Sleep. Grow. Decorate. The Theme is Wanderlust.

pastel, travel, decor, interior design, Scandinavian, design, contemporary, d

I feel like it was just yesterday when I was blogging about Cole becoming a big brother, but now here I am with a 9-year-old and 2-year-old and man, I don’t even know how that happened! Seriously, where have the last 2 years gone?!

This is a fact that fills me with a strange sense of sadness. Carter is definitely our last baby – he completes our family in ways I could never have imagined – but I think it’s the realisation that I no longer have a tiny baby, nor will I ever have a teeny, cuddly newborn again, that just makes me feel a bit nostalgic. Now, I have a big, independent, and very often grumpy toddler, who has an even more independent, headstrong older brother. What chance do I have?!

With last month marking Carter’s 2nd birthday, it was the perfect excuse to go shopping and finally pull together the room transformation I’d been planning for him. I had started planning for the redesign of his bedroom over a year ago when we moved into the house, and it was almost as much of a present for me as it was for Carter. My dream had been to create a really special ‘big person’ room for him, that would grow with him over the years, one that we could update as he grows with just a few simple changes.

I do have a soft spot for interiors, so I couldn’t wait to start this little project of mine, transforming Carter’s room from drab to fab! I’d had a year to browse (and drool over things) online, and that had given me plenty of time to put my ideas on paper and draft a plan. This left me with a brief of: Fresh, crisp colours, with a Scandinavian feel.

It was perfect for us. I decided straight away that I wanted a feature wall, and so I spent a lot of hours searching for the perfect one. However, nothing was pulling me in – I was starting to think it was hopeless! It was only when I visited the lovely David at Wallpaperlux, and he suggested I take a look at the Scandinavian brand Mr Perswall. David, David, David… are you a mind reader? You knew exactly where to send me! Within seconds I stumbled across ‘The Cutest World Map’ and it was the one. It screamed adventure (and I almost screamed when I found it, it really was perfect) and I just loved how it tied in with our passion for travelling. The paper is made to measure, so it’s always going to be the perfect fit for your own space too!

So, now we had a starting point to work from, and I began to tie in the interiors based on the gorgeous tones of the map. David who also owns Epitome Soft Furnishings guided me through fabrics and colour palettes to tie in seamlessly with the rest of the room. I’m really glad we chose to go bespoke – having our roman blinds and funky cushions custom made to match the room, it was definitely the best decision we made.

 

One of the biggest factors for consideration when we designed the room was the bed – a pretty important factor in any bedroom really. We decided it was time to transition Carter from a cot to a ‘big boy bed’. There were the usual worries associated with this, with him still being quite young, which is one of the reasons we were so keen on the Scandinavian theme. I already loved the look of the Scandinavian house beds – they’re so beautifully designed – but they also sit quite low to the floor, meaning if Carter does fall out of bed, at least it isn’t quite as far to fall. That means a better night’s sleep for everyone, and less worrying for us!

I came across Carter’s bed on Instagram, from a lovely page named LC Inspired (no, this time I was not assisted by someone called David). They were amazing at guiding me through all the bed options and designs, and in the end, we decided on a white single house bed. Carter will have plenty of room to enjoy his sleep (and wriggle and sprawl in the way only toddlers can do) and it will grow with him as he gets older too.

I think one of my favourite parts of redecorating was hunting for bits and pieces for the new room – the little touches that really ‘make’ the room. TK MAXX was probably a personal favourite of mine – I know it can be a bit like marmite for some people (you’ll either love it or hate it) but I really do love looking for unique, quirky, or fun pieces in there, like blankets and photo frames. It can sometimes be a bit potluck, and you may not always find what you want, but other times it can be a real treasure trove.

I’ve already mentioned Instagram – it’s where I found his bed – but it is fast becoming one of my favourite ways to look for smaller, more personal businesses, where you can quite often find people who create gorgeous products. These people are often putting their all into their business and it feels amazing to be able to support them, plus the products they provide are more likely to be unique! I was so excited when I came across a personalised dream catcher from Modo Creative and even more so when I saw that the colours tied in with the room décor perfectly.

After a couple of weeks of anxiously waiting, pacing, sitting by the door and waiting for the postman… everything had arrived and it was time to paint like a one-woman DIY SOS team! My very talented dad put up the wall mural, as I fear if I’d tried to do it myself, I would’ve rearranged the continents!

My favourite part of a project is seeing everything come together. I mean, really, there’s nothing better than seeing all your hard work, expectations, plans, time and effort come to fruition. Let’s face it most of the time these things do not come together quite that easily… But with this project, everything seemed to be going smoothly. I even felt a few butterflies as I ironed the bedding, placed the last few cushions, and hoovered the new carpet – just for the hell of it. Finally, it was all done.

 

Carter’s little face lit up when he saw the room for the first time, and his only reaction was a big fat “WOW”. My little chatterbox was speechless – clearly, I had done my job! I was thrilled he loved the room, but the biggest challenge was yet to come… would he actually be able to sleep in his new ‘big boy bed’?

Well, there was only one way to find out. I think that day I was even more excited for his afternoon nap than I would’ve usually been. Trying not to let on that anything was any different, I continued with our usual routine of songs and a story. But in the back of my head, I’d told myself he would be out of bed before I’d had a chance to close the door. When I got to the door with no toddler-weight on my ankle, I cautiously proceeded to the stairs, and by the time I made it downstairs to look at the baby monitor, I was fully convinced my toddler was broken. Not only did he stay there for a few minutes, but he slept for nearly three hours. Three hours! So much ‘me’ time!

We’re now three weeks in, and I’m delighted to report that Carter has continued to sleep in his new bed with no issues. The transition has been so smooth that I’m a little bit convinced that there’s magic involved somehow. We’re not complaining though. In fact, we couldn’t be happier.

I’m so happy with his room – it’s brought a whole new lease of life into the house. Carter loves playing up there on his new plush carpet, and his bedtime routine now consists of the two of us snuggling into his bed for a bedtime story, before he drifts off to sleep in a room filled with tranquil possibilities. Now my only problem is, what do I decorate next?!

 

 

 

 

Mountain Buggy Bag Rider: Revolutionising Family Travel

I think the title says it all! Really – I could just post the title and leave it at that. But, if I did that, then I wouldn’t get to share our experience with Mountain Buggy’s newest product ‘The Bagrider’.

It’s no secret that our family loves travelling, be it near or far, but I must admit that we do have a lot of love for our long-haul holidays. Sure, they can be more stressful, but we’ve gained lots of experience (and maybe even a little wisdom) when it comes to planning ahead.

Let’s face it, travelling is stressful – for anyone. Travelling with a young family can often be the equivalent of trying to win the final sing-off on The X Factor, while baking a souffle on Masterchef. Or juggling knives while on a trampoline. It’s no easy feat. No amount of planning can cover every possibility, so I really was delighted when I stumbled across ‘The Bagrider’ online while browsing for holiday accessories.

Mountain Buggy are a company that truly put the customer first, and they kindly gifted us one of their cases to road test on our holiday. What better way to put it to the test than on a ten-hour long-haul trip to Mexico, talk about trial by fire!

The case arrived just a few days after ordering, and straight away I was impressed with it! The size and quality of the product surpassed my expectations, because not only was it a gorgeous travel carry-on, the liner and harness included to strap in your little one proved to be strong, sturdy and safe enough to calm any fears! Inside there’s plenty of room to pack toys, activities and snacks too, making it the must-have fashion, safety and mobility accessory for your toddler this year!

The case is really easy to use, with one simple turn at the back of the case being all it takes to flip the wheels out, transforming it into a funky ride on case for your little one! It’s generously sized, without being too bulky, and can safely carry children up to 15kg/33lb.

I couldn’t wait to get to the airport – but not just to start the holiday! I was dying to pop Carter on his case and get our journey started (I may or may not have considered letting him ride it at home…). And I just have to say, this case was a head-turner! I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so many people pointing and staring at us – thankfully this time it wasn’t for something embarrassing! Though I must admit, at first, I did glance around, thinking I had missed a celebrity walking in… but no! Soon we even had strangers coming up to us to ask questions too which was amazing – it was great to spread the love, and let more people know that this fabulous item exists!

We decided to be brave and put our buggy in the hold, with the intention of freeing up our hands for just our hand luggage – but we knew this could massively backfire if a tired toddler meant that walking wasn’t an option. In this sense the case was a life saver because once the excitement started to wear off and our little one grew weary he could ride on instead of being carried! The fact that the case is hand luggage size just made it even better – Carter could ride around right up to the aircraft doors, meaning we got on the plane with rested arms and a happy toddler. What more can you ask for?!

I’m usually filled with dread at the thought of landing after a long-haul flight, as the customs lines are usually so long that, with an already overtired little one, it becomes a form of torture. However, this time when we landed in Mexico 10 hours later, we were excited knowing that although we would have to endure the long lines, they would be a little more bearable with this little magic case. Tired and weary, Carter soon perked up once we brought out ‘The Bagrider’ again at the airport, allowing him to whizz around while we waited for our cases, and while we solved “the mystery of the missing buggy.” By the time we left the airport, Carter was still happy, and we both still had all our sanity.

We had a wonderful holiday, and it really was made so much better by the fact we had such a pleasant travelling experience. I don’t think the trip would’ve gone quite as smoothly without this amazing product, and I cannot wait to break it out again next year for our 3-week break to Mauritius.

What we loved: The ride-on feature, keeping Carter happy and safe through the airport. The case is reusable, even just as a case when Carter outgrows the ride-on function. Stylish. Quick arrival.

What we would change: The wheels could be a little bigger, making it sturdier, and giving more control over uneven areas. Cocktail dispenser. 18+ of course. Got to keep the parents happy too!

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