When I was a child, and I had been especially pleasant or sweet, my mother would refer to me as 'Mon Petit Chou Fleur'. I used to think that it must mean something abolsutely adorable. It turns out it actually means 'my little cauliflower'. 

Now I have two little cauliflowers of my own, who I'll refer to as Clementine and Bean. This blog hopes to capture a slice of their childhood, whilst also providing something useful for other parents.

Transforming a Shared Bedroom with Chocovenyl Wall Stickers

Transforming a Shared Bedroom with Chocovenyl Wall Stickers

If I were to write you a list of all of the wonderful reasons to live in Brighton, it would be a pretty long document. Alas, affordable housing would not make it onto that list. It wouldn't even make it into the same building as that list. The list wouldn't be able to afford to live in that building, in that town, and would probably be alone and cold somewhere near the more affordable Worthing.

When I met Sam, he was the first person close to my age that I'd met who'd successfully managed to get onto the property ladder, and I couldn't believe how nice his house was. Sure it didn't have a garden, and the living room had been painted the most awful shade of insipid baby blue by the previous occupants- but it was a great period terrace in a fantastic location. However, there are only two bedrooms. A slightly problem when there are already three of you, and one on the way.

 Of course we'd always planned for Bean to be in our room for at least the first six months, as recommended by the WHO and NHS, but until the loft is converted (a process, which by the way has already taken us 20 months, and we've only just this week got to the 'submit planning permission' stage...)  we actually don't have any choice but to room share with the rapidly growing baby!

Our other bedroom belongs to my stepdaughter Clementine, and she's actually said multiple times that she wouldn't mind sharing with her baby brother- but that's because she's the nicest kid in the world, and has no idea how annoying having a baby in her tiny room messing up her stuff would be! So how did we go about fulfilling my urgent need to nest, and create a nursery for my impending baby, when the only rooms were ours, and Clementine's? We turned half of the room into a nursery, painting half of it white to make a baby-blank-canvas to work on- and that's where Chocovenyl came in.

I came across Chocovenyl on 'Not on the High Street' and totally fell in love with their stuff. I knew fairly early on that I wanted some kind of wall decal/sticker to make a big feature on the long wall where Bean's cot would eventually go, but I wasn't exactly sure what the theme would be or what I wanted. As soon as I saw their birch tree sticker I was totally sold. 

I won't lie, whilst applying the leaves individually was actually pretty entertaining (Clementine and I did that bit, and she had loads of fun!)- sticking the actual tree bit on was not my idea of a good time. We went for the larger size one, which is genuinely the size of a real tree, and came in several separate parts of trunk, and many separate branches. In short, there's a lot of margin for error removing multiple massive sticky things from a sheet, applying them to your wall, and hoping that they'll match up, particularly if you're in pregnancy-perfectionism mode. On the Richter-scale of DIY I'd put it at about a 6- below assembling an IKEA flatpack cot by yourself (maybe I'll post about that another time...), and above putting up shelves which you know full-well are still wet from being painted.

We did finally manage though, and there was only one brief period of crying me, a handful of swear words from Sam, and one short burst of tears from our little girl, who desperately wanted to help us but ended up tangled in an adhesive twig. I think that's just the price you've got to pay for wanting something beautiful on your wall and having inferior artistic skills though.  

I can't tell you how much I love the finished result. It makes me feel like I'm living in a treehouse. We also bought a couple of framed prints from Chocovenyl too to complete the woodland sort of theme. (We put them up on the chimney breast wall eventually- we didn't force Clementine to hold one of them forever...)

Here's how the room looks now, with Bean's 'big boy' cot assembled, and the rest of 'his part' of the room decorated. We used the top of the chest of drawers as a changing table when he was smaller, but he's so long now that it's become a good place to keep lots of his clobber.

Another thing that's great about this Chocovenyl tree is that it's part of a set that you can just keep expanding- there are so many other stick on animals that you can buy to develop your woodland scene. You can also buy a lot of these in frames like the deer and bunny rabbit that we have. You can actually even buy yellow leaves to change your tree with the seasons. I look forward to getting 'stuck in' to more of these at a later date. I have my eye on an exceptionally cute looking baby bear.

You can buy your own wall stickers from Chocovenyl from Not on the High Street: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/chocovenyl

 Or from their site: http://www.chocovenyl.co.uk/default.asp

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Things you never knew you never knew

Eight Months

Eight Months