Get Crafty – DIY Feather Juju Hat Tutorial

It’s Spotlight National Craft Month and people all over New Zealand have been getting creative with help from the crafting experts at Spotlight stores around the country.  I was super happy to work with Spotlight again and finally cross a project off my ever increasing, crafty wish-list!

http://www.thebestnest.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/feather-juju-hat-1.jpg

Juju hats have been hot, hot hot in interiors over the past couple of seasons and with good reason.  As a wall hanging they easily create texture, depth and warmth and are incredibly easy to hang and style as they are super light and available in almost any colour.  Hailing from Cameroon, this traditional feathered headdress was once only worn by royal dancers yet is now an ‘on-trend’ interior decor piece found in homes around the world.

And I’ve always wanted to make my own!

Fingers crossed lol.

Juju Hat Shopping List

There’s a pretty simple list of requirements for this crafty project and you can grab them all at your local Spotlight store.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Nixie really wanted to do some crafting together so I simplified things for him and picked up a Kaiserwood Monologue ‘N’ and a pack of multicoloured, mixed turkey feathers to decorate it with.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 1

Glue the Ostrich feather boa around the diameter of the wooden placemat.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 2

Before you start affixing your feature feathers, lay out your Eagle quills to ensure you get an even spread around the placemat.  Glue on the first 4 feathers, dividing the placemat into quarters and infill from there.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 3

If the exterior circle of feathers is looking a bit gappy, glue 2 turkey feathers onto each eagle quill to increase volume.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 4

Working around in a circle, glue a layer of marabou trim onto the quills with the satin ribbon closest to the centre.  Trim excess and set aside for step 10.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 5

Apply a layer of Goose Negorie feathers followed by 1 pack of feather biot at intervals.

Step 6

Working around in a circle, glue a layer of marabou trim onto the quills with the satin ribbon closest to the centre.

Step 7

Working around in a circle, glue a layer of turkey feathers onto the satin ribbon trim to hide.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 8

Keep the remaining 2 packs of feather biot bunched/tied as they come in the pack.  Fan each pack out to form a half circle and glue in place with quills in the centre of the placemat.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Step 9

Working around in a circle, glue the 2 packs of curled Negorie feathers with quills right in the centre – trim quills if necessary.

Step 10

Using excess marabou trim, glue in a tight circle in the centre of the Juju hat, covering all remaining quills.  Fluff feathers to finish.  Use howlite beads in centre if desired to add a more ‘tribal’ feel to your finished piece.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

The finished product is literally, light as a feather so I simply mounted mine with 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips – too easy!  I’m in love with how my Juju hat looks mounted on the wall, the dipped imitation Eagle feathers were a great choice for our lounge and dining area – loving the little pop of inky jewel tones they give to the finished piece.

Check out the full video tutorial below, including the awesome little project that Nix worked on which meant we could enjoy crafting together.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

Happy crafting!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Feather Juju Hat DIY Tutorial

 

 

 

 

 

Parenting and Ice Cream: When simple things are the best remedy

I inadvertently taught myself a good lesson this week;  despite my best intentions not to work on Monday’s as Nix is home from kindy, I found myself a participant in a continuous string of phone calls for over an hour, whilst I madly multi-tasked, wrote a difficult email I’d been dreading and stressed about the next deadline.

This was not how my summery Monday’s with Nix were supposed to go, in fact, where DID my summery Monday’s with Nix go?

IT’S AUTUMN!!!

Not to worry, antipodean New Zealand weather patterns say NO to seasonal conformity and say YES to 28° in the first week of March.

Hallelujah.

In need of an instant Monday-itis remedy I told Nix to ‘load up’, we were off to eat ice cream by the river.  

“No, you don’t have to get changed” – he was wet from water play at home.

“No, you don’t have to wear shoes” – we live in New Zealand!

“Yes, you can pick any flavour you like” – even though you are a creature of habit little darling and choose the same flavour every time.

Overseas travel forgotten, birthday parties agonised over…….a nondescript Monday afternoon had become my four-year-olds Best Day EVER.

The simplicity of a memory made, for the cost of a Jelly Tip and a Popsicle, was a lesson for me in ‘less is more’.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Tip Top Ice Cream Kids

Food nostalgia plays an important role in shaping cultural identity and as New Zealanders, we have our own culinary cues which many of us hold dear.  After 6 years of living in the states, upon touchdown in Auckland back in 2006, I was positively pining for a mince and cheese pie, some quality bread and Tip Top Hokey Pokey Ice Cream.  Combine those homesick-hunger-pangs with the imminent joy of introducing my new husband and toddler to my kiwi faves and I was one hangry, home-again traveler!

Growing up in NZ where many of us come from a farming or primary industry background, it’s no wonder as a Kiwi I feel a pang of familiarity and that ‘this is HOME’ feeling every time I crack open that iconic blue 2L tub and endeavour to peel off the perfect scoop of ice cream!  New Zealand milk and cream is coveted the world over mainly due to the pasture-fed lineage of hometown heroes, the NZ dairy herd. When one of our most iconic NZ owned companies, Tip Top, only uses fresh New Zealand milk and cream in their ice cream, it gives me hope that such an enduring taste of NZ will continue on in our freezers to share with our friends and families, making memories together for another generation to come.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Tip Top Ice Cream Kids

And so, Nixon and I sat and enjoyed our ice cream, a perfect #GoodtoShare moment, and then we ambled along the river, talking about crabs and if eels attack ducks and he got muddy (and loved it) and clambered and danced and sang and generally revelled in the peace and open space that is so easily forgotten (even though this spot is only 1.5km from our house!).  And as I felt my not-enough-hours-in-the-day anxiety begin to dissipate I quietly laughed at the knowledge that I had just proven a meme correct and how entirely 21st century Digital Mum that was of me;

“Ice cream solves everything”.

And Nixon wholeheartedly agreed.

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Tip Top!  For more info head to: https://www.tiptop.co.nz/education/

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Tip Top Ice Cream Kids

Beauty Review: Dermalogica’s New Season Triple Treat

One of my favourite, tried and true, used them  f o r e v e r  brands, Dermalogica, has kicked off 2018 with an impressive back-to-back offering of innovative, new skincare products.

With 3 launches under their belt by March first, Dermalogica is pushing the boundaries of skincare as we know it and continues to deliver products that serve to raise the bar of what we expect when we spend both time and money investing in our skin.

Meet the new products, each of which I’ve been using extensively since receiving them; the NEW UltraCalming™ Duo – Barrier Defence Booster and Calm Water Gel, and, the bloody amazing NEW Sound Sleep Cocoon™.

Barrier Defense Booster $130 RRP

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Beauty Review Dermalogica Barrier Defense BoosterOK, where do I start with this genius facial oil?

I (finally!) fell in love with facial oils after I began using another Dermalogica product, Phyto Replenish Oil.  It definitely took my skin a week or two to adjust but now I find oil to be very healing and nothing maintains hydration like it.

Specifically formulated for sensitive skin, Barrier Defense Booster targets redness, irritation, and dehydration and it does it very, very well.  I find it slightly lighter than Phyto Replenish Oil and faster absorbing.  Applying it under moisturiser is a fully luxe way to keep that dewy (not oily) skin all day long, even post-35 lol!

Let’s talk about the packaging, as one thing about facial oils you should know is that they can be messy.  Barrier Defense Booster is delivered via a perfectly portioned, mostly air-free (I imagine?) dropper and a squishy cushion, push-thingy!

Love it.  I use it or Phyto Replenish Oil every day, I thought it might be useful to summarise the differences between the two products so I asked Dermalogica for their help;

Phyto Replenish Oil
– Is made up of superfoods and flower oils such as camellia, orchid, chia seed, tamanu oils
– Does 3 things for the skin’s barrier (most other similar oils only do the first two): heals and restores skin barrier, hydrates and smoothes skin barrier, and provides a protective barrier against pollution and environmental assault (air con, wind, temp changes). 
 
Barrier Defense Booster was developed specially for inflamed skin that is sensitive (genetic) or for those experiencing sensitivity due to reasons such as stress, diet, hormones, foods, skin treatments (peels / Botox etc)
– hydrates 
– nourishes
– soothes
– protects from future flair-ups/ redness 

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Beauty Review Dermalogica Barrier Defense BoosterNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Beauty Review Dermalogica Barrier Defense Booster

Calm Water Gel $94 RRP

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Beauty Review Dermalogica Calm Water GelStep 2 in the the UltraCalming Duo is NEW Calm Water Gel.  I legit LOVE gel products, give me a gel cleanser over cream any day and the same goes for daily mosturisers – although these are harder to find.

Calm Water Gel delivers weightless hydration that, like Barrier Defense Booster is non-oily – at least on my skin.  Combine that with a barrier against environmental pollution and you’re on to a winner.  Beauty hero Hyaluronic Acid makes an appearance as well as Apple Fruit Extract and Glycerin to hydrate and soften. Cactus Pear Extract helps soothe sensitivity and imparts water-binding properties to help support healthy moisture balance.

A fruit salad that delivers the goods.  Will need to add SPF to complete this regimen though.

 

Sound Sleep Cocoon $143 RRP Available March 16, 2018

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Beauty Review Dermalogica Sound Sleep CocoonOk, this one’s my fave guys.  Like NO other night cream I’ve ever used.

The combination of natural oils and aromatherapy with powerful actives and the body’s own overnight repair and recovery process results in me waking up with freaking epic skin – like no makeup, no filter Instagram Story skin!  

Application is quite a lovely ritual.  The heady, relaxing scent of French Lavender Oil combined with the calming combo of Sandalwood and Patchouli creates a motion-activated, sleepy-time aroma – the perfect way to finish your day with some well-deserved and entirely beneficial me-time.  It’s not all fancy-smelly fluff though, the serious stuff is ready to get busy when the lights go off.  Like Calm Water Gel (above), this is not a heavy emollient-rich cream, quite the opposite of many night creams right?  Sound Sleep Cocoon has a gel-cream delivery, is subtly cooling and really quickly absorbed so the active magic of Vitamin C rich Kakadu Plum Extract, Persian Silk Tree Extract and others can get to work quick-smart.

Like Barrier Defence Booster (above), the packaging is another stroke of genius.  A twist’n push pottle (my words guys, I’m sure there’s a fancy description!), that’s completely sealed so no air, bacteria nor fingers will get to the goodness inside.

Are you convinced yet, you should be, Sound Sleep Cocoon is the business babes!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Beauty Review Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon

 

Milestones: 13.

I’m in a real ‘adulting’ mindset at the moment.  I’ve had a meeting with an insurance broker, we are getting Dave’s citizenship underway, our mortgage is up for renewal so I’m in full planning mode around refinancing and I’m really consciously trying to make our house and home work for our family without falling into the trap of obsessing about ‘MORE’.

Always in parallel alongside all of that very boring grown-up, life admin, is the most important job of all – parenting.

With the 8.5 year age-gap between Ethan and Nixon, the past 4.5 years of child milestones feel like they’ve belonged somewhat solely to Nix.  The heady baby days of rolling over, sitting up, his first steps, first word, first day of kindy……….they’ve been freshly imprinted in our family memory banks as they should!  However,  Ethan has moved from single digits into a legit teenager, now 13 and in his first year at high school.  That’s a massive fucking milestone that has crept up on me and literally slapped me in the face at the year 9 parents evening I attended last week.

I was sitting in an auditorium at my old high school, (thank god for kids of Old Girls getting bumped up the ballot!), next to some friends from out west.  I had just downloaded the school app (!!!), which is the most incredible thing ever, personalized with Ethan’s 6-day timetable, the contact info for all of his teachers, an absentee portal +  pretty much everything Dave and I NEED to know about Ethan’s day-to-day school life, when, I looked over at my friends and said; “can you even believe we are here????”

And by believe, I meant, how is it that we have somehow bumbled/guided our collective sons for 13 years to arrive at that point where we were sitting en masse in the largest high school in the country listening to the head of mathematics describe how he planned to teach our kids some really, really complicated shit?

I’ve got no idea how Dave and I did it, raised our son to be the awesome little teen he is today. But, the fact of the matter is, he’s taken Year 9 in his stride and has settled into High School like it’s NO BIG THING.

It’s actually a huge thing and a very worthy milestone to ‘quietly’ recognize.  You won’t be allowed to make a song and dance – because teenagers – so don’t even bother.  But once you’ve sat down with all the other bewildered parents at an orientation evening and listened to the expectations and deliverables required of a Year 9 student, your Mum Brain will be fried, emotional and reaching for the wine crutch.

No?

Just me then.  And I’m totally ok with that.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Teen Milestone high School

Why is high school such a BIG step?

So, so many reasons, but these are the ones that resonate with our family;

  • There’s a legit choice, a sometimes agonizing one, around which college to send your kid to.  When you are making decisions that can potentially affect the educational future of your kid, the process of deciding on the in-zone school or out of zone applications, ballots, interviews, puts the decision front and centre in your kid’s mind as well as yours.  They probably weren’t so invested in the choice of primary school or intermediate but as an active participant in the interview process, Ethan was aware of what was at stake and where he hoped the ballot would fall.
  • Public transport may come into play.  Though Ethan rode a bus to intermediate, his trip to high school is a different route.  Every kid in the neighborhood lined up on the wrong side of the street on the first day of term last month!  Getting home again is just as tricky, there is a large bus bay at his school, but Ethan’s bus leaves from a stop outside the gates – of his massive, massive school.  If his last class of the day is on the far side of the school you bet he’s running to make sure he boards the bus so Mum or Dad won’t be forced into a last minute, hour-long round-trip retrieval!
  • Managing a 6-day timetable.  This has been a super hard transition for E, but we are getting there.  This is where Dave and I have to step in a double check he’s ready for the day ahead before he leaves the house.
  • Learning to move around the school each period and acclimate to a different teacher and classroom for each subject.
  • Homework vs sport vs family expectations vs the god awful game console.  Work in progress for us to be honest, but compared to 3 weeks ago things are on the up and Ethan is settling into a good after-school routine.
  • Social change.  Making new friends and switching up the kids he hangs with has been nothing but beneficial for E, but that’s to be expected.  He’s pretty mellow in the friends’ department and just enjoys spending time with whomever he has a common interest with.  His daily is heading to the gym each lunchtime and shooting hoops with whoever shows up.  I can imagine that this really important time in a teenagers life can be pretty rough waters for some kids as they begin high school and have to navigate new friends and social roles.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Teen Milestone high School

So yeah.  Ethan is Year 9, his first year of high school and simply going about his days like primary and intermediate were simply some distant dream state from which he’s just now emerged.  He’s amazing, capable and confident and I’m just so proud of him.

Hoping your kids have started off the school year in their best possible way also, and if not, be their advocate, be persistent and don’t settle for nods and grunts and non-communication.  Getting your kids talking and keeping them talking through the tween years is sooooo important and will help all of the Big Kid transitions and milestones still to come.

There are many by the way, don’t forget to celebrate them…………….quietly lol.