Toot Sweet! by Meri Meri

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Jan 052014

Meri Meri

I am trying very hard not to think about it the hard truth is that baby Sybil will be turning one next month. ONE! It feels like yesterday that she was born and now I have to start preparing a first party already. With all my family living overseas it won’t be a big bash but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, I am slowly getting in the mood after spotting this gorgeous Toot Sweet! party ware by designer stationary label Meri Meri:

Toot Sweet Party Range

The circus and carnival, balloons and ferris wheels, popcorn and fairy floss, Toot Sweet! is all about happy memories and childhood favourites. The colours are warm and inviting, the patterns eye catching and the illustrations so detailed and charming, this delightful range of party goodies is sure to impress all your guests from little party goers to grown up visitors. I love that the designs are timeless and suitable for different ages and genders.

Toot Sweet PlateThe unique Ferris Wheel Centre Piece will no doubt be the talk of the party, and how cute are the Cupcake Tents? My personal favourites are the striped and spotted Cupcake Wrappers and these divine Pink Striped Plates with the sweetest scalopped edging, matching napkins are available in store. Don’t worry, you can also buy these pieces in a blue/green colourway if you’re shopping for a birthday boy.

Whether you use just a few of the products to add a special touch to your party table or go all out and go Toot Sweet! all the way the result is sure to be amazing. I found a great selection of Toot Sweet products at Australian party store Partylish so I’ve got my shopping list ready.

Toot Sweet Party Ware

To find out more about Partylish, to browse the Toot Sweet! collection and to order online visit

Party! The ultimate kids’ party book

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Jun 162013

As a mum of four I have my work cut out for me with all those birthday parties and with four birthdays in August it really is time for me to get my wiggle on. I’ll admit that I wasn’t looking forward to all those celebrations but when I stumbled upon Party! The ultimate kids’ party book I felt a whole lot lighter straight away.

This amazing book might well become my kids’ party bible as it contains all the tips and inspiration you need to create the ultimate kids party. The book covers 10 popular party themes but you’ll soon see that you can easily use the ideas to build other themes on too. From invites to party food, from games to costumes and decorations, Party! The ultimate kids’ party book covers all aspects in the finest detail.

My personal favourites are definitely the ‘Under the Sea’ theme and the ‘Zoo Party’, one look at this book is enough to get anyone excited. If you click on the image above you can have a quick flick through some of the pages, the complete book has 172 pages full of party goodness on offer! At $24.99 Party! The ultimate kids’ party book is very well priced, if you have small children you will no doubt use it a lot so it is a great investment.

To find out more about Party! The ultimate kids’ party book ($24.99, published by Pan Macmillan) and to order your copy online visit

Getting crafty with ‘bread dough’

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Jun 152013

Last week I shared on Facebook some photos of a little craft activity I did with the kids for hip daddy’s birthday (to be honest it was more for their own enjoyment but that doesn’t matter). They really enjoyed it and as a few readers emailed me to ask for the recipe I thought I’d share it here for all to enjoy.

Bread Dough creations ready to be baked

Bread Dough creations ready to be baked

Back at primary school in my home country The Netherlands I always enjoyed working with ‘brooddeeg’ which literally means bread dough. I was not sure what Australian people call it but some say it is called salt dough. Either way, the good thing about bread dough as opposed to regular play dough is that you can bake it in the oven and actually have a little piece of art that the kids can keep to look at or gift to someone else. Play dough is fun but my kids often get a little sad when they have to punch down the artwork they worked so hard on.

Fresh out of the oven, a little faded but still cute

Fresh out of the oven, a little faded but still cute

To make bread dough simply mix 3 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of (vegetable) oil. Once you have made this into a nice soft dough divide it into a few different sections and colour each section with a bit of food colouring (yes your hands will get pretty dirty!). I believe you can also use a particular type of paint but I didn’t have any on hand and this worked fine too.

Miss 2 showing off her handmade necklace

Miss 2 showing off her handmade necklace

Once your kids have decided on their final creations place them on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes on ca. 100C followed by 90 minutes on ca. 125C. If the dough creations are quite flat they should be dry and hard by then, if they are a little thicker and higher they might take a little longer. As I knew the girls would want to wear their shapes as a pendant I made a little hole in them before putting them in the oven. Great idea for Christmas tree decorations too!

I admit that it was a pretty messy activity and there was some washing up to do but the smiles on their faces made it all worth it.

Nov 302012

I have said it many times before but I am saying it again: even without the traditional cold weather and snow Christmas is still my favourite time of the year. As you may know I grew up in Holland where we celebrate Sinterklaas on December 5th (this is when we received our presents) and in our house Christmas was all about celebrating the birth of Jesus and spending precious time with family. I have always loved the way we celebrated the true meaning of CHRISTmas so when we became parents my husband and I decided to do the same with our own children.

Sinterklaas evening is just a few days away so behind the scenes I have been busy packing the kids presents. Because Australians don’t celebrate Sinterklaas it is impossible to find Sinterklaas wrapping paper so I was pleased to find this gorgeous Australian themed wrapping paper ($6) at Target. I know it is probably meant for Christmas but it doesn’t look overly Christmassy so you can use it all year around, I think my family in Holland will really enjoy receiving presents wrapped in true Aussie spirit.

After Sinterklaas it is straight on to Christmas. I love how most families make up their own little traditions that are a mix of their different backgrounds and we do the same at our house. One of the things I clearly remember from Christmas with my family is the little plates full of treats my grandmother put out for every single one of us, each of the cousins had its own plate which we thought was pretty special. When I spotted these cute star shaped Christmas plates at Target (a bargain at $3 each!) I figured they would fit this tradition perfectly.

There is limited choice of Dutch Christmas treats here in Australia and I am not a fan of chocolate for children so this is pretty much all I could come up with for this year. I ordered the almond Christmas wreaths and sugar coated wreaths at the Dutch shop and was so pleased to find them, you can also hang them in the tree with a ribbon which looks very cute.

I picked up the gorgeous silver Christmas baubles at Target, one for each of the kids (I cheated a little bit and bought one for baby no.4 too). They cost just $2 per bauble and even have a chime inside, the kids will love hanging their own bauble in the tree! The same bauble is also available red and gold, so there is one for every style Christmas tree. We might start a tradition of letting the kids pick a new ornament every year.

So that’s just a small peek at our December traditions, I hope you will all have a very special December filled with wonderful moments with your own family.

If you want to grab some of these lovely Target Christmas essentials too simply go to or visit your local Target store, there is lots more to see and admire in store!