We Made a Mini Sensory Garden in a Sandpit

We Made a Mini Sensory Garden in a Sandpit

Not so long ago, I told you all about our plans to transform our garden from a drab and swampy mess into a toddler friendly play space for Florence to take advantage of through the summer. While I have planters across the middle of the […]

Plans for Florence’s First Birthday

Plans for Florence’s First Birthday

So here we are in May. Where on earth has the last year gone? I remember this time last year so clearly – I had just begun maternity leave and we were making the final preparations for Florence’s arrival. Now, in just 3 weeks, our […]

Creating A Toddler Friendly Garden

Creating A Toddler Friendly Garden

After what feels like the longest winter EVER, I am so looking forward to the arrival of Spring and Summer. With Florence turning one in May and already showing signs of being close to taking her first steps, I am excited to spend days out and about in the sunshine adventuring with her. I have already planned trips to the farm, picnics in the park, days by the sea. I am determined to get out and about and make the most of the warmer weather. In between our busy explorations, I’m picturing slow, easy days of play in our garden. Being able to open our conservatory doors and let Florence toddle out to play

Except, as it stands, our garden is in no fit state for a toddler. The dark days and rainy weather has turned our already patchy lawn currently into a horrible muddy swamp, the stones that once formed a path are scarce and my efforts to brighten up our outside space with some all weather plants didn’t quite come to fruition. Unfortunately, it has also become a dumping ground for our old furniture and Sean’s work stuff. It is just a sad and neglected plot with no place to play. And so, over the next few weeks I am going to spend as much time as I can find transforming the space into a beautiful, colourful, sensory space for Florence to explore and enjoy. IMG_7263

Before the fun stuff can be sorted, we have to lay some foundations to make it a safe and practical space. Our first step is to sort out the ‘swamp’.Our garden is incredibly shady and so maintaining a lawn is quite difficult and so in an ideal world, I would happily opt for artificial grass out there but it can be quite expensive and  Sean is reluctant to spend a huge amount of money on permanent improvements as we rent our home. Unless I can find a bargain, it looks like I will be planting grass seed and keeping everything crossed! The other thing we need to do is to replace the path. We have already got the slabs to square off the patio section and create a path from our conservatory doors to the back gate.

Once the lawn & path are in place I’d like to split our relatively small garden into four zones –  three dedicated to play and one to relaxing & dining.  I hope to separate each zone with wooden planters, filled with sweet smelling herbs, brightly coloured flowers and lots of different textures. I’ve been ogling over this one I found on Oakley childcare and really want to recreate something similar. DSCN0687

Music Making

If there’s one thing Florence likes to do more than anything else it’s to make as much noise as possible.  She loves music and playing instruments and I really want to provide her a space to do this as much as she wants when we’re outside too. I am going to create a music wall by hanging some painted pots & pans, tin cans and pipes along the wall with some spoons and such for drum sticks. I also want to make some homemade wind chimes to put up here too. d0ff54cdcfdb7760831cf58552a67a8f



Sand & Water Play

No kids garden is complete without a sandpit and water table, am I right? I had thought of using one of the sections in one of the dividing planters as a water table, and I still might, but I also quite like the look of this Little Tikes oneSpinning-Seas-Water-Table-1

When it comes to Sand, as much as I’m sure all the sand tables out there are great, I just prefer the idea of a sand pit that you can actually get into! We are going to need something with a bit of a canopy above it to one, keep Florence out of the sun, and two to stop all the debris falling into it from next doors over grown trees. I really love this one from Plum as it has a bench either side of it too and I can just picture Florence & her friends sitting in there and playing together on little play dates. I also think in the long run, when Florence is that bit older, I can see this doubling up as a shop ! 27550_palm_beach_sand_pit

Open Play

The third zone will be a space for open play. We are going to buy her some ride on toys including a happy hopper & a cosy coupe car which she’ll be able to play on in at leisure here. I might even invest in a little paddling pool & slide but these can each be taken out of the shed as and when we need them. I’d also like to place some mirrors and a black board on the fence around this area.

I mentioned I wanted to inject some colour into our garden and with limited floor space I am planning on absolutely filling the empty areas on the walls and fences with plants & flowers! I’ve seen these gorgeous hanging planters on Amazon which will be perfect along the back fence.

What would you do with our tiny outdoor space? I a determined to get outside this Spring /Summer… even if some days we only just make it out the back door!

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How to make DIY Reindeer Food Sack

How to make DIY Reindeer Food Sack

While Florence is a little young to really understand what on earth is going on this Christmas,  I have made these cute little Reindeer Food Bags for the older children in our family and I thought I would share a little tutorial on how you […]

Making our house a home this Summer – Planning the Living Room

Making our house a home this Summer – Planning the Living Room

It has been almost 10 months since we moved into our little house on the High Street and I can’t quite believe how quickly the time has flown. As you know if you’re a frequent visitor here, I found out I was pregnant just five […]

Florence’s Hot Air Balloon Nursery

Florence’s Hot Air Balloon Nursery

When I found out I was pregnant, we had just moved into our house. We’d been looking for a while and I had got to the point were we really needed to take the next step to get our own place. When our offer was finally accepted and we moved in the thought that I might be pregnant hadn’t even crossed my mind. Sure I had hopes that that tiny little second bedroom would one day become home to a pretty little white cot and bundles of teeny clothes for a baby we both longed for, but having just had surgery and possibly the busiest two months of my life, all cycle tracking had taken a back seat and as far as I was concerned we probably had another few months of trying ahead of us. Until then, it would be our store room – the place we’d keep our mountains of stuff until we got around to eventually unpacking it. As things turned out, five days after we moved in I found out I was pregnant!

From that moment on, that room I’d just shoved box upon box in to immediately became hers. Off I headed to pinterest for inspiration. I knew exactly what theme I wanted – hot air balloons & sunny days. They represent parts of my childhood that make my heart feel warm and fuzzy and bring back memories of days spent at the Balloon Festival in North Hampton with my Nan.nursery tour 1

We opted for Pinks and a light blue for the walls from the Valspar range at B&Q. The pink we chose is called raindrops on roses which is a song from my favourite musical The Sound of Music which I was introduced to by my Nan when I was a little girl. It’s a very powdery shade and in such a small room would have been a bit much all around so we’ve only painted one wall in that colour.nursery tour 2

We’ve added these totally gorgeous POM cloud wall stickers from The Modern Nursery Company to break up the intensity of the pink a little. They were super easy to apply once we (Sean) had worked out the spacing. They come in packs of 48 and we used just under half so we have plenty left for other projects in the future. I think any more on the wall might have been a bit over kill but in a bigger room, we probably would have used the full pack.

The other three walls are painted in what I originally chose as white, but once we’d got home and put it on the walls turned out to be a light sky blue colour. I did have a bit of a freak out at first, but as time has gone on, I really love it and it’s perfect for the sky theme of her bedroom.

We’ve hung these really cute paper lantern Hot Air Balloons from the ceiling. They’re actually designed to be hung on fairy lights, but inspired by a friend of mine, I’ve added ribbon to each of them and used them as hanging decorations instead. They were a bargain from Amazon and look awesome around this totally gorgeous cloud lamp shade from Dunelm Mill.nursery tour 17

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We chose the 4Baby Classic Cot Bed for her to sleep in once she hits six months old and ordered the Maxi Air Cool mattress along with it. We haven’t got any bedding or bumpers etc for the cot as we’re following the Lullaby Trusts guidelines for creating a safe sleep environment so have just opted for a well fitted sheet from George at Asda. We’ll be using Grobags & GroSnugs from the Gro Company in place of quilts etc as they’re fully breathable and much safer.  At the moment, to get her used to being in her cot I often lay her in there in her Purflo Breathable Nest or a little bit of play time while I put her clothes away or read to her.nursery tour 11

Above the cot we have hung this gorgeous handmade felt mobile. I had been looking for the perfect Hot Air Balloon mobile for the nursery for months when I discovered a fabulous independent brand on twitter called Mini Maison who out of nowhere on my news feed popped up and I knew I had to have it. My Mum decided she’d like to buy it for us as a gift and ended up accidentally ordering two, so I’ve hung the other one above her changing area to keep her entertained. They really are so beautifully made and you can tell someone has worked really hard to ensure they are of the highest quality.nursery tour 12

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Rather than a traditional nursing chair, we’ve used Sean’s old (but super comfortable) computer chair from IKEA. It’s perfect as it rocks as a rocking chair would and has arm rests at just the right height for leaning on when feeding baby. It’s grey so doesn’t look too out of place but it’s easily dressed up with one of the many hand knitted blankets we have. nursery tour 14On the wall next to the chair, I’ve hung a couple of prints from the Little Universe Shop.nursery tour 13

When it comes to storage, we were very limited for space (& money) and so we had to make the most of what we had. We’ve upcycled this wooden storage cube unit which used to act as our TV cabinet by giving it a lick of white paint to match the cot and adding some legs to the bottom. I’ve bought some plastic boxes from our local ‘we sell everything random’ shop – we all have one of those right? – and this is where her baby grows and changing bits are kept. It’s topped with a grey & white cloud changing mat we bought from ebay.nursery tour 3

I have several baskets & crates for her other books and bits and bobs from various retailers. These rose gold ones are from Sass & Belle and the wooden crate below is from Ikea. Plus this Hot Air Balloon storage bag is perfect for all of her soft toys.nursery tour 4

Sean’s brother is a brilliantly talented carpenter and has made us three of these cloud shelves. I love them so much I’ve convinced him that he needs to start selling them as I think so many of you will love them and similar items too. Watch this space as I am sure I will be shouting out about them once they finally go on sale in the summer. They’re adorned with some of my favourite books from her already huge collection as well as muslins, toys including Shleepy and her very first Livie & Luca shoes. Plus all sorts of loveliness I found from some wonderful independent brands! nursery tour 3

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From Mini Maison (can you tell I had a bit of a MM shopping spree?!), our star night light is perfect for night feeds! She is currently sleeping in our bedroom in her SnuzPod, however as Sean has to get up for work super early we tend to head into her nursery for her nighttime bottles. As well as being adorable, it gives off just the right glow to be able to see what I’m doing but not to wake her up too much. nursery tour 7I also ordered this Fox in the Attic Rainbow Rattle which looks great in her room but is fab for sensory play too.nursery tour 7

I’ve had two different garlands custom made which are hung along the bottom of two of the shelves. They’re both from a lovely facebook company called Chasing Rainbows. I thoroughly recommend this independent brand if you’re looking for something that bit special! nursery tour 10

We’ve dressed the windows in these gorgeous black out curtains from Dunelm Mill. They’re from their ‘Sweet Dreams’ nursery range and the grey cloud & star design  fit our theme perfectly. This beautiful wooden rainbow stacker from Shop of Crafty Gifts was an absolute bargain at just £12.50 + P&P and I really could not resist this set of three wooden toadstools from Tilda loves Teddy who I discovered on facebook. As well as looking wonderful in her nursery, both of these will be perfect for future small world play when she is a bit bigger.nursery tour 8

Florence’s nursery is my absolute favourite room in our house. It is such a calm & peaceful room and I’ve loved putting it together. I’ve discovered some wonderful brands throughout the process too! I’d love to know your thoughts on Florrie’s nursery theme.

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