Wednesday 26 February 2014

10 awesome birthday gifts for one year olds

They are my own children and so I know them better than anyone, but every year the same thing happens and I am left scratching my head at what to get them.

The past year has completely flown by with lightning speed and my little baby Ally is about to turn ONE (sob)!!!

So I had a quick chat with Ally about what she is into at the moment and this is what her top picks were...

Shoes- the rubber kind are the best as they are nicest to chew on
Sequins- I know there are a lot of these floating about the house right now after you foolishly let my sis glue with them but I can always do with more to stick in my mouth.
Some electrical cables- like the ones you plug into your laptop I wouldn't mind chewing on one of those..
A new chair or table that I can climb onto- I’m really loving the freaked out reaction I get from you and my dad when it looks like I am about to fall off head first... THAT IS CRAY-CRAY HILARIOUS
Anything that my big sis wants to play with/ doesn't want me to touch.

OK so that's Allys list, here is mine which is neither dangerous or gross but probably more conventional

Books-“ I was read to too much as a child” says no kid ever... Try Each peach pear plum, The Gruffalo or Dear zoo for fun simple and entertaining classics (try the book depository

Busy books- Handmade and unique as your little one, or perhaps if you are feeling crafty make your own.

Foodface plate- As your little darling grows into a toddler, anything that brings some novelty to meal time is a winner

Every child needs a special place to hide away and make believe and these Teepees from Mocka are also quite adorable.

Lelbys beanbag chairs- finally some stylish children's furniture

Pull along toys- Pull allong's from Everearth look cute and will delight your toddler, even at almost 3 B is still very much in love with her pull along pup “Kong-Kong”

Wheelybugs- Little cute critters to whiz around on

First aid kit- chances are with your newly discovered skills of walking/running/climbing  you will be needing this if you don’t already have one 

These amazing pJs and here  

Trunki’s- Every little jet setter should have one of these. Perfect size to stash away some books and activities for travelling with the added bonus of a ride on to play on when waiting around.

If you are feeling stuck for some inspiration for little ones I hope my awesome gift guide was of help, or if you have something to add I would love to hear about it in the comments!!

Dani xo

** Just a quick note to state I was not paid or sponsored in anyway for this gift guide all opinions are my own!

Monday 24 February 2014

Hello Monday

Things have been quite busy around here as of late, nothing new really but the work we have started on the house has certainly amped it up a notch. I'm completely claiming that as my excuse for late homework for Blog with Pip this week.

So without further ado I will take you on a photo journey of  my weekend that just was.

Where you lead I will follow... These two sisters don't always get along but it is so clear how much they love each other. I love how Ally looks up to her older sister and how I overhear little B calling Ally my little darling.

Yep they are totally wearing matching outfits (I'm out of control!)

Friday night the hubs and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, I look back on those five years with a sense of wonder at how much we have done, how much we have grown and how fast that five years has gone.

These little legs took their first ever steps!!! Even though I have been through it all before with little B, I still get so excited at each new milestone. It is so hard to believe that my little baby is so very close to becoming a toddler!

Then I made brownies (gluten and sugar free of course) it was a bit of an experimental recipe but thankfully turned out pretty great.

Then just to pack as much as we could into the weekend, we had a look at the kids fest our town was holding. Little B thinks she is brave but wasn't game enough to take a turn around one of the rides chalk on the pavement and waving her new wand is more her thang. I take some comfort that she is still very much my baby girl

Hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as I did!


Wednesday 19 February 2014

Project Owner Build - Pre start

For those that may be considering your own owner build renovation or have just wondered whats involved I thought I would share some of the details. We are still in the pre-start stage of our first ever major owner build project, it seems to be taking forever but as a wise person once said "those who fail to plan, plan to fail"

Whilst our little house isn't our forever home, it is our "for the next 10 years" home so we really want to get it right first time round. Is that going to happen? Probably not (I'm a realist) but we are hoping to get bloody close.

I am quite certain that we haven't done things the same way others in our position have done but here is a (abbreviated) rundown of what we have done to come to this point.

Initial meeting with the building designer- to discuss design ideas, space requirements and our super long wish list

First draft sketches- We are so lucky that our building designer nailed it first go on drawing up exactly what we wanted so there was no need to go back and forth with major changes

Consultation with a building estimator- Engaging a building estimator who specialises in owner build projects to estimate the total cost of the project. This was a smart move as this gave as a pretty good idea about our budget and if what we had come up with the building designer was realistic for the outer limits of what we wanted to spend. If you are thinking about going down this route and you are inexperienced in major build works then I would recommend this to you.

Engaging a surveyor- We needed to get a full contour survey done to finalise the building plans in order to submit to council.

Submit to council for planning approval-(This probably varies from state to state and country to country) If you have a good building designer, they should organise most of the paperwork for you including the incorporation of survey data and any justifications required if the build falls outside the scope of general planning rules.

Applying for finance- This might seem easier than you might think, for us it meant moving to another financial institution and a frantic few days to make our house look as nice as possible for a valuer to take a look. We have been lucky enough that our property value has increased enough that refinancing is an option for us. ****How much you think you can get is something to seriously consider before you even start with your building designer.

Applying for your owners builders licence- Again this will vary from state to state and country to country. We were able to sit a online course to gain certification which only took a few hours. This was very useful as the course provides a lot of helpful information about scheduling, budgets and contracts that really is need to know. Can you believe it I have my very own Owner building licence!

Yes it totally said this on my certificate... I haven't altered it in any way....

Engaging an Engineer- Once you have planning approval, your finished drawings and a budget the engineer needs to have a look to draw up your working drawings. This is how you are going to put the whole thing together, make sure it's all up to code and won't fall in around you once its built.

Submit to council for building approval- Once you have this approval in theory you can get started whenever you like (whoohoo)

While this has all been going on, in the background the hubs has been quietly going about getting quotes for all the trades and materials we need. This alone is a post of it's own as it is a huge task to undertake when you are starting from scratch.

I have recently discovered This Little Yellow House and The Jarrah Jungle fellow DIY renovators so there are plenty of us out there if you would like to check them out for some inspiration.

Have you started your own build project? Or do you plan too in the near future??

** Next up we will be talking tradies, quotes and getting ready for demolition

Dani xo

Friday 14 February 2014

Taking stock February (and learning something new)

I won't try and deny it, its probably pretty obvious anyhow that Blogging is not a skill I have totally mastered. Not that I have let that stop me from giving it a go be it a lazy attempt that it is (sorry for that folks)

So I've decided to do something pretty exciting and joined up to a blogging class YAY! Pip Lincolne from Meetmeatmikes has put together an inspiring and educational course that I am completely loving. Not only am I learning lots about how to make my little blog look a little more special for you, writing better posts, finding my niche, regaining my inspiration I am also lucky enough to be in class with a totally cool bunch of bloggers. Whats not to love about that??

So if you see some changes happening around here you should definitely be excited (I am)

This week I have a fun homework assignment to do called taking stock, here's mine for February

Making : Two matching Hanami dresses for my littles from here
Cooking : a sweet surprise for my loves 
Drinking : Creme Brûlée tea from T2
Reading: 123 magic
Wanting: This amazing light
Looking: at splash backs for our new kitchen
Playing: princesses and mermaids with little B
Deciding: if we can make a wedding in Wisconsin next year (I say yes Mr DD says maybe)
Wishing: for a few extra sewing hours
Enjoying: having Mr DD home
Waiting: For the council to send through our building approval eek
Liking: OPI dark nail polish on my toes
Wondering: What to cook for dinner
Loving: having Mr DD home
Pondering: the mystery of the chicken and the egg
Considering: recolouring my hair
Watching: the block 
Hoping: Ally will get bored of climbing on furniture
Marvelling: how fearless Ally is climbing up the furniture
Needing: a massage
Smelling: grated ginger
Wearing: Bonds chesties singlets comfiest flattering singlets rocking it mum style
Noticing: how badly my floors need mopped again
Knowing: I'm going to eat most of Ally's cake tonight (the perks of the job)
Thinking: I'm not going to mop the floors this close to dinner time
Feeling: happy and excited
Admiring: all the talented creative women I have just met.
Sorting: my mountain of sewing patterns neatly into folders 
Following: illustrated with crappy picture never fails to crack me up and House Nerd for inspiring beautiful Perth homes
Buying: more tea, fabric paint, art prints and cushions
Getting: excited about the mailman knocking on my door
Disliking: the hype over Ms Corby
Opening: mail parcels from internet shopping
Giggling: little B's twisted sense of humour
Snacking: on almonds and sugar snap peas
Coveting: armadillo and co rugs
Helping: nobody right now (the heartless soul I am!) 
Hearing: Cream by Prince shaaa booggie rock....

Is there something new that you really want to learn about? Don't be a lurker comment and tell me about it! (I wont bite) Or if you would like to share your taking stock list please do!

Dani xo

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Perfect pink girls room

With at the shuffling around with our rennos, little B will be moving to a new room which of course means we need to decorate it!

As she has mostly all the furniture she needs I just want to make a few tweeks to suit her personality better. The two girls will hopefully be sharing a room in the coming months and leaving a spare room to use as a play room so I will be clearing out her room to make it a mostly sleeping space. I am also really hoping this will put an end to the evil little toys scattered over the floor laying in wait of my poor feet when I am checking on little B at night.

Little B is a very girly girl, despite my regular insistence that blue is a great colour she is completely pink obsessed and has been asking for her new room to be a pink princess room. Sorry lovely but we wont be painting your walls in the lurid shade of pink you asked for but I am planning something along these lines..

funky pink girls bedroom
Where to find...
Love print from The Wheat field on Etsy, Gold heart Decals Urbanwalls, Bedframe from Ikea, repainted Queen Anne side table (try gumtree/ ebay/ craigslist for similar), Cushions from Empire Lane designs, Gold vase from Typo, Ombre pink throw DIY project

As for a rug I LOVE this one but its from Target in the U.S of A and they wont ship it overseas even through a third party shipping company so it's a no go. Anyone seen one that is in AU or can ship that's similar?? I would love to know!

Then like a million or so others I adore this now famous print from Tracy Jenkins but I am not sure if I love it enough to pay $100 including postage for it (call me a tight arse if you will) You can find it here at super rural.

She is so excited about moving and getting a new room I really hope she loves it. I can't wait to post some progress pictures of how it comes together.

Dani xo

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Secret mum stuff

Just being honest...

I can't claim this quote as my own but it is so true it makes me laugh. When I first saw it I felt a wave of relief someone else felt the same way.

Growing up there were many things I thought I wanted to be, a fashion designer, a news reporter, a princess, a zoo keeper an author, really it was a different career every other day. One thing that stuck though is that I always wanted to be a mum.

Just like the idealistic perfect idea I had about what being a princess or a zoo keeper would be like the same certainly was true about being a mother.

 I thought about how well dressed and beautiful my children would be. How much fun I would have to play with them all day painting, using play dough and dress ups. I would have beautiful sunlight mornings in bed chatting and laughing with my happy children and handsome husband and feel the contented wave of love and happiness wash over me.

The truth is all those wonderful things have happened and I am sure I have taken lovely photos on the occasion to capture those beautiful moments and shared them, but just because I share these moments online doesn't mean it's the whole truth.

In my carefree childless days I didn't think about the sleepless nights, tantrums, and impossible logistics of shopping / catching up with friends for lunch/ pooing in privacy. I was a judgy a***ehole who thought I will be such a cool mum, I won't yell at my kids, I will think of creative but appropriate punishments that teach them important morals and values to become well adjusted happy kids. 

What. a. wanker. I. was.

Sometimes (a lot) my house is messy, I let the dog into the kitchen after the kids have eaten to clean up the mess and I am pretty sure my neighbors will knock on my door one of these days to see if everything is okay after hearing screaming. There is moldy stuff in my fridge and food caked onto my clothes when I go out every single time. I find the moment that I close the car door after strapping the kids in their seats heavenly that brief moment of silence is like a holiday. Little B is currently going through a moment of intense jealousy and has developed a habit of screeching in a way that makes my teeth hurt and the baby has started climbing on everything without any concept of how much it will hurt when she inevitably falls off.

But then just when I think I am about to lose my mind from it all they do this...

So I kiss their sweet sleeping faces at night before I go to bed, my heart full of hopes and dreams for them and a intense consuming love I didn't even know existed until I became their mother, and I look forward to a new day.

Dani xo
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...