30 April 2016

How to Host a Pop-Up Cafe in Your Garden

How to Host a Pop-Up Cafe in your Garden

This week we held a pop-up cafe in our garden - me, Miss Fab, a bunch of her lovely pals and Grandma. It was a raving success - and bloddy hard work - as well as super fun.
This was part of our fundraising efforts to get our young cheerleader to Hawaii for her competition in June,

Hubby and I are firm believers in getting the kids to work for what they want. We want them to put in an effort themselves rather than just expecting the Bank of Dad to hand over endless wads of cash for the exciting things they want to do. It's important, we reckon, to teach our kids how to work for their goals. I mean, that's real life, isn't it? They'll be out there for real one day with the trainer wheels off, doing life on their own. The more experience they've had working for what they want, putting in sweat and elbow grease toward their dreams, the more confidence they'll have facing their future.

Miss Fab and I are both going to Hawaii and Daddy has agreed to pay half if we come up with the other half. We'd need to raise $2,500 towards the cost of this (very expensive) trip, so she and I put our thinking caps on and began to use what we're good at to raise the money. We are good at hosting. And decorating. And not bad at baking and making coffee. So we ran a garage sale, hosted a High Tea and did a bunch of jobs for people (including daddy). But by far the best (funnest) thing we've done was the Pop-Up Garden Cafe we ran this Tuesday gone, during the school holidays. It was amazing.

Here's how we did it (and how you could do it too).

20 April 2016

Baby Turns Eight (and Mum Ponders his Struggles)

Today I'm writing a post about my youngest child - the ray of sunshine affectionately known as Scrag.
He turned eight this week. EIGHT. My baby.
Scrag was born happy. He was a delight and a joy, the pet of the family and everybody's snuggle bug from his earliest days.
I remember being in the hospital, wracked with post-surgery pain (like nothing I've ever experienced before; so bad I wanted to die. The morphine did nothing.) My newborn baby was lying there gazing into my eyes, and he knew me. As we locked eyes, me in pain, him serene, I said to myself: it's worth it. This pain is worth it to have this child.

04 April 2016

Flying a Kite is a bit like Parenting

Flying a kite is a bit like parenting

On Saturday we went out to Piha Beach on the wild West Coast, in an attempt to break through the lethargy and blahness that sometimes descends on us all after an exhausting, busy week.
Credit to the hubby, who rounded us up and packed the car with snacks, a soccer ball and our never-before-used, still-in-its-packet Kite.

We've never had much luck with kites before, but for once the wind was blowing right and the kite's string was barely let out when the wind caught it and whipped it up into the air.

31 March 2016

Paris Party Cakes & Cookies

Paris Party Cakes and Cookies

Today I'm going to share with you how to create beautiful (deceptively simple  and gorgeous) cakes and cookies for a Paris Party. Last year's Café de Paris 11th birthday party was one of our best ever. It was fabulously gorgeous AND fun. I'm going to deliver the final installment on how to recreate this party by sharing with you how to make the Rosette Birthday Cake, the Eiffel Tower cupcakes and the gorgeous Café de Paris Cookies.

This is a post for beginners. If that sounds like you - this how-to post is for you. If I can do it, so can you (with the right equipment).
Pulling off these creations is totally doable by amateurs like me, as you will see. No need to spend gazillions on professionally-created delicacies in order to pull off a pin-worthy scrumptious party. Invest the moolah you'd otherwise spend in getting a few cake decorating essentials for yourself, that you can use again and again, year after year.
I am far from an expert cake decorator. My hand shakes and my rosettes are a bit wobbly, but the overall effect was amazing when it all came together. Read on, dear amateur cake maker - you can do this!

25 March 2016

Our Easter Traditions Roundup

Breakfast this morning was hot chocolate, hot cross buns and "what was happening right now two thousand years ago?"

Happy Easter! In case you're wanting something more than chocolate and bunnies to celebrate the reason for the season, I decided to pop up a quick post sharing our Easter inspiration from years gone by.
We've developed a tradition that of Easter dinners and communion in a Passover style which has evolved over the years... Beginning with this first crazy one way back in 2009, when hubby and I "time traveled" from AD30 to tell our kids about the first Easter - dressed as "Mary Magdalene" and "Peter".
It was hilarious - and thanks to Grandma's secret filming of our antics, we can still crack ourselves up at our dodgy accents.

16 March 2016

The Perils of Thinking Straight

When Thinking Straight is exhausting, downtime helps

Thinking straight is hard work for those of us with quirky "picture brains". You might know someone like this - it might even be you. Or it might be your kid and you don't know why (for no apparent reason) they seem to melt down on a regular basis.

I'm writing this post to clue you in dear readers: mums, teachers, friends of people with kids like mine. I'm reminding us all that thinking straight is hard work.

What I mean is, ordering your thoughts, sequencing your actions, forcing your jumping-about, big-picture brain to work in a straight, ordered line, day after day, hour after hour is flippin exhausting.
The daily routine of getting up, getting dressed and ready, getting out the door on time EVERY DAY is like running a marathon every single day, with no end in sight.