trench.coat

Did you know the iconic Burberry trench coat is now 100 years old?  It was initially designed as an alternative to the heavy greatcoats worn by soldiers in the First World War (developed prior to the war but adapted for use in the trenches, hence its name).

Over a century later and the trench coat (or Mac) is as popular as ever, a classic coat that will never go out of style and loved equally by men and women. I for one have the Burberry Trench high up on my ‘dream designer’ wish list. However, until I win the lottery, I’ll have to make do with the high street versions.

Here’s my pick of the best on the market…

trench.coats

From left to right

1) Topshop £79

2) Topshop £69

3) Mango £69.99

4) Marks & Spencer £99

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Yes, you read that right, there is a Hello Kitty Secret Garden! We found out about this exciting fact from a flyer my daughter picked up at the theatre last week. The flyer was for Drusillas Park, in East Sussex and on the cover was a picture of Hello Kitty and the words ‘New for 2014’.

Now, to say that my daughters are fans of Hello Kitty would be an understatement. My eldest daughter was given a Hello Kitty soft toy when she was just six months old and instantly it became a favourite. So as you can imagine, the girls were pretty excited when I told them on Sunday morning that we were going to see Hello Kitty. Drusillas Park is around an hours drive from our house in Surrey, so we set off reasonably early with two very (for a change) obedient little girls.

The Zoo

The Park is in fact a zoo, although as its tagline says it’s ‘No Ordinary Zoo’. I completely agree with this statement, it’s so much more than just a zoo and is ideal for younger children. The animals on display are active and fun – basically lots of leaping monkeys and no empty enclosures on this zoo trail!

There are no big animals but this adds to the charm, as I personally don’t like seeing larger animals held captive. We especially loved the monkeys, meerkats, birds, llamas and penguins. Interaction is a big theme, you can walk amongst the lemurs, feed the birds and chat with the animal hands who are more than happy to talk about the creatures. They’ve also made a huge effort to ensure that the kids are educated on all the animals, which I found so impressive. There are voiceovers, games, challenges and the zoolympics – all of which we really enjoyed.

More than a Zoo

As I’ve already mentioned the park is more than a zoo. During our visit we also rode on ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’, ran around the numerous play areas (there are three in total, one is a water park, which was not open on Sunday but would be great fun in the summer months) and got lost in the ‘Eden’s Eye’ maze.

Of course, as I’ve already mentioned, the big pull for us was the new ‘Hello Kitty land’ – as the girls called it. The Hello Kitty Secret Garden has three fun rides, a photo spot with (a plastic) Hello Kitty and a Hello Kitty house, where the kids can get their face painted (and meet Hello Kitty on certain days). Lucky for us, there were no queues on Sunday morning, so the girls literally ran around from the tea cups to the Kitty cars and the jumping cloud ride, again and again.

We went to Drusillas because of the Hello Kitty Secret Garden but we got so much more out of our visit and we’ll go back for the zoo, the play areas and of course the rides.

Park Details

Drusillas Park is located in Alfriston, Ease Sussex and is open every day of the year except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Summer Opening (BST) is 10am – 6pm with last admission at 5pm. Car Park closes at 6:15pm.
Winter Opening (GMT) is 10am – 5pm with last admission at 4pm.  Car Park closes at 5:15pm.

Prices for a family of three start at £37.50 and a family of four start at £50. For more information on opening times and prices, click here.

These pictures should give you a taste of our day…

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Running in Lavender

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chicken.mainWe’ve been making this ‘Rice Krispie Chicken’ for years now! It’s a healthier version of your usual fried chicken or processed nuggets and so quick and easy to make. As you can see from the pictures below, my girls like to get ‘stuck in’ and help in some ‘conveyor-belt cooking’.

Ingredients (for a family of four)
4 skinless and boneless chicken fillets, cut into strips or goujons
250g Rice Krispies
Mayonnaise
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2. Put the cereal and some salt and pepper in a bowl and lightly crush with your fingers.

chicken1

3. Put the mayonnaise and seasoned crushed cereal mix in 2 separate shallow bowls, ready for dipping.

4. Dip each piece of chicken first in the mayonnaise, rubbing off any excess, before dipping into the crushed rice krispies.

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5. Place the covered chicken on a prepared baking tray and bake in the oven for 35 minutes until golden, turning half way.

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I like to serve them with sweet potato chips and peas.

Do give this recipe a go, you’ll be surprised at how easy they are to make, how moist the chicken is (due to the mayo) and how crispy they are!

Running in Lavender

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Just a little something to make you smile at the end of the week. This is a picture that was taken over two years ago now but will always be one of my favourites. It’s such a perfect captured moment of my two girls.

Lili was always so soft and gentle around my bump and would sing to the ‘baby’ on a daily basis. Today, although they have their moments, they are the best of friends.

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Okay, so Autumn is officially here and Winter is just around the corner. This can only mean one thing, it’s time to invest in a cold-busting coat. Like Giselle and Alexa Chung, I’m a big fan of the classic Parka. Let’s face it, it’s a classic for a reason.

myParka

With its easy, thrown-on style and simple injection of casual cool, a Parka will keep you cosy, dry and warm in the notoriously unpredictable British weather and will look good with almost any item in your wardrobe.  From your favourite skinny jeans and midi dresses to maxi skirts, the list goes on and on. The only choice is whether you go for timeless black, classic olive, autumnal burgundy, or make a statement with a sunny yellow or ruby red.

A Parka is always my go to coat for the school run. With a detachable inner layer it’s light enough for the warmer days of Autumn, yet with the added layer it’s also perfect for the deepest days of winter. Here are my current favourites from the High Street…

parka

Urban Outfitters £120

Fat Face £98

Hollister £110

Topshop £120

River Island £115

Pick of the week
My pick of the week has to be this olive Parka from Boden, which is currently marked down to £143.30

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Fashion Friday on MummysGotStyle.com

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