March 2017 | Modern Mummy

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Happy Thai New Year from Thaikhun!

Easter is almost upon us, but that's not the only celebration taking place at this time of year! 13th April is also Thai New Year's Day, with the festival (known as Songkran) spanning over three days - and we were invited to one of our favourite restaurants to celebrate it!

Thaikhun in Guildford is, quite literally, my idea of heaven. Not only does it serve the most delicious Thai street food, the restaurant itself is an Instagrammer's dream. Bursting full of hand picked bric-a-brac, you really do need to allow yourself an extra half an hour to have a proper look around the whole restaurant before you eat. Even the loos are brilliant; Daisy and Evie love looking at all the pictures on colourful newspaper cuttings lining the cubicle walls, and the signs and posters pinned up everywhere! And on that note, in my opinion Thaikhun makes a brilliant choice for a family meal out too - the menu is extensive and affordable, and service is quick!

Having fun is a big part of Thai (and Thaikhun's) culture, and Songkran sees people retuning back to their home towns for huge street parties with family and friends. Thaikhun embraces this all year round but at this extra special time of year, they want to spread the love among their customers too. Inbetween 13th and 15th April the party atmosphere will be even bigger and better than usual; with fun activities like face painting in the restaurants - plus you could be in with a chance of winning one of three prizes; private cooking school for six people, a £100 Thaikhun voucher or a £50 Thaikhun voucher! All you have to do is book a table in between those dates and the winners will be picked at random (and contacted directly on 18th April).

We visited last week but still had plenty of fun as we always do. Since our very first visit to the newly opened restaurant at the beginning of last summer we have been back pretty much fortnightly. The kids menu is just £5.95 for three healthy courses as well as a drink, and with lighter plates available for me we find it makes the perfect affordable lunch stop when we need refuelling in the middle of a day's shopping.

On this occasion we visited in the evening, and after long, busy days at work, school and nursery we had very hungry bellies!

Daisy and Evie ate from the children's menu, which is made up of vegetable sticks to start, a main course (Daisy went for grilled chicken and rice and Evie the sweet chilli breaded chicken), an ice lolly for pudding and glasses of milk.

Us grown ups had the Bangkok Platter and some prawn crackers to start with, followed by beef massaman curry and phad kee mao (spicy seafood noodles) as our mains.

Then, as is always the way when we visit Thaikhun, it was banana fritters all round for pudding - they are seriously good and I'm fairly certain they still count as one of your five a day ;)

Wishing you a very happy Easter - and, of course, Sawasdee Pee Man (Happy Thai New Year) - to you all!

Our food and drinks were complimentary in exchange for this blog post. As always, thoughts are entirely honest and my own.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Five Favourites ♥ PEP&CO

I've already written about That Shirt, and now it's time to showcase some of the other gems I received from PEP&CO earlier this month.

I think it's safe to say I'm now officially a PEP&CO fan; I truly am gutted that there isn't a store anywhere near me as I'd love to be able to go in for a proper browse! The clothes are both stylish and affordable which are two key factors I take into account when I'm shopping for items for my own wardrobe. The prices and quality aren't dissimilar to that of Primark which is one of my go to stores for on trend clothes and accessories. Although I'm happy to (and in fact prefer to) invest in classic pieces, I always buy cheaper high fashion items that might not get the same amount of wear as the timeless ones!

My current five favourites from PEP&CO are:

Khaki dress, £14
What's not to love about this gorgeous dress! With that Bardot neckline, it's perfect for right now (teamed with black tights and boots) but will look equally good with bare legs and sandals come summer.

Nude ballerina pumps, £4
I love ballet pumps in spring; they're super handy to keep by the door to slip on when nipping out to do the school run, and comfy too.

Cut out shirt, £10
This is a perfect example of when I prefer to buy budget clothes. I absolutely love the cut out trend that's doing the rounds at the moment but know it won't last forever so don't want to spend a fortune on any items in this style.

Red Bardot top, £7
I love this off the shoulder design and the vibrant red pattern. It will make a gorgeous floaty summer blouse later in the year but I've been wearing it with dungarees while the weather is a bit cooler.

Embroidered shirt, £12
This shirt needs no introduction, so many of you have commented on it and have gone on to buy it! I love the lightweight cotton material and the colourful, intricate embroidery detail.

Thanks to PEP&CO for sending me a selection of clothes from their SS17 range... now hurry up and open a store that's close to me please!

Hanging out in London with Spider Girl

Daisy and Evie both LOVE fancy dress. To be fair, I'm quite a fan myself. When Daisy was three or four, she went through a phase of wearing dress up clothes as standard most days - and Evie seems to be going through the same phase right now. If it makes getting ready and out of the house in the morning just that little bit quicker and easier, I'm all for it, plus it's a great way to let their little personalities shine through!

Evie's outfit du jour is this Spider Girl one, which arrived a few weeks back from the lovely people at Matalan. It really does sum her up perfectly - she loves Spiderman but is still quite a girlie girl at heart and will only ever wear dresses and skirts. She loved that it came in the original Spidey colours (as opposed to pink) but had some extra sparkle, and she had lots of fun (and got lots of attention) leaping and bounding around London slinging imaginary web left, right and centre ;)

She was also pretty darn excited to be featured over on the Matalan blog along with some other cool kiddos - head on over there for dress up inspiration, or view their full range of character outfits here!

Friday, 17 March 2017

The TOMS + WildAid Panda Collection #TOMSAnimalInitiative

On Tuesday I was at the TOMS flagship store on Fouberts Place, just off Carnaby Street, to learn about their brand new collaboration with WildAid.

I'm a huge fan of the TOMS brand - both their products and their ethics. Thanks to their brilliant one for one initiative, over 70 million pairs of shoes have been given out to children in need across the world over the last ten years, and in the past they have also supported some really incredible charities with some really incredible collaborations.

Now it's WildAid's turn, and TOMS are partnering with them on their conservation programme dedicated to raising awareness of the Giant Panda's plight. Did you know that there are only 2000 left in the world? By launching a new, limited edition, Panda inspired collection for SS17, the main aim of the campaign is to help protect these wonderful animals - and to raise money to enable WildAid to educate people living close to critical panda habitats in China on why it's so important to do so.

As well as the gorgeous new panda camo and panda face TOMS, there are also plenty more gorgeous designs on offer this Spring. I fell head over heels in love with the Majorca sandals (the tan version behind were my favourites and, with those block heels I'm pretty sure they would be comfy walkers too!) plus these suede wedge boots are perfection - I love the broderie anglaise style cut out pattern.

I wasn't aware of the TOMS vegan collection until this event, which features shoes made from materials like linen, canvas and denim - you can find the full collection here.

Also, can I just add, TOMS have quite possibly THE BEST collection of sunglasses I have ever seen (look! look!). Even better, each eyewear purchase provides a person in need with a full eye examination and the medical treatment or prescription glasses they need. How incredible is that?

What with that, the One for One initiative AND the WildAid Giant Panda collaboration, it sounds like an excellent excuse to go shopping if you ask me ;)

Thank you to TOMS and WildAid for inviting me to celebrate the launch of their new collection.


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Daily Outfit ♥ Me + My Mini Me

Little Bird floral dress, £15-£17 c/o Mothercare
Blue leather T-bar shoes, £30 c/o Mothercare
Little Bird floral maternity dress, £35 c/o Mothercare
Cream leather look ankle boots, currently £5 (!!!!!) 
in the New Look Sale

At long long long looooooonng last, all my dreams have come true: my favourite children's clothing brand, Little Bird by Jools at Mothercare, have released a womenswear collection!

The only slight drawback? Jools has designed maternity wear. But the fact I'm not pregnant (or planning to be!) isn't going to stop me from wearing these beautiful, vintage inspired clothes.

I had already declared the current kids floral print shift dress my all time favourite Little Bird print over on Instagram so I was pretty darn excited when I saw the womenswear version at the SS17 preview earlier this year.

Aside from being A-line and with an everso slightly longer hem at the front to accommodate a growing bump, there's no reason why a non-pregnant woman can't wear this dress. In actual fact loose fitting dresses like these are my favourite style and this is 100% lightweight cotton, sleeveless and has a Peter Pan collar so it pretty much ticks all the boxes for me. It's going to be perfect come spring and summer although I couldn't wait to wear it so I teamed it with sheer tights and boots today.

Daisy's version is the same bold retro print, but has a pink collar (the grown up's version is white) and is made from a slightly thicker, more robust canvas cotton, perfect for little adventurers like her!

The rest of the Little Bird maternity range is equally gorgeous - check out this short sleeved jumper, this ditsy floral blouse and these amazing dungarees! I can't WAIT for the next collection to come out.


Friday, 10 March 2017

Gifts that Mean the World: A Mother's Day Giveaway

If you've read any of my home tour posts (this one in particular springs to mind) then you may have noticed that I'm a bit of a sucker for beautiful artwork. My walls are covered in photos that I've taken, and paintings that either the girls have done for me or that I've picked up in junk shops, and prints that I've come across and fallen in love with in the different places that we've visited. My collection is pretty eclectic; the only running theme throughout it is that everything has a meaning or story behind it.

The latest addition to my gallery is this beautiful personalised postcode map print from Maps International, which they very kindly sent me as an early Mother's Day present.

Maps International have been designing and making wall maps for over fifty years and this particular style, which centres on a specific postcode that has meaning to you, is available exclusively through Not On The High Street.

I think it would make a perfect gift - not just for Mother's Day, but for any time of the year. You could pick the postcode of a church for a wedding present, or a local pub if the recipient is fond of a gin + tonic or two ;) I have to admit it was a struggle to choose where to centre our print; I considered an area in South Wales that the girls and I love to visit - and Twickenham was also a contender, as it's where I grew up and still call 'home'. In the end I decided on our street in Haslemere, with the caption 'All Our Adventures Start Here' - because, whether they're little or big, they always do 

For more information and to browse the full selection of beautiful maps, you can visit Map International's website here. But in the meantime, I am delighted to have one up for grabs in a special Mother's Day giveaway!

Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway closes at midnight on 16th March 2017 and the winner will be contacted via email shortly after. The giveaway is open to UK Residents only and the prize will be sent directly from Map International. The winner can choose the postcode, the wording, the border colour and the frame. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 9 March 2017

THAT Shirt ♥

This shirt featured on my Instagram earlier this week and loads of you asked where it was from so I thought it deserved a little blog post of its own ;)

I'd been after an embroidered shirt for FOREVER and missed out on the gorgeous Zara version that everyone bought at the beginning of the year - but everything happens for a reason and it turns out an even more beautiful one was was meant to be mine!

Even better - this blouse was just £12 from a new store called PEP&CO, and I'm head over heels in love with it!

It's the perfect length (why oh why oh why do all shirts seem to be cropped these days?!), 100% cotton and has the most beautiful, colourful folk-inspired floral embroidery I think I've ever seen.

I'm looking forward to wearing this a lot as the weather starts to get milder! It's going to look great with a midi skirt and clogs (and bare legs!) but in the meantime it made its debut teamed with a pair of super skinny jeans and suede ankle boots.

PEP&Co isn't available online but their stores are dotted all over the UK (some are shop-in-shops inside Poundland.... you can find the one nearest to you here). They recently sent me a selection of clothes from their SS17 collection (this shirt being my favourite piece!) so you can expect a few style related posts from me over the coming weeks.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Toot toot: A New Car!

I feel like breaking into song as I write this post. "At Last" by Etta James springs to mind ;) Because YES! At long, looooonnng last, last Wednesday we finally got our new car.... and not just a car that's new to us either, an actual brand spanking new one straight from the factory!

After decades of driving second hand old bangers, I decided to buy brand new. As you know all too well, we love a road trip and cover a lot of road miles every month (our little old Vauxhall racked up almost 30,000 in the 20 months we had it) so reliability was absolutely essential. I didn't want to run the risk of encountering more problems (and expense) with another second hand car so after a lot of research I went for a KIA Picanto. I'm going to write about in more depth separately, but one of the main reasons I chose a KIA was for their brilliant 7 year warranty.

Of course, when one has a new car, one needs new accessories ;) - and as new car seat legislation* has now come into force we replaced our old boosters with two Joie Trillo Group 2/3 car seats. Although you can continue to use old style booster cushions if you have them, it's highly recommended that children travel in high backed ones, and I chose the Joie brand for the girls after a recommendation from a mum at school (I got them from Kiddie's Kingdom as they were on offer at £39.95 and next day delivery was free!).

*New backless boosters can no longer be sold for use by children that are under 125cm and weigh less than 22kg - they must be over both. All new products will be labelled with these height and weight restrictions and if you don't comply you risk a £500 fine. The RAC have all the information you need over on their website.

First car selfie
As I'm sure you can imagine, the girls think the number plate is hilarious (it's "YUK") and we've named her Yuki, which is Japanese for happiness. She definitely deserves this proper introduction, as she's an important part of the family!

I have to say, the past week has been complete heaven; I've not had to wake up early to make sure the car is going to start (we had to cancel plans / make alternative travel arrangements on so many occasions with our old car), plus the new car has HEATING! And Bluetooth! And is super economical and eco-friendly to boot.

Now we just need to plan our first road trip! I'm thinking dinner on the beach might be in order this evening.... keep your eyes peeled over on Instagram to see where we end up!


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

My Little Bear Cubs

If you were to ask me my favourite brand of kid friendly snacks, there's no doubt about it - my answer would be BEAR. Purveyors of fine, fruity nibbles - also known as Yoyos, Paws and Claws - these are the girls favourite after school treats, and one that I don't mind giving them either, seeing as they're high in fibre, don't contain any added sugar, and each packet contains one of their five a day.

But BEAR also make cereal; two varieties in fact - delicious wholegrain and even more delicious-er cocoa Alphabites - and last month they sent the girls a little parcel of goodies to celebrate the launch of their brand new, and totally gorgeous, packaging!

We have chocolate breakfast Fridays in this house. As the weekend is so close, the girls get to swap their usual wholegrain cereals for something a bit more decadent. Everyone's current fave is the cocoa Alphabites. They contain just six natural ingredients (wholegrain wheat flour, ground oats, ground rice, coarsely ground corn, unsweetened ground cocoa and coconut blossom nectar) and no refined sugar or salt, so I can let the girls have a treat knowing that they are still eating well. A simple, natural breakfast is the best way to start the day!

BEAR sent us everything we needed to dress the kids up as little bear cubs; pyjamas, face paints and bear ears, so they had a right royal time eating breakfast BEFORE bed so that I could take these photos! It took a lot of persuasion to get them to let me wash the face paints off before they went up to bed - in the end I had to promise them that I'd re-do it in the morning!

Check out the BEAR website here and follow them on Twitter here for more info on their full product range.

Written in association with Bear Nibbles.
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