Friday, May 31, 2013

Philippa's 3rd Birthday

Unfortunately despite it being well into Spring Philippa's birthday was cold and wet, so plans of a relaxed afternoon in the garden fell to the wayside and I needed to work out how to occupy 11 children and their parents inside our not so big house.  Organised games are not so easy or fun for 3 year olds so I decided to make lots playdough, clear out the play room and let them go crazy.  While I think playdough is great I very rarely let the kids play with it indoors as it makes such a mess.  So for the first time ever I made playdough and boy was it fun and easy to make.  I made 5 batches in 4 different colours.  One batch and a little of the first 4 batches we packaged up into small plastic containers with a thank you note on top for the kids as a take home gift.

The playdough was a big hit.  I am very glad I spent the time cleaning out the playroom as it did get everywhere............

Little kids run out of fuel quickly so after a bit of playdough play we had some afternoon tea.  I have found fancy foods and too much choice do not impress kids so they feasted on fairy bread, popcorn, chips, pretzel sticks, fruit skewers, jelly and ice cream birthday cake, fresh apple juice and water.  For the adults we had flammkuechen and champagne.

After snacks we played our one and only game.  Philippa insisted on wanting to have pass the parcel.  I am not a big fan of this game as I find that almost all kids find it quite tedious and the single random present at the end just is not in the spirit of a party. So I changed it at bit.  Each layer had an animal card and the kids had to all pretend to be the animal on the card.  The idea was for the child that got the card to act it out alone but all the kids really got into it and all wanted to act each animal.

It was loads of fun for all.  Even the adults joined in.  The final present was a value pack of mini smarties boxes for all the kids to share.

Having loads of wet weather in the weeks before I even had a go making a piñata.  Something I have wanted to have a go at in the past and will definitely make again, it only took one afternoon to make using cardboard and cereal packets from the recycling and crepe paper.  I really enjoyed making it and the kids loved it,  particularly the older (4-5 year old) boys!  We were lucky enough to have the weather clear for about 30 minutes.  I am still not quite sure how we would have done the piñata indoors!  The piñata was a bit too strong so they all got 3 or 4 turns but the kids seemed to enjoy bashing it more than eating the lollies that dropped out, so it wasn't a bad thing.  I took a few photos as I was making it so will write up a how I made this pinata soon.

Hungry again after some fresh air the kids sat down to finish the afternoon tea snacks, plus some wackelpudding (jelly) and ice cream birthday cake.

So that was Philippa's 3rd birthday. 

We even tried a family shot, yep they're far from perfect, but so are we..............

we tried ...

a few times ...

but just couldn't get it right


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Auntie Catherine Came to Visit

Finally spring has sprung here in Basel and just in time to welcome Auntie Catherine.  In Europe for work it was wonderful that she could extend her trip and spend 5 days with us.  We love living here in Switzerland but we really miss our family and friends down under.

I had plans for lots of great day trips, but lets face it tripping about the place with three young kids is not always that much fun.  I was so glad that Catherine was keen to just hang out and enjoy time with us.  We did pick Catherine up from the train station bright and early after an over night train trip and took her straight to our favourite restaurant in Germany for breakfast.  Followed by supermarket shopping, not a favourite for everyone but something my siblings and I all enjoy particularly a new supermarket in a new country.

The next day as it was a bit wet we visited the Natural History Museum in the city center and in between rain showers showed Catherine the highlights of Basel city center.

With the rest of the time we did lots of baking and cooking,
banoffee pie
Poached Chicken and Citrus Salad
walking our favourite local tracks,

watching some favourite movies

and when the sun shone hanging out in the garden.

Thanks so much Auntie Catherine for coming to visit, we all had a great time xxoo.