Tuesday, 25 February 2014

An Octonauts Third Birthday Party

When Hamish turned 3 his favourite show was The Octonauts.

In truth it was all of our favourite show and, nearly two years later, it still is.

I love the show's ethos of exploring the oceans, rescuing sea creatures in danger and protecting those creatures and habitats in need of a little help.  It's a truly wonderful message to be sending our children.

I also love that it has promoted a lot of imaginative play with my boys.  They like to drive their 'gups' (usually cardboard boxes), rescue creatures and apply bandages where necessary. 

So, it was a no-brainer to throw an Octonauts party.
 
Our party decorations always start with balloons on the mailbox.  The blue thing is a whale.  The wind was not cooperative.
There were a few decorations inside.  We made a seaweed wall with Jellyfish...
We dressed up as our favourite Octonaut.  Liam was the swashbuckling Kwazii Kitten...
I made an underwater mural and set up a colouring in station.  
The children chose their favourite Octonaut to colour and then glued in on to the mural when they'd finished.  I never did get a shot of the after, here's the beginning...
We had quiet reading available in Professor Inkling's Library...
There were a few sea creatures that required medical attention in Peso's Infirmary...
 
Luckily we had some caring medics...
 
Outside we set up a mini beach and ocean...
 
With many sea creatures to explore and rescue...
Simple backyard fun works best with this age group too...
I think my favourite part is definitely the food.  We had Dr Shellington's Clam Cookies...
Captain Barnacle's favourite- Kelp Pudding...
Caramel Bunnies for Tweak...
Fruity fish for Kwazii Kitten...
Mini "squid" in honor of Professor Inkling...
Tunip's famous Fish Biscuits...
and some Crabwiches (a hungry Octonaut seems to have nibbled a claw)...
I found some cute crab and fish shaped plates...

The food was a hit...
Rohan, however, was not overly impressed with his Vegimal costume...
I was super pleased with how the cake turned out.  White Polar Bears are nice and easy to decorate with fondant!

My cheeky 3 year old...
We sent our guests home with Peso's Medical Bag...
 
...and filled them with a personalised colouring book and crayon, balloon, lollypop and homemade jelly sweets and chocolates in the shape of shells and sea creatures.
Do your kids love the Octonauts as much as me mine?!



Monday, 24 February 2014

Aunty Sarah

I'm an Aunty!

This gorgeous little creature entered the world last Thursday...
She arrived at 2:34pm and weighed 6lb10oz. 

I am amazed at how overwhelmed with love I am for this tiny creature I've not even met yet!  She's been a part of my heart since the moment I learned of her existence. 

Part of the reason I'm so excited about my new role as an Aunt is that I've been privileged enough to witness some very special Aunties and the relationships they have with their nieces/nephews.  My cousin is so very close to her beautiful niece and my boys absolutely and completely adore my sister-in-law. 

It's a such a wonderful relationship made up of fun, silliness, secrets and that blood bond of unconditional love. 

I am quite determined to be a super-cool, incredibly fun Aunt.  I keep picturing the scene in the (best ever) TV show, Friends, when Monica introduces herself to her new nephew Ben and says "I'm your Aunt Monica and I...will always have gum!"

Welcome to the world, sweet Hayley Louise.  I promise to love you forever.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

A Sixth Birthday Lego Party


We are only six weeks away from the first family birthday of the year.   

Usually, I’m in full planning mode already by now, but trips to Perth, starting the new school year and redecorating have got me a little behind.


Just before I plan a party for my kids I like to reminisce about the year before.  A really great thing about having this blog as my personal, online scrapbook is that reviewing the kids’ birthdays is as simple as clicking on a link.


Liam, who turns 8 this year, had a seriously awesome SecretAgent party last year.  So, I thought I’d travel a little further down memory lane and share his 6th birthday party with you.


As we were experiencing a bit of a Lego-craze at the time (that hasn't really abated to be honest), he chose to have a Lego themed party.  
This was the first year we tried balloons on the mailbox and, after this party, we learnt a valuable lesson about attaching them securely to the mailbox.  I didn’t even get a photo of them before they floated away!


We did, however, have a giant Lego block to greet our guests at the front door...

I found a Lego font online when making the invitations and used it to make this birthday banner...

I am disappointed I didn't take a photo of the invitation (oh, the days before blogging!).  It was really cool.  We printed a tri-fold card with flip-back sections so that you could mix and match the parts of a Lego mini-figure and turn him into a party-ready Lego mini-figure.

Anyway, back to the party.  We played a few Lego-themed games, even though the boys seemed perfectly happy to run around like madmen in the backyard.

There was a Lego treasure hunt.  We hid Lego Duplo blocks in the backyard - three per guest.  Each child had to find only three and there was a prize for the person who's three blocks added up to the most number of points.

We had Lego-themed Pass-the-parcel and a highest Lego tower in 90 seconds building competition.  The winner had an amazing technique of clipping flat Lego side-ways.  Definitely thinking out of the box!

The prizes for each game were Lego Textas and a small Lego set in the middle of pass-the-parcel.


Most of the food was all Lego themed...

Lego Vegemite Sandwiches...

Lego Pepperoni Pizza...

Lego head cake pops (which didn’t cope with the heat very well)...


Lego Cookies.  These are so easy - ice rectangular store-bought biscuits and add matching coloured m and ms!

Lego Cupcakes.  I found a Lego-shaped mold online and used it to make chocolate bricks out of coloured white chocolate.

We even served the chips in our Lego head...

 ...and drew Lego-man faces on our cups...

The cake also struggled with the heat.  This is, actually, the last time I’ve attempted to use butter cream frosting on birthday cakes up here in the heat.
 
 
Don't you love how they all try to blow out the candles...
 
We sent our guests home with some Lego goodies in Lego-shaped bags, of course...
Each bag held a small Lego set, a personalised Lego-themed colouring book, another Lego Texta, Lego-shaped erasers, a lollypop, another Lego cookie and a mix of Lego-shaped chocolates and jellies. (Did you know you can make your own lollies?  I can't remember the link I used but the recipe is the same as this one.  Easy, yum AND gluten free!)
  
Do your kids love Lego too?  I'm off to plan this year's Ninja Turtles celebration!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

We've been doing a little foofing of the decor...
 Roses are essential...
 Last year's doily jars are making a welcome reappearance...
The felt and paper heart bunting is back too.  This year I'm featuring it on our gorgeous family portrait.  (I'm extra sensitive about our family at the moment, with son number one having flown the nest.)
I decided to use a little chalkboard in the display this year, but had to stick to the alphabet I heart so much...
 One new Pinterest-inspired touch for this year is the washi-hung artwork...
 
I edited some photos on the iPad in an app called InstaFrame to make them heart shaped.  Then I just uploaded them to my PC, pasted them into a Word document, adjusted the widths and printed on card.  Easy and some very special memories...
 I found the little quote on Pinterest too and just printed it out...
Over on Facebook, we're talking about our Valentine's plans.  How are you spoiling your loved one today?  Do you celebrate with your children as well?