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’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

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.

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.

Easter

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Finn has been excited for Easter since Christmas. No joke, he wanted to know when the next holiday was and started counting down from then. He really really likes Easter. I mean, what’s not to like about Easter. But, he REALLY likes it, anticipates it, talks about it, counts down to it. I think it is all about the egg hunt. He loves to play Blue’s Clues, Hide and Seek, and Safari (which is just when I hide animals all over the house and he gets to go and find them). So he enjoys the pursuit of something. So here is how our Easter morning went.

He tried to act super casual about it as he went looking.

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But then he spots one…Image

And the true feelings come out!Image

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And he sweetly helped his sister as well.Image

Now Téa’s morning went a bit differently. We tried and tried to show her how this egg hunting thing worked. In the end we handed her a few eggs and she spent the rest of the time chowing down on sugar.

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Here she is saying “cheeze” for the camera, mouthful of sugary goodness.Image

And here she is about an hour later. Still going…Image

As per the tradition that we learned about here in Australia, Finn also got an Easter gift. Of course, it was Angry Birds related. He got some new characters and a giant chocolate egg.Image

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One very happy boy.

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Then in the afternoon we invited over Finn’s bestie and his sister to dye Easter eggs, decorate Easter cookies, and have yet another egg hunt. Rather than give a play-by-play. Here is a pictorial story of Easter afternoon.

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Ok, I do have to stop and comment on how cute Téa’s black spotted eggs are. 🙂

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And the boys are off…

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And then we went to church in the evening. We have reached a parental milestone. We saw our kid sing in church for the first time! Finn was excited to do it, and we were excited to watch. Here is some of the cuteness.

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Here he is enjoying applause.

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Ok Ok, I’m done. I am now one of those snap-happy font-row moms. 🙂

 

My Messy Lovey

Most of my day is spent picking up after someone. I think that is every mother’s plight. I have heard an excellent metaphor for the time spent raising young children – “It’s like shoveling in the midst of a snowstorm.” So cleaning up is not my favorite part of parenting, BUT there are some messes that I think are funny and make me smile. My daughter, Téa, is always into something, literally IN it, which means she is usually covered in something “messy”. But here are some of those messes that make me smile…

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Aren’t you smiling too? 🙂

Let’s Go Fly a Kite

My friend Michelle suggested, on a rather blustery day, that we try out some kite flying with the kiddos. It turned out pretty great!

Here is her amazingly gorg’ daughter having a go.

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Téa and I tried our hand as well.

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This is our beautiful “wind blown” look…

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But I don’t think anyone had more fun than Sam did. Check out these winning smiles…

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At one point he took off running toward the trees (or maybe the wind was pulling him there as it was crazy gusty), and this did lead to a rather stuck kite.

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But it was “Mommy to the rescue”, and after quite some time of tugging and pulling (I was impressed by her sheer determination and unwillingness to let that kite go) it finally wriggled free, and we were off again – sending them soaring. (Yes, I have been singing this song in my head ALL DAY LONG!)

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And we only had to untangle the line once or twice…or three times. 😉

ImageThanks Michelle, and Mary Poppins, for inspiring a great morning.

Sick and Rainy.

What to do when it’s yucky outside?Image

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ImageThen when it finally clears up, but we’re sicky and stuck inside? Again, kids are masterminds at coming up with ways to kill time.

I thought it would be fun to put on our bubble machine, Finn got frustrated when they started popping in his eyes, and what was his answer to this dilemma?…Image

HE came up with this! Genius.

When the toolbox came out the fun began, and it was time to figure out which tool popped bubbles most effectively. First up, the hammer…

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Téa wanted in on the action and she tried…well, tools that didn’t work so well, but at least she was having fun.

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Pliers win.

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Cousins!

Ok, so I am really backtracking now, but I cannot leave out the awesome time we had with my cousin and family. We met up with them in Sydney for a day of splashing around Darling Harbor park and had an awesome dinner out at a yummy German restaurant (don’t have pics of this, but it was indeed great). Fun was had by all, so much so that they extended their trip a day. Yippeee! For our next excursion together, we made a plan to meet in the middle at Symbio Wildlife Park. I am a BIG fan of this place. And their daughter Mia was in her element, which was so fun to see. Here are some of the highlights…

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I love how Téa gets right into it. She wants to touch and try and make friends with all. And apparently, no this is not an Emu. 😉 Image

They fed the tigers again at 2 pm, but this time they strung the food up high to make one of them leap for it. It was pretty awesome.ImageImage

Here are all the kiddos – livin’ it up at Symbio.Image

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Ride ’em cowgirl!SONY DSC

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Hugs from Téa…SONY DSC
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Kisses from Téa!
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SONY DSCFinn really connected with Mia, and he is still asking about her. Family is a great thing, thanks God.

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Stopped at Bald Hill, and after we snapped a few nervous pics, we quickly took in the beautiful view and scadadalled outta there (not the greatest spot to let kids run freely).
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Thank you Fairchild family for visiting. We had a seriously great time with you guys!

Anyone else game for an Aussie adventure?