My Top Winter-Spring Wardrobe Staples (all for under $1000!)

My Top Winter-Spring Wardrobe Staples (all for under $1000!)

When Josephine Eve Stylist offers to guest blog, I know that I’m going to gain a wealth of knowledge in the fashion stakes, and so can you my friends! Read on!!!

Josephine has been featured on TSLOM several times before and I always get the most wonderful feedback from all of you regarding her informative posts. She has been styling many of my looks for almost two years now and I value her keen eye for detail. She is more particular then anyone I know, and this is what makes her such an incredible stylist. Not only does she care so greatly about how her clients look but most importantly how they feel in the looks that she creates. She doesn’t just style you, she educates you. If you want to learn ‘How To Create Your Dream Wardrobe,’ through Josephine’s wealth knowledge then I encourage you to take the e course available on her website. I have done so myself and the knowledge I gained has given me so much confidence. Honestly this is invaluable. Josephine also has a free printable download to help you declutter and organise your existing robe, click here. I’ve done this myself and had so much fun doing so!

All of the clothes featured in this blog post where purchased from the stunning Kawana Shopping World, which is the shopping centre closest to my home. What’s even better is that all were purchased for under $1000 combined! All of items are linked to their stores below. Kawana Shopping World is not only a fashion precinct but a hub for all thing’s lifestyle. Stores, restaurants, events like school holiday entertainment, Gold Class movie theatre, huge playgroup, three supermarkets and a shopping nanny service. One of the things I love most about Kawana Shopping World is the community they have built around families, which you can find on their website here.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this post over on my Instagram!

Enjoy!

There’s something about winter that just makes me feel so cozy amongst layers and layers of warm clothing, however winter can often make us want to hide away feeling dull and drab in our trackies. With that said I think that winter is one of the most fun seasons to style, because you have more options to be able to layer. This makes outfits look more interesting and different as opposed to just your basic shorts, tee and sandals in summer. The textures of winter fabrics can be different to your standard cottons and linens, which adds a cool textural element to your look E.g. tweed, leather, knit, cashmere and wool.One of my top tips for winter styling is to invest in key staples which makes styling so much easier than if you are to buy one off pieces that only style with one or two things… or worse nothing in your closet at all!

With so many of our Australian states keeping a consistently warm temperature throughout the year, it can feel like we completely skip winter and don’t get to enjoy those knits at all! This is where it is important to learn the art of layering so that our staple pieces can worn all year long, bringing those cozy winter looks into a light and bright spring! So here are my top trans seasonal staple suggestions, most of which can carry you through from winter into the more summery seasons.

So here are my top trans seasonal staple suggestions, most of which can carry you through from winter into the more summery seasons.

Trans-seasonal Separates

The Turtle Neck Sweater – styled easily with jeans, pants or skirts. To layer simply pop over your favourite blazer, cardigan or coat. From – Cotton On.


The Light Blue Washed Jeans –
perfect for every season.  Teamed with a neutral coloured knit in winter or casual white T-shirt for spring. These jeans can be dressed up or down for all sorted of occasions. From – Cotton On.

Leather Mini Skirt – Leather skirt- all types of leather pieces are in this season- leather…pencil skirts, mini skirts, jackets, pants & boots. This staple leather mini can be easily styled with either a casual knit, or a dressy top, boots, heels or sneakers. Coatigan – Dotti.

The Corduroy Mini Skirt – corduroy has been huge and this winter, and we are going to see more of it as we head into spring. Choose lighter tones like cream for a trans-seasonal look. From – Cotton On.

The Midi Skirt – such a sophisticated staple for those evenings when you want to dress up with a cami and blazer/coat, teamed perfectly with heels. Or style it down for work with a turtle neck, blazer, and loafers or bootsFrom – Sussan.

The Faux Leather Pant – this look is super hot! Pair with a cute belt and comfy but chic knit for winter. In spring these pants would go perfect with a sweet little cami.  From – Dotti.

The Black Knit – you can layer this piece with a coat when it gets cold or shorts/skirt in springtime.  From – Sportsgirl.

The Silk Cami – Silk actually draws in the warmth, even though this cami is not highly recommended for winter, the correct tones and worn with the right layers equals perfection! Take the jacket off as you head into spring.  From – Sportsgirl.

Trans-seasonal Accessories
The Chunky Belt – belts aren’t just for wearing with jeans, shorts and dresses. One of the sexiest styles of the winter season is to belt your blazer, cardi or coat for this ultra cool look. This works perfectly whether you are either an hourglass, pear, or inverted triangle shape, and will send all of your fashionista friends running to the shops to mimic your look! Pair with a cami as the weather starts to warm up. From – Universal.

The Minimal Glam Necklace – the right accessories can be worn all year long adding interest to your outfit. Accessories can make or break a look. We love multi layered gold necklaces. From – Sussan.

The Printed Scarf – great for drawing attention to the neckline and face. You can break up the colour scheme of a look with a print or splash of colour. Perfectly on trend and great for keeping your neck warm of course! From – Universal.

The Hair Scarf – hair scarves have been hugely popular this year and make a fun addition to any outfit no matter the season. We are currently loving a pop of spots. Coatigan – Dotti.

Black Ankle Boots and Pumps –  boots are such a comfy and cosy winter ‘must have’ to keep those tootsies warm and snug (and stylish of course!) The right style of boot can be worn with practically anything. In springtime pair with a cute dress or skirt. Pumps are an important wardrobe staple that give a classic look no matter the seasonBoots from – Sportsgirl. Pumps from – Novo Shoes.

The Neutral Accessory – whether it be shoes, bags or accessories; light, bright tones accessories are essentials all year round. In terms of shoes a cute boot, pump and flat are exactly what you need. Tan, beige, nude or white accessories are all ok with us!  All from – Novo Shoes.

Trans-seasonal Layers

The Essentials – When it comes to layering there are a few pieces that are absolute essentials. Every wardrobe needs a leather jacket, denim jacket, black blazer and a coatigan. In particular the coatigan is one of those pieces that is perfect to take you from winter to spring. It’s not quite a heavy coat, but not quite a cardi either. Also great for warmer climates where a coat isn’t necessary at all.  Coatigan – Dotti.

Trans-seasonal Dresses

The Leopard Print Dress – This cute little piece can be styled in so many different ways. Layer it with either white cardi, black blazer, black leather jacket, denim jacket, black cardi and even a bold pop of colour as a layer if you’re feeling playful. Easily styled with sneakers, boots, sandals for spring or heels to dress up. From – Sportgirl.

The Monochrome Dress – Black is one of the colours that is really amazing for winter. Other on trend monochrome looks can be navy, oatmeal, grey, or be daring in your favourite colour (we love red!) Add a pop of colour to your monochrome look with contrasting accessories, like this black dress and belt that we’ve paired with a nude clutch and heels. From – Dotti.

The Floral Dress – to lighten up your winter days and to carry right through to spring summer. Pop on a layer and a scarf to add warmth, or pair it back with lighter layers for Spring. From – Dotti.

The Ribbed knit dress – This one is an effortless piece, that can be layered either with a coatigan, a cardigan, leather jacket or denim jacket. Styled well with boots and sneakers. From – Dotti.

For all things Kawana Shopping World: Website & Instagram

You can find Josephine on the below links:
Website, Instagram & Facebook
E Course – How To Create Your Dream Wardrobe
Free PDF – How To Declutter Your Wardrobe

SPECIAL THANK YOUS – a special goes out to Nicola Holland Photography for photographing such stunning images for this blog post, all of which were taken on the grounds of Kawana Shopping World. If you are a family, expectant mother, future bride, business professional or someone who just simply appreciates superb photography be sure to reach to Nicola.Also to Hannah Mills who is my go to make up artist on the Sunshine Coast. Time and time again she paints my face and tamed my mane with her amazing skills, so that I feel like a million dollarsHannah’s Instagram.  Nicola‘s Instagram and website.

6 Ways to save on your next kids party (and for it to still be fabulous!)

6 Ways to save on your next kids party (and for it to still be fabulous!)

Every fortnight or the past few weeks I have been sharing helpful party planning tips from my dear friend Natty Faulks. Natty is a children’s party entertainer through her company Strawberry Fundaes, and she keeps your children happy at their parties by dressing up as their favourite character. Natalie is a complete expert when it comes to party planning, so here are her top tips for cutting catering costs at your next party…

Kids parties are so much fun! But sometimes we can get carried away with what we think it needs to be and then we blow out the budget. That is where I can help to keep you on track!

Here are my top 6 tips to cut costs on some of the wallet draining items, but still have an awesome party!

1 – Invitations
Create your own or go digital!
You can make your own invitations, at home on various online platforms and then you can either print at home or save as a jpeg or PDF and email out. My go to sites for this are Canva or Greetings Island. They look great too!

2 – Decorations
Firstly… Less is more! The most simple of decorations can look fab. Eg – a whole wall of single balloons stuck down makes a great backdrop and only costs around $5 tops! Also, I highly recommend choosing a colour theme to decorate with instead of using licensed product. Eg – Instead of using Frozen branded cups, plates and balloons, just stick to generic blues and whites and silver. You will save a stack of $$$ right there but it will still look really effective!

3 – Party at the park or at home
Venues can cost a bomb, so unless you really want to factor them into the budget, go for the free options – the park or at home. Just remember that wherever you choose to hold your party to always have a wet weather plan.

4 – Free online party printables
I have used this option many times. Simply google ‘free online party printables’ and there are heaps of options. You can download and print at home birthday signage, cupcake toppers, water bottle labels, name tags, favour bag tags and more!

5 – Ditch the party bag
To be honest, I am not a fan of party bags. Lots of parents are not that keen on lollies these days (And it can get sketchy with allergies etc.) and I also find lots of party bag fillers really are just rubbish or choking hazards. And the average bag costs a min $5 filled. So my alternatives are – Bubble wands with a thank you tag or sticker (Wands are 75c at Kmart), Balloons on a stick (These can double as decorations at first and then the kids take home), keep cups (Buy $1 glass jars with straws and the kids take those home) Lucky dip gift wrapped in blue or pink tissue paper ( wrap random boys and girls stuff like rubber snakes, matchbox cars , lip gloss, bath bombs. These are all individually cheaper than a lolly bag.) Take home cupcakes.

6 – Cake Hack! (Or make your own)
I am terrible at making cakes so if I can’t afford to outsource one, I buy two mud cakes from Coles or Woolworths (Around $4 each) stack them on top of each other and then cover them both with butter cream (You can even just buy a tub of Betty Crocker Icing if you really are time poor!). Set in the fridge and then decorate with themed figurines or flowers! Super easy!

1 – Invitations
Create your own or go digital!
You can make your own invitations, at home on various online platforms and then you can either print at home or save as a jpeg or PDF and email out. My go to sites for this are Canva or Greetings Island. They look great too!

2 – Decorations
Firstly… Less is more! The most simple of decorations can look fab. Eg – a whole wall of single balloons stuck down makes a great backdrop and only costs around $5 tops! Also, I highly recommend choosing a colour theme to decorate with instead of using licensed product. Eg – Instead of using Frozen branded cups, plates and balloons, just stick to generic blues and whites and silver. You will save a stack of $$$ right there but it will still look really effective!

3 – Party at the park or at home
Venues can cost a bomb, so unless you really want to factor them into the budget, go for the free options – the park or at home. Just remember that wherever you choose to hold your party to always have a wet weather plan.

4 – Free online party printables
I have used this option many times. Simply google ‘free online party printables’ and there are heaps of options. You can download and print at home birthday signage, cupcake toppers, water bottle labels, name tags, favour bag tags and more!

5 – Ditch the party bag
To be honest, I am not a fan of party bags. Lots of parents are not that keen on lollies these days (And it can get sketchy with allergies etc.) and I also find lots of party bag fillers really are just rubbish or choking hazards. And the average bag costs a min $5 filled. So my alternatives are – Bubble wands with a thank you tag or sticker (Wands are 75c at Kmart), Balloons on a stick (These can double as decorations at first and then the kids take home), keep cups (Buy $1 glass jars with straws and the kids take those home) Lucky dip gift wrapped in blue or pink tissue paper ( wrap random boys and girls stuff like rubber snakes, matchbox cars , lip gloss, bath bombs. These are all individually cheaper than a lolly bag.) Take home cupcakes.

6 – Cake Hack! (Or make your own)
I am terrible at making cakes so if I can’t afford to outsource one, I buy two mud cakes from Coles or Woolworths (Around $4 each) stack them on top of each other and then cover them both with butter cream (You can even just buy a tub of Betty Crocker Icing if you really are time poor!). Set in the fridge and then decorate with themed figurines or flowers! Super easy!

 

A huge thank you to Natty for these incredibly useful tips!

You can find more information on Natty’s packages here.
Explore her beautiful Instagram account here.

Lots of Love!

 

Small-Signature-Nat

EVERYTHING WE LOVE ABOUT BUBS AUSTRALIA TODDLER GOAT MILK

EVERYTHING WE LOVE ABOUT BUBS AUSTRALIA TODDLER GOAT MILK

It is no secret that I am a huge, long term fan of Bubs Toddler Goat Milk.  I weaned Ari onto it when he was 12 months old, and Chloe also started to drink it from the same age.  I took a very gentle weaning approach for both of my little loves, having mix fed Ari with breastmilk from 12 to 15 months, then exclusively onto Bubs Australia.  For Chloe I mix fed from 12 months to two years old.  Each child is different but for us I found it to be the perfect way. A journey that created a balance between not pushing them to wean and giving me the flexibility of not solely relying on my breastmilk.  (Bubs Toddler Goat Milk is suitable from 12 moths plus.)

With the decision to wean, came the decision of what to wean them onto.  This is not something that I considered lightly.  With so many options of products available it didn’t take long for me to feel completely overwhelmed.  To honest there was so much out there that I would never put through their precious digestive systems.

Bubs Toddler Goat Milk was and still is the clear winner for us.  It was founded in Australia by a Mother of three who wanted exactly what I want for my children… what is best for her bubs.  What Mum doesn’t want the very best for her child?  Made from whole goat milk and goat whey protein, within Bubs Toddler Goat Milk you can find a balanced daily intake of essential fatty acids, vitamins, prebiotics and other beneficial nutrients needed to support a healthy growing body. Bubs Toddler Goat Milk is produced in the beautiful Victorian countryside, and is the only Australian made Toddler Goat Milk sold in Australian Supermarkets.  Perfectly made for growing children to help to support their immune system, growth and development.

I have been blessed by the fact the neither Ari nor Chloe have any dietary intolerances, however Bubs can be the perfect solution to issues related to digestion.  Some of the symptoms of digestive issues that can be repaired by simple switching to goat’s milk include, cow milk protein intolerances/sensitivity, wind, bloating, constipation, colic, diarrhoea and regurgitation.  In fact, because it is so gentle and nourishing, Bubs can even help even help with mucus congestion and skin conditions like inflammation, rashes and eczema.

I have recommended Bubs to countless people who has subsequently asked me, “What is the difference between cow’s milk and goats’ milk.”  To put it short, goats’ milk is just easier for the body to digest.  The harder a child’s body must work to breakdown milk sources and food the more stress is put on bodily systems, and nutrients are absorbed much slower.  The Bubs Australia website is full of information on why goats milk is such a great choice, so I highly recommend having a look here.

I have previously written two blog posts about the Bubs Australia products, The Final Feed which talks about our weaning journey, and Traveling with Kids featuring Bubs Australia, which gives a really great run through of all the benefits to travelling with Bubs Australia products.

There is a huge range of products under Bubs Australia from baby formula to cereals, food pouches and rusks.  Ari and Chloe have both tried them all throughout various stages and they love them!

Bubs Australia products can be purchased from Coles, Chemist Warehouse, Woolworths and online here.  For more information on the Bubs Australia range visit their website or Instagram.

As always please remember that I am not a midwife, lactation consult, nutritionist, doctor or any other medical expert.  I am just a Mother expressing her journey and opinions.  Thank you to Bubs Australia for sponsoring this blog post so that I can share one of my very favourite products with you.  My opinion is of course and always is my own.  #BUBSPARTNER

Note – Chloe’s gorgeous outfit in these images is from My Riser.

Lots of love!

Small-Signature-Nat

As always please remember that I am not a midwife, lactation consult, nutritionist, doctor or any other medical expert.  I am just a Mother expressing her journey and opinions.  Thank you to Bubs Australia for sponsoring this blog post so that I can share one of my very favourite products with you.  My opinion is of course and always is my own.  #BUBSPARTNER

 

5 ways to cut the catering costs of your next kids party…

5 ways to cut the catering costs of your next kids party…

A couple of weeks ago I shared a guest blog post from a gorgeous friend of mine which had an incredible response, so I decided to get her back to share more of her party planning wisdom! You remember, my party planning expert Natty Faulkner! Natty is a children’s party entertainer through her company Strawberry Fundaes. She keeps your children happy at their parties by dressing up as their favourite character. Natalie has been to more than her fair share of children’s parties, in fact she’s been to hundreds! So here are her top tips for cutting catering costs at your next party…

Something I also see a lot at kids parties is over catering and food wastage!
Kids generally don’t eat much at parties. They are busy running around playing games and are very distracted. So… Here are my top 5 tips to help you cut back on your party catering costs and waste.

1 – PARTY LUNCH BOX
This is seriously my all – time favourite! Individually portion each lunch box (cardboard or paper bag made in advance) and then encourage all the kids to sit down to eat together. It helps to create a moment of peace and gives structure to your party.

Here is a list of food I use in my party lunch boxes
1 x Sandwich – (Or a wrap or sushi)
I often use cookie cutters to make the sandwich a fun shape.
1 x cheese stick.
1 x popcorn cup or pretzels/crackers.
1 x cupcake ( or jelly cup or cookie, muffin etc)
1 x fruit cup or fruit stick

2 – JUGS, JUGS, JUGS
Serving drinks in jugs or drink dispensers is much more cost effective than the individual juice or cordial packs. I use paper cups or keep cups that can be an alternative favour to take home.

3 – THE 4 PLATTER RULE
Have you heard the 4 platter rule? Well, I made it up! It keeps you on track and on budget. This is how it works…
Platter 1 – Fruit – You can make it look as pretty as you like. Don’t buy too much fruit though. Kids will only eat an average of 3- 4 pieces each. (also don’t use banana as it goes brown)
Platter 2 – Sweets and chips – Think fairy bread, jelly cups, chips, pretzels, popcorn, lollies, crackers, cheese. Only choose 3 things on this list. You definitely don’t need to serve all! (Remember we are saving money)
Platter 3 – Main food – This platter can have sausage rolls, pies, pizza, sandwiches, sushi, bbq sausages on bread, mini hamburgers, fried rice in cups, nuggets and chips, etc. Only choose 1 type of ‘main food’ to be served on this platter.
Platter 4 – Cake! – Cake and cupcakes are your final serving of food at the party.

4 – ADULTS, SHMADULTS…
I am sure most mums and dads will agree that when we attend children’s parties, we don’t expect to be fed. (Obviously this is a different story if you have been invited to a family event.) There is no need to create a whole menu for the adults. Most mums and dads will usually pick from the kids platters anyway!

5 – KEEP IT SIMPLE
At the end of the day, a small table of snacks followed by a main serve and end with cake will do the trick. Choose foods that are filling and then you won’t need as many snacks (which add up the $$ and get wasted the most). And remember… the food doesn’t have to look like a 5 star Pinterest party! Kids will not notice!

A huge thank you to Natty for these incredibly useful tips!
You can find more information on Natty’s packages here.
Explore her beautiful Instagram account here.

Lots of Love!

Small-Signature-Nat

 

 

 

Hot off the press… some of the best ways to plan your travel

Hot off the press… some of the best ways to plan your travel

As many of you know I am knee deep in planning our next adventure to Bali and Europe.  I absolutely love to plan holidays and have been the ‘travel agent’ of our family for years now.

During my recent searches for the best accommodation, hottest restaurants and most beautiful locations I have come across a few new (to me) tools that can take your vacation planning to the next level!

I really shouldn’t bee spilling these secrets, but it’s in my nature to share a good thing.  If I have something that will make a positive difference to someone’s appearance then I just can’t keep it to myself!  So here goes…

Websites that got be excited –
Tablet Hotels – If you are into boutique style hotels this is a must click.
One Fine Stay – Like Air BnB but offering only the finest homes.
Design Hotels – Beautiful bespoke hotels if you are after something quieter.
Mr and Mrs Smith – Hand picked luxury hotels.
Air Bnb Plus – A feature on Air Bnb that includes luxury properties with great ratings.
Flight Fox – This one is all about booking flights and is especially good for the cooperate traveller.

Tips I had never thought of before –
– Once you think you’ve settled on a hotel, use google maps to check out its actual location.  Pop it onto ‘earth mode’ so you can see what the accommodation actually looks like.  Move around the street to look at neighbouring properties.  See if there is anything close by that might impact your holiday, like a large night club or busy restaurant.

– On Instagram, find one hotel in an area that you love and a price point that you want to spend.  Go to that hotel’s profile and use the drop down arrow which then allows you to see accounts similar to the one your are on.  You will come across a bunch of competing hotels in the area that are similar to your original search.  Happy researching!

– If you find a property you love on Air Bnb or another search tool, then go onto google and search that accommodation by name.  You may find a better deal outside of the engine you had originally been using.  I always find Air Bnb to be much more expensive then the price I would have paid if I booked direct.

– It is said booking flights at midday on a Tuesday is the cheapest time to do it.

– It can be cheaper to book round tickets over one way flights.

– Rumour has it that the exact day to find the cheapest airfare is 54 days before flight departure.

– Keep your options open.  You may have a few airports located close to you or where you are going.  Landing into one may be substantially cheaper than another.

– Set up price alerts with different airlines and sign up to subscription newsletters.

– Consider stopping over to spilt up your journey.  This may also lower the cost of your overall flight.

– Stay over a Sunday night.  Most hotels get holiday bookings Friday to Sunday morning, and business bookings Monday to Friday.  Sunday can be cheaper and quieter.

Now get me on that plane on Friday!  I seriously can not wait to be in Bali staying at the gorgeous Dreamland resort.  For more holiday inspiration check out My Wyndham Holidays and the Wynham Instagram page.

Happy travelling!

Enjoy,

Small-Signature-Nat

 

 

 

 

Bubs Australia – NEW Snack Range

Bubs Australia – NEW Snack Range

The news is out… Bubs Australia has a brand new range of wholesome, ACO certified organic and totally tasty snacks, and I know two little loves who are ecstatic about this delicious news!!

Bubs have long been known for their incredible organic products.  Their Goat Milk Formulae alone is available in it’s various stages for children aged  0-36 months.  Both Ari and Chloe have enjoyed Bubs Australia Toddler Goat Milk from the age of 12 months old, I mix fed them both at first as we were still bring breastfeed, and then eventually moved to exclusive Goat Milk.  When they were 4 months old I began to introduce solids into their diets, with the first food they both ate being Bubs Rice Cereal.  At closer to 6 months old I started to introduce Bubs ranges of porridge, oats and baby food pouches.   Another Bubs product that I have found fantastic is the Toothy Rusks, which is especially great for busy hands and teething.

Everything that Bubs stands for  resonates with me as a Mother.  The company was founded in 2006 by a Mother of 3 children, who wanted the best premium organic baby food to be available for children and their mothers to enjoy.  The Bubs product line has grown over the years but their beautiful family values remain the same.

I am so excited about this new snack range and the fact that it is so readily available at Coles, Chemist Warehouse and on the Bubs website.

Here is a look at the beautiful new products which your little ones can enjoy…

Little Fingers (Broccoli & Pumpkin)
A delicious duo of organic vegetables baked into breadsticks, the little fingers are a great snack for babies starting on solid food.  They are baked not fried and use organic wheat flour and extra virgin olive oil.
They have no added sugar, no artificial colours or flavours, and are GMO free. 
Recommended for babies 12 months plus.

Little Fingers (Tomato)
Hearty ruby-red organic tomatoes baked into breadsticks. The Little Fingers are a great meal addition or snack for babies starting on solids, they’re a little crunch of savoury goodness.
They have no added sugar, no artificial colours or flavours, and are GMO free. Recommended for babies 12 months plus.

Little Rollies (Coconut)
This sweet snack is certified organic goodness.  Ancient grain millet rolls, that are filled with temptingly tropical filling of soft coconut.  For hungry bubs that have graduate to solid food they’re irresistible.
ACO Certified Organic.
Recommended for babies 12 months plus.

Little Rollies (Hazelnut)
Deliciously sweet snacks bursting with certified organic goodness.  Vanilla-flavoured organic rice flour rolls with a mouth-watering soft filling of organic hazelnut.
Recommended for babies 12 months plus.

Smiley Squares (Pear & Beetroot)
Premium snacks bursting with certified organic goodness.  Bite-sized squares baked from four organic flours – buckwheat, rice, and the ‘ancient grains’ of millet and amaranth, with organic pear and beetroot.  Sweet and savoury, and deliciously nutritious.
Recommended for babies 7 months plus.

Smiley Squares (Mango & Purple Carrot)
Bite-sized, organic, wafer squares baked from four organic flours – buckwheat, rice, and the ‘ancient grains’ of millet and amaranth, with tropical mango and purple carrot, that’s a sweet and savoury delight.
Recommended for babies 7 months plus.

Tiddly Bar (Plum & Goji)
A premium fruit and cereal snack bursting with certified organic wholesomeness.  A harvest of organic plum, apple, and goji berries, mixed with a crunch of rice and quinoa, and organic agave fibre.  They may be small in size, but Bubs’ Tiddly Bar is big in essential nutrition.
Recommended for babies 12 months plus.

Remember you can find all of these delicious snacks at Coles, Chemist Warehouse and on the Bubs website.  

For more information on the Bubs Australia range visit their website or Instagram.

As always please remember that I am not a midwife, lactation consult, nutritionist, doctor or any other medical expert.  I am just a Mother expressing her journey and opinions.  Thank you to Bubs Australia for sponsoring this blog post so that I can share one of my very favourite products with you.  My opinion is of course and always is my own.  #bubsbaby #bubsaustralia #bubssnacks #bubspartner

 

Ari’s fourth Birthday Party – Circus theme

Ari’s fourth Birthday Party – Circus theme

Recently Ari had his fourth birthday and we enjoyed a week long celebration including a trip to Sea World AND a Circus themed birthday party held at our local Strawberry Fields.  Ari had THE BEST time, and so did I putting it together for him!  I am big on birthdays, not only to celebrate another trip around the sun, but also that we all survived the year together as a family!

The Theme
Ari had total control of choosing his theme and venue for his party this year.  He loves the movie Dumbo so wanted to have a ‘Circus’ themed party.  To me it was an extra special theme for him to choose as Dumbo was the first movie that my Grandad watched in the 1950s, and he still watches it with Ari today!  When I searched ‘circus theme parties’ on Pinterest I found one particular image that I loved, and based the colour scheme on  that.

The Invitations
Jess from Little J Design put together the invitations from concept, design to completion.  I didn’t even have to send an idea to get her started! They were bright, playful and fun.  I love posting out proper invitations because I know how excited children get when they receive them in the mail.  Jess is truly amazing and I am forever grateful for her talents.

The Venue
As I mentioned Ari had control over the venue for his party and he chose our local Strawberry Fields.  Ari’s birthday comes around just as strawberry season commences and it is by far his favourite fruit.  We also had a strawberry themed party for his second birthday, at the same venue, which you can read about on my blog.  At the time of writing this the fields don’t charge a fee to host a party on their property.   The venue is stunning with plenty of patches, a shop, playground and a cafe.  It really is an incredible spot to host a birthday party.

The Food
Earlier his year I wrote a blog post for Chloe’s second birthday party, where I wrote about how I outsourced the food preparation for the first time ever.  I also wrote that I didn’t think I would ever prepare all the party food again and I was spot on!  Once again Sharni from Grazing Acres put together the most delicious spread of food including crackers, drips, cheeses, different fruits, meats, pretzels and more.  The budget was perfectly on point, with only a small amount of food leftover for us to eat for dinner that night.  Outsourcing your food prep really is a no brainer, and if you are close to the Sunshine Coast you must check out Grazing Acres.   Not only did Sharni produce the most amazing party spread, but she styled the entire table using items that I had bought and provided including the decor.  I will write more about this below, but one thing I did learn from Sharni is how food can be used as decor and to create stunning table scape.

I also borrowed a donut bar from a friend and filled it with delicious donut treats.  I wasn’t sure if these would get eaten but every single one did!

The Cake
The incredible Ange from Ange’s Cakes put together a charming white chocolate Circus themed birthday cake.  Ange has been baking all our cakes for 18 months and every single one has gone down a treat!  Ange also made 12 sweet little cupcakes which had circus animals jumping through hoops on them.  Th concept, design and creation of the cakes was all Ange.

Ari’s cake topper was from XOXO Design which is where I always get our cake toppers from.  Again, I had no input into the concept and design.  I love working with suppliers who are passionate about what they do and watching their creativity unfold.   The topper had a gorgeous circus tent on it as well as Ari’s name and the number four.

The Sweets
I also organised custom chocolates from Print and Party, who had the perfect deign for us!  They were customised with Ari’s name on them.   There are countless flavours of chocolate to choose from and you can even select the colour of the foil wrapping.  All of this came be done from their website.

The sweetest circus themed cookies were handmade on the Sunshine Coast by Sweet P Cakes and Cookies.  I love to support local where I can, so this was very special to me.  All the cookie designs were in theme with the party and included fairy floss cones, circus tents and entry tickets.  The cookies were a huge hit at the party because they tasted and looked amazing!

Party Favours
We had two party favours this time.  The first was from Cloud Theory Marshmallows who put together gorgeous wrapped Marshmallows on a red and white sticks.  They looked so cute on the table and really lifted the decor.  Of course, the marshmallows taste fantastic too!   Each gourmet marshmallow was handcrafted and came in the mail from Adelaide with no issues at all.  The wonderful woman behind Cloud Theory Marshmallows is just so passionate about her work, I love it.

Secondly, we purchased an empty punnet for each child to go and pick fresh strawberries from the patch to take home.  This made me feel a little better about all the sugar they consumed… Life is all about balance right!

The Decor
My biggest tip when decorating is to choose one statement piece and put your budget into that.  We chose to do a gorgeous balloon garland from Party Planet again because I was so thrilled with how Chloe’s turned out earlier this year.   I sent Kelly my Pinterest photo and let her create.  She is such a passionate and beautiful person.  If you are close to the Sunshine Coast you really must check them out, they even deliver and do the set up too.  This time we collected the day before and the garland only took 5 minutes to set up, it was so easy!

As the party was outdoors I needed to create a beautiful backdrop, so I ordered a custom screen from Be Branded.  Little J Design provided to concept to Be Branded’s specs and then it was printed.  The idea was perfect and can be used for future parties as we opted for no wording on this one and a simple design.  The cloth attached to a gazebo and was great for providing shade and also as a wind barrier.

Be Branded also supplied a custom cut out for children to have their photos taken with.  It was a sweet little lion design. This not only added to our gorgeous decor but provided a lot of fun fir the children too.

As I mentioned before Sharni from Grazing Acres came up with the whole table concept.  I love that she set the tables up as a square because I am so used to doing them in a normal L shape look.  She is so talented, and I am truly grateful for her creative eye, watching her work her magic on that table was a dream.

Things like the paper plates, cups, popcorn cups and napkins were all purchase online.  I had a photo of Ari at ages newborn, one, two, three and four that I printed and put into white frames.  Jess from Little J Design made me a sign to let guests know to take a party favour home, and made a cute ‘Roll up Roll up’ printable for me too.  I placed vases on the table and filled them with red and yellow flowers that I purchased from Aldi for only $25.  There were plastic animals scattered throughout the table, party hats and a sweet little Ferris wheel puzzle that I made with Chloe.   Whenever we have a party I always go through our home to see what decor might work with the theme.  This time I pulled a few large animals from Ari’s jungle themed bedroom and popped party hats on them.

Photography
The beautifully talented Emma Nayler took the stunning images you will see below, and I am so incredibly grateful for her talents.  She just went about the day and did her thing, with us able to just enjoy the party with our beautiful boy. I would highly recommend employing a photographer for all your important occasions.  The one time I didn’t listen to this advice is the one occasion I don’t have any photos from!   Not only does Emma photograph families, but engagement sessions and weddings also (overseas too.)

Outfits
Chloe’s oufit – Nicole Elliot Designs
Ari’s outfit – Online through Ebay
Gum Boots – Seed Heritage
My dress –   Breastfeeding Wear Autralia

We decided to invite the children to dress in circus theme if they wished.  Ari really wanted to be a Ring Master so after searching high and low for a custom I bought one on Ebay.

Nicole Elliot Designs made Chloe the most stunning Ballerina costum.  This lady is seriously celver with a needle!  Everything from her Tutu to the feather belt was so sweet.  Due to rain the few days before the party both little enjoyed wearing ‘flashing light gum boots.’

Supplier websites
Photography – Emma Nayler
Venue – strawberry Fields
Invites and design of signage and printable – Little J Design
Food table – Grazing Acres
Cake and cupcakes – Ange’s Cakes
Custom cake toppers – XOXO Design
Cookies – Sweet P Cakes and Cookies
Custom chocolates – Print and Party
Marshmallow party favours – Cloud Theory Marshmallows
Balloon garland – Party Planet
Custom back drop and cut out – Be Branded
Chloe’s oufit – Nicole Elliot Design
My Dress – Breastfeeding Wear Australia

Supplier Instagram pages
Photography – @emma_nayler_photographer
Invites and design of signage and printable – @littlejdesign
Breakfast Table – @grazing.acres
Cake and cupcakes – @angescakes
Custom cake toppers – @xoxodesign_au
Cookies – @sweetpcakesandcookies
Custom chocolates – @printandparty
Marshmallow party favours – @cloudtheorymarshmallows
Balloon garland – @party__planet
Custom back drop – @_bebranded
Chloe’s outfit – @nicoleelliott_designs

Discount codes
I have a HUGE list of discount codes available, including to some of the stores involved in the planning of Ari’s epic party.  All you need to do is subscribe and it will hit your inbox.

Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram for more special moments with my little loves, click here.

For party inspiration check out my Pinterest here.

Now for the party spam!

Enjoy x

Small-Signature-Nat