Friday, 18 July 2014

Five Fun Theme Ideas for Your Outdoor Area

 Summer’s not too far away, which is great because that means we can party without having to worry about the looming spectre of hypothermia! When you’ve got guests coming over it’s important to cook up a storm, so head on over to to make sure you’ve got the gear you need. And if you really want your party to stand out from the crowd, a great idea is giving it an original theme! Follow this handy guide listing five fun theme ideas for your outdoor area and get a little bit of inspiration, so the next party you organise is one that people are going to be talking about for years to come.

Game of Thrones

It’s time to capitalise on the popularity of the book/HBO show before it goes out of fashion, and setting your backyard up like a Game of Thrones scene provides the perfect opportunity. Maybe get your guests to dress up as their favourite Game of Thrones characters, serve some Game of Thrones themed entrees, maybe even download the latest Game of Thrones episode and screen it at your party.


Revisit the decade of flares, hair and zero-cares, with a 70’s themed outdoor area. It’s a great excuse to dust off some old, iconic pieces of retro memorabilia will really give the party a nice time-travel aspect. And let’s be honest – if you don’t have a kitted out Delorean it’s probably the only chance you’re going to have to go back to the 70’s any time soon.

James Bond

Upgrade your party-hosting abilities from 00-zero to 00-hero with a James Bond themed outdoor area. Why not reimagine an evil henchmen’s lair or MI5 headquarters on your patio? Get the guys to dress up in classic Bond suits and the ladies to dress up as their favourite bond girls. Soon you won’t feel like you’re hosting a barbeque, you’ll feel like you’re on Your Majesty’s Secret Service.


It has to be Halloween to justify Halloween party decorations right? Wrong! Give you house a spooky vibe and send chills down your guests spines with a Halloween-themed outdoor area. One great advantage is that you can pass off any untaken care-off cobwebs as subtle, decorative design. And if you want to keep your guests on their toes, why not schedule this Halloween barbeque for March!


This party will go so well you’ll never be a lone ranger on Saturday night again! Unleash your inner-Clint Eastwood and turn your porch into the set of a spaghetti western with stools transformed into hitching posts and if you’re handy you can even jig up some sort of saloon door apparatus. Be careful though – as host it’s your responsibility to make sure there aren’t any Mexican standoffs that break out!
What do you think of this list? Are there any additional outdoor settings you would suggest? Do you agree with all the tips? Leave any questions, comments and suggestions in the section below and thanks for reading.

This post is brought to you in association with Barbeques Galore.

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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Review:Moominsummer Madness

Two weeks ago we went to watch the Moomins at the Polka Theatre.

We go there by train(the children  just love the train journey), so it feels like a day trip to them.
We arrived a bit early so that we could  spend time in their lovely gardens and inside exploring the environment, full of interesting  things to play with!

The Show was a bit longer than I expected and four year old Derin found it a bit long. I think he found some parts difficult to comprehend as it was a musical. On the other hand Defne (7yo) really enjoyed it and had great fun.

I find it fascinating to see so many children staying focused on the show. There is always something to capture their interest. Sometimes it is bubbles that are blown from the ceiling sometimes it is something else. That excitement creates such a joy and happiness amongst the children.
You can watch the Moomins at the Polka Theatre until 16th August. Click here to book your tickets.

Disclaimer: We received tickets in exchange for a review. All opinions are our own.

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Book Review { I Heart Holidays by Clara Vulliamy}

Guess what happened two weeks ago? A marvellous new book was delivered to Smiling like Sunshine Headquarters. I had already told the children that Martha and The Bunny Brothers are coming back with a new book and since then we have been reading this book every single night at bedtime. Not only this, but also I Heart Bedtime.

There is something very special in these books: Based on the stories of three siblings, they are happy books that cheer you up.

 Clara Vulliamy's illustrations are beautiful. She definitely knows and understands children's feelings and thoughts and reflects it in such a manner that children find something from themselves in her stories. 

In this book, Martha and The Bunny Brothers go on a holiday. Now, as the summer holiday is approaching Defne and Derin  has started asking when we are going on holiday. Last summer, we went on holiday as a big group: Some friends who have two children and my sister and her family. All together there were five children and they had such a great time that  Defne and Derin cannot wait to go back to the same place this summer.
The things that happen in the book are therefore very familiar, hence the book has been much loved. Derin's favourite part is where Martha and the Bunny Brothers play the "yellow car game."

 Defne finds it hilarious that Pip says "lellow". Defne's favourite part is where Martha doesn't know which ice cream to choose as they are all so yummy! 

Martha, as a big sister to two mischievous brothers, knows how to guide them and how to get along with them. I think Defne can also relate to this.

Having read all the three books in the series, I recognized the patterns Clara uses. I think the children also sense these patterns and they like this familiarity.  This is how the story begins in all three of the books:

Derin loves these pages Martha tells us what they each have for breakfast or lunch.

The parents of the bunnies don't make an appearance in the previous books but this time we get to see the Dad, just a little bit!

Don't forget, you can read about the book  throughout the week on other blogs. See the banner on  right hand side to check out which blogs Martha and The Bunny Brothers will be visiting.

Disclaimer:We received a review copy of the book from the publisher. All thoughts are our own.

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