Thursday, 17 March 2011

Bon Voyage!

Just 48 hours until we finally head on our long awaited Asian holiday!  So far I have packed ZERO suitcases so the next 48 hours will be incredibly stressful.  I am the worst packer on the face of the planet and will somehow end up with 10 suitcases.  So this will be my last post for a couple of weeks and upon my return I will have many exciting new things to share.  I will try to put up some updates during our trip but not sure when I will have internet and if sites will be blocked.  

The first part of our trip involves a 12 hour plane ride to Shanghai with a little monster who doesn't like to sit.  I don't know how we are going to survive and hope that he sleeps for some of the journey.  We have a Trunki filled with toys and books, a carry on full of snacks, iPad and any other distractions we can find at the airport to entertain him.  Then there is an 8 hour plane ride to Bali and luckily there will be grandparents and aunties on board!  And the last leg is an adventure filled stop at Singapore's Sentosa Island with Universal Studios and Marine Life Park.  Then what I imagine to be a draining 13 hour trip back home.

Can't wait to share all the excitement from our trips soon! xox

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

French Chic in London

I am very much longing for Paris these days.  The last trip I took to Paris is when I was 2 months pregnant and my little monster just turned 15 months today!  The same day Eurostar trips from London to Paris and back are long gone.  I loved just spending the day in Paris and instead of spending money on hotel I would use it all on food and shopping.   I can't imagine doing this with a very active toddler!

Luckily there are plenty of French inspired places all around town to temporarily satisfy my French cravings.  Today the three of us had an incredible late lunch at Aubaine in Brompton Cross.  Just looking at the Brasserie from the outside puts a huge smile on my face as it is the perfect shade of gray!  The decor is a French country shabby chic and has such a warm and cozy feeling.  Walking in my mouth was watering at the sight of the homemade rustic breads and viennoiseries.  You can't imagine the noises my stomach were making when my eyes met the most delicious and beautiful looking patisseries.  

To top it all off, Aubaine is actually super baby friendly!  There were plenty of high chairs and even a baby change room (which I wasn't expecting but willing to sacrifice for the food).  As soon as we sat down they served us with a bread basket which was absolutely delicious.  Must be some of the best breads I've ever tasted!  They did not have a children's menu but the chef made the little monster a croque monsieur which wasn't even on the menu served with the yummy french fries!  Hubby and I shared an artichoke/tomato/mozeralla/rocket salad and the lobster pasta with fresh handmade spaghetti.  I'm going to be dreaming of the meal tonight.  (I know I'm the worst blogger because I once again forgot my camera.  You have to use your imagination on this one!)

And then we were presented with the dessert tray which was pretty evil since I'm "on" Weight Watchers.  How can you possibly say no when presented with a huge slate tray filled with goodies!  So of course we split the chocolate eclair three ways and the little monster spent the rest of the day in chocolate covered clothes.

Locations in Brompton Cross, High Street Kensington, Selfridges, and Regent Street

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Rock et Roll * Zadig et Voltaire

One of the coolest and most bad ass French brands that I adore is Zadig et Voltaire.  It is always one of the shops that I have to go to when I am in Paris.  I was so excited when I moved to London because there are actually several Z et V shops in town and I get to pop in all the time.  What is even cooler is that they do a line for kids/baby so even your little ones can look like a chic little French rocker.

I especially love all the statement Z et V tops: finely knit sweaters, luxurious cashmere, and super soft cotton tshirts.  There is always something so cool on their tops such as their signature skull, shimmery butterfly, guitar or catchy word/phrase.  All of this is done in such a chic and stylish manner where the pieces are young but not middle school young.  I tend to wear a pretty monochromatic wardrobe (grey, black, white, navy) and their signature collection is done in the neutrals I love but with an edge that give it that je ne sais quoi!  

There are even Z et V outlets!  A sale shop just opened up on Kings Road and I got to go the outlet outside of Euro Disney too.

Monday, 14 March 2011

7 A.M. Enfant

There is absolutely no way I would have made it through this cold, snowy, long and miserable winter without my Le Sac Igloo by 7 A.M. Enfant.  Without this sac it would have been really difficult to leave the house and my little monster would have icicles dangling off of him.  It is basically like a puffy down jacket that is lined with fleece and is windproof and waterproof.  What is so great is that there is a removable layer of fleece inside so it is easy to adjust for the weather without having to remove the whole sac off the buggy.  There is a hood that adds extra warmth and can be unzipped when not needed.  It fits on all of my different buggies (Bugaboo Cameleon + Bee and Maclaren Zodiac) without a problem.

My Le Sac Igloo has travelled around the world with me from New York to London to Euro Disney to super cold and snowy Zurich.  It's definitely time for a good wash and hopefully I get to put it away soon if it stays warm out.  I purchased a size large and fingers crossed it will still fit the little monster next winter!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Not So Baby Bag

As a handbag fanatic it is really hard to bring myself to use one of those totally utilitarian baby bags.  Definitely since the arrival of the little monster the handbag budget has be severely cut back and I'm just not as obsessed as I used to be.  Don't get me wrong I am still a huge bag lover but I just don't have the time to be completely addicted!  To be totally honest, I don't even really know what the latest it bag is anymore! But that doesn't mean that I will leave the house with just anything because a beautiful bag still puts a huge smile on my face.

My definition of a baby bag is that as long as it holds all the baby crap I need to leave the house, can fit over my shoulder and if I can somehow hang if off the Bugaboo, then to me it is 100% a baby bag.  That way I can still use a bag that I love without having to sacrifice style.  I do own the Anya Hindmarch Oakley and this is the only actual baby bag that I have.  I just love how it looks and it is actually a really practical bag!  The Balenciaga City and Givenchy Nightingale can hold a ton of stuff and has the bonus of a removable shoulder strap.  This makes it much easier to hang off of a buggy.  I can never have enough totes and I absolutely love the Vanessa Bruno sequin tote and the Lanvin Amalia.  Both are super French chic.  The Tory Burch Tory Tote is a great size and comes in so many fun and fabulous color combinations.

I use the Storksak Stroller Clips, Thing King Buggy Hooks, or the Mommyhook to help hang my handbags off the Bugaboo.  These are all so handy and can turn any bag into a baby bag.

Can't wait for the diaper days to be over and can go back to using any bag my heart desires!

Balenciaga Giant City

Anya Hindmarch Oakley

Givenchy Nightingale,default,pd.html

Lanvin Amalia,default,pd.html

Tory Burch Tory Tote,default,pd.html?dwvar_32109522_color=607&start=18&cgid=accessories-handbags-totes

Vanessa Bruno Linen Tote

Storksak Clips

Think King Buggy Hook

Mommy Hook

Friday, 11 March 2011

A Little Bit of Luck

I will admit that I am just a little bit superstitious.  I mean who can't use some extra luck around here?  I always wear at least one piece of jewelry with an evil eye.  It is believed in many cultures that when someone looks at you with envy, jealousy, or dislike then that will cause you to have some bad luck.  Wearing an evil eye will protect you from this.

These are some pieces that I am currently loving!  The Aaron Basha bracelets have always been one of my favorites, especially the little diamond charm on the red silk string.  I'm notorious for losing things and the iLuck bracelets are only about $30, so I don't feel too guilty if I loose one (which I have done a couple times).  Sydney Evan has a super stylish collection called Devout that offers pieces in a large price range.  Her beaded bracelets are just so much fun.  Barney and Net-a-Porter have got some more pricey pieces by Vanessa Kandiyoti and Ileana Makri that are simply stunning.

What are your superstitions?

Thursday, 10 March 2011

My Secret Weapons

Chantecaille Rose Water
Chantecaille Vital Essence

Chantecaille Water Flower Fluid
Chantecaille Rice and Geranium Foaming Cleanser
Chantecaille Stress Repair
Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask
Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes

Hair, Bath, and Body
Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter and Soapy Suds
Rene Furterer Volumea Shampoo
Kiehls Hair Conditioner and Grooming Aid Formula 133
Bliss Slimulator

Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss
Chantecaille Aquablush
Chantecaille Le Stylo
Shu Uemura Mascara Basic
Shu Uemura Precise Volume Mascara Waterproof
Chantecaille Lip Potion
Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer
Laura Mercier Eyelash Curler

I just don't seem to have the time to spend on making myself look half decent anymore.  A good beauty day for me is not having my hair on top of my head in a big mess, which is like never.  No matter how little time I have I never leave the house without curling my eyelashes with the Laura Mercier Eyelash Curler (I would literally die without this), one coat of Shu Uemura Mascara Basic (a mascara primer that holds the curl and top coat), Shu Uemura Waterproof Mascara, and a quick swipe of Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss.  This routine literally takes about 2 minutes and just makes me feel a little more together.  If I have an extra minute the Chantecaille Le Stylo eyeliner is super easy to apply and has a great tip.  At night if I'm too tired to do the whole face cleansing routine (most nights) the Simple Facial Wipes do the trick.  Great thing with the Simple wipes is that they usually are on promotion at Boots.

If you can't tell, I'm a huge Chantecaille addict!  I've been using their skincare for years and my skin has really been amazing with their products.  They are quite pricey but the products really do last a long time and I think worth every single penny.  The Vital Essence is great because it evens out my skin tone and any red blotches disappear.  The Stress Repair Eye Cream is like magic and seriously expensive but it lasts forever!  I use the Lip Potion at night as it helps keeps my lips moist without waking with that thick waxy layer.  When I get a chance the Bliss Triple Oxygen Energizing Mask is really refreshing.  It is a gel consistency when you put it on and starts fizzing and bubbling.  You can really feel it working!

I'm also a huge fan of the Rene Furterer hair products, but they have been increasingly difficult to find.  The shampoos leave your hair silky, smooth, and super shiny.  If I have the energy the Bliss Slimulator is my attempt at combating cellulite.  Not sure if I use it enough to work but it makes me feel like I'm doing something.  I love the smell of the Bliss Lemon + Sage line and they are available in the jumbo pack with body lotion and Soapy Suds.  The Kiehls Grooming Aid 133 is great because it functions as both a wash out or leave in conditioner and leaves your hair really smooth. 

If we are going out (this is very very rare) I just layer onto the usual makeup routine.  The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is pretty fool proof which is great because I'm totally challenged at putting on makeup and the Secret Concealer to cover up my dark circles.  Chantecaille Aquablush which slide on pretty easily and them I'm out the door.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Heaven on Walton Street

Cashmere Baby Cardigan
Cashmere Pram Blanket
Cot Bumper
Changing Mat
Travel Bag
Hooded Towel
Travel Change Mat
Hooded Bath Towel

I always love walking down Walton Street in Knightsbridge and checking out all cute little boutiques there.  There are a couple of baby shops that on that street which I just can't resist.  My absolute favorite baby store in London has got to be the Nursery Window.  I just love the adorable little bunny logo and that fact that it is so perfectly English.  I'm not a super traditional gal but there is something so sweet and innocent about this shop that keeps me coming back.  Above are my favorite items from the Nursery Window that I have for Andy and use almost on a daily basis.  All of the items are really well made and the cottons, wools, and cashmere are all great quality.  

We have some family visit from out of town and the weather was so lovely today.  We walked up Walton Street today on our way to Harrods and of course I had to pop into the Nursery Window.  I adore the cashmere bunny cardigan and the largest size they carried was 6-12 months.  Unfortunately this is much to small for Andy and the sweet woman working in the shop saw me agonizing over this.  She called the woman who hand knits the cardigan and special ordered me a larger size in a heather gray!  I'm so excited and can't wait to pick it up in a couple weeks time.  We also picked up the hooded towel poncho for his upcoming holiday and swim classes.  It's super practical and can be quickly tossed on when he gets out of the water.  

The only problem now is how I'm going to stop myself from buying something when I go back to collect the cardigan.

83 Walton Street

Monday, 7 March 2011

Playroom Furniture Dilema

I have been on the hunt for a kiddie table and chairs set for months now!  Half of our living room is taken up by buggy, toys, and other crap and this table set has to go in there too.  I'm having trouble finding something I can stand looking at everyday.  In the UK there just isn't the selection I am used to having in the states and trying to get things shipped here isn't an option.  The shipping costs a fortune if you can even find someone willing to ship and then HM Revenue and Customs will make you pay big time for importing.  There are a lot of traditional painted white sets but I find it so boring, but I might have no choice but to settle.

I found this simple and gorgeous play table set by Jennifer Delonge and of course it's only available in the good ole USA.  I'm totally about to cry because I can't have it.  I really want the orange set as it will add that punch of color that my living room is desperate for.  The table goes for $199 and the stool at $59 each.  It's a big chunk of change but I would totally go for it just because it is so freaking cute.  A girl can dream!

If anyone in the UK finds any super cute playroom furniture please send me the details!  I'm completely out of ideas as to where I should be looking.

I Heart Vilebrequin

Only 10 more days until we finally get out of town and hit some warm weather!  London has been lovely and sunny the past couple of days but it is still freezing out.  I'm so excited because my boys will finally get to wear their matching Vilebrequins!  I can't wait to see them in action and I will be stalking them and snapping away like a lunatic.  When I was pregnant, every time we walked past the Vilebrequin boutiques on Fulham Road or Royal Arcade my husband and I would "ooh and ahh" and just dream of our little boy wearing those cute swim trunks.  The purple starfish trunks I received as a baby shower gift and always held the little ones up to my belly.  I still can't believe Andy is big enough to fit into them already.  French children's clothing tends to run small and Vilebrequins start at size 2.  I scored the lime green turtle trunks at the Vilebrequin outlet near Disneyland Paris over the holidays!  So lucky I was able to get a matching pair.  I just don't have the heart to pay full price for these swim trunks (retails at $110 for boys/$200 for men) and I'm always looking for a deal.  I am going to sign up Andy for swim classes in the spring so I will make sure I get the most wear out of these swim trunks!

Vilebrequin London Boutiques
56 Fulham Road

Burlington Arcade
Unit 1/2

Unit 26
Royal Exchange

Also available at Selfridges, Harrods, and Harvey Nichols