Téa’s Frozen Birthday Party


Happy birthday to my baby girl, who is not so baby anymore!SONY DSC

And like EVERY other girl on planet earth she is currently obsessed with the movie and all things Frozen – which then became the obvious birthday theme choice. So I got started…
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I love these starburst paper decorations and have done them before for other parties, but I wanted to give them more dimension and make them “prettier”, so I added a doily to the back and found amazing Frozen snowflake templates here disney snowflake template to add as well. Then I printed out pics of frozen characters to finish it off. I hung them off branches as the main centerpiece. I think they turned out pretty great.

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Check out this cool Olaf snowflake.

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I then started routing around the internet for other Frozen ideas. I admit that I stole an awful lot of amazing inspiration from other crazy creative people. I remembered a kids craft we did at playgroup in Malaysia, making snow globes out of recycled jars. I found a secret stash of Frozen Kinder eggs at Big W with teeny tiny figurines inside, bought the lot, and began to build each little Frozen scene inside a jar.

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These became “take-homes” for each family who attended the party. I want to make a special note here for those interested in making this craft – ensuring these don’t leak i.e.  sealing them off  is a pain in the bum! I tried superglue, hot glue, contact glue, and still found drippy drops around the edge. I resorted to massive amounts of hot glue on the bigger jars and covered them with sparkly bits to mask the gloopy look. I would highly recommend self-sealing canning jars.

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In the end, they also made for a very sparkly display.SONY DSC

I couldn’t find much by way of snow-related decor, so I got to work beading snowflakes. I used tutorials like this beaded snowflake tutorial. It was a lot of trial and error, and took WAY more time than I ever imagined it would. They turned out really beautifully, but in retrospect, for the amount of time spent on them the impact was not entirely grand. But they will be a sweet keepsake, and some may even make it onto our Christmas tree this year.

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Then onto a birthday banner made by cutting out letters out of glitter paper,

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And then printing out some take-home tags.

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AND FINALLY IT WAS PARTY TIME!!!IMG_3059

We kept it pretty simple food wise. There were the obvious choices of carrots and snow-looking balls of food in the form of cookies and cotton candy.

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And Princess Anna & Elsa’s favorite, CHOCOLATE!

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To drink we had blue Powerade mixed with sprite and fizzy water for the adults. I found these plastic bottles at the Reject Shop and got my neighbor who is renovating his house to quickly drill some hole s in the tops to insert the straws – and abracadabra no spills!

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And then the ice cream cake – thank you to Play and Go who I straight-up copied, with an addition of a sparklified 3 candle.

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The party guests brought their own magic – here are some of the attending Princesses…

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And then there was my wonderful husband who pitched in at every turn and my epic friend Meg, who took it to the next level. I. love. it.

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And last, but not least our sweetie Princess Téa.

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I found an excellent tutorial from HousewifeEclectic for an Anna outfit. I don’t own a sewing machine, so it was hot glue all the way.

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I had also made her an Elsa top, which she absolutely adores as Elsa is a clear favorite, but she had worn it to a party the day before, and it was needing serious mending. Turns out hot glue is not as wearable as good ol-fashioned stitching, but she did get some fun out of it.

 

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I can’t help myself, so many pictures and I love them all!

Back to the par-tay.

For activities there was the ever-present Pin the Nose on Olaf,

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Which Téa had some more fun with days after the fact
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And a winter clothes relay race, which totally threw Téa. She was upset and couldn’t understand why everyone was putting on her gloves. Note to self, don’t include precious personal belongings in games.

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It got even worse when she saw some of her characters frozen in a block of ice – another activity was to “Thaw the Frozen Heart” using salt shakers and water to free the characters and crowns. There were some party guests that started to sing, “It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To” at this point. Sorry Baby Girl for the confusion.

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Though there were some tears, smiles were brought back with ice cream cake and snuggles.

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And of course presents

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And hugs from friends.

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And finally the “money” shot of the day came after the party when it all sunk in it was all for her and that she was 3 YEARS OLD!

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All tuckered out and loving her new Frozen backpacks. The End.

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Finn in Kindy

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I have now joined the ranks of conflicted mums – on the one hand we want our kids to succeed in life, on the other we grieve that they will do it less and less under our care. We have taken the first big step with our rapidly growing little man to full-time all-day school. I had a few teary moments, mostly because I was sad to leave him when he was so disappointed that his “appointed buddy” had transferred to a different school, and so he didn’t have someone to hold his hand and walk him to the classroom like all the other kids did. He is such a trooper, though. He parked himself in the corner of the classroom, took a piece of paper, and started to draw. He handled the screw up with less negative emotion than his mother. He was eager and ready. And he was determined to make it work and make it good. 

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I am so proud of him. He had a great day despite the disappointing beginning, and when we went to pick him up he filed out with the other kids waving and smiling at us all the way down the steps. All I wanted to see was that smile, and it was a super duper cheshire grin! He did, however, walk over to us ever-so-cooly and casually instead of running and jumping into our arms, and he has already asked if he can walk to school by himself next time. Sheesh, kiddo, one step at a time!

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Finn’s 5th!

This year’s chosen theme for Finn’s party was Angry Birds Star Wars. He might be just a little bit obsessed with these birds, but it made it so fun to turn a room into a Star Wars adventure for him.

I started by repainting last year’s backdrop (Angry Birds Space) with the different planets or levels in the game.

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Then we began our craft projects together of sculpting some of the characters out of clay (like General Grievous pictures below) and Finn got to work on some serious drawings which we used to decorate the walls. Then it was onto Pinterest and such to grab some game/activity ideas. We ended up with pool noodle light sabers with bubble wands inserted and decorated with duct tape, and filling what seemed like a hundred water ballon to toss on the drive way and “wash off” the chalk stormtrooper piggies, and, of course we had to have a death star piñata to have a whack at. Food was fun as well – chocolate covered pretzel light sabers…

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A lolly bar which included Cadbury Starbar chocolate bars, Starmix gummies, Angry Bird marshmallows, Fruit Chews, and phizzy pig heads and tails gummies – Chewbacca’s Chews…

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I threw in some Angry Bird Star Wars cookies and Ice Pop Light Sabers…Image

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To drink we had “Han Solo” Solo Soda (how perfect and Finn’s favorite!)…

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For lunch we munched on pork sausages and ham sandwiches, “Join the Pork Side.”

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Padmé Popcorn – also Finn’s fav snack.
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And then of course there was cake! My fav part of this one is that the death star is made from rice crispy treats covered in chocolate and rolled fondant, and all the birds are edible! The kids loved biting into them like apples.Image

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And here be the birthday boy with his playdough Jedi.

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Our friend Hannah came dressed the part – SO CUTE!

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The all-out pool noodle saber battle.SONY DSC

 

Washing off chalk drawings of storm trooper bad piggies with water balloons. It was super fun.SONY DSC

And here’s Pipey having a go at the Death Star piñata. SONY DSC

Take-home bags included an angry bird Star Wars figure, a chocolate Star Bar, gummy pigs and marshmallow Angry Birds, glow stick sabers, Gummy Star Mix, & Angry Bird Star Wars stickers. And everybody got to take home their pool noodle light saber/bubble wand too.SONY DSC

Happy 5th Buddy!

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Téa’s 2nd In the Night Garden Birthday Party

 


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For Téa’s birthday this year we went with the theme of her favorite TV show, “In the Night Garden”. She adores these characters, knows each of their signature dances by heart, and can’t visit our local grocery store without stopping to give Iggle Piggle a visit and a cuddle/kiss (pictured on the invitation above).

So months and months ago her mommy set about collecting characters and paraphernalia from the show via eBay, local garage sales, and a community baby website. Well, it was a hit. Here are few of our birthday girl’s smiles…ImageImage

Here are some of the party elements that brought about these gorgeous smiles. I really had great subject matter to work with – so colorful, fun, and super cute characters. I had been thinking of these Tombliboo cake pops for a long time and had been collecting red and pink Tic Tacs ever since. :)Image

These Haahoo cookies were some of my favorite things about the party spread. Each time Téa was given one she would just walk around with it and play with it like a toy before finally giving into actually eating them.Image

One of my favorite “party moments” was when one of our good friends kids came over to me with an empty bottle of of one of these, which I think was his third or maybe even forth one, and he pronounced, “Kelly, I am FULL of Pinky Ponk juice!” Hee hee.ImageAnd here he is. ;)Image

Some pics of the main table…ImageImageImage

And the lolly table with the Tittifer Treats (birds who sing between scenes) which were, of course, gummy snakes, worms, and beans.

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A homemade birthday banner hung on an Iggle Piggle/Upsy Daisy ribbon.SONY DSC

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And some other treats…ImageSONY DSC

“The Pontipines are friend of mine” take-home treats. These little guys and girls are made out of styrofoam and felt. Téa loves to count these cuys over and over again, and they were a great project for Finn and I one week. He helped me with the painting.Image

Here are Mr. & Mrs. Pontipine wondering where their children are hiding.

 



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The Tombliboos with their clothesline and hanging pants. I used backdrop from one of Téa’s toys and made the rest out of odds and ends like beads and pins and scrap fabric.

SONY DSCOf course we had to create some sort of a night garden backdrop. Here are Pipey and big brother, Finn, hanging in Upsy Daisy’s Daisy Garden. I scored when I found these huge stuffed characters online. They really brought the whole scene to life.ImageImage

And this was the Tombliboo music tent, which was just a beach shade covered with plastic grass table cloths and was filled with instruments, just like the Tombliboos who love to make Tombliboo music on the show.

Also on the program the garden is littered with these adorable flower balls which came together via recycled luau leis from my husband’s birthday, a few balls, and a hot glue gun.Image

And there were the Haahoos.SONY DSC

The buntings were In the Night Garden sheets that I ordered on eBay for super cheap and stitched together with Téa’s receiving blankets. And here is my beautiful boy sporting and Iggle Piggle shirt – he was SO excited to do this for his sister.SONY DSC

And always gotta have those bubbles – one of Téa’s fav things on the planet. Thanks dads for getting involved.ImageImageImageImageImageImage

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There was some frolicking as well. Another fav party moment was when Hannah Bear did an Upsy Daisy dance in the middle of the flowers. Pure magic.

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There was also some opportunity for engaging in some craft via coloring and/or gluing together a Haahoo.ImageImage

Audrey nabbed the Tombliboo and carried it around for a while. So cute.ImageImageImage

Michelle contributed some instruments and helped Callum do some strumming.Image

Finn was thrilled that his buddy Ethan came as well. They were pretending all the Jelly Beans gave them different powers – red was for fire power, blue for freezing, etc. Boys.ImageImage

Sam spent heaps of time kicking the Night Garden ball around with a smile on his face. So great.Image

Here are some pics of the kiddos enjoying some cake pops…ImageImage

And the sweetest birthday girl…ImageImageImage

A very considerate friend pulled Téa and I aside to take a quick photo op in the front garden. Thanks Jo! I love these.ImageImage

We cannot get this girl to keep a clip in her hair for anything. Still gotta love those curls though.Image

The show-stopper was the show itself – puppet show that is. Wow, I could not have anticipated how well this would go down. I found a YouTube video on how to make a puppet theater out of a big cardboard box and felt inspired. I then draped it with old curtains and made some backgrounds from scrap fabric I had (including old green pajamas actually) which I hung from a curtain rod, and then I pulled the stuffing out of some of the cheapest stuffed characters I had found (ranging from .50-$4) to use as puppets. I then ordered an “In the Night Garden” audio CD to use as a storyline. And let me tell you, it paid off in spades and is officially the cheapest most amazing party pleaser for this age group – 2-5. I have come to think that puppet shows are a lost art which should be brought back. The proof is in the pictures…ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Téa spent the whole show front-and-center with a big grin on her face reaching for the characters. Image

And check out her friend Callum’s utter delight!ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Afterward, the kids all piled behind and did some shows of their own.Image

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And then, of course, there was cake.SONY DSCImageSONY DSC

Here are some of the adult folk as well.ImageImageImage

 

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Our happy girl.ImageImageImageImage

Hugs from friends.Image

And some hugs given to friends as well.Image

And a lick too…?ImageImage

Finn took over the puppet show stage with…

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Optimus Prime? Hey, whatever works.Image

Happy Birthday, Sweetie Pie.Image

And I close this off with a way goodbye from a tuckered out birthday girl.ImageImage

Fun in Fiji

My husband, Frank, has to go to Fiji often to train at a center there. We have been left behind…many times…until now! He was able to get the rest of the family tickets with his accumulated mileage, and off we went.ImageThe place we stayed was A-MA-ZING! The best thing about it was the pool, and the slide, and the activities, and the view, and, well, basically everything. Finn made it his mission to go down the slide 100 times before we left. And he did it! Trust me, we counted.ImageThe kids would wake up in the morning, and the first thing out of their mouths was either “water” or “pool”. They couldn’t get enough. Our water babies.ImageImageImageTéa is also obsessed with the moon. She looks for it day and night, even in the pool.ImageAnother cool thing about the hotel was that they had really cool activities planned each day available to guests. One day it was a traditional Fijian dance and singing.Image

It was really cool, but…Image

The kids weren’t too sure about those spear-toting guys.ImageImage

And the dance was pretty traumatic too.Image

Finn took it all in. You can see his little wheels turning here.ImageImageImage

Other activities included water aerobics (which I tried to join with my kids hanging from my arms), a fire lighting run every night, two movie nights out under the stars (one pictured below), traditional craft making, and a kids club where you could drop your kids off for $10 for 2 hours or $20 for the day. We didn’t discover this till the end, and we did steal away for a 2 hour break. But the kids didn’t seem to mind, Téa fell asleep, and Finn became a Ninja Turtle (also pictured below).SONY DSCImageTwo of the days that we were there the whole family spent the better part of the day at the training center. It is a beautiful place out in the middle of nowhere, but it ended up being a highlight our trip as it included soccer with new friends…ImageImageand getting to hang out with people from all over the world, 14 countries in total, including this sweet girl from Southern India who were staying there for the training. They were all so sweet with the kids and really awesome people to talk to and get to know a bit.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageSo the kids and I gladly camped out there while Frank trained. ImageImageIt was also great for Finn to be able to see what his daddy does when he is away for work. He can picture it now, which I believe will be really helpful for him.

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ImageAnd last, but not least, there was a few goats, chickens, a pig, and a new litter of puppies on the property. The kids were in heaven!ImageImageImage

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And then it was back to the hotel for, of course, more pool time.

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Thank you to my husband and to Fiji for such time as a family.

 

 

Friday Market Stall

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I have been trying my hand at selling my wares via a market stall in downtown Wollongong. To tell you the truth, I get a whole lot of compliments and “oohs & ahhs”, but I really haven’t made a whole lot of money as of yet. I had hoped that it would be a good networking tool as well, and I am anxiously awaiting those that have expressed real interest to contact me…soooon I hope. :)  I do love being a part of a community event like this, and I have met some great folk, but I may have to take a short break from it while I figure out what I should do with this cake pop, bikky, party planning dream in my life. Keep a lookout though, for those that like seeing me there, I will still try to be there at least once a month. In the meantime, you can order via phone or email or contact me through this blog, and I would still love to help you celebrate your events. And here are some examples of things I have sold there is recent days.

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My Mom and Dad visit Australia!!!

HOORAY FOR FAMILY VISITS! My mom and dad had to be on this side of the world for work – Dad had meetings in Fiji, and Mom had half an unused ticket to Asia and a much overdue to trip to Aceh to see our adopted “family” there. Sooooo… we couldn’t let them be as close as Fiji and Indonesia and NOT have a visit. ;)

One of the first activities was a Mother’s Day picnic at Finn’s preschool. So his mom and his mom’s mom came along. :) And since a picture’s worth a thousand words, I will keep my words short and pictures plentiful.Image

ImageThen there was some nail painting…ImageImageImageAnd a trip to the beach…ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageAnd some time at the coolest park in our area…ImageImageImageImageAnd some help tree climbing…ImageImageDaddy got some cuddles as well…ImageImageA bit of silliness…ImageLots of smiles and fun with PopPop.ImageImageImageImageImageAnd some stories…ImageImageAnd some goodbye hugs… :(

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I love you Mom and Dad, and me and my kids loved and appreciated your visit more than you will ever know.

Sebastian’s Horses

I had some fun these past few days making these horse cookies/bikkies for Sebastian’s 2nd birthday party. Pretty straight forward, horses in two shapes in a bunch of different colors. The coolest discovery I made while making these was how effective a paintbrush is at making the manes very “hair-like”. Dragging a toothpick through the thick piping-consistency icing also worked pretty well. ImageImageThese were actually quite big in size. I’d say between 11-12 cm or 4&1/2-5 inches wide, which is fairly substantial for a cookie. And the cutters were not easy to come by. Sebastian’s mom scoured the internet (as did I), and she ended up having to order them from the US through eBay. We simply could not locate a horse-shaped cookie cutter ANYWHERE here. ??? These did end up being pretty great in the end.ImageImageThese guys were a bit smaller, but it was cool to mx it up and made my job more fun.ImageImageImageHappy days.

Adventures in Bunting

So I have a new fav project! I received an order for two dozen bikkies/cookies for a horse birthday party for a cutie patootey soon-to-be 2 year old boy named Sebastian (stay tuned for those). They also requested whether I could do bunting flags in a horse theme. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I LOVE a project, so I got right on it, and discovered how greatly fun this is for me. It was time-consuming, to say the least, and I had a pretty steep learning curve in that I have never used a sewing machine (besides in home economics in Jr. High school) or iron-on adhesive or worked with cloth hardly at all. I’ve made paper bunting before. Like this one for Téa’s first birthday, so how hard could it be?Image

Anyway, even in the face of having to scout out a sewing machine I could make use of and taking multiple trips to Spotlight for supplies (I kept adding to the project, like wanting to make my own lettering to iron on and to use quilt binding instead of ribbon in the end) I actually did had a lot of fun figuring this all out, and I am totally sold on homemade custom-designed bunting. Here is the finished product for Sebastian.ImageImageImageImageAnd despite how cool and professional it ends up looking, it is actually pretty simple to do. I watched this great YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXRE9QlSEFo. I copied her instructions verbatim. And then I printed out the font that I wanted, used the printout as a “stencil” of sorts to cut around, twice. And then ironed them on. I ended up ironing the flags to the binding as well, but then decided to reinforce it with a hand stitch. I seem to always complicate the simple, but this process was done simply because I didn’t trust my sewing skills enough to believe I could stitch a straight line all the way across this thing. (The wonky sewing I did do was all hidden inside the flags when you turn them inside out, which is pretty awesome.)

So, of course, I have started looking around my house for old baby blankets and scraps of fabric to start another one. And yes, I will start on Téa’s next birthday bunting in the next few days…and her birthday isn’t until July! And yes, I know I have a problem… Hi, my name is Kelly and I am a craftaholic…

The Good Stuff

I adore these photos. It may sound strange to love when my son is covered in a mess, but it is actually a big win in my heart. He has a tendency to shy away from mess and dirt and sticky and such things. Every once and a while he throws caution to the wind and gets good a dirty. Here is Finn after our chalk paint session in the backyard.

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ImageThis is definitely the good stuff.