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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Bon appétit, c’est French Week at Lidl!

Lidl French Week 2014

Hands down, one of our favourite things about family hols abroad is the supermarket shopping.

Seriously. I LOVE browsing the aisles and making discoveries, trying little bits of this and slices of that and drooling over the patisserie – while my husband gets lost in the wine aisle! – to take back to our hotel for a sneaky picnique in the room, or to the campsite to enjoy on the deck.

Yesterday, we did exactly that- except we weren’t in France, but at Lidl, where it’s French Week in store until 4 October! We were invited to check out the fantastique, limited edition offerings in store and put together a French-inspired family meal. Read more.

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“It’s a Bundt!” My Big Fat Greek Wedding moment …

Coconut and Pecan Pound Cake

Last week on Instagram, I shared the fulfilment of a long-awaited dream: to make a Bundt cake, as per My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Classic movie moment, classic cake, so I thought I’d share it on the blog!

In this case, a Coconut And Pecan Pound Cake, one of many recipes I can’t wait to try out in Relish, by new mama Daphne Oz (daughter of the famous Dr!).

Super-easy, as it turns out, to make (especially in a stand mixer! Cheating? I don’t think so …) and lovely when served fresh from the oven and covered with the still-warm glaze and a dusting of icing sugar.

The gorgeously sunny day and pot of Earl Grey alongside helped.

A quick mention about the pan (this one): I’ve got to say it’s outstanding: really solid, and, as such, less likely to burn your Bundt :)

Treat yourself!

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Patisserie Valerie – c’est magnifique!

Patisserie Valerie window display

When I lived around the corner from the original Patisserie Valerie in Soho, I often used to dive in for a hunk of the most AMAZING panettone – all year round! – and a bowl-sized cappuccino.

Now there are over 50 branches of “Pat Val’s” around the UK, with Parisienne-inspired decor and atmosphere that replicate the flagship really well.

And, oh, the cakes for special occasions – serving 10 or more (I think this one was about £30) …

Patisserie Valerie cake

Most dangerous deal of the moment? 4 slices of your chosen cake for £10!

All I can say is, if you’re passing, just say “Oui!”.

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6 healthier treats for when you’re craving something naughty!

When I’m super-craving something sweet or savoury in the ‘naughty’ department (think: crisps, ice cream etc.), here are some AMAZINGLY good alternatives which make me feel a bit better about diving in! :)

Oh, and some caffeine-free teas I’m pretty obsessed with, too!

So, in no particular order of scrumminess:

1.  Raspberry & AMOURetto Live Gourmet Yoghurt by The Collective.

Raspberry & AMOURetto Live Gourmet Yoghurt by The Collective.

Just discovered this – delicious, swirly, raspberry in a live natural yoghurt (= healthy points!). Read more.

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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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