Monday, 27 August 2012

Glow in the Dark Party!

My little miss recently turned 5 and we celebrated her birthday by having a glow in the dark disco party - and by 'disco' I mean dance party, not terrible 70's music and fashion. ;)

I like to put on do it yourself, low-key birthday parties like the ones I remember from when I was a kid. Growing up, all the birthday parties I went to were held at the birthday girl or boy's house with a bunch of kids, presents, cake, balloons, and a few games. Everyone had a great time and it didn't have to cost a fortune! When we first started planning for the party I went straight to my computer to see what fantastic ideas the internet would provide. As with most of my brainstorming on Pinterest, I didn't end up doing very many of the items I pinned but the few ideas that we did follow through on ended up working well.

My little miss LOVES dancing, so naturally dancing would be a part of her big day and she didn't even have to think about what she wanted - she wanted a disco! Living in New Zealand, a birthday in July means a winter birthday so a glow in the dark disco seemed like a good way to brighten things up a little. We started the party at 4pm with some catching up and opening presents, had an early dinner of hot dogs and pizza (and cake of course!), and then the kids danced off their sugar highs for the next 2 hours!

We handed out glow sticks on arrival and had a container of balloons on light sticks for the kids to dance/play with (which very quickly turned into light wands and the balloons discarded). We had almost all of the lights in the house turned off, but there were so many glow sticks, light wands, and paper lanterns that it was actually too bright to see any of the 'glow in the dark' things we had put out (including the awesome glow in the dark lanterns we made). The kids loved it and everyone had a blast! There was even an unexpected surprise as one of the guests brought over some sparklers her family had left over from the 4th of July (they're American) - we finished up outside in the fresh air and everyone got their sparkle on!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

September Sort It

Oh that's right, I have a blog! Oops.
It's just as well that this post is all about September Sort It...

A couple of blogs that I follow (One Crafty Mumma & A Collection of Thoughts) are embarking on a mission to use September to sort stuff out! The idea is to make a list of 30 things that you plan to sort out during the month. For me it's stuff that I've been meaning to do (or that the husband has been at me to do) that I just haven't gotten around to yet. I made sure that my whole list wasn't made up of cleaning jobs - I've also included things that I've been wanting to do just for me. So if you're one of those people like me that have an ever growing to do list, why not try and conquer it during September? There's still a few days left to get going on your list. :)

It took me a while, but I finally got my list completed. For those who are curious here it is...

  1. Clean all unnecessary items off of the kitchen bench. (This may need to be done a few times throughout the month based on how quickly stuff accumulates there!)
  2. Go through the Little Miss' closet & remove everything that is too small or that no longer gets worn.
  3. Clean out the 'baking' shelf in the pantry.
  4. Look for a new set of dishes to replace our old set.
  5. Tidy & organize the hair accessories (& other random stuff) shelf.
  6. Make space under my bed to store the Little Miss' Christmas present (she's getting a new bed - shhh it's a surprise!)
  7. List the kids' art easel on Trade Me (they NEVER use it & it takes up way too much space).
  8. Sort through my clothes & get rid of all the things I no longer wear.
  9. Update photos of the kids on Picasa.
  10. See the Living Cloaks exhibition at Te Papa. 
  11. Sew baskets for the pantry.
  12. Re-stock the freezer with baking for lunches.
  13. Get a new passport! (Not that I'm planning on going anywhere, but with most of my family overseas I figure it's best to always have a valid one in case of emergency.)
  14. Mend everything in the pile of clothes to be mended.
  15. Investigate class times for Yoga-Pilates classes and book in.
  16. Sort through the cloth nappies & get rid of the ones that are no longer any good.
  17. Decide what to do for the Little Guy's 3rd birthday party. :)
  18. Sort through all the stuff being stored in the Little Guy's closet.
  19. Give the shower a really good scrub.
  20. Try to revive the sad, wilted potted flowers from the kitchen & re-plant out in the garden.
  21. Make more large storage baskets for the Little Miss' room.
  22. Make a list of who we're giving Christmas presents to this year.
  23. Plan out the Little Miss' Irish dancing dress (the real competition one - she's been practicing what to do at competition in class, so it won't be long now!)
  24. Choose new photos of the kids to replace the old ones in the lounge.
  25. Go shopping for clothes - for me, not the kids!!!
  26. Make a time to have a good catch up on Skype with my bestie in Canada.
  27. Weed the garden.
  28. Start weaning the Little Guy from using his soother during the day.
  29. Find more Thomas socks for the Little Guy.
  30. Actually take all of the excess clothes etc to the goodwill bins (or throw out those that are no longer good).
Wish me luck & happy sorting everyone!

(Update: as suggested by the husband, I will italicize and colour each line as I complete it. I'm pretty sure he thinks I'll get more done if I have people to answer to if I don't!)

Monday, 13 August 2012

Pajama Pants

(The pant legs are the same length in real life,
it's my photo skills that are a bit off.)

The last time my Mom came to visit she brought me some fabric that she bought in Canada. The fabric wasn't for anything in particular, but it was all a little different than what you can find at the regular fabric stores around here. Included in this small collection of fabric was some Disney Princess flannelette for the little miss. The little miss is all about the Disney Princesses, but flannelette isn't something I tend to use with the types of things I make – until now...

I had never made pajamas for my kids in the past because I figured that they're just for sleeping in and a trip to K-Mart or The Warehouse seemed a lot easier as well as inepensive. To be honest I really couldn't be bothered, and then I found this tutorial. The tutorial only shows how to make the pants, but for me this wasn't a problem as the little miss has a closet full of t-shirts that hardly ever get worn because 95% of the time she will only wear dresses – now at least they can be worn at night time!

These pants were super easy and took me about 30 minutes total from laying out the fabric to finishing the trim. The only thing I would have done differently is to make them bigger (I wasn't really thinking and used a pair of pajamas for my 'pattern' that she's had for a while now). I cut the pieces out with pretty much only the seam allowance extra – unfortunately little people tend to grow quite quickly, so I'm not sure they will last very long on her, I really should have cut them out a bit larger so that she would still have room to grow before they got too small.

I didn't plan on adding the ribbon to the bottom of the legs, or making a bow, but I whipped them up so quickly I thought I might as well embellish them a little. The little miss loved searching through my ribbon stash to pick out the perfect ribbon to match too.

Since these were such a breeze to make, I thought I'd use up a little more flannelette I've been storing for way too long and make a pair for the little guy too. He is also quite a fan of things Disney, and I had some leftover Mickey Mouse fabric that wasn't quite big enough to make anything out of, so I used the Mickeys on the fabric to make some patches and stitched them on his pants. The little guy actually wears all his t-shirts, so I went out to find him an inexpensive top and found a long sleeve t-shirt that even matches for $5 and added a little Mickey to that too!

Both kids are very pleased with their jammies and almost always pick them before all the store bought ones. So from now on if I come across any flannelette that I (or the kids) love I can buy it because I know I'll be able to use it for something!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Glow Bath

The kids were driving me crazy this evening and I was kind of dreading having to get them both in the bath myself as the husband is out tonight... And then I remembered something I saw on a friend's Pinterest board - glow baths! We almost always have a stock of glow sticks in the cupboard and it's not like they could get any more wild than they already were...

We did all the actual getting clean stuff first with the promise of something really cool if they could manage for that long, and then I turned off the light and cracked the sticks and the most amazing thing happened - they actually chilled right out! They were totally mesmerised by the lights in the water and the calm of the near darkness. I couldn't believe I had dismissed the idea earlier because I thought it would turn them into wild water beasts!

Sadly the magic didn't last forever - they did go back to fighting over containers after a short while, but the fighting was definitely more toned down than before. Both of my little monsters are now tucked snugly into bed and calm has once again come over this house - time for this Mumma to sit back with a cup of tea & relax.

*Neither my photography skills nor my camera are really up to capturing this sort of thing, but if you look up "glow bath" in Pinterest, there are no shortage of photos!