Friday, 30 March 2012

On Location....

Master Poppins really enjoys his expeditions out when he occasionally gets called to a job as a little fashion model. He has modelling for some fantastic brands, and seems to really love the camera. As he has to have an official children's work licence and school are for now supportive, I think until he no longer enjoys it we shall carry on. Education is of course very, very important, however he learns so many other valuable lessons in life when he gets called to a photoshoot, he can navigate his way around the London underground better than I, he socially has come on leaps and bounds and which was my main reason he got involved, and he gets to meet many very interesting people and places. Of course being his mummy, I am merely his chaperone for the day but I especially couldn't wait to go on location for a photoshoot he had this week. It was at a drool worthy home that I couldn't help but share one or two photographs with you. Whilst he had been whisked away to strut his stuff, I got chatting to the lovely owners, who happily let me have a little nose around their home....

The gorgeous Kitchen diner....



   Drool....

 
This bedroom was just yummy....


Oh my, the bathroom....


And here I am, pretending it was all mine ;)


This bedroom was so, so cute....


And the little corners of the home with pretty treasures on....

Flowers....


Gorgeous eiderdowns....


Oh it was just lovely. Soon it was time to go, Master Poppins enjoyed himself and I came away with much inspiration indeed. Infact I think this would pretty much be my dream home. It also got me thinking, about people who hire out their homes as such for location filming etc. I don't think anyone would ever fancy coming to my home. They would be tripping over lego, or falling over the loose floorboards we have, or even wondering if the bare plaster look we have in some rooms is indeed a fashion statement. But, if I had a home as beautiful as this, would I consider hiring it out? I know the pay is indeed a fantastic reward, but I think perhaps I would find it a little intrusive I don't know. Maybe it is simply the fact that a home as lovely as this just needs to be shared, and why indeed I am sharing a little of it with you....

X

Monday, 26 March 2012

Warner Bros Studio Tour - The Making Of Harry Potter....

When myself and my family were invited along to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour of the making of Harry Potter, there were a couple of very excited children in the Poppins home that begged me to say yes. Although we have yet to watch all of the movies, and the last ones possibly being a little too dark for my five year old to watch Miss. Poppins especially was very keen to see the sets where much of the action took place. Having a theatrical background myself, any opportunity to visit film sets I like to take and so we all looked forward to going. We got a little excited when we were greeted by this....


And this as we made our way through the entrance....


We couldn't help but see if our hands were bigger or smaller than Daniel's...


I really have only captured a very small glimpse of what is on offer in my photographs as there is so much more to see, but I couldn't help but give an idea of what is seen at the tour. After a superb trailer in the cinema, we were led into the great hall....





It really did feel very magical being on the Harry Potter set and couldn't resist a little photograph being taken of moi in front of the owl podium used by Professor Dumbledore. Then it was onto seeing more of the fabulous sets. The boys dormitory....



One of my favourite's, Umbridge's ministry of magic office....


Dumbledore's office....


 Hagrid's hut....


I enjoyed reading about the animals involved in Harry Potter....


The Griffin stairwell....


The pendulum from The Prisoner of Azkaban....


Chamber of secret's door....


We wandered on, every little detail has been accounted for and I guess big fans of all the Harry Potter movies would be astounded at the attention to detail, it really is just amazing....


Then outside you get to see number 4 Privot Drive, ( made out of polystyrene, shhh don't tell )....


And was amazing to see the Potter house that Voldermort destroyed at Godric's hollow, I had a lovely chat with the workmen who were popping the finishing touches to the paving for the grand opening of the Studio Tour on the 31st March....


The bridge to Hogwarts was tres amazing....


 Diagon Alley was very impressive....



Here's Master Poppins having his own little wander....


For me the grand finale is on nearing the end of the tour, where you are greeted with a breathtakingly scale model of Hogwart's castle, which was used in the films and you can get to walk around it, seeing every little detail. With a moving musical background, and excellent lighting effects I almost wanted to stay in this chamber for ever....






Pretty much everyone that was entering this room, and including us all said "WOW". A thoroughly  enjoyable day out, and all in all the tour took us around 3 hours. I believe on this preview tour throughout the day there were around 1800 visitors, and on a normal day would be around 5000, so was nice and roomy, you could get up really close to all the lovely things on offer. My only negative really, is the somewhat slightly over priced retail souvenir shop that greets you at the end of your tour. Master Poppins really wanted a little wand, and anyone who has a five year old boy would know that it would have to be somewhat child friendly, even light up, maybe make a little sound. The only wands on offer, looked like collectors items and at £25 a pop, sadly he came away without one. For me, the shop being the last room to visit at the end of the tour as you are led into it, could cause issues with some children who want things, as they often do. As for me, I cant justify spending £25 on a wand for a 5 year old that looks like a collectors edition and we did have somewhat of an unhappy child as we were leaving. I would definitely suggest there being more appropriate child friendly, less expensive wands on offer, as well as the ones we saw as we would certainly have bought one. What we did buy however were a couple of chocolate wands and at £3.95 each would be a lovely little souvenir of the day, however am not sure how long they would last ;) The wand issue was soon forgotten, and we got back to chit chattering in the car journey home of what a lovely time we had had....

Disclosure: We gained complimentary entry for a family of four to the Warner Bros Studio Tour- The Making Of Harry Potter for the purposes of this blog post.  


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Tots100 Film Club - Green Lantern....


As a family who love to snuggle up and watch the occasional movie at home, I happily agreed to join in over at Tots100 Film Club in conjunction with Warner Bros We are not big cinema goers and much prefer to watch movies at home, where the popcorn is cheap and with plenty of space to curl up and relax. When I was sent a little list of possible family friendly movies to review this month, I chose Green Lantern. I obviously need to gen up on my knowledge of films as I soon found out it is rated as a 12 and for some reason I thought this was a Peter Pan type film, maybe was the green suit that threw me. With my children being only 5 and 10 yrs, imo was not going to be one appropriate for them to watch and I offered to send it back. However I was kindly asked if I would watch the film and see what I thought. Oh dear, I am a girly girl who loves chic flick films, and not really into action thrilling adventures....


It took me a while to get into the right frame of mind to watch it, and the first scenes were imo quite rightly not going to be suitable especially for my 5 year old to watch, though I carried on trying to take it all in. Taken from the description of the movie it reads...."In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite force of protectors for peace and justice has existed for centuries. They are GREEN LANTERN CORPS. When a new enemy called PARALLAX threatens to destroy the universe, their fate and the fate of the earth lie in the hands of the corps newest recruit, the first human ever selected : HAL JORDAN ( Ryan Reynolds )"  I have to be honest here, it isn't one for me, though I made it to the end and infact Reynolds in his little green suit was quite easy on the eye ;) However if you love all things action packed, like a reasonably good if not clichéd plot, loud noise and very good special effects then this certainly could be one for you to watch. Bare in mind the rating though, as 12 is there for a reason and imo really not suitable for the little ones. Hopefully next month I shall research better the movie choices and ratings and we can all sit together and watch something more appropriate for us all.

Disclosure: We received one DVD to watch for the purposes of this blog post.



Friday, 23 March 2012

Weather For Painting Or Playing?....

A little while ago I found these lovely chairs via freecycle. I got the paint brushes out and made a start on prettying them up....


Then as the weather got colder I put the paintbrushes away. I woke up today, with the sun shining brightly and I thought today is the day I shall get those paintbrushes out again along with the little tester pots of colour I am going to use to paint the chairs....  


I like to be as thrifty as possible so happily picked these up for £1 each from Wilko's and shall be mixing with a little white to make the paint go further for each chair. I love the shabby chic look when it comes to my home décor, and once an item of furniture has been primed that I am making over, I often use emulsion rather than satin wood as a top coat, sand where appropriate, and then wax on top for an authentically worn in look. Of course there is always someone who wants to play and interrupt my painting....


So, here is where we are up to....



One primed, one apple green half finished, one raspberry pink pretty much finished, and three yet to get going on. Hmmm methinks I prefer playing rather than painting ;) Though I am on a mission and hoping to get them done by dusk. We shall see....

X

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Grandparents...

Whilst making a couple of personalised items for someone today, it got me a little emotional. As the time approaches to a certain someone's anniversary I always get wobbly about this time of year, thoughts turn to what could have been, the empty chair at the family table. Anyway as my emotions are a little heightened somewhat already, I couldn't help but ponder over the fact I have never known my grandparents on either side of my family.... 




I would  loved to have made something like this for my own grandmother and always convey to the Poppins children how very special the two grandparents they have are and to always be kind to them. Having never experienced a Grandparent/Granddaughter relationship myself, it is lovely for me too see such a special relationship between them and my own children. We make our own way in life, although I do think me not having had a relationship with a grandparent I know or remember is something that makes me sad. Though such is life and onwards we go hoping to make the best of it. I would be interested to know about your grandparent relationships, does it make a difference to your life? Like me, have any of you not had or remember a grandparent role in your life, has it effected you in any way? I remember when I was little, maybe 6 or 7, I used to daydream of going to see *Granny* with her little crochet blanket on her lap, and she would drink tea in a proper china cup and we would talk about *Granny Stuff*. I was lucky though, as many of my friends at that time let me share their very own Granny, which gave me a little taster as to how special that Grandparent relationship can truly be....

X

          
    

Monday, 19 March 2012

Pretty 'n Pink Magazine....

Whilst browsing in the newsagent some days ago I came across something looking very pretty and went over for a closer look. You may have heard about the re-launch of this magazine on television, but to be honest was a new one to me....


The special introductory price of 99p really took my fancy, and should hopefully enlighten me to the art of cake decorating, as it is something I would like to have a go, and normally not very good at. I like quick baking so I can get whatever has been baked into my mouth quicker ( sweet tooth ) but just love the look of these delicately iced cupcakes. I can only dream of being able to come up with something like this...


It comes with a little magazine with tips and ideas....


And a gorgeous pink gingham cupcake stand, 2 butterfly cutters and perfect for me some pretty pink sparkly  glitter....


All these alone are worth around £7/8 or even more so well worth buying at 99p I thought. I believe the next issues are going to be £2.99 so not bad even at that price really. I need to read up a little more on how to subscribe and whether there is indeed a little catch or not if I do so, but I shall certainly be keeping my eyes out for Issue 2 and couldn't help but let you know about this pretty pink magazine.

Happy baking....

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mother's Day....

Wishing you a happy Mother's Day. For us it is a little bitter sweet, as my husband's first without his own dear mum, and thinking so very much of my own little baby boy born to soon and who each Mother's Day we can't help but think of and miss. It is also however a day where I give thanks for how grateful and thankful I am for my own Mum and children who are always there for me, the caring and special people I do have around me, who pick me up when I feel down. Who know me, understand me and are my world. My world here is just a tiny slice of my life and often I can be guilty of only painting a pretty side of it, sometimes I guess it just makes the other *stuff* a little easier to cope with....


I treasure the handmade card given to me by the children....


As for my little brood, we are spending some special, quality time together and my thoughts are with those whose Mum's are not around for whatever reason. Thinking of you....

X

Friday, 16 March 2012

Little Red Dress....

Back in 2008 I remember posting about this dress that I was really looking forward to wearing at Christmas. From Oasis, it was very red, very Christmas like and very me. I wanted to create a magical romantic time to spend with Mr.Poppins. Well I never did get round to wearing it, the romantic evening never happened and even now it remains on the hanger with all its tags. I guess it has become the dress I shall never get round to wearing....


 In reality it probably is a little young for me, I don't go to many *do's* so have no real need for it to be sitting there looking pretty, and know it would look far prettier being worn by someone who would appreciate it as is a lovely dress for someone. Just not me perhaps. When I heard that TK Maxx and cancer research were joining together to launch Give Up Clothes For Good where we can take our quality unwanted clothes and items to any TK Maxx srore throughout April, I knew it would be perfect to hand in. All clothes and items handed in shall then be sorted and sent on to Cancer Research UK shops to be sold where all proceeds from the clothing sales shall be going to help fund research into childhood cancers. So my dress shall be top of my list of things to send in, and I hope it finds its true owner who, you never know may indeed wear it for their own special romantic evening....

X


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Cox & Kings Blogger Challenge. The Big Reveal....

As you may know Cox & Kings set myself and five other bloggers a makeover challenge. We were each given a budget of £250 to spend and create a room with an Indian theme to it. I have to say it was not a theme I would ordinarily use within my home, and I did almost toy with the idea of spending the money to buy pretty Cath Kidston esque items. However the more I researched the wonderful interiors and colours Indian themes have to offer, the more I realised I wanted to go all out and create that wonderful Indian inspired room. I chose the upstairs dormer bathroom and quickly realised I would have to get cracking to achieve my goal. If you haven't already, you can see my before photographs on this post but here is another little peek....


Pretty bland huh, though a great canvas to work with, and actually the fact that it is a small room I thought I could maybe get away with doing a strong theme in there as such. I appreciated that time may not be on my side as I wanted to do alot some DIY in the bathroom too, and found myself quite stressed as the big reveal date loomed and I had not finished by a long way. I certainly got my hands dirty, although I drafted the husband in with wood cutting, I found myself doing a little grouting, laying flooring, painting and hanging wallpaper as well as all the sourcing of items and working out where the pretty things would go in the room. I am a vibrant person and I certainly wanted my bathroom makeover to be as true a reflection of my personality as possible. Anyway the time has come, and here is my new and hopefully Indian inspired bathroom....





The Buddah ( from home bargains for only £2.49 ) was originally black but as I had a paintbrush in my hand anyway, I gave it a little makeover and I think the left over tiles work so well as pretty jewelled coasters....


 Star was indeed right in her thinking that there would probably be a little ( hot ) pink in there, and I was so inspired by these images when doing my research....

 

When I first started the process for sourcing items for the bathroom, I have to admit I think I spent far too long trying to search out items that were very *me*. As I have mentioned, this particular theme would probably not be a chosen one for my home, and then I thought I would just go for it. I would let the lovely bright colours of India lead me and they would be my inspiration. Being a small bathroom, I was of course quite limited to what I could purchase but once I realised colour would lead my choices, I relaxed alot more. Part of the rules were, you were not allowed to go over budget, or use *given* items however you could use items you already owned or had previously purchased. I was amazed actually how many indian inspired items I had such as these bargain BHS coloured plastic glasses that I used to display face cloths....


As the bathroom was already awaiting some form of DIY makeover, we had already purchased wood for the panelling, basic primer, paint for the woodwork, and grouting/glues etc. It really was a long process doing the DIY part of the challenge and I literally only sorted out doing the pretty things a night or so before the big reveal. Luckily I had many one or two Indian inspired gold chocolate coins to keep me going....

    
     
Once the main DIY had been done, I couldn't wait to put those little trinkets I had searched out in place. I think one of my favourite items is this cute pink Lotus ( flower of India ) soap, with a little baby fairy sleeping in the middle. It smells just gorgeous, and yes surrounded by more chocolate coins....


On March 8th thousands of people across India celebrated Holi, the festival of colour and Holi was my inspiration for the little spice jars with tiny coloured decorative stones in them, a little like the colourful powders that are thrown at one another on Holi day. I also love the bargain  pink charity shop tealight holder ( two for a £1 )


Using some letters from some East Of India block letter's we have around our home and that spell out different words, I was able to display INDIA. Perfect....


Although her name now looks a little peculiar in her room ;) The Mirela wallpaper is a Harlequin design and fits in just perfectly I think, with its gold shimmer and pink tones.  It reminds me very much of a paper doily design and I think very Indian-esque. The lovely display glass bottles ( from Store Twenty One)  were one of my first purchases and I spent ages wondering what to display in them. As it is, I think they look just beautiful as they are, simple and elegant....


I also had a little go at grouting, which yes is a little wobbly but very characterful....


The wooden shelf unit in the corner was originally pink and a bargain from the car boot a while ago, and as I had a paintbrush in my hand....


I adapted one of the bargain Ebay cushion covers  to cover a little storage unit we already had, and keeps all those bathroom essentials in, I just love the pretty colours....


I decided to paint the two end walls in a complimentary pink, and if like me you have only a small space to paint, I would suggest getting a very generous tester tin from the Dulux mixing machine. I took a sample of my wallpaper in and they were able to find me a pretty much exact colour to the pink background, and all for only £2.98 for a 250ml tin. So I purchased 2 tins, and did both small walls, 2 coats, for only £5.36, bargain.


Another of my bargains was this beautiful mini chest of drawers that was made in India. On the label it says "This item is inspired by both traditional and modern sensibilities and handcrafted by artisans in India. Its simplicity and elegance will enhance any space" The drawers are ceramic and handpainted in the most beautiful and vibrant colours. I just adore it....


And I love gazing at it at the end of my bath, all I need to decide is what special trinkets to put in the pretty drawers. A bargain in my eyes at £16.99 from TKMaxx....


It is infact at night when this Indian inspired bathroom truly shines....





And just look at these beautiful Lotus floating lanterns I found, ADORE....


I wanted to purchase items that made a difference in India itself and this little handmade coin purse with a pretty pink tram on it is just the sweetest thing to display on my shelf and hopefully my buying it has perhaps made a little difference....


For me this challenge, which yes has actually been a little stressful, mostly due to one thing or another finding myself playing catch up throughout the process, has also been a journey that I have actually found out what I like, what makes me tick. I didn't want to just give off an Indian-esque feel to the room, I wanted every person who steps in this room, ( however small it is ) to go on their own little journey, a passage to India, to experience and take in the colours, the wonderful scents, the textures around them. Even Mr. P who really isn't into themed rooms quite likes his *reflection time* in there. You can almost shut the door and imagine you are in a whole new world, and that is what I wanted to achieve, fingers crossed I hope you think so too. I searched and found an old ( but in perfect condition ) issue of a trendy Interiors/Fashion/Lifestyle magazine called Wallpaper and its Indian edition, called Reborn In India, where for the best part of a month Wallpaper shifted HQ and set up in Mumbai with one goal. And that goal in Wallpaper's own words was 'to produce as true a portrait as possible of the most eye-popping, synapse-snapping, pulse-pushing place on the planet' I have found so much inspiration for this project within this magazine and it is always to hand near the bath alongside the Indian paisley designed notebook and pencils.... 


And inside the magazine the pages just popped out at me, with images courtesy of Wallpaper ....



I was very inspired also by the beautiful photographs over at An Indian Summer and am hoping its author may take a little peek at my bathroom makeover. It would be so flattering if she thinks I may have indeed captured the essence of an Indian style interior. When it came to the ceiling for my bathroom, I was inspired by these images....


And came up with my own version, with some fabric panels bought from Ikea....


I liked that there were similar textures in the items I used, the little knobbly tea light holders were already mine and loved how they tied in with the Buddha canvas and pink bath mat....   


The floor tiles were from B&Q's value range, at only £3.98 for a pack of six a real bargain, and even more so, as if you bought 3 packs you got one pack free. We needed 24 tiles so was perfect....


I love the Indian mirror and I think is a great compliment to the makeover, along with the pretty B&M bargain rose lights....


I also found a couple of peacock ( the national bird of India ) inspired necklaces that look very pretty draped on the mirror....





So, hopefully I have given you a little taster of my new bathroom and I hope you can sense that I put my heart and soul into this challenge, and although I have have enjoyed doing it, I am quite tired and would love to take the husband away with me, on our first trip abroad, just the two of us, since before we were married. You may already know, but there shall be three of my photographs here along with the other 5 bloggers photographs of their transformed rooms, and voting shall be taking place between 12th-25th March. The blogger's room with the most *likes* shall be deemed the winner and get to go on that lovely weekend break away. So, there we are, feel free to *like* my photographs and hope you enjoyed sharing my little journey with me. I am aware that the room has good decent bones in the sense that if I do feel like I want to change the look in there, with it having a simple classic white suite, white woodwork and ceiling I could easily adapt the look. Receipts have had to be sent off and checked but I have also included a little list of items purchased with my £250 budget if you would like a little read....

1. Tesco ( face cloths, notebook, pencils, handwash ) £11.37
2. B&M ( rose lights, crystals, pink toilet brush/holder, 3x bottles of decorative stones ) £11.35
3. House Decor ( wallpaper ) £34.94
4. B&Q ( pink paint, value floor tiles ) £17.30
5. Ponden Mill ( Buddha canvas ) £8.00 
6. Ebay Items  £54.92 
7. TKmaxx ( mini chest of drawers) £16.99
8. Ikea ( tealight holders, toilet paper holder, towel rail, fabric panels, candle, ) £31.33
9. Charity Shop ( coloured stick, tealight holders ) £2.00
10.Matalan ( pink bath mat, bath sign, spa set ) £15.00
11. Store Twenty One ( 3x rose bottles ) £ 8.97
12. Home Bargains ( Spa brush, puff, back scrub, sitting buddah, mitt ) £6.14  
13. Topps Tiles ( mosaic tiles ) £13.99
14. Argos ( duck board,) £ 12.99       
15. And of course Thorntons for the chocolate coins ( offer for 5 bags ) £3 
( All other items are my own and used as decoration )

Total spend: £248.29

X