Category Archives: Features

Our tips for dealing with kids in the heat…

If navigating your path through motherhood has been increasingly befuddled as a result of the recent heatwave, our team have a few tips to share to prevent further meltdown:

“Let them eat lollies..” OK, it’s not an ideal choice for breakfast, but an extra way to top up fluids. Make your own super organic ones if you can be bothered – or order some from Lickalix (they make ones with booze for grown-ups too!)

aden+anais muslin squares in fluro pink

“Wet the muslin” There has been huge controversy in the news about the good ole muzzy-over-the-buggy raising the temperature inside. Take a tip from mums in warmer climes and shade your bubba with a damp muslin.

“Keep them indoors” Make being a killjoy more fun with a fab creative playbook such as My Beautiful Room: Interior Design Workbook by Jasmine Orchard and Olivia Whitworth which has press-out furniture to create beautiful interior designs.

“Get a tent” We are loving Infantino’s Grow with Me Teepee – it’s so delightfully colourful and cheery and it makes for a good sun shade. Or for bigger ones, Babyhub’s SleepSpace travel cot turns into a super tent-den. Kids love to hide, so make dodging the rays into a fun game.

Aldi paddling pool

“Get an awesome paddling pool” We LOVE Aldi’s, Crane Quick Up Pool – 10ft diameter and just £29.99.

“Just chill” Chuck everything in the freezer to cool it down a little; teethers, t-shirts, sippy cups, teddy…. Prosecco.

Diono launch Quantum stroller with Sara Cox and Olivia Wayne

Diono launched their new ‘adventure ready Quantum stroller in style with an event at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea, hosted by Sara Cox. (Lots of fab pics on Diono’s Insta feed)

 

 

 

 

Sara joked that if she had a new baby she would be blagging herself one of the new Quantums; the features of which include a HUGE sunshade roof (no need for a muslin) and a super quick fold mechanism.

Olivia Wayne looked far too glowing to have a new baby son and didn’t mention if she’d be swapping her Bugaboo for the Diono Quantum – but one of the features she likes about the Bee5 is the colour choice and the Quantum comes in lovely teal, berry, blue and black options.

Thanks to Babyville for hosting the event – we can’t wait to put the Quantum through its paces properly…

 

Mothers’ Day, C’Mon Let’s Do This!

Scandiborn mug

Editor writes: Personally, I believe Mothers’ Day should involve Mummy having a bit of ‘me-time’. Maybe a coffee (or two) in bed. The chance to read at least one of the papers in peace (OK, maybe just the supplement!)

Sweatshirt from FMLY store

 

 

My middle child has just started to draw and thus I look forward to a ‘proper’ picture  – as opposed to the goopy handprint cards you’d have gotten in previous years, made at nursery. And goodness knows a glass of fizz wouldn’t go amiss…

But really, what I’ll cherish most this Mothering Sunday is the chance to appreciate some of the things I already have, take some deep breaths and do a bit of yoga stretching… (well, until one of my sons blows a raspberry in my face!)

Dark Iris lounge pants from Jockey

First of all, I won’t be getting properly dressed. Mothers’ Day attire will be this: my supersoft ‘Mama’ print sweatshirt from The FMLY Store (which I have in navy) and dark iris lounge pants from Jockey, which are lighter than air and as close to wearing nothing as you can get without being arrested.

What else? Well, I’m going to layer up my perfume. Who cares if it is 8 in the morning, I will be smelling like I’m on a hot date. I’ve recently discovered that layering Annick Goutal’s heady rose ‘Ce Soir ou Jamais’ with Library of Fragrance’s dreamy ‘Plum Blossom’ creates the kind of super creamy floral haze you’d imagine would make Jayne Mansfield swoon. I love it – but on a normal day I am hardly going to waft of it in Waitrose.

Library of Fragrance Plum Blossom cologne

Then I’m going to paint my toenails. Super decadent, you might gasp (as my youngest is barely crawling). Forget the more expensive brands, Rimmel’s ‘Rapid Ruby’ is divine (and sets in 60 seconds, so when you realise you also need the loo you don’t need to hobble…)

And I’m going to wear lipstick. At the breakfast table.

With chestnut hair, reds are trickier to match than you’d imagine. I adore Nars Audacious Lipstick in ‘Olivia’ (or the slightly paired down ‘Marlene’) – or Clinique’s ‘Black Honey’.

Marloe London Lady Garden scarf

I’ve been inseparable from my Marloe London scarf blanket since I got one (fingers itching to buy another one…) They are so chic – but also so cosy. If you need to have a duvet day whilst in a board meeting, essentially, this is the way to do it. I’ve worn mine as comfortably to Charity Galas as to the kids’ riding lessons. You can’t go wrong (and if you snap up the current Lady Garden collab one, you’ll be doing right – namely helping the gynecological cancer cause.) So basically, I shall wrap mine ’round my shoulders whilst I skim the Telegraph.

Powerbank from PNY

After that my day will involve Netflix. I’ve gotten a handy power pack from PNY which means when my tablet runs out of juice mid episode of ‘The Client List’ I can just plug in for prolonged telly gratification.

And yes, I realise that the likelihood of any of this happening is as entirely fantastical as the homework excuses my eldest child comes up with. But if you have the chance to enjoy even a fraction of my daydream, please live vicariously for me and for mothers everywhere.

Happy Mothers’ Day. 

What I want for Mothers’ Day…

We asked a few Slick Mummies out there what they’ll be hoping for this weekend…

”For Mother’s Day I’d like to not have to cook a single meal, wash any school uniform, nag anyone about doing maths homework, wipe a single surface or break up a single argument between my three children!  Oh, and can I have a flat stomach please.  Not asking for much am I?” Melanie Lawson, Founder of Bare Biology. 
(Bare Biology launches a fab campaign today to support PANDAs UK – follow #IHadPND)
“If I could have a dream Mother’s Day pressie it would be new stemless (excuse the flower pun) red wine glasses – stubborn are the perfect solution for tired mums as they are less likely to topple over (at bath time) and I do like to do my creative work with a glass of red in hand. Perhaps not the most traditional Mother’s Day pressie but certainly all the mum’s I know love wine!” Beth Kendall, Wilder and Wren

‘There’s nothing wrong with chocolates and flowers on Mother’s Day, but after a long day of work and the when the kids are in bed, there’s no better treat than a long gin and and tonic with plenty of ice! Craft Gin Club send you a different bottle of unusual gin to try every month, so it’s a gift I can enjoy all year round!’ Dragon’s Den star Sarah Willingham.

“ My ideal gift? For Mother’s Day to be 48 hours long! I’d want to enjoy as much time with my daughter as possible.” Suzie Walker, founder of Primal Pantry.

 

“A handmade Mother’s Day card from my girls is always a winner (and will go into my treasure box) but also a coupon to book for a massage or a lovely bath with wine and bubbles. I’d also appreciate a meal that’s not made in my kitchen!” Jacqueline Waggett, CEO Pacapod.

76% of Mothers with Young Children Want a Break from Parenting Duties this Mother’s Day

New 2017 research reveals we spend on average £38.50 on our mothers; up 5% from 2016
Flowers are still the most popular gift to buy, though just 4% of mothers with young children claim it is their preference

However, 91% of grandmothers would rather the gift of spending more time with their families on Mothering Sunday.

Liberty bouquet from Wild at Heart

With Mothers’ Day just around the corner, shops and restaurants are gearing up for an expected increase of sales and bookings in the coming weeks. In a survey commissioned by Onbuy.com, it was discovered that Brits are spending on average £38.50 on their mother’s yearly; up 5% from last year’s findings. Like other years, men were spending more on their mum’s (£42) than women (£35).
A survey of 1650 reveals the top five presents bought for mums (with the average spend) in the UK are: (1) Flowers- £35 (2) Taken out for family meal- up to £30 per head (3) Chocolate- £10 (4) Perfume- £40 (5) Homeware- £18.

Further analysis highlighted that presents such as flowers and chocolate relayed a gesture of appreciation and love, where such gifts are given to highlight a special purpose. Additionally, children taking their mums out for a meal allowed them to spend time together as a family, ensuring their mother felt special and valuable.

Jo Malone London Blooms collection

However, are these traditional gifts what mothers wanted?
In a mirrored survey of mothers with children aged 3-10, Onbuy.com discovered that these gifts held little value. Although much appreciated, after just a few years, many started to resent these generic “cheesy” gifts. In fact, it was found flowers were not so popular among mums, with only 4% admitting they would rather flowers over other presents.

When presented with a list of options for gifts, what came out as most popular in the survey was the following: (1) A relaxing spa day- 19% (2) Date Night- 17% (3) A quiet night in with wine- 14% (4) An extra three hours in bed-11% (5) No housework- 9%. Ironically, the survey highlighted that 76% of this group of mothers ultimately wanted a day off from parenting responsibilities on Mothers’ Day.
Additional analysis alternatively emphasised that those whose children were aged 18-30 favoured quality family time with their children (87%), highlighting the disparity between different stages of motherhood. Additionally, 96% of grandparents would in fact rather spend time with their families, with 56% claiming they felt neglected on Mothering Sunday.

Jam making set from Kilner Jars

In short:

What Mothers Get
1) Flowers
2) Taken out for a meal
3) Chocolate
4) Perfume
5) Homeware

What Mothers Want

1) A relaxing day at a spa
2) Date night
3) A quiet night in with wine
4) An extra three hours in bed
5) No Housework

Our pick of Valentine’s Gifts

Aaah, St Valentine, that long haired patron saint of lovers. What a celebration fraught with gift getting trauma now takes over your special day…

Hands up whose husband has sheepishly brandished some half dead supermarket carnations and a packet of Twiglets (because the roses and chocolate had sold out) at 9pm on Valentine’s night? Or who has ended up with porn star underwear because your optimistic other half thought it might spice things up between night feeds..?

In fact, Beaverbrooks conducted a recent survey which concluded that 56% of women were disappointed by what they received on the big day (and if that sounds a tad ungrateful, some of the worst gift examples included a tin of beans, an ironing board cover and a live tarantula!)

We mooned and swooned and came up with a list of slightly more creative gift solutions.

BLOOM gin have created a special eau de nil floral bottle to make Gin O’Clock on V Day that little bit more deserved. BLOOM was inspired by nature with the flowers of chamomile and honeysuckle, and the citrus fruit pomelo making the three main botanicals. It comes complete with a heart gift tag (so no need to buy a card!) which also gives the recipe for two easy cocktails: BLOOM & Tonic and French 75.

CocoRose London – makers of the insanely comfortable folding pumps adored by the likes of Pippa Middleton – have gone all out in favour of kissing with their Farringdon shoes. The cute red and gold lips will bring a smile to the face of the girl who wears her heart on her tootsies! (Go matchy with MAC Lady Bug lipstick.)

 

If an experiential gift is more your style then how about a luxe facial, aesthetic procedure or a massage?

Nick Ede

Stonehealth’s City of London clinic is offering 10% off a selection of their most popular treatments (quote VALENTINE2017 when booking) and you could use the cash you save to book a babysitter. They will throw in a glass of fizz and some detox tea as well. (PS, Stonehealth’s treatments are for men too. Celeb stylist Nick Ede told us he popped in for his pre-wedding Botox!) 

Hippo Inns are running numerous Valentine’s incentives but we especially love the Black Horse in Kingston’s ‘I’m Going to Spend Valentine’s with my True Love – Food!’ event. Dine on three courses, with oysters and pink champagne – book via the website and prepare yourself for some gratuitous scoffing.

How much is spent on baby’s first year? According to Koochi it’s around 10K

British parents spend a staggering £10,000 on their baby – BEFORE their first birthday, according to a new study.

Researchers took an in depth look into how much the nation’s mums and dads spend, before birth and up to the first birthday of their child, with the average Brit shelling out an eye watering £10,039 on all the things a baby needs.

But according to the survey, 29 percent of parents admit they completely underestimated how much they would have to spend, while a further 13 percent were forced to ask family to help out with money.

As a result parents admitted they had to cut back on other things with 29 percent saying they gave up on holidays, while 26 percent said they stopped going to the pub and a further 21 percent confessed they stopped spending money on clothes for themselves.

Natalie Crisp, brand manager at pushchair specialists KOOCHI which commissioned the study, said: “It’s not surprising to see the increasing amount spent in the run up to, and during a baby’s first year as there’s so much choice on the market, with some products costing much more than others.  

“However, key items such as push chairs, prams and car seats needn’t cost the earth. The key factors to consider when buying a product are versatility, longevity and value for money, that doesn’t break the bank. 

“While having a baby is not cheap, there are lots of ways to keep the cost down. We pride ourselves on our quality and product offering, with some designed to grow with the child.”

According to the study parents can expect to spend £6,053 getting ready for baby’s arrival splashing out on things like cots, prams, clothes, car seats, not to mention furnishing and decorating the nursery.

After the birth, mum and dad then fork out a further £3,986, which includes buying on average 129 items of clothing for their little one.

Unsurprisingly 14 percent of parents were unable to buy everything they wanted for their child, with the average parent admitting they only managed to save £1,027 before their new arrival.

The Top Fifty Best Movie Kisses Of All Time

 

Ahhh, who said romance was dead… Fire up Netflix and re-discover a few of these…

Jack and Rose’s kiss on the front deck of the Titanic is the best movie kiss of all-time, according to new research.

The tender moment between Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio’s characters takes place seconds after Rose utters the famous line, “I’m flying”.

The multi-Oscar winner fought off competition from The Lady and the Tramp’s meatball scene and the smooch between Sam and Molly in Ghost.

While Han Solo and Princess Leia’s embrace in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back also featured in the top 50 greatest movie kisses.

The research of 2,000 UK adults was commissioned by TLC to celebrate the launch of its new TV show, Love At First Kiss, which airs on Wednesdays at 9pm from 11 January.

A spokesman for TLC said: “Kisses are such a big part of movies so it’s fascinating to see which ones have had the biggest impact.

“For many people, their first experience of a ‘proper’ kiss is likely to have been seeing one on screen.

“So perhaps respondents had a sense of nostalgia when it came to voting for their favourites.”

Pretty Woman’s fire escape kiss came fourth, followed by the snog at the end of Dirty Dancing – and Bridget and Mark’s kiss in the snow in Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Spiderman’s upside down smooch came seventh while the rain-soaked embrace between Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak in Breakfast at Tiffany’s came eighth.

Bella and Edward’s first kiss in Twilight also appeared in the top 50, along with the “you had me at hello” moment from Jerry Maguire and the elevator kiss in Romeo + Juliet.

The scene where Ron and Hermione finally kiss in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows featured too.

While Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara’s embrace in Gone with the Wind after he says the words “you need kissing badly” came ninth.

Thirty per cent of Brits said romantic films are their favourite type of movie to watch on a date – however over a quarter said they would feel awkward watching one on a first date.

Almost half of respondents think movie kisses are realistic and three in 10 said onscreen romance has influenced how they go about their love life.

A fifth of people reckon watching a film with a date which features a smooch or two, improves their chances of sharing a kiss at the end of the night.

Forty six per cent of respondents think it’s possible to fall in love from the first kiss, while seven in 10 think first impressions count when comes to kissing.

Another kiss in the rain, this time from The Notebook, came eleventh – while the first kiss between Vada and Thomas J in My Girl also appeared in the top 50.

Casablanca’s “Kiss me as if it were the last time” embrace, Shrek and Princess Fiona’s kiss which turns her into an all-ogre – and Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln’s snog feature too.

Clare Laycock, VP, Head of TLC said: “In Love At First Kiss, participants are invited to kiss fellow contestants without an introduction.

“If they like each other, they can then choose to go on a speed date followed by a proper date – so first impressions really count.

“The iconic kisses featured in our survey may well give romantic singletons some inspiration and encouragement.

“Many of us will experience a nerve-wracking or exciting first encounter… and perhaps one that isn’t quite as perfect as we see in films.”

Love At First Kiss airs on Wednesdays from 11 January, 9pm on TLC.

TOP 50 MOVIE KISSES:

1. Titanic (kiss on the front deck of the Titanic)

2. Lady and the Tramp (kiss at the restaurant)

3. Ghost (Sam kisses Molly before he passes over)

4. Pretty Woman (on the fire escape)

5. Dirty Dancing (kiss at the end)

6. Bridget Jones’s Diary (Bridget kissed Mark in the snow)

7. Spider Man (when Mary Jane kisses Peter Parker upside down on the roof)

8. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (kiss in the rain at the end)

9. Gone With the Wind (when Rhett Butler kisses Scarlett O’Hara and says ‘You need kissing badly’)

10. Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (Han Solo and Princess Leia’s kiss)

11. The Notebook (kiss in the rain)

12. An Officer and a Gentleman (kiss between Richard Gere and Debra Winger)

13. Shrek (kiss between Shrek and Princess Fiona which sees her turn into an all-ogre)

14. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Ron and Hermione finally kiss)

15. Love Actually (Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon)

16. Casablanca (Ilsa asks Rick Blaine to ‘Kiss me as if it were the last time’)

17. Romeo + Juliet (kiss in the elevator)

18. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (telepathic link between E.T. and Elliott causes the latter to recreate the classic kissing scene from The Quiet Man (which E.T. is watching at home) in the classroom)

19. It’s a Wonderful Life (kiss between George Bailey (James Stewart) and Mary (Donna Reed)

20. Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth and Darcy kiss at the end)

21. Twilight (Edward and Bella’s first kiss in her bedroom)

22. 50 Shades of Grey (Christian and Anna’s kiss in the elevator)

23. Raiders of the Lost Ark (with injured Indy not wanting Marion to tend to his wounds, she starts kissing the places that don’t hurt – including his lips)

24. Top Gun (Maverick and Charlie love scene)

25. Love Actually (Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln)

26. From Here To Eternity (kiss between Milton Warden (Burt Lancaster) and Karen Holmes (Deborah Kerr) on the beach)

27. From Russia With Love (James Bond and Tatiana Romanova’s kiss)

28. My Girl (first kiss)

29. The Princess Bride (when Buttercup realised Wesley wasn’t dead)

30. Never Been Kissed (kiss on the baseball stadium)

31. Back To The Future (kiss between George McFly and Lorraine Baines at the end of the movie)

32. Rocky (kiss between Rocky Balboa and Adrian Pennino)

33. Cruel Intentions (Kathryn kisses Cecile on the lawn)

34. Princess Diaries (kiss in the garden at the end)

35. Brokeback Mountain (kiss on the mountain)

36. When Harry Met Sally… (Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan’s kiss at the end)

37. From Here to Eternity (kiss on the beach)

38. Breakfast Club (when Claire kissed John at in the parking lot)

39. The Goonies (Mikey Walsh (Sean Astin) and Andy Carmichael’s (Kerri Green) accidental kiss in the dark)

40. SPECTRE (Daniel Craig and Monica Bellucci’s kiss)

41. Jerry Maguire (‘You had me at hello’ kiss)

42. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Indiana Jones and Alison Doody’s kiss)

43. The Quiet Man (kiss in the rain)

44. Amelie (Amelie and Nino Quincampoix exchange playful kisses)

45. The Godfather Part II (kiss of death between Michael and Fredo Corleone)

46. To Catch A Thief (kiss between Conrad Burns (Cary Grant) and Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly))

47. The Fault in Our Stars (first kiss)

48. Atonement (Keira Knightley and James McAvoy’s kiss)

49. Clueless (Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone’s kiss)

50. Lost In Translation (kiss between Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansen))