Project Dollhouse: Part Two

Project Dollhouse: Part Two

Following on from my first blog post Project Dollhouse: Part One I thought I would share how I have been ‘doing up’ the four rooms in the Dollhouse.

I started with Perfume in the top left room and I decided to paint two of the walls in these colour and leave a wall white to cover in scrapbook paper. I then painted another room in Wham and a third room in Sugar and Spice. Painting just two of the walls and leaving the third wall blank for some scrapbook paper. I was tempted to go back to Resene and get another test pot to paint the fourth room but I decided against it. The rooms were already looking pretty colourful and busy and I thought another colour would be too much. Yes, I know its already a bit much huh? But, it is for a soon to be four year old.

I settled on painting the fourth room Perfume. I felt it broke up the pink, plus I wasn’t overly happy with the green of Wham. (I have since decided I rather like the green and it gets Little Miss’s seal of approval). I did two coats of each colour which I think looks fine.

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Halfway through painting the rooms

I was lucky enough to be gifted some AWESOME items from Emma of Luluncat, she has made and put together cute packs for dollhouses. Litle Miss has seen the items already and she was as just as excited as I was about them. I love seeing what people can create.

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Playing around with the cute decor items.

I have been getting quite a bit of inspiration for my doll house from Pinterest, geez I love Pinterest, so many cool ideas……

I found some great ideas for things to include in the dolls house that I hadn’t thought about, including a pin “How to Hang Doll House Curtains”. I’m not a very good sewer and I don’t have a sewing machine so this seemed a perfect idea for me to add curtains into the house.

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seven thirty three ‘How to Hang Doll House Curtains’

I started my own Project: Doll House board on Pinterest if you wanted to check it out. It might give you some ideas if you are thinking of doing a similar project. I can waste lots of time checking out what other people have created.

 

I have purchased some cute Hello Kitty material that I know Little Miss will love. My plan is to make curtains for each of the rooms and then perhaps some cushions, I will see how I go with the curtains first! There was a lot of Hello Kitty material to chose from, but I settled for this one mainly due to it being on sale, haha and it was good to have something else that wasn’t pink! (I also found this letter ‘A’ amongst my stash of stuff and I have had some thoughts of incorperating this into the house). I think the material will look really good against the colours I have chosen to paint the walls.

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Cute material

After the two coats of paint I raided my scrapbook paper stash and started looking at what would compliment each room. I also tried to pick papers that I knew Little Miss would love, the brighter and more colourful the better I thought. I’m really pleased with how the house is looking, but still a little more to do.

Here’s a few photos of a couple of the rooms

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Wham

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Perfume

 

Hopefully next time I will be able to share how I got on with the curtains and I’ll share some photos of the rooms. Until next time…….

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Project Dollhouse: Part One

Little Miss turns 4 next month, yes 4, I cannot believe it. My baby girl only has another year before starting school.

She may seem at times that she is 3 going on 13 but, oh my what a fun age three has been and heres to many more adventures with her as a four year old.

Project Dollhouse:

A little while ago I shared a photo on Instagram of a dolls house I bought off a friend, that I was intending to ‘do it up’ in time for Little Miss turning 4 at the beginning of June. Little Miss LOVES a dolls house. I have observered her play with one at playcentre, as well as ones that have been at her friends house. I just know this gift will be perfect for her.

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Before shot, I wasn’t keen on the wallpaper, so off it came.

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After a coat of undercoat, luckily we had a tin in our garage!

Unfortunately due to the size of our home (and the dolls house) I have been unable to hide it from her. She is aware it is for her birthday and appears to be happy to wait for that day so she can play with it.

I immediately went into ‘planning’ mode. I decided I would paint some of the walls, making it pink and girly, as I know Little Miss would love that. I was also keen to use some of my scrapbook papers (I have a decent collection!) to decorate the walls and maybe the floors?

I thought it would be good to keep the roof dark, maybe black????? Which lead me to think of black chalkboard paint……..

I like the idea that she can make the dolls house her own. Draw pictures, patterns on the roof to really personalise her house.

When it came to painting the rooms I decided that test pots were the best way to go. I bought a tin of the black chalkboard paint and four test pots from Resene

The four colours I chose were

  • Shocking a cool pastel violet pink colour
  • Wham this colour is a lot brighter than it shows on the website, a very cool green
  • Perfume this colour reminds me of Sofia the First!
  • Sugar and Spice I thought a shimmery paint would be really cool
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Top: Sugar and Spice Centre: Shocking Bottom: Perfume

I was spoilt for choice, so I just decided to go for girlie colours I knew Little Miss would love and I picked a green because I thought I needed to break up the pink!

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All ready to paint

 

Making a start

Firsty I found some white undercoat in our garage (from a project a few years ago) and painted the whole house with it, just one coat.

I then painted the roof in the chalkboard black paint and the outside of the house pink. I decided I would make each room a little different, more on that next time.

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Progress shots

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Progress……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If anyone has any tips/tricks or suggestions I would love to hear them.

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Easter Time with Lulu n Cat

Yay it’s almost that time again, Easter!!!! When I was a kid, apart from Christmas and my birthday, Easter was another holiday I looked forward too.

It meant two weeks off school and lots of chocolate! I grew up with two younger brothers and we all did pretty well for Easter.  We were brought up to wait patiently until Easter Sunday before we could open one of our chocolately treats! (My husband tells me as a child, he was allowed to have his chocolate eggs on Good Friday, to me this doesn’t seem right and I insist our kids have to wait until Sunday).

This year Little Miss is three (going on 13), she will be four in June and Mr Happy is two next month. And this will be the first year I will attempt to do an Easter egg hunt for them. I say attempt, cause I can see it being a tad chaotic. I am really conscious about how much chocolate they should eat/be given at their age, so I have been putting some thought into what they can ‘hunt’ for. I found these cool Playdoh Easter eggs, $12 for 10 eggs which I thought was prety good. The kids, are HUGE Playdoh fans so I think these eggs filled with Playdoh will be a big hit.

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I also have two of Lulu n Cat Easter Bunny Jars one in lime green and the other in blush pink. I think the kids will really like these to collect their mini chocolate eggs and Easter stickers in. Plus after the chocolate is gone and the stickers have been stuck everywhere (usually everywhere but paper!) they will get to keep the jar! They will be a great keepsake, plus they can be used each Easter.

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Emma of Lulu n Cat also lives in New Plymouth, last year I did a review of her cool creations.

I would love to know of any Easter traditions anyone would like to share.

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Kiwi Mummy Blogs Review- Write Size, writing pencils for children.

kmb_grey-pink I was given the great opportunity by Kiwi Mummy Blogs to review Write Size- writing pencils for children.

Write Size are writing pencils for children, with the aim to ‘Deliver results and great handwriting’

I was really impressed with the way they came packaged in a canvas type drawstring bag. The three packs of pencils as well as some information was supplied in the bag.

The pencils originate from the West Midlands in Great Britain. They were developed four years ago by Ross Williams- Managing Directior “Write Size has been developed through personal experince of watching my children struggle to learn to write with tools which are obviously too big for them.” With his knowledge of working in the construction trade he was aware how crucial it is to have the right tool to carry out a job successfully.

The pencils were launched in the UK at the London Stationary Show in March 2015. They have been well recieved with positive comments from teachers and parents. You can read more about the launch via the blog on the Write Size Website.

Now, the important bit about the pencils.

The Write Size pencils come in 3 sizes,

  • 2-6 years- Learn control and grip
  • 6-10 years- Improve confidence and ability
  • 10+ years- Deliver results and great handwriting
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The pencils are different sizes, depending on the age of the child using it. The size will help the child have better control when using the pencil, if the pencil is the wrong size (too small or big), the child will not get the benefit.

 

Review/Experience

I asked a good friend who has two school aged daughters if they would be kind enough to review the 6-10 years and the 10+ years pencils. I felt my children who are aged three and almost two, might not be ready to use a pencil. Although , saying that my daughter who will turn four in June is already writing her name so I should get her to try the 2-6 year old pencils. (Perhaps another review, another time?)

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Gwyneth 11 years old, likes art and crafts, drawing doodling and writing

What did you think of the pencils?
I liked them – they were really good, they were easier than most pencils to use

It improved my writing & made it easier to add fine details when I was drawing. I would recommend them and buy them again.
They were comfortable and didn’t make your hand ache even after writing for awhile.
I used them for maths at school, and a lot of drawing with them.
I was impressed with them.

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Gwyneth using 10+ years

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Great drawing Gwyneth

Felicity 8 years old likes drawing & art and crafts, Felicity used the age 6-10 pencils

What did you think of the pencils?

I liked the pencils, they were nice to use. They didn’t break, and they were easy to use.
They are nice and comfortable, your fingers don’t hurt. I used them for doing my homework and for some drawing.
They helped make my work a bit neater, I like them and would recommend them.

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Felicity using aged 6-10 years

 

Can you buy them?

Sure! As of the beginning of this year, they became avaliable in New Zealand, and are for sale in Warehouse Stationary. Each pack costs $9.99 and contains 5 pencils.

They are also avaliable in the UK through the Write Size Website Shop.

 

Care of the pencils

You are advised to use a jumbo sized pencil sharpener to sharpen your Write Size pencils and they should be sharpened at least once during a school week.

The pencil should be changed when the three coloured lines no longer sit above your child’s hand when they are using it.

 

You can also find Write Size on Facebook Write Size Facebook page

 

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I was kindly sent some Write Size pencils to review. A huge thank you to Gwyneth, Felicity and their Mum for the photos and the assisting me with the review.

 

 

Review for Kiwi Mummy Blogs: Karla Goodwin ‘Bluebells Cakery, Sweet & Savoury’

I was so excited to receive a cookbook to review from Kiwi Mummy Blogs, I love food, I love baking and I love eating, win win!

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This book is by Karla Goodwin and it is her second book. Her first book Bluebells Cakery Volume 1 focused on cakes, sweets and savouries, her new book Bluebells Cakery – Sweet & Savoury still has lots of mouth watering sweet treats to try along with savoury items which are perfect as snacks, finger foods and lunches.

The book was published on November 1st 2015, (wow that’s last year now!). To be honest, I hadn’t actually heard of Karla before, so it has been great to receive a book by someone I wasn’t familiar with. I like the fact that she has a couple of cafe’s,  I would definitely be looking them up next time I head up to Auckland. I have been checking out the Karla Goodwin website and doing my own research.

(The following information was provided with the book and can be found on the Random House website).

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Karla Goodwin is a talented baker behind the boutique Auckland café shop Bluebells Cakery. Karla learned her craft while living in London where she worked in one of the UK’s most prestigious cupcake bakeries, Primrose Bakery.

When she returned to New Zealand in 2011, Karla started selling at La Cigale, Auckland’s French market, but soon opened her own café (in Hillsborough) which quickly grew from opening just two days a week to a seven-day a week business. Due to Bluebell’s growing popularity Karla has recently opened her second store in Eden Terrace, Auckland.

I really enjoy baking and I like recipes that are easy to follow and ones where I can enlist the help of my 3.5 ear old Little Miss. I usually stick to straight forward butter cream icing to decorate birthday cakes and making ganache hasn’t been too challenging. However, this book  has pages with explanations, baking tips and advice, for any budding baker. At the beginning of the ‘Cakes’ chapter there are several ‘How to’ pages, which I really like. The instructions and photos are clear and don’t make fancy cake decorating seem too daunting. In fact, Little Miss has already chosen her next birthday cake several times from the book. There is also a chapter of ‘Condiments’ at the end of the book.

As I looked through the book, I fell in love with the photography, by Tam West. I just wanted to make everything and make it now! In the end I settled for Mini Savoury Scones and the Apple Pies.

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I made the Mini Savoury Scones first and boy were they a hit! They were super easy to make, and the recipe is really easy to follow. The ingredients are mainly things that we usually have in our fridge or in the pantry. The recipe said to include, bacon, and parmesan but there was an option to omit these and add sundried tomato and feta. I decided to add sundried tomato and feta, but I will definitely try the bacon version next time. Since they are mini, you can easily eat a couple, I enjoyed mine with some butter. But you could add some tasty relish or whatever you like really. I also couldn’t wait to sample one so I ate one straight from the oven! I ate one when they had cooled down too and it was just as good.

My parents are currently visiting from England so I had a few more taste testers in the house. My Mum loves them so much she wants to take a copy of the recipe home with her. Even my Dad really enjoyed them, and he is the biggest critic I know. Mr Happy is a fan of these savour scones and he quickly demolished several, and my hubby said he said they were really tasty. I’m thinking these scones will become a go-to snack in our house.

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I love apple pie, especially the homemade variety. The photo in the book looked edible and I thought making mini versions would be a change from making a standard sized pie. Again, the recipe was relatively straight forward and I already had the ingredients at home. I made the sweet short crust pasty myself, easy if you have a food processor! But, if you don’t I’m sure the ready made pastry will be just as good. Whilst I was cooking the apple filling it smelt amazing!!!! Mmmm cinnamon and sugar…… The end result of the mini apple pies looked great, much better than I had anticipated and they tasted delish! I made them earlier in the afternoon so by the time we ate them they had cooled down. Served with some whipped cream, it made a great dessert. The recipe suggested eating them straight from the oven, so at least we know we won’t be disappointed when they have cooled down.

They also proved to be a big hit with my parents, hubby and Mr Happy and Little Miss. I did find however that making the mini pies was quite time consuming and I think you could probably adapt the recipe to make a standard pie, since I had quite a bit of the apple mixture left over. I have put it in the freezer and it wont be there for long as I’ll be making more pies again soon.

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Other treats I want to make soon……

Savoury Muffins, Doughnut Rings, Lemon and Blueberry Scones, White Chocolate and Strawberry Cake and Sprinkle Cake (Little Miss’s current request for her next birthday)

Like the sound of this book???? It retails for $50.00 and you can purchase a copy direct from the website here

You can find Bluebells Cakery on Facebook and Instagram

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NB: I was sent a copy of Bluebells Cakery Sweet & Savoury to review, and all opinions and photos taken are my own.

 

Introducing Luluncat

If you haven’t heard of Luluncat before, you have been missing out! Hopefully after reading this blog post/review you will love the stuff that Emma creates.

I found Emma of Luluncat on my Instagram feed one day. The items that she creates really caught my eye, so I began a spot of Instagram stalking. I decided I would get in touch and offer to do a review for her.  I discovered she based in New Plymouth where I live, how cool! We began messaging each other and I asked her questions for the blog post, plus I have had the opportunity to meet her, in her home.

A little bit of info on Emma

Emma is married to a builder and they are currently renovating their home in New Plymouth. She is Mum to Chelsea aged 2.5 and Millen who recently turned one. They are delightful kiddies and I was made to feel very welcome when I went to Emma’s home to look at her work.

The photos of Emma’s work are fab, and it was a really greatopportunity to actually go and see everything. Plus its nice to put a face to a name and ask a little about how she creates her jars. As soon as I saw the cupcake ones, I knew I had to have one (or two!). Plus those that know me personally know I really like pigs, so I think the pig jar may have found a new home!

 

Horse jar $28 Pig jar $16 Lego jar $20

Horse jar $28
Pig jar $16
Lego jar $20

Horse $28 Pig $16

Horse $28
Pig $16

Love this horse, $28

Love this horse,
$28

I’m really keen to showcase small New Zealand businesses, I think it is AMAZING what people can create and it’s great that they want to share their creations with the public. Plus, I do like original pieces of art/craft as well as mainstream items.

Emma has her Lego jars currently in Kina which is on Devon Street in central New Plymouth. So those of you reading this who live in New Plymouth, go and check them out!

Lego $20 Pig $16 Sonny Angels- my own

Lego $20
Pig $16
Sonny Angels- my own

Find more of these in Kina (other colours available) $20

Find more of these in Kina (other colours available)
$20

 

Questions I asked Emma and her replies (Writing in Italics are Emma’s own words)

How did you choose the name LulunCat?
I call my Husband ‘Lulu’ and one day when I was brainstorming with a friend, I loved the sound of luluncat – of course we are cat people too, so that helps!

Why and when did you start LulunCat?
 Luluncat has been running for about a year now.

What is your biggest inspiration behind your work?
My biggest inspiration would have to be how home decor has suddenly boomed, it’s so much fun seeing all the trends and working from them.

What do you see in the future for LulunCat?
Hopefully we will have more stock in shops and will be able to get to the markets more often. I hope to continue to launch new ranges. I am hoping to build on our range of op shop finds (Chelsea and I love to shop) I find cool things and upcycle them, so they are truly unique pieces!

Do you have any favourites? If so what are they?
Favourites in my stock? Sure do! The cupcake jars, are just the sweetest things, my photography of them don’t do them justice! It’s a bit of a process to make them, but I love the finished product!

Cupcakes (other colours available)

Cupcakes (other colours available)

Cupcakes start from $13

Cupcakes start from $13

I bought these two jars!!!

I buying these two jars!!!

Like what you see? Follow the links, to purchase or contact Emma. If you decide to make a purchase mention you read the review on my blog and you will receive a 10% discount for the month of November. See, I told you Emma was lovely!

Luluncat Facebook page

Luluncat website

For Instagrammers follow Luluncat

When I visited Emma she showed me the things she is getting ready to sell at a market in Auckland, I wish her loads of luck with it.

 She is currently working on planters, here are some photos of the a couple of them. I really like the different shades of blue.
Pig $16 Animal planters $18 Other animals and colours available

Pig $16
Animal planters $18
Other animals and colours available

Animal planters $18

Animal planters $18

Thanks for reading and happy shopping to some of you! If anyone ever has any spare jars, I’m sure Emma will be happy to take them off your hands, especially baby food jars. Just contact myself or Emma.

 

 

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NB: Photos are all my own, I was lucky enough to borrow some Emma’s creations to take home and photograph.