Tuesday, 30 April 2013

{Mocka Kids Tree Hanger} Review & Giveaway!

We’ve been big fans of mocka.co.nz in our house for some time now. Mocka  are specialists in gorgeous yet affordable kid’s furniture (plus much, much more); and if you haven’t heard of them already you really should check them out!

Over the last few years we’ve bought:  the designer high chair (such a great price and seriously easy to clean), 2 kids relax armchairs (our kids love their little chairs) and a mocka balance bike (we accidently ordered the wrong size and the good people at mocka were happy enough to exchange this for us no questions asked.) Each time we’ve been delighted by the great designs, awesome quality, affordable prices (annnnd the FREE DELIVERY) as well as the superb service!

And now the lovely people at mocka have sent me one of these amazing Kids Tree Hangers to review and another for me to GIVEAWAY to you! So naturally I love mocka even more now! (See the end of the post to see how you can win your own!)


Because Noah and Isabelle share a room  I choose a white tree so it would be unisex. The tree arrived very speedily and was flat packed, but was super easy to assemble – the 2 pieces just slotted together and then are held together by a couple of screws. It took about 10 minutes max for me to put together (plus the kids thought I was a super awesome DIY/ handy-Mum, so that was a bonus!) It is also extremely sturdy – trust me this thing has endured 2 pre-schoolers basically loading it up with absolutely every item they could find!

I’ve found in terms of functionality it’s been brilliant. It is so handy for the kids back packs to now have a proper home and to have places for the kids hats and coats (and because they can still reach these items it encourages independence and teaches them good habits about tidying up after themselves.) No more mess on the floor! Yussss!

It would also be great to have one of these to store the kid’s dress ups (I may have to get another) and I’m also thinking that when Christmas rolls around again I may give the kids some decorations and tinsel and let them decorate it as their very own mini Christmas tree! Plus, now I really want to get an adult tree hanger for meee! (I never have a good place to hang my winter coat, bags and collection of scarves!)

So do want to know how you can win your own kids tree hanger (valued at NZ$49.95)?

1) Visit mocka.co.nz and comment back here with which colour hanger you would pick if you were lucky enough to win. (The colour choice of the winning tree is of course subject to availability at the time the prize is drawn.)

You can also earn bonus entries as follows:

2) Like Mocka on Facebook, or follow them on either Twitter or Pinterest

3) Follow Mend and Make New (either through GFC/ Bloglovin'/ Facebook)

4) Share this giveaway post on your choice of social media (FB/ twitter/ blog)

[The T’s & C’s: Please leave separate comments per entry and include your email address if it’s not linked in your profile. The winner will be drawn 2 weeks from today (15/5/13) at 8pm (via random.org) and mocka.co.nz will send out the prize. This giveaway is open to NZ residents only and if the winner can not be reached after 1 week a new winner will be drawn.]

Good luck all!

Thanks again to the wonderful people at mocka for providing this opportunity!

Jen x

Monday, 29 April 2013

A Bubble Skirt for Isabelle

As I mentioned in my last post, although I haven’t officially joined in with Kid's Clothing Week this time round – I did end up doing a spot of sewing for my kids over the last couple of days.

The last thing I made was this bubble skirt for Isabelle. I used this awesome bubble skirt tutorial by An of Straightgrain. I discovered Straightgrain a while back and have fallen in love with it and Belgium style in general. (You may remember me raving about it here.)


[Isabelle wears: Bubble Skirt made by me, cardi from Cotton-on kids, scarf from Weebits, tights from pumpkin patch, boots: Livie and Luca via Baby Vintage]

Do you recognise the fabric I used? The gorgeous poppies fabric is genuine Liberty of London fabric that I received from Clare of Green Valley Crafts as part of scrap bag swap. I decided to go patterned on patterned with contrasting fabric for the waistband (also received in the swap), and I used some blue and white seersucker for the lining that I had in my stash.

I love this skirt. It was simple easy to make, although I was a bit lazy with my ruffles.But I don’t think you can really tell … especially when your dazzled by Isabelle’s beauty… am I right?


The photo above is a bit random – but I couldn’t resist sharing with you that I just used up this reel of 1000m of white thread ; that’s 1km people! I purchased this reel just before the last KCW, so about 6 months ago.  Can you understand why I’m just a bit proud of this achievement?

Joining in with my creative spaceShow and Tell , make it wear it and WKWW later in the week.

And ..

(Well, kinda)


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Kinda, sorta joining in with KCW: PJ pants

This last week has been the Kid's clothing week challenge (a seasonal challenge where you sew for your kids at least one hour per day.) I’ve joined in two times before, and really pushed myself last time; but I’ve been pretty busy this week (not the least with being 39 weeks pregnant) so I decided to take it easy this time round, not commit to anything and sew if I had a bit of energy and time.

However the whole week I’ve found myself really missing it. Missing not so much the sewing, but the whole KCW community involvement – joining in with flickr pool and browsing to see all the other marvellous things everyone else has made.

Anyway when I heard that Toni-Maree from SewJereli was calling for pattern testers for her PJ pants pattern, I took it as a sign, fate maybe and I leapt at the chance. Besides, as much as I’ve enjoyed sewing baby nursery decorations (including that never-ending quilt) I have to admit that I’ve really been missing sewing clothing for my kids.

It was good getting back into it!


Toni-Maree's pattern is great. I tested the size 2 years for Isabelle’s pants and size 4 for Noah’s. Both my kids are quite small for their age (Noah is 4.5years and Isabelle 2.5) and when I buy or sew for them I often pick these sizes expecting there to be a bit of room for growth (and I often need to turn the cuffs over), so I’d say the fit is bang on.

They were super simple and easy to sew up and I definitely be using this pattern again! Thanks for the opportunity to test it, Toni!

Today is the last day of sewing and I’ve started working on a bubble skirt for Isabelle out of some gorgeous Liberty of London fabric – I hope to finish it tonight, or maybe tomorrow – I’ll see how I go.


Sorta, kinda joining in with …

Jen x

Thursday, 25 April 2013


They’re a bit a late this week but here are my portrait project photos from last week.


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Isabelle: In her happy place with Auntie Tash painting her toe nails

Noah: In his happy place – a suit and a fluffy. (Btw this is not his everyday attire, it was a Sunday and this was what her wore for church.)

(Sorry no bump pics this week, I just didn’t get round to it. Please be assured that it is suitable huge! I’m 39 weeks today!)

Joining in over here

To see more of my weekly portraits go here.

Jenny x

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

My baby shower (before and after pics)

On Saturday I had a baby shower thrown for me by my friend Marie and sister-in-law Natasha. I forgot to take photos during the party (I guess I was having too much fun enjoying everyone’s company) but I did manage to take some before and after – so mainly just of food, decorations and presents!


We made a whole lot of these carrot cupcakes and they were pretty delicious, but I may have indulged in a little too much of the  left over cream cheese icing before hand!


These tasty morsels were made by my husband – his specialty (and they were a big hit!)


I received some lovely gifts including some handmade ones – like the gorgeous bibs above made by my friend, Kate and some awesome slings made by another friend, Tamara.

We played a couple of games and my guests were invited to write funny or encouraging things on some newborn nappies. Apparently I have to save these for the middle of the night when I need a reason to smile. Here are a few of my favourites …


All in all a lovely time was had celebrating with friends and family.

Jen x

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Finished : The baby’s quilt

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’re probably sick of me going on and on about the quilt that I’ve been making for our baby that is due in now (less than) 2 weeks!

After all, I have been making it and going on about for some time now! (I first blogged about it here – way back in October last year.)

Well I’m glad to say that this labour of love is now finished, and just in time for it’s intended recipient (assuming that is that I don’t go waaaay overdue!)

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I really enjoyed having a slow burn project going while pregnant. In a lot of ways making a quilt is a bit like growing a baby – It takes a long time, very gradually gets bigger and although sometimes it seems never-ending and you just wish it was finished; the process is really enjoyable, not to mention that the end result is so worth it.

I also found my time sewing it great bonding time with the baby too. I was sewing love into every one of those little hand stitches! Did you know that there are 192 hexagons there! 192! Like I said, I’m glad I’ve finished now!


Is it just me or is the back of the quilt top is strangely beautiful?


I quilted it along the rows along the hexagon joins and also following the chevron pattern on the borders at the top and bottom – that involved a lot of pivoting!

And for other details that you may want to know …

I bought the fabrics for the quilt top from The Raspberry Creek Etsy Shop (designed by Riley Blake), the binding and batting (bamboo/ cotton) is from Spotlight and I just used a plain old white sheet for the backing. It is standard cot size.

OK – I’m ready to have this baby now!

Joining in with my creative space and Show and Tell later in the week.

Jen x

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Instead of blogging I’ve been* …

… preparing for a baby shower…

IMG_8587pretty thingsstraws

… nesting (again)

baby nookIMG_8585

My baby nook is really coming together, with the hammock and stand up and hot air balloon mobile now in place. (Note also: crepe paper ‘decoration’ by Noah hanging between the hammock stand and change table in the bottom pic.)

… Trying to finish this (I’m currently in the  quilting stage!)


… eating this (I blame Nigella)…


… trying to entertain these guys…


(And before you give me the Mum of the year award because my kids are looking all artsy-craftsy in these pics, you first should know that I’ve been wondering all day why oh why we cancelled our Sky TV and 24 kids channel right before the birth of #3! I miss you Disney Junior!)

… And growing this…


Jen x

Joining in with the weekly stills collection over at The Beetle Shack

* It’s hardly been much of a blog break – just less frequent blogging I guess

Sunday, 14 April 2013



A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Isabelle: (877 days) Cuddling her ‘favourite blankie’ – which at the time of these photos was in fact wet and about to be hung on the line (hampered somewhat by her lying on top of it and the rest of the basket of washing.) She has recently formed a very strong attachment to this blanket and wants to take it everywhere.

Noah: (1583 weeks) Giving me and the baby a check up. After confirming that we both had strong heartbeats, he pulled out his toy chain saw. When I asked him what it was for he said he had to “cut the baby out [of me] …that’s what doctors do… and then the baby walks out.” (He finished his explanation with a finger walking gesture.) … Well I guess he was listening when I explained that he was delivered by c-section!”

Bump: (37 weeks, 2 days) The subject of Dr Noah’s check up. (Also while it may not look it, I can assure you that I am not pantless in this picture – see the hint of blue shorts on the left, it’s just difficult to see over the belly at the moment!)

Joining in over here

In other matters: I apologise for my less frequent blogging of late, I’ve been a little pre-occupied (and a tad tired)… I hope to explain some of the reasons for my absence some time this week).

Jenny x

Monday, 8 April 2013

{Cherry Top Rewards: Success Chart} Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Ange of Tall, Short and Tiny who is the lucky winner of  my Cherry Top Rewards Giveaway.

Ange (comment #1) said: “This is such a cool idea! We are in the midst of potty training, so I would definitely use it for encouraging my biggest boy there.”

I will email you shortly to get your postal address and arrange delivery of your prize. (The prize is a lovely Success Chart from Cherry Top Rewards and a little mystery prize from me!)

Congrats Ange and thanks so much again to Krystal of Cherry Top Rewards.

To get your hands on your very own Success Chart see the Cherry Top Rewards Facebook page.

And to see my review of this awesome product, go here.

Jenny x

P.S. Just while we’re on the topic of giveaways, the Little Old Nags giveaway is so far unclaimed. Deirdre if you’re reading this PLEASE email me at noahandisy(at)gmail(dot)com. If that prize remains unclaimed by Sunday this week I will have to redraw.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Perfectly Captured

My brother-in-law, Nathan visited from Wellington a few weeks ago because he was up doing  a photo shoot with some lovely friends of ours. You may remember me mentioning him here before when he took these photos (and these) for Toby and Tash’s wedding. Nathan recently set up his own photography business, Dodge + Burn Limited -  specialising in wedding and family photography and film.

While he was here Nathan snapped off a few shots of our kids in our backyard and round the house. I just love how he captured their personalities in these photos – no props, amazing scenery or posing, just our kids in their natural habitat, food covered faces, messy hair and all.

See for yourself!

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(By the way that break dancing move in the last photo is referred to as 'show time' .)

You can see why I need to buy a whole lot more photo frames now!

If you are wanting some truly amazing photos taken for a wedding, family photo shoot or something else – I totally recommend Dodge + Burn Limited. A family and portrait package starts at just NZD$300 for up to 2 hours shooting time and Weddings are just as reasonably priced. (See Dodge + Burn's website for more details.)

Also – check this out, Toby and Tash’s wedding was recently the featured wedding of the week on Stuff, featuring Nathan’s amazing photos.

Jen x