Jan 11, 2016

Birthdays, Beds and Bikes.

Oh it was a bit of a painful start to Monday this morning.

First days back at work after some action packed leave often are.  Calendars had to be changed over, emails read and actioned, mountains of paper had to be shredded and the whole concept of working in general had to be revisited in a mind that's still very much in summer holiday mode.

Beginning at the beginning with Toddler SSG's belated third birthday party on Saturday.  You possibly have some idea of my relief at seeing the sun shine on the dry lawn of our backyard.  Half the decorating took place on Friday which explains why I was relaxed enough to lie down on the couch under that chain of lanterns for a couple of minutes on party morning.

As you can tell our theme was Thomas and Friends.

After all the effort it took to hang everything just so, I've made the unilateral decision to keep the decorations up for the rest of the week.  I found practically all of the decorations online at Party Shop Direct and  Discount Party Supplies.  Both offered reasonable prices, range and prompt delivery.

No mistaking which hedges belonged to the party house, I'm thinking.

Treasure was hidden.

And a game of Pass The Monkey was set up in the courtyard.

Looking back, two games for a party of 7 toddlers was just enough structured entertainment.

Lucky dipping as opposed to unwrapping a parcel for the pass the monkey game worked pretty well with a little supervision from the parents.

The treasure hunt was also a success.  As a game, it finished pretty quickly but the fun of unwrapping the treasure and then playing with it kept everyone entertained for ages.

Never one to underelaborate on a theme, each guest was given a dress up set to wear at the beginning of the party.  For a moment there, I was questioning how sorely my friendships with the other parents would be tested with the train whistles being part of the costume but wouldn't you know it?  The whistles weren't that loud and they actually got a little quieter the more they were blown.

I was really surprised at just how well the dress ups went.  The children were all happy to wear one element of the ensemble or failing that, were happy to blow the whistle to add to the atmosphere.  

One of many priceless moments from the party.  These two have been friends since they were born.

Which was really lovely actually - laughter, shrieks, the sound of little feet running around over sidewalk chalk drawings and under clouds of bubbles.

I overcatered to a ridiculous degree.

But there's always room for chocolate cake, right?

The Vintage Edition AWW Birthday Cake Book steered me through the process of creating a 3 from two day old rings of chocolate butter cake.

A row of raspberry lollies helped hid some uneven icing at the base of the cake.

And they were also useful in helping the Thomas candle to stand up for the duration of the party.

It was just a perfect morning, and the only thing I regret was getting so stressed about everything before the party started.  

Hooray for big boy beds arriving just in time for birthdays!  And Hooray for sleeping so well in them after birthday parties..
 Sunday started off at a far more relaxed pace.

I decided to take my run off the treadmill and onto the street. It didn't feel like cardio with all the things to see as I ran.

Love the old world red bricked street names in the footpath that have managed to survive the resurfacing around them..

The terraces in the area manage to stay true to their original design whilst being updated here and there with a unique choice of colour or perfectly placed ornamental feature.

Quaint isn't a word that often comes to mind when describing my daily life but I was touched by quaintness on the home stretch of my run.

There's a little row of shops near the hotel that are almost identically built and sized.

The stores are a mixture of fashion and home furnishings.

It's an eclectic avenue which added a bit of contrast to my usual running route.

It looks like the good weather is only going to be with us for a few days before things get really wet (just in time for the weekend).

Better try and squeeze in some tricycle time before dinner tonight then.  I assembled it myself with the help of two Allen keys and it's survived a test drive in the study.

Take care and have a great week.  

Any favourite frocks from the Golden Globe red carpet yet?


  1. I am loving all the gowns.
    A beautiful party - I felt strangely emotional reading about it, particularly seeing the pic of the two little lads.
    Your birthday cake game is strong.
    Getting your holiday moded head into the work game is seriously painful.

  2. Glad the birthday party went well, it looks like a lot of fun! :)

    I did the same thing with my little man's first birthday - stressed and worried and over-decorated nad over-catered, but it was brilliant on the day as I could sit back and relax and enjoy. I'm hoping I won't stress too much about his second, but who knows? I think it's natural to want to put a lot into it and for it to go well, it's a celebration for us as much as them (if not more!)

    Away From The Blue Blog


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