What Emma did next …

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Now here’s some great Christmas list inspiration – the sort of book any mama (or mama’s mama, girlfriend, daughter …) would LOVE to receive …

Life & Soul by Emma ForbesI am love, love, LOVING Life & Soul by Emma Forbes – TV and radio presenter and founder of the Forbes Style site – packed with ideas for entertaining to suit every occasion, and making the very most of every excuse to celebrate.

Helpfully, the book takes you through 12 themed gatherings, with recipes, fresh ideas and tips.

Emma tackles each celebration from start to finish – it’s all in the fun, lovely details – with infectious enthusiasm and flair, suggesting ways to create original invitations through to thoughtful, quirky ideas for going home goodies!

As Emma shows, some of the most effective ideas can be the most simple – from filling enormous glass vases and bowls with sweets such as Quality Street for guests to dive into (fab for a bonfire night party!) with their gorgeous, colourful wrappers shimmering, to using pretty ‘rick-rack’ trim to tie ‘take home’ birthday cake in napkins – and to suit all budgets. It’s all beautifully done.

To mark the launch of Emma’s new book, I thought we’d re-post the interview with did with her last summer here at nonstopmama. And don’t miss the book (I’m keeping ours locked down, such is it’s popularity with friends when they pop by!). You can order it at Amazon, or – if you’re quick off the mark – buy a signed copy at Forbes Style!

How did you come to be a TV and radio presenter?

I sort of fell into telly presenting – I had originally wanted to be a dancer, but gave it up due to injuries and because I wasn’t Darcy Bussell! The TV world was very exciting, with all the new channels, and I started to have a real passion for it. So I just wrote and wrote to people and the BBC were the people to give me a ‘break’, cooking on kids’ telly!

How do you manage the family/home/work juggle?

What helps me manage the ‘juggle’ of kids and work is a massive ‘to do’ list! I have been known to wake up in the night and add to it and I have endless Post-It notes with things to do on them –  I can’t say it’s a hugely organised list, but it’s ongoing! I think, like all things, the juggle works sometimes and other times, if one child is sick or the slightest thing goes wrong, then it can all go pear-shaped very easily!

Food-wise, what helps you keep your energy levels up?

Nutritionally, I am a bit of a health food junkie – always the first to experiment with any new health food that comes out,  flax seeds, you name it. I try to do healthy snacking or grazing – fruit, nuts and so on -but the odd Starbucks on route helps too, with a caffeine fix! I always, always eat breakfast – granola (I love Lizi’s organic granola), with flax seeds, blueberries and skimmed milk and roobosh tea. I always feel if I have eaten that it gives me the kick I need to get started. If I don’t eat breakfast, I would be crying by 11am …

What are your sneaky food weaknesses?

Carbs – ideally I would live off carbs –  bread, pasta …  I sometimes sneak in the odd cupcake (life’s too short without cupcakes). And chocolate I love, too. I feel if I eat Green and Blacks organic chocolate, it is somehow healthier for me!

Do you enjoy cooking?

I love cooking – I find it de-stressing. I know that sounds weird, but it helps me focus my thoughts, unwind and think about stuff. I guess I just don’t stress about it. I am a haphazard family cook – I tend to have little plan, buy what I like the look of and sort of hurl it together and hope it comes out ok! I get so tired of ‘fussy eaters’ – mine are great at eating, but they have friends over who tend to eat such limited food . So, as a quick and easy – but fun – thing for kids, I do what they call my ‘pasta bar’: I just boil up a huge bowl of some kind of pasta and then put out all sorts of little bowls with all different things in it – parmesan, chopped mozarella, olives, chopped carrots, tomatoes, chopped cooked bacon, you name it – and then they can add and make their own variation! A bit of olive oil and there you have it! There is always something in there that someone likes!

What about exercise?

Fitness-wise, I hate the gym. I have to be honest and say I would prefer it if I didn’t have to exercise, but I know I have to! I do yoga – more for relaxation and stretching than the exercise, and I power walk. I gets me outside and I stomp around a park and it feels good! I would love to try all sorts of things but have a bad back ,which means I can’t do things like spinning or Power Plate …

How would you describe your fashion style?

My fashion style is hard to pinpoint. I guess I am sort of classic with a modern twist! I don’t suit high fashion stuff, classic shapes tend to suit me better. I have my staples of endless black jackets – in different shapes! – t-shirts and jeans in varying styles. Day to day, that tends to be the look.

Any go-to favourites that always make you feel good?

I have a couple of things that are my feel good clothes – they are normally always something that my husband has bought me, as he has great taste and chooses me the clothes that last. I have a fab black coat I love  and two dresses that I know even on a day when I feel fat and ugly will make me feel human!

What helps you stay on top of things at home – are you a neatnik or more relaxed about the chaos of family living?

Around the home, I am a bit of a neat freak – or a ‘faffer’ as someone named me. I love ‘faffing’ – sorting things out, drawers, you name it. I don’t mind chaos, but I like it then cleared away and get quite a lot of satisfaction from doing it. My kids, by and large, are pretty neat too – my rule is if you leave it on the floor tossed away, then you clearly don’t want it and I will give it to charity. It may sound harsh, but trust me, it works!! They are both pretty good at keeping things neat! Chaos is good, but I couldn’t sleep with chaos …

What are your get-glowing beauty tricks?

When it comes to beauty steadfasts, I am never far away from a tube of Eight Hour Cream, or Carmex for the lips and I love moisturiser. I would never go to bed without slapping on huge amounts of moisturiser – particularly as I get older. I try to be really careful in the sun, too. I always have factor 30 on my face and wonder why I come back from holidays so pale!

How do you unwind at the end of the day?

What helps me unwind is just chilling out with my family. I find that childrens’ laughter, tales of school and all the general stories make me laugh and take away from the mayhem and madness of the media career! I love watching a good movie – ideally a chick flick that makes me laugh and cry – good food, good friends and a hot bath and bed!

For Emma’s latest tips, ideas and gift ideas, visit forbestyle.com. You can also follow her on twitter  @EmmaForbes.

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One Giant leap for healthy eating (sorry, that’s it with the sweetcorn puns now, promise!)

Thanks to everyone who has already posted their ‘five-a-day’ healthy eating tips at nonstopmama – keep them coming!! – as part of our fab Green Giant competition to win an Abel & Cole veggie box!

A quick update: Green Giant are also inviting families in the Manchester area to pop by this weekend to ‘high five’ the jolly green chap himself on a suitably giant screen at the Trafford Centre.

Accompanying the Giant in all his green glory will be world champion hurdler Colin Jackson. Rather impressively, Colin has an Olympic silver medal in the 110 metre hurdles, is a two-time Commonwealth champion and three time world champion (although, as we all know, the mum’s race on sports day is the most daunting sporting challenge, requiring as it does nerves of steel, a decent bra and go-faster trainers, preferably spiked, to be casually whipped out at the very last minute).

Colin, the Giant and the team will be giving away height charts, recipes and coupons at the event.

Green encounter or not, don’t forget to post your tips (they don’t need to be about sweetcorn!) – all Comments will be entered into the comp! You can also share ideas with other mums on the Green Giant Facebook page.

Terms and conditions of the competition as per the previous post.

This is a sponsored post.

 

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Jolly good idea: WIN an Abel & Cole Hamper!

Ah, the Jolly Green Giant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A reassuringly unchanged childhood icon, who – when you stop and look at him closely – has a touch of the Peter Pans about him, standing as he has – since the Sixties! – legs astride and hands on hips, in his green pixi boots and leafy costume (almost a green spray-tanned Tarzan).

Fast forward to today, and the Green Giant is still very much on form and now taking an active role in encouraging families to aim for the ‘five a day, every day’ goal to ensure they get their recommended intake of fruit and veggies.

Honestly (and not simply because we are running this competition with Green Giant), sweetcorn is one of the easiest options I’ve found in getting my children to get their veggies. It’s a failsafe favourite and always gets finished, whether served on its own as a side or mixed into pasta or rice or sprinkled over pizzas. It’s so versatile and Green Giant is what I remember us always having in our larder growing up.

So, how do you encourage your children to get their ‘five-a-day’?

Share your tips with other nonstopmamas in the Comments below this post and you will be entered into a competition to win a fab Abel & Cole vegetable box and Green Giant goodies to enjoy.

In the meantime, check out the Green Giant Facebook page where parents can find and share more tips!

Do share your tips, ideas or recipes – I’d love to hear them (and you might win the veggie box!).

Terms and conditions (the official bit!): For your chance to win an Abel & Cole vegetable box , write your best tips/hints/advice in the blogger comment box before the  14/11/2011. Entrants must be over 18 and residents of the UK or ROI – Prize is one Abel & Cole vegetable box (no cash alternative) – There will be 1 winner. The winning post will be decided based on the following criteria: uniqueness/creativity/originality. By entering the competition, you agree that your hint/tip may be shared on Green Giant’s Facebook page and used by Green Giant in any other media.

This is a sponsored post.

This competition has now closed.

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Thank you for the music …

Have you played ‘spot the iconic music player’ in the new John Lewis ad yet?

In case you haven’t (or you just want to watch it again) …

Oh, the nostalgia of the homemade tape cassette compilation (recorded – badly – from the radio Top 40 countdown) … summer holidays spent sunbathing in the back garden, with the yellow Sony sports walkman plugged in my ears …

Doesn’t it jog some memories?!

Speaking of John Lewis, the Oxford Street store will be holding a special Half Term Book Reading And Signing with Julia Donaldson, Children’s Laureate and author of The Gruffalo, on Wednesday 26 October, from 11.30 am to 3 pm.

The event is part of a week of fun to celebrate the launch of the store’s new Fun On Four children’s floor.

Lots of fun for little fans of you know who, with the terrible tusks and terrible claws! …

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Good, clean fun!

Anything which encourages reluctant little bathers to scrub up at the end of a long day gets the nonstopmama seal of approval (and our eternal gratitude).

Along with a bath full of plastic deep sea divers, Toy Story figurines, ‘squirty’ cars et al, we’ve got a new trick up our (soaking wet) sleeves: a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner which smells of bananas and custard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… from clever Naked Body Care.

Or you could go for strawberry jam ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another bonus: the shampoos are naturally-based, super-gentle and reasonably priced (£2.99 a pop).

Also rather lovely is this new, all-in-one PK Shampoo & Body Wash, formulated by Philip Kingsley, who beauty insiders know is The Man when it comes to all things hair and trichological …

It’s a pricer at £17.95 bottle, but it is super-chunky and, being a pump dispenser, slightly less likely to end up being wasted when it (inevitably) falls into the bath.

Getting them out of the tub might be slightly trickier …

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    Jenni Baden HowardA daily one-stop bloggy shot of busy mama beauty, fashion, fitness, food and family, edited by Jenni Baden Howard. More.

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