Entries from June 2015

how to decorate with pastel coloursI know I’m usually a cool monochrome and minimal person but there is one colour trend that I am feeling very drawn to especially for a kids room or a nursery.  Extra bright or neon type colours can feel too overpowering for me so if I was going for a colourful kids room it would have to be beautiful soft pastel shades.  Pastel shades work so well for babies, boys or girls and they can even work for a shared unisex room.  The colours are soft and calming and that should help the kids sleep better (ok that maybe me being over optimistic!). Thinking about pastel kids rooms I went looking for some inspiration to put together a mood board that will hopefully inspire you too.  So if you’re thinking about pastels, keep reading for some tips on how to decorate with pastel colours.

I wanted a range of colours in the room because I think different pastel shades mix so well.  I wanted to create a feature wall or a focal point so I started with that abstract cloud wallpaper which has all the pastel shades mixed in so well.  This wallpaper is part of a range by Wallpapered that you can customise to your exact dimensions making it perfect for a feature wall.  But if you had a particular pastel image or print in mind, Wallpapered also offer a make your own wallpaper service so you can really use anything you like and make it absolutely unique to you. 

Next I picked out three shades within the wallpaper that I really liked which were a mix of pastel pink, green and blue.  I think three main colours is the perfect number to give a nice variety of shades without it becoming too much.  I kept the bed neutral as beds are a focal point in a room and a pastel bed would have been a bit of an overkill.  But while the bed is clean and neutral, you can always add pastel bedding like I’ve picked.  Also keeping lots of white in the room actually helps the pastel shades to stand out.  I then picked out accessories in my three chosen shades and lastly I added a garland that has all the pastel shades which makes it all come together.  Here’s where you’ll find all these pretty pastel things:

pink cloud cushion | dotty cloud cushion | apple and pear poster | striped soft toy | pink duvet set | white quilt | paint dipped storage baskets | pineapple night lights | pompom garland | pastel clouds wallpaper | natural toddler bed


best makeup remover cleanser

Last weekend I treated myself to a new make-up remover and cleanser in one.  I decided to try something new as I wasn’t crazy about the one I was using.  With my old one I had to clean my face about 3-4 times to get all the traces of make-up off and another couple of times to ensure that all eye make-up was gone too.  One of the last things I do at night is remove my make-up – I force myself to do this even though the temptation is to just go to bed especially knowing that that school day alarm will go off, no matter, what at 6:30am.  With my last makeup remover this annoying end to the day was taking so long that occasionally I wouldn’t bother to completely remove my make-up.  I’d have a quick swipe and leave it at that.  Not a good idea so I decided that I needed to try something different that would hopefully be a lot quicker and easier to use.

quick makeup remover cleanser

I’ve used Ren products before and have liked them so decided to try their express all-in-one makeup remover.  I think I’ve found what I was looking for.  This creamy cleanser removes make-up so well and quickly.  I did have to cleanse a couple of times to remove all traces of my mascara and eye-liner but that was it – no going back several times.  I love the feel of this cleanser too – it’s really smooth and silky and made my skin feel soft and clean after using it.  And Ren use mostly natural products in their skin care range so there are no nasties like parabens, sulphates and other harsh chemicals.  I also love that Ren feels like a luxury brand but doesn’t cost the earth.  Anything that makes my beauty routine easier and quicker without compromising on my skin makes me happy and this Ren express make-up remover does just that.  So if you’re looking for quick make-up removal then this could be the answer for you too.

I should add that this isn’t a sponsored post – I bought the product and liked it so I thought you might enjoy hearing about it too. 

colour blocking and two tone dresses

Colour blocking is a trend that’s been around for ages and it’s thankfully not going nowhere.  It’s such a simple way to add so much style to a look.  Especially if you’re more of a minimalist and don’t want busy prints and patterns, a simple colour block dress or skirt is the answer.  Just like that blue and white shirt dress that pops so much more than if it was plain blue or plain white.  You can create your own look too by pairing two solid colours together.  I’m loving the colour block look for mums and babies and definitely will be wearing something similar over the Summer (if it ever comes!).

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With the Summer holidays coming up lots of us are planning a family holiday.  Even though we aren’t going away this Summer travel has always been a huge part of my childhood and adult life for as long as I can remember.  Even when Anya came along, we didn’t stop traveling.  In fact it was the opposite – we realised we just needed to plan a bit better but it was entirely doable.  We also didn’t let long-haul put us off.  She’s only six and has already been to places as far flung as Argentina and Uruguay, San Francisco, India and Nepal (lucky kid!).  Some of these journeys have involved 14-15 hour flights but we managed.

Some people have commented to me that it’s easier for us with only one child and in some ways it’s true – we don’t have squabbles to sort out, no one fights over which plane seat they’d like (except Richard and me who both always want the window seat!).  But on the other hand Anya has no one but us to entertain her.  And sometimes it’s been just her and me on long journeys so that has been a bit trickier but still entirely manageable with a little planning beforehand.

Having been through so many journeys and with the holidays coming up I thought I would share some of my best tips on flying long haul with children.  There are loads of tips out there for flying with toddlers and babies but not as many for slightly older kids who are around 4-7 years old.  I also wanted to share my own experiences of what’s worked and what hasn’t as I’ve tried so many little things to make long flights as bearable as possible.  Long flights can be trying with young children and in some ways a lot harder than flying with babies who don’t move.  So I hope these tips help you if you’re planning a long haul flight with children soon.  And if you’re still thinking about whether you should brave long haul or not,  I hope these tips inspire you and make you go for it!

1. Get them excited not just about the holiday but the journey too.  If they’ve never been on a plane before then this will be a huge excitement in itself.  Even if they have, planes are always exciting – I have taken thousands of flights and I’m still excited every time I get on a plane.  Tell them about what to expect at the airport and on the flight so they know what’s coming – include the good and the bad.

2. Let them pack a little back pack or mini stroller suitcase to take on the flight.  I use the words ‘let them pack’ very loosely.  What I mean is let them believe they are packing a case.  Left up to Anya she would cram the most random things in to her hand luggage (she once tried to pack her collection of pebbles that weigh a ton!) so I keep a sharp eye on what she’s putting in there and subtley guide her towards the things I know we will need.  Try and get the kids to pack their hand luggage a few days in advance of leaving because this not only builds up excitement but it gives you time to see what’s in there and to change things around if needed.   This way you can avoid any last minute panics and arguments.

3.  Buy a few cheap toys from the 99p/dollar store but don’t show it to the kids beforehand.  Keep it hidden away and surprise them with it when they are showing signs of boredom.  In addition to a few toys I also take along surprise snacks and treats which always work like magic.

4.  While I wholeheartedly suggest taking a few surprise toys and treats, you can’t go overboard with these as there is only so much you can carry in hand and you don’t want to end up lugging 50 kilos worth of hand luggage around with you with two tired and whiny children in tow!  The next best thing is an ipad or similar which is fully charged and loaded with games and movies.  I know a lot of parents are against screen time but believe me on a long flight it is a godsend!  If you have two kids and one device then be very clear in advance of the flight as to who get’s it when or let them both watch a movie together if that’s an option.  Besides occupying the kids, ipad’s are lot easier to carry around than toys.  This may sound a bit strange but I have a little calculation I use to decide what entertainment comes along and what doesn’t – minutes/hours of entertainment it can provide divided by weight/space it takes.  The ipad wins every time!

5.  Carry Calpol, iburpfen or similar in your handbag.  When Anya was five and we were flying to India, with no warning she developed a burning high temperature mid-flight.  She was so hot that there was even talk of an emergency landing.  Kids getting sick is bad enough at the best of times but at 30,000 feet above ground, it’s scary!  Luckily there was a doctor on board who checked her out and managed to get Calpol off another passenger.  The doctor suggested waiting to see if the Calpol helped before doing anything else.  Luckily it worked and I learned my lesson. (Even with the no liquid on board rules, you can still take medicines along ).

6.  When flying long haul with children, expect the unexpected like delays, lost luggage and extra long queues.  While you can’t plan for every eventuality, it helps to consider the things that can go wrong.  I tend to keep a spare set of clothes for Anya in her hand luggage which came in very handy when the airline lost our luggage when we landed in Buenos Aires after a 24 hour door to door journey.  Also spare underwear is handy as even at 5-6 years of age, accidents can happen especially if there are long queues to use the inflight loos.

7.  If you too have a fussy eater like Anya (and even if you don’t) it’s a good idea to get the children well fed before a long haul flight.  Meals can be delayed, they may not like the options available, their choice of meal may run out – so many reasons and the last thing you want is bored, tired and hungry kids.  We usually head to the airport early and let Anya have a full meal at one of the restaurants there.  That way she’s fed as late as possible which in theory should keep her full for several hours and then I give her the surprise snacks and treats on board as she won’t eat the airline meals.

8.  Keep the best for last.  In my experience, that last hour of a long haul flight is the most painful.  The last 60 minutes can feel longer than the entire flight!  By that time you’ve probably been traveling for several hours and the kids have just about had enough.  You’re probably tired too and I know I start to lose every bit of patience that I had at the start.  So I keep one special toy or treat, usually the best one for this last hour.  It really helps in taking Anya’s mind of her tiredness and boredom for a little while at least. And every minute of calm at this stage helps.

9.  Lastly, don’t forget to relax and enjoy the journey which is the first part of your holiday.  Once we step inside an airport we are in holiday mode and all normal at home rules are broken from the word go.  It really helps if you focus on the fun side of things and keep your sense of humour because after all if you’re relaxed, your kids will be too.

*I’ve linked up to Honest Mum’s brilliant blog posts and Mums Days the list.

Have you checked out our ebabee shop recently?  We have a selection of some of the cutest fashion for Summer including this versatile bear tee.  This white bear t-shirt is quirky and cool, much like a lot of the Korean fashion we have on offer.  It can be mixed and matched with skirts, trousers, shorts and even bloomers.  Here are three looks we are loving with the bear tee:

Korean fashion for kids UK

First up, for a striking look pair the bear t-shirt with our feather print skirt and how about adding those fun fried egg knee socks to complete the look?

korean clothes UK

Next, we’re loving these cute green bloomers with the tee and those mustache knee socks just complete the look.  A sweet Summer look! 

peach pink girls tutu skirt

Last is the bear tee with our gorgeous peachy-pink tutu.  The subtle gold band of the tutu skirt perfectly compliments the gold crown on the t-shirt.  A stylish party look for any little girl.

What’s your favourite look?

Find the pieces here:  bear tee | feather print skirt | fried egg knee socks | green bloomers | mustache knee socks | peachy-pink tutu

junior bedding set yellow bluemix and match kids bedding ideascolourful quilts for kdisThe most exciting part of our house renovations is about to begin.  We are nearly done with all the building stuff and soon to come is the furnishing bit which is the part I have been waiting for.  One of the rooms I am most excited about doing up is Anya’s room.  Since I will be doing the room from scratch, I have a blank canvas and that both excites me and makes me nervous!  I have already got Anya one of these as I knew I wanted her to have some sort of play tent/hideout.  One of the things I am keen to get absolutely right for her room is bedding and recently I came across a beautiful new London based range that ticked all the boxes – comfort, style and natural materials. 

cotton nursery beddding pastelscotton nursery bedding UK

Camomile London’s range is so pretty!  So soft, natural and simple.  One of the things I like most about this range is that you can mix and match colours, textures and patterns to create your own look.  Mix a bit of pale ivory with bright coral or how about going bold with indigo and mustard?  Apart from the kids bedding, there is also a nursery bedding range which is equally gorgeous and some sweet little cushions and accessories to go with the bedding.  Camomile London has been newly created by a mother and daughter team whose simple, understated style I’m really loving.  Bedding like this is so cosy and inviting that I’m sure sweet dreams are almost guaranteed!

loft bedroom decorating ideas

Loft or attic rooms are the perfect space for kids.  If you’re short on space with a growing family then converting your loft in to a kids room or playroom is the answer.  It’s a lot cheaper than moving house and with a little thought, you can turn that unused loft space in to a super cool bedroom that the kids will be fighting over!  It doesn’t even matter if the loft space is very small, it can still make a single bedroom and sometimes even a small space can accommodate two kids as you’ll see from these loft bedroom decorating ideas.  Here are some awesome loft bedrooms to inspire you:

small loft conversion ideas

This loft bedroom is a tiny space but every inch of space has been used very well.  The cupboard under the eves is great for storing all those toys and by using light colours, this room looks gorgeous and cosy instead of small and cramped. 

decorating ideas for rooms with sloped ceilings

This kids attic room is a far bigger space and makes the perfect room for two.  It’s a boy and girl shared space and by placing the beds under the sloping parts of the ceiling, the space is maximised leaving lots of room for play.

how to paint a room with sloped ceilings ideas

This room is so striking!  I love how they’ve used contrasting black and white to accentuate the sloped ceilings which gives such a dramatic look.  And because the ceiling is so low, instead of wasting the space, they’ve cleverly put a mattress on the floor without a bed making such a cosy sleeping space for any kid.

decorating a small attic room

This is another small attic room which has used the space so well.  They’ve actually used the structure of the roof to make the bed area – how clever is that?  Many people would probably overlook a small space like this in their home  or use it as a room to dump stuff in but it makes such a lovely little bedroom for a child who after all doesn’t need the same headroom as adults.

loft room decorating ideas

The space under the sloping ceiling of a loft room is also a great space to put a desk as this room shows us.  It creates an intimate little space to do homework or any desk work.  If your loft room is going to be shared by two kids, this would be a great way of creating an individual little corner for each child.

loft bedroo decorating ideas

This is a bit of a blurry image but I still wanted to include it because this is another great space saving way to place beds in a shared loft room.  If you don’t have quite enough width to place beds side by side, this is the answer and will work so well in long and narrow loft spaces.  I also love that the beds are under a big window – lots of scope for star gazing at night!

ideas to decorate an attic

This adorable space is shared by two sisters.  It not a big space but it’s still perfect for a pair of sisters.  In a small loft room you can use a shared bedside table and then beyond the beds is a little play space.  I can just imagine the hours of fun the two little girls have hiding out and playing in their cosy room (when they’re not fighting of course!)

Loft rooms feel like a kind of hideout and that’s why they can make amazing rooms for kids.  Big or small, high ceilings or low any space in your loft can be turned in to an amazing kids space.  Unlike basements, loft rooms are always bright because you can add plenty of windows to let in lots of natural light as the rooms above show us.  And with such a wide range of roof windows available from places like VELUX you don’t even have to search too hard.  All you need is a little imagination and you can create such a cool space for your kids.  If not a bedroom then a think about creating a playroom to keep all those toys contained in one place.  If I had a loft I would definitely be converting it in to a useable space but I’m just not sure whether I could give it to the kids!

Image credits: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7


what do you do with an idea picturebook

What do you do with an idea?  How many times have you let an idea slip by just because people told you it wouldn’t work?  I know that I have pushed aside ideas many times because people have laughed at it or because I didn’t believe enough in myself to pursue it.  We all have ideas, big and small, but often we are scared of them and don’t know what to do with them.  Will people laugh at our idea, will they think it’s weird or worse will they think we’re weird?  Do we have the determination and confidence to develop it?  This kids book called What Do You Do with an Idea? is all about an idea and what can happen when you have one.  It’s written in a very simple, easy to understand way for kids with beautifully simple drawings to match.

childrens books that promote self confidence

What Do You Do With An Idea is a kids book that is just as much for adults.  It’s a great reminder for any age that ideas are to be treasured, nurtured and believed in but more than the idea, it’s also about believing in yourself and having the confidence to look beyond the meanies who try and put you and your idea down.

what do you do with an idea kobi yamada

I bought this book a couple of weeks ago and read it to Anya expecting her to love it just as much as I did.  She didn’t.  She didn’t dislike the book but I think she didn’t fully get it.  This book is recommended for three years and over but I think for younger kids it’s a cute picture book but not much more beyond that.  Even for Anya who is six, I think we need to talk about the book a bit more for her to fully appreciate it.  But don’t let that put you off as this book as it’s a keeper.  What Do You Do with an Idea? is a book to pull out whenever you or your kids are struggling with an idea and self-belief.  I am so glad I bought the book and will be keeping it and bringing it out every so often to read to Anya and I know she will appreciate it more in time, especially as she gets older and maybe starts having more doubts about things.

kids canvas trainers cheap

I’ve been waiting patiently for the British Summer to arrive (ok not so patiently) but it seems to be coming finally!  And someone has been tormenting me for a pair of sandals.  I thought this kind of torment only started when they were 16, not six!  But I’d much rather Anya ask me for something like sandals that she really wants and will use rather than for something she wants simply because her friends have it.  I’ve had my eye on a pair that I spotted months ago but have been waiting for the right weather.  Now that it’s here I’m ordering!

cheap shoes for childrencheap good quality shoes for childrenboys canvas trainers

The sandals I’ve been coveting are the Spanish Avarcas by Pisamonas – they are so gorgeous!  Anya has  already had a pair of Pisamonas shoes before and they have been worn a fair amount and still look great.  So I know the sandals will be just as good and they are so reasonably priced that I can even splurge on two pairs – once you see the colours you’ll know why it’s hard to choose just one.  Besides those sandals they have loads more styles and another that caught my eye is a very pretty pair of flip-flop style sandals in similar colours as the Avarcas but with a bit of gold trim.  Perfect for a Summer party!

girls summer sandals affordable

I tend to favour European shoes for Anya because I find that they fit her narrow feet better and they offer such fun styles too.  I’m so glad to have discovered Pisamonas who’s shoes are all made in Spain and they are some of the most reasonably priced kids shoes I have ever come across and the prices even include free delivery.  There is lots of fun stuff for boys too including the Avarcas sandals which are regularly worn by little boys in Spain and I think they look so cool.  For the boys I also love the canvas plimsolls which come is some fresh colours for Summer and those soft suede loafers are so fun too.  So if you want some stylish European shoes for your kids this Summer then check out Pisamonas and you won’t be disappointed with the range, the colours and the incredible prices.

Here’s a short video to give you a better flavour for the shoes:

This post is brought to you in partnership with Pisamonas.  All ideas, content and words are my own.  Thank you for supporting my work with carefully selected partners that support this blog.

*I’ve linked up to Mummy’s Got Style’s fashion Friday.

free printable fathers day cards for kids

Do you celebrate Father’s Day?  We don’t do gifts but we always have cards and a usually a nice family meal.  Every year I have the best intentions of making a card but it never happens.  This year though I decided I would be organised and make sure it happens.  So I made these little mustache cards – aren’t they cute?  I was so pleased with the way they turned out that I thought I would share them here.  If you still need a card, then these free printable Father’s Day cards are the answer.  You can print them and let the kids decorate them as they wish. 

free printable fathers day card

To make these cards, all you have to do is print out the PDF’s, fold along the line and cut them out.  Just make sure that you don’t cut all the way round – the tops shouldn’t be cut so that the back of the card remains attached.  I used pink, maroon and grey coloured card but you can choose whatever colours you like.  And if you’d like the kids to decorate them then lighter colours will of course be better. 

free printable fathers day card for kidsfree printable mustache cards

I’ve attached two PDF’s of these Father’s Day cards – one where the mustaches have little messages printed on them and the second which are left blank for you to put your own message or just to decorate as you wish.  We’ve made so many of them and Anya can’t wait to get decorating.  Happy Father’s Day to all those great dad’s out there!



P.S. If you want some more fun free father’s day printables, here’s a round-up I did a little while ago.

*I’ve linked up to What Katy Said’s kids corner.

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