Search Results for: real parties

A Rainbow Crafternoon … the beginnings

When I was a young girl, ‘birthday time’ was my favourite time of year!  My two sisters and I had birthdays all within a four week period.  Never combined.  Each one a big themed event on it’s own.  We had the best games!  Mum still has the handmade hats, party bags and invitations from each one.  I remember each of us having a spiral bound notebook in which we would write down in detail the plans for our birthday.  I have followed the family tradition!   Although my mother thrived at ‘birthday time’, I am extremely grateful that my children’s birthdays are a little more spread apart throughout the year!

After realising yesterday that Goose’s birthday is a mere 3 weeks away, we whipped out the notebook and started planning!   Although it is no longer a spiral bound notebook, but a laptop!  It’s fun having an almost 9 year old who can do lots of the planning and we can organise it together.  Just like I did with my Mum.   Although it also means that I have to let go of the reins.  Something that I find a little difficult to do, particularly when it comes to parties… Goose’s main requests (although they were more like non-negotiable instructions) were for “that” rainbow cake and a sleepover!  So we decided on a quiet Rainbow ‘Crafternoon’ with 6 of her friends, followed by dinner and cake with her much loved extended family.  Her friends will then stay on for a sleepover.*  

Invitations now sent**, it is time to get our rainbow craft on for the next few weeks!  I love the theme!  The kid loves craft (bless her xo).
To see some more parties from team FGB, head over here.

Have you ever made “that” rainbow cake – help??!!

Have you ever had 7 nine year old girls for a sleepover – help????!!!!!!

* I may have bitten off more than I can chew considering we get the keys to the new house only 5 days before the party and the only way we can accommodate that many gals sleeping over is if we have it at the new house, but I figure they’ll only need sleeping room and all we’ll need for dinner is a BBQ so it won’t matter if we haven’t quite moved anything else over yet… will it?

**yes, I did notice that little typo saying that the party finishes 5 hours before it starts…. yes, they have been sent with that typo….  oops.  ;)

For the Blokes – Mugstaches & Reinbeer

Goose has a male teacher this year.  A cool young one that she loves and who plays Beatles songs on his guitar at the end of every day.  

We didn’t think that the Cookies in a Jar that her siblings gave their female kinder teachers would quite be his style, so drawing on inspiration from father’s day, she decided to make him a mo mug with a little note on the back from her.  I know that mugs are probably the most common ‘teacher gift’ on the planet, but apparently he loved the personal touch!  We also whipped up some more for some KK gifts for this weekend.

We filled our mugs with some timtam balls for something new.  I got nothing but thumbs up from my taste testers, but I still think that my chocolate truffles are even better.  I’d recommend either recipe for a failsafe, ‘no-cook’ treat that the kids can pretty much do on their own.* 

Sticking with our current reindeer obsession, for one of our Christmas parties this weekend, inspired by some seen on pinterest and the fact that we already had the supplies, we made some reinbeer!

I purchased a beer with a red label to ‘match’ the reindeer, but you could purchase any drink you desired, non alcoholic or otherwise, remove the label and replace it with your own labels.  I made the labels below in about 5 minutes using this awesome and free beer label site to go with the next batch.  You just change the wording on their predesigned labels, et voila!

I find shopping for gifts for men extremely difficult.  Finding a handmade gift for men, even harder!  I managed to draw the male straw in almost every kriskringle this year.  

Do you have the same difficulty?  
What are you giving the men in your life this year for Christmas?

*when I say ‘pretty much’, i really mean that they could ‘easily’ do it themselves, unless like mine they didn’t want to get their fingers messy and really couldn’t be bothered, but were quite happy to partake in the eating once Mum had finished making them all!

Reindeers & the Class Gift

In Prep, Goose made her own Christmas cards for her class mates at school and really enjoyed making them.  She loves that kind of thing.  But getting her to write ‘Merry Christmas love Goose’ 24 times was like drawing blood from a stone, so in the years since we have tried something different…that didn’t involve writing!  

In Grade 1 she made reindeer food for her friends, in Grade 2 she made reindeer noses and this year she made candy cane reindeers.  We may have a theme…

To make a candy cane reindeer you will need some mini red pom poms, some mini googly eyes, some brown pipecleaners and some candy canes.  Spotlight has red pom poms and googly eyes in a whole range of sizes as well as brown pipecleaners.  I’m sure they could be purchased at your craft supply store.

She glued on the eyes and nose with craft glue and then twisted the pipecleaners around a pencil to get the curly effect, before twisting them around the top of the candy cane.
 Bear, not to miss out, has been following suit and last year made reindeer food for his friends at kinder.  This year we made 50 bags of reindeer food, because now that she is a kinder kid too, Frog had to do the same!  

It is simply rolled oats, mixed with glitter, bagged with a free printable on the top.  
These gorgeous reindeer food printables came from Anders Ruff design.

I’d been planning on waiting to give out the reindeer food in the last week of kinder, but unfortunately one of her kinder friends pipped her at the post and handed out reindeer food on Monday.  I’m sure the reindeers will appreciate 2 lots of food right?!

And because I loved the reindeer noses so much last yearI had to make lots of them just to have on hand to give to friends over the Christmas period.  8 maltesers and a jaffa with a cool tag on the top.  

These ones were designed by my very clever friend Caroline, a fellow ‘kinder’ Mum,  who very kindly let me use her design.  They even have the names of the reindeers on the back – gorgeous – thanks Caroline Caroline is talented in many ways and also has her very own store on madeit where she sells beautiful dolls & accessories, called ‘Madebyme’.  She is also selling her reindeer nose printables at the moment.  I highly recommend a look!

While we’re on the topic of reindeers, how cute are these reindeer biscuits that someone brought to a Christmas party we were at last week?

Do your kids make a class gift, give a cards or candy canes?   or do you just think I am a little mad* and merely adding to the pressure at this already busy time?!

* I probably am, but this is the stuff that the kids and I love about Christmas time and we just want to share the fun!  

Easy Peasy Potato Salad

When I was a uni student and flatting with mates, whenever one was required to bring a salad or a dessert to a BBQ, I had my two standard dishes that I would bring.  Every single time.  Most likely because I had no idea how to do anything more elaborate and complicated and that these dishes required no effort whatsoever.

Those dishes were Chocolate Ripple Cake and this Cheat’s Potato Salad.

I got this recipe from a dear friend of my mothers who always makes the best salads!  I have been making it for almost twenty years and I still bring it to almost every BBQ that I attend and it’s always a winner! The beginning of daylight savings here in Victoria seems to herald in the BBQ season so I dare say it’ll be getting a good run in the coming months.

Lee-Ann’s Cheats Potato Salad

chat/small/mini potatoes
bacon pieces, fried 
spring onions, thinly sliced

Boil the potatoes on the stove top in boiling water until the potatoes are cooked.  Let it cool down a little before popping them in a bowl and spooning mayo over the top.  If the potatoes are still too hot, the mayo goes a little yellow and it won’t stay on the top of the spuds.  Sprinkle the bacon and spring onion over the top of the mayo and you’re done.  

No need to put in the amounts, because it really doesn’t matter.  It’s all personal preference really.  I will say however that I have always used Kraft mayo because it has such a great tang, but you can use whatever mayo you like!

You can find plenty more simple recipes over here where I’m building a collection of 
my favourite easy peasy recipes.  

Do you have a staple food that you always bring to parties?

Is there a dish that you’ve been making forever that you’ll never get tired of?


You’ve seen the food and now it’s time for the activities …  
In true pirate treasure map form, an ‘x’ marked the location of the party on our front gate along with a few red, white & black balloons.
When guests arrived they could don themselves with pirate scarves (stripy fabric cut into triangles) and eye patches as well as get a scar or moustache painted on their face with face paint and a pirate tattoo!

We set up a bit of a photo booth to take photos of all the little pirates, but to be honest, it didn’t really get used.  Next time, I’ll do it in a more obvious spot and make sure there is someone given the specific job of taking photos in the photo booth.  
Our pirate ship was made from an old plasma TV screen box (thanks to hard rubbish!) with enthusiastic help from Bear & Frog and the kids are still enjoying playing with it!

The children could then find their pirate ‘loot bag’* on the table and run around doing activities around the yard.  For each activity they received a prize for their loot bag…   


 walk the plank & receive some treasure for your loot bag.

Knock down a tin can pyramid with rice bags and receive some treasure for your loot bag.
Small rice bags thrown at tin cans covered with some printable paper.



Toss large silver coins into treasure chest to receive some treasure for your loot bag. 
Coins made from cardboard circles (the portholes from our cardboard pirate ship!) covered in aluminium foil & frisbeed into a large box.



Gold coins buried in the sandpit which were then swapped for chocolate coins.  We learned our lesson at an ‘underwater’ themed party a few years ago where we buried chocolate coins on a very hot day… you can imagine what happened!


Place an ‘x’ sticker where you think the treasure is buried on the pirate treasure map.  No blindfold required!  I just placed an ‘x’ on the back of the map and the children had to guess where it was.


A treasure chest pinata filled with treasure of chocolate coins and candy jewellery.  I have made pinatas in the past (well worth a go!), but when I saw this treasure chest at my local discount party shop I thought I’d save myself the effort.  

Purchased pinatas are a LOT harder to bust open!  After each child had multiple goes each, big sister Goose gave it an almighty whack…

and the hordes descended!

At the end of the party, their pirate ‘loot bag’ was their take home bag filled with the goodies they had collected during the party.  ‘Pirate’ is a very popular theme, so no trouble at all finding inexpensive pirate themed goodies!  
Had to include the following shot, ‘coz Grandpa & Uncle Thomas coming all the way from Adelaide for the party was pretty special.
 Always a little sad when party time is over – bring on the next one!

Pirate Party food – click here.
Pirate Party invitations – click here.

More FGB parties – click here.

* I purchased these muslin bags on and then stamped a ship stamp and the child’s name.


We celebrated Bear’s fifth birthday on Sunday with a pirate party! Bear is particularly keen on pirates so it was the perfect theme for him!  He had an absolute ball which is, after all, why we go to all the effort!  As per usual, I’ll separate the party into two posts.  This one about the food and the next about the activities or we’d be here all day!
To put it into perspective our party was held at 2pm with roughly 20 children and 20 adults.  I usually seperate the food into two sittings, savoury while the activities are going and then dessert served with birthday cake at the end.


popcorn in cones - I use this template to make my cone shape & I always use the sweet & salty flavoured popcorn premade at the supermarket.  It’s delicious!

octopus dip - hommus dip with capsicum octopus, olive & bread eyes secured with toothpicks – thanks kymmie & pinterest!  
sea salt chips - it’s just such a nautical flavour!

cabana & cheese - secured with pirate sword toothpicks that were purchased here.  

desert island dip - french onion dip over a block of cheese to secure the cabana skewer & toothpicks to secure the capsicum leaves.  Red capsicum ‘x’ marks the spot.  Saw it here & just had to try!  The dips looked awesome, but it’s never a popular party food :(

chicken sandwiches – recipe here. Thanks to my sister Lou for making them!

squid - thanks to my friend Susannah who inspired this one! You cut six slits into the bottom half of the hot dog prior to cooking and as soon as you pop them into the water to cook, they just curl right up.  These were a huge hit!

egg & bacon pies - we have these at every party.  The recipe is here and you can freeze them weeks in advance.

sausage rolls - you can make and freeze these weeks in advance also.  I can email if you’d like my recipe.
pirate fruit swords - thanks again Kymmie for the idea!
‘walk the plank’ bread - fairy bread cut into rectangle shape with choc sprinkles.

water bottles - decorated just like the invitations with old maps and twine.  Should I admit that I chose the bottles at the supermarket that had a little wave print on the bottle…it matched the theme…

white cups with red stripy straws - So much easier to find your drink if you name the cups and it saves on costs too!  We had a drink dispenser with fruit juice cordial in it alongside the cups for the kids to help themselves.

tea & coffee - set up for adults to help themselves along with kettle, milk, sugar, teaspoons & disposable mugs.  These teas are the Madame Flavour ones from the supermarket, ‘coz I think they look a little fancy…
There was a small amount of wine & beer for the adults as well, but no need for a photo of that one at a children’s party….


strawberries – served in stripy cupcake holders with little wooden forks.  You might recall seeing these at a certain fireman party a couple of weeks ago… Lou always has awesome party ideas and at this party, just like hers, they were a big hit with the kids and disappeared quickly…. this will become a new party staple!

pirate ship jellies – thanks to pinterest once again.

pirate swords – the new must have at every party, coz the kids love them.  Grissini bread sticks dipped in chocolate.  These swords were covered in gold and silver edible glitter.
lollypops – wrapped in pirate fabric scraps & twine.  Fabric leftover from the gorgeous bunting that my sister made last year for her son’s pirate party and kindly lent to us!

anchor biscuits - my faithful shortbread recipe can be found here.  These can be made days in advance which is always a winner!

cannon balls, pirate teeth & bullets - lollies in stripy bowls.  These were a steal at $2 each from kmart – bargain!

THE ‘TREASURE MAP’ BIRTHDAY CAKE – let’s face it, this is the most important part of the party as far as most kids are concerned and particularly for the birthday child.  This fact always causes me no end of stress at 1am the night before the party which is when I always seem to be decorating the cake!  Thanks to some awesome tips from Simmoney (you must check out her son’s neverland party!) one sister for baking the cake and the other for helping me style the ocean, this cake caused very little 1am stress (although it was still decorated at this time) and I was very happy with how to turned out!

I even followed Simmoney’s tip of hiding some treasure (smarties) under the ‘X’ on the cake!  It’s all about the extra touches ;)

 Just keeping it real – couldn’t have done it without the extra help in the kitchen!  As well as these two wonderful helpers, extra special thanks goes to both of my sisters for being ‘above & beyond’ party helpers who just ‘get it’.

After all the info in that post, you should have all you need to have your very own pirate party, but if you do have any party questions, you know I always love to help when it comes to parties so please feel free to email!

Stay tuned for the next post with the pirate party activities!
What’s the next party you are planning?  

If you’d like a squiz at previous parties here at Frog, Goose & Bear, just head over here.

A Fireman Party

A few weeks ago, my adorable nephew turned 4 years old and celebrated with the best fireman party ever!
Popcorn cones
Water bottles

Red velvet & chocolate cupcakes made by the highly talented Cathie, who was also responsible for the amazing cupcakes at Ebony’s farm party.  

I love how she did the strawberries!

Firetruck cake meticulously decorated, once again, by the birthday boy’s father.
Pin the hat on the fireman
Fireman tattoos

 but the absolute highlight of the party was a real fire engine that came and took the kids for a ride around the local streets. 

Very well set up and the kids LOVED it!
Purely set up for parties – even a photo booth in the back!

These gorgeous vintage firetruck printables used throughout the party, along with the invitations, were purchased from here.
A very happy little fireman!
For more kids party ideas, you might like a squiz at these.

A SUMMER ICECREAM PARTY {the activities}

Goose turned 8 years old at the end of January.  Eight!!!  I actually contemplated not having a party after the mass of activity over Christmas & New Year….. but how could I not?!?!?!!

You’ve seen the food from the party and now we have the activities…

Santa’s gift of fun & bright nail polish in Goose’s stocking was the colour inspiration for this party – for some reason they just spoke ‘ice-cream’ to me.  So, of course we had to incorporate them into the party activities…

As guests arrived they could have their nails painted…

…apply an icecream tattoo*

…colour in some icecream colouring pages 
(these gorgeous free printable colouring pages can be found here)

…make their own paper icecream van
(these fun icecream van printables can be found here)

…play a quick game of icypole ‘memory’ (no photo) (made using this free printable)

…or pin the cherry on top of the icecream sundae!
Then we played…

The Flour Game:

1. Fill a large bowl with flour (any kind will do).
2. Tip it upside down onto a plate and pop a lolly (sweet) on the top.
(I thought a jaffa looked a bit like a cherry on the top of an icecream sundae)
3. Get the kids to sit in a circle and take it in turns to carefully take a spoonful of flour and return it to the bowl one at a time. 

4. If your spoonful causes the lolly to fall, then you get to eat the lolly… without using your hands!!!

5. Pop all the flour back in the bowl and repeat as many times as you like, so make sure you have a whole packet of lollies.

6. You will find that some try really hard not to make it fall, but others (see below) like to deliberately make it fall whenever it is their turn!  The child loves to get messy!
Then we went outside to wash it all off with some water pinatas!

I had plans to make this icecream pinata, but after two failed attempts, we decided that a water pinata would be much easier and possibly even more fun on a hot day!**

Made by hanging garbage bags on each corner of the hills hoist clothes line and filling them with water via the hose.

Then we played a relay game with water bombs…

…followed by a good old fashioned backyard slippery slide!

Black plastic, a hose & some dishwashing detergent.

This is an activity we did all the time as kids and with the drought in recent years here in Australia it has been very hard to do the same with our children.  The restrictions here in Melbourne have been reduced and you can now water your lawn with a handheld hose with a trigger nozzle attachment at any time of day… so if the kids happen to be running in front of that hose at the same time I am watering the lawn…

They had soooo much fun and in hindsight I really should have just had this activity only and skipped the rest!

Click here for more icecream party pics!

If you’d like to see some of our previous parties here at FGB headquarters, head on over to our DIY kids party ideas page!

* I am so excited about these tattoos – I made them myself – I really & truly did!  I’ll be doing a separate ‘how-to’ post very soon – stay tuned!  Addition Oct 2012 (finally) – more info on making your own tatts here.

** Did I mention it was approx. 37 degrees!  Thanks to Family Fun for the idea!
*** leftover from the space party – I love reusing & recycling for parties!  You can purchase some from your local hardware store.

EASY PEASY CHOCOLATE DESSERT (with chocolate melting tip!)

I seem to have melted lots of chocolate lately.  I have melted it to make fairy wands & marshmallow teacups for birthday parties, chocolate christmas puddings, christmas bark and the odd bowl of chocolate fondue….

To make simple & basic chocolate fondue you just
 melt 250g of milk chocolate (using the method below)and then stir in 1/3 cup of cream.  

You don’t need a special fondue set, any old bowl will work perfectly well.  Using forks you can dip anything you like in the chocolate.  Grissini bread sticks work beautifully, as does fruit or marshmallows.

So decadent and soooo yummy.  Lots of fun for kids too!

Now, here is the promised chocolate melting tip….

In the past I have often found melting chocolate a bit of ‘hit & miss’.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.  More often than not it went lumpy.  I could never get it right in the microwave even when others swore by that method.  But, with a bit of trial and error, I have found a foolproof way of melting chocolate perfectly every time.  A method no doubt well known by others, but new to me.

I like to use a double saucepan, but you could use a metal bowl on top of a saucepan.  
It looks like lots of writing, but really it’s 5 quick steps written in bold print.

1. boil water in kettle (or saucepan on stove).
2. pour boiling water from kettle into saucepan until approx. one third full.
(or remove saucepan from heat if you have boiled water on stove) 
3. place top saucepan (or metal bowl) onto bottom saucepan 
(making sure it is no longer on the stove – this is the key people!).
4. Place chocolate into top saucepan (or bowl).
 I like to use melts especially designed for melting.
5. Wait for chocolate to melt.  It will happen slowly….quite a few minutes, but be patient and stir as you go if you like.  You’ll think it is not working, but it is!  

What dishes do you melt chocolate for?

For more easy peasy recipes head over to the FGB easy recipes page here.


And finally the last photos of a very pink Supergirl Party!  In this post you’ll find the decos… 

This is what happens when one of your clever and creative sisters stays over the night before a party and adds her ‘extra touches’ to the props for the party activities.  Brilliant – thanks Clare!

Lots of bunches of roses collected from multiple gardens along with some of Clare’s artwork in various spots throughout the shed.  Love the  the soft feminine vintage chic meets retro cartoon girl power.

Although there is no full room photo, you’ll just have to imagine the inside of a large colorbond shed with all of our junk covered with old curtains and sheets, along with some beautiful bunting made by the clever Amy from Giggleberry and

some paper garlands (of course).

And I just couldn’t resist putting this photo in of a gorgeous superhero (nephew) at the photo booth*.

To see the rest of the photos from this very pink Supergirl party, you can see the food here and the party activities here.

To see more of the parties that we’ve celebrated here at FGB, head over here.

* photo booth makes it sounds really fancy, but really it is just a sheet stuck up on a couple of old doors, with a child-made cotton ball cloud and some buildings, also child-made, made out of cereal boxes.

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