Is your child getting their Forty Winks?

We’ve all heard the studies about how important sleep is. As adults we definitely notice our body slow down and our mood change if we have a few late nights, but what about our children?

The latest research says that adequate sleep can help children fight obesity, avoid colds, illness and increase their concentration at school. The studies suggest that sleep is essential to good health. Kids that get enough sleep have fewer learning problems and attention issues and when kids don’t get enough sleep it directly affects their mood and behaviour.

Last year we had so many problems with our youngest, Orlando. He’s 6 and due to our crazy lifestyle and hectic hours, he just wasn’t getting enough sleep. He had minimal self control and was constantly fidgeting at school. When the school teachers suggested his behaviour was not normal for his age, I started taking his terrible sleep routine more seriously. Wow, what a difference it made!

It’s obviously crucial to nurture their sleep habits, so how do we make sure our kids are getting what they need?

It’s not always easy, especially if your little one is a night owl or has trouble getting off to sleep.
There are definitely things you can do to help your children sleep. You can use lavender oil on the soles of their feet, you can limit their screen time, you can wear them out with sport activities and numerous other tactics. However, the most important tool to help your child have a good night sleep is to make them feel safe and happy in their bedroom.

Their bedroom should be their sanctuary, it should make your child feel comfortable and content, they should be surrounded by their special things and feel like their room reflects their personality. Kids love to be involved in the planning and decorating of their own space and by letting them help, they feel a sense of ownership and pride in their space.

So what do you need to create the perfect bedroom for your little one? Let’s start with the most important thing – the right bed.
Forty Winks have been the sleep experts for more than 30 years, they know beds and they can help guide you to the right one. The variety nowadays is vast and beds come in lot of sizes and styles. Consider the age and size of your child now, but also think of how much they will grow in 5 years and future proof your purchase by thinking ahead.

Before you decide on the bedroom furniture, have a good look at your child’s belongings, assess how much storage space he/she needs and how he/she will use their bedroom space. Does he/she need extra storage space for a large toy collection? Do you have teenager that needs somewhere to study? Do they have friends sleepover often where a trundle-bed or bunk bed would be handy? Do they have a small room that need to be multi-functional?

By simply choosing furniture that fits your needs and offers the right storage solutions you can create an organised and serene space.  Creating a place for everything helps your child to be neat and tidy and put their belongings away. Sleeping in chaos is not relaxing, having an organised space bring a sense of calm and makes it easier to relax.

Let’s have a look at some great furniture solutions for all your kids, from their first big bed, to shared spaces and the teenage years.

If you have a little bookworm, a bed like the Pluto would be perfect. It’s crafted from solid Victorian Ash and with its built-in shelves there is space for all your kids book right next to them in bed. It also has a trundle which is handy for sleepovers.

PLUTO / Forty Winks
PLUTO / Forty Winks

If your child shares a bedroom with a sibling or is simply a social butterfly who has lots of friends over frequently, the beautiful French style SNOW bunk bed might be the perfect option. It is a slanted design with a single bed on top and a double bed on the bottom, it also has a trundle for extra sleeping space.

SNOW | Forty Winks
SNOW | Forty Winks

If space is tight, the Quantum Loft bed packs a lot into its smart design. It only requires the floor space of a single bed, but it is a complete sleep / work / study / play solution. With a loft bed, desk and utility area, wardrobe storage and toy storage it really is the workhorse of kids’ beds!

QUANTUM | Forty Winks
QUANTUM | Forty Winks

The ODYSSEY is a great option for kids or teens. It has under bed storage and a ‘secret’ compartment in the bed head, perfect for stashing diaries and special things. This range has a fabulous range of matching storage solutions such as the 2-drawer bedside table, 4-drawer tallboy and study desk.

ODYSSEY | Forty Winks
ODYSSEY | Forty Winks

The ARC is a great choice for kids that don’t like the dark, it has a bookend bed head with built-in LED lighting so the kids can quickly and easily access the light without having to leave the safety of their bed. This king single sized bed also features a trundle and under bed drawers for extra storage.

ARC | Forty Winks
ARC | Forty Winks

As you can see, Forty Winks really do have you covered for all your children’s furniture needs.
Once you have determined your furniture you will need to choose a mattress. Take your child with you and let them lay on the mattresses and find what’s comfortable for them. Of course, you can be guided by the experts at Forty Winks, they will help you with the right fit for your space and budget. Keep in mind your child is growing fast and they will need the right support and comfort through these important growth years.

Bedlinen is also important, especially to some children who are sensitive to different textiles. Choose soft, warm and comforting layers that they can add or remove for their personal temperature control.

Lastly, finish with the decor. Ask them their favourite colour or talk about a theme for their room. We’re not talking about splashing Transformers or Barbie’s all over their room, choose a more subtle theme such as the ocean, the solar system or rainbows and unicorns.
If your child insists on a character theme, you don’t need to have licensed quilt covers and character cushions to get the look, think about the colours in that character and use them as your base to work from. For example, if your child chooses Mickey Mouse, you can work with red and yellow with a splash of black.
Personalise their space with family photos, framed art, baby mementos or special belongings. Give them a place to display their latest Lego creation or school art project.

Creating a bedroom with your child will give them a sense of ownership and make them want to spend time in there. Ultimately, that’s what we want, and that’s what will help them relax and sleep like a baby!

I’m happy to say, after making a few changes to Orlando’s bedroom like adding some comforting elements and removing some stimulating ones, he sleeps like a baby and is a much happier, calmer and attentive child.

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

Disclosure: This post was written by me in partnership with Forty Winks. I only work with brands that I personally love and think you will too. Thanks for supporting that brands that help me keep Mum Little Loves alive.

My obsession with Linen!

If you follow me over on INSTAGRAM you would have seen and heard me raving on and on about linen lately.
No, I am not sponsored by the Linen industry, is that even a thing?
I just truly, madly, deeply love it!
My bedroom is layered with linen sheets, linen quilts and linen throws …

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I can see you rolling your eyes out there, like I’m all a bit crazy about this linen stuff. This is what I say to you – Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. I challenge you to sleep in it for a few weeks and not love it!

I swear I sleep better!
I find it cooler in winter but still warm enough to keep me comfortable when hubby blasts the air-con so cold we are all shivering.
I love the way it drapes over your body with a gentle weight and super soft texture.
And the best part, I have embraced the crumpled look, it looks luxurious and inviting and I can’t wait to jump into my  bed every night. Apparently, neither can the rest of my family who are frequently found hanging out in there too!

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I wasn’t sure whether the linen was laced with magic unicorn dust that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy or if there is an actual reason why they are so good, so I asked the gorgeous Julie from Bed Tonic to give me all the info. Here’s what she had to say …

Why is linen considered by many to be the ultimate fabric for bedding?
Linen is a 100% sustainable fabric grown from the flax plant. It requires very few pesticides and fertilisers during its growth cycle compared to cotton and uses a fraction of the water in comparison, making it much kinder to our planet. It’s incredibly buttery soft to sleep in and is a natural thermo regulator.

Linen is cool in summer and warm in winter, why?
Linen’s fibres are hollow grass like straws compared to cottons dense fibres. This allows air to flow naturally around your body in the heat and yet cosy warm under layers in the cooler months!

I’ve read that linen is good for people with skin conditions or allergies, is this true?
Because linen uses few pesticides, fertilisers and toxic chemicals to harvest, it is low allergenic making it kind to our skin.

How long should our linen sheets last?
Although our linen is still grown, harvested, spun and woven in much the same ways as earlier days, it is now put through an extra process called soft washing where the linen is washed with pumice stones after the garments and bedding have been made. This is similar to stonewashed jeans whereby it softens the fibres making it buttery soft from your first sleep.

However this process does shorten the life of the fabric somewhat as you don’t have to wash it for years to soften it anymore like in the olden days.
It also depends on how many sets of sheets you rotate on your bed. We have many customers who love their linen sheets so much they wash and dry them and put them straight back on the bed so obviously these would wear out quicker but you should still expect to get a solid 5 years plus from your linen.

Do they require special care?
Linen is not as fussy as it seems. It is pre washed before you sleep in it to avoid shrinkage. Warm machine wash and line drying is preferable but if you use a dryer keep the temp to warm or your linen will get very crinkled.

Occasionally I get a customer who says their linen has got stiff. This is caused by a build up of soap powder and a water only wash will strip the build up and make your linen soft again. Fabric softener is also ok.
If ironing is necessary (defeats the purpose of linen in our opinion), iron with a medium to hot steam iron. 

So there you have it, there is actual reasons why it’s so good!

If you want to try some for yourself, here’s what I can recommend as I have them in my own home, on my own bed …

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Navy Ticking Pure Linen sheet set from Bed Tonic here.

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Belgian Flax Linen sheet set from West Elm here.

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Belgian Flax Linen Diamond Quilt and Pillowcases from Pottery Barn here.

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Isle Linen Ruffled Throw from Her Shed here.
I also have the Capri Linen White & Natural Reversible Quilt from Her Shed which I am looking forward to using when the weather cools down, you can see it here.

I’m sure I’ll add to my collection and I’ll be sure to let you know what I think in the future.

Do you have linen? Are you as obsessed as me?
Tell me everything!

And Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

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

How to Outlet Shop Like a Pro

It’s no secret … I LOVE SHOPPING!
I can’t tell you how many times people ask me where I bought things, tell me I find ‘the best things’ and then nearly fall over when I tell them how much I paid for it. It’s often followed by nudges from husbands saying ‘you have to go shopping with her‘ and gasps from the girls saying ‘I have to come shopping with you!‘.

So, I thought I’d let you in on a little secret – I have an Outlet Mall 15 mins from my house, I shop there far more than I am willing to admit to my husband, but I really do get some great buys.
There are some tricks to outlet shopping though and I thought I’d share this great article with you to give you all the pro tips. I found it really useful and I hope you do too, because you know all I’m about sharing the good stuff!

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Harbour Town … just down the road 🙂

How to Outlet Shop like a Pro

Do you ever wonder how some women manage to look amazing, stay on trend, but not break the bank? Well, their secret is out as we unveil the tricks of the trade to become a seasoned Outlet shopper!

With trends changing every season, Outlet shopping lets you indulge your inner-fashionista without spending a fortune. Outlet hubs like Australia’s largest Outlet Shopping Centre, Harbour Town on the Gold Coast, offer up to 70% off the recommended retail price, attracting shoppers of all styles with their unique mix of popular international and iconic Australian brands at unbeatable prices every day.

The changing face of retail has seen a host of big-name brands join the Outlet revolution sweeping the country including the likes of Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Furla, Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, Coach and more.

There has never been a better time to update your wardrobe while still keeping your hip pocket happy. Harbour Town’s Marketing Manager, Rebecca Stevenson, gives us her top five tips to shop like an Outlet pro:

  1. Think Ahead, But Don’t Make A List!

Some days, your shopping stars align and you find exactly what you are looking for at an incredible Outlet price. Other days, you may not find the items on your list, but if you’re shopping with an open mind you could find something even better! When you hit the Outlet malls be prepared to comprise and be “fashion-forward” in your thinking. You may not need that beautiful dress on sale at 60% off today, but wedding season is just a few months away and Harbour Town’s Outlet prices make it worth investing in the piece now! If you come with a strict list, you may walk away empty-handed…but if you embrace the thrill of the Outlet find your wardrobe and wallet will come out ahead!

  1. Invest (Guilt-Free) In A Statement Handbag

In most cases of fashion and life, a statement handbag is all you need to lift your spirits and your outfit. Conveniently, the key to a statement handbag often lies in the quality and you don’t have to break the bank when you can buy premium brands such as Michael Kors, Coach, Kate Spade, Furla, Oroton and Mimco at Outlet prices. Most of these brands specialise in a specific style handbag, and while the colours may change ever so slightly each season, you can still buy a classically designed purse, tote, pouch, clutch or shoulder bag at a fraction of the price. It may cost you a little more than other brands, but if you’re wise in your selection you’ll find yourself taking your investment with you everywhere you go, and the extra dollars spent on quality craftsmanship will have been worth it.

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  1. Take A Friend A Make A Day Of It

Even back in the caveman days, the hunters and gatherers worked better in tribes…the same could be said for Outlet shopping. Two sets of eyes and two sets of hands will come in handy as you’re trawling through the racks for discounted delights. Also, a second opinion from an honest friend can really make or break a purchase, so take a friend who can offer a third-party view of your Outfit finds from every angle. You don’t want to miss out on anything either and shopping with a friend makes it easier to go the distance as you are more likely to enjoy a full day of strolling the malls when it’s a social affair. You can always schedule stops to refuel with lunch and coffee breaks throughout the day too!

  1. Try On Everything

Every Outlet pro knows the golden rule of all shopping is to try it all on – EVERYTHING! Particularly in an Outlet setting where you may be overwhelmed and a little frazzled by the countless options available and all of the enticing prices! This is the time to take a deep breath, check the fit closely, make sure the colour suits you and that you feel comfortable in the item. The Outlet prices usually help seal the deal!

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  1. Shop Weekdays

If you really want to get serious, schedule some time to go shopping on a weekday. You will avoid the crowds, there will be less competition and the queue for a coffee will be shorter. Remember, new stock is delivered to stores every week, so if you are really committed, a number of trips will help you find the Outlet buy of your dreams.

With these five tips on how to shop Outlet like a pro, you will find yourself looking your best and feeling even better because you managed to save a few bucks too. There’s no need to pay retail when Outlet centres such as Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre on the Gold Coast are on sale every day – because full price is so last season!

So, what have I nabbed lately?
Completely random purchase by me, but I saw this sweet little dress for my fur baby and just had to have it, doesn’t she look sweet!

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Other things that I recently bought from the outlets are Calvin Klein underwear for my girls, apparently they #NEED Calvin Klein. They are lucky it was 40% off or their #need would have become a #want and #neverhappening !!!

OK, So now you are armed with all the best tips I want to see your shopping purchases, make sure you leave a message, e-mail me or tag me on social media!

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

  • Article written by Connor Wallace and published with permission.