Princess Cupcake Jones Book Review by Ylleya Fields
I love love these Princess Cupcake books. Not just because of the illustrations. They’re fun, colourful, sweet and quite obviously representative of our curly girls. But the message is also sweet, the theme of a modern-day princess who will do everything not to go to school. And with a hidden challenge on every page to find the secret word ‘love’… well, let’s just say I get multiple requests a day to read one of her series.
And that’s just it. It’s part of a series of books about Princess Cupcake Jones and her very relatable adventures. This one starts with Cupcake Jones and her fear of going to school. What will school be like???, she wonders.
Filled with fear, at first Cupcake attempts to make a fuss, then she fakes being ill. Cheeky as she is, she doesn’t give up though. Finally, she executes her very last attempt. To hide.
Sweet and funny, Cupcake’s Mum has all the words to reassure her. So when it’s time to go to school, Cupcake glances into her classroom and sees a smiling girl pop up and introduce herself. Her name is Violet and she has the same tutu.
Cupcake feels at ease in minutes and runs off to play with her new friend on her very first day. She whispers to her Mum that she’s okay to stay and she’s happy to say goodbye.
Written in delightful rhyme and with the hidden word ‘love’ on every page, it makes for a very special read every time. With one looking at the pictures, the older two eager to find the word ‘love’ and all of them eager to hear what happens, it really is a special book to read together- for all my girls.
If there is one thing I get asked about constantly from parents of biracial kids, it’s which hair products are best for our babies and toddlers.
Increasingly, parents like us are looking for products which are all- natural, no parabens, no sulphates and no-poo. As we become more educated about the dangers of these poisons, we want to know exactly what is going into our baby products and what is going on their skin.
And yet, the difference between curly hair that’s moisturised, healthy and protected is big. We need to know the products that we spend money on, work. Products that moisturise, control frizz, keep our kids’ curls healthy and prevent product build up. An impossible request list? Not anymore.
More and more curly hair products are boasting all natural ingredients, giving parents an important choice. They’re also specialising in toddler and baby hair, containing gentle cleansers that are easy on the eyes and skin.
Here we’re bringing you an up-to-date list of the curly world’s most popular and effective products for babies and toddlers so you too can make an informed choice*.
My favourite product from Curly Q’s is their Curl moisturiser /detangler. Every morning, a few sprays of this into wet hair and it was like the comb slid right through. Their products also smell great as well as being super moisturising. Boasting a long list of certified all natural ingredients (no sulphates, paragons, petroleum or silicones), this line is perfect for your curly kids.
Mixed Chicks has nearly cornered the mixed race hair market just by virtue of their name. I use their shampoo and conditioner and both are great. They aren’t paraben free but they’re free from sulphates and don’t contain any dyes or perfumes or silicone. I’ve found their products reasonably priced and easily available as a selection of their products are sold in most Boots and Superdrug pharmacies nowadays.
I love their detangler. “This hair care product is nothing short of a magic potion that will bring bounce and life back in your child’s hair! An absolute must have hair moisturizer from SheaMoisture, this nourishing detangler contains certified organic Shea Butter, which is essential in keeping hair frizz-free and soft as silk. Slippery Elm Extract makes hair smooth to touch while Coconut Oil hydrates, and helps in defining curls. It also contains Hibiscus Flower Extracts to add lustre and volume to hair, giving those kiddie curls extra bounce! SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Extra Moisturizing Detangler protects and moisturizes hair from roots to ends. Its natural ingredients make it completely safe for use by children of all age groups. Apply sparingly on wet or dry hair and watch as this product weaves its magic to transform your child’s wavy, curly hair to beautiful, frizz-free, glossy curls!We leave out these harmful ingredients: No Parabens, No Phthalates, No Mineral Oil, No DEA, No Petroleum, No Formaldehyde, No Propylene.” Good ethics. Good product. Nice prices. You can’t go wrong with Shea Moisture.
Why Curly Ellie came to be. “We need to look after our bodies, inside and outside and if it means using shampoos that sound like you are ordering a meal from the local health food restaurant… who can say no!Remember the phrase ”you are what you eat”? I am a believer. Ellie struggled with allergies for the first 3 years of her life. Seeing my little girl unable to eat the birthday cake at friends’ parties, having a specially prepared packed lunch when everyone else was gorging on sandwiches was testing, but we survived. This makes me even more conscious of what went in her mouth and went on her body.”
We use NO parabens, sulfates, SLS, synthetic fragrances or mineral oils in any of our products. We are vegan, gluten free and great on sensitive scalp so we can be used from early years when the scalp and skin is most delicate. The shampoo, two conditioners and detangling spray contain natural ingredients such as hair shaft-toughening quinoa and broccoli for added shine. This is in addition to the cleansing and moisturising qualities of aloe vera, abyssinian oil, shea butter and sweet almond oil.” It doesn’t get more all-natural than this. ”
**** We are currently running a promotion with Curly Ellie. Sign up to receive our newsletter on the right hand menu and you will receive your exclusive discount code for Curly Ellie products.
“When you start to see little curls begin to form at a very young age, you know you are in for a treat. There is no need to wait on these curls to fully take shape before caring for them because curly hair has different needs. No matter what age, curly hair tends to be dry and unruly, and sometimes hard to manage. With time, when you take care of your curly hair, none of these common traits will take over you.
Start your baby off on the right foot by using a product line of baby curly hair products specifically formulated to their unique hair type. Created by the curly hair product company CURLS, It’s a Curl, is the premier baby care line of products for curly hair. Your infants and toddlers are in great hands!
You can feel super comfortable using this product line for each step of the hair care process, starting with the shampoo. “Peek-A-Boo Tearless Shampoo” is gentle enough, even for sensitive skin and scalp. Its powerful ingredients include Calendula Extract, a cooling yet gentle antiseptic and Allantion, a botanical extract from the Comfrey plant that treats irritants of the scalp.”
“CurlyKids Hair Care products have been specially developed for children with curly hair and all of the wonderful textures that make up this incredibly diverse hair type. From hair that is curly-kinky, curly-coily, curly-wavy, curly-frizzy, or a combination of textures, our products satisfy the specific conditioning, moisturizing, and detangling needs that all of these textures share, without being sticky, tacky, or greasy. CurlyKids products are always sulfate and paraben free and contain the most effective ingredients to address the specific hair care needs of all our CurlyKids Cuties!”
“Tough on tangles but gentle on delicate curls, with fun fragrances that will make you wish you were 10 again. Gently loosens even the most difficult tangles. Leaves curls soft, frizz-free, and manageable. Leave-in/rinse-out formula makes caring for kids’ curls fuss-free”. Their products have great reviews for being gentle and effective (even boast multiple awards from Naturally Curly) but I couldn’t find anything about whether they are sulphate free so just how ‘natural’ they are.
Perhaps the most accessible, reasonably priced curly hair product out there, you will find Cantu at most drug stores or pharmacies. And at £2-5 a bottle, it’s super reasonable. And with no sulphates, parabens or minerals, they’re my go-to product line when I need something that can do the job without the frills. That’s what Cantu does. It is a great product line and their curling cream and leave-in conditioner have both easily become my favourites.
More popular with our neighbours across the pond, I’ve not had much experience with Aunt Jackie’s but I know lots of people who use their products and swear by them. Sulphate free, no parabens, no silicones and no petroleum, their Curling & Twisting Custard is a moisture rich anti-frizz formula that helps curls, twists and waves stay springy and smooth while elongating and providing lasting definition. “Natural curls, coils & twists spring to life with Aunt Jackie’s special “anti-frizz” formula. The Anti-frizz formula helps curls, waves & twists stay well-defined & springy, elongates and fives curls long-lasting definition, helps leave hair feeling super soft to the touch with no sticky, crunchy feel!”
So there you have it. A complete list of the best baby and toddler-friendly curly hair products. Do get in touch if you can use another product and think it deserves to be on this list!
Your first job in styling your little curlies is finding the right products. Once you’ve done that, you need to know where you can buy them!
And although mainstream outlets such as Boots and Amazon are starting to stock more products, it’s always nice to know there are independent retailers dedicated exclusively to your curly hair needs. That’s why we’ve brought you a complete list of UK curly hair retailers committed to finding you the perfect hair care products.
Offering a selection of natural and organic products quality hair care products, this shop stocks all the big brands that cater for little curlies. Each product comes with a complete list of all ingredients so you can be sure that each one is vetted before it’s added to the Mixed Kids inventory.
Boasting multiple awards and a pure natural ingredient list, Curly Ellie is perhaps my favourite curly hair product line for kids. An independent shop that was started by a UK parent herself, her products sell in most Whole Food shops as well as online. With just five products including leave in, shampoo, conditioner, intensive mask and detangler, it’s all you’ll need to style your childs’ curly hair. And the best part is you’re supporting a fellow mixed race parent.
Perhaps the most comprehensive online shop for buying curly hair products, this site is both easy to navigate and reasonably priced. They usually have sales on (including the above in the photo at time of writing). You can shop by price point, kids products, brand, travel size, vegan hair products, skin care and accessories. They carry most well known brands and even show a list of ingredients in each product. As a bonus, they even sell kids curly books and dolls!
Although this shop also sells its own line of hair care products, the site is probably best for buying your entire list of hair care accessories. From silk pillow cases to combs, silk scrunchies and towels, you’re bound to find what you need here. Don’t forget to purchase your “Curly Girl” badge which your curly kids will love!
They’ve got products for hair care, skin care, men’s grooming products, makeup, fragrances and more. They’re the online version of Europe’s largest black hair shop Pak (in Finsbury Park). Selling most well known brands of black or curly hair products, you’re likely to find what you need here. Sometimes I find it hard to navigate the site but it does allow you to search by brand or by popular product.
These guys are a small shop with an inventory that includes skin care, hair care, toys and books chosen exclusively for mixed kids. I love that there is a specialised shop devoted to serving multiracial families. Their hair care lines include Mixed Chicks, Curly Q, It’s a Curl and Shea Moisture- all the big names in curly hair care- and you can even pick out a book or two.
Perhaps for the more grown up curlies, (there isn’t a function to search by kids’ care products), this shop sells a lot of the all-natural brands plus many more high end salon products. With video tutorials and blog posts to help your styling needs, this shop is great to buy your go-to product that you can’t afford to be without. Free shipping over £30 and kits put together to meet all your styling needs are added bonuses to shopping online here.
I’d never heard of this brand before I started researching but in the interest of representing all things local, I thought what better brand than hair care products exclusively for UK curls. Although they sell their own brand, the prices are all in pounds and you can even bag yourself a whole detangling set for under £100.
If you care about what goes in your hair and want to support a Black British business this is the one. Afrocenchix was started by two British women who were on the natural hair journey and who were concerned about the chemicals they were putting in their hair. Watch their video to find out just how sustainable, fair trade and all natural their products are. With video tutorials, style ideas and a blog, they’re definitely my go-to for Afro hair.
With over 20 years experience and a booked schedule that extends two months into the future, Stephanie Nik is truly sought after.
“There’s definitely been more awareness from curly haired women that their hair has different needs and demand has been going up from there”.
We arrived at our appointment (all three of my girls hadn’t had a trim in years) just off Tottenham Court Road on Denmark St right on time. Stephanie rents a space in an existing salon and beckoned us over to the chair at the back.
A quick assessment of their hair types and Stephanie was eager to get the first one into the chair. Immediately she gave me some useful tips showing me just how- even within one head of hair- there can be three different curl types.
A dry cut later, she then proceeded to separate the hair into sections , soaking each section and generously applying leave-in conditioner to each. Her key tips:
ALWAYS do your styling process with soaking wet hair. The moment your curls emerge from the shower, they begin the drying process. This means the hydrogen curl bonds (she took her time to explain this in full) will start to form and unless you apply the conditioner and detangle when it’s soaking wet, the hair won’t be able to absorb any product. I realised I had been doing this completely wrong- applying conditioner when it was already half dry.
NEVER use a towel to dry curly hair. Use your shower room to apply conditioner and detangle, THEN you can use a cotton towel or microfibre towel to gently squeeze and hold the hair.
Or, better yet, air dry.
Oils do NOT moisturise. If hair is especially dry, apply more conditioner and work it in to make sure it absorbs.
Hair clips are much better for curly hair. Try to use these over hair bands to reduce breakage.
Curly hair routine:
On wash day, wash, then apply leave in conditioner to detangled soaking wet hair. Leave to air dry and clip into a pineapple (if long enough) or a silk scarf overnight.
Day 2, 3 & 4, the hair shouldn’t need too much styling as the curl bonds should remain intact. Wet and apply gel or styling product as necessary.
Wash once a week and repeat.
Our experience at Curly Hair London was fantastic. Stephanie took her time to explain how to care for their hair and how each of their hair is different. Her style is ‘all natural’. She’s not into gregarious straightening or colours and rarely does anything with chemicals. She studied under Lorraine Massey, famous for starting the conversation on curly hair care and who is known as the Queen of curly hair dressing.
If you’d like an appointment to see Stephanie, her schedule is booking up fast. But stay tuned as she will be offering curly hair workshops for Mums with curly kids very soon.
It’s Father’s Day coming up and as parents of mixed race kids, it’s a challenge to find gifts that feature multiracial families. Why shouldn’t Dads of mixed kids enjoy the same original, personalised gifts featuring their multiracial families? Why shouldn’t they see themselves and their families represented?
Well, we decided to put together a list of some great ideas for the Dads in your life who deserve to see themselves represented in your gifts. Take a look below and tell us what you think!
How about a book featuring Multiracial Dads and their kids?
If Books don’t work for you, try out these gifts that you can personalise with your own family photo, kids’ drawings or personalise yourself with Dad’s unique features. Get the kids involved in choosing and drawing and it’ll be extra personal. With all that thought going into it, there’s no doubt he’ll appreciate the uniqueness of your gift!
Other great ideas are photo gifts that print one of your amazing family photos onto mugs, cushions, mouse pads and more!
Try some of these ideas and if you have any more, do tag us on facebook, twitter or comment below and we’ll make sure to add it to our list! Hope the men in your life enjoy Father’s Day!
I’m a Pretty Little Black Girl by Betty K. Bynum is the newest in our series of mixed race book reviews.
At first glance, it appears that this book is not really for biracial or multiracial kids. But going with the one drop rule in American culture, the term ‘Black’ refers to all racial mixes who are part black.
The book’s illustrations are lovely.
Full of images of little girls doing what they love- playing, running, skipping, holding hands. Being who they want to be and loving who they are.
All the girls are different shades with different hair colours and textures. My girls love choosing which ones they think they look like. One girl has her hair in braids, one in ponytails, another with her curls out and proud and still another with straight black hair. All show the diversity of girls-whatever their racial background.
That’s why we read it as “I’m a Pretty Little Girl” and skip the ‘black’. Because it’s really about the diversity of girls, about being proud and loving each and every one regardless of difference.
The girls are depicted running, skipping, jumping, helping, singing and being artistic as it follows one girls’ day at school with her friends. Then it ends with each girl fulfilling a dream of what they want to be when they grow up- showing a diversity of choices available.
I can’t recommend it more. Even just for the images. It’s lovely.
It’s a message that can’t come early enough. Kids as young as 3 notice race, and they quickly become aware that race or colour is given meaning in our world. Princesses, featured in books and movies, our kids’ teachers, role models, ballerinas and royalty. All white and straight haired.
In a 1940s experiment, African-American children given the choice between white and black dolls overwhelmingly chose the white doll and assigned it the more positive character traits. The study has been replicated over the decades with other minority kids and similar results.
Two weeks ago one of my children received a doll. With black skin. A beautiful ballet dancer complete with a tutu and pointed toes. My other daughter looked at it and turned her face saying, “I don’t like it”.
I knew why.
We concentrated a lot on my oldest to make sure she grew up with a healthy sense of who she is/ was, where she came from so that she is proud of both the skin colours that make up her being.
We neglected our middle daughter, perhaps thinking it would sink in by osmosis. But, we were wrong. It doesn’t. We’re up against it.
ALL of her teachers are white. Her friends all seem to be white (not that there isn’t a healthy mix of diversity in her classroom but she’s purposely… or not- it’s too early to tell- chosen out her few friends from amongst the bluest eyes and blondest hair).
Despite being surrounded by cousins and grandparents, Aunties and Uncles who are all a dark chocolate complexion. Not to mention her most influential male, her most devoted dad who she is so close to, is brown skinned.
And yet, there it was. Is it a phase that children go through, I wonder? Because she certainly has a healthy circle of diversity surrounding her. Was it to shock us?
Of course I went into a whole tirade of reasons why what she said was unreasonable and unfair and ‘what if someone doesn’t like you because of your skin colour?’ etc etc. My husband told me to relax.
I spoke to her about it later reminding her about all of the people around her who have dark skin. And one by one, she made exceptions. Realising afterwards that she didn’t actually dislike everyone with dark skin.
The fact that she wanted to. That she’s been unconsciously cultivating this preference towards lighter skin is alarming but also scary to think how easy racial bias creeps in.
Experts recommend that parents buy ethnic dolls from birth as one way to surround daughters and sons with positive images from the outset. When introducing a doll later on, you don’t need a big speech about the doll’s ethnicity, though. Just let their imagination run wild.
So here you go. It’s all here, your go-to guide to buying the perfect doll for your mixed race kids. From dolls to figurines to real babies, it’s all here. And the best part? You don’t need to order from across the pond! Click on the picture direct to purchase from a UK retailer.
Barbie FJF70 Fashionista GS Glam Boho Doll
The Puppet Company Wilberry – Wilberry Fun – Tom Doll
Our whole house has been hit with sickness and flu these past two weeks. First it was my youngest two and now, me.
I don’t normally get sick. In fact, I usually manage to avoid it. And yet, even with me being able to stay healthy for most of it, the past two weeks have nearly driven me insane.
I’m pleased to say, though, I think we’re coming out of the worst of it and I’ve learned some things that I think I can pass on to make sure other Mums don’t make the same mistakes as me.
Here are 6 tips for maintaining your sanity when your little ones are sick.
Get out of the house! It’s tempting to stay at home all day everyday until the kids get better for fear they’ll get worse if you expose them to the cold outside. But honestly, my only saving grace was being forced to get out to do the school run for my oldest. The girls liked getting out of the house and though I didn’t keep them out too long, I think their sinuses appreciated the fresh air.
Don’t feel guilty about putting on the tele… When you don’t know how long your kids are going to be sick, you may start out all gung-ho with arts and crafts at the ready, play doh, baking and games. But it will take its toll. In between the whining and clinginess, you’ll just need a break from it all and putting on the tele is the easiest way to catch a break. Do what you need to do get through this and don’t feel guilty!
Leave the cleaning and laundry. Trust me you’ll need every last ounce of energy and patience to deal with two whiny babies so don’t waste it all on cleaning. There’s nobody around to see it anyway.
Arrange playdates at yours. Once the kids aren’t contagious anymore, it’s important that you (and your kids) don’t go insane being around each other all day everyday. Arrange a playdate at yours with one of your child’s friends and their mum. You’ll need the adult conversation just as much as they’ll need the playtime and seeing other children. Just make sure you remember number 3 above! Otherwise, it’s counter intuitive.
Make them sleep! No matter what age they are or how long they’ve been out of napping, when kids are feeling under the weather, they need to sleep. Even if they refuse to sleep, Insist on some ‘rest time’ that means they have to lie in their beds at least for a half an hour. It buys you some time but more often than not, they do fall asleep.
Take advantage of weekends when your partner is home. Let your spouse take over when they’re home. They can help in so many ways and help save your sanity. Even if it’s just to take over the cuddling.
Don’t skip your morning coffee! Coming from experience, you’re going to need this so make sure you get it in early so you can face the rest of the day.
As part of our new mixed race book review series, I will be starting to review books featuring or highlighting mixed race or multiracial characters.
Today’s feature is the book : My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin– a favourite of mine and my daughters’.
There’s perhaps no-one more apt to write a children’s book than British children’s presenter Floella Benjamin, a black woman in an interracial relationship who has two mixed kids. She’s a household face and name to British 30 and 40 somethings who grew up with her face on their television sets and is today the Vice President of Barnardos Children’s Charity.
The story is about a little girl named Alvina whose parents are going away for the weekend. Alvina gets very excited that her two grannies, whom she loves with all her heart will be coming to take care of her.
But her grannies are from two very different places. Granny Vero is from Trinidad and Granny Rose is from England.
Both Grannies have very different taste in food, interests and things they like to do. And they soon begin to argue about how best to take care of Alvina. Alvina comes up with a way they can both work together and enjoy each other’s ideas, recipes and activities. In the end, they both both realise they can appreciate what the other brings and can even learn from each other! A celebration of the different parts of what makes Alvina who she is!
My Two Grannies is a lovely book for mixed heritage or mixed race children who have family members from different parts of the world or from different cultures. My two oldest daughters love the book because they can relate to having two grannies of different colours and from different cultures. It’s a great way to get them to celebrate diversity whilst engaging them in their own real-life experience of having two grannies hailing from different parts of the world.
We highly recommend My Two Grannies and love that it’s written by such a well-known children’s presenter. So do consider it for your next purchase!
For more book reviews with mixed race characters, click here…
A mama blog for all things parenting and mixed heritage kids