Christmas wishes 2014!

 

Print from The House of Belonging

 

Yes it definitely is the most wonderful time of the year!

I’m 9 months pregnant (due mid January!) with baby number 3 and looking forward to meeting the next addition to our family.

I just wanted to take a little time out to wish all of my blog readers, FB followers and of course my lovely amazing vendors on the Directory a beautiful, joyful and relaxing Christmas!

 

Pencils from Upon a time Designs

 

Christmas can become such a blur in the midst of preparation, christmas shopping, cooking and visiting – but I hope the real meaning and gift of Christmas – joy, peace and love remain with you and your family throughout 2015 no matter what comes your way!

 

Card from Blossom Tree designs

 

As for me – I will still be around pre and post baby!

I will be having some time off to enjoy my new bub but I have organised some wonderful guest blog posts to share party items for various kids party themes in early 2015! I’ve also set up some scheduled FB posts sharing some fantastic items as well – so hey I could be in labour but FB will be posting away on my behalf and sharing some wonderful party items from vendors on the Life’s Little Celebration’s directory.

Please remember just on the right hand side of the my blog there is a drop down menu so you can look up any of my previous blog post PARTY THEMES if you’re need of some ideas and of course the vendors on the Directory can also be looked up at any time!

I’m so excited by the amazing vendors who are on board the Life’s Little Celebrations Directory in 2015 – I truly believe it contains such a fabulous range of sources of gorgeous party printables, cake and dessert suppliers, stylish partyware and handmade decor and more! I know you will enjoy using these vendors for your parties next year.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the inspiration and help from the blog and Directory this year and I look forward to providing more in 2015 as a mumma of 3!

Merry Christmas! xx

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In the midst of party planning!

It’s just a week away until my daughter’s 4th birthday party

I cannot BELIEVE I am planning her 4th birthday…it is crazy how time flies! I started this blog when she was only 6 months old and planning her 1st birthday…and now here we are!

We decided on a Princess theme as she is a real girly girl and loves all things Princess at the moment.

I’ve decided to share a snapshot of some of the items I’ve included when party planning for this party.

I’ve found party planning easier as time has gone on since I’ve accumulated already a range of items that I don’t need to purchase each time I have a party (eg: cake stand, hanging decorations etc).

As always I support the vendors on the Life’s Little Celebration’s Directory so all the below items are sourced from them. Of course a few items are missing and once everything is captured on the day by Nikki Fitt photography I’ll be sharing the photos

 

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Sources: Invitation: Jo Studio  Gold foil plates and favour bags: Illume Design  Mini ghost chair hire: Mini Party People Gold sequin tablecloth: Any Occasion Events Pink tutu: Sweet Pirouette Crown party hats, crown toppers, balloon tassel, pink and gold cupcake vases: Ruby Rabbit Partyware Glitter cake pop sticks: Glistening Occasions Glitter spoons: Butterfly Kisses Celebrations Carriage soap favours: Soap buddies

I am not an event stylist but I always enjoy putting together something creative for my children’s parties and I love actually using the products which I so often see and promote online! I’m one of those weird people who get excited about partyware!

Being 7.5 months pregnant at the moment means I also will try and keep the styling side of things a little easy on myself and I’ve also booked Cinderella from Fairy Fun to help entertain the kids on the day

Rebekah is so excited and that is the best part of it all!

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Inspiring me to do the “keep calm and carry on thing”

There are quite a few mum’s in business who follow this blog and facebook page so every now and then when something inspires me relating to balancing motherhood/work I love to share it although what I am sharing today relates to anyone…mother or not, in business or not and would even to relate when you’re in the throws of party planning, especially if you’re this type of person:

Today during a rare child-free few hours I forced myself to take some time out to relax, pray and read!

Something I read struck right to my heart in the area of rushing around busily trying to get all my business work done. Since my kids are still little and home with me all week, the times when they sleep or nap I go full steam ahead working on e-mails, blog entries, articles etc.

I am really working on how to get the balance a bit better to ensure I don’t work all the time and burn out which is common in small businesses and probably more common in mum’s running businesses.

These words rung so true to me…I hope they inspire some others as well….

 

It starts off talking about the work under our care:

“If possible do not be worried, that is – do not exert yourself over them with uneasiness, anxiety and forwardness. Don’t be worried about them, for worry disturbs reason and good judgement and prevents us from doing well the very things we are worried about.

Rivers that flow gently through the plains carry along large boats and rich merchandise. Rains that fall gently on open fields make them fruitful in grass and grain.

Torrents and rivers that spread over the land in great floods ruin the bordering country and are useless for commerce, just as in like manner, heavy tempestuous rain ruins the fields and meadows.

A job done too eagerly and hurriedly is never well done.

We perfect actions quickly enough when we do them well.

Drones make more noise and work more eagerly than bees, but they make only wax and honey. So also men who hurry about with tormenting anxiety and eager solicitude never accomplish much nor do they do it well.

Undertake all your affairs with a calm mind and try to despatch them in order one after the other.

If you make an effort to do them all at once or without order, your spirits will be so overcharged and depressed that they will likely sink under the burden without effecting anything”

Did these words ring true for you?

I hope it inspires you today as it did for me!

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Naomi’s 1st birthday: Carousel theme

We had a wonderful day celebrating Naomi’s 1st birthday and it was exciting to see it shared on Kara’s Party Ideas!

In this post I will share more pictures and details to explain where I found various products as that is the focus of my blog/business – helping you source items for your children’s parties! I used some truly wonderful vendors when planning this party all of which I can recommend.

We did not have this party at home – and I only had 2 hours to set up at the venue. So learning from my previous parties I decided as far as decorating to mainly focus on the Dessert table and the Favour table. Besides this I had some helium balloons placed on the food and drinks tables for quick and easy decorating but didn’t have a kids table or too many other props/sections to decorate.

The theme for Naomi’s 1st birthday was a Carousel theme with colours of mint green and purple with gold.

It did take me some time to find a carousel look that I LOVED as far as printables – I found it finally at Fairydust Stylish Stationery and Toni was great to work with in designing the backdrop and other items. As the venue had brick walls I decided to go with a printed backdrop as it was the easiest way to cover up the brick.

 

Tanya sample invitation

Here is the dessert table I setup and the backdrop which I absolutely loved which was designed by Fairydust Stylish Stationery and great quality printing by Little Dance Invitations

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The ruffled tablecloth was hired from Tiny Tots Toy Hire in Sydney, along with a few other items – great service as always!

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Sweet items:

Since the backdrop was quite detailed I opted for a simpler cake design to compliment the backdrop.

Cakes by Sharon did a beautiful job creating something that worked in with the backdrop and other decorations such as the pinwheel items.

 

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The jade milk glass cake stand is hired from Sweet Celebrations in Sydney and the wooden riser is from Saffy & May

Minnie from Minnie’s Sweet Creations created the perfect chocolate coated oreos – some with pinwheel design, as well as the mini carousel horse cookies with gold touched heels.

 

naomis cookies

 

Macarons with some gold sprinkling were from Her Macarons and so many guests commented that these were the most delicious macarons they have ever tasted!

 

naomis macarons

They were placed atop cake stands from Leo & Bella

I also had some fruit cups on the table as well as 3 acrylic candy jars from Just Party Supplies (so kid friendly!) filled with choc beans, persian fairy floss and meringues.

I bought some melamine white platters from Occasion by Design – again another kid safe option!

 

fruit cups naomi

 

I used gold straws to look like carousel poles in the fruit cups. The candy scoops and gold straws were from Little Dance Invitations.

The gold glitter tablerunner you see in the photos – I purchased from Hunt and Style who have quite a gorgeous selection of table runners! I also purchased gold glitter ribbon from them which I used throughout the party.

 

naomi sweets

Decorations

I love pinwheels and they fit in with a carousel and carnival theme. Samantha from Dunne with style created paper rosettes with pinwheel centres which I used as part of the backdrop. She also created pinwheels and gold glitter glass bottles on the table. The pinwheels were gorgeous in colours of green and purple!

 

pinwheels naomi

 

Party Favours

Here is a photo of the party favour table. The carousel horse garland created by Hanging Pretty was one of my favourite items – the detailing was gorgeous on the horses!

The green wooden cake stand I had purchased for a previous party from from Leo & Bella and the wooden name was from Little Sweet Styling

 

naomis party favour collage

 

Most of the children coming were around 1-4 years of age so I decided to go with ribbon wands for party favours as the entertainers I was having were incorporating ribbon wands into their show as well. I wasn’t sure how they would go down with the little boys but I have to say the boys were having more fun with them than the girls! The ribbon wands were made by Dunne with Style in colours to match the theme. They were setup in lilac acrylic vases from Simply Sweet Soirees

For the older children I ordered some chalk favours from Chalk Chook! These included stars as well as other shapes (animals, cars etc). I packaged them in the most adorable Carousel Horse favour boxes from Bespoke Party Products.

I also had some chocolate bars packaged with wrappers from Bespoke Party Products for the adults who were coming without kids as I like to send them home with something.

 

naomi favours 4

 

Another lovely item made for me by Dunne with style were these purple and green lola fabric poms! They sat inside a ferris wheel cupcake holder which belongs to my sister in law. I also attached another spare carousel horse from Hanging Pretty to the cupcake holder:. You can see a better photo of the ribbon wands and chalk favours here:

 

naomis favours 3

 

One of my favourite items was this personalised canvas. It was designed by Sweet Bee Creates on ETSY and printed at Harvey Norman. I love personalised items and enjoyed thinking of all the bits and pieces to incorporate into this canvas. Here are a few shots of the birthday girl as well:

 

naomi canvas

 

Here is our little Naomi playing around with a tulle pom from Pom Pom Princess (which was from a previous party)

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A few other bits and pieces from the party

 

Naomis birthday misc collage

Purple and gold garland from Penny Lane Studio – this ended up being hung behind the high chair and gift table.Love the way each piece swung in different directions.

You can also see the gorgeous white high chair hired from Sweet Celebrations (this photo doesn’t do it justice as I ran out of time to decorate it as I had planned !) which was so sweet and a lovely place for Naomi to sit at the start of the party when guests were arriving.

Also a lovely Carousel I bought for Naomi which I found in the party colours as well which I placed at the party near the party favours.

The actual party went well – Naomi was a bit sick on the day and so was very clingy and not quite in a party mood. Goes to show it doesn’t matter how much you plan, some things you cannot control – I just tried to go with the flow and carry her during the party as much as I could when she wasn’t with a relative.

However her sister and the other kids enjoyed the day and that was (and always is) my favourite part of the party – watching the kids have fun as they were entertained by 2 entertainers (A tin soldier and a ballerina) with songs, games, face painting and balloon animals.

Of course there were things which went wrong & things which didn’t go to plan – always the way at kids parties!

However at the end of the day – the birthday girl enjoyed her cake and received lots of love, wishes and cuddles from our wonderful friends and family – and that is what we will always remember.

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Thanks for reading and sharing in some of Naomi’s 1st birthday celebrations!

 

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Permission to be a mother

I see it all too often (and have done it myself!)

Business mum’s on facebook apologising for taking longer to reply to e-mails because they are busy with their kids. Apologising for taking longer to complete an order due to their children being sick. Apologising for taking a “break” from their business or blogging etc to have some family time.

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about this as I work on sorting out the balance between business & mothering and thought – It is time we stop apologising and give ourselves permission to be mothers.

In the end – our family and our kids come first. I think most of our fans on facebook and customers understand that because they are mum’s themselves. We all want more time with our children.

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Sometimes as a small business owner you can feel that if you don’t post a facebook status update…or don’t write a blog post…or don’t showcase a new product photo etc…that you will start losing business or people will ‘unlike’ our facebook page. So we stay on the never ending merry-go-round that never seems to stop.

However everyday in my newsfeed I see many (too many to keep up with!) inspiring posts and products and status updates. It doesn’t bother me if some of my favourite pages/businesses don’t post anything!

Life goes on with and without our blog posts and facebook photos and e-mail replies.

Don’t get me wrong. I do think customer service is so important to good business practice and if there is a reason why you will be having delays in e-mail replies then by all means it makes sense to say so. Or perhaps if you are a store that offers next day shipping etc then again I understand why immediate response is expected.

However I’m talking about the expectations of small business mum’s replying to all e-mails within a 24hour period (or less!).

Sometimes as much as you want to…and as much as you plan to….your little people just take EVERYTHING out of you. At the end of the day you sometimes don’t have the time….nor energy…nor motivation to then go and sit at the computer and reply e-mails.

This is ok. Motherhood comes first. Our sanity and health comes first.

I’m not sure if this is the best “business” advice….but I love this quote from Loralee Lewis:

“No other success can compensate for failure in the home”

I am telling myself this as much as I am sharing these thoughts with you.

There will always be clients, and facebook fans. However I only have this time now with my children at this age to be there with them.

 

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And although everyone on facebook or e-mail may not notice me being absent….my children WILL notice my absence.

So women – let’s give ourselves permission to be mothers!

Do you struggle with the balance between motherhood & business/working?

How do you manage your competing priorities?