How to: Make your wee one feel special

I just adore this idea! Blackboard paint is my finish-du-jour at the moment (remember the boys beds?), and this treatment is a gorgeous way to display kids artworks. Not only are they neat and tidy (much better than my magnets on the fridge!) but this would just make any kid feel like a budding Picasso!

Red ain't dead

A splash of red is always good. Especially with a rare beef roast. And it's not bad as part of your teen/tween space colour palette too! It rocks against monochrome and how far you go is totally up to you. Anything from a feature wall (try Dulux Red Box), to a handful of carefully appointed accessories, red is a powerful colour that will warm up a space and give impact in an instant.

25 Perks of Being a Mum

First I have to tell you two things. 
1. I stumbled across this list on an American site The Stir, so a couple of things are a bit un-Australian. And 2. The list is actually 50 perks long! As much as I agree there are lots of perks, possibly hundreds, or even thousands, I didn't feel the need to post them all. If you're really needing an extra 25 good bits to dwell on this weekend dear mother, just click here for the rest...

1. Always have an excuse for being late.

2. Never have to provide an explanation for what's smeared on your black pants (because no one really wants to know ...).

3. You're proficient in doing at least four things at once.

4. Never pay for hugs (well, most the time).

5. Be two places at once. Obviously.

6. Low blood pressure? Never a problem.

7. "Oh, sorry, I can't make your [insert lame candle, jewelry, Tupperware, scrapbooking, etc.] party -- you know, that's right at bedtime and all ..."

8. Finally know for sure that your parents didn't know squat.

9. But also know that knowing squat must be perfectly awesome because you turned out okay.

10. There's always someone to fetch the remote control. And sit on your cold feet.

11. Fear of oversleeping -- puh-lease!

12. "I love you, Mommy."

13. That first belly laugh.

14. There's always someone to blame.

15. "Mommy better go through your [insert Halloween, Easter, Valentine] candy alone in the kitchen, and make sure it's safe."

16. You can always find a teen-aged stand-in for just $10/hour.

17. Inflatable backyard pools!

18. Win every argument with your husband by saying, "Yeah, but I gave birth."

19. Funny Home Videos.

20. Slip 'n' slides.

21. Nachos for dinner! Again!

22. Mom blogs.

23. That first base hit. (Let's go with a try instead huh?)

24. Finally, a reason to learn about sabertooth tigers.

25. Someone's always happy to see you.

Gallery wall inspiration

With only one task left to be done before I can call the boys playroom complete, I'm on the hunt for gallery wall inspiration and these are getting major ticks! 
Loving this gallery wall. The black and white theme is stunning, but I think it's a bit uptight for the kids. Better for the hall this one is... Irrelevant but how good is that paint colour on the wall?

This is better. The eclectic mix is exactly what I would like to do...

More eclectic...

Ah yes. Only thing better than eclectic? Eclectic on a dark wall...

Nice overall shape... and light... and colour palette...

Love the ampersand in there.

Great Gozleme Batman!

My lovely husband made Gozleme Dough for our dinner last Friday night (to accompany our viewing of the Royal Wedding!) and it was deeeee-licious. The recipe made enough dough for 4 adults and 2 kids and there was enough left for pizzas for dinner the next night! So don't worry if there's a lot of it... Gozleme was super easy, fun to make and a great way to get some sneaky spinach into the kiddos. Here's the recipe...
Image via

Ingredients (serves 4)
8g sachet instant dried yeast
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon caster sugar
3 cups plain flour
1/3 cup olive oil
200g baby spinach
200g feta cheese, crumbled
400g beef mince (optional)
1 tbsp canola oil
lemon wedges, to serve

Combine 300ml warm water, yeast, salt and sugar in a jug. Stir with a fork. Cover. Stand in a warm, sunny place for 5 minutes or until bubbles form on the surface.

Sift flour into a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons oil. Mix to form a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or until elastic. Cut dough into 4. Place on a greased baking tray. Cover with a clean tea towel. Stand in a warm, sunny place for 20 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

While dough is proving, fry beef mince (if including) in oil until browned.

Roll each piece dough into a 35cm x 45cm rectangle. Place one-quarter of spinach over half of each rectangle. Top with feta and mince, and season with salt and pepper. Fold dough over to enclose filling. Press edges together to seal.

Preheat a barbecue plate on medium-high heat. Brush one side of each gozleme with 2 teaspoons oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until base is golden. Brush uncooked side with remaining oil. Turn over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove to a serving plate. Cut gozleme into quarters. Serve with lemon wedges.

Party theme of the week: Butterflies

So much pinky, princessey, lacy prettiness! 
I need some of those candy elastic necklaces right now!

The universe for your room

My Mr 4, Hugh, is totally into the universe right now. He knows all the planet names and their order - it's kind of cute. And if I hadn't just finished their room I'd be wanting to do this for sure. Have to save it for later. I'm sure there'll be a second round of interest once he starts learning more about it at big boy school... But if you like it, I've done a bit of shopping for you... Check out the links below to cool finds to get this look.

Tactile solar system set handmade from felt. Available on Etsy for $69US. Click here to buy.

A glow in the dark solar system mobile. Available on Etsy for $85US. Click here to buy. Also available in extra large for $300US. Click here to buy.

Vinyl wall decal of planet earth (be great if it was the other side...) measuring a whopping 68cm in diameter. Available on Etsy for $30US. Click here to buy.

Space voyage wall decal set. Available from Etsy for $39US. Click here to buy.

And my favourite - World globe touch lamp. Available from Deals Direct for $59AUD. Click here to buy.

Dirty kids = brainy kids?

Looks like a nightmare doesn't it? The thought of my boys playing in the mud like this send shivers up my spine. I'm consumed with images of them up all night with raging fevers and blocked noses, my laundry pile growing higher than it usually is, the mud being trodden through the house, the notion that if I let them do it once they'll want to do it every time there's a cloud in the sky... I even went so far last week during the rain, to leave my husband with instructions to make mud pies with them for an entertainment idea. Clearly he's just as horrified by the thought as I am and ignored my suggestion taking them to an indoor play centre instead.

But did you know researchers from the Kidsafe NSW Playground Advisory Unit have found that playing in the mud can make children smarter? Apparently! A new study has shown there is a positive side of soil-borne bacteria that is likely to be inhaled when children are playing outside. Fraser said soil bacteria in mud can also increase serotonin levels when inhaled, so it also reduces anxiety which ultimately can stimulate growth of certain neurons in the brain. The research was welcomed by Kidsafe NSW Playground Advisory Unit program manager Kate Fraser as another reason kids should be encouraged to get outside and get dirty. But Fraser also warned parents to be careful to choose the mud, because some mud can be contaminated with harmful bacteria. “As long as the safety direction is followed, then playing in the mud can be a great experience for children,” said Fraser.

Unfortunately a what's what list of good and bad mud wasn't supplied, but I'm guessing you just use commonsense and don't let them loose in mud that's been lying about for an extended period of time, is green, smelly or mud that comes with a public loo nearby etc. Colour me convinced. I'm giving it a go. Next wet day (which could be sooner than I'd like here in Sydney at the moment) we're into it. I'll be the mother taking deep breaths in the corner of the playground...
Image via. Story via

Free Mothers Day printables

Last weekend we stopped to spend time with our families to celebrate Easter and pay tribute to the men who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. Next weekend we stop again to spend time with our families, but this time it's to acknowledge the incredible selflessness that comes with being a mum. Here's a little something to pass along to dad (let's face it, he might need the help), or to print out yourself for your own mum perhaps. They look great as a set on the breakfast tray or just as a tag to attach to the chocky box and new slippers...
Note: These are an original Noosh design. If you'd like to share them on your blog, please feel free, but don't forget to link back to Nooshloves.

Yum. My Raspberry Ricotta Dessert

This is the dessert I made for my family for Easter lunch last weekend. I have to say it went down a treat, and it was the easiest bang-together ever! Only 7 ingredients. 10 minutes to make. No cooking required. All types of delicious... Read on.

Raspberry Ricotta Dessert

1 x 500g packet of frozen raspberries
1 x 500g packet of Italian sponge finger biscuits (Savoiardi)
1 x 375g tub of smooth ricotta
1 x 300ml jar thickened cream
1 x teaspoon vanilla essence
1 x teaspoon brown sugar (or a little more if you're me...)
1 x cup apple and strawberry juice

1. Lay savoiardi side by side in two rows to completely cover the bottom of a baking dish.
2. Drizzle your apple/strawberry juice over the biscuits
3. Beat cream, sugar and vanilla on high until stiff peaks form
4. Fold ricotta through your cream mixture
5. Spread mixture over the soaked biscuits
6. Top with defrosted frozen raspberries. Serve

Note: Juice can be substituted for any flavour

Bless you Ms Butler.

This is so far up my decor alley right now. 50s. Loving it. Totally rocking my world.
And any truly loyal Noosh lover will know that Amy Butler is another fave.
Well, turns out, this, is her house. Explains a lot right?
Her every finger is placed firmly on the pulse of everything I love it seems.
God bless you Amy Butler for making the world a more stylish place to be...

If I was the tooth fairy...

...I'd have a kit just like this one from Papermash for all the kids I visited. It comes with a personalised certificate to keep track of teeth lost as well as an "official" envelope to hold the precious tooth, and it is all delivered in a gorgeous drawstring bag. Each certificate is hand-letterpressed and carries the Tooth Fairy Seal. Papermash do ship to Australia and these go for around $28 delivered to your door depending on the exchange rates on the day.

Perfection in pink

To me, this is perfect. I wouldn't change a thing. What do you think?

IKEA Hack: Neg lamp

This little DIY project will cost under $15, take you about 20 minutes to do and it puts a positive light on an old negative storage problem...
It goes like this: 
1. Take one IKEA Grono Lamp, $14.99.
2. Dig out all your old negs from the dusty photobox.
3. Carefully glue negative strips in place with a little PVA glue. Voila!

Cheap flooring DIY idea

Would you believe me if I told you this floor was laid for around $1 per square metre? One Dollar people! And it looks fantastic! It's DIY. It's easy and its the cheapest darn floor you'll ever get looking this good... I found this project over at Design Dazzle and it's really quite genius. It's made from ply sheeting!

You can pick up at your local hardware for around $10 per sheet or if you have a bit more time, you can save even more cash by having a look on eBay or Grays Online where there are often auctions for bulk quantities and then you can save a bundle.
Cut into 15cm wide strips the length of your sheets.

Start laying them on your prepped floor! These were stuck down with Liquid Nails, given a light sand (as ply can be a little splintery and rough) and then stained. Stain-wise I would tend to go for either a darker chocolate colour stain or a whitewash for a more contemporary finish. 

Varnish Tip: Remember that if you use a stain with a built in varnish (or any varnish for any job), go for a water based one over oil based to avoid yellowing later.

Staining Tip: Always start at the end of the room furthest from the door so as not to "paint yourself into a corner" so to speak...

Laying Tip: Cut your boards to at least 3 different lengths so that your joins don't fall into a uniform pattern like this. The end result will be much better with a more random join configuration.

To finish, these floors were given a polyurethane coating, which gives a glossy and smooth finish and makes the floors more resiliant to scratches. I think the result looks fantastic! Especially for the price! But even without the cost consideration I prefer this to the knotty pine floors we have in our place... Such a great idea - colour me impressed!

My secrets revealed...

I bet you'd like to know where to find one of these!
A couple of weeks ago, the lovely Steph over at Bondville asked me to write a guest post for her fabulous Baby Essentials Series. Well, today is my moment in the spotlight! Have a look here for my list of favourites and must have's including some brands you might not have even heard about yet! Well, go on!

Make some mud cupcakes...

So after a rainy Easter loooong weekend it's back to work tomorrow for me. And while hubby's still on holiday's I'm leaving him at home in charge of kiddo entertainment. This is the idea I've left him with to make the most of our muddy garden... I've assured him of a good hour of play and another one to clean up the mess afterwards! Heheh...
 For a twist on the ever popular mud pie creation activity  - try pulling out some baking equipment (don't worry, a bit of detergent will get it back to cooking condition afterwards). Give them a cupcake tray and some patty pan cases and let them get creative with whatever's available in the garden to decorate!

Grey and pink nursery

Grey is my number one favourite colour right now. Our whole house is undergoing a (slow) transformation at the moment and grey tones are prominent. The best thing about grey is that it sits so well with everything and any colour next to it "pops". Pink and grey is especially good...
Those display shelves are cute cute cute! And how much do we love that geometric print on the floor cushion?

The gallery wall works so well with the focus on black and white prints.

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