Jun 14, 2016

All the progress we don't notice

I was looking through photos the other day and found some earlier photos from our home that made me realise how many changes we have made since moving in nearly 3 years ago.

I often feel impatient with this 70's house and all the renovations I want to do in the future. (New kitchen + new carpet, come at me! Bring cash.)

But there ARE little changes we've made that have made this place feel like home, so in an effort to see how far we've come and encourage myself...

Here's our bedroom when I was towards the end of my pregnancy with Ella and was trying to do it up. This was my 'after' at the time but it still lacked so much and didn't feel like 'us' at all.

And here's our bedroom today:

This is probably the one room that feels almost 'done' to me and kind of sums up my style. It's warm, colourful-yet-calm, and just feels inviting. 
It came together slowwwwlllyy over time as bits were added here and there. Now that I think about it, it's probably the only room in the house we've actually purchased new furnishings for (other than our couches). The bedside tables were the cheapest dresser/drawers available from Freedom Furniture. But at $600 each, in a flat pack, and COMPLETELY RAW unvarnished bleached wood which stained even from touching it with your fingertips... we had to coat them with 5 coats of polyurethane each... I wouldn't actually call them cheap. But we needed drawers desperately and now that they're all done, I really love the look and the way they fit our back wall, unlike normal small bedside tables.

The 'office' when we first moved in. It's the darkest room in our house but still gets all that glare from the back yard which makes it super hard to photograph:

And currently. Eeeeek:

We're in the lengthy process of transitioning it into what will probably end up being Ella's bedroom one day. Assuming we ever pluck up the courage to move her out of her cot and into a bed with no rails that stop her from roaming the house - a scary thought! Right now we're calling it the playroom but it's a bit of an odd one - Calum uses the wardrobe in here for all his clothes as we can't fit everything into our bedroom wardrobe. It also houses a chest of drawers that I can't wait to get rid of as the old-lady-perfume smell saturated into the wood inside the drawers makes me nauseated. Ah pregnancy memories (we bought it second hand online when I was preg, not knowing it came with that smell... which by the way doesn't bother anyone except me). As for the old office - we just don't have an office anymore. Literally it was just a storage room for books and files which we've majorly purged or gone paperless with.

Don't mind the tissue paper flowers randomly on the wall... long story.

Also, the hallway. I don't have a before picture but basically all the walls were blank until recently when I finally moved our framed pictures from a pile on the floor to the walls. On the right you see the little wall shelf with hooks underneath - just added that recently and it has been so so useful. You don't realise how amazing these functional items are until you have them! When I come up the stairs from outside I can put everything I'm carrying - bag, + Ella's jacket and hat and bag - all on the hooks immediately instead of dumping them on the bed or couch and then having to find them later.

And lastly...
Ella's bedroom/nursery when I first got it ready for her, whilst pregnant:
I had painted it a stark white which combined with the large glarey window makes it nearly impossible to take pictures of.

Today the base is the same, but with the cream rug and rearranged furniture plus the addition of some old wooden drawers (kauri or rimu) and a chair it looks much warmer:


 To get this room 'done' I would make my own curtains that actually fit and hang nicely - maybe in a soft minty blue, change the wardrobe door to something more functional and white, and have a light neutral coloured carpet throughout the house instead of this greeny blue grey stuff.

Oh and last but not least - this wardrobe system works perfectly for us and has been great since Ella was born. On the bottom of the wardrobe I have several large plastic boxes with lids that fold in the middle and can have one side kept open (from The Warehouse). As Ella grows out of clothes I wash them and then tuck them into the open end of the container on top. It's as simple as getting out say, a top for her and realising it's not going to fit. So I just have to bend down and tuck it under the lid of the upper container. Done.
When a container fills up, I move it to the bottom (or to the side) and put a new container on top. We have 4 of these containers and at 2 years old, I now have all 4 filled. It's so nice knowing they are all sorted by size and everything already.

The end!

May 12, 2016

Update: painting, drawing, making

In order:

1. I ran a Facebook competition for my Etsy shop

2. The winner lived in Canada so I got to post the chocolately prize with one of the necklaces I make, AND a cushion cover that she purchased.

3. I have more necklace designs coming - the shop will be filled up again soon.

4. I've been purging/simplifying like my life depends on it and it's so good to break my hold on hoarding and materialism. Some of our most hoarded treasures that I've been saving "for our dream house" have now actually been passed on to good causes - really good causes - and I'm so glad. We don't need all that stuff - our house is lovely because of the sunlight and views and spaciousness, and no amount of added material possessions are going to change that. If anything they sometimes take away from it.

5. I painted this pot in an attempt to get the Rifle Paper co floral look. Hmmm could use some work.

6. It was my Dad's birthday and I didn't know what to make, so started doodling this. I was completely unconvinced but actually it turned out great and brought me back to me childhood + teen-dom when all I ever did was draw people. 

[in progress]

[Displayed stunningly against our bisque coloured, textured 70s walls...]
7. Basically everyone I know is having babies.
When I was pregnant with Ella I barely knew anyone who was pregnant or had kids, but now it's like parenthood has exploded all over our friend-circle. Yay!

8. I'm not a fan of Winter at ALL (it's the cloudy, gloomy days that get me. I feel like my eyes aren't working properly and spend my days feeling blind and sleepy). So this year I'm all about the mood-lighting to create ambiance and remind me of Swedish winters (they do it properly!)

Also.... my cutie-patootie daughter is coming up with something new everyday. Recently she just started counting and there's an underlying cheekiness to her happy personality that I find adorable. I had a video to upload here but it won't work... so you'll just have to take my word for it :)

Apr 28, 2016

Just a little self-promo... necklaces I make, 25% off for Mother's day

We have been purging so hard around here and I might have a blog post coming about it at some point as it's been quite extreme! And eye-opening.

But on that note... let's help me get some of these handmade-by-me necklaces out of my studio (aka guest bedroom) and onto your necks! Or into a gift bag for someone who will appreciate them, at least ;)

Just to recap, these are made of silicon beads which are design to be safe for a baby to chew and slobber on while an adult wears the necklace. (That does not mean they are only for mothers! They are still cool and no-one can tell they are made of food-safe silicon, yo.)

Every mum knows how hard it is to wear necklaces with grabby babies and toddlers around. So... they are going on to be 25% off until Mother's day on Sunday the 8th May from the Five Kinds of Happy Etsy shop. Just enter the promo code MUM25 at the checkout.

And because I don't know how to give different promo codes to different products on Etsy... all the other stuff is going to be 25% off too. Just remember to enter code MUM25 at checkout!!!

Ummmm and I might even make a little Facebook promo where if you care and share I'll hook you up with a little prize. Delectable New Zealand chocolate? Necklaces? Follow the Five Kinds of Happy facebook page for more deats tomorrow :)

Have fun and tell your friends to stop by the Five Kinds of Happy Etsy shop pretty please :)

(Do you think I put enough links in this blog post?????????
Rhetorical question.)
And now for the pics.
Bubblemint cushion cover
(reverse of Bubblemint cushion)

[My Kind of Rainbow necklace]

[Think Pink & Black necklace]

[Rocks that I Got necklace]
[Gurl You Cray necklace]

Boom shakalaka.
See you at the shop and on Facebook!

Apr 18, 2016

30! This post is not about coffee

As a classic introvert I wasn't really planning to celebrate my birthday with PEOPLE *gasp* but in the end I asked my husband to organise something that involved "coffee, sunshine and flowers". I'm so glad he did! It was awesome. April is generally rainy here so I was lucky that the sunshine cooperated, and so many lovely friends did too. The hubs booked a big table at the botanical gardens cafe, surrounded by rose gardens. 

[One overtired toddler coming right up]
[ I cropped out the people who were eating... thank me later guys. But blinking and baby-wrangling didn't make the cut. My bad]
 Cutie patooties, right before they all tried to dive into the pond and/or capture ducks and/or get stuck in a maze of thory rose bushes. Not looked at anyone in particular. Ella.

 That arvo I got this epic cake at my in-laws, decorated by my nieces and nephew - how awesomely lolly-licious is that?

Then Ella got to stay with her grandparents and cuzzies while Calum and I watched Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and went to a Chinese restaurant that was an old haunt of ours in our first year or 2 of marriage. It's not fancy at all - but the food is so good!

Next morning:
[Just how I like it]
 ... I got a big bag of People's Coffee (made in Wellington, coffee snobs unite), these coffee KeepCups, and coffee in bed. And flowers. And a card! And a top. Did I say coffee?

And a cute toddler.
Oh wait, she was already mine. #luckiest
[Forever swiping hair out of her eyes]
Ella had been hollering "Happy daaaaay!" for the past 2 days which is her version of Happy birthday but more appropriate. When I opened the parcel with the brown bag of espresso coffee in it above, she clapped excitedly and cried "oo yay! Coffee!".
How does my not-even-2-year-old know that a nondescript sack wrapped in gold paper is coffee????? I've created a monster.
Coffee monster = barista and I could do with a barista around here.

Did I say coffee?

Last year I got a coffee machine.

I'm getting off track...

And then!
(this is starting to read like a 6 year old's story-writing book...)
...we went to church where I was sung happy birthday to. A new experience for me but so nice. I didn't get coffee there, but I was eying it up.

(does this remind you of that bad movie from the early 2000s? I can't remember what it was called but all the cool kids were seeing it and forcing themselves to laugh at the cringey humour. It was really bad. Like I actually felt baffled when I looked around and saw my friends were still laughing. And then no doubt I fake laughed too.)

And then we went to my parents house for lunch which featured flowers and some of my fave food, and some kids' party food my mum surprised me with. (Fairy bread, cheerios and jelly-oranges for life.)

And coffee. I may have had a decaf at that point but no judging.

... and lastly, I got to sit in the couch as per tradition and awkwardly wait for my family to come marching in, in a line, singing happy birthday and bearing gifts. I spent most of my life thinking that every family does this. Apparently not?


[Spot my coffee]

So that's that.
It was such a happy birthday weekend and... I'm 30.