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Felt ball bunting from Creative Tuesday

Shortly after Cora was born, a long time internet friend of mine Janine* of Made for Me Studio sent Cora the most adorable felt ball bunting all the way from New Zealand. It was made by Janine's talented friend Lesley of Creative Tuesday, who makes a range of sweet decor for nurseries and children's rooms. Sweet features from prints to mobiles to wall decals and of course, felt bunting ... 




When we first got Janine's sweet gift, I tried hanging the felt ball bunting in a few places across Cora's bedroom, but as there's only one wall to hang it on which is already quite full, it didn't stand out as much as I would like. I took my time and thought about where else the bunting would look best. I then realised the best [and now most obvious] place was to hang it on the mahogany mirror in our hallway. It's the centre of our apartment and so many times a day we hold Cora at the mirror and have fun giggling, making funny faces or waving to each other. Cora really loves the bunting and often grabs it, but it's so long that we're able to rescue it safely from her tiny grip fairly easily and with no damage done. 



What I love the most about our Cora's new bunting is it's decor that can be easily moved around our apartment and when we eventually move, it will be something we can hang anywhere. Plus, it brings some fun and whimsy to the rest of our apartment so all the cute isn't just in Cora's room.

Thank you again, Janine. It is the sweetest xx

*Janine and I have been internet friends since 2011. One of my earliest memories of Janine's kindness was when I got two wisdom teeth pulled and  we shared messages as I recovered. Over the years we talked about so many things and across all the changes that happened in those 6 [!!!] years. Janine even offered for Robert and I to stay with her and her husband Mike [must not forget their fur baby Smooch] when we were thinking of going to New Zealand for our honeymoon [we unfortunately didn't end up as flights that long scare me, but it's somewhere I've always wanted to go]. 

My HomeSense Ireland launch haul



This morning we had good light and I had a few minutes to myself so I took pictures of my HomeSense haul I picked up on Wednesday night.

As mentioned in yesterday's blog post, I didn't realise I got a gift card to spend in store at the launch until almost an hour into my visit. It was a happy surprise and because I'd already been around the shop twice, I had a few [massive understatement] pieces in mind that I wouldn't have had a problem bringing home. And here they are ...

[Above photo] DECORATIVE MAGNIFYING GLASS, €9.99 AT HOMESENSE
I've always wanted a magnifying glass for our coffee table, but it was one of those things I never ended up actually getting. I saw this one at the launch on Wednesday and it was the first thing in my trolley. The first of many. 



ROSE GOLD BOTTLE HOLDER, €8.99 AT HOMESENSE
HomeSense have an actual rose gold section in the kitchen area. I saw this wine bottle holder and picked it up because Robert and I spend a lot of time at home, so if we do have a glass of something, this will make us feel fancier. Even if we're in our PJ's on the couch watching Better Call Saul. 

[That bottle of wine is a screw cap. I put the cork on the table in an attempt to look sophisticated. Full disclosure].


WINTER GREEN THROW PILLOW WITH POM POMS, €16.99 AT HOMESENSE
Of HomeSense's pillow aisles [yes, aisles as in plural], I kept going back to this dark green pillow. It's my favourite deep green [just like our footstool] and in the softest fabric. I wasn't sure about the bright green pom poms, but there are tiny hints of bright green in our living room [like on one of my iBride trays], so I went for it and I'm surprised with how much I like such a bright colour on our couch.


BLACK VANILLA VEGETABLE WAX CANDLE, €8.99 AT HOMESENSE
There's a black candle section in HomeSense. I stood there for about 10 minutes looking at all the black candles and eventually decided on this black vanilla candle. It smells like heaven. I'm a sucker for a pretty candle.  

I got 2 more pieces in my HomeSense haul; something for Robert ahead of Father's Day and something for my mom, but didn't want to share them in case they see them here. 

Thank you again to the lovely Kate and Kayla and HomeSense for the invitation to the launch and for the generous gift card! It worked. I'll be back.  

DISCLOSURE - while this blog post is not sponsored, I did receive a gift card to the amount of €50 free of charge to spend at the HomeSense launch. As always, all words and opinions are my own. I only work with companies I like and of course, think that you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Interior DIYer.

HomeSense Ireland launch at the Blanchardstown Centre

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited along to have a sneak peek at the new HomeSense store in the Blanchardstown Centre ahead of its grand opening today. For those who may not know [I was one of them and asked this very question last night], HomeSense a sister company to TK Maxx and is essentially TK Maxx's home department, except times a thousand. I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived shortly after 19:00 last night, but all I'll say is I was one of the last to leave when the sneak peek event closed at 21:00. 

I walked around its 2 storeys at least 3 times, touching things and taking pictures and clumsily Instagram story-ing as I went. These are a few pictures of what gave me heart-eye emojis in store last night, but to see a lot more, I'd strongly suggest checking out the #HomeSenseIreland hashtag on Twitter, or go directly to the source and see it for yourself in store as and from today! 







There was so. Much. And so much of it left me feeling like we need to magically have our own home to redecorate as so many of the pieces gave me so many great ideas. The range of styles and design across the store was impressive to say the least.  You could easily shop for every room in your home and it wouldn't look like you got it all from one store.



It wasn't until about 45 minutes into my visit last night that I realised I had a gift card to spend in store [I was handed an envelope when I first arrived, and you can blame my parents for raising me the way that they did, but I didn't rip open the envelope then and there ๐Ÿ˜… It was a happy surprise!]. That's when I went around the shop again and picked up some of the pieces I had been eyeing-up. All of which I've already set up around our apartment and I'll be taking proper pictures of them [once the sun reappears!] and blogging all about them as soon as possible. 







Faux taxidermy from Felt Fauna by AC


We were to get good weather last Friday, so my brother and I planned to go with Cora to the Bloom in the Park festival. I had never been before this year, so I was curious to see what all the hype was about.   

It did not disappoint and we were surprised by how big the festival was. We had a great time eating too much food and wandering for hours. At one point, we walked into the craft village and that's when I saw from afar, Ali's stall. Felt Fauna by AC. When I saw her creatures I immediately headed straight for her stall while making a deeply unflattering sound, in a very Brick Tamland manner. 




Ali's corner stall was filled with the most adorable and magical little felt creatures. From baboons to lions to tigers and bears, and all were made through needle felting techniques. The detail, realness and comical cuteness Ali put into each piece kept me jumping from one to another. There was no way I was going home without a little felt friend for Cora's wall, but as I said to Ali, I had to walk around the festival to help me decide which one as they were all way too damn cute.



I came back an hour later, looked around her stall another 4 times, decided on a lovely grey elephant with a gold crown but at the last minute I changed my mind and brought home a cheeky little pink piglet [whose party hat I was able to swap with the elephant's gold crown]. The little piglet had such a cute expression on their face that I just couldn't resist. Plus, a little pink face would look so much better against Cora's Pantone 'Lunar Rock' walls [and happily matched our Bill Murray framed print too]. 



I hung up little piglet [name TBC] the next morning and I could not be happier with his / her cheeky little grin smiling down on Cora when she's in her crib. I mean, look at the little twinkle in their eye. Ali's attention to detail is insane. She creates so many different types of creatures as well as does custom orders, I doubt this will be the only piece of hers we own. I'm just so glad I didn't leave Bloom without our new felted friend.

My five favourite secondhand pieces

For me, there's something so exciting about finding just the right piece in a secondhand shop vs. looking in a catalogue or branded store. Maybe it's because you're finding one-of-a-kind pieces? Or because you have to work so much harder to find something. Or, I find, sometimes secondhand pieces have so much more character. 

There are a handful of secondhand pieces we own that every time I look at I think to myself, I'm so glad I found you // brought you home // loved you like a James Blunt song. So on this lazy and very sunny Friday, I thought I'd share the pieces I'm eternally glad I found ...



1. BAR CART, €10 from Debra Ireland charity shop
It wasn't even for sale the day I went into Debra Ireland charity shop and asked about our bar cart. I love our bar cart. I'm not a particularly outgoing person when it comes to people I don't know or potentially awkward situations, so asking about buying our bar cart was a big deal at the time. Nowadays I think to myself, what would be worse? Doing something and it being a little awkward for 5 minutes, or not doing that thing and regretting it forever? I'm going for the former more and more these days. If you'd like, you can see my original bar cart blog post here

.2. MOZART BUST, €15 from Second Abbey 
He wears a less these days as I find I don't wear necklaces very often anymore, but my Mozart bust is still one of my favourite pieces in our bedroom. Mozart was also my very first Instagram! If you'd like to see what Mozart looked like before and his little story, check it out here.


3. STOKKE SLEEPI CRIB, €200 on adverts.ie
I know going by the price we paid, it doesn't seem like we got a good deal. But considering these cribs cost 4-figures brand new, can transform and last for 10+ years and is just straight up a beautiful crib, it was an investment we were happy to make. If you'd like to know more, you can read about our Stokke crib's longevity here

p.s. Cora knows a good deal when she sees it.

4. BEDSIDE TABLES, €16 for the pair on adverts.ie
They were such cheap and rickety bedside tables, but when I took the drawers apart to repaint them, I found they had been put together wrong. A few coats of paint, some faux marble painting on the top and some new handles, I still love our bedside tables. And the paint has held up perfectly even since. You can see their transformation here


5. CURIO CABINET, €20 from Mac's Warehouse 
My curio cabinet was gifted to me by my parents for my 30th birthdayafter they asked and I hinted towards what I'd like. I love my cabinet, but ... I've never really filled it. Welp + guilt. I've tried styling a few things in it, but nothing looks right. I think only a collection of one type of thing will work. I have a healthy collection of feathers and I'd love to display them, but I don't know how. Tape them up? Put them in little jars? I'm really useless and get stuck with the silliest design problems.  
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