Daily

Privacy, To A 6 Year Old

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Me: Hey, stop reading my messages.
Z: Why? I’m just practising my reading!
Me: Because it’s private.
Z: I thought only penises and vaginas were private!

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Fun

Lego Cake Stand

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My six year old and his best bud, also 6, have September birthdays a day apart and they’re both Lego mad, so that’s two Lego-themed celebrations in a row.

My son didn’t want a party but my husband is baking a cake anyway, and I decided on a whim to make a stand after spying one online. I didn’t read the instructions but used this picture as a guide. I only found out later that I’d built it differently; the blogger mom had started with the pedestal, but I’d started with the plate.

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I didn’t have a colour theme in mind because I wasn’t even sure we had enough bricks for this. Here’s the breakdown of the row lengths (i.e. number of studs), and you can mix and match your bricks as you wish:

Row 1: 2 x 10
Row 2: 2 x 14
Row 3: 2 x 18
Row 4: 2 x 20
Row 5: 2 x 22
Rows 6, 7: 2 x 24
Rows 8, 9: 2 x 26

Centre: Rows 10–13, 2 x 28

Rows 14, 15: 2 x 26
Rows 16, 17: 2 x 24
Row 18: 2 x 22
Row 19: 2 x 20
Row 20: 2 x 18
Row 21: 2 x 14
Row 22: 2 x 10

In the picture above, you’ll see four 1 x 1 blue bricks in the middle of the plate (rows 11 and 12, with 13 studs on either side). To make the plate, you build horizontally, but to create the pedestal, you build downwards instead (the studs will still point in the same direction). The four blue bricks are facing downwards.

For the pedestal, I used two 1 x 16 Lego Technics pieces (with holes); one of it is showing in the picture below. I would’ve used more but I didn’t have many long pieces. No special reason for using the Technics bricks, except that they were longer! But there are design possibilities there that I did not explore.

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Reinforce the pedestal in any way that you see fit. (Another view here.) Mine could be prettier but I was going for utility. The one in the original tutorial is sturdier as it’s thicker, and more of it is attached to the plate. But I tested mine and it can bear enough weight for my needs.

Well that’s it. I hope you try this if you have little Lego fans to please—some of my friends were intimidated but it’s actually very straightforward. Happy building!

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Daily

Room Tour: The 2017 Update

We’ve given others a peek into our home via my previous blog, as well as on Mum In The Making (2012) and Cromly (2015). Several months after the Cromly feature, we decided to do away with most of the coloured walls in our home, leaving only our pink entrance and our trademark striped wall (in the living area).

It was, in some ways, a bit of a chaotic year for us and we wanted to restore our sense of order, beginning with our living environment. Also, Z would be moving into Layla’s room, and I wanted a neutral colour along with a fresh start for them. No regrets, because with whites, you get light and the illusion of space, as well as the freedom to own your canvas by adding visual interest in little ways.

I’m aware that the room is still dominated by Layla’s stuff, but we’re easing towards gender neutral elements, and we’ve carved out some spaces for Z. The Umbra Shadow Clock is our latest addition to the room. It was a gift from Masons Home Decor; I loved it when I first saw the pictures, and even more in real life.

The clock’s graphic numbers are painted black on the sides, so they stand out. Justin from Masons Home Decor informed me that the clock was jointly designed by Alan Wisniewski and Sonja Kresowaty. It’s made from Paulownia wood, which is apparently notable for its strength. Masons Home Decor has given me a lifetime 15% discount code to use, and you’re welcome to use it too: EVELYN15.

Mixing and matching their knickknacks. The hexagon shadow box is from Typo.

The bicycle poster was picked up during a 3LittlePicks sale; we have quite a few items from them.

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Kid goals, or should I say, life goals? This was printed by Stickerkid for me; I was supposed to do a feature for them but the posters (it was in a set of three) arrived several months late and bent in several places. I’ve cut Layla’s name from this poster so it works for the shared room; the magnetic wooden picture hanger is from 3LittlePicks.

Our dollhouses are still around; the house my dad built from Daiso balsa wood is on the left, and on the right is my mom’s Sylvanian family collection, which she gifted to us.

Clearly, we didn’t plan for two kids to work here, but it’s not an issue for now. I’m contemplating creating a new study area for them and claiming Layla’s roll-top desk for my own use. That was from Junkie’s Corner.

They each get a display space to manage.

The wooden box showcases my mum’s folk art painting skills, and we still have our paper suitcases, although some of them are more than a little weathered by now. The “Laylapalooza” poster was designed by my friend, occasional colleague, and one-time bandmate Shirley.

The handmade golliwog was from a delightful shop called Doinky Doodles, which unfortunately is no longer in existence today. The foam hand was a souvenir from this year’s GNR bash.

Making the kids share a room was probably our best parenting decision of last year. (Also, Alf couldn’t sleep on the couch forever, as comfortable as it is!) Layla was starting to feel like Z and I were always in cahoots against her, and it was affecting our relationship. With the new sleeping arrangements, our alliances are as they should be, where Alf and I are a team, and Layla and Z are closer than they’ve ever been.

It’s been a palpable change for the better, and in fact, there were hardly any teething issues in Z’s room switch, except that I’d originally bought Z an IKEA cot mattress that was too small, because I wasn’t sure if he was really ready to shift out of my bedroom. But once we realised that both kids were eager to share, we put the Seahorse folding mattresses that we’d bought to host visiting family to good use. I thought that finding a plain fitted sheet for these mattresses would be an issue, but was pleasantly surprised that the longer IKEA cot sheets were a perfect fit.

I haven’t outgrown this felt butterfly lamp, even if the kids have! We’ve also installed spotlights near Layla’s study desk but I’m not satisfied with the look, so we’re planning to schedule an appointment with these designers to see what they can do for us. We’re also hoping to switch out the lights in our living and study area, and get new fabrics for our couch, so there may be more to update on soon!

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Daily

Original Sprout

Original Sprout

A girlfriend told me recently that she’s been plagued by breakouts for the whole of this year. Like me, she’s 40, and I was relieved to hear that from her as the same thing’s been happening to me.

I wouldn’t say my skin has ever been totally in the clear, but in my late 20s and 30s, I enjoyed a reprieve and only saw the occasional zit or two. At 40? I now have a dermatologist that I consult when I feel things are getting out of hand–nothing fancy like Sloane, just good ‘ol National Skin Centre. Currently, I’m on the Retin A-AHA treatment that I’ve seen recommended on some beauty/health web sites, and it is working for me, especially when I remember to be kind to my skin.

When Original Sprout contacted me some months ago to send me products, I didn’t decline, for once. I’ve been using Original Sprout on my face for years, after buying the Hair & Body Babywash to test on Z. I was perfectly happy with it, but I attempted to switch to Cetaphil last year thinking that it was cheaper–and dermatologist-recommended–but it triggered a breakout that warranted a visit to the dermatologist. Subsequently, I was prescribed a cleanser from La Roche-Posay, but my skin reacted to that too (redness, itch). Then everything calmed down until we took a family trip to New Zealand, and the weather changes made my skin flare up again. Continue reading

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