Friday, July 21, 2017

Aunty's Day, 2017

This Sunday, 23 July is Aunties Day 2017!

It's the day that you all get the chance to tell your Aunty/ Aunties how absolutely AWESOME they are AND how much you LOVE them.  You also get the opportunity to remind them that you wouldn't be the brilliant person you are if it wasn't for them.  If you think I'm exaggerating, think about this...

If it wasn't for your crazy aunty, how would you know that you shouldn't tell your grandma her bum looks big in those jeans?!

If it wasn't for your silly aunty, who would have given you farting slime for Christmas?

If it wasn't for your rich aunty, who would have paid for you to go to soccer camp/ sponsored you in the fun run/ bought all those fundraising chocolates?

If it wasn't for your aunty, your Mum/Dad wouldn't understand that siblings can be really annoying!

If it wasn't for your aunty, you would be stuck with the cranky old lady next door as your babysitter!

If it wasn't for your aunty, your grandma wouldn't know that your favourite colour is no longer blue!

If it wasn't for your aunty, your Mum would probably be sitting in the corner of her bedroom, rocking back and forth, staring.... because she would have no one to remind her that before she had kids she was cool and interesting to other adults and she knows more about the world than her three year old.

If it wasn't for your aunty, your dad would have no idea about daughters!! Like, you think he has no idea now, but he would know even less than nothing about being a girl!

If it wasn't for your aunty, you wouldn't have a fun adult woman in your life with disposable income, a sense of humour and your art framed on her wall.

If it wasn't for your aunty, you wouldn't learn anything about your parents' past life... including when they got a nose ring, crashed a car, dated a bad boy and swore at their parents.

If it wasn't for your aunty, you would have nothing to do this Sunday!!

Go on, tell that wonderful woman that your life would be a whole lot less fun without her!

If you want more info about Aunties Day 2017, check out the article on Savvy Auntie

If you want to read more about being an Awesome Aunty, check this out.

Happy Aunties' Day!
Love



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Text Messages from my Mum

My mum is at church this morning.  I'm not because I hurt my back earlier this week.  She is one of the Sunday School leaders.  She just sent me these texts... my responses are there too. 



You would totally trust these people with your children, right?!



Friday, July 14, 2017

Lastest of the Cards

I have been busy!  Nanny was here and we were busy having fun.  Putt Putt, Cat CafĂ©, High Tea and sleepovers have been keeping us moving all the time.  I accidentally went to my specialist appointment two days early, so that ended in a busy day for no good reason.   I spent some time catching up with friends from school too.  I have been making cards and learning new techniques.  One of my aunties from interstate came to visit and shared her love of card crafting with me.  That was fun.

Here are a few photos of the latest cards I have made.

Created for a good friend of mine who is expecting a baby.
I tried a new distressing/ inking technique on the big hexagon.
I can't get through any month of the year without making at least one birthday card! One of these was for my nephew who LOVES pigs.  The other was made for my cousin who LOVES to Soccer. 

I call this Pigs in Mud!

I love my hexagon nested dies. This is the second
soccer card I have created this year!

As I was on holidays, I decided to get ahead with a series of Thank you cards.  Teacher Aide Appreciation Day is sometime soon and I want to be prepared for it.  I used a similar style as a series of cards I created in January.  Click here to see them

Inspired by this



I love the "messier" look of these cards.
The shadow is created simply by cutting the words
in both white and black card then gluing off centre.
Die cut machines make this really simple!
I bought some new crafting tools online the last few weeks.  A beautiful cat silhouette set of dies finally arrived and I made this card, just so I could play with them!

I added a sentiment in the top corner but didn't
photograph it before sealing the envelope to post it!
Silly me!
That's that then.
I would love to hear from you.  Do you have a craft that you like to do when you have time?  What is your favourite type of craft? If it's not craft, what else do you do when you have the free time?

Off I go, Lots to do!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

ART PARTY

I threw an Art Party for my niece who turned 5 and while it certainly wasn't perfect... It was pretty close.  The birthday girl told me later that she had lots of fun and with no prompting from her parents she thanked me for her present!  She is growing up so quickly, my little artist. 

After my epic sunburn at the last outdoor party, we decided to use some portable shade covers in the yard.  It was a pain to get them erected, but it was totally worth it! I didn't even get a tan this time around.  It probably helped that it was a cloudy day, but I'm sure the shelters were a big part of it.  When you live in Australia, you can still get sunburnt on a cloudy day!

As the party was all about Art (the birthday girl LOVES painting and being creative), I went with "rainbow" for the colour palette.  This was easy and tricky all at the same time.  Have you ever tried to find a bright orange tablecloth when pastel patterns are all the rage for party themes?  Thankfully, it was easier to find all the streamers I needed.  The balloons didn't do so well in the weather either, but at the end of the day it didn't matter. 

Decorations

I kept it as simple as possible (when you have a 5 year old it's more about the games and the presents).  Balloons were hung along the fence at the front of the house (rainbow of colours of course) to make it obvious where the party was going on.  When guests entered the gate they were greeted with a whiteboard resting on an easel that said "Happy Birthday" then they could go to various activity stations. 

The yard had a range of stations set out for guests to enjoy and each had a decorated sign with a cute theme name.  This allowed for about an hour of Free Play Fun.

Face Paint Parlour (obvious): check out some of our sample pictures for the kids to choose from.
Circle of Flowers
This rainbow was created with a rainbow split cake.
I seriously recommend you purchase one!

Selfie Stop (photo booth): one of our good friends is studying to be a photographer, so she brought her fancy camera and took some great photos of the kids.  The back drop was a simple curtain of coloured tablecloths.  I bought two black cardboard frames for the kids to hold up and stuck some rainbow pom poms (that I made) on the corners. I also had some glitter covered hats leis as extra props. 
This is the Pin that inspired the Photobooth I created. 

Colour My World (colouring in): I printed free colouring pages from the internet including Barbie and rainbows.
Sculpture Street  (playdough and found objects): I made three batches of this playdough recipe and divided into approximately equal portions to add colouring.  This way we had a rainbow of colours, without having too much playdough!

Click for the recipe.  I used the no-cook option.

Bubble Station (obvious): I bought bubble tubes from Kmart for $1 and taped the to the poles on the shelters that we had erected.  Grandmas helped the little ones with dipping wands into the tubes. This was inspired by this pin, pictured and linked below. 
Click for Source


Some organised activities included Pin the Ponytail on Barbie (Grandma created the poster and ponytails for this activity) and Pass the Parcel (various rainbow wrapping paper and pink/silver/ glittery paper). 
Pass the Parcel- each layer had a wrapped chocolate or wrapped lollies.
Prize in the middle was a CD case with coloured pencils and a small colouring book. 


That was basically it, for decorations.  I used a silver plastic tablecloth for the cake/gift table. The activity stations were set out on folding tables with a coloured plastic tablecloth (I used random colours so each table was different).  A few dropsheets that we have often laid out when the kids were painting were a great addition as well. 

Activities

We started with Free Play and while I planned for only 30 minutes we managed to stretch it to nearly an hour.  That's when everyone enjoyed the activity stations  mentioned above.  This worked very well for ensuring the face painting line was never too long and no one got bored while they waited for their turn.  At least one adult was stationed at each activity to help with materials and make sure none of the children were left looking lost.
When everyone had visited the face paint parlour we had a group shot at the Selfie Stop.  Guests were invited upstairs to enjoy a rainbow of fruit and some fairy bread! While they were eating, some elves (the best face painters ever) packed up the stations and set up the next two activities- Painting and Pin the Ponytail on Barbie.  The birthday girl happens to love Barbie too and originally wanted a Barbie party.  Considering that all her big brothers were attending the party we went with the art theme so everyone could enjoy themselves.  Barbie had to be included though! 
Everyone had fun painting and as they finished Grandma blindfolded them and spun them around to Pin the Ponytail on Barbie.  That was a good laugh.  Everyone trekked back upstairs when they were finished and we awarded prizes (a lucky dip of mini colouring in kits, packets of Smarties/ MnM's and mini watercolour paint palettes) to the top three "pinners" before playing pass the parcel.

We sang Happy Birthday and enjoyed a rainbow layer cake.  Guests were handed a loot bag before they left and the Birthday girl thanked them for coming to her party!  Everyone also got to take home the paintings which were dry just in time. 
Loot Bags were simple brown paper lunch bags. 
They were decorated with colourful washi tape.
Bags included Smarties, small notepads and coloured pencils.

Just a hint: It's very important when having this much activity at a party to have lots of adults on board to help out. The Grandmas were equally good at helping in the kitchen, packing away after an activity finished AND more importantly joining in with the games and fun.  I was so lucky that the BFF came along to help set up AND face paint AND clean up while I was entertaining the kids. She is beginning to become a fixture at the children's birthday parties and they love having her there! They think she's so cool. 

If you are looking for more inspiration and advice for your own Art Party check out my Pinterest Board. 

Ta ta for now!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Playing Catch Up

I know it's late and I know your life didn't end just because my blog post was a bit late.  Considering I haven't updated you on my goals since March (and it's about the half way point) we are checking in today.
This Year, 2017, I will…

Quit… eating because I’m bored, sad, angry, frustrated or confused.

I have been emotional eating the last few weeks.  Now that I'm on holidays I am starting afresh.  So far, so good. 

Eat…   three balanced meals and two snacks at least 6 days a week. 

I need to start fresh for this one too.  I was doing well.  Then, I wasn't. 

Start… exercising for 30 minutes, at least 4 times a week.

More excuses.  I went for a big walk yesterday.  That was good.  I played with a big and happy dog today.  It probably doesn't count.  Trying, trying. 

Visit… family and/or friends once a month.

Totally on track!! Woo Hoo.  This one is harder than you might think.  I find social gatherings daunting.  More than two or three people in a group and I'm done. I can't concentrate.  I feel frumpy and tired and confused.  Managing to consciously make time for connecting with others is tricky sometimes.  I am finding that (for the most part) it's worth the effort. 

Accept… that I cannot fix everything. 

I am going to give it a tick this month. There are things I can fix and I need to take control of those.  The biggest thing for me to remember that I cannot change or "fix" the past.  It doesn't matter what I do or how long I worry, I can't change it.  I have to remember that. 

See…    Melbourne in real life/ Capital Cities.

I went to Adelaide and I saw a bit more of Brisbane (yes, I know I live in Brisbane's suburbs!).  During the holidays, I am getting out and about more so I'm giving this one a tick too!

Learn… at least 12 scripture passages by heart. 

Let's See: Scripture Verses learned so far
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Psalm 23
Psalm 32:7
Colossians 1:11

I'm working on:
Psalm 32:8
Philippians 4:19 I might try to learn a larger passage from Philippians 4, but for now I'm starting with one verse. 

Therefore, I'm on track! I have found a new app to help me with this and it's awesome!

Give… to Christian Missions overseas and in Australia (12 times or once a month).

I have been continuing with my regular sponsorship of a day care centre overseas.  I am saving some money to send to an orphanage in Cambodia where my cousin is the director. 

Be…   Quiet

I have been feeling challenged in this.  I am doing it.  I am.  I need to do it more.  I almost feel like I need more than quiet.  Maybe I need silence?

Grow… spiritually by reading my Bible 5-7 times a week and attending church at least 3 times each month.

I finished the devotional book I was reading and I am now working my way through a section in an Everyday with Jesus for a year book.  Each book is divided into four, twelve week plans.  There is a Bible passage for reading, a short commentary and references for further reading (with questions).  I am finding it very useful and a little challenging.  The books I have are currently out of print, but if you are interested this website publishes a daily devotional by the same author with the same structure. I did quite a bit of research to try and improve and meet this goal.  I think I have gone backwards.  I am continuing to read and pray at least 4 times each week.  Church attendance is on track though. 

Invest… in reaching these goals.

Obviously I'm doing this.. I need to refocus. 

Love