Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's been a while..

I always do this.. I plan to blog regularly and then, life happens..

So I am back with a few update posts, and will try my utmost to keep up but, you know... Life. It happens ;-)

As you can see from my blog header, we have added a new lil member to our family since I last blogged. And that lil member is already almost 14 months old!

We just adore our little guy - he has brought so many extra cuddles and laughs and special moments to all of us.His sister is besotted with him, and he with her <3 They get along so well; I tear up sometimes watching them together and thinking that we were so unsure whether we wanted another baby. How he has enriched all our lives!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Imke turned 4! Our pink pirate shindig!

After months and months of hard work and late nights, Imke's pink pirate 4th birthday party was a super success!

I can't wait to share all the details of our girly's party - she had so much fun, all the little pirates looked adorable and I loved every moment of working on it.

SO, on to the process.. Last year sometime, Imke mentioned that for her 4th birthday she would love to have a pink pirate party. And my creative gears started turning away! I immediately ran to Pinterest to see if anyone else has done a pink pirate party. Lo and behold there were hundreds of images for inspiration.

I printed out a few of my pins, to stick up in my office so I can see them daily - then I started designing.

First off was the invitation - it needed to be pink and girly, but with a very pirate-y feel. (I downloaded the font called "Arr Matey" and used this extensively throughout all the designs). This is what I came up with:

Next, I took myself off to the fabric shop - my favourite place at the moment ;-) I bought meters and meters of pink, black and white polka dot and striped poly-cotton, some hideous (my sewing machine hated this fabric so much!) polyester black stretchy fabric as well as some inexpensive pink lace (pictured in this post). I went to the fabric shop so often for this party that they now greet me by name when I walk in lol!

With the fabric I made black & white striped pants for the boys, pink & white s& black stripey skirts with lace trim for the girls, ship sails for the centerpieces, tablecloths and sails for our fabulous boat (more about the boat a bit later!). I also made waistcoats for the littlies - with buttons for the boys, and with corset effect for the girls. Even the granddads, uncles and Imke's daddy got waistcoats.

Here is the birthday girl in her pirate get-up! I made the hats from felt and just had an idea in my head about how I want them to look, and they turned out just perfect. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the skulls out of calico, and then I just used spray adhesive to attach them. For the 'pirate shop' where all the kiddos got their outfits as they arrived, I used the dress-up station I built for Imke's playroom. Loot bags I made from calico, and Imke helped me stencil the skulls on them.

Here are some little awesome pirates guests in their outfits:

A friend brought me a huge bag full of empty kitchen paper rolls, and we got stuck in painting them black. Then I begged my fabulous sister to come help me finish the telescopes with gold paper, stick on 'jewels' and bakers twine. Each pirate got a full outfit, a sword or a hook, a telescope, a hat, an eye patch and a loot-bag. Inside the loot-bag I added a little treasure hunt list and a pencil, so the kids could tick off all the things they found for their loot.

I made a rugged, coffee stained sign at the entrance to welcome all the little guests, and give some information as to where they need to find their outfits etc. I can't always be right there to welcome everyone, unfortunately :-(

Half way through the planning of this party, I started thinking about having a boat for the kids to play in. I ran it past my dearest dad, and he said no problem! And voila, he built us a boat - I love that I can have these mad ideas, and my family just falls in to help and make and do!

Here is the boat, complete with sails (which didn't last too well against the onslaught of little hands lol!). Dad made a porthole low to the ground for them to crawl through, and we added a walkway plank (which J didn't get time to varnish; but he did varnish the whole rest of the boat - my husband rocks!). It also has 'cannons', where pirates can throw cannonballs through - and I forgot to put the balls in the boat for the party... Can't always remember everything!

We placed the boat on a truckload of river sand, and I hid a gazillion necklaces, bracelets, crowns and other 'treasures' in the sand, and provided loads of shovels for the kids to dig with.

For Imke's party last year, my dad (yes, again me and mad idea and dad just builds it!) made me a 3m long wooden table with legs that can be adjusted for either normal table height or kiddie table height. I puffy herat this table. We again used scaffolding planks as the benches and my sister kindly wrapped them in hessian (burlap) so no one gets splinters.

I made little sails, hot glued them to dowels, and stuck them in plant pots which I covered in black fabric & tulle a the centerpieces for the kiddie table. I got pink & black paper plates, and then folded paper boats from craft paper, which served as place cards and we also served fishfingers and chips in them for lunch. My sister again came to the rescue to add the teeny tiny washi-tape flags on the bakers twine as sails. They looked super cute, but the wind on the day did not co-operate and most of them flew off the table, so we never got a nice shot of the table all set up pretty :-(

 For activities, we had a craft table, where the kids could paint and decorate cardboard boats I made (this blog was my inspiration for the boats). I also built a ring toss, with pirate hooks and made rings from rope. There was also a 'walk the plank' activity for the wee pirates. Then I got some temporary tattoo paper, and printed loads of little tattoos and made a "Pirate tattoo shop" - the kids loved this, and my sister-in-law agreed to be the tattoo applier :-)

The lady that has made Imke's previous cakes could unfortunately not bake for us this year. Have you seen the cakes she's made in the past for us? I have to just quickly add them in here!

First birthday - Very Hungry Caterpillar

Second birthday - In the Night Garden

Third birthday - A Fairy Party

BUT, a dear friend of mine came to the rescue, and she baked us a masterpiece!! I was so happy with this cake - thank you Liezel <3

Isn't it just awesome?!!

I wanted to attempt royal icing biscuits, like the pretty one you see all over the blogosphere. I have never made these before and I am afraid to say I failed miserably lol! They were edible, and the kids loved them, but my icing had air holes all over. But I tried, that's all I can do, and next time I'll know better ;-)

And then I wanted to make pirate chocolates - this was the crappiest, most time-consuming job of the whole party! I found the perfect pirate mould, but I was too stingy to buy 2, so it took forever to make the 30 chocs I wanted. I gave up at 27 lol! They were delicious though.

I baked cupcakes, and stuck in the cute cupcake toppers I designed. Loved those toppers. We wrapped rope and ribbons around everything (some of which look a bit droopy in the pics; will have to secure them better next time!), and stuck pretty labels in our theme colours on.

We did a candy buffet again this year - it works so much better than a pre-packed party pack. The kids get to choose their own favourite sweeties, and they take home as much as their moms allow them to ;-)

I did the backdrop with leftover fabric, and did Imke's name in hot pink! I filled a treasure chest with jewels and treasure and loads of gold coin chocolates.

I LOVED working on this party!! I had loads of fun, lots of frustrations and bucket loads of help from my fab family!

Thank you to Jeroen for varnishing the boat, cutting out teensy little labels, and keeping Imke occupied so I could sew. Thank you Vicky for helping so much with everything - those details make the party extra pretty, and you did such a fabulous job <3 Thank you mom for sewing 14 meters of bunting for me, and thank you to both you and mother-in-law for getting all the food made and ready! Thank you daddy for building a boat, for bringing the sand, for helping me build all the things I could never make on my own.

Imke said she had the best time ever - that is all I want to hear after the party, then I know it was a success :-D

Finally, here are some images of the little pirates having a ball at the party (all images by Sam's Photography):

And of Imke, Jeroen & me:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Arrr, me hearties!!

40 Days to go till our baby girl turns 4!! And 40 days for this mommy to get everything for her pink pirate party finished!

I am on track with the planning and making, and Imke is getting SO excited - can't wait till the big day to see her happy and excited knowing it is her special day, shared with friends and family who love and adore her.

Man, I love making this girlie happy!! <3

Sneak peak: (please excuse the fuzzy cellphone pics)

My ideas for pirate outfits

The fabrics

The birthday girl stencilling the pirate loot bags:

The makings of a pirate tattoo shop:

The mast and sails that *might* go on the boat we are building ;-)

It is going to be pink, and bright and beautiful - but most of all it is going to be our little Imke's perfect 4th birthday party!!

PS - you can follow my Pink Pirate party board on Pinterest here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

137 days...

Yes, I am already counting down to Imke's 4th birthday! I love, love, love planning her parties - and I am a tad OCD, so I like to start early with the planning ;-)

Last year I made so much of the decor, costumes and food myself, that if I did not start early I would have not completed half of what I wanted.

This year, Imke has said that she would like a 'Pink Pirate Princess Party' - the 4 P's that most 4 year olds adore it seems!

I will start looking at some ideas soon, but will keep asking her if she is sure about her theme before I start the proper planning.

But... I have been pinning like a mad woman - check out all these awesome ideas! I *puffy heart* Pinterest!

(it seems I might be building a boat.... How fabulous is this??)


Monday, January 14, 2013

Blogging, bloggers and time wastage..

Saying that I love to blog hop and dicover new crazy, happy places to waste time is an understatement... (although if you are having fun while wasting time it doesn't count as wasted, right? RIGHT?) Thought I would do a quick list of my bests for 2012 (and I am sure these will stay on my list for 2013,)

One place where I can get lost for hours (literally!) is Vanessa Raphealy's site Hurricane Vanessa. I follow on twitter and once I have opened a link then I seem to enter another dimension where time just seems to disappear lol! I find myself with at least 20 tabs open and me still clicking on more links. It is addictive...

I discovered the Pintester last year, and was hooked immediately by her tagline - Fucking up Pinterest pins so you don't have to. She makes me laugh and I have several snorts-coffee-through-nose stains on my laptop to prove it..

As I am a huge Pinterest addict, and I have found some awesome stuff, but sometimes I think people are smoking pot and then pinning the most outrageous things they can find.. At Pinfuriating and WTF, Pinterest, they surely feel the same way I do - I love seeing some of the more absurd pins highligted here. And on WTF, Pinterest, reading some of the comments people make on other's pins and the nastiness has made my jaw drop to the floor. This one had me in stitches (and has made me want to use the term Old Naggy Vaginas randomly!)

Cakewrecks is in one word, hilarious! I head over there when I need reassurance that my baking is not as bad as I think... (dream on Cyndi)

Maybe I should send this Pinterest pinned cake (by the fabulous Raspberri Cupcakes Sydney Baking Blog) I attempted to bake to Craftfail, or ask the Pintester if she could do better, or just send it to Cakewrecks and admit my baking skills are not on par with my building stuff skills ;-)

 Even though it looks DISGUSTING, my pajama party girlfriends agreed it still tasted divine. And oh how I love them for being brave enough to taste it!

Happy blog-hopping xxx

PS, if you are on Twitter, brag about your blog using #bloggerrollcall - you might find some new blogs to waste time on, um, I mean have fun with.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Treasure Hunt!

Imke's school holidays started on the 4th of Dec and she only goes back on the 21st of Jan - that is 7 weeks of holiday *gasp* Luckily, J has had leave from the 24th and he only goes back on the 14th. And he is such an awesome daddy; he gets down on the floor to play and he indulges all Imke's imaginary play (he has been a fairy, a princess, the Gruffalo, Goldilocks, Dory, Woody, and many more already this holiday!).

And we rae off to the coast this weekend for a little break, so at least that makes the school holiday not feel SO long ;-) I am a stay at home mom, and Imke goes to playschool 4 mornings a week, from 9 to 12:30. Those 3 hours that she is at school during the day gives me just (barely) enough time to do all the projects and things I need and want to do. Needless to say, I have not tackled any projects the last 3 weeks lol!

Anyway, the other day she was hanging around, saying she wants to watch TV (which equates to us saying 'we are bored!' when we were kids). So I quickly drew up a little treasure hunt for her - and she loved it and had so much fun!

I tagged aalong behind her, taking pics of her while she was taking pictures of the items she had to find. And I couldn't resist editing the images side by side, so you can see what I saw and what she saw through the viewfinder.

Brown leaf

Yellow Leaf

Green Leaf

Pink Flower

Blue Flower

Yellow Flower

Pine Cone


Tree & Clouds

Attempting to get a pic of butterflies - but they don't sit still

A stick

A Tomato

One of the woofies

I made another hunt for objects inside the house

For these she did not want me to follow her around ;-)