Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Ideas for a Woodland Nursery and Blackout Curtain Essentials!

I'm dreaming of a whimsical, woodland nursery! The kind you see in magazines when the parents are super organised awaiting the arrival of their first child. However, we didn't manage to be that organised for our poor third child. Squidge is now 18 months old. Crikey Oh Reilly (how on earth is that spelt?) where did the time go? 

Unlike our other children, Squidge seems to be more comfortable in our bed than her own and spends a good portion of the night in our bed as opposed to hers! I don't really mind. She's a super good sleeper and I find her little snuffles comforting. That said, I really need to address the issue of her mismatched bedroom and I'm convinced she would cease to wake up at 4am searching for our bed if we had some blackout curtains. It is obvious to anyone that Squidge is our third child, the others had a nursery ready for their arrival, complete with blackout blinds but with poor Squidge, we just never got around to it.

To spur me into some interior design action, this is the 'pre-do up' photo.............

It's seriously lacking in the cutability factor and in desperate need of a little personality. I would love a woodland theme and here are my little lovely finds......my visual moodboard of all things whimsical and wonderland-esque!


One: Etsy

Two: Luxtica.com
Three: Apartment Therapy
Four: Yorkshire Linen and Just Fabrics
Five: Etsy
We are a big fan of blackout blinds, we have a travel one for holidays which has literally saved us, delaying the usual early we're-in-a-different-house-wake ups and this will be an essential for our woodland makeover. As I've found this super gorgeous woodland fabric from Just Fabrics that goes with our theme, I'm going to be using the curtains and linings from Yorkshire Linen to cut out the light from our large Victorian windows. I'd love to say I was attempting to make the curtains but we'd be waiting until next year for those, so I'm relying on the help of an expert friend!

So that's the window dressing done, now for cracking on with the rest of the bedroom! I am time poor and literally poor so am hoping for some inspiration that is cheap, cheerful and quick.
Any other woodland ideas lurking out there on the blogosphere - please let me know. I'd love to hear what you've found!!

For more ideas for decorating bedrooms for the little ones, please follow me on Pinterest


This is a featured post but all words are my own.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Little Makes!

I never seem to get the time to make anything anymore so I have come up with a plan! Aha! I think the problem is I frequently start bigger projects and never finish them so I'm going to start focusing on little projects. Little makes that take very little time but will build to make a difference in the home, in the garden, at my desk...........wherever takes my fancy! Bit by bit these little makes will not only make me feel happy for accomplishing a 'make' but will also build to (hopefully) make my house become more of the handmade home that I wish it to be.

This week, my little make (the beginning of this sentence is misleading - I doubt I'll be able to succeed in a little make every week but whenever there is a spare second or two, I shall nab for 'making'!) Anyway, my first little make was to plant some succulents and mini Cacti in pretty china cups to brighten up a lovely little window we have. It's one of my favourite spots in our kitchen but it's also a spot that gets very little light (hence the shadowy photos!)

I love these vintage china cups that I collected a while ago but didn't know what to do with them. I am hopeless at keeping houseplants. I over water and under water and eventually kill the poor things so I thought cacti would be decidingly easier to look after.

So, that's it. My first 'Little Make'!

Are you undertaking any 'Little Makes' at the moment? Or any 'Little Makes' planned for the future?

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Bank Holiday Frolics

We certainly packed a fair old amount into one teeny tiny (but gratifying) bank holiday! This post is well overdue but it was a busy old week with the first GCSE exam for my students, various VE day celebrations, voting and the usual nonsense........

The bank holiday started with an obligatory trip to IKEA for breakfast. Well, not actually for breakfast, but to buy some frames.....our latest little trick though is to get there mega early to have breakfast and then whizz round - thus avoiding all the general public and people who might tut at my children throwing themselves onto the beds. We seem to have made this trip for the last couple of bank holidays and so I am a little worried that the kiddos think this is a regular family tradition (and half quite pleased they love IKEA as much as I do!)

On the way home, we felt the need for a little cakeage because the IKEA trip was disappointing - we left without frames (none available) but we did leave with a totally useless draining board that doesn't actually fit on our draining board. Damn those cheap buys! So for our cake fix we headed to the most beautiful little garden centre near us that serves jolly yummy cake (I had a salted caramel brownie- truly delicious!) We obviously bought a couple of little plant gems- to plant in our front pots. I won't pretend to know what they are called but they are pretty and purple and rock.

We then headed to a favourite park of ours that has also just opened a café so we wanted to support the opening. Actually, they had advertised real life Morris Dancers......actually dancing on May Day.......so I felt we ought to honour this tradition. I had a proper giggle when the Morris dancers approached Mr M, saying they needed a 'younger generation' of Morris Dancers! Unfortunately Mr M turned them down on the grounds that this was tantamount to child abuse because they'd have to grow up watching him dance with bells. That aside.... 'The Lakes' café is a lovely addition to our neighbourhood, exactly what it needs. We had a couple of beverages, bopped to the folk music and had a walk around the lake before heading home. The café has opened a little garden next to it, a pretty community led garden which I am looking forward to spending more time in with Pip and Bean in the future.

I felt that we really relished this bank holiday, my new motto: pack it in, live life xx

Friday, 8 May 2015

Why snail mail is the bestest thing ever...

A couple of months ago I signed Pip and Bean up to #thelittlelettersproject. One of the best things I've ever done, honest! We are truly loving it! Both Pip and Bean were sent two little pen pals each, one from another country and one from the UK. We have only exchanged a couple of letters so far but I've already seen a massive impact on my little ones and it's been really cute to watch them waiting to see if the postman will bring them anything! Pip checks every letter (even the junk mail) to see if it has her name on!

Another plus point for pen-pal writing is that they've taken a real interest in other countries, looking at maps and globes and asking what animals we have in different countries. Pip's little pen-pal is from Belgium and she has shared some words of the Flemish language with us, Pip is fascinated with other languages and often pretends to speak another language herself! (One of my current biggest life regrets is not speaking another language fluently, I so admire anyone who can speak more than one language.) Bean has a penpal in Australia who sent stickers of the flag which led to Bean questioning which flag was which whilst looking through our Eurovison banner. (Yes, you did read that correctly, we do actually have a Eurovision banner.....more on that soon!) Alongside this they also have lovely pen-pals in England, both from different parts of the country and I think that as this develops, it will be a lovely insight into different families. Pip is chuffed to bits that her little friends like making things as much as she did and is loving being lavished with bird's nests and necklaces!

It's just reminded me that it is ever so lovely to receive things by snail mail. I had pen pals whilst growing up- they were mainly friends I'd had at school but then we moved and so we became faithful penfriends. I still have most of these letters in the loft. We wrote to each other all the time and I remember waiting and waiting for letters to arrive, it's lovely to have something to wait and hope for.

Pip received the latest letter this morning and the excitement was so lovely to watch. Many thanks to Nell Mallia for setting up #thelittlelettersproject- hoping to continue with it for years to come!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Life Lately and things I am loving! #littleloves

Haven't joined up with this linky for such a long time but really felt that this week I have a ton of things I want to remember......

Finally finished the gripping read that Mr M brought me for Christmas: 'The Circle' by David Eggers. It's a really fascinating book, a look at what life would be like if social media took over the world! I found it both an inspiring but also slightly uncomfortable read. I am a big fan of all things Utopia and Dystopia and love a book about the possibilities of what life could become if in the wrong hands. I did feel I should boycott social media afterwards and it does seem to be a contradictory to be writing a post on the internet about a book that was suggesting the dangers of said medium but heigh ho....

The book is full of plausible ideas that controlling Media companies use to increasingly control the public's lives, some of them seem uncomfortably close to the bone like a small chip that is put in children to see where they are, all the time and thus end abductions. All in all a fab book that deserves it's own post soon.

Also another thing finished......we have binge watched our way through 'Friday Night Lights' and I feel a little empty now that it's all finished. I did not expect to like it - Netflix describes is as a drama that chronicles the ups and downs of a Texas high school football team but it's the beauty of the characters that grips you. It's a fairly easy watch but has some quirky camerawork to keep it all interesting and a super good theme tune to boot.

Vintage prints and my favourite little necklace!


Heard:  Little Orla Dorla has added a few more words to her vocabulary, I can now hear 'Cat' and the cutest 'Miaow' as well as 'Uh, Oh'.......'Hot' (when she wants us to blow on her dinner which makes her giggle!) 'Ready, Steady, Go!' which supercedes her running full pelt up and down our kitchen - totally terrifying to see her body move faster than her legs!

Made:  Put together the finishing touches for some 'Thimble and Twig' children's wedding boxes (things to keep little ones busy at a wedding), will pop the photos up on the 'Thimble and Twig' website shortly......

And Lastly....... 
Have literally drowned in paperwork all week.....The real day job as an English teacher has seen this week spent marking coursework. We did the final checks and sent all off today - I couldn't be happier!

Linking up to ButWhyMummyWhy's #littleloves


Monday, 13 April 2015

How to make a wand - let's get crafty!

My little Pip and Bean always know how to pick completely the WRONG moment for a spot of crafting. Like, deciding they want to make a fairy castle while I'm attempting to cook dinner or build a robot when we are trying to leave for school. This last week, we have all been full of bugs and coughs and colds. Pip for the first time has been off school (it is unheard of that Pip is ever poorly), and decided that what mummy really needed to do when she has three children under 6 with raging temperatures - is to make a wishing wand.
How could I refuse?!
She had been reading the 'Magic Faraway Tree' which it had given her the idea but I had no idea what on earth a wishing wand was?!
However, as ever, a quick Pintrest search (what is the verb for searching on Pintrest? Should it be Pearch?) and we found something she liked the look of.

After drawing a star on the cream card, we cut out the middle and Pip wrote down her wishes around the outside. Obviously she wished for princess parties and unicorns! Who wouldn't?
Next, we cut out some sticky back plastic, larger than our star and stuck it behind (sticky side up). The next part was Pip's favourite bit as she sprinkled glitter, sequins, sparkly buttons and jewels over the sticky part and held it together with another piece of sticky back plastic over the top. We tried covering a straw with silver foil but this wasn't strong enough so in the end we settled for covering a pencil with silver foil and sellotaping it to the wand. Lastly, we tied some silver ribbon round the top for some extra sparkle!
Pip has been sprinkling magic fairy wishes around the house and sleeping with her wand every night. I am hoping she genuinely manages to wish away all the bugs as a great deal more crafting could happen if I could only get some sleep!

However, it was an easy peasy craft and would be great for any fairy or princess party or I also thought would be perfect for New Year's Eve to write your resolutions on! Must remember that one!

Hope you're having a bug free weekend! Xxx

A Marshmallow Easter......

Well, the Easter tree is still up and hasn't been wrecked by little Squidge (her obsession with sitting on the table though and climbing is second to none) our house is full of chocolate but besides that, Easter is well and truly over. Going back to work tomorrow does not fill me with joy but what with getting up when it's light and a lovely 'Braii' with friends yesterday, it feels like we're embracing a new sunnier season.

Easter did feel like a lovely break though, Easter Sunday started slowly, given we had only just arrived back from holiday the night before. The kidlets opened their paper eggs with little treats for our Easter tree along with chocolates, books, and wine/ gardening treats for Mum and Dad. There was a brief spell of lovely sunshine and so the kiddos dashed outside for a mini Easter egg hunt and a spot of colouring.

We went for a mooch around in one of our favourite local park for some fresh air in the afternoon. Poor Fin-Bob wasn't feeling altogether himself and so snuggled with Daddy whilst Squidge pottered up and down mini hills having a whale of a time.

Despite an increasing temperature, Fin-Bob still insisted on toasting marshmallows which was something we had promised them we would do in Suffolk but never quite got round to. It seemed a bit of a faff to get out the BBQ and so we settled for a little mini one- which incidentally, has left an unattractive burnt patch on the grass.


I've decided I'm not much of a fan of toasted marshmallows, I prefer them raw (?!) but the kidlets loved it and I can't wait until we can take them proper camping when Squidge is a bit bigger.

We had a failed camping trip many moons ago when we just had Pip. A culmination of little Pip rolling off lilos, a motorway being constructed outside our tent and Pip having not slept anywhere outside of her own cot, meant there was a distinct lack of sleep for the camping trip and we haven't tried it again since! 

So.....back to the ordinary, everyday for us as of tomorrow but the Summer is full of lots of lovely excitement and doesn't feel too far away now.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Red wellies and Easter Egg Hunts

Well, Easter has been and gone in a whirlwind. We spent Good Friday (the last day of our little holiday in Suffolk) on an Easter Egg hunt in some beautiful gardens. The day didn't start off all that well, Squidge was very clingy (more teeth) and there was the dreaded discovery of head lice on Bean! He was quite excited by this, having watched his elder sister have the 'comb' in front of the telly. So we spent the morning whiling away the time with by taking mini videos of them pretending to be Easter bunnies while we de-liced (for want of a better word.)

By lunchtime, the kiddos and I were climbing the walls (I often wonder what I would have been like on 'Big Brother' because I struggle to spend a whole day indoors) so we headed off to our hunt. Pip and Bean loved hunting for eggs and unscrambling the words to find the hidden word that led them to the chocolate!

Squidge had a little game of her own and popped her wellies off the whole way round which meant we had a few false starts while we headed back to find the missing welly.

I have seen more signs that little Squidge is getting older as she now wants to be just like her big brother and sister, she needs to have exactly the same as them. If they have tomato ketchup, she must have some. If they have have squash, I have to pretend to pop some into her cup. 

If I cut her sister's nails or brush her brother's hair - I must do the same to her. And if her brother and sister should win a toy teddy at a raffle......oh dear! I honestly didn't think she'd be that bothered about having a go at the raffle but the tears continued all the way back to the car! Luckily she had brothers and sisters who were happy to share! I thought it was a little mean to be taking photos of her distress, but in the spirit of recording for posterity - here's the shot.....

Looks like we've entered that new phase full of tears, tantrums and sibling rivalry. Oh! Lucky us.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Week that Was.....

Well, the week that was was a little trip to Suffolk. It was lovely to get away and spend some time in the great outdoors. Our little ones are pros at winter/spring beaching and don't mind the cold at all....they went for a paddle even on the freezingest of days and managed to get themselves so soaked that their wellies were full to the brim and squelching with water.

Despite my insistence that the next trip to the beach should not result in having to ring dry their clothes, they still managed to get soaking. I tried to insist that wellies stayed ON and feet stayed DRY. It was in one ear and out the other though because a little paddle turned into big paddle. Still, they had a lot of fun and our car just about lived to tell the tale (although it's caked in mud and full of sand)! A job for me this week!

We were lucky enough to have some almost summery days as well and although this looks like a perfect beach day in the photos, the wind was actually blowing a gale and we had to evacuate the beach because of sand blowing in our eyes. I washed out an amazing amount of sand from my hair that evening!

We returned home on Saturday to a scrummy fruit cake from our Auntie Liz- this really is a scrummy cake. We are lucky enough to get one of these cake every time we've had a baby as well as after the odd holiday. It's a reason to go away more! A lovely little week!


Linking up for the first time to a blog I love 'Make do and Push' and her lovely linky 'The Week that Was' 

Den Building and a Shirley Hughes Revival

Our children are always building dens. Making dens and pretending to go camping is their favourite pasttime. I left them chatting at bedtime last night before going in and insisting on sleep because they were playing so nicely and making dens for their teddies.

Much of our week away in Suffolk has been based around making dens, Pip and Bean made dens in the back garden of the cottage we were staying and we took at trip to Bewilderwood where we all made a pretty darn amazing den, if I so say so myself! Should you ever find yourself Norfolk way- try out Bewilderwood with kids- it's full of zip wires, tree houses, sky ways through the tree tops and underground tunnels and dens. It makes a satisfying change from dens under table tops and in bushes.

Aside of 'Dogger' which Bean likes to read on a daily basis, we've also been reading another 'Shirley Hughes' classic 'Sally's secret' which Pip and Bean like because the little girl in the book makes dens all day long AND her mummy gives her biscuits and plums to eat in her den which means I MUST certainly oblige and do the same. 

I'm a massive fan of Shirley Hughes books, the pictures are so life-like and and the stories haven't dated, they still are very much a stable part of everyday little people lives. Stories about 'getting locked out', 'going to school', 'having a babysitter' and a 'leak in the roof'. For Easter, we bought Bean another Alfie book to add to his collection, which he relished all of Easter Sunday. 

Lovely Carie assured me that Shirley Hughes is well and alive in her house as well this week with her post about 'My Naughty Little Sister'- the naughty little sister is a heroine in our house as well and the book has lived in Nanny's bag for a well over year and is brought out on 'Nanny Wednesdays' for my mum to read Pip and Bean a weekly installment. 

Anyone else building dens or continuing the Shirley Hughes revival?

Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading