30 September 2014

39/52: A big school boy and a piece of my childhood

A portrait of my children once a week every week in 2014

Noah: this weekend I went to see The Sound of Music production in Wellington. It was one of my favourite musicals growing up and seeing it live was totally amazing and blew my mind. So much so that I insisted we all sit down as a family and watch the original movie on a rainy Sunday afternoon. You were enthralled with all the songs as I'd been singing Do-Re-Mi and My Favourite Things to you for a week or so leading up to the show. It was so much fun to share a piece of my childhood with you and hear you singing the songs happily to yourself afterward, adding your own fun variations to the words like 'raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens' morphing into 'mittens on kittens'.

Mylo: my big school boy. You did so well in your first (and only) week of school before the term ended. It was such a foul morning the first day that we sent you off wrapped up to the nines, but you were too excited to notice the hail and cold temperatures! We went back to daycare to visit your teachers on Friday after school ended for the term and you enjoyed kicking the football round with one of them before we headed to Visique to pick up your free pair of sunglasses and then a treat at McDonalds. Your teacher has said how pleased she is with how you are settling into school, quiet but eager would the best way to describe your approach thus far.

29 September 2014

On life lately....

Well we reached the end of the term in one piece - there were a few moments there where I wondered if we would actually get there with sanity still intact but we did!

I felt very emotional on Mylo's last week of daycare - it was really hard saying goodbye to the wonderful teachers who had been part of our lives for seven years. Mylo had a dress-up day for his last day and we took in a cake for the kids and a gift basket for the teachers which really felt like only a tiny way we could express our thanks for them having nurtured both our boys so well over this time. We've promised to go in for a visit from time to time so we can say hi so it didn't feel like such a horrible, final farewell!

On the Friday before Mylo's birthday we took some time out together as a family before the busy birthday weekend ahead. Nana and Poppa were arriving for the weekend so we took the opportunity to have brunch out at Spruce Goose watching all the planes wobbling in the wind as they came into land and with a beautiful view out into Lyall Bay. The food was lipsmackingly awesome, and the views fantastic - we will definitely be going back!

The afternoon was spent doing some last minute packing for Noah's cub camp and once he was safely on his way we cosied up and watched The LEGO movie with Nana and Poppa.

On Saturday morning, I dragged Poppa out at 5am to see if we could catch the sunrise at Ataturk Memorial. I didn't have high hopes as it was pretty windy and there was big rain forecast. To our surprise, the sunrise was pretty awesome with candy floss colour and the Kaikoura ranges were bathed in the most incredible pink glow, and that alone was worth the trip out even though it started pouring with rain and we had to dash back to the car in the end.

Mylo had already been up by the time we left home, and he had patiently waited a couple of hours for our return before we sat down and opened up his presents. Amongst other lovely gifts, he was so thrilled to get some LEGO and spent the morning dutifully making it from start to finish, impressing us all with his stamina and ability to follow such detailed instructions!

It was such a miserable day that we didn't even venture out at all. His football was cancelled, which was a shame as it would have been great for Nana and Poppa to see him in action, but in all honesty we were rather glad it was. Throughout the day we all wondered how poor Noah was getting on at cub camp and hoped that he wasn't too wet and cold. At the same time though, Mylo sure enjoyed having us all to himself on his special weekend!

Sunday was the big PARTY - you can see more on how that went in 'the ultimate LEGO movie party' post, and then before we knew it, the big birthday weekend was over, Nana and Poppa had flown home, and we were awaiting the big 1st day of school in the morning.

It was a fairly short introduction to school as Mylo only had to go for a week before the holidays were upon us but all in all it was a great first week and transition to school life for him!

And now the countdown is on till our trip to Nelson and Golden Bays - five sleeps to go!

26 September 2014

How to: The ultimate LEGO Movie Theme Party {Ideas and Supplies}

Wasn't the LEGO movie one of the best animated movies ever? Now don't go throwing rotten tomatoes at me but I loved it WAY more than Frozen - maybe that's just because I live in a houseful of boys (the cat included). So with a big 5th birthday to plan for our youngest, it was a no brainer to take the tried and tested LEGO party theme and insert some extra LEGO movie fun into the mix!

Here's how we created our ultimate LEGO Movie party:

LEGO Movie Party Invitations

We used this great movie ticket invitation template I found here. We downloaded a blank JPEG template and then added text in Picmonkey for our party details.

lego movie party invitation template

This same site also had awesome envelope templates to download to put the invitation in and personalise - we used Emmet for the boys coming to the party and Wyldstyle (Lucy) for the girls.

template LEGO movie party envelope emmet

LEGO movie invitation party Wyldstyle

LEGO Movie Party Games

Pin the piece of resistance on Emmet

It was easy to turn the classic 'pin the tail on the donkey' into a Pin the Piece of Resistance on Emmet. I found this picture of Emmet from the back, enlarged it and printed it in A2 size. I made a piece of resistance for each child from red card I had at home.

LEGO movie theme game - pin the piece of resistance

Everyone took turns trying to get their piece of resistance right in the centre of his back - the kids were surprisingly accurate doing this!

Musical statues to the 'Everything is Awesome' theme tune

Who doesn't love the 'Everything is Awesome' theme tune from the movie? One thing's for sure - it does get stuck in your head. This was the easiest game of all - all I had to do was buy a version of the song from iTunes and download it - sorted!

LEGO brick toss

This was another easy game to arrange. I cut out yellow card and arranged it in three different sized circles. Each child had 3 LEGO bricks to throw into the circles - 1 point if it landed in the outer circle, 5 points in the inner circle and 10 points if it landed in the inner circle.

LEGO movie theme party game brick toss
The LEGO bricks were a lot more bouncy than I'd anticipated so it was actually quite hard to score any points but after a few goes they all got the hang of it!

LEGO Movie Bingo

I thought this was one of the most fun games to plan but it did take a bit of time. Firstly I searched for images of the main LEGO movie characters online. I ended up using 25 in total and then saved them as two pages in the Paint software application.

LEGO movie bingo game free printable

LEGO movie free party printable bingo game

I then printed off a few copies and cut out 12 characters to glue on each card (10 cards in total), making sure that each Bingo board was slightly different. I had large size versions of each character to hold up to show the kids, and as they found each one on their board they then covered it up with a LEGO brick. Somehow the birthday boy managed to win this - and it definitely wasn't rigged!

LEGO Mini figure Treasure Hunt and recreate the Mini figure

This was really fun and made use of the awesome LEGO sticker books that the boy's grandparents gave them when we were in the UK last year. First, we hid 10 mini figure stickers around the house which they had to find. Then they got given a piece of card to put their sticker on and they had to try and find the head, body and legs that matched their minifigure from the big pile of stickers which had a lot of extra pieces that they didn't need.

As we had youngish kids attending the party (mostly 5 and under) we decided to go for really simple games rather than any complicated brick building or memory games but you could easily add extra games like this in if you had older children attending.

LEGO Movie Mask Photo

When the children had all arrived the first thing we did to break the ice was take a group photo of them all wearing LEGO Movie Masks that I'd made from templates here. Then we did another group 'funny face' shot without masks as well

LEGO movie free mask printables for party

LEGO Brick Pull piñata

A piñata is always a super fun party activity for kids and it's way more satisfying making your own version than buying one in my opinion. But then I would say that - I literally spent weeks creating a Death Star piñata for our older boy's 5th party a few years ago - ha ha! This piñata was nowhere near as complicated to make, I used the instructions I found here. Basically you take a rectangular shaped box (I used a nappy box) - cut six holes in it and insert tin cans into the holes. Then I covered it with yellow card, and printed off six LEGO words in a LEGO-like font to put over the tin cans.

Then I cut a trapdoor hole in the bottom and taped a whole lot of ribbon (purchased as a pack of 50 from Spotlight) and yellow crepe paper to the bottom, but only attaching four pieces of ribbon that were inside the trapdoor and would actually pull open the trapdoor to let the lollies out.

LEGO brick pull pinata instructions

LEGO movie pinata game

It worked pretty well, although the person holding it had to be quite strong at holding itup as the kids were pretty good at yanking hard on the ribbon!

LEGO Movie Party Food

We went with the theme of KISS (keep it simple stupid) when it came to the party food, making LEGO brick shaped pizza slices with kransky sausages on the top, and fries inside a LEGO themed packet from the downloadable LEGO party pack I found here.

LEGO movie theme party table decorations


We also made LEGO brick cheese sandwiches which were literally two piece of white bread buttered with a cheese slice in side and rounds cut out and placed on top.

LEGO brick sandwiches party 

We baked themed cupcakes using Jamie Oliver's Victoria sponge recipe, baked in different coloured baking cups and then iced and added different coloured white chocolate LEGO bricks on top.

LEGO movie party theme cupcakes and bricks

I bought two LEGO brick and LEGO men mould sets from Trade Me which I used both for making crayons for the goody bags and white chocolate moulds to go on the cupcakes.

LEGO movie party coloured chocolate bricks

I was super impressed with this cupcake recipe as other recipes I've tried in the past have risen unevenly on top, but these turned out beautifully flat which made them far easier to ice and decorate!

LEGO Movie Party Cake

I could have made an elaborate Emmet shaped LEGO man cake. I saw enough of them floating around the Internet and on Pinterest. But I also figured there are some things that you just shouldn't take on if you want to maintain your sanity before the big day. As it was we had to make two cakes - one for our daycare farewell a few days earlier and one for the birthday party so a rational choice had to be made! Instead we purchased a  LEGO Movie edible icing personalised with M's name on it from Cake Images on Trade Me and baked a plain rectangular cake.

LEGO movie party cake personalised edible icing

It was a bit nerve wracking separating the icing from its backing sheet and placing it on the cake but it worked well and was a hit with the birthday boy!

LEGO Movie Party Table and Decorations 

The table was really fun and simple to create, and was pretty much all sourced from the $2 shop. I used two black tablecloths for the background and printed off the Happy Birthday logo from the great downloadable party pack I found here.

LEGO movie theme party table

I bought some yellow plastic bunting and added stickers from our LEGO Minifigures Ultimate Sticker book to go around the outside of the table.

LEGO movie party bunting flags stickers

We bought paper plates and cups in yellow and red and added stickers to these too. The boys both have LEGO men LED torches which added a bit of fun to the table as well. We added some yellow spotty balloons with the remaining ribbon that we didn't use for the piñata and stuck these to the ceiling (for a fake helium effect and much cheaper too!).

Then we added in all our LEGO movie LEGO sets and mini figures and our table was complete!

LEGO movie theme decoration pinata


LEGO Movie Party Loot Bags

I purchased a pack of 10 yellow loot bags from Spotlight, and then added handles with some LEGO Movie ribbon I found on Trade Me. Inside the loot bags was a LEGO movie colouring in page found here and the LEGO men shaped crayons I made using the moulds I bought. Probably the most expensive item of the whole party were the LEGO movie mini figures that we put in each bag for the kids! I also cut out some smaller stickers from our sticker book for the kids to take home, and of course there were plenty of lollies to go in there too after the piñata pull!

LEGO movie party theme yellow loot bags

LEGO movie party loot bags ribbon 

LEGO movie homemade crayon and colouring page

I cannot recommend highly enough buying one of these giant sticker books - it made the games, loot bags and general party decoration so much easier! You can actually get a LEGO Movie sticker book version on Amazon here or through Toyco here (cheapest I found in NZ for $8.99 plus shipping), but we just used the books we had at home and it worked just as well.

How to decorate your LEGO movie party sticker book

This was a super fun party to plan and host as there were so many great options for themed games and decorations that didn't cost the earth - if anything it was hard not to get too carried away - but that's half the fun right?!


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