Easy ways to improve wellbeing in your home

I know I normally write about interior styling ideas for kids and as you may have noticed I have been writing about different ideas relating to interiors but also health.

This is because I see the 2 as interlinked and really important. Think about how you feel when you’re in a dark space all the time, it doesn’t make you the happiest! The amount of  natural light, spatial layout and interiors all contribute to the feel of a space and have the ability to affect our mood, which can influence our wellbeing.

Too many times I hear people use the excuse that they don’t have the time or the money to change the look and feel of their home, but I want you to know that small inexpensive tweaks are it all it takes to give your space a face lift, change your mindset and improve your happiness.Read More »

Top 5 essential oils for creating mood in your home

A lot of people believe that interior design is easy. Isn’t it just where your furniture goes? (is a question I get asked a lot) or is it about the colours I paint my walls? Yes, colour and spatial layout play a part in designing a space, but there is one major question that many people forget to ask themselves, how do I want the space to feel?

A space has the ability to evoke an immediate response whether its feeling relaxed when we enter a room that is airy and light to feeling overwhelmed, which is how I feel when I walk into a room that has bright colours on every wall. But there is another major sense that affects the way we feel which is often forgotten about….smell. (Think about why toilet sprays are so popular!)

So to expand on this topic I thought I’d write a post about scents you can use to evoke a mood in a room and how to achieve this using essential oils.

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Decorating ideas for a shared bedroom

These days many people are faced with the predicament of siblings having to share a room. I remember how hard it was trying to set up a bedroom for my son so I know it can feel like a daunting task when you’re faced with the reality of setting up a room for kids of different ages, especially if they’re a girl and a boy!

When it comes to siblings sharing a bedroom I know a lot of people thing OMG this will be carnage, how am I going to get them to share – they’ll kill each other!! They’re two completely different people who have differing interests, how am I going to appeal to both??

It’s ok you don’t have to reach for that bottle of wine just yet, I’m here to break it down and make it easy for you because there are solutions and they don’t have to cost the earth.

I’m going to show you how you can create beautiful bedrooms that both boys and girls can coexist in and if you play your cards right may never want to leave 🙂Read More »

Top 5 plants to create a healthy home

It’s official plants are here to stay. Over the past few years they have made a huge come back and have become a staple decorative item for many homes. They are an easy addition to any space and they’re also the inspiration behind Pantone’s colour of the year, but there’s more to plants than being on trend.

Many of our green friends have therapeutic qualities and are said to aid in the healing of diseases and common colds, boost concentration and absorb harmful chemicals from the atmosphere.

I know it isn’t always easy to have plants around with little ones but I thought I would share the top 5 indoor plants that can help improve your air quality, create restful sleep and even reduce stress – can I get an Amen to that!Read More »

Practical & Stylish ways to child proof a home

So your baby’s growing up and becoming less of a baby and more of a little devil…I mean toddler. The days of them sitting quietly and playing with toys are over and all of a sudden they’re tearing up the house, getting into everything and you’ve found your hairdryer in the toilet…..  it’s time to child proof the house!

I get it, this has been my dilemma for the past few months and it’s not an easy task. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming and keeping it stylish is near impossible.

This is a tricky topic as everyone’s home is different so needs will differ but here are  a few tips and ideas I thought i’d share to help alleviate some of the stress.

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Stylish & kid friendly decor ideas

Whilst it’s true that when you have a child your life changes, I believe your style and decor don’t always have to.

Since turning one my son is now a bonified energiser bunny – crawling, climbing, falling over and generally getting into anything possible, making some spaces in my home an accident waiting to happen.

I have realised that in order to work with the constant changes in his development I need to create spaces for him that are practical and fun and that I can do this without sacrificing on style.

Here are some kid friendly decor and furniture ideas I thought I’d share that the whole family will love.

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5 easy ways to transform a rental

How many times have you gone to look at a rental property and it looks more like a crack den than somewhere you would want to live.  Looking around all you see is stained carpet, walls that have been painted a hideous colour or worse are stained from years of smoke and the place smells like something died!

Some rentals are in great shape but you still get the feeling that because you don’t own it you can’t put your own spin on it. I’m here to call BS on this and show you in 5 ways how to make a rental property feel like the home of your dreams.

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Top tips for creating a fun and educational kids room

When it comes to children’s bedrooms so many people freak out about how to create ‘the perfect’ look. They see a styled image in a magazine or online and decide they want to replicate the same look and feel but don’t know how.

Fear not peeps, I’m here to share some tips and tricks on how you can create the looks you love and make them both personalized and educational at the same time.

  1. Inject colour – A lot of people think that the main way to make a child’s room colourful is to paint the walls bright. Whilst this is an obvious choice I feel it does two things:
  • makes it harder to style because you’re limited to what colour furniture and accessories you can use that won’t clash.
  • doesn’t take into account that a child might hate a particular colour as they grow older or the psychological and physical effects a colour can have. For example red is said to create hyperactivity in kids  – so unless you never want to sleep I don’t recommend it.

Top tip – start with a neutral shade on the walls like white or grey and add colour using other elements. If you’re not sure on the colour theme you want don’t stress, one of the best ways to decide is to find a piece of artwork that you want to put in the room (picture, poster, drawing etc ) and look at the main colours that you’re drawn to.Use these colours as accents around the room.

For example my accent colours are aqua, royal blue and red and I have incorporated these through artwork, furniture, a rug and toys.

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  1. Add shape and pattern – I think if I had interior design twins this would be their names! I love shape and pattern and kids do to. These two elements go hand in hand and can create visual interest in a room. You can add shape in many ways, for example shelving. The hexagon shelves I’ve featured are the handy work of my husband but if you’re not handy man inclined, many places such as Adairs sell a cool variety of these in different shapes, colours and sizes.

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Whether you have carpet or wooden floors rugs are an awesome way to add pattern to a room. I chose a chevron pattern as I love a zig zag print but you could also choose a plain rug and add pattern to the room using soft furnishings such as cushions, ottomans or lamp shades.

Don’t be scared to mix it up. Kids love patterns and shapes such as spots, stripes, triangles, squares or swirls as they’re visually stimulating and fun for them to look at.

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  1. Tie it together with texture – One thing my son absolutely loves is his fake sheep skin rug. I don’t know if he was a lamb in another life but something about the softness of this has him drawn to it and instantly calms him. But texture doesn’t need to be in the form of rugs it can be soft blankets, fluffy toys, shiny surfaces or feathers.

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  1. Educational artwork – I am absolutely loving the artwork of talented artist Sonia Dart from Kids are Weird – (Instagram – @kids_are_weird). This creative mumma Pic for etsy listing ABC poster 1specializes in fun custom made ABC posters and bespoke art for kids. I love the unique style she puts into her designs and the fact you can get personalized art for your little one. Who said learning needed to be boring?

Etsy brick Daniel name sign

 

 

 

  

Another trick I use is recycled artwork. One of my favourite things to buy when I’m on holiday is art made by local artists or vintage posters. Because my garage is starting to look like a garage sale on steroids and is full to the brim, I have started to re-purpose the art we don’t have space for and use it in Gus’s room.

The image I’ve featured is an old vintage racing poster that I brought in France.The print and the frame fit my overall colour scheme and act as a fun addition to the room.

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  1. Toys that teach – toys seem to be one of those things that even if you swear not to buy too many they just appear and the amount seems to grow. At every point in a childs life they become a constant gift, but they can be educational and not seen as just ‘more junk’. A lot of the toys out there for young kids are designed to teach babies through to school age about colours, shapes, numbers and develop important motor skills.

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I know wooden toys are on trend at the moment and they can be super expensive, but a great way to get past the hipster pricing is to look into the fantastic options at IKEA or Kmart. These stores offer an affordable range of wooden toys that are both colourful and educational and a great way to accessorize your child’s room.

The above list are just some of my ideas for ways you can create a fun space for your kids but don’t sweat balls if you don’t get it right the first time, a child’s bedroom is an evolving space as they grow.

The key is to have fun, be as playful as you like and most importantly remember who the space is for…..not YOU! : )

 

Small note – this is not a sponsored post. I choose to promote local talent because I love supporting small businesses’ and gifted artists.  The larger companies mentioned are solely for idea purposes.

 

 

 

 

My imperfect journey

As my journey through Europe draws to and end and as a follow on from my last post I thought I would write about the lessons I have learnt whilst travelling with a baby and why the imperfect experiences I have had have made it perfect.

I write to you from Amsterdam the last leg of our trip and thankfully the flattest! It’s been an amazing trip visiting new countries, revisiting old ones and seeing them in a new light and catching up with family.

Prior to Amsterdam we left sunny Lagos, Portugal where the beaches and rugged coastline are stunning and the people are equally as beautiful and accommodating. After exploring the winding streets and culture of Lisbon we decided to hit the Algarve coast for some well needed R&R.img_6262

It’s been an interesting experience to say the least travelling with a baby. Some days have been perfect, meandering around the cobble stone streets in the old towns of Edinburgh, Lisbon, Lagos and Amsterdam; enjoying the sights and taking in the culture but some days have been utterly painful.

Not wanting to sound like a negative Nancy because I am grateful that I even get the opportunity to travel I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t share some truths about my experience.

  1. Sleeping is for suckers – With the amount of sleep I have had during this trip there’s a part of me that feels like I’m back in my 20’s and 4-5 hours sleep is all I need, partying until the sun comes up and then doing it all again. Except this time my lack of sleep is not due to hitting up bars and nightclubs it’s thanks to a baby who has had some major issues with teething and doesn’t deal with pain lightly. Whilst generally happy there have been some days and nights where Gus has turned into Mr. Furious and his mood has resembled the tone of a Rage Against the Machine song– angry and full of F bombs!

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  1. Drug dealers don’t discriminate – Never in all my days travelling have I ever been offered drugs so many times. Whilst in Portugal myself and Ric were stopped numerous times asking if we want to buy weed or other illicit substances and it was always whist we were out pushing the pram! I don’t know if the dealers saw our sleep deprived faces and thought, ‘they look like they could use a smoke’ or we looked dodgy but it was a constant. I guess it’s nice to know that they don’t discriminate against parents and maybe I should have asked if they did family discounts.
  1. European cities are not meant for prams – whilst this isn’t true for all cities just the ones where the Romans built the roads, prams are not ideal for narrow cobblestone roads. Unfortunately, because Gus is a large unit we had no choice but to bring our pram. An upside is he has found it pretty amusing to hear the sound of his own voice reverberating as we pushed him over countless bumps and sometimes into potholes. I think if I did this trip again I would invest in something with suspension!

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  1. For great legs head to Lisbon – The entire city is built in a valley which means everything is virtually up hill. It makes for spectacular scenery; walking along the windy roads you’re surrounded by old world architecture and decoratively tiled buildings synonymous with Morocco but this enchanting city is punishment on the legs, especially when pushing a 12kg baby uphill for hours a day!

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  1. The Portuguese love babies – As much as I love Portuguese tarts (and that’s a lot) the Portuguese love babies. If there was a popularity contest between their beloved Ronaldo and baby Gus, I think Gus would win. Whether it be young girls, old men and women, police officers or homeless bums we have been stopped by all of them wanting to engage in a conversation with Gus. He has loved the attention in all the countries we have visited, flashing his most dazzling smile he’s turned even the most discerning of people into mush.

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As my trip nears an end I find myself thinking about all the experiences I’ve had and whilst there’s been some hellish moments of tears and tantrums there have been plenty of smiles and laughter and moments that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

It made me realise that the moments I have enjoyed the most or laughed the hardest at are the small and sometimes imperfect ones. Because life, much like a baby is unpredictable and its these moments where our reactions to situations dictate the type of experience we have.

So in saying that I could have been mad when Gus spilt a bottle of water all down my crotch on a 3 hour flight where I couldn’t move or frustrated when he put some of my toiletries in the toilet but these are some of the imperfect moments that have made up my holiday and just another chapter in the large book I call life.

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