09.09.15 Do you Dress Like a Mum?


Yesterday I came across the super funny and cool Zoe who lives in London with her two kids. She is the founder of the campaign ‘Dress like a mum’ – to change the bad image of dressing like a mum.

It got me thinking about how we all dress and how the school gate has an effect on the way we dress. Do you take the same approach to dress the same, no matter the day, weekend or school run? Or do you make more of an effort in the week or vice versa?

I love this video she made, but even more I can’t even begin to express my love for the gold necklace her little one is rocking out big time. #Respect

Check out Zoe’s site over at Dress like a Mum for more #muminspo !


09.09.15 Summer I loved you long time…part two: France


Their first surf lessons in Seignosse, Hossegor. Seb’s first tooth came out. We collected sand, stones and shells, crab claws, frogs, bugs and memories. And water blisters on their fingers from how long they spent in the water. Everyone had gone back to school and the beaches were bare. It was bliss.






synchronised swimming kids

metallic tattoos

chalkboard living in hossegor


08.09.15 Summer… I loved you long time. Part One – Greece

Kitty in Greece Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Greece by Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

Chalkboard living

I long for the eternal summer. This year we made it to Greece, Spain and France with lots of friends and lots of kids. They are bloody lucky and so are we. Not quite ready for Autumn yet.

I always miss the sound of the waves.



04.06.15 Lola ate a 20p coin (and a warning about batteries)

she ate a 20p piece

So Lola ate a 20 pence coin.

Of all the things I worry about with the kids, swallowing money did not come onto my radar. None of them really put things in their mouth any more. When I saw my 3 year old choking in front of me, in our bedroom, I still did not think… she’s eaten a coin. Until she asked us whilst making the gagging, retching, choking noises of a toddler with a metal object stuck in her throat to ‘get the money out’.

A surreal experience of first aid, throwing her over my knee and hitting on the back between her shoulder blades, which did not empty out what she had in her mouth, a call to 999, a few vomiting episodes, an ambulance ride and an X ray later we knew it was definitely a coin. 56 hours later, we had poked around enough poo to find that magical piece of metal that had been places no human eye would wish. If you have no desire to see what a coin that has travelled through an acid bath of the human digestive tract looks like, then look away about now.

she ate a 20p piece

During the whole ‘experience’ I learnt I am not bad in a crisis. Those first aid lessons I had 8 years ago came rushing back. Apart from my initial horror of watching her choking, the only time I felt the gurgle of sickness rise up in my throat was when the paramedic questioned whether it could be a coin shaped battery. These little things containing lithium which fit into clocks, watches, toys, electric scales etc, can burn holes in your oesophagus and corrode your insides. They can be fatal. She reminded me this in the ambulance and I wanted to VOM. I had taken some upstairs to change the batteries from the scales in my bathroom and I couldn’t be absolutely certain she hadn’t found and used these as money until I called home and had him check.

So here’s the thing. You might not think it but kids swallow things ALL THE TIME. When we were in A&E, we were there with another little boy who had swallowed a ball bearing from a game he was playing. My friends little girl swallowed her wedding ring. These things happen. But when you consider where most of us keep batteries, in a drawer in the kitchen? (like me), in devices that can easily be opened by children, it is literally an accident waiting to happen. So think about moving them to somewhere similar to where you keep your medical supplies, high up and out the way of little fingers.

So thank God, fate, the world, karma for good shit happening. All is well in the house of Chalkio and we have 3 healthy kids. Breathe, smile, grin. Now tell me, have you ever swallowed a foreign object you didn’t actually mean to?



21.05.15 Dressing up as a Roman

Dressing up as a Roman Day at school.

Homemade kids Roman costume

Homemade kids Roman costume

Roman hair

I remembered on the Sunday. Toga making time. As luck would have it she wanted to be a rich Roman lady as funnily enough, they get to wear lots of jewellery and make up. They also had enough money to buy fabrics that were dyed and therefore didn’t have to be white. There are a lot of simple instructions on how to make a toga online and a peasant costume can be made with even a simple white T shirt or pillowcase and a piece of string as a belt.

Obviously wanting to be true to the fashion whilst using a little creative licence, I also searched the images of TV series  ‘Spartacus’ for the costumes used in the show. This gave me a really good idea of how to put all our pieces together. The hair being braided into two small plaits either side was an effective finishing touch.

Her Rich Lady Roman Costume consisted of:

A cot bed jersey sheet with the fitted elastic cut from the bottom and two sides but kept at the top, wrapped around her and fastened with safety pins.

Green and gold scarf of mine worn as a sarong and crossed/knotted around her neck.

Thin gold belt, gold costume jewellery, all mine.

Plus a special last minute Sunday purchase from TopShop of the gold headpiece.


08.01.15 Lola Wears

lola wears The Brand

lola wears The Brand

lola wears The Brand

She looks so good in black. She loves looking at herself in the pictures as soon as you take them. How would she have survived before digital?

Flounce Cotton top: The Brand

Jersey long sleeve top (underneath) – Next


07.01.15 Black and white makes me happy

black and white edit

A few of my favourite scents. My new ‘going out purse’ and an old school bracelet thatis the perfect mix of chunky and cool. Oh and a black and white striped box. Say no more.

Perfume: Korres

Candle: & Other Stories

Skull Wallet: Zadig and Voltaire

Bracelet: All Saints


07.01.15 Fashion: Lola Wears


This girl. She cracks me up. My baby. My number 3. The craziest of the lot. That’s Lola.

Sunglasses: Disney

T-shirt: H&M

Jeans and Neon Star pumps: Gap



07.01.15 January: A fresh start

Around the year by Elsa Beskow

I love this book my friend Geraldine bought the kids last year. Around the Year by Elsa Beskow.

It pretty much shows me what I need to do round here. Simplify and get back to creating.

Happy New Year to you all!


24.10.14 Sibling love: How to keep them loving each other



sibling love


I really can’t explain the bond between siblings. I have 3 children. They are all close, individually with each other and as a three. But how have I encouraged this and what do I do to keep it this way?

(P.S. They are 7, 5 & 3…I can’t promise this will work forever but it has done us all pretty well so far 😉

1. Keep them physically close

My youngest two still sleep together, in single beds they want pushed together so it’s like them sharing one bed. I might as well have put them both in a double. I shared with my sister until I was nearly a teen and loving or hating her at times it’s like sharing a dorm or a house at university. You are bound by a shared experience and a physical closeness of being a team, sharing a space. It won’t work for everyone but if your children want to sleep together don’t dismiss it just because you have enough bedrooms for them all.

2. Promote a positive family expectation in discussions and arguments.

I don’t allow my children to talk badly to each other whenever possible. They have to explain themselves to each other and apologise. Properly. Kiss, cuddle, make up, whatever! But it has to be genuine. I tell them that in life your family is always first. That we will all be here for each other no matter what and that means thinking about your brothers and sisters when planning things and playing games too.

3. Enjoy playing and holidaying together

We love to take them on holiday. Luckily we can afford to do this every year and for us its a priority. I’d say most of our favourite memories and experiences come from a trip somewhere and one that we have taken together. Neither of my parents are alive but i have a special bond with my sister even though we don’t see each other often, because we shared a childhood of memories together that no one else has shared with us….and yes we definitely hated each other a lot at points too! I recently met someone with a large family of brothers and sisters, all now with their own families. She said they were all still really close. I asked how and she told me that every Summer her parents rent a house for 6 weeks and invite everyone to stay. They all manage to cross over staying there for at least a few days and that special time is what keeps the families connected and still making memories even though they are all grown up.

4. Visual encouragement

I’m a visual person. Everything I see matters and it also influences me on a daily basis. I think my children may learn in this way too. If Lola doesn’t want to go swimming, if i show her a video from my phone of her swimming unaided and show her what she is capable of its like she suddenly remembers and is a lot less resistant about going. It’s the same with the way they act towards each other. If I take photos of them having fun together or even of places or things that we have done together it triggers a memory of positivity towards each other. Keeping or showing them photos or videos of them together often brings out a sentimental part where they want to create how good they felt and this has an immediate effect on how they interact with each other.

5. Don’t expect too much

I like my children to have a caring responsibility for each other. If they fall over, help them up, check they are Ok etc. but not many children want to be 2nd parents to their siblings. They are siblings and friends and over and above looking after each others well being I would not expect them to ‘babysit’ each other. This generally leads to resentment and feelings of dissatisfaction about their role in the family.

6. Finally spend time on each child individually

This is easier said than done but there should always be times every so often where each child can feel special without his siblings being there. One on one time with your children is the fastest way to boost feelings of happiness and make each member of the family seem important, even if this is done inside the home whilst the others are occupied. I try and spend an extra 10 minutes at night sitting talking and reading with all my children and I love buying experiences for their birthdays as opposed to things so that they get a memory which lasts, sometimes together and sometimes just for them.


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