A Backyard Vintage Carnival Birthday

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My gorgeous wee Second Cousin Miss Olive turned four recently, and to celebrate her parents threw her the most immaculate fun-filled backyard carnival I have ever laid eyes on! The styling, the colours, the whole aesthetic I think you’ll agree is just next level GORGEOUS! All the happiness in the world just radiates from these pictures, the adults looking just as pleased as the children with the festivities! The games, the food, the vintage and pastel tones, I can’t get enough! I asked Mum Pip how she came up with this creative idea, “A visiting circus was in town, and after a bit of Pinterest stalking, a carnival theme quickly became a great idea. A long time black, grey and neutrals fan, I didn’t want to completely let loose on bright colours – so I settled on a ‘Vintage Carnival’. With gorgeous costumes, decorations and spread of activities, we had a fun-filled day of carnival chaos!” says Pip. The tightrope walker costumes for birthday girl Miss O, and her baby sister, were the best I’ve seen, complete with a stunning DIY feather-head band made by clever Pip herself, and teamed with Tutu Du Monde sparkly ‘show stopper’ shorts. The games were a hit! “Bobbing for apples quickly became lets throw the apples in and see them splash” says Pip. “But the chaos was surprisingly all part of the fun.” The classic clown piñata was adapted from Pips own piñata making tutorial : You can read more on how to make one HERE. Other activities and details included:

  • Popcorn for sale at the Carnival stand.
  • Party hat making with all the trims.
  • Bringing back the 80’s childhood hoola-hooping expertise!
  • Balloon making
  • Party bags – a tassel wand, gold dusted seal biscuit, animal pencil and a clown nose

And as for that eloquent cake… The Carnival Cake – based on Sweetapolita’s birthday medley, was constructed with raspberry jam between layers of blue funfetti stars, pink amarena cherry and rich chocolate. Fondant icing was decorated with hand painted green, blue and gold and finished with handmade flowers and elephant cake topper. Other tasty carnival treats included:

  • Pip’s favourite Nigella biscuits finished two ways – Elephants and stars dipped in coloured melted chocolate sprinkled with pearlescent drops and seals in gold dusting.
  • Freshly cut watermelon stars and blueberries
  • Strawberry jelly with blue chocolate shooting stars
  • Mini hot dogs with mustard
  • Sausage rolls with homemade tomato sauce
  • Medley of candied and buttered popcorn

Pip and her sister Lex have a  gorgeous blog, you can follow their beautiful families, their recipes, activities, and styling over at Two Houses blog : http://www.twohouses.com.au/

Photography credit: Oliver Bain Photography

DIY Watermelon Shoes

Lily’s watermelon themed birthday party is only two weeks away and we are channeling all things fruitalicious until then.

During a wardrobe clean out yesterday I found myself with handfuls of old shoes that were on the cusp of being thrown out. And suddenly this idea came to me. Why not jazz up the old shoes for Lily’s birthday party! I jumped online for inspiration and sure enough painting shoes is an actual thing, who knew! Whilst I don’t think we are about to get snapped up as head designer, (or assistant, or tea and biscuit makers for that matter) at Nike, this was such a super fun activity to do with Lily and her best friend during their sleep over last night. I set them up at the dining table after dinner, put on the Frozen soundtrack, and joined them painting and singing the night away. Wow how my Saturday nights have changed!

The DIY on this is easy (if we can do it anyone can!!) We chose to use fabric paints and a black permanent marker for the seeds. But I’ve seen other people have done this using just markers and probably achieved a slightly cleaner result than we did. Keeping in mind I let the girls (9) do most of the work themselves, with a bit of tidying up by me at the end, I’m absolutely thrilled with how they turned out.

If you want to try this at home with your kids, and don’t have any shoes you’re ready to part with, check out Blank Canvas Gifts: http://www.blankcanvasgifts.com.au I discovered their creative gifts and party packs recently and I’m thrilled to be featuring them at Lily’s birthday party in two weeks. I won’t get carried away and spoil the surprise yet but I can’t wait to show you more from them soon! xx C


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Ruby Turns 1: Cloudy With a Chance of CONFETTI.

Our baby girl recently turned one. Ruby is our third child so we were completely aware that she wouldn’t be too fussed about her party, 80 people in her house, 30 kids touching all her toys, it was a recipe for a major meltdown. BUT… after a year of sleepless nights, reflux, breastfeeding issues, and countless nappy changes, combined with the joy of watching our darling girl achieve those magical first year milestones (I mean seriously, how fast do they grow that first year!) we felt we all deserved this party. An opportunity to celebrate all things Ruby, but also all things our family. Ruby is after all the one that brings us all together. My big kid’s step Dad is her Dad (and my spunky husband), she’s their sister, and I’m Mama Bear to all of them (confusing much?). One big happy family.

Don’t be fooled by the pristine presentation of these photos, the party was at one point completely rained out. When I say rain, I mean ALL DAY TORRENTIAL. There were tears (all mine), there were major meltdowns (guilty again!) but at the end of the day only one thing mattered. All our dearest people came to celebrate Ruby’s special day, and we had the best time ever! The decorations, the outfits, the food – if I don’t say so myself, were so darn fun! But hey – it didn’t matter  too much, the smiles on everyone’s faces, the effort they put into coming along to celebrate with us and our baby girl, the fun the kids had with all their friends, those were the things that meant the world to us. The rain cleared, (and the humidity set in – let’s pretend we don’t notice my ‘it’s been raining all day and now it’s crazy amounts of humid’ hair do!) and the party went 8 hours longer than we expected, the tell-tale sign of a successful first birthday party!

The theme was loosely ‘confetti’. Inspired by Ruby’s bright colourful personality. The night before the party Ruby went to bed in confetti pyjamas, confetti sheets, and when she woke up her whole world had been converted into a sea of cascading colour. All our inspiration came from the amazing party extraordinaire’s Poppies for Grace. Party details will be outlined below, but if you’re planning a party soon definitely check them out. I hope you enjoy this gallery as much as I loved putting it together.






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Party supplies: POPPIES FOR GRACE: Honey comb fancies, confetti scatters, straws, plates, streamers, balloons, crepe paper, mini gold letter balloons, temporary tattoos.

Rainbow garland: DIVINE DROPS

Ruby wears: HUBBLE AND DUKE socks, tee-shirt, bloomers, crown, gold moccs. BELLA AND LACE vintage tutu dress. ROCK YOUR BABY floral tutu dress. BONDS confetti leggings and tank. SACK ME sunday sundae cot sheet.

Lily wears: BOBO CHOSES spotted tank, ALFIE APPAREL skirt. ZARA KIDS white dress. PIPLA STUDIO feathered crow.

Upside down ice-cream cake: KATHERINE SABBATH inspired (Check out her mouth-watering Instagram feed it’s an absolute must).



Follow any simple cake pop recipe, coat in melted white chocolate (I used cadbury melts), dip in confetti sprinkles (available at most good cake supply shops). DO NOT PUT IN FRIDGE. The chocolate will sweat when you remove it. These will set just fine on their own and can be stored between layers of baking paper in an airtight container for several days (big cheers from me for anything that can be prepared in advance!)


Melted white Cadbury melts drizzled onto colourful plastic spoons, sprinkled with an assortment of edible confetti and silver sprinkles. Tick!


These were probably the most popular item on the sweets table. And the most simple! Dip Oreos in a prepared Betty Crocker icing (that stuff is seriously such a saviour – my new best friend), then dip in the sprinkles, place on baking paper and set in fridge. Once set a little move to an air tight container and store in the fridge.


These are trickier than they look. If you make them in advance the fairy floss will dissolve. They need to be done directly before eating. But if you’re lucky like me and have an 8-year-old assistant then these are the perfect thing. The kids formed a line, and Lily and her best friend busily stripped bags of packaged fairy floss, wrapped it in layers around the straws and passed them to the patiently waiting eager children. Effective AND a fun activity for the kids. Winning!