August 2019 | Modern Mummy

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

INTERIORS // How To Update Your Home On A Budget

Is your house looking a bit tired? Do you want to give it a new lease of life? Updating your home can be expensive and can take forever (especially when you want to give your whole house a makeover). It can also feel like a never-ending cycle as by the time you’re on the last room, the first one you did needs doing again. So, what can you do to give your whole house a quick, cheap makeover in one go?

Refresh Your Rooms 
Give your drab, washed-out walls a burst of color and a new lease of life just by picking up a tin of paint and a brush. You don’t have to be a pro to re-paint your house but it can make your home look like a pro has been at work because of the power of a coat of paint: If you’re not sure what to do then have a look online for some DIY tutorials to make sure you get the best out of your colour and your brush. My walls are all white and I regularly give them a fresh coat to make them look super clean and bright.

Have A Move Around 
This is something I do regularly; moving furniture around can make your house look completely different. I usually take the opportunity to have a bit of a de-clutter at the same time. Rearrange each room, for a change and a new perspective, you can always move it back again or try a different position if you don’t like it, but every once in a while, it’s definitely worth doing.

If you don’t want to update your whole house and get brand new furniture, get a few bits and bobs to add to what you have already. I would also definitely recommend getting acquainted with your local antique shopnot only will you be able to pick up some great buys but antique furniture in modern interiors is on-trend right now. Also don’t forget about throws, rugs, cushions and wall art all of which can be purchased (or created!!) pretty cheaply and you can change them as often as you like.

Give Cabinets A New Finish 
As well as your walls, give your cabinets a bit of love. Either paint them an entirely new colour, which will transform your kitchen or bathroom, or just provide them with a bit of a finish and make them sparkle again.

Update Handles 
Handles on doors and cupboards may be subtle, but you’ll be surprised what a difference they make once you start changing them. Don’t forget the handle (and the knocker) on your front door too. 

Make It Sparkle 
Giving your home a good clean can make all the difference. Scrub floors, surfaces, and cabinets to make them look new again. Once you have done that if they still look old and tired then definitely update them even with a finish that can make them gleam again and protect them for that bit longer.


Friday, 16 August 2019

INTERIORS // Optimising Your Bedroom For Sleep

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in incorporating all your favourite decor ideas in a room as personal and cosy as the bedroom. However, you might find that it’s often easy to forget that the bedroom is a room with a purpose. It’s for sleeping (most of the time), yet rarely do we ask “is this design choice suitable for sleeping?” Well, it’s time to change that - and this post is all about optimising the sleepiness of your bedroom!

A clear bedroom is a clear mind 
A cluttered bedroom is more than just something of an eyesore. It legitimately has the effect of upping our stress levels a little. When we’re more stressed, our body tends to tense up and our mind becomes more active, making it harder for us to get to sleep. Ensuring an effective clean for the bedroom is, naturally, important. But we also choose clutter of our own creation, too. Finding a few finishing pieces for your bedroom is all well and good, but if it’s starting to feel a little claustrophobic, you might want to think against making any more decorative additions.

Breathe in that air 
The air quality of your bedroom matters a lot more than you think. You don’t have to be asthmatic or have allergies for dust, dander, and other allergens to get in the way of your life. The truth is that without effective cleaning, your bedroom is likely to be full of the stuff, because it tends to hide in the mattress. Vacuum your mattress at least once a month, so that you don’t worsen the air quality in the room every time you lie down. You may also want to consider getting yourself a dehumidifier to keep it cool and clean in the air. I'm also a sucker for a houseplant (or twelve) - peace lilies, devils ivy and philodendrons are three of my favourites, and all are known for their air purifying qualities. Poor air quality is known to make it harder to drift to sleep!

Switch up for the season 
It’s important to ensure that you’re always equipped with the bedclothes that are best suited to the season and the conditions within the bedroom. In the summer, moisture wicking, light fabrics like wool fill can help you stay cool and avoid being trapped in a sweaty, humid bed. In the winter, down might be a little more expensive, but it’s one of the warmest options around. Buying the best bedding to meet your needs, and ensuring that you have a selection, is going to drastically improve the quality of your sleep, especially in the hottest and the coldest of months.

Put your foot down on technology 
Some people simply aren’t going to listen this piece of advice. I don't mean to come across all holier than thou, but I've never had a TV in my bedroom and never will! We’re so tied to phones, PCs, and TVs these days that to many it’s only natural that they should have a screen or three in their bedroom. If you’re having trouble sleeping, however, then that could be precisely why. The blue light that’s emitted by modern electronic device screens is hugely disruptive to your sleep. Limiting your screen time so that you have none for up to 20 minutes before hitting the hay can help you drift off faster and have a less-interrupted sleep. For that reason, amongst others, you should try and keep the technology out of the bedroom. Try to remember that this zone is for sleep first and foremost. If you need to, put your phone on the opposite side of the room until you wake up.

Seal off your environment 
Some people are lighter sleepers than others. However, even if you can get to sleep with sirens wailing outside and flashlights being strobed in your face, those interruptions are still going to affect the quality of your sleep. You may sleep a whole 8 hours, but it might not be as restful. Trying to seal off the bedroom from outside noise and light is still the best strategy. Blackout blinds can help you shut off a dark room even when the light is outside. Soundproofing a room can be harder, but ensuring you have modern, double-glazed windows is a great start and you can use draft excluders to muffle sounds from within the home, as well.

The next time that you’re giving your bedroom a redesign or a spring clean, make sure that you try to make the changes that can greatly improve both the duration and quality of your sleep at night. Every aspect of your health, from energy levels to mood to weight management, will thank you for it.


INTERIORS // Clay Shell Style

Most interior design enthusiasts will already know what the current popular contemporary style is all about.... Plenty of neutrals around the house, a drenching of sheer white and lots of natural metals and glass. Another variation of this style is called the clay shell. As you can probably imagine, it's a more beach or stone oriented design for the decor where your whites are mixed with sand, rose gold and a subtle earth tone. You’re never too far away from being at the beach but also never too far away from being in an opulent villa home in the Meditteranean. It's a style that is classy, contemporary and above all else chic. Here are some suggestions for adding a shell clay interior to your home decor.


Soft stone tiling 
This may be out there for most people, but a living room in the clay shell style will be made out of soft stone. Soft sandstone tiles in a faux marble white or a pearl silver are fantastic choices. They allow the floor to be completely flat but because they are soft stone tiles, they don’t have sharp edges. The tiles should also be large so there aren’t that many gaps that you have to feel with your bare feet. These kinds of tiles are also easy to clean and they don’t stain easily. Cement tiles are also something you may want to consider as they are cheaper but look almost as good. Rather than polished, go with the matte finish on all the tiles so it's stays in that classic clay shell dullness.

A chevron of style 
The living and lounge rooms are the best rooms to demonstrate clay shell interiors. They're the most creative points of the home so you really can make some interesting choices in your decor decisions. For example look at these stylish drinks cabinets and sideboards, particularly the Cheron sideboard. Made by hand, this artisan craftsmanship has a natural feel, with a bleached mango wood and stylish chevron pattern. It also has a lot of storage space and can be used to stash albums, books, laptops, and iPads; sideboards are a great way to get rid of clutter and perfect that minimalist look.

A soft vase 
If you’re going to have a clay shell interior, you may as well have clay shell vase that symbolizes the entire theme. A handcrafted clay shell vase would be great as an ornament piece.

Not many people have heard of the clay shell style by name, but they have definitely seen it around. It's more subtle and softer than the postmodern contemporary of styles today.


Friday, 2 August 2019

FESTIVALS // Nozstock 2019

This time a fortnight ago we had just got back from our first ever Noztock festival. I may have finally caught up with all the post camping laundry, and the layer of glitter that covered EVERYTHING for the first few days after our return has just about disappeared, but the memories live on!

We've been festivalling as a family for seven summers now so I like to think of my self as a bit of a pro. I've mastered the art of solo parent camping trips; packing light is key, as is being chilled out and not worrying about itineraries or routines. That's one of the things I've grown to dislike about the bigger festivals we've frequented in the past - you pay a small fortune for tickets and want to get your money's worth so you really put yourself under pressure to see ALL the bands and visit every single area on site. Turns out that's not fun in the slightest, you're on holiday! You want to relax and enjoy yourself rather than racking up 30,000 steps a day traipsing all over a massive festival!

And that's exactly why I loved Nozstock so much. As a festival that started off as a party in the Nosworthy family's back garden, it's grown entirely organically and really does still feel like that small personal family gathering, despite selling every single one of its 5000 tickets this summer!

The girls and I were incredibly lucky this year; not only were we offered press tickets in order to be able to review this new (to us) festival, we were also given pre-pitched tents which has honestly opened my eyes to the concept of boutique camping in the future. It doesn't half make a different when it comes to lugging all your gear to camp - especially when you're the only grown up there to do it.

As is festival tradition for us, we camped with our pals Cookie, Ruth from RocknRoller Baby and Carolynne from Mummy Endeavours and their gangs. Over the years we've learnt to share the packing, distributing responsibility for breakfasts/lunches/snacks/boxes of wine/cocktail decorations/glitter/facepaint etc. I'd totally recommend getting a likeminded group together and doing the same if you're thinking of heading to a festival for the first time.

Our tents had been pitched in the family camping field (as well as the general camping fields, there were also quiet and camper van fields). This was located perfectly; close enough to the main area for the walks there and back to be entirely painless and far enough away that the music didn't keep you awake if you wanted an early-ish night. The family field also had showers, incredibly well maintained portaloos and smaller purpose built compost toilets for the kids which seemed to be kept extra clean and also had the added benefit of light at night! There was also a playground built for the event which was lovely, and baby changing facilities including free nappies, wipes and suncream. The guys at Nozstock really had thought of everything to make family camping easier.

The thing I loved most about Nozstock was that it was so small compared to other festivals I've been to. As a parent it made me feel so much more relaxed and it meant I could give the kids that little bit more freedom than I usually would which they absolutely loved. I described it earlier as being like a small, personal, family gathering - and things like the handmade signs everywhere added to this. That, and the fact people (other campers and the artists wandering around) chatted to me quite happily, made me feel really at home and really welcome.

I loved that the festival was so eco conscious - I'm talking entirely solar powered fields, smoothies made by pedal power, reclaimed and repurposed materials used to build stages and sets - and so affordable too. Meals weren't overpriced, beer was only £4 a pint and there were water stations everywhere so no need to shell out for rounds of cans of water three or four times a day. There was also picnic tables and plenty of space to lay down a picnic blanket if you wanted to bring your own food from camp.

The food was excellent. There was a huge selection to choose from; pizza, burgers, bangers & mash, curries, wraps, caribbean, chips, churros and ice cream. Next to the family camping field was a little wooden truck called Cosy Rosie's, which sold great coffee, hot chocolate and crepes which we had for breakfast every day!

There were eleven stages in total, all of which were absolutely amazing works of art in themselves. We loved the incredible neon Coppice and dancing to reggae at the Elephant's Grave. Nothing was too far away from each other so it was super easy to move around and see different acts.

The Little Wonderland for the kids was another of our favourite places to hang out. All activities in there were free, including willow weaving, clay model making and painting, learning circus skills and face painting. The kids loved the clowns that wandered around including them in their acts!

As well as the music and crafts some other highlights of our first Nozstock were the human jukebox (genius!) the henna tattoo and hair wraps stalls (the girls were in heaven) and the absolute abundance of reasonably priced vintage clothes stalls (I was in heaven).

But most of all we just loved the chance to hang out as a family, spend some time with our favourite people and to be able let our hair down for the weekend, in a perfectly curated festival.

Some of my other best bits were the girls sleeping in until gone 8:30 every morning (they are usually VERY early risers, so this was a real treat), plus celebrating Nozstock's 21st birthday at the Cabinet of Lost Secrets was another highlight - accessed down a tunnel and via a mirror maze and with dancers, punch, birthday cake and even party bags once you got inside, the kids and grown ups all had an incredible time.

My favourite act of the weekend had to be Elvana (Elvis fronted Nirvana). What a front man! I laughed, I danced, I sang along, the girls thought I was totally crackers but I didn't care. Showing up your kids is all part of this parenting lark, is it not?

There's no doubt whatsoever that we will be back to Nozstock next year, and we're looking forward to it already!

Super early bird 2020 tickets on sale here now! Adult weekend tickets start at just £100 and children under 12 are free! The festival sold out this year so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

We were gifted tickets and pre-pitched tent accommodation in exchange for this entirely honest review.


HOME // Seven Decor Ideas For A Fun Child's Bedroom

Photo credit: Josh Hemsley

All kids want to have an amazing space to call their own. A fun bedroom that offers them somewhere to relax, play, study and sleep will be a space they’ll love. A room they’re proud of might even encourage them to keep it clean and tidy themselves (ha! Who am I kidding!).

Here are some ideas to decorate your kids’ bedrooms in a fun way that they are sure to enjoy.

1. Add interesting storage. Storage space is always important for any kids’ bedroom, as they need somewhere to store their clothes, toys and school supplies. Get creative and create fun toy storage on a budget. Buy a set of plain canvas tote bags, and print them with the letters to spell ‘toys’, and hang them on a row of hooks somewhere in the room. Boxes, baskets, wall organisers and hangers also make great, but interesting, storage features.

2. Children outgrow their bedroom furniture quickly, so it’s often not worth investing in expensive pieces. Instead, give a fresh look to an old piece of furniture with a coat of paint. This can be a great way to create personalised, fun pieces, like a funky desk or chest of drawers.

3. Wall stickers are a great decoration that can be easily peeled off without damaging the paintwork when your child grows out of the childhood room. Buy something related to their hobbies, like a footballer wall sticker.

4. If your kids are artistically inclined, frame some of their own artwork or creations and hang them in their room. Display things they have made to add some personal touches to the room. Create a gallery wall with their own work, and they’ll be proud of seeing their art displayed like its in a gallery.

5. Create different zones within the room that can be changed as your child grows and their needs change. For example, smaller children need plenty of space to play, but once they get to school, kids need somewhere for homework. Add a small desk for study time, and add some cool storage for books and stationery. Leave some room to play and relax too. For bookworms, a cosy reading corner is sure to be a hit, whereas other children may appreciate room for a dollhouse or a space to play computer games.

6. Get kids involved in crafts that can then be used as decoration. Paper chains or fabric bunting are both easy to make, and look cute when displayed in a bedroom. Let the children help you make them, and string them over their bed for a feature they can feel proud of. Washi tape is a really fun way to add some decor. Create beautiful patterns on the walls, or on pieces of furniture. Add stripes to dresser drawers, or make jazzy shapes on wardrobe doors.

7. Washi tape can also be used on the wall as a fun alternative to photo frames. Washi tape can be peeled off the wall without leaving any sticky residue behind or damaging the paint, so you can let the kids go wild without worrying about your walls.

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