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The nursery is finished hooray!

Hello hello! (Sorry if this is a long one!)

When we moved into our house we rushed to paint the box room pink for our 18 month old daughter. It was pretty basic but it was fine for her. So when we found out we were expecting baby number 3 I was secretly hoping for a girl just to save on the DIY but fate had a think and went “nah lets give them some work to do!”.

Jax is 3 months old and not in his room yet but I wanted to get it ready for when he was. It felt like it was going on forever at the start – as you know the prep work is so laborious!

With the pink embossed flowery wallpaper on all walls we needed to strip it down and once we got on with it it wasn’t too bad. There were plenty of holes to fill in mind and once we had done that and added a couple of layers of damp seal to some areas it probably took about 10 evenings to get there (baring in mind I did most of it on my own at first as my husband decided I’d started so I would be finishing!).

 

All was going smoothly so to speak, until we came to wall on the side of the stairs. Late one evening we came to strip it and a massive chunk of plaster came away. Feeling the surface it almost bowed under pressure in some areas and we were scared to touch any more. Cut a long story short we attacked it one morning and managed to get off most of the paper and in some areas just left the lining paper from the top layer as protection. This wall was a mess and could have easily crumbled in our hands, requiring a full plastering and a lot of money. Thankfully we had a narrow escape, but this was the wallpaper underneath which was pretty cool as it was probably from the 40’s when the the house was first decorated!

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With the prep done it was time for the fun part! I chose to paint 3 of the walls and have a wallpapered feature wall behind where the cot would go; I chose a brick wall. Now a few people have given me funny looks or gone “really?” when I tell them, but I really couldn’t be happier with it. It’s given it a neutral, contemporary feel and I love it!

Going with greys and whites I felt I needed some colour. I knew the bedding had a pop of red and yellow but I knew that would change. It was only when I went to a local shop and found a mint coloured money box which I thought was so cute, that I found a colour to add and also an animal theme.

All in all I think it’s a mix of themes with colour, animals and textures featuring but I really like it and I hope you do too!

Below is the finished nursery and I’ll add where things came from and approximate prices in case you want to do something similar 🙂

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  • So this is the brick wall! The wallpaper had a lovely texture and grey tone to it- B&Q I want to say around £15 a roll (luckily we only needed 2!).
  • The bedding is Winnie the Pooh range from George at Asda and we had the quilt and bumper as a baby present and I bought the sheets and rug (see below, various prices).
  • The cot was my daughters, I want to say we bought it from Babies R Us but I can’t remember the name or the price now…
  • The paint on the other walls is B&Q colours – Grey Hints in silk and we had an offer of 2 for £20.
  • The elephant on the left at the back was from Home Sense £7.99 and the little baby one, which squeaks is Ikea around £2-3. There is a third elephant in the cot which you can’t see from this angle it is a plushy pyjama case and a gift for my older two but they don’t use it so I nabbed it for Jax’s room as it’s also grey and mint.
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The rug

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  • I bought the book shelves originally for the older kids room but that’s yet to be started so will now need to buy some more, oops! These are cool though – Ikea Mosslander picture ledges, can’t remember how much possibly around £8 each but don’t quote me! Most of the books were my daughters.
  • The elephant money box is what started the colour scheme! Home Sense around £7.99
  • The lantern I thought was really cute and a great colour match. The plant is plastic (who has time to water plants!) and the pot is actually supposed to be a hanging candle vase but who would know  – oh yeah you now do! All from Ikea, can’t remember the prices or the unpronounceable Swedish names sorry!
  • The blind is also from Ikea and is cord free and black out! We were intending on adding curtains but somehow managed to pick up the brackets, the ends and leave the pole so they are yet to be mounted! I want to say the blind was around £15.

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Love this wardrobe – Ikea £80! I nearly bought one that looked half as nice for £50 more! Can’t off the top of my head remember the name but it was in the kids rooms section of the show rooms.

 

  • On the left is the new carpet, as you can see the original matched the hall (right bottom corner) and was fine for rented property but we wanted him to be able to sit comfortably and read when hes a bit older so went for a thicker pile in a lovely contrast grey – local carpet shop 7×8 ft £120 with fitting.
  • The light, oh the light, I love this light and bought it months ago, in fact I had only just found out I was pregnant. It is so pretty! – You guessed it Ikea!
  • Now I read somewhere that pictures of family can help calm children so thought I’d have a little photo wall – trying to hang these all straight, most frustrating. thing. ever! The frames were from B&M pack of 3 for about £3 I want to say… The word art was done by moi although I nicked the tiny toes phrase off my baby album.
  • Now you know what I’m like I had to get some crafting in! So I bought an MDF letter J from Hobbycraft for £5 and then scratched my head as to what to do with it!

 

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As you can see I decided to paint it but used one of the darker greys from the testers we bought as a contrast to the wall it would be on. And then added some of the wallpaper, cut out and glued on with Craft PVA also from Hobbycraft.

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I did love this effect I really felt it stood out and pulled the wallpaper onto another wall.

My final project for this room was that I initially wanted to put some word art in the space by the wardrobe. Looking online I narrowed it down, but they were charging a fortune. So I replicated it on an app, printed it on photo paper and framed it myself. It’s not identical but I’m really happy with the result and I saved about £30! The frame was from Wilko for around £5.

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I love this song and I sing it to him a lot so it was perfectly fitting!

So that is it (wow it would have been so much quicker if I did YouTube)! I hope if you have survived this seriously long blog that you have enjoyed the room and maybe even been inspired.

Thank you so much for making it this far you deserve a rest haha!

You can check out a video room tour on Instagram @rabbitandroo

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Hanging out at Half Term

This week has been the October Half Term holiday and we didn’t have a lot planned but it seems we did lots of baking – I think we’ve had a really nice week.

Here’s a quick rundown of what we got up to…

Rabbit spent the whole weekend dressed as a witch after we put this outfit together, and it only cost me £3!

Mum and dad gave her the dress which they picked up from a charity shop – cost to me £0 😀

We had the hat from last year – cost this year £0 😀

The tights were a bargain from Aldi, they came in a two pack with a plain purple pair as well for £1.99, she wore holes in the feet within 2 days but she hates wearing shoes – they’ll be easy to sew up. (I actually could have got away without paying for these too as I later found some from last year under the stairs – doh!

The broom was really cool and looked pretty authentic – this was just £1 from Wilko – love it!

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First off this week we had loads of cornflakes to use up so what better way than chocolate cornflake cakes! We used Swiss chocolate (only because it was on offer!), and I decided to add some marshmallow Fluff, but this in hindsight may have been a mistake as it made it go a bit claggy. They were yummy though and I love the Halloween themed cases we got from Asda- they were orange with bats all over.

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We went to see Finding Dory this week – I love using the cheap junior showings it’s worth waiting a few months rather than spending a fortune, all 4 of us got in for £7.20!

We made some Halloween butter cookies – which seem to becoming an annual tradition, the recipe is so simple, just butter, flour, icing sugar and 2 minutes in the mixer. The cutters we used were a Wilton set I think and we did a gingerbread man to use as a skeleton. We used the Tate&Lyle Royal Icing in a box to ice them and my Wilton colour right set – this year however I think I made it too runny – as you can see with the skeleton’s face he melted off the cookie – oops! But it was fun to do with the kids and we had a laugh 🙂

We had a surprise visit from the tooth fairy (so Roo is now rather gummy) – at least I actually remembered to pay up this time!

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I ended the week with an unexpected mummy daughter day as Roo went off to a football day school with a friend. So I took Rabbit to the park in the morning and then in the afternoon we did our favourite thing and baked some more, she loves it especially when she wears her chefs hat- so cute! The cakes were so moist (yummy!) not sure if that’s because all I had was Olive spread when I needed margarine? And we tried a recipe for chocolate buttercream it was amazing so we will definitely use it again – you can find it here!

So it’s fair to say we’ve had a good share of yummy treats to eat up this holiday! I think a week is just a nice amount of time to pack with activities without running out of money or getting bored, any longer and I always struggle to keep them occupied.

Certainly making the most of these more relaxed holidays though before our lives get very baby-busy again next year!

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An exciting moment!


Had to add this picture at the top of my post this evening. This is how I feel inside right now. 

I first taught myself to crochet two years ago this summer. I didn’t know if I would be able to do it or even if I’d enjoy it. I used you tube gurus to teach me the basic stitches and soon learnt how to interperet patterns. Over the last two years I have made many different projects and it’s funny to look back at the early days and see how far I’ve come. 

This summer I really wanted to venture out and try to write a pattern of my own. Getting the shapes to come out how you imagine, having to re-do a whole evenings work when it doesn’t quite turn out how you planned and remembering to write EVERYTHING down it really is a challenge. But that’s where the picture comes in. After a week off work and falling into what has felt like a crochet coma at every available moment, I have finished my first little creation! 

I’m really pleased with it and can’t wait to see what my friends and family think. If all goes to plan I maybe setting up an Etsy store next summer 😀 

I’ve never known what I like, I’ve never known what I want to do with my life. Apart from falling in love and having my babies, I have never had something that gives me a buzz like I get from creating a crochet project. 

I read this quote a couple of weeks ago and it really makes sense to me.

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” Bishop T.D. Jakes

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Easter crafting fun! – Spring animal vases

Apologies I am a bit delayed in publishing this post, my final review of Pinterest Easter crafts. This one was interesting, in that we really enjoyed the result but it didn’t turn out how we planned it.

This challenge was to have a go at re-creating the spring animal vases found on Pinterest originally added by Parenting Healthy Babies.

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I chose these as I thought they were really cute and looked pretty simple for children under 7. Unfortunately, yet again, my 6 year old son decided he’d sit this one out (at Christmas all he wanted to do were craft projects!). So my little girly and I sat down for another enjoyable make session.

Now in hindsight I should have probably tried to find out exactly how this was achieved, but I didn’t and probably lead to the numerous bumps in the road ahead. The night before I decided I would paint the jars (saved and washed from dinners the week before) with white acrylic paint. I figured the wishy washy poster paint I had to use probably wouldn’t cover well so the acrylic could act as a primer, hence why the jars below are white…

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…however it didn’t quite go to plan.

We started by adding a coat of the coloured paint, which was your bog standard ready mix kids paint, probably not a great choice but I liked the colours. As soon as we added it onto the acrylic however, the base coat started to almost melt off. I then proceeded to literally wash it off under warm water so we could start again.

Lesson number 1 – Ready mixed paint and acrylic paint do not get on!

So back to square one we added a coat of the coloured paint on it’s own. Again, looking back this turned out not bad and from a distance you couldn’t really see the brush marks. I ended up rushing the drying process with a hair dryer. Anyhow I then thought maybe we should do another coat, but I stupidly thought as they’d been dried we could do it straight away. I think we should have waited for it to cool a bit. As soon as we started on the second coat (same paint) the first coat started to come off with the brush strokes and meld with the top coat creating a really messy coat of paint :(.

Lesson number 2 – Don’t bother doing a second coat especially if the first didn’t actually look that bad.

At this point I had given up, I was not going to be doing it all again so in the end we just dried it off with the hair dryer again and came back to it after dinner.

Now I don’t know how this person did the faces on the jars but I figured Sharpie’s are good for everything, right? No think again.

Lesson number 3 – Sharpie’s do not write on poster paint that is painted on glass!

Instead the Sharpie proceeded to pull off the paint we had applied and made it look awful. So we paused for a moment and I decided to delve into my cupboard of goodies. I came out with felt. Ok so it wasn’t going to look anything like the thing we were trying to re-create but at this point I think the enjoyment factor was fading slightly. My daughter decided to do a bunny and I did a chick, I stuck tulip type flowers on the third (they seemed spring-like!). This method wasn’t too bad actually once we had the pieces we glued them on with PVA, obviously I helped her out with this. Typically the easiest bit of this craft at this point was tying the string around the top.

Ok, so the picture had tulips, I could only manage daffodils, but I do love how they make the house feel brighter. We added the flowers and a week later they are still going.

I think in the end we were happy with the result, and we have had a few family members say how cute they are but being the perfectionist I am it is frustrating I couldn’t copy the others.

I think we would give this challenge 8/10 just because we needed to use more suitable products, but that’s what happens when you go all Maverick with craft materials….

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So this concludes our Easter crafting challenge. I’ve really enjoyed having a focus to our daily activities and Pinterest is a fantastic resource for occupying bored kids!

If you want to check out my other activities this holiday you can find them here, here, and here.

Happy springtime peeps!

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Easter crafting fun! – Yummy treats

OK so you could definitely argue that Easter time is full of yummy treats, but this holiday has been about trying out Pinterest crafts and when these popped up (excuse the pun!) I couldn’t wait to try them out.

This craft challenge is more of a culinary one admittedly, and it comes in the form of marshmallows + rice krispies + chocolate, which equals amazingness!

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I have never tried to make these before but I loved Rice Krispie Squares as a child so they caught my attention. Luckily my best friend Jen was over so I dragged her into the mess with me – haha!

The recipe was really simple and can be found here, however as you can see I made a make shift lolly stick holder from an inverted egg box and so only wanting to do about 12 I decided to halve the ingredient amounts.

 

It’s just simply melt the marshmallows and butter, mix in the krispies, mould it, let them set a bit, add sticks, let them set a bit more and then decorate. We chose white and milk chocolate and added sprinkles and crushed Oreo biscuits.

Key things we found from testing this recipe were,

  • Mould quickly! As soon as it’s off the heat get moving the longer it sits the stiffer it gets.
  • Don’t have non stick spray? No problem, just use a piece of grease proof paper and fold it over and mould into a shape with your hands on the other side, that way you keep clean hands and it doesn’t stick to the paper!
  • Lolly sticks don’t stick 😦 I don’t know if it was the weight of the decoration but even though the sticks felt secure when we added them when it came to decorating some were spinning round and by the eating some were even poking out of top or falling off altogether! Next time we are going to try dipping them in melted chocolate before sticking them in hopefully it will then set around it.
  • Crush any biscuits to a powder, I think some of our pieces were still a bit big so they were dropping off before the chocolate set.

Overall we really enjoyed this challenge and we all definitely enjoyed taste testing them! For me they were a bit too sweet but that’s what happens when you are on a diet 😦

This challenge gets a 10 out of 10 for taste but we felt the assembly method needs some practice.

Enjoy!

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Easter crafting fun! – The woollen butterflies

Yesterday’s Easter Pinterest crafting challenge was to re-create the lovely woven butterflies by The Craft Train.

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I was inspired to try this craft with my daughter as she randomly came home with lots of lolly sticks in her school bag the other week, and I thought this was quite a cute way of using them.

I have plenty of wool from crocheting and so I let her choose her favourite colours and we got started. As she’s only 4 I decided to try and do one and let her copy me as we go, but I found I needed to help her a bit so I found myself falling behind. It looks fiddly to weave in and out, but she soon got the rhythm and found it quite easy. If anything it was harder for her to hold the butterfly sticks in the other hand while she was doing it.

After we had tied off the last of the wool we added the pipe cleaners (only had metallic ones left from Christmas!) and then my daughter remembered she had some beads left from a necklace kit (I was going to leave them off). It was a bit tough for her to add these so I assisted.

She was really happy with the finished result and couldn’t wait to show her brother. I think it was a good challenge, however I found it hard to keep the wool loose enough to be able to keep the ‘X’ wide enough, ours ended up quite tight which squashed the shape of the wings.

I think overall we would give this activity 6/10.

Here’s how we got on (Sorry the pictures are so bright the sun was out for a change!)…

 

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Why not check out the last challenge we did? You can find it here

 

Looking forward to our next one tomorrow, probably my favourite so far!

 

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Easter crafting fun! – The Wreath

This time of year always provides a few difficulties when it comes to keeping the children occupied. 2016 has proved no different for the UK, with storm Katie passing through, indoor ideas seem to be the best way to go.

This year I decided to scout out Pinterest and see what I could manage with two children under the age of 7 and a limited budget for supplies. Once I’d built up the beginnings of a Easter crafting board we chose the first project to recreate.

Easy Paper Easter Wreath

The first craft project this Easter was completed by my daughter. The original wreath, below, can be found here.

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We didn’t have any coloured paper but we did have some brown card stock so I thought they would work well for eggs and my daughter could decorate them.

We reused a pizza box for the base of the wreath and decorations came in the form of sequins, tissue paper, sticker spots and recycled sweetie wrappers. I cut all the eggs out and she decorated them before we assembled it using double sided sticky tape.

I found that this was a good activity for my four and a half year old, where as the 6 year old got bored quickly (but this could just be boys!). Although there were about 11 eggs to decorate she quite happily sat there until they were all done. With drying and assembly time, I wouldn’t say this was a quick craft, but that is good if you want it to take up a couple of hours in an afternoon.

We would give this craft 10 out of 10! It was fairly easy to do and looked great.

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More crafty Easter challenges to come…

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