Lalaloopsy bash

Last weekend I hosted a Lalaloopsy themed birthday party for my daughter’s 6th birthday. It was a wonderful opportunity to use my crafting skills and supplies to put together a truly colourful and creative event.

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The main party table incorporated a wrapping paper runner and the plates accented with flowers I had crocheted. These also doubled as quirky party favours.

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There were games of Twister and musical chairs and a chance for the guests to decorate their own paper dolls or foam pirate hats/swords. This proved to be a real hit!

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I rolled patterned paper into handy popcorn cones and fashioned a holder from a floral foam block covered in spotty wrapping paper. A bit of ribbon added the finishing touch.

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There were plenty of sweet things and a mountain of colourful cupcakes.

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I decorated a few round nesting boxes with scrapbooking paper and trims from my local fabric shop for a fun centrepiece. Amazing how far a little imagination can take you!

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During the run up to the party, I fell in love with the Lalaloopsy dolls and playsets. As a result we’ve amassed a collection of  5 large dolls, 1 little doll, 10 mini dolls, and 2 mini playsets.  Total guilty pleasure but my girls adore it!

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This has to be one of my favorite parties to date and the very best part, of course, is that the kids loved it – especially the birthday girl!

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A beautiful day indeed! ♥

Harvest celebration reprise

You might remember last year’s Harvest Celebration. I sure do.

This year things went much more smoothly.

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My newly confident Emilie, bursting with Yr. 1 pride,  sung beautifully with her class in front of a sea of eager parents wielding iPhones and Samsungs and Blackberries, oh my!

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My harvest contribution. Green beans in a can. My kiddies wouldn’t eat them but there are some grateful kiddies out there who will. I constantly remind my children to be thankful for what we have, never take things forgranted, and to share with others.

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My lovely Emilie wore a red flower that I had crocheted for her hair. Such a pleasure to see her smiling and confident! A complete metamorphisis from last year’s nail biting and nose picking 4yr old.

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Very proud of my gorgeous girl,  growing up so fast!

New additions

My owl family has grown by two.

Meet Imogen. A sweet little owl bank (sorry piggy) scooped from the local supermarket.

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I will be using her to collect toward a holiday treat for myself in honor of my upcoming, ahem, 2nd 29th birthday.

Savings so far: 10 pence

I’m staying optimistic!

And now to introduce the newest family member…

Meet T2.

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Tarquin lives on in this little guy. He’s pint sized but perfect.

Owls. I am even more fond of them than I thought!  My girls have owl pyjamas, owl hats, owl wall stickers, and even owl bedsheets!

And I now have my heart set on a very fetching owl sweater I spied this weekend in a shop window. This may become an addiction….

Farewell Tarquin

Today’s post was supposed to be titled “Tarquin goes to school”.

This is Tarquin.

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Last night, I gave my little owl friend a mini makeover. I added some stitches around his wings and repaired one googly eye that had popped off and rolled across the room. When I had finished he was looking very spiffy indeed!

This is Tarquin this morning.

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He was happily hanging out with his bookend owl buddies.

Then I had a not-so-bright idea.  Let’s send Tarquin to school.

I got him all ready to go,

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and off he went.

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Sadly, Tarquin never returned home. My forlorn five year old informed me after school that Tarquin had disappeared somewhere between the playground pirate ship and the dining hall.

I will admit that my bottom lip quivered.

I’d like to think that dear Tarq has gone travelling home in some other child’s bookbag and will have many great adventures…

In the meantime I can only say, farewell my friend.

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A little ball of yarn…

…and a crochet hook. That’s all it took to create these cute and cosy flower adorned headbands!

My aunt taught me to crochet when I was around ten years old and since then I have only managed to turn out a simple
scarf or two using basic stitches. However, a few days ago I happened upon a gorgeous crocheted headband during my daily Pinterest trawl. Ooooh, I can do that, I thought to myself.  Why not try something new?

A quick dabble in Google threw out a ton of YouTube links giving instructions on how to make these lovely little hair adornments. Armed with a shiny new hook and bargain yarn,  I got started. The challenge had begun!

And here are the results:

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Pretty cool right?! And the best bit is that the flowers are interchangeable, you simply attach a button to the headband and pop your chosen flower on or off. Very clever!

I don’t dare put up my own tutorial because I am still a novice but if you would like to make a few of these grab a crochet hook, some yarn, a good YouTube vid, and a little bit of patience and you’ll be all set to create this fun and fashionable little project!  🙂

Summer off

There is no point in pretending that I have been able to give this blog the attention it deserves, so I won’t.

I come and go. But for now,  here I am!

On an upbeat note, I had a pretty great summer! I visited the Olympics, the Paralympics, took the kids to Disneyland Paris, participated in the Notting Hill Carnival in full feathery & revealing costumed glory, and escaped on a girly weekend to Brussels.

All in one month. Thank you August! 🙂

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Kid’s Book Nooks

I have only  one essential requirement for my dream home:

A book nook!

There is just something about having a little place designated in the home where you can cuddle up with a good book and relax that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

This morning as I rearranged (for the millionth time) my kid’s overflowing book shelves, I began to daydream about finally giving them their own special reading space.

Here are a few inspirations I found:

Amazing nook inside a playroom! I love how the book shelves are designed to have the books facing out so that kid’s can easily choose what they want to read. (via)

A few colourful cushions and a crate full of books make the perfect no-hassle nook. Very simple to put together – a godsend for busy moms! (via)

The secret hideaway! Think converted broom closet. Two simple shelves and a vintage lamp to shed light on their favourite tales. Kids will love this tucked away retreat. (via)

Bright, funky, and undeniably cool! A cloud bubble nook which would be great for older kids, tweens and teens. (via)

If you love a bit of DIY, this is the nook for you! Made out of pallets, this space-saving nook would make the perfect weekend project. (via)

The “whole family” nook. This nook is large enough to hold a couple of kids or an adult and kid combo for bedtime stories. You could even divide the shelves into kid and adult sections. (via)

A skinny nook with a view. Perfect for a quick catch-up on your favourite novel. This is a great no-frills option for moms and dads. (via)

And finally — my DREAM nook! Two words = enormous window. Seeing all that natural light pouring in is making me giddy!  If I had a nook like this, I would never leave it. I would probably eat and sleep there and need to hire a nanny. Ah well, a girl can dream!  🙂

Do you have a book nook in your home?

Mastered!

So you remember that dissertation that was kicking my butt a few months back? Well it turns out it was I who did the butt kicking! Yes, I was delighted to learn a couple of weeks ago that  I earned an “A” on the most important thing I have written to date. The piece was a work of non-fiction which provided a glimpse into the tumultuous time in my life when my newborn son fought valiently for his life and the gamut of emotions during that period. And now, he is 7 years old, an absolute joy, with a cluster of special needs ranging from hemiplegia (a form of cerebral palsy), speech delay, learning delay, and the odd seizure — but he is still here, still my shining star. He defied all the odds and provided the inspiration for me to master this Masters!

As you can imagine, a whole lot of tears and sleepless nights went into this degree and receiving such a great grade certainly made the journey worth it. Two days ago, the university officially awarded me my Master of Arts in Creative and Cultural Industries. I am beyond proud!

Next up, graduation on 18th September — what fun to wear that cap and gown one more time!

And no, I won’t stop here. There is indeed a Ph.D. on the horizon….  🙂

Zoie’s 2nd Birthday Party

I pulled out all the stops for this one and I have to say it has to be my favorite party so far! It was much easier to plan and organise (even though it was ALL last minute) and the guests — including the birthday girl, of course — thoroughly enjoyed themselves… some of them didn’t leave until 10pm even though the party “officially” ended at 6pm!

It really was one heck of a hoedown!

To see all the awesome pics, click here!

Cows and chickens and pigs, oh my!

In a complete break from tradition, I am revealing the party theme before the party. Yep. That’s right. Something is afoot.

So here it is: the invitation I designed for Zoie’s barnyard themed party. There’s probably some copyright infringement in there somewhere but oh well.

Here are a few round labels I whipped up also:

Putting them out there in cyber-world probably means they will get jacked but hey it is what it is. Everything I design has, ahem, borrowed elements anyway, hehe.

So the theme is barnyard/farm and the colour scheme is red/yellow/blue. It’s going to be a small party at home and I am hoping for far less headache then Emilie’s 5th birthday bash back in March. Far less…

Now, does anyone know where I can rent some chickens and a pony??