Wednesday, 25 May 2016

10 signs your lovely toddler may be entering the "twatty twos"


Toddlers! They're great aren't they?! All wobbly and cute, still baby-cuddly but finally developing a personality that means you can actually start enjoying them as little people in their own right. You get a couple of months of this loveliness, and then, out of nowhere, you're hit with a tsunami of rage and whinging so terrible it is remembered with fear by parents everywhere.

Oh yes, the terrible twos, or more appropriately in my case, the twatty twos. 

With Em this stage started around 18 months and lasted until after she turned three, so I know I'm in for a while of it with Max, but she did turn into a reasonable, hilarious human being eventually so I have hopes for him too. 

They're not high hopes, but they're definitely there.

So, having been through this once already it isn't quite as terrifying this time around, although Max's symptoms are a little more pronounced than Em's ever were, and I thought it would be fun (and informative!) to share some of the things that clued me in that my little darling is on the turn!

And so in no particular order, here they are:

1) There is a sudden rebellion when it comes to nappy changing. He will twist, he will turn, he will double kick you in the face, all in the defense of a poo so disgusting it must surely be burning his bum?! Once the nappy is off he will become his normal smiling self again...only to resume the fight when you try to put a new nappy back on. There is no sense to this.

Does he hate the nappy? 
Does he hate being dressed?
Is he just taking the absolute piss?

Looking for sense in the terrible two's is futile. Therein lies madness!

2) He's perfecting "the banana", which sounds cute, but is more like a full on knock-down drag out fight to the death over whether or not he is going into his car seat. This is always, always performed in a carpark, in full view of another mother, one who has twice the number of kids, but who is somehow beautifully dressed (usually she's wearing heels, HEELS!) and who's fully in control of all her delightfully well behaved children. Cow. 

You always try and sound like you're supernanny, all "there there darling, sit down for mommy, there's a love" through gritted teeth, all the while thinking "just you wait you little shit, I've got a million photos of you naked but for a bandana and an amusing hat and I'm going to spend your teenage years showing them to anyone who will let me!". Bahahahahaha!!!!!! *sobs*


3) You have been waiting for months to hear him utter his first words, and when suddenly he learned some you were ecstatic, but now, after months of hearing "UP!", "DOWN!" and "NOOOO!!!!" screeched at the top of his lungs approximately once ever 2.5 seconds you are beginning to wonder why humans need language at all.

4) He hates the buggy. He hates his reigns. He hates holding your hand. How dare you try to restrain him?! He is a strong, independant baby and he certainly doesn't need you holding him back. Oh look, he's fallen over for the 100th time today. "How could you let me fall over?!!!" 

FML.

5) He refuses to eat the carefully prepared meals you make him, but when he finds a slice of burned toast you threw out for the birds three days ago in the flowerbed it's a full-on fight to the death to get it back.

6) His hobbies include: putting things in the toilet, spilling drinks, crying about things he's put in the toilet, scaring cats, and breaking your spirit.

7) He has two settings, perfectly happy, and totally devastasted. There is no in between, and the transition from one to the other can happen in seconds.

8) He throws tantrums to protest the injustice of being prevented from scalping his sister. This is your fault. He usually hurts himself during the tantrum. This is also your fault.

9) He is completely oblivious to my existence....until I try to make a cup of coffee/check my phone. Then, he appears, and like a whingey limpet attaches himself to my leg screeching "Mama!! Up!!" until I relent and pick him up. Wherupon he instantly struggles to get out of my arms. Obviously.



And finally, and this might just be me......

10) He deems it acceptable to approach me, as I am bent over drying my legs after a shower, and slap me, hard, in the tit. 

Then he laughs.

F. M. L.




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Sunday, 22 May 2016

simple billy bookcase update

simple billy bookcase update/hack


Yes, I've told you guys many, many times that the playroom reveal was on it's way, and yes, it turned out I was lying, but this time I mean it, I promise!!!!!

Everything in there is finished, I'm just waiting on one decal to arrive and then I can photograph the whole thing for you. I swear!

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a quick little idea for jazzing up a bookcase with you.

simple billy bookcase update/hack



We have two of these small Billy bookcases from Ikea, one in the sitting room which houses the books we just can't bear to part with when we're finished reading them, and this one, which used to house Em's books in her room. Now that we have the book shelves in the playroom it wasn't really needed up there anymore, so I pinched it for extra storage in here.

~Cheapskate decorating tip #163: always shop your house first. You'll be surprised how pieces can often be better utilised in different rooms.

Billy bookcases come with a really light panel that goes on the back if you don't want open shelving, and it's perfect for personalising. As you can see from the state of it in the picture above, this one had already had two previous incarnations, one painted pink, and another covered in gold glittery paper.


simple billy bookcase update/hack


To tidy it up for the playroom, and help it add to the "black/white/grey with brightly coloured touches" scheme I ended up going for in here, I decided to cover the back in this great paper I found in Penney's. €2 for 10 metres! Bargain! I just popped the backing off (it was stapled on) and wrapped it like a present. I didn't even bother sanding off any of the stuck-on old paper, there was no need.


simple billy bookcase update/hack


simple billy bookcase update/hack


Once it was done I stapled it back onto the back of the bookcase, and hey presto, it was done. It took me 20 minutes, cost €2, and makes a big difference. My favourite kind of project!

simple billy bookcase update/hack


It's so bright and cheerful, and really adds to the room. And yes, of course the toys will stay that tidy.

Laughs hysterically and downs a spiked double espresso.

simple billy bookcase update/hack
Oh this? Just a carrot wearing shorts riding a ladybird. You know, the usual.


I made some "Up" inspired art that now sits on top, and I can display some of the kids lovely wooden toys. You know, the stuff they never play with cos they love the crappy one legged fake Barbie so much? Yeah that.


simple billy bookcase update/hack


simple billy bookcase update/hack
"Adventure is out there" - so get the hell outside and play so mommy can drink her coffee in peace.




So there you have it, a cheap and easy way to update a bookcase, and with the huge choice of cheap wrapping paper available the possibilities for this are endless. If you wanted it to be a bit more robust you could use wallpaper, or paint/stencil it, but really you can't get quicker and cheaper than good old wrapping paper!


simple billy bookcase update/hack


What do you think? Will you be gift wrapping any of your furniture now? :)






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Thursday, 19 May 2016

10 things I've learned in my first year of blogging


things I learned in my first year blogging

By some miracle I started this blog more than a year ago, and instead of my usual "think it's the best thing ever for a month and then drop it like a hot snot" approach to hobbies*, this one has stuck. If anything my interest has only grown, and the more I get to know about the ins and outs of running a blog the more into it I get. 

*"Hobby" really feels like the wrong word, but I can't think what else to call it. Sideline? Venture? What I want to do when I'm a grown-up? That thing I neglect my family for? Answers on a postcard please.

Friday, 13 May 2016

my first blogiversary!

  


A year ago this week I hit publish on a facebook post telling everyone I knew that I had started a blog. I didn't know if anyone would read it, but I had been working on it in secret long enough to know that I was proud of it, and that it wasn't something I would be giving up anytime soon.

One year, 3500 facebook followers, 60,000 blog visits and 2 Irish blog award short lists later I can't really believe how well it's going and I just want to say thank you to all of you who read my posts and are following along on this little journey with me. It really means a lot that anyone is interested in what I have to say!

I have so much planned that I want to share with you all, and so many ideas for posts that I will think you will love, (starting with a short series of posts about the ins and outs of blogging, how I got started, the equipment I use etc) so don't go anywhere!

Thanks again you guys, you really and truly are the greatest.

Here's to another year, hopefully even better than the last!


                       

                     


Saturday, 7 May 2016

€200/one week kitchen makeover-6 month update!


Hola amigos, I'm finally back with the second installment of the update on how my cheaper than cheap kitchen makeover is holding up six months down the line (you can find the first installment here) Woo-fricking-hoo!!!!

I have two small children and therefore no social life. I am easily excited.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

painted tile floor-six months later

painted tile floor six month update


Guys. It's time. 

The other day somebody asked me how my kitchen tiles were holding up and I realised that somewhere in between picking food off the carpet, playing mind-numbingly endless games of "dollies" and answering innumerable questions about such diverse topics as "why isn't there a toy library?" and "how do babies get out of your belly?", more than six freaking months had passed without me noticing!!!

So, it's definitely time for an update. As you might remember, back in August we finally bit the bullet and painted our ugly kitchen floor tiles. (You can read the original post here). 

We didn't have the money to replace them and I had spent months reading blog posts that told me it could be done so we thought "what do we have to lose?!" and went for it.....

Friday, 8 April 2016

my picks from H&M Ireland's new online store



Metal tray €14.99

H&M has finally given me access to their homewares by opening an online shop for Ireland! Finally! Now I can stop being jealous every time I see something amazing on a blog with "H&M home" under it. 

I had a good perv at all their offerings and I've gathered a few of my favourites together so we can lust after them together. Enjoy!

Monday, 4 April 2016

a gallery wall with a difference

empty frames display kids art


The playroom is finished!....well, practically finished anyway, I just have to figure out how to incorporate a little bit more lighting in there. I hate overhead lighting and I will avoid using it at all costs! However, the lamps and strings of lights I would usually use really aren't a great choice in a room designed for such small kids so I'm a bit stumped. Suggestions are totally welcome :)

Anyway, while I'm waiting to get the whole room photographed and up here on the blog I thought I'd share a few of the different elements in here first, and to start with I chose.......yet another gallery/feature wall!! SURPRISE!

You're not surprised? Yeah, me neither.


empty frames display kids art
Sneak peak!


I knew I wanted to use frames that had had the glass removed to display the kids art, but I had originally planned to line them with cork board in order to pin the pages up. But then I actually thought about it and realised that pins and Max (the hoover) Duffy are not mixy things and took myself off to Tiger in the hopes that they would have tiny clothes pegs (which are less deadly, and much cuter). 

They did.

Of course they did, Tiger doesn't sell anything but random crap that you absolutely never knew you needed, but as soon as you see it you wonder how you ever lived without it. Things like packs of tiny working clothespeg's for €2.

So I just broke out the hot glue and stuck those bad boys right onto the frames, and now I can switch out the art as the kids forget about it I have new stuff I want to display. Win! Plus, I really love being able to see the spotty wall through the empty frames, even without anything hung in them they look like something from a hipster cafe ;P

A great idea is to scan any of the kids pictures that you really want to keep, rather than stuffing them in a box somewhere, never to be seen again.


empty frames display kids art


The frames are a mixture of ones collected from charity shops and others found in euro stores. Some were gold already, some I spray painted.


empty frames display kids art



empty frames display kids art
I'm pretty sure that black spot is a comment on the inevitability of death....or Emilia spilled the black paint. One or the other.



empty frames display kids art
This is a dark room already, and the weather has been crap recently, so these photo's are not as good as I'd like, sorry!


So there you have it, the Duffy gallery of art, and in case you can't remember what we started with, here you go...





More details of the playroom makeover coming soon! Until then, any ideas for great kid-friendly lighting?!


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Sunday, 27 March 2016

updating a charity shop find

updating charity/thrift shop finds


It's been a bit quiet around this here blog lately amigos, but rest assured that work continues in the background. I've got a lot of projects that are this close to being ready to go, but I'm not one of those bloggers who has the patience for posting updates all the time. I'm more of a wait till it's all done and pretty, then post kind of bloggers. I hope I'm not losing you along the way!

The playroom is all but completed and I can't wait to show it to you. It turned out really well if I do say so myself...even if it is completely different to what I originally planned!

So, on to todays little post. I was on a very enjoyable (child free!) trawl through the local charity shops recently when I saw these guys for fifty cent each. I presume they're intended fir Turkish tea or something similar, but I thought they would make gorgeous espresso cups.

My coffee consumption has progressed to the point where I'm knocking back double espressos like they're water. Send help.

updating charity/thrift shop finds
Love, LOVE my new camera ;D

The holders were pretty battered and tarnished but the glass part pops right out so I knew it would be easy to spruce them up.

updating charity/thrift shop finds

A good scrub, a quick coat of my favourite gold spray paint and a further coat of spray top coat and they were done!

updating charity/thrift shop finds

The holders aren't dishwasher safe obviously but they can be hand washed if needs be.

updating charity/thrift shop finds


They make a nice little addition to my collection of "completely unnecessary but very pretty" dining utensils.


updating charity/thrift shop finds



updating charity/thrift shop finds



What do you think? Have you found anything great in a charity shop lately?






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Saturday, 26 March 2016

my first dslr!!!



Yep, this little beauty is now mine, all mine!!!!! 

Cue gollum style stroking and hissing.

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