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Friday, 22 September 2017

KIDS HALLOWEEN BIRTHDAY PARTY






Happy Friday! I'm thrilled to be featured on the Party Delights Blog today. I did a little Halloween kids birthday party photo shoot with my girls last week and you can see all the photos over at their Blog. I'm also sharing some Halloween party tips, cutest decorations and the most adorable witches outfits ever on their blog.

Head over to the Party Delights Blog here!

* This post is sponsored by Party Delights.
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Thursday, 14 September 2017

#SUMMEROFSURPRISE WITH NOTHS


Two weeks ago I received a nice little surprise from one of my favourite online retailers, Not On the High Street. NOTHS are currently running a #summerofsurprise campaign which means they've been surprising people with unique and thoughtful presents - just because!

NOTHS isn't your average online shop. They partner with small, creative businesses to bring you personalised gifts which you will not find in your ordinary shop. Their product offering is huge (from interiors to experiences) and they've also got a wide range of personalised gifts to choose from. You may remember my old chalkboard post. Well, I bought the chalk board from NOTHS 3 years ago and it's still going strong. I love that it's personalised. I use it all the time and I still admire it everyday I walk past.

So, you can imagine how lovely it was to arrive back home when there was a little unexpected delivery waiting for me. Somehow NOTHS knew about my obsession with gold/brass accessories (who doesn't, right?) and how much my two gorgeous little girls mean to me. NOTHS kindly sent me a brass photo print of my daughters with the caption 'Ella & Cara - Double Trouble'. The photo is directly printed onto the metal and I adore the personalised message. I'm so impressed that they took the time to find the perfect photo for this gorgeous metal frame and that that they did their research to find out my nickname for these two. Also, how cute is that black personalised gift box?




I even found the perfect spot for the print on our window sill and I love how well it goes with the gold and silver accessories. I adore this picture by the way. It's one that I haven't managed to frame yet, so I'm really pleased that someone else beat me to it.



Thank you NOTHS for this sweet present. I love the photo and the caption makes it extra special. Thank you so much!

*This post was in collaboration with Not On The Highstreet.
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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

NURSERY MAKE-OVER


It's sometimes hard to believe we've been living in this house for almost 6 years now when it often feels like I'm only half way through decorating it. I haven't shared any photos of the nursery before because it's nowhere near being finished. But, I've realised it might take us years to finish some rooms and that it's ok to share the updates that aren't quite complete yet. I also keep changing my mind along the way, which doesn't help, but I'm pretty happy how this room has turned out for now.

This is the smallest bedroom upstairs, so we knew from day one that it would be the nursery. It wasn't pretty when we bought the house. Everything looked so old fashioned and dark. The walls were covered in green wall paper (and not the kind of trendy green you're seeing all over interior magazines at the moment) and there was a bizarre broken light hanging off the ceiling. I really hated it. At the time I wasn't sure if anything could be done, but it's astonishing what you can do with a bit of paint, new furniture and a new carpet.

I really think it's the new accessories that have made a big difference though. Let's face it, beige can be a bit boring so I really wanted to mix it up with some colour and contemporary accessories. I wanted to keep the décor neutral because I thought a calming nursery equals a calm baby. I also think it's important for the mum to have a beautifully decorated nursery as you'll be spending a lot more time there than you think.

Brace yourself for the before photo!


And after!


So it's definitely an improvement, right? This room used to be so dark and what on earth was going on with those curtains? The biggest pain was removing the old wallpaper. The previous owners had cut some corners and had decided to wallpaper over an old wall paper. In fact, we found three layers of wall paper on top of it. Seriously, three! Annoyingly the wall was badly damaged underneath, so ideally it should have been replastered.  Since we wanted to do it all ourselves straight away (a task that we are quite happy to outsource these days by the way), we just skimmed the walls, used some wall filler on the visible holes and cracks and repainted it with Dulux Natural Hessian (which is a warm, beige colour that we have used in all the bedrooms upstairs). Then we got a new carpet from Carpet Right which really brightened up the room. We also installed dimmers and spotlights on the ceiling which was one of the best decisions ever.






The Scandi style cot, from Mamas & Papas, converts into a toddler bed and although it has been discontinued, you can find a similar one here. I also got a matching changing table from the same range (similar one here)  that converts into a dresser for long lasting use. I always think about longevity when buying kids furniture. You don't want to be buying new furniture every few years and they grow out of them very quickly.



I wanted to create a mini gallery wall underneath the wooden shelving, so when I spotted the Matalan 7 piece gallery wall kit in our local store I knew it was perfect. I love all the individual prints but you can replace them with your own photos of course. Gallery wall kits are a really cost effective way to create a gallery wall in your home. It also saves you the time having to go and buy loads of frames. I simply don't have the time for that these days. I used medium command strips to hang all the prints which was super quick too.



Faux flowers and plants are also ideal for nurseries and kids room. Half of the accessories you'll see in this post are not technically nursery accessories. I like to mix some contemporary pieces with kiddie items so that the décor doesn't date as quickly.




I also wanted to make sure we have enough storage space as our house seems to be flooded with kids toys these days. All the toys are kept in the cupboard or in storage boxes. Laundry baskets are just as good by the way. I actually prefer them because they tend to be tall. I got all of our storage baskets from TK Maxx who always seem to have a great selection to choose from.



The large Mr Men/Little Miss wall art is from John Lewis (discontinued)  and although I wouldn't normally recommend placing heavy wall art directly above a bed (in case it falls down) with proper reinforcements you'll be fine. It's always easier to stick to canvas wall art if you're worried, or find out here how to hang a heavy picture on the wall.


The personalised wooden letter door sign is from ebay.


Nursery decorating tips

1. Plan carefully where all the furniture is going to go. I love using Floor Planner which is a quick and free way to create a floor plan online.

2. Don't forget about safety. Buy quality furniture from reputable sellers and make sure your furniture isn't too close to the radiator (especially the cot).

3. Stick to neutral colours to create a calming atmosphere.

4. Pick a carpet with medium pile that doesn't show dirt and is easy to clean.

5. Invest in blackout blinds (or get cheap ones from ebay like we did).

6. Install dimmers (Trust me, they are a life saver with newborns and babies).

7. Mix children accessories with contemporary pieces to create a look that doesn't date as quickly.

8. Introduce a pop of colour (only one or two, not too many) to add more impact.

9. Use command strips and hooks to hang small wall art.

10. Have some personalised items on display to give the room true character.

11. Keep it simple and minimalist. Children will have so many toys that it's best to avoid extra clutter which is why it's always good to make sure you have enough storage boxes available.


Although, I'm really happy how the room has turned out, I'm pretty sure it's not finished yet. I'd love to create a (removable) wall paper feature wall in the nursery one day, but I might just wait until my daughter is a little older.

Would you go for a calm, neutral nursery, or something a bit more bold to make a real statement? Leave a comment below or let me know on Instagram!

Product List
1. Cot Bed - Mamas & Papas (similar here)
2. Changer/Dresser - Mamas & Papas (similar here)
3. 7 Piece Wall Gallery Kit - Matalan (gifted, available in store)
4. Wooden rabbit LED light - Matalan (gifted)
5. Abstract Art Canvas - Sainsbury SS17 collection (in store)
6. Hanging Glass Art - Sainsbury's SS17 collection (in store)
7. Hanging Rope decoration - Matalan (gifted)
8. Storage Box - TK Maxx (similar here)
9. Faux eucalyptus - Matalan (gifted)
10. Wooden Bird - Sainsbury's SS17 collection (available in store)
11. Door sign - Ebay (similar here)
12. Command strips - Medium size
13. Mr Men Wall Art - John Lewis (smaller print available here)
14. Wooden Shelf - Mamas & Papas (similar here)
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