2011 | Modern Mummy

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A Modern Mummy Christmas

So Christmas is over for another year. All that is left is a mountain of recycling and a load of coconut eclairs at the bottom of the Roses tin.

We had a brilliant day, and Daisy was well and truly spoilt. My first attempt at Christmas dinner went without a hitch and I got suitably merry on vino rosso.

I hope you're all enjoying the festive season xoxox


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Make Your Own Christmas Wreath / Willow Heart

In my opinion, making your own Christmas wreath is one of the most festive things you can do. Especially if you are drinking mulled wine, eating mince pies and watching Elf on the telly while you do it. I used to buy them from my local florist but for the last two years I have made my own and it's a tradition that I plan to continue.

It's so easy and fun - and cheap - to do, plus you have the added bonus of getting your perfect wreath at the end of your craft session. Or a not so perfect one (which is sometimes even better!) if you involve the kids!

I personally don't like round wreaths, and neither do I like ones covered in evergreens, which limits you somewhat when choosing a ready made one. I decided to start making my own when I saw a plain willow heart for sale in my local garden centre. The heart has lasted me three Christmases so far and it hangs in my house all year round, with different seasonal decorations as the months change. Well worth it's £6.99 price tag methinks.

What you need.
You can either make your own wreath using strong wire (or a metal coathanger) and intertwining willow branches around it (tying up with florist wire, gardening string or more willow) - or you can buy your own willow heart from a craft shop or garden centre. Mine is a Gisela Graham heart which I bought from Squires.
You also need a selection of greenery - I pinched two sprigs of holly from my local park (shhh, don't tell anyone) and used some of the offcuts of my Christmas tree.
I also made my own gold pine cones last year - I simply spray painted them gold and attached florists wire to the base which I could then in turn wind round my wreath.

What to do.
There is no right or wrong answer here. You simply have to use your imagination and creative flair to decorate your heart/wreath as you wish. I didn't use any string or wire (save for on the pine cones) and just poked sprigs of Christmas tree and holly into the willow twigs. You could also use ivy, mistletoe, eucalyptus or any other greenery you like, plus of course you could decorate with material, tree decorations - anything. The world is your lobster.
Once you are happy with your heart, tie a big bit of festive ribbon around the base.

Here is our finished Christmas heart. Beats your standard round one any day, eh?



Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Hotel Chocolat: A Christmas Gift Idea

Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry. It's a time for indulgence and treats. Although perfectly, perfectly acceptable at all other times of the year, Christmas is not a time for Dairy Milk or Toblerone. I'm sorry but it isn't. The festive period calls for something just a teensy weensy bit more luxurious. And what chocolate is more extravagant than that made by Hotel Chocolat?

To say I was very excited when a big bundle of edible goodies landed on my doorstep would be the understatement of the decade. Free chocolate. FREE CHOCOLATE! The lovely people at Hotel Chocolat sent me a Dasher the Reindeer Gift Basket. And it was gooooood. Containing a Milk Chocolate Christmas Dinner, some Tiddly Milk Chocolate Reindeer, a Milk Chocolate Reindeer Lick and a 100g Cool Penguin Slab it was just the sort of edible delight I like to receive at Christmas. Expensive, but not overpriced, a little something from Hotel Chocolat is, in my opinion, a perfect Christmas gift or stocking filler for someone special.

Why not have a look at their website for more inspiration. Hotel Chocolat are also on Facebook and Twitter. You still have ages to fill up a huge online shopping basket too as Christmas delivery is guaranteed on orders placed before 4pm on Friday 23rd December (delivery charges apply).

Merry Christmas, fellow chocoholics xoxox

Thursday, 1 December 2011

On the first day of Christmas.....

Happy first of December, one and all!

I am pleased to announce that after an afternoon spent tree shopping and house decorating, the Modern Mummy household is now OFFICIALLY READY FOR CHRISTMAS!!!! Tah dah!

Over the next 24 days I will be writing lots of blog posts with festive crafty ideas, present reviews and Christmassy recipes. Keep checking back xoxox

Monday, 21 November 2011

HappyFeet FC, Walton: A Review

After the success of Daisy's dancing lessons in the Spring, I decided to get her involved in another sporty activity. Like most toddlers, she has bundles of energy and running around after her in the local park just isn't as fun now that winter is here. So on Saturday morning we jumped in the car and headed off to HappyFeet FC, a football class for kids held at Sunbury Leisure Centre.

HappyFeet was set up in September 2008 with the aim of encouraging children (from those just walking up to junior school age) to develop confidence and improve co-ordination and balance whilst learning football skills.

The 45 minute sessions, run by FA accredited and CRB checked coaches, are held at leisure centres, childrens centres, schools and nurseries in Sunbury, Walton, Surbiton and Kingston (check out the class timetable on their website for more details) and they combine football, music, learning and fun.

The classes for the littlest ones also teach colours, shapes and numbers, as well as how to listen and respond to instructions - a skill they will need when starting nursery and school. They are also a great opportunity for them to meet and socialise with other children their own age.

Aside from the classes, HappyFeet also host football parties. There are different options available depending on the ages of the children, the location and the hire period, and these range from an hour of football games with a HappyFeet coach in your own home up to a fully catered two hour party with food, decorations, party bags and a birthday cake at a venue of your choice.

Back to Daisy's session. She had a ball! (no pun intended.) It seriously was fantastic. She ran around to brilliant music (a definite selling point for the supervising grown ups, no nursery rhyme compilations to be heard here!), she shouted out answers to questions like a proper show off (that's my girl!) and played with footballs and bean bags and hoops for three quarters of an hour. I really enjoyed myself too.

And the best bit of all? She Who Never Naps slept for a FULL TWO HOURS after the session. TWO HOURS! I will be taking her there again.

On a more serious note, I whole heartedly recommend you and yours give it a go too. For more info, check out the website here or contact Marcus Doyle via email here.


A Day at West Wittering Beach in Photos








Saturday, 19 November 2011

Maidenform: Fabulous Underwear for Fabulous Women

I heart Maidenform underwear. Really, really, really. Have a looky at their website ... everything is just divine. Both feminine a n d supportive (who thought they would ever hear those two words together in a sentence whilst talking about undercrackers?!), their products accentuate the natural shape of a woman's figure. Exactly what underwear should do.

The lovely people at Maidenform HQ recently sent me a b-e-a-utifully wrapped parcel containing a waistnipper and a thigh shaper and they are both gorgeous. I know the word 'gorgeous' is not normally one used to describe Bridget Jones style mummy pants but they truly are and I would even go so far as to say you would not even be remotely embarrassed stripping off to reveal the waistnipper to the other half in a moment of passion. The waist nipper is from their brand new range, The Pretty Collection. Check these beauties out for yourselves.....

Maidenform is available in department stores and online ~ and the uber innovative Bod Squad section on their website talks you through measuring up for their products properly and also shows you how they should be worn and how to care for them.

I would wholeheartedly recommend leaving this webpage open as a mega hint for Christmas presents. I'm going to! xoxox

Friday, 4 November 2011

A Daisy Moo Birthday Special!

Yes it's Friday, and not just any Friday, but my gorgeous Daisy Moo's second birthday! I can hardly believe that this time two years ago I was in labour and my life was about to change forever, and now it feels as if my little baby is all grown up!

I'm sorry I didn't post a recipe last week, but I was everso slightly pre-occupied with Daisy's birthday party. I'm afraid this week is going to be a bit of a cop out too and instead of posting a new recipe I am going to link back to Daisy's Chocolate Swirly Whirly Birthday Cake recipe from last year. This recipe still has the highest number of page views out of any of my blog posts so if you haven't seen it already I hope you like it!

I've re-made the same cake this year as it was such a success, only instead of quadruple deckering it and smothering it in chocolate and sweets, I carved a large square sponge into the shape of Peppa Pig's head and iced it! What do you think?

I'm off to take Daisy horse riding for the first time (!) and for a lovely girlie birthday lunch. Have a great weekend everybody xoxox

Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Hallowe'en!!

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeen everyone!

We are biiiig fans of Hallowe'en in this house (any excuse to partake in a bit of fancy dress and eat shitloads of chocolate). Last year Daisy and I carved pumpkins and dressed up as skeletons and this year I decided to do one better and throw a Hallowe'en inspired 2nd birthday party for Miss Moo.

After lots of cake and biscuit baking, sandwich making, house decorating and, of course, the obligatory pumpkin carving (we carved no less than NINE pumpkins and squashes this year!!) ten of Daisy's toddler friends came round and trashed the house whilst us mummies drank wine and gossiped. We had a great time!

I can't believe my little monkey is going to be two on Friday! Where have the last two years gone?!



Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Naked Grocer, Walton on Thames

Today Daisy and I have mostly been getting ready for her Hallowe'en themed 2nd birthday party this weekend. And what Hallowe'en party is complete without pumpkins?

We headed over to The Naked Grocer in Walton to buy a huge stash of pumpkins and squashes ready for carving over the next few days and we couldn't resist blogging about our favourite greengrocer.

The Naked Grocer is a family run shop on Bridge Street which has been open since September 2009. I ♥love♥ them, not just because the shop is absolutely gorgeous and a real pleasure to browse around and spend money in ~ aside from fruit and veg they also sell flowers, fresh bread, local cheeses and lots of other lovely treats ~ but also because of their ethical and responsible views which are very important to me and which I think should be to everyone else in this day and age too.

Aside from selling the tastiest and freshest fruit and veg you will ever come across without growing your own, I think their concern for the environment (you won't find any vacuum packaging or plastic bags here and the company are huge advocates of recycling) and their support of local growers are their two biggest selling points. Plus Chris, Millie and all the staff really know their stuff and the customer service is second to none.

And the PUMPKINS! What can I say? They are cheaper than the supermarket, grown in sunny Cambridgeshire and superb quality (not just grown for carving, these bad boys are huge and fleshy and perfect for pumpkin pies and soups and packed full of seeds for toasting!). Large ones are £2.50, small ones £1.50 and squashes start at £1.00. It would be a crime for you not to pop down there and buy some!

For those of you a bit too far away to pay The Naked Grocer a visit - why not check out their website, it's full of information on what's in season and has monthly recipe ideas too. The Naked Grocer are also on Twitter. Follow them here.


Monday, 24 October 2011

A Trip to Kew Gardens

Wow. Today was a beautiful day. Crisp and dry and bright---- have I ever mentioned how much I love autumn!?

Daisy and I went to Kew Gardens wrapped up in our winter woollies and with our sunglasses on. We walked for miles (including along the Treetop Walkway) and we explored the conservatories, my little daredevil climbed the biggest climbing frame I've ever seen and we had a delicious lunch. The best bit was the number of amazing photo opportunities that were handed to me on a plate. Kew Gardens is a photographer's dream! Here are a few of my snaps xoxox


Friday, 7 October 2011

The Emma Bridgewater Spring Preview

Daisy and I spent yet another morning at our favourite shop today, and this time we were ooohhing and aaahhing over all the gorgeous new Spring pieces that are due for release late next January!

There is a LOT to be excited about, ladies and gents! Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin!


All you Sampler fans will be over the moon as there is a full range of tinware coming out, as well as Mother's Day and Valentine's Day half pint mugs and a 1.5pt jug. There is also a stunning litho mug featuring one of the Sampler lace hearts and the words 'True love & high adventure. Romeo & Juliet - that's us'. Siiiigghhh.


There is also some new melamine coming out in the Sampler and British Isles patterns.

Chickens, Birds and Animals

There are some beautiful new chicken mugs due for release, as well as a wonderful London Pigeon birds mug which I will definitely be investing in. Two new baby mugs will be hitting the shelves - Bunny Rabbit and Pony - and three new half pint animals - Fox, Hedgehog and Red Squirrel.

Red, White & Blue

The commemorative mug for the Diamond Jubilee is just gorgeous and as you'll see from my photo (which is a photo of the official EB snap - must give credit where credit is due!) it goes beautifully with Union Jack (and I think it would look ace with British Isles, Starry Skies and Red Stars too).

The 2012 Year Teapot follows suit in red white and blue with a sponged pattern made up of hearts, crowns, union jacks and trumpets. I love it.

The bakeware I blogged about after the Collector's Day is also coming out in January. Blue, green and yellow with polka inside, they are absolutely lovely.

And last but by no means least, one of my favourite pieces from the day was this gorgeous Pat Albeck Butterflies and Snails mug. How awesome is this?

What do you all think of the new patterns? ♥
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