December 2017 | Modern Mummy

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

HOME // A New Mirror for my Gallery Wall


I've wanted a mirror to hang in my hallway for ages.... you know, so I can check out how ravishing I look in my pink towelling dressing gown as I stumble, bleary eyed, downstairs in the morning. In all seriousness though, I liked the idea of being able to inspect my choice of outfit on my way out of the house - and from an Instagrammer's point of view, I also really fancied a large, gorgeous mirror to take selfies in when I'm uploading my outfit posts ;)

I've been very specific in my mirror requirements which is why it's taken me so long to find the perfect one. I wanted a statement mirror, something big and impressive to hang on my gallery wall. But because I've got a hella lot of pictures on said gallery wall, I also wanted it to be pretty minimalist in design.



Then Exclusive Mirrors got in touch and asked if I'd like to review one of their products and their timing could not have been more perfect. I picked this beautiful round, gold mirror as it ticks all the boxes for me; it's a glamorous, vintage style but, at the same time, the slim gold frame is very simple, so it doesn't make my wall look too busy. It's also 70cm in diameter so a good size, and is incredibly well made. It has a hook on the back which means it's very easy to hang - it just needs a hook or a screw (and a washer if using the latter, to make sure it stays in place) - and two people for the job, ideally, as it's very heavy.

I'm so, so, so, so, soooo happy with it, and didn't realise quite how much it would open, and brighten, up what is usually a small and quite dark part of the house.

Now I just need a few more prints to finish off the other wall and my hallway is complete!

Exclusive Mirrors very kindly sent me this mirror for the purpose of this honest review. All words are my own and images are copyright.
SHARE:

Thursday, 7 December 2017

CHRISTMAS // And the award for our favourite Christmas tree decorations of 2017 goes to....

Luxury online interiors shop, Amara!

They very kindly let me and the girls choose some baubles from their collection and with an entire 'Kitschmas' range, how could I say no?! (If multicoloured lights and festive flamingoes aren't your thing, they also have the Scandi inspired Hideaway range, the glamorous Midnight Jewel range and the elegant Winter Blush range - so there's something for every one).


But kitsch is very definitely our thing and I would have quite happily had one of everything in the collection! Instead, I was polite and we chose four ;)

The girls picked them. Evie went for a particularly beautiful unicorn and Daisy a glittery donut. Then they picked a coffee cup for me (excellent choice, girls) and also a box of popcorn because we like to have family movie nights once a week!

I think these beautiful, well made, glass ornaments look absolutely beautiful nestled inside the branches of our rather eclectic Christmas tree. They're lovely and big so are especially eye catching and I'm pleased to report there's plenty of the all essential glitter (it's written in the girls' Christmas rule book that everything new must be sparkly) on all four.

Prices for tree decorations in this range start at £10 (our four were £12 each) and there are some seriously stunning ones if you're happy to pay a little more. I am head over heels in love with this set of Bombki cakes and biscuits, which is £65 for all five!

Which is your favourite?

DISCLAIMER: These ornaments were gifted, but we were under no obligation to write about them, they genuinely are our new favourites and I would have no hesitation in buying more from Amara!
SHARE:

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

CHRISTMAS // The Ultimate Christmas Dinner Guide


In my opinion, the best bit about Christmas Day is the dinner! I love everything about it, from the preparation (with a permanently-topped-up-glass of prosecco on the go at the same time, of course) to the post-feed snooze. I'm not so keen on the clean up mission but if you do the prep you can usually wangle your way out of that one pretty easily ;)

Getting to enjoy a meal with my family is very important to me. Our lives are so busy these days that I always make sure the girls and I eat together in the evenings - and Christmas Day is extra special as we get to spend that time with our extended family too. For the last two years there have been four generations around the table. How lucky are we?

HelloFresh is a company I am incredibly passionate about. If it wasn't for them, I'd still be serving up the same four dishes on rotation every evening. Since trialling my very first box at the end of last year I've ordered them pretty much every week. More importantly, since that first box I've started to genuinely really enjoy cooking, whereas before I found it a huge chore. I love getting to try new recipes, and sometimes even new foods. I love knowing I have everything I need to prepare a meal in the fridge/larder - it saves time, saves stress, and wandering aimlessly round the supermarket looking for inspiration (and usually failing!) is a thing of the past!


But I digress. We were talking about Christmas dinner!


HelloFresh have prepared a BRILLIANT downloadable Cheat Sheet, giving you all the information you need to prepare for your festive feast. From timings to recipes (including ones that can be made in advance), you can download a copy to use on Christmas Day here!

A couple of my own tips for making Christmas dinner as stress free as possible are to:

- make and freeze Yorkshire puddings a couple of days in advance. They can be defrosted and reheated in just 5 minutes (at 200c) once your oven is empty, and while you're dishing up everything else.

- chop your veggies in advance (I usually do them the night before). Cover them in water and keep them in the fridge until you're ready to put them on the hob.

- always have a glass of wine to hand!

If you want to make things even easier for yourself, you can buy a HelloFresh Christmas Dinner Box, which looks utterly amazing and I'm totally going to get when it's my turn to host. You simply select the number of people you have to feed and how many courses you'd like, and you get sent all the ingredients, pre-measured, and the recipe cards to talk you through the preparation and cooking! Brilliant!

What top tips do you have for cooking Christmas dinner?




SHARE:

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

STYLE // One Outfit: From School to Work to a Night on the Town

Do you remember my obsession with jumpsuits back in the summer? Well it looks like it has continued right on into autumn and winter too.

All hail the Baukjen Pippa!

I'm so in love with my latest acquisition I can't tell you. It has everything you could possibly wish for in a winter jumpsuit. Super soft jersey fabric? Check. Turtleneck to keep you toasty? Check. Flattering elasticated waistband? Check. Hareem style pants (comfy) with cuff detail at the ankle (cosy)? Check. Check. But despite sounding, and feeling, like loungewear this is a pretty darn dressy piece.

I gave it it's first outing on a day when I had three different roles to perform: school mum, high flying (ha!) businesswoman and party animal - and it worked for all three, proving that it really is perfect for any occasion.




W E A R I N G
Curved clutch bag, £109 all c/o Baukjen
Red suedette court shoes, £17.99 - New Look

These court shoes from New Look are so ridiculously comfortable that I can wear them all day but you could always swap them for flats when you're going to be on your feet all day if you'd prefer. I've since worn this jumpsuit with gold studded black loafers and suede fringed ankle boots and loved the slightly more casual look of both.

Of course a winter coat is essential now that the temperature has dropped. I've been searching for the perfect camel coat for the past three years (no exaggeration) and had almost given up hope when Baukjen released the Farrah. If you'd asked me to design my dream coat, this would be it; it's boxy - very eighties, as is the jumpsuit actually - but not big on the shoulders which I really like. It's roomy too, so you can layer up underneath it on an extra chilly day. A coat is something that I really don't mind splashing out on, especially when it's a classic like this one.

But I think the piece de resistance in this outfit is this soft Italian leather half moon clutch, which is embossed with the Baukjen logo in a striking gold. It's the biggest clutch I own and definitely my current favourite! (It's also available in a beautiful cloud pink, which is 60% off). I go through phases of carrying huge handbags like my Mulberry Bayswater and then get fed up losing things in them so switch to something heaps smaller like my Kate Spade. This clutch is somewhere in the middle - roomy but with a big opening which makes it easy to find things in there! I carried it into London under my arm along with my Mulberry tech pouch - then ditched the laptop and just took the clutch out in the evening.

The only thing that's left to add to this outfit is a leopard print belt. Has anyone seen a relatively chunky one with a gold buckle on their travels?


SHARE:

Monday, 4 December 2017

DAYS OUT IN LONDON // The Ugly Duckling at The Albany, Deptford


It's that time of year again! Every December, together with the RocknRoller Baby clan, the girls and I head to London for a little festive theatre trip... and this year is going to be no different.

This weekend we've been invited to The Albany in Deptford to see their Christmas production of the Ugly Duckling, based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale and brought to the stage by tutti fruitti and York Theatre Royal. We can't wait!

I've always loved the theatre and think it's really important that children get to experience the excitement of seeing productions live on stage too. It really is magical watching your favourite stories come to life on stage. The music! The dance routines! The costumes, set and lighting! A good production is so visually stimulating for kids (and adults too, of course! ;)).

The Albany is an amazing community arts centre with a vision similar to mine. They want to bring the theatre to everyone, especially children, and their #EveryChildTheatre campaign aims to provide every 5 year old in Lewisham with a free theatre ticket to one of their shows. The Ugly Duckling looks set to be a great choice!

We all know the classic story of inner beauty and self worth, and tutti fruitti and York Theatre Royal bring it to life with inventive puppetry, dancing and live music - everything that's great about family theatre! Just take a look at the trailer to see for yourself.



The production runs from Monday 4th December until 31st December, and tickets are just £12 for adults and £8 for kids. You can book yours here!
SHARE:

How To Rock Your Locks This Winter

Bobble hats: the ultimate winter hair accessory!
Forget all the winter horror stories you’ve been told, the cold weather doesn’t have to leave your hair feeling lifeless - you can get luscious locks without adding hours onto your beauty regime. I've speaking to a hairdresser friend to find out some easy steps you can take to help you rock your locks this winter.

Add moisture 
One thing you can’t avoid this winter is raging winds and chilly temperatures. On top of the heating blasting out, these can unfortunately cause your hair to dry out, break and look dull, which is not ideal for the seasonal parties. One thing you can do to help it on the road to recovery is to stop washing your hair every day. Yes, really. Leaving your hair as long as possible before washing will help restore your hair’s natural oils. When washing, opt for a shampoo and conditioner that contains natural hydrating ingredients such as coconut milk, Moroccan and argan oil. Treat yourself to a ten minute, deep conditioning hair mask once a fortnight to replenish the moisture and really revitalise your ‘do.

Use hair extensions 
Battling against the winter elements can leave the hair feeling flat and lifeless. A quick and effective way to add some bounce back into your hairstyle and rejuvenate your look is to use hair extensions. American Dream human hair extensions, for example, offer easy to use clip in styles that will make your hair look and feel natural whilst adding thickness and volume. If you do go down the extension route, make sure you colour match your hair and choose a similar texture to ensure your new style looks as natural as possible.

The science of the blow dry 
The way you blow dry can have a dramatic effect on how your hair will look. Try to avoid leaving your hair to dry naturally as this actually weakens the hair structure. Do remember to use a heat defense spray before applying any heat to your hair to protect further. It’s all about the technique, drying your hair upside down or angling towards your scalp can add volume, using a narrow nozzle can add shine instantly and for curly hair, a diffuser on a low setting can minimise frizz.

Opt for effortless hairstyles 
Rushing out the door, armed with a to do list full of festive errands, you’ll need a quick and easy hairdo that’s effortlessly fabulous. A top knot is always a quick and timeless alternative and great if you’re in your in between hair wash days. Simply tie a section of your hair in a high ponytail, backcomb the section slightly, twist around the tie and secure. If it’s a cold day and you’re armed with the warmest of clothing, add style to your hairdo with a low ponytail, loose braid or slight waves, which will all go great under your woolly hat of choice!



SHARE:
© Modern Mummy. All rights reserved.
BLOGGER TEMPLATE MADE BY pipdig