Children’s books

Today on the blog I am sharing some of my kids’ favourite books. There are so many amazing books out there¬†which can make selecting books to buy a difficult choice. Here go some of the popular ones in our house. Be prepared for some amazing illustrations ūüôā

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Leo Timmers is one of my all time favourite illustrators. I am thinking about buying one of his books and removing some of the pages (sorry to all book purists) and framing them for my son’s bedroom or the kids’ play area. Full of fun and colour they are an absolute joy. His stories are quirky and magical and this particular illustration is from his book The Magical Life of Mr Renny, published by Gecko Press.

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And I couldn’t resist adding a couple more of Leo Timmers’ illustrations. These animals are from his book I am the King, also published by Gecko Press.

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This book is called Mouk by Marc Boutavant (also a TV series). In this book Mouk goes travelling around the world to all sorts of exciting destinations including Greece (top picture) and India (above). This book has the most beautiful glossy thick pages with these amazingly detailed and colourful illustrations. My kids and I have spent hours reading this book and every time we notice new details in the pictures. Also published by Gecko Press.

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100 things by Masayuki Sebe is another fascinating book for children. Each page is dedicated to a different theme with 100 different images based on that theme. This particular page has been the favourite for both of my kids. They love to talk about all the different children and my daughter loves to decide which children represent all the significant family and friends in her life. The child on the toilet (at the top of the page) is my son’s favourite (enough said) ! Also published by Gecko Press.

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The King’s Bubbles by Ruth Paul was the winner of the BPANZ Design Award and a Finalist in the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards in 2008. A fabulous story about a king who wants to preserve all of his bubbles but eventually realises that he needs to treasure the moment and let his bubbles go. My kids love this book for the story and illustrations and I like it because it is an excellent reminder about treasuring these precious moments with my little people as they become increasingly independent. Published by Scholastic.

And on a final note, you may have noticed that the majority of these books are published by Gecko Press. If you haven’t heard of Gecko Press, they are a Wellington based publishing company that¬†translates and publishes children’s books by some of the world’s best writers and illustrators. Their aim is to encourage children to love to read and they do this by selecting¬†books that are “excellent in story, illustration and design, with a strong ‘heart factor'”. Judging by my children’s love of their books I would say that they are achieving their aim perfectly ūüôā You can see the full selection of their books on their website:¬†

Happy reading

Jane x


Gorgeous nurseries

Today on the blog I am sharing a few of my favourite nurseries. Such special spaces for precious babies.

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Cute wee space. In love with the gorgeous blue of the cot combined with the blue of the trolley beside it. Great idea to have the kids’ books on a shelf with the covers facing out – makes the books look a lot more interesting rather than¬†having the spines of the books on display.

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Love the vintage feel to this nursery. And that bench seat is too cute.

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nursery 3

Don’t even get me started on that wall. Gorgeous pattern full of beautiful colours.

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A delightful mix of minty greens in this nursery.

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A gorgeous monochrome nursery. Always such an eye catching colour scheme. And one of my favourite wallpapers from Ferm Living.

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How much fun is the wallpaper in this nursery!!

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I am not usually a fan of red but that cot has been painted a gorgeous shade of red. Makes it pop against the white walls and floor.

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Such a sweet wee nursery with the beautiful deer on the wall and some art work too.

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Getting creative with washi tape

Washi tape has endless uses. It is super handy to have around the house for hanging up all sorts of items  (e.g posters on the walls, sticker charts on the fridge) but the uses go way beyond that. You can see our full range of washi tape here. And here goes some inspiration including ideas to keep the kids entertained inside as winter closes in on us here in the southern hemisphere. washi 1 Keep the kids entertained with some indoor hopscotch. Image via Haga26 washi 2 Create a different frame for every piece of artwork. Image via: washi 3 Give a table a whole new look and a splash of colour and pattern. Image via: washi 4 Washi tape can be used to create fabulous personalised wrapping paper. Image via: buzzfeed washi 5

Create whole towns and cities complete with buildings, carparks and roads. Hours of fun. Image via

washi 6 A simple and effective cake topper idea. Image via: washi 7 Customised headboard which can easily be changed whenever you want. Image via: compartemimoda washi 9 Glass bottles and straws can be changed to work with any party theme. Image via: karaspartyideas washi8 And for all of my fellow stationery addicts here goes a great way to add colour and pattern to an otherwise boring lined notebook. Image via: momruncraft

Kids’ birthday party ideas

In our household April and May¬†are all about children’s birthday parties. Here goes some party inspiration that I have found recently that I love.

dino hats

Dinosaur hats.
Image via: 100Layercakelet


Felt crowns for the guests.
Image via: hellobee


Rainbow fruit kebab sticks
Image via: Pinterest


Super cute and easy marshmallows topped with melted chocolate and pebbles.

Image via: cutefoodforkids

party ideas - balloons

Homemade animal balloons

Image via: DesignDazzle

superhero photos

Love these photo ideas for a superhero themed party. Lie a sheet down and get the kids to pose for the photo lying on the sheet. Easy and effective.

Image via: onemoremushroom

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Cupcake toppers can be created easily like this using toothpicks and washi tape. You can see our full range of washi tape here.

Image via: Flickr


I recreated this cake for my son’s 4th birthday party the other week. His cake had chocolate icing, washi tape flags rather then pom poms and his three favourite animals on the cake: zebra, elephant and giraffe. He loved it and I loved it because I didn’t spend all night in the kitchen making it!

Image via: mommo-design blog

pineapple cake

Not sure how long this pineapple cake would take me to make but I love it!!

Image via: cococakeland

Dark walls….being brave can really pay off !

Dark walls can often seem like a big, scary choice. They are dramatic and unlike a white or pale wall they are no shrinking violet so they can seem like one step too far. But being brave and using a dark colour on the walls can really pay off. It can result in a bold and interesting room. And so many objects pop so beautifully when placed against a dark wall. It also adds a level of cosiness to the space. Here goes some inspiration for a dark wall in a child’s room.

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Image via: My paradissi

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A beautiful combination of shades of blue have been used in this room.

Image via: Pinterest

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Image via:  Kotivinkki

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This wallpaper manages to be dark, dramatic and feminine all at the same time.

Image via: Lonny 

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Dark walls combined with wood are one of my favourite combos.

Image via: Frenchyfancy 

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Image via: ilovebokkie


Wallpaper has made quite a come back in recent years. It is a fabulous way to add some pattern, colour and interest to a room. There are so many amazing options available. Sometimes the pattern or colour can be too much for a whole room so just one wall may be a better option or even just a strip of wallpaper behind the bed head or desk for example. Here go some of my favourites:

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Pretty, whimsical floral wallpaper. Beautiful mint background to the flowers.
Wallpaper from Pip Studio. They have a fantastic selection.

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Perfect for a boy or a girl. From a distance the white flecks looks like dashes but on closer inspection they are elephants. Love the charcoal grey with the white.
Image found via: stageandcoffee

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I love these half circles. They always catch my eye. I love how they are not uniform but of varying heights and widths. Great wallpaper choice for either a boy or a girl.
Image from Project Nursery.

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Beautiful blue used in this wallpaper and I love how the fish all fit together at different angles and directions.
Image from: Camille Styles

fav wall paper strip

This is a great example of how just one strip of wallpaper may be all that you need to add interest and pattern to a room without overwhelming it. Wallpaper from Studio Ditte.
Image via: Saartjeprum

wall paper teen

This wallpaper is the Birch Tree Wallpaper from Cole&Son. Its a great option for a tween or teen. It would also work well in a younger child’s room and grow with them.
Image via: Apartment Therapy

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This is the gran wallpaper from Fine Little Day. Black and white simplicity.
Image found via: Petit and Small

Creating some fun in a child’s room.

A child’s bedroom should be their special sanctuary. Their space. It should reflect their personality and be a space that they love to spend time in and that they love to share with others. It’s not always possible to do what is shown in these¬†images below¬†but I bet it would bring a huge grin to a small person’s face if they found some of the fun, captured in the images below, in their own room.

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Maps make great art work for a child’s bedroom

When I am trawling Pinterest (which is often!!) for ideas and inspiration there are a few things that are always guaranteed to catch my eye and one of those things is maps. I just love the use of a map on the wall of a child’s bedroom. I believe that it is an inspiring piece of art work that is timeless: interesting for younger children to look at and a great resource for older children to learn from.

Here go a few of my favourite images:

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For the black and white lovers amongst you all. A simple outline of the world map. Minimal detail on this one so not as educational but an effective way to display the world and the proximity of counties to one another.

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I love the old fashioned look of maps that are mounted on the wall with wood top and bottom. Great way to learn the geography of a specific country like this map.
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Love the subtle and muted colours of this map which works beautifully in this predominantly white room. Fantastic size which fills almost the whole wall.

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Such a great combination of this map with the old fashioned school desks in front.
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Amazing colours in this map and I love how it fills the whole room by continuing on to another wall. Such a statement piece.
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Everything about this room is very chic and subtle including the map on the wall behind the beds.
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Beautiful colours here too. Adds colour, brightness and fun to this kids space.
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And of course I can’t talk about maps without taking the opportunity to rave about NZ illustrator Beck Wheeler and her fantastic illustrated world maps. These are so much fun for kids to explore with amazing pictures that open up a world (did you see what I did there ūüėČ )of colour and fun as children learn the geography of our world.¬†A2 in size and laminated to prevent eager little hands from destroying ¬†them.
We love these maps so much that we stock them:


Lets talk side tables

Sometimes it pays to think outside the square when it comes to decorating a room and side tables are no exception. There are lots of traditional examples but here go a few ideas that can add a bit more interest to a bedroom:

Stools make an excellent side table. A lamp sits nicely on the top with a small pile of books underneath. Unfortunately they don’t add a lot of storage in a room but at the same time they don’t take up too much space either.

This house doctor stool from Superette store is very cool with a mix of metal and wood:

House dr stool from superette

Or if you are after a less expensive option then the Mocka Hudson stool is a fabulous choice.

Especially with a painted top:

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Image thanks to Nalle’s House¬†(you can find step by step instructions for this project on her blog)

or dipped legs:

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Image thanks to Mocka and styling thanks to Tate Design.

These side kick tables are beautiful. Designed and made in NZ by Timothy John, owner of Paper Plane they are constructed from a powder coated steel base and solid american ash hardwood top.


Or this is a DIY option to consider. These drum tables are on sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond at the moment. I would recommend spray painting the tops of these.

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The Juno stool from Freedom Furniture is another affordable option and comes in lots of fun, bright colours:


And finally if you are concerned about where to put all the kids’ books then these spice racks from Ikea are a great idea for the wall. They come in plain wood and can be painted any colour you like. Available in NZ from Akia: