{2018 Advent Activities} Dec 11th - Do a Christmas craft

Today our advent activity was to do a Christmas craft, and today was also our Monday Playgroup Christmas party!

Today's craft was some Christmas colouring in - a nativity scene & some stockings with the words 'Merry Christmas' (I helped Miss M a fair bit!) 

Miss M also enjoyed some yummy party food at the Christmas party

... and lots of playing with her friends... 

We also got to chat to Santa!

He was a lovely Santa but Miss M was still not sure - lucky Mum is happy to jump in! 

For the last few weeks at Playgroup, we've been creating our Christmas boxes with Christmas tree decorations inside, and today we got to take them home! 

We made a pine cone tree, cardboard decorations and our rocky road from last week was presented beautifully in a little gift bag!

We had such a fun morning, and we'll definitely miss Playgroup over the Christmas holidays! 

Our advent book

Elf on the shelf

Our Family Pics 2017

A few months ago I won a competition through Leigh Dorothy Photography on Facebook for a free family photo shoot! I was so excited as the last time we had family photos was when Miss O was born, which wasn't that long ago, but she has changed so much since then, and I was keen to document this part of our lives.

Last Saturday morning Leigh arrived about 9:30am to take photos out the back of our new place (and a few inside). I absolutely love our view - it is so calm and serene, and the perfect backdrop for family photos! 
We chose to have the photos so early in the morning as Miss O is tired and goes to bed quite early in the afternoon, and I wasn't keen to try and wrestle with her when she was ready for bed! 

I chose a dusty pink top & cardigan with jeans for me, Brendan chose a light blue collared shirt with camel coloured pants for himself, and the girl's wore matching pink dresses, which was just super cute! I've heard that kids should wear colour in photoshoots, and adults should wear neutral colours, and I'm so happy with how it's turned out - Leigh did such a fantastic job, especially with one little girl distracted by a 'gog' (dog - Miss O who is 14 months) and another just not wanting to cooperate (Miss M who is almost 3)! 

Here's a sneak peek of some of my favourite images! 

Miss M's Frozen Party Budget

I started planning Miss M's 3rd Frozen party a few months ago, and I like to buy things on special and as cheap as I can because I know it all adds up. I was curious to see how much I was actually spending, so thought I'd add it up. I wrote everything done in my phone, as well as where I purchased it from (just in case anyone was wondering!) The total is at the bottom. 

(Some abbreviations used: 
- RS = The Reject Shop
- W = Woolworths) 

- Invitations:
$1.50 for a 16 pack (Pricebusters)

- Games:
$2 frozen container for pass parcel (Coles)
$1.50 Pin the nose on Olaf game (Pricebusters)
$2.50 markers for a prize (Big W)
$3 fan with lollies for a prize (Reject Shop)
$3 chocolates for pass parcel (RS)
$2 Choc hearts for pass parcel (RS)

- Food table:
$1 clear plastic cups (Target)
$10 banner (Vistaprint)
$1 snowflakes (eBay)
$6 lanterns (Reject Shop)
$2.50 wrapping paper (Reject Shop)
$4 2 packets of frozen napkins: 32 altogether (Woolies)
$3 2 packets of balloons (Reject Shop)
$4 blue cups x2 packets (RS)
$4 blue plates x2 (RS)
$1 spoons (Coles) 
$8 cake figurines (eBay)
$4.60 Blue jelly x4 packets (Coles) 
$4 Frozen Icy poles x2 (RS)
$2 Marshmallows (Woolies)
.57c Wafers (W)
$2.50 White cooking Choc block (W)
$2.65 White melts (W)
$1.50 Choc cake mix x2 (W)
$3.70 Chips x2 packers (Coles)
$4.80 Party mix lollies (Coles)
$4 waffle cones (1/2 pk) (W)
$2.50 Corinthians (Big W)
$4 Apple & Orange juice (Coles)
$3.50 strawberries (Coles)
$1.50 Bread for fairy bread (W)
$3.50 Sprinkles (W)

- Party favours: 
$10 20x bubble wands (Big W)

Total: $115.32

I was hoping for around $100, so I'm very happy with the total! The party was lots of fun and Miss M loved it, so it was definitely a success! 

Miss M's 3rd Birthday - Frozen theme!

Yesterday was Miss M's 3rd Birthday Party with a Frozen theme! 

She's loved Frozen ever since Brendan brought home the DVD at least 18 months ago. She has an Olaf dress that we use for dress-ups and she puts it on at least once a day! 

We decided to have the party in a park this year, just for something different and so it was easy to clean-up after (as we had another party at 3pm yesterday!) and we held it at 9:30am before the sun got too hot, and so that we could come home ready for midday naps. 

Preparing the food table is always a highlight for me! I had been looking through Pinterest for the last few months for different and easy Frozen themed food ideas, and come up with the following: 
- blue jelly
- white vanilla Corinthian wafers
- vanilla wafer biscuits with blue white chocolate and sprinkles on the ends
- snowflake cookies with peppermint icing
- cupcakes with blue icing
- marshmallows covered in white chocolate & blue sprinkles on blue paper straws
- fairy bread with blue sprinkles

As you can see in the pics, I also added some watermelon (as we didn't have any other fruit!), some biscuits & dip (as we didn't have a lot of savoury foods), some natural confectionary lollies in the tin (on the left below), and some Frozen icy poles (which I stumbled across in The Reject Shop - but they didn't stay frozen while at the park, which I should have realised haha!) 

I found lots of Frozen themed party items too - the tablecloth, napkins and invitations, and I just used blue plates, bowls and cups. I brought all the platters and plates from home, so I could set it up how I was happy with. I took all these in green bags & a big box to the park, and it was super easy just to chuck them all back in, take them home and wash-up after! 

I was able to make the cupcakes, cookies and cake weeks before and freeze them, and then I iced everything, and prepared everything else the night before. 

The cake worked out really well! I'm not a cake maker, so wanted something simple but effective. 

I liked the idea of a castle cake, but with a Frozen theme, so I went for blue buttercream icing over two cakes - a basic square & love heart shaped chocolate cake, and then I had purchased the little Frozen figurines off eBay for only $8! (Speaking of price, I was curious how much I actually was spending on parties, considering I buy everything as cheap as I can, but I tend to buy them for months before, and had never added it up. So this time I've added everything up that I spent on this party, and I'll put it in a separate blog post.)

The white chocolate for the door/gate and windows was super simple, as well as the mini marshmallows on the skewers (both of which I already had). The waffle cones were easy, I added flags up the top, and a few sprinkles, and I already had the candles and Miss M's cake topper (which was about $12 from Toppers by Tegan on Facebook). I was really happy with how it turned out! 

I purchased the banner from Vistaprint for only $10, and hung it between poles at the park just using ribbon, and added some blue & silver ballons, as well as blue & white lanterns. 

For the party favours, I wanted something other than lollies, and something very simple that I knew kids would love - what could be better than blue bubbles! These were only 50c each (I purchased 20) and I printed out a little tag, laminated it and attached it with ribbon. I actually gave these out to the kids about 20 mins before they left, and we all had fun blowing bubbles together! It was a hit!

The presents beside are the party game prizes and the pass the parcel - I had a set of Frozen markers, a Frozen fan with lollies, and a Frozen container with chocolates for the pass the parcel (as well as chocolates throughout). The wrapping was Frozen themed too, and I also used some to wrap Miss M's presents (which we'll give to her on her actual birthday, the 14th Dec). 

The kids loved the games! We played a round of Pin the nose on Olaf which was a packet with the background, sticker noses & blindfold for only $1.50! We then played Pass the Parcel with 'Let it go' as the music, and then a round of 'Freeze,' again with 'Let it go' playing! The kids then were able to just play on the park equipment!

My two little girl's dressed up!

Miss M received some lovely presents! We always say no gifts are necessary, but any we do receive are well loved! 

A family pic! I like to do this each birthday as it's fun to see how much the girl's grow!

Miss M LOVED everyone singing to her and being able to blow out her candles! She had such a fun time playing with her friends, and being the centre-of-attention, and it was a lovely morning of chatting, laughing and celebrating with friends and family! Happy 3rd Birthday Miss M!

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