Thursday, February 24

Kids Room Inspiration

I am moving my two kids in the same room this weekend, and I have been browsing the web (special thank you to Pinterest) for inspiration. I have a special crush for garlands (paper garlands being my favorites) and cute mobiles.
This is what I currently have in mind:


1. I absolutely love this mobile made of crochet (left), and I will surely make one decoration with Chinese paper lantern (right) as I have many left from the birthday party.

Source: I can't figure out where is the image on the left coming from; right via Pinterest



2. The idea of the magnet hack for storing the little cars is just brilliant and so cool! I almost can't wait for my little boy to have many cars so that I can install one.
I need a shelf for my kids growing collection of book; a rug would be nice too to snuggle and play somersault.

Source: via Pinterest here and here



3. I currently keep all the dress up clothes in a "treasury box" but it would be cool to hang them on a rack, wouldn't it? and the little table with all the craft supplies is another great idea! you can't see it completely here, but the table is big enough for two kids to sit side by side... lovely!

Source: via Pinterest here and here


After a few months I always feel it's time for a change and I want to redecorate my children's room (it doesn't happen so often for the other rooms as they are work in progress...). The challenge this time is to create an environment where both kids can play, sleep and relax together...
Stay tuned for photos and comments of how the move went and how kids are adjusting to it!


Tuesday, February 22

The Shutter Divas

I have been part of this group on Flickr since it was created at the end of last year, and I can't believe I am going to submit my first photo only this week!

I am talking about The Shutter Divas, by talented  photographer Christina Greve of Divas and Dreams.
As she put it herself:
"Every week I will share a word - a prompt for you to work with or give you a creative challenge. This group is about having fun while learning and inspire each other. The weekly assignments will be announced every Sunday on my blog Divas and Dreams. Images submitted into this pool may be featured on the Divas and Dreams blog to inspire others. I will always link back to you. Let´s create and have some fun ladies!"


This week's assignment is about "shooting a still life from above". More about the challenge here.




It's part of my resolutions this year to be more active in the groups I am part of, and not just look at other's artwork...

I am currently working on it, and this is a picture I have taken this morning and edited. I am not completely finished with the other pictures and I will have to choose which one to submit to the group. I still have a few days though and I want to take my time..

Are you part of this group or any other group that get you to experiment the field of photography? are you tempted to join us at The Shutter Divas? I hope to see you there!

Friday, February 18

5 Easy Ways to {A Great Birthday Party for Kids}

So I have two kids, both born in February, but one is a one year old little boy and the second a just-turning-four-next-week Miss. I was not going to have two birthday parties so I came up with a big joint party inviting all their friends over (= 35 kids and counting...).

Let me share with you my tips to a fun party for both parents and kids... on a budget!


1. DECORATION: choose pretty decorations that you can recycle or reuse for another purpose. This time I got plenty of Chinese paper lanterns and I am going to use some of them to decorate my daughter's room as seen here. I absolutely LOVE decoration made of paper, so I also got some paper garlands while in Chinatown (in a party shop at People's Park Center).

Get some flowers in tune with your color scheme (if any) to decorate the tables but make sure they are in a safe place.



The party took place at the function room 
of my building (not so easy to decorate)



2. FOOD and DRINKS: most probably my favorite subject after decoration... Always go for healthy yummy food, and cater for the parents too! If you are good at it, spend some time baking cookies, muffins, cupcakes, bread, pizza etc... everybody will appreciate it and you will get in return tons of compliment that will make YOUR day! There is lots of stuff that can be prepared in advance (biscuits) and frozen (think ice cream birthday cake here). You can purchase frozen puff pastry, or pizza dough, or even use half muffins to make little pizzas.

This is what was on the menu for my kids party (sorry I don't have pictures of all the food available):
- I baked biscuits a few days before and decorated them with my daughter (*one afternoon activity for her*)
- I baked chocolate cupcakes (kids and parents favs) garnished with a spoon of nutella and decorated with smarties, candies or fruits = easy and cute
- I baked a huge pizza (made the dough myself too) and a vegetable pie
- we had hummus and crackers, dry sausage from France and cheddar cheese, olives and some marinated meat that my hubby cooked
- fruits: banana, apple, watermelon, grapes... I did not cut in advance as it's often wasted...
- for the first time I had candies and marshmallows, because it's a party and everyone (including me!) likes lollies... Presented in glass containers with pretty ribbons, it was part of the decoration too.

I also made the birthday cake (sorry no good photo to post here) which was another chocolate cake (can you tell we are addicted?) from a recipe by Nigella Lawson here. Gorgeous cake, it will win you compliments for sure!

Go for a couple of fruit juices (apple, cranberry, orange) and lots of water. And don't forget that adults will enjoy the party as well and it will relax a bit with a few drinks (white wine, beer or cider are ideal).


Cover your tables with plain color table clothes, 
have pretty plates/ tray to present your mini cupcakes, 
sprinkles decorations on the table; choose fancy cupcake cups, 
and have little cups to hold servings of candies (less likely to fall on the floor)


3. MUSIC/ ACTIVITY: it all depends how old are your little guests, but bear in mind that they will need to be entertained at some point, or at least make sure there is room for them to run, dance and have fun. I often have a dress-up, make-up corner (it would be fun to have a photo boot) and music. You can play musical chairs, get them to dance etc...
I am lucky that the playground is just steps away from the function room, so they will always spend some time there too.
If you are having a small party, you can have a craft, or even a cake decoration session ( a bit like what we had for Christmas... here).


The birthday girl getting an "arm make up". 
Older girls loved looking after the younger ones and did all the job!



Birthday boy Mathias loving to be the center of attention...


4. PHOTOS: I can't stress out enough that someone (a friend, your husband...) should be in charge of taking pictures. You won't have time to take any as you will have to look after your kids, your guests and make sure everyone is having fun... that is especially true if some parents are new to your group of friends, or if your kids friends don't necessarily know each other (= same for the parents). 
I don't have as many pictures of the party as I wish I have because I didn't delegate and then didn't have time to room around with the camera...




5. FAVORS: my daughter is attending quite a number of parties a year, and brings back home goodie bags full of candies, chocolate and cheap plastic toys that often get lost, broken or thrown away. 

I decided to make something different and more personal with some meaning into it. So I got a big heart cookie cutter, and then I started baking some more... I then found a pretty idea online at Creature Comforts (free printable here) for the bag topper, printed as many as needed and wrote the little guests names one by one... quite some work, but well worth it!
Doesn't it make a difference to you?


"We love you guys, thank you for being our friends!"
That was the meaning behind it...


Oh, and yes I have one more {important} tip: keep records of what you have done, how much it cost you and where you shopped for next year! I am planning to get a cute notebook and write down in details and with pictures the planning of this party... Next year is going to be easy peasy!!

xoxo,
Marie



Thursday, February 17

The gift of Love

{Blessed to love and be loved}
{Blessed to have two beautiful children}
{Blessed to live the life I was dreaming of}


{A big THANK YOU}


Tuesday, February 15

{Birthday Party}

So this is the reason of my silent mode last week... my two kids birthday party took place last Saturday, and for the first time I planned a big party with plenty of kids and plenty of candies too :)
I will come back with a full post with tips and more photos later this week...

I have always dreamt of a candy bar... so I made my dream come true...

Tuesday, February 8

{New design}


This new design is now available in the shop... here...

Pinterested

via Pinterest and from 79ideas.org

Psst: you can follow me on Pinterest here.

Monday, February 7

{New in Store}

Hello everyone!

Our long break for Chinese New Year is over, it was great! we had a really good time, including a little birthday cake for my son who turned one last Saturday. We are having a much bigger party this coming Saturday for both kids (they were born in February), I am working on it and will share with you my tips next week (hopefully the party will turn out great!)

In the meantime I have been working hard the past two weeks to fill up my Etsy shop with new goodies... here is a glimpse at what is currently in store with more new designs coming in in the coming weeks. The little pouches are quite popular, I am so happy about it!


You can use them as jewelry or make up pouches, and I have even used mine as an evening purse! They all come in cotton fabric with different prints. All are fabrics that I have shopped around Asia while travelling :)
Contact me if you are interested in one of them...

Also I would like to remind you that there is a giveaway going on... to win one of the pouches! please visit my previous post here for details, and don't forget to leave me a comment to qualify!

Have a good week everyone :)
xoxo

Sunday, February 6

Happy Birthday!



My son turned 1 last Saturday... time is passing by fast and I am lucky enough to enjoy every second of it... most important is that I can see my little ones growing up and changing... {blessing} ... there is no second chance! visit us here if you want to discover our little family...

Wednesday, February 2

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year festivities are starting tonight and we therefore have a long weekend off... I hope to catch some of the amazing spirit and share my photos with you next week... Have a prosperous and happy New Year of the Rabbit!

Original leaflet from Tangs Department Store; collage, photo and editing by ECS

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