Modern Mummy

Tuesday, 21 June 2016


Last Friday I turned 36.


How the freak did that happen?

I don't usually celebrate my birthday but this year I fancied a change. I got a new tattoo. I'd planned to have a BBQ with my neighbours and all our kiddos which naturally got rained off, so we had a meal at Pizza Express instead. I got some gorgeous presents to open. I even had a child free night, thanks to my parents, and went out and got mildly very merry with my girlfriends. All in all a pretty good birthday weekend.

Getting drawn on by the amazing Rhiannon at True Tattoo London (she also did my mandala!)

Introducing Marina the Mermaid (named by the girls). She represents my love of the sea and traditional English folklore, and the anchor is a nod to my Gramps who was in the Navy.

Birthday cake at my parents house

And the girls even gave me TWO lay ins...... who could ask for more?

Thanks for all the birthday love, everyone xoxo

Monday, 13 June 2016

Daily Outfit ♥ Rainy Days and Mondays

We love getting outdoors and are never, ever put off by rain. There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad preparation!

Yesterday was no exception. It had rained heavily all Saturday night, and was still damp and drizzly come the morning, meaning the garden was a muddy mess - HEAVEN for my children! They just slung on their waterproof dungas and wellies and were off!

These bib + brace sets are from Muddy Puddles, a company I'm particularly fond of. They make genuinely brilliant weatherproof clothes for kids, and we've bought (and reviewed) quite a lot over the years. The thing that sets them above the rest for me, aside from the very reasonable prices and exceptional quality, is the design. They are all about bright colours and bold prints, and I think both should feature heavily in all kids clothes!

They sell a huge selection of waterproofs for children; coats, all-in-ones and these bib + brace sets which I think are brilliant for all year round messy play. They are 100% waterproof and breathable, super lightweight and have extra room in the body to allow for movement (and this is great for layering up underneath when the weather turns chilly). The braces are adjustable which, combined with the extra room, means the set will grow with your child and, if they are any thing like the other products we have from Muddy Puddles, they will still be in perfect condition three years down the line so perfect hand-me-down material too. Also, THEY ARE MACHINE WASHABLE (hurray!).

Daisy + Evie both wear:
T-shirts from Little Bird by Jools at Mothercare (Daisy's is last season
but Evie's is still on sale here, £6-£8) 
Waterproof bib + brace sets c/o Muddy Puddles, £24

PS Rainy days and Mondays don't get us down, but I do love this song  (Sounds better on vinyl though, obvs)


Sunday, 12 June 2016

Hello Fresh Recipe Boxes: A Review

If there's one thing I think we've established over the past six years of me writing this blog, its that I can't cook. But I want to be able to cook SO MUCH. I REALLY enjoy the the whole process (especially the part where you open a bottle of wine and start drinking while you're cooking ;)) I just get really frustrated when my meals don't turn out like they're supposed to and/or nobody wants to eat them.

I'm a big fan of the current craze of recipe boxes. I call it a craze but in actual fact they've been around for a good few years now and they are definitely here to stay. I just love the whole concept and think it's particularly perfect solution for busy parents that have limited time but want to provide their family with home cooked, healthy and nutritious meals; aside from the speedy recipe ideas, they also save you having to do the grocery shopping and result in next to no food waste, all of which get big thumbs up from me.

Last week Hello Fresh sent me out one of their family boxes to try. They also do veggie and classic boxes which cater for 2, 3 or 4 adults, but the family boxes are the largest, with the ingredients for either two or four meals, for five people, and they contain recipes that both grown ups and kids will enjoy.
Our box had everything we need to whip up these delicious recipes:

Melt in the Middle Meatballs
Tender Stir Fried Pork with Cashew Nuts and Black Bean Sauce
Mexican Chicken Wraps with Appley Beetroot Slaw and Potato Wedges
Warm Coronation Chicken with Parsley Potatoes and Garlicky Cabbage

The meatballs were a massive success - the girls got involved in the making process, which meant they were super keen to eat the meal that they had helped to make!
The stir fried pork was my absolute favourite - and it tasted even better the next day.
The chicken wraps were so so so so spicy (grrrreat for me, not so good for the kiddos) and none of us liked the slaw so we added our own salad and corn on the cob as sides.
The coronation chicken was amazing, although we deviated away from the recipe slightly to take into account the fact none of us are fans of raisins!

I'm not a food blogger, my dishes weren't beautifully presented, but here's a token photo of my stir fried pork leftovers ;)

The tings that I specifically liked about the Hello Fresh box were:
1. That three out of the four dishes were ones we'd not cooked before.
2. The recipe cards were excellently written; easy to follow and with great tips and hints.
3. There was minimal packaging, unlike other recipe boxes I've tried.
4. The quality of the produce was exceptional - by far the best out of any of the other recipe boxes I've tried - and everything had long shelf lives too.

Things Hello Fresh taught me:
1. Cooking too much meat in the pan at one time stews it; it's better to cook in batches. How did I not know this before?!
2. HOW TO COOK PERFECT RICE! It's a revelation! No more horrible sticky over cooked rice for THIS family!
3. Parsley on crushed new potatoes is AMAZING and my new favourite thing.

Take a look at Hello Fresh's full range of recipe boxes here. Prices start at just £4 a meal.

We were sent a complimentary family box for the purpose of this review. As always, all words are honest and my own.

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