2013 – My Christmas Elf – Day 2 – The Christmas Creation Station

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 5.29.09 PMThe Elves have left a Christmas themed creation Station for us to use over the festive season!  That cheeky “Holly Jingles” even got into the sticky tape!

Using a Large Christmas Box, I gathered some cheap Christmas Craft supplies.

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Christmas Tape, Stamps, Laminated Word Cards, Sticky Note Pads

 

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Writing Paper, Coloured Paper, Colouring In Books

 

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Stickers and Pencils 

and lots of envelopes and Christmas Cards! 

The Elves were sitting pretty with Trixie using a giant pen (from Big W) to leave a note! 

I created this area in the Playroom and used a cute spotty paper fan to make the space feel Christmasy!  We will be doing lots of writing this festive season especially with our Elf Activities!

 Day 2’s Elf Activity to follow on from the Elfy Breakfast was to talk and write about our Elves names, using the template below.

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Name Your Elf Worksheet 

For more ideas on how to position your elf, some cute names and activities to go with Naming your elf check out last year’s NIFTY NAME post. 

2013 – My Christmas Elf – Day 1 – A Very “Elfy” Breakfast

Here is how our elves arrived in 2013……

THEY ARE HERE!!!

The Elf Antics have begun!

Yesterday our mischievous elves arrived all the way from the North Pole for the third year! All of the late night shenanigans of this tired Mummy were totally worth it, when she heard the squeals!!!

So this is how it happens in our house!

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The night before the big reveal, I set up a simple breakfast table.  

  • A cheap plastic Christmas tablecloth (that will come in handy for many cooking and craft activities that was left over form last years cookie decorating party) bought form a discount store
  • Divided Christmas Plate (Kmart)
  • Christmas Cup (The reject Shop)
  • Christmas Serving Dish (The Reject Shop)
  • A Christmas Box (The Reject Shop)
  • Printed Santa Letter of Introduction
  • Clue Card (see the bottom of this post)

The elves were placed on top of the Christmas box with their case.  The boy elf is our original elf.  Back in 2011 I wanted to do the Elf but could not get him in time for Christmas so a lovely friend of mine found this little fellow at a Christmas Warehouse.  His name is “Trixie” Master O took him to Kindy for show and tell that first you and the following year when he appeared in my own classroom some of the kids (that went to Kindy with Master O) remembered him!  I couldn’t believe it! 

The girl elf is an “Official” Elf on the Shelf and her name is “Holly Jingles” She arrived last year and Master O called her Holly as he loved the Christmas song “It’s a Holly, Jolly Christmas!” 

Calling it a night, I left it to be discovered!

Master O is an even earlier riser than me and I heard him sneak downstairs about 5am! Little Miss A was only a minute behind and came to get me.  Before us girls could get to the top of the stairs Master O was calling out and running!

 “They’re HERE!  Trixie is HERE!  I’m not lying you have to come and see this!”

 The look on his face was priceless!  Little Miss A wasn’t sure wether to be wary or excited! They ran over to the table and started checking it out!  Master O remembered all of it from last year and quickly began imparting his knowledge to Miss A.  We sat down and read the letter together.

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They were happy to just sit at the table staring and talking whilst I got started on Breakfast.

ON THE MENUScreen Shot 2013-11-26 at 5.47.15 AM Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 5.47.38 AM Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 5.47.56 AM

  • Pancakes with Syrup (cut into Christmas Trees)
  • Yoghurt (Little Miss A doesnt like pancakes)
  • Fruit (Banana’s and Strawberries)
  • Wafer Biscuits (which doubled as straws for our hot chocolate)
  • Hot Chocolate with mini marshmallows

Over breakfast we chatted about the Clue Card:

“Maybe it’s Snowy, maybe it’s Sue

Whatever my name is, it’s up to you!

Please make it lovely or maybe just fun

Something easy to say and spell for everyone!”

Are they the same elves?  What were their names last time?  Do we keep the same names?

It was a resounding YES to the last one!

So we now have “Trixie” and “Holly Jingles” in our house visiting!

Now it’s your turn!

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DOWNLOAD and PRINT our first 8 Clue Cards!

[download id=”8″]

Elf Letter Of Introduction

The Elf is nearly here!  Our Elves (we have a girl and a boy) are preparing for their arrival on MONDAY!!!!

I have written before about some different ways to Welcome Your Elf.  

However they arrive, they will need a way of introducing themselves and the concept!

FOR FIRST TIMERS

Using the Elf and Book set:

  1. I suggest reading the book to the children the night before the Elf arrives at your house! This will help introduce the character, story and concept.  By giving your children a “heads up” not only will they understand who the elf is and why they are in your house but it also builds excitement and dispells fear! 
  2. Print the letter and have it ready to arrive with your elf.  By reading the letter the concept is reinforced and the child begins to make a connection between Santa and his special helper, your Elf!

WE HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE!

If you have had a visiting Elf before (like us!) go straight to step 2! This will give them a reminder about the Elf and you can then enjoy the story at a later time! 

We have two versions of the ELF INTRODUCTION LETTER for you! 

The first is for A CHILD (just one child participating)

2013 Elf Intoduction Letter – Child

 The second is for CHILDREN (this is suitable for families or a class)

2013 Elf Introduction Letter – Children

Print, Share and ENJOY!

FATHER’S DAY: What to buy, for the impossible to buy for, Dad!

Father’s Day fills me with panic.  I swear my husband is THE HARDEST person to buy for!  He doesn’t follow sport, have a favourite team, a hobby or an addiction to computer games.  He doesn’t fall into the “Department Store Catalogue Categories” of Sporty Dad, Business Dad or Tech Dad.  In saying that he is pretty easy to please and anything we buy him he at least “pretends” to love. 

So what do you buy for the person that is impossible to buy for?

1. NEW CLOTHES.  Because someones got to do it.  Hubby would NEVER buy himself new clothes.  If he didn’t receive new clothes as presents he would happily wear the same outfit for the next three years. So I am using Father’s Day as a chance to update his wardrobe.

Father's Day

 

This smart casual combo form Target is $50 for the outfit!  Yes the whole outfit!  There were actually a few colour combos in this Oxford Shirt and Maxx Slim Shorts.  BONUS: Both are in stock Online!!!

2. LUGGAGE.  This is out of necessity.  There have been many an occasion when he is taken the kids to a theme park solo.  I have watched on as he packs his things into reusable grocery bags.  TRUE STORY.  Every Dad needs a great back pack, an efficient piece of carry on luggage and a stylish small suitcase.  

luggage

From Left To Right:

Small Hard Shell Suitcase: For when he take you away for that couples vacation (or for me to steal for my next girls weekend!!)

Backpack: Complete with lunch cooler and drink bottle.

Business Travel Bag; Perfect as carry on luggage or for a weekend away.

3. DVD’s. Whether its Fishing Shows, The latest TV on DVD, Action Flicks or a good Doco, DVD’s are always the easiest present!

DVD's

If you really want to impress check out the boxed sets or complete seasons of his favourite series.

4. FOOD. The way to a mans heart is through his stomach isn’t it?

Food

If you are not up for hand making some sweet treats check out the always favourite Party bucket full of choccies!  Surely he will share?  Not a sweet tooth? How about a selection of  hot sauce, nuts or coffee?

5. ALCOHOL. This doesnt mean spending a small fortune on the best Whiskey available. 

Beer

A beer brewing kit, some new freezable beer steins or even a new cooler bag to carry it all in! 

If all else fails,  you could just buy him something that you really want! That seems to be what happens when he buys me Christmas presents!!! It’s payback time!

This is a sponsored post as part of Target’s Bloggers Hub.

The Tooth Fairy Visits

Calling all tooth fairies, we have a lost tooth in our house!

FINALLY aged 6 years and 4 months, Master O, lost his first tooth!  More than a month ago I noticed Master O had two adult teeth breaking through on the bottom.  Sure enough those baby teeth were starting to wobble, ever so slightly. One in particular has been hanging by a thread and last night literally as we were about to go out for dinner, it came out! Well actually Daddy pulled it out! There was a tad bit of shock about all the blood (from Master O AND Mummy) but the excitement of FINALLY loosing a tooth soon took over.  

Of course this happens on the extremely rare occasion of us going out for dinner. Put the tooth back in! I am not ready for this!

After recently searching for Tooth Fairy Inspiration I had some vague plans of what I the tooth fairy, would do.  It all centered around The Fairy Door that thankfully arrived from Elle J this week! You know how I feel about traditions. So let the new tradition begin!

OUR NEW TOOTH FAIRY TRADITION

Place tooth in a glass of water on the bedside table.

Need to work on this one as I was sacred he might “drink” his tooth in the middle of the night!  I am going to go with a cushion or box next time.

In the morning the Tooth was replaced with a note. This was an etsy printable. It came as an instant download package (great for last minute) with a tooth fairy receipt as well .  I had no printer ink or card, so it looked nowhere near as nice as I would have liked! The note thanks him for his tooth and taking care of his teeth and tells him to go downstairs for a treat!

The surprise was that the Tooth Fairy had come!  She had created her own entryway into our home!  She used her saw and hammer to create a Fairy door and left behind quite a mess!  She had tried to sweep and mop up her wood shavings but will be back tonight to finish the job.  She left lots of coins, a receipt, a letter and some fairy dust.

The Saw and hammer (althoguh I think its more like a chisel) These are form a miniatures collection I have had since before I had children!  They are intended for a dolls house and I have been waiting for the perfect moment to use them.  A whole box was once given to me by someone who didnt want them!  The only details I have is that the tags say “Vicki Collection” 

The broom, mop and wood shakings which were some straw and toothpicks cut up, good thinking Daddy.  That was his thoguhtful touch to the experience.

and Master O’s reaction……..

PRICELESS

He was in absolute disbelief.  Worth every minute of the late night panic and shenanigans.

Together they chatted about how she came in, wether she would make a new door next time and what kind of fairy she was.

They decided that the money actually belonged to the fairy and she had accidentally left it behind! NOOOO!!!  They need a lot of convincing that the money was in exchange for the tooth!

BUT IT’S THE FAIRY’S MONEY!!!!!!!!!

So to ease her crying Master O shared his money with his sister.  Seriously I could have cried. 

So I did.  Just a little. You know when those moments just hit you that these amazing creatures called kids are actually yours? And that they believe in such wonderful, innocent, magical, joyous things?  That they are kind and considerate enough to share their much anticipated tooth Fairy money? That sometimes all those really ordinary parenting days accumulate and transform to create an extraordinary moment you want to savour forever.

Overwhelmed by it all.  Not them, just me.

Magical Memories.

 

Edited to add: The Miniatures:
I just did a quick google of Vicki Collection and found this site 
Gosford Hobbies

A little bit expensive but oh so cute! 

The Tooth Fairy

Another mythical creature is getting ready to make an appearance in our household. The Tooth Fairy! Finally after 6 years and 4 months, Master o has a wobbly tooth!.  He is one of the last children in his class to loose a tooth so needless to say the event is highly anticipated!  So I am searching for a new family tradition to begin.  A tooth fairy tradition.

The Tiny Letter

 

Source: etsy.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

 

Source: etsy.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

Never fear you don’t need to figure out how to do this yourself!  These come as printables and can be found on Etsy.  You simply print and assemble your personalised letter at home!

The Tooth Tin

 

This idea could easily be made at home.  A simple tin, some scrapbook paper and a cute label.  A safe place to keep those teeth as they await the fairy. 

The Printable Letter/Collection

Source: hellobee.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

Source: etsy.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

This is one option I will be taking up.  A whole series of printables for the occasion from letters, certificates, boxes, stickers, even a note to hang on the bedroom door. 

The Fairy Door

Source: indulgy.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

 

This is one of those ideas I first posted about on here years ago but have never done for myself.  I think the opportunities this could provide for many different occasions is HUGE.  For our Christmas Elf, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and maybe even a Reward Fairy!

The Tooth Pillow

Source: etsy.com via Larissa on Pinterest

 

It is so nice to see a range of boys and girls pillows to hang on the childs bedroom door.  I love this idea as it is something that could be passed on to the next generation as well.

The Certificate

 

 

I want something like this to keep for my own record! Which tooth fell out, how it fell out and when! A magical way of keeping memories for years to come. I am thinking I may do something like this on the project life journalling cards, ready to put in the album.

So what adventures does the tooth fairy get up to in your house? 

ANZAC Day

We are a family with a strong connection to The ANZAC spirit.  Both my Father and Father In Law have served in the Defence Force, as has my husband and currently my brother.  Tomorrow more than ever though we think of my husbands Great Uncle who lost his life for our country.  We have inherited his medals and letters, tokens of everything he fought for, paying the ultimate price for the country we hold so dear.

We are strong believers that our children MUST learn about this part of our history, and the role our defence force play in keeping peace and protecting all, today.  

Through craft, stories and real life experiences we can share with our children all that is the ANZAC journey.  This week I have shared some ways to teach children about ANZAC day HERE .

If you can’t make it to a March or Dawn Service how about baking some of our GLUTEN FREE ANZAC BISCUITS!!!  We love these, especially when enjoyed with a mate over a cuppa! 

My favourite part of Anzac Day? 

 

Watching my children experience the ANZAC joy, the awe and the pride. 

A New Addition

I bet that title had you wondering if we were adding to our family?  

No, I am afraid my baby making days are over.  

But I have just been welcomed into a new family…

A few weeks ago I was asked to become a part of an amazing family.  

The WILLIAMS SONOMA family.  

Williams Sonoma Inc encompasses the three dreamy American homewares stores – West Elm, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn Kids.  I am joining some incredibly inspiring Australian bloggers to share with our readers all that is Williams Sonoma.  

 

The FIRST AUSTRALIAN stores open in Bondi Junction on May 2nd.  But never fear they will also have online shopping! I am predicting we will  see Melbourne and Brisbane openings, sooner rather than later.

Can you believe it?  I have shopped at Pottery Barn for years!  First via parcel forwarding and then by paying international shipping prices, just to have a little piece of their gorgeous range in my own home.  I have a rather empty suitcase I will be taking with me to Sydney, that will hopefully return VERY full! 

I will be posting a whole heap of photos from the Launch Event on May 1st.  

Follow

#PotteryBarnAus or #mppPotteryBarn

on Instagram for all the divine finds!

A Bunny Birthday Party

It appears blogging about Birthday parties is a lot harder than I imagined. You see the post party planning exhaustion has set in and suddenly, life is no longer filled with pink milk and minature roses but spilt milk and dirt.

So without further adieu I present Little Miss A’s 3rd Birthday Party.

 

A very quirky unique little girl, over the last 12 months the party theme has varied from a “Baby Princess Cat Party” to “A 5 Little Ducks that Twinkle in the sky party”

Thank goodness during a random trip to Woolworths she fell in love with some “Bunny” goods and so a “Bunny Party” was agreed upon and she was made to sign an agreement that the theme would not waiver for the next month!  

Little Miss A Modelling the latest in Bunny fashion

Yes she is wearing a strange but cute Bunny Costume…….with pink glitter gumboots….in the meat department of Woolies.   Just another day for Little Miss A.

Party Favour Bags – Aldi – 99c

 

Party Favours – Paint A Rabbit Sets – Aldi

As the majority of children attending the party were the younger siblings of Master O’s friends I decided on a “Family Party Favour” this was an activity that the family could do together.  I found these cute “Paint A Rabbit” sets at Aldi.  There are two Rabbits and two paint brushes with paints to share.  A great way for our party guests to pass the time these school holidays.

Bunny Cupcakes – Woolworths and Aldi

This was seriously the easiest party I have ever planned.  If there was a quick way of doing something I did it!  Including these pre made and decorated cupcakes from Woolworths.  With pink and blue flowers on top they matched our colour palette perfectly and the cute Bunny picks helped dress them up a little!  The picks were in a cupcake set from Aldi.

Bunny Bread

What’s a party without Fairy bread?  Or in our case Bunny Bread!  I found this cute bunny cookie cutter at Robins Kitchen, reduced to $1.50!  

Bunny Tails!

I know many readers scored these jars from Woolworths!  I knew I had to have one but I had no idea what I would use it for.  It became the “Bunny Tail Jar.”  Use a bunny pick to select your own bunny tail from the jar.  Want more than one?  Use your pick to fill a cupcake case.

Bunny Milk Jars – Bon Bon Boutique

These were most definitely the find of the party.  I have always loved the look of the vintage glass milk bottles but worried about little fingers breaking them.  These bottles are made of plastic, reusable and the lids are perfect for little children. 

I popped in a pink bunny straw from Woolworths and pink milk. They were a hit! 

The Party Table was dressed using a vintage white love heart table cloth I had from my grandmother.  

That oh so gorgeous porcelain bunny with basket is from Bed Bath and Table and now resides in Little Miss A’s Bedroom.  The dusty pink gift box, added height to the table and can now be used to store all of her new birthday cards.  The vase and jug were from our living room! Little Miss A loves balloons and a friend recommended getting some from Spotlight.  They were so cheap!  I was shocked!  The big Bunny one was actually on display at the front counter and the last one left!   The party food was completed with the traditional cheerios, sausage rolls, popcorn and jelly cups.  The jelly cups were actually a party fail!  I attempted to make bunny tails using fairy floss and put them on top of the jelly.  Problem is the jelly melted the fairy floss.  One by one we watched as they disappeared into the jelly! Seemed like a great idea at the time, maybe not so much. 

Little Miss A opening her presents!

I made her a very simple Pink Peter Rabbit Pillow Case style dress.  This dress looked oh so cute and was oh so easy to make!  I highly recommend giving this style a try!

Little Miss A is extremely shy so I knew that many party games would be overwhelming for her.  We did play Pass The Parcel and I split the children into two groups, boys in one  and girls in the other and low and behold, SHE JOINED IN! 

The second game was a Bouncing Baby Bunny Basket Relay.  Children had to hop to the other side, with bunny ears on and holding their baby bunny in the basket.  If the bunny fell out they had to go back to the beginning.  Once they got to the other side they had to pass their ears and basket to the next player. Not sure the kids really got the idea of the relay and I think this game was way more fun for the parents watching!  There were some very interesting “hopping”styles! 

To finish off we cut the “no mixing, no baking” Bunny Cake.  Little Miss A loved her cake.  It may have not been picture perfect or wrapped in rolled fondant but it was exaclty what she wanted and yummy too! 

Thank goodness we now have a whole year without Birthday Party preparations.  Every year I say I am not going to do it all again. But as the year goes by I find myself pinning images of children’s parties and by Christmas I am collecting cupcake wrappers and milk bottles! I do love the planning, the anticipation and can only hope that one day My Pigeon Pair will look back on their parties with fond memories of friends, laughter and bunny’s bouncing out of baskets.

Master O Turns 6 – The Party Bags and THE CAKE!

Everybody loves a great “Goodie” bag.  Kids Birthday Parties are no exception.  Filled with the hope that they will be brimming with treasures, they eagerly look inside.  Within an hour the contents have been either eaten or destroyed!  All that “rubbish” that seems to be “cheap” adds up once you have filled a bag with it!  Instead I use the same amount of money to buy each party guest some thing they can “savour” as a memory of the party.  For Master O’s “Come Fly With Me” party it was a small wooden build yourself plane with colouring pencils.  This year……

I created an assembly line with all the party favours.  Don’t forget to include the Birthday Child!   

The “BOYS”

Fishing Party Favour Bags – Boys

* A “Levelled” Reader – “Dinosuar Train Tiny Leanrs to Fish” ~ Big W $4

* Bounce and Mould Putty – A “Dollar” Store ~ $2

* Bubbles ~ Dollar Store ~ 50c each

* Freddo Frog ~ $4 for a bag of 20!

* Small packet of gummy Lollies ~ $3 for a bag of 20

The “GIRLS”

Fishing Party Favour Bags – Girls

As above but with 

*A Levelled Reader “Barbie in a Mermaid Tale” 

Oh and I chose pink and purple putty for them!

The “TODDLERS/SIBLINGS” 

Fishing Party Favours – Toddlers/Siblings

Many of the party guests have younger siblings who also attended the party.  SO I made up a few smaller party bags for them.

* A small book “Fisherman Fred’s Alphabet Day” $2 Big W

* Small Tub of Playdough $3 for 8

* Small Bubbles $2 for 8

And a Freddo and Lollies like the big kids! 

To “Containerise” them I bought some plain brown paper bags on sale (25% off ) at Spotlight. 


 I then added a simple swing tag I made at home in  Microsoft Word.  Attached it with some white string and it’s done! 

THE CAKE

For this year, choosing a cake from “the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book” was replaced with a Pinterest search for a “Sailboat” cake.

 With this picture in hand I ordered a “half a slab” of undecorated chocolate sponge cake from Woolworths.  I have done this nearly every year and it always proves to be the easiest option.  From memory a half a slab is about $19 and there is always HEAPS left over.  

I then cut a piece of baking paper the smae size as the cake.  Drew a picture of a sailboat on it according to the size I wanted and needed to serve 20 guests.  With some pins I pinned the paper pattern to the cake and cut!  Yep just like sewing an outfit! I tried to place the pattern on as many straight sides as possible to reduce the amount of cuts.

I then assembled the cut pieces on the tray.  I bought a large blue melamine tray years ago at Big W to serve as our cake tray  and evry year it proves itself!  This year I just used the cake board that was under the cake and placed it ontop of the tray.

Now for the Icing!  Thanks to my clever Mum, and the suggestions of the “My Pieon Pair” Facebook flock, I went with store bought icing.  I have never used it before, but was after the “whitest” icing I could get.  A quick trip to Woolworths proved that it was meant to be with this “Duncan Hines ” Ising on special!  I grabbed two varieties.  Chocolate and Vanilla.  Chocolate for the bottom section of the boat, Vanilla (White) for one sail and I would colour another tub of vanilla blue for the other sail.  This icing, coloured easily, was super delicious and spread oh so easily and I could then just throw the empty container away!  No Mixing bowls, electric mixers, melting butter, Measuring Icing, Cleaning the sifter! EASY! 

I used some White Chocolate “Letters” from Woolworths to write his name on the bottom. The same “Letters and Numbers” pack also had some white chocolate stars in it which I used to decorate one sail.  Some Blue Sour Strips for stripes on a sale and some chocolate wafer biscuits for the centre pole!  

 

And there you have it a home/Mummy/woolworths made “Sailboat Cake” complete with candles ready for Birthday wishes. It may not look as perfect as the Pinterest picture, but his Mummy made it AND it tasted great!  

That is the Party Prep complete!  I love planning parties and for me all the details are worth it! 

So are you a DIY cake maker?  Or do you hand it over to the professionals?