James’ 5th Underwater Birthday Party

James’ 5th Underwater Birthday Party

Oh gosh!  I had such fun with this theme!  At first when James said he wanted an under water theme, I thought it might be a little too ‘baby’ for him, seeing that he was now turning five already…  But it turned out pretty cool, I must say.  There is so much one can do with this theme!

As always I used Pinterest to get most of my ideas from, and the first thing that caught my eye was a DIY Treasure chest!  And James LOVES treasure chests!  He likes putting scavenged jewelry into small boxes and calling it his treasure :)  So first thing I made was the treasure chest, out of an old diaper box.  Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics while I was making it because I was too excited and forgot all about taking photos!  I used this tutorial.

DIY Treasure Chest

I bought small little wooden treasure chests, to put inside the big one, for the kids to decorate themselves.  I think they quite enjoyed that!

mini treasure chests
I painted the small treasure chests first
Decorating Treasure Chests
Freshly decorated mini treasure chest

Decorating Treasure Chests
To go with the treasure chest, I made huge paper jewels, to look like some treasure fell out.  I wanted to make lots of coral too, for a coral reef, but ran out of time.  I managed to make a couple though.  The white faux coral was made out of some wire and paper maché (tutorial here) and the blue and orange coral was made using expanding foam and some pipe cleaners (tutorial for that here).

paper diamonds
Huge Paper Jewels
paper diamond
Huge Paper Jewel
faux coral
Faux Coral
Foam Coral
Expanding Foam Coral
Faux Coral
Faux Coral

The other activities we had were Sand Art tables, some water balloon launching (unfortunately I didn’t get any pics of this in action) and some water beads or water crystals with hidden sea creatures.  The water beads ended up being used as bombs and everyone got hit at least a couple of times.  The kids really enjoyed it!  And instead of using the water balloons to shoot the target with the launcher, they ended up bombing the grownups!

Sand Art
Sand Art
Waterbeads
Waterbeads

For the decorations I also made seaweed out of plastic table cloth and jellyfish with Chinese lanterns.  I used this tutorial for the seaweed.

Paper lantern jellyfish
I wanted to give the kids something different for party hats and found some images of crab paper crowns. So I made these from card stock, googly eyes and pipe cleaners.

Crab party hats
Crab party hats

To make the snack table fit in with the theme I made a table wavy cloth with disposable plastic table cloths.  Finding different shades of blue proved to be quite a challenge!  Just glad I found some :)

underwater tablecloth

When it comes to the snacks, I have to mention Tihmily Cakes.  They made the cupcakes, oyster cookies and marshmallow pops for us.  And what an amazing job!!!  Everything was sooo yummy!  I think I’m addicted to those oyster cookies, because I could not stop eating them!

Underwater cupcakes by Tihmily Cakes
Underwater cupcakes by Tihmily Cakes
Underwater party snacks by Tihmily Cakes
Underwater party snacks by Tihmily Cakes
Underwater Party Snacks
Underwater Party Snacks
Underwater Party Snacks

And that’s about it!  Last but not least, a couple of pics of some of the friends having fun :)

Blowing out the candles
Blowing out the candles
Water balloon fun
Water balloon fun
Paper Hot Air Balloon Mobile

Paper Hot Air Balloon Mobile

For our little Emma I wanted to make a hot air balloon mobile for her room.  I searched the net for ideas on how to make the prettiest mobile with paper…  I couldn’t find any templates I liked, so had to make them all from scratch.  This is how it turned out…

Hot Air Balloon Mobile
To make the balloons, just cut out about 8 balloons from the template below, fold them in half and stick the one half of one balloon to the other half of the next balloon with glue or double sided tape.  Remember to add the sting the balloon will hang from before you stick the last half to the first half to complete the balloon…  if that makes sense?

Same thing goes for the clouds.  Just cut out a couple, fold them in half and stick the halves together.  After all the pieces were stuck together and the balloon was complete, I added some rhinestones to add some sparkle.

Hot Air Balloon Template here
Small Cloud Template here
Big Cloud Template here

LEGO Party! James’ 4th Birthday

LEGO Party! James’ 4th Birthday

Wow…  This post is so long overdue, it’s not even funny.  With a new little person in the family it’s been hard finding time to just sit down for a couple of minutes, let alone write new posts…

Well then, this year we decided on a LEGO theme for James’ birthday.  Again, it was sooo much fun making all the decorations and planing the morning.  I only have a few pics so long as I’ve not had time to edit all the images (…that is still on my camera).  Will add them ASAP.

LEGO Party Table
A couple of the decorations were ‘recycled’ from previous years like the circle garland from the Mickey Mouse party and the flag bunting from the Circus party.  The big LEGO blocks were made from card-stock – was really easy peasy!  I also made little LEGO block boxes from card-stock that looked really cute which I found here.

Unfortunately my ‘regular’ baker had to close shop, so we used Tessa’s Bakery.  They did an amazing job!!  They also made the LEGO Men head marshmallow pops you see in the background.  They were so tasty!!!  We also had popcorn in LEGO cones.

LEGO Cake
For the water bottles and juice boxes I made paper labels to match the theme.  I also made LEGO Men heads to go on the straws.  Template for that is here.  And for the fruit kebabs I designed some LEGO flags.LEGO Party TableLEGO Fruit Kebabs
I used plain gift bags in different colors for the goody bags and just added raised circles to make them look like LEGO blocks.

LEGO-Goody-Bags
The contents on the bags were a LEGO Boy or LEGO Girl mask, a LEGO coloring book, LEGO Men Crayons and some LEGO off course.  It was a mission to get the crayons to all stand up straight in the bag though…  So I lost the battle and just let them lean which ever way they wanted.

LEGO-Goody-Bags
The LEGO Men Crayons were the most fun to make!  Melting crayons and pouring them into the mold…  The best part was when they were set and ready to take out.

LEGO-Men-Crayons
This is all I have for now.  I will add the other images as soon as editing is done :)

Rocket ship Party – James turned 3!

Rocket ship Party – James turned 3!

So this year the little man picked his own party theme!  I showed him images of different parties themes on the internet and he seemed to love… Rockets!  Immediately my brain was buzzing with all the ideas :)  I couldn’t wait to get started.  But hang on.  Before I start rambling on about unnecessary stuff, check it out for yourselves…

Seeing that I had my mom’s 60th birthday celebration and a friend’s baby shower I had to plan, just a little more than a month before James’ birthday, I had to make the invites basic and quick.  (would’ve loved to make the rocket 3D…)

Rocket ship Invitation
Rocket ship Invitation

Once that was done, organization could commence of all the exciting ideas I had, that was starting to look like Cloud Cuckoo land, in my head.  I saw these jet packs on Pinterest that you make out of empty soda bottles, so I started on them.  Quite simple, really.  But with my tendency to have everything super perfect, it took quite some time to finish them.  I must just mention that Fuse Ice Tea bottles really worked well.  It’s a much sturdier bottle than the normal Coca-Cola or Cream Soda bottle.  So after a lot of spray-painting, hot glue and streamers, this is what I got:

Jetpacks!
Jetpacks!

Just another note on the jet packs.  On most blogs they use duck-tape to hold the two bottles together, but this is quite difficult to achieve if you only have 2 hands and you don’t want any creases in your tape.  So I glued the two bottles together with a hot glue gun and then used insulation tape to round it off.  It’s not as strong as the duck-tape though, but much easier to work with.

Also on Pinterest I saw these rockets made from empty toilet paper rolls.  Again, quite simple to make.  I’ll put up a post soon on how I made these ;)

Toilet paper roll Rockets
Toilet paper roll Rockets

I used Chinese lanterns in different sizes as planets and added cardboard stars, that I found at Merrypak, to hang above the snacks table.  (Our pendant lights above the kitchen counter came in handy to hang the stars from)

Planets and Stars
Planets and Stars

As I mentioned, I sommer used our kitchen counter for the snack table.  We wanted to keep it as healthy as possible with as little sugar as possible.  We ended up with mini blueberry muffins, “Kern Monsters” – tomato, ham and cheese cocktail sticks, “Vrugte Vuurpyle” – strawberry, mango, kiwi and pineapple sticks, “Son Strale” – yellow and red peppers and carrot sticks with a creamy dip, “Ruimte Wesens” – jello with custard, and breakfast cereal that I called “Ringe van Saturnus” and “Sataliet Sonpanele”.  We also had marshmallows and pretzel sticks that was suppose to make constellations, but the marshmallows were too small. …oi!  Unexpectedly the cereal was a great hit!  As was the “Kern Monsters”.  We had very little to clean up at the end :)

Rocket Party Snack Table
Rocket Party Snack Table
Rocket Party Snacks
Rocket Party Snacks

Then of course the cake!  What party would be complete without a cake?  The guys at Frostings did an amazing job!!!  They copied the image from the invite exactly!  Liesl, you are truly amazing! :)

Rocket Ship Cake
Rocket Ship Cake

The marshmallow popcorn balls were also from Frostings.  We called them “Planete” or planets.  To make the drinking cups a bit more interesting I clued on a googly eye.  It instantly gave each cup some personality.

The kiddies tables
The kiddies tables

These two fellows were made from large pom-poms, pipe cleaners and googly eyes.  I had so much fun making them, but didn’t know where I was going to use them, so they ended up as the “table centerpieces”.

Aliens
Aliens

To keep the kids entertained we let them search the garden for “Ruimte Rotse” or space rocks.  We also had a couple of rocket launchers which they could play with and a bunch of balls and balloons to kick and throw around (unfortunately I didn’t get photo’s of these).

Finding Space Rocks
Finding Space Rocks
Party Helium Balloons
Party Balloons

Because there was already so much going on, I decided on having only one craft, for those who wanted to play inside.  Making Straw Rockets:

Make your own Straw Rocket
Make your own Straw Rocket

We even had fireworks and sparkles!

Fireworks!!!
Fireworks!!!
Little Marichelle also dressed up
Little Marichelle also dressed up

These two girls, Danelle and Anneli, wore space suits that their mom made.  So super-cool, don’t you think!?

How awesome do these girls look in their space suits!?
How awesome do these girls look in their space suits!?
Too cute!
Too cute!
Little Chrissie
Little Chrissie
James found all this very serious business
James found all this very serious business

Happy 3rd birthday my little astronaut!

DeerPark Café

DeerPark Café

I just wanted to share this with all you guys and gals out there with kiddies, looking for a nice place to relax.  We are always on the lookout for kid friendly places to eat or have a lekker coffee and I read about Deer Park Cafe on a friends FB page (Thanks for posing that question to your FB friends, Zoë!)  So, the other day we were feeling very adventurous and went exploring.  We ended up at Deer Park Cafe.  And my word!  I was pleasantly surprised!  At first we had trouble finding a waiter or waitress to seat us, because it was quite busy.  But we took a seat on the open couch at the far end of the café.  We were quickly helped by a lovely lady who put us on the waiting list to be seated outside (which didn’t take long at all).  The manageress, by the way, is a lovely person!  We found ourselves in this beautiful setting with lovely sunshine, beautiful views and good friends.  It was just al together lovely!  But let me show you this awesome place!

Deer Park Cafe from the road
Deer Park Cafe from the road
Inside the cafe
The outside seating area
Outside seating area
Deer Park – view from the cafe
Deer Park – view from the bottom
Deer Park Café

 

Although they don’t have a hundred and one items on the menu (which is actually a good thing), the food was delicious and I had the best coffee milkshake.  They have the most awesome kids menu that serves good and healthy food for little people.  This in my book is super important.
Needless to say, but little James enjoyed himself thoroughly :)  I must say, the grownups in our party had a blast too!  I can definitely recommend Deer Park Cafe.  We will definitely go there again!  and again, and again! :)

If you would like to pop in there, here’s the address:

2 Deerpark Dr W
Cape Town
8001

021 462 6311

My Mother’s 60th Birthday Celebration

My Mother’s 60th Birthday Celebration

On the 22nd of March, this year, we organized a surprise birthday for my dear mother.  She was turning 60!  My little sister was to handle the guest list and invite all the guest. (Thanks Tasha!)  I did the decor.

I wanted the decor to have a vintage feel so I played around with hessian fabric, lace and wood.  I wanted to add some ‘vintage’ objects like old books, shoemakers anvils etc., but unfortunately there were not enough space.  I started off making a hessian and lace table runner.  This little project took up more time than I anticipated!  I think mainly because I couldn’t find a piece of lace broad enough with a pretty enough pattern.  So I had to ‘design’ my own.  I ended up sewing together 3 lengths of lace to form one broad piece.

Lace on Hessian
Lace on Hessian
Sewing the lace together
Sewing the lace together
One piece of lace!
One piece of lace!

 (I will add a pic of the whole table runner soon)

I used hessian on glass bottles of various sizes, adding a little lace and twine for detail.  Most of the bottles were recycled baby food bottles that I saved.  I confess, I can’t through anything away.  ”Maybe some day I can use it for something” is always going through my mind.

glass bottles

Bunting always looks so gorgeous at any occasion.  I love bunting!  I’ll put it up everywhere in my house, if you give me the chance.  Naturally I wanted bunting for this occasion too.  Not wanting to sew a bunch of flags, I decided to use doilies.  Simply folded in half and stuck to a piece of twine with some glue.  After making two strings, I loved it so much, (and it was so super easy and quick to make) that I made a bunch more.  I’m super glad that I did, because they looked really nice!

doily bunting

We wanted my mother to blow out 60 candles, so I went looking on Pinterest for some cool ideas on how to get 60 candles together, as we didn’t have a big cake to stick them in.  I found images of a bunch of candles simply stuck in a length of wood or a plank.  Luckily I had a piece of pine lying around that would do perfectly.  I drilled 60 holes in it, just big enough for the candles to fit in snugly.  To give it a more finished look, I whitewashed the pine.  After all the candles were put in place it looked very cool.  It was just a mission to light all the candles without the wind blowing them out before we were done.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to take more pics of the lit candles and the blowing out of the candles, but I hope you get an idea of what it looked like.

60 candles

Finally, here are just some more pics of the rest of the decor.  I made a bunch of tissue paper pom-poms again, because they look so awesome!  I really, really enjoyed this project, like all the others.  It was pretty hard to keep everything a secret from my mom, but so worth it :)  I also just want to thank my dear friend, Mari, for helping with the decoration making and my sister, Natasha, for all the help and support during this project. Love you guys! xx

pom-poms

vintage inspired cupcake table
Vintage Inspired Cupcake Table

 

vintage inspired birthday celebration

Happy Birthday Mom!
Happy Birthday Mom!
Baby Shower Stationery

Baby Shower Stationery

I had the honor of planning and organizing a very good friend’s baby shower earlier this month.  I had so much fun with this project!  I couldn’t stop myself!  I’m starting to think that maybe this is what I was born to do…?  Or maybe not.  I don’t know, but like I said, I really, really enjoyed the whole planning process, designing and making of all the bits and pieces.  Well, let me show you what I made…

I started with the games we were going to play.  I decided on “How big is her belly”, “What’s in your handbag” and “Play dough Babies”.  Instead of just handing everyone a ball of string to cut their desired length from, I made up individual bags with string and instructions.

How big is her belly
Individual string packs with instructions
"What's in your handbag?" game
“What’s in your handbag?” game

I also did individual packets for the “Play Dough Babies” game, with two sticks of play dough (wrapped in cling-wrap), a cupcake liner (for the pretend baby bed) and instructions.

Play Dough Baby game
Play Dough Baby game

Just for fun, I printed out some “Baby Wishes”, which the guests could fill in through the course of the event.  (We got some interesting wishes!)

Baby Wishes
Baby Wishes

For favors I made some favor boxes filled with individually wrapped tea bags.  I also made heart shaped tags for the tea bags to fit the theme.  I decided on four different flavored tea’s:  Peach, Peppermint, Pomegranate and Lemon + Ginger.

Favor Boxes filled with tea
Favor Boxes filled with tea
Individually wrapped tea bags
Individually wrapped tea bags

To go along with the activities, I customized some pens for each guest, with a pretty wooden heart button and “gems”.

Customized Pens
Customized Pens

For some decoration I made tissue paper pom-poms in white and a funny shade of pink.

Tissue paper Pom-Poms
Tissue paper Pom-Poms

I think everything tied together nicely :)