Gift ideas for boys.


I don’t know about you, but the thought of filling my house with more plastic action figures and cars this Christmas is enough to put me in a serious tizzy! I can’t find the storage space for them, I can’t deal with tripping over them on the floor and I really can’t deal with forking out $50 for another bright orange and purple car that does NOT fit in with my decor.

I’m sure you are all thinking I am a total grinch of a mother and I should let my kids play with the toys that interest them. Don’t worry, I do … Orly has more Transformers than I have cushions, but there’s is nothing wrong with encouraging some wooden toys in neutral colours, or getting your kids excited about home decor items at an early age …. right?

I have two teenage girls aged 15 and 16 and a 6 year old boy.
The girls are so easy to buy gifts for, make-up, jewellery, clothes …. EASY!
Boys on the other hand, boys are impossible!

You all know I love sharing, so I’ve put together my favourite boys toys that we already own or that are on my list for Orlando this Christmas.

Orly loves to bake, it’s our special time together on a Thursday afternoon while the girls are at dancing. We make brownies, cookies and cakes. He has these Star Wars cookie cutters and he loves them.
FYI – nobody is allowed to eat R2D2 except him and he saves all the Chewbacca’s for his sister Bella.
I just noticed Williams Sonoma has released a special Christmas pack with the cookie cutters, apron and cookie mix.

STAR WARS GIFT SET / WILLIAMS SONOMA
STAR WARS GIFT SET / WILLIAMS SONOMA

I always pop in a pair of PJ’s. If you can manage to find a pair with one of their favourite characters that is also super cute then your onto a winner. Cotton On often have a great range, I personally love this Jungle Book pair.

Joshua PJ Set / Cotton On
JOSHUA PJ SET / COTTON ON

You’ve probably seen the adorable mermaid tail sleeping bags that have been so popular with the girls, check out this uber cute shark tail sleeping bag that is sure to be just as popular with the boys.

SHARK TAIL SLEEPING BAG / ADAIRS
SHARK TAIL SLEEPING BAG / ADAIRS

Kids love to carry their stuff around, well my kids does anyway, he always has a backpack full of crap and that’s fine by me, as long as it’s not in my handbag, I’m happy!
This one from SunnyKids is super cute, it made from hardwearing neoprene and will be tough enough to contain all the boy stuff!

WHALE NEOPRENE BACKPACK / SUNNYKIDS by SUNNYLIFE
WHALE NEOPRENE BACKPACK / SUNNYKIDS by SUNNYLIFE

Orly has had these little wooden superhero’s for a couple of years now. He plays with them constantly and we have added to his collection as they bring out new characters. Great for little hands all the way up to older boys.

DC SUPERHERO FIGURINES / POTTERY BARN KIDS
DC SUPERHERO FIGURINES / POTTERY BARN KIDS

I was recently given one of these Wonderboom speakers. It really is the coolest little thing ever, I take it from room to room with me when I’m doing the housework, my teenagers take it outside around the pool (it’s waterproof) and I’ve been playing music in Orly’s room at night to help him sleep.
He prefers to fall asleep to familiar sounds instead of listening to the ‘scary wind’ outside.

Honestly, I can’t recommend this highly enough, everyone in the family will want one, in fact I’ve already got my eye on a pink one (just for Mum).

ULTIMATE EARS / WONDERBOOM
ULTIMATE EARS / WONDERBOOM

While we’re on the electronics, our kids seem to be using computers for everything these days, these caught my eye and I thought they were very cool. The Doodle Collection mouse has personality and I love that you can customise them with the included sticker pack.

DOODLE COLLECTION MOUSE / LOGITECH
DOODLE COLLECTION MOUSE / LOGITECH

Ok, enough with the electronics, how about some good old fashioned fun? When my husband saw this BRIO Labyrinth he was so excited, he had one when he was a little boy, which was quite a few years ago, this one has stood the test of time, Orly loves it too!

BRIO LABYRINTH
BRIO LABYRINTH (In stores by Christmas)

Not all plastic toys are terrible, Lego is still a favourite on every boys christmas list. I’m happy to buy it, it encourages their creativity and imagination, and I kind of love this big Chewbacca! He’s definitely on our wishlist this year!

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CHEWBACCA / LEGO

Little boys love to mimic their Daddys, Orly’s Daddy is a builder and I’m sure Orly would absolutely adore this wooden tool kit personalised with is name on the box.

PERSONALISED WOODEN TOOL KIT / HARD TO FIND
PERSONALISED WOODEN TOOL KIT / HARD TO FIND

I hope you found something for the little man in your life!

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

Christmas at the Little house.

Firstly, yes thats my surname – Little.
I’m not referring to my house as little, because even though it’s smaller than our last house, it’s still too big, I know … because I’m the one who has to clean it, urgh!

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that we are mid renovation and currently the entire upstairs of our house is out of bounds so we can paint everything, and I mean EVERYTHING and re-finish the timber floorboards. What this means logistically, is that every item we own is currently downstair or shoved in the upstairs bathrooms and balconies, you might have seen us camping out on our mattresses downstairs on the floor. Let me tell you, It is not an ideal living situation and I certainly wasn’t excited at the thought of Christmas decorating.

My tree is HUGE and takes at least an hour to put it up, and then it always looks like it’s on a lean no matter how much I try to make it straight. Next for the lights, I swear I wrap them up carefully each year but when I pull them out the next year they are in a pile of tangled mess, so I spend an hour untangling them (and swearing under my breath) to then spend another hour getting them on the tree. All that before I have even started decorating. I truly didn’t know if I had it in me this year, but I have 3 excited kids so I knew I had to make an effort …

Until Balsam Hill kindly offered to send me one of their amazing trees this year, and they said it would be pre-lit. Did you just say PRE-LIT? I couldn’t have said YES fast enough. It arrived in a couple of days, you might have seen the excitement from my youngest Orlando on my Instagram, he could barely contain himself!

We had the entire tree unpacked, assembled and the lights twinkling in less that half an hour. It was so easy and Orlando, who is only 6, was excited to help me fold out the branches with the included gloves, he was so impressed with himself. And I am so impressed with this tree, there was no wrangling lights either, the entire tree is pre-lit evenly and beautifully, all you need to do is plug it in.
FYI – My tree is the Monterey Pine 150cm, you can find it here.

Monterey Pine / BALSAM HILL
Monterey Pine / BALSAM HILL

At 150cm, our tree is on the smaller side this year. The advantage of having a smaller tree is that it is much easier to find a spot to put it, it takes less decorations and is faster to decorate. It still looks amazing and gives us all the Christmas feels while I get to keep my sanity.
I did consider putting up a second tree, it seems to be very on trend to have more than one tree these days, but I just can’t face my big tree. Maybe I can talk hubby into another Balsam Hill tree ….

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What do you think? Isn’t she pretty with all those twinkling lights?

Photo 27-11-17, 12 41 50 pm I didn’t buy any new decorations this year, I would have loved to do a pink theme but to be honest, I think anything would look beautiful with those twinkling lights! I attached a big red satin ribbon bow instead of a star or angel. I thought the pop of colour was a pretty touch and seriously, who doesn’t love a bow!

Photo 27-11-17, 12 42 23 pm I used this Regency Dupioni quilted tree skirt around the base. It’s pretty and classic, and will last me for many years. It’s also from Balsam Hill, you can find it here.

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I went with traditional red and green wrapping paper. I don’t often use red in my home decor, it feels like Christmas to me, so I probably go overboard with red at this time of the year.

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I even pulled my red Kitchenaid out of the cupboard!

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Santa’s Mailbox and Merry Christmas Cushion | Hamptons Home

It creeps into my living room too!

Another thing that I like to sprinkle around at Christmas time is twinkling lights. They are just so pretty and elevate everything to the next level of beauty.

Photo 27-11-17, 12 50 30 pm I created a fun centrepiece on my dining table with some pretty blue baubles, a big wooden tray and some of these gorgeous LED fairy light ornaments, also from Balsam Hill. I love the way they sparkle at night and give the table an inviting warm glow. You can find them here.

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They come with individual battery packs and are also on a timer which is great because you don’t have to remember to turn them off.

So, the Little house is ready for Christmas and I’m pretty happy with how easy and stress-free it was this year. I didn’t go overboard, I would love to add some garlands to my staircase and maybe a beautiful collection of snow globes to my sideboard, but they will have to wait until next year.

Have you started decorating for Christmas yet? Do you go all out? Or are you content with a pretty tree?
I’d love to see your Christmas decor! Please tag me on SM or e-mail me.
Who wants me to share my favourites?

Hayley x

My window has better clothes than I do!

It’s true!
My window has the most amazing new dress and I just had to share it with y’all.
She’s been naked for quite a while now and every time I looked at her I felt embarrassed by her exposed frames and glass.  Winter has been approaching and the lack of any window coverings made the house feel even colder and open to the cold winter nights.

BEFORE & AFTER
BEFORE & AFTER

Finally I decided to do something about it.
Choosing curtains can be such a pain, having those pushy sales people around to your house with their little folders of fabric and unwanted opinions. I have done this exercise so many times and I was not looking forward to wasting hours getting multiple quotes and still gasping with shock every time I finally received one back.

This time I decided to try an online service, I am using online shopping more and more these days so I thought it was worth a try. I looked at a few different sites and read lots of reviews and settled on Pret-a-Portiere. They supply made to measure curtains and drapes that are easy to buy and install yourself. They also supply to interior stylist and decorators worldwide.

I popped over to their website armed with my window dimensions and Pinterest ideas.
I knew I wanted linen, I am currently having a love affair with anything and everything linen and they have a whole section dedicated to linen drapery, I was happy to see so many options available. It was a hard decision, there is so many styles to choose from, but I decided to go with the Soho design with the double bottom banding. I have seen this type of curtain a few times in my favourite designer spaces and was excited when I realised I could achieve this look in my own home.

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Next step is to choose your header style and colours, again, such a hard decision as there is so many different combinations to choose from. I went with a Double Pinch Pleat and 2.5 x fullness. I chose Snow and Mountain Blue as my colours.

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When you have made all your selections you will be given a quote right then and there, none of this – ‘give us all your details and then we’ll e-mail you stuff’, they give you a quote immediately.
You can chose to ‘add to cart’ and get your curtains underway or you can go back and try a different selection.

They only took a few weeks to arrive and I was completely blown away by the quality. I have had custom curtains made before, but these are amazing. I’m not sure if it’s the beautiful weight of the linen, the precise workmanship or the fact that they are just gorgeous, but I am totally in love with them.

 I put hubby to work hanging them, which is really quite easy and I probably could have done it myself, but he was home and I know how much he loves me ordering him around.
My window is no longer naked, her linen dress is much more fabulous than anything in my wardrobe and the whole space finally feels finished and cosy.

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What do you think?
Curtains make such difference to a space, they make it feel complete. I love closing them at night to keep the warmth in and I’m sure they will be great in summer to keep the afternoon sun out. And who doesn’t love the glow of filtered light through linen curtains, it’s just dreamy!

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If you want to have a play with some options for your own home, grab a tape measure and head over to Pret-a Portiere and get some instant ideas, advice and prices!

But here’s the bit you’ve all been waiting for ….
I have some curtains to giveaway to one very lucky home!!!
You may choose from the Soho (same as mine) or Madison range in any colour combination up to the value of $1100, I know … you don’t want to miss this one!!!
We’d love it if you follow Pret-a-Portiere and myself on Instagram here and here, and please come and make friends on my blog mailing list.
Leave a comment here or on Instagram telling us where you need new curtains.
EASY PEASY!

Check back here next week to see if you’re the winner, and don’t worry if you’re not because I will have something special for you anyway – a code to receive 20% off your purchase from Pret-a-Portiere!

HERE IT IS – MLL20 for 20% off!!!

There’s no need for naked windows anymore!

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

*Competition is open worldwide. Entries close at 11:59pm on Friday 28th July 2017. Winner will be announced Sunday 30th July 2017. No purchase is required. Entrant must answer the question, the winner will be chosen by Pret-a-Portiere.

** UPDATE – WE HAVE A WINNER!!! As chosen by Alice from Pret-a-Portiere the winner is Michele.J. CONGRATULATIONS! Alice from Pret-a-Portiere will be in contact to organise your prize.

Get the custom look …

The story of my barstools continues, and this is the best part yet!
Remember I picked up 4 barstools for a song on Gumtree a few weeks ago? They were from the Henriksdal range at IKEA and even though they were a little bit shabby, the frame and seating was still in perfect condition.

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I bought some new covers from IKEA but they were plain white and not exactly the best idea when you have 3 kids and a a dog! They were dirty after just a few days. I decided to try a DIY and dyed the covers green, they didn’t turn out exactly as I had imagined and after a few days I was questioning why on earth I did it.

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You see, I’m a blue and white girl through and through and I really love pattern, I wanted the look of expensive custom made barstools with beautiful upholstery, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune. I also needed something that was easy to care for, last week alone Orly spilt maple syrup, milo, milk and some sort of orange sticky goo on the barstools.

That’s when I discovered Bemz.
Bemz makes customised covers for IKEA furniture as well as cushions, curtains and bedroom textiles. There are over 250+ fabrics to choose from and they are machine washable. You can create a whole collection of customised pieces in any room of your house for a fraction of what it would cost you through an interior decorator. Bemz gives you the opportunity to refresh and restyle your IKEA furniture without breaking the bank.

I popped on their website, chose the Henriksdal barstools and started scrolling through all the beautiful fabric choices. I must admit the blue and white gingham caught my eye immediately, but I wanted to be sure so I ordered a few free samples to check in my own space. They came quickly and I contemplated my selection for a few days before going with my original choice of the gingham, which you can find here.

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The covers arrived in a couple of weeks and I am absolutely thrilled. They are beautiful quality, they fit like a glove and they look amazing. Finally, I have the custom look I was craving, without the big price tag.

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What do you think? Don’t they look amazing, the colour is perfect and they bring so much personality to my kitchen.

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Do you have some IKEA furniture that is looking shabby and could do with a facelift? Or maybe you are looking for a particular colour sofa and IKEA have the right shape but wrong colour? Or if your on a really tight budget you can do what I did and hunt down the perfect pieces on your local online market place like Gumtree, make sure the frame and cushions are in good condition, the buy new covers.

I feel like this is a game changer in the world of home decorating, it’s gives us all an opportunity to customise our furniture, get the look we want and do it all with ease online.

 Pop over to Bemz for some inspiration and ideas, and see how easy it is to get the look you want!

Happy shopping!

Hayley x