Monday, September 30, 2013

B.M.W.B - Teddy Wash

Just because you are home from kindy with a horrible cough doesn't mean there is no fun to be had.

Bounce is the great teddy lover. He is constantly spending his pocket money at op-shops buying more teddies and soft toys. (I blame the mother!)

Some were a little, ahem, smelly, so when he asked to wash them I said of course.

Plastic tub, lux flakes, warm water, water proof apron, laundry floor, towel.

Swish, wash, swim, play then wring teddies out, and spin teddies in washing machine at conclusion.

One very happy little boy.

If you are stuck at home over the holidays and water play seems like too much effort take this easy-way out. Done on the laundry floor it's pretty safe for mess and spill factor and the bonus is you'll have pleasant smelling toys at the other end.

Becoming the Mama I want to be is about taking time to enjoy the journey of parenting, to honour it's value and to hopefully inspire and encourage each other. 

Create Hope Inspire

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be

Button code on the right if you want it

Love you more than a clean, fluffy bear. xxx

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Tumbling Monkeys set up

and this guy who is so excited about having his own special pair of rubber gloves so he can learn how to clean the toilet - it's the small things right?

Love you more than a toilet I don't have to clean xxx

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Make My Week - the new wardrobe

So this isn't technically my work but I did do some of the wallpapering and the map wall was my idea.(It's the work of a very clever, creative man I call Pop).

This is what our room looked like initially

here's the progress

the final wallpapering (I also made the stained glass window a few years ago for The Atlas)

Totally stoked

the maps are a collection from the eco store, topo maps from a map loving friend and The Atlas' enormous South London map. Lots of the maps have special meanings for us too.

joining in with other crafters (who do all their own work)

 Show & Tell Thursday's

love you more than a pair of sparkly heels xxx

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

We Recommend - For the Grandies and the Inspirational Types

Grandies (by which I mean grandparents or other 'older' family members) are a tricky bunch..... they are (often) at a stage of life where the kind of stuff they'd really like is somewhat out of the price range of the mortgage and small kids brigade.

I find with grandies that the personalised kid gifts seem to be best, but I still want to give them something they'll actually want so I try to go for things they will hopefully like and keep the gigantic cardboard kindy sculptures and unusual I'm-not-quite-sure-what-this-is pottery for home (or the skip bin if I am entirely honest!). 
Also, for many of us we don't have all our grandies nearby - sob! (We love it when grandies live nearby). So postable is another important consideration. 

With this in mind, I stumbled across the perfect gift recently. Uber cute Polaroid style fridge magnets. You simply go into the website, upload 8 photos, pay your money and hey-presto you have durable (we've had ours for quite a while and they've had a lot! of play), professional, easy to send, just like a brag-book for your fridge, gifts.

The site is very user friendly and mine were in my itchy hands within a week of the order! Yay :o) As you can see in the photo above they come in a group of 4 (you get 8 in an order) and you pop them out of the frame. The whole thing is as thin as a letter and about the size of a CD case - so postage should be pretty reasonable too.

If you are generous you can do a whole set for each set of grandies (we have 3 sets), or you can get a set and split them up. Make an envelope from a piece of kindy art and you have the ultimate grandy gift. 

But I also think these could have a further reach:

I'm going to put one or 2 in the boys stockings - which I know they will love. 
If you have a bit of fun in a site like picmonkey (which is mainly free and simple enough for my limited skills) you can also create some cool gifts for the 'inspirational types'. I made these ones entirely from photos I had taken (except the pencil one, which is on the picmonkey site) and quotes I love. 

These would be really cool if you had a few of those 'bring a small gift - remember you can split them - parties', gifts for quote loving teachers, or something to keep in the present box for that last minute, we forgot they were coming, guest.

Love them right? So I also have a little discount code to offer you too! The lovely Casey at magnapix said you can have 30% off if you want to order some too. Just add mag30off in the voucher code area and you are good to go. Aren't they lovely?

some on the fridge
I can see these are going to be the kind of things I order again and again. In fact I kind of wish I ordered a double set of the quote ones already. Also, if you love any of my quote ones I am more than happy to email you the files so you can make your own and be inspired too. 

We Recommend for Christmas 
our posts about genuinely lovely things
Create Hope Inspire
instead of buying landfill let's make considered purchases that go the distance and are still being enjoyed next Christmas

Thanks so much for linking in code is on the right if you'd like a button.

Love you more than an inspiring quote xxx

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wardrobe Tuesday - Can I Do Preppy

If life were Grease I'd be Patty Simcox or Sandra Dee before the leather pants. You know annoyingly happy, loud, over-enthusiastic, bright and bubbly and always with my hand up to be the volunteer.

Most of the time when I get up I want to have some fun but now and again it's cold and I'm biking and it's a pants day - trouble is I own one pair of jeans and some black formal pants (if you live in the UK I'm talking trousers not undies), and trackies. That's it. I just ripped the thigh out of my black jeans (there were a hand-me-down). So I'm stuck with 1 pair of jeans for public wear.

Here's my attempt at preppy - or what Patty might wear if she'd ever stoop to jeans (which I'm sure she wouldn't).

I don't mind it, but it feels a bit normal.... do you ever have that dilemma??

jeans - ezibuy
shirt - op-shopped
cardi - op-shopped
Beads - gift
shoes - the warehous

Love you more than a high ponytail xxx

Joining in with lovely Kelly tomorrow. Click on the WW button for more stylish ladies.

Monday, September 23, 2013

B.M.W.B - when you are feeling lazy

We had a glorious weekend with no real agenda - just mucking about together.

By Sunday afternoon I was almost asleep so in order to spend some quality time I suggested we read some more of James and the Giant Peach - by Roald Dahl. This is our second reading, we probably read it the first time about a year ago, and both the boys are so engaged with it. The chapters are short and the adventure is well paced. The Atlas has been reading them a chapter every night. Instead of waiting for tonight we lay in a big mess on the couch together. Flip played with my hair and Bounce lounged on top of me and we read rather a lot of chapters.

The down side to reading lots together is that sometimes I almost drop off while I'm reading myself!

We also made some snowflakes out of muffin cases. I think these could make cute Christmas bunting - especially if you painted them first or used coloured cases.

I'm starting to think about Christmas crafting ideas - by the time school finishes it just feels like there is no time so something here and there could be a nice lead up I think.

Becoming the Mama I want to be is about taking time to enjoy the journey of parenting, to honour it's value and to hopefully inspire and encourage each other. 

Create Hope Inspire

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be

Button code on the right if you want it

Love you more than a lazy Sunday and a good book xxx

Sunday, September 22, 2013


this one doing his favourite thing

this one I found on my camera - a picture taken by his favourite person in the world - his brother.

happy Sunday

Love you more than fun on photo-booth xxx


Friday, September 20, 2013

Five Reasons You Should Not Run - The Ugly Truth

Sometimes I hide things from you, not in a "I'm eating chocolate secretly in the pantry while my kids are having apple for afternoon tea" kind of way.

No I hide things I think are tedious, boring or really not likely to keep going (like I'm going to stop eating rubbish).

So.... in the interests of confession I have been running all through the winter. At 6am most weekdays meeting with other mamas, freezing our butts off, rolling our ankles, and philosophising about the world while we waddle run around the neighbourhood.

In the last 4 or 5 months, culminating in a public 10km run last weekend I have learnt some things I think you should know.

Let's get this straight though - I am not a runner. I stopped running after primary school when I stopped winning races. I haven't run since except for a bus or the last block of fair trade chocolate at the supermarket.
My prefered running position!

Here are my top 5 reasons you should not take up running:

1. Clothes - Running clothes are very unattractive. On the weekend there was entirely too much lycra for anyone - and some of those ladies were unaware they had run the modesty out of the fabric on their stretchy running pants, I'm talking to you blue floral knickers! Now I hear you telling me 'you are a sewist, why don't you make something nice to run in.' Yes I hear you. I have thought of it - but really? Something I am going to sweat in. Something I am going to wear doing something entirely un-fun... yeah who can be bothered with that? If you like clothes and like to be seen in public wearing pleasant things -sport is not for you. It really is not. Stop here.

2. Public Humiliation - If you take up running it is highly likely you will end up in a compromising position. Not with the cute guy in your running group (really? you want a cute guy to see you in those awful running clothes?). No - the position you are going to end up in involves very fast waddling into the nearest gas station to relieve yourself immediately, hoping and praying you will make it in time. Do you really want to share this kind of situation with others? Do you want to take the risk of filling your pants in close proximity to 400 other people? No - I thought not. You can thank me later for saving your personal image, even though I lost mine to find out.

3. Looks - Along side filling your trousers, lets be honest the runners in movies and on ads run for about 5 seconds with full make up and airbrushing - you won't be! You will look red, sweaty and your hard-to-style bangs will stick to your head or stick up in the air, or both. Your mouth will be dry and you will have very unattractive sweat patches in inappropriate places. While this may not matter at 6am in the pitch black with other mothers from school you will not feel the same when you are wobbling around in public. You might feel like an olympic runner but when you see the photos you'll realise you really don't look like one.

4. Jiggly Bits - If you are endowed with lovely curves and a womanly bust you can bet you'll be forking out money you would rather spend on a new pair of shoes finding some great invention of engineering to hold those things in place. It won't look nice, it will involve serious wrestling to get in and out of, it will cost lots of money and the only time you will appreciate it is the day it's dirty and you wear a normal bra and your bosoms knock you out, and possibly cause a car accident from a distracted driver.

5. Weight Loss - And after all this effort, humiliation, lycra and that's without mentioning the pain - you won't lose weight. Just so you know even when you run every morning, sometimes up a hill it does not cancel out eating peanut butter out of the jar while you make school lunches and hiding in the cupboard eating chocolate. Those jiggly bits don't even care about your running - they only disappear when you eat carrots and soup.... yeah... sucks huh?

So there you have it. Don't run. It's not fun - did I tell you that already?

This post is dedicated to the women who have seen me in all of the above 5 situations and still keep turning up at my gate at 6am - you ladies, well frankly, you're crazy but I like you anyway.

Love you more than the day it rains and we all get to sleep in xxx

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Make My Week - Got the Blues

I know it's another vintage sheet ensemble.

This is the other cot-sized quilt I made from left over squares. This one is bakced with super soft organic French Terry (which I originally bought to make cloth nappies from).

Hand stitched again with embroidery floss and bound with strips of sheet.

All from stash :o)

I love these blues. Blue, blue and blue makes my heart happy.

See some creative variety over here
 Show & Tell Thursday's

and some op-shoppy love

Love you more than a blue floral sheet in an op-shop xxx

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We Recommend - Card Games

Often board games can be expensive - too expensive for me to recommend to most people - but card games are not so bad.

This year Flip turned 7 and his Aunty/Uncles gave him UNO and Monopoly Deal Millionaire. Both games are worth about $10-20 and they have been played and played and played.

Flip is a total maths lover but I know UNO is a very popular game in his year 2 class at school too. I think it would be a worthwhile choice for any game loving families with children from 6+.

Monopoly Deal Millionaire and Monopoly Deal (slightly different but similar concepts) are games that require a little more strategy, great for children that like strategy and numbers.They are also quicker than a traditional board game.

My bug-bare with both games is the cardboard packaging that requires you to ruin the box trying to get them in and out. Solution? I picked up some cheap ($2-3) sistema click-clack style boxes at the supermarket. If you are buying these for a present and your budget extends I think it would be very appreciated by the parent of the receiver.

Both games can be played by 2 or more players which is great for the UNO champs the men/boys in our family did recently.

Another card game that Flip is just starting to pick up but we have played with adults at dinner parties is Pit. Fast, loud, very little skill required it is a lot of fun. I think this would be a great game for families with older children who like a game that doesn't require a whole night but creates some good family laughs along the way.

For smaller people we have fish card game that is basically 'happy families' (4 of each type of card) that Bounce loves. It's simple enough to play as a pair but still fun for Flip to join in on too. I really like the different types of fish in this one and Bounce has pretty quickly got a handle on each one even though he can't read them. (and it came in good sturdy packaging!)

Are there card games you love that get played again and again at your place?

I think these types of games are also worth watching out for second hand too. Our family thinks second hand gifts are great - you'll know how that would go down at your place :o)

We Recommend for Christmas 
our posts about genuinely lovely things
Create Hope Inspire
instead of buying landfill let's make considered purchases that go the distance 

Thanks for linking in your inspiration too. If you want to code for the button it's on the right.

Love you more than a 'wish-come-true, happy-family' xxxx

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We're Reading and Loving

If you are a book lover and you like supporting New Zealand authors then I can highly recommend Toucan Can by Juliette MacIver.

We have Marmaduke Duck and The Marmalade Jam and I was thrilled to see Gecko Press (who are fabulous publishers of wonderful children's books) pick up her latest offering.

Rhyming books are hard to pull off for children. I feel so disappointed when I get a rhyming book for children where the rhymes are labored and forced - this isn't one of those! The rhymes also have to work regardless of the speed of the reader and their natural rhythm of reading. This book achieves it splendidly.

Perhaps I love this book because it's full of dance and a lot of crazy (both qualities I tend to aspire to myself!). Toucan Can do lots of things, he really can!

The book made both my boys laugh and I laughed out loud when I read it the first time too.

The illustrations capture the movement and fun and Aunti Shanti - is pretty darn fabulous, just saying! As the rhythm of the book accelerates so do the illustrations until the book has it's own kind of wild rumpus on the go. I think Gecko has paired Juliette MacIver and illustrator Sarah Davis really well for this book.

The book will be released next month and I think it would be a fabulous addition under the Christmas tree. I'm so thrilled to see a New Zealand author doing great work and to have this book in our collection. I can see this book being a real family favourite.

Love you more than a little bit of crazy and a whole lot of dance xxx

(last day to enter the giveaway)

Monday, September 16, 2013

37 of 52

Big brother does orienteering:

Little Brother sits outside quarantine room where Big Brother is sick the following day, so they can chat:

Little Brother also leads the players onto the field in the Chatham Cup final on the far right. (Big Brother missed out because he was sick :o( ) Little Brother also plays a game as half-time entertainment - cutest player on the field.

B.M.W.B - Ultimately Easy Decorations

Oh the joy of using a bag of awful, ugly, kind-of-embarrassed-to-own them beads.

Take aforementioned beads, add cookie cutters, and 180 degrees in the oven, on baking paper and a tray for about 15-20 minutes.

I weighed up the likelihood of the beads spontaneously com-busting in the oven and killing us all with noxious gases and decided - what the heck, let's give it a go. The cheaper beads smelled a bit like crayons - the others were a bit whiffy but I ventilated well and sent the boys to play while they cooked so only I would die - I'm unselfish like that!

Pulling the cookie cutters off afterwards was mainly easy - some needed a little encouragement.

Get daddy to drill carefully, add string = cute, slightly pop-art style decorations for the tree. (Word to the wise sticking a toothpick in to make the hole while they are warm just means it sets in there.)

We will be making more of these for sure, provided the drilling part works...!

The Atlas commented they'd make great brooches too. The way the colours look on the back makes me very happy. They remind me a lot of Alex Fulton's style (which I am quite partial to!).

The sheep is my favourite but as Bounce made it I know I'll never get my mits on it for brooch making.

The boys are so thrilled and I loved that I saw the idea during the day, Bounce and I sorted beads and we made them after school together.

They are going to be so pleased to see their handy work hanging on the tree this year.

(did you enter my giveaway already?)

Becoming the Mama I want to be is about taking time to enjoy the journey of parenting, to honour it's value and to hopefully inspire and encourage each other. 

Create Hope Inspire

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be

Button code on the right if you want it

Love you more than a craft project that goes better than expected xxxx