2 articles Tag personal

Mummy On-the-Go: Finding a Floor Rug That Isn’t Your Foe

When living in small rented bungalows, personalising the living space means working within the landlord’s boundaries. My husband and I are to some degree limited with how stylish we can actually make our place. Let’s get real – rental cabinetry, hardware, and middle-of-the-road carpet quality are not really our style. Switching these things would make a huge difference, if rental property rules weren’t so black and white. So when we wanted to make our girls’ bedroom theirs, I had to look for a minimal-effort, easily changed décor ingredient that still delivers a richly textured scheme. I decided to go with a floor rug.

Beside defining a space, throw rugs come in an assortment of colours and textures and are the easiest way to add warmth and style to a room. In a way, area rugs are like cocktails – they are the first foray into a menu and contribute to the overall atmosphere of a party. Knowing that the rug I choose will either make or break the room, I had to choose wisely. However I wasn’t sure whether I should focus on making a grand statement, or if design should take second place to durability. Between my kids eating and playing, and our spunky English Bull Terrier, I knew the rug would take a beating. I needed something tough and kid proof.

After few days of CSI-style online investigating and a Sherlock Holmes-esque intuition (the being-mother talent I’ve mastered over the years), I finally decided to go with a striped floor rug in an array of cool, pastel rainbow colours. It’s hand-loomed and hand-tufted out of 100% Japanese acrylic.

I did first consider natural fiber rugs as they are advertised as the safest and child friendly. I was leaning more towards cotton, mainly because it’s a natural product that is strong yet budget-friendly. Also, cotton area rugs are usually made in a flat wave, toys slide across easily and I thought cleaning would be a breeze. However, after researching, I learned that with time, cotton fibers get matted and tend to accumulate dander and dirt particles easily.

I then thought of wool, but learned these are quite hard to clean. Using a vacuum’s rotary brush is not recommended (fiber may fuzz) and neither is DIY deep-cleaning, because the majority of store bought cleaners are high in alkaline which can damage fibers. Also, since wool fibers absorb more water, they are harder to dry. Wool was therefore off the list as well.

I had to consider what was safest to go below my girls’ feet. Since they spend plenty of time in their room, I wanted something that would be able to withstand rough handling – Sausage’s painting and crafting mishaps and BB’s inevitable spills and potty accidents. After weighing all the options, I knew Japanese acrylic was the way to go.

Although made of man-made fibers, it’s lightweight and made in short pile so it doesn’t permanently trap every crumb. The rug feels and looks like wool, less the staggering price tag and risk of airborne allergies. It is warm, plush, soft and feels springy underfoot. The acrylic helps the rug breathe (absorb and release moisture), and has good resistance to oil and stains. The backing is made of cotton which not only ensures the durability of the rug, but also reduces odours. And best of all, it is actually very easy to clean.

I usually roll it up, put it out in the front yard and clean it with a mild dish detergent (never a laundry detergent) and water. This is the best combination to attack ink markers and chocolate stains. Because I power-wash the rug once or twice a year, every few weeks I deodorize it with baking soda. Between soft drink spills, BB’s potty training accidents and the rare occasions when Chuck drags his hind end on the floor, the funky odours are certain. The power of baking soda helps me avoid the unavoidable. I simply sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the rug, let it sit for few hours and vacuum. Oftentimes, I also shake it to remove dust, because let’s be realistic, vacuums do miss a lot of dirt (even with frequent vacuuming).

What I like more than the easy-to-clean feature is that the rug perfectly defines the girls’ Dulux’s Storybook bedroom design. It adds the just-right pop of colour. Plus there’s that added safety when BB is playing on the floor. It’s thick, sturdy and still, so BB’s feet do not get stuck on the corners and there’s no tripping. It also offers a decent cushioning to BB’s falls and bumps.

Simply put, the rug serves its purpose. Plus, I love the idea of girls having a soft, safe and clean area where they can indulge in reading and envelop in their favourite make-believe coffee shop game.

Ten Things You Don’t Know About ME…

I find memes like this bloody difficult, mainly because I’m a very ‘heart on my sleeve’ kind of gal and tend to spill my guts on here every day, but seeing as how I was tagged by The Boy and Me, who is one of my all-time favourite bloggers, I must oblige. The premise is simple, I tell you ten things about me, tag some other peeps and so on and so forth. So here goes…

My bent finger.
Yes, I wore these on both hands.

1. I have a bone deformity in my hands which means that my little fingers are permanently bent. When I was younger the doctors thought it was a tendon contracture and I spent a couple of years wearing painful contraptions designed to stretch the tendons (and which caused some bullying at school), only for the doctors to discover that they were completely ineffective.

2. A few weeks ago I made a point of learning some Jamaican dance hall dance moves. Not for any particular reason, I just wanted to. I’m now proficient in the bogle, the butterfly, down di flank and log on. And no, I will not be using them in public.

3. When I was a kid, I was an enormous fan of Guns ‘n’ Roses (oh alright, I still am…) and when my friend (I think it was Emma Christmas, for anyone reading this who may know us) went to America and brought me back a photo of Axl Rose, I attempted to snog the photo and scratched it with my front tooth.

4. I didn’t kiss a boy for the first time until I was 14. This may have been because of the traumatic tooth/photo incident.

5. My first ever boyfriend was gay. Still is gay, as far as I’m aware. He once told me, years later, that I’m the only woman he could ever be attracted to. I still don’t know how to take that….

6. Some of the names that were thrown around for Sausage were Homer, Linus, Harper, Maureen and Daisy. all of which were vetoed by either myself or Husband.

7. The majority of my ancestors are mongrels, harking from all over Europe, but my paternal grandad’s family lived within the same square mile of East London for about ten generations

8. I absolutely LOVE to sing, I sing all the time. SingStar is my favourite game and I would play it every day. One of my favourite ways to spend an evening is for me and Husband to get a takeaway, have a beer and play some SingStar.

9. I’m ridiculously competitive. When I first moved out of home, I had a copy of the Playstation game Buzz. My new flatmates refused to play it with me after a few sessions because of my aggressive baiting, heckling and celebration dances. Plus, I don’t think they liked it when I ‘WOOP’ed loudly in their faces after every time I answered a question correctly.

10. When I was a kid, I used to choose to spend my evenings sleeping at my grandparents house, and my greatest thrill was phoning Richard Spendlove on BBC Essex Radio to request songs like ‘Jive Bunny’ and ’24 Hours To Tulsa’. This went on until I was about 13.

And now for the tagging…

Mrs. Teepot


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Away you go, my pretties!