Thursday, 20 October 2016

giveaway! win a stainless steel bento lunchbox + trio of reusable bags!

Hey folks, just popping in to say I am currently a fantastic giveaway on my Facebook and Instagram!!!

The prize is a stainless steel bento lunchbox and a trio of reusable sandwich/snack bags from the simply fantastic Litter Free Living

You all know I LOVE reusable and plastic free options wherever possible so suffice to say I have fallen in love with all of Litter Free Living's lovely wares. Another amazing WAHM too :) 

Feel free to pop over and enter!! I am giving away a set of each at each location.

Enter the Facebook giveaway HERE.

Enter the Instagram giveaway HERE.

All the best, lovelies xx

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

#highlightsreel // the sand and the sea, where the children roam free

After a week spent volunteering as a family in July, we road tripped up to Brisbane to spend a little time by the beach, with family and friends. 

It was sweet indeed :)

When the label fits... wear it with pride!!

Lily spent a lot of time walking up and down the beach with my Dad's dog, hoping people would think he was hers ;)

By the longest bridge in the Southern Hemisphere, at low tide on the mudflats. Our favourite place to run free and explore.
That magical moment when you happen to capture a teeny crab leaping from a hand...

...and that magical moment when they just happen to be walking like this...all in order, all in a line? Abbey Bridge?! ;)

We met up with my lovely, ridiculously over-talented, generally amazing friend Tarnya and her son Thomas one day at New Farm Park. Eli and Thomas clicked instantly. I just wish they could play every day! Also, Tarnya knows all the secret amazing spots for photos around there... like these incredible orange trumpet blossoms around the performing arts school. Just... wow. I think I could take photographs there all day every day!!!

Today she was like 'You can take some photos of me, Mum'. A rare occurrence so
I was happy to oblige. Oh, that sweet smile x

Just two sweet boys, trying out a little innocent 'break and enter'...
Three little loves, I heart you!

Circus on the outside, watching the circus on the inside...
(yes, they are really circus performers, practising inside! it was amazing!)

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Art Party // An Arty Girl's 8th Birthday Party!

My darling daughter Lily was turning eight and was due for a party! 

We don't do parties too often (so far, each of my kid's have had one for their 1st, 5th and now 8th birthdays). Lily's last party was her adorable Princess Tea Party when she was five (check it out here.... my teeny girl!). As we don't have them every year, when we do, I enjoy going all out to celebrate my little munchkins - and boy, do they LOVE a party :) They get to choose the theme too of course - and after running through a hundred theme variations, Lily finally settled decisively on an Art Party - fitting given her firm plans to be 'an artist' one day!

I have to admit I was thrilled with such a fun and creative theme and had an absolute blast pulling this together, with my ideas-filled little assistant planner! This kid had a clear vision and actually I was basically the assistant planner, carrying them all out on her behalf haha! Maybe she will be an event manager like her mama one day :) Lily's original big idea was to hold the party IN an art gallery so she could 'look at all the art with her friends then paint pictures of what we saw and have cake and dancing!'. Amazing, right?! But it was the midst of winter and I couldn't find a gallery that also had a good space for art and food and a horde of giggling little girls... so we decided to bring the art to us instead - with our own little gallery!

We had an absolute ball putting this all together. Homespun, simple, child-led and theme-driven, it was just a joy. I couldn't do this every year but I have to admit I absolutely love throwing parties when the time comes! I'm mostly grateful for the opportunity to make my kids feel cherished with a big celebration. And I was thrilled with Lily's creative choice because the theme just made it so easy and fun for everyone. Lots of art, laughter and food - what could be better?!

Thanks to my lovely friend Amber for taking many of following photos while I was busy flitting around! 

I think most of them speak for themselves so.... enjoy scrolling, if kid's parties are your thing ;)

DIY Art Gallery. It was so fun gathering images of some of our favourite art works. It was amazing how powerful and inspiring they all were displayed on the walls together too. The impact of beautiful art is not to underestimated :)
The Art Table, ready and waiting...
I made this simple little banner for Lily's 1st birthday party (I did the same for the boys too) and we pin them up for every birthday :) 

I made this in Canva - easy and a nice little welcome sign and wall decor.
What's a themed party without coming up with silly matching names?
Pop Art for Popcorn?! Yes, I am a genius. Ha!

'Art Palette' Rainbow Poke Cake! Click here to see how I made it and how it looks inside (clue - colourful!!). It was so easy, fun and delicious!! :) 
My lovely mother-in-law made these adorable art palette cookies
Lily came up with these names and wrote the signs. LOVE :) You can't see them too well but they are layered jelly cups.
Healthy Bliss Balls go rainbow!
Eli (6yrs) bought this little mannequin as a gift for Lily with his own money! *melt* Perfect table accessory!
Who needs table decor when you have art supplies to scatter around!? Colourful, useful and fun!  For art supplies, I had watercolours (both liquid and dry), watercolour paper, charcoal, black fine tip pens and also this fun colourful air-dry clay the kids could use to make mini-models.

An arty rainbow of fruit and veggies

I love open ended arts and crafts for kids, so I simply laid out all the materials and let them do what they liked - painting, drawing, modelling with clay. It was very relaxed and so sweet to see all the girls working away at their art. The drawing prompts on the table and walls helped inspire them when they needed it too.
I was thrilled when I found these cute little art palettes and brush sets at a cheapie shop. It meant each girl could have her own little set to use and take home. I wrote their name on each in gold pen.
'I'm just here for the food'
So, so excited for his sister's big day, my sweet boy xx
Little artists get to work!

I like to come up with (more useful, less sugary) alternatives to party bags where I can :) This time I got a bunch of calico 'library bags' and the kids had a total blast decorating them with puffy paint pens (retro!), fabric stickers and markers. Something to carry home all their art in, and use after the party. The girls were thrilled with this and I think the lollies weren't too missed ;)
Beautiful artworks drying in the afternoon sun. Little clay model animal figurines too!
They were very serious about their library bag decorating!

Lily came up with this game, kinda like 'pin the tail on the donkey' but each
blindfolded girl had to try and draw some clothing on the Lily outline, haha!
Another Lily Idea: Play Arty Musical Statues - we played music and everyone
danced around. When the music stopped, you had to freeze in a pose from one of the
art works on the walls!! It was super cute :) Harper is giving a great pose here!
Dancing up a storm and suddenly looking way too grown up! He was very into the game and had no interest in being 'out' haha

Blissfully happy to be with friends at her very own party :)
The artistes at work!
Miles was very much part of the action :)
The moment arrives... lighting the cake....

Oh my, I love this photo, cuddled up with my stripey little party-planning accomplice
as she joyfully eyes off her cake! I love this girl so much, planning a party for her was
truly a pleasure. What a wonderful young lady she is, I'm simply in awe of her xx

Great memories of a wonderful day...

Happy Birthday, Lily. What a privilege it is to celebrate you xx