Thursday, November 15, 2012

The encouragement award goes to...Kallan's Vintage books and toy party

Anything vintage and boys related is like a breath of fresh air for me. I think for Tara and I who both have boys, we seem to spend a lot of time sighing over the beautiful pink parties out there. But then vintage and books, trains, cars etc pops up, and suddenly we find ourselves sighing over the boys parties too!

And this party is one you will definitely sigh over.

Readers, a round of applause for the encouragement award which went to Kristie - a mum of 3 boys (5, 3 and 1)-  who held a birthday celebration for her youngest son, Kallan who recently turned 1.
Kristie is a teacher currently on leave (enjoying her time with her young kids). She has also recently started a business from home called 'Li'l Parties' (but more on that later).  Here's what Kristie said about Kallan's party...

What was the celebration for?

 My son, Kallan's first birthday party.  It was held at our own home, with family and some close friends and their children.

What was the theme?

 Vintage (Retro) Books and Toys

Why did you choose this theme?

 I love vintage books and toys - especially anything 'retro' and have kept quite a lot of books and toys from my own childhood, so it was these treasures that inspired me to choose this theme for my little boy.  Since he is too young to choose his own theme yet, I got to choose it this time (my other boys - 3 and 5 - are now old enough to choose their own themes and birthday cakes!).  I wanted a theme that would allow for lots of colour and fun for a little boy!  There is something wonderful about the colours and graphics of retro books and toys!

What was your favourite thing about the party?

 Seeing little Kallan enjoying the moment when everyone sang Happy Birthday to him - so cute!  Also seeing the little kids playing and having fun!  I loved the bright colours and was pleased with the way the decorations came together.

What 3 Sweet Little Birdy products did you use?

 Red party favour boxes

Spotty paper straws - red and blue

White metal tins/buckets (used for the large pinwheels)

What food was served?

 On the Sweets Table:

Popcorn served in baking cups (my 5 and 3 year old boys had fun helping Daddy to pop the popcorn!)

Fruit salad served in baking cups

Cake pops, chocolate freckles, cupcakes - all made by myself

Little chocolate bars - I made the wrappers

Sweets - Lollipops, Gumballs (for the adults only), Retro Mix lollies, Licorice Allsorts ...

Chips and pretzels in cute retro canisters


Birthday cake - I made this myself.  It was a layered basic butter cake with frosting and decorated in a classic retro style to suit the theme.

On the Savoury Table:

Party pies, sausage rolls, mini quiches, some savoury platters with dip etc.

What games/lolly bags were there?

 Games - a few classic retro games for the guests and Kallan's siblings (The birthday boy is a bit too young to join in the games of course).  They included Pass the Parcel and Pin the tail on the Donkey (not too many structured games as the kids are only little and are usually happy just to 'play' at this age.

Party Boxes - filled with cute little retro-themed favours (stickers, mini Rubiks cube, slinky, crayons etc.)

 A couple of activity tables for the kids to go to at their own leisure, such as a 'Storytime Table' - set up with a selection of vintage (retro) books, 'Craft Table' - set up with some craft supplies/materials and a 'Play Area' - set up with some classic retro toys (spinning top, wooden blocks etc.)

What do you plan on spending the voucher on?

I am planning to spend it on the gorgeous glass cupcake jar!!

Cupcake shaped jar

You have recently started an online business, can you tell us a little bit about it?

I enjoy creative tasks (when time permits) & in particular have a passion for decorating kids' spaces. I have only recently discovered that I also love to style kids' parties (fun for me to create & at the same time bringing so much joy to the little ones!). After being unable to find any kids' tables & chairs to hire for my boys' parties, I went out & bought a whole lot of my own. Then earlier this year I had an idea that I could hire them out to other parents who were wanting little tables & chairs for their children's parties - hence the creation of my little party hire business - Li'l Parties. I'm looking forward to having a go at styling more parties for my children next year ... the older ones are already coming up with suggestions for the themes!! :)

Best party planning tip?

Start organising early! It can take a while, especially when you have busy little kiddies all under school age, as most things need to prepared at night whilst they are asleep.  I like to design and make my own labels and signs etc. and all those little details take quite some time.  Another tip - wrapping paper makes a great table runner! I love to choose wrapping paper to suit the party theme, then place it on top of a white table cloth for the kids' party table - easy, effective and not expensive! Don't think I would change anything really - it was a lovely little celebration for our sweet little man xx

Oh my goodness, is anyone hungry after reading about all that food! Thank you for all those party tips Kristie, I am sure we have all kept a few tips of yours for our next party. Until next time readers!

Yours in blogging


Monday, October 29, 2012

Meet our first winner of the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table competition...

Congratulations to all the winners of the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table Competition! We are thrilled to feature all of their tables in the upcoming months and to kick off, we would like you to meet our first winner - Lauren from Little Red Door Photography.

What I love about this table is the originality, although Lauren has kept table symmetry, she has also been original in her table layout. There are pink pops of colour throughout the table with little meaningful touches about her daughters on the table.

Here's what Lauren said about her party...

What was the celebration for? A birthday party for both of my daughters, Chloe (turning 4) and Bella (turning 2).

 What was the theme? Ice cream (pastels) buffet.


Why did you choose this theme? I fell in love with the ice cream truck printables by Style Me Gorgeous - that decided the theme of the party.

 What was your favourite thing about the party? The ice cream buffet and watching the kids all make their own "cold rock" style ice creams.

What 3 Sweet Little Birdy products did you use? Lots of products! I purchased the boxes,icecream cups, gift boxes and turntable buckets and hired the ice cream buffet box from Sweet Little Birdy.

Turntable with Buckets
Turntables from Sweet Little Birdy

What food was served? Macarons, cake pops, popcorn, yoghurts, ice cream buffet, other "normal" party food, chips, lollies etc. The cake pops were made by Tara from Sweet Little Birdy.

What games/lolly bags were there? The games included a treasure hunt, and freeze, (I can't remember what else!). The lolly bags were white treat boxes (from Sweet Little Birdy) filled with pastel lollies, candy necklaces etc.

What do you plan on spending your Sweet Little Birdy winners voucher on? I plan on stocking up for supplies for my sister-in-law's baby shower in November

 Would you change anything? I wouldn't change anything, all the guests loved it.

What's your best party planning tip? Relax! Once you find a theme, stick to it!
Thank you Lauren for telling us about your party, an ice cream buffet is just perfect for our Aussie summers and I'm sure a lot of us got some great styling ideas from you. A fantastic job!
Stay tuned for our next blog post.... a morning tea dessert table for the Cancer Council's 'Australia's Biggest Morning Tea'.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Drum roll... Drum roll... The winners are...

BIG congratulations to:

Overall winners:

Entry number 1: Lauren's ice cream table

Entry number 22: Allison's pink table

Voters choice:

Entry number 12: Andrea's Minnie Mouse party

Encouragement award:

Entry number 21 - Kristie's vintage toy party

The entries were all amazing!!!

Full blog post to come soon...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Meet our 5th and final judge...

Hurry Hurry Hurry! You have 2 weeks left to enter the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table competition. Entries close on 31st August and there are 4 prize packs to win which all include a gift voucher from Sweet Little Birdy ($50-$100) and a bunch of goodies. You will also have your party featured on our website front page and a blog post on your party by us!!

It doesn't have to be a dessert table, it could be a candy table, savoury table, cookie bar, ice cream bar, cheese table or even gift bag table! So get those thinking caps on, make sure you include 3 products from Sweet Little Birdy (think outside the square) and submit your entries, we are so excited to see them!

Without further ado, I am thrilled to tell you about our last guest judge Mai, who is the owner and founder of Mai Style Party Boutique. If you haven't already liked her facebook page, I suggest you do, she sells a gorgeous range of partyware online which is original and very competitive in price.

Mai describes herself as a wife and mother to two kids. She is also a very bright spark who after completing her degree worked at Macquarie Bank until she had kids. She now sells partyware and tells me, she has never looked back.

I love her story about how she started her store, here's a summary ... Mai loves entertaining and like many of us, adores Amy Atlas. But when trying to source beautiful dessert table items for her parties, she found that she had to buy them from the U.S as at the time, there was very little available in Australia.

She described a "moment" to me which I know a lot of you will relate to...
"I remember opening my first apothecary jar that arrived from a supplier, my face just lit up like a little girl in a candy store, so that's how Mai Style Party Boutique started, along with some very special encouraging words".

Up until meeting Mai, I was never sure how the name came about - well I'm glad I asked! Of course, it's based on her name which Mai says people pronounce incorrectly. It's "MY" and Mai has always called her "me time", "mai time". So Mai's online shop is about all the gorgeous things that describe her as in "mai style". Love it!

Mai recently had a beautiful Lemonade Stand Party for her daughter's 6th birthday which was definitely a family affair. Her daughter Chantelle had the idea for the lemonade stand when she saw her mother working on the business for long hours and suggested that they set up a lemonade stand out the front of their house so "her mummy doesn't have to work so hard". How sensitive and beautiful is she!!

The drink dispensers from Mai Style Party Boutique were a particular hit with the kids at the party with Chantelle pouring the lemonade herself for her guests. And then putting 'coins' in the vintage cash register that Mai found. The kids also helped paint the lemonade stand and how cute is it?

Mai's favourite product in her store are her glass drink dispensers - she has a huge range so check it out here. She finds that they always look so impressive, a stand out focal point that is functional both during and after the party. Her mini glass bottles and yoghurt tubs with wooden teaspoons are also very popular. Super cute and versatile.  I loves these products because you can wash and re-use them after the party, which really makes them so cost effective when entertaining.

Mai Style Party Boutique also has a big range of Apothecary jars and Mai had some excellent ideas on what to store in them after your party - cotton balls on your bathroom vanity or even single photos inside the curve of the glass jar on your mantel piece - who needs regular photo frames... just another excuse for me to buy more Apothecary jars!!
Mai's top party tip is to start planning early. A little diary or notebook is a must, along with a 'to do' and 'to buy' list. She suggests drawing diagrams of your set up and signing up to Pinterest (oh the hours I spend on Pinterest!), it is a great resource for inspirational ideas.

Her advice for all of you participating in the Sweet Little Birdy Party table competition? Parties are not just about the birthday child, it is about the parents celebrating the amazing and fulfilling accomplishments that have been made with their child in their little lives. So "whether it be simple or full blown soirees, remember to take a moment to celebrate yourself and have fun". I couldn't have said it better myself.

So what's next for Mai Style Party Boutique? Mai is busy planning a business website page, so in the meantime, "like" her facebook page and stay tuned!

Are you feeling inspired? I know I am and I hope you enjoy spending the last 2 weeks planning the parties/tables you are holding or editing those photos. Don't forget the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table competition ends on the 31st August so mark it in your diary, get on pinterest and be creative.

Looking forward to telling you all about the winning entries - I hope it's yours!

Yours in blogging

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Introducing our 4th guest judge

How have you been readers? Have you been riddled with colds and coughs like nearly everyone I speak with? Well the good news is that we're half way through winter. To brighten up your day, I thought I would introduce you to our 4th guest judge for the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table competition. I know you will recognise her from her styled dessert tables which have been beamed across the internet so many times.

Linda Harper is our 4th judge in the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table competition. Linda and her husband Andrew are the owners and founders of Harper Event Design, a vibrant event styling company based in Melbourne that specialises in exclusive weddings, parties, corporate events and gatherings. They also have an online store and if you haven't had a browse yet, I strongly encourage you to!

They not only stock party accessories but kids decor and some very gorgeous and original items for your bedroom and living areas.

Linda describes herself as a wife to her wonderful husband Andrew and a mother to 12 month old Grace. She has formal qualifications in Psychology, Marketing and Business Management. Linda grew up in Queanbeyan, NSW and moved to Melbourne 4 years ago. Linda's husband Andrew used to work for an event company in London for 7 years before they met which is where their love for starting an event styling company first seeded.

Linda's favourite styled event so far is her daughter Grace's Christening  - Linda had so much fun styling this event and I know many of you would have seen it featured on Amy Atlas Designs. I love the fact that Grace wore the same Christening gown that Linda first wore at her own Christening... I'm sure it made the event so special.


As most of you would have seen, Linda's most recently styled table 'Babushka Party' was featured on Marabous - Australia's Leading Source for Stylish Events.  So I was interested to know what theme Linda would love to style - Linda's response? Her clients have given her the most inspiration when it comes to themes and the freedom to create 'magical' masterpieces for them... well looking at her work, I know why!

Linda's 'must have' party products include a ruffle tablecloth, milk glass cake stands and great buffet labels to name a few...

As for her party tips? Be organised! Planning parties should be fun and not stressful. The more time you give yourself to organise the party, the more details you can incorporate.

Linda's advice for the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table participants is to do lots of research before creating something. She suggests grabbing ideas and then tweaking them to make them your own. But always remember that 'less is more'....Good advice!!

So what's next for Harper Event Design?  Well they are getting busier and busier! And therefore constantly trying to balance their work/life commitments (can we all relate?). Harper Event Design is now one of the preferred suppliers for some great venues in Melbourne and so they are moving towards building their corporate partnerships. As for each day? Linda tries to take each event as it comes and create something new for her client each time.

It was so lovely to interview Linda from Harper Event Design. I hope you got lots of ideas and inspiration from her beautiful styled tables.

We have one more guest judge to tell you about but in the meantime, I hope you're surviving winter and it won't be long now until your entries are due for the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table competition, so get that planning started!

Yours in blogging


Friday, July 6, 2012

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."
Henry David Thoreau

Table Decorations by TLC Design and Events

Live the life you have imagined.... are you? I found myself sitting amongst a group of very successful women who had gathered together for the The Little Birdy Nook Networking Evening (A Sweet Little Birdy Event) last Friday. Tara from Sweet Little Birdy had organised a Winter wonderland themed night with sparkly snowflakes on the table and wintery desserts... with a touch of pink of course!

Cake Topper by Milkk Money and cake by Cupcake Couture

If you have attended one of The Little Birdy Nook Networking Evenings before then you will know it is a night where like minded people gather together to showcase their business, build new business relationships and generate business opportunities.

We were very fortunate to have Adro Sarnelli present to us on the night. Many of you may know him as the Biggest Loser Australia Season 1 (2006) winner.

The New Me Obesity Rehabilitation Facility

Adro is now a qualified personal trainer who is the owner and founder of 'The New Me', an obesity rehabilitation facility.  He spent the evening chatting with us about where we were currently at in our business and where we wanted to be. He challenged us to re-think about the word 'motivation' and view it as if we were 'pulled' or 'pushed' by motivation.

I found this new concept a bit challenging at first to grasp but with Adro's practical examples, the idea became a bit clearer. Basically if you are being 'pushed' then motivation is work (i.e. you have to force yourself to do it - tax statements anyone?) but if you are being 'pulled', then your dedication and inspiration to your work is what drives you (i.e. what made you start your business in the first place), so it's not work anymore but something that you love doing.

Sarah from Style Me Gorgeous

He encouraged us to strive to 'be pulled' by our work and if it wasn't pulling us anymore, then we needed to re-evaluate what was standing in our way, which could be as simple as getting someone else to do your tax statements, book keeping etc and then using the time that you saved to put back into your business.

So focus on the things you like to do and do it well and as for the other things that you don't like or find challenging, pay someone else to do it because it is likely that if they are doing it as a job themselves (ie an accountant), they will probably do a better job and do it faster. But if you are the percentage that need constant motivation to do your job, then perhaps it's time to re-evaluate what you are doing and if you should be in that line of business in the first place.

Although I can think of lots of 'ifs' and 'buts', I know the bottom line of Adro's message was spot on - stay true to yourself, love what you do and you will love doing it.

Dessert Bar styled by Sweet Little Birdy

Lauren from Little Red Door Photography

After a little break and some more delicious food, we then had lovely Lucy from Mary Kay present. Her message was clear and simple - look after yourself, you are the image of your business and as much as we hate to admit it, first impressions count. Spending that time on your dress, skin care and make up will not only help you look good but more importantly, feel good too.

Lucy from Mary Kay

Ticket anyone, ticket? What's a night without lucky door prizes! Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to the very generous donations by local businesses.
Lucky Door Prizes

After some more sweets and business networking, it was time to wrap up. I know I left with a lot of new business cards that I will put to good use. After chatting with a few participants, it became evident that not only were new business links formed, new friendships were made with like-minded and inspirational business women.

Thank you Tara and Damo for a very successful and enjoyable night. The talks were inspiring and thought provoking, the food was delicious and the company fantastic.
Tara and Damo from Sweet Little Birdy

So tell me readers, what did you gain from the night? Are you 'pushed' or 'pulled' by motivation? And if you didn't attend, what are your thoughts on motivation vs inspiration?

Yours in blogging