Party Favour with all the flavour!

Something I LOVE about hosting a party is giving little gifts to my guests to take home.
I actually do it even if I am hosting a small dinner party!
Crazy I know, but so much fun. I have been known to package up little cakes or give everyone a candle, or a flower or even little party bags.
There are so many ideas for party favours out there which I will elaborate on soon, but in the meantime I discovered something SUPER COOL that I just HAD to share with you…

Let me introduce you to to a Gold Coast based company called Just Dough It
I am talking hand crafted cookie dough people!!!!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!
They are a dessert company that sells ready to eat cookie dough ( drool).
Their cookie dough does not contain eggs ( Winning! Because hello preggo) and they heat treat the flour so that the cookie dough can be eaten straight from the bowl!!!
I repeat – Eaten straight from the bowl!!!!

Firstly, that is absolute music to my pregnant ears and cravings, but secondly, how amazing and different is that for a party favour at your next kids party, house party or event?
They have an online store that you can purchase the delicious goodies from and have delivered to your door. They also have a tricycle that you can hire for birthday parties and private functions that can be customised for each event. Super cool!!
Their product range also includes cookie dough ice cream and DIY packet mix where they have done the hard work for you, all you have to do is add butter!

What is even cooler is the Just Dough It tribe are offering my Confessions party lovers a special discount for the next week so get in quick!

To receive 15% off orders over $30, simply enter FUNDAES06 at their check out when placing an order. (Click here to see their website)
Just don’t blame me when you become addicted ( or when your friends vote you the best party host ever).

Happy indulging!
xxx

 

The Top Party Trends This Winter! (Guest Blog Feature with Roxanne from Lovely Occasions)

Well Winter is upon us here in sunny Queensland!
We are super lucky to live in a state where it doesn’t get too frosty, ( even though I still don’t cope with anything below 20 degrees!) so there is no stopping our party vibe.

I absolutely love seeing all the new trends and decoration styles when I attend parties, so I was super excited to chat to the amazing Roxanne at Lovely Occasions about what is on trend this Winter Season and share it with you!

Lovely Occasions is your go to shop for pretty, stylish, party decor. They have a beautiful range and they support Aussie designers and party makers!

Here is what you can expect to see, or aim to achieve when throwing a party from this Winter.

KIDS STYLE:
Glamping & Movie Nights

For kids this winter it’s going to be all about glamping indoors with movies, popcorn and sleepovers. Think hot chocolate and marshmallows, a popcorn treat bar, cute teepees and plenty of fairy lights.
( Ummm…. Hello Can I join in? Sounds awesome!!)

GROWN UP STYLE:
Boho style picnics
Thats right! Boho ain’t going anywhere people!!!!
Boho picnics continue to be the biggest trend in grown up celebrations from baby showers, bridal showers, engagements and birthdays.
New bright colours, themes and styles are emerging to take over from the original bohemian style and lucky for us Queensland’s winter sun is perfect for an outdoor picnic.

DECOR TRENDS:
Balloon Garlands
Beautiful balloon garlands are still the hottest party decor trend at the moment with new colour tones in darker chrome metallics taking over from bright pops of pink. And DIY garlands kits available from trendy online party stores making it easier to create this look yourself! ( See below)

And with supermarkets going plastic bag free there has also been a big shift away from plastic party plates and plastic cutlery, with people opting for more eco friendly, sustainable and recyclable/biodegradable wooden cutlery and beautifully designed paper plates

SWEET TRENDS:
This winter you will see plenty of naked drip cakes topped with full size donuts, cookies and other amazing treats! Layered number tarts (now with thin sponge layers instead of biscuit) aren’t going anywhere and donut walls are still super popular. Party guests will also continue to enjoy personalised wrapped chocolates and customised stamped cookies as party favours.

So there you have it my friends! The inside goss from the expert herself Roxanne.

Soak up the Inso and get ready to party in style this winter!
And remember to sign up to our Confessions of a Costume Character newsletter for your chance to win a $50 voucher to spend on stylish party decor at Lovely Occasions!
Click here to sign up now! ( I promise we won’t be spammy or annoying. Ugh! I hate that!)

Image:  Tropical Luxe Picnic by Lovely Occasions

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5 Common mistakes made when planning a party (and how to avoid them)

Parties are so much fun right!?
But planning them can be super stressful. Especially if you have never thrown a party before!
There is so much pressure these days to throw the perfect party. The pressure is often put on us by ourselves of course, but the list of things to prepare can get quite long.
The decorations, the food , the venue, who to invite etc. People often forget the most simple things to cross check and it can be to the detriment of their special event.

I must confess… I have seen some major party stuff ups over my time that could have easily been avoided. Here are my top tips and words of wisdom to hopefully save you from stress!

Common mistake #1
Planning an outdoor party with no back up plan
As a party entertainer, this is the most common party mistake I see!
Parties in the park, at the beach, at beautiful farms, are all a fab idea. The kids/ guests can all be in the fresh air, running around, not messing up your house.
But if the weather looks like it might be going to turn bad ( I highly recommend looking at the weekly forecast before hand) its good to have a back up plan.
Your back up location could either be back at your house, a friends garage or home if they have the space and are willing, or perhaps you could set up a marquee for shelter, use the local church or YMCA / community hall or even sporting club. Have that back up plan sussed out well before the party, so that if the week of the party comes and it looks like rain, you will be less stressed.
Note – Some parks actually have huge rotundas you can reserve through local council which means you can still host your party in the park, rain, hail or shine!

Common mistake #2
Planning a party on a national holiday or event without realising
There is nothing quite as sad as seeing a little girl or boy devastated only 3 kids turning up to their party because it wasn’t realised that the party day fell on Easter/ Mothers day/ Fathers day. ( I have seen it! It sucks!)
Before you set the exact date of the party, consult with your calendar to ensure that chosen date does not fall on holiday weekends and school breaks. Celebrating two occasions can be fun sometimes, but when those days are meant to be spent in a tight-knit family circle, it is silly to expect your childs school friends to want to attend a big bash party on a date they might want to be with their family.

Common mistake #3
Over Catering Food
This is easy to do. As a mum myself, I never want anyone to go hungry at a party I host, so often we over cater. And then we have too much waste and realise we spent too much money.
This is why we need to ensure we collect RSVP’s to have a clear estimate on how many guests are attending.
And remember kids don’t eat a whole lot in the time frame they are at a party. A good party time frame is about 2 hour maximum for little ones and they get so over whelmed and distracted with playing or being entertained that they often only pick at the food.
Pick just a few food options and make them easy to eat. Or create little ‘snack packs’ to encourage kids to sit down and each their own individual portions ( this is great for less mess too! )
Here are my go to easy food examples –
Fruit platter, crackers and cheese slices or sticks, mini sandwiches, fairy bread, jelly cups. Other options that are stress free include sushi platter, sausages in bread, home made or ordered in pizzas, cherios in sauce.  And have jugs or bottles of water and maybe fruit juice (of course there are a million others but I will share that in my next blog)

Common mistake #4
Planning a party time during nap time
I see this one many times over for little ones parties!
If your child has a nap at midday, don’t force a party time then because it suits your mum/ grandma/ uncle/ cousin. Or if you do, expect to have one cranky child!
Everyones nap times are different, but your child is the one being celebrated so try your best to accomodate. Even if it means attempting to pop them down earlier than usual.
With little ones I find the wheels really start to fall off and everyone is losing their minds if the party is too late in the day. Think about what is going to suit your little party animal the best.

Common mistake #5
Failing to have any activities for kids
Obviously, my job as a children’s entertainer is for me to bring the activities, but not everyone has the budget to hire an entertainer, so here are my quick and easy options to keep the kids busy at your next party.
Colouring in sheets, pencils and stickers- This is super easy and can be laid out on a picnic rug or on the table for them to do as they choose.
Craft station – Only if you are brave enough to leave the glue unsupervised! hahahaha! But depending on your time and the age of the kids, a craft activity is always fun
Hoola Hoops – These are a great option to have out to play with! and only cosy about $3 each from Kmart.
Outdoor toys – Kids love playing with other peoples toys! Its a novelty! Pop them outside and let them go for gold!
Dancing – Just play fun music!
Party games – If you want to play host yourself plan 3 – 4 party games with prizes! There are loads to choose from. ( feel free to ask me too if you need tips)
There are also loads of other activities like treasure hunts, water play and sand play, cupcake decorating, fake tattoos, nail painting and more!

I hope you have enjoyed this blog and that these tips help planning your next party that little bit easier! Stay tunes for more party tips and confessions soon!

xoxox
Nat

 

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Kids Party Emergency Kit

Parties are all about having fun right?
Absolutely! Everything is roses and nothing ever goes wrong! Like EVER…
If only….

Kids are always unpredictable and from my personal experience, attending literally hundreds of parties, I recommend the following items listed below to have on hand for just in case.
I have seen all sorts from bleeding fingers, to bumps on the head, ant bites to vomiting from over eating! Seriously!

But of course this blog post is not to alarm you, or make you rethink that party, this is just to better equip you for the ‘just in case.’
More often than not, you will not have any miss haps or need to use any of the following.
If your party is in the park packing this kit or some of these items are a good precaution so you can continue to party like a pineapple!!

  • Bandaids – Lets face it. The most minor graze can be fixed in an instant and stop the tears with a bandaid!
  • Bottles of fresh water – For the obvious really. Hydration and rinsing any cuts if needed.
  • Wet Wipes – Cleaning up spills.
  • Paper Towel – Drying up spills.
  • Garbage bags – For mess overload!
  • Ice or frozen peas – Pop Ice in the paper towel or plastic bag and use on any bumps or bruising.
  • Sick bags  – ( or use the garbage bags) for anyone that feels nauseous.
  • Mozzie spray – No one wants their party interrupted by mozzies!
  • Sting spray or paw paw cream – For bites or stings. Parks and beaches have naughty ants, bees and sometimes bluebottles. This will take the sting away.
  • Jelly Beans –  ( for those who feel dizzy or low)
  • Berocca –  ( for mum and dad to have before the party)
  • Champagne –  ( for mum and dad after the party.

I hope you enjoyed todays party tip!
Keep smiling and party on!
xoxo

Always a Winner? Should kids win all the games at their own party?

My question to you all today is – Should the birthday girl or boy ‘win’ every game played at their party?
The child is the true guest of honour at their party, but should they win every game?

I ask this because I have noticed a shift over the last 6 / 12 months and it’s becoming a common request from my lovely families who have booked a party to ask – Please can you try to ensure that my child wins all the games as they get really upset.

Of course I NEVER want an upset child, especially at their own special party,  but it got me wondering… has something changed in the school curriculum? Are there no longer winners or losers? Is everyone a winner? And should I just start to automatically do this for every party even if it’s not requested? HELP!!!

I seriously have started to get nervous about it!
I have never felt this way when it comes to playing party games. I have always felt confident and in control of the kids. I am always calm and diplomatic and have never really had a problem but now I literally feel scared to not reward the birthday girl or boy for every game! My mouth gets dry and I feel this hot rush come over me just before I pick my winner. Its like they could be a ticking time bomb of emotion, and if they ‘go off’ and get upset I will feel like I ruined the whole party! Boo!!!!

Sounds a bit dramatic right ( well lets face it, I am a fairly dramatic person in general ) but my focus is always to make sure the child has the best day possible.
So I now bring extra, extra prizes so the birthday girl or boy wins as well as one of their friends (so it doesn’t look too ‘rigged’). I try my best to ‘read the situation’ and so far I am mostly spot on but there have been some definite moments.
Like if a sibling doesn’t win as well ( hard when theres 5 siblings!!) or if they don’t both get a prize exactly the same.

I started to think back to my own birthday parties and ones I attended as a kid.
We NEVER had a prize in every layer of the pass the parcel ( mum was probably like – this wrapping is enough as it is!) and we certainly didn’t win every game. We learnt what it felt like to lose.
Not just at parties. I think I lost every running/ swimming/ sporting event and race I ever took part in. But I wasn’t too bothered by that. I think I actually thought it was funny! Maybe only slightly bothered when I took part in dancing competitions. Those things can really KILL your ego. ( excuse me while I reminisce those hardcore, competitive, over the top,  dance comps. They are BRUTAL. I even won a few and still think they are full on.)

On an extension of this I started to think, if kids are always winning and never losing, how will they take their first job rejection or if they are not accepted into uni.
What about the first person that turns them down on a date or if they apply for a rental home and don’t make the cut? Are we setting kids up for emotional downfall? Or is there a study I need to read up on that shows they will be much more confident and independent by adulthood to deal with losing and rejection better once they are older and more mature?

I ask this as a mother and not just a children’s entertainer. If parents want me to ensure their child wins at every party, I will do that because that is my job. I am here to give your kids the best god dam party!! But as a mother, I want to know – has there been a shift? What have I missed? Have I been too busy playing tractor games and watching ABC kids in between emails and meetings to have missed the news on this one?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this little dilemma.
Lots of love always – regardless of if you win or lose. xxx

5 Easy Party Backdrops for the Perfect Party Photo

Well it’s no secret that I love a good backdrop or feature wall. They make for a great photo opportunity to have a keepsake memory of that particular event. It makes things so much more interesting rather than standing in front of a boring white wall right? (Well I think so!) And they don’t have to be expensive.

Check out my 5 favourite party back drop ideas that you can use for your next birthday party, hens party, baby shower, engagement party, Christmas party or even a New Years Eve party! ( or if you are like me you might just throw a party for the hell of it!).
They can be as easy ( cheap) or as extravagant ( expensive) as you like and are totally Insta worthy!

Feature wall #1
The Balloon backdrop
Now this is one of my faves. Because it is super cheap but yet really effective. ( and kids LOVE them)
I used a black balloon party backdrop for my little boys 2nd birthday recently. It cost me $2.50. Yep thats right! 1 pack of 24 Black balloons from the cheap shop ( or Kmart). I have a balloon pump like this one ( which I recommend) and I just manually pumped them all and stuck them to the wall with masking tape. Simple yet effective see-

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Or you can lash out and grab some fancier balloons and create cool balloon back drops like the super talented Oh Happy Day has done here ( check out her website. She is amazing!)

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I also love this colourful balloon wall from You are My Fave

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And this one from Brit.co  (so gorgeous for a baby shower or bridal shower)

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Feature wall #2
The Flower Wall
The Flower wall is romantic and  pretty. It can be simple or extravagant. You can use fake flower or real ones and it makes for a great back drop for girls birthday parties, hens parties, baby showers and high teas.
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I am also in LOVE with this cute floral feature form A Pair and A Spare. Very Boho!

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Feature wall #3
Paper Pom Poms
This feature is super lush and colourful and you can either make the pom poms yourself out of tissue paper, or buy them for around $2-$6 each at your local bargain shop, Big – W, Kmart or online. I love this created by Margot Madison 

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Or this one is really cute I came across on Pinterest

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Feature wall #4
Streamers
Streamers can be really effective! They can be tied between two trees for an outdoor party or stuck across walls or doorways. You can use paper streamers, shiny glittery streamers or even material ones to add that touch of whimsical vibe.This one from Francescas Collections has a definite summer soiree vibe!d0e52c08086f6524dea613ee140cc6cb.jpgAnd this one I found on Pinterest recently for a unicorn party is really easy but makes a great backdrop for your little ones party memories!d033a9eeb885509ee93812aeed3a35ff.jpg
Feature wall #5
Wrapping Paper Feature
I just love the wall art you can create with wrapping paper! I mean there are literally millions of wrapping paper designs! So you can be as quirky or colourful as you like!

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This wrapping paper feature is SUPER cool from Design Sponge. So sophisticated!!
It would look great at a dinner party, house warming, engagement party or a teenage girls birthday!2fb338e448d583755418b697f3e26dd3.jpg

So as you can see, it is so easy to create a party backdrop feature, that doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, yet is still really effective. Try one at your next party or event and see how much everyone loves it!
Happy party planning!

xxx Nat
TMS_by Always & Forever Styling_ (85)
Photo credit – Always and Forever Styling

Identity Crisis

So I have another confession…

Sometimes I dress up as a fairy or a character and entertain people.
Sometimes I dress fancy and mingle as me.

Last week I was the fancy and mingley type( not a word I know, but just deal with it).
I was invited as a guest to enjoy a special event and socialise in my capacity as a corporate lady.
Sometimes I get confused…

You see, when I am dressed as a character, it is my job to be confident and enter a room and make a point of talking to strangers. Sometimes it requires putting on a fake accent and talking about my fake life ( like how my sister Anna lives in Arandale with our snowman friend or how I had an affair with JFK and love diamonds).
Sometimes it requires me to laugh at peoples silly (crap) jokes and smile for photos with them like we are old mates.
I often deal with sexist comments or offers of phone numbers so we can hang out later
(ummm as if mate!). Side note – That part happens at corporate events, not kids parties. Just to be clear.
Basically, being a character is all round quite colourful ( but I absolutely love it!). Which is why I can sometimes get confused when I just have to be me.
For example…

Last week when I arrived at the event, I was wearing a nice dress and heels and had done my hair and make up ( in about ten minutes, because hello mum life with a toddler lol!) All the same preparation as one does when prepping to be a character.
I walked the red carpet with the other guests, but kept saying ‘Hi!’ and ‘How are you?’ to people I didn’t know ( they were like what the?). I posed for photos and wandered the room. And its not the first time.

Like the time I finished a kids party and changed into normal clothes ( but still had my heavy over the top princess make up on) and dashed into Coles to grab some groceries.
I got to the milk section and asked a couple of kids ‘How are you?’ and ‘What’s your name?’ and their parents looked at me like WTF? Back off lady! Then I quickly realised to them I am just a weird lady at Coles with over the top make up… Not the party princess I was playing 15 mins earlier.

Or the times I have hurried to get food after a job because I am starving, but still dressed as Snow White. Make a quick drive through stop at McDonalds and think, ‘Why are the teenage staff giggling?’ only to remember I am still in costume.
As you can see, it can be quite the challenge.

So I apologise to anyone who thought, do I know that chick? The answer is, you probably don’t!

: )

Keep smiling! xx

Reward Yourself!

Reward yourself people!

Friend – Hey! How have you been?
You – Oh my gosh I have been sooooooo busy!

Sound familiar?
For some reason, we all have this constant ‘busy’ answer.

Maybe you are busy, maybe you feel busy (I mean hello, being a mum, running a business and working is busy right?) but the more we say ‘ I’m so damn busy ‘ the more you will never feel relaxed or free from that vibe.

Recently I was forced to not be as ‘busy’ after being made redundant from my role in Marketing (see previous blog post). This made me have no choice but to re- evaluate many things in life. Did I love that job? Did I love the madness of juggling so many things? Should I just focus on one job full time and no longer run a business where I dress up as a costume character (umm… as if! I love that!). Should I just be a full – time mum? But how will we pay the bills? What will people think?

Here is the answer – Who cares what people think. The most important thing to do is what’s right for you and your situation.

So, after lots of reflection and goal setting, I realised what I needed to do was something that was right for me and my family at this very point in time. What that is could change in a few years, who knows! But right now, in this very moment the right thing to do was to search for part time work that supported working mums, focus on my family and still enjoy dressing up as a costume character for my business.
I also made a very conscious decision to focus more on my health and well – being.
I don’t mean going on a fad diet and meditating daily (nothing against that, but for me that would last 2 weeks max). I mean, choosing to eat more delicious healthy foods instead of processed food, choosing to do things I enjoy (Kind of like hobbies but my ‘hobbies’ are usually quite simple, not like the sporting kind. They can range anywhere from going for a walk along the beach to drinking wine and bargain shopping on Gumtree).

Rewarding yourself …

If you reward yourself, it can help you to set and achieve goals. It helps you to recharge and focus. Rewarding yourself keeps you motivated and it makes you feel good! Your brain and mind will be happy and you kind of reset yourself to be ready to go again.
Your rewards don’t need to be extravagant or expensive, they can be as simple as reading a book or magazine in peace for 10 mins, having a bath, eating a special treat or enjoying time out in the sunshine. Rewards are things that make you happy! Maybe it’s a wash and blow dry or a coffee at a special café. The opportunities are endless.

I chose to treat myself to a spa treatment last week (a reward on the more extravagant side but hey I bloody deserved it. See images below) I went with my friend who is a fellow costume character (what else do princesses and fairies do on their days off hey? Lol!) and it was amazing!!! We went to spaQ which is on the Gold Coast at the QT Hotel in Surfers Paradise and it was just beautiful from the moment we walked in (spa smells, relaxing music, but not the daggy kind) to the cool robes we got to wear before and after our treatments, to the absolutely beautiful treatment, to the herbal tea we sipped in the relaxation room! Oh and did I mention there is a Turkish Hammam steam room? AMAZING!!!
The outcome was a happy, recharged, positive Nat. I had a child free day, which is sometimes nice to be with your own thoughts and I was treated like a bloody queen at spaQ. Best decision ever!!

Whether you are a mum, dad, single, married, divorced, retired, male or female, it does not matter. You are a human being and if you don’t stop to refresh those batteries and take time out, you will burn out.

We only have one life to live, so make it a happy one.

So, to reward you all for being so amazing at what you do and achieve in life, I have a special offer for you to REWARD YOURSELF at spaQ at QT Gold Coast Hotels.
(sorry if you live interstate! This one is for Gold Coast locals.)

Call spaQ on (07)55 841108 or email spa_goldcoast@qthotels.com.au
and quote “Nats Neighbour” to receive Neighbourly Love discounts and VIP treatment including:

  • 20% off all spaQ treatments*
  • 10% off Uspa products ( these are sooooooo good!)
  • Complimentary use of the Hammam steam room prior to your treatment and access to the hotel’s resort-styled swimming pool area before or after
  • Complimentary hotel parking
  • PLUS you’ll also receivea glass of bubbly post treatment – cause hell, you deserve it!

*You will need to show a proof of postcode when you arrive for your appointment. This special deal is available Mon – Thu (excluding public holidays) on treatments one hour or longer.

How to host a Boho dinner party…

Well we all know I love a party right???
Since my own birthday party recently, I have had quite a few mums email me asking for tips on how to throw a boho style party. So I thought I would share examples from my own birthday party and from some of the other ‘at home’ boho style dinners I have put on for my friends in the last 12 months. ( See images below)

I love creating beautiful moments and collecting props and pretty things. I actually cannot just go on a normal picnic without taking a wooden cheese board or a boho blanket. It is impossible for me to do! I even take plastic crystal glasses and floor rugs camping!
Life is too short to be boring and I think we should enjoy beautiful things. My eyes enjoy it!

My party was hosted with mostly adults in mind, but you can certainly use some of these ideas for a tween or teen party. This party can be set up in your living room or your backyard! Minimal stress and no large outlay required!

Here is my check list for all my ‘must haves’ to throw a boho dinner party.
The first few are ideal and the last couple are optional. I have tried to include where I source things as well, to help you when you are hunting for decorations. But trust me – Most things will already be in your cupboard at home!! ( Or your nanas).

Boho Party Checklist

  • Invite your friends. I love to create invitations and email, print or text to my friends.  I love this site for free templates.
  • Vintage table cloths. Do not feel the need to match! All kinds of lace, crochet and patterned look amazing. ( Look in your local op shop for crochet or lace table cloths. Even old lace curtains do the trick! Otherwise Spotlight sell lace look table cloths brand new.)
  • Wooden cheese boards ( Kmart or Target sell these cheap!!!) Cheese platters are an easy way to wow guests and fill them up. They always look best served on a wooden platter. Add dips and Turkish breads too! Fresh rosemary, strawberries, and edible flowers are a great way to jazz up a platter visually.
  • Candles. Any candles in jars or on their own really add ambience. ( Tea light candles are the best! These can be purchased super cheap at your local supermarket.)
  • Flowers make everything beautiful!!! Pop them in vases, jars, crystal decanters or even old spirit bottles. ( The local florist, flower market or Aldi are my go to. Aldi are super cheap but go the day before because they sell out fast at $4.99 a bunch!)
  • Floor rugs ( Kmart, Target or op shops.)
  • Low table/ coffee table . This sets the ‘casual vibe’. ( I have an old coffee table I use but find one easily on Gumtree. Or wooden pallets work a treat! Free curb – side or on EBay or Gumtree)
  • Pillows and cushions. Once again to add the casual vibe. ( I actually use a mix of large cushions you would use in bed with plain white pillowcases and cushions or covers I have found at Kmart or on Ebay. My palm leaf ones were just $2.99 on Ebay. They were from China though and took 5 weeks to arrive so allow time when buying on Ebay.)
  • Crystal mis-matched glasses. By using real glasses and not plastic, the boho feel really shines through. And wine always tastes better in crystal!!  ( I collected mine from op shops. I got most of them for under $1 each. I also used some of our wedding crystal. Life is not a dress rehearsal! Use your finest now!)
  • Fairy lights. Lighting is EVERYTHING!! But don’t stress if you only use candles. ( Bunnings, Kmart, Target or Ebay.)
  • Champagne buckets ( I got my gold ones from Ikea. They can actually be used as plant pots later. Otherwise Kmart or Bunnings has some champagne buckets on sale now.)
  • Crystal Decanters ( I collected mine from eBay, Op Shops and Gumtree for our wedding and now use whenever I can!)
  • Mismatched vases. These can be used for the flowers. ( I use decanters, old jars or little vases from Ikea.)
  • Anything brass, copper, gold or rose gold always looks beautiful! Check out Ikea, Kmart or your local op shop.
  • Music! This is a must!! ( no need to spend lots of money on buying music. Use Spotify or Apple Music or Youtube! I love Ziggy Alberts, Flume, Chet Faker. But of course everyones music tastes are different so play what you enjoy.
  • Teepee tent – Optional. And for back yard set ups.( I purchased mine from Kmart of course. Alternately if you have a pop up marquee shade tent you can use that and drape it with lace curtains from spotlight or op shops.)
  • Party favours – These are optional ( I use gift bags from Kmart or the brown paper lunch bags from Coles. You can decorate or just fill with yummy treats for a midnight snack.)
  • Added extras – I love to include greenery and pot plants, old suitcases as tables, vintage plates, dream catchers, and serviettes I have cut out of old table cloths. These things are just add ons but super fun all the same!
    Here are some other cool add ons I love!
    Personalised Coconuts ( see images below) – These two companies are fab! Studio T 55  and Kayter Co 
    Little Fairy Floss Favours
    Drink Toppers ( See Images Below) – Kyra Jade Design.
    I love to bring the inside outside so I often use furniture usually seen in my bedroom!

 

Food and Beverage Ideas

When I throw a party I want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time hanging out with my guests so here are my quick and easy dinner options to serve,

  • Cheese platters filled with fruit, nuts, dips, bread , cheese and crackers. Garnish with Rosemary and edible flowers.)
  • Pre bought BBQ chickens on low heat in the oven. (I buy these from the super market just before the party and keep in the oven until serving.)
  • Pre made salads.
  • Pre made rice that I keep warm or reheat.
  • Curry or Dahl in the slow cooker. ( This can be prepared in advance and then stay in the slow cooker on low heat until serving)
  • Dessert – Macaroons, mini pavlovas, or fruit and chocolate.
  • Champagne on ice or red wine in the decanters.
  • Simple cocktails pre- made in jugs before guests arrive. Then just pour, garnish and serve.
  • A sangria, juice or non alcoholic lemonade / drink in a drink dispenser. Serve in little glass bottles or glasses.

 

Well Hello Again!

Hello again everyone!
It has been a while! 2 years in fact!! And for that I am sorry. Mostly sorry to myself because I love to write.

So here I am relaunching my blog Confessions of a Costume Character!

The blog where I share funny adventures about my juggle of working in a corporate world and being paid to also be a costume character on the side ( my calling in life hahaha). The funny stories about when they cross over. The fun and crazy things I witness when I am a costume character and my party tips that I have learnt over the years, working at parties and corporate events.

This plan to ‘return’ to blogging was to also add the exciting element, of the additional role I have taken on ( Well two years ago nearly now! Oops! ) of becoming a mother on top of the rest.
This plan to ‘return’ was to fill my need to write again and share funny stories as I have always done.
My passion for all things party, sharing funny stories, motherhood, being proud of how far I had come in my career and running my business and my excitement for writing would all come together in this one spot.
It was going to be fun and exciting! It was going to be launched in the last week of September and I was super pumped! The only thing is things don’t always go to plan…

Here’s a funny story for you…
You see I kind of feel like my blog is not entirely what I say it is anymore. Because I no longer work in the professional world.
Because I was made redundant the last week of September from my role as a Marketing Manager. It actually happened the day I was to re – launch this blog. ( Cue tears and pity party here).

It was hard to digest at first because I am a hard worker with strong work ethic. I strive to be the best I can for any company I work for. I have only ever been made redundant once, and I had a new job within 48 hours so that doesn’t count ( and at that time in life I didn’t have a family to think about). And the only other time I have taken extended leave was to go on maternity leave to have my little boy Jude ( who is nearly 2) and that was a journey into the unknown. One of the hardest ( yet most rewarding) jobs I have ever taken.
So its safe to say I went into a state of panic. Even though I still can dress up and do parties, this main stream of income was pretty important. It helped to get me to those parties I love to do. ( Oh and pay the bills).

Day 1 – Shock and sadness.
Day 2 – FAAARRRKKKK!!! I have no job.
Day 3 – Browse Seek like its the new Instagram.
Day 4 – I think you get the picture. Rollercoaster of emotions.

Anyway! I thought to myself – Nat you need to still write. You need to share the funny adventures and your experiences and hopefully people will share theirs back. Write because you love it. So here I am. With a slightly different outlook and hopefully I will have another job soon so that my blogs motto of ‘Corporate one day, fairy wings the next’, still comes into play.

So I thought I would take a quick moment to ask… Is there anyone else out there that has had to adjust to the new ‘roles’ and ‘characters’ they play? Any tips to share?
Anyone that went from working as a professional, and having a career, to adjusting to the new identity of becoming a mother (Which I absolutely LOVE and wish I could win the lottery and be there every day for him ), to then  juggle returning to work ( my career that I also love), to feel that no one really wants a part time mum/ part time career woman? That you should choose one or the other?
That sometimes businesses don’t necessarily support those choices ( even though most return to work mums I know work so darn hard because they have to manage their time super strictly.)
How do we create balance and keep our pre baby identities, all whilst helping support our family and being there for the most precious little people in our lives – our kids?
I wish I had the answers… but I don’t … but until I do, I will be right here fiercely loving my family, dressing up as a princess, searching for a job, writing about my adventures and throwing kindness around like its confetti.
xoxo