Modern Mummy

Thursday, 23 May 2019

HOME // A Colourful Kitchen On The Cheap

If you've ever tried to renovate or redecorate your kitchen, you'll know that it can be one of the most expensive rooms in a house to do. All those built-in units, appliances, and white good to deal with, and that's before you even get to the floors, walls and other decorative bits! When I moved into the cottage, I had a really tiny budget to work with when it came to installing an entire fully functioning kitchen - and today I'm going to share some workarounds that can help you create the kitchen of your dreams, a super colourful one in this case, without spending a fortune.

Get the basics right. 
Before you can start to decorate your kitchen space, you really need to get your basics sorted. This means that you need your sink picked out and plumbed in, as well as all the all appliances and white goods you will need. These items usually cost the most when it comes to budgeting for a new kitchen space, and that's why it's crucial to look for things like fridge freezer sales that can help you get the pieces you want and save you some money too. After all.... the more you save on the basics, the more you have to spend on the fun stuff!

Try freestanding units. 
Something I did to save money when fitting my kitchen was to buy freestanding units rather than a traditional, fully fitted kitchen. Even new these often work out cheaper than a built in kitchen, but if the cost is a priority then going for vintage and retro preloved pieces can save you a fortune. Older pieces often don't come in the best condition, but this does provide you with the perfect excuse to paint such units a range of gorgeous colours and really make your mark on your kitchen (and save money at the same time).

DIY your textiles. 
I actually can't believe how much a decent tea towel in a funky design cost these days! It's crazy, and that's without getting coordinating oven gloves, curtains, or blinds and the like. Its a good job I'm a fan of mis-matched fabrics in the kitchen, and I'm not fussed about getting involved in a bit of DIY either. Making your own tea towels out of fabric scraps or vintage material is something I've done in the past and is much easier than you'd imagine, especially if you have access to a sewing machine (which I don't!!).


Thrift your decorative items.
Last but my no means least, when it comes to decorative items in the kitchen, there are two ways to save money.... firstly, buy practical items that are also decorative, so they fulfil a dual purpose while you only pay out once. Secondly, if you can get to a car boot sale, charity shop, or vintage store / junk shop to get these items, you can save a considerable amount of what they would cost new. Vintage pieces are often super colourful too, so they're a great way to inject a bit of personality into your kitchen. My favourite old stoneware jug came from a junk shop and only cost me 20p! The best thing about buying vintage is that they are likely to be one of a kind and there's very little chance of you seeing the same bits and pieces anywhere else!


Wednesday, 24 April 2019

STYLE // Perfect Footwear for April Showers

I don't think I've ever been as excited to see rain as I was this morning - because it meant I'd finally have the chance to properly road test my new Napton leather boots which the brilliant, family run outdoor clothing company, Rydale, very kindly sent to me earlier this month.

I love a pair of wellies. Living in the countryside they are an absolute essential when it comes to footwear. They have their uses all year round of course, but they really are perfect for this time of year, when you have zero idea what the weather is going to do each day and the chances are you'll find yourself caught in a rainstorm on a muddy track somewhere or another. I genuinely love the look of a floral dress, chunky knit, thick socks and a pair of wellies - think Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller wrapped up warm on a blustery beach in The Edge of Love. Bare legs and big boots has always been my favourite combo come spring.

I've worn the same pair of rubber wellingtons for almost a decade and, as much as I've loved them, they've always been a little too high on the calf for me, making it hard for me to sit down / bend my legs comfortably when I'm wearing them. They're also a bit of a pain to get off, especially when they're muddy. So I'm very pleased to announce that they have finally been washed and donated to the charity shop, and replaced by these beautiful, waterproof, leather knee high boots from Rydale.

They have full length, sturdy zips at the back making them much easier to get off than normal wellies, and they're lined with soft felt, so they're ridiculously cosy and comfortable too. They're certainly the nicest outdoor boots I've ever worn!

Aside from during the bank holiday heatwave, I've worn them pretty much constantly since they arrived. I've already said they're super comfy but today they encountered their first (torrential) April shower and I can happily confirm that they truly are waterproof too.

They retail at £99.95 and are available online here.

Thanks so much to Rydale for gifting me my pair!


Tuesday, 26 February 2019

DAYS OUT IN LONDON // Zog at the Rose Theatre, Kingston

And just like that, half term is over and the kids are back at school. Is it just me or do these holidays feel like they're getting shorter and shorter?

We had a brilliant week that was the perfect mix of lazy mornings at home and out-and-about fun; the highlight of which definitely had to be the press performance of Zog - the stage adaptation of the book by Julia Donaldson - at the Rose Theatre in Kingston (the stomping ground of my youth, no less - and what a joy it was to be back!).

We're regular kids theatre goers; I love watching the girls get immersed in the magic of a live stage show. There's something so special about seeing your favourite stories come to life in front of you, especially when there are real life people in it - and puppets, and lights, and music, and special effects.

Up until last week I would have said Stick Man was our favourite out of all the kids shows we'd seen (funnily enough, also a Freckle Production), but since seeing Zog, I think we might have a new entry at the top spot!

I'm not sure whether that's because I feel like its aimed at slightly older children than Stick Man is (which mine now are, at 6 and 9) or whether its because the musical score was written by none other than the legendary Johnny Flynn (more on him later) but it was utterly, utterly brilliant from start to finish.

We loved the puppetry, we loved the clever costume changes and we loved the simple but effective set. The cast were brilliant and engaging and hilarious, and the show had lots of audience participation which is always a winner. The girls and I all agreed that it was just a lovely, lovely show.

I realise lovely is a bit of a strange word to use in a theatre review but if you've read the book I think you'll agree that it's just the loveliest story about friendship - and this production of it has been put together perfectly. It's an ideal show for all the family; it kind of bridges the gap between really young kids theatre and stuff for tweens and I can't think of any other show that does the same.

As I already mentioned, the music was written by Johnny Flynn who is one of my favourite musicians of all time. It was brilliant, and must definitely be used as a selling point for any older family members that might be reluctant to go. In actual fact Johnny and his wife and family were sat in front of us at the press performance.... and I was completely and utterly star struck!

Zog is now on a six month tour around the UK - detailed listings here - and ticket prices start at just £12.50.

We invited to the Rose Theatre as guests of Freckle Productions in exchange for this review. All words are honest and my own.

Fancy production photographs courtesy of Helen Maybanks.
Photo of two ratbags in front of the Zog poster taken by me.
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