May 2012 | Modern Mummy

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Pregnancy-Friendly Hayfever Cures

I've suffered from hayfever since my teens. Its horrible. The itchy eyes and nose, the sneezing fits and general drowsy, swollen, bunged up revolting-ness are all symptoms I can do without ruining a lovely summers day. Yuck.

Pre Daisy, I always relied on antihistamines - which worked perfectly - but of course they are a no-no in pregnancy and because of the severity of my symptoms I had to find an alternative.

It was actually my GP that suggested trying locally produced honey as a preventative cure. 'Local' is defined as honey that is produced within a five kilometre radius of your house. The idea is that by having a teaspoon or two of local honey every day, and exposing yourself to a small amount of pollen, you will eventually become de-sensitised to pollen allergy responses.

When I researched the theory, it was recommended that you start building up your immunity six months before the hayfever season starts. I didn't have that sort of time but tried this natural treatment anyway and in actual fact found that my symptoms reduced within two weeks and the following summer (and the summer after that!) they didn't return at all.

This year, however, my bloody hayfever is back again with a vengeance. I went to the shop for some local honey and discovered this....

Dried local bees' pollen.

It's supposed to work in pretty much the same way as the honey but by all accounts it gives relief quicker. I bought it because I've heard lots about the (non-hay fever related) health benefits of eating pollen (it's jam packed full of vitamins and antioxidants and is supposed to give a fantastic natural energy boost) but have come across mixed information on whether it is safe in pregnancy. Has anyone tried it? Does anyone have any information on this? I'd love to hear from you.

In the meantime I'm back on my locally produced honey (from the same beehives!) and am pleased to say it is working already xoxox


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Cotswold Outdoor and LittleLife: A Review

Daisy's a lucky bugger.

Last week Cotswold Outdoor sent her a brilliant LittleLife Animal Wheelie Duffle suitcase to take on holiday when we head to the coast next month. We are big fans of LittleLife in the Modern Mummy household. Daisy had a butterfly toddler day sack when she first started walking and we loved it so much we went on to buy lots of them for friends and family too!

The wheelie duffle is a perfect size for a two year old (it's actually designed for 3 to 7 year olds but there are no small parts to worry about so I am happy for Daisy to use it). Despite being small (35cm x 25cm x 42cm) it actually has a capacity of 20litres... which means it carries a lot! The child-size extending handle is simple for small people to use and the wheels manoeuvre easily and are made of rubber - which don't hurt if they run over your toes! It is made of nylon so is hard-wearing and wipe clean and is available in either a ladybird or turtle design. I can imagine getting years of use out of this suitcase so it really is a bargain at only £40.00 from Cotswold Outdoor. 

In true Daisy style (she is impatient, like her mother) she just couldn't wait until our holiday to use it for the first time so we packed her off to Granny and Grandad's for a night. There was plenty of room for Pinky and Mummy Bear (*ahem* guess which one is which - and would you believe that Mummy Bear used to be mine and is almost 30 years old!). She wheeled the suitcase the whole 500m herself and was very proud when we arrived. I'm sure the grandparents thought she was planning to stay for a week!

 Daisy is wearing a gorgeous strawberry dress from Mini Boden

Cotswold Outdoor can be found on Facebook here and Twitter here xoxox

Monday, 28 May 2012


Last week we paid the Heathrow branch of Babybond a visit.  

Babybond is a private ultrasound clinic with branches all over the UK and they are absolutely fantastic. We had a gender scan and a 4D scan when I was pregnant with Daisy and I loved every minute of them both. I couldn't resist booking an appointment for bambino numero duo..... and I am very happy to announce that we are....


It was lovely seeing our little monkey again and I am so excited to be having another girl. Having a scan at the clinic is such a great experience and well worth the money; I would wholeheartedly recommend them. We even got a glimpse of our baby in 4D which was incredible. The best bit was being able to take Daisy in to watch the scan too; she was fascinated and is uber excited about having a little sister.

I think it's time to start shopping xoxox

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Daisy the Ballerina

Daisy has started ballet. Eeeeeeeepppp! *proud mama*

After the success of her Totsdance classes last year, I had been looking for a ballet school nearby, and when I came across Twinkletoes Ballet (who don't have a website but can be found on Twitter here) I just knew it would be perfect for her.

She LOVES it. Since her first class last week, she has been impressing us all with her 'good toes, naughty toes' routine and showing everyone her passes and plies. It is amazing to watch.

I'm not going to blog about the classes until the end of term but I had to share a picture with you all of my little ballerina in all her finery. She is even wearing the cardigan that my Nana knitted me when I started ballet aged 3.

I actually cried (!!!!) watching her in class today. I contemplated walking out before the other mums caught me (hormones...... ahem). But I managed to man up and I'm glad I did because if I had I would have missed her doing an arabesque which was C U T E.

Nearly the weekend! Happy Thursday all xoxox

PS If any local mamas have any recommendations for other weekly classes, please get in touch.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Crispy gooey delicious Flapjacks

The Queen visited Richmond today. Daisy and I were planning on heading out to Richmond Park to try and catch a glimpse of her. But just before we were due to leave the house the heavens opened and so beginneth two hours of alternating rain and hail.

We stayed indoors instead.

Weather like that calls for sweet treats and warm tea and cuddles on the sofa.

We've made a lot of cake recently so today, for a change, we decided to make flapjacks. They're kind of healthy right? *ahem*

If you disregard the butter and golden syrup, they actually ARE pretty good for you. Oats are low GI (which means they are full of slow release energy) and they are also packed full of fibre, B vitamins, iron and zinc.

You can also add fruit, nuts and seeds to be extra virtuous.

Flapjacks are a great rainy day recipe as most of the (few) ingredients are store cupboard basics.

We went for banana and raisin flapjacks, and they were delicious. 

What you need.
Mixing bowl.
Wooden spoon.
A cake/brownie tin. We used a circular 8 inch cake tin.
Baking paper.  

Rolled oats - 300g ish.
Butter - 200g ish.
Golden syrup - 6x tablespoons.
1x large banana.
1x handful of raisins.

What to do.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4.
Melt the butter and the golden syrup together in a saucepan.
Add to the oats and mix together in the bowl. Add more oats if required - the mix should be sticky, not runny. 
Add the chopped banana and raisins. The banana will make the inside of the flapjack moist once cooked - take this into account when mixing and add one last handful of oats if you think the mix isn't firm enough.
Pat down into the (pre-lined) cake tin and cook for 30 minutes. Insert a knife into the centre and if still sticky return to the oven for five minutes at a time. (It took 40 minutes for ours to cook perfectly).

Serve on an Emma Bridgewater Union Jack plate with a cup of hot, sugary tea, and enjoy an afternoon indoors with your small people. Much better than seeing the Queen.

Fingers crossed it will be summer soon xoxox

Friday, 11 May 2012

The Ultimate Lazy Comfort Dinner

Some days just aren't meant to be spent slaving over a hot stove. When you're knackered, when you're out til late and are starving and need to make something quick, when its miserable outside and you want something really comforting or when you've been poorly and your appetite comes back and you fancy something simple.

Tonight was one of those nights. I was (still am!) shattered after the grand total of one hour's sleep in the last thirty six hours so when my poorly girlie requested STICKY BEANS & CHEESE ON TOAST for dinner, who was I to say no?

This isn't just ANY old beans and cheese on toast, this is sticky beans and grilled cheese on buttery toasted tiger bread. And it is truly amazeballs.

The sticky beans make all the difference. I hate sloppy, saucy beans. I have to cook mine up for at least fifteen minutes so all the juice evaporates and the beans go all mushy. And that's exactly how they need to be for this meal. They need to be firm so that they stay on the toast. A bit like the tomato base of bruscetta. Only much less classy.

So slice and toast your tiger bread (or other bread of your choice), grate your cheese (extra mature cheddar works well) and smother the toast in butter - all while your beans are overcooking. Then pile the beans onto the toast, sprinkle over the cheese and whack back under the grill.

Effortless. But so tasty. Enjoy xoxox

Poorly Toddler & Zombie Mama

Look at that face! Doesn't my little monkey look poorly? Ahem! 

This photo was taken at 4am. After madam had spent half an hour on the loo with a 'fizzy bum' (her choice of words) and talked at me non-stop about her first ballet lesson which was earlier in the day - and just before I had to change bedsheets for a second time as a result of unexpected projectile vomiting.

Yes this little ratbag kept me up for all but one hour of the WHOLE NIGHT. Bearing in mind I've been sleeping for 10+hrs every night since I got preggers, you can imagine how knackered and grumpy I am. It has even driven me to drink CAFFEINE today (something I've not done for the last three months). I would go so far as to describe myself as being OFF MY FACE after drinking my single shot Starbucks cappu. Not a pretty sight.

Inbetween bouts of sickness and diarrhoea, Daisy is pretty much fine. We even had a tantrum about not going to the dance shop for her new ballet outfit earlier (which included foot stamping and lots of whining) and when I asked her if she fancied anything to eat she replied 'mini baby bel, chicken tikka and tiger bread'..... which she is now demolishing. But we are staying indoors, wearing comfy clothes and watching DVDs because, despite putting a brave face on, she really is under the weather.

Every now and again I get a quiet 'Mama.... Cuddle me. I poorly' and I melt a little and wish I could make it all better. Its horrible when our little people have a bug and don't understand why.

Hopefully it's just a 24hr thing and after a good night's sleep tonight she'll be right as rain. In the meantime I just need to persuade her to take a little afternoon nap so that I can have one too. I have had my 200mg of caffeine allowance today and the word ZOMBIE springs to mind.

Hope the rest of you are all ok and you have lovely weekends. Looks as if the sun is going to be making an appearance in London so make sure you all get out and about and enjoy it xoxox


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Greenacres Kids Cafe, Hampton Hill


Us Mums living in and around Twickenham are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to the number of brilliant soft play areas and kids cafes we have nearby. But one that I am particularly keen on is Greenacres in Hampton Hill.

I was only introduced to it last week and I loved it straight away. Bang slap in the middle of the high street - which has FREE PARKING (mega bonus) - it's a lovely little cafe, with a great menu and lots to keep the small people entertained.

The menu. Simple cafe food; sandwiches, paninis, jacket spuds and hot meals. Hot & cold drinks. Lunchboxes for the kids. All very reasonably priced indeed.

The activities. A large play area suitable for up to fifteen children at a time, packed full of toys (some admittedly a bit dated but not something that bothers me), books and even a computer for older kids. The best bit is that it is supervised by a fully trained manager, Petya, who keeps an eye on the children and gets them involved in arts & crafts during quieter sessions. It is a complete BARGAIN at only £2.50 an hour to play - having a supervisor there really does mean you can relax a bit and enjoy a coffee which makes such a difference. Of course you can still see your child at all times but it takes the pressure off and, when we went, Daisy was having so much fun painting and playing shopping with the other children that she didn't look for me once! Note to self: next time take laptop down and get some blogging done!

Even better, the play area can be used as a creche if you need an hour or two to yourself to pop to the shops/the hairdressers etc (plenty of both in Hampton Hill!). For a slightly higher fee you can leave your child with Petya and nip out for some 'you' time.

Fiiiiinally, children's classes are held at the cafe. These are subject to change but currently include cooking classes, music sessions and French lessons! Contact the cafe for more info including an up to date timetable and prices.

Greenacres Kids Cafe
28 High Street
Hampton Hill

Tel: 020 8977 8335
Click here for their website
and here for Twitter


NB This is a personal review of a local business. I was not given any free goods/services/monetary payment in exchange for this post.  


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Guess What!

So..... I've been off the blog radar for a while and tweeting lots about feeling under the weather and being hungry and tired. Yep, you've guessed it!

I am very excited to announce that we are expecting baby number 2 and that he or she is due in early November!

I've spent the last couple of months feeling sick, exhausted, emotional and battling a constant headache. I've spent a lot of time with my head down the loo and have been going to bed straight after Daisy most nights (which has been bloody LOVELY although my housework has been sorely neglected). I've been crying over EVERYTHING.... I even bawled my eyes out at the American made-for-tv movie about Wills & Kate on Channel 5 at the weekend which was SO not cool. Yesterday was the first day I've felt relatively normal so I'm hopeful that, now I am entering the second trimester, I am going to leave all those early pregnancy symptoms behind and start to 'glow'.*

*Please, please, please.

My twelve week scan was last week. Here is a first glimpse of our little monkey. Not the clearest picture as he or she was misbehaving (already!) but of course I blubbed, because I'm a complete hormonal wreck.

I loved being pregnant with Daisy and I'm so excited to be starting this journey again! Here's to getting fat and weird cravings and ugly maternity bras and waddling everywhere and needing help getting out of the bath and putting knickers and socks on

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

New Month, New Style Modern Mummy!

Hello lovely people! 

Yes, the wonderful Liz at Violet Posy has worked her magic on Modern Mummy again. Hasn't she done a good job?

I've gone for a cleaner, simpler look, with a few new added features that are still under construction - more on those later.

In the meantime, I really am sorry for my absence of late. We haven't just been sat in bed eating Toffee Crumble I promise. I fully intend to make it up to you this month, with lots of new posts and a brand spanking new weekly feature. I also hope the new site is much easier for you all to find your way around.

I'd love to hear what you all think!

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