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From the Editor

Another year has almost passed and what a year it was! WLM celebrated its first birthday, and on a personal note, my daughter started ‘big’ schoolanother milestone. Looking back, I noticed a reoccuring theme of discovery. I’ve certainly enjoyed sharing my discoveries of west London with you. Hanging out with my daughter and seeing the city through her eyes has inspired me to look at things with a fresh perspective. I hope you enjoy our first Holiday Guide. We’ve sourced a variety of great gifts for the whole family—your Christmas shopping is just a click away and from the comfort of your own home. We also compiled a list of local events to keep you and your loved ones entertained throughout the holidays. Look out for the crafty suggestions from the wonderful Maggy Woodley of Red Ted Art. And last but not least the bakers over at Leiths and Cookie Crumbles have provided some scrumptious recipes. Well, all that’s left is to say is a massive Thank You and Happy Holidays to everyone who has made West London Mum possible over the last year.

Best wishes

Monique McGoey-Rabone

Guide Sponsors W10 Performance Savvy Mummys Kidsen Merci Maman Leiths School of Food & Wine Scooterearz Baby Pinecone Pookie & Peach

Dreaming of a Green Christmas… A white Christmas is nice, but a green one is even better The holidays are a time to be generous with our loved ones; but it is also a time of wastage—all the trimmings that go into the holiday season create a large carbon footprint. Here are some easy suggestions to lighten the load this year.

The Tree Real is better than fake. A real tree is a renewable resource, whereas a fake one is made from petro chemicals and will end up in landfills releasing toxins for years to come. In addition, once the holiday season is over, a real tree can be turned into mulch. You can even spruce up your purchase and buy from a Tree Aid supplier, such as The Christmas Forest, who support reforestation in Africa. However, a real tree can be taken even one step further. Why not consider a reusable Christmas tree? A potted tree can be brought in and decorated for the holiday season and moved back into your garden for the remainder of the year.

Let there be light With rising costs in electricity prices, every little saving helps. Make the switch to LED lights; they are a little pricier upfront, but cost less to run and last longer. Also, they don’t heat up like traditional Christmas lights, so those little curious hands won’t get burned if they touch them.

It’s a Wrap! Every Christmas the UK produces enough wrapping paper waste, that if laid flat would reach the moon. Do you really need all that fancy wrapping? This year get creative. Old newspaper and all that saved artwork make a lovely alternative to store bought paper. Christmas cards from years past can be cut into star shapes and made into gift tags. Another great idea is a re-useable fabric gift bag that can be used throughout the year. Besides, it’s what’s inside that counts, right?

And don’t forget, when out shopping, try to purchase items that don’t have excessive packaging and are made from renewable resources like wood or fabric. These items are not only better for the environment they are also healthier for your child to play with.

“Christmas cards from years past can be cut into star shapes and made into gift tags.” Think outside the box Do they really need another ‘present’? Perhaps an experience gift is a better option. Tickets to the theatre, a spa voucher, movie passes or cooking classes are just a few ideas. Does your child’s school or your work have a Secret Santa? Why not suggest pooling funds together and buying a gift for a charity? Oxfam makes it easy to pick a gift and support a community in need.

Shop Local A vibrant local community means less long haul transport and packaging – plus you know exactly where the item came from. Support your local businesses and artisans to create sustainable, thriving communities. Our ‘Events’ section has a great selection of local Christmas Markets and Fairs.

Get Crafty

Have a crafty Christmas this year…Maggie Woodley of Red Ted Art shares some of her favourites for the holiday season...

Angel Ornaments

These angelic Austrian Angels are an ideal craft for older children. For real impact, make a few in different colours and line them up in a row.

Learn how it’s done

Christmas Crackers

Make your own Christmas Crackers—fill them with cute and useful trickets.

Learn how it’s done

Easy & Quick Felt Ornaments These sweet ornaments can either be hung on the tree or around the house to add a little Christmas cheer. All you need to learn is a simple blanket stitch.

Learn how it’s done

Santa Stars

A very cute craft which can be used as a gift tag or string some together as a garland.

Learn how it’s done

Christmas Baubles

Don’t know what to do with all your child’s artwork—why not make Christmas Baubles? Perfect for the craft/folksy Christmas tree!

Learn how it’s done

Pear and Raisin Tarte Tatin by


Preparation: 20 minutes Chilling Time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes 375g ready rolled Puff pastry

For the Filling 60g butter 110g soft dark brown sugar 4 large, slightly under ripe conference pears, peeled cored and cut into even pieces Grated zest of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons large raisins

Serves 6

Preparation To prepare ahead: Cook to the end of stage 4. Allow the fruit and syrup to cool, then place the pastry on top. Bake as required. Or make completely and reheat when serving. 1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/ gas mark 5. 2. On a floured surface, cut out a 25cm diameter circle from the pastry. Place on a baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes. 3. Melt the butter in a 25cm frying pan with an ovenproof handle. Add the sugar and warm gently until it has dissolved and is beginning to bubble. 4. Add the chunks of pear, lemon zest and cinnamon and cook over a low heat for 6-7 minutes. Sprinkle over the raisins. 5. Lay the pastry on top of the pears and press down lightly. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is risen and golden brown. 6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Invert a plate over the saucepan and then turn everything the right way up, thus turning out the tarte. Serve warm with the crème fraîche or ice cream.

Something for...Mums

Something for...Dads

Something for...Brothers

Something for...Sisters

Something for...Tea Drinkers

Something for...Foodies

Something for...Shoppers

Something for...Dog Lovers

Something for...Little Ones

Something for...Grandparents Something for...Chocoholics Something for...Wrapping Up

West London Mum Holiday Guide is an online magazine geared towards the savvy families of west London. In addition to featuring events, shops and famil...