Ways with greys

The yellow cast that reflects off the horrid pine floor boards in my living room is really bothering me today. I haven't the time or inclination to do anything about them right now. So instead I dream of a palette of whites and greys...

Images via Pinterest

10 awesome cheap iPhone apps for kids

If you were one the peeps who loved the 10 FREE iPhone apps for kids a couple of weeks ago, you're going to love this one just as much. Whilst the apps featured in todays list come at a cost, the outlay is minimal (under a buck in most instances), and the enjoyment is huge! So have a look and try them out!

Design and build your very own Robot creation! This app has a great interface that the kids will love with loads of vintage styled Robot "bits" to build with, all in kid friendly high colour. Once your guy is built, lead him through a game by following the arrows collecting stars along the way. The games are short and lead you back to building new robots which is great because that seems to be the favourite part of the game!

Guide your bandit through different levels recovering all the worlds clocks that have been stolen by Duke Clockface. The game plays a catchy little riff that the player has to tap the screen to the beat of to make the bandit move. We love this game and it's a great tool to teach kids rhythm and timing.

The whole Monkey series are winners with our boys. Monkey Maths teaches basic addition and subtraction for preschoolers. An excellent game for the 3-5s...

Another one for the 3-5 year age group, AniMatch is a touch screen version of the old fashioned game of Memory. With a screen full of turned down cards, the user turns cards over by touching them on the screen two at a time trying to find pairs. The illsutrations are all of stylized animals that make the appropriate animal sound when turned over. As the pairs are found, the cards do a funky "dance" and disappear until all pairs have been found. Very simple in it's theory and even easier for little ones to use.

Great little learning game for 4-7 year olds. It covers off the basics of spelling, phonics and mathematical problems. The user creates an "account" and is rewarded with game coins for their efforts which they can "spend" in the "game store" to buy stickers and create pictures. An excellent reward based game that doesn't only teach kids the basic Kindy stuff but gets them familiar with saving and spending money as well.

Similar to Monkey Maths in it's design, this one focuses on food. Match pairs, group fruits in colours, alphabet activities, counting games, shape recognition and more. After every 3 activities the child is rewarded with a virtual sticker to stick on their canvas..

Is there anyone who doesn't love Peppa? I know my boys adore her and her funny family and even I burst into fits of giggles every time they fall on their backs laughing and snorting! This game has lots of that. Make Peppa jump in muddy puddles (her favourite pastime) and help the happy chicken sort her brood by dragging the baby chickens to the right coloured hen house. With a few games within the game, this one has had good longevity for us and is still a favourite after months of use.

When the thought of hitting the kitchen with messy preschoolers to bake and decorate cakes is just too much to bear, pass them the phone and they can play a virtual game of cake making where they can mix, shape, bake and decorate cakey masterpieces.

This one is created by Duck Duck Moose - Check out their other apps as well. They are all around the same price but seem to be worth it generally. We've got Wheels on the Bus and the kids love that, and Fish School looks great too...

A great one for the boys! With a huge palette of car, truck and bike bodies to choose from, kids can pimp out their ride however they like - they can even add propellors to fire engines to get them to the fire in a hurry! Once they finish their machine, drive it to the garage and keep it safe for future use.

7 Weekend Projects

Get your craft on people! It's time for a weekend project. 
I have 7 luuurverly projects, perfect for a miserable winter weekend.

First up, direct from the pages of Home Beautiful Magazine, my three pretty paper craft ideas to adorn your walls - and they cost less than twenty bucks a piece to make! These have been one of my favourite projects to make - they use old book pages, wooden buttons and pretty rice paper - they have such a lovely, handmade warmth about them. Super easy too! Double click the pic to see it full size and get all the steps and list of materials...

(That coffee table above is one of my absolute favourite things. It's credited as "stylists own", which it is - but it's also something I made myself! It's a fantastic Ikea hack that I found at Shelterness and it really is easier than you'd imagine - in fact it's got me interested in doing more concrete projects now that I know how easy it is to cast in concrete! Hop on over here for the full instructions)

Tuesday Tour - Danish delight

I'm always in awe of Scandi styling. It's so popular and it's easy to see why. This home from LaMaison d'Anna G is no different. Filled with Scandinavian design - from the stunning elephant wall decal (have a look here for the whole range of Inke Heiland vintage wallpaper decals), clean bright white walls and floors and monochromatic palettes, through to the aged timber touches and tactile surfaces and accessories - it's all good...

The cute kids room...

The rest of the pad...

Yellow - Tour Inspiration...

All this talk of "The Yellow Jersey" lately has given me an itch that must be scratched. So, in honour of the Tour de France (even if Cadel is still sitting 4 minutes behind), some yellow inspiration for a sunny yellow monday morning....

Images via Pinterest

75 great books for girls

Today I'm sharing a wonderful pin I found over at Pinterest. It comes from A Mighty Girl and it's a wonderfully curated list of stories both new and old especially for girls. Some of these books were even favourites of mine growing up! From Anne of Green Gables to The BFG, this list has it all...

"A Mighty Girl's top recommended read aloud chapter books are perfect for reading aloud with elementary-aged children or as independent reading for older children. You can view age recommendations for a specific book on its product page under the 'details' section or filter by age range on the left menu. Many of the books recommended for children ages 9 and up are also excellent choices as real alouds for younger readers as parents can use the book as a jumping off point for discussing relevant topics (for instance, the issue of tolerance in the novel Rules)."

Up close & personal: Tessa White

Welcome to "Up close & personal", the first in a series of intimate and honest interviews with real, accomplished and inspiring women. To kick things off, a chat with Tessa White, owner/creator of Down That Little Lane - described by Madison Magazine as, "Australia's local answer to Etsy - our advice, check it out immediately." And I'd say they're pretty on the money. Down That Little Lane is like no other online retail site that currently exists in this country. A superbly curated collection of unique pieces, handmade trinkets and general droolworthy items du jour (if it isn't already on your bookmarks bar you need to sort that out), DTLL is set to become the go-to place to find that special something. It's a credit to this regular chick who's a mum like you, loves chocolate like you, and somehow finds time to be exceptional... Here's Tessa...

*Introduce us to the clan... There is Marcus and I.. both still sub 40 ;) and my kiddlywinx are Kitty Jasmine who is 5 in a few weeks and we have Master Harrington Kingsley who is 3.5

*What are your 5 favourite things? My 5 favourite things would have to be time with my favourite people, a long bush run, a roast dinner, pottering around Vinnie's and lastly a lounger in the sun with a mag and some chocolate (is that last one a cheat as it has too many elements? lol)

*Most humbling moment as a parent? Wow thats a biggy...I think it has to shared between both the kids and there is one thing that always floors me and melts my heart - It is when they come to me unprompted for a cuddle and to tell me they love me.. its not daily but it happens and I have never felt more proud or had all those tough days swept away by just a few words..

*Greatest challenge you've faced as a parent? Oooh.... Learning how to recognise my bad traits in my kids before they truly blossom and nurture them along a path that is more positive. I don't see any of my traits as truly negative but I know they could possibly be shaped in a more constructive manner..

*Best advice you've been given? "Be patient and believe". That was said to me before my first Ironman Race but it has sat with me for everything since then. Not just with my kids but with my business, life and remains for my sporting challenges.. It is so true. You can't have what you want just like that. Everything in life takes time and hard work but if you truly believe it is worth the effort and commit to putting in that effort it will be...

*How do you find the balance between Tessa-the-mum and Tessa-the-BizLady? To be honest, I don't.. I find it hard as I am sure all working Mums do. I am getting better as time goes on and on the days I have my buddies with me I ensure we go out for the morning and arrange play dates and catch ups in the afternoon. It forces me to step away at least 75% and I know they are having fun. 
We come home at lunch and I allow them to watch a DVD, that gives me the time to work uninterrupted and do enough that I can walk away for the afternoon until they go to bed in the evening..
I wish I could switch off but I live and breathe DTLL.. its my 3rd baby and so for now I struggle with the balance but as each month passes I am getting better and better

*Favourite downtime pastime? Curling up on the sofa with hubby, a bar of chocolate and a good DVD

*What led to the creation of DTLL? Well that was a long time coming but it started about 3 years ago...I was always a book marker, I just couldn't help myself. When I found something unique I saved it to come back too, I mean what if it hadn't been able to find it again?!
My friends were always asking for recommendations. I always had the bookmark for exactly what they wanted but I realised there wasn’t a one-stop shop that I could send them too. 

*Most gratifying moment in the DTLL journey so far? They just keep coming... a stores first sale always makes me smile. Seeing our name in print is VERY special but I think these days the truly gratifying is the amount of personal emails I get from buyers and sellers saying how much they love the site, that the selection of products is divine and that they love the way it all looks. It makes me so proud and that is truly gratifying

*What's next? Oh my... if I could show the development tickets we have created you would wet your pants. Our creative team bounce a million ideas around and we then implement the ones that will be most fabulous for our buyers and sellers alike. We are going to be continuously developing the site and ensure it is a fun place to hang out.
As for right now.. we are about to shoot a series of images to showcase just what DTLL is and who our gorgeous sellers are. We have one of Australia's best stylists from a very high profile interiors magazine onboard and I can't wait to see how it all turns out.. it will be two days of DTLL Decadence!!

I'm in awe of you Tessa! Check out DTLL here!

Tuesday Tour: Hamptons home in Sydney

You'd seriously feel like you were living it large in the Hamptons in this stunning Sydney family home. Jealous much? I know I am....

Here's the ridiculously gorgeous kids room

And the rest of the house is just as good. I die...

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