Home Decor – A Winter Bedroom Refesh

As Mum is now spending less and less time with us down here in Auckland, preferring the wilds of her own, brand new house, literally right on the Kaipara Harbour, her room here has become slightly ‘lacking’ in…….everything lol.  

It’s quite hidden from visitors and is totally self-contained with its own office and ensuite, so it’s been easy to ignore how ‘spare room’ it had become.  In saying that, it was bothering me.  My plan is to paint it white as we replaced an old school, dodgy glass door with a solid fibreglass one and the ol’ quarter tea needs to be freshened up, lightened and brightened.

But who’s got time for painting right now?  Not me that’s for sure.

Instead, I’ve opted for an easy make-over, using new bed linen and decor.  

Before:

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor

Sooooo spare room right?

When I shot the ‘before’ pics, it was immediately apparent how flat and one-dimensional the elements in the room were – what few there were!  What was needed were texture and depth, so in choosing new bed linen from Logan & Mason’s luxe Autumn/Winter range, I was looking for linen styles that created some interest and contrast.

After:

Shopping duvet covers seemed the natural place to begin; the Parker Mineral Set was exactly what I was looking for.  Lush velvet panels in charcoal, gold and silver create a tactile experience as well as visual depth to the bed.

I paired it with matching European pillowcases, Antique Lattice Gold Square Cushion from the Florence Broadhurst range, a Natural Cotton Waffle Blanket and the Presley Ink Faux Fur Throw.

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor

New Zealand's Top Travel Lifestyle Blog Home Decor

Once the bed linen was in place I was able to visualise the accessories needed to finish the room’s ‘cosmetic’ overhaul.  Once again I was looking for dimension and texture so was conscious of combining different materials (brass, rattan, concrete) drawing on the gold velvet from the duvet as the common element to tie the room together.

I LOVE the end result and so does Mum.  The velvet and faux fur fabrics are so on trend right now, as are the inky petrol tones paired perfectly with the mustard/gold.


This post was a collaboration between myself and Logan & Mason.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Bedroom Refresh

Oh my lord it’s HOT!  Seriously, these temps in December are crazy, but crazy good for sure.  Being able to throw open the bedroom windows and freshen things up is so therapeutic for me.  Both of the boy’s rooms have had a big spring clean that included purchasing fresh, new linen for their beds.  Over the weekend, I finally had the time to do the same in our master bedroom.

You know those dumping grounds that ‘some’ of us have throughout the house?  I have two; one is our dining room table and the other is our bedroom.  It’s so odd that I despise clutter and mess yet the very place that should be somewhat of a peaceful sanctuary for Dave and I, has become the epicenter of chaos in our home.

Organising and decluttering our bedroom is a work in progress, so I’ll update you on that as I get to it in the future, but, as focusing on both the quality and quantity of hours spent asleep is a big priority for me heading into 2018 (thanks Fitbit lol), I decided to begin with a bed linen makeover.

Our prior duvet set was cozy, grey cotton jersey.  Lovely and snuggly and perfect for winter but it didn’t invoke any ‘light and bright” summery feelings whatsoever.  Despite my reservations (those reservations being a very sticky four-year-old and two dogs that love to sneak on the bed!) I knew I wouldn’t be happy with anything but 100% crisp white < insert sighing husband here.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Bed lInen

I flipped the bed’s colour palette inside out, opting for grey linen sheets this season and that fresh, white goodness for the duvet cover.  Texture was also a consideration, and I’m loving how our new bed linen provides lots of depth and variation, considering the very neutral colours I chose to work with.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Bed lInen

What do you guys think?  I’m loving how it came together.  The muted trio of white, natural and charcoal is exactly what I was looking for to draw the eye out of the room via our large windows, to the garden beyond – which is super lush and green right now.

That’s the fun part over, now to declutter, cull and organize!

Shop this look from Logan & Mason here;

Duvet Covers and European PillowcasesLangley Linen Knitted Throw $159.95, Solaris White Square Cushion $69.95, Cove Natural Square Cushion $89.95

The items above were all sourced from the extensive linen range at Logan & Mason with whom I collaborated on this post.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family yarns Kiwi Kids Bed lInen

 

 

Homewares – New Season Dining Refresh

Dave and I have recently realised that our home-owners enthusiasm for pfaffing, improvements and once effervescent tszuj-ing has pretty much plateaued into nothingness.

A visit last week from Jade Turner, Lead Designer at The Warehouse, got me totally pumped about homewares again and showed me how little, inexpensive touches can make a big difference.

This season, think matte black, mixing organic elements with harder silhouettes and geometrics.

Enough about that, the pics will do ALL the talking x

Shop the gorgeous and affordable Onyx vs Blanco range below;

Dining/Serveware Autumn Update Shopping List

  1. Living & Co Speckled Dinnerware $2 per piece!
  2. Living & Co Double Old Fashion Glasses Matt Black 4 Pack $15
  3. Living & Co Matte Black 16 Piece Cutlery Set $19
  4. Living & Co Round Cork Placemats $3
  5. Onyx Matte Black Candle  – smells amaze btw! $10
  6. Living & Co Matte Black Pitcher $5
  7. Living & Co Canvas Art Round Blanco Horse $16

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares BlackNew Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family The Warehouse Homewares Black

Science and Skincare for your baby – Start Fresh with the Facts

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog FamilyJohnson's Baby

This post is sponsored by Johnson’s Baby, all copy and opinions expressed within are my own.

For an expectant parent, the 9 months prior to the arrival of a new baby is one filled with choices. To find out the gender of your most awaited delivery…….or not, to paint the nursery this colour………or that, this name, that name, hospital or home birth, breast or bottle, cloth or disposable……an endless keep-you-up-at-night intro to the never-ending decisions that mean you’ve made it – your choices will affect the welfare of your small-person for the next 18 years or so. Congratulations!

Our second son Nixon arrived in 2013, we were in NZ this time, and I realised once again that I knew absolutely nothing about being a parent – the only familiar thing was the feeling of knowing absolutely nothing lol. What was vastly different from 2004 when Ethan was born, was, the digital landscape had become a very real, almost tangible part of our daily lives, especially mine as a blogger and a mother. As parents, we now head online to research, discuss and vet our social audiences of their opinions on every aspect of our lives. We have intimate access to the lives of people that we barely know, we ‘friend’ people that are perhaps just a passing acquaintance and are then subject to their own views, lifestyle choices and social media ‘highlight reel’.

The influence of our own parents, close family and trusted friends has waned, taking a back seat to the ever accessible opinions and choices of those on the other end of a Twitter or Instagram handle. As a result, the choices we make as parents, both for ourselves and our kids can become based upon strong, reactive emotions, such as guilt, fear, inadequacy and envy.

I’ve had the ‘Mummy-guilt’ discussion with every single one of my female friends at some point over the past 11.5 years and though it manifests differently for each of us, it’s a massive driver when it comes to making purchasing decisions for our families. As new parents, we have literally 100’s of things more pressing requiring our attention than allowing ourselves to feel guilty for not purchasing the latest celeb endorsed green/vegan/organic/quinoa based/activated/squeezed-through-hemp-filters-held-by-yogis bubble bath for our precious bundles of joy.

Am I right?

In an effort to help shift this feeling of guilt from at least one aspect of daily life, I went straight to the company with the most research published, & the most peer reviewed baby skincare brand, Johnson’s Baby, and got the answers I need to make buying baby care products a choice that doesn’t require a referendum on Facebook – or a science degree!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog FamilyJohnson's Baby

4 things you need to know about Baby Products

  1. Are they safe? Pretty much a key concern I’d say and rightly so! Johnson’s baby products meet or exceed government standard in the countries they are sold. In New Zealand, baby personal care products are classified as cosmetics and Johnson’s Baby adhere to the New Zealand Cosmetic Product Group Standard.
    Prior to that, a robust internal safety mandate should be in place. Johnson’s Baby use a 5 step safety process that begins by sourcing raw materials from their trusted suppliers who comply with J&J’s strict safety standards, these materials are then tested, and are rejected if a full safety profile is not met. Next, different experts such as dermatologists, ophthalmologists & paediatricians clinically test the products for safety, suitability for use on s The products are also tested for environmental impact.  The next step is in-use testing of products by volunteers around the world, in their homes, the ‘uncontrolled’ environments of the real world. They also tested their products in the lab under several conditions such as extreme heat, cold, and humidity to make sure the products are safe and consistent. Only after this scrutiny are Johnson’s Baby products ready to hit the shelves. The 5th step is ongoing evaluation and consumer feedback as well as continued research into new and better ingredients to further improve products.
  2. If a product is marked as ‘natural’ what does that mean? I have a big issue with this one as it seems like certain terms such as ‘natural’ are bandied about in both product labelling and marketing without too much explanation of what actually constitutes a completely ‘natural’ product. I would argue that a natural product is one that contains no synthetic ingredients at all. This can seem like an attractive option for those concerned about synthetic products in skincare. It’s worth noting that some natural products and ingredients can be harsh on baby’s skin. For example, plant extracts will vary in quality and performance depending on how they are sourced and this can lead to irritation. In fact, some synthetic ingredients offer high performance, consistent quality, low impurities and excellent safety, that is why sometimes synthetic ingredients are added into Johnson’s baby products.
  3. How to understand ingredient labels? Much like reading food labels, reading product ingredient labels has become de rigueur for the modern parent. There is no simple how-to here, only reassurance in that there IS a global system for labelling personal care products called the INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) labelling system. What this means is that ingredients are required to be identified using standard scientific names so it’s easy to compare products across different languages. This system is in place on all Johnson’s Baby products so you can compare apples with apples right there in the supermarket aisle!
  4. Are there ingredients I should be concerned about? This is the million dollar question isn’t it and probably one of the main reasons why there is now so much choice in the baby care category. Remove an ingredient from a product or switch it out with an alternative and you’ve immediately got a point of difference. Most of us have probably heard of parabens, phthalates, SLS and maybe formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (I had never heard of this last one!), but, what you may not know, these ingredients are not added into Johnson’s baby products . Ah-maze!

I’m what I’d describe as a very ‘moderate’ parent. Until just 2 weeks ago we’ve never had to implement exclusion diets in our house but, moderation, exercise and family fitness is non-negotiable. Likewise, I don’t purchase products based upon their ingredients list, I simply purchase products that I like from brands that I trust. I’m sure this sounds more than a bit familiar to some of you right?! In between the housework, chauffeuring, grocery shopping, household admin, working, cooking, management of sports teams and breathing, if my mind happened to drift to the phthalate content of Nixon’s Johnson’s baby shampoo, I can now rest assured, safe in the knowledge that there isn’t any in there!

One less choice to make and one less thing to feel guilty about ; )

For more information on Johnson’s Baby products please click here.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog FamilyJohnson's Baby

DIY – Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Wreath

Nightmare before Christmas Halloween Wreath

In hindsight it was a totally ‘oddball’ purchase, but the first animated/family DVD we purchased when Dave and I found out we were pregnant 12.5 years ago was Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – how can that movie have come out in 1993?!

the_nightmare_before_christmas_posterAnyway, I freaking LOVE this movie, it’s a stop-motion masterpiece and thank goodness it’s on Netflix as there is literally nothing I despise more than DVDs………….except CDs lol.

We also LOVE Halloween.  You guys already know (I’m sure) that Dave is American and I lived there for 6 years so we bring our A-Game at the end of every October.  New Zealand is slowly starting to embrace the spooky season and we are super lucky to live in an amazingly Halloween Friendly neighborhood which has become a bit of a ‘destination’ for Trick or Treaters over the past few years.

So, decorating for Halloween is one of my favourite themes to work with as it doesn’t matter if it’s *less than perfect*, which to be honest, is how I roll 24-7.

So, If you’re hosting a Halloween Party or welcoming Trick or Treaters, a wreath is an easy way to set the mood and create a great focal point – it doesn’t have to hang on the front door, this one will probably go on our mantlepiece with some other spooky decorations.

I’m creating a Jack Skellington themed wreath this year because my kids NEED more Nightmare Before Christmas in their lives, I’m a bit worried I’ve been failing them on the Tim Burton front – Ethan hasn’t even seen Beetlejuice ::::::gasp!:::::

How to Make a Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Wreath

You will need:

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

1 x foam decor ring, 1 x foam decor ball for Jack’s head, wool/fabric strips in your choice of colours, artificial flowers, craft glue, a black permanent marker or black paint, scissors, pins, artificial spiderweb, ribbon for hanging.

Step 1: Cover your foam ring

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

I used a mix of cheap acrylic yarn, fabric from my stash cut into long strips and spotted crepe paper streamers.  I tied the wool off then applied craft glue to the inside of the ring.  Holding the ring between your knees as you wrap it will help things move along quite quickly!  Wrap the ring in whatever pattern/configuration you like – Jack’s colours are traditionally black and white but I wanted to add a pop of colour so used orange for contrast.  Leave a section unwrapped to save time as this will be covered with flowers. 

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Step 2:  Attach flowers

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before ChristmasI used dressmaking pins but you could also affix the flowers with craft glue.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Step 3: Draw Jack Skellington’s Face

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Find an image online to work from – I used this one.  Sketch the features on in pencil, It’s pretty simple just watch the proportions.  When you’re satisfied, trace over the pencil with black permanent marker and colour in the eye sockets.  I went over the eye sockets a couple of times to get a good black finish.

Step 4:  Suspend Jack in the wreath

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Pin (or glue) ribbon to the back of Jack’s head, make sure it’s angled so his face is square.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Pin (or glue) the other end of the ribbon to the back-top of the wreath.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

I used a large needle to hold Jack’s head in place, glue would also work fine.

Step 5: Wrap wreath with artificial spiderwebs

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Step 6: Attach ribbon for hanging wreath

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before Christmas

Fold ribbon into a loop and staple or glue.  Fix to the back of your wreath using glue or pins.

Step 7: Marvel at your creative genius!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Halloween Wreath Nightmare Before ChristmasHappy Halloween!

Making a house a home : My style, your new lounge?

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes StyleWhen I signed on to throw some Best Nest styling at a gorgeous lounge in a Golden Homes showhome, I truly floundered for a little bit.  What on earth was I going to bring to a professionally styled and curated room that had been designed to make people fall in love with a house?

I had no clue.

Golden Homes have been innovators in the New Zealand building industry for over 25 years and though I was flattered to have been asked to collaborate, I was also super-nervous about doing justice to their high quality home! 

After visiting both the Albany and Millwater locations and spending some time exploring both homes I realised that what I wanted to do with this project was bring a piece of ME to the showhome.  I wanted to create a room that was perhaps a little bit quirky, exuded warmth, was welcoming, eclectic and representative of our family.  It needed to be kid friendly and functional, comfortable and down to earth.  I wanted to leave having created a room that I loved and wished I could pick-up and pop back down in my own home.

Turns out it was easier than I had initially thought.New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes Style

Once I got over the initial hurdle of undoing the existing picture-perfect styling I began to have a lot of fun.  My canvas was my dream room – a perfect 4.7m square lounge with plenty of wallspace and a natural flow between the two entrances.  Both showhomes I visited had a separate lounge like this and it makes such a difference to the overall feeling of space and functionality of the house.

As for bringing warmth to the house?  My fears of a visually sterile environment were nullified by the sundrenched north facing aspect that made my morning’s work a light-filled (hot!) dream.  Warmth and personality in a house aren’t just the result of drag-and-drop accessories that provide an instant quick-fix.  The finishing in this lovely room is what sets the stage for successful styling.  The cut pile carpet creates such a natural warmth and the framing of the room is completed by a heavy textured wallpaper that creates interest and a point of difference without jostling for attention.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes Style

When you own an older home like ours (circa 1950) you become acutely aware of the price of home maintenance and the huge cost of inaccuracy in builds.  Three years ago when we were redecorating and replacing every door in our house, it took our builder 2 hours plus to fit each internal door because nothing was square.  Steel framing has now eliminated many of the problems and inaccuracies that are common with timber framing such as expansion and contraction and mould and mildew due to moisture exposure.  Every Golden Home is built using New Zealand Axxis steel using ZOG® steel-frame technology and is signed off by a registered engineer.  This house was warm, quiet and grounded.  As soon as I began to unpack my props and vintage items from home my vision for the lounge began to take shape.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes Style

I used a mix of items I love from home, items I shopped from Freedom Furniture and items that I ‘shopped’ the showhome for.  If you want to restyle a room at home look at it as an entire project rather than picking up bits and pieces here and there.  Start with a blank canvas – at least figuratively speaking.  I took lots of pics and video during my visits and worked from those to find exactly what I needed for each space in the lounge.  This helped keep me on-budget and ensure that I covered all of the essential lounge requirements.  Managing a room in this way is like a new home build, but on a much smaller scale!  Minimise surprises and ensure your wishlist is fulfilled.  When they quote a build, Golden Homes are accurate and inclusive of all key costs at the outset to give you the complete and honest cost of your build so you are able to stick to your budget – that means more $$ to shop for homewares!!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes Style

The feeling I wanted to recreate here was what I loosely named “South-West Eclectic”.  The couches, buffet, landscape painting and mirror were already in place and totally worked.  The tall corner shelf and vintage coffee table I brought from home, plus, I shopped Freedom Furniture for on-trend, statement pieces that cemented the theme such as the Spectrum Rug $299, the Sakia Pouffe $299 and those Stag Prints $299 ea!!!  Eclectic perfection.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes StyleI am so proud of this gorgeous space!  My new-build snobbery (I’ll admit I had some, as I’m seemingly drawn to anything old and rundown that requires much $$$$ to fix it up :::sigh:::) has all but vanished and I now dream of a gorgeous, perfectly finished home to unleash Nixon on.

Joking, that would be a crime against humanity (Golden Homes, my toddler will never set foot in one of your showhomes I promise!).

Obviously my loud, bright and colourful style won’t be to everybody’s taste, but it goes to show just how personal you can make a room, and transform a house into a home, in a very short amount of time.

Thank you so much for having me Golden Homes, love your work xx

If you would like to find out more about Golden Homes get in touch here or check out my Pinterest board for more inspiration and shopping details.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Golden Homes Style

Swoon-worthy – Luxe Organic Cotton Sheets + a set for you!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family organic sheets

The words ‘luxe’ and ‘organic cotton’ seem like a bit of a juxtaposition in general but in the case of these gorgeous sheets from Babu they are totally synonymous.  

Nix is still waking quite often at night, climbing into our bed and then commandeering the lion’s share of our king-sized bed.  I never, ever imagined that I would wish we had upgraded to a super-king but then again I was never in possession of a Nixon before lol!  

Instead of toughing it out and being kicked in places that one shan’t mention, I now change camps and head for Nixon’s sweet little single bed that’s made up with the most divine set of sheets imaginable.  And I sleep.  Quite well to be honest!  

Babu’s 100% GOTS organic cotton stretch double interlock sheets are made from the the thickest, snuggliest and softest cotton I’ve ever felt in my life.  They literally transform Nixie’s modest (cheap!) single bed and mattress of dubious quality into one of my favourite places in the whole house.   Anyone that touches this fabric is blown away by the obvious quality and attention to detail.

The top sheet is fitted at the bottom end which is absolutely genius if you have kids who are wrigglers like mine, it makes making the bed each day a much more mum-friendly task lol.

I’ve washed these sheets multiple times and they still look and feel as good as the first day I popped them on the bed – without having to wash them first of course as they are organic!  Yay.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family organic sheets

WIN

If you would like to win a set of Babu’s gorgeous 100% GOTS organic cotton sheets just let me know which size and colour you would choose in the comments below; bassinette, cot or single and white, grey, grey star, pink star, yellow star.

Competition closes 7/8/16.  NZ residents only.

In the meantime, check out Babu’s amazing range here

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family organic sheets New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family organic sheets New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family organic sheets

DIY – A Winter Playroom without the Reno Budget

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger DIY Playroom

Our back door opens to a flat concrete patio complete with roof, the perfect spot to enclose for winter play with the addition of two sides of roll-up PVC blinds.  I can see it now……

That’s on the wish list.

A very rainy first weekend of the school holidays was a sign – it was time for action.

With no funds for an extension, a reno or just those roller blinds ( Lotto wth?), I figured I had to get creative with what we have.  Move over mower, it’s garage time.

We don’t actually use our garage for its intended purpose, that is, no car has ever been parked in there.  That would be weird right???  

Pro tip > If you’re thinking about checking the suitability of your own little concrete den for a playroom transformation, I’d totally recommend actually scoping out the space before hand.  

Not me.  I just dived right in and went shopping.

With Nixon.

In the pouring rain.

Once environmental factors had been taken under consideration (torrential rain!) it was obvious that this was going to be a one-stop-shop affair, so Nix and I headed to The Warehouse where I was pretty sure I could find most things on the Pinterest board that existed only in my head.

I was right thank goodness, we found everything we needed at #thewarehousenz…….and maybe some things we just ‘wanted’ oops!

Pro tip > It actually might help to curate a Playroom Pinterest board! I’ve made one for you to give you some inspo, check it out here!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger DIY PlayroomStart from the ground up

You can’t hang out in your garage during winter on a concrete floor.  I wanted something thick, hardwearing and that didn’t look too out of place in a garage.  Jute is perfect for the job, helping to blur the lines between trying to put an indoor space in an external garage lol.  There were probably 5 rugs I was agonising over but I was so pumped at finding the large Jute rug one first, so I took it as a sign!

Furniture

I wanted two seating options, one for Nix and one for Big People.  I wasn’t planning on a Paw Patrol Moon Chair tbh, but if you saw his little face when he spotted it……..anyway, it’s in the garage, he loves it and I LOVE my styley, geometric beanbag.  Our wifi reaches to the garage so Dave and I have a comfy spot to sit and work while Nix paints and plays.

An easel has been on Nix’s wishlist for a while so I really couldn’t deny his artistic expression any longer (considering I was putting together a messy play area!).  It was another ‘AHA’ moment when I found the Kids Caboodle Whiteboard/Easel combo in the furniture department.  Many I’ve looked at are very lightweight and flimsy – Nix would knock these over in a flash, cue the end of painting!  There was also a matching shelving unit with lots of little coloured boxes for DVD and book storage which has been fully utilised already!

Add in a plastic kids table for arts and crafts and a heavy duty storage rack for ALL the toys I’m going to be moving out of the house and I was finished in the furniture department.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger DIY Playroom

Time to Decorate!New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger DIY Playroom

Let’s face it, it’s a garage, there’s only so much you can do!

I used a vintage sheet to cover up some ‘garage-y stuff’, hung some cahh-yoot Frozen bunting and whacked some nails in the beams to hang some banners I spotted in the Homewares department.  On trend and at the right price, these are perfect for any kids space.  Don’t forget a snuggly throw for watching movies or reading on the bean bag!

Add the Fun

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger DIY PlayroomNo messy playroom would be complete without Kinetic Sand, Paints, Markers and a BIG cardboard play shop that you can DRAW ON!!! Found on clearance for $10.48!!!!  How could you not??  Nix was freaking out when I assembled it, it’s definitely his favourite part of the whole playroom.

We were storing an entertainment unit and a little TV in the garage so I picked up a baby DVD player for $39 WHAAATT?!?  Couldn’t believe that one, cue #bargainfeeling!  So now on yucky days, one or both of the boys can head out to the garage and chill out with Doc McStuffins or Star Wars.

End result?  We freaking LOVE this little corner of the garage!  It’s so nice to have created a usable space without taking out another mortgage.  We’ve combined unused items we already owned with some key new pieces and a little re-organization and voila!  At least one corner of our garage is totally awesome and ready for school holiday fun.

If you’re looking to grab any of these playroom essentials, I shopped three main categories at The Warehouse for this little project;

Or, check out my Pinterest Board for all shopping details and please share if you decide to tackle a Bargain Playroom at your house!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger DIY Playroom

This post was made possible by our friends at The Warehouse.

Easter Gifting with Burrow & Be + Giveaway!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter Gift

Easter needn’t be all about chocolate and picking up the pieces after the kids crash from the sugar rush!  Add some style and whimsy to your Easter baskets this season with Auckland designer Catherine Melo’s ‘Burrowers’ collection from Burrow & Be. 

The iconic Mr. Hopkins print is available in a range of soft furnishings, perfect for complementing nurseries and providing subtle, on-trend accents for the bedrooms of slightly bigger ‘bunnies’.  Printed using eco friendly non toxic inks, on quality 300 thread count cotton, bamboo/cotton blend and canvas, this range will win your heart!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter Gift

Shop the gorgeous range and explore more Burrow & Be goodness online at www.burrowandbe.co.nz plus make sure you enter via the widget below to win a ‘Burrowers’ prize pack including 1x Mr Hopkins Shape Cushion, 1x Pillowcase and 1x Muslin Wrap worth over $100!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter Gift