27.07

Cider-with-Rosie-toddler-bedroom-9

And just like that, my little girl’s baby bedroom transformed into a space perfect for the toddler that she is!

It feels a fitting time to have made over Ottilie’s bedroom, whilst pregnant with our next baby. It seems to fit the natural flow of our family life- as one little bird hops the nursery-nest and flies off into the realms of big-girl beds and reading corners, the next is ready to take her place in the cot! Oh, how the time flies when you’re watching children grow.

At the time of writing this I’m exactly 30 weeks pregnant, and feeling the familiar rise of the Urge To Nest! Lists are being made of all I want to get done by October, a list which includes (but is not limited to) painting the nursery, putting up a plethora of photos and prints, packing a hospital bag (in case my homebirth plans go awry), getting a truckload of newborn clothes washed and ironed, and of course I’m hoarding cleaning products like a madwoman and suddenly obsessed with scrubbing bathroom grouting and washing down cupboard fronts. Jason learnt last time to stay out of my way when I’m in nesting mode and to comply swiftly with all requests to tidy, clean, and sort, which is probably for the best ;)

So, back on topic, today I’d like to share a few photos from the mini makeover we’ve done of Ottilie’s bedroom over the last couple of months! I’m so pleased with how the room’s come together, and Ottie loves it too!

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First up, walls! Jason painted the room as a surprise for Ottilie and me when we were away in France (the cutest <3), and the shade is Farrow & Ball ‘Chamomile’. I love how it’s a slightly dirty pale pink, and not a traditional ‘baby’ pink shade.

I think Ottilie’s favourite addition to the room though has been her new teepee! We’ve put it in place of the armchair that used to be in that corner, which we found just wasn’t being used since Ottilie started having bedtime milk and stories in her bed after we switched her out of her cot. And it’s been a standout hit! Ottie loves taking books in there to read either by herself or with us, putting her teddies and babies to ‘bed’ inside it under the blankets, or using it as a hiding spot during one of our very, VERY frequent games of Hide and Seek!

It was a total bargain too, bought from Hobbycraft on recommendation from Jen! I’ve put a few cushions inside (the watermelon one Ottie picked herself from H&M, she’s obsessed with ‘walkermelon’ and so I couldn’t say no to buying it for her!), and also strung that sweet felt pompom garland over it too! It was Etsy find, from a shop called Nordic In Kent.

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A quick note on Ottilie’s bed and the cot > bed transition- I’ll be honest, there was a period when I wasn’t sure we’d made the right call. We had a LOT of nighttime wanderings and very early starts, and I was a bit worried we’d turned our toddler from an excellent sleeper into a dreadful one!

But actually I think it was just a case of timing, as Ottilie’s cut two new teeth over the past few weeks since she went into her bed which has upset her sleep, and also I do distinctly remember her being an early riser last summer too. And she’s got loads better over the last few weeks- with a bit of help from the Gro Clock, she doesn’t really ever get out of bed at night anymore and we’ve pushed bedtime back to 8pm to help her sleep in slightly later in the mornings!

Oh, and still swearing by the Gro to Bed set for its genius integrated pillow and duvet with zippable sides, to prevent covers being kicked off in the night. Not so essential in this heatwave, but I think it’s the cleverest idea!

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These toy storage boxes have been doing us proud for a good 18 months now I think! Ottie’s current favourite are all the wooden puzzles in the White Company box, which actually once contained a gift at my baby shower when I was pregnant with her!

I came across this ‘hello’ faux-neon sign whilst shopping for some artwork for Ottie’s room, and I’m totally in love with it! It’s a lovely warm light just right for reading bedtime stories by, and I think it adds such a fun, modern feel to her room.

And the peg shelf has been one of my best purchases, which we’ve had since putting together the nursery in our old house before Ottie was even born! It’s another Etsy piece, though annoyingly I can’t seem to find a link for the shop online now. I’ll update here if I manage to track it down!

And on the mantlepiece below is a print I’ve been meaning to put up in Ottie’s room for months on end, and figured if I waited until I was organised enough to get a frame for it I’d probably still have it carefully packed away in an envelope when she’s off to senior school!

The print was an incredibly kind gift from Wendy at The Charming Press, and I just adore it. It’s personalised with the details of Ottilie’s birth, and I think it makes such a lovely addition to the room I’m going to get one done for the next baby when she or he makes an appearance later this year!

I’m so, so happy with how this space has shaped up, and it feels so good to have given it all a good sort out in preparation for the baby coming as well. I’ve had a big reshuffle of Ottilie’s dresser to make space for baby clothes, and put together a big basket full of muslins, swaddles, and blankets too. So, we’re getting there!

Let me know in the comments if there’s anything I’ve not linked to that you’d like a source for :) And I hope you like the room as much as we do!

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29.06

Cider-with-Rosie-home-decor-playspace-COVER

I thought today I’d share a little update on a new play area I’ve just made for Ottilie that so far has been a storming success!

Our kitchen and dining room are adjoined to form one big space, with an eight-seater table taking up about two thirds of the space in the dining half of the room and French doors down the end of the room letting in lots of lovely natural light. It’s one of my favourite spaces in the house, but I’ve always felt that we weren’t making the best use of the room. The other third of the dining room not taken up by the table and chairs has always been a bit of a dead area, containing just the piano, the dogs’ beds, and not a lot else!

I decided it might be nice to create a little play area there for Ottilie, not only to give the room some life but also to give Ottie some on-hand distractions for when I’m cooking and preparing food. She has a tendency to cling to my legs and whinge, which makes moving round the kitchen quite tricky!

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Since I’m already in full nesting mode and therefore want our house made perfect as of NOW, I had everything for the play area ordered and sorted within about 3 hours of deciding it wanted doing!

My favourite find of the whole area might just be that gorgeous pompom basket in the photo above, not least because I very nearly bought a similar one from La Redoute for £65, but found this one at an independent shop near us for £20! A bargain if ever I saw one!

It’s currently home to Ottilie’s collection of tractors, trucks, and diggers, because my goodness this little girl of mine is obsessed with anything on wheels right now! We’re planning on a trip to the London Transport Museum for her 2nd birthday in a couple of month’s time, which I think she’s going to adore!

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My main aim for the space was to have just a small selection of toys, laid out in an easily accessible and inviting way.

Like basically other parent ever I ordered a set of the infamous IKEA Eket modular shelves, which, may I just say, I TOTALLY built all by myself and didn’t have any husband-input on. You can’t even imagine how proud it made me, especially being totally DIY-phobic and always keen to delegate boring jobs to Jason! ;) Ottilie was a great helper too!

So cheap they may be, but I think the shelves look so great! They’re just the right height for Ottilie to reach and take whatever toys she wants to play with from the top, and I find that since her toys, puzzles, and books are all out and visible and accessible, it seems to tempt her to play too.

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I’ve also made it a space to introduce some new and different toys, like her new boxes of puzzles! In the living room we have her toy kitchen and wooden tea set, babies, prams, and toys that in general invite more imaginary play. Since I knew this space would only be used for short bursts, I’ve filled it with toys that will absorb her attention fully but are things she tends to move on from fairly quickly. Like puzzles!

I’m very much enjoying picking up scattered puzzle pieces from round the room 18 times a day, let me tell you ;)

Oh, and I’ve been using the corner as a place to display some of the bits that Ottilie’s painted lately, which I love! She’s especially proud of her little birdhouse, and likes to ask herself ‘Who painted dat?…Ottilie!!’ whilst showing it off!

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Last but not least is the rug! It’s from Next, and perfectly fit my criteria of having a dark pattern and being durable enough to withstand toddler spillages and muddy dog feet, but not look drab and boring! I’m so pleased with it, and think it’ll be a nice place for the baby’s bouncer and playmat to go come October time too.

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So that’s our new play area! You can’t imagine how happy it makes me seeing Ottilie enjoy the space, especially when it means I’m able to cook meals without a toddler sitting up on the worktop next to me throwing handfuls of salt/onions/pasta onto the floor at random!

~ ~ ~

I’m on a bit of a mission to update parts of our home at the moment, so would you like to see more as I go? We’re almost finished sorting Ottilie’s bedroom (we’ve done a nursery to toddler room makeover lately, and it’s looking so cute!) and are about to tackle the spare room too!

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01.06

Cider-with-Rosie-meal-plan

A few years back in the history of this blog, I used to do a little regular-ish series sharing my weekly meal plans. I always enjoyed putting together those posts (even if I do cringe looking back at them now, seeing how beige our diet used to be and how appalling my photos were!) and thought it might be fun to revisit the idea! So, below is a round up of the meals we’ll be eating over the course of the next week. I’ve linked to recipes, where I’ll be using them, and do let me know if you fancy seeing a recipe for the lentil chilli!

- Jamie Oliver’s creamy mushroom soup

- Spinach + mushroom pasta bake (Made using the leftover soup from previous dinner as a sauce for the pasta!)

- Baked potatoes with lentil chilli

- Smoky black bean beet burgers (regular beef for Jason!), with paprika potato wedges + salad

- Teriyaki chicken (tofu, for me!) with rice noodles and bok choi

- Burrito bowls (leftover lentil chilli, lemon + cumin brown rice, lettuce, grated cheddar, + salsa)

- Roasted chicken (/black bean beet burger for me) with a roasted new potato, carrot, rosemary, and olive traybake

 Tell me, what’s on your meal plan for this week?

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04.02

Cider-with-Rosie-Netflix-recommendations-2

Whilst February might have brought with it brighter sunshine and *slightly* warmer temperatures than miserable old January, we’re still well and truly in the midst of Netflix season. That is, the time of year when hunkering down and watching episode after episode of some really great TV shows on Netflix is the most appealing pastime! Below are a few of my recommendation for shows to get cracking on, if you’re looking for something new to watch. And do leave me your recommendations in the comments, too!

01. The Good Wife
Now, I’ve mentioned our obsession with The Good Wife approximately 1346 times on this blog, but seeing as there’s a new season just out, it bears talking about again! The Good Wife centres around Alicia Florrick, wife of scandalised politician Peter Florrick, as she builds herself a career as a lawyer in Chicago and pieces together her life following her husband’s infidelity and jail sentence. Both Jason and I found that the first season had a slow-ish start, but once the plot really got going, we were hooked! It’s fast paced, well written, beautifully acted, and contains just the right balance of fascinating legal drama and romantic subplots. Season 6 just came out on Netflix (we’re 3/4 of the way through it already!), and Season 7 is currently showing on Channel 4 in the UK. I recommend it to *everyone*!

02. Making a Murderer
I”m sure pretty much everyone who owns a subscription to Netflix has watched Making a Murderer by now, and I can see why it’s gained such a hardcore following online! Jason and I binge-watched MaM over the course of a weekend, and were gripped throughout all ten episodes. The documentary centres around the true story of Stephen Avery, a man in the US who was imprisoned for 18 for a crime he didn’t commit, and then whilst in the midst of sueing the county for damages, finds himself accused of murder. The documentary was filmed over the course of ten years, and exposes what appear to be a catalogue of injustices within the US legal system. It’s a must watch!

03. The Walking Dead
I’ll start my rave review of The Walking Dead by giving this caveat- never has a show given me nightmares as dreadful as this one! We started watching on recommendation of Jason’s brother and his partner, and whilst it is totally amazing, I find I have to force myself to take breaks from it every couple of episodes as binge-watching gave me nightmares that went on for weeks! The Walking Dead takes place in a post-apocolyptic America, and follows a group of people trying to find safety and build a life in a world overrun with zombies. It’s pretty hardcore and grisly at times (I have to watch from behind a cushion when things get too tense!), but it’s as much about the nature of humanity and what it means to be ‘human’, as it is flesh-eating zombies. Well worth a watch, if you can stomach the gruesome stuff!

04. Mr Selfridge
This last series is a lot lighter than the rest- a happy watch, alongside all the other heavier TV series we seem to get glued to! Mr Selfridge, now on its third series, follows the early years of the famous department store and the visionary man who set it up. It’s sort of a fictionalised version of the the true history of Selfridges, with a whole heap of subplots and romance thrown in for good measure. It’s the sort of show I like having running in the background when I’m busy with other tasks, as it doesn’t take too much concentration to follow the plot. Oh, and probably the best thing about it is the *fashion*! The womens’ dresses and mens’ suits are all so beautiful- it’s almost worth watching for that alone! All three series are available on Netflix- I’m just about to get started watching the third!

Currently on our ‘to watch’ list is Sons of Anarchy (another recommendation from my brother and sister in law, who have excellent taste in TV!), Scandal (we’ve seen the first episode and liked it, and my Mum’s been raving about it for years), and culinary documentary series Chef’s Table. Oh, and about a billion years late on the bandwagon, I’m FINALLY starting Downton Abbey!

Anything else we should add to our list?

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