I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I sometimes look at my children and am surprised by how incredibly small they actually still are. Because at any given moment, they are at the biggest they’ve ever been, and they’ll never be that small again, it’s easy to forget that on a whole, they’re still actually very small. Especially when it comes to Ameli, my 7 year old. Sorry, my 7 and 3/4 year old. An important point whenever she’s asked. Ameli is an incredibly fearless child. She could run at 9 months, before her brain could register danger, and she’s never stopped. By 2 she’d been to 20 countries, because she made it all so easy. She was fearless. She still is.
Ameli turned five a little while back and wanted a Trolls party. There’s so much you can do with a big budget, but when you only have a tiny budget and a small party, you have to be a little creative! Here’s a few of my favourite bits from our Trolls Party on a budget. Read more: A Trolls Party On A Budget
When it comes to ideas, I think I do okay, but when it comes to the actual creativity, I have to look to others and build on or adapt their ideas! I don’t know who the originator of this Trolls bunting is as I can’t find it on the Dreamworks site, yet it’s labelled as Dreamworks, so we’ll go with that till I learn otherwise. I didn’t want it as bunting though, but as necklaces, dotted around the forest for the children to find it during a treasure hunt, so we created our own Princess Poppy Necklaces.Read more: How To Make A Princess Poppy Necklace
I, along with much of the rest of the world, went to see the new Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson on the weekend and I absolutely loved it. I found myself smiling through most of the movie – right up to the mass of villagers and their pitchforks descended on the castle, anyway.
While I think Luke Evans plays dangerous vapid vanity with frighting acuity, Emma Watson absolutely stole the show, as I’m sure she was supposed to, being the lead actress and all. I could honestly not imagine a better actor for the role of Belle, a headstrong, before her time, literate girl from a French village (with an exquisite peasant wardrobe! I’d dress like that all the time, if I could!)
If an actress brings something of herself into a role, Emma Watson is the perfect person for this. Alone up there (if I recall) among the Disney films that look at love as more than a physical attraction based on a your place in society – a beautiful maiden in one or another form of distress, and a prince – and it’s one of the few that place the female lead in the heroine role, so there are many reasons to love this story, original or new.
Something I thoroughly appreciated in the new film, however, was how reminiscent, but better, it was of the original, with similar dream like sequences and choreographies. It harked back to the original so much, yet was so enhanced and just beautiful. Everything about it was beautiful. I walked out of the cinema thoroughly inspired.
I did also walk out thinking that this new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast was going to spark many a Beauty and the Beast birthday party with the crowd that may have outgrown the cartoon version some years before. I know if I was planning a party around now, I’d probably be planning Beauty and the Beast!
So here are some of the best party ideas I’ve found, but I expect there’ll be many new, fresh ideas coming out as the new Beauty and the Beast fanbase grows!
Top 10 Food Ideas
There are some incredible Beauty and the Beast Party Food ideas around, but I don’t know many mamas who have the time, skill or resource to go to the lengths some of the Pinterest mamas do, so here are some of my favourite, I-could-probably-do-that, Beauty and the Beast party food ideas.
- Apple Rose Tarts
- Lefou’s Brew from The Farm Girl Gabs
- Chip Rice Krispie Cakes from Sugar, Spice and Glitter
- Cogsworth Biscuits from Natural Beach Living
- Grey Stuff Oreo Mousse from For the Love of Food
- Cheesecake Shooters from Surviving A Teacher’s Salary
- Belle’s dress cookies from The Adorned Cook
- Rustic fruit, cheese and bread tray from Simple Details Blog
- Cheese Souffles from Pointless Meals
- Croque Monsieur Roll-Ups from Brit + Co
Top Party Game & Decor Ideas
- Decorate your own magic mirror from Mommy Scene
- Chip’s Bubbling Tea from Life is a Party
- Gaston’s Target Practice from Life is a Party
- Make a Teacup Bird Feeder from Life is a Party
- Fab and unique party activities here from Val Event Gal
- Print out a few copies of these Chip Tea Cups from Brit + Co
- Individual Table Decorations
Ameli was born in October 2009 and aside from a single prenatal class on breastfeeding, the sum total of my thought and planning on the subject of breastfeeding was “we’d best get in some formula, just in case”. I hadn’t considered “in case of what?” I certainly didn’t plan on becoming an active breastfeeding advocate.
As it turned out I fell in love with breastfeeding Ameli. It was so easy with her. We ended up doing a lot of things we’d never considered. The nursery remained unused as we coslept, the pram was sold in favour of a variety of slings. We travelled to 20 different countries in her first two years, and breastfeeding was just the simplest solution to everything from hunger to pink eye, comfort to ear infections. Breastfeeding worked for us. So well in fact that I had huge oversupply and ended up donating breastmilk to AIDS babies for the six months we lived in South Africa.
Breastfeeding did more for me than feed my baby. It led me to an entire tribe of mothers who were in many ways just like me. I stopped going to groups where people looked at you weirdly because you were still feeding a two year old and the first time I sat in a group of other mothers breastfeeding their toddlers, I cried, because I felt like I’d finally arrived home. Read more: Goodbye To Breastfeeding – 8 Years A Breastfeeder
I want to tell you something about this world I brought you into and I want you to remember that it’s love that brought you here. Love, and destiny, maybe, or purpose. For some reason, it was you that made it earthside. Here’s the thing I want you to know about this world:
No matter what you do, it will be wrong to someone. So whatever you do, do it because it’s right for you.
I know that I am doing the best I can in raising you. I know that I’m trying to teach you to have manners at the table, and to run barefoot through the woods. I am trying to teach you to play nicely with others, and to hold your hand up and say “stop” when others aren’t playing nicely with you. I am trying to teach you to sit like a lady and to run screaming through the woods howling like a banshee. I’m trying to teach you to clean your ears and brush your teeth and I’m also trying to teach you to camp with no ablutions for a long weekend and come out from the trees looking like a feral wolf.Read more: Dear Girls, Choose What’s Right For You
After more than ten days of being sick, and sick and tired of being sick, and thoroughly cooped up, I saw the sunshine today as an excuse to layer up and head outdoors. We went to the local Garlic Farm, and after warming up on some hot chocolate, the girls went for a run around on the grass. They discovered horse hoof imprints in the grass, and decided we had to follow them, so off we went, over the grass, down a muddy track, and through the forest, following the hoof marks.
I was ambling behind with Avi (3) and Ameli went off ahead, where I found her high up in a tree, singing to herself a song about how trees should be respected, even though they are not human.
Of course Avi wanted up in the tree too, and I wasn’t going to stand her in way.
Part of the reason I think it’s so important for children to get outdoors, and to spend time in nature, and to run wild in the forest is because they learn how to manage risk. They walk on a log and slip off, they learn. They skid on mud and end up covered in it, they learn. The concept of slippery surface + sudden stops = muddy me is so much easier and less devastating to learn as a 3 year old, than as an 18 year old, fresh behind the wheel of a car.
It’s all about risk management, and it’s important for them to learn in a safe environment. And we are that safe environment.
Last year, before her birthday, Ameli and her dad finished reading the Narnia books, so when she asked for a Narnia party we were all very excited. We did, in the end, decide to limit it to a Lion, Witch and Wardrobe party, which she loved.
I had so many plans and ideas for this party. Everything from a horse drawn cart to take the guests from the ‘train station’ (the car park) 20 metres up the path to the manor house (the hall) and an indoor forest made of Christmas trees and a snow machine, but unfortunately in the real world, budgets prevent a lot of dreams. Story of my life.
None the less, I’m really happy with what we did manage to achieve.
My head may still be spinning about the fact that my little girl turned five this weekend. I can still remember her as a newborn in my arms, the feeling of looking in her eyes the first time. Ah, the memories.
Despite my violent protestations that my girls would never be into princesses, it seems the princesses found them, even though we don’t own a single princess movie! So when Ameli asked me months ago if we could have a princess party, I had to put my personal feelings on the matter aside and decide to just let her be five.
Our party this year was small – the smallest we’ve ever had – both because I decided she was old enough to select her own guests.
One of the first things we did was to make these ‘Beauty and the beast floating rose’ table decorations – slash – thank you gifts. I must say, I am so pleased with how they turned out!
You will need:
- 100ml Sphered bottles
- Paper craft embellishment roses
- FINE gold glitter – make sure to use fine glitter.
- Double sided tape
- Thank you cards, optional.
Cut a strip of double sided tape, and stick it inside the lid of the bottle. Make sure to leave enough room to peel off the other side then fold the end of the rose – the stem – so that you have enough surface contact with the tape.
Pour a small amount – a teaspoon or so – of the gold glitter into the bottle. You want to use the fine glitter, so that it sticks to the inside of the bottle and is light and magical. Large glitter obstructs more of the rose than fine glitter does.
Gently put the rose through the opening, and close the lid. Shake the bottle around gently to spread the glitter around.
If you’re putting thank you tags on, attach them to the lid and you’re done.
I think these are gorgeous, and are a magical touch to your party decor for very little effort indeed!
My most beloved big little girl
It’s the day before your last day at preschool and the world is changing again for you and for me. I watch you sometimes and the mannerisms, words and thoughts that come from you are no longer those of an infant or a toddler. I’m scared to say it as you are still only four but they are often barely those of a child and at times, when you speak, I feel like I’m faced with an adult – a short little grown up.
It’s strange for me, you know. I know this is your whole world and right now you are standing at the furthest reaches, the outposts of the world you know, standing on tip toes and stretching your hands out. Like a counter from which you can smell, but not yet see the chocolates. You think you see the whole world. All of life. And you feel so big, so ready for it.
I can’t imagine how I will feel when you reach the end of school, university, singledom, child-free, or when your little girl heads off to her last day of preschool. But I do know that on that day you will look at me and there’ll be a little understanding, a little sympathy for what my heart feels right now, when I look at you and see the smaller version of the future you.