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!

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.


Any given day

Hey guys,
Ella here.
My mummy has stopped buying crap to hoard so we actually have to use things we already have which are being hoarded in the downstairs bedroom that mummy keeps the door closed on when people come round so that no-one will ever know we are hoarders.
She has a bajillion useless photo frames so finally that woman got some sense and put photos in them and hung them on the wall. We've only been living here since before I was born and everything.

She thought this photo of the wall was ugly but if she just angled it a little more so you could see more of that second photo of ME would we even be having this discussion?

And guys. Guys. I have the best playroom. It's all piled high with colourful junk that makes adults' skin crawl.  My mum spent a whole day moving those pictures around because 'they're still not riiiight' but am I supposed to care?

Did you know there are MILLIONS OF CLOTHES-WEARING MICE eating candyfloss and other assorted Carnival goodies in that painting?
It blows my mind too.

We put these things on the drawers so that I have something to do rock climbing on. I think they're biscuits? At least that's what I've been calling them this whole time.

GUYS! I found this thing in the drawer! You just pull on the biscuits and then there's a BOX and it has THIS old paper stuff in it!

I told you this room was good.

There's this weird thing hanging here I don't know what for.

Omg it's me everytime!
It's me!
It's always me.

Ok I'm back.

Highlight of this room: this gloomy corner where I do drawing. All day erryday.
Also where I serve my famous 'cuppitteeeeee's which are positively delightful if I do say so myself.

A chair to stand on while I pull felt pens off the dresser? Don't mind if I do.

In other news, I still sleep in my nursery in a cot. God forbid they ever give me the freedom to get up out of bed on my own and run around the house while they sleep. All they care about is their precious sleep...

... adults are so egocentricOMG ITS ME AGAIN

Pooh beeya! Pooh beeya? Nappy change? Time for bett? Nigh-nigh dawling! Seeya! Bai!

Oh sorry I forgot I was talking to you guys.

Which I think is spelled 'snail"? Don't know why when it's clearly an Anal, hanging from my mobile, next to the ButterBye.
Can't you see it?
I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

My fave: Teddy Bear Teddy Bear, run upstairs.
I ripped these pages out of a book so now I get them in lopsided frames on my wall. isn't that cool?
Also do you like how many things I have hanging on my Piano Key hook board because someone didn't buy me enough clotheshangers for my extensive wardrobe? Filled with Pity Jesses and ooshz and orts?
Don't tell me you don't wear Pitty Jesses.
Oh hell, you have no idea what I'm talking about again.

Anyway the rubbish truck's about the go past so I just need to run outside and put my face through the railings on the deck and yell BAH TUCK for 5 minutes and then get some stones out of the pot plants and hide them in tissue boxes around the house, and then I'm going to try to initiate a game of hide and seek which, if you don't know, is where you yell "one two fee sick seben" while you run in and out of a wardrobe squealing (haven't you played it?) so I must run but...

Now that I'm a certifiable blogger I thought I'd finish with the classic smile-and-look-down which to me sounds quite like 'spray and walk away' which I think is more catchy isn't it?

Spray and walk away.



Lessons in contentment: budget friendly design amazingness

It's one of those Saturdays that was lovely and rainy this morning (quite novel after the epic New Zealand Summer we've just had) but is now just grey and gloomy and as I sit here surrounded by forts and dirty dishes that my husband and daughter created all morning, I'm struggling with it. But here's something I've wanted to talk about for a while.

Learning how to be content with our home, as it is.

It's not a season for everyone, but our season right now has been pretty clear: stop buying new things, accept our home and work with it.

I'm constantly trying to find the missing thing that will make our home function and look better. We live in a lovely 70's house but it's very that... 70's. Dark brown vinyl floors that are peeling in the corners. Bisque coloured walls over layers of textured wallpaper. Window pelmets on windows that are too big to ever find affordable curtains for. Greeny-blue worn carpet that some people like but it doesn't go with ANY of my favourite colours or decor items.

As a designery type who is seriously affected by my environment, and as a stay-at-home mum who is here a lot of the time, I really struggle. That 'missing thing' has been everything from a sideboard that we will never own, to a decent sized bookcase we can never afford, to new carpet that doesn't make sense to buy yet, to this, to that, to everything.

Over it all I just haven't been content and I'm always searching for that way to make our home feel cosy and lovely.

Weirdly, the few times when I haven't tried, have been the times when things come together on their own. I have a couple pictures from our place at the end of this post, but first I want to share some homes that have been inspirational to me as I try to accept LESS not more.

What did I learn from Amelia's photos? Well, for one, after you see past how perfectly curated her home is, you realise that it's actually not 'fancy'. It's actually very simple, and she uses really affordable pieces and second hand items. Notice how her dining chairs are mismatched, the curtains and basic IKEA style ones, and there is not much on the walls. But it works.

 ... even when it's messy, it works. (And I love her for including this picture!)

Secondly, her daughter's bedroom is like a breath of fresh air. So many nurseries are designed to death, stuffed full of decorative objects before the baby is even born. But this room looks real to me. Furniture from wherever, a few little containers that happen to be pretty, and a super simple garland on the wall.

The kitchen makes me glad, too. All I ever see on Instagram and blogs these days are gorgeous, huge, white granite kitchens with sparkly brass nobs and marbles tiles.
 ... yet this is just as pretty to me.

 Simple furniture that makes an impact all the same:

Now, I know it helps that they have wooden floors which always makes everything look more photogenic. Sometimes I wish we had wood floors just for that reason! And then I remember freezing my butt off at our last house and feel happy for carpet... :)

Here's another famous-on-instagram house that also has a simple aesthetic but somehow looks stunning. They don't add too much colour, and have lots of original wood tones. Yes, it's frustrating how perfect every single photo is in this instagram feed... ;) But it's a bit of real life, too. I think I found the colour palette most inspiring because sometimes, less is more.

This one definitely has colour (some of my faves) but Grace from Nesting with Grace has created the most stunning home in a teeny tiny house, and I find that inspiring in itself. Also, I kind of want this exact room for Ella.

Here's a shot of our living room when I stopped trying to add colour and 'design' and just left it. Because I dislike the carpet and wall (and internal doors) colour combo, leaving things pretty plain can be the only way to make it work. Changing the carpet is not an option right now and I see no point changing the wall colour at this point either.
The chair is from my grandma - I thought it would clash terribly but it looks perfect. If only the other side of the room weren't covered in splashes of hot pink and yellow, huh?!

And here's our dining room on a very tidy day. Again, the floor, wall colour, and curtains are not my choice. But keeping this really simple and pared back actually makes it look better than trying to add more to it! It's almost like there is no point trying to disguise the things I dislike, and makes more sense just to cooperate with them.

The main thing for me right now is getting rid of clutter, keeping things fairly clean, and using really simple pieces that we already have if it needs some decor (like the vase below).

 Of course I have plans and dreams for things we can change down the line. Very specific plans, in fact! (no surprises there). But now is not that time, so purging and simplifying it is.

It does make me a little sad since 'interior designer' is my thing and I feel like I have nothing to show for myself if we live in a non-designed house. No brand, no huge following on instagram, no natural portfolio to show what I'm capable of. But $$ is of the essence and that's not what God is calling us to right now. It's the one thing that seems clear at the moment.

(Although, I would put it out there that if you want any design advice, I would find it SO FUN to help come up with a plan and ideas for anyone who wants it!)

 Congrats if you read your way through this whole thing!

I apologise my blogging is more rambly and less "how to fix your house and make it amazing in 3 easy steps" these days. Life. :)