Red hot!

Some 30 (or more – yikes!) years after I originally yearned for one – as a Seventies child – I have to say that I’m a total convert to the SodaStream. So, I’m a latecomer.

Instant sparkling water or juices, no bulky plastic bottles and half-empty, half-flat drinks languishing in the fridge … I know many a mama who wouldn’t be without their SodaStream, which has had something of a makeover recently.

The latest models are seriously sleek and take up hardly any space on the kitchen counter. After the initial investment, you obviously save on buying bottles (the syrups work out pretty reasonably, too – I totally threw my Dad the other day when I made him a freshly-fizzing tonic water using the syrup, which prompted him to ask which brand of tonic water we’d bought).

The latest model, the Fizz, goes one, high-tech step further, with an indicator showing you how much gas you have left in your cylinder, plus a ‘Fizz Chip’ that lets you programme the level of fizz in your drink – a ‘Bubble-o-meter’, if you like (my term, not their’s. Obviously.) Love it in American diner-style red (£119.99 online at SodaStream, but other, less pricey models are available at John Lewis, starting at £60).

Plus, on a totally unrelated note, the new, red Fizz totally matches OPI’s shimmering red ned Nail Lacquer in Affair in Red Square. Just an aside …

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Sort out your wardrobe for spring!

We’re not so great at wardrobe organisation. We take our (bent out of shape) hats off to those with colour-co-ordinated rails, clever storage systems and the ability to fold a jumper as perfectly as any Benetton sales assistant. Meanwhile, we’re still trying to find a pair of jeans which neither cuts off our circulation at the waist nor results in inadvertent back and bottom-flashing when getting small children into car seats.

Bring on fashion stylist and nonstopmama Georgie Pincus, who knows a thing or two about wardrobe ‘editing’, as industry pros put it. Georgie’s consultancy, StyleU, offers at-home fashion ‘makeovers’, personal shopping and styling for special occasions and more.

Here, Georgie shares her hot fashion tips for nonstopmamas:

•  Assess everything in your wardrobe. If you haven’t worn it for over a year or it doesn’t fit, it really should go (recycle or donate to charity if possible!).

•  Less is more: the less you have in your wardobe, the easier it is to manage.

•  Jeans are a staple in any busy mum’s wardrobe, but only keep those which fit well and make you feel good. Being a mother of two myself, I now always stick with mid-rise or high-rise styles. These will flatter your midriff and give an even silouhette. Top Shop and Zara sell a fantastic range, as does Mango. For higher end brands, try J Brand, Paige, Citizens and Goldsign.

•  With trousers, a simple, classic, straight cut with a darker wash will work on any figure. A good tip is to make sure you add some colour to your top half, though!

•  Make the most of accessories, especially if you wear a lot of black. Having something colourful close to the face will take years off you. Pearls, too, along with cocktail rings and perspex cuffs will brighten any outfit.

•  Last, but not least, a denim jacket will update any outfit. They were big on the spring/summer 2011 catwalks. Put one with one of the other big trends this season, a floral dress or a nude, pleated skirt. The “boyfriend jacket” never seems to get boring – it’s fab for throwing over a pair of cropped cargo pants, for a more relaxed look.

For more on Georgie’s work or contact her, sashay over to her website at styleu.co.uk.

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Start your engines …

It’s been a looong time coming, for Lightning fans big and small! We can’t wait to see Cars 2, scheduled for release this summer. And it looks like it was totally (as McQueen himself might say) worth the wait, with the inspired casting of Michael Caine as secret agent Fin McMissile (get all the scoop and see the trailer here).

In the meantime, just out on DVD is the Cars movie “short” Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales, featuring nine stories starring the rusty and oh-so-loveable tow truck.

We had a little Lightning fan review the Cars Toon Wii game – based on the DVD storylines - and it went down a storm (especially the feature that lets you customise your own car). That said, they also loved the Disney Cars Mega Memo card set, featuring the much-loved characters from the original movie. Four games in one, pre-schoolers and younger children can mix it up, playing Pairs, a Memory Game and Donkey, as well as doing a jigsaw puzzle with the cards. The set would be great, in fact, to use as part of a Cars themed birthday party.

Proof that family fun definitely doesn’t need to involve a remote control …

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Method ‘spring clean’ – Subscriber giveaway!

Yippee! The sun’s out (although we’re still sitting on top of the radiators at nonstopmama HQ) but – yikes – suddenly, a bit of spring cleaning action seems in order.

We’ve raved about the Method “green” (well, gorgeously multi-coloured, in fact), naturally derived, biodegradable and yummy-smelling (truly) cleaning line-up before. Personally, I wouldn’t be without the All Surface spray (£3), which looks pretty sinkside, makes light work of general clean-ups and smells of lavender. Same for the Tub + Tile (£3), a eucalyptus-scented bathroom cleanser. And the Best In Glass window spray (£4) …

To inspire nonstopmamas on the verge of a spring clean (and, frankly, make the prospect a lot more fun), Method has kindly given us five, fabulous Detox Your Home Kits to give away to email subscribers.

Each fantastic kit contains products worth £23 in total, but is available for £15 at methodproducts.co.uk). It includes a multi-surface cleaner; wood cleaner; hand wash; bathroom cleaner; glass cleaner; all purpose floor cleaner and 30 steel cleaning wipes.

This giveaway is now closed and the winners have been informed.

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Royal polish!

I know I won’t be able to resist posting on all the Royal Wedding-inspired souvenir booty that will be rolled out over the coming weeks, but nonstopmama had to bring you this one right away.

To mark the occasion, Nails Inc. has come up with a limited edition collection of nail polishes. Star of the line-up, I think, is the ‘Kate’ Sapphire Crystal Nail Polish (£15)!

Sporting a ‘blinging’ blue lid inspired by Kate’s engagement ring, the shade itself is a wearable nude. It will be available in stores from 15 March and at the website from the 22nd (the super-keen can hop onto the online waiting list).  Read more.

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    Jenni Baden HowardNonstopmama is edited by Jenni Baden Howard, who has written for and worked on a wide range of British glossies, newspapers and online.

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