30 November 2010

Star Wars Party


A long time ago in a galaxy far far away... we had a Star Wars birthday party in honour of Dash turning Eight. Anakin, Obi Wan, Darth Vader and Princess Leia have a made a comeback did you know? At least in our family they have. Dash loves Star Wars, and this was one fun birthday party to put together.

Decorations
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  • Silver and black balloons, strung up between the trees
  • Flag Bunting - Star Wars images & old movie posters found on google images, printed out, glued back to back and stapled onto string
  • Goodie bags - silver gift bags (found for .50c each) with a different star wars sticker attached to each one. Contents: A Clone Wars Pen ($2 for 4 pens), silver bouncy ball, sweets and glow sticks
  • Old packing boxes (vaguely resembling the planet Tatooine) used to hold cookie decorating items
  • A star-shaped cake with Edible Star Wars Cake topper (I surrendered to the dark side on that one; just couldn't figure out a themed cake that would be easy enough for my basic DIY cake decorating skills, but the birthday boy loved it)

The Food
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  • American Hot dogs (requested by the birthday boy)
  • $5 hot chips picked up from the local chippie
  • Oven-baked hot-dogs on a stick (corn dogs)
  • Watermelon & Strawberries  (red fruit; the colour of a light saber I told them)
  • Cupcakes with ring toppers in the shape of Darth Vader & Stormtroopers (bought online at Nicnacnoodle, 12 rings for $6.50); lick the icing off and slip it on your finger...
  • Silver paper plates bought in packs from... the $2 shop! (and fancy Star Wars napkins from TradeMe)
  • Force Juice to drink. That would be .90c budget lemonade with the wrapper peeled off and replaced with my own version, printed from the computer. Gave me such a kick to hear the boys asking: "Can I have some more force juice please???"

The Stars of the Show Parents

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Darth Vader: Under that helmet is Mr G. His outfit was found on TradeMe auction site: $20 for the mask & red light saber with sound efforts and heavy breathing. Brilliant

Princess Leia: That would be me, wearing my bathrobe and boots. That authentic looking wig was bought from Geoffs Emporium for a mere $10. The things we do.

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We began the party at Megazone Ponsonby for a friendly laser battle; sweaty work all that running and fighting and hiding. I managed to destroy two team's bases single-handedly, not bad for an old mama.

Then it was home for a quick change into our Star Wars personas and some friendly fake light saber duels; Darth Vader was a popular target and often had to fight off multiple Jedi apprentices at once.

After all that adrenaline, what better than to calm things down with a bit of cookie decorating. Yes, that's right. We got 10 eight year Jedi knights to sit down and decorate cookies. They really enjoyed it! And what a lovely job they did; I was super impressed with their talents and attention to detail. Darth Vader picked the winner (pictured centre) who received a pack of Star Wars stickers (from the $2 shop - amazing what you'll find there).

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I used the tubes of coloured icing that come in packs of four from the supermarket; much less mess than the homemade stuff, and very easy to use.

After dinner and and Cake, the boys all went around and said a few words to Dash about what they appreciate about him, which was really touching. Dash reciprocated and thanked them all for being his friends and coming to his party. It was a warm fuzzy moment all captured on handycam.

Then it was time to destroy Darth Vader {the pinata, that is}

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I made this super easy Darth Vader pinata and filled it with Mars Bars, Milky Ways and other wrapped sweets.

The boys were blindfolded, spun around several times and then had to use their lightsaber (and the Force) to bring down Darth. Always a good giggle watching people swing at the air while blindfolded. Tee hee.

Topping it all off we watched Return of the Jedi (the movie).

A very fun-packed party, I must say. I overheard one lad say to another, "This is the best party I've ever been to...!"

Makes it all worth it when they enjoy themselves so much, doesn't it?

{And I also must say I really did rather enjoy being Princess Leia. Something about that bagel-head hairdo...}

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More Star Wars Fun:


Personalised Star Wars Party Invitation Printable
I've added this design into my Etsy shop. I will turn your child into a Jedi battling Darth Vader. When you get this invitation you also receive FREE Printable "Force Juice" Soda bottle labels (much fancier than my original 2-minute jobbies)
29 November 2010

U2?? Me Too!!!

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My husband once did an impersonation of me at a U2 concert...

ME {waving}...Bono! Bono! You're a bit loud! Edge?? Could you play your guitar a little quieter...?"

We didn't think the guys would appreciate that.
So in 2006, much as I would have loved to see U2 (my favourite band) Hubby went to the concert alone.

But not this time. I went to U2!!!!!!



Me, Mr G, granny Winnie and Mr G's P.A. Nat. We had seats in the South stand. I took earplugs (but hardly wore them). And had a blast!!!

I love love love U2. I love their lyrics, their melodies. I love what they are about and how they use their fame to make a difference. I even love Harry Enfield doing U2. But most of all I can now say I love them live!

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I did not however love Jay-Zee. Is he famous just for being married to Beyonce?? She came with him to Auckland you know; they were snapped at a harbourside cafe. Couldn't Beyonce have played instead? I like Beyonce. Jayzee, not so much. A strange choice of supporting act for U2. Rap??? Bono, what were you thinking?? Hardly music, I say. At one point he sang, "Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey goodbye..." so out of tune I felt embarrassed for him...

I heard that in Europe they got Snow Patrol as their support act. Snow Patrol!!! I love that band too. That's what I call a match for U2.

But that's OK. I had my earplugs and I used them on JayZee. I was saving my ears for Bono.

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At least we had a floor show to watch. We were entertained by a pair of girls and their girly-men who thought all eyes were on them as they wiggled their little toushes and did the fingers at each other while waving their (banned) ciggies in the air. We laughed behind our hands when security booted them out of their seats... tee hee. Not far though, gentle reader (did I shock you with my malice?) They were just sitting in the wrong spot.

Finally JayZee mercifully exited stage left {I apologise to all Jay-zee fans for the dissing; I just particularly can't stand rappers; except maybe Will Smith}.

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Nature called and my resourceful hubby led us straight past the long queues for the stinky portaloos, behind the concession stands, beyond some trees, stumbling through the undergrowth in the dark to a proper flush-toilet block. OK it was the Mens. But did I care??

Don't ask me how he knew where to go. Don't remind me what may have been lying just beyond the reach of our cell-phones' luminous glow (the only light we had)... I was not bothered. All I cared was that we made it back in time for U2 to come on.

Back we stumbled to our seats where the big clock whirred faster and faster counting down to the moment when U2 would arrive.... eeeeeeh!!!

I tellya I squealed like a teenager. I jumped to my feet and waved my arms at Bono, the Edge and co. as they appeared on the giant 360o screen, looking just the same in real life as on TV. Haven't they aged well???!! Eeeh, yes. Just compare them to the Rolling Stones. Ugh. Must be all that clean-living hey??

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Of course I can't tell you really what it was like. It's one of those things where you really have to be there.
I couldn't believe I didn't need my earplugs hardly at all. Must be because I love their music so much.
They moved us all when they did a heartfelt tribute to the 29 tragic Greymouth miners, declared dead just that day.

Up on the screen rolled the names of all the miners, "Lost to this world," said Bono, "But not to The Eternal." Wow. Shivers down all our spines.

So I will leave you with this track from their latest album, Moment of Surrender, our new favourite. An amazing track, a beautiful song, a wonderful memorable evening.



So blessed to have been there. O yes. So thankful. I LOVE U2. They totally Rock.
25 November 2010

Delicious Delissimon

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I have yet to be disappointed meeting a blog friend in real life. I have a theory: If you love the blog, you will almost certainly love the blogger.

Yesterday I met Mon, a.k.a. Delissimon. Me, the Mother-in-law and Scrag went overseas over the bridge to a secret location with phenomenal sea views to have morning tea with the most delicious blogger.
And wouldn't you know it? I neglected to bring my darn camera.

So what do you do when you blog-visit camera-less? Why, you raid the bloggers' blog of course! And right click all their delicious photos so you can show all your friends what a lovely delicious blog Mon has, so they will be tempted to go and visit her and find out for themselves all the goodies that lurk within.

Mon is not only a fabulous amazing talented cook (who has appeared on TV and been included in a cookbook) but she is a wonderful, warm inspirational person as well.

Mon has just finished her final radiation treatment for breast cancer (and is having a party to celebrate, complete with giant pinata boobies). Her story is amazing. Her attitude, inspiring.

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We had a lovely morning, sitting out on her deck admiring her view of the ocean, her golf-green lawn and munching on her mini pecan pies. Our little lads played together while we chatted and munched (she's  mother to three gorgeous blondies) and then we walked 20metres out her front door to the seaside park. Bliss.

What a lovely morning. What a lovely person. Delicious blog too.
You really must go and visit Delissimon. Try some of her recipes. And tell her I sent you.
xx

P.S. Mon has volunteered to host the next bloggy tea party sometime in the New Year, once the kids are all back at school. Won't that be Delicious?!?!)

{Met any bloggers lately? Link your bloggy friend posts up here}

23 November 2010

Eight


outrageous sense of fun



big green eyes
(and a freckled nose)


kids I love to bits
(but you were the first)


EVA 
you will be my baby
(even when you are all grown up
and have kids of your own)




fingers on each hand,
reaching out eagerly to try new things



grown-up teeth shining out at me 
in your cheeky grin



things you are the best at:
* kicking balls *scoring goals * running fast
*bedtime snuggles *making friends
*making me laugh




 years of loving you so far. My Boy.
My cheeky funny sporty crazy Boy.

Born November 23rd 2002, 10.15pm
Happy Eighth birthday Dash.
I love you 4 Eva.
from "One Hot Mummer" (feel the love...??!!)

22 November 2010

Grandma is Coming to Town

(Christmas comes early)


Grandma arrives today at T minus 0400. Er, that means 1.30pm. Which is four hours from now.

As I write she is winging her way across the Pacific Ocean with butterflies dancing in her tummy. It's nearly two years since Grandma was here, and it's a long long way to come (around 30 hours travel time from the UK to Auckland via Dubai)



The kids can't wait. They went to sleep full of excitement and woke up singing... it's today! Grandma is coming today!
They get so excited when Grandma comes.
We try to remind them not to be greedy and ask for presents the second she lands.


This year she is staying six weeks, spending Christmas and New Year with us and coming early specially for Dash's eighth birthday (which is tomorrow).

Grandma has never yet made it to one of Dash's birthdays so he is ultra pumped and looking forward to seeing Grandma dressed as Princess Leia for his Star Wars Party on Saturday. The things we do.


The room is ready. It's small but perfectly formed. Scrag's playroom (former nursery) which is about the size of a cupboard, has been transformed into a hidey-hole for Grandma, complete with wardrobe, full length mirror, and an oscillating fan (It's gets pretty stuffy sleeping in a cupboard in summer.)


Miss Fab's artwork adorns the walls, a rose sits on the windowsill. We think Grandma will love it.


Now I just have to clean the bathroom, scrub the loo, and put the finishing touches on the rest of the house. All is sparkling and awaiting the Arrival of the Queen grandma.


It really does feel like Christmas come early.
I am blessed with a very sweet mother-in-law. She loves to shop and go to cafes.
She is young and energetic and my kids are her greatest treasures.
A gem of a woman.

So I must off and finish the preparations.
Be back soon!!

xx


19 November 2010

Happy Birthday to Me. Again. Already.


Forty-one years ago today my poor mother had been in labour with me for 30 long traumatic hours before I emerged stunned and blinking into the world, so the story goes. I told it to you last year. Which seems like only six weeks ago.

How on earth is it my birthday already?
I mean, come on Planet Earth! When I was a kid it would take five years to reach Christmas. These days it's like five flippin months weeks!

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I knew a guy who had a theory on why this is...

When you are two years old, one year = half your life. So it seems like a long time.
When you are ten, a year is a tenth of your life...
Now that I am forty-flippin-one a year is a measly 1/40th of my life! It's a pipsqueak amount, really.

Hence, the way life seems to speed up as you get older.
Interesting theory dontcha think?

So yes, here I am rapidly sliding down the other side of The Hill.

Let's see what this speedy year has gained me...
  • I joined the gym
  • I failed to go regularly to the gym
  • I may or may not have gained some extra cuddle bumps
  • (in spite of this) I conquered my fear of swimming togs
  • and also crushed my phobia about Big Butts on Bikes
  • I got to visit Queenstown for the first time ever (and Queensland for the third time)
  • I gained a cleaner (and lost my self respect dust bunnies)
  • I learnt how to cook gluten free for my daughter
  • I went gluten free myself (and lost no weight but ceased bloating)
  • I discovered photobucket (no that's just pathetic) I learnt how to make blog buttons (Sad!)
  • I met Widge, PaisleyJade, Lyns, Weza, Banban and FaerySarah. Bloggers are cool.
  • I became blog addicted and had to go on a bloggy diet (and lost an average of two posts  and 10 readers per week)
  • I got my blog published in TWO magazines
  • I wrote my first article for a real magazine that gets printed on paper and everything! (It comes out in December.)
  • I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up: A Writer
  • My kids aged a year each. I did my aging in dog years
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Thanks you guys for being my friends this year, reading my outpourings and ramblings, supporting my blog addiction. It means a lot, really. Honest. I couldn't do it without y'all.

Happy Birthday to Me!!
Now on to another (short fast three month) year
xx
18 November 2010

Coffee with Blog Nerds (and others)

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Don't you love meeting famous people? Last night a bunch of Auckland bloggers got to meet the face behind Kiwi Mummy Blogs... coffee with FaerySarah {so enjoyed meeting her... she's great company}

Bloggy coffee was organised by Gail, partly in honour of my birthday (It's tomorrow. I like chocolate. Hint hint). In the end only six of us, but fun, aye girls?

{Penny and Mon couldn't make it at the last minute... and Sammy? Did you get all our messages?}

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Life of the party award goes to my friend Linda.
She's not actually a blogger, but she is a blog reader - one of those magical creatures who actually reads blogs for fun. And she is so much fun. Don't you agree girls? We all think that if she started her own blog it would be "a hoot!". Funny gal that one. A blog by her would be a masterpiece of of hilarity.

Flowers

Gorgeous Gift award goes to my friend Lyns. She brought me flowers. Aren't they pretty?? Thankyou Lyns! {Faery Sarah was trying to figure out which blog Lyns belonged to, and then it clicked... "Oh Swine Flu Lyns!"}

Coolness Blogger Award goes to Gail. Of course. Who else? My fun friend shakes her head at me and Faery Sarah as we talk about stats and google analytics. Gail blogs for fun. She is amazing like that.

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L to R: Gail, Faery Sarah, Meg and Me (Lyns had already left) and Linda is holding the camera

Queen of the Blog Nerds really should be awarded to Faery Sarah. Really. But when she pointed her finger at me and said, "YOU use google analytics don't you???!!" I had to hang my head in shame and admit that, yes, I do. The fun-bloggers turned to each and asked with a shrug, "What's google analytics?" Ahhh the days of innocence and sunbeams. Long may it last.

Which brings me to Meg. Who has to be awarded the "Please don't stop blogging when your youngest kid goes to school next year" award *Sigh*
It's not that we won't still be Real Life friends. But I love that we get to connect in cyberspace too. Especially since our paths don't cross as often naturally now that our kids aren't in kindy together. (Plus Meg has so many great parenting ideas and she takes such pretty pictures. I love her blog!)

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They made me pose in front of these lights. And with a lion. I didn't want to but they said I had to cos it was my birthday.

Faery Sarah asked me to email her the photos... But not these ones of me. After making me pose she doesn't want the photos. I said, that's OK *sniff*  I don't really want them either.  (LOL)

Ahhh it was fun. We bloggers really are a unique bunch. So nice to hang out with people who don't look at me funny when I photograph the light fittings. And my coffee. And their Cake.


Have you had bloggy coffee lately?? Don't forget to link up on our bloggy friends linky :)

15 November 2010

Loving... Not Loving: Mornings


I am the total opposite of a morning person. Waking up for me is like being a fish who swum up from the depths only to find itself stranded in the beach flapping helplessly and gasping for air.

There is not much to love about mornings.

I don't love that right now all of this awaits my attention...

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Only one small corner of my house is in order...


My linen cupboard. Tidied in anticipation of the Imminent Arrival of my Ma-in-Law next week. (She needs to be able to find a towel, right?)

So that's the Mess. I do not love the Morning Mess left by the triple-strength tornado that screams through my house every day, leaving behind all manner of debris.

Which of course brings me to the Mayhem. How is it that every morning I have the same conversation battle with my daughter in my attempts to get her out the door for school???

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She's so hard to wake. I think it's a growth spurt. Her arms and legs resemble a newborn foal's (she has the appetite of a young horse too). Every morning its a variation of the same old argument. Can't find this. Won't wear that. Waaaah waaaah waaaah... Hurry up you're making us late giving me a headache sending my bloodpressure through the roof ruining my morning... You have a daughter??? You understand???

Don't. Love. The. Mayhem.

But then...
when we make it out the door... tears dried, tempers calmed, hugged and kissed goodbye...
there is
SILENCE.
Peace.
Stillness.

Oh I love that.

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So here I sit ignoring my mess. Sipping my coffee. Talking to you.

Now, while I'm at it here are a few other things I am loving right now...



Loving this guy...

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He is too funny, my little comedian. He has this new saying for me {you have to imagine it with a slight attempt at an American accent}:

"You're one hot mama aintcha?"

Hilarious. After the first few times he slipped that into conversation, I asked him (between giggles), Where did you get that from, son?
Captain Underpants. The Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman to be precise.
The sweet joys of having an eight year old who loves to read. Tee Hee.
Makes my day every time.

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Loving my new backyard.
It's a work in progress but the garden people came in last week and dug up all the undergrowth, transplanted my roses to the front and sowed the old weed patches with lawn. We have about a third more playing space in the backyard now.

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Once the grass comes up it will be great. Mr G has big plans to extend our deck and add another level on the playhouse... all that extra space!

Not loving the mess of the front yard.

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The digger which was transplanting my roses accidentally cracked the water pipe and Mr G had to dig up the front lawn to find the leak. Sniff.
We were without running water for a whole day. Boy you sure appreciate something as simple as turning on a tap when you don't have it.

I think that will have to do for now. I mean, you've seen the state of my house. I can't sit here talking to ya forever (much as I'd like to).

What are you Loving/Not Loving lately?