Thursday, 27 July 2017

Happy Birthday, Harry!

Since my last post we've celebrated four of our childrens' birthdays, including a first birthday and naming day celebration, two more parties and a half birthday! I should, of course, have blogged about those - and I do intend to - but if there's one thing that always motivates me to find the time to post it's celebrating the birthday of our family's favourite literary character.
Next Monday - July 31st - is Harry Potter's birthday. If you've been following my little blog for a while (like, back when I did actually blog regularly!!!), then you'll know that it's our tradition to read one Harry Potter book a year and follow that with a little party on his birthday while we watch the movie version.

This year we finished the book earlier than usual and the boys were so excited to have our little party we decided to do it before the 31st. This also meant that we avoided school nights, rugby playing nights, rugby watching nights and that Michael could join us while he was here on holidays!

They were so excited by this book that there's been a lot of imaginative play stemming from it. We've also been exploring Pottermore - getting sorted, choosing a wand and discovering our Patronus. We read about the Ilvermorny school too which meant they understood the reference in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (because we had to watch that too!)

The boys decided they wanted to make their own wands, so that became a school holiday project. There are heaps of wand making tutorials on Pinterest but all you really do is decorate a chopstick with hot glue (we used some braided cord as well to help make them look like our Pottermore wands)...
Then paint them...
They turned out really well and there have been a lot of duels going on since. I regularly find myself saying "NO Unforgivable curses in this house, please!" Lol! 
For our party I printed a few free book covers (via Pinterest), lit our 'magic' candles and hung our Hogwarts banners...
In the book we read this year, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry arrives at The Burrow late at night and is served a warming bowl of Mrs Weasley's onion soup. I'm convinced she must use this English Onion Soup recipe from Jamie Oliver because it is amazing! Pictured here without the little drizzle of Worcestershire sauce that takes it to another level...
After dinner we had a few classic wizarding world sweets. Chocolate Frogs...
...and Every Flavour Beans. I didn't order the special ones this year but did find some Gourmet Jean Bean "Bean Boozled" packs at the grocery store. We kept them separate from the regular jelly beans because they smelt disgusting! The idea of these is that each colour bean could be either a delicious flavour like chocolate pudding, peach or strawberry smoothie OR they could be dog food, vomit or dead fish. They were SO SO gross and I can't believe I bought them again but the boys thought it was hilarious and they loved sharing the 'fun' with their biggest brother.
Cloaks and wands are essential...
Quidditch is always their favourite parts of the books and we're always disappointed that it gets left out of the movies. I made a few tiny golden snitch cupcakes because my favourite part of this book is what happens after Ginny catches the snitch for Gryffindor!
The gluten free biscuits were a bit too crumbly to make good wings but I thought they were pretty cute...
We had a box of Chocolate Cauldrons too, thankfully without the disastrous side-effects like in the book!
And washed it all down with a delicious Butterbeer...
Because we found the last batch of Butterbeer way too sweet, I kept it simple this year and just popped some whipped cream (canned) on top of some Creaming Soda. It's even more delicious stirred through - like a spider. Yum!
Oh, these boys! I love them so. I also love making a little magic for them too.

Liam has been so taken by the storyline - and devasted by the end of this book - that he asked to read the next book straight away. My reluctant reader has hardly but it down since! Looks like we'll be having another Harry Potter party later this year.

What's your favourite Harry Potter book? 

Monday, 27 March 2017

A Fifth Birthday Milk and Cookies Party

"Lucky" for me and my little blog here, I injured my foot on the weekend so I am unable to much more than things-you-can-do-while-sitting. Like blogging - win!

I thought it best, as we head into the busy birthday season that is April, to finally share the sweet details from Rohan's Milk and Cookies party - from December! I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record but a) I'm a dreadfully slack blogger and b) how is it nearly April already?

Yep, my darling littlest boy turned the big 5 right after Christmas and started full time school at the beginning of this year. Honestly, where does the time go?

As has been our custom, we take down all our festive d├ęcor except maybe the tree/s and make the day all about him. Like his previous parties (when he turned two and three), we kept it simple - because who needs much ado just after Christmas? He invited a few friends for a little afternoon tea and play.

Food wise this was the easiest party ever! Lots and lots of cookies...

 I did try to mix things up with some Choc Chip Cupcakes...

and some S'more pops...
We set up a milk bar too, 'cos you can't eat a cookie without a glass of milk.
Rohan invited some of the lovely friends he made at preschool last year...

And we had Grandma, two big brothers and a little sister to join the fun too. Hamish has had his haircut recently and I can't get over how different he looked back then. Also, so many heart eyes for Daddy with his daughter.
A rainy, overcast day meant indoor play. Lego, Duplo and Magnatiles are always winners...
And then there's the cake! I've made this one before - for Michael's 18th birthday - and it is just so, so good. Donna Hay's Cookies and Cream cake. Yum! Happy birthday, Beautiful boy!
We sent our friends home with a few little treats, and as many leftover cookies as they could carry! Slight sugar overload.
Now, I really must try to blog more often. I have a whole list of things I haven't shared in the last two years. I haven't even posted about Rohan's 4th birthday which we celebrated while on holidays in Brisbane. And though I'm pleased to have an excuse to rest for a bit, I am however hoping this foot heals itself soon - we've got three birthdays and Easter coming up!

Tell me, have you ever been on crutches? If so, please share the secret because I feel so totally uncoordinated on them I'm hobbling around holding onto furniture instead.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Ten for Tuesday

Happy New Year!

I'm getting my first post of the year in just this side of February - which is unsurprising given my recent blogging record but also just staggering that we are a whole month into this new year already.

We have had an amazing summer holiday break. It's been an interesting balance between doing lots of hard work around the house and having heaps of fun-filled family moments. Here are a ten of them...

1. Evangeline had a wonderful first Christmas and seemed quite excited about the whole thing. It was great to have both of our Mums here too. | 2. We celebrated Rohan's 5th birthday with a little Milk & Cookies themed afternoon tea with a few friends. More pics soon. | 3. We made a Holiday Bucket List and started ticking off some fun! Like ten pin bowling... | 4. ...taking this guy on the big slides at the waterpark because he's tall enough now. | 5. ...and we did some marshmallow construction that Liam read about. We made some cool three dimensional shapes which was educational fun but for them it was more about getting to eat a whole packet of marshmallows when they were done!
6. We've been cleaning, painting, doing up our outdoor entertaining area and getting ready for a pool!!! So excited! Will share some more pics of that soon too. | 7. Play time with baby girl is getting more interesting as she grows. Not at all interested in lying, rolling or crawling, though. | 8. Trying out Darwin's new trampoline place. | 9. The boys planned their own outing. Took care of all the details themselves. We went to the zoo... | 10. ...and the video arcade. I'm so proud of them and we had such a great day.

Do you have much time off over Christmas? If so, how were your school holidays? Did you do anything adventurous?