meet a mama – “AJ”

As well as being a fellow school mama of mine, Anastasia (or AJ) is the queen of de-cluttering (halelujah!), organising (yippee!), styling (man, does she have style!) and providing storage to help turn your home into a haven.  And she is super dooper cute to boot!  You can read all about her here …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Creative, capable, passionate, caring, a doer, resourceful, don’t like NO for an answer, dreamer, born romantic, fussy, try not to take life too seriously, a little crazy and have a love of turning the old into something new.

AJ (I told you she was cute!)

With that list came the rise of re-do my space. It’s about turning your space into the best it can be no matter what your budget is. Many think that you have to discard what you have but I don’t see it that way. My passion is to work with what you have, create ideas for easier living, bring in the new where required and make their space a place they love to be in.  The feeling of when my clients and their children come home to a space that makes them feel relaxed, snug, organised and at home is truly addictive.

the “before” room shot

after AJ gets her hands on the room!

loving the storage options and fresh new look for this room

My other love is my every minute of my everyday world –  2 x sweet (most of the time) boys, 1 x loving Hubby, 1 x Chokkie Lab “Lenny” ….. oh, and our recent additions are 3 fish Cookie, Goldie & Bubbles. 

the two sweet boys


Who inspires you?
People who touch the hearts of others, creative minds, my husband, my boys and all those Mummies who give it their all, whether in business or not, to raising and loving their kids to be the greatest they can be.

What can’t you live without?
Family, kisses & cuddles, I Love U’s, my brown boots, my hair (I’d look scary without it), scrambled eggs with Vegemite toast, my bed & pillow, tape measure & camera.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
Hmmm, in my industry there is so much choice so to name a favourite would be difficult. But I can start with the Fabulous Rudy and the Dodo. Julia’s style, wit and love for anything happy is infectious. She makes me want to go back for a 3rd little chunk of love!!!  (Aaawe, thanks AJ!)

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Being with all my boys, going for a run, relaxing in a bath, being near water, reading books and interior mags, time with friends and just finding the beauty in everyday things and moments.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Where do I start!?! I do have some fab plans for re-do my space in the future but am in no rush to tick every box just yet. I started this journey so I could find the balance of being the mum and wife I wanted to be for my family whilst at the same time wake up every day, make a difference and be happy. Travel, good health, laughter, love and giving to those less fortunate would be some of my hopes in 5 years. Oh, and being a better cook and gaining magical powers where I just click my fingers to get those mundane jobs done would be a bonus … I told you I like to dream.

What is your favourite quote?
Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful (Annette Funicello)

Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. (Oprah)

Where can we find you?
www.redomyspace.com.au
facebook

lenny the chokky lab!

right here in black and white …

They (you know, the experts) say that black and white is great for stimulating a new baby’s mind.

So we have chosen our favourite black and white inspiration for little ones’ spaces.  We hope you’ll agree they would be great for mama’s mind too!

Clockwise from top left:
1. Loving the chest of drawers and the striped ceiling! (image source unknown)
2. I’m a bit of a sucker for a letter on the wall and these can grow with baby (image courtesy of sweetlittledays.tumblr.com)
3. I adore this room – particularly the quirky houses on the walls (image courtesy of themodernhome.com).  See more of this theme below.
4. Great storage options and fab chair (image courtesy of decorpad.com)

Add a car theme with a twist for your little man …

Or how about a BIG ole splash of girliness …

image courtesy of enchantednurserydesigns.com

Or you could add a terribly stylish little nook for yourself.  The perfect spot for feeding, reading and a newborn snuggle (image source unknown).

Yep, it’s all right there in black and white.

start your engines (and textas)

We have been having lots of fun with this terribly simple idea this week.  Simply tape texta pens, pencils or crayons to your favourite vehicles and get driving around a sheet of paper.

This idea was sure to be a winner in our household combining the boys love for cars and my love for drawing!

rock (and roll)

Whether your little one has their very own collection of special rocks accrued over time or through adventures, they grab a handful from the backyard or buy a pack of shiny river rocks from your local nursery, we have some fab ideas of rock creations and games.

Help kids develop their imagination and storytelling with these ‘story rocks’.  Paint a range of pictures onto your rocks then varnish for protection.  Kids then randomly pick a rock out of the box or bucket and have to tell their part of the story based on the picture they select.  Suits one on one or group play. Courtesy of modernparentsmessykids.com

For these bright sparks you’ll need to grab your brightest paints and a black markers.
The new pet rock – Monsters.  To create these crazy monster rocks there are absolutely no rules!  (courtesy of minimatisse.blogspot.com)

Hide N Seek – paint rocks however you like and hide them in the garden.  Numbers and letters work really well if you are playing with just one child (eg find me numbers 1-10, or find me all the letters in the alphabet) or colours and patterns are great for group play where the goal is to simply find the most number of rocks. Courtesy of http://www.athomewithali.net/

Rock creatures – some tips! Be sure to glue rocks together before painting them, attaching small stone features such as eyes, feet, or beaks to body parts before joining larger parts.  Attach whiskers and tails after painting. Cement glue makes the strongest bond but should be used only by parents working in a well-ventilated area. Kid-friendly glues are less durable and are best for rock crafts that will sit on shelves. Image courtesy of marthastewart.com

Footprints – this is a cute way to show who lives in your home!  Pop them in your garden or at the front door.  Image source unknown

Tic-tac-toe game – use a slate tile with chalk lines as the board.  You’ll need a selection of noughts rocks and crosses rocks.  These can be painted or also written in chalk however this is, of course, more temporary.  Image courtesy of realsimple.com

We included these just because we love them and they are soooo terribly sweet!
Birds – courtesy of http://www.inspirebohemia.com
Sweet little birdy – courtesy of jenniferpaine.tumblr.com
Little owls – courtesy of thecarolinejohansson.com

 

 

meet a mama – kate wilson

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
I am Kate. I’m a teacher (well, educator is probably a better description these days). I’m a WAHM. I own and run Back to Basics Tuition; a small Learning Studio focused on helping students improve their numeracy and literacy. I’m a Mother to 17 month old Indi (and our 4 year old American Staffy, Ruby), a wife to Dave, a daughter, a sister, a friend.

Kate (she’s very glam, isnt she!)

Who inspires you?
Currently I am most inspired by my daughter. She makes me want to be a better me (both personally and professionally), in order to be a role model for her.

funny little Indi

What cant you live without?
Family. Both near and far. And laughter. Our house is filled with laughter (and the odd 17 month old tantrum), it’s good for the soul. It’s the best way to raise our daughter. She has a wicked sense of humour and her smile is infectious.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I love passionate, inspired people so Rudy & the Dodo of course!  Also along these lines I enjoy Penny’s blog at Wildlife Fun 4 Kids. She’s passionate about her subject matter; wildlife, and teaches it to children. And although she tends to update her Facebook page more than her blog, Carly from My Life in Colour is someone else I follow. She writes openly about her life and I am constantly amazed at how she juggles three children, their therapy (two are Autistic) and building her photography business, being a Mum, wife and friend!

How do you like to spend your spare time?
I would LIKE to spend it with a book in the sun (or sleeping!)….but I tend to spend it on Facebook, Pinterest or tidying up after ‘Hurricane Indi’. I’m about to try my hand at a little craft (education related of course!) though for some personal achievement.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Well, Indi will be at school by that stage and my husband will have finished his University double degree. I really want to focus on streamlining my business systems over the next 12-24 months and using new technologies more. I would like us to begin travelling the globe. By the time Indi is 5, I would like to start showing her different cultures, different ways of life and to develop her understanding of just how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful country and have 1st world problems.

Kate’s “other” kiddies

What is your favourite quote?
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere – Chinese proverb
We are consciously constructing our lives – our own saying ;)

How did you come to know Rudy & the Dodo?
I actually stumbled across you when I was putting together my baby shower wish-list. I wanted a wooden mobile for Indi’s room. I was hooked!

Where do we find you?
Blog: http://www.backtobasicstuition.com.au/conversations-with-kate
Website: http://www.backtobasicstuition.com.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/backtobasicstuition

Indi and Ruby

imagination + paper = fun

Got a roll of  butchers paper or kraft paper handy?  This great play mat not only provides hours of play once completed but uses lots of imagination to create.

Kids can include whatever scenes they like – city, farm, seaside, river – the list is endless.  You can also add 3D elements (think cotton balls, corrugated cardboard, boxes for building and rocks) if you like!

If you don’t have large sheets or rolls of paper simply glue or tape A4 sheets together.

Image courtesy of tokketok.com

5 easy peasy craft activities

It’s raining here.  Cats and dogs.  My boys have completed two games of rugby before 9.30am and we are now home, showered, fed and bunkered down for the rest of the day.  A bit of easy craft (the kind I don’t have to think about too much) is definitely on the cards.

Here are 5 easy peasy ideas …

Duplo painting – everyone has their own plate with paint blobs on it.  Choose duplo blocks of different sizes, along with wheels, and you will have a great little masterpiece in no time at all! (courtesy picklebums.com)



Collect some leaves from the backyard or park and glue them onto pages to make animal shapes,  Add eyes, arms or legs as required and, voila!  We love this fish.  (courtesy marthastewart.com)

Balloon ping pong – add a paddle pop stick to a paper or plastic plate, blow up a balloon and play away! (courtesy theweekendhomemaker.com)

Lanterns – cover a glass jar with pretty paper then use a small flameless candle to play with it outside in the evening!  If raining, it also makes a gorgeous centrepiece for the dinner table! (courtesy picklebums.com)

Enjoy!

may the (noodle) force be with you

Here’s a super dooper quick crafty idea that if, like me, you are constantly stuck in the middle of a battle of some kind between little people.  It might be a friendly pillow battle, a jumping battle on the trampoline, a food battle, a Lego battle, a REAL (mean) battle of wills, or a good ole light sabre battle!

If you don’t want to spend a mozza on a Light Sabre with all the bells and whistles, you can whip one up with the kids using a pool noodle and some electric tape.  Easy peasy. Done.

thank you mcdonalds

Three words I never thought I’d say in the one sentence.  Yet here I am, snuggled into my new temporary digs at the local McCafe, taking full advantage of their free Wi-Fi whilst sipping on a surprisingly good Hot Chocolate.

Now before you log off thinking I have succumbed to The-Block-like McDonald’s sponsorship dollars, I should clarify I’m just using them. I am only here through sheer desperation and I only want them for their Wi-Fi.  Because another HUGE corporation we call Telstra has my home/office internet on the fritz.  This is day 3 and we have another 4 days of drive-me-up-the-wall-frustratingly-slow-internet yet to endure.  So, today, I bunkered out before I did actually start climbing the walls.

It’s interesting to be out amongst the world observing the many walks of life who meet here, eat here, stop for coffee here.  And those who come here for the free Wi-Fi.  I do like to people watch and wonder about the stories that lie beneath the suits and the fluoro safety vests and baby prams and bobbly old cardigans.  There are lots of retiree couples here sipping lattes and munching on raisin toast.  I even eavesdrop on their conversations every now and then.

Do you think I have been working from home, alone, for a bit too long if I am starting to feel that my local McDonalds is a cultural hot spot? Perhaps.

In a bit of a rush, I have updated my pages, done my bits and pieces and am about to head home again.  Home.  Where I will sit solo, with no-one to watch and no-one to make me a hot chocolate.

Maybe I will come back here after all.  Might have a chat to their sponsorship department beforehand though …