Goodbye nonstopmamas, but not farewell!

Five years ago to the day (a fact I honestly only just realised this morning!), I launched nonstopmama.

Annabel Karmel My ever-patient, much more technically competent (and still is), bleary-eyed husband made the website live in the early hours of the morning and we were off, with an interview with Annabel Karmel, left (thanks, Annabel! Sadly, my pittas still fall apart …).

Here’s the link to that very first post, for the memory! :D

Nonstopmama has been a place where my work life, as a freelance beauty and lifestyle writer, and family life as an always-running-late, working from home mama collided.

From the outset, I wanted nonstopmama to a fun, bright, uplifting place where busy mamas could dip in for beauty and fashion news, feel-good fun and ideas for family and home in the mix.

And it’s been wonderful.

But, yes, it’s time to move on (*reaches for kitchen roll. Never have tissues when you need them …*).

It’s been SO much fun, but after lots of juggling and wanting to do right by my family, friends and balancing all this with my work as a freelance writer, I know it’s the right decision and it’s one I’ve thought and prayed long and hard about.

As well as continuing to write for magazines and online, as I’ve always done, I have ideas about other for possible adventures in writing, encouraging and sharing, all of which I know I need to take the time to give space to (and then get down to! :D).

So, this goes out with HUGE gratitude for the love, support and kindness of my husband, children and all the family, friends, colleagues and new friends I’ve had the great fun and privilege of meeting and making through nonstopmama over the years.

I want to thank EVERYONE, those who have been with us for years and those who’ve just stumbled upon the blog, for being part of the journey and all the fun!

A very special shout out goes to the amazing, super-talented, incredibly kind and lovely to work with Krista Madden, founder of Handpicked Future, who called me on one of my first days after going live to invite me to be a part of her exciting new collective of ‘handpicked’ bloggers and channels. Krista and the also fabulous Debbie Djordjevic don’t just know their online onions, they’re always many steps ahead. I have endless admiration for what they do, and am truly grateful for the all the wonderful opportunities they’ve given to me and nonstopmama over the past five years.

I’ll still be writing online and tweeting, pinning and instagramming, as well as freelance writing for the various magazines I contribute regularly too, including Health & Fitness, Baby London, Little London and others.

A BIG thank you again, and a VERY big thank you for having been part of the fun at nonstopmama!

It’s meant very much!

PS: I just realised I managed to work The Sound Of Music into the title of this post. Please insert ‘So long’ in place of ‘Goodbye’ in the title and add sweeping staircase and Alpine view …

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Chelsea Boot trend: Rocket Dog Camilla Bromley

Chelsea boot trend: Rocket Dog Camilla Bromley

If you’re looking for a new pair of practical, go-anywhere, with-anything boots look no further than the Chelsea boot trend this autumn, nonstopmamas!

Rocket Dog Camilla Bromley Chelsea Boots (£64)

We sneak previewed these recently in our round-up of the best new school run boots, and since then we’ve had the chance to give them a test (school) run!

We’ve been wearing them with everything and they’re just perfect for transitioning into autumn. The styling is great: classic, not too chunky and with just the right, mid-height, heel which looks as though it will withstand a season of wet school runs!

Throw these on with tights and end-of-summer dresses (just to eek them out a little longer!), skinny jeans (their ankle cut is super-flattering) and, as things get colder, we’ll be wearing them with thick tights and woolly jumpers and layers.

They’re comfy (I’ve got wide feet, so anything other than sheepskin boots start to feel snug on me after a few hours) and warm, plus the tartan insole is a lovely, seasonal touch …

Photo 4

Here’s a better look at them (away from autumn leaf-kicking!) …

Chelsea Boot trend: Rocket Dog Camilla Bromley

The biker zip detail is fun (and yes, we did try to do them up when we first tried them on *doh*) and very on-trend, too.

This style is super-easy to pull on and off, which makes them even more practical for mums on the school run.

Definitely a by-the-front-door autumn/winter favourite!

The Rocket Dog Camilla Bromley boots are available online at, along with a wide range of other new autumn/winter styles.

With thanks to Rocket Dog for inviting nonstopmama to review a pair of their new autumn/winter boots.

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Frozen Lip Balms by Lipsmacker

Frozen Lip Balms by Lipsmacker

New Frozen Lip Balms by Lipsmacker!

The Anna and Elsa-approved way of keeping winter lips chap-free and arriving by sleigh (obviously) at Claire’s …

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Petit Bateau Fifi Lapin T-shirt – sneak preview!

Petit Bateau Fifi Lapin T-shirt collaboration between Petit Bateau and blogger Fifi Lapin autumn winter 2014

Posting this right away, as we think it’s so adorable!

Petit Bateau, that nonstopmama childrenswear favourite, has collaborated with blogger Fifi Lapin to produce a super-cute, limited edition Petit Bateau Fifi Lapin T-Shirt collection.

Available for girls (£18) and Women, as pictured above (£30), they feature the classic, simple crew neck cut and unbelievably soft-touch cotton Petit Bateau are famous for.

The Petit Beateau Fifi Lapin T-Shirt range will be available from 13 November at selected Petit Bateau stores on 13 November (while the bunny stocks last!).

Trop sweet!

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Weekend Links

How to wear tartan with Boden, Boden Isla Dress plaid dress autumn 2014

It’s Friday, and (almost!) half-term!!

I know you’re going to be busier than ever over the coming week, nonstopmamas, but we’ll be here with lots of fun and inspiration – starting with a few fun reads to enjoy this weekend!

*  A couple of videos in the mix this week: first, this from Boden’s You Tube channel, showing how to wear this season’s tartan trend.

From Boden How to wear plaid video

How cute is the detailing on the plaid mini, in the screen shot, above?!

I also love the idea of that tartan dress (pictured top of post) for Christmas day – there’s something just so nostalgic about it. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of a long, classic tartan dress that my mother made me for a school Christmas party which I never got to go to because I had earache (but I got the goodies from Santa afterwards!). I wore and loved it for years. Funny how we remember those things …

I LOVE how, in the video, it’s teamed with a super-slim glittery belt! (PS: I’ve just noticed, the Isla dress is now on sale, too!).

*  I LOVE this piece by Joanna Goddard on her wonderful Cup of Jo blog giving the scoop on her ‘Beauty Uniform’. Some great make-up tip offs (going to have to try those Tarte bases and that Korres lip colour!

From Joanna Goddard Cup Of Jo blog

I forgot how much I love Korres – we need to get a nonstopmama interview up with its gorgeous, Greek-born founder, Lena Korres. I interviewed her for the Telegraph years ago, when Korres first came to the UK, and she’s as lovely as this beautiful, naturally-based range itself.

*  On a serious but seriously motivational note, this statistic about the role of exercise in helping to reduce the risk of breast cancer caught my eye on Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity Facebook page this week. Raise your pulse, lower your risk - a great message!

More on autumn ways to squeeze a little pulse-raising activity into your busy day coming soon, nonstopmamas!

*  Making it both easy and fun to go for healthier family cooking, nonstopmama can heartily recommend Jessica Seinfeld’s awesome Do It Delicious site. I’ve bookmarked the Brussel Sprout Chips and Lidia’s Marinara Sauce, as I’m already a fan of Jess’s classic marinara in her book, Can’t Cook Book (a post for another time!).

*  Got any tricky pre-teen boys to buy for this Christmas? Check out this round-up by Tara at Sticky Fingers (I can see how these would go down well …).

*  Lastly, something to make you laugh from one of our fave You Tube channels: this (all too real) video by The Holderness Family on attempting to make a Pinterest-worthy autumn wreath for your front door.

Permission to opt for the Homebase option!

Happy weekend!!

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Leather look leggings trend

Leather look leggings trend ZARA

Nonstopmamas, the new leather look leggings trend is made for busy mamas. They’re super-comfy, can be worn in lots of ways and will take you from school run to party, depending on how you dress them up (or down).

How to wear the leather look leggings trend

Leather look leggings look great worn with boots of all lengths – from flats and sneakers to heels. They work brilliantly with boots, from this season’s short style to longer boots and cowboys – and with cosy-casual layering of jumpers, sweaters (my favourite look – I like to keep my bottom covered!) and big scarves, or with the sharpest winter coat.

They come in a variety of finishes, from matte to super-shiny, and I love the look of contrasting textures when they’re teamed with knits.

Here are 3 great picks.

3 of the best leather look leggings

1. ZARA Faux Leather Legging With Zips (£25.99)

Leather look leggings trend ZARA


I love the finish on these: not too matte, not super-glossy. The zips are cute, too (pictured top of post, also).

2.  New Look Black Leather Look High Waisted Leggings (£12.99)

Leather look leggings trend New Look

An amazing price, I’ve had a pair of these (or very similar) and they’ve washed and worn really well. Loving with the high waist too – cosy and helps a nonstopmama feel a little more covered when she’s running about!

3.  SPANX Ready-To-Wow Faux Leather Leggings (£89)

Leather look leggings trend Spanx

The über-fabulous US mama website Cool Mom Picks switched us onto these, and now we’re obsessed with trying them. Promising the look of the moment and extra support, we’ll report back on these!

The nonstopmama style verdict on the leather look leggings trend? They’re the skinny jeans of autumn/winter 2014!

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