[ T A K I N G  S T O C K - M A R C H ]
Welcome to another 'Taking Stock' post for 2018. If you are new to Teacher by trade, Mother by nature (WELCOME) you can read all of my 'Taking Stock' posts HERE. Pip from Meet Me At Mike is the mastermind behind this series, so be sure to check out her blog and grab a copy of the list, if you would like to share on your blog or social media. This is something I have been doing since I started blogging and will continue to do this year, hopefully with no 'breaks'! In a nutshell, it's simply taking a step back and 'taking stock' of what's currently happening in your life.

Here's what's been happening in the month of MARCH...

a family photo book using the Project Life - I DID IT! It should arrive next week (fingers crossed), can't wait to share it with you. 

good ol' mince on toast - it took me back to my childhood!

a cup of tea (for one) in my gorgeous teapot

Miss B's Progress Report for Term 1 - really positive - she's off to a great start at High School. Mama so proud. 

to paint the towel cupboard...it's my least favourite area in our home

forward to following everyone's journey in Project 14 - Round 7, as well as my own. 

volleyball with the kids at Camp. So much fun! (later, not so much...I'm not a teenager anymore) HA!

to rearrange a few things in my Office...I'm kinda loving it...

you all a HOPPY EASTER!

our new roof - we chose Grey Friars for the colour...it looks so good.

for my photo books to arrive - 1 x Project Life Family photo book and 2 x 12x12 Family Photos (our professional photos) - I'm so excited!!

the colours of Autumn

when I'm going to start my new KonMari series...about Organisation...I suppose I'm still fine-tuning areas of my home. Watch this space!

the kids birthday parties! We had a fantastic time and the kids loved their parties. SUCCESS! You can read about M's Paw Patrol Party HERE.

what we are going to do for my son's 5th birthday! Going BIG? or a small gathering..hmmm

Easter treats for the kids - they get some winter pjs, a chocolate egg/treat and we read an Easter book 'We're going on an Easter Hunt' as a family. Easter Egg Hunt on Monday with the in-laws. What are your family traditions at Easter?

The Best of Me on Netflix - helloooo James Marsden

Next watch:
Me Before You on Netflix. Do you have any Netflix recommendations? 

M's bedroom - gave it a Paw Patrol makeover and recently rearranged a couple of things. He loves it.

I get my Teacher Registration Renewal card before it expires - I had to order another Birth Certificate. 

at everyone's Easter baking...drool

to wash our cushion covers and net curtains

what isn't working in our home? What can I (we) do, to make it work?

Hot Cross Buns - delicious!

my dressing gown...we've had some chilly mornings lately

about Miss B, who had another Asthma attack and took a 8 days to recover :(

there are only 8 days left of the school term (this includes a 3 day week - due to Easter Monday & Easter Tuesday - for education sectors only)

about surprising my Nana for her birthday, with my Mum and kids. (Great opportunity for us to get a 4 generation photo)

through our Easter decorations and culling what we don't use/need anymore

our down-lights changed to LED in the kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom. It's made such a difference. Oh and we got a ceiling fan installed in the bathroom earlier this week too. It's all GO GO GO.

ASTHMA #asthmasucks

excited about catching up on my family memory keeping  - getting my photos into the hands of my family. April - I am going to try and get 2015 photo book done. Wish me luck!

on Hot Cross Buns and Easter Eggs - thankfully it only happens once a year

the Steam Train come into Whangarei was pretty cool! 

Now it's YOUR turn...choose a few words from the list above and TAKE STOCK of what's been happening in your life...

Charlene x



No job is too BIG, No pup is too SMALL!
PAW Patrol, We're on a Roll!

We asked master M (Marcus) what kind of party he wanted this year for his 4th birthday - without hesitation he said PAW Patrol! He is obsessed with PP and has requested anything and everything PP since his last birthday, we just rolled with it. 

I have to say, this party has been the most fun to plan - the ideas are endless and because it is such a popular show on Nick Jnr, there is quite a lot of decorations and other items available online and in store. 

Here are ALL the details about Master M's PAW Patrol 4th Birthday PAWty that we celebrated last weekend. Enjoy!


When it comes to invitations, I turn to Etsy! There are so many invitation designs available, it's hard to choose. I picked this one from PrintsForParty - Lisa was super lovely and I love the final product. I printed the invitations and 'thank you' cards from Harvey Norman for only a couple of dollars, and M gave them to his close friends from Playcentre and home-based care.


The thing I love about the PAW Patrol (yes I am fan too lol), is that it's bright and colourful! I bought the 'Happy Birthday' balloon banner from KMart about 3 months after his 3rd birthday. I love it and it worked well for the party. 

Most of the decorations were from The Warehouse and KMart, with a few items found around our home. I borrowed the table and chairs from our local playcentre to accommodate the kids, leaving the adults sitting on the couches, and dining chairs. I invested in a helium tank to blow up the balloons - I love how they look and it meant they were up on the roof and not right under our feet. The strings were long enough for the kids to grab and play with, and that kept them entertained for quite some time. 

Can you believe that Master M set up the table himself (with a little direction from me)! I think he did a great job! The plates, masks, serviettes and cups were all from The Warehouse NZ (Buy 1 and get the 2nd half price). Under the plates, we had a colouring page (and others were available if the kids wanted to colour), with the crayons placed in the middle of the table with the PAW Patrollers. 

I really enjoyed setting up this party and when it was complete, Master M's eyes just lit up the room! He was a very happy boy, waiting patiently for his friends to arrive. 



One of my favourite photos from the party is this one with the food table set up. My friend made cupcakes for me a day before the party and all I had to do was pop a cupcake edible icing image (from KiwiCakes) and a cupcake topper (fromNickelodean Parents) and cupcake wrapper to set the theme. I had toppers left over so I put them in the jelly. My friends also brought marshmallow slice (a fave at our birthday parties) and some chip & dip. We also served a fruit platter, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages and carrot sticks. I bought a pack of 24 water bottles and added a 'Thanks for coming to Marcus's party' label around the bottles. So cute. The kids (and adults) enjoyed it all and there was not a lot left over so we catered well. 


I couldn't resist making up little loot bags/party favour bags for M's friends. 

The bags were from The Warehouse and so were the blowers and character cookies. I ordered some personalised chocolates from CelesteCeleste Chaplin Photography on Instagram. She did an amazing job and I absolutely LOVE them. (Marcus's friends were buzzing out that his face was on the wrapper). It was a cute party favour and keepsake for us too (we ate the chocolate). Master M found some swirly straws so that was a last minute addition to the bags. Everyone was pretty happy with their little treats. 


When it comes to cakes, I am all about SIMPLE and EFFECTIVE! For this years cake I had a vision and I can't believe I made it become reality! I bought a banana slab cake from BidFood, my friend made some green butter cream icing for me (same friend who made the cupcakes), I put some KitKats around the edge and wrapped it with red and blue ribbon. We had the little miniature PAW Patrollers on hand from a Busy book so I blue-tac'd them to the front of the cake board. To complete the cake, I bought this tower (and about 9 bigger Paw Patrol cars & pups - used as decorations on the table) for only $60 from a friend!!!! (the Tower alone retails around $150, such a score). I was so happy and the best thing is, it doubled up as a present for Master M. Once I gave it a good clean, I propped it on the cake and said 'WOW, that is SOOO COOL!". It looked and tasted amazing! Master M LOVED it and so did our guests.


I don't do party games, the kids just have free-range of the playroom and we also had colouring pages for them to colour in throughout the party. Oh and we had a Paw Patrol DVD on in the background. The kids pretty much entertained themselves. They had a great time! (it took less than 20 minutes to tidy it all up, which was great!)


Each year/birthday I make or have a keepsake to represent the birthday. For M's first birthday I had our guests sign a 'Little Golden Book' with birthday wishes and advice etc. For his second they signed two hard hats. Third birthday was a little different...M actually made a dinosaur mobile at home-based care, so that became the keepsake - it was also used as a feature in his Dinosaur themed bedroom. This year I found a wooden M at KMart for $2 and got his friends (aged 2-4) to sign the M themselves (and the parents signed it too). Now it is displayed in his bedroom.

- PAW Patrol Bedroom Makeover -

Speaking of bedrooms...Master M's bedroom got a bit of makeover (in terms of theme)...he got a new duvet cover and poster for his birthday so we went with it. Miss B coloured in some PAW Patrol pictures which were perfect for one of his bedroom walls (it used to have 'THREE REX' from his third birthday). I moved previous bedroom themed decor to the top of this wardrobe shelf, so he could still see his favourites. I changed the curtains to Cloud ones we already had and it completed the look of the room! It's VERY PAW Patrol, but our pup-mad son thinks it's pretty cool. The MARCUS letters, were a gift from his first birthday - the colours are perfect for the room, don't you think (we might fix them to the wall - haven't finalised it yet).



Here are the details again:

Invitation -PrintsForParty
Personalised Chocolates - Celeste Chaplin Photography
Happy Birthday Balloon banner - KMart
PAW Patrol items - The Warehouse & Trade Me (table cloth)
Helium balloon tank - KMart
PAW Patrol Cupcake Toppers/Wrappers (FREE) - Cupcake Toppers & Cupcake Wrappers
Paw Patrol Water Bottle Labels (FREE) Water labels (Mom's Tot School)

All in all, it was a fantastic party and a lot of fun to plan and prepare! If you're looking for PAW Patrol ideas, I hope you found some inspiration from this post!

Thanks for stopping by,

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