things to do in South Bank London

The Summer holidays are in full swing and we’ve been getting out and enjoying London.  We rarely go away over the Summer because London is such a great place to be at this time of year and there so many Summer activities for kids in London.  This Summers mission is to enjoy as much of our beautiful city as we can and when I find something super fun to do, I thought I would share it here.  Earlier this week, along with some friends, we headed to the Southbank which is always a fun day out.  There is always a fab atmosphere, food, street performers and so much more.  Our plan was to just wander around and soak up the sights and smells but we ended up discovering the Appearing Rooms Fountain.  And once we discovered this, there was no moving the kids away.

free things to do in London with kidsSouth Bank London things to dofree things to do in London for kids

The Appearing Rooms Fountain is no ordinary play fountain.  It’s designed so that jets of water shoot high in to the air creating ‘rooms’ that appear and disappear as quickly as they appeared.  It’s possible to stand in the midst of fountain and not get wet – the trick is finding the ‘room’ where there is no water shooting up or to move super quick when it does come.  But the pattern of the fountain changes each time so you might get unlucky and get drenched.  The kids headed in to the fountain and the joy on their faces was quite unbelievable.  We thought they would play for a few minutes but they ended up playing in the fountain for hours.  They absolutely loved it.  There were kids of all ages there – from 2 to about 12 – and they were all squealing with delight and joy.

play fountains in London

Right next to the Appearing Rooms Fountain is lots of outdoor seating so we sat there, ate and chatted while we kept an eye on the kids who just couldn’t believe their luck at stumbling across this magical play fountain.  It may seem a bit over the top to go on about a fountain but the excitement was so evident on every child’s face so I think this fountain is a must visit for any kid.  And the best part is that it’s free.  Kids can easily spend 2-3 hours in there – just remember to bring a spare set of clothes or a swimsuit for them to wear while in the fountain.  Because they will get drenched!

Have you discovered any London places that are fun and worth a visit?  Do share so we can all check them out.

Anya wears quirky bear tee by ebabee and floral shorts by Zara (past season)
{all photos by ebabee}

I dig denim!

July 24, 2015

denim overalls for girls

Do you have a momform?  By that I mean a mom uniform!  I certainly do.  For the school run at least I think I am almost always in skinny jeans and a tee/top in Summer paired with ballet pumps and in Winter it’s back to those skinnies but with boots and chunky knits.  I love my denim but I seem to stick to jeans only and I’ve kind of fallen in to the same trap when it comes to Anya.  The only denim in her wardrobe is a pair of skinny jeans.  But there are so many more denim styles out there to love for women and especially for kids – from denim dungarees to skirts and even denim dresses.  This Summer I want to get out of our jean rut and explore other denim styles.  To start with I went looking for some cute denim looks for babies kids and I found some gorgeous stuff.

denim dungarees for children

How cute are those denim cat dungarees?  Or for older kids I’m loving that faded vintage denim dungaree.  Denim is so comfy and easy to wear and it goes with anything and everything so even if the kids insist on choosing their clothes, they can’t go wrong.  And those frilly little denim bloomers – so adorable!  The best news of all is that a lot of these clothes are on sale at the moment and as denim can be worn year round, you don’t have to worry about the seasons changing.  Have you seen any fab denim clothes for kids and or women?  I’m looking for a light denim jumpsuit kind of like that kids mechanic style one pictured at the top – so cool, no?  Here is where you will find the looks I’ve picked:

 1. cat dungaree shorts | 2. light chambray playsuit | 3. denim baby bloomers | 4. denim dress with gold detail | 5.  vintage denim dungaree shorts | 6.  soft denim baby romper

Top image: Denim mechanic overalls

Vietnamese food recipes for kids

Eating fresh and healthy food as a family doesn’t have to mean boring.  We love oriental style meals in this house as they always offers lots of flavour and often without too much effort.  Home cooked oriental food is always better and so much healthier than a take-away.  One of my favourites is this Vietnamese street food inspired dish of grilled chicken with rice and pickled veggies.  The Vietnamese version almost always uses pork and noodles but I use chicken for a healthier option and I think rice works better than noodles in this dish so rice it is.  I also use different herbs and spices than the traditional so you could say this is my take on a Vietnamese classic.

Vietnamese recipes with pictures

Once you try this dish, I promise you will never look back.  How can ingredients like the ones pictured above be anything but flavourful?  The grilled chicken in the dish is just delicious and all the other flavours come together to make for an absolutely beautiful bowl of food.  What’s more this dish is versatile and can be adapted for different tastes within a family – if you want to go low carb, leave out the rice and have it on a bed of salad or if you’re eating really healthy use brown rice.  Also the toppings are all optional so everybody can choose what they want on their dish.  The dish takes a little effort to prep but you can strip it down for a quicker meal or go the whole hog when you have a bit more time.  Like the pickled veg for instance – you can serve it with just freshly sliced veg instead of pickling when time is short.

VIETNAMESE GRILLED CHICKEN AND RICE RECIPE
Serves: 4

For the marinade:
700gms boneless & skinless chicken thighs
2-3 shallots very finely chopped
3 garlic cloves minced (add more or less depending on taste)
2 stalks fresh lemon grass lightly bruised and very finely chopped
50gms granulated sugar
2 tbs fish sauce
1.5 tbs dark soy sauce (the dark soy is important as it’s a lot thicker than usual soy)
1.5 tbs sesame oil
generous amount of freshly ground pepper

Toppings:
2-3 tbs toasted sesame seeds
handful of chopped coriander
3-4 thinly sliced spring onions (topped with 2 tbs hot olive oil and a pinch of salt and sugar)
1-2 sliced red chilies (optional)

Pickled veg:
2 x 3 inch piece of cucumber cut in to matchsticks
2 x 3 inch piece of carrot cut in to matchsticks
250ml warm water
40ml white vinegar (add more if you like a sharper taste)
1 tbs sugar
½ tsp salt

200-250gms basmati rice cooked as per packet instructions

Start by marinating the chicken thighs.  Just trim any big pieces excess fat but leave a little on as you don’t want the chicken to dry out when it’s cooked.  Cut in to large-ish bite size pieces.  Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl and add the chicken to this.  Give it a very good mix and leave to marinate for at least 1.5-2 hours or longer.

For the picked veg, take a jar and combine the warm water, vinegar, sugar and salt stirring till the sugar is dissolved.  Add the matchstick veg and leave to pickle.  Even an hour or two will do for light pickling.  I don’t like a sharp taste (I prefer a bit more sweetness) so I put very little vinegar but you can adjust quantities to your own taste.  The best way to find the perfect quantities for you is to taste the pickling liquid before you put the veg in so you know exactly how sharp/sweet/salty it is.

vietnamese grilled chicken and rice recipe

Chop and prepare all the toppings if you haven’t done so yet.  For the sesame seeds toast them lightly in a dry frying pan over a moderate heat.  Move them around with a wooden spoon to make sure they toast evenly.  Keep an eye on the seeds as once they start browning they can burn very easily.  Once they’re lightly browned, take them off the heat and out of the frying pan immediately otherwise they will continue to cook.

vietnamese grilled chicken and rice recipe

That’s all the prep done!  When you’re ready to eat cook the rice and place the chicken under a hot grill.  You can also skewer the chicken and cook over a barbecue.  It’s even more delicious but a grill works well too.  Turn the chicken once – around halfway through cooking.  The chicken will take around 10-15 minutes to cook and will come out all dark and beautifully caramelised.  Scoop some rice in to a bowl, top with the chicken and the pickled veg.  Then generously scatter some sesame seeds, coriander, spring onions and chilies (if using) and eat!

This Vietnamese grilled chicken and rice recipe is one of my favourite mid-week family dinners and it’s also a very tasty one dish meal to serve when you have a few friends over as it appeals to adults and kids.  What’s more, kids love being given all the bits of the dish and building their own.  Try it and you won’t regret it!

colourful kids bedrooms

There are some kids rooms you come across that instantly bring a big smile to your face.  They evoke a feeling of happiness by their cuteness and their super bright colour scheme.  There is something refreshing about seeing a kids room where there are no rules, where a load of colours have been thrown together and almost anything goes.  I’m not talking about the odd pop of colour or a few complimenary shades – I mean rooms where there is practically every colour under the sun!  If you’re thinking of brightening up your children’s rooms then these colourful kids rooms will definitely inspire you and they’ll also add a ray of sunshine to your day!

colourful kids bedroom

Could this room be any more cheerful?  Loosely themed around Summer with all the fresh fruit, ice-cream and colourful decorations, this room screams happiness!

kids room decor ideas for a small room

How crazy cute is this vintage kids room?  Crammed with stuff and crammed with colour, this room is such a quirky and fun space for a little kid. 

pastel kids room

This room has slightly softer colours than the first two rooms but there’s definitely no shortage of colour here!  Yellow, pink, blue, green, purple, orange – it’s all going on here and it looks fantastic.

colourful rooms for boys

Colourful rooms aren’t just for girls.  Big, bold solid colours like these yellows, blues and reds look stunning in a boys room too and they make for such a cheerful room.

colourful room decor ideas

Here we have colour from floor to ceiling and clashing coloured wallpapers too.  Yes this room is bold and busy but it’s definitely a stunning eye catcher too.  And what I also love is that this room works well for boy or girl.

colourful room decor

Colourful, playful, cheerful and fun!  This room again has so many colours that you wouldn’t normally think of using together but it looks great.

So are you tempted to add lots of colour to your kids rooms? 

Image credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

bragging about your kids

When you praise your kids to friends, is it bragging?  Schools out and I could not be more proud of Anya.  She has achieved so much this year – getting the achievers award for her year as well as a fabulous report.  A report that made me cry because not only was it great on the learning and academic front, but the wonderful things they wrote about her as a person made my heart swell with pride.  But why is it considered boasting to tell others that your child has done well?  Why is it not acceptable to be proud of your child in public?  Why do some parents feel the need to put you down if you praise your child?

As a habit, I don’t speak much about Anya’s achievements to anyone apart from family.  But I happened to mention these latest achievements to a ‘friend’ and she immediately turned around and said something jokingly (but with a clear sarcastic edge) along the lines of how I couldn’t stop talking about my super star child.  I had mentioned it once.  It was the day I found out about her achievers award and naturally I was bursting with pride.  This is a recent example but I have been faced with this same situation before. 

I get that if you constantly talk about how great your kid is then it is annoying, very annoying and that is showing off.  If every update on facebook is about your how your 2 year old is reading War and Peace then yes, that’s not cool.  But to once mention an achievement or something fabulous they have done should be more than ok.  After all you should be able to share your proud parent moments with friends and expect them to be happy for you.  I am equally happy to talk about Anya’s faults (like her making crazy faces every time I get the camera out 😉) and I don’t ever hide them so why shouldn’t I speak of her accomplishments?  When friends tell me about the wonderful things their kids have achieved, I am genuinely happy for them.  It’s not a competition – if my kid did something great, it’s not a reflection on your kid.  In fact it has nothing to do with your kid.

On the flip side, if you talk about your child’s faults or shortcomings, everybody seems more than happy to listen.  Those same people that dismiss the good stuff, are all ears when it comes to the bad stuff.  Strange.  This isn’t a rant, but I’m genuinely wondering how parents feel about this – maybe some people will say that me mentioning it even once was showing off.  I personally think that we should be comfortable praising our kids to others beyond family.  If they’ve done something that made you proud, why not tell people and expect them to be happy for you.  Of course, I’m not saying that every conversation should revolve around your ah-mazing kid who can do no wrong.   But there is a big difference between bragging about your kids and just being proud of an achievement.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and any ‘bragging’ experiences you’ve had, good or bad?

affordable shoes for kids

Are you a bag lady or a shoe lady?  Bags or shoes, shoes or bags?  I’m very much a shoe lady as my ever growing shoe collection will reveal.  And since I’ve been blessed with a little girl, well my shoe obsession has trickled down to mini shoes too.  But with mini shoes I usually have to hold back because kids feet grow so quickly; that is until I discovered Pisamonas who make the cutest and most affordable shoes for kids.

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that I’m a fan of Pisamonas shoes so much so that I’m proud to say I often work with them too.  Pisamonas are all about Spanish made shoes for boys and girls at incredible prices which means you can indulge in a few pairs for the kids every season and not have to restrict yourself to just one or two pairs like I used to.  Now Pisamonas are offering even better value with a sale.  Their already unbeatable prices are reduced further but just for a few days.  Because their prices are normally so low, their sales don’t last long – usually no more than a week or 10 days at most.  Here are a few of my favourites from the sale – all for under £20 (yes, under £20!).  Aren’t they pretty?  I’m loving the softer colours for Summer so that’s what I’ve picked but there are loads more styles so do check out their sale before it’s over.

ebabee-likes-FP

fruit crafts for kids

Do you get homework over the Summer holidays?  We don’t but reading and writing practice is encouraged.  With the best will in the world I know I’m not going to sit down with Anya and start practicing writing every day or even every week.  We get enough homework during term time so we all need a break 😉 But I do think it’s a good idea to keep in touch with writing and reading so I thought I would make her a Summer diary where she can write what she does every few days.  Last week I rounded up some fabulous fruit crafts which inspired me to make these fruity DIY Summer diaries for Anya.

DIY diary journal for kids

Anya loved the idea of making fruit inspired DIY Summer journals and chose strawberry, pineapple and orange as her fruits.  If you’d like to make these, read on.

What you’ll need:
A6 notebooks
A4 coloured paper in red, yellow and orange
2-3 sheets thin green card
black pen and brown and white coloured pencil
scissors
tape or glue (optional)

Begin by covering your notebooks with the coloured paper.  When I was in school in India, we had to cover all our school books or there would be big trouble.  With so many years of practice I can now cover books with my eyes closed!  But in case you haven’t done it before, here’s how:

how to cover a notebook

Once the books are covered, you can stick or glue the inside flaps down but I prefer to leave them just folded without glue or tape.  Next I needed to make the books look more like the fruit they were meant to be.  I drew leaf shapes on my green card – just using a pencil.  This isn’t meant to be precise or perfect so just draw freehand.  I drew three different types of leaves – one for each fruit.  And then I cut them out.  But I wanted to create a bookmark too so I cut a long piece of card with the leaves cut out at the top as the picture below shows.  So you not only have a DIY Summer diary but also a super cute DIY bookmark to match.

easy fruit themed DIY ideas

To finish off these fruity DIY Summer diaries I used a fine black pen to add seeds to the strawberry, a brown coloured pencil to line the pineapple diary and a white coloured pencil to add a touch of white to the orange diary.

DIY summer journal fruit craftfruit crafts for kidsDIY Summer journalfruit crafts for kids

My favourite journal is the strawberry one – I might even make one for myself!  If you’re looking for some more fruit craft inspiration, check out my round-up of some of the best.

pastel decorations

With our new home renovations coming to an end, it’s now time to start thinking about the decorating –   about the furniture, the little objects and the personal touches that will turn this place from a house in to our unique home.  This is the exciting bit and the bit where we get to be creative and have lots of fun.  One  of the things I am very keen to do is to have a playful element in all our spaces.  I don’t want strictly grown-up zones and separate kid zones.  I don’t think we live like that anymore so every space in our home will be shared between the adults and the kids and I want this to show through in the decor.

cute pastel decorations for the home

I am not talking about toys strewn all over the living room or turning the dining table in to a kids craft centre, but instead picking out cute little objects, cushions and artworks that will work alongside the more grown up pieces.  One of the shop’s I’ve got my eye on to bring some kiddy cuteness in to my home is Eef Lillemore (don’t worry, I don’t know how to pronounce it either!).  They have some of the cutest decorations I’ve seen and I’m especially loving that panda tray for my kitchen and why not an ice-cream cushion for my living room?  And what about a few of those pastel posters for the bathroom?

Everybody needs a little dose of cuteness in their home and when you have kids, it’s the perfect excuse to introduce it in to every room.  I wouldn’t even object to some of that cloudy wallpaper in a hallway – so subtle and sweet.  Of course a lot of the stuff at Eef Lillemore would make such fun decorations in a kids room too – like those beyond adorable posters!  Something guaranteed to make you smile each morning, so why not have a little touch in every room?

kids say the funniest things

I am so glad I have started writing down what Anya says because even at 6½ years she comes out with some hilarious stuff!  I know these innocent comments and crazy sweet words will disappear over time so I want to make the most of it!  Do you write down what your kids say?  It’s such a lovely memory to have and look back on.  So to end the week on a happy, funny and light-hearted note, here are some recent conversations with Anya:

We were chatting about an upcoming 6th birthday party that Anya was invited to.
Me: What does your friend like?  I need to buy her a birthday present.
Anya: She likes boys. (of course I’m thinking, boys already?! But I continue the conversation)
Me: I can’t buy her a boy, can I?
Anya: No, but you can buy her a toy boy!
Oh the innocence of childhood!

Out of the blue:
Anya: Do I have boobies or nickels?

We were at a restaurant and Anya chose Cumberland sausage and chips for her meal. She then proceeded to tell the waitress her order:
Anya: Can I please have the sausage and chips without the Cumberland?

Anya’s just lost both her front teeth. We’ve always made a big deal of the tooth fairy and Anya’s always been so excited about the whole magic of the tooth fairy, much more so than Santa (sorry Santa!).  So I was not ready for this.
Me: How much did the tooth fairy give you this time?
Anya: (very matter of factly) It’s not really the tooth fairy.
Me: Who is it then?
Anya: It’s you.
Noooo… I’m not ready for these magical myths to be busted just yet. 

What are some of the funny, cute, candid and crazy things your kids have said?  I’d love to hear so do leave a comment below.

Have a happy weekend ~ nomita x

easy fruit crafts for kids

Nothing says Summer like some fresh, brightly coloured fruit.  Ice-cold watermelon, bright red strawberries or even the odd fruit daiquri or two enjoyed in the sunshine is what it’s all about.  With the Summer holidays coming up I have DIY’s on the mind and what better than some fun fruit crafts for kids to keep them busy.  So I’ve rounded up 10 of the very best fruity DIY’s – some with free printables for a quick little project and others that are a bit more involved.  Most of these fruit crafts for kids would make great decorations for a fruit themed Summer party too.

fruit themed party ideas

How great are these free printable fruity straw decorations

DIY kids apron

Why not try making this easy DIY potato stamp fruity apron?

fruit themed party printables

These free fruit printables will make fun wall decorations for any Summer party!

fruit crafts for kids

For something a little more involved, these DIY fruit magnets are too cute!

 fruit crafts for children
Fruit isn’t just for eating, it’s for playing with too! Make these free printable fruit toys.

 fruit crafts for kids

Loving these DIY fruity paper plates.  Another great DIY decoration for a fruit themed party.

 fruit themed party ideas
What will you fill these printable fruit gift bags with?

DIY fruit crafts for kids

Wouldn’t these DIY fruit umbrella’s make great little handmade gifts?

DIY fruit party pinatas

These DIY mini watermelon pinatas are cutest pinata’s ever, don’t you think?

fruit themed party free printables

If you want to throw a quick and easy fruit themed party, here’s a free party printable kit ready to go!

P.S. Here’s some more fruit craft ideas in case you haven’t had your fill!

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