November 2015 | Modern Mummy

Monday, 30 November 2015

Me & Mine ♥ November


This month's Me&Mine photo is a selfie taken in the car on Christmas Tree Day.

We usually put our tree up on 1st December but that falls on a school day this year so we decided to bring it forward rather than have to wait a few days until the weekend ;)

Yesterday we headed out to pick The One. The girls did a supermarket sweep style whizz round B&Q throwing as many ornaments and all the lights they could find into our trolley. It was brilliant to watch, especially seeing as they were dressed in interesting combinations of woolly bobble hats, party dresses, princess capes, glittery high heels and fair isle leg warmers. We only just managed to fit everything into our teeny tiny car and trying to wedge everything into the space in the front passenger seat and inbetween the girls made us laugh a LOT.

We spent the journey home listening to Christmas songs and singing really badly and really loudly, before bringing our shopping haul in and spending the next few hours decorating the house. (More on that in another post!).

I love days like this and can't wait for Christmas.xoxo

dear beautiful

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Christmas Cocktails with 31Dover.com


One of my favourite things about Christmas is the festive food and drink. I especially enjoy a cocktail or two at this time of year (ach, who am I kidding, I enjoy a cocktail or two at any time of year). It seems really decadent to drink something sweet and refreshing out of a fancy glass with a fruity garnish - it beats a boring bottle of beer hands down.



Last week the lovely chaps at 31Dover.com sent me over a bottle of my favourite sloe gin (beautifully gift wrapped, I hasten to add) which meant I got to practise mixing a few drinks ahead of party season!

31Dover.com are an online company that stock a huge range of drinks and barware. They also offer next day delivery, gift packs and limited edition bottles - so they're a pretty handy website to bookmark if you're planning a little knees up or looking for a special gift.





I decided to make three drinks; a short neat sloe gin, with a slice of orange and sugar rim, a long drink of sloe gin, elderflower cordial and tonic water and a fancy pants sloe gin topped up with prosecco (Dover31 sell ALL the obscure and hard to find liqueurs, syrups and mixters if you're looking for something particular, including Jack Rudy products from the US which I LOVE!)

For the gin + orange, chill a champagne saucer and coat the rim of the glass in sugar (wet the glass first, then dip in a saucer of the sweet stuff). Pour sloe gin over a slice of orange and ENJOY!

Sloe gin, elderflower cordial and tonic water is my most FAAAAVOURITE drink in the whole world. One part gin, to three tonic and a dash of cordial to taste in a jam jar. Add a wedge of lime and a straw and drink with ice.

Last of all, and a guaranteed way to make you feel extra festive is to top up a measure of your favourite sloe gin with prosecco. Delicious but lethal! Merry Christmas everyone! xoxo



And here, just for you, is an exclusive 10% discount code for your festive drinks order from 31Dover.com - just add 31DKATY at the checkout. Valid until 7th December 2015.
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Thursday, 26 November 2015

#TheStyleProject - December 2015


I've got to confess, I've struggled a bit with The Style Project this month. I've had more work on than usual, there's been some major building work going on at the cottage, we've all had the lurg and the weather turning icy cold so suddenly caught me a bit unprepared. I've spent a large chunk of the last few weeks rotating the same (warm) outfits, and have opted for comfort over style every time.

But my slacking hasn't stopped the rest of you stylish lot! I've been pouring over all your pictures on Instagram and creating a bloody great big shopping list of things I need to buy whilst doing it ;)  That's the joy of the Project; even if you're not joining in (we all need a bit of time off) you can still look to others for inspiration and store it up for a later date.

And on that note it's time to launch the next set of prompts for December! It's party season, people! 


Want to play? Here's what to do!

♥ Find the day's prompt on the month's list. We will publish these in advance, usually around the 28th day of the month.
♥ Interpret the prompt as you will - and incorporate your interpretation into your daily style. It can be an item of clothing you own, a piece you've seen and are lusting after, a beauty product, anything!
♥ Take a photo!
♥ Share it on Instagram. Don't forget to use the hashtag #TheStyleProject so that other people can find your pictures.
♥ Search the hashtag yourself and check out other people's photos. Like what you see? Tell the photographer! It's a nice way to get to know eachother and a lovely confidence boost too.
♥ You don't have to join in every single day. Sometimes it's just not possible - and that's okay! Dip in and out whenever you like, and even if you're not able to take your own photos, you can still look at other people's for inspiration.

Kara, Carissa and I hope lots of you will join in this December - see those of you that fancy the challenge over on Instagram! xoxo
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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Eyes, Ears + Letting your Kids Pick their own Clothes


My kiddos are really independent when it comes to their clothes and I love it. I let them choose pretty much everything that we we buy and they put together their own outfits every morning. Admittedly they sometimes look a little bit bonkers but who cares! I love encouraging their creativity and seeing what they come up with - and nine times out of ten they actually look awesome!

When it comes to clothes, the girls always seem to go for bold colours and prints and I'm a big fan of colour and making statements myself. We all like to mix and match vintage with new designs and I actively encourage shopping at independent stores and boutiques, mostly because it's nice to support them but also because you get some real gems, especially when you're buying second hand. A shop that encompasses both vintage AND designer kidswear is Rowdy Roddy Vintage, and recently the girls were offered some goodies from them which they were very excited about indeed.

Daisy chose the Mini Rodini Eyes sweatshirt. It was pretty fitting as she'd just mastered the art of winking that very week! Its made from organic and fair-trade cotton so is super soft and super comfy; pretty perfect attire for this time of year! Evie picked out a Beau LOves woolly mouse ears hat and has been making us chuckle with it ever since. She literally does not take it off EVER and it has accessorised some truly imaginative outfits over the past few weeks, including princess dresses and pyjamas. Its soft and fleecy and keeps her ears toasty and warm with a popper under the chin to keep the draughts out (although Evie prefers to wear it undone, like a fancy twenties pilot wearing an aviator hat).




Daisy wears Mini Rodini Eyes sweatshirt, £38
both c/o Rowdy Roddy Vintage

Rowdy Roddy Vintage are one of my most favourite online stores, and have been ever since I first discovered them at the start of this year. They really are your one stop shop for all things awesome, whether that's vintage baby and kidswear, designer clothes or retro toys and homewares - AND they  ship worldwide! They also have one of THE BEST Instagram feeds EVER! (Follow them here) (although maybe don't if you're like me and are likely to have to buy EVERYTHING ;)).

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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The first of many (MANY!) Christmas Posts

Oh Christmas, I love you.

I might get annoyed when I see advent calendars and selection boxes for sale in September (I mean COME ON! It's SEPTEMBER, people!) and I will never put our tree up before 1st December (twinkly lights are a different matter altogether) but as soon as the girls' birthdays are over I am well and truly ready to embrace all things festive.

Christmas is the one time of year where I am truly frivolous. I don't mind admitting it; I like to go all out. I save up throughout the year so that I can relax a bit financially and buy lots of silly (and brilliant!) presents, I insist on us all wearing sparkly party dresses pretty much every day in December, the house gets decorated to within an inch of it's life and the fridge and kitchen cupboards full to bursting with lots and lots and lots and lots of delicious, decadent food.

I am a massive foodie. Yeah so I can't cook - but I LOVE eating, and I especially love eating the fancy stuff which is what Christmas is all about, right? I am also rather partial to giving edible gifts (I like receiving them too, hint hint). And this year I have already been sent my first edible present; these really rather special biscuits from London based baking company, Biscuiteers.




How GORGEOUS are these biscuits from their Nutcracker tin? (And how gorgeous is the tin itself!)

Biscuiteers make their biscuits the old fashioned way, one at a time (none of that mass produced nonsense!) and then each biscuit is hand iced. They are absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, like little works of art, and I could hardly bring myself to bite into them, although the most amazing smell of gingerbread totally overpowered me in the end, which I'm VERY glad about because they tasted completely and utterly DIVINE (and went perfectly with my first mulled wine of the season).

The Biscuiteers Christmas collection is incredible - as well as a wide range of biscuits to choose from (I love the Nativity and Snowman & Snowdog ones and they even have gluten free varieties too!), they also sell chocolates, cakes, DIY icing kits and tree decorations - and they offer a next day delivery service which is brilliant. But biscuits aren't just for Christmas! They make wonderful gifts all year round - and the Biscuiteers collection reflects that too. As they quite rightly say, why send flowers when you can send biscuits?! I know which one I'd prefer!

PS. HELLO gorgeous little cafes in Notting Hill and Battersea! (you all know I can't resist a good shop front!) As well as having these delicious treats delivered straight to your door, you can also pop into one of their boutiques (on Kensington Park Road and the Northcote Road) for a cup of tea and a hand-iced biscuit or to take part in one of their icing masterclasses. Check out their upcoming events here xoxo





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Monday, 23 November 2015

Party dresses, princess capes + sparkly shoes


When it comes to clothes, there's no denying that Daisy and Evie are girlie girls. They like nothing more than wearing skirts that spin and shiny shoes!

We don't need an excuse to go party dress shopping. These two would wear party dresses all day every day if they could. (To be fair, apart from when they're in school uniform they generally ARE in party dresses). In the past I've spent a fortune in the kids department of Monsoon, but last week I was introduced to Roco and I will most definitely be going back there to buy formal wear for the girls.

These dresses are so, so beautiful - and absolutely perfect for parties and christenings or as bridesmaids and flower girl dresses...... or to wear to your granny and granddad's house for Sunday lunch if you're my kiddos ;)







Daisy wears: 
Purple party dress, £33.99 - c/o Roco 
Princess star cape, £24-£26 - Monsoon
Gold glitter Charlston shoes, £17.60 (sale) - Monsoon

Evie wears:
Baby pink party dress, £39.99 - c/o Roco
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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Clouds, Cameras + Chewbacca


My Wookiee Cookies biscuit tin caused quite a stir over on Instagram earlier this week, so I thought I'd share the love and tell you all where it came from!

So I'm a bit of a weirdo and like collecting stuff..... coloured glass bottles, cacti and cat ornaments are some of the random things I'm rather fond of. Awesome kitchen storage is another (and slightly more practical) one! My larder is full of mismatched jars and tins that I've amassed from various different shops and car boot sales over the years. I can't help it - I just like things that are different, especially if they're bright or pretty. They make me happy!



The latest things to come and live with me are a few bits from a company called Totally Funky. As well as the Star Wars biscuit barrel (which is currently in the sale for a bargain £10.99!) I also got a five piece camera bento box and some Cloud storage (haha). The latter is made of wood and has four compartments suitable for phones/wallets/letters/keys etc and also a separate hidden compartment for secret squirrel stuff. I've since been back on the website and now also have my eye on these awesome mini cassette tins and this bigger cassette recorder one. HOW GOOD?!!

Anyway, that's all for now. If you're looking for quirky storage (and other bits and pieces for the home and office) then definitely give Totally Funky a go. Happy shopping! xo
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Monday, 16 November 2015

Learning to Ride a Bike



Both the girls had their birthdays a couple of weeks ago. They are born three-years-less-one-day apart, which means they egg each other on and the excitement starts building months and months in advance. Of course birthdays are a Big Deal whenever they are in the year but in this house, having two in two days makes the whole shebang a Really Really Big Deal.

This year the girls both asked for bikes as their presents. I feel so bad saying this but despite being about to turn six, Daisy hadn't had a bike before. Mean Mum or what?! The truth is, I don't own a bike myself and I haven't ridden one in YEARS so I had no idea whatsoever what to look out for when buying a bike for a child. They're expensive things and I didn't want to get it wrong so I kept putting it off!

They joined forces and ganged up on me this year so I bit the bullet and started doing my research. At this point I didn't even know where to BUY bikes from. After gossiping with the mums at the school gate it turns out Halfords is The Place To Go. So to Halfords I went.

I initially popped into my local store just to ask for general advice and to look at prices, but the staff were awesome from the word go so I knew straight away that I'd go back there to make my purchases when the time came. Not only did they make some brilliant recommendations, they also offered some great tips for helping to teach Daisy to ride a bike without stabilisers (turns out the vast majority of bikes suitable for tall six year olds don't come with stabilisers - although you can buy universal ones if necessary).

A few weeks later I ended up ordering both bikes online, for in store collection. I chose the Apollo Cherry Lane for Daisy as her favourite colour is purple and she really wanted a basket on the front, and I chose the Apollo Cupcake for Evie (a doll's seat on the back was top priority for her!) You can also buy these as separate accessories if you pick a bike that doesn't come with them. Halfords have a seriously impressive range of both bikes and accessories on offer (take a look at this Police Patrol bike and this PomPom girl bike from their new collection! - the PomPom girl bike has SPOKEYS!!!!)

Halfords offer a free bike building service which is BRILLIANT and if you take your kiddos to the shop with you (I didn't) then they can make sure the seat is the right height for them. (In my case they showed me how to adjust the seat which was really helpful). They also sold giant 'gift bags' that you can use to cover the bike instead of wrapping paper, and they were lots of fun to rip off on the girls' birthdays!



So once the bikes were unwrapped (and the wretched rain had stopped!) it was time to take them out for their maiden voyages. Evie took to her bike with stabilisers straight away which was brilliant. It took Daisy three hours to master cycling without them - and for her first ever go on a bike I think that was seriously impressive!

Looks like I'm going to have to buy a bike myself now. Perhaps Father Christmas will bring me one!

If you're looking at buying your children bikes for Christmas then a visit to Halfords is a must. Not only do they offer the free bike build and six month check, they are also offering free storage until Christmas so you don't have to hide them under a sheet in your bedroom like I did for a week ;)


Also, I CAN'T STOP WATCHING THIS ADVERT! The little girl in it reminds me of Evie. Need to get Mabel into Daisy's basket ASAP. Keep your peepers on Instagram, just in case I manage to make it happen!



I've already mentioned that Halfords have launched their festive #NothingBeatsABike competition.... to enter all you need to do is get your child to draw the bike of their dreams and upload it here. This week they are giving away an Apollo Cupcake, just like Evie's!

We were very kindly given Daisy's Apollo Cherry Lane and accessory bundle by Halfords, but I bought the Apollo Cupcake and matching accessory bundle for Evie myself.  As is always the case, this blog post is entirely honest and all words are my own.
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Thursday, 12 November 2015

A Morning at Primrose Bakery with Lalaloopsy + Martha Collison

Last weekend we were invited up to Covent Garden for the Lalaloopsy Girls Cake Fashion Doll launch party.


We were up super early to make our way to the Primrose Bakery in Covent Garden, so that we could meet GBBO quarter finalist Martha Collison and decorate some cupcakes! I definitely don't mind getting up at the crack of dawn when cake is involved ;)


The Primrose Bakery is a small chain of three shops in Covent Garden, Kensington and Primrose Hill. It was founded in 2004 by Martha Swift who not only owns the three cafes, she is also the author of four cookery books and the bakery also has it's own app! The Covent Garden shop is gorgeous - if you're ever passing and want somewhere really welcoming and child friendly that sells THE BEST coffee in London - plus, of course, those divine cupcakes! - then the Primrose Bakery is for you. Just take a look at that menu!


While we were there, the kids were all treated to a cupcake icing and decorating masterclass and I have to say, I took away some top tips myself!




They had a wonderful time coming up with these creations and Daisy was particularly thrilled to meet Martha as she is a huge Great British Bake Off fan!


Both Daisy and Evie were also lucky enough to get to take home one of the new cake fashion dolls each. They come with pretend frosting to enable you to decorate their dresses, hair and shoes and are wipe clean, meaning you can come up with design after design!

The Lalaloopsy Girls Cake Fashion Dolls are aimed at children aged five and over, and are available from all good toy stores at an RRP of £19.99.

We were invited to the Primrose Bakery for this event but not asked to write this post. All thoughts are honest and my own.
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Marley Spoon Family Recipe Boxes: A Review




Last month I mentioned how Marley Spoon were launching a new family friendly recipe box. Well I'm de-light-ed to report that they are now available to buy and even MORE de-light-ed to report that I've been lucky enough to give them a whirl. And they are GOOD!

The idea behind the Marley Spoon recipe delivery service is to provide it's customers with everything they need to create fast, easy and healthy meals - and now they've gone one step further catering (quite literally!) for all the family.

Each week there are five brand spanking new, delicious recipes to choose from, starting at just £4.35 a portion. It's a great way to ensure your family are eating well and also to encourage littlies to try new things.


We were sent the ingredients to create two dishes (you can select two, three or four meals a week); pork and sticky apple with creamed spinach and mash, and baked meatballs with tomato sauce and orzo. As with the last box we reviewed (and the subsequent boxes we have paid for!) the ingredients were wonderfully fresh and, as they were already measured out exactly, the meals took no time at all to prepare - which is great news when you're a busy mum with hungry mouths that want to be fed quickly after school.


This was the first time I've ever cooked orzo (we all LOVED it!) and also the first time I'd added creme fraiche to mashed potato (an excellent addition to milk and butter). Both meals took less than half an hour to prepare and cook too; I'll definitely be hanging onto these recipe cards and recreating them again in the future!

Thanks to Marley Spoon for asking us to trial their new family boxes. They get a great big thumbs up from us!

Fancy photos by Alex Freundorfer
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Stick Man - Live on Stage!


Last weekend was a pretty awesome one, as far as weekends go. Especially as we got to spend our Saturday in good old London Town with the RocknRoller Baby family!

We spent the morning decorating cupcakes with Martha from last years Great British Bake Off (as you do), then spent a couple of hours at the London Transport Museum before heading to Leicester Square for an hour of theatrical fun.


I love taking the girls to the theatre. There's something so magical about live shows, especially when they are adaptations of your childrens' favourite books. Stick Man, by Julia Donaldson is one of them, so we were all particularly excited about seeing the characters we know and love come to life on the stage!


Stick Man Live is an award winning production with a cast of just three. The set and props are simple, the music is catchy and the actors switch parts so effortlessly and seamlessly, it really is a joy to watch.  It is made up of a combination of puppetry, dancing and brilliant songs that you really can't help but sing along to (and continue singing all the way home!). There is also a LOT of audience participation which the girls absolutely loved!

If you're looking for a great and reasonably priced afternoon's entertainment in the West End this festive season, I can wholeheartedly recommend Stick Man! It is on at the Leicester Square Theatre in London from now until 3rd January 2016 and also at Edinburgh's Christmas - St Andrews Square from 20th November - 29th December. Family tickets cost £55 and can be purchased online here. Don't forget that there is a family ticket up for grabs as part of the #WinChristmas giveaway that I am co-hosting with Ruth, Emily and Carolynne! If you haven't entered yet, you can do so here.

We invited to Leicester Square as guests of the theatre in exchange for this review. All words are honest and my own.

Fancy photographs courtesy of Steve Ullathorne.
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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Daily Outfit ♥ Fox Baby

Just a quickie from me today. Evie got this dress in the post from our friends in Canada this morning (thanks boys!) and absolutely, categorically had to change into it straight away! She does make me laugh. She picked out the hat and boots to match and looked so freaking cute - AND THEN WE PASSED THIS AMAZING ORANGE WALL WHILE WE WERE OUT! - so I couldn't resist taking a few snaps. And then this Daily Outfit post was born.xoxo



Dress from Joe Fresh, an awesome Canadian store that I have just been stalking on the Internet. They don't ship to the UK, boooo!
Fox hat, £14.95 - Joules
Boots, Clarks hand-me-downs (similar here)

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Monday, 9 November 2015

Five Favourites ♥ Wonderful Wellies


By all accounts tomorrow hails the start of forty days and forty nights of rain. Ok, ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration and I'm fairly certain/hopeful it won't last that long - but it's going to be for the rest of the week at least and will no doubt feel like forty days by the end of it!

Rain actually doesn't bother me at all so long as I'm prepared for it. When we get into unpredictable weather season (which, lets face it, is about 75% of the year here in Great Britain) I like to be fully equipped with a waterproof coat and wellies at all times. For the last two years, November through to January were the wettest EVER, so just in case we have a repeat this year I've been researching the internet to find the prettiest wellies around. These are my five favourites:



1. Navy Ditsy Joules Wellies, £40 - Shoetique // 2. Stripy Wellies, £40 - Fat Face // 3. Keel Wellies, £39.95 - Seasalt // 4. Evercreatures Cedar Wellingtons, £38 - Funky Wellington Boots // 5. Hunter Original Wellies, £90 - Hunter 
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Two Daughters, Two Days, Two Birthdays



Last week was our busiest one of the year. It was BIRTHDAY WEEK.

Yep, old clever clogs here somehow managed to have two daughters born (three years less) one day apart - which means circa 96 hours of complete.and.utter.carnage.

Evie's birthday comes first, which Daisy can't get her head around seeing as she's the oldest. I can remember being in labour with Evie thinking FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE COME OUT BEFORE MIDNIGHT OR YOU + DAISY WILL HAVE TO SHARE A BIRTHDAY + I KNOW NEITHER OF YOU WILL EVER FORGIVE ME! Turns out even having birthdays a day apart is still pretty annoying when you're three and six. To make up for it, I've always given Daisy a little present to open on Evie's birthday and vice versa which means they both have a double birthday really, and that can't be all bad!

I've always said that I will make my kiddos birthday cakes every year which, save for Daisy's 3rd one, when I was still in hospital with a 12 hour old Evie, I have managed to do so far. I am NOT a baker and for the last two years this has caused considerable stress, and has involved LOTS of wine, LOTS of swearing and two very late nights on the trot. This year Daisy had a full blown birthday party a week before her actual birthday and I did the home made cake for that (and she had a traditional shop bought caterpillar cake on her birthday) so I had a bit of a reprieve in-between baking the two.




So yes, Daisy had a joint birthday party with one of her friends from school. They had a disco at the church hall with lots of balloons and bunting and party games and a picnic tea which was exactly like the parties I had as a kid (only with less Bros and Madonna and more One Direction and Taylor Swift). She had requested a Rainbow Magic cake, so I baked six tiers of different colour sponges, smothered them all in buttercream and sprinkles and decorated it with a topper of Belle the Birthday Fairy.*

*Sounds and looks much more complicated than it was. Boring vanilla sponge, shop bought buttercream and my friend made the cake topper ;) It did take 5.5 hours to do though, hence all the swear words.



Fast forward a week and it was time to do it all over again for Evie's birthday. My poor second child got a poor second child quality cake. She had asked for a 'purple heart' cake so I made a red velvet sponge (Betty Crocker mix of course) smothered it in buttercream again (this time shop bought stuff mixed up with purple food colouring) and decorated it in purple and silver balls! Because she didn't have an actual party, we headed out for birthday sushi after school. We ate LOTS and then had her birthday cake there!


Both girls got bikes for their birthday (more on these to follow in a separate post). I'm embarrassed to say this was Daisy's first bike and I had been putting off getting one as I had no idea what to look for/how much to spend. In the end I bought them from Halfords and I was SO impressed with the service and knowledge from the staff in there. If you're considering buying a bike for your kids for Christmas I would definitely recommend them.

Which brings me nicely onto this little comp I've seen online. If you're feeling creative (and lucky!) Halfords are giving away six bikes over the next six weeks in a pre-Christmas competition. All your child has to do to enter is to submit a drawing of his or her dream bike and upload it to the Halfords website here.

This is not a collaborative post, just me sharing a comp I've seen online!


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