April 2011 | Modern Mummy

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Play Doh for Toddlers? A Review

My daughter loves making a mess. She does it a lot. She likes to draw on things, she likes to empty her toybox and leave her toys all over the house and most of all she likes to squish things. Like tomatoes. And she likes to crumble things. Like biscuits. And she likes to flatten things. Like potatoes.

So when Granny suggested buying her some Play Doh as an Easter present I thought "what a brilliant idea! ..... Otherwise she will get loads of chocolate eggs, which I will end up eating and my diet will be ruined." And off we trotted to our local Toys R Us to buy some.

Being only eighteen months old (six months younger than the suggested age of Play Doh users) I wasn't sure what to choose on her behalf. I wasn't even sure if she would like it, although Granny (clever clogs) knew she would. Madam didn't need the Mega Fun Factory or the Mr Potato Head deluxe versions, although I quite fancied getting those for myself. After lots of oooohing and aaahhhhing at the massive choice, we opted for the very basic and very reasonably priced Play Doh Mountain of Colours - a selection of fifteen different coloured pots of Play Doh and some shape cutters (she can have those when she's a bit bigger) for £12.99.

When we first gave them to her on Easter Sunday she was ecstatic. I'm not sure why, bearing in mind she had never seen the stuff before. I think it was the packaging and the colours and the fact everyone was standing over her and paying her lots of attention. We spent ages (and I mean AGES) stacking the pots and letting them topple over - lovely, next to no tidying up required!  But I thought I ought to let her have a play with the Doh seeing as it was a gift from Granny and Grandad and we were at their house and they wanted to see if she liked it.

So off came the lids. Wow. The smell. Nostalgia anyone!? I was instantly transported back to 1984. It was brilliant. And out came the Play Doh. Pink, blue, green, yellow, red. And the rest. Daisy loved it. She tried to eat it but soon realised that this was for squashing and rolling and patting, not for lunch! And squashing and rolling and patting was exactly what she did. For two hours! Never before has my daughter sat so nicely and quietly at a table! She also went through all the colours she knew and pointed at the ones she didn't so that I could teach her their names. She now knows 'black' (blah) 'orange' (ollie) 'purple' (pllllllllll) and 'white' (van - don't ask) along with the five colours I mentioned earlier *proud mum moment*.

I made a few shapes myself. Check out my Peppa Pig! This photo was taken shortly before madam squished her.

 We sincerely had a blast together. Which is proof enough for me that Play Doh isn't just for older kids to be imaginative with; its also a brilliant way for our younger offspring to use up loads of energy and develop their hand-eye co-ordination. It teaches children about colours and shapes and creativity - and its a perfect way to spend quality parent child time on a rainy day too. I can't wait to add to Daisy's collection as she gets older. Not that I'm a big kid or anything. 


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

My 100th Post - And a bit of gossip!

Hello all my lovely readers.

A very special entry from me today - this is my 100th post! I am so proud of my little blog and how far its come since my very first entry back in September last year. Thank you all so much for reading and commenting. You are all ace!

I thought I would use this special post to tell you some exciting news, and also to apologise for and explain the reasons behind my bloggy silence over the past couple of months. And no, I'm not knocked up again before you all jump to over excited conclusions! It's still uber exciting though, I promise.

You must have gathered, in particular when reading my recent Separation Anxiety post, that I hate leaving Daisy to go to work. I've done it for a year now - the job has been grand and my colleagues are all wonderful - but being away from her three days a week has never got any easier. I miss the little ratbag!

Well after long chats and lots of number crunching, Himself and I made an executive decision this weekend, and today I handed in my notice! I am over the moon. I am so excited to be able to put my lovely little family first. They deserve it.

This also means that I will now be able to devote more time to Modern Mummy - as well as my other hobby/new business venture, She Sells Sea Shells. 

I've mentioned my driftwood art in passing on numerous occasions. After operating on a word of mouth basis for the last year or two, I finally got round to setting up a Folksy shop and a Facebook page for my art and the commissions have come rolling in which has been amazing. I have my first two craft fairs coming up in the next couple of months and have been spending my evenings getting creative and producing lots of stock for my stall - not only driftwood signs, hearts and mirrors but also painted beach pebbles and I have even been painting canvases again. Having more time to spend doing something I love so much is going to be a dream come true, especially with the summer coming up and lots of trips to the beach imminent. We have also started converting our lean-to into a little studio for me (look out for the before and after photos which will be coming very soon!) and I am so looking forward to having my own space to work in.

So yes, massive apologies for being so quiet recently, and I hope you can bear with me whilst I work my notice and do all my prep for the fairs. This time next month Modern Mummy will be fully back in business and I can't wait.

Lots of love x

Monday, 18 April 2011

The Pottery Cafe---- Daisy's Gorgeous Teapot

Last week I blogged about my Mother's Day trip to The Pottery Cafe in Richmond. Daisy painted me a B E A utiful teapot and after being glazed and fired it was ready to collect at the weekend.

Here is the finished product..... how brilliant? I love it. Can't wait to use it! ♥


Thursday, 14 April 2011

A Lovely Family Holiday in Devon & Cornwall

As I mentioned in my earlier post (and as you may have noticed from my unusual lack of tweeting and blogging), Himself, Daisy and I have just come back from our first family holiday together. It was only a long weekend, and we stayed in England but we had the loveliest time ever.

We stayed in a little village in North Devon called Milton Damerel and spent four days driving out to lots of beautiful places.

On our first day we visited an amazing village called Clovelly.Clovelly is a tiny, privately owned village perched on the edge of a cliff top with fantastic views of the sea. The streets are cobbled and traffic free and the houses higgledy piggledy and kept in the style of the mid 19th century. In a nutshell its my dream village and Himself got more than bored of me squealing in excitement every time I saw another house or craft shop. The New Inn sold delicious local cider and home made pasties and Daisy had her first ride of a donkey! All in all we all had a great time. The only downside was having to cart the buggy up and down the huuuuuuge hill from the car park. Next time we'll leave it in the boot. Here are a few snaps from our album.

Our second day was spent on the beach at Bude. Daisy L O V E D it. She is my daughter after all. She learnt to say 'sea' (with a little lisp, very cute!) and kept taking me by the hand and leading me down to the shore to splash in the waves. She also helped me collect driftwood and pebbles!

That evening we had dinner at a 13th century inn called The Bush Inn. The food was out of this world and they had a great climbing frame in the garden.

Day three was my favourite day out of them all. We headed back into Cornwall, firstly to St Ives. I love St Ives so much. I love the harbour, I love the beaches,  I love all the little tiny galleries scattered amongst the old fisherman's cottages. We had a fantastic fry up in town and an ice cream on the sea front and visited Fat Willy's Surf Shack (remember them?) and bought madam a t-shirt.

Later in the afternoon we drove to Land's End. It was quiet at this time of year but the views across the Atlantic were out of this world and I got some great shots whilst having a glass of wine at the First and Last Bar in England.

Our fourth and last day was mostly spent travelling back to London, but before we left we spent a bit of time in Milton Damerel at Blackberry Farm. The owner, Lizzie, made us a hearty breakfast in the cafe and we bought bags of local produce to take home (including a hand made chicken and bacon pie.... oh. my. god. We had it for dinner that night and it was divine!) before heading out to meet the animals. They had shetland ponies, donkeys, sheep, pigs, rabbits, ducks and chickens - and Daisy loved them all, but mostly the chickens (or 'chi-chis' as she calls them). I think she misses ours.

The best bit about the whole weekend was getting to spend it together as a family. We don't do enough of that these days; work and day to day chores always seem to get in the way. Getting to spend 24/7 with my Moo (the little monkey even slept in our bed every night!) was ten million tonnes of awesome. She was brilliant on the long car journeys and even gave us a bit of a lie in on our last morning there!

Being back home has brought me down to earth with a thud. I was back at work the following day and already it feels as if we were never away! Roll on our next break..... 69 days and counting!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Gallery---- Tomorrow

After a week's blogholiday I am actually really pleased to be back in blogging action! I'm also excited about taking part in The Gallery this week as I missed last week's altogether.

The theme for The Gallery this week was a tricky one. Tomorrow. How do you interpret that? I took my entry on Saturday evening, whilst we were still on holiday in Devon. The following day we were planning a drive across the border into Cornwall to my favourite place in the whole world, St Ives.

I love maps. Does that make me sound like a complete geek? Not just beautiful old antique ones either- I'm more than happy pouring over the AA 2011 Road Atlas of the British Isles (you know- the one you get from petrol stations for £2.99 with any fuel purchase). I adore looking at all the village names and checking them off in my head as we pass them in the car. I've not got sat nav and I don't want it either.

I've also added one of my favourite songs to this post so you can listen to it whilst you're looking at all the other entries to The Gallery. Beth Orton's 'Thinking About Tomorrow'.

I'm off to see everyone else's interpretations now. Enjoy x

Monday, 4 April 2011

The Pottery Cafe---- A Special Mother's Day Review

As a special treat this Mother's Day, Daisy and I spent the morning at The Pottery Cafe in Richmond.

The Pottery Cafe is brilliant. Not only can you go there and paint your own EMMA BRIDGEWATER crockery, they also sell delicious coffee and cake and have a fab card and gift shop too.

I've been there quite a few times to paint pottery over the past couple of years - the first time was for my best friend's hen do, where us hens spent an afternoon drinking champagne and decorating pottery for the wedding crockery set (which we then gave the bride and groom as a present). More recently I took Daisy along to have her baby footprints painted.

As an avid Emma Bridgewater collector that has recently started accumulating teapots, I thought a two cup teapot decorated by my own little monkey would be the best Mother's Day present ever.

On arrival I was given a free cup of tea and slice of carrot cake for being a Mum. That pretty much made my day! We were then shown what to do and where everything was and Daisy was given a pinny to wear (CUTE!) before being left to our own devices.

Armed with a palette of primary colours and a paint brush, Daisy set to work on her masterpiece.

Then one of the lovely ladies from the Pottery Cafe helped Daisy do her hand prints. She was very excited at having her hands painted and proceeded to spend the rest of the morning painting them herself!

Once Daisy had worked her magic, she had a cookie whilst I finished the teapot off (painting the tip of the lid and the base and the spout navy blue to match her hand prints).

We handed the teapot over for glazing and firing and it will be ready to collect at the weekend.... pop back next week for its grand unveiling on the Modern Mummy blog!

The girls at the Pottery Cafe are so polite and welcoming and knowledgeable. Most importantly they all seem very passionate about what they do. I would recommend paying the studio a visit wholeheartedly, either with your friends or with your kids. Or if you haven't got the time (or the patience) to paint a piece of pottery then definitely head to the gift shop. It sells some gorgeous toys and cards - and best of all it has a wide selection of Emma Bridgewater too.

Click here for the contact details for the Richmond Studio. There is also a studio in Fulham and one on the Isle of Wight.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

A Modern Mummy in Twickenham

This week I have written a guest post for the brilliant local website, Twickerati, on the benefits of bringing up children in Twickenham.

Click here to visit Twickerati and find out what makes me love my home town so much  ♥

You can also follow Twickerati on Twitter for local news, ill-informed opinion, comment and lame humour. Go on. You know you want to!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Modern Mummy Loves....

It's the weekend! Hurrah! And to celebrate I'm publishing a Modern Mummy Loves music special this morning! It's GOT to be a good day when these A C E tunes come on one after the other when your iPod's on shuffle.....

Track 1. Sandy Shaw - Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself. Oh how I enjoyed belting this one out at the top of my voice first thing this morning! I'm not sure Daisy, or my neighbours for that matter, appreciated it though....

Track 2. Kula Shaker - 303. Oh My God. Cue prancing round the room in my underwear doing a spot of highly inappropriate and cringe worthy air guitar playing.

Track 3. Lissie - Oh Mississippi. One word. Awesome. Two words. Girl Crush. I heart this song so much. And this woman. Lissie is just too cool for words.

Track 4. Beck - Beercan. Daisy enjoyed this one too. We had a little dance together. I'd not heard this song in about six years before today. How brilliant is Beck. I am putting his Mellow Gold album on now!

Hope you all have lovely weekends and all you Mummies get spoilt tomorrow xx
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