houses).

Limoni – authentic, swanky Italian where the ladies are dripping in jewels and the meals are simple, excellent quality and simply delicious. The manager/owner and staff literally fall over themselves to look after you and we had a fantastic time.

Yum – great (not tacky) Thai restaurant with well-spoken, attentive and welcoming staff. The food is fresh, tasty and super fast! We had finished starters and mains before an hour had even passed from the time we arrived. We shared our meals because everything looked so “yum” and we couldn’t decide what to pick.

Brenner Grill – A large grill restaurant that is buzzing on a Saturday night. This restaurant was recommended to us for the tuna tartare, which I agree was great, as was the Burrata salad. It had a good wine list and my friend had the veal and she said it was simply delish. Our waiter was very sweet despite being very busy. I would avoid the bar if you are looking for a drink before/after your meal as the staff are anything but friendly!

To Do

During the summer there are heaps of tours, including bicycle tours, but in the winter months I would advise doing something indoors (aka shopping and eating) or something that involves movement (aka shopping and eating). I would recommend:

Maximillianstrasse – more exclusive, luxury brands (think Bond Street in London). Where the rich trot around with their well behaved pooches.

Neuhausestrasse – one of the main shopping areas with high street brands and department stores (think Oxford Street in London). I would start at Karlsplatz and walk toward Marienplatz.

Marienplatz – Munich’s main city square where you can watch the Glockenspiel chime away each day at 11am and 12 noon. Be warned that the Glockenspiel was voted the 2nd most overrated tourist attraction.

Viktualienmarkt – an outdoor market which is a stone’s throw from Marienplatz. There are many food stalls, curio shops, flower stands and a central beer garden. You will also find Munich’s maypole.

Chocolaterie Beluga – Chocolate shop that sits on the street between Marientplatz and Virtualienmarkt. Choose your chocolate fix, order a mug of hot milk, find a sunny spot outside and watch the world go by. We went back to this place on the second day because the hot chocolate is that good.

A few of my purchases

A few of my purchases

The Glockenspiel

The Glockenspiel

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The Virtualienmarkt Maypole

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A Virtualienmarkt Stall

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Another Virtualienmarkt Stall

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The Hot Chocolate of All Hot Chocolates

All in all, I ate, drank, shopped and most importantly slept. A much needed break with one of my best friends. After a weekend away from my husband and kids, I was itching to get back to them for cuddles.

Bug Sent Me Her First Selfie

Bug Sent Me Her First Selfie

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Heard of a Tooth Fairy Door?

Have you ever heard of a Tooth Fairy Door? And did you know that today is Tooth Fairy Day? As a child, I remember willing myself to stay awake at night so that I could catch a glimpse of the Tooth Fairy. After losing a few teeth, I knew the drill and what to expect of the Tooth Fairy. So I would leave my tooth in the special spot, climb into bed and stare at the tooth for what felt like hours. Before I knew it, the sun was up and there would be some money in the place of my tooth. Darn, I’d missed her again and there wasn’t even a trace of evidence to show she had even visited.

She was a sneaky little thing and if only she had used a Tooth Fairy Door. That way she could have simple entered into my world through the door instead of sneaking around. My aunt recently gave me a Tooth Fairy Door for Bug and even though she is years away from losing her first tooth, I know she will just LOVE it when the time comes around.

Take a look at few more Tooth Fairy Doors that I have found…

Tooth Fairy Door 1

by Brambleberries

tooth fairy door

by Lindsay Interiors Baby & Child

tooth-fairy-door 4

by Hollyanna

original_magical-fairy-door

by Knot Toys

by Oakdene Designs

by Oakdene Designs

Pink and purple toadstool door by Brambleberries via Notonthehighstreet

Pink glitter Tooth Fairy Door by Lindsay Interiors Baby & Child via Notonthehighstreet

White Tooth Fairy Door by Hollyanna via Notonthehighstreet

Blue toadstool Tooth Fairy Door by Knot Toys via Notonthehighstreet

Tooth Fairy Door sticker with window by Oakdene Designs via Notonthehighstreet

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Touche Eclat Masterclass

 

Touche Eclat

Touche Eclat is a mummy make up staple. After a night of broken sleep, a few clicks of the gold Touche Eclat pen and a slick of mascara is all I need to make me look semi-presentable to do the school run. And I’m not alone as one is sold every 10 seconds.

Click, click, blob, blob, smear, smear. That’s basically how I apply Touche Eclat but according to the The Telegraph’s Touche Eclat Masterclass I have been doing it all wrong.

Well, I had the click, click part right. But, you are not meant to blob it straight on your face and smear it in. Also, there are few other places you can highlight with the Touche Eclat that can make you look like you have just stepped out of a YSL advert (sort of). Take a look at the YSL Touche Eclat Masterclass and learn a thing or two about this fabulous product.

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