Monkey’s Star Wars Bedroom

Monkey has been in his little toddler bed since before he was 2, and he has loved his little bed… But it really was starting to get too small for him so we decided it was time to get him a proper single bed. We also decided that it was time to give his bedroom a new look. We moved into this house 3 weeks before he was born and his was the first room to be decorated and we didn’t put much thought into it really. We slapped some yellow paint on and some hungry caterpillar wall stickers and that was that. It was one of my least favourite rooms in the house so I was keen to do it properly this time.

It didn’t take too long to come up with a theme. This boy loves star wars and space so we knew that was what we were aiming for. We did look into paying a decorator as it is a time consuming job to decorate when you have 2 little ones around, but it was just going to be so expensive that I took it upon myself to get it done during LM’s naps and when Hubs was around to look after the kids.photogrid_1475502295400

We wanted to keep it fairly classy and simple so that the room can grow with him, so went for predominantly grey walls and one dark blue wall and used walls stickers to add the star wars touch. The great thing about wall stickers is that if he does grow out of wanting star wars we can take the stickers off and hopefully won’t have to repaint the entire room.photogrid_1475499165479

Monkey got a really cool set of planets for his birthday that could be hung from his ceiling so we knew we wanted to incorporate those. We found a fab sun light from ikea which looks brilliant and hung the planets around it, in a slightly random orbit but in approximately the right order in terms of distance from the sun.20160905_145202

With the room being mainly grey we had to get some colour in there somewhere while sticking to the theme, and I love his bright red chair, and the red drawers on his bedside cabinet. We also added one bright red wall sticker with the very star wars line of “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away…” and a gorgeous mustard yellow rug on the floor to make sure the room wasn’t too dull.photogrid_1475499536392

A star was lover Monkey has some star wars toys and star wars lego and they help to finish off the room… And are very much played with in there! We also found this awesome death star night light which is brilliant and gives just the right amount of nightlight glow without being too bright.photogrid_1475499752800

A couple of sets of star wars bedding for his lovely new bed finishes it off nicely. He sleeps so well in his big boy bed and loves it in there which is the most important thing!

Fun in the sun

Wow hasn’t it been a hot one this week? My social media feeds have been full of sunny scenes; blue skies, paddling pools, ice creams and lots of smiles. There has also been plenty of moaning about the heat which amuses me given that a week ago many of us were moaning about our lack of summer. But hey, we’re British and moaning about the weather is just what we do. Plus it has been seriously hot!

So what else to do than to try and find ways of keeping cool. Fans in bedrooms, ice on temples, ice lollies, oh and of course playing with water in the garden. I love our garden, we’ve put in a tonne of effort to get to this point and now it just such a lovely place to be. I also really love our gazebo as it provides us with some much needed shade on these hot hot days. Because pictures speak louder than words,  instead of rambling on, I will show you how much fun we’ve been having outside this week.PhotoGrid_1468993911685PhotoGrid_1468995883162PhotoGrid_1468994909082PhotoGrid_1468995676426

So at the end of a summers day this is what my garden should like. Covered in abandoned toys, with sand and water everywhere. Miscellaneous items of clothing and towels strewn across chairs to dry and just general detritus left about. Evidence of a lot of fun had outside, and evidence that I have enjoyed it as much as my kids have rather than constantly cleaning up after them.

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Are you enjoying our little heatwave?

Best of Worst
Monkey and Mouse

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Lots of fun outdoors in the sun.

I am so British and I talk about the weather far too often but hasn’t the weather been glorious this week? So nice to finally feel the warmth of the sun and we have spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying it.

Last weekend we spent a lot of time outdoors doing some gardening. We were due to have some friends to visit but their little girls came down with a nasty stomach bug poor things so that had to cancel at the last minute. We thought we would take the opportunity to do a few bits on our front garden as we have finally had the driveway finished and it was time to lay some turf and do a bit of reorganising out there.PhotoGrid_1462451960395

Bank holiday Monday we went to meet some friends at NT Stowe for the day, I will share more about that in a separate post but we had a lovely day and were lucky to get a bit of sunshine!PhotoGrid_1462452168928

Tuesday Monkey and I were both feeling full of cold so actually spent most of the day indoors, but we did go for a walk and a scoot and I am so proud of Monkey as he is amazing on his scooter all of a sudden. He’s not been keen on this new one and really hasn’t wanted to learn how to do it, but he has finally got it and looks so grown up scooting down the path.

I was also proud of myself as even though I wasn’t feeling great I got out for a run. It’s my latest thing in a bid to get healthy and so far I really am enjoying it even though I’m not very good at the moment!

Wednesday my mum and I took the kiddoes to our favourite local farm Park and the weather was amazing! So warm and sunny and just lovely so we had such a wonderful day!PhotoGrid_1462452395775

We spent more time outdoors at home that afternoon too watering the turf we have just laid and our little lady discovered she loves running through the spray of water from the hose. Shouldn’t be surprised really given how much she loves water!PhotoGrid_1462452801654

I was also really proud of our Monkey who wanted to get on his bicycle. He’s had it nearly a year but we always struggle to motivate him to have a go. But one of his friends has recently got a bike and is already riding without stabilisers so his has definitely been a motivating factor for him! He has still a way to go but is definitely improving and his Uncle Marky popped over to borrow a ladder so he helped him out a bit too.

Thursday Monkey went off on a coach trip with playgroup, eek! Made me nervous but he had a wonderful time. Meanwhile LM had a little play with her friend (and I chatted with my friend) then we had another good friend pop over with her gorgeous little man, we went for a walk then enjoyed sitting out in the sunshine.PhotoGrid_1462477006763

Finally this afternoon when Monkey returned from his trip we got some water in the tuff spot and had a play outside. Monkey wanted to take a picture of his baby sister and I and I was quite impressed with he got! Budding photographer. LM of course adored jumping and splashing in the water haha. Love this weather!

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My word of the week is outdoors.

The Reading Residence

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Gardening with the Poundland Charlie Dimmock range

We love spending time outside with the kiddies, and not just on days out, but also out in our garden. Some readers may remember that we had a project a couple of years ago to completely renovate our garden. We have been so pleased with the results and spend so much time out there.

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It doesn’t usually look as tidy as this, normally there are toys everywhere but we are getting ready for my birthday bbq this weekend!

It takes maintenance though so there is a lot of time spent gardening which so far the kids love being a part of. So when Poundland got in touch about their new range of gardening tools, the Charlie Dimmock range, I was immediately intrigued. To be honest I was surprised initially as Poundland is not the first place I would think of to buy gardening tools, but the selection they have looked great. We chose a few things we thought we could put to good use and test out then got out in the garden.

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Monkey loves digging and his grandparents recently bought him a plant with his name so he and Daddy set to planting.PhotoGrid_1461244669904

Monkey and I then did some necessary, but let’s face it, unexciting weeding together.PhotoGrid_1461245017185

Even LM got involved and did some digging with her big brother.PhotoGrid_1461244750282

So how did the products do? Pretty good actually considering the price of them. The gloves are a good size and definitely do the job of protecting your hands from the dirt and prickles. The stitching on them isn’t amazing so I can see they probably won’t last you years and years, but then I don’t expect anything I can buy for a pound to last that long and spending £1 on a pair of gloves every now and then wouldn’t be too much of a hardship.

The scoops were really good for digging loose soil and will be very useful for all sorts of things. The brush is just what we needed for cleaning the weeds in the block paving. We had previously bought one from a leading diy chain for around £5 which snapped in two. This much cheaper version is already doing better than that one.

The trowel and other tools do what they say on the tin. As with the gloves the quality may not be amazing, the trowel is a bit bendy in hard earth or when digging vigourously, but again, for the price you really can’t complain and they do the job. There are a couple of bits that we are yet to try out but they see, to be of a similar standard and no doubt they will come in useful.

On the whole I am really impressed with the Charlie Dimmock gardening range from Poundland and am pleasantly surprised. I will definitely consider Poundland next time we need some gardening supplies.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallWe're going on an adventureLife Unexpected

A colourful week!

My word of the week this week is colours, as I have been enjoying all of the colours of spring.

At the weekend we popped over to one of my favourite spots, our local bluebell woods. I love going at this time of year to see the gorgeous carpet of blue up the slopes of the hillside in the woods. Monkey enjoyed exploring and so did LM though there was some big muddy puddles we had to keep her away from!PhotoGrid_1460552808015

Afterwards we headed to my mother in laws for her birthday celebrations, and Monkey and I had made her a rather colourful cake! We had a lovely time with family.PhotoGrid_1460552905975

We also did some gardening over the weekend and it is so lovely to see so much colour appearing in the garden and out and about!PhotoGrid_1460553012830

I’m also a little in love with my new bright yellow coat from Trespass… Review coming soon! It is not a colour I would usually go for but I am loving it so far!PhotoGrid_1460573962618

Finally you may have seen my recent post about bubble painting with Monkey… Well we have been at it again this week as he loved it so much. He was enjoying mixing the colours this time by blowing two at once! Such fun.PhotoGrid_1460574008936

How has your week been?

The Reading Residence

Hello Spring

On a beautiful crisp day recently hubs said he thought it felt like autumn because of the clear blue skies, cool air and bare trees all around. But I disagreed. To me it feels like spring is really here, and when you look closely there is life all around. There are buds on the trees and blossom starting to bloom. There is colour coming back into the world.PhotoGrid_1459412901470

I have so enjoyed seeing the sun this week and feeling the slightly warmer air, and that is why my word of the week this week is spring.

We have been out and about a lot enjoying the spring and the start of the easter holidays. In truth I was concerned about the holidays. Because of chicken pox and tummy bugs Monkey has been off pre-school for weeks already and after a difficult half term in February I was apprehensive about another couple of weeks at home together. But the change in the weather really makes it easier.

Plus because lots of friends are off school too it means we get to catch up with lovely people that we don’t get to see so often. On Tuesday we met up with my best mummy friends and their kiddoes. We all worked together pre-children and have gotten even closer since they all came into our lives. The kids all get on so well together too which is wonderful. We all got together at our favourite local farm and really enjoyed all the signs of spring. One minute it was sunny, then pouring with rain then warm, then chilly as the sun went behind a cloud. In essence a classic spring day! We saw lambs and piglets and peacocks and played pooh sticks and in general just had the loveliest day together.PhotoGrid_1459412528962

Monkey, LM and I have also been out on lots of little walks this week enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. LM’s little legs are getting stronger all the time and she loves a good run and play with her brother,and on her own of course being as independent as she is!PhotoGrid_1459412758774

We’ve been out in the garden a lot too doing some gardening and tidying and for Monkey ‘digging for treasure’ hehe. They’ve even played outside with no coat on, imagine that eh? I also got the sandpit out earlier for the first time and both kids adored it. This week is the first time LM has enjoyed playing with sand, she’s always hated the feel of it previously but not anymore! I can see us having lots of fun with sand over the next few months/years! Such a lovely simple activity for them so I love it.PhotoGrid_1459426217779

We’ve had a bit of a bonus too this week in that the spring clock change has changed LM’s sleep patterns a bit and she is sleeping until 7am now. Hooray! Not sure if it is just because it is darker till a little later and so she will wake earlier again soon but for now we are loving the 7am lie ins haha.

We have lots more lovely days with friends planned over the rest of the holidays and I am looking forward to what next week brings before we get back to a normal routine.

How has your week been? Are you feeling like spring has sprung?

The Reading Residence

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Life Unexpected

Starting the year feeling organised

The word of the week, and of the past few weeks in our house to be honest, is organised. Hubs had a good long break over Christmas for the first time ever and it really was amazing. We got the house tidier than we have since Monkey was born I believe and made a decision between ourselves that we were going to get ourselves more organised. We are out of the baby days and the building work in the house from the extension is all finished so there really is no excuse anymore.

So far we are doing well at the general cleanliness and tidiness of the house. We have implemented a tidy up time before bath time every day to get Monkey to help us tidy up the toys and we are both trying to be less lazy and get the washing up done straight away and to generally just keep on top of things. I’m not going to lie it is hard work some days when we are shattered but we are managing and it is lovely to have a house that is on the whole clean and tidy most of the time. It means our weekends are freer to enjoy rather than needing to blitz the house and feels a little like we have grown up haha. Took till our early thirties but we got here!

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All tha hand me downs we have for LM to wear for the next few years!

There has been some bigger organising going on too. Hubs has tidied and organised the garage and we have some new shelves up in there though it is a work in progress. He has also been organising the loft and making a huge amount of space in there. Which is where I come in! Half of the stuff in our loft is clothes for the kiddies. Hand me downs for LM to grow into and clothes Monkey has grown out of. We have already given away a lot but there was some serious organising to do of the remaining. So that has been my job this week. Sorting all the various bags and boxes of clothes properly and finally. I have also found homes for lots of the clothes and am hoping one of our neighbours with  a new little girl may like the rest otherwise it will be off to the charity shop with it.

 

Another big project has been sorting out the TV. We have been Virgin Media customers for a long time but only have the basic package and honestly the price has just been going up and up and up and driving us crazy. It hasn’t been that great either as the Tivo box is just so slow sometimes. So we have been trying to work out what to do and have decided to give freeview a try instead. There was an aerial in our loft from previous owners, though it wasnt connected and it took a bit of back and forth to the shops, hubs has been in and out of the loft fixing the cables and we had to try out a couple of different boxes but we finally seem to be sorted now.

There are a few things to get used to and different buttons and things we have to learn but on the whole it seems to be working well. Though we have had to spend money to get to this point it will cost a lot less overall as we won’t have the monthly outgoings anymore, yippee!

photoalbumsMy personal little project has also been organising our family photo albums. I plan to write a bit more about this later but it is quite a task getting it all sorted as I got quite behind. I love photo albums and though it is taking a lot of effort organising photos on the computer, getting the best ones printed out etc. I think it is so worthwhile. Especially in the digital age where otherwise you just end up with thousands of files on a computer that no-one ever has a chance to look through let alone organise. So it is a bit of a labour of love getting that all organised!

 

So there we have it, tonnes of organising going on! Feels good to get things done though doesn’t it?

The Reading Residence

Our Christmas Tree from Pines and Needles

It’s December, which means that Christmas preparations are in full swing in our house. Are they in yours? The presents are all bought and I’ve written most of the Christmas cards now. We also have our tree and decorations up, and well, what a magnificent tree it is!20151206_192806

This beauty came courtesy of Pines and Needles. A wonderful eco-friendly Christmas Tree company, who would you believe, deliver them right to your door. Now I know there is something lovely about choosing your tree yourself but when you have small kids any shopping trip can be hard work and trying to squeeze a tree into your car in between car seats and all the other paraphernalia… well that can escalate it to nightmare.

This is our second year receiving a fabulous tree from Pines and Needles and we have been so impressed with the quality of everything. Last year we had our tree up from 1st December and it lasted well past Christmas without looking dry. The Nordman Fir is our favourite as it doesn’t drop anywhere near as many needles as a traditional tree but still looks and smells fantastic. They are also very competitively priced in my opinion too and we would easily spend the same amount on a tree in our local garden centre.

20151205_171816It isn’t just trees either as Pines and Needles sell lots of other lovely bits too. The tree stand they provided us with is by far the best and easiest tree stand I have ever used, and the mat is oh so handy as I do have a tendency to spill water when watering the tree! Plus it adds a bit of extra traction on our hard floor making the tree very firm on the ground.

I am a little in love with the garland they sent too, I’ve never had a garland made from a real tree before and it is amazing. It just looks gorgeous on our mantelpiece but also has rope attached very firmly so you could hang it if you wish.20151205_175947

Finally they also sent these gorgeous mini trees for the kiddies which are oh so cute and will be planted in the garden come spring.

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So if you love the idea of a real tree but don’t want the hassle of going and getting one then I cannot recommend Pines and Needles enough. As a little bonus I have a discount code for you to use too.

By using STAY15 at the checkout you would get the following:

Free 10″ Decorated Wreath
Free Holly
Free Mistletoe
Free Mini Tree

Why not give their delivery service a go this year?

We're going on an adventureMummascribbles

The building work is finished

My word of the week this week, is finished, because we are finally finished with all of the building work involved in our garage conversion and extension. I say finished but when is anything ever really finished? There are still niggly things needing doing but the major renovation work is now done. For anyone who hasn’t been aware, we previosuly had a garage and a car port. The garage has now been converted into a lovely new room, the car port is now a proper garage. We have also moved our front door and had a small utility built at the front.

Not sure if this makes any sense but here is a before and after of the front of the house (or at least up to the point where the garage door went on).We need a step and other work doing out the front (remember I mentioned niggly things?) but that will be happening fairly soon I hope.before and after front

Inside our hallway is the same size as ever but where the old front door used to be it now leads into a lovely little utility room. We love this room as it means the noisy washing machine and tumble dryer can now be well and truly shut away, meaning hubs and I can actually hear each other when they are on – potentially saving our marriage hehe ;).hallutility

Our living room now no longer has many toys stored in it as they are all in our lovely new playroom/study. Which is here.new room

We love this room with the grey walls and we went for a lovely soft (but bleach cleanable) carpet as we spend a lot of time in there on our hands and knees playing with the kids. We decided to be bold and step away from our usual Ikea furniture (which we love) and get some different pieces in there. Hubs found a fab place, Swoon editions (not a sponsored post in anyway) where we got this gorgeous unit we are using as toy storage, a lovely new desk and chest of drawers too.swoon furniture

We also went to our favourite Multiyork (again not sponsored) to get this gorgeous vibrant snuggle sofa and chair. We love being able to choose the fabrics ourselves and I always love what I call “Jewel tones” like these.multiyork furniture

We still need to get some curtains, maybe cushions and decide what to have on the walls (there are the niggly things again!). We still need a bit more toy storage too though haven’t decided what form that will take. I love our book shelves though (Ikea picture rails, bargainous) and we did push the boat out when it came to the radiators, one in the lounge and one in the new room. Big and chunky and lovely.rads

Hubs bought this piano for £50 on ebay before we met and it has never had a home in this house and has been basically dumped in the conservatory with loads of other old furniture. It now has a proper home in the new room, and it has really helped free up space in the conservatory again making that room feel so much bigger again.20151008_093819

Having the garage itself finished, with a posh roller door (hubs’ choice) has made a huge difference too as for the past couple of months the entire contents of the garage have been kept in the conservatory. I allowed hubs to get his car in the garage once but then I am afraid it had to come out so I could reclaim the conservatory as that is our primary messy play area and very much needed on rainy days! Some of the stuff that is now in the garage needs to be sold and we need to get some shelves up and work out proper storage in there too.garage

So yes I say we are finished but as you can probably gather… there is still lots of things to be done. We also want some coat hooks on the walls in the utility to free up space in the hall and need to get a better shoe rack as there are constantly shoes all over the floor in the hall…. But the building work at least is finished and the building inspector has approved the work so hooray for that!

The Reading Residence

A bit of a break

My word of the week this week is break. You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet on here this week and that is because life at home is currently very hectic, so I have taken a bit of a break from blogging. There is still tonnes I would like to write about but I just haven’t the time or energy for it at the moment with everything that is going on.

Our garage conversion and building work is going really well and when this is published, in theory the new room/old garage should be finished and ready for furniture to go in. As I write the plumbers are plumbing in the radiators and the carpets should go down in a few hours. This is a huge relief as the last couple of weeks have been hard work.

The first stage of the building work was all outdoors and so other than being noisy didn’t really interfere with our day to day life much. Since cutting the doorway between the new room and the lounge it has been a very different story. The dust has driven us mad. Not fun at the best of times it is definitely less than ideal with a 10 month old crawling everywhere and getting in to everything!

So we have been covering furniture with quilts and sheets (meaning lots more laundry to do, as if we don’t produce enough laundry already) and I have lost count of the amount of times I have swept the floor and steamed and been on my hands and knees trying to clean up the dust…

Dust

It has also still been noisy and smelly (paint) and there has been people in and out a lot. Our builders are a really good bunch and they love the kids but having strangers in your house all the time is just a bit weird and parenting with an audience really isn’t fun! Plus the conversations I have had to listen to/be involved in (generally moaning about their wives and women in general, fun, and occasionally sharing how little sex they have, way tmi for me!) is just a bit weird.

So the kids and I have been playing upstairs a lot to keep put of their way. Plus of course lots of trips out in between the rain (or even when raining).

Going for a walk in the pouring rain ay 9am on bank holiday Monday while the builders fitted the door tp the new room

Going for a walk in the pouring rain at 9am on bank holiday Monday while the builders fitted the door to the new room

LM has actually coped really well with it all so far, basking in the adoration of the builders and giving them the biggest smiles, but the strain is starting to show with Monkey. He still wants to be a builder and is ok with them but he doesn’t like them being in his domain I don’t think. If I have to pop out of the room to deal with LM he doesn’t like being on his own with the builders so wants to follow me everywhere or stands and cries. Honestly this morning I was settling LM to sleep while the builder was cutting bricks outside (SO noisy) and she was trying but obviously struggling through the noise. I got her to sleep and came back down to find Monkey (who I had convinced to stay downstairs for a few mins) hiding with tears in his eyes. Pfff. Poor thing but I am at a loss what to do sometimes, I can’t be with him every second of the day.

We also haven’t had a front door for a couple of weeks now so have been traipsing round the back all of the time. Meaning the buggy, shoes coats, etc have all been living in the lounge along with the dust and the builders… just not ideal, any of it really and I have to say that being able to actually use our new front door for the first time was very very exciting!!

front door

One of the purposes of the new room will be toy storage, which is also making us think about storage throughout the house. It is also going to be Hubs office so a lot of the office stuff and files will come down from upstairs and go in there. So my word of the week was nearly sorting as we have been using any spare time (?) to go through cupboards. We have been throwing away lots of old stuff and have sorted some things for charity shops too. I have started to ditch some toys (charity shop again) and have more boxes to go through yet. (I swear toys multiply of their own accord, they are taking over our house!!).

So yeah not a lot of time for blogging really (I wrote most of this on my phone while watching bake off and the rest in 5 min bursts as today has been chaos).

At one point today we had the builder, 2 plumbers, an electrician, and a carpet fitter here at the same time. t worked well and lots got done but it was chaos!

At one point today we had the builder, 2 plumbers, an electrician, and a carpet fitter here at the same time. it worked well and lots got done but it was chaos!

But a break probably is no bad thing. I have been feeling slightly disillusioned with blogging for a while, possibly because life is busy and I am exhausted, but all of the commenting and linkies and sharing, let alone writing, has been feeling like a chore.

But I do love writing and that is why I blog really, as well as to create a record for the kids to look back on. So it won’t be too long a break I am sure… just a break until we return to something resembling normality I think!! I was going to add I some shots of how it is all looking now but it has taken me so long to write this post that I can’t be bothered so will save them for another post.

How has your week been? Slightly less chaotic I hope?

The Reading Residence