Beach party theme Party Buckets

Planning a beach themed party for your child? Stuck for ideas on party bags? Look no further…!!!

I planned the beach theme as Nandy turns 1 in July and hoped the weather would be hot enough to justify a beach theme!

I couldn’t just get away with handing out party bags after I’d been inspired by Pinterest to have buckets instead! It was just too relevant to the theme! 

Now if you’re looking for cheap options then this isn’t going to be for you, being honest the cost of the party buckets must be in excess of £7 each child perhaps even £10. Multiply that by 15 children and it becomes an expensive option. 

So what’s inside Nandys party buckets?

  • Inflatable beach balls
  • Sand mould
  • Sunglasses 
  • Beach colouring book
  • Shell or fish shaped crayon
  • Beach themed flash card 
  • Beach themed foam bath shape
  • Bubbles
  • Deck chair striped candy bags with goodies inside 
  • Plastic bath boat
  • Personalised thankyou tag 

Bucket contents

  • I sourced the sand bucket from Smyths toys for £1.69 each.
  • The flash cards were a steal at 20p a pack from the Range.
  • The foam bath shapes were £10 for a bag from Jojomaman Bebe.
  • The bubbles were from Tesco in their party aisle Approx £1 for 6.
  • The sunglasses were £1 each from Primark. 
  • The deckchair style stripe candy bags were from Homesense. Approx £5 for 20 bags.
  • The shells and fish crayons were from Craystion station at approx 50p each. 
  • The inflatable beach balls were from EBay at approx £1 each. 
  • The colouring books were from Tiger at £1 each 
  • The plastic boats were £1.50 for 4 boats from a local baby shop
  • The plastic sand moulds were £1 from Poundland for 3 moulds.
  • The thankyou tags were from Zazzle. 


Now it’s only 3 weeks until his party – the countdown is officially on! I can feel myself getting emotional already! 

Hubby says I’ve gone over the top on things but it’s not every day your first child turns one is it! I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible.

If you like this idea then please don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, twitter and pin to Pinterest @lifeofnandy
Rebecca 

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The Making of The Bear and the Bird

The Bear and the Bird were one of the very first Instagram shops we discovered, we were looking for a few custom nursery items and stumbled upon their store. Immediately we hit it off discussing a custom clay piece for Nandys’ nursery. The ladies were so accommodating and helpful with trying to come up with designs. We became friends and 12 months on we find ourselves as their reps after a stint of being enthusiasts. We have been so immensely proud of being part of Team Bear and Bird for so long and can honestly say they are the best. 

Their products are lovingly handmade and full of style. Please go give them a follow @thebear_and_thebird on Instagram 

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The Making of I am Loved

 

Max has been fortunate to Rep for I am Loved since he was teeny tiny! Safe to say we Love being I am Loved reps! Sam is so talented and her prints and apparel is so unique, high quality and have you seen the packaging!! AMAZING!


Hi, tell us your name and a little bit about you and your family

Hey! I’m Sam, I’m 29 and I live in lovely Oxfordshire with my other half, Stuart, and our two cat babies Jess & Minnie. I’m originally from a little town in County Durham, where all of my family still live. I have a degree in fashion design and graduated around 5 years ago.

What inspired you to start your insta shop?

Most of my inspiration comes from my nieces, nephews and my little sister Millie. I want them to always know how loved they are. I think it’s so important that children grow up knowing that that they are brave, that they are fearless and that they are strong.

So I started to create prints with catchy words and slogans for children’s apparel and nursery décor and that is how I Am Loved was born.

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone thinking of setting up an insta shop / etsy what would it be?

Believe in yourself and your dream

Who do you feel inspired by on Instagram?

There are so so many people who inspire me. Especially those working mamas who are also running their own businesses like @lennieanco. I mean those women are super heroes. I struggle to look after myself and the cats along side this so hats off to all you Mamas!

Tell us a little bit more about where you want I am Loved to be in 5 years time?

I would like to be running I Am Loved full time. And would love to see the brand being sold in stores all over the world.

What’s your favourite insta purchase and why?

One of my favourite instagram purchases is my Jesus Origami Diamond from @origami_est. And I currently have a little bit of an obsession with buying prints for the house. Some of my faves are from @osotwee, @thelittlejones and @thenativestate.

As a thankyou for being a blog reader Sam is kindly offering 20% purchases using LOVED20 until Friday 28th April. 

Thanks to Sam for taking the time to answer our questions and don’t hesitate to go over to Iamloved give her a follow – you won’t regret it we promise!

Rebecca

The Making of The Little Jones

The Little Jones is a perfect Instagram store selling the most adorable prints for your home / nursery or playroom – we love their collection of prints and if you haven’t followed them already then go ahead! They can be found here

Hi, Tell us your name and a bit about yourself and your family…

I’m Kate and I run The Little Jones! I’ve been married to my hubby since 2014 and we have a little boy, Harry, who is 16 months old.

What inspired you to start your insta shop?

I had always wanted to start my own business when I had children, rather than going back to full time work. I had designed lots of bits in the past, including our wedding stationery, so when Harry was born I designed some prints for his nursery and that was the start of The Little Jones.

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone thinking of setting up an insta shop / etsy what would it be?

Have faith in yourself and be consistent! I didn’t tell anyone about The Little Jones when I first started as I was too nervous about what people would think. I wish I’d been more confident at the beginning! I also think consistency with Instagram is key – posting good quality images that work with your brand and doing it every day!

Who do you feel inspired by on Instagram?

So many people! I love kids interiors feeds such as @kidsdesginlife and @_honeypunch and fellow shops like @wonderandrah and @lalalovesdecor. I think Jaz from @themilkcollective has built an amazing brand! I recently found @nedintheclouds, an account which is run by Claire who runs a blog about autism. She recently organised a charity auction (AUT:CTION) and does so much to raise awareness of autism and I find that very inspiring.

Tell us a little bit more about where you want The Little Jones to be in 5 years time?

I have big plans for The Little Jones, but also want to make sure I remember why I started it in the first place – so that I can spend more time with Harry. I’d love to see The Little Jones stocked in more retailers and would like to expand our range to include more than just prints. I’ll be launching greetings cards later this month and have plans to make my own frames as well. I would hope that in 5 years we might have another little one (or two!) running around keeping me busy too!

What’s your favourite insta purchase and why?

Oh that’s a tough question as I have so many! I love our @bulblondon ‘Love’ bulb, I have 3 @velveteen_babies garlands and Harry has loads of amazing clothes from Insta shops. I recently bought a print from @sooukdotcom which I adore and money from each sale went to AUT:CTION, so that’s probably my favourite.

 

As a thankyou to my blog readers Kate is offering you all 20% any purchase on her website using code NANDY20.

I really enjoyed reading all of Kate’s responses to my questions, I hope you did too. Please give them a follow and be sure to follow our little blog too to read more “making of” stories from this series every Monday at 8pm.

Rebecca

The Post Baby ‘Mess’ 

Anyone relate? You’ve just had a little one, there’s stuff everywhere. High chair in the kitchen, food catapaulted all over the walls, toys all over the floor, soggy muslin cloths flung in every room, dirty nappy bin overflowing and washing, washing and more washing piled high, Yesterday’s pants strewn on the bathroom floor and cups of half drunk tea lying around the place like a cup graveyard… yep welcome to my new world of mess. 

Back when I thought ironing muslin cloths was a good idea!


Let’s rewind to my pre-baby life. I was OCD about stuff, things had to have their place. (Now I’m not saying I don’t still have OCD about where things reside but I’d say I’m just a tad more relaxed these days). You see, this is the thing … when the baby comes along all order seems to go out of the window. Doesn’t matter how many “ikea hacks” and baby organisers you deploy; there’s still a massive shift in your lifestyle and it takes time to adapt – or in my case – you don’t. 
Let me see if I can list this out in a simpler way (not because my readers need it simplified but because that’s how my brain currently operates that way now I have a child).

Key:-

Pre baby thoughts / Post baby thoughts

1. I’m not having plastic toys 

Sod it buy the jumparoo with added flashing tacking plastic keyboard and plastic cow.


2. Everything will have a place 

What do you mean which drawer do muslins go in? They could be anywhere!

3. The lounge will be our adult space 

The Lounge is now full of toys 

Toys in the lounge – standard now


4. Everything will match the decor.

I may consider redecorating the house in primary colours to match his toys.

5. Baby will have to fit into our ways

Let him do what he wants if it stops him screaming.

6. I may need a hobby to keep busy

Hobby? I haven’t been for a wee in 5 hours – I must schedule that in before my bladder implodes.

7. All white and pale colours are nicer I’m not decorating his room yellow!

Sod white and pale colours they shows the mess – where’s that yellow?

8. Our garden is not having a plastic slide and climbing frame
!

What’s he having for his birthday? A plastic slide and climbing frame for the garden …

9. He’s not having food in the car

Here have this wafer in the car whilst mummy tries to drive in peace. 

10. I won’t have a mucky faced baby 

Fine – if you won’t let me touch your face you can go out with a snotty nose and prune smeared up your cheeks

Food EVERYWHERE

Can anyone else relate to this? How has having a baby changed your outlook on mess / home life?

Rebecca 

Instagram shopping – 5 Top Buys for March

If you haven’t already discovered the joys of Instagram shops then what are you waiting for. Here is out guide to our Top 10 buys on there at the moment:-

1. Flatlay Accessories – we love The Bear and the Bird for ours – these feltball garlands and clay pendants can even be customised to suit your theme!

2. Prints and T-ShirtsI am Loved stock a gorgeous array of T-Shirts and prints and they are so beautiful and unique.

3. Handmade Pram shoes – we just cannot get enough of the bunny shoes from Love Roo – inspired by the sudden passing of our old bunny we asked Aimee to make us some shoes with ears. The bunny shoes were born! They are so versatile. What combination will you choose?

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Bunny shoes by Love Roo and Leggings from The Cotton Barn

4. Organic cotton leggings and bibsThe Cotton Barn stock organic cotton items and their leggings and bibs are someone of the best around. Nandy has eczema so it’s really important that we have things which are soft against his skin and that are going to allow his skin to breathe!

5. A snoodLovebeebaby and Milk and Dagger are two shops whom stock fantastic dribble snoods! I cant get enough of them at the moment!

Thats it, our top 5 picks of March!

As the S/S17 items start to land we will post more of our favourites for you to see.

Playroom Decor Inspo

Our old dining room wasn’t really being used as a dining space so I decided to rip up the old brown carpet and take down the old fashioned curtains and make the room into a play space for Nandy.

Anyone that knows me – knows that I’m a bit OCD about mess and I like everything to be put away; so I knew I wanted to keep my lounge as an adult space free from all the toys. Some may argue that kids should be allowed to make mess and explore but I personally would rather this be in a separate room.

Colour scheme

I sought a lot of inspiration as to the stark black and white scheme on many instragram pages who promote mono themes. I knew, however, that I wanted to inject some colour into the mix, so I chose Teal.

One of my favourite insta shops Wonderah stock the most beautiful prints – I managed to purchase some uber cute ones which I had customised for his shelfie.

In addition to this, I purchased a gorgeous giant feltballs garland from the lovely the bear and the bird, this sits alongside some chevron bunting from Petite Fawn and the gorgeous cloud and rainbow garland from Velveteen babies and paper hanging decoration from indigo zebra!

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Shelfie – Goodies include the wonderful Wondersh prints, concrete alphabet letters, osotwee flag, design letters cup, ingrid Petrie design print, Raven and snow and a few personal pieces from friends

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Garland from the bear and the bird, rainbow garland from velveteen babies, paper garland from indigo zebra and chevron bunting from petite fawn.

Toys

I was certain I wanted Nandy to have a ball pit but the ones I’d seen were very expensive. After some serious insta searching I managed to locate one at a third of the cost which I was able to customised to my specific choice of ball colours.

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Ball pit with custom ball colours in Teal white and black

I bought a small stool from Ikea so that when Nandy is older he has something to sit on, at the moment it’s acting as a holder for his “reading corner”.

He has this beautiful foam clip puzzle flooring from the modern nursery which his jumparoo sits on.

In the corner we have a rocking ladybird from mamas and papas which was given to him as a gift from his godparents.

Storage

Because Nandy already has quite a toy collection we needed somewhere to store them all. We have 2 storage set ups, the lego bricks from this modern life and the Ikea pull out storage benches like these.

How have you decorated your nurseries / playrooms? Any toy tips or ideas for me, I’d love to hear your opinions, comment below.

Rebecca

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Nursery Decor

When planning the nursery I decided I didn’t want to find out the sex of the baby, so the nursery theme had to be gender neutral. I am impatient so decorated prior to the 20 week scan.

It all started with the wallpaper, which I chose from next. The geo print wallpaper was neutral in my opinion and acted as a great base from which to build on.

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Geo wallpaper with pebble paint, Peg dolls were custom painted from teddy_co_uk

We had the walls painted in ‘pebble’ colour by dulux as this seemed to match the grey tone of the wallpaper perfectly.

It wasn’t long before I discovered the delights of insta shopping and made a few custom purchases! The lovely ladies over at the The Bear and the Bird worked with me to create a beautiful clay and feltball triangle decoration and matching garland which can be seen strung below.

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Shelfie

We had a lovely wooden box which was handpainted to match his theme perfectly from Happy little folks and this came in handy for on his changing table to store all his creams and wipes in!

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This handcrafted Triangle print box from Happy little folks contains all of Max creams and wipes to keep his changing unit tidy

I found some great Ikea hack ideas before we had Nandy, and took inspiration to use the Hemnes 8 drawer chest as a changing unit, Ive divided the drawers up so that they contain the nappies and muslin cloths making those bum changes as efficient as possible!

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Drawer organistion

We found the most perfect triangle print blanket from humble and weave which makes an epic addition to his cot.

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The feeding / nursing chair was a bargain buy from Dunelm!

I couldnt live without the beautiful Mama designs cellular blanket which I bought from her at the baby show in grey and mint, I wrap it around my shoulders on a cold evening when feeding Nandy at 3am!

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Continuing on the triangle theme we had bespoke building wooden blocks made by the wonderful Myla and Oscar, and a triangle paper bunting decoration adorns the window perfectly from H&M.

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H&M Bunting

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Triangle decals work perfectly as shelf decor

It turns out we did find out the sex of the baby in the end – but I wouldnt change my choices as I truly feel the mint / grey and ochre work well for a boy.