April 2018 | Modern Mummy

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Hands Up Who's Going to Victorious Festival?

We love going to festivals as a family. There’s something extra special about hanging out with friends for a few days and letting the kids run wild and free; the excitement of setting up camp and sleeping under the stars, wearing whatever the hell you want, staying up late dancing, drinking gin at 10am (the grown ups) and eating sweets at 10pm (the kids). For the last five years we’ve been to Camp Bestival, which is four days (and nights) of all of the above. But another, slightly lesser well known festival that we go to every year and love equally is Victorious Festival in Portsmouth - and this year I'm super excited to be working with them as an Ambassador.

Victorious Festival isn't officially an overnighter - although there are camping facilities off site with shuttle buses running to and from the event - but if you’re local or can get yourself booked into a nearby hotel for a couple of nights, it’s so worth it.

It’s right by the sea and an easy walk from Portsmouth station (depending on the time of day you get there, make sure you either go down Castle Road and pop into Pie & Vinyl or via Osborne Road and call in to the Southsea Coffee Co). The best bit is that adult tickets for the festival are only £25 a day if you get early bird tickets (kids are £8, with under 5s just £1) which is an insanely cheap price to pay for an entire day of festival fun.

This year looks set to be their best year yet. With a line up that includes The Prodigy, The Libertines, Shed Seven, BRIAN WILSON!!!!, Gaz Coombes, Sleeper and Embrace (and that really is just the tip of the iceberg - see the full line up here) we have every reason to be excited. As well as all the big acts, the smaller stages are always jam packed full of amazing bands and DJ sets - me and the kids dancing our socks off and singing along to Neneh Cherry's DJ set back in 2016 is one of my favourite festival memories to date.

Aside from the amazing line ups year after year, the awesome vintage shopping (there are dozens of stalls to rummage through) and fact it's one of the most chilled out festivals I've ever been to, the other thing I love about Victorious Festival is that all the kids entertainment is ENTIRELY FREE! There are bouncy castles and fairground rides, circus skills to learn, things to make and even the face paints are free… think of all the extra cash you usually have to splash out on all that lot at a festival!

We can't wait to smother ourselves in glitter, eat burritos and pizza and candy floss and hang out with some of our favourite people this August bank holiday. Will we see you there?


Tuesday, 17 April 2018

MONSTROUS! - The New Kids' Festival Coming to London this Summer!

It's a well known fact that the girls and I are fond of a festival or two in the Summer, and this year there's a new kid on the block!

Monstrous is a brand new one-day children’s festival and it's coming to the award winning Printworks venue in London on 29th July! Printworks looks set to become one of the most premier event locations in the UK and makes a perfect location for the festival, as it's so easy to get to by both road and public transport (even the local stations are buggy friendly!).

The festival has an incredible line-up designed to entertain the whole family, including a football zone run by the Chelsea FC Foundation team, the world’s largest inflatable obstacle course (an unbelievable 272m long!), Arcade Alley for the gamers - with over 1000 classic console favourites including MineCraft, Roblox and Pokemon, retro Arcade machines, animation studios and Virtual Reality booths. Then there's Prince, Princess & Unicorn Land offering enchanting walkabout characters, dressing up and selfie zones, beauty parlours and singalong booths, Monty’s Monstrous Disco – hosted by Monstrous Monty himself – playing host to some of the hottest names in kid’s entertainment, giant disco balls, confetti cannons, UV face painters, lazer shows, dance competitions, talent shows, flash mobs and a very special guest appearance! As if that wasn't enough, there's also Inflatable World, the Urban Beach, Magical Fun Fair Town, a petting zoo and the chilled out Baby Garden designed for under 4s.

Monstrous Festival Organiser, said: “We are really excited to be launching Monstrous at the award-winning Printworks complex. As a father myself, I know how hard it is to find quality days out that cater for the whole family. With Monstrous, we’ve created a festival that’s going to keep the kids entertained all day long and create memories that will last a lot longer."

I think it sounds like an amazing day out for all the family, and the best bit is that second release tickets are on sale now and cost just £24.50 per person! Babes in arms can attend free of charge.

For tickets and more information visit the Monstrous website here. You can also follow the Monstrous team on Facebook // Instagram //  Twitter for all the latest festival news!


Newborn Photography: How to choose the right photographer for your bundle of joy!

Having a baby is a life changing event. It’s exciting and exhausting all at once to suddenly have a tiny person to look after that demands constant love and attention. Of course, the first few pictures of your new baby are extra precious. But rather than taking an endless string of smartphone pix, how about hiring a professional photographer to capture and immortalise those innocent infant days with style?

What is newborn photography? 
Newborn photo shoots are now a thing. Starting out as a bit of a celebrity craze a few years ago, the trend has reached the mainstream, fuelled in no small part by social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

It’s understandable. Parents don’t want to post forgettable amateur snaps to introduce their baby son or daughter to the world. They want to post adorable pictures of their little newborn darlings that their friends and family can coo over. And whose heart wouldn’t melt at the sight of a professionally taken image of a week old cherub, artfully posed for full cuteness overload?

In hardcopy, professional newborn images can look amazing printed, framed and displayed in your home, a focal point for all the family to look back on in years to come with fond memories.

Find the right photographer 
Clearly, finding the right newborn photographer is key to getting the gorgeous results you’re after. The photo shoot typically takes place in the privacy of your own home within the first 10 days after the birth – a relatively short window.

Not only will you need to find a professional photographer that you trust to do a good job, you may have to book them before the baby is even born! No pressure then.

Choose a professional organisation 
Before you get as far as assessing the photographer’s creative approach and technical skills, it’s important to establish beyond doubt at the outset that you’re dealing with a professional company. Don’t forget that the person you choose will be invited into your home and have access to your precious newborn child.

In addition to checking out their professional credentials, business performance and insurance cover, find out about their skill and experience of handling newborn babies. What is their process during the photoshoot? How do they keep the baby comfortable and safe? What sort of props do they use? What do they do in emergency situations? If you’re not convinced that they will treat your baby and the entire photoshoot occasion with the respect and integrity it deserves, move on.

Consider the portfolio 
Once you’ve established their professional integrity, take a long look at their newborn photo gallery or portfolio. Look beyond the cute photos – they’re a given. What you’re hoping to find is evidence of lots of experience, plenty of variety and creativity by the bucketful. Do you like what you see?

Don’t forget to examine technical skill too. This may be tricky if you’re not a photographer yourself and may be unsure what to look out for. One tip is to look at the detail in the whites and darks to see if you can make out, say, individual hairs or blanket stitching. Does the background complement the subject and enhance the picture, or does it not add anything?

Check the image quality 
Balance and contrast can make a dramatic impact on any image and your photographer should be able to achieve just the right quality of both. It is their job to capture the beauty of natural life - your baby is perfect just the way s/he is and that perfection must come across in every picture.

Don’t just assume that every professional photographer is a master of their craft. Take a close look at the pictures yourself and form a view. You’re looking for a balance in colour and lighting with clear and vibrant images that represent the true nature of your baby’s skin, clothes and any props used. If the images are crisp and sharp, and only blurry where they should be, the photographer clearly knows what they’re doing.

Make a shortlist and a decision 
By now, you will have seen a broad selection of newborn images from a range of professional photographers. All of them will feature super cute photographs of lovable newborns – but which photographer will you choose for your own little bundle of joy?

Compare and contrast the different offerings in detail, including any differences in the style of photography and level of services provided, price, availability, location/travelling time and any other important criteria.

Next, make contact and set up a meeting with your preferred photographers. This is the crunch point since, ultimately, if you and the photographer struggle to establish an easy rapport straight away, the pictures will be lacking something. Take the opportunity to meet up, armed with a list of questions, your ideas of what you would like the images to be like, and any concerns you may have. You will know pretty quickly if you ‘click’ with the right person to capture the all important first images of your baby.


Monday, 16 April 2018

SS18 at Outfit Kids

My daughters couldn't be more different.

Daisy (on the right) is the oldest, and the quiet one. She likes to read and watch films. She also takes after me and has music playing pretty much 24/7. But she is also super sporty (not like me) and a bit of a daredevil when it comes to climbing trees and jumping off things (also not like me).

There's no doubt about it; Evie (three years younger and on the left) is destined for the stage. She is a total comedian and loves putting on dancing shows for everyone. She can be a bit bossy (wonder where she gets that from!) and has an incredibly fiery temper (ditto!) but she is also a sensitive soul and takes things to heart a lot.

It's not just their personalities that are totally different - when it comes to dress sense they are complete polar opposites as well. Earlier this month we worked with Outfit Kids and the girls got to choose an outfit each. Their differences in the style stakes are very apparent when you look at the clothes they picked out!

Daisy, always either curled up in comfy loungewear or cartwheeling across the field, went for sportswear, and was particularly excited about getting to wear a cropped hoodie! She wears a lot of monochrome so I wasn't surprised when she picked black clothes.

Evie chose a pretty dress and a colourful, cosy jumper. This girl does not wear trousers, and she's not a fan of tights either; she'd go bare legged in the middle of winter if I let her!

Despite liking completely different clothes styles, they actually chose the exact same trainers which made me smile. They're totally gorgeous trainers though, and if they made them in adult sizes I'd have ordered a pair for myself too ;)

Daisy wears:

Evie wears:

All c/o Outfit Kids

Outfit Kids is part of the Arcadia Group. With brands like TopShop, Oasis and Warehouse all under the same umbrella, the Outfit Kids SS18 collection was always destined to be awesome - and it definitely doesn't disappoint. With a huge range of styles, from sporty to smart to boho, there's something for every little fashionista out there, plus it's incredibly well made and very reasonably priced. You can buy in store at selected Outfit, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Debenhams stores (full list here) or online (here).

ps I had to give you a close up of Evie's dress. I just love the detail of the broderie anglaise and those little frilly cuffs!

pps Look at that pose! I told you this one is destined for the stage!
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