Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Wedding, Cake, Fascinators and... Chickenpox!

Wednesday morning I was helping Miss S dress when I noticed the first few spots appear - the un-mistakable spots of Chickenpox.  All this week I had been working toward making a medium-sized wedding cake for a special tea party to celebrate the Royal Wedding, so I had the sudden realisation that neither her nor I would be able to attend the party.

No matter though, I finished the cake and dropped it off this morning and  before I left, I shot some pictures of the fantastic decorations my friend Emma had put up...

Union Jack bunting.

Don't you just love that Royal Wedding playmobil?

I made a couple of little rose arrangements to echo the cake topper.

Meanwhile, back home at Chickenpox central, Miss S and I were having the most lovely day.  About an hour and a half before the ceremony, while we were watching the guests arrive, we laid out all the feathery, flowery, ribbony and sparkly things we could find and made ourselves some fascinators.

Totally her design... I actually liked her one better than my own!

Despite our plans changing for the day, I have to say that I had the most amazing day.  I was four (same age as Miss S is now) when Charles and Diana got married and I can remember staying up to watch that on the TV with my family.  I hope that today I helped to make some great memories for Miss S that she will treasure always.

Well, it's minutes to the all-important balcony appearance and kiss, so I will sign off and plonk myself back in front of the TV so I don't miss it.

I hope you enjoyed the ceremony - if you did something special to celebrate, let me know in a comment below.

LM x

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Few little Easter Freebies & Projects...

We're off to Baiersbronn in Germany's Black Forest for Easter, and in usual style, it is three hours 'til we leave and I haven't even pulled out a suitcase yet (and am blogging instead of packing).

I thought I'd leave you with a few little internet finds to take a look at, especially if you're not experiencing the best of weather and need some indoor activities to tackle with your kids.

Simple Easter Baskets (example above made by Miss S and I, but instructions on how to make them, here)

Have a really blessed Easter, and whatever you are doing, have a brilliant weekend!

LM x

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Kiwi Birthday Party...

Here are a few pics from Master J's Kiwi birthday party which happened yesterday.  I am still scraping bright red icing off the floor and finding popcorn in strange places, but it was all worth it, as it was a brilliant morning of fun for him and his friends. (If you'd like to read my other posts about the party preparations, please do so here, here, here and here.)

It all started well - healthy even - with a little fruit and...

...some wai (water).

But then we got on to the real party food.  Nearly all traditional New Zealand favourites...

The chips and onion dip (don't worry, there were chips), went down a treat which was great considering my mother sent the ingredients all the way from NZ for the day!

And of course those Kiwiana cupcakes I blogged about previously here and here...

All served on a table covered in chalk cloth, with a lovely big NZ drawn on it...

and of course, what would a party be without a little bunting?

I found these fantastic fully biodegradable plates made of palm leaves at my local supermarket, I thought they suited the theme as well as saving on washing up!

The kids seemed to enjoy eating the food "picnic style".

My birthday boy.

We then stripped and wiped the table and it was time for...


Then cupcakes...

Then Happy Birthday was sung, and the cake bought out (more pics of the cake here)..

I think he was a little uncomfortable with all the attention...

... and then the part that almost physically hurts - cutting into that cake that you spent so many hours decorating :).


Here's a few things I've learnt about throwing parties for small children:

*  Always have some food available as everyone arrives, even if it's just crackers and fruit.  Some kids arrive really hungry and it's best to have something to offer.
*  For kids under 4, don't worry about party games - instead try an activity such as playdough, drawing on the windows with special crayons, colouring in, or an easy craft.
*  Always have a box of tissues and a box of wet wipes on the table. :)
*  Have a rubbish bin under the table where the food is so people can empty their plates into it rather than bringing them in to the kitchen.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kiwiana Cupcakes & a Cupcake Box Tutorial...

I'm writing this surrounded by the detritus of Master J's Kiwi party which was this morning.

I thought I'd share a few pics of how those cupcake toppers from the other week worked out, and a little step-by step to make a little cupcake box that houses a single cupcake for a gift or favour.

These cupcake boxes are made from a single sheet of A4 light card and only take a couple of minutes to make.  I made up a few for some guests who couldn't make it to the party with sick kids, so that they had a little something to enjoy at home.

Easy Cupcake Boxes

You will need:
* A piece of A4 light card in whatever colour you like
* Ruler and pencil
* Scissors
* Glue Stick

The width of a piece of A4 is 21cm exactly.  Draw a grid on the lefthand side of your card that is 21x21cm and divided into nine squares, each 7x7cm.  Extend the centre line of your grid to the right edge of the paper - this is your lid.  (Click on the image to see it larger).

Cut this out.

Cut the top and bottom slits as shown.

Fold all creases in towards the centre.

Hold the two centre flaps up like this...

Apply glue to the two squares shown in the picture and stick them down.  Repeat for the other side.

Make a small pencil mark where the lid needs to be folded and fold.  Cut the very edges off the flap on an angle.  All done!

Decorate as desired with ribbon, a sticker to seal etc.

LM x

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Kiwi Party Cake...

Well, it's time to enjoy some sun with my kids now that Master J's Kiwi party cake is finished!

I really enjoyed making this cake, which was the cover cake from this book which my bestie gave me while I was back in NZ.  So many great ideas in there - enough to keep my kids satisfied (and me up to my eyeballs in fondant) for many years to come.

I slightly modified the colours of the design to incorporate the colour scheme of the party a little more - black, white and green.  I also modified a couple of the book's (wonderful) instructions - I didn't make the kiwi out of mini muffins (I took the top 5cm off my very tall cake and used that), and also made the mini cake and presents out of solid fondant instead of using mini muffins (and therefore I didn't have to worry about thinning and straining apricot jam etc).

The board is covered in black fondant and features my usual "child is *insert age*" phrase which is pure laziness as I really should do the whole "Happy Birthday" thing, but it always seems so long :).

The cake is finished off with edible spray shellac which gives the cake a lovely sheen.  Oh, edible spray shellac, how I love thee!

Tomorrow's the big day.  I think I'll have nightmares tonight about dropping the cake!
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