Childhood Birthdays {some reminiscing}

Today is my 38th birthday.  I have always loved birthdays.  Although they do seem to get a little more uneventful as the years go by.  I don’t seem to put any where near as much effort into the celebrating of my own birthday as I do for my children’s birthdays.  Kudos goes to my own Mum for coming over yesterday though with a delicious afternoon tea to help me celebrate … and for cleaning up afterwards (which, if truth be told, was just as wonderful as the afternoon tea itself).  Maybe the desire to make birthdays special for our children never disappears.  My Mum has always been a birthday queen.  I inherited my love of going over the top for kids parties from my Mum.  Back in the 70′s & 80′s, long before themed parties were all the rage, she was getting right into it!  
These photos are from my ninth birthday.  Twenty nine years ago in 1984.  The theme was ‘Snugglepot & Cuddlepie’ from the classic May Gibb’s storybooks.  The chalk board that I am holding in the photo above says Beware of the Banksias written in the squiggly writing of the gumnut babies.  The handmade poster behind me says ‘Gum Inn’ – shake the bell (referring to the gumnut covered dangly thing in front of the poster).  That’s my sister Lou standing next to me.
 

Gum branches covered in blossoms were hung all throughout the toy room.  We had the best toy room as kids.  It was originally my Dad’s veterinary surgery and we lived behind, until he moved the surgery down the road and we converted the space into an extra large playroom at the front of the house that opened out into the kitchen.

We had gum blossom party hats made from brown card and crepe paper and it looks like we were allowed to use the fancy glasses and candles too!

My friend, Felicity is holding up a menu with bush type names for all of the food we are eating – written in the squiggly writing of course.  

She even decorated the plates with gum blossoms & wattle sprigs on the plates and piped the names Snugglepot and Cuddlepie onto the cupcakes.  They’re meringues on the plate at the front, in case you were wondering.
 
Every year, Mum made our birthday cakes out of vanilla icecream.  She moulded the icecream into shape, then melted small amounts to colour with food dye and use as paint over the top to decorate.  I’ve never known anyone else to have done that.

That’s me and my Dad in the photo above and my face covered in flour in the picture below after playing the flour game – one of our all time favourite party games!  You can read more about how to play the flour game in this post.  I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane and maybe even some understanding of how I got bitten by the party bug!  
I think I have mentioned before that I have two younger sisters.  My sister’s birthdays are only 5 days apart and mine is a few weeks later.  Mum went all out with a separate party for each of us.  She involved us in all aspects of party prep and I have fond memories of all of us sitting down together making invitations, party hats and party bags.  We even decorated plastic plates with each persons name on them and then cover them in clear contact so they could still be eaten from.  We played the best party games like animal noises, the flour game, treasure hunts, dress up games, I could go on.  We even had lollies and stickers in each layer of pass the parcel long before it became fashionable.  She was way ahead of her time!  As we became teenagers they continued with Dad putting on big ‘It’s a Knock Out’ style games (remember that TV show?) set up in the farm shed which involved lots of mess!
 
This is really a thank you post to my Mum, who is an avid supporter of this blog and also an avid supporter of me.  Thank you for supporting me for the last 38 years and for throwing the best parties ever!  You always knew how to make each of us feel special and I can only hope that I’ll be as wonderful a Mum to my children as you are to us.  xo
more-party-ideas

THE LEGO PARTY part 1

Sorry to keep you all waiting lovely people!  Here are the pics from Saturday’s Lego Party to celebrate Bear’s 6th birthday!  

I made the sign by downloading the free lego font and printing it out, sticking it onto yellow card, cutting it out and then sticking it on to red card.  


 Lego bunting was made from coloured card and the dots were made by using a large circle punch stuck on with padded double sided tape.
The water bottles were decorated using the same method.


FOOD:
Having a party at 2pm means that you don’t need to provide as much food as you would at a party that falls over a meal time – makes things a lot easier!  We had… 

Strawberry cups
Lego sandwiches and Lego cheese biscuits 
(in case you were wondering we used the tip of an icing piper to make the circle shape)

Lego jelly (thanks lou xo)

Marshmallow Lego heads - I died the marshmallows yellow using this method and then drew the faces on with an edible ink pen.  You can vaguely see in the background the chocolate grissini sticks – simple tutorial here.


Lego biscuits.

Of course, as per usual, I started taking photos after everyone had already begun to attack the food … you can see what was popular first – the marshmallow heads, the jellies and the blue, yellow & red biscuits!

We also had a sushi platter (from a local Japanese restaurant), some corn chips, popcorn, jellybeans, kabana, sausage rolls, my favourite mini egg & bacon pies and a fruit platter (red, yellow and blue fruit of course!)


Lego Brick Birthday Cake – totally thought that I was taking the easy way out here by making lego bricks, but those oreo cookies were quite painful to ice with butter icing!  Don’t even ask how much red food dye (I even used the gel stuff) was in the red lego brick!  Did not cut that one up at the party!  Note to self: avoid party themes that require a red cake!

Stay tuned for all of the games and activities in the next post…


Click on the cake for more Frog, Goose & Bear parties!

* No, that sharp knife is not pointed at my four month old niece!

A Skater birthday party!

I wanted to share with you some pics from my nephew’s Skateboard themed 6th birthday party that we went to a couple of weeks ago.  You might remember his awesome Pirate party last year?

The children were invited to bring their wheels – scooters, bikes, skateboards, etc.

They could decorate their ride with streamers…

colour in skateboard pics…

apply skateboard tattoos…
eat some yummy & healthy goodies

or pin the wheel on the skateboard…

and then they all headed off around the block a few times 


in their decorated bikes (and back to front helmets!!)
before coming back for some sweet treats and birthday cake!

Party printables were purchased from this etsy shop.

Great theme for a cool 6 year old school boy!
It’s harder to find cool themes as kids get older, what fun themes have you had for school aged kids?

If you’d like to see some of Frog, Goose & Bear’s parties, head over here.
If you’d like to share your party with us, head over here.

THIS SATURDAY I’M GRATEFUL…


This Saturday I’m grateful for…

- Birthdays.  I love feeling special for a day and being allowed to make it all about you!  Can’t believe it’s been a year already!

- New cameras!  Best birthday present ever from Mr FGB & the kids!  Although maybe the squashed toilet roll covered in sequins made especially for me by 2 year old Frog, all on her own, might just rival the camera in the present stakes…

- Rare photos of me with all 3 children (even if one was covered in hours old face paint).  We must remember to take more of those – so important!

- Mothers.  Mine has just returned from 3 months in Rwanda.  You can read about her travels here.  So grateful to have her back.  We missed her very much.

- Weekends away.  Staying at Mum’s this weekend in her gorgeous old home in Heathcote that still hasn’t sold.  If you are interested in a tree change check out this post.

- Festivals, sunshine & family.  Heathcote Food & Wine Festival today with sister Lou & her kids was lots of fun!


Being grateful today & joining in with Maxabella.

THIS SATURDAY I’M GRATEFUL…

for my gorgeous family and friends who made my birthday this week extra special and relaxing.

I find at this stage in my life with all the crazy busyness in our lives that I appreciate more than ever those simple things in life that I once took for granted.

Never again will I not appreciate with all of my being such things as sleep, time to read or just sit and chat, a meal (or a special cake) cooked by another, a handmade or well-thought out gift from someone who loves and knows me well.

Scaling back to the basics you can often find the most important things of all.

When I find myself focusing a little too much on the negatives and feel all too often that I’m drowning in the mundanity and frustrations of motherhood, I look at this blog and I see that there are so very many positives in my life and those positives made up of very ‘everyday’ things are actually the things that I savour more than anything.
Those other things that I wistfully dream of, are but a ‘flash in the pan’ and fools gold.

For more gratefulness head over to Maxabella land.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you….
Happy Birthday dear Louise.
Happy Birthday to you”.


P.S. Isn’t this a gorgeous cake! How to is here.
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