Bugaboo collaborates with We Are Handsome

We Are Handsome, the cult swim, gym and resort-wear brand that you see the likes of Katy Perry or Beyonce rocking in that ‘hey – I can carry off patterned lycra ‘cos I’m better than you’ kinda way, have just announced their collaboration with Bugaboo. Yes – really.

You can either buy the whole stroller in this striking design or if you already own a Bee5, Donkey2, Buffalo or Cameleon3 then you can pimp your child’s ride with the accessories. Oh heck, go the whole hog and get the leggings too. You’re worth it.

For more info or to order visit Bugaboo website.

SM reviews… Pizza Express Vegan Pizza Making Party

Pizza Express launched their vegan menu back in June – since then they have had over 200,000 orders. The menu – which was a few years in the making, mostly down to sourcing the right kind of cheese, was created by Pizza’s Express’ team of chefs with both taste and nutrition in mind.

a humble ball of dough…

You may or may not be aware that Pizza Express offers ‘pizza making parties’ as an alternative to – well, ya know – sitting there and getting a waiter to bring your food over as you plough through the prosecco. So – we made some vegan pizzas!

Our evening began with some nibbles and delicious organic wine from their wine list. I’m a sucker for olives and sundried tomatoes, but we were also served plates of their trademark doughballs without the garlic butter you might associate them with, but instead with olive oil/balsamic and a tomato tapenade, which made them taste positively guilt free!

Next step; we were presented with aprons, hats and balls of dough. Alex, the chipper chef (who has obviously done this a few times before) gave his dough a few nimble-fingered prods before tossing it in the air, spinning it, deftly catching and laying it in a pizza pan.

some lovely nibbly bits…

We weren’t quite so proficient. It is actually quite tricky to stretch dough as thinly as per the Pizza Express house standard (they’re not being mean btw – it’s all to do with the ratio of heat and creating the perfect crust) – mine sort of ended up looking like Sigourney Weaver’s belly before the alien pops out – but Alex fixed it with his pizza-ninja skills.

Then came the toppings; on Pizza Express’ vegan menu you might see – for example – the Giardiniera, which is made with artichokes, mushrooms, onions and parsley. But Alex just let us freestyle it, so mine had loads of jalapenos, red peppers, chilli oil – everything spicy, basically!

Then out came the cheese – that one which Pizza Express had so long deliberated. They keep it frozen (as it gets a little sticky) and in exact serving sizes (so those counting calories won’t miss the mark). A regular pizza needs two of these servings (honestly, I could have happily put four on but rules is rules!)

Seemingly around 30 seconds later (I think it was really 6 mins) our creations were served to us. Critically, I’d have given myself about 6 out of ten, as less would have been more on the caramelised onion jam! But nevertheless, it was delicious.

You could book a pizza making party at Pizza Express for a group of two upwards (so it’s a ‘party’ at least) and they are a wonderful thing to do for a kids’ birthday party also (it’s £11.95 a head for this and worth every penny).

Obviously, you could also just rock up to any one of their restaurants and order a delicious vegan pizza (200,000 others have done this already!) and have a ninja-fingered professional cook it for you. It will probably be lighter, crisper and not have a soggy puddle of jam in the middle. But I feel like I learned something…

BTW – even if you weren’t vegan, it is worth checking out the specialist menu (you might be aware Pizza Express also offer gluten-free) as honestly, you won’t notice the difference one smidge with their excellent dairy-free cheese. And an interesting fact; all the vegan pizzas have half a cherry tomato at their edge – a sign that they are authentic and have not come into contact with any animal-based ingredients.

If you’re wondering about dessert (of course you are) there are some delicious dairy-free sorbet options at around 200 calories.

a really really good looking vegan pizza – made by a pro…

Apparently, Pizza Express make a big deal about ‘not making a big deal’ when it comes to allergens, intolerances and food preferences. In other words, if you need something special, just ask (or call ahead) and it will be seamlessly dealt with. Translation: there won’t be a huge kerfuffle as a red-faced manager yells ‘why the fork did you come for pizza if you can’t eat bread or cheese?!’

Find out more about pizza making parties, events and of course the vegan menu here.  

SM would like to thank the staff at Pizza Express, Gloucester Road.

 

The Bugaboo Donkey 2 launches this Wednesday

Seven years after Bugaboo launched the iconic Donkey: the clever double pushchair that becomes a roomy single, or vice-versa, they have upgraded the design – so from this week you’ll be able to buy the Donkey2. Yee-Haw!

With Bugaboo, it’s all about the mobility, so no surprise to see that the Donkey2 has new and improved foam tyres and all-wheel suspension – making light work of carrying two kids and all their paraphernalia.

The range of new colourways includes ruby red, blue melange and the gorgeous wave print. And if you owned the original Donkey, one improvement you’ll be really glad to see is the new cover that fits over the side storage compartment (when it is in mono-buggy mode) – which makes the contents less visible and prevents anything spilling out.

As well as the side storage, there is also ample space under the seat, because (in the words of that Mum who placed the epic Gumtree advert) “, the ability to store bread is the most important thing when it comes to buying a pram…” and – as with the original Donkey – even in duo mode it will manoeuvre easily through most shop doors and aisles.

 

Priced from £1,039 – see the website for more details. 

Dad Diaries: Our trip to the Paddington 2 screening

SM Dad writer: “Paddington 2 obviously has a cast that includes the likes of Hugh Grant, Julie Walters and Hugh Bonneville – so it’s was never going to be a bore to watch. Being in Leicester Square at 10.30am on a Sunday morning with two hyper-excited youngsters… well, that’s less fun.

If you haven’t seen Paddington 1 it doesn’t really matter to enjoying the plot of Paddington 2. If you HAVE seen Paddington 1 you might be surprised to hear that the ole bear ends up doing time at Her Majesty’s convenience. (I’ll admit I had a wee cry at the end…) 

I’d really like to thank ThinkJam (who organised the screening) for NOT laying on loads of sugary treats which would render the kids even more unbearable; thankfully they stuck to popcorn and water and ergo we made it to the end of the film without a meltdown.”

PADDINGTON 2 is released in UK cinemas on 10 November 2017

Our pick of Xmas jumpers…

Gosh – is it really that time already..? Be festive and beat the Autumn chill, we say – these ones are too fab to just be worn on 25th December.

Suffer from a skin condition? You’re in the majority, say Dermalex

A new survey, conducted by YouGov for skin care experts Dermalex has highlighted the fact that as many as 50% of the GB adult population has suffered from eczema, rosacea or acne their whole life and 64% have lived with these conditions for over a decade.

These health issues can have a devastating effect on some people’s lives, emotions and well-being, with over half (56%) saying they felt self-conscious as a result of it and almost half (47%) felt unattractive. Only 45% of survey respondents said they had never experienced a negative situation, further showing that for millions of adults, the state of their skin is directly linked to happiness.

To launch their #StrongerWithin campaign, Dermalex will be offering up to 20% discount on their treatments when purchased from Amazon (and the products are on Prime too, so no need to suffer more than 24 hours longer!)

For more information about the survey or the #StrongerWithin campaign, follow Dermalex on Facebook @DermalexUK

Marloe London unveils new accessories collection

Marloe London is one of our favourite brands; if you don’t own one of their blanket scarves already, honestly, put it on your Xmas wishlist (we promise you won’t regret owning one!)

We were delighted to see that Marloe has now added super chic totes and zip pouches to their range – which can be monogrammed or personalised with a name or date. Even more delightfully, why not customise yours with one of their brass initials, or (our fave) the brass whistle charm.

Shop online here (or give Santa the link…)

SM Guide to Winter Running

Editor writes: “Just as a bad craftsman proverbially blames his tools, I have convinced myself that better running kit will help me get from 10K to 16.09K (ie ten miles).

It’s tricky enough to get enough iron on the best of days, let alone finding a supplement that doesn’t give you tummy ache. But Hubner’s chewable iron supplements are gentle, contain vitamin C and promise to reduce fatigue – so that’s a start!

James White’s Zinger Shots are a pick me up alternative if you don’t want to drink coffee before a run. These little bottles are packed with organic ginger – plus variations including cold-preventing turmeric – which definitely give you a kick up the bum to get out the door on a cold morning!

 

Like most of the running community, I’m addicted to those Pip and Nut squeeze pack sachets, especially the new Almond and Coconut one. A little squishy pouch of natural energy you could even take out with you for a mid-run boost. Don’t leave them next to your keys in your handbag though!

Runderwear merino wool underwear is the running essential you never knew you needed. Merino (in any format) is a magic fibre that keeps skin warm in winter and cool in summer – in the case of merino knickers, it wicks away moisture to keep your lady parts chafe-free. Well worth the investment and (sssh!) pass on the secret!

There’s so much cleverness in a pair of Proskins Slim running leggings, it’s hard to believe they are lighter-than-air to wear. Compression fit, moisture management, antibacterial silver and microcapsules in the fibres that last 100 washes are but a few intelligent features… You see, these leggings are designed to actively slim your legs and reduce cellulite while you run! Amazing, huh? Even more brilliant, because of the fit, Proskins suggest you order a size down from your normal – so starting off as a 10, before I’d even done any exercise I was a size 8!

Zakti’s Lunar Glow running gloves are made from Isocool fabric and have a rainbow flash in the design which makes you more visible to cars – so safer at night or on those foggy mornings. I love the secret key pocket, and the touchscreen fingertips mean that you can hit your power song without needing to take them off.

Finally – after pounding the streets – I’ve been drinking Tenzing Natural Energy drink, which is made from Himalayan rock salt and green tea. At only 57 calories per can, I won’t be undoing my hard work – and unlike taurine based drinks it doesn’t leave me feeling like I want to bite my nails all day…”

Luxury Staycations at The Lodges, New House Farm

We’re already picturing ourselves in the fluffy bathrobes and getting stuck into the REN toiletries at The Lodges; nestled in the picturesque Rother Valley, East Sussex.

The buildings were restored and furnished to an exceptional standard by DJ Jon Carter (whom we interviewed for the magazine last year) and his wonderful wife Nina – all with two baby twin daughters in tow (we’re guessing sleep-deprived Mummy and Daddy must have tested out the king-sized beds a few times!)

The properties boast roll top baths, woodburning stoves and wifi – plus there’s a heated pool and a hot tub outside.

As well as providing gorgeous, romantic (yet also child-friendly) rural escapes, The Lodges also offer retreats such as yoga or cooking courses. You could even take a foraging excursion, then have your own private chef knock up something delicious from your findings.

Find out more and book a stay here. 

Stroller Days Out: ZapSpace, London Stratford

Sometimes – especially in the holidays – we all find our kids are prone to bouncing off the walls with boredom.

ZapSpace allows them to bounce off the floor instead – offering trampolines, a bouncy basketball court, a huge ball pit (think ‘Gladiators’) and a squeal-inducing slide.

There is also soft play for teenies and a cocktail bar for Mummy. Kids over 2 can bounce, but they must be supervised and wearing regulation grip socks (sold at the venue).

ZapSpace also caters for kids’ parties, with access to their VIP booths and the kind of American diner buffet that will excite even the fusspots – and also corporate away days, if you’d prefer to embrace your inner child than embracing your co-worker as they fall backwards in a circle of trust…

PS there is also a secret speakeasy bar in the basement (what’s not to love about this place?)

For more info and bookings visit the website.

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