Xmas stocking idea for kids: Mini-U kids bath bombs & fizzy plops

One of the best things about Christmas is the delight, surprise and happiness that we see on the children’s faces. Looking at them we let go of our daily grind and seriousness and start smiling ourselves. The innocence with which children approach Christmas and New Year, how much harder they work in order to make sure that Father Christmas makes the visit down the chimney and the excitement we all feel when we help them compile their wish list is pricelessly uplifting! Well, why don’t you add mini-U kids bath bombs & fizzy plops to your Xmas gift list and see how delightful bath time becomes.


A couple of years ago a girlfriend of mine found a brand called Mini-U kids in her local, tiny health store in Kent and gave it to me as a present. Their Innocence Hair & Body Wash ( with coconut & ylang ylang extract ) became a firm favourite, as its delicious smell made kids smile, while its bottle design reminded me a little of the Innocence Smoothies.


Recently I was sent new additions to fun bathtime collection called mini-u Fizzy Plops ( water-colour tablets ) and Coloured Bath Bombs ( for Super Heroes, Princesses & Whizz Kids ) and they proved to be such a hit that I have placed an order and plan to give some as stocking fillers for kids.

Bath bombs will plop into your bath with a satisfying thud and then will whirr around as the water dissolves it slowly and turns blue, pink or green. And don’t worry, it won’t stain kid’s skin or your bath. The biggest & charming surprise is inside, once the bomb is completely dissolved you will find it floating on the surface and it will continue to delight your kids after the bathtime is over-and no, I won’t tell you what it is, you will have to try it to find out! The bath bomb cleanses the skin, so you don’t have to use anything else while giving your child a bath but do make him or her stand in the bath and just let the water from the shower head wash over before you wrap your kid in a towel or bathrobe.

Ingredients: Sodium bicarbonate, Sodium sulfate, Citric acid, Parfum, CI 16035, CI 42090, CI 61565, Linalool.


As an alternative, you can try Fizzy Plops ( a great idea for when you are travelling and don’t want to pack bulky bottles in your suitcase ). They are small tablets that dissolve in water, coloring it but not the kids. Each tablet smells fruity and will delight your little one or even a pre-teen. Who knows, on a given day you might be even tempted to try one when having a bath or sharing it with your kids.

Ingredients: Sodium bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Pentasodium Triphosphate, Succinic Acid, Sodium Sulfate, PEG-8, Parfum, Denatonium Benzoate, CI 42090, CI 19140, CI 42090, CI 16255, Linalool



organic skincare for kids: Little Green Radicals

Even though I have a few firm favourites when it comes to brands/products that I use on my junior family members (vast majority of them organic, the one brand that isn’t hails from France) I am always on the lookout for new entries to the market that are there for all the right reasons, notably to care for the delicate children’s skin using the right (not ‘green washed’ but truly natural or organic ingredients). Lovely blogger Charlie Hughes, who blogs under the name The Mad Mummy Musings or Sophia’s Choice, put a company Little Green Radicals on my radar and the brand was kind enough to send me some of their products to try.

The company was started in 2005 by Nick Pecorelli (and the vast majority of his team is female, so it definitely has their team of approval) and it makes organic, Fairtrade certified clothes for babies and children with cool, modern slogans.  Nick ‘wanted the brand to be ethical and green but also fun’ and by calling it Little Green Radicals (LGR for short) he thought ‘people would get both messages instantly’. Earlier this year LGR expanded the range by adding skincare products for kids (with some new additions, like baby lotion, shampoo & baby wash, massage oil and scalp oil hitting the web shelves as I write this).

Nappy Balm, 50 mls, £8.95: a 76% organic, balm like formula is exact opposite of many mothers favourite Sudocream (and don’t get me wrong, on certain occasions nothing beats this product). It’s lavender scented formula glides easily over the the skin and is barely noticeable (so it doesn’t block pores). It is a blend of shea butter, sunflower and lavender to sooth, nurture and protect baby’s delicate bottom, particularly while he or she is wearing nappies and the skin doesn’t have an opportunity to ‘breath’ properly. You would find it handy even for bigger kids, for the times when their bottoms might be a bit sore if they are prone to constipation. You also have a handy expiry date at the bottom, forget the pun, of the glass jar, which unlike its plastic or metal counterpart, can be recycled.


Ingredients: *helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil butyrospermum parkii butter cetyl alcohol*olea europeaea oil cera alba wax, lavandula angustifolia flower oil citrus reticulata peel oil calendula officinalis extract *zea mays, tocopherol, **geraniol **linalool, **limonene, **citronellol
*Organic Ingredient
**Natural Ingredient

Petroleum Free Jelly, 50 mls, £8.95: this 87% organic product is particularly suitable for babies and children with sensitive or delicate skin. It is a moisturising body balm that is full of goodness derived from shea butter, vitamin E and beeswax. The product is handmade in Dorset, so by buying it you are supporting local producers of organic crops-I call it spreading goodness all around. You can use this jelly balm on dry skin patches or on kid’s hands and nails to nourish them, while it’s almost neutral smell makes your baby or toddler smell like they should-sweetly natural.


Ingredients: *helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil cera alba wax *butyrospermum parkii (fruit)butter *olea europeaea (fruit) oil *arnica officinalis extract*zea mays tocopherol
*Organic Ingredient
**Natural Ingredient

Sleep Balm, 50 mls, £9.95: now, this lovely mummy’s helper is 99,9% organic and will help to lull your little or not so little child to sleep naturally. It is an organic blend of beeswax, lavender and valerian oils that calms a restless child and might rub some of its magic on a tired parent as well. Ok, I am not saying that it will put your child out like a light, but it certainly will help to sooth a hyper child and make him or her feel more relaxed. Rub it on the temples, behind the ears, on the inside of the wrists and let the sooth smell of lavender (almost like driving past the lavender fields in the South of France & inhaling its relaxing aroma) envelope your child in a gentle hug (for the reason unknown to me this product is currently not available online, so do get in touch with the customer service team to place an order).


Ingredients: *helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil *olea europeaea (fruit) oil cera alba wax lavandula angustifolia (lavender)flower oil valariana officinalis(valerian) root oil tocopherol**geraniol**linalool**limonene**citronellol
* Organic Ingredient
**natural ingredient

Chest Rub, 50 mls, £9.95: this 100% natural vapour rub is a great alternative to Vicks Vapour Rub. It blends together rosemary and eucalyptus oils that help clear the nasal congestions and open up the breathing pathways. It doesn’t make the eyes water or feel itchy and will certainly make a restless night a little bit more comfortable. You can also dot a little under the nose at night-time, as it shouldn’t irritate the skin.


Ingredients: *helianthus annuus seed oilcera alba wax citrus reticulata peel oil lavandula angustifolia flower oil eucalyptus globulus leaf[...] read more

Your summer travel kit from Purepotions skincare

As vacation time is fast approaching, the ”To Do” and ”To Pack” lists continue to grow, leading to frustration and over-packing and possibly some tantrums down the road, if something important gets forgotten at home. I find that multi-tasking products work best, especially when it comes to the ”rescue remedy ” essentials and that’s why this latest launch from a lovely British organic skincare brand Purepotions is most definitely going on the road with me.


Purepotions was started by Natalie Balmond, who was desperately trying to find a safe and effective way to improve her daughter Lula’s severe eczema. Anyone who has ever battled skin conditions knows how painfully uncomfortable eczema can be, particularly for a child. The probem is all encompassing, particularly in the society that we live in, which is often driven by how we look on the outside and certain stereotypes.

Purepotions Rescue Salves come in a little cotton string bag and contain four little pots with screw on lids ( handy if little naughty hands want to grab and open them ): Arnica ( soothing and natural ), Lavender ( relaxing ),

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Indispencible goodies for kids from Ohyo, Jack’n’Jill, Badger Balm & Childs Farm

My apologies for not having written in the kid’s section of my website for a little while, so in order to make things up to you, I decided to bring together a few things that are going to be enjoyed not only by your kids, but possibly by you, as a parent, as well.

Ohyo: this clever collapsible bottle in made by a British team and is both practical and cool at the same time. You can make this bottle as small ( fits in your pocket or bag ) or as big ( can fit up to 500 mls of fluid in it ) as you like, it comes in four colours–green, pink, blue and white, is dishwasher safe, as well as BPA-free. We all keep on buying new plastic cups for our kids, from initial formula bottles to sippy cups to kids cups/flasks/bottles that through no fault of their own eventually end up in the trash, so why not choose something that is practical, fun ( appeals to both toddlers, as well as grumpy teens and even adults aren’t immune to the bottles charms) and it will last you a while. There are also plenty of water fountains around London and UK where you can refill this bottle or you can even use it as hand-held weights while working out-just a thought on my part .)



Badger Balm: this brand has been a long-time favourite of mine, I use their sleep balm when I feel tired, their muscle rub when a muscle aches after a particularly intense workout or the aromatic chest rub when a cold is rearing up its head. I have been using Badger Baby Balm for soothing kids skin but until now haven’t been aware that the brand also does sun protection for kids and babies. Luckily for me, Badger Balm team was very informative during my conversation with them at the Natural & Organic Show and I was a very lucky recipient of their latest addition to the range, Daily Kids Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Lotion in a soothing Aloe Vera base. Many children sun protection creams and lotions leave a thick, white residue on their skin, as well as block their pores, leading to rashes and general grievances but this product has been wonderful from the moment I started applying it, when British sun finally decided to grace us with its presence. It is 100 % certified natural and 87% certified organic and has both UVA and UVB protection. It comes in a really nicely designed bio-degradable squeezable bottle and the actual lotion is non-nano. It has a light-weight texture that sinks in very quickly, it isn’t greasy and it smells of tangerine & vanilla, that particularly seems to appeal to kids.


The list of ingredients is as follows: Aloe Barbadensis ( Aloe ) juice, Healianthus Annuus ( Sunflower ) Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius ( Safflower ) Oleosomes,, Sucrose Cocoate ( from Coconut ) water, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis ( Sweet Orange ) essential oil, Citric Acid ( from non-GMO Corn ), Microcrystalline Cellulose, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate ( from Radish ), Glycerin ( from sustainable Palm ), Citrus Tangerina ( Tangerine ) Essential oil, Aloe Barbadensis ( Aloe ) extract, Tocopherol ( Sunflower vitamin E ), Gluconolactone ( from non-GMO Corn ), Vanilla Planifolia ( Vanilla ) CO2 extract, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin ( from Soybean ), Cellulose Gum    


Childs Farm: this brand prides itself on being inspired by the countryside and creates products that smell as good, as they look in the bathroom. The ingredients are carefully selected to nurture children’s delicate skin & scalps, to create joyful or calming sensory experiences and the bottles are easy to open and close, if your children are asserting their independence with ‘Mum, I can do it myself!’ during bath time.

You have bubble baths scented for girls and boys and there are also hair & body washes/shampoos/conditioners to appeal to both. My favourite product at the moment is ‘Caked in Mud‘ hair and body wash that contains argan oil and as my kids keep on telling me every evening: ‘Mum, I want to use my orange smelling bubble bath’. The product lingers on the skin, adding a really lovely, light scent and moisturising the skin as well. What also appeals to me, as a mother, is the fact that Childs Farm doesn’t use parabens, SLS, mineral oils or artificial colours in the range. I also admire the drive and conviction of Joanna Jensen, the founder of the brand, who is very passionate about her brand and making sure that youngsters are given the best start in life in terms of nutritional and skincare choices.

The products also make beautiful birthday gifts for kids of various ages and I have a few girlfriends who were completely enchanted that I chose ‘boy & girl gift sets’ for their kids birthday,s instead of the usual toys-it makes a memorable impression and lasts longer that a child’s interest in a particular toy.


Ingredients:  Aqua, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Lauryl Glucoside, Glycerin, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Chloride, Argan Oil Polyglyceryl-6 Esters, Parfum, Sucrose Laurate, Alcohol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil* Organic Orange Oil, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Limonene, Amyl Cinnamal

Jack’N’Jill Natural Toothpaste: I came across this range on natural toothpastes for kids at a recent Natural & Organic Show at Olympia. They are made by the husband ( pharmacist ) and wife team who make it that mission to formulate a safe, effective and delicious tasting toothpaste for kids.

Most of the toothpastes that I know of, contain ingredients like fluoride, sodium lauryl sulphate and saccharin, as well as artificial colours. Jack’n’Jill ones don’t contain fluoride, SLS, preservatives, colour, sugar, mint ( adults love mint and it certainly feels quite refreshing in our mouth but many kids find it too strong for their much gentler taste palate ) or animal products. They come in four certified organic flavours:

strawberry –blueberrybanana –raspberry 

Those toothpaste contain silica, which acts as a mild abrasive ( when used in conjunction with a toothbrush-but make sure your kids toothbrush is soft, so it doesn’t harm their enamel or gums ) and they do taste so nice I actually don’t mind using it myself ( so far strawberry and banana flavours got tested in my household and both got thumbs up ).

Each toothpaste comes in a recyclable, BPA free, squeezable tube but I am going to be honest here and say that ours got ‘cracked’ after a few uses at the base, where the tube is connected to the cap and I had to use sellotape to try to fix it, not very successfully might I add. To be fair, that’s the only drawback and I will continue buying this toothpaste rather than another well-established brand purely based on the quality of ingredients and long-term safety.


Ingredients: Silica ( for cleaning action ), Vegetable Glycerin ([...] read more

A brand in the spotlight: Molly Brown London and its founder, Erica Illingworth

Last year I was a big hit with my girlfriends and their daughters, as I gifted Little Bu nail polishes as Christmas/ New Year gifts. Recently I was looking through the twitter feed and saw that Little Bu was running a competition with Molly Brown London. Molly Brown, I thought to myself, what a cute name…. It turns out that Molly Brown is a line of beautiful designer jewellery for little girls and the wonderful thing is that each piece ‘grows’ with your daughter, niece, granddaughter, goddaughter or girlfriend’s daughter ( there is also Molly Brown Couture for little girls’ mothers ).

Molly Brown was started by Erica Illingworth, a former headhunter and mother of three. As I was curious about the brand, we agreed to meet up, so I could learn more about a creative power-force behind it, however a day before we were due to meet, my babysitter cancelled and I was mulling whether to go or to re-schedule. I wrote a quick e-mail to Erica, explaining my predicament but she said it was fine to bring my daughter with me, if I was comfortable with that myself. I felt slightly embarrassed, as I didn’t want to be unprofessional, yet thought it would be great to meet Erica now, before the festive stampede.

Erica Illingworth Hot 100 2012 - Copyright Professional Jeweller and ITP

Molly Brown headquarters are based in Chiswick, in an industrial looking building that seems to be heaving with activity, people going in and out and creative discussions going on in the little cafeteria on the ground floor. Erica, a blond slim woman approached me with a gentle smile. She radiated peaceful calm and my daughter smiled back at her-so far, so good, fingers crossed, I thought to myself. I shouldn’t have worried-Erica even brought some little pencils and paper with her, so my daughter could entertain herself while we talked ( my daughter actually kept a curious eye on the beautiful Molly Brown jewellery that Erica was showing me ).

Erica used to work in a highly competitive field of headhunting ( for investment bank sector ), which she acknowledges was a tough environment when you are also raising three children. So as time went by, Erica was thinking more and more about finding something that would give her greater flexibility in balancing her professional and personal duties. She set up a research firm but quickly realised that it was zapping her energy and time in the same way that the previous job did. Erica smiles when she admits that she considered herself to be ‘secretly creative’ and says that she always had a special penchant for jewellery. The ‘light bulb’ moment occurred with the help of Erica’s daughter, who was going to a birthday party and wanted to wear sa necklace that was pretty and simple, with Erica suddenly realising that there was nothing that really fitted the bill. Most of the jewellery for little girls is made out of cheap plastic ( with an odd exception of pretty wooden necklaces and bracelets but then they are more suited to little girls rather than girls who are over five years old and are fast becoming fashion and trend led ). Erica started working on ideas, quickly realising that she found her niche and her calling-she wanted to create beautiful, affordable yet sophisticated jewellery that will make girls feel special without letting their mothers cringe. So Molly Brown ( named after the family’s chocolate Labrador and a cute dog paw on the clasp ) was launched in 2006 and within a short time Erica pitched her brand to Harrods and Selfridges….and was accepted by both of them.


Molly Brown jewellery is sophisticated, yet quite endearing in the sentimentality that you feel looking at each piece. It is suited to girls from about four or five years and is often worn by girls in their teens and even in their twenties ( there is also Molly Brown Couture, a line of jewellery for stylish mothers-so like outfits, you can have matching necklaces or bracelets with your daughter ). It makes a perfect and lasting (!) gift for birthdays, Christmas ( check out Santa’s secret treasure charm ), christening or even to little bridesmaids. You can buy a Molly Brown signature silver bracelet with coloured gemstones or fresh water pearls or a sterling silver bracelet with charms, some of which are made using hand-painted enamellings, a la Faberge eggs and then continue adding the charms to it for each special occasion or milestone. As time goes by, the bracelet becomes a holder of happy, special moments, bringing a smile to both of you, or as Erica put it to me ‘jewellery can be full of memories of life’ and looking back at my own experience, I couldn’t agree more with her…

The first collection that Molly Brown was launched with ( Vogue magazine came to the brand’s launch and called it ‘Tiffany’s for little girls’ ) was called Jelly Bean ( which has since become an award winning range ) and then expanded to include:

 –Alphabet collection ( where you can have the first letter of the  name or you can build the name or nickname ),

 –Aurora collection ( ‘each Fairy brings a precious gift of beauty, love or song’ ),

 –Princess collection,

 –Fairy wish collection,

 –Angelina Ballerina collection,

 –Hearts collection,

 –Signature collection ( ‘epitomises essence of beauty & style’ ),

 –Secret treasures collection,

 –Lulu Lockets collection,

 –Collection 12 ( birthstone bracelet collection ),

 and the latest one, called –My first diamond collection.

You can choose from extensive choice of bracelets, necklaces, earrings and charms-both for little girls and for their mothers too. 

Creative Jelly Beans

Erica works really hard and hasn’t lost any drive or motivation since the brand’s launch in 2006. If anything, she is ready to expand her wings and get more representation around the world in the cities like Paris, Madrid, Milan and US ( I was surprised to learn that as yet she doesn’t have Russian stockists, but then Russians are obsessed with well-known brands, and often gift young girls Tiffany’s or Cartier pieces from early on ).

When it comes to Molly Brown necklaces, each one is measured at 14 inches and as the girl grows, each piece can be re-adjusted to 16 and 18 inches. Erica told[...] read more