Choco Mania… 

…not to be muddled up with Chico Mania (what time is it WordPress auto-correct)

Hosted at the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, the Krispy Creme Choco Late event was a sensory delight from the moment I walked into the private dining room, flickering tea lights gently scented the air with the aroma of chocolate….

…in celebration of the new Krispy Kreme Choco Mania Limited Edition range of donuts which are here until the end of May 2015…. my fellow bloggers and I were treated to a fine dining experience of… Krispy Kreme Choco Mania doughnuts…. each served with a specially created cocktail….

Here’s some snaps from the event…

  A table set for a fine dining experience of…. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts…

  My place-setting, with specially created doughnut cutting knife….

Oh no they dit-n’t…. oh yes the did…. Krispy Kreme perfume, just dab a little on your wrist…

    Introducing the Krispy Kreme Triple Chocolate Cake… 

   My favourite… the Krispy Kreme Chocolate Krispy Doughnut…

  Time for a cocktail… the ‘Chocolate Hazelnut Kreme’ cocktail… to accompany…

  The Krispy Kreme Chocolate Hazelnut Kreme Doughnut…

Fellow diners… Lauren and Felicity from award winning blog Pretty Posh Oh My Gosh!

  A warm ‘Chocolate and Honeycomb’ cocktail went alongside… a Krispy Kreme Chocolate and Honeycomb Doughnut….

    and finally…. we all got to try our hand at making our own doughnut… I went a little overboard with the sprinkles… salted caramel and mint crispys… that’s breakfast sorted then…

Thanks to Krispy Kreme for a truly surreal Choco Late Choco Mania experience!

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Princess Academy made my little girl’s dreams come true

Princess Academy

It’s super special to be able to follow up my post about the car-crash that was M’s 5th birthday party – well the ‘Elsa entertainer‘ from AEIOU Children’s Parties looked like she’d been in a car-crash – with a post about the wonderful Princess Academy and friends, who threw the most amazing party for M and her best pals.

Like many other really kind entertainers, Princess Academy, got in touch with me when news of ‘Bad Elsa’ went viral and into the national media – it also made TV news in Australia and Japan!

Princess Becky from Princess Academy offered to create a magical party for M, and what I loved most was that Becky got in touch by email, and made it very clear that she didn’t want any publicity, she just wanted to do something to make a little girl’s dreams come true.

And the good-heartedness of Princess Becky and her merry band of princesses is what shone through at the party. These are entertainers who truly believe in creating magic for little children…

…which is why I decided to side-step the ‘no publicity’ thing and shout loudly about how wonderful this merry band of entertainers is.

The princesses, plus their dashing escorts, were in character from the moment we arrived at the Princess Academy until the moment we left. It didn’t matter if they were talking to an adult or a child, they made sure the magic spell wasn’t broken.

M and her pals were royally treated to two hours of fun… they sang, they danced, they iced cakes, they shot baddie cartoon characters with balloons, they had a deportment class (!), they dined on a feast of party food, they had a fairytale read to them, and best of all, they each got to hug and hang out with all the princesses… and a couple of their mums may have grabbed the chance to hug Pirate Jack 🙂

Usually I’m all about the words, but in this instance, pictures speak far louder… so here’s a curation from M’s Princess Academy party…

Princess Academy Princess Entertainers

Princess Academy and friends

Hug a Princess

 

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Archery Lesson with Merida

Freya, Elle, Aggy with Snow White

Jack and Sunday

Misty with Elsa, Anna and Kristoff

Ellen Elsa Hug

So all that remains is for me to say a MASSIVE thank you on behalf of M, Adam and me, to everyone who worked with the Princess Academy to make M’s party super duper special and an experience she’ll treasure for a lifetime…

Princess Academy – the party was the brainchild of Princess Becky, who is one very kind and special lady. The role call for all the wonderful princesses and dashing dudes follows, please do contact them if you want to have an entertainer who really understands what it takes to create magic for children…

Photography by Colin Roberts – Colin did a brilliant job of capturing all the activity whilst somehow never encroaching on the fun. Find Colin at Colin Roberts Photography.

The food was lovingly supplied by Ronnie’s Kitchen, who created Melted Olaf yoghurt, Sven’s carrots, frozen heart strawberries dipped in white chocolate… the creativity was fabulous.

A super duper thank you to The Music Box, who provided the marquee for the Princess Academy.

And finally, a thank you to Princess Pop-Ins, who weren’t able to attend the party, but provided ‘magic coins’ to help create the party.

Misty hugs Merida

Style Forever – The Grown Up Guide To Looking Fabulous

Earlier this week I went to the book launch of Style Forever by That’s Not My Age blogger and fashion journalist, Alyson Walsh.

Alyson and I worked together back in the day, when I was fashion assistant on a now defunct women’s glossie.

As I continue to grapple with dressing like a grown-up, it’s great to have someone like Alyson, to offer sage words and bundles of inspiration on doing so without resorting to a homely twinset and comfy shoes combo…

…Unless of course the twinset is timeless Chanel and the comfy footwear Stan Smith’s.

Style Forever is a reference book for any woman who wants to dress like a grownup without losing her identity.

Buy it here: Style Forever

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Alyson sharing a pearl of wisdom with me at her book launch.

When did ‘good’ go ‘bad’?

“Good girl” I chirrup at M as she does something I’ve asked her to do.

Then my inner worrier voice pipes up…

“you can’t tell her she’s a ‘good girl’. It’s bad for her… those clever people say it’s bad for her. The parenting experts. It’ll stunt her emotional growth, stop her from reaching for the stars, turn her into a martyr to always being good, make her feel like you won’t love her unless she is good… ”

Then my inner reality check voice pipes up…

“oh just shut the front door, what are you going on about? Is telling M that she’s a ‘good girl’ really tantamount to  child abuse? Stop getting so caught up in the psychobabble of self-anointed ‘parenting experts’ and get on with being a loving parent to your super cool, super bright, super happy child”

End of.

About The Real McQ

Luci Hindmarsh, Mums Make Lists I’m Luci McQuitty Hindmarsh. Yip, I know my surname is a bit of a mouthful, I really should have been a bit less of a modern woman and just taken my husband’s surname eh! We did briefly consider becoming the McMarshes, but only very briefly. I am co-editor of parenting blog www.mumsmakelists.com, the number one parenting blog offering simple tips for busy mums, tried and tested by busy mums. London based, loved in the UK and USA. Mums Make Lists Logo The Real McQ is my personal blog, for my own musings outside of Mums Make Lists, I don’t get time to spend too much time posting on it at the moment as Mums Make Lists is growing at a rate of knots. But over time the posts will mount up… Keep in touch with Mums Make Lists and me on Twitter @LuciMcQ and @MumsMakeLists , Pinterest and Facebook.

AEIOU – they’re attitude and lies get more laughable

In a quote given to the Mirror ahead of its story on the dreadful entertainer that AEIOU provided for our little girl’s 5th birthday party – and then refused to give a full refund for… see full story here  – the children’s entertainment agency has lied, distorted the truth, and tried to pass the blame onto us, rather than finally admitting that they could have made a bad situation a whole lot better if they’d been respectful to the fact that a little girl’s 5th birthday party was ruined by them and refunded the full £175 fee.

See my comment in CAPS – the CAPS aren’t me shouting, it’s just the easiest way to bash this post out between running a business and parenting!!

See below quote from AEIOU Parties…

Alex Domingo, regional manager for the AEIOU Parties in London said Luci did not have permission to publish the photos on the internet.

THAT’S BECAUSE I DON’T NEED PERMISSION. THEY ARE MY PHOTOGRAPHS AND I HAVE FULL COPYRIGHT FOR THEM. CHECK YOUR FACTS ALEX.

He said: “Really we wouldn’t like to get into any more discussions with Miss Luci. We spoke to her, we tried to fix everything so that she was happy in the end.

NO YOU DIDN’T ALEX.

YOU MAY HAVE SAID ‘SORRY’ A FEW TIMES, BUT HOLDING ONTO HALF THE FEE AND HIDING BEHIND TERMS & CONDITIONS THAT HADN’T BEEN ISSUED AT TIME OF BOOKING AND DON’T APPEAR ON YOUR WEBSITE, IS NOT TRYING TO FIX ANYTHING. IT’S SIMPLY POCKETING JUST UNDER £90 FOR PROVIDING A SHOCKINGLY AWFUL SERVICE.

“The pictures were not taken with the permission of the entertainer and she is now a little upset about the publication of those pictures.

ANSWER THIS ALEX – IF THESE WERE PICTURES THAT SHOWED HER IN A GOOD LIGHT WOULD YOU STILL BE GRIPING ON ABOUT PERMISSION, OR WOULD YOU BE HAPPY FOR THEM TO BE SHARED VIA SOCIAL MEDIA?

THE ONLY REASON THESE PICTURES ARE ONLINE IS BECAUSE OF AEIOU REFUSING TO GIVE US A FULL REFUND.

“Some of the things that she has said in her blog are not quite nice about her.

THE THINGS SAID IN THE BLOG COMMENT ON THE WAY THE ENTERTAINER LOOKED ONCE ‘DRESSED UP AS ELSA’ AND THE WAY SHE BEHAVED WHILST PROVIDING A SERVICE. NEITHER ELEMENT WAS WORTHY OF ANY POSITIVE COMMENT.

“We have nothing really to say about the party. We’ve already talked about it with her. We don’t really want to get involved any more in all this.”

OF COURSE YOU DON’T. YOU AND YOUR BIG INTERNATIONAL COMPANY WITH OVER 15 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS WOULD RATHER HOLD ONTO OUR £87.50 RATHER THAN DO THE DECENT THING.

QUITE FRANKLY YOU DISGUST ME.

YOU RUINED A LITTLE GIRL’S 5TH BIRTHDAY PARTY AND ALL YOU CAN DO IS COME OUT WITH EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE AND SIT FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELVES THAT THIS SPOTLIGHT HAS BEEN PUT ON YOU.

SHAME ON YOU.