Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1st Birthday Party Theme Ideas

When you start planning your child's birthday, one of the first things to consider is the 'Party Theme'.  There are endless party theme ideas & supplies available and it can often be overwhelming trying to choose.  

I always let my children choose their party theme once they are old enough but for baby's 1st Birthday some ways to choose a meaningful theme could be basing it on a special book you read to them, the same theme as their nursery or bedroom or based on a cute cartoon show. 

Here are some fun party themes for 1st Birthdays; 

There are lots of cute owl products available and Hoot & Hootabelle from Giggle & Hoot are popular choices for party themes. (See our 'Giggle & Hoot Party Ideas blog post over on the menu for party ideas for this theme)
Hoot & Hootabelle Party Supplies from the ABC Shop 
Happi Tree Party supplies available from Piece of Cake Parties & Celebrations 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
A classic storybook favourite, with endless food and decoration ideas! (Watch out for our blog post next month on The Very Hungry Caterpillar party theme ideas) 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar supplies from Character Parties 

Sesame Street Baby
Is there anything cuter than Elmo, Cookie Monster & Big Bird in baby form? 
Sesame Street Baby 1st Birthday Supplies from PartyZone 

Ladybugs & Bees
These themes are great as you can work with a basic colour scheme and just add a few themed accessories or home made decorations. Great for backyard parties or park venues. 
Busy Bee Party Supplies from Fantasy Kids Parties 
Ladybug Fancy Party Supplies available from Fantasy Kids Parties  & Piece of Cake Parties & Celebrations 

Jungle Safari
Jungle parties are great, there are endless DIY decoration ideas and we often have lots of jungle themed toys around the house that can be used as party props or decorations. 
Zoo Animal Party Supplies available from Piece of Cake Parties & Celebrations 
The Lion King Party Supplies from PartyZone 

Cute as a Button
A sweet theme for baby's special day. Easy to match in with plain pastel tableware and decorations. 
Cute as a Button Party Supplies from All in All Party Boxes 

Some other great themes for 1st Birthdays are; 
Minnie & Mickey's 1st Birthday, Winnie the Pooh, Farm Animals, The Wiggles & Rainbow. 

Once you have chosen your party theme, the theme will help you plan and coordinate your decorations, supplies and party food for the special day :) 

Kate xx

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bonfire Party by Elise

Bonfire Party with a splash of orange & dragons by Elise Easdown Managing Director of Whats on 4 Little Ones Australia. 

Bonfire Party! Party on a budget and time restriction

Due to a recent trip down south to see family, I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate my son's birthday with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  This didn't leave a great deal of time time, but there is nothing like a bit of pressure to get the job done!

I normally love researching, planning and outsourcing aspects of my children birthday parties.  But I don't know what happened this year, time got away from me! My son had asked for an 'Orange themed' birthday party.  Sounds relatively easy doesn't it, but no it was a challenge.  Or maybe it was just the time frame I was working with?  

Regardless,  I had just enough time to order an orange coloured cake from Cake 2 the rescue, ( a gorgeous Dinosaur with blue spots.  I stuck with the trend of Dinosaurs when I found some party ware at a local discount shop and it included bags, plates, cups, party blowers etc.

Two days before the party, my dad mentioned he had some wood that needed burning and would the kids like to see a bonfire.  Ahh yes! So in came the Bonfire theme and the Dino cake became a Dragon!

For the party bags I grabbed glow sticks, marshmallows (for toasting) and mini chocolate flakes because they look like logs of wood (I know getting desperate but it looked cute).
Some candles and orange flowers from the garden continued the orange/dragon theme.
The kids played safely out on the lawn together while the adults chatted around the bonfire.  We didn't have any set games as the cousin all get along well and played together.

We had a BBQ dinner with yummy salads and crusty bread.

I had seen this great idea of hollowing out oranges and adding raw chocolate cake batter.  You then wrap them in foil and bake them in the coals of the fire.  Now silly me forgot to add the eggs to the cake mixture and they didn't really work out.  I didn't even take a picture they looked so bad but it would work and be really yummy with the citrus flavour coming through the chocolate.  They are meant to actually bake and become cake like but mine were more moussey. A few guest still did eat them though and quite enjoyed them.

I made the Cake 2 the Rescue cake as per the very easy instructions the night before and decorated it on the day in under an hour.  How easy is that! I added some red cellophane for Dragon fire!  These cakes are so easy to make and save you all the drama of colouring fondant yourself, which  gets expensive. It was really yummy and everyone was suitably impressed and asking for the details.

It was a great party in the end and really goes to show that it is all about having family around you and often the good old fashioned parties are often the best. Next year however, I will be getting started a bit early and using the reliable to help me.

Elise x

Charlotte's Peppa Pig 2nd Birthday by Elise

Charlotte's Peppa Pig Second Birthday by Elise Easdown, Managing Director of Whats on 4 Little Ones Australia. 

We are all fans of a family of lovable pigs in the British series, called Peppa Pig.  Peppa is the older, slightly bossy sister and George is her little brother that loves dinosaurs.

So it made sense to mark the occasion of my daughter, Charlotte turning 2 by having a Peppa Pig themed party.  We ended up having about 15 adults and 15 children coming to the party, which we had at home.
Ready to Party! made the invitations for me which came with envelopes and a little magnet on the back, perfect for the fridge.  We still have ours on the fridge as my little ones love going back and looking at it, it’s a lovely reminder of a special day.  I’m sure some of our guests without children were wondering what these little pigs were all about though.

Invitation made by PIYInvites
But their questions would have been answered at the party.

We had tableware from, including cups, plates and lolly bags. I also grabbed from Target, some plain matching pink smaller plates, bowls and serviettes as I didn’t want everything to be to matchy-matchy. have a great range of Peppa Pig merchanise including clothes and shoes, party ware and soft toys. also made some custom food labels, drink wrappers that we could write the children’s names on and gorgeous bunting with photos of our little girl.
Food labels by PIY Invites
Personalised Drink Labels by  PIYInvites
Birthday Bunting
For other decorations I had tissue paper pom poms ($18 for 3) and circular colourful fans ($5 for 4) from Spotlight and hung these from the veranda and the Frangipani tree which over hangs our front  fence.
I asked my kiddies what food you should eat at a party and this is what they came up with. Food was a mixture of ricotta and spinach pastries, spring rolls, sausage rolls etc and then I made custard tarts, pink jelly cakes, vege sticks and dips (perfect for avoiding re-dipping) , fruit salad in cupcake cups, hot pop corn, fairy bread and milkshakes which we had with the cake.

My Helpers – Vege sticks in dip
Some of the party food
The ‘Ah-Mazing cake was made by MommyBakes – Brisbane. It was a chocolate cake filled and frosted with chocolate ganache…. We continued the theme with the Princess Peppa Pig and had her featured on a green hill with a house and her name across the front.  The dark chocolate really made it appear like earth underneath all the fondant. It was delicious and a huge cake which meant there were left overs for the next day.

Princess Peppa Pig Cake by MommyBakes Brisbane
Inside the yummy cake!
For the games we played ‘Jumping in muddy puddles’, a take on Musical Chairs and also Pass the Parcel.  The prize was a small bottle of bubbles for everyone, which they then played with, along side the bubble machine going.
Jumping in Muddy Puddles
Pass the Parcel
I made up a big batch of Peppa Pig pink coloured playdough and George blue coloured playdough, which they all seemed to love and spent quite a bit of time doing, which was great as it gave the adults time to mingle and eat.
Peppa Pink & George Blue coloured Playdough
The two hours went really quickly but was just the right time.
Guests went home with a party bag with some more goodies from PIYInvites, chocolate covered bars and lolly tubes with smarties. I had planned to give them a ball of playdough each to take home but ended up forgetting.
Lolly Tubes and Personalised Chocolate
We had a wonderful day and was so happy with the weather and how it all came together with the theme.

For Charlotte’s actual ‘birth day’ cake, I made the Peppa Pig themed cake from Cake 2 the Rescue.  I was really impressed to receive email confirmation of the order being shipped and the delivery process, it was delivered to my door and I couldn't ask for anything better than that.  It’s pretty exciting opening the box, it’s jammed pack with flour, fondant, food colour, cake board, cooking tray and even a serving knife!
The instructions were really clear and illustrated which made it so simple to follow. I just needed to add 5 eggs and milk and before I knew it the cake was in the oven baking away.

Once cooled the cake was easy to cut into shape with the templates provided.  I was a little nervous adding the colour into the icing mixture as there’s no going back with colour and I was picturing a very sun burnt Peppa Pig if I was too heavy handed!!  But it was all okay.
The icing is easy to spread  and there is enough (I was a little worried at one point) to cover the entire cake. The fondant is already pre-coloured for you, which is fantastic and creating the eyes, arms, legs and shoes is just like using playdough.  My little ones helped make the eyes.
The best part is the cake is so yummy and I’m sure loved by all children and the adults. I actually forgot to take a photo of the end result, so this is Peppa from her best side :)
I’ve been really impressed overall by Cake 2 the Rescue.  The girls have obviously thought about everything you’ll need to succeed in making your child’s birthday cake, they’ve even included the candles!
Cake to the Rescue can be found at

Some other Peppa Pig themed parties are below:

I hope you’ve found some inspiration for a Peppa Pig party.
Elise x

Monday, January 21, 2013

Baby's 1st Birthday ~ Gift Ideas

When our baby's 1st Birthday draws close, it's exciting watching their personality develop and amazing to think of all the things they have accomplished and learnt in just one year, but it's also a tiny bit sad that baby is growing up.  I think we would all agree that our baby's 1st Birthday is a really special, exciting and emotional time for us parents. 

So what are some special gift ideas that are fitting for a baby's very first birthday ?

With my three children it's safe to say their favourite thing was definitely their birthday balloons plus the boxes & wrappings the gifts came in of course haha! But for me I loved receiving special keepsakes that they can keep forever or special toys that they are continuing to use through their early years of childhood. Here are some gifts that have been favourites in my family and also some suggestions from the wonderful likers on my Facebook page. 

Special Keepsakes & Sentimental Gift Ideas

- Time Capsule.  (Have your guests bring along a gift that reflects the year along with a special note and then put it all in a special box and give to your child on their 21st Birthday.  Items such as year coins, wine bottled in that year, newspaper clippings, CD of songs from that year etc). You can make a special box yourself or buy specially made kits. 
Time Capsule Kit from
- Special piece of jewellery such as diamond earrings, Pandora bracelet, charm bracelet or a special jewellery box. (I think every little girl needs a ballerina jewellery box, I was excited to buy one for my baby daughter.) 
Ballerina Jewellery Box from Deals Direct

- Tooth Keeper & First Curl Box
Tooth Keeper from Maney & Boons Sunday Afternoon
- Special book or set of books, such as the Beatrix Potter Collection. 
Beatrix Potter Book Collection from Education Esteem 

Toys & Other Gifts

- Blocks & Shape Sorters ( I dont think you can go wrong with blocks. Classic, educational and still fun. My son Ethan received a simple plastic $10.00 shape sorter for his 1st birthday, it was his favourite toy & is still going strong and is loved by my other two children as well.)
Fisher Price Shape Sorter from Top Buys
- Tea Set (my children love playing tea parties & a tin set such as this, is a classic toy that can be used for years.)
Tin Tea Set from Shop for Tots 

- Cozy Coupe Ride In Car (Hands down the best money we have ever spent.  All 3 kids have one and they love them, they get so much use.  They all got one for their first birthdays.)
Cozy Coupe from Toys r Us

- Kitchen Play Set (Might seem a bit old for a 1 year old but we have a kitchen similar to this and it is one of our most loved toys.  They have clanged about on it since they were babies bringing mummy cups of tea and it still provides hours of fun for them now. Great for role play and hours of fun.)
Kitchen Play Set from Always on Sale

Some other gift ideas shared were - push along bikes, special art work for the child's bedroom, personalised gifts such as drink bottles or bags and money boxes. 

I also have kept all my childrens birthday cards and put them in a special file in their special boxes that they can keep when they are grown up.  I love to hold onto special things like that :)

Hope some of these ideas can help with your little one's big day! 

Kate xx

Make sure you keep an eye on our blog for upcoming posts on 1st Birthdays - party ideas :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Recipe - Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

Happy New Year everyone :) I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas and holiday season with your loved ones. 

Thought we would start off the year with a simple but super yummy recipe 'Mini Oreo Cheesecakes'.  My friend introduced me to these a few months ago and we love them here and made some up for our Christmas celebrations, they were a hit!  Nice and easy to make and they would be great treats for the party table. 

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

What you Need

2 Blocks of Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
2 Boxes of Oreo Biscuits
Baking Cups

What to Do

1. Preheat oven to 180c.

2. Mix cream cheese x 2 blocks and 1/2 cup castor sugar together on medium speed until creamy.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each egg. 

4. Open Oreo's and place one biscuit on the bottom of 15 baking cups (this will become your cake base.)

5. Crush 4 - 5 Oreo's and add to cheesecake mix and fold through. 

6. Spoon mix into baking cups on top of biscuit.

7.  Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until cheesecakes are firm. 

(Adding a little cream & crushed Oreo's to the top of your cooled cheesecakes makes them extra yummy!)

(Excuse the pictures, definitely not a food stylist haha! but I promise they are delish!)


Make sure you keep an eye on our blog for upcoming posts on 1st Birthdays - present & party ideas :)

Kate xx