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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Mini hits the shows

It's that time of year when I get to go to London fashion week and check out all the new Spring Summer offerings. Well this time Mini and Ottilie got to come too. 
First up was choosing their outfits from Alex and Alexa. Talk about choice. They have just about every hot kids designer, shoes and accessories on their site. But mini persevered and chose her and Ottilie matching outfits.

Wearing her new Stella Kids printed dress and star print tights. Mini chose a pair of paint splatter converse trainers and added a cool turquoise metallic pair of shwings
You can customise your laces with these fabric wings and Ottilie got these super cool lightening Nikes. She topped it all off with her customised monogrammed basket from Raefeather and a pop cutie necklace. 
It was then on to the shows to review them for her guest blog on Alex and Alexa.
For more insight into her mini musings check out her blog and click on here!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

How to make a Peppa Pig Cake

Peppa is part of our family. She's probably part of most families, my two elder children were both utterly enamoured with her cheeky know-it-all commentary and blocked up nose chuckling. Was it her cute pinkness or her penchant for jumping up and down in muddy puddles? Who knows, but no 3 has caught the Peppa bug so when deciding what cake to make for her second birthday the first character that came to mind was Peppa Pig. I think I've made it twice already for Mini, so i felt confident doing it once again.
Each time birthday's come around my kids think up the most interesting of characters for me to transform into sugar frosting and sponge and I tend not to make them from a ready made cake form. Instead i use the round and square tins I already have at home and then carve them into suitable shapes. So I thought I'd snap a quick how to.
I first started by baking two pink sour cream sponges. I took the recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery cook book and used just one batch for both tins, adding pink gel food colouring into the cake mix.
I took the larger of the cakes and cut a curved section out of the top, in order to place the smaller cake within it.  Then I cut a rounded triangle shape out of the larger cake to create the shape of Peppa's dress.
Once the basic Peppa shape had been created, I took the off-cuts and cut the ear shapes and placed them at an angle off the face to make up Peppa's distinctive nose.
I then made up a batch of pink cream cheese frosting 

Added more pink to make the outline, which I piped around the form, adding her cheeks, smile and nostrils. The I added red food colouring to the mixture to colour the dress and piped red spots onto for detail. Finally I made up some very thick almost play dough in consistency fondant icing (just icing sugar and very little water) and formed the eyes, hands, tail and shoes. Peppa was complete and Ottilie was in heaven.

Friday, 26 June 2015

The Fantastic World of Fermoie

This isn't really the normal post to do with either mini or anything remotely related to kids but it's something I'm so passionate about I had to do a little post. 
I had the privilege of visiting the factory in Malborough of my favourite fabric company Fermoie this week. As many of you know I've kitted out my new kitchen living room in london with their fabrics as well as my new home in ibiza and when I mentioned to them that I was going to now reupholster our old Seat 600 in their new Chiltern linen they could sense they had a Fermoie fanatic on their hands
They is the Chiltern Linen that will cover the Seat 600 seats
I had studied fashion and textiles at St Martins school of art and have always done my own screen printing but this was on another level. It was the perfect merging of creativity, old traditions with technology. And the result is a range of beautiful fabrics on cotton or linen, in every shade of the rainbow with original and inspiring prints. Thank you Fermoie for letting me watch with wonder.
Here is their wall of swatches. I want everything!

This one machine prints everything from start to finish. Its hypnotic to watch.
They colour match everything that is printed.
Once printed the fabrics rolls up and under a huge furnace which cures the fabric and sets the colour.

This is their cutting machine, which measures, rolls and then cuts the fabrics with the aid of a magic eye and a scalpel. I was enthralled.

Everything at Fermoie is printed to order but for the fabric that doesn't quite make the colour grade this is where it goes. And its my idea of heaven.

I used their Barmillion fabric for my Living room curtains

And their York stripe for my kitchen blinds and their plain Linen in Clean Slate and cushions in Horizon for the banquette.

I ended up buying some of their lilac cotton Fermoie - Plain in L208 to make up two footstools in our house.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Mini & Indie do Paris

Wow what a weekend! Some of our Instagram followers may have witnessed our trip but for those needing more detail here is a little not on our Parisian adventure!
What do to when celebrating your daughter's fifth birthday? Take her to Paris of course. With her best friend too, seeing as they share the same birthday. First stop after dumping the cases was a charming chocolate and biscuit shop called La Cure Gourmande with shops all over Paris, they stock wall to wall delicacies and of course the girls went wild.

Next stop was a charming toy shop Pain D'Epices which had not only every toy you could imagine but also the most charming assortment of puppets and a puppet theatre. Mini was enthralled with the dolls houses on display and everything you could put in them, from furniture and people in 19th century clothes, to pots, pans, rolling pins and plates and plates of food all in miniature.
Off to lunch at the gorgeous Brasserie Galloping and although the food was excellent (luckily Mini loves her steak frites) its not for most children.
The stained glass interior windows are quite breathtaking

And then it was on to the Tour Eiffel. I've been so many times to Paris but I've never been up the tower itself. So it was a first for Mini and for me too. The queues outside are horrid so clever Kate had already organised a tour to take us up, meaning we skipped merrily past the queue up to the second floor.

View from the second floor. And what a view. I had fun pointing out all my favourite places in the city. We then did have to queue a little more to make it all the way to the tippy top, as Mini puts it. But well worth it.

The views up can make ones head slightly spin

stormy skies over the Trocadero 
A quick stop off at one of our favourite kids stores - Mini obviously loves the name!

After such an escapade our appetites were well and truly ravenous, so off we headed to La Duree in Saint Germain. My favourite place to grab a snack and top it off with quite frankly the best macaroons ever made. Mini is keen on the chocolate and raspberry and I'm partial to the salted caramel.

back in the hotel and there were more treats to be had, balloons and cake to celebrate!

Day 2 and it was breakfast at the L'Arc de Triomphe 

And then onto the Bateau Mouche for a river tour

Best friends forever 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Guess who?

Today was world book day and Phin and Mini were beyond excited to dress up as their favourite literary heroes.
Mini chose Rosie Revere Engineer with a Pucci headscarf no less and Phin morphed into Iggy Peck Architect complete with hair raising quiff. Both books are written by Andrea Beaty with illustrations by David Roberts and are utterly delightful. We highly recommend getting them, with their funny, creative and inspiring role models doing exciting and interesting things they've become firm favourites in our our home.