January 2016 | Modern Mummy

Sunday, 31 January 2016

#TheStyleProject - February 2016

January 2016 has been one of my favourite months in the history of The Style Project. Not only have we had record numbers joining in, we've also had some really wonderful feedback. We're so happy that people are enjoying taking part and, even more so, that they are getting so much out of doing it. It's not about spending a fortune on new things; its about looking to each other for inspiration and making the most out of what you've got!

Despite it being a leap year this year, February is a short month so I'm going to try my hardest to take part every single day and I really hope lots of you will do too.

And on that note, can I have a drum roll please!

I make it time to release the latest prompts!

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.

RuthKaraCarissa and I will see those of you that fancy joining in over on Instagram! xoxo

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Time for a Catch Up

Hot chocolates with squirty cream + marshmallows for movie night

January is a weird month really, isn't it? As it begins everyone is excited for a new year, bursting with resolutions and willpower, then two weeks in everyone starts to feel depressed because they broke their resolutions, and because they're broke in general, and because it's freezing cold. Then it's a massive contradiction because despite it feeling like the longest month EVER, the days are so short that they fly by at a crazy speed. I mean it's February next week! FEBRUARY! We are 1/12th of the way through 2016 already!

The girls' new favourite film

My last entry on this here blog was two weeks ago, and that's the longest I've ever gone without blogging over the last five + a half years. Truth is, it's been a pretty standard month. There's not been much to write about. We've fallen back into our routine of work and school and nursery and after school clubs after the Christmas holidays, with a couple of days out and movie nights thrown in for good measure. We've all had colds. Sleep deprivation has reached new, seriously ridiculous levels - you know, same old same old.

I've been doing a lot of daydreaming and making plans for summer 2016. I'm usually pretty content whatever the weather but oh my GOD right now I am longing for some vitamin D. We've booked a holiday to Dorset with my parents, siblings and nephews for this August, I've decided that we're going to spend a couple of weeks, maybe at Easter, driving the west coast of Wales, plus we've been getting more and more excited about Camp Bestival as new acts have been announced (Arrested Development! Squeeze! Jess Glynne! Jamie Lawson! Turin Brakes! (I could go on)).

So far as the daydreams go, it turns out I'm not the first person in the world to want to convert an old Land Rover Defender into a camper van! Since discovering that hundreds of people have already done it (AND uploaded a million and one photos to Pinterest) I literally can't stop thinking about how I'd like to kit mine out, and where the girls and I would to travel in it. It would help if I actually had a Land Rover to convert first, of course ;)

But all this daydreaming is not very productive, and that's the main reason my radio silence I guess. At least I'll be able to regale the tales of our travels this summer, even if my blogging mojo doesn't return before then.

And on that note I'm going to leave you with an entirely random photo of Mabel Meatball, because she's pretty amazing, even if she does steal all our food.xoxo


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Cucumber + Coconut Water Mojitos

Christmas has been and gone and I don't know about you but for me January is d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g. The temperature has dropped, I'm broke after buying presents and forking out for a new term's nursery fees and subs, and we're all exhausted and full of colds.

Along with the majority of the population I'm also feeling rather bleuurgghh after overindulging just a tiny bit on the food and booze front over the festive season. At the ripe old age of 35, I've long since given up making New Year's resolutions that fall by the wayside after a couple of weeks but I do tend to go on a bit of a health kick come January - basically because everyone else is doing it, so it's easy to! (I don't have much willpower).

For eight years I used to detox throughout January; cutting out wheat, meat, dairy and sugar from my diet completely. But these days my diet isn't dissimilar to that all year round so I tend to just up my daily juices and make more of an effort to lay off any processed rubbish that may try and tempt me.

And on that note, I've teamed up with the lovely people over at Innocent to bring you a delicious and virtuous mocktail using their coconut water to help you get your 2016 off to a good start!

I juice/Nutriblast daily - and with the latter, coconut water is the main ingredient in about 90% of my smoothie recipes. It's low calorie, low sugar and jam packed full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and electrolytes. Innocent is 100% coconut water - absolutely nothing is added whatsoever unlike lots of other brands on the market.

My contribution to the Innocent mocktail recipe collection is a virtuous Cucumber and Coconut Water Mojito! This recipe serves one and is a perfect refresher first thing in the morning. (It's also great in the summer!) It's so simple to make and, although I used my juicer for the cucumber, you don't need any fancy equipment - you can just blend it or add whole slices if you don't have one.

Innocent Coconut Water
Half a cucumber
A bunch of fresh mint
Ice cubes

What to do.
Fill your glass with ice cubes and mint leaves.
Juice your cucumber; half of one should equate to around 150ml of juice. Pour over ice.
Top up with coconut water. Muddle.
Garnish with a sprig of mint and add straws if you like.

Of course if, like me, your lack of willpower means you aren't doing Dry January at all, then feel free to add a generous splash of Sailor Jerry's or Havanna Club to the mix. Although I'd wait until after midday if I were you ;)

Thanks to Innocent for sending us over some of their delicious coconut water.


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Theatre: Peppa Pig's Surprise

Just before Christmas, the RocknRoller Baby and Modern Mummy families headed up to London for our annual festive treat. This is a relatively new tradition for us all (2015 was only our second year!) but one we want to keep forever! The kids adore each other (and that Ruth isn't too bad either ;)) and it's great for us all to get to spend a whole day together doing three things that we love; going to the theatre, eating delicious food (it was Ma'Plucker in Soho this time and IT WAS GOOD) and taking in the Christmas lights!

We met up late one Tuesday morning to catch the matinee of Peppa Pig's new show, Peppa Pig's Surprise, at the Duke of York's theatre in the West End. It's a great location, easy walking distance from Waterloo, and is showing there until mid January before touring the rest of the UK over the course of 2016 - you can see the full list of dates and locations here.

All kiddos love Peppa Pig, and mine are no exception - even Daisy does at 6 years old (although she might not admit to it, depending on who she is talking to). We went to see Peppa Pig's Big Splash at Richmond Theatre two summers ago when she was four and it was a massive hit - but this time round the show really was something else.

The biggest difference was that the characters were life size, rather than smaller puppets, which the girls LOVED.

The storyline was brilliant and included lots of audience participation which always goes down well with children! Playing hide and seek, and getting to dance and sing along to songs they already knew made them feel as if they were part of the show. It also included pretty much all the main characters from the television programme - including all of Peppa's school friends, and Mr Potato (a particular favourite of mine ;))

With a running time of 1hr and 20 mins (including a 20 minute interval) the story was fast paced which was great, as it kept the children's attention; the set changes were seamless and very clever and the special effects were also brilliant. 

Florence, Jimmy, Daisy + Peppa posing in the theatre foyer after the show

I won't give the storyline away, but needless to say it was FANTASTIC and well worth going to see if the tour passes close to you this year! The girls love going to the theatre and both agreed that this was definitely one of their favourite shows to date.

Ticket prices start at just £11 and are available online here. xoxo

We were guests of Peppa Pig Live, all words are honest and my own.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Christmas Holidays + Returning to Southerndown

Happy New Year etc etc etc and WELCOME TO 2016!

We are just enjoying the last day of the Christmas break before the girls head back to school and nursery tomorrow. I love having them at home but can't deny I'm looking forward to getting the house in order and getting back into a bit of a routine. That said, our spontaneous day trips and late nights have definitely had a positive effect on my little insomniacs' sleep patterns..... not only do we appear to have mastered the art of a good bedtime at long last, the girls have finally accepted that they have to stay in their own beds all night AND this morning they didn't wake up until 9.15! It will make a nice change if I have to wake them up for school tomorrow!

But back to the festive season! The holidays were pretty low key for us this year. We had our neighbours over for a Christmas Eve party, followed by the usual carnage on Christmas morning. Then we set off up the motorway for a big Christmas Day lunch with four generations of the family.

Driving home for Christmas

Four generations of Earley

A Christmas miracle: sleeping + cuddling sisters!

We stayed at my parents overnight (which meant the wine could flow freely!). Mum and I watched Downton and Call the Midwife (much to my Dad's dismay) and my brother and I demolished the biggest, smelliest cheeseboard in history. Then the girls and I had a lazy Boxing Day morning before heading home to play with all the toys that Father Christmas had brought them.

We kick started 2016 with a trip to South Wales to visit family, the highlight of which was, for me, getting to spend time at Southerndown Bay. We first visited Southerndown in the summer and I fell in love with it (and this house WHICH IS STILL FOR SALE!). As we drove there from Barry, the rain was absolutely torrential but, as if by magic, the skies cleared and apart from a tiny bit of drizzle, we managed an entire morning on the beach and cliffs, collecting shells and throwing stones and playing pooh sticks and splashing in the sea!

Feeding the swans (+ the seagulls!) at The Knap, Barry

Feeding the squirrels on Barry Island

Blowing away the cobwebs on my favourite beach

The littlest explorer at Southerndown

Someone must love Southerndown as much as me, what an awesome way to propose!

Stopping off to pay Chepstow Castle a visit on our way home

So a belated merry Christmas from all of us to all of you. I hope you all had a wonderful time with your families and 2016 brings you everything you wish for xo

© Modern Mummy. All rights reserved.