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Category: Home & Garden

  1. What to do when you're on maternity leave

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    Feeling at a loss on my first day of maternity.  And, relax..

    So yesterday was the first day of my maternity leave and I felt a little lost!  I was pretty busy all day with home DIY projects, housework and deactivating website stock, however I kept feeling like I’d forgotten something.  I guess it will take a few days to get out of ‘selling, networking & Twitter mode’ and really relax. 

    I usually spend the majority of my evenings and a couple of hours in the day in online networking hours, chatting on Twitter, marketing, checking emails, processing orders and updating my website.  I have no personal Facebook or Twitter, so when people see my eyes glued to my phone, I’m actually ‘working’!  It feels very strange to not have to pick my phone up and check for any customer queries, etc, as I’ve done this throughout the day, every day, for the past two years.

    I got suddenly get rather excited when I realised I could watch Dragons Den last night (I’m usually working most of the evening and catch up in the week), only to discover it wasn’t being aired last night.  Doh!

    I did manage to catch up on a couple of things I’ve wanted to do for a while.  I was able to get Bella’s scrapbook up to date as well as the baby’s.  I’m always a month or so behind, so this felt great to get on top of these before the baby arrives (then I’m sure I’ll become weeks behind again!).

    I also got a little crafty!  I wanted somewhere to hang up Bella’s art work, so I scoured Pinterest for some inspiration and went for an empty picture frame idea.  It’s a fab way to display children’s pictures and the ornate frame reminds me of something you’d see in an art gallery. 

    how to display childrens pictures in an ornate frame lylia rose craft diy b

    For now I’ve filled it with family photos as I had been sticking Bella’s art creations into her scrapbook.  I’m sure it will soon quickly be filled with her masterpieces!   I found the frame in The Range and it was originally a mirror.  I removed this and added tiny screws to each side where they can’t be seen.  I weaved some sparkly celebration string around these screws.  I already had the tiny pegs (possibly also from The Range or Hobbycraft or similar).  So simple to make and I think it looks great!

    Bella’s bedroom is very nearly complete now, so I’ll post some before and after pictures soon so you can see what we’ve done.  I plan on doing these posts for the whole of our new house once we have completed all of the ‘doing up’!

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  2. Paper Panda: The Stag Canvas

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    A peek at my new wall art from the incredible Paper Panda

    Yippee!  I finally have it!

    I have been a fan of artist Paper Panda for a long time, starting a couple of years ago when I still had my Facebook account.  I stumbled across her page and was hooked.  It was the first time I'd ever seen the paper craft 'papercutting' and I was intrigued.  Being crafty at the time myself and loving paper it seemed like an ideal hobby!  My only problem is I can't draw to save my life, so it won't ever be a talent I'll own! 

    I absolutely adored papercut artist Louise Firchau’s complex paper cuts and it was thrilling to watch her likes grow and grow at an extraordinary (but much deserved) rate.  As I write this Paper Panda has an incredible 214000 likes on her Facebook page!

    paper panda papercuts the stag teal canvas lylia rose blog post

    ‘The Stag’ Canvas by Paper Panda

    I always knew I had to have something from her wonderful collection one day, and whilst browsing the website last summer I found exactly what it was. 

    ‘The Stag’ canvas just kept popping out at me almost shouting ‘Me, here, look, pick me!’

    The design is simply amazing; though it’s actually far from simple and rather fantastically intricate.  The stag’s antlers twist and turn into a beautiful tree outline, which is filled with entangling branches ending in pretty leaves which add softness to the piece.  The print is bold, eye catching and definitely makes a statement.

    I am so excited to finally own this wonderful printed canvas.  I waited so long as we moved house and had only a new log burner installed just last week.  I just knew it would complete our new fire place.

    I went for ‘The Stag’ Chunky Canvas size 30x30” in Teal.  Louise's website is here: http://www.paperpandacuts.co.uk

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  3. Bella's Name Bunting by Patchwork Pawprint

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    Patchwork Pawprint Review: Handmade Personalised Bunting from Etsy

    My daughter, Bella, turned two at the beginning of June.  I stumbled across this beautiful personalised handmade name bunting back in April or May whilst browsing Etsy for birthday gift ideas.  The pink and green had a sweet, girly cottage feel to it.  As we were due to move house I thought it would look just perfect in Bella’s new bedroom.  We actually ended up moving house over her birthday weekend, so needed to buy presents in advance so we could still celebrate her birthday amongst all the house move chaos!

    Bella is quite girly so this design is perfect for her.  The best thing about ordering from small handmade folk is they are often open to custom orders so you can get exactly what you like.  If you want different colours or themes, perhaps more boyish bunting, then all you have to do is pop the maker a question with your requirements and they'll often be able to meet them.  You really can get something 100% personalised and bespoke to your requirements.

    I ordered in plenty of time to ensure delivery for the birthday girl's big day (the shop also stocks off the shelf products, but I think it’s worth the wait for the personalised touch!).  The bunting arrived and it is so totally adorable, perfectly stitched to the highest finish.  It looks just right in Bella’s new bedroom, hanging proudly above her cute cot bed attracting positive comments from all who see.

    If you are considering some similar personalised fabric bunting I would definitely visit www.etsy.com/uk/shop/patchworkpawprint who come highly recommended by me!  If you haven't yet discovered the joys of Etsy then what are you waiting for?  Find amazing unique gifts, home accessories and so much more!  It's the perfect place to support small businesses and stop buying mass produced products.

    patchwork pawprint etsy review bunting handmade lylia rose blog

    patchwork pawprint etsy review bunting handmade lylia rose blog

    patchwork pawprint etsy review bunting handmade lylia rose blog

    patchwork pawprint etsy review bunting handmade lylia rose blog

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  4. The story where we move into our first owned home

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    We've moved in!

    If you’ve been wondering where my blog posts have been recently, I’ll explain.  The house move entirely took over our lives for the past few weeks!  A completion date was finally set (four weeks late) and we had two weeks to pack the entire house, organise vans, sell the bulk of our old furniture and find new furniture.  It was all a little crazy and seemed absolutely nonstop whilst working evenings and only passing over with Ben for ten minutes most days meaning we had to try and organise everything via text; just a tad stressful!

    rainy bbq mint tesco bbq heart primark umbrella wet summer

    Only two weeks until we have our oven delivered!

    The move took most of move day as we could not collect keys until after 2pm.  We luckily managed to get everything in one van and even squished two new sofas onto the back!  Apparently Ben and his brother provided great entertainment to an audience of Next Outlet staff!   They somehow managed to get a three seat and two seat sofa vertically onto the back of one very full van!

    Two weeks on and we have managed to tear half the garden out, fill a huge pond, saw a couple of trees down, purchase almost all our new house furniture, paint the darkest blue bedroom white, white wash most walls, install a new bath and tile the bathroom, laminate one floor, add new skirting and fill the largest skip ever!  Phew!

    My office is also coming along nicely.  The bedroom of our old house was turning into my stockroom with boxes appearing everywhere and the bed/floor was my packing station/office.  It was definitely not very practical.  Thankfully (and very luckily) I now have a converted garage room which makes a rather roomy office space.  I have so far installed a white corner desk/packing station, two sets of white/colourful storage units and a totally amazing purple fake leather quilted office chair.  I’m feeling very at home in my new work space already even though the walls still need painting, lights changing and decor purchasing!

    I also could not blog as our internet was not installed.  It was due to be installed two Mondays ago when an engineer came out to fix a phone line.  I rely on the internet for my blog and online shop so we ensured we booked the installation as soon as we found out our move date.  Sky told us everything was in working order the next day even sending a text to say our broadband was active.  Well, we had nothing, not even a dial tone.  After several calls and a lady thankfully looking through all the notes, we discovered the engineer noted he couldn’t complete the job as we needed to go out; a total load of rubbish as we were home all day and evening.  The time of his note was 4.45pm so it would appear he just wanted to clock off for the day.  What cheek!  Another engineer was sent out one week later, but still no internet!  Luckily a third came today who actually fixed the problem.  Yippee! 

    I finally feel connected to the outside world again.  We don’t even have 3G here (well a connection occasionally appears on our bathroom windowsill)!  It’s mad how much we rely on the internet nowadays.  We felt unable to do most things as we use it so much.  We needed plumbers, electricians, window cleaners, tilers, furniture, to update addresses, the lot!  Google would always usually be our first port of call for such things.  I jumped for joy when a Thomson Local fell through the door but was shocked to discover only one window cleaner listed!  I suppose everyone just lists themselves on the internet nowadays (just to add to our frustration).  How on earth did anyone cope before the internet and Google?!  Annoyingly I rang most companies to update my address only to be repeatedly told ‘You know it’s much quicker and easier to do this online’.  Yes thanks.  I do know.  Probably a lot cheaper than all these 08 calls from my mobile too!  Thanks for this well known info, sigh!

    All is well now.  Well, we still have a house load of work to do but I’m back online and in my totally fabulous new office!  I very much look forward to blogging and selling fab accessories from this new space, whilst also escaping from the madness of our building site resembling new house!

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  5. Hello Oliver Bonas

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    A colourful home decor wishlist

    I must be the last person on Earth to discover Oliver Bonas.  It all started in 1993 apparently.  The colourful tub chairs drew me into their shop in Cabots Circus recently.  I’ve already made a second visit whilst also stalking their website.  I've a feeling I know where my new favourite home decor shop is.

    Their homeware is fabulous; colourful, cool and eclectic.  I haven’t explored their clothing too much but their jewellery and patterned scarves are right up my street.  They also have the most wonderful range of books, activities and toys for toddlers so I have the perfect excuse to revisit for my daughter now.

    Hello Oliver Bonas: A colourful home decor wishlist

    I'm obsessed with these small wooden legged chairs in bright colours.  I can't imagine anyone can walk past their shop window without stopping to look at them.  The orange owl vase is very on trend - I keep seeing owls everywhere!  I've always been quite taken by orange.  I don't actually own a single thing that is orange, but I kind of fancy it as an accent colour in my living room at least once in my life.  I reckon some burnt orange textiles thrown about with a splash of bright orange will really create a warm toasty winter living room.

    The pixel cushion reminds me of Tetris!  I used to be in love with that game and could play it for hours on end.  The mushroom scarf is so quirky, it had to be included.  I sell some great printed scarves in my online shop too!

    I'm not sold on the pinky colour of the Moroccan style poof, perhaps for Bella's room, but I love the style.  If it were a darker version of that colour the bamboo bowl is painted with then I would snap it up, or a rusty orange, mmmmm

    Last but not least, the bamboo bowls!  I am so tempted to buy these.  That outer colour is just me.  I love the lightweightedness of these and would fill with fruit on the kitchen side or use as a salad serving bowl.

    These picks are my most favourite so far.  It really was hard to dwindle it down to these few as there really is an awesome choice.

    Their website is www.oliverbonas.com and if you sign up to their newsletter you’ll receive a £5 voucher!

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