A couple of years ago for Anya’s birthday, Richard and I thought that she would love a dolls house so we decided to make one as that is so much more personal than buying one.  Richard painstakingly made the dolls house out of some wood he bought, we ordered wallpaper samples to line the walls and we even made teeny tiny furniture from bits of wood and small toy blocks.  We had my mum-in-law knit mini blankets and we made little cushions and pillows from foam and fabric scraps.  Because it was going to be a surprise for Anya, we did most of the creating at night, often staying up till the early hours to get it finished on time.  Lots of love, effort and time went in to this handmade DIY dolls house.  On her birthday with much excitement and anticipation we gave it to her.

Anya’s initial reaction was one of joy and we felt happy she had a dolls house as we knew that every little kids loves a dolls house, right? Wrong. After playing with it for about half an hour, the dolls house was never looked at again.  Ever.  It’s now been given to charity and I am hoping some other little kid is enjoying it.  That’s the thing about kids though – you never know what they will like!  We will not be making any more dolls houses ever again (we are scarred for life : )  but if you want to try and make one here are some fabulous ideas to get you inspired and I really hope you have better luck then me:

DIY cardboard dolls house

A DIY cardboard dolls house is an inexpensive option and you can be very creative with it like these two examples show.  The first cardboard dolls house is a simple construction from cardboard boxes.  I love the colourful windows and doors but you don’t have to stop there – you can add as much colour as you like.  Maybe paint the whole house white and then add the colours around the windows.  In the second dolls house, each room is made out of a basic box and if you tire of one room you can just get another box and make a new one.  Also there’s no limit to the number of rooms you can add.

DIY house shelf dolls house

This is such a simple and cute idea.  Really easy to make, these DIY house shelf dolls houses can be decorated with wallpaper samples or paint and you can even have different floors on the larger shelves.  I love the idea of hanging these on the wall so they are at the perfect level for play and they look great too. 

DIY bookshelf dolls house

Using an old bookshelf is another way to make a fabulous dolls house.  But like the picture above you can easily turn an old bookshelf in to a fire station or police station too.  I love how the roof is painted on the wall so you don’t need to create a roof from additional wood and the bigger the book case, the more rooms you can have.

"Ikea hack DIY dollshouse

This is a fantastic Ikea hack.  This is a basic Ikea bedside table that’s been turned in to a modern and fun DIY dolls house.  The furniture too is from Ikea but you could always make your own.

DIY dolls house in a suitcase

Last is this really clever DIY suitcase dolls house.  It’s as fun as any of the others and it’s so easy to store away too.  The front of the house can be decorated with chalkboard paint and chalk like this one or you could create windows and doors with washi tape and add lots of colour too. 

There you have some of really fun ideas to get creating your very own DIY dolls house.  Even though I won’t be making anymore dolls houses anytime soon, I’m still loving these ideas.  My favourite is the house shelf – I think it looks so adorable and doubles up as really cute decor too.  What’s your favourite?

How to get your kids to talk about their day | ebabee

Ever since Anya started school I’ve missed her a lot while she’s out (but of course I enjoy the quiet working time too).  It’s dawned on me that she spends so much time at school and that’s a whole chunk of her life I will miss out on – oh how I wish I could be a fly on the wall!  Since that’s not happening, the best I can do is to really chat to her about her day but up until recently when I asked her questions I was only getting answers like ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I can’t remember’ or ‘I’m hungry’.  Then I read an article (I can’t remember where) that was pretty much saying be very specific with your questions and avoid general questions.  Questions like ‘how was your day?’ or ‘what did you do in school today?’ are far too vague for a small child to answer.

So now I have gotten very specific with my questions and I get so much more from her.  I also space out the questions over a period of time so that she doesn’t feel like she’s getting the third degree! I usually ask her things like:

1. What was the best thing you did today?
2. What was the worst thing about today?
3. Who would you like to have over next for a play date? (this usually changes on a daily basis but gives me an idea of who she played with on that day).
4. What was the yummiest thing on the menu? And the yuckiest?
5. Did you hear a new word today? What was it?
6. Did you fall over today? (this gets her telling me all the details if it happened but if not she will tell me about her friend who may have fallen over).
7. Who was the naughtiest in class today?
8. Did you do anything kind today? Was anybody kind to you?
9. Which lesson did you like the most?

With questions like these, Anya really starts thinking about her day and coming out with more and more little bits and pieces and we end up having a nice long conversation.  I not only find out what she’s been up to but also how she felt about it all.  Some days she’s full of laughter and comes out with the funniest little things and other days she’s more serious or subdued – but each day I get a little glimpse in to her world, how she sees things in it and how she’s feeling about it – what could be better than that?  It’s probably the best bit of my day.  We all want to know the smallest details of what our kids are up to while they’re away from us so I’d love to hear how you get your kids to tell you about their day?  Do you have a creative way to get them to talk?  Does it get harder as they get older?  I would love to hear in the comments.

Have a wonderful weekend filled with happy little conversations – nomita x

"quick face cleansers for mums"

I promise you, I don’t normally take pictures of sponges! But today there’s a good reason.  As I’ve mentioned before, if I come across any quick, effective and useful beauty buys I would share them on here.  Especially ones for mums on the run who don’t have hours each morning for an involved skin or make-up routine, like me.  I recently came across this Japanese face sponge which sounded really quick and easy to use for cleansing your face so I ordered it without much thought as it was really reasonable too. 

"konjac face cleansing sponge"

Ever since the first time I used it I loved it.  It made my skin feel clean, soft and fresh.  These Konjac Sponges come with different ingredients to suit different skin types but all are 100% natural.  I bought the green clay one for normal to oily skin.  All you do is wet the sponge and massage your face with it – really easy and fast – and the sponge cleanses, gently exfoliates and even removes water based make-up. I now use it every morning before the school run and it doesn’t eat in to my limited time at all.   With the best will in the world, I always plan to exfoliate my face every weekend but it never happens.  But now using this konjac sponge morning and evening I don’t really have to worry about exfoliating.  Natural beauty products like this that make your life easier without much effort are always winners for me.

P.S. This is not a sponsored post. I bought the product because I liked the sound of it and I’m really happy with it so I thought I would share it with you.

{all photo’s by ebabee}

I can’t resist a good sale.  Actually I don’t know too many women who can.  At the moment with our huge house renovation project coming up I’m trying to look after the pennies and not shop except during sale time.   Visiting sales can often mean trawling through messy shelves in shops and hanging around long queues  so I much prefer checking out the sales from the comfort of my own sofa.

"Smallable kids designer clothes sale"

One of my favourite sales of the year (apart from my shop of course :) ) is the Smallable kids clothing sale in January.  There is so much gorgeous stuff on offer so choosing just a few pieces is the hard part.  But at least when you’re sat on your sofa in the comfort of your own home, you can browse away and take your time deciding.  With that in mind I thought I would share some of my favourite pieces from their current sale which has offers up to 60% off – talk about hard to resist!  Here I’ve picked the pieces that are tempting me for Anya.  I’m especially finding those red leopard print socks and that wolf sweater very hard to resist.

For the girls:

1. wolf sweater | 2. glitter tutu skirt | 3. grey jersey skirt | 4. leopard knee high socks | 5. cat hat  | 6. apple sweater  | 7. chic rose tee | 8. navy two-tone socks | 9. cat mask tee | 10. stars skirt | 11. weasel sweatshirt | 12. starry leggings

"designer clothes sale for boys"

Many of my readers tell me that they wish I had more boys stuff on the blog.  So today I decided it would be fun to do a boys edit too.  I often wonder how I would have dressed a boy if I had one and now I have some idea.  I was really drawn to the animal illustrations, a bit of superhero style and some colour mixed in with lots of greys, blacks and whites.  I’ve also realised that blue is definitely not a favourite of mine for a boy.  Oh and those leopard socks – I think they’re perfect for boy or girl.

For the boys:

1. mask sweatshirt | 2. red jeans | 3. baggy sweatpants | 4. charcoal rabbit pullover | 5. star print granddad shirt | 6. leopard knee high socks | 7. bear t-shirt | 8. eye spy hat | 9. long sleeve bear tee | 10. yellow leopard trousers

"January 2015 free printable calendar"

This year I’ve decided to be more organised with work and managing home life.  In the past, I’ve always relied on writing things down on scraps of paper that I can of course never find when I need.  Or I’ve always got 4-5 notebooks on the go, each of which has a specific subject at the start of the year but come mid-year I’ve got random notes in all and end up looking through each one to find what I want.  Such a waste of time.  So this year, I’ve started the year with a weekly planner – one sheet for each week with lots of notes for the whole week.  That plus a whole year planner with key dates highlighted so I always know what is happening at a glance. 

"printable 2015 calendar for kids"

"free-printable 2015 calendar"

While looking for planners and calendars I came across some gorgeous free printable ones so I thought I would share them here.  They are so pretty that they may inspire you to use them, even if you don’t normally.  Or at the very least, they’ll make lovely wall decorations even if you never write on them.  I’ve picked a selection – some that are better for kids and others more for adults.  I’ll be printing one for Anya too as she has learned about days and dates in school so it’s a great way for her to get more familiar with the whole idea.  And besides, she’s told me she wants to countdown to Christmas (in January!!!). 

"printable 2015 calendars""printable calendars 2015"

Many of the calendars are released monthly so you’ll have to visit the site each month to print the latest one. I quite like that as you never know what’s coming next.   The top one is probably my favourite (it’s so cute) but not the most practical to write on, however I still love it just to pin it up in a kids room and I can’t wait to see the new ones each month.  A couple are in French but of course not hard to understand.  Here’s where you’ll be able to print all these gorgeous free 2015 calendars:

1. January bear calendar | 2. Animals monthly calendar | 3. Hand drawn font calendar | 4. colourful and cute calendar | 5. February dots calendar | 6. January dotty bird calendar

Ferm living collection Spring 2015

It’s been a while since I did my last Friday Finds post so I thought today I would share some sweetness from around the web.  To start with I’m loving this adorable new collection of Scandinavian interiors for kids and adults too.

How many of these crazy things have you done as a parent?

Could these be the best Hello Kitty posters ever?

Peckish? Why not try this hippo soup? (yes, really!)

Motherhood is many things as we find out from these three 100 yr old mums.

Such a simple and sweet ikea hack.

Check out these 50 ideas for kids to stay creative (and away from those screens).

Have a relaxed weekend and stay warm – nomita x

"oyoyliving spring summer 2015""Danish interior design for kids""Scandinavian soft furnishing"

Have you seen the stunning new Spring/Summer 2015 collection from Oyoy?  Oyoy is a Danish interiors brand for kids and adults and in true Scandinavian style, they make bold and beautiful cushions, soft toys, blankets, bedding and more.  From the new collection for kids, it’s the soft toys that are really standing out for me but then again the adventure rug (pictured second from top) and the circle rug are very cool too. 

"Scandinavian soft furnishings kids"

The soft toys aren’t just toys but  cushions too so they’re equally good for playing with or decorating with.  These are the kind of playful cushions that I wouldn’t even object to having in my living room – especially that turtle!  Then there’s the adventure rug in striking black and off white which would be so much fun in any kids room.  And the circle rug – simple, minimal but so eye-catching.  Forget the kids, I want that for my room over some light wooden floors.  While I’m lusting after their kids stuff, their grown-up things are equally lust-worthy so they’re worth checking out too.  I’m just glad I have a whole house to do up soon so I may just have an excuse to indulge in some of this!

"knee high socks outfits kids"

How adorable is the knee high socks look?  Not as warm as tights but it looks so cute with skirts, dresses and even shorts and bloomers.  I love this look as it adds so much style without much effort.  It’s not practical of course in the depths of Winter but as soon as Spring starts to come and even in the cooler Summer days, I know I want to find a load of knee-high socks for Anya.  You can add a pop of colour to muted outfits with a bright pair of socks, go for a matching look or it’s a great way to add a pattern or print to a plain outfit.  You can change the whole look of an outfit just with a pair of socks and it looks totally adorable!  Do you know any fun and colourful ranges of knee high socks for kids?  I’d love to know.

Image credits: 1. galletasdeante | 2. pepitobyChus | 3. agentbauer | 4. no source | 5. jujubunnyshop | 6. pauletpaula

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

"cashmere cardigan child"

One of the biggest joys of our new home is that we have our very own garden.  We’ve wanted one for ages but have never found the right home with the right garden and now we have.  Yay!  So even thought it’s cold and the garden is overgrown we still get out there for short bursts.  Normally when Anya goes out there I make her wear a coat which she finds a bit restrictive for her outdoor adventures.  But recently she was sent this gorgeously soft cashmere cardigan which is oh so warm.  So this Sunday I let Anya wear that with a couple of tee’s under and play outside for a bit and she didn’t once complain of being cold.

"cashmere clothes for babies and kids"

I love the stylish touches on this grey cashmere cardi like the mother of pearl buttons that go down the side rather than the middle.  This cardigan is great for dressing up or down too.  Anya’s worn it before with a long dusty pink tutu to a birthday party but this Sunday we were having a relaxed day and a late brunch with some friends so we dressed it down with skinny jeans and some cool orange boots.  The cardigan is made by the French Oscar et Valentine who also make some beautiful baby clothes as well as classic cashmere pieces for boys.  Many of their styles are timeless and classic and come in an understated and very French colour palette.  For something a little edgier, try one of their slogan cashmere jumpers with words like ‘milk’ or ‘rock’ on them – they’re pretty cool too.

"grey cashmere cardigan child"

Anya spent her time outdoors looking for caterpillars and when she couldn’t find any she pretended they were there anyway and started to collect little leaves to feed them.  If you’ve already got a garden (or back yard as my readers across the pond call it) then you know what a magical place it is for a kid.  And to be able to spend even a little time outside in Winter is a real treat.  As long as the weather’s not crazy cold, I think Anya will be donning her very warm cashmere cardi and heading out there every weekend!

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

Ages ago I bought a large cardboard igloo for Anya.  I had stored it away and completely forgotten about it until we moved house a month ago.  As soon as she spotted it, she wanted to put it up and so we did over the Christmas holidays.  This igloo has become her favourite little space in the whole house.  She reads in there, plays in there, hides in there and even takes her quilt and pillow and has a little rest in there.  Of course any kid loves a ‘secret’ hiding place and this igloo has so reminded me of that.  Actually I don’t think you can ever be too young or too old to want a little hiding place!  So when we do up Anya’s room in our new home, I know that I will be creating a tipi corner for her.  While the igloo is lovely it is very large so a tipi will be far more practical as it doesn’t take up nearly much room.  With that in mind, I went looking for some tipi corner inspiration and here are my favourites:

"black and white tipi corner kids room"

I love the simplicity of this teepee and the way it has been decorated in shades of white and black with just a simple string of lights.  This might be for a kids room but it would look equally great in a living space if you wanted to create a cosy corner for all the family to enjoy.

"pink tipi for girls room"

This is such a gorgeous and girly room and the dusty pink teepee just adds to the feminine vibes of the room.  I love how most of the room is white but the pink teepee just adds that splash of colour.

"teepee for kids room"

While I always think I prefer plain coloured fabrics, it’s when I see prints and patterns mixed like this that I start re-thinking.  I love this printed teepee that looks so great with all the other patterns surrounding it.  This space works perfectly for a boy or girl so would be great for a shared room.

"ideas for DIY kids teepee"

Teepee’s aren’t actually that hard to make so you could make your own and then mix and match a range of fabrics like they’ve done on this one above.   These pretty floral fabrics look great all together especially against the geometric rug and cushions.

Even if your child’s room doesn’t have space for a teepee, I really would be tempted to put one in a shared family space like a corner of the living room.  I think once we get Anya’s room done with a teepee in there, it won’t be just her using it – I can picture me spending hours in there playing games with her or just reading books to her.  Do you have a teepee in your home?

Image credits: 1. coos-je  | 2. detailed factory | 3. nynneetliloujos | 4. momo design

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