Friday, May 20, 2016

Fairytale Theme Party

If you picked up the Autumn copy of OHbaby! magazine, you will have seen this little party, and accompanying details.  This was SO much fun to throw!  The fairytale theme has an abundance of references to draw inspiration from.  We had Rapunzel Plaits, Princess & the Pea Puddings, Fairy Godmother Wands and so many other fun details.

Alice, who is the genius behind that cake, baked the most beautiful cupcakes, and was also responsible for those cute fairy wands.  For me, the cake was the winning element of the party.  The instructions for making it are up on the OHbaby! website, if you want to have a go yourself.

Throwing themed parties is definitely on my list of favourite things, but I must admit I am a little lost without some helpers in the food department.  Anything but the food.  Hence the rather simple offerings at Garland's Dino party (it didn't help that we were camping!).  Alice is amazing, her ideas and abilities.  We may both working too many hours to fit in party collabs anymore, but I sure miss it.

My favourite hand-make for this party, were the illustrated softies.  I was surprised by how easy and quick they were to put together.  We still have the little wolf I made for Eleanor.  Each is backed with gold fabric, in keeping with our colour scheme.  The instructions (which are simple, and probably self-evident) are in the magazine, if you have a copy.

I went for a paper-cut style when I was illustrating the printables.  You can access the invites on the OHbaby! website, where you'll also find the seed packet and food label printables.  I've included the rest of the set at the end of this post.  The bunting was handmade, although I know letter bunting like this is easy enough to come by if you don't have the heart for all that scissoring.

These cupcake crowns were another easy and cute project, and now double as doll crowns.  Perfect!  Alice whipped up these pumpkins and mice, below.  Aren't they adorable?!  The instructions are here on the OHbaby! website.

Our party games were very simple.  We had a treasure hunt for a golden egg (Jack and the Beanstalk ref), and storytelling via a visiting king.  Otherwise, they played with balloons and grazed at the treat table.  I gathered together the party favours in a golden treasure sack for them to take home, along with a softie each.

I wish I had more time for party planning.  I especially love hand-making all the decorations and little favours.  I think I might have to start planning one anyway.  A just for fun, middle of winter one.  Hmmmmm....

Friday, May 13, 2016

Pretty Puhoi

I last visited Puhoi when I was about 12.  We took the Puhoi River kayak trip and stopped in at the village just long enough for a picnic, before heading home.  I barely had memories the town, and felt no pressing desire to stop in again.  When our lovely friends picked Puhoi as their wedding reception spot, we had the opportunity to spend a (very) little time here again, and we were charmed.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Photo Books :: Book Making Tips!

I know everyone has their own preferences for photobook creating.  For instance, I prefer to create photo books based around each season.  For me, it's much less daunting to approach bookmaking with only X amount of photos to include.  An entire years worth would do me in... With fewer images to work with, I feel freer to add extra pages and give full coverage to special events.  I also like the idea of pulling out a bunch of books ahead of a season, to remind us of all the fun activities that season offers...

However you go about making your books, some of these tips may be of use.  I've made a few now, and have developed my perfect recipe...

Monday, April 25, 2016

Camping :: Wenderholm Regional Park

It's not all room service and spa baths, yo.  

After spending most of January in our tent, it really began to feel like our second home.  It has taken several years for me to feel any urge to camp - because #babies.  Last summer we eased into it by staying in my Pa's caravan for a couple of weeks.  This year we went all in, and other than the heat, we loooooved it.  I'm a born again camper...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Book Review: Twenty Questions for Gloria by Martyn Bedford

Twenty Questions for Gloria by Martyn Bedford

Oh. So. Good.  Immediately good.  Through and through good.  For one thing, I love me a psychological thriller.  For another, this was so much more than that.  It was tender, raw, bittersweet.  It's kind of a thriller turned up on it's head...

Friday, April 1, 2016

Photo Books :: Print Shop Comparison

One of my big goals for the year is to get our favourite photos (six years worth) printed into these little seasonal photo books.  Four books times six years is... lots.  So I have my work cut out.  I've completed 1.5 years, plus a couple of additional books.  I'm also working on a baby album for Garland, and a couple of other special occasion albums.  In short, I'll be doing this for the rest of my life, I guess...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Kid Wears (+ giveaway) :: Funky Giraffe

Get ready for a whole lotta cute!  And I'm not just talking about my adorable nephew (isn't he, though?).

If there's one baby item that's worth it's weight in gold, it's the humble bib.  Many cute outfits have been saved by this handy little accessory, and many more have been ruined in its absence.  They are also the first baby item to need replacing, in my experience.  So if you have a little one and you need a bib supplier hook-up, I have one for you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Book Review: The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

'The Hired Girl' - Laura Amy Schlitz

Ah, such a breath of fresh air!  I loved this book, and so needed this kind of read!  'The Hired Girl' is so layered and sweet and sad and often funny.  So many feels!  This is one for the Austen/Alcott/Downton fans...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tane Mahuta - Waipoua Forest

Most people stop in on Tane Mahuta as a matter of course, but it took us 6 years to take our kids in, despite passing through Waipoua Forest several times a year.  That's pretty slack.  We dropped in a few months back and it was such a short and sweet detour I kicked myself for not doing it sooner...

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Quick Review - Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium

I'll keep it brief because everyone already knows Kelly Tarlton's is cool.  I'm also relying on phone pics, which aren't the bestest.  However, KT has become a total fave, following a class camp we took last year.  Last weekend we made a repeat trip with Garland as a belated birthday treat...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The shape of our days

The education question looms pretty big for most parents, and so too for us. We took a long time to weigh up the pros and cons and sit with a final decision, and it wasn't a simple one.  Homeschooling was never the big dream, but it was never something I shied away from either.  So we made the call.  Purchased our curriculum.  Set up an at-home classroom...

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Tomorrow is the start of our homeschooling year with Eleanor.  We're homeschooling newbies, but we're using the Oak Meadow curriculum (we bought ours on ebay) and I feel like we're in safe hands.  I'm in the process of setting up a classroom space for Eleanor, hoping it'll turn out cute as well as functional.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Eumundi Markets

Perhaps Australia Zoo was a little less fun than we'd hoped for, partly because we'd already spent the morning scouring the Eumundi Markets.  Between the market (huge!) and the zoo (huger!), that's a fair bit of walking in one day.  In the middle of a mini heatwave...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Camping List

We've spent most of January living in a tent.  Far enough away from home to feel refreshing, close enough to feel pretty darn comfortable.  We are home again now, time to prep for the new year.  But before we forget...

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas is Coming

So much about 2015 has been challenging, stressful, or just outright scary.  Which is a pretty negative spin on a year that has also had its fair share of total magic, but the point I'm heading towards is that entering the Christmas season we really needed low-key...