Feb 28, 2013

animal cushions


We have a lot of different fabric prints in our home but there is nothing quite as fun as laying back on an animal. Remember printing photographs on fabric at school? So much fun!

I've mentioned products from the fabulous Danish Design and restaurant company By Nord before, here, but today I want to show you some of their very cool cushions. Make sure you have another look at the bedding while you're there too. Love. It. The design house part of the group began in 2008 with a range of products and an enduring theme. Whilst they add to the collections the staples stay the same and the photographic prints aren't going anywhere thankfully.

    
 Funnily enough in december 2008 I stood in a boutique in Lille with an owl face cushion in one hand and a bulldog in the other. Being terribly indecisive, and with the Aussie dollar in meltdown at the time, I bought neither but I never stopped picturing them in our big leather chair. God I wish I had! Such a great look.
Any of these would be well loved by the boys big and small in this house. I'm rather tempted by the sweet little hedgehog myself. Maybe with Charlie as an excuse.......


Jan 31, 2013

how to prepare them for exams

The season of scholarship and selective school exams is well and truly here and if you like us, have not been having your child tutored, I believe we can still get them ready.
I am assuming you already have your selective school applications in and your scholarship applications either in or ready to go.

Some things to consider-

-What kind of scholarship is your child trying to get? If you are going for an 'all rounder' scholarship they need to be able to do many things well. If the application also asks for a portfolio to be submitted then gather as many references and examples of your childs work as you can. Remember they want to  see the whole child.

-I believe in fish oil supplements.  It just might be the difference between pen chewing leg bouncing fidgiting and your childs ability to focus during those stressful hours ahead. There are other supplements but be mindful that an eleven year old is not necessarily able to take the adult dosage or particular ingredient.

-A balanced diet with a good selection of unprocessed slow release carbohydrates and proteins. Adding a healthy juice or smoothie (not a fat creamy sweetened one) to your childs breakfast will also help to see them through the morning well. If you suspect your child is not getting all the fruit and vegetables they need then a green smoothie is a great way to start their day off with breakfast.

-Don't deprive them of treats during this time or they will start growling at you I find. Just make sure you offer them in moderation and, whenever possible, make them yourself so you know exactly what is going in their mouth. Wholemeal grains and limited sugar can still be absolutely delicious.

-Set a good sleep routine. I find this one hard as an adolescent doesn't fancy turning the light out when you say. Ours would rather read until he falls over and that simply means he can't get up in the morning. Its a choice. If they want to read for say an hour, then they need to go to bed earlier so that when you say lights out at 8.30 it will happen without too much battle. I find 9pm is the latest this can happen before the morning turns into a running late catastrophe.

-Practice practice practice. You can buy the books certainly but there are many practice tests online. A very bright and able child can buckle during these exams. They are written in a way to really filter out the kids who can and those who can't so make sure your child is familiar with the "language" of the tests.

Some of these you will need to purchase online and then be issued a login number :

ACER- $25 will get you access to one test. They mark the multiple choice section and the test does not refresh.
EXCEL- $59 for a full range of tests  
Practice tests-FREE and a good range of online tests that you can mark yourself once downloaded.

I actually really loathe this culture of tutoring our children we seem to be engulfed in. Unless your child is struggling, it puts the naturally able children on the backseat. I wonder at which point you stop? If they receive the scholarship or the selective placement and were tutored to get there, you then have a commitment to tutoring for the duration of their school life. Thats extremely expensive apart from the extra pressure your child is under as a matter of routine.
I also believe that a childs tutoring should be declared when going for these scholarships and selective placements. An untutored child who misses out because he was five points behind the boy who was tutored for a year seems far more deserving of the place don't you think?    

I wish you all good luck! Its hard for the parents too so remember to take a breath. If they get in it will all be worth it.


Jan 6, 2013

the motherhood

Have you seen this? Love it! While I was glued to my phone watching it, Charlie reached up and grabbed my wine glass. Empty thankfully and yet so appropriate!




Fancy another?

Jan 4, 2013

the nursery wall

By that I don't mean fabulous finds to put on the nursery wall. I mean using a bit of wall as your babies nursery when that is all you've got.

This is our baby Charlies 'nursery'. It is the wall space between the bedroom door and the built-in wardrobes at the end of our bed. He doesn't even have a whole wall to himself and yet it is very much his space. It measures less than two metres ( 2 and a bit yards) of space but it is used simply and it works really well for now.

Firstly, we didn't buy a full sized cot but rather a European size. At 120cm x 60cm (2ft x 4ft) it is plenty for him and a little less encroaching on our space. Kept white and simple also has low visual impact.

Above the cot we installed an Ikea Ribba picture shelf. This wasn't centred between the door and the wardrobes but instead above where the cot sits. We still need to access the last wardrobe door easily. Because this is a narrow shelf with a lip, I can confidently display some pieces without worrying about them falling. I have also hung a couple of treasures.


Now that he is standing up though, the mobile has been moved higher and to the end for safety.
It was really important to me to be able to decorate his little space.

A door stop pony? Ok so Rody would probably sniff at being called a door stop but the wooden one we had was always being picked up and tossed by Charlie and so was never there when you needed it. A lot of door banging into the cot was going on. Enter Rody (his first birthday present) who looks cute and keeps the door from swinging all the way open.

My beloved Design House Stockholm Carrie shopping basket was attached to the end of the cot with some plain ribbon. In it Charlie has his friends. He can access them whenever he wants and it keeps his favourites off the floor.

Underneath the cot we have white wicker storage baskets ( again Ikea-what would we do without it!) and a fabric bucket I made to store socks and hats. The baskets holds wipes and creams and the nappies are tucked away behind so neat but easily accessible.




Details:

Cot- Mothercare
Shelf -Ikea
Rody
Carrie shopping basket
You Are My Sunshine print-Etsy
Rabbit in hat - Maileg
Japanese paper balloons
Dracula and Alice In Wonderland books
Orla Kiely book
Baby cardigan made by me
Knitted Rabbit made by me
Felt bunting made by me-cut the triangles and machine them onto a length of thread-easy!
Felted cloud cushion in cot made by me-I felted an old jumper, cut out the shape and matched the face with the mobile
Cloud felted mobile by me-originally designed as a pram chain
Quilt by me
Herbert doll standing in cot by me for Charlie for Christmas
Blanket by me
Quilt on our bed by me ( Swoon pattern)

Dec 17, 2012

family home in paris

I did a little swoon when I saw this. Within an elegant Parisian apartment in an old bourgeois building full of traditional features, exists a bright fun relaxed family home. This is the home of Jurij from Italy and his wife Marie, from Paris, with their little boy Camillo. There is plenty of space for Camillo to zoom around or chill out and there is lots of colour against a fresh clean backdrop of whites. Its my idea of heaven.




Marie is co-founder of omy.fr
Images from here
This article originated in papier mache magazine.

Dec 11, 2012

christmas crafts to do with the kids

There is SO much goodness on Pinterest right now for Christmas and some seriously fabulous projects you can do at home. This is the one time of the year I ruthlessly insist on getting our craft on despite the lure of minecraft and skylanders. If there is no glitter embedded in the tablecloth I don't feel quite right.
With this selection they will be begging for more.

1. make some stunning little bell jar ornaments with Ashlee

2. a winter wonderland shadowbox display from Kirsten

3. a magical mobile from Ingrid

4. make a batch of magic reindeer food with Kate





have fun!!



Dec 5, 2012

anywayup cups-a happy return



I have just spent some money and I couldnt be happier. When our big boys were small I read about a non leaking cup. A really 'honest to god this thing does not leak a drop' kind of a cup. So I had some sent form the UK. Eventually they turned up here with a ridiculous price tag and then other companies such as Tommee Tippee brought out their version ( copy).




I read about creator of the cup Mandy Haberman and something about the patent being pending. So I bought every design I could of the authentic cup.
And I kept them. Ok I'm a sook. But I have such memories of these cups particularly the yellow 'smiley' version Oliver used and, when we would head off to playgroup, Henry always had a beaker tucked under his arm like a security blanket.
We loved them. And they vanished.
They are back! I have been tearing my hair out with Charlies leaky sippy cups and wishing like crazy the original 'anywayup cup' would make a return and it has. Even with a couple of super cute new designs. So I have tossed our old lids and ordered some spare for the cup as well as a new beaker. If they would just bring back the 'smiley cup' and some new colours ( orange would be nice) I will fill the drawer.

*this is NOT a sponsored post-I'm just sharing exciting news.
**Sponsored posts are always fully disclosed on this blog and posting about one brand or product does not indicate that that post is sponsored. It just means I love it.