Easter Inspiration!

With just over a week now to go until Easter we thought it would be a great time to put together some fun ideas and images to inspire your Easter festivities.

The Easter long weekend is a fabulous time for families and friends to spend some good, quality time together – without the pressure of Christmas and bonus – more chocolate!

So let’s see what we could do to celebrate this Easter…

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1. Feast

All the best celebrations involve a special effort with food so here’s some great ideas for your Easter get-togethers…

Carrot Patch

There CANNOT be a cuter way to serve carrots and hummus!

via Taste and Tell

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Savoury Bunnies

Because not all bunnies at Easter have to be sweet…

On the left is a Veggie Platter via Better Recipes and on the right are scones (guessing!)

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Delicious Desserts

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake via Taste of Home & Creamy Lemonade Pie via Taste of Home  (nb. this second recipe is very American – but the presentation seems perfect for Easter – you just might need to find a different recipe)

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Sweet Treats

Some gorgeous homemade Easter treats for kids.

Marshmallow bunnies via Better Homes & Gardens & Lollipop Cupcakes via Martha Stewart

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And of course with any celebratory occasion it’s fun to decorate the table…

Easter Table

This lovely, nostalgic Easter table is featured in the latest edition of the fabulous Sweet Paul magazine

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And do the Bunny Fold…

Some holiday-appropriate napkin folding could also be fun (via Between Naps on the Front Porch)

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Cutlery Carrots

And this is a cute way to package your cutlery for a picnic or lunch outside…

via Family Fun

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2. Play

Easter egg hunts, Easter crafts, games, experiments and more… Easter is a wonderful time to be a kid, be with kids or act like a kid!

Easter Party

This is an absolutely beautiful set of FREE Easter printables from Ellinee… party invitations, cupcake wrappers, stickers and more.

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Easter Egg Art

Little Easter crowns via Sweet Paul : DIY Washi tape eggs via Lovely Indeed : Natural dyed Easter eggs via Two Men & a Little Farm

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Easter Egg Hunts

Check out these fun, rhyming clues from Nurture Store (scroll down for more some great ideas in the comments section also)

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Easter Games

27 Kids Easter Games, Coloring Sheets, and Printables from Tip Junkie

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Easter Experimentation

Ice Eggs from A Litttle Learning for Two & Walking on raw eggs experiment from Tinkerlab

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3. Decorate

And if you’re into seasonal decorating, here is some lovely Easter eye candy for your home…

100 Easter decorating ideas via Shelterness

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Easter decoration makeover by Dear Lillie

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Beautiful decorated eggs from Martha Stewart

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Peter Cottontail Easter Party table via Kara’s Party Ideas

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Easter bouquet and eggs via Better Homes & Gardens

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4. Giving

And finally, exchanging Easter eggs is of course the traditional way to celebrate Easter Sunday, and a great way to do this if you are not able to meet up with family or friends is by sending an Easter gift basket. At The Paper Package we have a range of Easter gifts we are able to safely deliver within NZ… perfect for when you want to say “Happy Easter” but can’t be there in person.

Easter Gift Baskets

Top Row: Happy Easter Care Package : Easter Sweets & Treats

Middle Row: Little Easter Treat Box : Easter Wishes Gift Box

Top Row: Gourmet Easter Gift Box : Vintage Easter Gift Hamper

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Happy Easter !!

Valentine’s Day: Last Minute Gift Ideas

So you’ve forgotten all about ordering a Valentine’s Day gift online and the only things left to buy are supermarket chocolate or over-priced roses… well, don’t panic just yet, because we’ve found 5 great last minute Valentine’s day ideas!

Why not share the love this Valentine’s Day by…

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1. Sending them a love letter via the Bureau of Communication

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2. Getting crafty to tell them why you love them…

via http://papervinenz.blogspot.co.nz

52 reasons!! That’s going to be hard to come up with at the last minute – maybe this is more realistic…

via http://www.howdoesshe.com

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3. Making them a yummy heart-shaped something-something…

Like a Cake…

Or a Pizza…

(This would be a thousand times better with Jamie Oliver’s pizza dough!)

Or some sweet cinnamon rolls…

via http://poppiesatplay.blogspot.co.nz

Or BACON (come on… what says “romance” more than bacon?!)

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4. Re-packaging some supermarket goodies…

… and pretending they’re homemade, he he 😉

via the lovely http://www.twigandthistle.com

… or using this fantastic printable wrapper around their favourite (King-Sized!) chocolate bar…

via http://www.lesscakemorefrosting.com

[n.b. this took me a while to figure out, but you download the wrapper using the little downward arrow (next to the printer symbol) on the “box” (first image)]

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5. Having a laugh…

Funny “Valentine-Schmalentine” minimal-effort printable card from http://mmmcrafts.blogspot.co.nz

Heart-warming sentiment from Patrick!

Printable lunch-box jokes from http://kristendukephotography.com

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♥ HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! ♥

D.I.Y. Advent Calendars

Would you like to get your children & family members even more excited about Christmas than ever?? Well an Advent Calendar is definitely the way to go!  But if you’re looking for something different from the standard supermarket version (although it’s hard to knock something that gives you a chocolate a day!), here are some creative and inspiring alternatives for the Christmas Countdown…

[ Click through all images for the original source & more info, instructions, printables etc where available.]

Christmas Advent Garland

A Christmas Advent Garland

Christmas Advent Socks

A Christmas Advent Garland Made of Cute Baby Socks

Santa Sack Advent Calendar

A Santa Sack Advent Calendar

Brown Paper Envelopes Advent Calendar

Beautiful brown paper envelopes with vintage images

Paper Packages

Paper Packages!!

Origami Advent Calendar

Origami Advent Calendar

Book Advent Calendar

Book Advent Calendar

Ornament Advent Calendar

Ornament Advent Calendar

Advent Tree

Advent Tree

Advent Activities

Advent Activities

Advent Activities (bottom image = printable)

Christmas Advent Jar

Christmas Advent Jar

Santa's Beard Advent Calendar

Santa’s Beard Advent Calendar (printable)

Santa's Beard Advent Calendar Version 2 (printable)

Santa’s Beard Advent Calendar Version 2 (also printable)

Wine Bottle Advent Calendar

An Advent Calendar for Mum and Dad??

Happy Christmas Countdown everybody!

Hello Spring!

So after a pretty short (but for some days a very sharp!) winter, we are now officially 6 days into spring. And it’s started out so well with lovely sunny days and crisp mornings. The perfect time for all things new…

Like some new clothes maybe…

SPRING FASHION INSPIRATION

This is just for inspiration mind you… that Gucci handbag is over $6000 NZD!!

(this selection’s a steal, with the Miu Miu handbag only $1170 NZD (lol!!)

Add the perfect tint of pink for the nails

or pale blue

And that’s you all set!

Except some new bits and pieces around the house would be nice too…

SPRING HOME DECOR FRESHEN-UPS

The Lettered Cottage is the perfect blog for the fresh, clean decorating style that really suits spring. If you click through the image, their blog post has some great tips and ideas for home decoration (on a budget too!)

And some lovely spring flowers sprinkled around the house are always a real pick-me-up…

But if your house is like ours, before you get into the fun of flowers and homewares you might need to do a little bit of SPRING CLEANING (ugh).

If only the laundry looked this good, I might be more inspired to get on and clean (not really true – but I do like the laundry!)…

If you needed it – here’s some inspiration for cleaning the kitchen (SO sparkly!)

And some for the bedroom too…

Plus here’s one handy spring cleaning tip that doesn’t seem too hard – and apparently helps you get that well-deserved good night’s sleep…

(Easy instructions for a clean, fresh mattress from Make it Do).

But if you can’t be bothered with any of that, there’s always the alternative…

Or, even better, get someone else to do it… (and you gotta admit he looks like he’s enjoying it:)

Spring is also a good time to indulge a little of your OCD and get into some serious ORGANISATION (or at least enjoy looking at pictures of things that are really organised!)

Like these tidy desks…

Don’t you wish you could live like that?!

And of course we couldn’t do a blog post without mentioning FOOD…

Spring means fresh greens and perhaps some pastel treats…

Spring Minestrone soup from simplyrecipes.com.

And aren’t these Macarons the perfect shades for spring?

Plus, who can resist lemony cupcakes…

And finally, at The Paper Package we have recently added some gifts that have that lovely spring feel…

Like these Dandelion Fliptop Notecards from New York stationery company, Galison:

Or this lovely gift for women, the Dandelion Gift Set featuring a weekly organiser in the same design…

Or this cute Retro Housewarming Gift Box

Or finally, the popular Little Paper Package No. 2

Happy Spring everyone!

Father’s Day Brunch Ideas

fathers day brunch ideas

Dads LOVE food, especially breakfasts… so for our last Father’s Day related post we’re talking Sunday Brunch!

First up, some ideas for the food…

BACON, EGG & TOAST CUPS

These are a great idea for a full extended-family Father’s Day brunch because they are much less labour intensive than traditional bacon and eggs for feeding a crowd. There are lots of recipes on the web for these, including this on one of our favourite blogs: Annie’s Eats

image from thenoshery.com

STEAK SANDWICHES

Any breakfast/brunch dish involving steak is definitely going to be popular with the boys! The delicious image below is from The Pioneer Woman; for a more Australasian take on the recipe you could try a Steak Sandwich with Caramalised Onions.

Father's Day Brunch Ideas - Steak Caprese Sandwich

MINI QUICHES

Little cheese and bacon quiches are great for kids to make for their Dad on Father’s Day morning (real men will eat anything their kids make for them!). There is a nice and easy recipe on the kidspot website and they can put their own little spin on it by adding mushrooms, tomatoes etc.

Father's Day brunch - mini quiches

image from thewhitelibrary.com

And doesn’t that bacon look great on a skewer – especially for a buffet-type brunch.

CINNAMON SUGAR FRENCH TOAST BITES

What celebration brunch is complete without a little taste of French Toast? These toast bites look scrummy and will add that great little touch of sweetness to your meal.

fathers day brunch - french toast bites

Click through the image to the recipe from multiplydelicious.com…

PANCAKES

An oldy-but-a-goody, pancakes are a brunch staple, and this simple buttermilk pancake recipe from Allyson Gofton is tasty and light. Traditionally served with bacon on the side + maple syrup, or lemon juice + sugar, or apricot jam + whipped cream or…

Fathers Day Brucnch ideas - pancakes

Then, some drinks…

Along with fresh fruit juice and coffee, you could jazz up the occasion with a breakfast cocktail…

BLOODY MARY’S

fathers day brunch ideas - bloody mary

Bloody Mary’s are popular brunch cocktails in the US, but even if this doesn’t seem like your kind of thing it is worth checking out this blog post on the drink if only for the absolutely beautiful photography.

For a less alcoholic and all-round healthy alternative…

SMOOTHIES

Not all things that are good for you taste bad! This blender full of goodness and vitamins and spinach is wonderful – fresh and fruity and sweet from a dash of honey. You can’t taste the spinach particularly, but it adds a nice fullness and creaminess to the smoothie. Our favourite recipe for a spinach smoothie is Annie’s Eats Green Monster Smoothie.

So, once you’ve got your food or drinks sorted, all you need to do is set the table with a touch of spring, add the folded newspaper or crossword, and spoil your dad, husband, partner with a fabulous Father’s Day brunch.

fathers day brunch table setting idea

And because it’s his special day… you could even let him off the dishes 🙂

Homemade Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Over the last couple of weeks we have been posting a series of Father’s Day Gift Guides, based on gifts we currently have available for sale at The Paper Package. But today, we thought we’d focus on some fantastic homemade Father’s Day gift ideas that you could make yourself at home to celebrate on Sunday 4 September.

1. Father’s Day Cupcakes

You cant go wrong with home baking for any dad, and cupcakes are so easy to make. My favourite recipe is from Nigella Lawson – very easy – and then some buttercream icing on top (piped on using a glad plastic bag with the corner snipped off).

Then all you need to do is decorate them a bit in a Father’s Day style:

  • Easy – Father’s Day Party Printables

Print out some of these fun printable labels and cupcake toppers, stick them on a toothpick and you’re done!

Party printables, cupcake toppers, banners, cards, invitation & more via blog.catchmyparty.com

  • Tricky  

These could be fun to try and make for a fishing-mad father…

Father's Day Fishing Cupcakes from Nothing But Country via tidymom.net

  • Fiendishly Hard

Warning – we are heading into Heston Blumenthal territory here…

Fast food fun from bakerella.com

Yes, these are actually cupcakes and biscuits (the french fries!). If you click through the image there is a full tutorial on how to make these, plus printable downloads for the french fry bag and snack holder. Incredible. If you actually have a go at trying to make these please send us a photo – we would love to see how they turned out 🙂

2. D.A.D. Photographs

We’ve found a few examples of these on the web – and it seems such a simple, but really cool idea that Dads will love.

Click through for tutorial from Twinkle Toes - the blog

You can find wooden letters in NZ from craft stores, Spotlight etc. I’ve also found a link online to Mums Know Best (we have no affiliation with any of these stores so can’t vouch for the product/service sorry).

If you don’t have the time to get the wooden letters for props here are a couple of other creative ideas for Father’s Day photos:

3. Dad’s Rule Print

Don’t you just love Dadisms!! They are so much fun because they immediately transport you back in time to when you were about 8 years old again!

This fantastic free printable was designed by Amy Proffitt (aproffittablelife.blogspot.com) and can be downloaded in various colour combinations. Makes a great print to frame, or to give as a Father’s Day card maybe… (and the hidden message is fun too)

4. A couple of great homemade gift ideas from Martha Stewart

Retro Father’s Day labels

Use these labels to make your own snack range, designed just for his tastes!

Or maybe you could try this yummy sounding Caramel, Bourbon and Vanilla sauce

The presentation of this is gorgeous – I don’t know where you would get the little spoons though, maybe from the Sallies or other second-hand shops?

5. DIY Superhero Gift Box

This idea is a bit more complicated but it could be really fun (and what dad wouldn’t love to think of himself as a superhero to his kids!)

Superhero Gift Box from alphamom.com

Click through the image for printable labels and full instructions (which can probably be simplified if you didn’t feel up to the whole shebang!)

6. Father’s Day Ticket Book

This is a lovely design for a Father’s Day coupon book… (note: needs login to download)

7. Father’s Day Card

And this is a cute design for a Father’s Day card that kids could print out and fold…

Father's Day greeting card from anythingbutperfect.com

Mid-Winter Christmas in July

RECIPE FOR A MID-WINTER CHRISTMAS PARTY

Start with some wintery weather:

Mid-Winter Xmas

Snow on the Beach (Christchurch, 25 July 2011)

Mid-winter xmas

Snow in the Garden (Christchurch, July 25 2011)

Invite your family:

Family Portrait

And/or your friends:

Friends

Light the Fire:

Fireplace - mid winter xmas

Set the table:

Spice up some nuts:

Nuts for mid-winter xmas

Sweet and Savoury Spiced Nuts (from notwithoutsalt.com - click through for recipe)

Mull some wine:

Mulled Wine (click through for recipe - or just buy ready-made at the supermarket and heat up:)

Don’t forget to put the Tegal Turkey Roll in the oven:

Mid-winter xmas turkey

Turkey Roll with Cranberry Stuffing (& yummy little sausages wrapped in bacon - click through for recipe)

or the roast veges:

Play some games:

While you steam some pudd:

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Pudding (click through for Ruth Pretty's fab sticky banana puddings with caramel sauce recipe - deliciousness!!)

Or whip up some Egg-Nog Cupcakes:

Egg Nog Cupcakes from annies-eats.net (click through for recipe)

Or assemble something for the kids:

Snowman Cupcakes from meetthedubiens (click thru for Instructions)

ISN’T THIS WEATHER JUST THE BEST EXCUSE TO START A WONDERFUL WINTER TRADITION?

Oh… and if you did want to add a gift or two… we know just the place to look:

Gift Ideas

Winter Gift Guide - The Paper Package

Slow Work Day : Distracted by Decals

Vinyl wall decals make a great gift idea – or an easy winter “spruce-up” for your home. Forget messy paint and stencils, these are quick to put up and removable once you’ve grown tired of them. They would make a great gift for people flatting or renting, or for kid’s rooms (where their interests are likely to change every couple of years).

And the selection available nowadays is so great…

FOR THE KITCHEN:

Gift ideas for the Kitchen

Chocolate - A Scientific Breakthrough (approx $44.00 NZD incl. postage from US)

Gift Ideas for Kitchen

This Month... (approx $96.00 NZD incl. postage from US)

FOR THE LAUNDRY:

Gift Ideas for the Home

Sorting Out Life (approx $42.50 NZD incl. postage from US)

Gift Ideas for the Home

Classic Kiwi Clothesline ($120.00 + courier delivery)

FOR THE LOUNGE:

Gift Ideas for the Home

Family Tree (approx. $115.00 NZD incl. postage from US - you supply family name & colour scheme)

Gift Ideas for the Home

In This House... (approx. $80.00 incl postage from Canada)

Gift Ideas for the Home

Vintage Family Name (approx. $50.00 NZD incl postage from US - you supply name)

Gift Ideas for the Home

Birds on a Wire (approx. $38.00 NZD incl postage from US - you can specify width)

Gift Ideas for the Home

A Different Drummer (approx. $74.00 incl postage from US)

FOR KIDS ROOMS:

Gifts for Kids

Woodland Friends (approx $182.00 NZD inc. postage from Singapore)

Gift Ideas for Kids

Definition of a Boy (approx. $36.00 incl postage from US)

Gift Ideas for Kids

Alphabet ($30.00 incl delivery within NZ)

P.S.

Click on images to be taken through to websites for further details.

We don’t sell any of these products, and aren’t associated in anyway with the shops/products included – we just like what we see!!