little pink clouds of goodness...

Remember my post floaty fluffy fings? Well, if you love a pompom, you're definitely going to go ga-ga over these. Handmade from tulle these pink delights are like clouds of pure perfection. They're from the home of Florence Rolando, children's fashion and design specialist and contributor to Milk Magazine. Her whole house is filled with design elements of the playful variety which strikes a chord very close to my heart. Have a look at her whole home here.

Random: A perfect king amongst men

image via 

"Getting through the mid stage of your life with your dignity and judgment in tact can be somewhat precarious and sometimes all you need is a bit of gentle reassurance to keep on track. I don’t know if this qualifies as gentle reassurance, but right now this is all that stands between me and a Harley Davidson. I owe a very great debt to my supernaturally talented fellow cast members, my exquisite no-nonsense Queen Helena, and my wayward royal older brother Guy. Geoffrey Rush and Tom Hooper, my two other sides of a surprisingly robust triangle of man-love, somehow moved forward in perfect formation for the last year and a half or so. Tom with his scorching intelligence and Geoffrey who has now become my true friend and geisha girl. David Sidler, I know the value of longevity in my relationships, Harvey Weinstein has made an improbable number of good films. We have had 20 years together, which is not bad going for a showbiz marriage. Thank you, Harvey. But the very best thing of all has been Livia, [his wife] and all the beautiful things she’s given me and I think I can cope with just about any age as long as I can still see her.”
Colin Firth's acceptance speech for Best Actor on sunday night...

Such wonderful words. Too good not to share (in case you missed them).


How divine? One day, when I have a beach house weekender, this will be how I do the kids room. Enough beds for friends to stay too... Sigh.

FREE: Wish gift card printable

Today I had an urge to make something for you so I got myself comfy at my desk (AKA the dining table) and set to work designing a gift card that you could print and use free of charge for any occassion. It might be to thank someone, wish them a happy birthday or even just to let them know you're thinking of them... it's up to you! I've even done them in 2 colourways in case you're feeling pink and pretty or blue and fresh. 
Double click the image below for the print file
Share them around with your friends, but remember these are an original NooshKids design and they are for personal use only, and if you'd like to post them on your blog please remember to credit where they came from and link back to NooshLoves. Thanks! Enjoy.x

Make it: Simple Stylish Teepee

I love love love it! The tent, the bedding, the hat, the garden... It's even that really lovely soft grass! I may need to live here... 
But don't be fooled by how perfect this all looks! There's no need to pay over $200 to have one of these in your garden this summer. It's so incredibly easy to make one and if you get the kids involved in the process it'll become a memory they'll look back on fondly. 

First a trip to Bunnings for 4 bamboo poles - roughly $3-4 each (usually found in the gardening section for staking tomatoes and such).  Second, dig out an old sheet, or you could pick up a cotton painters drop sheet for under $10 while you're at Bunnings. These can actually be great because they have a real linen-ey/canvas look about them. Stake your poles into the ground at angles so they meet and cross over slightly at the top like the pic and secure the joint with strong twine. and then wrap your fabric around the frame , gathering it at the top, leaving an opening on one face for entry and secure with old nappy pins/pegs or bulldog clips (whatever you have around that will do the job!). Finally, fill with some cosy bedding, cushions and favourite books. 

Kids art that looks good

Who knew those multi-coloured scribbles could look so good? As always, it's all in the way it's presented. This kids art display idea from La La Lovely works so well. I'd love to have such cheerful art to look at above my dear Mr Mac...
This one's great too. Another tried and true design philosophy "things always look better really small or really big". We always found this to be the case with our miniature page printouts in the olden golden Dolly days... Seems it applies to scribbly unidentifiable drawings too!

Make it: Chore chart for multiple kids with FREE printables

This is a great DIY project! It's the best looking chore "chart" I've seen. We tried using a whiteboard for a while but it didn't work very well when chores got rubbed off by shoulders walking too close... I'm not going to lie to you - this doesn't sound like the quickest and easiest project, there is drilling, and Shelley (AKA "She" from How Does She) has a lot of band aids on her fingers. But if that hasn't completely put you off - read on...

Chores are written on paddle pop sticks and are colour coded by degree of difficulty and estimated time required to complete the chore. The way it works is the kids choose their chores like you would choose a card for a card trick (with chore cleverly hidden by mums hand), they get the same number of chores each and those selections are placed in the hole in the block with their name on it. Once the job is completed the stick moves to the smaller "home" block on the end for reselection next week. I love the subliminal message on the base of the construction that chores are fun. I wonder if that works? It's a great idea and much more attractive than a messy whiteboard that often ends up being drawn on... Check out the instructions and downloadable templates here.

FREE: Australia Day Party Printables

Fancy a little soiree to celebrate Australia Day? I'm organising a family "reunion" of sorts. Our extended family is too big now for us to all get together at Christmas, so it's been a while since we had an opportunity to spend a day together. Australia Day seems like a perfect opportunity to me. It's a public holiday - so no excuses there for anyone and no one person has the weight of responsibility to cater and clean for the event. Perfect!

So to add a glamourous touch to the festivities, I found these gorgeous printables Style Guide

And this simple hole-punched stars in red, white and blue threaded onto pretty red and white twine makes an effective and easy garland that would look great in the trees.

4 for the girls...

Loving some pink and pretty right now. Probably all those superheroes I've been looking at! Here's some loveliness I've found lately...



Make it: Lunchbox banana trickery

Here's a little trick to boggle and mess with the minds of your wee one first day back at school - give them a banana that has already been sliced inside!

Now there's two ways to go about this, the correct way (read: hard way), and the easy way...

First, the right way: You will need a banana that is ripe enough to already have some black spots on it, so that the tiny holes you will put in the skin won’t be noticeable. Then you need a very fine needle that is long enough to go from one side of the banana to the other, threaded with about 30cm (12 inches) of thread.

The idea is to put a loop around the banana, but inside the skin. You will notice that the banana has 5 or 6 or so ‘corners’. Push the needle into the banana at one corner, and run it under the skin through to the next corner, and out. Pull the thread through, but leave a tail of thread at the beginning. Now push the needle back into the hole it just came out of, and through to the next corner. This time leave a little loop at the corner where your needle went in. Continue in this way around the banana, until your needle comes out of the hole where you started. You now have a loop around the banana inside. Now you pull gently on both the ends of thread that are emerging from that one hole. The thread will slice the banana and get pulled out of the hole. Be careful when pulling the ends that you pull them in the directions in which they are already travelling, otherwise they can tear the hole.

And the easy way: which I saw Jamie Oliver do once, is to pierce the banana with a needle and just slide across the banana until you've run it all the way from one side to the other. Repeat this all the way down the length and you'll get the same effect with only one black mark for each slice...

Party in-decisions...

Okay lovely people, I need your help. My indecisive nature is proving to be a downfall. It's only 3 weeks now till Little N's 2nd birthday and I'm yet to settle on a party theme. Mmmm, I know! I've put together a moodboard for the Superhero theme...

Invitations will be satin covered card Superhero masks with elastic ties and details on the back. Kids will bring these on the day to wear. My dear old mum is going to help me sew capes and cuffs for each child (there'll only be about 8 kids so not too crazy a workload). I thought I'd print off a birthday banner in HULK type and make up some garlands with superhero logos. And finally, yes, the cake. I was planning on attempting this. Yup. Complete sucker for punishment. 

So, we'd pretty much all agreed on all this (we being Hugh and I), but now I'm looking at it and I think it's a bit beyond Noah and is more up Hugh's alley. And we can't have big bro enjoying the party more than the birthday boy. Noah's real obsession is Toy Story, and I'm starting to think I should just do that...

And then I think about the poor Queenslanders and all that's going on north or the border and I feel like a fool for agonizing over what kind of cake to make for a two year old... I need your input and I need it fast. Which way to go? Be honest please! Am I being completely ridiculous?

Party theme of the week: Swanky Vintage

Could they be any cuter? I think NOT! And that's just for starters - this party was created by Sugarstick Parties a mum-run party planning business in the US. Check out the site - inspiration a plenty over there! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous parties Ivona!

Craft Room LUST....

Twice now since christmas I've tried to re-organize the boys playroom. And twice I have failed. Beaten by the limitations of the furniture we have in there and the way the room is set up. But since finding these three amazing spaces I'm feeling a little buoyed by the possibilities and a little bit inspired to give it one more shot...
The lamp shade cluster is just so cute and clever. I think I may need to steal this idea. 

Ikea's Skimra shades like these are only $4.99 each and it would be really easy to get a similar effect to this by glueing strips of contrasting coloured ribbon around the top and bottom edge of each shade and tying them into a group. If you were feeling particularly handy you could even put a fitting into one or two of them and making it into a functioning light. Plain fittings like these ones below from Ikea are under $15.
Then there was this. How good would those drawers be?!! One huge deep one for all the bottles of paint that leak when you have to lie them down and all those shallow wide ones for project cardboard and paper. The giant sized paintbrush and palette set the tone for the space and the wire display setup is functional and almost invisible.
While I love this last one for it's child-sized furniture and acres of storage, I'm not convinced carpet in the craft room would work with my two human tornadoes... 
And it would all look so much nicer with these sofas instead don't you think?
Craaftroom images via Real Simple

Pretty peachy prints...

I love Peachie. I love the prints - I even love the site design. Peachie is the creation of stylist Julz who, during her maternity leave with her first baby, decided to have a go at being behind the camera for a change. Well, it's a good thing she did. The world is a more beautiful place with gorgeous prints like these adorning the walls of children's bedrooms and play spaces...

All of Julz's prints are limited edition and she also does private commissions. So if you've got an heirloom toy or a special christening gown that great-granny hand embroidered way back when, have a look here, Julz can create a stunning image of your keepsake for you to treasure and decorate your walls... Nice huh?

Kids prints on carpet!!!

Remember my Kids In Print post about Art Eater (the company that creates gorgeous coffee table books and shadow boxed prints out of your kids artworks)? Well this company goes one better. Bavarian company Carpetzz can ingeniously turn your little ones masterpiece into a carpet! All pieces are made from 100% New Zealand wool hand dyed and tied to match your artwork as closely as possible. At 150 Euro (that's roughly $200 Aussie dollars) per square metre plus shipping (which bear in mind might get expensive due to the weight of a rug) it's fairly reasonable for what you're getting.
Check out how great they are! (The ones on the left are the drawings - the right are the carpets).

Make it: Old-Fashioned Caramel Sauce

One of our favourite things in the pantry is the Cottees Vanilla Syrup/topping. The boys love vanilla milkshakes and we go through it at a frightening rate when we have it. But "when we have it" is the key thing here. See, Cottees only sell the vanilla flavouring in commercial quantities to cafes etc, so we rely on a friend with a coffee van to get it for us... But I've recently come up with a solution to the vanilla-less episodes in our household. Caramel. And no caramel is quite as good as homemade caramel...

Classic Caramel Sauce
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon of salt (or less)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 shot of heavy cream

1. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan. 
2. Allow the sugar mixture to settle on the bottom of the pan. Cook on medium heat and let the sugar to dissolve. (This is very similar to making sugar water for lemonade.) Continue to heat until the sugar mixture starts to turn to a golden color. This takes about 4-5 minutes (depending on your heat). Shake the pan occasionally to redistribute the sugar on the bottom of the pan. This helps to brown the sugar evenly and keeps it smooth and creamy in the heating process. (You can stir the mixture before it heats up with a wooden spoon but not too much. The sugar has to stay in contact with the heat on the bottom of the pan to brown and dissolve completely.) 
3. As soon as the sugar turns a golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and pour the cream into the hot sugar mixture. Adding the cream causes the mixture to bubble up and transform into caramel. Stir to combine until the sauce is creamy and evenly golden throughout. Cook the sauce on low heat for one more minute, stirring occasionally. 
4. Remove the pan from the heat, add the vanilla, salt and stir well with wooden spoon. Pour the warm sauce directly into into a clean glass jar. Add a shot of cream right into the middle of the sauce and combine to make it extra creamy. Allow sauce to cool before tasting! Store in the refrigerator with lidded top.

This keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or so. And like the picture says, it's great for dipping fruit into as well...

Tooth Fairy Pockets

How divine are these? Little tooth fairy pockets by Purl Bee to hang on the bed post. You could even add a name to this gorgeous and easy DIY project - maybe having something so personalised can ease the trauma of losing the tooth in the first place? Though I'm sure in any case, the coin the Tooth Fairy leaves behind will do that job. And you could apply this design/concept to loot bags for parties too! Hmmm...
For the full instructions click here... 

Birthday cake inspiration

Little N is turning two in a few weeks, so just as crazy christmas draws to a close, it's onto party plans at our house - no rest for the wicked they say... And with that in mind, I've been frantically searching out party theme ideas (had you noticed? - I've got loads of them to share but I'll try not to bombard you with too much party-ness at once). Here's a small selection of cake inspiration. Some of these are just amazing. I particularly love the two lolly cakes.... (you'll know it when you see it)

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