Corners of Meryn's room

Friday, 28 August 2015

This room wasn't originally intended to be Meryn's room but, with all the work going on in our house, she moved in temporarily about a year ago and is still there!

It will eventually be a playroom. An extra space for the kids to go and somewhere to house the plethora of plastic piff we've accumulated over the years. It also happens to be one of my favourite spaces in the house. Even though, like everything else, it isn't finished yet.

It's at the top of the house so gets the most light. Plus, because we painted it white, it feels so light and airy. There's something very tranquil about a bright, white room, I think. Even when its full of toys.

I love having a little reading corner in each of their rooms. Some of their books are so beautifully illustrated, they're almost like little pieces of art in themselves, so I like to display them.

I've got a real thing for retro toys. I love seeing my children enjoy playing with things that I used to love as a child myself. I had one of these Monchichi monkeys when I was about Meryn's age and it went everywhere with me! Meryn loves hers just as much. 

Santa brought Meryn a doll house a few years ago. It's one of those things that she doesn't touch for ages, then I'll come upstairs and find her and Ayden sat together on the floor playing with for hours. She loves to arrange all the furniture and characters perfectly. Ayden loves to un-arrange them. Perfect working relationship?

The world map is one of my favourite things in Meryn's room. I picked it up a few years ago at a bargain price. I originally had my eye on a vintage school map on eBay (for almost four times the price), but this one is just as lovely. We have friends and family living all over the world, so it's nice to be able to point out where they all are.

Miffy is a real talking point in Meryn's room. All her friends love her and she's the perfect night light. A little pricey, but I think we'll enjoy her for many years to come. 

My husband built the unit Miffy is sitting on to store toys and we haven't got around to painting it yet. I think we'll paint it white, so it blends into the wall a bit more, but I love having a space to display books and some of Meryn's toys.

Another thing we haven't got around to yet is blinds for the windows. With light flooding in to the top of the house first thing in the morning, you'd think that would have been first on our list. Luckily Meryn is a good sleeper and it doesn't seem to wake her any earlier than usual. But some VELUX blinds are definitely on my list of things to purchase to finish the room off. 

Even though there are still a few things left to finish in this room, it's definitely one of my favourite places in the house. I even hide up there myself for a bit of peace and quiet sometimes. Ssh. Don't tell anyone!

* This post was sponsored by Velux Blinds. All words and opinions are my own.

(Not) a crap day

Friday, 14 August 2015

You know when you wake up not feeling your best and just have an inkling it's going to be one of those days? I hate that. But sometimes you just have to decide to snap out of it, make a plan and enjoy your day. Especially when there are three little people counting on you to make their day fun. 

Our day turned out ok in the end... nothing a few coffees and some sunshine couldn't fix. How do you cheer yourself up on a grumpy day?

New season wish list | Kids style

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

My budget is tight at the moment, so I'm not splurging on any new season clothes for my three. Yet. Plus I'm still, in some naive, hopeful fashion, holding out for a half decent summer to emerge.

None of that stops me looking though, does it? And boy, have I looked.

My two favourite brands, Bobo Choses and Mini Rodini, have released their first drop of the season and they're both pretty awesome.

Naturally, I've compiled a pretty healthy wish list. Maybe I should accept summer is a total wash out, sell some stuff on eBay, add to basket and move on.

Bobo Choses:one.two.three.four

Mini Rodini:one.two.three

Thanks to my canny up-sizing last year, I won't need to buy too much for my three this season. Just one or two items to refresh their wardrobes and satisfy my shopping itch! At least that way I can justify to myself the slightly higher than high street prices. Plus, items from these brands really do withstand the most vigorous kid-testing and wash extremely well. Money well spent if you ask me.

What have you got your eye on for the colder months?

5 'oh crap, it's raining again' ideas

Monday, 10 August 2015

Ah, British summer time. An unpredictable hybrid of sun, sand, wellies, despair and cabin fever.

As I type, I'm staring out the window at what can only be described as a monsoon. I guess I shouldn't moan though. We did have a whole day of summer on Saturday.

So, here I am again, faced with the prospect of joining every other desperate parent at our local soul-sapping, germ-infused soft play. Or grit my teeth and brave the stay-at-home option. Not for the faint-hearted, if you're running with this option you're going to need preparation, steely determination and patience. Patience in spades.

After a minor melt-down over what he deemed a premature bed time yesterday (it wasn't premature), Dylan had his Xbox taken away, so there's no relying on video games to occupy the monkeys today. As if rainy days in the summer holidays weren't difficult enough!

So here you have it. My top five rainy day, get-you-all-to-bedtime-in-one-piece, activities. Slap on your best CBeebies presenter grin and lets do this!

Hot lava floor (and other ridiculous games involving soft furnishings). My kids love games that involve using cushions and blankets as other imaginary stuff. It's unbelievable. Slap a few pillows on the floor, pretend they're surrounded by lava, nominate a lava monster to try and pull people in and, bob's your uncle, you have at least 11 minutes of imaginative play right there.

Baking. I'm a bit of a control freak in the kitchen, so this doesn't come easily to me ("carefully with the flour... crack the eggs into the bowl... no, we need to cover the mixer before we beat the butter and icing sugar!"). But there's no denying that this is one of Meryn's favourite things to do on a rainy day. Especially if whatever we've made requires decorating afterwards. She'll spend ages icing and topping just one cupcake so, give her a dozen, and that's most of the day sorted.

Lego organisation. This is more for my benefit than theirs, but they don't know that. We spent a good three hours last week wading through our giant tub of Lego, separating out all the minifigures, reuniting them with their heads/arms/hair/weapons and attempting to rebuild some of the broken sets. Imagine my despair when Ayden decided to tip the new tub of pristine minifigures back into the Lego abyss before the day was out. Sigh.

Treasure hunt. You might think this would be more hassle than it's worth. And you'd be right. But at least it helps to while away a few hours and give you all a bit of fun in the process. Just scribble a few clues on some pieces of paper, hide some stuff around the house, equip each child with a tool (magnifying glass, backpack, scroll, labrador...) and send them on their way. Sit back with a cuppa and listen to utter chaos unfold.

Craft. Oh, craft. A wonderful, imaginative and traumatising activity in equal measure. In all honesty, I love nothing more than watching my three children sat around the kitchen table making models, drawing amazing pictures and inventing new things. They'll happily spend hours sat there. But, dear god, the mess. Meryn discovered my craft drawer recently and now nothing is sacred. Yesterday I found her decorating an Amazon box with my favourite Paperchase washi tape and emptying my hole-punch onto the table to use the contents in a home-made party popper. It's impressive how far those tiny circles can travel, when fired through the air from a balloon-covered empty toilet roll. 

What are your fail-safe rainy-day activities? I'd love to hear them :) 

And to those of you in the thick of it today... we've got this!

Wisdom begins in wonder | The Ordinary Moments

Monday, 3 August 2015

Last week my mum and I took the kids to Cardiff Natural History Museum. We'd spent the morning at Apple Camp in our local Apple store, learning how to film and edit movies (which was great. And free!). Ayden had fallen asleep in his pram and we had an hour or so to kill before getting ice cream and heading home. 

Since watching Jurassic World at the cinema a few weeks ago, it's fair to say Dylan has been ever so slightly interested in dinosaurs. The museum seemed like a good idea - we hadn't been since they were very little and I thought it would be nice to do something a bit different.

From the second we walked in, Dylan was fascinated. His little face as we walked into the dinosaur room was just wonderful. I'll never forget it. He lit up. Eyes wide and a smile even wider. 

He didn't take long to find the guide and asked her question after question. Really intelligent questions too. Things I would never have thought to ask. He was in his element. 

She enjoyed the dinosaur exhibit, but Meryn got really excited when we got to the 'crystal room'. Row upon row of sparkly gemstones and brightly coloured crystals. A little girl's paradise.

Ayden woke up just in time to head back in to see the dinosaurs one last time. Then we made our way across the city to get ice-cream (via the museum gift shop. Thank you nanny!).

We had the most wonderful day. Seeing Dylan and Meryn so excited to learn and discover new things made my week. I forget sometimes that you don't need to dazzle them with expensive day trips and 'stuff' to give them a day to remember. Just some 230 million year old bones and a fossilised dinosaur turd... everyone's a winner.