Decorating our Playhouse

We recently installed an outdoor wooden playhouse, designed and manufactured by the amazing Charlie’s Playhouses.

We have been having a ball decorating the playhouse, adding little touches and generally making the interior a pretty space for the Twincesses.

I must say I probably enjoy the decorating part a bit more than the girls, and as I add a new decor piece, I always think back to how awesome my own childhood would have been with a dreamlike playhouse like theirs. Living vicariously, I guess 🙂

So I wanted to share some of the cute and functional details we added, but bear in mind, this is still a work in progress. I doubt it will ever be complete, really, as I’m sure the furniture and decor will ‘grow’ with the kids, and we will add and remove as we go along.

For now, this is what the interior looks like:

  1. DECOR PIECES:

We went with cute little sleepy eyes in pink and gold and a beautiful dream catcher in pink satin sourced from Shongweni market. A grey bunny door hook and a ‘love’ plaque from MRP Home.

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Adorable self-adehsive Ballerina sticker collection, ‘LOVE’ wooden letters and Princess canvas from MRP Home.

Pink and grey bunting custom made locally by Heather’s Buntings.img_6098-2

Pretty heart stickers in silver (made these myself) and happy cloud cushions, also from MRP Home.

The kiddies ottomans were bought second hand.

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2. STORAGE:

We always knew storage was going to be a major concern, as the Twincesses have TOO MANY TOYS. I didn’t want the playhouse to look cluttered and chaotic, so we have not one but TWO toy storage organizers.

The first one from MRP Home is a pretty pink design with convenient plastic storage boxes that can be used to not only store, but also sort toys. The girls are then able to just take their favorite box to their desk to easily access their chosen toys.

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Their other toy organizer was gifted by their aunt, and they love it because its FROZEN!

The boxes are fabric, but durable and the side panels are in rich, glossy color and is scratch-resistant.

3. FURNITURE

One of the first items we purchased for the playhouse was a large wooden kitchen from Kings Toys. We had looked at the options in stores and Takealot, but they were just so small! I wanted the girls to have something they could enjoy for years to come, and Kings Toys provided just that! Their kitchen is made in pink and white with an oven, stove top, microwave, fridge/freezer, clock, chalkboard, hang rail and plenty of storage.

We kitted it out with an array of toys: toasters, coffee machine, pots and pans, fruit basket and lots and lots of dishes, all found within the aisles of Toys R Us.

We invested in some beautiful wooden items like the Melissa and Doug 3 layer birthday cake. The cake comes with decorative items, , candle, cake board and server. The girls love singing Happy Birthday to everyone and offering them a slice of cake. This particular cake can be ‘cut’ and velcro-ed back together.

Theo from Mr Tickles also went out of her way to source the Viga wooden eggs for me, and I am so grateful. I highly recommend the store for beautiful and quality toys. img_6124-2

The playhouse wouldn’t be complete without a spot for the Twincesses to draw, colour, do puzzles and ‘eat’ whatever they ‘cook’.

I found this table and chair set on Takealot and was so pleased when I saw that it matches their FROZEN toy organizer exactly, right down to the same high-gloss, scratch-resistant finish. We do have some squabbles over who gets to sit on the ‘Elsa’ chair, but they generally don’t last long as there is so much to keep the girls busy.

There are still two items I am yet to source, which I think will make perfect additions to our playhouse: One is a few floating book ledge shelves. Because the Twincesses love their books!

The second are these gorgeous house shelves for storing pretty keepsakes and adding another decorative element. I’d welcome recommendations for a local company that makes these items.

If you are looking for a way to keep your kids entertained for hours on end, I’d definitely recommend giving Charlie’s Playhouses a call on 076 106 0612.

And if you do, please do share your decor ideas with me! 😉

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A silent ‘Thank you’ to Woolies

My kids are super sleuths. They can locate with the accuracy most GPS programs only wish to possess, the tiny piece of  (grated) carrot in their homemade, organic, preservative-free cottage pie.

And that’s when the whinging begins: “but I don’t like carrots” “carrots smell funny” “carrots are for bunnies” “I’m not eating that”.

And so I coax, and bribe, and threaten and eventually cry. Yet the lovingly prepared (and did I mention organic) meal goes uneaten while I eventually cave and pop a frozen pizza into the oven.

So last week I spotted an innocuous square container in the refrigerator isle of Woolworths, and decided to give it a try.

Butternut mash, with 2 big blobs of salted butter sitting pretty on top, that melts and oozes into the creamy mash once heated.

I spooned 3-4 heaped teaspoons of the butternut mash into the Twincesses macaroni and cheese, gave it a quick stir, crossed my fingers, and said a little prayer.

To my utter amazement, they ate it. They ATE IT ALL!

Dumbfounded, I tried a bit myself and was pleasantly blown away by the taste. It was delicious!

So the next day I went back, and got the other 2 variants: Sweet Potato mash with salted butter and Baby Marrow & Sweet Potato Mash with herb butter.

I’ve had phenomenal success with both. I just stir in a few spoons into whatever they’ve having for dinner and voila, the girls don’t know any better, and they enjoy delicious veggies daily now when I previously used to struggle to ensure they were eating enough of the ‘good stuff’.

Yes, yes, I know its easy enough to puree these veggies myself; this is not some major discovery. But I have tried and have failed to attain the creamy consistency, and the amazing taste that Woolies packs into these. Not to mention the absolute convenience of it all!

Whats more, they make great side dishes for grown-up dinners too! I paired the Sweet potato mash with grilled fish the other day and loved it!

This post isn’t sponsored, I’m just hoping that other moms who struggle to get their kids to eat veggies will maybe benefit from it.

Thank you Woolies for providing wholesome food that is just so convenient!

Mind your own uterus

When news broke yesterday that a third royal baby was on the way for William and Kate, social media was awash with messages of congratulations and well wishes for the royal couple. But among the tweets of cheers and felicitations, there were also ones that went like this:

“Don’t they have TVs in the Palace?”

“Do they even know how birth control works?”

“She’s been pregnant for like….4 years straight”

“#RoyalRabbits”

Can someone please tell me how it is acceptable to comment on anyone else’s reproductive choices? Have William and Kate asked for public opinion on whether they should have more children? I guess being “celebrities”, their personal choices/decisions for always up for public scrutiny, but what about the average woman?

How many regular women like you and me, are judged daily for our reproductive choices?

When are you going to settle down?

Are you gonna have a baby soon?

The clock is ticking…

You’re not getting any younger…

And then the flip side of the coin when you’ve had ‘too many’ kids by someone’s random standard:

Are you secretly Mormon?

Trying for a soccer team?

You guys don’t waste any time, do you?

Apart from being incredibly rude and downright hurtful, these types of comments can do a lot of damage because we may not have any idea about what someone is going through in their personal lives, behind the closed doors.

That woman married for 5 years without any children…?; she may be undergoing infertility treatments, trying and failing month after month to have a baby of her own.

That couple with their fourth child? Maybe they always wanted a big family after growing up incredibly lonely. Maybe they planned and longed for every child they were blessed with.

You just never know. Which is why, the best thing to do is to always – ALWAYS – mind your own uterus and just keep any comment about someone else’s reproductive choices to yourself.

If in doubt, just keep your mouth closed!

 

* Photo credit: Mind your own uterus pro-choice by Boogiemonst

When your child is sick…

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When you child is sick, all urgency disappears. Everything that just couldn’t wait before, suddenly loses all importance. The dishes piled high in the sink isn’t pressing anymore. The piles of laundry become insignificant. The business deadline loses all meaning and time seems like its standing still.

When your child is sick, you can’t help but regret. The scolding they got for dropping milk all over the kitchen floor. The way you lost your temper when you had to break up yet another fight over the Legos. The way you felt so relieved when they finally went to bed. You will regret it all. Every minute spent being what you perceive as a ‘less than perfect’ mom, will fill you with a deep dark regret.

When your child is sick, you notice everything with fresh eyes. That curl that keeps getting in her eyes, the one that annoys you on most days as you search under the couch for a hairclip to hold it back… that very same curl becomes the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.  The dimple on her left cheek will bring tears to your eyes and her tiny hands might just be the most perfect little hands ever created.

When your child is sick, you make promises. You promise you’ll scream less and have more patience. You promise to laugh, and re-laugh at their silly antics even if you’ve seen it for the 100th time. You promise to join in when they sing and dance to Barney next time. You promise to say “I Love you” at every opportunity, and that kisses and cuddles will outweigh reprimands and discipline. You vow to be better and do better.

When your child is sick, you find yourself bargaining. With your God, the higher powers, the Universe. You make little pleas, and gigantic deals. You’d sell your very own soul for their recovery.

When your child is sick, you become angry. You question ‘Why”??? Why my child? What did she do to deserve this? You get angry because you’re so helpless. Your only job is to take care of them and ease their pain, and yet you find yourself unable to do anything to make it better.

When your child is sick, you voluntarily become unimportant. You’re unconcerned with sleeping, and eating becomes an afterthought. You’d rather sit by your little one, than take a long hot shower, and you don’t care if you look like the walking dead.

When your child is sick, you become a warrior. You track down doctors in the middle of the night. You ensure your child is not just another number on their already too long list. You research and advocate for your child. You find donors, your raise awareness, you fight. And then you fight some more.

There is nothing like seeing your child sick and in pain to bring a parent to their knees. So with this post, I acknowledge all the warrior moms out there who, in this moment may be going through the darkest times of their lives. Love and Light to you, and all your precious little ones.