Ikea Duktig Kitchen Make-over: Part 2.

Tiny’s kitchen is finished! Sort of. I’m still looking for some more accessories like bowls and a tea towel but the worst is over. And I mean that literally. I thought this was going to be easy but there were a lot of tears and much swearing at Pinterest.

Hubby and I divided the tasks between us. He did the building, measuring and drilling. I did the buying, the accessorising, and the spray painting. I also put in the batteries. We make a great team.

The Spray Painting.

I decided to start with this and then put the whole thing together. I spray painted the feet, the tap and sink, the handles and the surround for the hob. I didn’t spray paint the hanging rail as I thought the paint would chip really easily with the hanging hooks.
Honestly, the spray painting was a bit of a nightmare. First of all we don’t have a garage so I had to wait for a dry, windless day before I could even start this. I would recommend being super organised and doing a kitchen makeover in the summer rather than in November if you don’t have somewhere sheltered you can do it in.

I bought a white primer from Amazon and gave everything two coats. I really hoped that this would help even out the surfaces and make the copper spray paint adhere better. It didn’t – but this was probably because I was doing it outside and had to keep moving everything if there was a threat of rain. If you don’t have to move pieces and can leave them for 24 hours the spray paint might be more hardwearing.

After the primer I spray painted everything Copper with a spray paint I bought in Lidl. I absolutely love this colour. It looked great and the lights reflects off it beautifully. This took 3 or 4 coats to get the type of coverage I wanted which was a nightmare. I also found it chipped quite easily but again this is probably because I had to keep moving it and couldn’t leave it to dry for long enough outside.

I stuck the handles and tap in homemade playdough to make spray painting easier which worked quite well.

The worst bit to spray paint was the hob. I had decided to pop the hob out of its frame which seemed like a genius idea at the time…until I had to pop it back in. This totally scratched all around the frame and I had to masking tape the edges and spray paint it again. It’s still not perfect. There was much cussing and exasperation.

I had to keep reminding myself that I’m decorating a child’s kitchen for a toddler and not creating a Pinterest project or a work of art but every imperfection is still driving me crazy.

Eventually I moved everything into the dining room like a ninja and put the dehumidifier on to fully dry it.

The Construction.

I mostly drank tea and watched whilst Hubby put the kitchen together. It was typical Ikea. All very straightforward and easy. I did add three lights which I purchased on Amazon– two above the counter and one in the microwave. I’m contemplating buying some more for the oven but I still haven’t made up my mind. They take three AAA batteries each so I’m hoping they last for ages!

I hadn’t realised that the kitchen didn’t come with a splashback so hubby and I got a bit of a surprise when we got to this part of the construction…

The Modern Little People Decals.

I was really excited about the decals. Because dinosaurs! They were also central to our rainbow dinosaur theme. I decided not to paint anything other than the metallic bits because I thought the decals brought enough colour by themselves. I’m so glad that I made this decision as the spray painting was such a nightmare. If you don’t have the time for spray painting I think the kitchen would still look amazing without any paint at all as the decals really make it stand out, and they can be easily accessorised.

It was relatively easy to get the smaller decals on the shelves but we did find the larger decals trickier. We’re both perfectionists so we had to make sure there were no bubbles or creases and this took several attempts.

The kitchen doesn’t come with a splashback so if you want one you have to get even more creative. Our dino splashback is currently attached to a piece of cardboard but we’re working on something more permanent. We really like the idea of being able to turn the kitchen around and use it as a shop front so hubby is planning to put some plywood/stronger cardboard on hinges to create an awning that can be propped up.

The Finished Product!

I’m really happy with how it looks. I think Tiny is going to be so excited when she sees it sitting in the living room on Christmas morning. It’s not quite finished…we’re going to Ikea in a couple of weeks to get a few more bits and pieces and I need to crochet a dishcloth and find a matching tea towel. I’d really like a fake plant too!

I love the lighting above the counter.

Our next project is a makeover on an Ikea Latt table and chairs! 


Review: Mess Around Spooktacular Box

As you know I’m a massive fan of Halloween so when I heard about the first Mess Around Box being Halloween themed there was no way that I could resist. It arrived towards the end of half term and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. I’d been looking forward to it for a while since I subscribed in September for £14.99 a month (I got an early bird deal…the normal price is £16.99)!

I love the idea of getting craft goodies in the post and I was excited about some Halloween activities that I didn’t have to think too hard about to keep Tiny busy.

The Spooktacular Box was crammed full of goodies:

  • Cardboard box with a design which can be coloured from both ends
  • Slime Play
  • LOTS of Googly Eyes
  • Four different colours of playdough
  • Halloween stickers
  • Pipe Cleaners/coloured matchsticks
  • Frightening Spiders web complete with spiders
  • Palette of 28 water colours
  • Crazy Soap Body Paint
  • Crazy Soap Colour Changing Bubble Bath
  • Johnson’s Baby soap
  • Jumbo glue stick
  • Black card
  • Mess Play certificates
  • Monkey finger puppets
  • Ziplock bag
  • Balloon on a stick!
  • Lots of purple packing material

    It all arrived in a sturdy cardboard box which can be coloured in from both ends which is handy if you have more than one child. Nothing is wasted as the box can be used to make a Castlevania/Halloween scene and all the packing materials could be reused. I hope this will be true of future boxes as well.

    I loved the Slime as I’d been wanting to make slime for ages but hadn’t been able to find a recipe on Pinterest that was simple enough, or that I had easy access to the ingredients for. Literally all you have to do is measure out some granules and add warm water. It took me two attempts to get it a right as I added too much water the first time. The goo can also be stored in a sealed container if you want to use it again. The box also comes with a ziplock bag to make a “Bag of Horror” with the goo and eye balls or any other Halloween nasties you have lying around. This will be fun for car journeys/long walks as long as you seal the bag carefully to avoid accidents! There’s enough granules to make plenty of goo so I’m planning to make Christmas slime too.

    We really enjoyed making the ghostly footprints. We managed to squeeze all 3 of our feet on the piece of card supplied and it looked really cute. Using some other card we made more feet and hand prints to give to the grandparents. I think this will be a Halloween tradition every year so we can watch Tiny’s feet and hands grow. As I wasn’t looking at the instructions I did the “ghost feet” upside down but I think they look great either way.

    Tiny absolutely loved the Crazy Soap. We haven’t had a bath without blue paint yet! As soon as she gets into the bath she points at her tummy and says “bloo!”. The colour change bubble bath was also a big hit.

    One of the things I like about the box is that it isn’t just full of one use wonders. The paint, playdough, glue, googly eyes, spiders web, Crazy Soap and slime can be used again for lots more crafting fun. I even used the spiders web as part of our Halloween decorations!

    My only complaint is the online instructions. I would have preferred a hard copy of instructions so that I didn’t need to have my phone or computer nearby. It would also be nice to have a checklist so you could cross off the activities as you do them.

    I’m definitely going to try the Dinosaur Detectives box and probably the Christmas one but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to justify it after that as Tiny, at 21 months, isn’t quite old enough to get the full benefit.

    17 Things I can actually remember about Labour and Birth.

    This was meant to be an A to Z guide to labour and birth but as I started to write it I realised that my brain had already started the process of making everything a bit blurry and I couldn’t actually remember 26 things about so this is what has stuck with me.

    1. Best laid birth plans. I think the only part of my birth plan that actually happened was listening to Bruce Springsteen and Meatloaf during labour. My birth plan was ridiculously optimistic. It should have just read “Give me all the drugs.”
    2. C Section. I had an emergency c-section because Tiny just didn’t want to come out. I was terrified of this eventuality because of all the bad press (thanks Google and roleplaying it in NCT classes…) but actually it was fine, and such a relief at the end. If we decide to have another I’d definitely opt for an elective c-section rather than go through labour again.
    3. Epidural. Yes, please. Why didn’t someone offer me this hours ago? Oh yes…my stupid birth plan.
    4. Food. Everyone says bring healthy snacks like nuts and cereal bars. Whatever. If I’m going to bring a baby into the world I need more than granola. Unfortunately I didn’t feel like eating until after I’d had the epidural and then I wasn’t allowed. I really enjoyed all the chocolate and Pringles in between hospital meals though. I think it’s most important to bring things that you love (Wispas…)
    5. Gas and Air. Those first few blissful sucks were the first time in days (48 hours…felt like a week) that I didn’t feel horrendous. However, once I was induced and the contractions really kicked in it didn’t do shit.
    6. Vitamin K. So all babies need Vitamin K either orally or by injection after they are born. We had agreed to give it to Tiny orally so that an injection wasn’t one of her first experiences of life but essentially my bossy midwife “convinced” us this was a silly idea and the injection was the better way forward…I am totally fine with that decision. I don’t think Tiny will hold it against us.
    7. Meconium. This is the earliest type of baby poo. It normally stays in the bowel until after birth but can be expelled during labour and birth and may suggest that baby is distressed. I was really paranoid about this and I kept asking hubby to check…he got all the glamourous jobs.
    8. Orange is the New Black. We started watching this is the early stages of labour and the theme tune still gives me PTSD.
    9. Mucus Plug. Just yuck.
    10. My C-section stitches still weren’t healed 6 months later. I wish the incision had been just a little higher. Seriously, who cares if it’s more hidden? Male surgeons, that’s who.
    11. The night is dark and full of terrors. I really hated being alone on the ward after Tiny was born. After the surgery hubby was sent home about 3am and I was left in bed unable to sit up without help. Every time Tiny cried I was supposed to ring the bell and a nurse would come and pass her to me. By the second night (once I’d had the catheter removed) I gave up pressing the bell because of the varied response times and the different attitudes of the nurses. I struggled out of bed myself making my wound sorer. It was a miserable couple of nights and I’m sure it contributed to my struggle to breastfeed as we decided to give Tiny formula rather than stay in another night and work on breastfeeding. I didn’t need a nurse, all I needed was my husband to pass me Tiny when she cried. We’ve since found out that Dads are now allowed to sleep on the ward. Argh.
    12. Flight socks. I had to wear some horrible, itchy flight socks after the surgery.  I was supposed to keep them on as long as possible…this turned out to be about a day as they were unbearable.
    13. The temperature. It was beyond tropical on the ward. They insisted that Tiny was wrapped up like a burrito whereas I couldn’t stand more than one layer. 20160217_061510.jpg
    14. Yoga ball. I bounced on that thing endlessly. I don’t think it made the slightest bit of difference to encouraging Tiny to make an appearance. It might have helped get her head down but who knows? We carried it to the hospital the first time and then didn’t bother on the subsequent two visits.
    15. Hospital food. We still find it amusing that hubby wasn’t even offered a cup of tea never mind a meal so we shared them all in between him leaving for sandwiches and supplies. The food was surprisingly tasty. I think my favourite was the mac and cheese. 20160217_123931.jpg
    16. Cannulas. What fresh hell are these? They were forever getting pumped full of stuff, or getting in the way or getting pulled out and dangled in things.
    17. Of course it was all worth it to hear those first wobbly baby cries and to finally get to hold that Tiny pink package that I’d been so desperate to meet for so long.



    Ikea Duktig Kitchen Make-over: Part 1.

    So it’s November already and we’ve been umming and ahhing over what to get Tiny for Christmas for a while now. This dilemma has not been helped by the fact that it’s her birthday in February and the Grandparents want us to pick presents from them too. One set of Grandparents are buying her a wooden playhouse for the garden so no doubt giving that a make-over will be another post…

    Eventually we decided to get Tiny a kitchen. She always enjoys playing with them at baby groups and she’s really getting into roleplay and having tea parties. She also loves helping me to decorate cakes and roll pastry. I think her kitchen will eventually live in our kitchen so hopefully this will be something she’ll enjoy playing with when I’m making her dinner too.

    We were given a hand-me-down Disney kitchen but it’s really past its best not to mention the fact that it utters delightful phrases straight out of the patriarchy handbook such “Would you like to help Snow White make dinner for the seven dwarves?” No, no she wouldn’t.

    Once we’d decided on a kitchen we then had to decide where to buy one from. Ikea seemed the most logical decision. What’s not to love about the Ikea Duktig?

    It’s really well priced at £59. It has a sink, a hob that lights up, two cupboards (or a cupboard and an oven depending on how you decide to use the space), a microwave, two shelves and a hanging rail for utensils etc. It grows with your child as the height of the legs can be adjusted to 3 positions. Ikea also sell lots of reasonably priced accessories to go with the kitchen such as pans, utensils and food.

    Another thing I love about the Duktig is that it’s a blank canvas for a make-over or an upcycle which is perfect as I wanted to try and create something unique for Tiny. This is when my genius Christmas plan started to get really complicated. I’m a creative person but most of my creativity happens when Tiny is asleep so I mostly focus small projects like Halloween and Christmas decorations. And despite being quite a creative person I was still hugely intimidated by the range of incredible Duktig make-overs on Pinterest and Instagram.

    Screenshot 2017-11-06 21.27.13

    I just didn’t know where to start. I couldn’t decide on a colour scheme or a theme and I was worried about trying to spray paint all the different bits without a garage in the middle of winter and all the while trying to keep it a secret!

    Then as luck would have it I was offered the chance to try out an Ikea Duktig Hack decal from Modern Little People.

    I chose the Deano Dino (green) decal as I wanted something fun and gender neutral. Tiny also loves dinosaurs – it was one of the first signs she learnt. There is a great range of 35 different decals so there’s something for every child. You also have the option of having the decals personalised with your small human’s name which is a really nice touch.

    I love the idea of these decals because they take a lot of the stress and hassle out of doing a make-over and help to create a unique look without the need for an interior designer! I’m going to use the decals as the starting point for a bigger rainbow dinosaur themed make-over. But if you’re not particularly creative you could stop after adding the decals and still having something much more individual. The decals would also be ideal for revamping a tired kitchen for a younger sibling.

    The decal set includes 1 sticker for the back board of the kitchen, 1 sticker for the front door and 2 stickers for the back boards of the shelves which means that there’s now much less to worry about painting! The decal sets are £16 which is really reasonable.

    So far I’ve sourced some handmade dinosaur knobs which I’m going to drill holes for above the oven and I’m making some felt bunting in similar colours to the dinosaur decal. I bought some copper spray paint from Lidl for the door handles and the sink. I just need to make a decision about whether or not to spray paint the oven and microwave doors, and pick a colour!

    If you’ve done a make-over on a Duktig kitchen I’d love some advice on the best type of  paint to use and how you went about it. Links to blog posts welcome! Updates to follow as hubby and I start on our project…

    Review: Who Gives A Crap?

    It’s time to talk toilet roll.

    I recently switched to Who Gives a Crap toilet roll. Mostly because I love the irreverent name and they look great. (Yes, I’m very shallow sometimes)

    Why should you give a crap about what your family wipes their bum with?

    According to the founders they decided to create Who Gives A Crap after they learnt “2.4 billion people across the world don’t have access to a toilet. That’s roughly 40% of the global population and means that diarrhoea related diseases fill over half of sub-Saharan African hospital beds and kill 900 children under 5 every day.”

    I agree that is pretty crap.

    Supporting Who Gives A Crap helps to tackle this problem as they donate half(!) of their profits to non-profit organisations (like Water Aid) working to improve access to hygiene, water and basic sanitation in developing countries. They also only use forest friendly materials in ALL of their products, so you’re not contributing to the destruction of the environment every time you wipe your bum. So it’s guilt free loo roll!

    What’s in it for you?

    • Free shipping on orders over £20 so no carrying loo roll home! Yay!
    • 48 rolls of 3 ply loo for £36! I’ve found it lasts much longer than supermarket alternatives.
    • It’s great loo roll.
    • No inks, dyes or scents.
    • They offer a 100% money back guarantee if you don’t like it.
    • They also sell tissues and kitchen roll so you can help save the world whilst dealing all the bodily fluids and spilt juice that is parenting.
    • The tissues come with adorable messages on the box!
    • It comes wrapped in lovely paper that I’m planning to use to wrap Christmas presents – double tree saving bonus!

    If you’d like to try Who Gives A Crap you can use this link to get £5 (and £5 off for me) Win, win!

    Things to do in Devon this half term.

    I live in sunny Exmouth so I’ve focused on things to do near this beautiful part of the world.

    1. The beach!

      Everyone is always going on about forests in autumn but let’s not neglect the beach. There are so many gorgeous beaches nearby and whilst you might not want to sit down and build a sandcastle they are windswept and rugged in autumn.


      Exmouth has 2 miles of sandy beach whilst nearby Sidmouth and Budleigh Salteron are pebble beaches. 

      Budleigh beach took my breath away the first time I saw it. I’ve never seen a beach quite like it. These beaches are also perfect for collecting rocks for any Halloween crafts you might want to do.

      1. The National Trust.

      We’re so lucky in Devon to have so many wonderful National Trust properties and they’re all offering great activities over half term.

      I’m planning to take Tiny to some of my favourites, as well as one property I haven’t visited yet.

      A la Ronde


      I volunteer as a Room Guide at this magical and unique sixteen-sided house built for two early feminist pioneering cousins, Jane and Mary Parminter, on their return from a grand tour of Europe in the late 18th century. It packed full of unusual objects, mementoes of their travels and intricate craft projects.

      Over half term A la Ronde are offering:

      • Fang-tastic family trail, 21 October – 29 October. See if you can find your way past the tricks to win a treat!
      • House trail – Spooky creatures,  21 October – 29 October. Some creatures are hiding in the shadows, see if you can spot them all.
      • Treats without tricks family fun. Apple monsters and pumpkins are coming to A la Ronde – join us in the grounds for lots of games and activities to keep you warm……..if you dare.
      • Normal admission applies plus extra for some activities.




      Killerton is an expansive 18th century family home and a great estate with a fascinating social and political history. You can discover why Sir Richard Acland gave his family home to the National Trust in 1944. Over half term Killerton are doing a spooky Pumpkin trail from 21st October to 31st October. Normal admission applies.


      On the outskirts of Plymouth is Saltram house. A gorgeous house with a rich history, as well as large gardens for the whole family to explore.


      Over half term Saltram are offering a range of great activities:

      • Monday, make a broomstick!
      • Tuesday, kids spooky house.
      • Wednesday, Saloon inspired crafts in the house 12-3.30pm.
      • Thursday, bring your pumpkins in to be carved.
      • Friday, join ‘Mister Storyfella’ as he tells some scary stories in the Orangery.
      • Saturday 27th, kids spooky house tour at 1, 2 and 3pm.
      • All week go on a ‘Pesky Pumpkin Trail’ in the garden or the ‘Moving House’ trail inside.
      • Awesome Autumn or Top Trunks trail sheet for the park for £2 and earn a very special wooden medal!
      • Normal admission applies plus extra for some activities.


      I haven’t visited this gothic estate before so I’m really excited to see the autumn colours and try the ghoulish crafts!

      Over half term Knightshayes are offering lots of Halloween fun:

      • Curious creepy crawly quest. Keep the bogeyman of boredom away with a creepy crawly activity trail in the garden this October half term. £1.
      • Tuesday 24th Create a wooden bug hotel. Create a special bug hotel to take home and help the local bugs in your garden. Fill it with cosy bedding and decorate it to attract little critters. £2.50
      • Thursday 26th Knightshayes Minibeast investigators. Make your own special bug observation pot and see what creatures you can find. £2.50
      • Friday 27th and Saturday 28th Hallowe’en late night opening. Immerse yourself in spine chilling stories throughout the darkened house this Hallowe’en, with ghoulish crafts and cobwebs galore, this isn’t for the fainted hearted. Dare you come up and see us after dark? £3.


      1. Wildwood Escot.

      Wildwood is East Devon’s conservation and wildlife branch of the Wildwood Trust. It’s a lovely day out. Set in beautiful grounds with peacocks wandering freely you can watch the Otters and gorgeous Red Squirrels being fed, and then sneak a peek at Wolves and Wildcats. There’s a cafe and soft play, and a maze to get lost in! Under 3s are free, children are £8 and adults £9.50.


      Over half term Wildwood are offering:



      1. World of Country Life.

      I haven’t been to World of Country Life yet but I’m hoping it’s as good as it sounds.

      “World of Country Life is a family owned visitor attraction. The park first opened in 1978 and since then has grown and developed over the years, winning a number of awards, to be one of the best family days out in Devon! The attraction has an eclectic mix of museums, animals, play areas and entertainment, both outdoors and under cover, making it an excellent day out for the whole family, whatever the age, whatever the weather!” Sounds amazing doesn’t it?

      Under 3’s free, children £10.70 and adults £12.90

      Over half term World of Country Life are offering:

      • Pumpkin carving
      • Hallowe’en treasure trail
      • Spooky arts & crafts
      • Friday 27th, Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th October – our famous family Halloween Show up in the Barnyard Theatre!”


      1. Halloween Tram of Terror

      I’m probably most excited to try out the Seaton “Tram of Terror” – a journey with gruesome tram drivers to Colyton Station for spooky entertainment. The price (Under 3’s free, children £12.95, adults 14.95) includes:

      • For All Children a “Baddie Bag” – Fancy Dress Optional
      • Tram Ride
      • Spooky Entertainment/Activities
      • Halloween Games at Colyton Station
      • Revolting Refreshments


      Whatever you get up to I hope you have a wonderfully spooky week with your family.

      Reasons why having a small child is a lot like living through a Zombie Apocalypse: Part 2.

      If you missed Part 1 you can find it here:

      7. Sleep Deprivation. Because sleep is broken, irregular, and always punctuated with the groans and whimpers of the living or the dead.

      8. Unending terror. This keeps you awake and interrupts the little sleep you get with nightmares. Whether it’s the hordes of the undead on your doorstep or the thought of going to a new baby group alone, or having to take your 8 week old human for jabs, or the dreaded health visitor with all her weighing and frowns.

      9. Relentlessness. Both caring for small humans and surviving of the zombie apocalypse are pretty relentless. The constant search for food, the laundry, the killing of the undead, the barfing, the loss, the nappies, the suffering, the feeding. It just doesn’t stop.

      10. Hoarding Supplies. It’s hard to resist the urge to hoard. Bullets, nappies, formula, wipes, guns, painkillers, baby snacks. You never know when you might be surrounded, or when you might not feel like leaving the house.

      11. Untidy hair. When you’re fighting for survival on a daily basis it can be quite hard to keep on top of your hair style. Not to mention that there are no hairdressers or electricity for your GHDs. Keeping a small human alive also takes priority over fabulous hair.


      12. Mess. In both situations everything is just a bit messy. There’s all the blood and brains to consider or the constant pile of poo stained clothes (yours and the small humans). No washing machine and no dishwashers versus no free time to load such washing machines and dishwashers. Roads littered with the belongings of people fleeing versus your living room littered with all the noisy, plastic toot you’ve inherited or been gifted.