November 27, 2010

Matchbox {Magnet} Advent Calender

With December only a few days away,  I have just finished making our advent calender! I took matchboxes and covered them with a fun stripy wrapping paper and then added embellishments that I had from pretty gift tags and cards of Christmas's past. I then added magnets to the back of them so that they can stick to the fridge. Our fridge is metallic in colour, so I added a sheet of white cardboard as a backdrop.  I think the result is very festive :)

Inside each box is a happy Christmas message or a message describing a surprise. The surprises vary from  sweets to a happy event/outing to activities planned for the day. Big One LOVES the daily surprises and I know Little One will feed off this excitement. I'm predicting that he will probably be asking me to open these little boxes more than once a day in the hope of more fun! 

November 23, 2010

Georgie's Picks {Cakes}

Today I'm going to combine three things I really, birthday parties and cakes! Oh, I just LOVE photographing birthday cakes and eating them too, of course! :)

Here are some wonderful cakes that I've photographed over the past year. Wherever I could, I have given credit to the baker (all Cape Town based) and provided the contact information for you.

Don't you just love the use of NikNaks for the Lion's mane! 
This was baked by a lovely friend of mine, for her son's second birthday.
(Cezanne bakes beautiful wedding cakes. If you would like to see more, visit her website at designer cakes by Cezanne

This AMAZING Handy Manny cake was baked by The Chocolate Moose.
(Click on the link to view their website and some more amazing cake creations.)

This is the top tier of a very pretty two-tiered fairy cake!

Red, white and blue is one of my favourite colour combinations!
Love this one!

I also love this turtle!  I think the colours of the cake are just awesome against the blue background.

And last, but not least, to view a super Frogs and Polka Dots cake, that was made for Little One's second birthday, click here.

This was so much fun to compile, I think I'll do another some time!
Till next time.

November 14, 2010

Go get 'em

Where are all the educational toys packed in your home? All those puzzles and games that require you to sit down with your kiddos to play. Up somewhere, out of reach (to avoid little one's mixing up puzzle pieces and ruining nice cards)? I'll admit, that's where ours have always been packed...out of reach of little hands! Many of the boxes are still in great condition and the pieces all there and intact, but I ask myself, have these really been played with? The truth is, these toys have been packed too far away. I have the best of intentions, but somehow they just stay up there, packed away nicely in the top cupboards.

So recently I decided to pack all the age appropriate educational toys at the very bottom of the easy reach for both me and my toddler. I'm really hoping to not go into his room and find all the boxes emptied out onto the floor!:) What I'm hoping for, is that by being more accessible, we will use these toys more often.

One such wonderful educational toy that I want to share with you, is made by a very well-known South African brand, Smile Toys. It's called Quartet and pictured here is the colour matching puzzle. The box also includes shape matching, animal homes and missing parts - all two-piece puzzles. I have been doing the colour matching puzzle with Little One since our recent focus on learning colours and also included these puzzle pieces in our buckets of colour. (In case you are new here, I recently did ten Colour Fun posts. To see all colour posts, click here.)

So if you haven't done it yet, go get those toys down, close at hand and ready to play!

November 11, 2010

Bean bag shapes

When I saw these super bean bag shapes over at Fun with Little Mouse, I loved them! I just happen to be lucky enough to be friends with Trudie, so when I mentioned how much I liked them, she very kindly made a set for Little One. How sweet is that :).

On the photograph these look deceptively small. They are all about the size of my open hand, made from felt and filled with lentils. I had to share them, because I think that these would make a super Birthday or Christmas gift.

Thanks again Trudie!

November 7, 2010

Can you spot Spot?

Inspired by Adam's Superhero Softies, I have been looking at revamping some of the soft toys in our home and have a few ideas up my sleeve!

If you are South African, you will probably recognise these very cute little labrador puppies. A few years ago you could collect them when you purchased a certain brand of toilet paper. I have kept these little pups all this time...they were just too cute to part with!  Anyway, I recently realised that they look just like the character Spot. All they needed were, well a spot or two, and that little brown tail of course! So I took some brown felt and made the necessary additions. This little one that you see photographed was given as a gift with a Spot book to a little friend.

Little One has been a huge Spot fan since about 18 months of age. I think that these are terrific books for tots, particularly for language acquisition.

I was thinking, this makes  for a lovely Birthday or Christmas gift...adding a personalised soft toy to match a book.

Till next time...

November 2, 2010

World in a Box

After our trip to the aquarium, I thought it would be a great idea to create a small sea world for Little One to play with. I took a rectangular plastic container (found at my local plastic shop), blue paper, bubble wrap (available at the post office) and sea creatures. I lay the blue paper at the bottom of the container and placed a sheet of bubble wrap over it. I then cut some bubble wrap into longish strips, which represented waves and water and I added sea creatures and some divers. And there you go...a mini sea world! What is it about something in miniature form that is so appealing?

The idea was to make something quick and easy; something that every mommy could make without too much fuss! I think I achieved that :)

I just LOVE this picture!

The inspiration for my "World in a Box" came from from two super talented ladies! The Pink and Green Mama (MaryLea) calls it Fun in a Box or Sensory Boxes, while Mari-Ann at Counting Coconuts, is just about famous (I think) in Blog World for her amazing Sensory Tubs. Be sure to pop on over and check out their wonderful creations.

As you can tell from the pic, the mini sea world was a hit. It was also great to reinforce some of the sea creatures that we had seen at the aquarium. 

I hope that I've inspired you to create some little worlds of you own. Do come back and tell me if you do.

PS. Cellophane could also be used instead of the bubble wrap. It would give the box quite a different feel.

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