Modern Mummy

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Bank Holiday Hangs

Aaaargh, we're half way through the short week already - where did our bank holiday weekend go?!

The girls and I had a lovely few days; kick starting the long weekend with our traditional Friday night movie night (this week we watched The Secret of the Kells which was AMAZING if you're looking for a recommendation). Then Saturday was our chilled out day before two days of gallivanting across the South East of England.

On Sunday we went to one of our favourite museums, the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, which is in Singleton, near Chichester. It's only a few miles away from here and we love it so much we are fully paid up annual members, which means we can go back as often as we like without having to pay extra entrance fees.

As it's name would suggest, the museum is predominantly outdoors - it's a 40 acre site where the exhibits are traditional rural buildings which have been rescued from ruin, rebuilt and furnished. There are over fifty buildings there - some houses, some working buildings like farmhouses and mills, and the oldest is 600 years old!

The girls' favourite buildings are Whittaker's Cottages, and whenever we visit that's the first place we head to. They are a pair of cottages built in the 1860s for agricultural labourers, and they are pretty much identical to our own cottage. The girls are fascinated that in Victorian times, a family of 10 would have lived in a house our size!

Selfie in the mirror of the grown up's bedroom at Whittakers Cottages

Daisy and Evie in the children's bedroom - 8 children would have slept in here in the 1860s!
Another building that the girls love is the old school house - it's absolutely teeny tiny (when it opened in 1712 it originally only had 6 pupils!) and the old school walls have also been rebuilt so you can see how tiny the little playground was.

Sat on the old school wall
But the reason we paid the museum a visit on this occasion was because there was a Food and Folk Festival going on - and it was brilliant! We couldn't have picked a day with better weather; the sun was shining and skies were blue, we made flower crowns and danced round the maypole and watched the morris dancers do their thang..... and of course we ate our way around the food stalls over the course of the day ;) Some highlights were O'Hagan's sausages, Mummy Makes fudge and the brisket and roasted beetroot pasty I had from the Podgy Pieman was seriously the best I have ever tasted!

Daisy wearing her willow flower crown

After a fairly decent night's sleep as far as they go (six uninterrupted hours!) we spent Bank Holiday Monday in Brighton, which seems to be turning into a bit of a tradition these days. This time we were on a specific mission - to visit the Brighton Art Market (which is happening at the Brighthelm Centre every weekend in May if you fancy heading down) and buy a Pearl Bates print. The weather wasn't on our side this time and we ended up getting pretty drenched in the morning but we took shelter in the shops (and by shelter I mean I dragged the kiddos into Snoopers Paradise and got them rummaging through all the vintage photos for ones with cats in them!) and had Wagamamas for lunch to warm up a bit.

One of Pearl Bates' murals on the walls of the Laines

Looking for vintage cat photos... we found one!
It brightened up in the afternoon, so we had a proper wander around the Laines and a walk along the pier and then had an ice cream before walking along the prom to Hove for a cup of tea at my godparents' house :)

Evie with some of Minty's street art

My beautiful Daisy ;)

Bribery was involved in the set up of this shot

As is the way with holidays, I always feel as if I need another one by the end of them - but when we are given an extra day off work and school, we like to make the most of it! I'm already looking forward to the next bank holiday coming up at the end of May!


Five Favourites: Top Picks For a Mums' Night Out

It might not happen very often but I challenge you to find me a mum that doesn't long for a night out with the girls every once in a while. Whether we’re grabbing a bite to eat, visiting the cinema or dancing the night away, us mums love letting our hair down whenever we get the chance. And, as all women know, half the fun of a night out is in the preparation… which is why I've put together my five favourite top picks for your mums' night out!

1. Classic jeans
A great outfit starts with a great base, so reach into your wardrobe and select your beloved black skinny jeans. Superdry have a great range of black jeans, and plenty of other styles if you prefer something lighter, more distressed or even flared. The key thing is that your jeans should feel comfortable enough to wear when climbing in and out of taxis, make you feel gorgeous when you’re walking through a crowded room, and have a generous enough pocket to stash your spare change and house key! Better yet, comfy jeans will serve you well the next morning when you’re nursing your tender head. Where’s the coffee?

2. Statement shoes
To lengthen your legs and add a touch of glamour to an otherwise casual outfit, why not slip your feet into a pair of bright stilettos? They’ll add a pop of colour and brighten up your overall look. Or, make your ensemble that bit sassier with a pair of leopard print caged heels. However, if extra inches are stretching your already tall stature to vertigo-inducing territory, flat shoes will work just as well: we like these options suggested by Cosmopolitan.

3. An eye catching top
Want to stand out in a dimly lit room and add some glamour to your Instagram feed? A sequined, jewelled or embellished number is the answer! We’d opt for something extra shimmery with some movement, such as a fringed crop top. Something so glitzy and detailed will look great with your neutral, classic bottom half. I like this one from Boden.

4. A leather jacket
Every woman needs a leather jacket (and how nice is this one from River Island!) – whether you’re wearing it on the tube, nipping to the supermarket or squishing down those butterflies on your way to a date, it’s the kind of clothing item that works for any occasion. In fact, leather jackets are great for a girl’s night out too: it will toughen up your look, keep you warm while you’re queueing and give you somewhere to stash your phone if you didn’t bring a bag.

5. A glamorous scent
Finally, no girl’s night out ensemble would be complete with a finishing touch, would it? A perfume reserved for the evening will get you in the mood to party, as well as making you smell absolutely divine! After dark scents are often heavier than fragrances intended for daytime, so look out for notes of musk, sandalwood and nutmeg. Whether or not your perfume turns any heads, you’ll certainly feel good with a spritz of something sultry!

Spring Cleaning: Can You Clean Your House With Only Two Ingredients?

Hands up who has a cleaning cupboard that is full to bursting with expensive cleaning products that have barely been touched since they were bought? *puts hand in air*

This is a really lovely book; beautiful imagery, plus lots of environmentally friendly ideas for cleaning your home. You can buy a copy here.

I think there are two reasons why I personally put off doing a big spring clean; firstly the thought of having to dig around in the cupboard to find the right products is almost as boring and tiresome as the cleaning itself, but also I am rather conscious of all the chemicals used within some of the products and using some (like oven cleaner, for example) genuinely scares me! Well, what if you could throw all of them out and replace them with just two easy to use ingredients?

Blogger Jen Gale decided to ditch her usual cleaning products and try it out, so we can all finally know the answer to that all important question - can you clean your house with only two ingredients?

Jen, who is not a fan of cleaning, has tried all the products that promised to make cleaning easier, in the hope that it would encourage her to actually do it. But it didn’t. Then she decided to challenge herself to not buy anything new for a year – she would simply have to make do and mend things. Speaking in the Express, she says: “I realised how materialistic we’d become as a society and I was as guilty as the next person, buying things I didn’t need and stowing them away in the cupboard.”

She wanted to show her two children that they didn’t have to keep buying new things. The rules were – everything bought must be second hand, pre-owned, vintage, or reconditioned. The only things they could buy new were food and some essential toiletries.

Although the ‘rules’ meant she could buys things such as cleaning products it made her more aware of what she was buying and the impact of some products on the environment. She had already started making her own deodorant using solid coconut oil, corn flour, bicarbonate of soda and essential oils. So she started to look around for gentler alternatives to harsh chemicals and, already finding options to use in the bathroom, she eventually started to investigate DIY solutions to store-bought products for the cleaning cupboard.

Researching ingredients for her homemade cleaning products she found that there were two main ingredients in every product; white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.

According to the thrifty blogger, who claims to have replaced a whole box full of various different products with just these two things, it actually works. She now uses these two products to tackle pretty much all of the household cleaning – using it to create a general cleaning spray, a window and glass cleaner, toilet cleaner and limescale remover.

So, can you clean your house with only two ingredients? Technically yes.

But, if you can’t be bothered to clean your own house, let alone make your own cleaning products then why not let the professionals do it for you instead? Call in Molly Maid Spring Cleaning and let them do the hard work for you while you sit back and relax ;)

© Modern Mummy. All rights reserved.