Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Party time at Daiso

The Japanese dollar chain DAISO is famous for selling everything for a minuscule price (in Australia that apparently equals $2.80 - not sure whether this rather odd price represents a true exchange rate with a Japanese dollar, or not) is a mecca for finding lots of stuff - craft/kitchenware/makeup/stationery/food.

In my ongoing quest to declutter I generally go in there in a sceptical frame of mind. Telling myself I will find NOTHING there I need. It sometimes helps to stop me from filling up those cute purple baskets. 

But not always.

Last week I bravely ventured into find bits and pieces to fill party bags for a small do I was holding for Eleanore (who was turning TEN - eek! Seems like only yesterday she was turning NINE and EIGHT..) 

Daiso had the goods.

Firstly the party bag itself. There were numerous possibilities in an array of materials. I had briefly toyed with the idea of decorating calico bags myself. But as the invitations went out only days before the actual event, it was easy to remind myself that I'm just not that kind of mother…
Eventually I settled on a set of five printed plastic bags that were pretty and practical. 
Five bags for $2.80 - win!

Then, because the traditional lolly bag to take home from a party is no longer just supposed to hold lollies (after a recent trip with the kids to the dentist, this suits me fine..) I found some very cute notebooks that girls would love. They easily had 50 pages in them and are so nice I'm thinking they'd be great for school friend/teacher Christmas gifts.  

Picture from
I didn't take any more photos because, as you may have gathered, I was doing this all sort of last minute. 

Ellie made each girl a chatterbox (remember those?) out of lovely origami paper her aunt had given her. I thought this was such a sweet homemade touch.

and then in keeping with a sweet theme, I did buy a small amount of confectionary, so as not to disappoint expectations. 
What's a party without lollies, after all?

Picture from:

It was heartening  a week out to google ideas for a ten-year-old's party and find sites with so many other dud parents kindred spirits saying: Crap - my child turns ten in three days, what can I do for a party?

The answer my friend, is a movie and pizza night.

A sympathetic friend emailed me a list of "Top Ten movies for Girls" (will post the link asap) from which I googled reviews and then found one in our local video shop. It was Akeelah and the Bee, and it was great. We ordered pizza and I made a cake, which was supposed to be a flower. Enough said.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Catching Up

The last month has flown by with its usual car window blur of happy, mundane, scary, happy, headachy, and more happy moments. It's hard to keep track physically and mentally let alone in blog world, but I'll give it a go.

In mid-September we left for a three week holiday to the beach. It's nowhere flash. Just a small coastal town down South where we go to relax and play and recharge, after what has been a more manic year than most.

Except I wasn't feeling too relaxed. Mostly due to the fact that Master Three had broken his humorous bone three days before we were due to leave. The resulting two nights in hospital left me with one day to pack. Not happy Jan. Yes, I know some people are super organised and pack with lists weeks in advance (my husband does this so I know there really are people like that. Unfortunately he only does it for himself. The remainder of the family's packing falls on "last minute" me).

So there I was madly packing for myself and four children. In one day. For three weeks. And it had been freezing. So even though I was throwing in the swimming costumes and tee-shirts with gay abandon, I was also packing tracksuits, jumpers and jackets. Mid-September was feeling like mid-winter and there was every chance the three week break could be cold and rainy. So I needed all weathers.

We also needed the world's largest car luggage pod. My husband found it on ebay. He was deliriously happy with it. We joked it could fit all our luggage and the kids inside. Imagine, a car trip in blissful silence with masses of space?
It wasn't to be.

Setting off turned out to be rather stressful when my husband found that the luggage pod (we named it Big Bertha) was full, and um, so was the car. And we weren't in it yet.  I tried to hold it together while agonising about the ratio of coats per person. And would I need my raincoat from Finland at the beach? The kids tearfully agreed to cull their book collections from infinity to five. We reasoned with them that we could find new books there, and visiting the local library was a great thing to do on a rainy day.

With the engine revving we couldn't work out why Jesse still appeared to have no leg room. Ahh, that would be the stereo he had hidden under the 20 hardcover Agatha Christie novels. To loud protests and my red-faced husband looking increasingly like he needed a BIG holiday, we were off.

And we arrived to this:

Having a three-year-old with a full arm cast wasn't ideal. His balance was off and he lurched around bumping the arm, bruising knees and stubbing toes. I felt ready to book us both into the local hospital as a pre-emptive measure. Me for nervous exhaustion and Arch for an arm bone that had seemingly NO chance of healing without further mishaps.

But things improved. The sun shone. Arch got into the swing of doing everything left-handed, and the rest of the family settled into happy holiday mode.  Okay this still involved numerous arguments over cheating at Uno and general annoyedness (is that a word?) of parents trying to relax while dealing with constant demands for more food/drink/beach trips/stop-itch/new books. We concentrated on the view  and aren't ear plugs a great invention?!

But as the days stretched out to include walks along the beach, swimming (not me - I never did find my costume..) sandcastle building (with a plastic-wrapped arm - all good), bowling, ice creams, library visits and trips to our favourite cafe for coffee and pancakes. We chilled out.

We had to - the sun got boiling as spring started to feel like summer!
Dang all those useless jumpers and coats!

the view never got boring..

holidays are a hoot!