The Summer holidays have been here for a couple of weeks now and are a welcome break from the routine.  With the beautiful UK weather, we’ve been indulging in lots of outdoor time.  But since I work from home, I can’t take Anya out morning to evening every day as I need to find time to work.  If you work from home, you’ll know that the constant questions, demands for food and expressions of boredom make working nearly impossible or at least means you take three times as long to do anything!  While the TV and ipad are good at keeping her distracted, I like to use these in moderation.  So instead I’ve been stocking up on a few creative little activities which I’ve started giving her when she needs something to do.  Nothing complicated, just the very simplest little things I’ve bought which she can create with by herself.  I thought I would share the three that have been the biggest hits so far:

"best activity books for children"

Let’s Make Some Great Fingerprint Art is such a fun book.  The book is packed with loads and loads of ideas for making art with your fingers.  All you need is a colourful inkpad and a pencil to complete the pictures you create.  Anya loved this book and takes it out nearly everyday since I gave it to her.

"indoor-Summer-holiday-activities"

I spotted this massive jar of beads in Ikea a while ago.  They’re not exactly beads but mini tube shaped bits that Anya has used for all sorts of creations.  From making jewellery to sticking them on paper to make pictures, this jar has so many uses.  Anya has also used these beads to make up counting by colours kind of games.  But be warned, every time they come out, you’ll be treading on little bits of plastic for days to come!

"ways to keep kids occupied in Summer holidays"

This last one was a bit of an impromptu made-up thing but Anya loved it so I thought it was worth sharing.  I needed to get on with some urgent work so needed her occupied.  I just made a huge sheet of paper, pulled put some poster paints and told her to have fun.  She ended up painting with her fingers and had a ball.

How do you keep your kids occupied?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

"6 etsy favourites"

Here are 6 things I’m currently loving on etsy:

1.  vintage floral baby shorts | 2.  monochrome fox brooch | 3.  black and white rainbow pillow doll | 4.  linen polka dot pouch | 5.  personalised wooden toy boat | 6. deer girl kids room poster

"black and white posters for babies"

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love black and white decor for every part of the home including kids rooms.    So this collection of mostly black and white posters for kids totally grabbed my attention.  It’s one of the cutest I’ve seen in a while and includes bunnies, mountains, type and more all presented in a clean, graphic style.

"posters-for-kids-bedrooms"You’ve probably guessed by now that these posters are from Sweden – you can’t miss the cool Scandi vibe.  These black and white kids room posters are so playful and cute and would add a touch of fun to any kids space.

"vintage linen girls clothes"

I know I talk a lot about the Summer but if you lived in London you would know why.  We get so little sunshine over the year that when it does come, it’s reason enough to celebrate!  With all this glorious weather we’re enjoying I remembered a brand of clothes that seems to capture the very essence of Summer.  Their clothes and pictures make me dream of long, sunny days spent playing outdoors, getting wet in water fountains, picking flowers, enjoying ice-creams – you know the kind of simple, timeless pleasures that only Summer allows.  Soor Ploom Clothier shines in it’s simplicity.   The clothes have a vintage touch which adds to their charm and are all made of my favourite Summer fabrics -  soft cottons and linens.  These are the kind of timeless Summer clothes that allow kids to be kids and I am truly in love!

Games on the go!

July 15, 2014

"portable travel games for kids"With the Summer holidays coming up and all the traveling many of us have planned, I wanted to share these fabulous portable travel board games with you.  Apart from being beautiful to look at, the best part of these games is that the board is made of fabric and doubles up as the bag to store all the wooden counters.  What a clever and practical idea especially for taking on long road trips or even plane and train journeys.  A French creation, these games include checkers, chess and tic tac toe.  Recently, they have also introduced some colourful card games that are just as easy to take on your travels.  Anything that makes long journeys easier has to be a good thing!  These board games are available in many countries and you can see all the stockists here.

Sharing a room is fun when you’re a kid.  Sometimes though it’s not just about the fun but a necessity if you’re short on space.  While same sex shared rooms may seem easier to decorate, boy and girl shared rooms can also work really well with a little imagination and thought.  From creating a neutral space to having specific sides decorated differently I’ve rounded up 5 of the most beautiful unisex shared rooms to inspire you:

"unisex shared bedroom ideas"

Using lots of white in the room means you can add pops of colour with boy/girl specific accessories and toys just like they’ve done in the unisex shared room above.  With all the white in the room, no bright colour is off limits.

"unisex kids bedroom ideas"

Here the boys side is decorated in blue while the girls side is decorated in creamy florals.  The similar prints and complimentary colours bring the room together even though each kid has their own side.

"boy and girl shared bedroom ideas"

Grey is one of my favourite colours for any kids room including a shared bedroom.  I love the different beds and how they’ve used wall stickers to personalise each space.  This room is a unisex space but with the addition of accessories, toys and wall decorations it becomes more girly on one side and more masculine on the other.

"ideas for shared kids rooms"

An all white, minimal space is yet another way of creating a shared boy girl bedroom.  In this room, there is nothing too specific about each side except for a few soft toys on each bed.  The decor is simple and neutral to suit both sexes.

"decorating a room for a boy and girl sharing"

From all white and minimal, this is a room exploding with colour.  Bold, bright unisex colours thrown together create a great shared space for boy and girl.  There are no boy or girl sides here, just a complete shared space that works equally for either sex.

See more of these rooms here: one | two | three | four | five

Something fishy…

July 10, 2014

"fish themed kids decor clothes"

Foxes, elephants, birds and bunnies are everywhere on kids things from their clothes to decor.  For a change, I love a bit of fish themed things and these are some my current favourites (especially those fish hair clips):

1.  tee with fish detail | 2.  fish hair clips | 3.  seahorse soft toys | 4.  whale print pyjamas | 5.  shark tee | 6. koi fish poster

When thinking about updating a kids room, you don’t always have to start from scratch.  There are lots of easy ways to add a fresh look without completely re-decorating and turning it in to a mammoth project.  One of my favourite ways to easily refresh a child’s room is turning the wardrobe in to a feature piece.  Wardrobes are one of the largest pieces of furniture in most bedrooms including kids rooms.  So instead of looking at them as boring must-haves, I love the idea of using the the wardrobe fronts as a space to be creative.  With a little bit of imagination, wardrobes can become a really fun feature piece in a kids bedroom.

Here are 5 fun ways to add a some personality to any wardrobe:

"ways to update an old wardrobe"

1.  A quick and easy, yet striking way to make your wardrobe feel very much a part of the room is to paint it the same colour as the wall.  This gives quite a dramatic look and works especially well with bold colours as opposed to whites or creams.

2.  Instead of creating a feature wall, turn your kids wardrobe in to one.  Wallpaper the doors in colours and styles that match the rest of the room decor.  As the image shows, using different but complimentary wallpapers is a good idea to keep it looking interesting.  I’m loving the vintage wallpaper look so much that I’m tempted to try it myself.

"how to customise your wardrobe"

3.  Wall stickers aren’t just for walls.  They a great option for almost anywhere including adding some fun to a wardrobe.  A simple white wardrobe can be transformed in to something unique.  And the best part of using stickers is that you can easily change the look as often as you like. Instead of stickers, for a really personal touch, you could even stick your child’s artworks on to the wardrobe doors making a little gallery space.

"how to update old wardrobes"

4.  This is such a great idea.  Paint the doors in chalkboard paint and your kids have a blank canvas.  Each day they can create a new master piece, rub it out and start again the next day.  And I’m sure this huge canvas will be a hit when your kids have friends over too.

5.  For a subtler look, wallpaper the inside of a wardrobe in a bold print or pattern so you can only see the splash of colour when the wardrobe doors are open.  You could also go one step further and paint the wardrobe in a complimentary colour or just stick with white for a more understated feel.

There are lots of ways to add your own personal touch to your kids room.  I especially like the idea of customising furniture because it means that you can bring an old piece back to life or you can buy an inexpensive piece of bedroom furniture from places like Homebase and give it your own creative touch.  It’s a fun project to let your kids get involved in and the best part is, it’s not permanent so you can change the look as often as you like.

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

Image credits: 1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5.

"100 cotton girls summer dresses"This weekend we went strawberry (and veggie) picking.  Not only have I never taken Anya before but I had never been.  I so enjoyed picking my own vegetables knowing that I would be able to go home and cook them (hello broad bean bruschetta).  Anya too had a ball picking strawberries but then refused to eat them (fussy eater doesn’t even begin to describer her)!  This is one of the things that I love most about Summer – spending time outdoors as a family, doing fun things that everybody can enjoy.  My other Summer love is the fashion, especially the beautiful and colourful Summer dresses for little girls like the green dress that Anya wears.

anya-goodall-test3This Sophie dress was gifted to us by the talented designer Molly who is known for her adorable animal coats but has now extended her range to include lots of pretty and very girly Summer clothes.  Every piece that Molly offers is handmade making each item even more special.   This blue-green dress is one of my favourites in her collection because it’s so simple, easy and comfy to wear and looks so pretty.  The hand block-printed fabric and the little details like the ruffle hem and front tie just add to the charm of this dress.

"handmade summer dresses little girls"

I can’t wait to go back again to do some more veggie and fruit picking and next time I might even convince Anya to eat the strawberries.  After all how can anybody not like strawberries?  And thank you to Molly for this lovely dress and don’t forget to check out the rest of her Summer dresses.

I’ve linked up to Honest Mum’s Brilliant Blog Posts

{all photos by ebabee}

"vintage furniture and toys for kids"

This is probably one of the best vintage shops I have come across.  They have a lovely selection of vintage toys and furniture for kids as well as some stunning vintage pieces for the home too.   That vintage child’s desk is stunning in it’s simplicity as is that ride-on wooden car.  Most of the pieces in this shop are one of a kind and very hard to find.  If you love vintage furniture then I highly recommend this vintage shop.

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