Thursday, 23 February 2017
I can do with a second week of half term holiday! We spent half of ours being ill, with the germs doing its round in the house. Luckily there was still plenty to do, so the kids didn't create too much fuss.
Apart from catching up on the Nintendo games we love playing, we also went out to watch The LEGO Batman Movie in the cinema and Storks on DVD, both by Warner Brothers! But just because it's not as big as the LEGO Batman Movie, Storks really is one you shouldn't miss, especially if it's still half term at yours.
Storks (pegi U, RRP £12.99) is out now on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download. It comes with different language options as well as subtitles! It also comes with a short clip - The Master, LEGO Ninjago, which is really funny as well.
Storks used to deliver babies, but they deliver packages now. However, Tulip, the human girl who is working for the Storks' delivery company, activated the old baby-making factory by accident, which produced an adorable baby girl (super adorable!). Junior, the top delivery stork who will soon become the boss of the delivery company, had no choice but to help her deliver the baby while trying to keep the incident from the management, and avoid the danger they encounter along the way.
We absolutely love the show! We love the story, the humour, the twist! And that baby girl is one of the most adorable baby EVER! We went "Awww" so many times while watching the animation, I think it's a first! Our second favourite character is the Robins, who I'm sure will make your kids laugh out loud too!
The story is quite unique, using the tale where Storks deliver babies. Their perception of the tale is really interesting! It also sparked up a conversation between us, and we teased Clay that he was delivered by a stork too. I don't think he believed us though haha.
If you are watching this with the kids, it also sends us a message, reminding us that we should spend more time with the kids when we still can. They grow up too fast, and that cute baby moment is already gone for us. Hopefully we won't miss too much of their life!
Storks is a great animation you should definitely watch together!
So last Saturday Abby had her Science themed birthday party, which you can read more about through the purple link, and we were very lucky to have some of the party sponsored, to make it an even better one!
Our first sponsor was Jelly Belly UK, who has kindly donated their 10 Flavours (30g) Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Flip Top Boxes to our party bags:
At £0.60 each box, £0.54 for a case of 24, these quality sweets are perfect to fancy up any party bags (it's Jelly Belly!) without breaking the bank! It comes from a mix of 10 flavours, and although you don't necessary get all 10, there are still 30 grams worth of jelly beans to enjoy!
If you want to make the party bags even more fancy, they also sell them in 50g (£3 for 3 boxes), and 100g 20 flavour packets, which are normally £2.35, but I just happen to come across a sale for these, so I picked a few up just for our kids and their cousins as a special treat! Clay was so adorable and shared his jelly beans out (although he'd take about 3 when he shared 1 haha), and he even remembered that my favourite is the black ones (liquorice)!
Also, if you want to make your own candy cones, Jelly Belly sell individual colours (flavours) by the kilo too, so that you can create your own colour mix to fit the party theme at the comfort of your own home (although the pick n' mix in stores is more fun)! You can see their full stock on their official web store.
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Once upon a time, birthday parties were really easy to organise. An indoor soft play booked, and all I had to worry about was the cakes. For someone like me who's prone to forgetting something or getting something wrong, it was the perfect party.
When Abby hit 7, she already had 4, 5 years worth of indoor soft play parties, so we invited a few of her friends over instead. It was really unorganised and I even forgot about the whole cake and singing part! So we decided to spend the money on her favourite food - sushi instead when she was 8, and took her to a surprise CBBC tour. Although she didn't get a party, she was absolutely delighted.
This year, she did want a party, and she had a lot more friends she wanted to invite, but we didn't want to do a swimming pool or trampoline party, so we thought that we can handle a "book a hall and hire some entertainers" one (Clay's 4th birthday was a joined one and I had a fabulous mum friend who had it all sorted). I should have known better!
Don't get me wrong, the entertainment was good, the kids I think enjoyed themselves, and I like the flexibility you get when it comes to setting up a theme. But without the extra help from my family, we wouldn't have made it. Kids at this age (8-9) are either well behaved, or very energetic, and holding the party at the end of half term didn't seem to help!
I think I'll be taking a very long break, maybe until I forgot about all the hard work, before I will think about holding another Hall + Entertainment party again. While doing that, I'll just document all the good things that happened, to remind me that it was worth it.
For the kids' birthday parties, I always try to bake a birthday cake. I will also bake cupcakes for the guests, as we aren't the fondant cake type, and trying to wrap a creamed cake in tissue is not really a very good idea.
This year's theme is Science, and kids just love messy, yucky, gloopy science stuff, hence the design for the main cake.
The base of the cake is a vanilla sponge with lemon curd buttercream. To get the toxic spillage effect, I coloured liquid glucose into green. The only problem with this is that it kept dripping off the cake, just like the sea on Clay's Batbeard cake last year:
So I had to add more at the last minute, although only half of the amount you see is left when Abby blew the candles! I still prefer it over jelly or other topping as I have more time to move it around the cake and it gives a great dripping gloop effect with the least work required.
The water inside the flask is just coloured water, but I had a delicious candy floss decorated on top for the foaming effect, which has melted after it touched the water inside during transit. It still looked evil enough I guess?
For entertainment, we were very lucky and managed to book Sublime Science fairly last minute. You might have seen them on Dragon's Den. It's not the usual birthday entertainment we see, and the kids got to do some experiments (including making their own sherbet and gooey slime!) themselves as well while being wowed. They did get a bit hyper after the sherbet and some of them kept saying "Sugar!". According to Abby, they now have a "Sugar Gang" in class because of that haha...
I'll publish a full review later this week for Sublime Science entertainment, do keep an eye out for it, especially if you have a budding scientist at home too who would love a Science themed party!
After the entertainment comes food. We served pizza, hot dogs, crisps and fruit, and the kids seem fine with it. I over-estimated the time the kids needed to eat though, luckily the hall was big enough for them to run around a bit to let go of some sugar!
We packed up a bit in between and got the cake out:
can't beat coloured flames for the extra sciencey touch!
At the end of the party, each kid get to take home a cupcake, the sherbet and slime they made, a certificate from Sublime Science saying that they made perfect slime, as well as a party bag with
glow in the dark bracelet
Jelly Belly Jelly Beans thanks to Jelly Belly Jelly Beans UK
Discovery Channel's Discovery Cosmic Sand thanks to Paladone UK
Reviews for the Jelly Belly Jelly Beans and Discovery Channel Cosmic Sand will be published within these 2 weeks as well.
Overall, although hard work, it was a successful party and Abby had great fun with her cousins and friends.
One down, another one to go. Clay has asked for a Paper Mario Color Crush themed party, errr. We'll think about that!