Archive - November, 2012

29.11.12 Out & About: Visit Santa!

No Christmas is complete without a visit to Santa. Yes, it might only be November but competition to meet the big man is fierce! Often the big London stores sell out months in advance! If you want to avoid a last minute scramble to your local shopping centre, read our round up of some of the more inspiring places to see him outside of central London… And get it booked!

1. Santa’s Spectacular Grotto & Festive Farm, Willows Farm Village, St Albans, Hertfordshire  2. Santa’s Cellar Grotto, Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking, Surrey  3. Santa Land, Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset 4. Santa’s Grotto at Kew Gardens  5.Santa’s Grotto at the Reindeer Centre, Nr Ashford, Kent,   6.  Santa’s Magical Journey, Thursford, Norfolk.

Click below to see more information on each event.

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27.11.12 Present ideas for kids? A Most Curious Kids Fair…

Want to find presents without buying more junk? If you are near London or Norwich you’re in luck! Bad luck if you missed the Brighton one last weekend.

The Most Curious exhibitions started as the vintage events, hire and style company ‘A Most Curious Party’ in 2009, and was founded by vintage enthusiast and assistant editor and stylist on interior design magazine, idfx, Becky Hoh-Hale.

Since then it has grown in different directions. A baby fair started – now kids fair and she also runs vintage wedding fairs too. Check out the facebook page to see some of the sellers. It looks like it is going to be an amazing event. Fingers crossed I can palm off some…(any of my children?!) although there is going to be a father Christmas GROTTO complete with Vintage style toys! I hope to see you there on Sunday!

P.S Have you joined us on facebook yet? Or twitter..or my personal obsession...instagram?






26.11.12 My Room: Joseph age 7

Meet Joseph aged 7.  He’s a boy with a love of… well stuff that boys often like. Cartoons, cars and karate. He lives with his sister Ella, dog Lottie and his parents in this beautiful 1930’s renovation. While his room offers everything a 7 year old may need, really he just can’t wait until he gets to take over the playroom den on the top floor! (That’s when his mum plans to create a boys den dreams are made of!) Who’s his mum? The talented and stylish Interior designer Laura Green.

I like my room and all my stuff but my favourite things at the moment are playing on my mum’s ipad and on my DS. I don’t always play in here because we have the den on the top floor. I usually go there in the morning before school to play when i wake up (about 6.30am). Up there we have all the rest of our toys and a football table and our TV. It’s where we go to hang out and watch films together.

I made this dinosaur at home. I enjoy making things like this.

I’m a yellow belt in Karate and I like superhero’s especially Spiderman.

And my drums are my favourite too!

I’ve got a lot of books. I love Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl and my second favourite is probably The Story House by Vivian French.

Photography by Vicky Holmes

Check out the rest of his house and the den here.

NEXT MONDAY: Ella’s room! A room that dreams are really made of. Don’t miss it!

23.11.12 because they’re worth it: Kids hair guide for long hair

Long hair can be fun and beautiful if kept in good condition. It can also be kind of boring when they wear the same old ponytail everyday. Here’s a few ideas to zhush up your hair repertoire!

option one: Straight – curl  or curl to straight.

If they’ve got straight hair, they’ll like curls for a change and if they have curly hair no doubt at some point they’ll love you to straighten it. As long as it’s not done too often it’s a fun change that doesn’t require much skill. Think about adding a heat spray to protect their hair first if using heated curlers or straighteners.

Option three: the fish plait

To see the rest of the styles and read on click on the link below.

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23.11.12 The Chalk Diaries: Thanksgiving

I’m British so Thanksgiving doesn’t mean much to me but a big shout out to all you celebrating with turkey. I’m loving the excuse to eat two massive Christmas style dinners only a month apart. I’m all over that!

Today there’s no turkey for me but I am still thankful.

For these three miracles of life.

Yep even when they are naughty. Because when they do stuff that makes me want to scream i remember how lucky they are that they are able to walk, talk and use a crayon in the first place. There’s nothing like seeing someone else’s child brain damaged or in a wheelchair to make you shut your mouth and just be thankful.

And for this one. Especially this one who helped make the 3 critters in the first shot . His shoulder surgery yesterday was ‘uneventful’ and may I say a hallelujah to that.



21.11.12 Family Hour (make these with the kids!) : Laura Green’s Chocolate Brownies

When I say Laura’s I really mean Nigella’s with a sneaky Laura twist of course. Anyway want one? Why not make them with the kids? It’s really not that hard.

Though to be honest nothing can be too hard to make in Laura’s kitchen! See her full house tour here.

You will need:

200g soft unsalted butter

200g best quality dark chocolate

150g white chocolate buttons

3 large eggs

1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract

250g caster sugar

115g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Icing sugar to dust to the tops (for decoration)

PLUS a tin measuring approximately 33 x 23 x 5 1/2cm

How to make:

1. Preheat oven to 180*c/gas mark 4. Line your brownie pan – the sides AND the base – with foil, parchment or bake O glide.

2. Melt the butter and the dark chocolate together in a large heavy pan.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla.

4. Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt.

5. When the chocolate mixture has melted, let it cool a bit and beat in the eggs, sugar and flour and white chocolate buttons. Beat until smooth and scrape into your tin.

6. Bake for no longer than 15 minutes to ensure a gooey in the middle brownie.

7. Cut to size and sieve a little icing sugar over to make everything look pretty!

Ta da!   Lunch, dinner & pudding is served!

(Please note that this is an altered recipe to Nigella’s. To view the original (check p.193) of How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson.)

Photographs by Vicky Holmes. Styling by Tracey Chalk/ Laura Green




19.11.12 Our house: Laura Green & family. A perfectly glamorous modern wonderland.

Laura Green an interior designer from Essex, lives with her husband and two children Joseph and Ella and Lottie the dog in a beautiful 1930’s home in Leigh on Sea.

I’m always excited to be given the opportunity to interview and document people in their homes, but never more so than when I went to meet Laura and her family in the beautiful town of Leigh on Sea. There is something about the mix of old property and contemporary decor that sends my heart into a flutter and for me, this house is one of the closest I’ve come to to my elusive hunt for perfection in a home.  Both Vicky (the photographer) and I left in a heady state of envy and admiration for what Laura has achieved. She has an amazing gift of making her rooms look minimalist, whilst simultaneously filling them with ornaments, knick knacks, candles and flowers. A complete contradiction for the minimal and simplistic. This is a girl with an obsession for beautiful lights, each room with a lighting statement of it’s own. I loved every second inside this house and remember it as if it were a dream. It’s a mix of old and new, glamorous but simple and cosily inviting, yet many of the rooms were generously large. Plus she has a walk in dressing room and AMAZING  shoe collection. Now someone pinch me! Enjoy.

click on the link below to see the rest of Laura’s family house tour.

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12.11.12 alex and alexa: Spring Summer 2013…coming your way soon!

Alex and Alexa,  now involved in the planning of the first ever Global kids fashion week in March 2013,   launched the same year my eldest daughter Kitty was born, in 2007. A designer department store for kids online, it has provided us with an easy way to shop for some special and everyday pieces. My favourite feature of their website is their B.O.B (Be our buyer) concept where you can shop and vote for new brands on trial, at a massive discount. Remember Kitty’s Mini Rodini tarzan swim suit? Yup. £10 in their B.O.B sale!

So it was a delight to take a trip into their pretend dolls house to view the Spring Summer collections for 2013. Here’s a little tour for your visual pleasure. Enjoy! 😉

Possibly my favourite trend area of the house! Brands including Stella McCartney (the blue parrot dress & shoes an absolute winner for me.), Pepe, Cavalli, Jean Paul Gaultier & Supertrash.


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03.11.12 Because they’re worth it: Styling Curly hair for kids

It’s no secret that most people with curly hair often wish they had straight hair because it would be so much easier sometimes! I say, embrace the crazy curliness and give your child a head to be proud of.

You can do just as many styles with a bit of extra patience and and a bit of practise. Thanks to our stunning model Isabelle, who could not have been more patient. xx

Option One: The 1950’s Rock n Roll Pony

Crimson hairband by Nyoki Handmade

Click on the link below to see the rest!

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