February 2015 | Modern Mummy

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Step into Spring with Hotter Shoes

So the temperature might still be in single figures but we've all caught glimpses of that big orange thing up in the sky and there are crocuses and daffodils popping up EVERYWHERE which can only mean one thing....

It's almost Spring!

Being the uber prepared and organised person that I am (not really) I've already managed to tick one thing off my SS15 fashion wish list; and that is a pair of canvas shoes.

I spent last summer in clogs and jellies, which I fully intend to wear again this year, but for this transitional period from now until May or June, I really fancied a pair of shoes with toes. You know, just in case we're hit with those pesky April showers.




I chose these pumps from Hotter Shoes; the design is called Mabel and I picked the red stripe design, although I really liked all of them (there are six altogether - the navy floral and denim were my next two favourites).

I didn't realise this but all Hotter shoes have a patented shock absorbing sole and breathable removable cushioned insoles which makes them super comfy - and I am literally DESPERATE for the weather to warm up so I can wear them without getting frostbite in my little sockless toes.

I'm thinking these would look amazing with a denim shirt dress, top knot and pair of Rayban Wayfairers. What do you think? xoxo


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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Dear Diary #6

As I begin to write this it's just before 6am on Sunday. I stupidly went to bed really early with the girls last night and found myself wide awake at 5.30am. I'm currently on my second cup of coffee of the morning and am enjoying the peace before the girls wake up. I'm listening to The Mills Brothers (quietly) and Getting Stuff Done. I quite enjoy early mornings by myself.

So what have we been up to this half term week? Lots!




On Monday we went for a walk round the Devil's Punchbowl and I bought a copy of the 50 Things book so that the girls can tick off all the things as they do them.




The weather was beautiful on Tuesday so we had our first picnic of the year whilst out shopping in Guildford. I also turned Evie's cot into a big girl's bed after she mastered the art of climbing over the bars last week. Bedtimes have been pretty hard work ever since!!







The weather wasn't so good on Wednesday - but that didn't stop us spending the day at the beach. We met friends at West Wittering and set up camp in the sand dunes, drinking hot coffee while the kids played. By mid afternoon we were all a bit soggy from splashing in the sea (in our wellies) and the temperature had dropped quite a bit, so we changed into warm, dry clothes and set off eastwards to Selsey for a walk along the prom and a bit of dinner.

Thursday and Friday were my work days and the girls got to spend some time with their Dad. I literally worked, ate, slept and did laundry, so nothing exciting to report at all.



Saturday was spent back in London. We saw my parents, met friends at the park, and Daisy's godmother very, very, very, very kindly gave her an iPad!




Today (and obviously it is no longer 6am as I write this - it's 9pm and I am exhausted after our early start!) - we paid Black Down a visit, then continued on with our Sushi Sunday tradition. Black Down is the highest point of the South Downs and (usually) has the most amazing views of the National Park. Today it was rather grey and hazy, but that didn't stop my friend and I parking up on a bench at the top and cracking open a Thermos of coffee! Daisy, Evie and my friend's daughter made a den out of fallen branches and sticks, which was something to tick off the 50 Things list.



When it started to rain we headed back to our cars and drove to Yo Sushi in Guildford for a Sunday afternoon treat.....



This week I have been listening to.... Ellie Goulding 'Love Me Like You Do'. I've not read Fifty Shades of Grey, or seen the movie (although I might..... I have a bit of a soft spot for Jamie Dornan!) but I am totally obsessing over this song. 



Wearing.... my new 'Strong' Carvela boots from Kurt Geiger. I've been after some black ankle boots for forever but have been ridiculously picky trying to find the perfect pair. I wanted lace ups and really chunky heels and finally found these, in the sale too! (Don't you just love it when that happens!) XOXO

Linking up with TWTWC over at Make Do & Push


TWTWC
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My Kitchen: A Room Tour

Something I've wanted to do for a long time on this blog is a series of room tours. I love my little house and, although it is (still!) very much a work in progress, it's something I'm very proud of. 

As is the case in lots of houses, the kitchen is the heart of our home. When we bought our Cottage almost three years ago, the kitchen contained nothing but a very old stainless steel sink which meant I was lucky enough to be able to design it from scratch and really put my mark on it! 

I wanted it to be an old fashioned, working country kitchen - we do live in the country after all - but at the same time I wanted it to have flashes of the modern and a bit of a scandi feel too. I chose terracotta floor tiles for a rustic look (and the fact they are so easy to keep clean) and also tiled one of the walls, floor to ceiling, to match the splash back behind the sink and hob as a bit of a feature.


At the centre of our kitchen is our table. It's huge - bigger than we need - and one of my favourite pieces of furniture, as it is the same table that my siblings and I ate at, and drew our pictures on, when we were growing up! I love that my girls get to do the same now. Daisy is forever sat up at the table writing stories, Evie uses it to play with her play doh and I use it as my main work surface when I'm preparing meals. 




I also have a large pine dresser and a plate rack. I've always loved freestanding furniture and open shelves as I like the idea of being able to move things around if I ever get bored! I also love colour and collect pots and plates so I wanted them, as well as all my other kitchen accessories, to be on display rather than hidden behind cupboard doors.




I do have a built in sink unit, but that's the only one that's fixed - and it's where I keep all my cleaning and washing products out of view. I have a range too, and all of my cooking utensils hanging above it. We keep all our food in the larder, which is the cupboard under the stairs. The door is always open and you can see the jars and packets on the shelves. I like to decant them into pretty storage tins whenever I can.



Despite the slightly chaotic look of our kitchen, I'm really rather fond of making sure it's organised, hence the multitude of storage tins. My latest purchase (from TK Maxx) is this spice rack which is going to go on the wall in my larder.



I'm also slightly obsessed with photographs and fridge magnets (most of these magnets are of my Instagram photos, made by Sticky9).

Our kitchen really is my most favourite room in our house. What's yours? xo

This is a collaborative post.
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Pancakes are for life... Not just for Shrove Tuesday


As part of our ongoing partnership with Lactofree, this week we were sent a few bits and pieces for Pancake day and challenged to create some American pancakes.

Now I personally am not a fan of the slightly thicker, fluffier American style pancakes so I rebelled and made the thinner, more crêpey style pancakes that us English folk know and love.

I really don't know why but we only ever have Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and I think a lot of people are the same. Its like brussel sprouts and turkey - I love them but only ever have them once a year on Christmas Day. Why is that? So we don't risk OD-ing throughout the year and not enjoying them as much on special occasions?

Pancakes are so easy to make and, depending on the fillings and amount of butter you use, they are pretty good for you too. So the girls and I have decided we are going to have pancakes more often from now on.



To make our Lactofree recipe, we just adapted this really basic one from Delia Online, substituting the milk and butter for the Lactofree varieties. I have a batter dispenser (from OXO) which might sound like the dullest and most unnecessary kitchen utensil but it really does make a difference when making regular pancakes. My top tip is to make them smaller than the frying pan i.e. don't let the batter expand out to the sides - then they're really hard to flip! Keep them small and just eat more of them!




We had squeezy Reeces, nutella and banana, and good ole sugar and lemon, all for breakfast. And they filled us up for pretty much all of the day!

PS Have you seen those videos doing the rounds on social media, where people create the most amazing character pancakes? Yeah I totally didn't* attempt that myself and epically fail.

*did.


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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Dear Diary #5


Well, we've made it to the end of another half term which means Evie and I have a whole week to spend with Daisy! Yay! The past six weeks have totally flown by - and this week seemed to be the fastest of them all.

Monday was my quiet day. I worked in the morning and spent the afternoon doing chores.



Tuesday was a bit more exciting.... I went vintage shopping with my BFF and found the most beautiful Victorian dresser mirror which matches my chest of drawers perfectly. The best part was that it only cost £15!



Wednesday was spent in the cupcake shop again... This is becoming a bit of a weekly habit now, although this time I opted for a heart shaped crumpet rather than a cake. To make up for it though, Daisy had a play date after school and I baked cakes for her and her friend to decorate. 



I worked again on Thursday, and then after school it was Daisy's parents evening. She had a glowing report from her teacher which was wonderful - but my favourite part of all was getting to look around her class room! Every week one of the children is chosen to be 'Star of the Week' and this week it was Daisy's turn, which meant we got to read the reasons why her friends like her so much. How adorable are they?



On Thursday I also decided to treat myself to something I've wanted for a long, long time! I ordered a limited edition print of one of my favourite paintings by an artist called Valériane Leblond. Valériane is a French artist living in Wales and I love love love love love her work. This painting is called "Mae brân i frân yn rhywle" which very roughly translates to "there is somebody for everybody". if you get five minutes you really must take a look at her website and Etsy shop. I've sent my print off to be professionally framed and can't wait to get it back!


Friday was THE LAST DAY OF HALF TERM (hurray!) so we kick started the holidays with a pizza + movie night at our neighbours' house.



When we got home we had a rather eventful bedtime. Evie managed to work out how to scale the bars of her cot AND the stair gate. I had to put her back to bed twenty times before she finally fell asleep, exhausted. Then in the middle of the night she did it again and the first I heard of it was when she jumped on top of me and woke me up! My job for this coming week is to take the sides off her cot and to invest in some higher gates...





Saturday was the dreaded Valentine's Day..... my first single one in fifteen years! The girls and I went up to London to stay with my parents for the weekend. Thank goodness for friends that send you silly cards and Dads that take you to the pub for an evening of beer and live music!



Today we headed further into London to visit my Nan, and my sister and nephews. My sister's two boys are the same age as Daisy and Evie and it's so nice when we all get together. It doesn't happen nearly enough!

This week I have been:

 

listening to...... 'Oceans' by Seafret. Oh my god, I have had it on repeat constantly since I downloaded it after hearing it on Radio 1 on Monday. It's just so beautiful.



wearing..... my brother's jeans!! Can you believe I forgot to pack a pair of bloody trousers for myself when we went to stay with my parents? I ended up pinching a pair of my brother's jeans (and having to roll them up about a million times as he is 6ft 3 and I'm only 5ft 7). Am hoping he won't miss them as, despite the length, they're actually a really nice fit and I want to cut them into shorts for the summer! xoxo



TWTWC
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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Daily Outfit ♥ Valentine's Day #DateNight with Kaleidoscope

Who am I kidding! 

I might not have a date for Valentine's Day this year, but I wasn't going to let that stop me taking part in Kaleidoscope's date night campaign. My mission? To pick out an outfit from their SS15 collection that could be worn on three different occasions!

I'm not a particularly smart dresser but I do love to wear skirts and dresses so I opted for a simple t-shirt, an on-trend pleated midi and a gold clutch (oh my goodness, the gold clutch!! I LOVE it!).

The outfit altogether would be perfect for a date, a night out with the girls, or a family get together, but each item would look equally great split up and paired with other wardrobe basics too.

I've already teamed the t-shirt with cropped jeans and ballet flats for the school run and think the skirt would look amazing (and very forties) with a black blouse and black t-bars for work or even on a posh night out. 

Take a look at the Kaleidoscope SS15 collection here xo




All c/o Kaleidoscope
(Nude patent court shoes, £149 c/o Daniel Footwear)

Linking up with Mummy's Got Style and Style Me Sunday

Fashion Friday on MummysGotStyle.com

Style Me Sunday
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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Mabel the Cat


Mabel the cat is almost six months old now, can you believe it?

It seems like just yesterday that we brought that little white ball of fluff home to live with us, although at the same time it's as if she's always been part of our family.

Her markings have changed slightly. She is now a slightly darker beige, rather than cream, with the same gorgeous seal point markings and white socks. Our vet has thirty years experience and says she is honestly the most beautiful and unusual looking cat he has ever seen!

She has turned out to have the nicest temperament out of any other cat I've ever known too; she gets dragged around from pillar to post by the girls, forced to be the 'baby' when they play Mummies and Daddies and is forever being picked up and cuddled - and she has never lashed out at them, or wanted to run away. She just wants to be with them, so even when I put her over the other side of the stair gate so that she can escape she comes right back to where she was before.



Then in the evenings she is glued to me. Literally. She keeps me company while I work or watch TV and then sleeps on my chest and shoulders at night. She really has helped me throughout this separation process; they say animals are great therapy and I wholeheartedly agree. She has also made evenings in on my own once the kids are asleep a whole heap more bearable!

She most definitely rules the roost though, and knows just how to get her own way. She is utterly spoilt; despite us giving her fresh meat and fish almost daily, she knows exactly how to persuade the girls to give her titbits from their dinner plates and she has her littlest owner very well trained in opening the cat treat tin on her behalf.

In fact we love her character so much that we have decided that we'd like her to have a litter of kittens  and we have match made her with a gorgeous Pedigree Tonkinese boy cat with an equally lovely temperament. Fingers crossed there will be the pitter patter of tiny paws in the not too distant future! (brace yourselves for the IG spam!)



Thinking of getting a kitten yourself? I would totally recommend it - they make fabulous family pets. It's a great way to teach children responsibility and how to be kind and gentle, plus cats make the best companions for little people! The important things are that you get a kitten from a responsible breeder, keep him or her up to date with his or her inoculations and take out cat insurance for any unexpected vet bills. 

This is a collaborative post.
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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Dear Diary #4


This week has been one of me-time, Mabel, sushi and shopping! 



On Monday the girls went to meet their new baby cousin after Daisy finished school, which meant I only had to cook a meal for one. I came over all fancy and opted for steak with sweet potato mash and a rocket salad. The kids won't eat any of those three things and I LOVE them so it was a pretty indulgent meal for me (washed down with a rather lovely glass of rioja too, I might add).

I worked on Tuesday so it was a pretty quiet day. We'd had snow overnight which made the morning a bit more interesting (I stacked it on my way in!). 




Wednesday and Thursday were spent pottering around at home, working a little and running errands in town. Mabel was hilarious this week; and on these two days particularly. I swear she thinks she's a dog. (Or a human?) She rolls around on her back waiting to have her tummy tickled, plays fetch with her toys and eats EVERYTHING. We had roast chicken for dinner on the Wednesday and after last week's yorkshire pudding debacle, made entirely sure she couldn't pinch any again. This time she made a beeline for the leftover roast potatoes, devouring two huge ones. Honestly, you'd think we never fed her but I can assure you we do! On Thursday night she ate an entire cupcake. Dragged it off the kitchen surface and hid under the kitchen table while she polished the whole thing off - nearly all the paper case too!

I spent the WHOLE of Friday AT A SPA. Old Thorns in Liphook. I've only ever been to one once before and it was a really fleeting visit. This was the biggest treat ever - and all thanks to my friend who was sent there as a Christmas present and took me as her plus one!



I worked out, went for a swim, had a facial, a massage, steam room, sauna, slap up two course lunch, glass of champagne. I love having a meal cooked for me, I really do. The funniest thing was that I was utterly shattered when I got home! It's hard work relaxing and being waited on hand and foot, you know.

On Saturday we went up to London for a friend's baby shower and had dinner at my parents' house. As if I hadn't relaxed enough yesterday, I got to put my feet up and watch some TV while the girls played with Granny and Grandad, which was rather nice for all of us!







Today was most definitely not a day of rest. Instead it was one of sushi and shopping! The girls and I headed into town to buy a few bits and for a sushi lunch. On our shopping list was 1. new water bottles for the girls (check) 2. a new kitchen bin (check) and 3. a spice rack. Don't laugh but I got majorly excited by the latter. I've wanted to organise my herbs and spices for forever.... now I just need to persuade my Dad to come round and hang this up in the larder.

This week I have been reading.... blogs! Lots of blogs! I love all those that I already visit regularly (look over to the right hand side for a list of some of my current faves) but am always looking to read more. Anyone got any recommendations?

Listening to.... The Carpenters. One of my friends posted this video of Karen Carpenter playing the drums on Facebook this week. I can't stop watching it! She was so talented.

Wearing.... wellies! It's been snowing so my Hunters (and my thick boot socks) have been my best friends pretty much every day.... apart from when I was in the spa, of course.

This week I'm linking up with Hannah from Make Do & Push's TWTWC again. I loved reading what everyone else has been up to! xoxo
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