Tuesday, 29 March 2016

First Birthday Party Ideas: Paddington Bear

First birthdays are really special;
I find they are best celebrated with close family and friends,
lots of home baked goodies,
a spectacular cake, and a cute theme.

Paddington, the chubby Peruvian bear, 
is ideally sweet and cute for a girl's or boy's first birthday, 
and it's really easy to create lots of themed goodies from it. 

Since I am not renowned for my home baking skills, 
finding easy-to-do treats was priority number one. 
Luckily, these Paddington bear themed treats 
are both delicious and simple to make. 

A Mum in London

Paddington Bear Party Buffet Ideas

Here are some ideas for creating a yummy 
buffet with kids' firm favourites: 

{cut a Babybel in half and add a straw at the bottom of it}

-Bear-shaped sandwiches filled with sweet and savoury fillings 
{cut the bread with a bear-shaped cookie cutter} 

-A marmalade cake for the grown-ups 
{this Jamie Oliver recipe seems yummy and simple} 

 -Colourful Paddington bear cupcakes for the kiddos 
{use blue and red icing and Paddington bear wafer paper topers}

A Mum in London

As for the presentation, things couldn't be easier. 

With the Paddington themed party supplies, 
like balloons, tableware, tablecloths, banners 
and cute pre-filled party bags,  
the party table will look fab and children will be delighted. 

For entertainment, 
have the Paddington Bear movie at the ready 
and as an extra touch, 
you can treat the little guests to their own 
Paddington bear toy or book! 

Picture: Paddington bear party tablecloth, balloon and party bag from www.partybagsandsupplies.co.uk

Many thanks to Party Bags and Supplies 
for sending Baby P his party supplies. 
Views and wording my own. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Checking Children's Eyesight with a Fun Storybook

As from today, parents in the UK can do 
a basic eyesight check at home with their children  
thanks to the Zookeeper Zoe storybook 
which is available for free at Boots stores nationwide 

Developed with the National Literacy Trust, 
the book contains four simple to follow eye check activities 
to help parents and carers understand
if their child might need support with their vision. 

A Mum in London

We attended the launch party, packed with animal fun, 
and tested our eyesight while following Zoe's zoo adventures.
The book has lovely, colourful illustrations 
and an easy to follow guide for the eye check activities. 
The 4 year old boy was happy to take part in all the activities, 
as they are intended to be like a game.

The book is also a good reminder that all children 
should have a regular eye health check from the age of three 
and every two years afterwards. 

A Mun in London

Zookeeper Zoe is a first step in understanding your child’s vision, 
and is not intended to replace a comprehensive eye check.

Eye health checks are provided free 
-courtesy of the NHS- for all children up to 16 years old.  
If your child needs glasses, 
you can also get an NHS voucher towards the cost, 
so often they are free of charge.

Zookeeper Zoe is free and 350,000 copies will be available as from 16 March 2016 in Boots stores across the UK. You can book online a free of charge eye check for children up to 16 years old.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Visit Athens: Five Local Tips

The Greek capital is a diverse, cultural, often chaotic city,  
but pretty in its own special way. 

Nevertheless, Athens is usually just a stop-over 
before boarding a ferry to the islands,
and most visitors have to cram as much sightseeing as possible
in a short space of time.

I'm often asked what are the must-sees and dos in Athens;  
so, I wrote down five local tips
for discovering Athens in just a few days or even hours. 

A Mum in London

1. Visit the Parthenon and Acropolis Museum
Spend a day indulging in classical beauty. 
A visit to the Parthenon and the new Acropolis museum 
naturally tops the list of things to do in Athens. 

+ tip: have lunch at the Acropolis museum restaurant;  
you will enjoy tasty, light Greek specialities, 
and the most breathtaking view. 

2. Stroll and shop in Plaka, Thisseion and Monastiraki
This is the touristic centre of Athens, but also a favourite place for Athenians. 
The tavernas, cafes and little shops set amongst classical ruins
make it a very lively place. 

+tip: watch a movie while enjoying superb views of the Acropolis 
at the open air cinema Ciné Paris in Plaka.

  3. Hike on top of the Lycabettus
It's hard to imagine that wolves were wandering there in ancient times.  
Nowadays, you'll only see dogs and wild tortoises. 

+tip: Go there early in the evening and climb on top of the mount 
to see the sun set in the sea behind the Parthenon.

A Mum in London

4. Go for a drink in Kolonaki
This is the posh Athenian neighbourhood, 
where politicians and wealthy people live. 
Expect to find chic boutiques and cosy restaurants.  
+tip: On a hot summer's day, go for an ouzo and some mezes 
at Dexameni square, a haven of  tranquillity with trees and jasmines. 

5. Visit Kallimarmaro and Zappeion Gardens
Kallimarmaron or the Panathenaic Stadium is the place 
where the first modern Olympic Games took place; 
it's also the finish line of the famous Athens Marathon. 
Zappeion Gardens, the former garden of the Royal family, 
is an oasis in the centre of Athens.

+tip: sip a traditional Greek coffee at the little cafe 
which is just across the street from the Prime Minister's residence. 

Read more about Greece's Unspoilt Islands, some of its Best Beaches, and discover more Greek islands on the Travel Section of the blog. 

*all images original to A Mum in London

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Handmade in London: Mirabelle et Celestin

It's no secret that I have a penchant 
for classical children's wear 
{see herehere here}.

I love that their design has passed the test of time 
and that they can be handed down from one generation to another
like little family treasures.  

In that spirit, when the lovely Alix
who creates adorable garments for children 
asked if I would like to review her creations,  
I didn't have to think twice.

Alix quit her job in finance to follow her big passion;
she has been sewing and knitting since she was a little girl
and has perfected her creations thanks to her French grandmothers' tips.

This led to Mirabelle et Celestin,
an online boutique specialising
in vintage looking garments for babies.

Alix makes by hand all the clothes here in London
and is even available for bespoke creations
for weddings and christenings.

 Her collections are inspired
from the classical French designs for babies
and are made from carefully chosen breathable natural fabrics 
with the cutest finish and attention to detail.

In a nutshell: utterly adorable outfits for babies
inspired by classic French designs.

Blouse £30 and Bloomer £25, all from mirabelleetcelestin.co.uk

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Friday, 26 February 2016

Beautiful Quilts for Sweet Dreams

A clear conscience and quality bedding. 
That is my motto for a good night's sleep.

Now, for my little ones,
a good night's sleep usually involves
a bottle of milk, a bedtime story, a few cuddles,
and bedding of really good quality.

Because if they sleep, I sleep;
and that's very important.

A Mum in London

SarahHK is an online boutique
specialising in luxury bedding;

From hand embroidered pillowcases to soft baby quilts,
the collections are designed in London
and handmade with top quality materials
by skilled craftspersons.

Baby P was kindly sent a quilt for his cot
featuring an adorable hand blocked pattern
of mini elephants in turquoise.

A Mum in London

The quilt is very soft and generously padded,
making it ideal for nap time and playtime
{we like lying down on it and playing together}.

The soft cover is made from breathable cotton 
and the quilt can be washed in the washing machine 
and even tumble dried. 

There are so many adorable designs to pick out from; 
the ones with bunnies and ducks are perfect 
for giving the kids' bedroom an Easter note! 

In a nutshell: dreamy bedding for the sweetest nursery.

Mini Elephant Quilt from £58 & Yellow Duck Quilt from £60, all from SarahHK.co.uk

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