Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Book Review and a Giveaway

A little while ago, I was sent a gorgeous book to review here on the blog. It's called Naturally Fun Parties For Kids. Written by Anni Daulter, it's about "creating handmade, earth-friendly celebrations for all seasons and occasions."

As you know, we had a birthday in this house recently. Lola has enjoyed a party for each of her birthdays so I know how much work is involved - you can check out last year's spectacular rainbow pirate party here. I had every intention of dipping into this new book for ideas and recipes for her fifth birthday party, but in the end she elected to have a day in Sydney catching up with her old friends, enjoying yum cha and bouncing about in an indoor gym in lieu of a party here at home. We were allowed a birthday party every  second year as kids - my sensible mother of four knew how to set limits. Looks like the "every second year" policy might kick in here now too.

Anyway, all of that aside, how lovely to come across a book that moves away from the sort of parties we've become used to throwing and attending - hire-a-fairy, jumpy castles, McDonald's, bowling, lollies galore. I'm all for outsourcing, but it's the mass consumption of sugar and plastic that I find a bit depressing. While I'm not convinced every kid will go for some of the recipes and ideas in the book, I would be thrilled to serve up roasted corn on the cob, homemade donuts and ginger spiced cookies in lieu of chips and lollipops. At any rate I'd enjoy the leftovers!

The book is broken up into seasons with three party ideas for each. And even though it's targeted at the Northern Hemisphere, ie Easter in spring, Christmas in winter, there's still plenty of inspiration for us Southern folk.

Each theme is broken up into a list of projects and materials, as well as a timeline to help you get organised. This will be especially helpful for people like me who find themselves frantically baking cupcakes and making costumes at midnight the night before the big day. There are suggestions for everything from the invitations right through to the decorations, activities and food.

So if you fancy a summer beach party with grilled flatbread pizza and herbed chicken, and creating necklaces out of sea glass, or an upcycled art party with thyme potato chips and pumpkin bread, making recycled crayons and sewing pillows out of wool jumpers, it's all here. 

And better yet, many of the ideas and recipes would be equally great for a rainy day or lazy afternoon at home. I'm not going to wait for the next birthday party to try the egg dyeing or upcycled sweater aprons with my girls.

I've enjoyed Naturally Fun Parties For Kids thoroughly, and I'd love to pass it on to someone else. If you'd like a chance to win my copy, just leave me a comment and your email and I'll draw a winner randomly later in the week. (Australian and New Zealanders only, sorry. It would go against the eco ethos of the book to send it on a second long-haul flight...)


  1. Looks like such a nice book to flip through and so full of ideas.....perfect. Count me in :)

  2. I'll definitely throw my name in the hat for this one. I have a 2nd birthday coming up in a few months, and it sounds spot on for me when it comes to waste, food and play. Thanks for sharing this. Oh and thanks for your lovely email and your comments. Yes, having a much better week. And guess what? I had the strength for some muddy play this morning. Hope you're good too.

  3. Oh yes please! It looks like such a great book. Thanks Greer. x

  4. This book is on the top of my book wish list at the moment, I love throwing parties for my kids, and love the natural sentiment of this book! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!!

  5. Sounds like my kind of book! We also did the 'every second year' party thing when I was a kid, alternating each year with my brother. My Mum was smart. I think I may need to implement it too. But parties are so much fun! xx

  6. I have two little girls who have their birthdays in July. So this book would be really handy for next year I guess!
    I also wanted to let you know that this has become my new favorite blog (and that is not a bribe)! Love your writing style.

  7. what a delightful looking book! I love DIY parties, but this year had to admit defeat with one in May and two in June. Time to bring on the alternating years thing, I think! At least I have the better part of a year to get planning for the next round ;) thanks for the chance, sarah. tuppennylanevintage@gmail.com

  8. With my own little Lola turning 2 in a few months, I'd love a little looksy in this book for inspiration - thanks for sharing xx

  9. Gorgeous book Greer! We had a pretty small #1 party for E at a local park and were away at the beach for L's 3rd. We also have a combined Mother's Group kids party - 1sts and 3rds this year. This means 10 less parties/pressies and also 10x less work as everyone brings a plate. So...bit Eco friendly there too I reckon.

  10. Gorgeous! Where was this book when I planned and executed all those themed parties for my children when they were younger. I enjoyed them, but they were a lot of work (and $) - not that we had elaborate parties, but still... My children remember them fondly though. Except my youngest - he was jipped. His siblings had themed parties (mind you, only 5-6 kids tops at each one) from ages 4/5-10 (our rule was to cut off after 10) and I think - ahem - he only had 2 themed parties? Oops!

    I know you can't send it overseas - way too $ to send, but I thought I'd pipe in anyway. Must borrow this from the library soon...

  11. What a gorgeous looking book with lots of inspiring ideas! It's refreshing to see a children's party book that isn't focussed on junk food and sugar. I think my little girl would appreciate the party ideas in this book - being the creative little soul that she is!
    Thanks for a lovely blog - I enjoy reading here.

  12. Sounds like a truly wonderful book...although after a sweet 16 and twin 2 yr celebration in the space of a few weeks i am a little partied out.....can see the inspiration for next year coming from here though!!!


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