Ava and Thea decorating cakes

Ava and Thea’s February: Hairstyling, Half Term and A Joke

February has been a busy month for us, not least because we have started on our kitchen renovation! We’ve also had half term, which was fun but hard work (for me!) The girls have had fun spotting snowdrops and we are all getting excited about the evenings being slightly less dark.

ALL ABOUT THE HAIR

We have put some black protective flooring over our lounge floor whilst the kitchen is put in, and the girls loved rolling around on it. I discovered it makes a great backdrop for photos too!Ava pulling a funny face

Doesn’t Ava’s hair look great spread out like that? And speaking of hair… I found a few chunks of Thea’s on our table…
Thea's hair cut

There was some more on the floor too! When I asked her about it, she said ‘It’s just that I have too much hair!”

Ava also made a little hair salon, and did her first plait! I took a little video, she’s so funny with her hairdresser patter.

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My Favourite 5 for July: Prints, Lights & End of Term Fun

July has whizzed by in a whirl of end of term fun, work and DIY. We’re currently working on our utility room, so it should be ready soon. Ava has finished school for the summer, so I’ve been busy keeping her and Thea entertained, with a little help from the list I made this time last year. I’ve also been cramming in a bit of work here and there (the joy of being self employed).

Instagram Prints from SOCAL PRint Studio

I recently ordered some very cute mini photo books from Social Print Studio, filled with my Instagram photos of our family. I also took the opportunity to order some slightly larger prints, some of which are going to relatives, and some to update our photo wall in our cloakroom. They are such good quality, and I just love them.

Instagram prints from SocialPS

END OF TERM FUN

I’m struggling to believe Ava has done a year at school. It’s just flown by. From her end of year assembly, to the school disco and school, she’s been having such a great time.

This girl loves #sequins 💗 She had a great time at her school disco.

A photo posted by Becky Pink | PinksCharming (@pinkscharming) on

She’s come so far over the year, and her teachers have been amazing, so she made them these brilliant thank you cards.

I was going to buy something from the list of teacher’s gifts I made a few weeks back but she was keen to make something special herself. So she decorated a mug for her main teacher, and a treat plate for the team to share.

CHEAP AS CHIPS SOLAR LIGHTS

Sometimes you spot a bargain that is just too good to pass up. And these solar lights from Poundland are a case in point. Needless to say I got quite a few and have just been to B and Q to get some cup hooks, so I can hang them up in the garden. They come in several colours but I went for clear. I did have to go to no less than four stores to find them, ha ha. Well worth it though, don’t you think?

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What Thea did next: go away and it’s not funny! 

Thea has been a bit under the weather for the past week (though it feels like a lot longer!) So instead of lots of energetic activities, we’ve been taking it a bit easy, and she’s really been getting into drawing and cutting. I decided to take her to Start the Art at Milton Keynes Gallery.

Just as I was just about ready to leave, she suddenly got Ava’s wipe-off drawing and writing books, and set herself up on the kitchen floor to get stuck in.

Thea drawing on the floor

“I’m not finished! Leave me alone, mummy!”

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The Handmade Fair business cards

My Craft Day at Kirsty Allsopp’s The Handmade Fair

I love craft. It’s in my blood: my mum always has at least five cross stitch pictures on the go at any one time, as well as patchwork, knitting or any number of other projects. My dad calls craft ‘tatting’ for some reason. He doesn’t get it, but I do. Handmade things are just so special, I think they have a bit of a magical quality to them.

I have a cupboard full of my own crafts and crafting materials, which include paper cutting, lino printing, embroidery, cross stitch, painting, drawing, washi tape, and of course the inevitable mending pile. I rarely get the time to use them, but they’re there, ready and waiting for me.

I subscribe to Mollie Makes magazine, and although I rarely have the time to actually attempt the projects, I love looking at them! I spotted an advert for the Handmade Fair in one of the magazines, and just had to go. I found a few other willing wannabe crafters and we planned a lovely girls’ day out. It did not disappoint.The Handmade Fair Roundup by PinksCharming.com

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Five things I love right now: August

1. Beautiful Birds book. It’s no secret that I am obsessed with birds, flamingos in particular (keep reading for my latest flamingo finds!) and this beautifully illustrated A-Z book is so stunning I’m not actually giving it to the girls just yet, as they will inevitably wreck it. So it’s on the picture shelf in the office. I get it down every so often and wish I could draw like that.Beautiful Birds by J.Roussen & E.Walker

2. Natural Antibacterial Spray A day out and picnic essential from a British eco-friendly company. This Neal’s Yard Organic Defence Hand Spray smells delightful (not of chemicals, like the other antibacterial gels I have tried in the past) and is made with essential oils and witch hazel. I have it in my changing bag, and the girls love it when I spray it on their hands (which is something I would only do in emergencies with the normal gels, in case they for some reason lick their hands!).

It’s £6.50 for 50ml, which is more than the chemical sanitisers, but you get more in the spray, so I think it is good value for money, especially considering it’s certified organic, and all natural. I have a NYR Representative friend and she have this to me to try, but my opinions are honest and unbiased, as usual!

3. Flamingos. I managed to get not one, but two new flamingo items this month, yay! This duvet cover and pillowcase is from Dunelm Mills and was only £8, down from £10. I even planned ahead and got one for Thea, so if they ever have bunkbeds, they will match. Ava LOVES it. She’s also pinched Thea’s flamingo PJs from last month, as the thinks wearing them in her bed makes her camouflaged. I go along with that, obviously.Flamingo duvet cover
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three picture frames

DIY present idea for a teenage girl

Teenagers’ birthday presents. Is it just me or are these the hardest ones to do well at? (Maybe other than the Father-in-Law!) It was our niece’s thirteenth birthday this week. She’s not really a kid anymore, but not grown up.

I normally play it safe with vouchers but this year I was informed that she’s interested in decorating her room and is into shabby chic. So I took a trip to The Range to pick up some picture frames, and set Ava to work drawing her a picture to put in one of them.Ava drawing a rainbow pictureI also found this lovely frosted glass tea light holder and some pretty faux roses for a pound a bunch.
Frosted glass tealight holder and faux roses

Tealight holder with roses and Ava's finished, framed picture

The picture is a rainbow, with flowers, and a unicorn.

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A trying week, with graffiti, nakedness and general destruction

We’ve had a few trying times this week. But they are also kind of funny. So I thought I’d share.

I’ll start with Thea.

I came home from a meeting to find Ryan scrubbing at the rug in the living room, after she had scribbled over it with luminous yellow and turquoise pen. And added a few pink touches for good measure. He didn’t take a ‘before’ picture, but this is how it looked after half an hour of cleaning:Grey and cream rug with pen scribblesThen yesterday, I discovered that she had ripped my magazine up. Ripped up magazine

Four year old's pencil drawing on the wall

Ava says this is a picture of me! I daren’t ask what the two balls between my legs are…

Now for Ava. She created this masterpiece on her bedroom wall!    Continue reading

My six week summer holiday survival kit, for kids and me

I’m really excited about having over six weeks of Ava, full time, over the summer holidays, but I am also slightly worried about how I’ll keep her occupied!

I took this picture of our family calendar for August last week. Very empty! Blank calendar for August

In lots of ways it’s quite liberating, as it’s full of possibilities. And I know it will soon fill up as my other mummy friends and I get lots of play dates and park visits in.

I recently got in contact with a friend to arrange a meet up, and she could only give me three dates that she didn’t have things planned on, over the whole holiday! That made me panic a bit. I guess there are planners and the fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants people. I definitely fall into the latter camp! But seeing my friend’s summer plan (she texted it to me, it is marvellous) I thought I had better start doing some planning of my own!  Continue reading

Ava's latest art work

Ava is a prolific artist, despite being only four and a half (the half is very important!)

Every day she comes home, clutching an assortment of creations, and these are a few of my favourites from this week.

Home made balloon octopus with two crepe paper legs

This was a balloon octopus when it left preschool. Ava was gutted to discover he had not only deflated, but had lost six of his legs.


Yellow picture with pastel chalks and glitter

I asked her what it was, and she replied ‘Just a pattern. With lots of glitter.” Love it!

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Our girls' latest antics: July

Over the past few weeks we have had lots of fun at home. I let the girls loose with the art supplies and was a bit worried about Thea using scissors… but it turned out I should have been more concerned about Ava drawing on her little sister in felt tip! At least they are nice flowers, I suppose!

Later that day, they arranged loads of cushions and furniture around the living room rug, to make a ‘classroom’. Ava even started cleaning the TV as if it was a blackboard! She didn’t manage to remove the sticky fingerprints though…Living room arranged as a classroomTheir ‘pupils’ are all the cuddly toys that they’ve lined up on the ironing board. And the class pet is the rabbit under the washing basket ‘hutch’. Girls with a pretend rabbit in a washing basket hutchAva kept saying “Be gentle with the rabbit, Thea, or it might scratch you.” and only letting her stroke it through the bars of the ‘hutch’. It was virtually impossible not to laugh, they are so cute. I remember playing schools with my sister and brother when we were younger. Such fun. Continue reading