I have mentioned that Dubz has been obsessed with superheroes for the past year. So when I saw an advert for the Marvel Universe Live show, I knew we had to take him. Last weekend we told him that we were having a surprise day out, and we made our way to North Greenwich tube station. In the two-minute walk to the O2, we saw several mini-superheroes. Dubz asked if we were going to a superhero show. The secret was out!
Marvel Universe Live is a fun family show. The show is centred around superheroes trying to find the Cosmic Cube fractals that the baddies are trying to use for no good. Crowd favourites include Spider-man, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Wolverine. Thor's brother Loki was the head villain and proved quite menacing. Both Dubz and Moozles were quite scared in the beginning and clutched onto me for dear life. But then the Avengers starting kicking, punching and fighting, and my kids were enthralled.
A few weeks ago, I headed to the London Zoo with Moozles and Dubz. The lovely people from Greggs wanted to celebrate their new healthy range as well as the new options for kids, and we were eager for zoo fun and yummy food. I often pack lunches and snacks for our days out (my children are constantly eating and we can't always afford to eat in restaurants), but this time Greggs had it all covered.
We wandered around the zoo for a couple of hours - we saw the monkeys, gorillas, lions, tigers, penguins, butterflies and a building full of bugs. At this point we were starving so met up with our group for some delicious food. The new balanced range from Greggs includes soups, flatbreads, salads and fruit pots. And all are under 400 calories. I had the teriyaki chicken noodle salad, which was delicious (and shockingly was only 256 calories).
Moozles and Dubz had the ham and cheese rolls and the juice drinks (which do not have any added sugar or colours and have added vitamins). It is such a relief when kids' food is made simply. Although Moozles eats most things, Dubz is really fussy and will refuse to eat things he deems strange. Check out this super cute video from Greggs about kids' reactions to various sandwiches.
One of my son's favourite books is The Tiger Who Came to Tea, written by Judith Kerr. So I couldn't wait to take him and his sister to see the live show based on the book. Husband and I took Moozles to see it when she was three and she absolutely loved the show. And I was certain that Dubz would enjoy it as well. So last week we hopped on the District Line to Sloane Square and to the lovely Cadogan Hall to see the show.
If you're not familiar with The Tiger Who Came to Tea, it is a lovely book about a tiger who unexpectedly comes to little Sophie's house for tea. It isn't a long book which translate to a 55-minute long show (no interval). Sophie, her mummy and daddy, and of course the tiger sing and dance and enthrall the audience. Abbey Norman plays Sophie, and she is delightful. The daddy (Benjamin Wells) plays all the male parts, including the tiger, and does an amazing job. Dubz was mesmerised, and couldn't get enough of the tiger. Whenever the tiger wasn't on stage, he kept demanding 'more tiger'. And even at eight years old, Moozles wholly enjoyed the show.
I don't know about you, but we have had a million roadtrips this summer holiday. Okay, maybe not a million but we have been driving around quite a bit. And as I allow the kids to use the iPads on journeys lasting over one hour, they have used them quite a bit. And for the past month, Moozles and Dubz have been using the DisneyLife apps on their iPads.
If you're not familiar with DisneyLife, it is an app that gives you access to tons of Disney films, shows, books and music. When you have WiFi, you can watch anything from the app. But you can also download things to watch later when you're not in WiFi. This makes it perfect for when you're in the car or you're away from home. Moozles is eight, and loves watching girly tweeny movies. Plus there are some Disney classics that she is happy to watch again and again. She also quite enjoys watching Sofia the First, though she pretends she is too grown-up for it.
Dubz is four, and is obsessed with superheroes. With DisneyLife, he has access to all the Marvel animated shows such as Spiderman, Avengers and Hulk. He can also watch his other Disney favourites - Jake & The Neverland Pirates and Toy Story. To be honest, we are all happy to watch Toy Story 2 again and again. And Dubz loves listening to various film soundtracks
A couple of weeks ago, my family and I went to see Dinosaur Zoo live at the Rose Theatre Kingston. Long-term readers will know that Dubz has been obsessed with dinosaurs for years. He even went through a stage where he would only wear dinosaur tops and dinosaur socks. I had heard of the Dinosaur Zoo live show, but I was worried that Dubz was just too fidgety to sit for an entire show (even though it's only 50 minutes long). But now that Dubz is four, I thought it would be the perfect time to go.
If you're not familiar with Dinosaur Zoo, it is a show which uses dinosaur puppets of various sizes. Not only do we learn facts about dinosaur, but children and adults are invited onto the stage to interact with the dinosaurs. There is also a meet-and-greet after the show with the baby dinosaurs and the T-Rex, which means that your child won't feel left out if they don't make it on stage during the show.
For the past few months, I have been trying to update my wardrobe. After years of wearing the same thing (my safe and comfy dress-legging combo), I have been trying to step out of my comfort zone. I have decided that just because I am not at my ideal weight, it does not mean that I should stop trying out different styles. I've been experimenting with blazers, testing out midi skirts and showing off my shoulders. Next, I knew I needed a maxi-dress. Now, I know that maxi-dresses have been around for ages. But I have always felt like they only look nice on tall, slim women. I'm happy to report that I was wrong (a very rare occurrence indeed).
A couple of weeks ago I got this dress from House of Fraser. For a curvier gal, I do think you need to be a bit careful about what maxi dress to choose from. A flowy viscose or jersey fabric hangs nicely without clinging to all your lumps and bumps. I know lots of full-figure women who are happy to wear tight clothing. I am not one of those people. I really wish I could be more carefree about my body, but I just can't.
But I don't think you have to pick a boring black dress, just because you are curvy. I do love a bright print or stripes. This striped dress from Dickins & Jones would look lovely on just about anyone. Horizontal stripes be damned. The v-neck is flattering without being too low-cut (bonus: I was able to get away without wearing a bra with this dress). Although I wore the dress with wedges, they would look fab with trainers or flip-flops too. And if you're wearing a maxi-dress? No one knows if you haven't shaved your legs. Double bonus!
Husband and I bought our first home almost exactly 13 years ago. It's wonderful moving into your first home. The best part being all the shopping. Furniture, homewares, cushions. Oh the cushions. And then all the lovely things to fill your kitchen. I love buying things for our kitchen. Recently, we have noticed that our cookware have not been looking very well. The non-stick is mostly gone and everything looks quite worn. So we have started to buy new pots and pans to update our cookware.
Luckily there are some great sales on at the moment. We've gotten a few great items from House of Fraser, including this lovely new 20cm saucepan. Our previous large saucepan was really heavy and clunky, and this one is so lightweight. Plus it has one of those stay-cool handles. I've gotten accustomed to wrapping my pot handles in a tea towel so I am thrilled I can just hold onto this one. Every time Husband uses it, he goes on and on about how much nicer it is than our old one. I really don't know why we didn't buy a new one sooner.
There's nothing like new clothes to brighten up your day. But sometimes, when you have a fuller figure, you don't want to buy new clothes. You buy a new handbag or shoes and just keep wearing the same old clothes. But there is something healing about a new outfit. A couple of weeks ago I got two new dresses and a t-shirt from Pink Clove, and they have definitely cheered up my dull, grey June.
As you may know, I wear a lot of dresses. My 'mummy uniform' is normally a dress, leggings and trainers/sneakers. I have been moving away from skater dresses to midi dresses. I find that a longer dress elongates, and looks a bit more grown-up. And with my knees covered, I am more likely to skip the leggings on a warm day. I have been wearing my chevron print dress loads. The sleeves cover my upper arms and the v-neck is very flattering. I can add a wedge for a night out, but I normally wear with my Hotter sandals or trainers during the day.
My other new dress has a lovely tie at the waist and a plunging neckline. This is a great everyday dress, perfect for running errands and doing the school runs (with my trusty leggings obvs). But with a jazzy necklace and wedges, I've made it a dress I can wear for meeting up with my girlfriends or a date night with Husband. I've also added a vest/tank top underneath for modesty but you could go without in the evening.
I have been bemoaning my lack of nice make-up recently. I have decided that as a 40-year old, there are certain basic make-up staples that I need. So, this year I have decided to slowly stock up on all the items that I think constitute a grown-up make-up bag. I will need foundation that perfectly matches my skin, a great mascara, pressed powder to help my skin from looking shiny, eye shadow, blusher, a couple of lip liners and 64 lipsticks. Okay, okay, maybe I don't need that many lipsticks but surely they couldn't hurt?!
Anyway, last week I spent ages browsing the make-up section of the House of Fraser website and I thought I would share what I got. First stop, I decided that I needed some pressed powder. Pressed powder is one of those staple items that one should have in their cosmetic bag. I do not. And since I suffer from an oily t-zone, I thought it would be good to pay away the shine. Whenever I have had make-up done at a beauty counter, Bobbi Brown has always impressed me. So I picked out the Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in warm natural. It is recommended for those with combination skin, and it comes with a little puff. The colour suits my skin. It really brightens up my face, and even made my lipstick look brighter.
You might remember that I recently bought a rain jacket from Joules (which I adore, btw). So you can imagine my excitement about going to the Joules 2016 autumn/winter preview recently. Joules is a British brand that are known for quality and style. And they are not deviating from this image for the next season. Bright, eye-catching colours and beautiful prints are everywhere. So I thought I would share some of my favourites.
I can't imagine anyone not liking the boots in the top photo. Brown leather and leopard spots, be still my heart. And I spotted gorgeous black leather boot with zebra stripes that my little girl would love. I've also decided that I need welly boots. I've lived in the UK for 14 years now and I need to embrace this part of my life in order to prevent the dreaded soggy feet.