Pass the popcorn …

Shrek The Final Chapter in 3DHot on the heels of our Half Term Hot List last week, nonstopmama recommends checking out the National Family Week website, where you can snag some fab deals and discounts on a wide range of family activities and days out from 31 May until 6 June. Offers include theme parks, zoos, wildlife parks, museums and heritage sights and the ever-popular Go Ape! high-wire adventure (kids go half price at selected locations nationwide, find your nearest and get the booking code here).

As part of the event, the Family Week Film Day on Sunday 6 June offers an opportunity to catch the upcoming Shrek Forever After in 3D (scheduled for release on 2 July), at one of many exclusive screenings nationwide – for more info and to book, click here.

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Get the picture

Doodle Numbers by Taro GomiThis is such a sweet book. An original alternative to regular, fill-in-the-blanks educational books for pre-schoolers, Doodle Numbers by Taro Gomi encourages children to, for example, draw two puppies by an empty (doodled) kennel. Or add in 10 houses on a pre-sketched street. Or write the number three on a boy’s shirt, and so on. The big, sketchbook format is so different and gives the whole thing a fun, colouring book feel. And there are four other books in the series, based on the same idea. We love it!

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Introducing: the SPANX swimsuit!

SPANX Slimming SwimwearWhen we heard that SPANX had done swimsuits, we joked we’d be tempted to wear them around the clock. Actually, we nearly did. They’re not kidding when they warn you, on the tag, “our one piece suits are snug to put on, but comfortable once you’re in!”. But, true to their word, the ‘Slimming Swimsuit’ we tried (pictured – and not on us), was so comfy, we wore it with jeans for the rest of the day (ignoring the odd raised eyebrow at the school gate. Maybe it made us a little too confident). As well as holding in our ‘mummy-tummy’ (which we’ve always had, in truth) just enough to make us feel less self-conscious than we would usually, it remained comfortable all day – without feeling tight or digging in anywhere – and stayed in place.

At the top end of the range, SPANX Slimming Swimsuits cost around £155 and are available online from and Selected styles are also available at HarrodsJohn Lewis and Selfridges. We’ll be looking at other “body-shaping” cossies, in all price ranges, over the coming weeks. Watch this (tight) space …

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Five minutes with … Chloë Butcher

Chloë Butcher, make-up artist, and her daughtersAs nonstopmama loves getting the expert scoop on up-against-the-clock beauty, we jumped at the chance to interview Chloë Butcher, nonstopmama and hotly sought after make-up artist. Chloë’s work has appeared in glossies including Marie Claire and ELLE and has graced countless international catwalks, pop videos and red carpets.

With two little girls to keep her on her toes (pictured), there’s not much Chloë doesn’t know about getting glowing when you’re going flat out. She also offers one-to-one beauty workshops – “the Make Up Makeover”, as part of the Velvet And Gold consultancy.

‘As with clothes, we like to wear less make up as temperatures get hotter,’ says Chloë. ‘Most women opt for the ever popular natural finish. The spring/summer 2010 shows were all about effortless grooming and, luckily, it is something that can be quickly and easily achieved. The key to this look is a fresh and glowing complexion, with flushed cheeks and natural eyes.’.

Here, Chloë’s shares her insider’s secrets for it’s-nearly-summer beauty with nonstopmama:

• Invest in a primer. It will not feel like a heavy extra layer, as they are designed to be very light and smooth. It will ensure that your make up will stay in place and not slip and slide when you are out in the heat.

• Try swapping your normal foundation for a tinted moisturiser. This will still give your skin coverage, but without feeling heavy or clogged when the sun hits your face.

• If you would like to use a foundation, try something light, sheer and waterproof, such as MAC’s Face and Body Foundation (£23).

• Bronzer makes your eyes look brighter, teeth whiter and gives your skin that holiday glow. Dust a powdered bronzer over the areas that the sun hits your face, such as forehead, cheek bones, nose and chin. Alternatively, use a cream bronze on the apples of your cheeks and blend softly up and out.

• Use a cream blush on your cheeks for a fresh, youthful look and a dusting of powder over the T-Zone.

• Curl your lashes and use a good waterproof mascara, such a Max Factor False Lash Effect, Waterproof (£10.99) in black.

• Finish the look with a gloss or sheer lipstick in nude, beige or pink tones.

• If you feel daring, apply a splash of colour to your eyes. Purple, yellow or pink are fun and playful and look great on tanned skin.

• Keep a water spray in your handbag, to freshen and revive you.

For more on Chloë”s professional work, visit her fab site at Find out about one-to-one make-up consultations, go to

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Flower power

Flowerpot Tangle TeezerAs effective as it is super-cute (we know it’s meant for little girls, but we admit we love it, too), the new Tangle Teezer Magic Flowerpot makes light, fast work of  just-got-up cot/bed hair. You pull out the flower to reveal the brush, based on the original and totally genius Tangle Teezer, which detangles without pulling or scratchiness. Clips, bands etc. can be stored in the pot, too (if your little petal is that tidy). It costs £12.99 (a small price to pay for calmer, brighter brushing) and is available from (check out the grown-up brushes, too, in funky pink and basic black).

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