The Blogmas Edit: an interview with SarahLou Writes

The Greenwich Mummy | UK Family Lifestyle blogger

Only two more sleeps to go! #christmasiscoming

Today I’ve got for us mummy blogger, Sarah from SarahLou Writes. She tells us what the true meaning of Christmas should be and what ‘The Grumpy Guide to Christmas’ is all about…

1. WHAT’S THE BEST – OR WORST – CHRISTMAS PRESENT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?

The best present I’ve ever been given was weirdly a hair dryer, which sounds so silly but I genuinely needed and wanted one, I still use it to this day.

2. NAME SOMETHING ABOUT CHRISTMAS THAT MOST PEOPLE LIKE, BUT YOU HATE (OR AT LEAST DISLIKE)

Christmas Pudding and Mince pies, I don’t know why, I am not overly keen on fruity cake and honestly after the heavy main meal having something equally heavy for pudding hurts my tum!

3. WHAT HOLIDAY MOVIE OR SPECIAL DO YOU WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN?

The Grumpy Guide to Christmas. I watched it once on DAVE and it’s the thing I love to watch this time of year, oh and Muppets Christmas Carol! We save that for Christmas Eve!

4. WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST/UGLIEST CHRISTMAS DECORATION YOU’VE EVER OWNED?

I don’t think I have any weird or ugly ones; I have plenty of homemade ones but I wouldn’t describe them as weird haha!

5. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG?

Step into Christmas by Elton John and Merry Christmas everyone by Shakin’ Stevens

6. IF YOU COULD TRAVEL TO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD FOR CHRISTMAS, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?

Somewhere where it snows this time of year, I want that magical wake up on Christmas morning to a white Christmas. I can dream!

7. WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE ITEM ON YOUR CHRISTMAS TO-DO LIST?

Clean up! Everything looks so pretty until the mess gets created and needs cleaning!

8. IF SOMEONE OFFERED YOU A GIFT CARD TO ANY STORE YOU WANTED, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Lush I think, or The Body Shop

9. WOULD YOU RATHER BUILD A SNOWMAN, GO SLEDDING, HAVE A SNOWBALL FIGHT, OR STAY INSIDE DRINKING HOT COCOA?

Can I do all three? That sounds like the makings of a perfect day to me!

10. NAME THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE CHRISTMAS FOR YOU.

Family, Food, Fun

*BONUS QUESTION* THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS IS…

Family, the most important thing is who is around the tree and not what’s under it!


Bio: SarahLou Writes
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Blogmas Edit: an interview with SarahLou Writes

Sarah is a single mum of three humans and two cats surviving off lots of cups of tea and plenty of cake! amateur photographer and jewellery maker. She loves crafting things such as crochet blankets, patchwork, jewellery and the occasional DIY. She’s also addicted to tea and shamefully eBay. (my kind of gal!) 🙂

Connect with Sarah!
Blog: www.sarahlouwrites.com
Instagram: @sarahlouwrites0
Twitter: @sarahlouwrites0


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The Blogmas Edit: an interview with Jupiter Hadley

The Greenwich Mummy | UK Family Lifestyle blogger

Welcome to the The Blogmas Edit’s first interview! Today, I’ve got for us the lovely lifestyle blogger Jupiter from Jupiter Hadley. She tells us the real reason why she doesn’t like snow and more about those funky lava lights…

1. WHAT’S THE BEST – OR WORST – CHRISTMAS PRESENT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?

Many of my Christmas gifts have been very functional. No one has really messed up when it comes to giving me gifts, as I tend to very much explain what I would like, as gifts should actually be something you’d like. The best gift I have ever had was a few years back, I had just moved into a small flat, and had been given a grow-your-own chili pepper plant thing. We planted the chilies and watched them grow, then ate them. They didn’t last another year, but it was a great little experience that I wasn’t expecting! The chilies were really good too.

2. NAME SOMETHING ABOUT CHRISTMAS THAT MOST PEOPLE LIKE, BUT YOU HATE (OR AT LEAST DISLIKE)

I don’t like snow. I know in England you don’t get much snow, but in America (where I grew up) we got a lot of snow. It’s pretty, I’ll admit it, but it’s not fun. Snow is so cold! It gets dirty and black so fast. In England, even the littlest bit of snow just makes everything in London break down – from trains not running to traffic piling up. It’s not beautiful enough to outweigh all of it’s negatives!

3. WHAT HOLIDAY MOVIE OR SPECIAL DO YOU WATCH OVER AND OVER AGAIN?

This may sound really silly, but I tend to watch American claymation films from the 1970s. My two favorites are Santa Clause is Coming to Town which tells the story of a king banning toys, so Kris Kringle creates and delivers them in a mysterious way, with a penguin side kick and A Year Without Santa Clause, which is about Santa taking a break for a year and the two seasons (Heat and Snow) fighting over control of the Earth. This one has a classical song called Heat Miser/Snow Miser which all of my family knows from heart.

4. WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST/UGLIEST CHRISTMAS DECORATION YOU’VE EVER OWNED?

The weirdest Christmas Decoration I own are these little lava lamp-looking lights that go on the tree. They are SUPER DELICATE and were passed down from my parents. They are called Retro Christmas Bubble Light Bulb String Lights – see photo below:

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - The Blogmas Edit: An interview with Jupiter Hadley
Credit: Jupiter Hadley
5. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG?

Oh it’s going to have to be Heat Miser/Snow Miser.

6. IF YOU COULD TRAVEL TO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD FOR CHRISTMAS, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?

Probably Spain. I really love Spain and it’s not too cold there.

7. WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE ITEM ON YOUR CHRISTMAS TO-DO LIST?

This is a pretty hard question! I really like decorating, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, and purchasing gifts. I guess my least favorite item (this might be a cop-out) is cleaning up after Christmas dinner or cookie decorations!

8. IF SOMEONE OFFERED YOU A GIFT CARD TO ANY STORE YOU WANTED, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Lush – always can use more bath bombs!

9. WOULD YOU RATHER BUILD A SNOWMAN, GO SLEDDING, HAVE A SNOWBALL FIGHT, OR STAY INSIDE DRINKING HOT COCOA?

I’d much rather stay inside drinking hot cocoa and looking at the snow from a distance.

10. NAME THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE CHRISTMAS FOR YOU.

Festive, Food, Chilly.

*BONUS QUESTION* THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS IS…

Family, friends, and good food.


Bio: Jupiter Hadley The Greenwich Mummy Blog - The Blogmas Edit: An interview with Jupiter Hadley

Those these questions were answered by Jupiter, she runs a blog along with her partner Dann. They both write about days out, travel adventures, cooking recipes, reviews and so much more! With a focus on Lifestyle, you can follow their journey through their posts.

Connect with Jupiter!
Blog: www.jupiterhadley.com/category/life/
Twitter: @jupiter_hadley


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Review: The Lost Thing at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: The Lost Thing at Linbury Theatre review
So you want to hear a story?
Yrots a raeh ot tnaw uoy os?

Last week we were invited along to attend a showing of The Lost Thing at the Royal Opera House. As the show was suitable for children aged 6+ I was allowed to bring a plus one and naturally, I took Little Man with me. We don’t go to the theatre regularly and normally when we do go, it’s usually to our local Greenwich Theatre (which is fantastic for families!) so going to a fancy one like the Royal Opera House, I had to make sure my little monster was going to be on his best behaviour.

We attended the evening performance (7.15PM) but there are days when a matinee performance is showing. We made our way from North Greenwich to Covent Garden easily and just missed the rush hour period as we set off around 5PM. When we arrived at the Royal Opera House, we were ‘greeted’ by the doorman (they just opened the door, no smiles and we were the first to initiate the actual greeting, but hey ho) who showed us the way to the reception desk. Looking around I could see why we were not as warmly welcomed as we would be at our little Greenwich Theatre. The majority of the ROH attendees are mostly older, mostly middle-class and attended without children. A totally different demographic than what we’re used to seeing.

As we headed downstairs to the Linbury Theatre, it was a little less intimidating as we saw more families and young children. Little Man didn’t notice anything but as a parent, I feel like the theatre should be a more welcoming place for those with young children. Perhaps if we had attended a matinee performance it would’ve probably felt less judging as we usually associate evening shows with adult guests rather than young families.

As we were a little early, we decided to head back up and have a look around the small gift shop. We bought a laser-light keyring and a ballet pump keyring for Little Miss. We then headed back downstairs to the cafe outside the Linbury Theatre and had a hot chocolate and a brownie which satisfied our sweet craving.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: The Lost Thing at Linbury Theatre review
A quick photo before heading inside the Royal Opera House
What is The Lost Thing?

The Lost Thing is a picture book written and illustrated by Shaun Tan. It became one of his bestselling books worldwide and well-recognised in the literature world. The story is about a boy who discovers ‘The Thing’ which doesn’t seem to belong to anything in particular, making it ‘lost’. In the book, The Thing looks very mechanical and is orange-red with greenish metal claws and legs whereas in the theatre production, it’s more organic and living with a green, moss-like body and ever-changing number of legs.

In this theatrical adaptation by Ben Wright and Jules Maxwell (from Candoco Dance Company, a world-leading professional dance company) we are treated to a different kind of storytelling; one that’s filled with not only music but also theatrical singing, opera and dance along the way. ‘Mixing it up’ is definitely a good way of exposing children of this new generation to a variety of performing arts.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
Joel Brown as The Boy
Review: The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House

Despite the lukewarm review of the show being “too static and slow” from The Guardian online, I much agree with the reviews from Culture Whisper and British Theatre Guide. The performance was pleasantly executed, and provided both children and adults with some true thought-provoking moments. In the programme booklet they gave me, it mentions that The Thing in the performance is not meant to replicate Tan’s illustration but instead, represents something living and organic. The Thing can shape-shift changing from two legs to eight legs, growing larger or smaller depending on its mood.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
The Boy finds The Thing
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Linbury Theatre review
Shaun Tan’s ‘The Thing’ / Photo Credit: ACMI

“We wanted to take it in a completely different direction and build on the skeleton of the story, which is about celebrating difference, supporting what is lost, and potentially contemplating what we are losing. We decided to shift the nature of The Thing itself to be this odd, biodiverse, many-limbed organism…Ben Wright, interviewed by Lyndsey Winship

I can understand why there may be some disappointment as to why the original story was never followed through completely but then again, adapting a picture book into an opera/theatrical performance is not ordinary neither. The story lines is minimal but I think that makes it easy for children to understand. There’s also surtitles and audio description for those hard of hearing. The diverse cast are fantastic – all extremely talents and a good mix of both disabled and non-disabled dancers, musicians, singers.

I thought the interpretation of The Thing as something organic and living, familiar yet somehow forgotten, was like a metaphorical example of the world we live in today. There is a scene where The Boy almost hands The Thing over to the odds and ends department, but then a janitor appears and strongly advises against it, saying that things left there get permanently forgotten. We then see the janitor being comforted by The Thing and feeling happy that it’s in his presence. It reminded me of how happy and content we once were to just enjoy simple things ie. nature but now we’re constantly fixated on our phones and devices.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
The Boy and The Thing
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
The Janitor, The Boy and The Thing

“In the book, the denouement is that it finds a place where it belongs. In our version that place is a very saturated, green, mossy jungle…” –Ben Wright, interviewed by Lyndsey Winship

Summary: my thoughts on The Lost Thing

Little Man loved the performance and has asked to go back to watch The Thing come to life again. We will aim to go before the new year. He also lost his thing (a small toy) there at the theatre, which has now become his ‘lost thing’ – now isn’t that a story within a story for you?

I loved the story so much that I ordered the picture book online for Little Man, he instantly recognised the book from the ochre colour scheme and enjoyed reading it however he told me that he much prefers the ending that he saw in the opera adaptation.

The Lost Thing is showing until January 4th 2020 and tickets are between £7.00-£35.00 for a seat, how can you resist a familiar yet story?

More info on The Lost Thing performances and tickets: http://bit.ly/TheLostThing

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
Taking The Thing to the place where it belongs
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
So you want to hear a story? 

You can watch the video of Shaun Tan’s story here:



P I N  T H I S  P O S T

The Lost Thing


[AD] We were given complimentary tickets to attend the performance of The Lost Thing at the Royal Opera House in exchange for this review post. All opinions and content are in my own words and photos that have been used are credited to their sources respectively.

The Top 5 open-air ice skating rinks in London review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice Skating Rinks in London this Christmas

This winter is the best time for us to get our skates on and unleash our inner figure skater vibes! I cannot skate but that doesn’t stop me getting on the ice. I try to go at least once every year and each year I tell myself that I will take up skating and get better… but like NY resolutions, the feeling and motivation disperses and I’m left saying the same thing year on year.

I’ve taken it upon myself to give myself a Christmas mission and visit 5 beautiful and magical ice rinks in London. Below are my favourite five rinks which are all outdoors so you can enjoy the stunning views of majestic surrounding buildings.

There are so many ice skating rinks in London to visit but here are a few a good places to start you off…

1. Somerset House ice rink, Strand

Somerset House is mainly known for hosting London Fashion Week/Weekend events but every winter they also put on a spectacular ice skating arena, especially if you visit late afternoon/evening time when the lights are on. There’s a big Christmas tree as the centrepiece, plus having the building as a backdrop for your skate is simply amazing.

The Greenwich Mummy | Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice skating rinks in London
Personally, I think the Somerset House ice rink is the beautiful rink in London!

A few days I went with one of my work girls to skate and we really enjoyed ourselves. It really is a stunning location but get ready to see a lot of couples skating together, a lot of newbies clinging onto the edge of the rink and more experienced skaters showing off their moves in the middle of the rink. There’s no skate aids here apart from for young children so I wouldn’t recommend skating here if you’ve never been on the ice as you will just be clinging onto the sides of the rink for the whole session. I am not great on the ice and found it quite challenging without any skate aids but managed to get by a little although I had to have lots of resting time in between because my legs got tired… Real quick. Also it gets quite busy on the ice but really feels festive and enjoyable.

They play good music on the ice and the lights change colour which creates a lovely skating atmosphere. Sessions are 45 mins which is a good amount of skate time. The skates for hire are really good quality and I’ve found lace-up skates to be extremely comfy compared to the standard clip-in ones.

The Greenwich Mummy | Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice skating rinks in London
Quality lace-up skates really make a lot of difference!
The Greenwich Mummy | Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice skating rinks in London
A great evening skate but be aware, there’s no skate aids available here!

Adult tickets are from £11 for the 45mins session which includes skate hire. Arrive at least 15mins early to drop off your bags at the hut (first bag/item is free, £2 per item thereafter). Then go into the other hut to collect your skates. There’s also Skate Lates from 8pm where you can enjoy skating listen to the latest hits and some classics from the venue’s DJ. Good vibes!

http://bit.ly/somersethouseicerink


2. Queen’s House ice rink, Greenwich

Based at the foot of a UNESCO Heritage site, voted as UK’s Top 10 visitors attraction the Queen’s House in Greenwich is one of the most beautiful places in London. The ice rink here is the only outdoor rink in South East London and is beautiful to skate around. This year, the rink at Canary Wharf has not been brought back so this is currently our closest ice skating rink.

We had the pleasure of skating here on its launch event (you can read our ice skating review here) which was fantastic. The kids had such a wonderful time and I am so glad to have an ice rink so local to us! For me, this rink comes in as a close second behind Somerset House because even though it is an amazing rink with really magical views, the skates let me down – they are the really cheap clip on ones which hurt my feet so bad. The good thing about this rink is that they have not one, but TWO types of skate aids for you to choose from. A penguin aid for less confident skaters and the banana aid (seen below) which is ideal for tiny skaters and complete first-timers. The banana aid is really fun but for those pushing the aid around, it’s hard work! Get ready to burn extra calories with that thing.

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A view of the Queen’s House ice rink
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
The ice rink all beautifully lit up at night

A night – or late afternoon skate here would be stunning. As you can see from the image above, the Queen’s House lit up at night is really something. It looks magical and so festive! The rink doesn’t get overly busy too which is great as it means more space on the ice to go round. Tickets are from £13.50 for adults and from £6.75 for kids, unfortunately there are no family tickets but if you’re a Royal Musuems Greenwich member, you can take advantage of their discounted tickets.

UPDATE: save 43% off your ice skating tickets on Travelzoo for just £9 per adult ticket: http://tidd.ly/b1c5abaf**

http://bit.ly/greenwichiceskating


3. Natural History Museum ice rink, South Kensington

South Kensington is well known for their museums and now every winter, for their ice skating too! Passing here last winter with Little Man I thought about taking him on the ice but unfortunately he’s not a big fan as I am with ice skating so we gave it a miss. I’m planning to head out this year with Little Miss as the ice rink is small but good enough for parents with young families. There is a morning parent & toddler skating session which includes skating, skate hire and a free hot drink for both… of course we will opt for the hot chocolate option! 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice Skating Rinks in London this Christmas
Credit: Natural History Museum

This rink is on my list to take the kids once we break up for Christmas holidays. It looks like it’ll be a good one and a skate by the NHM would be a delight! Naturally, we’ll head into the museum after for a little look around and lunch at their cafe or a nearby restaurant. Adult tickets are from £12.65 and tickets for children start from £8.80. There’s also a reduced family ticket for four cost from £39.60.

Every Friday evening from 7-8pm, fragrance brand Viktor&Rolf will be transforming the ice rink into a Flowerbomb fantasy. Join in as they turn the ice pink, hang sparkling baubles from the Christmas tree and the infuse the air with their new Flowerbomb fragrance.

http://bit.ly/naturalhistorymuseumicerink


4. Hampton Court Palace ice rink, Hampton Court

Situated in the gardens of Henry VIII’s historic home, the Hampton Court Palace outdoor rink offers you the chance to glide across the ice whilst being surrounded by spectacular views of the amazing Tudor palace. This scenic skate is perfect for all skaters from complete beginners to the advanced. Skate aids are available, and just like at Queen’s House you can choose from the penguin or the banana.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice rinks in London
Look at that awesome view and rink size!

Tickets are slightly pricier than the other rinks already mentioned (apart from Somerset House) from £15.00 per adult and £10.50 per child. This will have to be a solo skate for me or with friends as it’s slightly out of reach for us and to be frank, the prices are a little more dear. From the images on their website, I can see that people are wearing the blue clip-on skates… a big turn off for me however that view does look really appealing. There’s also a cafe bar by the rink so you can grab a hot drink and something to eat before or after your time on the ice. 🙂

http://bit.ly/Hamptoncourtpalaceiceskating


5. Winter Wonderland ice rink, Hyde Park

Skating around an outdoor bandstand playing live music? What more could you ask for! This rink looks pretty amazing in the day time and at night, even more special. When I visited this rink with my girl friends, unfortunately it was a very wet evening and we all got caught in the rain. It was only a mist but so much water pooled onto the ice, it made me really nervous with skating on it. However it wasn’t all bad – the wet ice actually made it easier to glide and skate but it was certainly more slippery in some areas of the ice as the rain froze over.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice rinks in London
Credit: Time Out
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice rinks in London
The fairy light canopy added a little bit of magic to our open-air skate

There are penguin skate aids at this rink for hire £5 per aid which I bought but ended up not using. There were many families on the ice that couldn’t really skate but didn’t want to put money out to get an aid and were really struggling. I ended up giving my penguin to a young child who skated with his mum and sister who were also inexperienced skaters.

There was a professional photographer on the ice when we skated so be aware that staff will tell you that you can’t take photos on the ice – because they want you to obviously purchase theirs so if you must take a photo like we did, make it snappy and do it discreetly.There was also live music; we had a singer performing with her guitar. Her acoustic renditions of Christmas songs were mellow, festive and added perfect ambience to our wet skating session. We enjoyed our 45 minute skate and of course, my feet got blistered from the clip-on skates which were in really bad condition. They had the worst skates compared to the rinks at Somerset House and the Queen’s House.

Apparently Hyde Park’s rink prides itself as the largest outdoor rink in the UK I can’t tell you for certain. From photos, I thought the Hampton Court rink looks bigger but I won’t know until I go there myself. As soon as I can tell you, I’ll let you guys know. 😉

http://bit.ly/winterwonderlandicerink


Bonus: Tower of London ice rink, Tower Hill

Okay, I know my post title says Top 5 but think of this as your bonus ice rink location because I couldn’t disregard it.

Tower of London is one of the Historic Royal Palaces in London (like Hampton Court Palace) and a very popular attraction for visitors in the UK and overseas. You can skate outside the fortress and admire the beautiful ambience as it’s lit up in the evening.

Prices are similar to Hampton Court; from £15 for adults and from £10.50 for children. For me, this one will be a miss but I’m sure it’ll be a great visit if you’re a History buff. Skate aids can also be hired here (must be booked in advance) but their website doesn’t specify what kind of skate aids are available.

http://bit.ly/toweroflondonicerink


I hope you enjoyed this little round-up posts of my top 5 magical outdoor ice rinks in London. Have you visited any ice skating rinks this year or perhaps you’re looking to go soon before Christmas? Leave me a comment if you have any other recommendations of open-air ice rinks in London too! x

The Greenwich Mummy | Top 5 open-air ice skating rinks in London**contains affiliate link

Review: ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen’s House ice rink

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
Queen’s House Greenwich Ice Rink
Dates: 29 November 2019 – 12 January 2020
(closed Dec 25)

Winter time is the only season where I need no excuses to drink my body weight in hot chocolate and look like a Michelin-man. I’m loving all of the fluffy layers, borg-lined jackets and teddy-fleece fabrics this year. It’s been a real long time since I’ve skated however this past week I have been going regularly to ice skating rinks around London. In an upcoming review, I’ll be sharing my favourite outdoor ice rinks in London with you so look out for that soon.

For the past few years living in the area, there’s always been an ice rink in Greenwich. Greenwich is a lovely little town that draws people from near and far to come and sample its culture and cuisine. The Queen’s House is a part of the Royal Museums Greenwich, one of the UK’s Top 10 visitor attractions. It’s also a UNESCO protected Heritage site and has been beautifully preserved.

The National Maritime Museum is next door and they have a wonderful under 5s play area that’s free to drop-in. Across the road is the Old Royal Naval College where you’ll find the newly renovated Painted Hall. Just behind the attraction is Greenwich Park and a short but steep climb up the hill, you’ll find The Royal Observatory. The last remaining tea-clipper, the Cutty Sark, is a short walk away and so is the popular Greenwich Market. On Wednesdays, there’s a toddlers soft-play session under the ship.

If you have a young child, you can really make a day out of your  visit by combining a few things to do together. Check out this post of when we went along to the Toddler Time session at Cutty Sark. There’s also lots of interesting events going on at Greenwich market over the Christmas period so be sure to check out their website.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
Cheeky faces outside our favourite museum

Ice skating in Greenwich

We were kindly invited along to the opening launch of the Queen’s House Ice Rink. Apparently this Greenwich outdoor ice rink is the only one in South London There wasn’t many of us there which made it a lovely first experience for the kids, despite the rainy weather. We will definitely be back in the next week or so for more skating!

We left school and arrived at the National Maritime Museum at 3.40pm, as we were a little early we popped into the museum for a little look around. We could see from the outside that the lighthouse beacon was on and like boats to a lighthouse, we were pulled in by the light. We had a little look around the souvenir shop before heading back out and across over to the Queen’s House. The weather was not too cold but I’d highly recommend dressing the kids up warm for the ice. We warmed up with delicious hot chocolates before or our session but you can also choose from teas, coffees and mulled wine. Snacks and sweet treats are also available.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
There’s always a good photo opp at Greenwich!
The Greenwich Mummy | Review: Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queens House ice rink
The kids checking out the ice before getting on
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
Checking in at the QH reception and getting a hot chocolate before our skate session

Skating sessions can be booked in advance online. Prices are from £13.50 for adults and £6.75 for children. The skating sessions are 45 minutes which is pretty standard timing. The prices are also similar to other London outdoor ice rinks. If you add in the benefits of the rink being stunning and on the doorstep of two museums, it’s decent value-for-money. After checking in we went to change into our skates, children’s size starts from infant UK 9, if your child’s feet is smaller than this they offer bob skates which go over your child’s actual footwear.

Skate aids are also available to hire for £5. They have two types of skate aids to choose from; the penguin which is suitable for single beginner skaters and the banana skate aid which is a godsend if you have more than one child. Just pop your little ones on and push them around the ice but be aware, it’s tiring work especially if your kids are older as their weight makes it harder to push and steer if you are also a beginner skater.

Our best moments & highlights…

The stunning background views
When it comes to outdoor ice skating venues, the view has to be one of the highlights. I can confirm that the Queen’s House lit up after dark for our session was truly amazing. It really added to the magical experience. Even if you skated here during daylight hours, I think it would still look just as beautiful. I will be back very soon for a solo skate and will definitely opt for a morning session. During the daytime, the Queen’s House Greenwich is always open and free to enter so make sure you pop in and have a look around at the wonderful artwork and don’t forget to check out its stunning Tulip spiral staircase.

Unfortunately, I get blisters on my feet each time I skate because my feet are flat and over-pronated. If you have a similar condition, make sure you wear thick socks and/or bring some gel cushion pads to avoid excessive rubbing. For me it’s also self-inflicted as even though I can feel my feet are over-rubbing I never get off the ice. Quitting is for losers… haha!

Processed with MOLDIV
Even with the dark clouds, the building still looks beautiful!
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
…and at night, it looks even better!

The family-friendly size
The Greenwich ice rink is on the smaller side compared to the likes of Winter Wonderland and Somerset House however I personally think this is much better and safer especially if you have a young family and/or you’re not that confident on the ice. A smaller rink usually means staff can be more attentive and approachable for handy tips and help on the ice. As it’s a newly opened rink, there’s less of a crowd on the ice which gives you a better skating experience however I am yet to go here on a weekend so it might start getting busier as the days go by.

If it’s your first time on the ice, I’d recommend watching some Youtube videos on how to fall safely and how to skate. It’s always important to learn how to fall safely as a bad fall on the ice can really do some damage to your body especially your back and even head. If you’re an experienced skater you can still enjoy the beauty of the rink but may find yourself doing several laps pretty quickly. Not a problem as there’s also less people on the ice so you can practice those backward swizzles and turns. 🙂

A priceless first-time experience
Little Man and Little Miss thoroughly enjoyed their first time on the ice. The laughter and fun and giant smiles on their faces was priceless! For Little Man, it’s technically his second time on the ice but the first time he actually skated. As much as they loved Daddy P and I pushing them around, they were brave enough to get up on the ice and skate with one of us holding their hand. Little Miss seems a natural on the ice, Little Man needs a little more practice to find his feet and his balance.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
Daddy P pushing the kids on the banana 2-seater skate aid
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
The kids are absolutely loving it but it’s tiring work pushing them!

A local attraction for us
Lucky for us, we now have an ice rink a short walk or bus ride away from us which is fantastic. There’s always so much on offer in Greenwich and I am more that grateful to live in such a wonderful area. I’ll be taking the kids to see Santa once December hits and we’ll surely be back for another skate and visit to the museums. Schools around here break up on December 19th so we’ll have the Friday free to get out and do things.

If you live further afield, Greenwich is only 10 minutes from London Bridge and is very well connected with public transport. I’d advise leaving your car at home as there’s hardly any parking spaces available. You’ve got the national rail close by as well as the DLR, the river boat (Thames Clipper), numerous buses and the underground (Jubilee line) at North Greenwich which is a bus ride away, approx. 2 miles away.

Perfect for intimate skate dates
A smaller, intimate rink also makes a great place to skate for couples wanting a skate date. Daddy P and I have said that we’d like to return to skate together, probably on a school day when both of the kids are still in school so we can have a little bonding time together.

This rink is a great venue for couples however, I wouldn’t recommend considering a skate date if it’s your first time on the ice as what happens is you’ll end up just clinging onto the side of the rink instead of actually skating and having a good time together. Although saying this, at least here you can hire a banana skate aid to help you move so if one of you can skate… you can push the non-skater. 🙂 The other romantic place to skate is Somerset House however they don’t offer any skate aids so avoid going there if you’ve both never skated.

For more details or booking, visit the RMG Queen’s House website

#ExploreGreenwich
#QueensHouseIceRink
#QueensHouse


P I N  T H I S  P O S T

The Greenwich Mummy | Ice skating at the Queens House Greenwich ice rink review


NB. We were invited to the press launch and compensated for our time on the ice in exchange for this blog review. All words, opinions and content are my own and photos must not be used without my consent.

Discover: Where to find Santa’s Grotto in London this Christmas

Where can you find Santa’s Grotto in London?

The simple answer is… everywhere!

There are loads of places where you can take the kids to experience Santa’s Grotto no matter what part of London you’re from. I’ve mainly sourced out the ones most local to me but you can even find a grotto by heading to your closest shopping mall and maybe even department store.

Some of the big department stores experiences (Harrods, Hamley’s, Fortnum & Mason, and Selfridges) are all sold out already! It seems like every year when I look, I’m always too late however it’s not a bad thing as the tickets for these places are usually around £25+ which is extortionate in my opinion. Christmas should not be all about commercialising and keeping pockets fat for the big companies. Instead, head to your local events and support your local or small businesses.

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There are also free Santa experiences at shopping centres so check those out too. I will carry on updating this post as we draw closer to Christmas in case I come across others. So without further ado, here’s a list of where you can find Santa in Greenwich and the surrounding areas:

Santa’s Grotto at Greenwich Market

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: The Search for Santa's Grotto in London
Credit: Greenwich Market

Dates: November 30 – December 24
Price: £5
 (proceeds going to the Greenwich & Bexley hospice)

The Grotto in Greenwich is a great little local spot. It’s right in the heart of the old covered market so you can enjoy the festivities around the area, grab something to eat before queuing up to see the Big Guy. Children also receive a small gift during their visit. If this is your child’s first experience or you just want a relatively short experience, I’d recommend seeing Santa here – it’s a no-frills visit but at least you can still get a photo with Santa and save your money for Christmas shopping!

https://www.greenwichmarket.london/events/detail/father-christmas-2019


Victorian Santa’s Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands

The Greenwich Mummy Review: Museum of London Docklands
Credit: Museum of London Docklands

Dates: November 29 – December 23
Price: £10

For a Santa experience with a bit of a difference, I would recommend coming to see Santa at the Museum of London Docklands. It’s a great museum in general and will definitely keep the kids busy. There is even a play area for the under 5s called Mudlarks Gallery and is free however you will need to reserve your child’s space. You can do this online or on the day. I’d recommend online to avoid any disappointment as the Mudlarks gallery does get full very quickly. Tickets for this year’s Santa visit is £10 per child.

A few years ago we visited the Santa’s Grotto here and got some really nice photos however I remember the queue was extremely long! Staff are on hand to check on you every 30mins or so and to usher you into the room where Santa is. You can read our Victorian Santa’s Grotto experience review here

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/whats-on/santas-grotto?id=23408


Santa’s Snowflake Grotto at Westfield Stratford City

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Santa's Grotto experiences in London
Credit: Caleb Woods via Unsplash

Dates: November 21 – December 24
Price: £7.50
(parents, children and infants all require a ticket)

I really loved the Santa experience we had at Westfield Stratford City years back when Little Man was a toddler. I don’t have any photos to share with you of the experience but I remember it was really immersive. It started off with families being ushered into a room to watch a short show about Christmas then we were slowly ushered into another room where we then waited to meet Santa. The price was only for the experience and the photoshoot but we had to buy the images. I think I bought a framed photo and a photo bauble.

This year, the experience has a North Pole theme where families will be “magically transported to the Snow Factory in the North Pole, where Santa’s elves make all the snow in the world. Children will create their own personalised christmas decoration and explore all the fun activities within the Grotto.” The kids will then receive a gift and have a photo opportunity with Santa. After that, you’ll be ‘magically transported’ back to London.

https://uk.westfield.com/stratfordcity/entertainment/events/santas-snowflake-grotto/54380


Selfies with Santa at Lewisham Shopping Centre

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Dates: December 17 – December 24
Price: FREE

Last year, Lewisham Shopping Centre had a Santa meet & greet event and we were invited along. The Santa and elves from The Holly Jolly Co. were so lovely and really made the experience special for us. The team are entertainers and are also available for party hires so check them out if you want to host an event and in need of good friendly entertainers. This year, they are back again so make sure you pop along from Tuesday 17th December until Christmas Eve!

We also donated gifts to the giving tree. You pick the the tag that you want which has a child’s age and gender on there so you can pick a gift for them. Buy your gift(s) then come back and the staff will help you attach your tag. I let the kids pick a child each. If the tree is there again this year, we shall do the same. After all, Christmas is about the gift of giving and spreading joy to all.

https://lewishamshopping.co.uk/articles/come-meet-santa-claus-lewisham


Santa’s Grotto & Christmas fayre at Lesnes Abbey

The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle Blogger

Dates: December 7 & 8 
Price: FREE

A two day Christmas extravaganza at Lesnes Abbey. With over 30 different craft and gift stalls, a Christmas Scavenger Hunt and live festive music. On Saturday you’ll enjoy a Christmas Market, Grotto, stalls, mulled wine, minced pies and lots of kids activities. For Sunday there will be more new stalls and the kids can be entertained on the Frozen bouncy castle and indoor Christmas pop-up disco. Amazing!

https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/events/event/7168/lesnes_abbey_christmas_grotto_and_fayre

with love x

Linking up with:
Linking up with the #DreamTeam

The Greenwich Mummy Blog’s #BestNine2018

2018 had brought this little blog much success – a big thank you to all my readers!

I documented my Curly Girl Method hair journey at the end of 2017 to beginning of 2018 which brought a lot of you to my blog. I created a series of follow-up posts of to show you my progress throughout the year and I will continue to do so for 2019.

I also had the opportunity to work with a lot of big brands and companies this year, including Royal Museums Greenwich, Lewisham Shopping Centre, Noughty Hair care, ToucanBox, Bills Restaurants and Peninsular Park West (Ikea Greenwich opening up real soon!). Thank you to you all for selecting me to collaborate with you, I am extremely grateful and it’s been a privilege.

What’s in store on the blog for 2019?

Hair & Beauty: I will be posting a bit more about hair and beauty which like I mentioned above, be about my hair journey, hair hacks and I will try to do more on beauty skincare as I’m back in the spa now. These will include How To posts on skincare hacks, beauty products, etc 🙂

Fitness: I am determined to post more on my fitness journey and on my yoga teacher journey. You can expect family yoga poses and games of the month.

Food: More food reviews, recipes, healthy food inspo and anything else to do with good ol’ food!

I will still of course blog about our family lifestyle, that’s what The Greenwich Mummy has always been about and always will be. 🙂

Our family’s #bestnine2018 highlight:

My 2018 highlights:

  • Seeing my two kids grow closer to each other every day
  • My hair changing from straight to wavy (and getting to work with my fave UK brand Noughty because of it!)
  • Completing my Family Yoga Teacher training and creating many happy moments for families
  • Leading the “Yoga Babies” family yoga session with the book illustrator, Sheena Dempsey
  • Seeing the blog view stats almost double!
  • Daddy P and I had our 12th year anniversary – our night out celebration is still pending as we’ve been busy with work lol

  • And the blog’s best nine posts of 2018 are…

    1. The Curly Girl Method: from straight to wavy hair
    2. 6 months update: My Curly Girl Method hair journey
    3. My haircut experience at Rush hair salon Greenwich review
    4. My 2017 review on Stylist Live London
    5. The Curious Comb Greenwich hair salon review
    6. My type 2 wavy hair care routine
    7. Flyte; Natural and clean energy drink review
    8. Hotel Chocolat tasting club subscription review
    9. Liz Earle botanical skincare review

    (listed in order of page views)

    I look forward to what 2019 brings for myself, my family and my blog! x

    Happy New Year!

    Merry Christmas!!

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog: LoveTheSales.com Review

    MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

    I hope you are all enjoying today with friends, family and loved ones! Here’s a few photos of what we’ve getting up to leading up to the big day…

    If you don’t celebrate Christmas then I hope you’re having a lovely day off work. 🙂

    Santa’s Grotto at Lewisham Shopping Centre

    Here’s a couple of photos from our Santa’s Grotto visit at Lewisham Shopping Centre. It was one of the few free Santa visits around Greenwich.

    What’s most interesting is that this Santa is actually available for hire from The Holly Jolly Co. It’s not only Santa you can hire, the team can conjure up anything you dream of for the kids, from Frozen’s Elsa and Ana, to a range of Disney princesses or superheroes! Visit their instagram page to check out what they do: @thehollyjollyco

    Visiting Santa at Lewisham Shopping Centre
    Santa and head Elf with Little Man and Ams

    It took me a few days to do all of the Christmas shopping (I didn’t buy that much, it was just very busy and challenging with the kids in tow!) but I managed to get a few lovely things for the kids from a few of the high street stores.

    TK MAXX:

    • Organic cotton pyjamas, £9.99
    • Kind Natured curly hair shampoo, £2.99
    • Wooden cutting fruit set, £11.99
    Got us some gifts from TK Maxx

    NEXT:

      Brown low boots, £26
      Glittery pink strappy pumps, £15 (not shown)

    PRIMARK:

    • Elsa pyjama top, £6
    • Fleece lined reindeer leggings, £4
    • Frozen nail polish set, £4
    Gifts from Primark and boots from Next

    MARKS & SPARKS:

    • Doctor’s kit play set, £14
    • Dinosaur activity book, £8
    Doctor’s kit and dinosaur activity book from M&S

    Then on Christmas Eve, we had a little fun with some cookie kits we got from Lidl – there’s a xmas tree kit and a xmas jumper kit. The kids had fun with decorating the cookie but it was quiet difficult with the icing pen. In the end, Ams just ate the icing straight from the pen and left me to eat the cookie.

    Dec 24: making Christmas cookies!
    Yummy!! Xmas cookie kits from Lidl
    This morning: waiting for Christmas lunch/dinner to be ready! 🙂
    Playing connect four at nana’s house

    **update**

    Dec 25: Christmas dinner is ready!!

    Lots of love,
    The Greenwich Mummy & Co.

    Photo Credit: Papier


    NB. We received complimentary shopping vouchers to use at Lewisham for the purpose this blog review. All opinions, photos and content are my own and cannot be reused without permission.

    My Christmas Hair & Beauty Wish List 2018

    On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

    With less than a week to go until C-day, what better way to celebrate than to let you guys know what’s on my Christmas wish list for my favourite hair and beauty products! 🙂

    Some of these brands I’ve discovered through my new workplace (I’m working in a spa again, yay!) and from recommendations by other hair and beauty bloggers. I always find the blogging community a great place for finding new products because the reviews are great and I trust the reviews. Being a blogger myself and writing brand collaboration reviews, I always write from the heart and it’s always based on my own opinions.

    If I really unlike the product/service I reviewed, I would usually not post the review because if I do have to post it, it wouldn’t be a totally positive one.

    For my wish list, there’s 10 things I’d absolutely LOVE to receive this year. There’s actually loads of products I’d love to get my hands on but these ten things are my ultimate must-haves this Christmas…

    MY HAIR & BEAUTY WISHLIST

    1. Book my appt with Lashes by Linda

    This is probably number 1 on my beauty wish list – to get my lashes redone and ditch the eye makeup! I love a natural look and nothing beats a set of individual lashes by my family friend and fellow beauty professional, Lashes by Linda. She is amazing and a master at her craft! If you live in London, she offers appointments at her home otherwise you can find her at the nail salon in Sittingbourne where she can also do your nails too!

    You can choose from a classic full set (light and natural look) or a Russian full set (volume and dramatic look) – I’ve tried both and personally prefer the classic, natural look. I have decided that I love the C and D curl and alternate between the two but I keep my lengths short because I wear glasses. If you don’t wear glasses or are a contact lens wearer, go for your maximum length to really get that beautiful fluttery look. Linda also does LVL treatments which is popular and really helps to lift the lashes. I had this treatment once before and it looked good but my lashes are quite short so I do prefer having the lash extensions.

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Christmas Beauty Wishlist
    I really love my lashes thanks to Lashes by Linda!
    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
    No need for eye makeup when I have my Lashes by Linda!

    2. Cinq Mondes dry body oil

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
    Cinq Mondes Ayurvedic dry body oil

    Cinq Mondes is a popular French brand that smells great and feels fab on the skin. I am super in love with their hair & body mist, especially the Eau de Siam which smells absolutely amazing! That combined with the Cinq Mondes Universal Ayurvedic dry body oil is totally amazing! The dry oil is great for all skin types especially oily skin as it sinks in immediately and doesn’t leave a greasy film. For dry/mature skins, use when skin is slightly wet and combine with a moisturising cream.

    3. Noughty intensive hair mask

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Noughty Haircare
    Noughty To The Rescue Intensive Hair Mask

    There’s a lot of Noughty haircare products that I love but my ultimate fave is the Noughty To The Rescue intensive moisture hair treatment. This mask will give you heavenly soft hair that you won’t be able to resist touching. I love using it as a deep conditioner and especially after a clarifying cleanse, this moisture mask puts back all the needed moisture into my hair. There’s no protein ingredient in this hair mask so if your hair needs protein, you’ll need to alternate with another product.

    4. Aveda Shampure comp oil & hand serum

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
    AVEDA Shampure – made from 25 pure flower & plant essences

    Two products that I absolutely adore from the Aveda range is the Aveda Shampure composition oil and Aveda Hand Relief Renewal Serum.

    The Shampure aroma is made up of 25 pure flower and plant essences and smells absolutely divine! I love using the composition oil on wet skin just after a bath or shower. It’s a great multi-functional oil that you can use on hair, body and oils. The hand relief serum smells less of the Shampure aroma and a bit more orange which is nice and refreshing.

    5. Boucleme hydrating cleanser (low-poo)

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
    Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser for wavy hair

    I first saw this brand at Stylist Live 2017 and didn’t really know much about the brand. However since my wavy hair journey I’ve been discovering it more and more. It’s a UK brand made for wavy and curly hair that’s free from chemical nasties, silicones, sulfates and parabens. I would love to try the Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser (blue packaging) which is made for wavy hair. Their original conditioning cleanser (green packaging) for curly hair has had nothing but positive reviews from curly bloggers.

    I’ve tried the US’s popular Devacurl and found that I only really like their hair styling whip, Wavemaker. Their ‘Delight’ range for wavy hair hadn’t really impressed me as the hype did, which is a shame because I wanted to love it. Boucleme also offer a 30-day money back guarantee (UK only) if you purchase directly from their website and are not satisfied with the product.

    6. Birchbox’s December edition

    The Greenwich Mummy | Christmas beauty wishlist
    Birchbox December edition

    I want to get my hands on the Birchbox December edition because it looks great and I am really in love with the box itself! It looks really Christmassy and the products seem like all new products I haven’t received before from past boxes.

    Get 20% off gift subscriptions using code SANTA at Birchbox

    I’ve actually already ordered the box so it’s on its way to me as you read this so I’ll get the review out for it by Christmas. The subscription boxes are usually sent out the beginning of the month but if you’re new and have just subscribed for the first time you’ll receive your box a week from your order date. You can read my past Birchbox reviews here.

    7. Spa day gift voucher

    Ahhhh a spa day with a facial!! My fave wishlist item

    This month I started my new job as a spa therapist! I’m so glad to be back in spa therapies again but I’m not going to lie, it’s taking its toll on my body and I’m only working part-time on the weekends! People don’t realise that spa therapies can be strenuous/exhaustive work. A spa looks glamorous but there is a lot going on to make it look like that (think of duck gliding along the water but its feet paddling like crazy to keep it looking effortless). If I could, I would love to be treated to a spa day complete with treatments – lunch included would also be fab!

    Travelzoo currently have some good offers on and I found two I love. One is a trip to North Wales for a spa day with a facial, body massage and lunch for only £55, or stay local in London and visit The Athenaeum Spa for treatments and a glass of bubbly with a friend (or Daddy P) for £135 which is dirt-cheap for this luxury hotel spa (that works out to £67,50 each!)

    8. OPI nail polish collection

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
    OPI Nails – 6 Piece Winter Collection

    I LOVE the OPI brand – the polishes are super glossy, the colours are opaque and beautiful and the names are quirky! I came across this beautiful OPI 6 piece winter collection on the QVC and fell in love straight away. It has one of my favourite dark purple shade called “Lincoln Park After Dark” which is what caught my attention. A collection set is always cheaper to buy that individual ones as OPI polishes are around £15 a bottle. Best thing about QVC is the instalment payment plan – that’s really helpful at this time of year to be able to split the cost over a period of time to make the cost more affordable.

    9. Packs of Flexi-rods

    These cheap and cheerful styling tools are a wavy (and curly!) girl’s best friend when you want a really defined curly look minus the damage. As the CG method doesn’t allow for heat styling, flexi-rods allow you to create curvy or wavy styles easily without heat. They have always worked for me and I can get several different curly styles from them.

    Got these curls by using my flexi-rods

    I would love to do a really tighter ringlet style like in the photo below but need a lot more rods to achieve the look as I’ll need to create the curls with thinner strands. Chunkier strands create more wave and body, thinner strands create more curl and definition. There’s so many ways to use the flexi-rods – they really are a curly or wavy girl’s best friend! Natural hair Youtuber, Actually Ashly (@actually_ashly) does an amazing tutorial on how to style/set your hair with the flexi-rods as below. Defo check it out her vids if you’re looking for some curly hair inspo!

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
    Watch Actually Ashly’s video for creating this beautiful curly style! / credit: @actually_ashly

    10. Swiss Clinic Derma Roller

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
    Swiss Clinic Skin Renewal kit

    I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and I would really love to get my hands on a derma roller. It’s a small beauty tool that has lots of tiny needles which pricks the surface of the skin to encourage collagen production and helps increase skin cell regeneration. It’s also a tool that can help push in your skincare products deeper into the skin’s layers. It’s supposed to be fab for acne scarring especially ice-pick scars which I actually have quite a few of. I’ve enquired about the derma-pen treatment at SK:N Clinics but the price is around £300 per session which is not cheap and more painful than the at-home versions.

    The derma roller I have my eyes on is the Swiss Clinic skin renewal kit for £89. It features a 0.2mm microneedle derma roller, a storage box to keep the derma roller in and a rejuvenating serum to use with the roller. The Swiss Clinic website has a little online quiz you can complete to see which product is best for you as a guideline on what to purchase if you’re also interested in purchasing one.

    Don’t be tempted to buy cheap ones – sometimes if it’s too good to be true, it really is. I know Amazon has some great reviews on their £20 roller but it’s a little risk to take. The price is amazing but maybe the roller would need replacing more frequently hence the lower price. I won’t use mine frequently but at least once a month so I’d like to have one that lasts a little longer.


    NB. This post contains affiliate links

    Festive ideas: 35 Christmassy things to do with the family!

    The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle Blogger

    “Jingle bells, jingle bells
    Jingle all the way…”

    It’s that time of year again… c h r i s t m a s !

    The only one thing that makes our wet Christmas great is all that quality time we get with the kids.

    I’m not talking about just being stuck in the house with the hyperactive chipmunks but actual quality time for bonding and doing things together. My terrible two drive me INSANE nearly every day but somehow, at Christmas time it seems to be the only time where we love being together, crafting and making things.

    We put up our Christmas tree yesterday and it looks beautiful. I let the kids put up a few of the decorations and did the lights and glass decorations myself. I managed to salvage some of the beautiful glass decorations we had from last year. A LOT were smashed as Ame decided she wanted to play with them and Little Man wanted to do the same.

    I’ve decided that doing some Christmassy crafts together would be the way to go this year as the kids are showing more interest in that sort of stuff. I’ve compiled a list of 35 Christmas things to do with the family in Greenwich and around London… in case you run out of ideas!

    35 Christmassy things to do
    with the family…

    1. Pick out a Christmas tree together
    2. Make decorations for your tree
    3. Design your own wrapping paper
    4. Make your own wreath
    5. Make a Christmas stocking
    6. Make your own advent calendar
    7. Make something with pom poms… we made pom pom jumpers!
    8. Decorate your own Christmas cards
    9. Enjoy a Christmas story together
    10. Sing Christmas carols
    11. Devour a box of chocolates together
    12. Have a movie night in & snuggle under a cosy blanket like this one
    13. Prepare dinner together
    14. Bake something delicious – try gingerbread men!
    15. Do some family yoga Christmas-style!
    16. Visit Santa’s Grotto
    17. Watch the Nutcracker at the theatre
    18. Watch a nativity play
    19. Go to church
    20. Burn off some energy at the local park
    21. Do the Christmas shopping together
    22. Set a new Christmas tradition and stick to it
    23. Check out the deers at the Deer park in Greenwich Park
    24. Go ice-skating at a magical outdoor rink
    25. Make the best hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows,
      The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | A family lifestyle blogor check out the best places for a good hot chocolate in London
    26. De-clutter the house in time for the new year
    27. Donate unwanted items to charity
    28. Buy a dinner for a person in need
    29. Volunteering with your local community
    30. Read a book together
    31. Dedicate an hour to quiet time
    32. Dance together!
    33. Visit a Christmas market
    34. Enter a charity fun run – entries are still open for the London Santa Run
    35. Last but not least, make memories by taking lots of family selfies!

    Happy New Year: Our best nine of 2017

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family and Lifestyle Blogger

    It’s the first day of 2018 and what better way to celebrate new beginning than by rounding up on our nine best moments of 2017.

    So without further ado, here’s our best nine…

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family and Lifestyle
    (From top left to right)

    1. Baby Girl’s first birthday
    2. Mine and Daddy P’s 10th anniversary
    3. A mummy moment with the kids
    4. LO and Baby Girl baking cookies for the first time
    5. New Years Day 2017
    6. LO in his first nativity play at primary school
    7. A moment of the kids together
    8. LO’s 4th birthday indoor climbing
    9. Christmas Eve 2017

    Love from Mummy & Co.,

    Happy New Year!

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog - quote of the day

    How to involve children in Christmas Day preparations (guest post)

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog |
    With the big day just over a week away, here are some ways freelance lifestyle writer, Joana Teixeira has some top tips for us on how to include the kids in Christmas day prepping at home…

    Christmas is such a wonderful time of year and this is even more true when you have children around to share in the magic of it all. The wonder in your children’s eyes at everything from the decorations that are put up at home to the amazing lights that adorn the streets in town is bound to put a smile on your face. Trying to figure out how to involve them in the preparations during the festive period, however, may do the exact opposite. Here are a few top tips on how to involve them from how to get rid of paint smell quickly after a messy afternoon of fun, to quiet ideas to keep them out of trouble while you’re busy stuffing the turkey in the kitchen.

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog - London Family & Lifestyle Blogger | Christmas

    Get them to decorate for you
    One of the best parts of Christmas is getting to pop up a Christmas tree and some decorations around your home. Regardless of whether you like a small basic tree with a few baubles or you like to light up the whole house in a really dramatic fashion, getting your children to do part, most or all of the decorating will give you a chance to put your feet up for at least a moment or two.

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog - London Family & Lifestyle Blogger | Christmas

    Get your craft on
    If you are not already a fan of Pinterest, now is a time to get involved in it. There are so many crafty ideas available online that will both involve your children in fun activities for Christmas and keep them out of your hair for a while; from creating lolly pop stick Christmas trees to painting toilet roll cardboard white and creating a snowman from it. You need not worry about how to get rid of paint smell once the crafting is finished, because after all it is Christmas time so lighting a Christmassy cinnamon candle is perfectly acceptable!

    The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family Christmas prep with the kids

    Get your bake on
    Whether you fix up a batch of homemade mince pies and a yummy Christmas pudding, or even a simple selection of cupcakes which you cheat and pop Christmas themed cupcake toppers onto; there are so many ways that children can be involved in baking for Christmas. Rolling out pastry for gingerbread men and egg washing the tops of mince pies will not only involve your children, but also make them feel as if they have really helped you out and they will be so proud of what they have helped create.

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores

    Give them easy chores to do
    You will be inundated with things to do at Christmas, from wrapping the gifts for your family to ensuring that the turkey is stuffed and basted to perfection. Asking your children to help out doing simple things such as dusting the surfaces around your home, cleaning up after themselves and putting their own washing away will make your life so much easier.

    So, whether you were unsure of how to get rid of paint smell after festive arts & crafts, or simply needed a few ideas to involve your children in all of the prep for the upcoming festivities; these tips should help you on your way to having a very merry Christmas!


    A contribution post by freelance writer, Joana Teixeira from Cleanipedia

    Review: Our family day out at the Greenwich Wintertime Festival

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Greenwich Wintertime Festival Review

    The Greenwich Wintertime Festival – December 1st-31st 2017

    With Christmas around the corner, there’s a host of winter markets, wonderlands and festivals for you to visit this December. This year, people can go to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Winterville in Clapham and even Portobello market are doing a mini festival called the Portobello Winter Festival. Luckily for us Greenwich locals, we get to have our own winter festival right on our doorstep!

    The Greenwich Wintertime Festival is located on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College – just a stone throw away from the infamous Greenwich market. You can enjoy the wonderful surroundings of historical Greenwich whilst exploring the festival and other parts of the town. We were invited to head down last Sunday and boy did we have a good time! Ticket prices start from £15 for adults (£20 includes the ice-skating session) and from £8 for children.

    Here’s what we got up to…

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Local Events: Greenwich Wintertime Festival Review
    We’re missing one! Baby Girl stayed at home with Daddy P today

    Arrival: First Impressions

    We were booked for the Sunday afternoon slot and had arrived just a little after our session had started. I ended up leaving Baby Girl at home as she was sleeping… she was still asleep when we got home so she must’ve been tired! Checking in was pretty easy and there were no queues. One of the staff members on hand even volunteered to take our photo for us and of course we accepted without hesitation! It’s always nice to get someone to take a photo of us, we’re so used to selfies.

    When we got our wristbands and went through, we were surprised at how big the venue was. I never realised how big the grounds of the Old Naval College was until walking around the place We had a sneak peak of the ice rink and decided that we would go their at the end of our visit. We had a little wander around then found some elves who were lining up children (and parents) to see Santa!

     

     

     

     

    The Santa Experience

    The elves ushered us along a tree-lined path which was lit up with fairy lights and larger colourful lights lit the floor of the pathway. As it was still light, we couldn’t see the full effect of the colours but I can imagine, the pathway would’ve looked beautiful as the sky got darker. We ended up in a room that was actually Santa’s secret launch pad! We had an interactive experience with the big man himself who came out to take a selfie with all the children at the end of the experience. All children were given goody gifts upon leaving the pad which was a nice touch to the experience. Inside our goody bag was a pop-out Wintertime Fest Christmas tree, an electronic light-up spiky ball, and a Christmas cookie shortbread.

    The Shopping (well, lack of for me!)

    Without a doubt, there will always be a winter market ready for you to splash some of your cash. Unfortunately for me, this week hasn’t been a good one financially so I wasn’t able to grab any gifts at the festival but there was loads of things I was eyeing up. Like the wonderful filled gift boxes at RockBox – all of the boxes are amazing but my personal fave is their resolutions box. 🙂 LO was really drawn to the dinosaur purses at The Lion Sparkles. It was really sparkly and the dinosaur shapes were very good! My personal fave from them was their black ROAR tote bag which I cannot find on their website. is now available on their website!! Check it out guys, it’s only £9.50 – a bargain!

     

     

     

     

    The Food/Drink

    There was only one row of food vans so there wasn’t an overwhelming choice of food to eat. In my opinion, it was all a little pricey but then again, it’s about the same kind of price you’d pay at most winter wonderland/market events. The good thing was everyone’s pricing was near enough the same as each other. £7 would get you a burger or taco or burrito and £3-4 would buy you a decent portion of chips. Sweet things like dessert waffles were £6 and churros were £5 for a regular cup and £7 for a large cup, complete with chocolate dipping sauce which tasted like melted chocolate – divine!

    I highly recommend the cinnamon churros at Love Churros and ‘The Porker’ burger at Pulled. If you’re not a pork fan or meat, the taco van had some amazing tacos and burritos. There was also a seafood burger van serving soft-shell crab burgers which sounded amazing but the pulled pork was calling me… Super yums! We sat down in the seating area of the heated covered tent (where the silent disco takes place) to eat our burger and chips. We didn’t feel cold at all, the outdoor heaters they had were really good and everyone around us looked like they were having a good time.

    The Greenwich Mummy | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger: Greenwich Wintertime Festival Review
    Live performances and entertainment in the tent

    The Entertainment

    Whilst tucking into our delicious churros, we headed over to the entertainment tent and sat down to hear We Are Trackless perform some wonderful Christmas carols and songs. Then there was a beat-boxing performance which involved the audience taking part. It was really good and was nice to see people joining in too. The performances here vary from day to day so make sure you check out what’s in store on the day. We were quite happy to just sit down and watch it all. If you’re heading down here on December 9th or 17th (both Sundays), there will be a special screening of the iconic Christmas film, The Snowman which will include a live brass band to accompany the film music.

     

     

     

     

    The Ice Skating Rink

    We left this one to the end which was like the icing on the cake for us. Before our skate session, there was a spectacular performance by the ice rink team who are actually freestyle dancers. After the performance ended, they opened the rink for the public. It has been years since I last put on a pair of skates but damn did it feel good to get back on the ice! I had a bit of the wobbles on the ice but holding onto LO’s seal aid helped. 🙂 Best of all, LO absolutely loved it! He had told me before he didn’t like the ice so for him to get on and skate with me was amazing even though I pushed him for 90% of our ice skating time.

    The ice skating session is only 30 mins long which was enough for us. I also think we were allowed to skate for much longer. The rink is a decent size for both experienced skaters and complete first-timers. It was definitely big enough for us to enjoy without feeling intimidated. If you’re heading onto the ice, opt for the earlier sessions as it’s less busy then and would be a nicer experience for the children or people who aren’t that confident on the ice. Don’t forget to pick a seal aid if you need a bit of help skating.

    The whole rink has a large viewing/standing area for people who are not going on the ice and there’s a small bar serving hot, cold and alcoholic beverages to keep you going. Once we were ready to leave the ice, it was approaching 5:30pm so we fufilled our three-hour time slot which seemed to have gone by really quickly. I asked LO if he would like to skate again and he said yes with a genuine smile on his face which really made my day and the burst blister on my right bony foot all worthwhile. 🙂

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Events: Greenwich Wintertime Festival Review
    Smiles for the camera! LO’s first winter festival!

    Our verdict… we loved it! I’d recommend the Greenwich Wintertime Festival to anyone who’s looking for a smaller venue but has all the features of a larger event. This place is fantastic for families with younger children, or for people who prefer something quieter and less chaotic than the giant venues like Winter Wonderland. The festival was busy and bustling but not enough to feel over-crowded which was perfect for us!

    I just came across this video from Videoblogg showing you around the festival – you can watch it here (opens a new window)

    weloveit-mummyapproved

    UPDATE!

    I’ve read a lot of bad reviews about the Wintertime Festival and had a couple of comments on this post about the high prices (it is quite pricey!) and lack of things to see/do so I just wanted to highlight the pros & cons of the festival for those who plan on going so you can make up your own mind…

    The Pros

    1. It’s a small and intimate winter festival on the Old Royal Naval College grounds (lovely surroundings) – there’s no loud music or massive crowds
    2. It’s in the heart of Greenwich so you can also enjoy other things nearby ie. the old market, Greenwich Park, Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum. If you have time, the Mudchute animal farm is only a 30mins walk via the foot tunnel (or take the DLR)
    3. Pre-book the package that includes the ice skating for the best deal
    4. It’s different from your standard winter festivals – the stalls sell curated, British-made goods from small (some are London-based), independent businesses, artists and designers – a great way of supporting independent British businesses!
    5. The entertainment was good and varies throughout the day – there’s also a silent disco for those who want to boogie
    6. There’s outdoor heaters in the eating areas which was nice but you still need to dress up warm especially if you’re out late

    The Cons

    1. Wintertime Fest is a contemporary event; alternative festivals are not everyone’s bag of tea so keep this in mind
    2. The entry fee is a lot of money if you are expecting a lot more for your money. I’d suggest pre-booking the ice-skating package (£20 per adult) to get the best deal. For me, the skating was the highlight of our day at the festival and I’d happily pay the price to skate on the beautiful grounds again
    3. It’s a small festival, so there’s limited food and drink options (which are quite pricey). The gift stalls are independent small businesses so you won’t find the usual continental goods sold at winter festivals ie. gingerbread cookies, German sausages, cheeses, mass-produced toys
    4. There are no rides for very young children (under 4yrs) so there’s not much to do apart from ice-skating so this festival wouldn’t really be a good choice for new parents or those with toddlers. You might enjoy the carousel by the Cutty Sark and National Maritime museum more
    5. No ATMs on site so make sure you take out cash before entering or be prepared to pay for everything via card. There’s no re-entry once you’ve gone in
    6. The Santa experience is NOT a Santa’s Grotto one-on-one experience – we enjoyed the Santa experience but was disappointed that there was no one-to-one photo opportunity with Santa

    I hope this updated section helps and I am really sorry for those who have been and didn’t enjoy the festival as we really liked it and not because we were gifted the tickets but because we enjoyed the calmer and quieter atmosphere, the churros and definitely the ice skating.


    [#ad] We received a complimentary family ticket to attend the Greenwich Wintertime Festival. All words, opinions and photos are my own and this unbiased review is a true representation of our experience.

    LoveTheSales.com: The place to go (online) for shopping sales!

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog: LoveTheSales.com Review
    The Greenwich Mummy Blog: LoveTheSales.com Review
    Image source: Lovethesales.com

    I love finding a good bargain so when things I like go on sale, I try my utmost to grab a bargain. However, what I hate most about store sales are the long queues, the messy sales racks, and simply… the crazy shoppers.

    Since I’ve gotten older I just find sales shopping really overwhelming, overbearing and claustrophobic. Nowadays I just shop online from my mobile or computer and enjoy the fact that I don’t have to step foot into a store, queue up for hours or interact with anyone. Just me and my computer/mobile. Happy times.

    The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Lovethesales.com

    I recently came across a sales site called lovethesales.com. They’re a bit like a Google search engine for sale items. From what I’ve gathered, the website pulls through thousands of sale items that are currently on offer from hundreds of online retailers for us to ogle at and buy. The website caters to all departments; womenswear, menswear, kidswear, home & outdoor furniture, kids toys… the lot. The retailers the site pulls through ranges from cheap and cheerful high-street stores to your high-end retailers like Ralph Lauren, French Connection, etc.

    However like any good deal, the items are only on the site for a limited time then new ones are added. Once that happens, if you’re too late you can miss out on a really good deal. I had my eyes set on a brilliant train set from Toys R Us that was £24.99, down from £49.99 but as I was too busy contemplating for a couple of days whether it’d be a useful gift, when it came to the day I wanted to buy it the deal was gone. Bummer. Continue reading “LoveTheSales.com: The place to go (online) for shopping sales!”