Post(s) tagged with "Party"

Halloween 

Spiders, Bats, Ghosts, Mummies, a Bat-Eva and a Cowboy. 

Halloween 

Crafting, Mask Making, Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin, Donuts on a Spring and a bunch of cute kids dressed-up, made for a fun little Halloween party. The kids had a blast and Eva is already looking forward to next year!

Eva’s 3rd Birthday Party

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Three.

Despite the whirlwind couple of weeks we have had, the party must go on! Initially, when I had planned Eva’s birthday party, I had expected that I would have a newborn that was a couple of weeks old, not a three day old baby!

And so Owen arrived the day before her birthday and I would still be in hospital for the big day and miss everything. But with both sets of grandparents in town from out-of-state and overseas, and with Eva having been counting down the days for more than 2 months—“I can’t wait my birthday” she would tell me on a daily basis—I knew I couldn’t postpone anything.

In the end, the day was perfect. Eva woke up to red balloons and a birthday breakfast. I was home with Owen by late afternoon for cake and candles in the evening. And on Saturday, we had her birthday party with all of her friends. There was pass the parcel, pin the tail on the donkey, party hats, and more cake.

Afterwards we were all exhausted—Eva took a nap for the first time in ages—, but it was the best day. On Sunday, Eva woke to tell me— “I can’t wait for Christmas!”

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* Inspiration and resources

** Thanks to my mother-in-law for making Eva’s lovely cake and Sarah for taking some great shot while I was occupied with Owen.  

Eva’s 3rd Birthday Party Inspiration

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Time is moving far too quickly. It’s hard to believe that soon Eva will be turning three! 

It might seem strange that I’m already planning Eva’s birthday party, which isn’t for another two months, but by the time her birthday rolls around, we’ll have a newborn in the house — my due date is May 11 and Eva’s birthday is the 23rd!

And in some ways it might seem crazy that we’re planning to have a party at all; however, I’m very conscious of making Eva feel special once the baby boy is here. Skipping her birthday is not an option. 

As much as I’d love to go all out with a fun birthday theme like a vintage circus or a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, I’m trying to be realistic about what will be achievable. So we’re going back to basics. As far as Eva knows, birthdays are about an awesome cake with candles, lots of balloons and party hats. 

I’ve already purchased some "Happy" wrapping paper from Kikki K, which along with the geometric pattern, the colours will be the inspiration for decorations. I’ll order party hats from etsy, buy a silver  
"3" and confetti balloons, and my mother-in-law will make a two-tiered banana cake, as requested by Eva. Along with a few classic party games, the party will be short and sweet with the focus on the cutting of the cake! 

Details and photo credits can be found on my Pinterest pin board

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Valentine’s

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Last week I sheepishly messaged a couple of friends of mine who have girls around the same age as Eva. Not wanting to sound weird or too “American” — which I’m often accused of despite being Australian — and invited them over for a Valentine’s themed playdate. 

While Australians tend to celebrate the “big” holidays — Christmas and Easter — it’s not uncommon to hear people complain about other holidays being overly “commercialised” or “Americanised”. Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a date night with complimentary flowers and chocolate but not to the extent as it is in the States. Kids don’t create little mail boxes to be filled with cards and goodies from classmates and only recently have shops started decorating their windows in theme. 

But as a kid what’s not to love about celebrating all the holidays — presents, crafting, fun decorations and an excuse for a little party? So here it is, Eva’s Sunday morning Valentine’s party playdate with Ruby and Avalon.

Not wanting to fill them up on too much sugar, they ate croissants, fresh fruit and milk from mini-glass bottles. And later engaged in obligatory crafting — card creating, crown making and cookie cutting. 

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Mmm… chocolate filled raspberry macrons. 

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DIY Giant Geometric Wall Heart — via Oleander and Palm.

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Mangled heart-shaped cookies.

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And an attempt at getting a shot of all the girls together.

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Halloween Party

It might be the fact that we didn’t celebrate Halloween in Australia until recently or it could be the fact that I spend way too much time on Pinterest, but this year I wanted to celebrate it in a big way — our first annual (?) Halloween party! This time I crazily decided to make most of the food — mini-pumpkin pies, apple pockets and zucchini tots along with a cheese plater and spider-fruit skewers. Needless to say, I spent way too much time in the kitchen and so literally took a shower and got myself and Eva dressed just 10 minutes before everyone arrived!

I had long hoped that Eva was going to be Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween. However, after Eva’s grandmother sewed her a red cape and I hand-stitched an apron, Eva decided the outfit was “too red”. And despite my pleads and attempted bribes, Eva held strong to her convictions. So, 10 minutes before the party started Eva agreed to be a pink butterfly. Seeing as though I may be living out my childhood fantasies vicariously through Eva, I may need to rethink my approach to her future costumes.

Yet, once the first guest arrived Eva began jumping and skipping excitedly around the living room — all of my craziness had paid off in that moment. The kids had fun playing “pin the nose on the pumpkin”, colouring, exploring the “mystery bowls” and making little “mummy lanterns”. And despite our best attempts at getting a group shot, there was always a kid or two missing! 

Photo Credit: most of these shots (i.e. the high quality pictures) were taken by the lovely Sarah

Eva’s Tex-Mex 2nd Birthday Party

Eva is one lucky little girl. Not only did she have a early birthday celebration with a few of her friends, but she got a Texan birthday party with her family.

Johnny grew up in Texas and was surrounded by Spanish and Tex-Mex culture. Every time we go to a Mexican restaurant outside of Texas, he scoffs and pouts. So when we found out we would be in Texas for Eva’s birthday, Johnny wanted her to have a proper Texan birthday party like the ones he had growing up, with fajitas, queso, homemade guacamole, a piñata, the lot. 

And Johnny’s Aunt Linda, Uncle David, his cousin April and her husband Luis were the greatest hosts ever. Their house, outside of Austin, is absolutely gorgeous, and all four of them went above and beyond in setting it up for the party. 

We had sombreros, maracas, margaritas, and even fake moustaches. 

The food was incredible. I think I may have eaten the whole bowl of guacamole by myself. Luis makes his own salsas, all of which were absolutely incredible. Later when I asked Johnny if he wanted to take home any jarred salsa—he is so picky about salsa—, he said he just wanted to take Luis home instead. Johnny had an entire plate of just fajita meat and moaned the entire time while eating it.

Eva was apprehensive about the food, and seemed confused by the colour of the Spanish rice. So we have some training to do there.

A neighbour brought her children over to enjoy the party and to help with the piñata. Eva had more fun carrying the stick around the back garden than beating the piñata. But after it was busted open, she stuffed her party bag full of goodies — the plastic sunglasses and star wands were particular favourites.  

Eva got so many presents that we had to bring home an extra suitcase to accommodate them all. Johnny’s aunt once again bought Eva fabulous clothes, including this one. 

I couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate Eva’s 2nd birthday, and can only hope that get another chance to visit Austin and Johnny’s family again soon! 

Eva’s 2nd Birthday Party

In a little over a week, Eva will be two years old! Can you believe it?

These two years have gone by so quickly, but yet it’s hard for me to imagine my life without Eva, or even life before Eva. She consumes so much of my time and thoughts. Our lives have been forever changed because of Eva, changed for the better. So when we celebrate Eva’s birthday, we are also celebrating what a gift it is to be parents. Enough with the sentimental notes, and on with the party… 

Since we’ll be in America for Eva’s actual birthday we wanted to host a small party with a few of Eva’s friends before we left. Now, this is where Johnny and I didn’t quite communicate effectively. When we discussed a small party, I thought “small” in size, but Johnny somehow thought that also meant small in terms of decorations and panning. It wasn’t until he saw me spray-painting old plastic dinosaurs gold, or printing gift bags, did he realise that he had married a crazy lady!

And I have to say thanks to Pinterest, I had a lot more planned, but Johnny quickly made me realise that I didn’t need to pull an all-nighter after work in order to prepare for a two-year-old’s birthday party. So up went the same birthday banner we used for Eva’s first birthday. Rather than slaving away in the kitchen, we bought a cake and fresh scones from the bakery that morning and put together toddler snack trays filled with fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese and crackers. 

The dinosaur terrarium  

Mini-bunting made with gold dot stickers, bamboo skewers and twine.

Eva’s birthday invitation and gift bags filled with stickers, a small toy dinosaur, laminated dinosaur flashcards, and pencils (recycled from restaurant kids’ packs).

Cups filled with berry compote, yogurt and muesli as well as fruit salad. And Japanese washi tape used to hold bamboo forks to each plastic cup.

Kraft paper covered coffee table created a large enough space for the kids to explore, play and eat. 

A plastic storage container filled with sand and hidden dinosaur skeletons was turned into an paleontological dig. This kept the kids entertained as they spread sand throughout the house and dug for dinosaurs. 

The Photo-booth:

Getting a group of near two-year-olds to sit still is almost impossible, so the props were quickly discarded in order to simply get two toddlers in the same frame.

The following photographs were taken by my lovely friend Sarah and should be submitted as reason #125,134 as to why I need a new camera! As you can see most of the kids were mesmerised by the cake and a little confused about how to blow out the candle. 

Planning and hosting Eva’s “little” birthday party was definitely a labour of love, but the planner and organiser in me loved doing it. And I can only hope Eva grows up to realise how incredibly lucky and loved she is! 

Eva’s 2nd Birthday — “The Plan”

Since we’re going to be in America this year for Eva’s 2nd birthday we decided not to throw a big birthday party. However, one of Johnny’s aunts and a cousin kindly offered to host a little Mexican fiesta in Eva’s honour — we’ll be in Austin, TX after all! And if you follow me on Pinterest you might have noticed some of the our ideas

Like many others, since I joined Pinterest my obsession with pinning has grown. And with so many creative and wonderful ideas floating around, I couldn’t help myself! So, instead of having a large party with our family and friends like last year we, or more accurately, I decided to throw a little birthday party/playdate for Eva and a few of her friends. 

Not wanting to spend too much money, I loved the idea of using kraft paper with bright pink highlights and decided to throw in some gold spray-painted dinosaurs for good measure. 

1. Neon meets neutral 2. Gold spy-painted dinosaurs 3. Colours — kraft, pink and gold 4. Dinosaur terrarium 5. Paper wheel backdrop — using kraft paper 6. Sticker dot activity wall 7. Dinosaur dig 8. Activity Table. 9. Gift bags 10. Free downloadable Dinosaur book for the gift bag 11. Toddler snack trays 12. Cake with bunting —  with a dinosaur instead of a fawn.

Kraft paper is inexpensive, many of the bright pink items are leftovers from Eva’s Pretty in Pink 1st birthday party and since Eva loves dinosaurs I thought it would be the perfect theme. 

And as much as I love Pinterest, I often think it gives me a false sense of my crafting ability. I start projects and become completely disillusioned. I now realise and accept that any DIY project shouldn’t involve anything more than printing, cutting, folding and gluing. However, I can now add spray painting to my repertoire.

With a can of spray paint and some old dinosaurs my mum picked up from a garage sale, the preparations for Eva’s 2nd birthday have begun! 

HAPPINESS IS EVA


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