My sisters baby shower. {2016}

Good morning friends!
Many of you may know that my sister is due to have her first baby very soon! 
In celebration of that I helped throw her a baby shower over the weekend.
I thought I would share a few little photos, I love seeing party decor photos for inspiration for future events – so I thought some of you may like to see them as well!
For this shower Nikki wanted very simple, nothing over the top, nothing flashy, no balloons or typical party stuff. Just nice, natural, with a touch of woodland/Alaskan theme & some blue. 
I listened to what she wanted and tried to keep the decorations to a minimum. I strung up some simple bunting on a wall, on one window I hung a brown string and pegged up some white baby clothes from when LuLu was a newborn and my friend help me make a “Mum to be” chair sign so Nikki always had a seat to sit in and rest and I hope it made her feel special.

On the gift table we laid down some deer print burlap I’ve had in the cupboard for awhile, I put my standard bird cage for cards on there that I use for most parties & put 2 of my deer antlers around it with a few pinecones. Nikki has a special wooden bear from Alaska she also placed on the table. The candle burning is the baby powder one by Woodwick – it seemed appropriate. 

For my gift I wrapped each item individually and wrote little clues to what the gift was on the packaging. I had 2 Schleich animals to add in and used them as decoration on the gift. My friend made the moose a fun little party hat which my sister absolutely loved! 

Nikki didn’t want a baby shower cake at all, she is not a huge cake fan. But we compromised and I made her a strawberry & cream cake (one of the few cakes she will eat a small slice of). To make the cake a little festive I topped it with a homemade bunting sign with the nickname of her little baby “Yogi”.  

For games we played guess the amount of lollies in a baby bottle, guess the belly size and 2 trivia style games. One list of questions was nursery rhyme trivia and the other was about baby animals. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves but some questions were a little tricky! I just put the question sheet together on pages on my mac. 
I also made up a prediction sheet for the guests to try and guess when Yogi will be born & his weight, name etc. We also put out a book for each guest to fill in a page with a special note of encouragement or advice for Nikki.

It was a lovely afternoon party! My sister seemed to really enjoy herself and liked all the decorations! 
We all cannot wait to meet baby Yogi, the count down is on!

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Making hearts with my sweetheart. {Easy D.I.Y Clay Ornaments}

Valentine’s Day is this Sunday…
So this upcoming sweet holiday has been the perfect excuse to do some crafting with my tiny sweetheart! 
This past week we made some little clay ornaments…
She is at the age now where she is very interested in helping out in the kitchen so she really enjoyed helping make them, rolling them out & cutting out the shapes.
They do take a little time to make, but LuLu had a very fun time making them and painting them with her best little friend.
The dough is very soft to work with and not grainy, it dries well and is a beautiful white colour. 


“Not salt dough, clay ornaments” –
Ingredients;

  • 1/2 cup cornflour (corn starch)
  • 1 cup bi-carb soda (baking soda)
  • 3/4 cup of water.
  • A few drops of lavender (or any essential oil you like) *optional.
  • Food colouring *optional. (if you wish to add colouring, mix with water first then add)
Useful items;
  • Small/medium sized sauce pan.
  • Spatula/wooden spoon.
  • Measuring  cups.
  • Bowl.
  • Wet chux/cloth.
  • Rolling pin.
  • Cookie cutters.
  • Straw.
  • Paint/glitter/embellishments/clear varnish or clear drying glue.
Making the clay;
  1. In a small-medium sized pot add all ingredients. 
  2. Stir over medium heat, it will be very liquidy for a few minutes. 
  3. Then suddenly you will notice the texture start to thicken, keep stirring. 
  4. When it looks like very smooth dough take it off the heat. 

  5. Place the clay dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cool cloth to cool down. (About 1/2 an hour) 

  6. When cool, dust cornflour over a smooth surface and knead the dough.
  7. Start rolling it out flat – you don’t want it to be too thin because that will cause it to crack. Try to not over roll it too many times as that can also cause cracking. (about 1/2 a centimetre thick is good) If you find the clay is starting to dry out or crack a tiny bit as you are rolling it, wet your hands lightly and roll the clay back into a ball. 

  8. Cut out your shapes. You can use cookie cutters for this or stamps (trim around the edges once you’ve made the imprint with a stamp) and you can even make hand prints.
  9. If you plan to hang your ornaments, make a hole in the top with a straw. 
  10. To harden you can either let air dry over night or for a day or pop them in the oven at 80degrees Celsius (175 Fahrenheit)  for an hour, turning them over 1/2 way. *Mine could’ve had a bit longer in the oven, so you could extend the cooking time for an extra half hour or so – but check them regularly, they did finish drying over night. 

  11. Once baked/air dried – decorate however you wish. We used paints & glitter and sealed them with a clear varnish.

This craft was lots of fun for both of us. I also made a few little gift tags to use on gifts. The clay was super easy to make, with the addition of lavender it also smelt nice and the bright white of the clay was very pretty – so if you didn’t want to paint it – you don’t need to. If you didn’t want to involve your child in the making of the dough (because kids in the kitchen can be a bit of a handful sometimes) you could easily whip this up while they were asleep at night and then they are all ready to paint and decorate the next day! This was the perfect activity for a play date, both girls seemed to really enjoy painting the ornaments. 
These love hearts will make very sweet little Valentine gifts for our loved ones! 
I really love doing activities like this with LuLu, it may just seem like a craft or play – but she is learning so much through play.
She was learning;
Maths; Measuring and shapes. (She now tells me every time she see’s a heart)
Science; She saw the mixture change form. From dry ingredients, to liquid and then to a clay. And then from a soft clay to a hard ornament. She also learnt that the clay was hot, but we had to wait for it cool down.
Motor skills; Scooping and tipping ingredients, mixing, kneading, rolling, squeezing the clay, cutting, painting, sprinkling glitter, helping thread the twine and hanging the ornaments.
Literacy; Following instructions and older kids would also be learning to read a recipe.
She also learnt patience while the clay was being cooked on the stove & while it was cooling.
So please always remember every single thing we do with our children is a learning experience. They are little sponges and take it all in, they love to learn. You don’t have to sit down and do actual lessons – play based learning is so wonderful for little kids. 
So I encourage you to try this craft, I would love to see your beautiful ornaments.
Make sure you hashtag #MotheringwithHeartandJoy or share it to one of my social media accounts!

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Snap Chat; Bindy_30 
I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. 


To read my previous 2 posts that have been very popular click HERE and HERE.

On the blog today; making hearts with my sweetheart! ❤️❤️This clay ornament recipe is very easy and is handy to…
Posted by Modern Wife Life 31 on Monday, February 8, 2016

Paper plate Christmas trees, 2 ways. {Toddler Craft}

Hello lovelies!
Yesterday we had a day that was so terrific it deserves a blog post. 
I recently wrote a very honest blog post about feeling like I lost some of the sparkle out my life, I was trying to get it back – it was almost there… But not just yet. 
But yesterday, that day sparkled and it sparkled hard. Maybe it was the fact LuLu used most of the contents of a huge gold glitter shaker or maybe it was because yesterday was just really, really lovely.
Now, the day didn’t start off super splendid. My day had started at 5am when Trent got up for work and then we were all up. Thankfully I was able to persuade LuLu to have snuggles for an extra hour, but she was pretty insistent that I get up and make her some breakfast.
Now at the time I often do not enjoy dragging myself out of bed, but I do actually love getting up early, especially in the warmer months. I can get lots of jobs done when it’s nice and cool (before the Summer heat kicks in) and I just feel very productive which in turn makes me feel great.
Anyway, we had an early start on the day, not by choice – but I am glad we did…
I got my jobs for the day out of the way early and then I decided LuLu and I would attempt a Christmas craft. Our first Christmas craft.
We made paper plate Christmas trees in 2 styles. We made 1 of each for our house, my parents and for my Nin. These sweet little crafts make lovely little gifts to Grandparents from your child, we delivered the finished product to my Mum yesterday afternoon and it was hung straight away on the fridge. 

Our sparkly Christmas trees. 

I just used items I had laying around the house so you could do this too with your littlies. 

For this craft you will need;

  • Paper plates
  • Scissors
  • Stapler/tape
  • Green paint
  • Glitter, embellishments, pom poms – anything you have laying around.
  • Optional – magnet. (Attach to back with glue or tape after child has finished decorating, for easy display on a fridge)
Directions;
For the flat layered Christmas tree I just cut 3 triangle shapes out of a plate and stapled them together. After cutting out 3 of the same shaped triangle you are left with 1 very small triangle, I used this as the trunk and just stapled it all together.
For the cone shaped Christmas tree, I cut a section of the plate out and then just formed a cone shape and stapled it together. You could also cut the plate in half and then shape a cone out of the half. 
Sorry I didn’t really use a pattern, I just free handed everything. So it was all trial and error and they are by no means cut out perfectly. I actually didn’t plan to blog about them either which is why I didn’t take photos of all the steps. And just a note, when buying paper plates, find the cheapest ones possible. The more expensive ones tend to have a clear coating over them, you want proper paper plates to do crafts with.
Step 1; Do not squeeze your paint tubes so hard the nozzle end shots off and into the cup of paint. Great start to the project Bindy, good job Pinterest Mum… 
Next I just gave LuLu a pot of green paint (I mixed some craft paint I had with a green glitter paint) and let her paint all the trees. She did incredibly well, this was her first ever Christmas craft.
The paint needed to be applied very thickly in LuLu’s opinion. 
While we let the trees dry we went outside for a play, to hang out the laundry and to check out our tomato bushes. We picked the little tomatoes and sat in the sun and ate them… Yum!
Yummy home grown tomatoes – the perfect snack for in the back yard.
After the trees were dry (“I had distracted LuLu long enough to let them dry as much as they could”) I set LuLu up to decorate her trees. I gave her a pot of craft glue and a paint brush, a box of embellishments like old ribbon, cut up pipe cleaners, pom poms, sequins and her favourite decorative touch – the gold glitter shaker.
Now I warn you, if you do this and want to use glitter – be prepared it will get messy. Ours did – there was glitter everywhere. And that is ok. LuLu was having fun and in my opinion glitter is the prettiest mess you can have.
I personally think the glitter adds a nice festive touch to the floor and this maybe a new favourite photo of mine.
I sat there in awe watching her dip her brush into the glue and paint the tree, carefully picking out sequins to push into the glob of white glue and then grabbing the shaker and covering the tree, the table and the floor in gold glitter. Moments like this are what I dreamed of being a Mumma. Just having fun, doing crafts, making memories and a mess and just being together. 
LuLu took decorating her trees very,very seriously. Every tree (& the table & floor) needed a good healthy dose of gold glitter.
Our craft table afterwards. Clean up was pretty easy. I picked up the pieces I wanted to save/reuse, cleared the table, rolled up and tossed away the drawing paper that covers the table and did a quick vacuum. Easy! We then went and jumped in the pool to clean and cool ourselves. 
One of LuLu’s masterpiece proudly displayed on Ninna and Poppa’s fridge.
That sparkle, I love it and it’s coming back, in full force. We take our sparkle very seriously.

I encourage you to have a go at this super simple craft and let me know how you go. I would love to see the photos of your little ones masterpieces. 
If you don’t have any green paint at home, making home made paint is super easy, check out my recipe HERE.
I also have a Pinterest board full of Toddler Christmas craft ideas that you can check out HERE.
Also, I have a give away running on THIS post, so make sure you check it out and ENTER! (2 days left to enter!)
Have a lovely weekend and if you do this craft, share your trees with me on my social media.
Facebook; Modern Wife Life 31
Instagram; @Modernwifelife31
Twitter; @Modernwifelife3

Snap Chat; Bindy_30

Crafting for LuLu’s 2nd birthday party with Spotlight.

This post is brought to you by Nuffnang & Spotlight. 
“To be creative is to let little pieces of your heart go & place them into each project you make.” – Pat Bravo 

September is here!!! September as mentioned in my last post is almost Christmas time, but we aren’t here to talk about Christmas in this blog post… Never fear though, I will be waving that festive freak flag of mine shortly… Just you wait. 
But now, back to it being September.
A few years ago the start of September use to mark the start of birthday month for me – YAY. A month long celebration of writing off every purchase as a birthday gift for yours truly. But now since being over 25, the joy & excitement of showering myself in treats & small gifts for a month and celebrating turning older is gone. Now I am much to busy to dedicate a month to myself anymore #mumlife. Instead now my birthday month is now birthday party planning month for my favourite little person who is a much, much more important person than me, to me. LuLu turns 2 next month & I am not necessarily ready for it, to be honest it has kind of crept up on me!
So anyway, for the past few days I’ve had my party planning hat on and being having quiet a few crafternoons. 
Spotlight was kind enough to send me a wonderful parcel overflowing with some wonderful products that I could use for LuLu’s 2nd birthday party decorations. All these products are by American Crafts and from the DIY Shop collection. I really like these products, they are wonderful bases for any craft or decoration. I was actually torn on if I should use them for LuLu’s party decorations or some Christmas crafts. I figured her birthday was just around the corner so I better get a start on that first. But I have saved some for Christmas craft which I will bring you in November. 
Onto LuLu’s party, last year I kept her theme under wraps – I like going for the surprise effect for my guest when they see invitations and decorations. But for the sake of this post, I am going to give everyone a sneak peek and also reveal her theme. I like themes, I think they are necessary.

I’ve decided to go with a “Tea for 2” theme where her little friends are invited to bring along their favourite dolly/bear or favourite toy. I did have a few other ideas floating around, but that is the one that stuck with me the most. As for colours, it will be similar to her party last year with pinks, brown paper, floral, gold & silver glitters. A bit of a shabby chic/vintage tea party. This years party will be a lot smaller than her 1st, but I still like to make an effort with decorations & food. I rarely can find the exact decorations I want & if I do they are normally very over priced, which is why I prefer to make them. I swear by the time LuLu’s party was over last year the staff in at Spotlight knew who I was and what I was buying everything for, after all the trips I made in there picking up more supplies! And it’s great that my Spotlight VIP card can often get me discounts! (You can sign up for one too, my Mum made me sign up for one years ago – so handy & I highly recommend it!) 
Let’s talk craft… These are the wonderful products I was sent by Spotlight, I love how they are so versatile and can be used for any celebration or theme. They are great quality as well, which I find very important. Spotlight is a trusted company in Australia, everyone knows they are the place you head to when you need fabric & craft supplies! They also stock a wonderful range of homewares. 

To decorate each item I just used products that I had in my craft room left over from LuLu’s last birthday party. 
The first thing I decided to do was use the gift tags as invitations and they fit into the envelopes perfectly. I decorated one side of them and I plan to type up the party details just on my computer & print it off on some pink paper and attach to the other side = invites done! 
Last year we had her invites designed & professionally printed, they were amazing & so stunning, but they also cost a lot of money. This year, I decided to make my own in attempt to save some money. They still are lovely, unique & a little bit nicer than the standard note pad invites from the news agency but they also won’t break the bank!
I think they are very sweet and kind of look like tea bags, perfect for our theme!

To get the sparkly 2 effect I used a craft glue to make the shape of the number and then tipped glitter over it. So easy and it looks very impressive. Each tag is handwritten which is why they aren’t identical or “pinterest perfect” but they are real & I think doing something yourself shows love & effort. 
For the envelopes, similar to last year I just address them with a nice white pen with fake calligraphy. I know I am not perfect at it, but its better than last year and I think it’s sweet putting in the extra effort to try & do some fancy hand writing. 
A tip for doing fake calligraphy (not that I am an expert) is to thicken all your downwards strokes. I just try to write in a nice cursive style and then thicken those strokes & that’s the result.

Next I decided to make some bunting for a party decoration. Firstly I typed out what I need on my computer in the size I wanted but reversed the letters. After printing I cut out each letter and glued it on to the back of the sparkly cardboard & cut out each letter. I glued each to a separate bunting flag and edged it with craft glue and topped with glitter.

I will string this up at her party with some lovely ribbon. I love how sturdy this bunting is. I can also reuse this at future parties by just changing the number. Last year I did hessian bunting, which is lovely but is a nightmare to work with and to cut & paint. It is also VERY messy! This was very easy and I think looks a lot neater as each flag is perfectly cut & shaped (& there is NO mess!)
The chalk board tags are so versatile and sweet. I can use these in so many places. They would be perfect for tags on each food plate, but I already have little wooden chalkboards from last year for that, so I decided to use them for other little signs. Like for the bird cage that all LuLu’s cards will go in. I used just white ink as I find it shows up the best and also because it is a plain colour that  can be reused for any future party or theme!

They are just a few of the party decorations I have whipped up in the past few afternoons while LuLu napped. Her party isn’t until the middle of next month, but when you think about it – it really isn’t that far away!
I hoped some of these simple party decoration ideas gave you some inspiration for your next party or event. I know some people think so much effort for a party is silly & over the top, but I absolutely love throwing parties for my family, especially my LuLu. 
Spotlight has such a wonderful range of craft supplies so you can have lots of fun crafternoons and if you want customise and create your own unique party decorations. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and then your options are endless. They have lots of fun project ideas on the Spotlight website as well as their recent catalogues and you can now buy online! 
Please check out Spotlight on Facebook & Instagram.
Also if you aren’t following ModernWifeLife31 on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – make sure you do as I update regularly on there with what I am up to!
Have a lovely day & #GetCreative!