Wednesday, 10 December 2014

My Christmas Survival Kit

I was recently introduced to Man Crates, a company who puts together great gift boxes for men that are packaged in a crate to be opened with a crowbar.  How different is that!  It's seems, for me, that the Men in my family are the hardest ones to shop for these days, but with this idea... there may be a solution that I can use long into the future.

It got me thinking of what I would like to receive in one big box to help me get through the busy christmas season.  For me, christmas is by all means about family, quality time and making memories.  So I thought about what essential items I would like to have in that big box as a survival kit for my Christmas.  At first my list was quite large, but I took it down to the bare bones of the items I always seem to fall back on and, here it is;

1. Brown paper

For any wrapping emergency, all I need is a big roll of brown packing paper.  The possibilities are endless with brown paper as the backdrop.  Get the kids to decorate the gifts with hand print santas and reindeers.  Or use colourful markers to add limitless designs.  Add some curly ribbon and a fancy gift tag and the bottom of the tree is stunning.

2. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

The base of all things yummy! Melt them to drizzle on a simple batch of sugar cookies for an unexpected party (Ps. Sub brown sugar for white for a delicious twist).  Or mix 1/3 cup with 2 cups milk for two cozy cups of decadent hot cocoa to share with a friend.  And to get through those midnight madness shopping trips whip up a batch of No Bake Energy Bites for a healthy but effective boost.  With chocolate chips in hand, (sometimes literally by the handful) I can conquer anything this crazy season can throw at me!

3. Christmas Music

Just what every power shopper needs to get into the spirit of the season.  Or to fuel creativity for a gift wrapping marathon, everyone needs that cheerful glee of listening (or loudly singing along) to the good old faithfuls.  Luckily the radio is packed full of great christmas hits for the full month of December, but maybe there's a favourite CD to play over and over and annoy the family.  No matter the circumstance, having some good Christmas music close at hand is a must have for all those Christmas preparations and parties.

4.  A Christmas Movie

Who doesn't love a good christmas movie!  There's something about curling up on the couch with the kids on a cold evening and watching a festive movie that puts a smile on my face.  Maybe a new animated Christmas movie to watch for the first time, or a tradition of watching White Christmas with Nana and Papa every year.  I look forward each year to pulling out that basket of heart warming christmas tales and watching my kids light up with reminiscing excitement.

5.  Camera

My last item, a camera.  It must be a reliable one, and fully charged at all times at that matter.  But the only thing that warms my heart more than making cherished memories with my family is being able to capture them.  I have several cameras in my stockpile to use in different situations, but hoping to add newest to my collection is a mini Polaroid camera!  How great it will be to capture these moments and have them instantly to share in a scrapbook.  Or organize a fun photo shoot with the kids for a unique christmas card.  For me, time flies by so quickly, so it is so necessary to make it possible to look back at those special moments shared with loved ones and friends.  

So, that's my list.  Peculiar, maybe but that's what makes Christmas for me, and helps me make it a special memory too cherish years to come.

Hope you enjoyed!

Be inspired,

Get Creative

Friday, 15 August 2014

Splish Splash 1st Birthday Party

Flashback Friday!  Thought I would take this opportunity to tell you about My daughter's first birthday party (who is now 3) wow how time flies!

I am always trying to come up with different themes for the kids parties.  And first birthday's are always a bit more tricky.  They are too little to say what they want, and you want to throw a party that is age appropriate yet not too babyish.

So I came up with a Bath Theme:

The Lyrics from "Splish Spalsh, I was Taking a Bath" turned out to be my inspiration. 

I took a bunch of props out to our trailer for a mini photo shoot, so that I could incorporate pictures of Opal into the invitation.  For the front picture, I choose my favorite dresses that she wore from Newborn to 12 months.  Strung up a cloths line and hung them with clothes pins.  I think it was a cute way to show how much she had grown in her first year.

For the inside, we used a tin bucket, filled it with water and bubble bath and took pictures of her having a bath.  Printed out the party details and incorporated the lyrics of the song subtly through-out the invite.

My favorite part of the invitation was the back.  We brought some teddy bears and placed them in a row with Opal facing away from the camera.  The saying I placed under the picture says it all!

I decorated for the party in bath like colours.  Meaning; blues and teals, white, silver and white.  I threw in some yellow and hinted the decor with rubber duckies.

The wall that accented as a backdrop for the cake eating pictures, was a full balloon wall.  Basically I stapled (I know, but it only made tiny holes! And at that point I was too frustrated with the 10 different tapes I tried to let it bother me) different coloured and sized balloons to the wall to represent floating bubbles.

I incorporated a floral centerpiece of yellow mums and white hydrangeas with blue and teal glass gems and white feathers filling the clear vase.

I hung yellow paper lanterns and teal tissue puffs in various areas and used white feather boas to add a sudsy look.

I also incorporated more of the song lyrics with a picture display from the photo shoot.  I printed the various pictures with one line of lyrics on each picture and hung them in order on a rope with clothes pins.

For the favors I made sponge balls.  They were pretty easy to make.  You find direction on how to make them here;  But I bought multi-coloured sponges, cut them into strips and tied eight of the pieces together, creating a cute multi-coloured ball of sponge.  I put a bubble tag on the ones we gave out at the end of the party and tied a mini duckie to the tie string.  I had extras out for the kids to play with, since we set up two blow up pools in the backyard with lots of bubble bath and a bubble machine going to create a bath like atmosphere.

Another small detail that I incorporated was a bowl of bubble bath punch.  It is made with blue Hawaiian juice pored over vanilla ice cream to create what looks like a very inviting bubble bath.  Add some floating duckies and I think it made a great feature.  (I took the picture after it had sat for a while so it doesn't look as bubbly as it was).

The table was covered with yellow satin overlays.  We used yellow paper plates and found these super cute duckie napkins.  I mixed them in with some plain teal napkins too, to add more of a variety in colour.

For the cake, (my favorite part!),  I baked three Baby's First Birthday Cake layers.  Iced between the first two layers and then took the third layer and cut a circle out of the centre leaving a ring of cake.  Placed that on top the first two and iced the entire cake.  I then took half chilled blue jello and filled the top layer, to make a bath tub!  cute huh?  I made some cake balls and covered them with blue and white chocolate partially swirled together to look like bubbles.  I also formed two cake balls to look like a rubber duck and covered them in yellow chocolate.

I was extremely happy with how the cake turned out and the whole party was a huge success!  My daughter thoroughly enjoyed herself!

This is a picture of the adorable dress my Mom made her for her party.  I loved those Prints!

I forgot how much she loved rubber duckies at that age!

That's all for now!

Be inspired...
Get Creative!