January 2015 | Modern Mummy

Saturday, 31 January 2015

The me&i SS15 Collection

I'm majorly excited to be working with Swedish fashion brand me&i again this year, alongside two of my blogging faves - Vicki from Mummys Got Style and Sabina from Mummy Matters.

I absolutely love the bright, bold prints and patterns of me&i kidswear and I also love that it's a one stop shop for both mums and children! The girls and I all have lots of pieces from previous seasons and we are forever being complimented on them (Daisy's sunflower dress in particular). They are incredibly well made, very reasonably priced and they wash well - keeping their shape and their colour - which makes them perfect hand-me-down clothes. Evie is now wearing Daisy's original pieces from a couple of years ago and they still look brand new!

Last week I had a sneaky peak at the up and coming SS15 collections and I thought I'd share a couple of my favourite items. These three pieces will most definitely be making their way into our wardrobes in the next couple of months.



Yes I know I am a crazy cat lady but HOW AMAZING are these two tops? Such a cute character and I love the colours; they're girlie without being entirely pink! 

For me, I'm everso in love with this little black dress. 



I love the capped sleeves and the neckline, and the length is just right for me. It drapes across the hips, making it incredibly flattering, and is made from a lovely soft jersey fabric so must be super comfy to wear too.xoxo


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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Dear Diary #2

Happy Sunday all! I hope you've had a lovely week. 

We've had a rather quiet one here; we've spent it pottering around at home, shopping, on play and coffee dates.


On Monday I promised Daisy we'd bake brownies after school. Of course, if I wanted to sample our culinary delights they had to be dairy free so I adapted a Nigella recipe, replacing the butter with dairy free spread and ensuring all chocolate was plain (so no milk or butter). I'm not going to lie, the result was A-MAZING.




Tuesday was a day of shopping. I'd not been out and treated myself for ages - so I got myself a new pair of trainers courtesy of my lovely sister and the voucher she got me for Christmas, and some new perfume too. I've been wearing Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb for eleven years so it was definitely time for a change and I opted for Jo Malone's Earl Grey & Cucumber. It's divine. I also FINALLY managed to get Evie to wear a pair of gloves. Does anyone else struggle to get their toddler to keep them on? I told a little white lie and said these dinosaur mittens were puppets. They kind of are really. Anyway, they are Evie's new favourite 'toys' and she has worn them every day since we got them!



On Wednesday something crazy happened. I joined the gym. I'd been thinking about it ever since reviewing the Cranleigh Club just before Christmas, despite being pretty anti-gym for the last five or six years. All of a sudden I found myself really wanting to get fit and I'm forward to starting this week. On Wednesday I also prepped smoothie bags for the first time. I had fruit and veg that needed using up and didn't want to see it go to waste so I bagged it all up for the freezer. I experimented a bit with them later this week; my first attempt at blitzing them in the Nutribullet made my smoothies too thick, almost ice cream like. I've learnt to take them out of the freezer on waking and then use them around an hour later when they've thawed out a bit.




I spent Thursday at home with Evie, whilst Daisy was at school. It was a day of house work and washing and making giant wotsits at lunchtime. As you do.



Friday night is movie night in our house and this week was no different. We watched My Neighbor Totoro (one of our favourite films!) and the girls ate what is apparently their new favourite pudding - The Dairy Collective Russian Fudge Yoghurt. I have to admit, it looked goooooood.



On Saturday Daisy had a party, so Evie & I went for a long walk and then on to the park by ourselves in the afternoon. It was bitterly cold so we wore our Anna Söderström hats and scarves!



Today was spent with family, as all Sundays should be. My parents came over and I cooked roast beef, before heading out to work for a few hours this afternoon. I let Daisy choose her own clothes and she looked awesome!

This week I have been reading:
Recipe books! Lots and lots of recipe books. I'm really embracing this new healthy way of life and have been busy reading up on lots of vegan and paleo meals after spending an hour looking up new ideas on Pinterest with Daisy. Almost every picture we pinned was made of cauliflower which made us laugh as it's not usually our favourite vegetable!

Listening to:
Jessie Ware. I'm not so keen on her singles but have been listening to some acoustic versions of them on YouTube and Spotify and am in love. This is my absolute favourite right now:



Wearing:



My new trainers! After gait analysis I opted for a pair of New Balance 630v2s - for gym work mostly - but have found myself wearing them on the school run with jeans and a sweater. I love the neon yellow/grey/turquoise colour combo.

What have you been up to? xoxo
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Friday, 23 January 2015

Win £200 with Séraphine!



This coming SS15, my absolute favourite maternity brand, Séraphine, are giving customers the chance to choose their favourite image from the collection, which will be used on the cover of their new season catalogue. 

In the battle of Tanya Vs Maya, we are all being given the opportunity to cast our votes - and our task is to choose between the fashion forward and flattering Maya Aztec Front Twist Dress (which retails at £52) and the casual and comfy Tanya Geo Print Dress (£55).

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning £200 is to pick your favourite dress! It's that simple. The winner will also receive the dress they picked too! 

Go to the Séraphine Ltd Facebook page (here) and cast your vote today! My favourite is the Tanya, and yes, I've TOTALLY entered, despite not being pregnant or breastfeeding anymore. I still wear my Séraphine nursing clothes one year on; they're beautifully made and fit so well that I'm not prepared to give them up just yet! XOXO
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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Five Favourites: Rowdy Roddy Vintage

My love of little independent businesses is no secret - and I adore all things vintage - so I was massively excited to discover Scottish company Rowdy Roddy Vintage last month.

It's an absolute gem of an online store (with a real life shop in Patrick, Glasgow if you're ever passing through), selling a brilliant collection of clothes, toys and accessories from up-and-coming independent brands - and they have some awesome vintage finds too. (Sign up to their mailing list if you want a heads up on new stock hitting the website!)




They very kindly sent me a Cassette cushion by Woouf! for Evie's bedroom (although somehow it has ended up in our sitting room.... no idea how that happened *ahem*) and the Blue Woodlands doll from Lapin & Me. I've wanted to start collecting these dolls for months, and I'm super stoked to have my very first one!

I've been back to their website a million times since my first parcel arrived and my virtual shopping basket is jam packed full of retro gorgeousness. Here are the top five items on my wish list*:



1. Retro Rocker, £25 // 2. Boat blanket, £62.50 // 3. Retro cat on wheels, £14.95 // 
4. Mushroom night light, £75 // 5. Mushroom night light, £75

*It's my birthday in June if anyone is interested. Hint hint. xoxo
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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Today I Joined the Gym


Well there's a sentence I never thought I'd hear myself say, let alone use as the title for a blog post!

The past couple of weeks I've been taking part in a campaign for Halfords, called #31FitterDays. It launched in order to encourage people to be more active, particularly during the month of January when they're on a bit of a fitness mission and are feeling extra motivated.

You might have already read my post about my Health & Fitness Goals for 2015 from late last year. I talked about how I was (and still am!) feeling genuinely inspired to start exercising again and mentioned my plans for the coming year..... just generally being more active, perhaps doing a little running, and starting some kettle bell workouts. There was no mention of going to the gym whatsoever, in fact I actually said (and I quote) 'I'm not one to run on a treadmill, or cycle on a static bike.'  But today I found myself signing my life away to do just that.

As part of the campaign Halfords gave me a Garmin Vivofit; one of those pedometer thingymajigs that you wear on your wrist and which counts your steps/the distance you've covered/the calories you've burned etc etc during the day. I've worn mine 24/7 for the last two weeks and found myself getting more than a little bit competitive. Every day I am desperate (DESPERATE) to beat my previous days stats.

Which is the main reason behind me getting my first gym membership in about seven years.... So I can keep working on my personal best. That and the fact my wobbly bits need a bit of attention before the summer of course. It's only a few months away you know. xoxo

(PS the kicks are new.... what do you think?)
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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Dear Diary #1

One of my oldest friends came over on New Years Eve. We cooked a cottage pie and drank gin and tonics and watched Alan Carr and Jools Holland while our kids made paper chains and drew pictures in the kitchen. We also spent a long time in hysterics whilst going through my old diaries of 95-01. I always kept a diary in my teens; they started off as huge, waffly 'Dear Diary' type entries in big leather bound page-a-day diaries ('WHY doesn't Brad LIKE me? Why? WHY?') and then in college/Uni they changed to scribbles, appointments, song lyrics and illustrations in week-to-view paperbacks that were easier to carry around (and often covered in band stickers and/or faux fur).  

I LOVED reading them back, and even the tiniest of entries, like a heart next to initials on a certain date, or a line from a song, or a note from a friend, jolted my memory and made me smile. 

I decided there and then to resurrect my diary keeping, albeit in an online and very public form!

After not keeping a proper diary for ten years, I decided I would write a weekly post on here focussing on all the things the girls and I have been up to over the course of the week. It will probably be mainly for my own benefit but my aim for the year is to improve my photography so I'll attempt to post some decent pictures to keep you all entertained!

So onto my first week.......



Last weekend I worked, worked, worked. The girls went to their Dad's house overnight for the first time so I put myself down for a triple shift on the Saturday and a lunch time shift on the Sunday to keep busy. I treated myself to a takeaway pizza on the Saturday night and watched The Notebook for the first time. (Oh my GOD why didn't anyone warn me how much I would cry?!) I painted my nails and managed to get my hair into a teeny tiny top knot which was no mean feat. I definitely made the most of having some time on my own although I pined for the girls a ridiculous amount.

In between shifts I dusted the house, swept and mopped the floors, did about six loads of laundry, a mini food shop AND managed to wash and blow dry my hair, which was heaven. Blow drying my hair is a massive luxury for me. We don't have a shower so I have to wash it in the bath and I can only spend lots of time in the bathroom after the littlies have gone to bed - by which time I can't Parlux the life out of my hair for fear of waking them!



Monday was taken up by a trip to Ikea. God I love that place. If you haven't got a Family Card you should so get one - free coffee in the cafe and a 9 item cooked breakfast for a little over £2! Our nearest store is about fifty miles away though, so when we go, we have to make a day out of it. Evie and I went after dropping Daisy at school and came home with the usual stuff; picture frames, cushions, cacti. 



On Tuesday I got my hair done, OH YES I DID! I visited a new salon (for me) in Grayshott called Blue and I will never go anywhere else ever again. I'm going to write an entire post about it soon so I won't go into masses of detail here but I've started the transformation back to blonde, which I am VERY excited about. Roll on Summer.

Wednesday was a pretty standard day made up of the usual school runs and housework and food shopping. Evie and I played with Daisy's Shopkins while she was at school which made her day!



Thursday was a big day for me. My new ring (to replace my engagement and wedding rings) arrived in the morning's post. I blogged about it here. I like having a ring on that finger again.



Friday was a brilliant day in my #31FitterDays challenge (which I mentioned in my post about health and fitness goals for this year). A friend and I went for a long walk after the school run with our littlests in their buggies and I ended up almost doubling my daily steps goal! I'm really keen to work on my fitness this year. Dieting and me do not go well together. I love my food. Similarly, exercise and me do not go well together. I'm all for being active but I can't bring myself to sweat like a pig, feel like a fox no matter now much I watch that video on YouTube. I have started a fifteen minute daily kettle bell workout though so who knows how I'll feel about exercise in twelve weeks time?

We went to the panto in the evening. It was a mega late night for the girls but they loved it and joined in with all the shouting and enjoyed huge ice creams in the interval.



I was at work again on Saturday so the girls had fun at Granny & Grandads. I got a copy of Prima Baby in the post and found myself in the style pages which, despite the fact I was wearing no make up and had caught-in-a-downpour fringe issues, was pretty awesome. When the girls got home we made our own pizzas for dinner and then they had a late night, staying up until 8pm to watch Stars in their Eyes (NOT my idea). We all ended up going to bed together at 8.15 which was bliss, even though we were all up at 5am the next morning.

This week I have been reading:
Prima Baby, of course. Page 82, people, PAGE EIGHTY TWO!

Listening to:
The Beatles, Please Please Me. I'm looking to buy a Dansette record player and am trying to persuade my Dad to let me have all his old LPs, including this one. I love the scratchy sound of real records; my Dad said that you used to know your own copies by the scratches on them as they played.

Wearing:
My new Cath Kidston rosewood midi skirt. It's a sage colour and a length (midi) I've never worn before so I've had it on twice this week; once teamed with a pale peachy pink t-shirt from Boden and once with an oatmeal vest top. It's bloody gorgeous. I'm so glad I managed to pick one up for half price in the sale! Stuff like that never happens to me!

What have you been up to? xoxo 
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Friday, 16 January 2015

Independence.

I've worn a ring on my wedding finger for forever.

Long before I got engaged and married - ever since my teens in fact - so it seems strange to not be wearing one on there anymore. I'm used to tapping them on my tea cup in the morning (and my wine glass in the evening) and twiddling them round with my other fingers when I'm anxious or bored.

After Christmas I decided I would treat myself to a new one. I searched far and wide for something perfect - it had to be pretty, have meaning and, most importantly, be 'me'. Eventually I found The One, and I'm calling it my Independence Ring.



It's a beautiful, whimsical ring from one of my favourite jewellers, Trollbeads. It's made from silver and has a small freshwater pearl nesting in a bed of hawthorn flowers and leaves. I don't think I could possibly love it any more than I do!

I chose it because I just adore the prettiness and simplicity of hawthorn flowers in the springtime, and also because pearl is my birthstone. Hawthorn flowers are supposed to cleanse the heart of negativity and encourage forgiveness and love - and they are also a symbol of strength and power. I could do with a little bit of all of that right now. 

xoxo

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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Weetabix Weetabuddies

We are huge, huge, huge, huge, huge Weetabix fans in this house. There is always a box in the larder; it's one of the few cereals the girls both love - and it's definitely one of the healthiest out there so I always encourage them to choose them over any others we may have. They eat two, and sometimes even three, Weetabix (or 'beetbix' as we call them) most mornings and I love knowing that they're set up for the day with lovely full tummies!

My own love affair with Weetabix began when I was a child and I used to have hot Weetabix sprinkled with sugar in the winter. It's still one of my favourite comfort foods, it's just so good!



Fast forward thirty years and Weetabix have a brand new campaign focusing on the ‘Weetabuddies’ – a range of characters to help make breakfast a little more fun. My girls think they're hilarious (you can meet all the characters here although you've probably seen them on the telly already). The campaign is all about encouraging families to get creative at breakfast whilst having a healthy start to the day. I think it's utterly brilliant.

We were challenged to create some characters of our own and had so much fun doing so. The girls also ate about twenty of their five a day in the process which was really rather good!



We came up with these three Weetabuddies; the very originally named Beetbix Man, Beetbix Owl and Beetbix Monkey.... and we made a little video while we were at it!



Why don't you have a go at creating your own Weetabuddies with your kids? If you upload them here you could be in with a chance of winning a prize (there are prizes to be won EVERY DAY! - plus, of course, your Weetabuddy could become famous!

For inspiration, here is our favourite Weetabuddy video from the Weetabix YouTube Channel! xoxo


This is a sponsored post.

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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Five Favourites: My End of Sale Wishlist

This year I've rather enjoyed a bit of sale shopping and so far I've managed to bag myself some awesome bargains.

Usually I find the sales (and the end of them in particular) full of out-of-season or damaged rubbish in extreme sizes, but for some reason this year they have been BRILLIANT and the final reductions are even better. I don't think I've ever bought anything at the end of the sales before but right now I have a full blown wish list.

This is what's on it:



1. Boden Carnaby Dress in porcelain square, was £89 - now £35.50 // 2. Joules Julianne Scarf in navy check, was £29.95 - now £19.95 // 3. Cath Kidston cardigan, was £65 - now £30 // 4. River Island 80s Hits Bag, was £25 - now £12.50 // 5. Lotta's Slingback clogs in navy, were £59.50 - now £38 

How AMAZING is that bag? Swooooon.xoxo
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Monday, 5 January 2015

One Day: Three Castles

This past weekend, the girls and I visited family in South Wales. 

It was a super fleeting visit; only 24 hours! But after the indulgence of Christmas and with the end of the school holidays fast approaching, we were itching to get out and about in the fresh air and have an adventure - and we really wanted to spend some quality time with my auntie and uncle too.

So yesterday was spent exploring the vale of South Glamorgan and we paid three ruined castles a visit.

If you're looking for places of interest to visit in South Wales then these three sites should definitely be on your list of contenders!

Our first stop was Ogmore Castle, in the beautiful village of Ogmore-by-Sea. The castle remains are Norman and the scenery along the B4524 on your way there is equally as breathtaking as the castle ruins themselves. 

For those of you that like a romantic story (I know I do!) there are 52 stepping stones crossing the ford of the two rivers. They were apparently built so that a girl that lived in the castle could cross the river to see her lover at Merthyr Mawr!

The river was really high and fast flowing when we visited so we couldn't get across, but I've been before as a child and had heaps of fun leaping across the stones and paddling in the water. This time we had to make do with splashing in the puddles and squelching in the mud but that was just as fun!

Next up, we headed to Coity Castle which wasn't in quite as beautiful a setting as Ogmore but was an absolutely incredible three storey ruin with huge, precarious looking chimney stacks and spiral staircases leading no-where.

This castle underwent substantial alterations over the years and you can see bricked in windows, doorways and fireplaces everywhere you look. It's pretty overwhelming to think about all the families that lived there over the years.

Our last stop was St Quentin's Castle; the smallest of the three ruins, but in the most wonderful of locations. Cowbridge town is nearby and had some lovely looking shops, pubs and houses - if we'd had the time I'd have loved a little wander up the high street, so that's going on my To Do list for the summer. We'll definitely be returning when the weather gets warmer; the girls loved running up and down the hills and the grounds would make the perfect picnic spot!

Here are a few photos of our day....












PS Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had heaps of fun celebrating over the festive season and 2015 is everything you could wish for and more xoxo
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