Thursday, 31 March 2016

March Discoveries

Back in August, I started a new series on this blog designed to share little discoveries that I happen on throughout any given month. You can read the imaginatively names 'August Discoveries' post here.

Despite there being plenty of little finds, delights and discoveries, the series of posts lasted all of two months. But today, you'll be pleased to here, I'm dusting it off and reviving it! I thought I'd combine it today with my 'Styling The Seasons' post for March. 
So, without further ado, he's are few things I've found and loved this month.
Lovely Liberty
As some of you might know, March is a birthday month in our household. When I spotted the stunning new range of Liberty party wear by Meri Meri , I knew I wanted to use as much of it as possible for Anwen's party. Almost 2 weeks later and some of it remains in place, it's just too pretty to pack away! 
This has got to be one of my absolute favourite Spring flowers. Each layer looks like a single piece of tissue paper, perfectly wrapped into a little ball. I've not been able to resist them at our local grocers, even when some of the delicate stems have been battered and bruised and the leaves look scruffy and ragged. 
Make Believe
The little star wand in this pot is a reminder of all the fun we've had playing make believe this month. Wilf is now at a stage where made up shows and characters are the game of choice, naturally Anwen is happy to fall in line too! We've had a few dressing up parties this month too which have been a lot of fun to prepare for (read, quickly raid the fabric drawer!) Wilf has already requested a super hero party for his birthday so I'm sure the dressing up box will be added to in the months ahead.
We've had fun with some water colours this month and this glass jar has been slowly filled with paint brushes, at the ready for whenever we need some calm creative fun. The calm doesn't last long obviously, as it doesn't take long for Anwen to start licking the brushes and for squabbles over the water pot to commence. 
 The grey ink pot is something I picked up from a shop called Meticulous Ink which I stumbled upon on our weekend in Bath a few weeks ago. Let's just call it a 'something I'd like to have done this month'. I've got plans for some new prints for the shop, so am hoping to find some time to crack it open in April.
We have a fun month ahead of us, starting with a night away with friends this weekend and topped off with a break in Norfolk and a wedding at the end. Roll on April, I'm looking forward to whatever
you have to offer. 

Thanks for stopping by, keep your eyes open for the 'April Edit' over the weekend, where I'll be featuring my top shop picks for the new month.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Golden Bunnies and Glass Eggs

I love decorating throughout the year, tinkering with shelves and moving things around depending on the season. The arrival of Spring gives me a chance to bring colour into the house again, with spring flowers a plenty, how can you resist daffodils when they're 30p a bunch?!

Easter is an important celebration for us as a family. It's meaning is central to our Christian faith and, whilst I'm all about the chocolate eggs and bunnies, decorating the house and celebrating over the long weekend will have special significance for us.
Our new tradition to decorate an Easter tree has taken a slightly paired back stance (so far) this year. I decided to use some Eucalyptus branches, which I bought last week, and I'm so pleased with the result.
I hung these glass decorations which I bought for a couple of pounds in Tiger a few weeks ago. The delicate glass eggs compliment the eucalyptus really well, much more than the chunky felt bunnies and eggs I dug out the loft would have! Although I'm sure they'll also be hanging from somewhere in due course this week.
Another subtle touch I'm pleased with is this golden bunny, added to an enamel vase that I bought (from House By Betty) recently. The bunny is part of a set of Easter Stickers (which you can find in the shop here), I can only guess how many more will be making an appearance around the place before Sunday!
These pastel pinwheels are also adding a lovely seasonal touch to the house. I hung them in the kitchen this week for Anwen's birthday but they'll be left to cheer the breakfast area for a while yet.
The pinwheels come as a pack of 6, with 3 different colours and sizes, if you fancy snapping up a pack you can find them here.

These sticks and signposts will be put to use at our annual Easter egg hunt but for now they're adding a fun touch to some pottery on the hall shelf. If you have an egg hunt planned this weekend then check out the Egg Hunt Kit here, it includes everything you'll need to help little ones search for chocolate this weekend!
Of course decorating would not be complete without seasonal flowers and this bunch called 'The Chloe' from Bloom & Wild is spot on. The scented stock is so delicate and, for me, the perfect shade of pastel for this time of year. 
Over this weekend I held a little 'Easter Giveaway' on Instagram. I was absolutely staggered by the number of entries so as a little thank you am offering FREE P&P all day today. So if you fancy snapping up any of the items I've featured above, just pop in 'easteratlittlemaldod' at the checkout.
I'd love to know how you decorate your home for Easter, I'm always looking for new ideas. Do leave a comment below and say hi!

Have a great week.
Lowri x

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Anwen Turns Two ~ A Pretty Party And Some Time Saving Tips

Our beautiful, feisty, adventurous daughter turns two today.

Getting to know her personality over the last two years has been such a joy (and a challenge in recent times!) Her strength of character and sunny personality constantly leaves Sam and I smirking at each other, trying not to laugh, whenever we attempt to tell her off about something.
Yesterday we held a party for her to celebrate. It was the usual sort of party that we hold for the kids - at home, with their best friends, garden fun and plenty of cake. I'm not sure there's anything else someone at their age needs....or any age for that matter.

At the start of the day I had my usual MASSIVE list of things I wanted to get done/ bake/ decorate and, whilst buzzing around on caffeine, mostly managed to tick everything off. Thanks to some lovely partywear from Meri Meri I was able to pull off a lovely Liberty theme, with their distinctive florals adorning the decor, cake and party bags.

Some of the items are things I stock in the little maldod shop (direct links are listed below) and all day TODAY you can enjoy 20% off the whole 'party' range, (with the code 'letsparty' until midnight 16th March). Other items were directly from Meri Meri and you can find direct links to their shop below too.

 The Decorations
These Liberty Betsy Pinwheels added an easy but effective touch to different parts of the house, from my favourite shelf in the hallway to the mantle piece. The Miniature Liberty Flags looked great above the mantle too and will be staying up long after celebrations are over.
The Games 
No new tricks here, we stuck to classics - pass the parcel and musical statues. Check out the concentration on Wilf's face, he takes after me in the competitive (Monica Geller) game stakes. Meanwhile his younger sister remained restless until I stopped the music on her, giving her a long awaited "choc choc" (Milkway).
The Cake
Obviously I had grand plans for a masterpiece 'naked' cake or one that was perfectly iced to within an inch of it's life. My slightly uncooked sponge (which went back in the oven on the rack to finish off) didn't quite cut the Mary Berry mustard. Cue time saving tip number 1 - Nutella.  Nobody can argue with a freshly baked cake and lashing of hazelnut spread can they?! I reminded myself whilst licking the spoon that, to little ones at least, cake is cake and when one of them laughed at the fancy pink Gerbera on top, all was confirmed.
The Liberty Cake Flags added the perfect finishing touch and will definitely be reused for future celebrations. 
The Party Bags
Again, in my grand plans for the party, I'd imagined stringing these Gerberas from ribbon and giving one to each guest along with their party bag. Cue, money saving tip number 2, accept that some ideas are nice in theory but totally unrealistic and unnecessary when your guests are due to arrive in 5 minutes. In actual fact, they looked just as nice in a tall vase by the fire (not sure what's going on with the random up ended log!) 

I was pleasantly surprised by a quick upcycle of a left over white storage sack I had in my stock cupboard. With a few Liberty Alphabet Stickers I turned it into the perfect place to keep any gifts that were kindly brought by guests. I can see 'personalised birthday sacks' becoming a new family tradition and maybe even a new product for the shop.
How lovely as these mini Liberty Crackers and  Betsy Party Hats! The crowns went down a treat but in all the chaos I didn't get a chance for any photos anyone wearing them. A few were left behind so no doubt we'll be sporting them at some point today.
This week when thinking about party bags, I turned to the wonderful Instagram community for some tips. I was determined not to fill the bags with little bits of plastic or yet more bottles of bubbles, so wanted a few tried and tested ideas that were just a bit different. I was amazed at the brilliant and creative suggestions that people had and gladly used a few to fill some Besty Treat Bags.

A trip to Tiger left me with a great stash of goodies including packets of seeds, birthday sunnies and some wooden beads which I used for mini bracelets. I picked up a couple of packs of Easter cookie cutters in a pound shop and popped them into a spotty treat bag. Finished off with a bit of chocolate (obviously) and a number 2 shaped iced biscuit, just in case they didn't get enough sugar AT the party. All in all, the contents cost just over a pound (don't tell the guests!)
Here's the birthday girl commanding the buffet table (ahem, bowls of fruit, pom bears and party rings). Whilst her friends took their plates into the lounge for a carpet picnic, she stood there grazing, shouting "GUYS" after people as they headed out of the kitchen. I don't think she minded being left to her own devices, with all the cake to herself!
Anwen, you are a delight to spend time with, an absolute gift to our family and an honor to Mother. You bring life to any room you're in and I can't wait to see what the next two years have in store for you. 
Happy Birthday Pops! X

Thank you to Meri Meri who kindly sent us a few items from their lovely Liberty range to help us celebrate. 

Sunday, 13 March 2016

A weekend on Allotment 2B

This weekend, thanks to the amazing Spring weather, we had two family trips down to the allotment. One good, one not so good.

Yesterday (Saturday) we loaded the car up - kids, dog, scooters, flasks, cookies, wetwipes, wellies all got thrown in, not the kids (or dog). We had some jobs we wanted to get done ready for some sowing we've got planned in the next few weeks.
We all got down to our own jobs, mine was digging over the beds (the most satisfying outdoor work out there is), Anwen's was scooter practice (there's no stopping her now) and Sam and Wilf set about filling their barrows with bark chippings to spread over the fruit cage. It was on a return trip to the mound of chippings that the unfortunate barrow incident occured. Sitting in it was good fun until Wilf tipped out sideways and landed his head on the corner of a concrete breeze block. Queue wetwipes (lots of them), cuddles and the cookies.

I'm pleased to report that we (narrowly) avoided a trip to A&E and that the prospect of his best friend's birthday party later that afternoon kept his spirits up. The accident obviously hadn't scared him off allotment life all together as a return trip was the first thing he talked about this morning. "No more sitting in the wheelbarrow, but it's OK if I have my helmet on" were the first words I heard today.

So this afternoon, we headed back and quickly resumed our roles, enjoying the last of the weekend's sun and an all round happier hour.
When we look back on last year some of our favourite times were spent down on plot 2b. Last Spring Anwen took some of her first steps there and I found solitude during a difficult time (I wrote about both of these times here). We enjoyed a fish chip date night there and in the Summer ate peas straight from the pod and welcomed Wilf's nursery class down to pick berries.

This week we've had a few trips down and enjoyed an impromptu picnic before nursery on Thursday.
It's somewhere I know we'll build life long memories with the kids, hopefully teaching them a thing or two about gardening and 'growing your own' along the way.
I'm planning to write a monthly post on here as I want to keep a written journal over the gardening year. Right now it's looking pretty bare but the ground is nearly dug over and ready to rake. We have potatoes chitting and the broad bean seedlings are doing well. Sam is the boss of the plot really so I'll rely on him to fill in bits along the way.

If you fancy following along our journey more regularly you can follow @allotment2b on Instagram. It's mainly Sam who posts (interesting and informative updates) but he's now given me access to post too (they'll be the pretty flower ones come Summer!)

He has the day off tomorrow so we're hoping for sunshine and will be back down there. Sorting the shed out with some bunting and checking on first aid supplies will be the top of my to-do list. Helping Daddy dig and finding holes to put worms in will be Wilf's.
Anwen will be scooting.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

March Easter Edit

This month's Edit is all about Easter and Springtime decorating. I love the fresh bright and pastel colours that make an appearance at this time of year and March's Edit makes no exception.

As usual, each item can be found in the little maldod shop and direct links are provided below. Oh and if you read on, you might just find an exclusive Easter early bird offer for you!
1. Easter Bunny Ears.
This pack of 8 Bunny Ears are the perfect accessory for any Easter party. I can't wait to dish them out to my two and their friends for our annual egg hunt.

2. Pastel Pinwheel Set.
Great for decorating your home or a special occasion this Spring. It's birthday season in our house at the moment and I'm not sure I can resist hanging these beauties for much longer. This set contains 6 pinwheels in 3 different sizes.

3. Carrot Rattle
This crochet carrot is a lovely tactile rattle and was a favourite of my son Wilf's when he was a baby. It's also part of our brand new Sensory Giftset which you can find here.

4. My First Easter Milestone Card
I'm a big fan of the full Milestone Card range which we stock in the shop. So I'm thrilled to be able to offer you this Easter card for FREE! [The price shown in the shop simply covers our minimum P&P cost.]

5. Easter Garland
Who doesn't love a garland?! This bunny garland featuring gold foil 'hop hop hop' wording makes the perfect finishing touch for Easter decorating. Another one I might be adding to my own personal Easter shopping basket!

We've got an Easter Egg hunt planned in my parent's beautiful garden in Pembrokeshire this year, I can't wait to include some of these lovely items in my decorating and egg hunting plans.

If you fancy stocking up on this lot (and any other Easter goodies in the shop) too, then why not take advantage of our Easter Early bird offer.

You can enjoy FREE DELIVERY on all 'Easter' orders over £20 with the code EASTEREARLYBIRD until midnight this Friday 11th March.

Shop the entire Easter range here: EASTER AT LITTLE MALDOD.

Lowri x

Monday, 7 March 2016

Home from home in Bath

You know when you discover a hidden treasure, somewhere that has a touch of luxury and style to it but yet instantly feels like home? Well, this weekend I had the pleasure of staying in such a place.
On Friday night I hopped on the train from Cardiff and headed for one of my favourite cities, Bath, along side one of my favourite friends. On the journey I had to ask her to remind me of the finer details that had been planned for the weekend. "Where are we staying again?" and "whats the plan for food tonight?" were two things I was a little hazy on. Such is the pace of life at the moment that whatever information I take in on my first read of a text/email with plans, such as those my oldest friend ('official holiday organiser extraordinaire') had laid out, is what I'll know of the days ahead.

So you can imagine my excitement when we met the rest of the girls (who'd already dropped off their bags) and they exclaimed "Oh Lowri, you're going to LOVE the apartment."

And love it I did!
The apartment was on two floors and part of an old Georgian townhouse on The Paragon, a brilliant location in the middle of town. It was booked through Airbnb and the home of a warm, welcoming lady called Rebecca (and her daughter Kitty), who clearly had an eye for beautiful interiors and the finer, luxurious details.
The huge table, made from old cheese boards, in the open plan kitchen and living space was the perfect spot for an evening of long overdue catching up and plenty of laughs. 
Chatting late into the night (after a few cocktails) meant we were so ready to head to bed when we did. I wasn't too tired to notice the french linen sheets that awaited us though.
"REAL linen" I think I exclaimed as I crawled under the feather duvet, a full night's sleep and lovely long lie in ahead of me.
The morning light on Saturday brought the main living space into it's own and the views over Bath's rooftops and beyond (which we'd missed when arriving in the dark) were simply beautiful.
We all gawped at the open shelving and I sat at breakfast, imagining having a space big enough to fit three 15 foot pieces of wood, piled high with mismatch vintage crockery.
The cookware and ingredients, cleverly hidden behind curtains, gave little clues about the fact that the owner was most certainly an accomplished cook.

The bedrooms were all painted in bold Farrow and Ball shades, which we spent the weekend trying to guess. This is London Clay in case you were wondering! 
Every colour suited the room it was in and, although I wouldn't be brave enough to attempt it in my own house, made the whole space feel like home.
The bathroom was a dream, with a beautiful freestanding bath, tiled floor, Persian rug and old armchair in the corner. The artwork on the wall and Molton Brown simply adding an extra touch of class.
This was the perfect spot for the most delightful pre-dinner bath I've had in a very long time. *Reminds herself these don't usually exist in real life but to try harder, with or without the Cava.*
On every wall there was interesting and mismatched, yet perfectly curated, collections of art. We were told on Sunday that these had been pieced together over many years. Just another reminder that it wasn't just an opulent and stylish space but a home which had character and meaning behind every feature.
Days spent with your closest friends, who you've known since school, really are days well spent but when they're spent in a place as lovely as this, they're even better.

If you'd like to find out more details of how to book this property, then pop over to Rebecca's Airbnb page here.

Have a lovely week ahead, I for one will be dreaming of that bathroom, lazy starts and butter croissants oh, and did I mention those shelves?!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Finding Breaktimes in February

If I'm honest #mythursdaybreaktimes this month have been few and far between. Every week this month, when I've woken, rubbed my eyes and tried to work out what day it is, I've been shocked that it's Thursday already. And now, suddenly it's March. Wasn't it Christmas Day, like 3 days ago?!

Such is life though and the busy pace of lives and speed at which time passes, makes taking a moment and pausing in our days all the more important.

It's almost a year since I started #mythursdaybreaktime, a project on Instagram sharing snapshot moments to represent your breaktimes. Over the time it's been running I've had such lovely comments from people saying how much they enjoy it and that it reminds them to to take time out from their day to day.

Each week I love being tagged into posts, snatching a glance at people's breaktimes (often whilst I'm rushing around, mid chaos and reminding me that a quiet sit down is just around the corner). As always this month the moments shared have been so varied.

The bold blues in this grid from last week caught my eye straight away.
@wealdblog  @daphnerosaflowers
@sarahehemsley  @theseveredgarden
It was this shot by Rachel (@dreamingofthecountry) that stole my heart though.
Everything about it is just beautiful. Captioned with the words "Walking into the sky", it just sums up the calm and peace that can be found in taking time out from the day to day. Congratulations Rachel!

Rachel wins a surprise Liberty parcel, with some goodies from the little maldod shop's brand new 'party range' (here). Please drop me a line with your details Rachel.

I'd love it if you joined in by sharing your March moments and for any Mother's reading, I hope you enjoy a whole day (as much as you can!) of breaks, treats and general Mama love this Sunday!

Have a wonderful month ahead. x