Posts Tagged ‘Mums we love’

Tots to Travel happy, safe holidays

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Wendy Shand, founder of Tots to Travel, with two of her children

Wendy Shand, founder of award-winning family holiday company Tots to Travel, launched her company after her son Barnaby fell into an unfenced swimming pool while on holiday. She realised there was a huge gap in the market for safe and comfortable holiday houses, and hasn’t looked back. We caught up with Wendy and asked her views on holidays, travel products, and life in general.
Q How much time do you spend on the road (and in the air!) every year?
Outside of family holidays I do some travelling but not an enormous amount.  I’ll spend 6 weeks in France this year, a week in Cyprus and then probably one other trip.
My husband Rob does the bulk of overseas travels.  He’ll do at least 10 trips this year meeting villa owners and viewing some staggeringly beautiful properties.

Wish you were here...? Villa Eros, Cyprus, hand-selected from all the villas available at the Aphrodite Hills resort

Q Do you get a lot of queries at the school gate? It must be hard to always get asked about your own favourite villa!
LOL! There are worse things in life!  I have so many favourites, like the ultra-lux villa in Cyprus with with a bedroom looking up through the swimming pool and amazing clifftop views. However, choosing the right villa for another family is such a personal thing and it really needs a conversation to understand what each person wants, how old their children are, and so on.  Once I have that information then I’m able to make some great, bespoke suggestions.

Q Is there a need for dedicated holidays to suit ‘tweens’ and teens?
This is certainly a very distinct stage in a family’s evolution complete with its own challenges.  However there are lots of travel companies that are doing a pretty good job in this respect with lots of activities from sailing to camel riding to safaris being on offer.
From a parent’s perspective this stage is less stressful as older children so it’s less about getting the accommodation safe and organised and more about how you keep every member of the family well entertained!

Q Are you a pool or a beach person?
Both!  If we’re lounging around then I love a pool with a view of the beach but I grew up in the Middle East where I learnt to sail, windsurfing and water ski.  This is where I am at my happiest so if any of these activities are available then I am much more like to be on the water rather than sitting beside it.

Q Top tip when dealing with different ages of children? Ie. those who are still capable of toddling into swimming pools, and those who are keen on some sight-seeing, or spending time on a beach without needing a nappy changed
The beach and a pool are great places for families with children of different ages as almost all children love the water. I have diving toys for my older children and will happily score dives, handstands and synchronised swimming from the top step whilst playing with our toddler who is likely to have containers or floating toys to play with.
None of my kids are particularly keen on sightseeing so apart from the odd castle or canoe trip so we tend to stay relatively close to our villa.  It’s a pretty selfless stage of life and I reckon that there will be plenty of time for sightseeing once the children are older.

Q Your most successful ever family holiday
We stayed in a beautiful villa in Mallorca with amazing views over the Bay of Formentor.  I think it worked really well because as adults we loved the architect designed villa and the location whilst the kids loved the pool and the nearby beach which had big rocks for jumping off.  The kids were in heaven!
We could also walk to a really funky beach bar for family cocktails before bed so it had a relaxed vibe.  I have lovely memories from that holiday.

Q If you weren’t running Tots to Travel, what would you be doing?
Great question!  I used to be a reception teacher but can’t see myself going back to that and neither can I see myself being an employee again.  Undoubtedly I would be involved in growing a business, I see opportunity all around and the creativity and vision of being involved in projects like this is what fires me up.  Quite what that would be I’m not sure!


London’s new arts & crafts club

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Doesn’t this sound great?

A cross between Kirsty’s Homemade House and having a good old chat in the stitch-and-bitch vein (have you heard of these societies where you go to sew and have a nice little gossip?), The Old School Club opens its doors on June 17. There’s even an on-site creche available for £5 per hour per child.

Get crafty while Jnr is in the creche

This new creative and social space where people can learn, share, make and teach arts and crafts is based in Battersea’s Business Centre, about a 10-minute walk from Clapham Junction Station. Local mum Inma Goodhew is the founder, and in her words:

Inma Goodhew - she's the one not in the buggy - creative genius and founder of The Old School Club

“Creating something by hand is a wonderful experience – and whether you’re young or old learning a new skill can be very rewarding. I came up with the idea for The Old School Club when I was on maternity leave with my first son. I was running some small craft and sewing workshops from my home but couldn’t keep up with the demand and soon realised that Battersea needed its own creative space. The Old School Club is a friendly and relaxed space where everyone is welcome – it’s about inspiring people and helping them unlock their creative passions.”

The new club will offer a mixture of short and long courses as well as a Cocrafting™ space for creative and crafting entrepreneurs in need of a space to teach.

On opening on 17th June the club will offer two weeks of free taster sessions for adults and children, and a special introductory rate in the on-site crèche. Visit to find out more.

The Old School Club taster classes are running until the 28th June and include:
 Introduction to Sewing & Crochet
 Breakfast Craft Club with crèche
 All About Flowers
 Introduction to Cross-stitch
 Junior print making
 Dads and Kids Saturday workshop
 Lino print for the over 50s

New courses for summer and autumn include:
 Learn to Sew, Crochet & Knit projects
 Home Revamp Series: making cushions, curtains and roman blinds
 Children’s Clothes, Dressmaking & Modern Embroidery

 Little Crafters – 1yrs-5yrs
 Juniors Sewing School – 6yrs-11yrs
 Teen Fashion Design and Crafts – 12yrs-16yrs
 Holiday Craft Clubs for children aged 5-11 years old
 Regular Saturday Workshops for Dads and Kids

 Learn basic DIY skills, upcycle pre-loved furniture, how to transform a lampshade

 How to design, make and print your own patterns on paper and fabric

 Make a sketchbook & pop art portraits

 Learn to make something new from beautiful materials, every Thursday night. £25 for two hours
New courses will be launching every month, and all courses can be booked online at

Change the world – do Just One Thing

Saturday, April 20th, 2013


Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of Kids Company

It’s taken me a week or so since finding out about this initiative to actually post something about it. Applauding and recommending are very different to actually ‘doing’, and I was reluctant to pass on information that I had no intention of following up myself.

Since then I’ve logged on to the Just One Thing initiative website, got some ideas, and realised there’s something any of us can do. I’ve looked at the Donate section, and realised that instead of squirrelling away my ‘Buy One Get One Free’ groceries, I can donate them instead.

Beyond the School Run and Kids Company are inviting everyone to be part of “Just one thing” – a new initiative supported by Laura Bailey.  It’s simple: they’re asking parents to offer just one thing to help children suffering from neglect, abuse and deprivation in the UK, whether that’s a skill, a gift, an idea or time.

If every parent offered just one thing, the combined impact could make all the difference.  Not only that – if you are looking for an opportunity to return to the wider world following those all-consuming early years of parenting – then this may just be the step you are looking for.

So here’s the issue. There are staggering 3.6 million children living in poverty in the UK, 1.6 million of whom live in extreme poverty. These exceptionally vulnerable children not only negotiate significant challenges in their family homes, they also face immense threat within their neighbourhoods. The positive news is that Kids Company has proven children CAN be helped and nurtured to find their true talents and aspire to achieve. So let’s use our talents, passions and skills to start to make a difference – it may be as little as just one thing!

And this is how it works. Log on to and enter your pledge of help.  There will be a list of ideas and suggestions on the website should you need it.  You may be:

  • A budding artist and can create a painting for a child’s bedroom
  • A trained lawyer and can offer  your time to help a child in trouble
  • An employee of an organization that could offer training for mothers or young people
  • An entrepreneur who may come up with an idea which may help address the issues associated with UK poverty

So why not grab a coffee after school drop off and take a moment to ponder your talents or if you find inspiration in a group why not gather a few mums at the school gates and start a discussion?   Whatever you can offer, we will endeavor to turn your ‘Just One Thing’ pledge into reality. Over the course of a year we hope to see hundreds of Kids Company children helped by parents from across the UK. 

Laura Bailey, model, writer & cultural ambassador for the British Fashion Council “The ‘Just one thing’ campaign created by Kids Company and is a truly inspired concept.  As a mother and passionate supporter of Kids Company, I love the idea that as parents we can come together to use our skills, creativity & compassion to make a difference to the lives of those children who are in such need of our help right now.   The combined impact of each of our offerings, however big or small, really could make all the difference!”  

Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of Kids Company says; ‘”Often, people think what they have to offer is too insignificant, and will not transform damaged lives.  What they don’t realise is that, in the exchange of kindness, something big and beautiful happens. A child who has lost dignity will regain it in the knowledge that you cared. Give yourself a gift – be transformative!”

Louise Webster, Founder of says; “The ‘Just One Thing’ campaign is about recognizing that there is a large part of society – parents – who have a range of skills and talents that when utilized could collectively make a difference to theirs and the lives of others.  I think this is an opportunity for parents to show what they are made of and together face the huge issue of poverty affecting so many families and children across the UK.  I believe if we each do one thing, however small, we can make a significant difference.”


The First Aid skills every parent needs

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Would you know what to do if your child started choking?

Sarah Kohn, founder of Early Bird First Aid Training


We spoke to Sarah Kohn, mother of son Leo and founder of Early Bird First Aid, to get some information on basic skills that could save a child’s life. Sarah feels strongly that first aid skills are as vital to a new mum as information about weaning or immunisations.

“Being a new mum made me realise how grateful I was to also be a first aid instructor”, says Sarah. “My skills gave me confidence and the feeling I could cope in an emergency. New mums have enough on their plates and it meant that I had one less thing to worry about.”

Leo is now 21-months-old and I spend my spare time (what little I have!) teaching other parents essential first aid skills. I set up my business, Early Bird First Aid, about a year ago, as I really believe that basic first aid skills are essential training for anyone looking after children. They should be as much a part of becoming a parent as attending antenatal classes or an NCT course.  

Obviously not everyone can find the time or money to attend one of these courses so I have put together a list of five emergency situations that could occur at home and how to prevent and deal with them.

The first thing I will say in any emergency is: don’t panic! Try to remain calm and use your common sense. I hope readers find this useful, but there is no substitute for practicing these skills and techniques for real so if you want to come along to a course or schedule a course for you and your friends please let me know!

Unfortunately young children do fall over and get bumps and bruises as they learn to walk, but being aware of potential risks can help you avoid serious injuries. 

Babies can easily roll off the edge of a changing table, bed or sofa. Toddlers quickly learn how to climb and explore and it is very easy for a child to fall off a piece of furniture, down the stairs or even out of a window or balcony. 

  • Make sure your baby cannot roll off the changing mat.
  • Do not put baby bouncers on tables or beds
  • Fit locks/restrictors to upstairs windows and keep balcony doors locked
  • Keep chairs and other climbing objects away from windows and balconies
  • Fit safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.

What to do

If your child does bump his head hold a cold compress/ice pack on the bump for 10 minutes (if you can keep him still long enough!).

Take your child back to the accident and emergency (A&E) department of your local hospital if they:

  • are unusually sleepy or you cannot wake them
  • have a headache that is getting worse
  • are unsteady when they walk
  • are repeatedly sick
  • have a seizure (fit)
  • develop a squint or blurred vision, or they start to see double
  • lose consciousness

Go to A&E if your baby has a minor head injury and continues to cry for a long time.

Trust your instincts, if you feel your baby or child is not acting normally after a fall seek medical attention


Babies and young children can choke on small objects such as marbles, grapes or small toys. To help prevent choking

  • Keep small objects out of the reach of small children.
  • Choose toys that are designed for the age of your baby or child
  • Encourage older children to keep their toys away from your baby.

What to do (for babies)

1. Look in the baby’s mouth and carefully remove any visible objects.
Do not feel blindly down throat

2. Position baby face down on forearm supporting head and neck with your hand

3. With the infants head slightly lower than body deliver up to 5 firm back blows between shoulder blades with heel of hand

4. If choking continues perform 5 chest thrusts. This technique can be learnt and practiced at a first aid course


Burns and scalds
A child’s skin is much more sensitive than an adult’s and hot water can scald for up to 15 minutes after it has boiled. Hot bath water is the biggest cause of severe and fatal scalding injuries in young children.

  • Always place hot drinks out of children’s reach
  • Do not drink anything hot with a child on your lap or in your arms
  • Use a cordless kettle
  • Use the back rings on the cooker whenever possible and turn saucepan handles away from the edge
  • If possible, keep young children out of the kitchen
  • Before bathing your baby or child, check that the water is not too hot 

What to do

  • Flood the area in cold running water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Do not break blisters or interfere with the burn
  • Do not apply any creams, lotions, butter or fat
  • Do not use any adhesive dressings
  • Cover the area with cling film or a clean pillowcase to help avoid infection.

Suffocation and strangulation

  • Keep plastic bags, nappy sacks and balloons (non-inflated or burst) away from young children
  • Curtain and blind pull cords should be kept short and out of reach of children.
  • Beware of clothing with cords, dummies on necklace cords and bag straps
  • Keep cats out of your bedroom – if they jump into cots or beds and fall asleep in the wrong place they could suffocate your child. Attach a net over cots if necessary.

What to do

  • Remove cause of suffocation/strangulation if possible
  • Start CPR on an unconscious, non-breathing baby or child

Attend an Early Bird First Aid CPR/First Aid course to learn how to resuscitate your child if they have stopped breathing. You will also learn and practice other skills such as how respond to choking and how and when to put a child in to the recovery position.

Contact Sarah at, 07967 598 338,

Victoria Beckham reads angels & urchins

Friday, March 8th, 2013

It’s official. angels & urchins is the fashionista’s choice of London family magazines.

Just take a look at who’s reading us.

The more chic alternative to a handbag: see what Victoria Beckham has tucked under her arm

Since moving back to London and enrolling the children in school, the Beckhams might well feel they’ve a lot of catching up to do. What better source of information than the Capital’s most sophisticated family magazine? Enjoy, Victoria!

Maggie & Rose’s World Book Day

Thursday, March 7th, 2013


Maggie Bolger, is the founder of super cool, original family members club Maggie & Rose Kensington and the soon to launch Maggie & Rose Chiswick.  Maggie & Rose is a hub of creativity where a loving, home from home environment has been crafted. It’s a place where parents can relax whilst children can play and learn to their hearts content – a place where childhood memories begin.  She lives in Kensington with her husband and four children Azia, Oscar, India and Olli and dog Coco.  Maggie is also a published author of three (and counting) activity books based on a group of friends called Maggie, Rose, Oscar and Bentley who loved nothing more than to make and do. From basic cooking, to creating their own art supplies, the characters engage with kids to encourage them to get creative in their homes. All of the activities are based on the workshops created for Maggie & Rose and all have been tried and tested by hundreds of children.

World Book Day is today (March 7th) and it’s such an awesome celebratory day; what better invention in life to celebrate. The humble book, a simple little thing that brings such joy to millions all over the world.  The very thing that ignites the imaginations of children, and engages them from as young as 3 months old.

Who doesn’t remember discovering the world of Roald Dahl and his many characters or hiding under the blankets with a torch dying to finish the lastest ‘Famous Five’ adventure…getting lost in the world of J. R. R Tolkien’s hobbits, bringing the characters to life in your head and loving them so much you cry with the tradegy evoked from only words on a page.  The simple pleasure of turning a page, the sense of achievement when you get to the last page, that pang of remorse because it is over.  A book is a little piece of magic, bought to us by some of the cleverest people on the planet – the authors.

Without this simple pleasure the world we live in would be a dull and boring place.

Now, with our lives being driven more and more by technology, the humble but ever so important book is being edged out. I worry that with kindles and iPads,  books will one day only be found in antique shops. I am waiting (secretly) for the day that research comes out to prove that tablet devices are bad for the brain!

My kids are all bookworms, something I am super proud of.  We have an epic library of books and encourage book buying and swapping at all times! So join us on March the 7th and truly celebrate the beauty and genius that is the book!

Here are a few tips that work in our household to encourage bookworms: 

-          A family trip to a good bookshop or library: We love the ones with characters, like Daunts. There is a fabulous second hand book shop on Gloucester Road called Slightly Foxed, which is everything a bookshop should be, full of charm and people that love books. We then go to a café and read our books together over hot chocolate.

-          Reading a family book:  Our kids love it when we all read a book together – now they are old enough we take it in turns to read. Recently I read them “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” by Judy Blume. I remember my teacher reading it to us when we were kids and laughing and laughing. I repeated the voices she used and laughed along with the kids.

-          Bed time wind down:  We have a rule that kids have to be in bed by 8pm at the latest. But they are allowed to keep their lights on for an extra 15 mins if they read.

Happy World Book Day everyone.

Maggie x

Red Nose Day Dolls

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Are you doing anything for this year’s Red Nose Day?

The nation’s offices, schools and nurseries usually turn a little red on Red Nose Day, which this year will be held on Friday 15 March. At my children’s school everyone is allowed to wear one red item in exchange for a donation of £1. Last year the youngest returned home miffed at the quality of the other children’s red items in comparison with his own lipstick-painted nose. Last year lots of children had special deely boppers, and one teacher had painted himself from head to toe in red paint!

The first stage of the Red Nose Day Dolls created by Ros Badger and Emma Mitchell

This year bloggers Ros Badger and Emma Mitchell have created three gorgeous dolls, which they’re going to auction on the official Red Nose Day eBay site. They came up with their idea over tapas at Borough Market, and since then lots of other crafters and artists have got involved.

You can follow the story of the handmade dolls, Fair Isle dresses, little felted coats, tiny necklaces and tiaras and the people who will make them on the Red Nose Day Dolls blog. And, of course, try and buy the dolls on the eBay website.
Good luck everyone!

How to get kids to eat food they hate

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Food writer Fiona Faulkner

Fiona Faulkner is the author of 25 Foods Kids Hate and How to Get Them Eating 24 - out now at She has also devised a special menu for travel company Scott Dunn’s Kids Explorer Clubs. We like her style (and her Avocado Ariba Ice Cream, see below) and gave her a gentle grilling…

Packed with citrus and nutrient-rich oil, this delicious avocado ice cream is a signature Fiona Faulkner recipe

Q It can be hard to keep children eating healthily at home, but arguably much harder on holiday. Do you have any tips to keep the children off €˜chips with everything€™ – and endless ice creams?
A Set down a few ground rules before take-off and landing (this strategy works particularly well for over 7s who are starting to grasp the concept of what I refer to as €˜growing foods€™ and €˜treat foods€™). Ultimately, if kids feel as though they€™ve had a say in creating the rulebook, they€™re more likely to stick to the rules. I€™d advise that on holiday (as with birthday parties, etc) you loosen the reins a bit and factor in that everybody €“ quite rightly €“ will want a few more treats. In terms of the €˜buffet table€™ eating that a lot of hotels and resorts tend to adopt, again, instil a few simple rules. Allow them the freedom (and fun) to go up and serve themselves €“ but limit them to (e.g.) one breakfast €˜treat€™ €“ which they can choose themselves (so they feel in control). You could even adopt a €˜points€™ system. Each treat equals one point and each child has an allocation of X number of points to use within 24 hrs. If they use them all at breakfast €“ well, that€™s their decision!

Q Did you eat everything on your plate when you were a child?
A Bearing in mind I grew up in the 80s – at a time when ready-meals were coming bang into fashion – I was more than happy to eat my body weight in Findus Crispy Pancakes. I was never €˜fussy€™ per se but have always been a natural vegetarian €“ to my mother€™s horror. I€™m simply passionate about vegetables and my diet is about 80% veggie (it€™s usually the smell of bacon that gets me €“ isn€™t it always€¦?!)

Q What was your favourite childhood food?
A See above re Findus Crispy Pancakes. Plus ParmaViolets€¦ Monster Munch€¦ Wham! Bars – and the highly inappropriate Candy Cigarettes. Basically my favourite stuff wasn€™t exactly the healthy stuff (despite genuinely loving my veg too). In fact one of the things I try and teach parents in my workshops is to resist the temptation to become the €˜food police€™. Kids are biologically hardwired to love the sweet stuff (it€™s to do with the taste receptors on their tongues). Plus they generally place far less importance on nutritional values than we do as adults. Let€™s be honest: as kids we once loved junk €“ and now so do they. It€™s a simple fact of life and banning the treats can sometimes be counter-productive in creating a €˜forbidden fruit€™ syndrome. But do remember: just because your kids love sweets and crisps etc, it doesn€™t therefore automatically follow that they€™ll grow up hating fruit and veg (I€™m living proof of that). Everything in moderation €“ including moderation €“ and (again) that mantra particularly comes into play on holiday. My book explains why as parents, we should never bribe with dessert.

Q If you know you’ve a lot of children to feed and don’t know what all of their favourites are, what are your three failsafe dishes?
A I€™ve just designed a menu for luxury travel company Scott Dunn€™s new children€™s clubs which is custom-designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of kids €“ from fruit-phobics and veg-dodgers through to hardcore foodies. As a twist, each dish celebrates a different Scott Dunn holiday destination. Here are three dishes from the new menu that I€™d describe as real heroes €“ in getting kids eating €“ and loving – their greens, reds €“ and yellows! [Popeye€™s Pesto / Mediterranean Muffins / Slumdog Soup] The feedback so far has been fantastic €“ quite literally!

Q Is eating seasonally something that’s possible with children and their love of blueberries and peas?
A To be honest, I€™m not so sure. As lovely as eating seasonally is, some parents find that by only offering their kids tomatoes for a scant few weeks in the British summer tomato season, €˜fussy€™ kids in particular can then sometimes €˜forget€™ that they like tomatoes by the time the next season comes around. Having said that, I can€™t bear to eat bland, imported strawberries (for example) and tend to make us all wait until they€™re coming up at the local PYO. The key I think with eating seasonally is to eat what you can and then freeze what can be frozen. The freezer really is your best friend in the kitchen

Q What are the best dishes to get children cooking easily that will taste delicious and give them a real sense of satisfaction?
A Old-fashioned baking is the easy answer (what kid doesn€™t love knocking up a batch of cupcakes or brownies?) and this instils not only a real sense of satisfaction but can also be a great lesson in maths, chemistry, and even languages (€œtell me €“ what€™s xxxx in French?!€) So yes, baking is a great starting point €“ ditto smoothie making. But remember that kids often love to help out beyond the sweet-stuff too. Believe it or not I actually find that making risottos is quite a good one for kids: there€™s a lot of stirring involved; the heat is very low; and it€™s an ideal recipe to throw in a good few finely chopped herbs as well as veggies at the end. 

Q And finally… What’s the one piece of kitchen kit that’s worth investing in for children? Perhaps an ice lolly maker or mouli?
A Yes €“ both the above! Cookie cutters are also a great idea. Not only for their intended use but also because you can road test new lunchbox sandwich fillers with the kids by creating fun-shapes with the bread (another tip: IKEA plastic kids€™ knives €“ perfect for spreading butter etc). Try my blueberries and cream cheese combo €“ a super food lunchbox favourite. Or mashed banana and avocado (full of healthy omega oils) €“ or another Scott Dunn recipe: Moroccan sandwiches €“ with hummus, grated carrot and sultanas!

Recipes taken from 25 Foods Kids Hate and How to Get Them Eating 24 by Fiona Faulkner – out now and available to buy at

Recipes also featured in new Scott Dunn Explorers children€™s club menus at Daios Cove, Crete, Pine Cliffs in the Algarve, Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus and Verdura in Sicily. See



Getting back in shape after a baby

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Becoming a yummy mummy in a Live Fit MumsFit class

Live Fit ‘FitMums’ (020 7385 0688) is a London-based group training system designed to work around the physical challenges of motherhood. Developed by James Hardy (rugby player, kick boxer, marathon runner and personal trainer of 10 years standing) with a midwife, dietician and Pilates instructor, this concept provides the material for return to peak physical fitness. Creche facilities are available at every class, meaning there’s no excuse to stay at home wearing tracksuit bottoms!

I wanted to know how (and if) it worked, so spoke to mum of two Caroline. See what you think.

Q: Caroline, how did you find out about FitMums?
A: I asked a friend how she looked so fit and well post-baby. She’d signed up to FitMums, so I decided  to go for the challenge too.

Q: How many children do you have, and how old are they?
A: Two, a 4 year old and an18 month old.

Q: What did you particularly want to focus on? A bit of me-time, losing weight or toning? Perhaps a combination.
A: After two pregnancies my main focus was to get back into shape, whilst ensuring some me-time as well. I looked around at many different options designed for busy mums and was attracted to FitMums by their complete package of nutrition and exercise. The programme includes group personal training, nutrition advice and home workouts and it seemed by far the best value for money for what I was looking to achieve.

Q: Were you keen on exercise before having children?
A: Yes I was, although I was more of a fair-weather exerciser than a gym bunny.

Q How do you manage to fit exercising into your weekly routine?
A: I have never been very good at exercising in the evening, and that has now become even more the case with two kids. By the end of the day I am just too tired! So for me I have to fit it in during the day. I fit exercise in by the going to a FitMums class once a week (which thanks to the onsite creche is easy). The rest of the time, I try to fit in their €œhome workouts€ when I can while the kids are having their lunch as it is a quick 30-min burst.

Q: If you could pass on three things you’ve learnt, what would they be?
That fitting in exercise around kids isn€™t as hard as you think it will be. I always assumed it would be impossible, but FitMums has shown me some great toning routines to do at home that have made all the difference.

We have all had it ingrained in us that sugar is bad for you, but too many non-vegetable carbs is also one of the worst things you can do for weight loss. The majority of your carbs should come from veggies, fruit and legumes. Some should come from wholegrains like Quinoa, Cereals, Rice, and none from (Wheat) Bread, Pasta, Cous Cous.

Eat little and often to avoid binge eating caused by low blood sugar. Eating a handful of nuts is one of my favourite ways of avoiding the late afternoon sugar craving.


Q:What have you gained most from your sessions with FitMums?
A: The confidence from being able to fit back into my old clothes again!


Meet Annabel Karmel

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

 Mamas & Papas invite pregnant mums to an exclusive event with

Annabel Karmel to celebrate launch of her new book Eating for Two

*  Saturday 30 June 2012  *

You never forget your first Annabel Karmel recipe. Mine was salmon with a cornflake topping, still one of my children’s favourites. angels & urchins writer Neris Johnson gets to interview the children’s nutrition guru later this month when Annabel Karmel brings her food knowledge and experience to expectant mothers at a Mamas & Papas event.

The event is in honour of the publication of Annabel€™s first-ever guide to eating during pregnancy. A book signing and two events – all open to members of the public – will be held at the Mamas & Papas flagship store on London€™s Regent Street store.

In conversation with Annabel Karmel on Eating for Two

(There are two time slot options available for guests to book a slot: 12.00 -12.45pm or 2.00-2.45pm)

angels & urchins’ journalist Neris Johnson will be interviewing Annabel on a whole host of subjects.  These will include her expert advice on eating during pregnancy; ideas for countering morning sickness, sleeplessness and heartburn, and great foods to make while pregnant as well as meals to make ahead and freeze ready for when baby arrives.  Guests will also be able to sample some of Annabel€™s cooking at the event and ask the author any burning questions.

Every guest attending will also be given a goody bag at the end of the event.

Exclusive book signing

Annabel will be available to sign copies of her latest book, Eating for Two, at the store from 1-2pm.

How to book a place

To reserve a place at one of the two talks, you can:

  • Pop into Cibo Restaurant in Mamas & Papas, 256-258 Regent Street, London W1B 3AF and speak to any of the restaurant staff or
  • Telephone Cibo Restaurant on 01484 438476 to make a booking or
  • Email and confirmation of you place will be emailed to you

Places are strictly limited and will operate on a first come, first served basis.

More about Eating for Two

Eating for Two (RRP £12.99 Ebury Press) guides expectant mothers throughout each stage of their pregnancy, offering tips and advice on what to eat and avoid.

From the best foods to eat to promote conception, to ideas for avoiding morning sickness in the first trimester, to the best nutrition to combat sleeplessness, anaemia and heartburn later on, the book steers readers through pregnancy and beyond, even suggesting meals to make and freeze ready for when baby arrives.

Mum-of-three Annabel Karmel MBE says:  €œEver since I started writing, I€™ve always wanted to create a book for mums-to-be at the very start of their unique journey into parenthood.  It€™s a time when every expectant mother wants to be fully informed, be as healthy as possible and know that they are eating the right things for themselves and for her growing baby.

€œMany women still believe that they should be eating for two throughout the whole of their pregnancy and are unaware that their energy requirements from food don€™t need to increase significantly in the first two trimesters.  This book demystifies this, and many other pregnancy myths, providing readers with definitive advice, as well as identifying pregnancy super nutrients for mums-to-be and their baby.€

Connect with Annabel

For up-to-date information, advice, tips and recipes, Annabel can be followed on twitter @AnnabelKarmel, on her facebook page (Annabel Karmel) and at