29 July 2011

Loving... Beach, Birthday, Baking... Beautiful!

Loving taking a deep breath. A pause from party planning.
Time to stop working. Time to celebrate my girl's special day, and enjoy the moment...

Loving a morning spent at Mon's place.

Loving a gifted friend... who gives generously of her time and talent...

...and cupcakes. Made specially for the birthday girl. Packaged up in a box.
Made With Love by Delissimon. It's right there on the label.

Most especially loving peanut-buttercream frosting. Oh.
I think I died and went to heaven right there.

Loved licking the smooshed frosting off the inside of the box after it slid off the birthday girl's lap on the way home. NOT Loving that the box fell and smooshed the cupcakes... but I have to try and find the silver lining somehow. I nearly cried seeing those beautiful cupcakes smeared. I knew I should have got Dash to hold the box. *Sigh*

But still. I repaired them as best I could (grateful I had taken pictures already); we stuck candles in them and sang happy birthday to our girl after dinner. Thankyou so much Mon. What a blessing!

{Hehe. Also loving what Dash said to me on the way home when I told that Mon was on TV once, a cooking competition called NZ's Hottest Home Baker...
He said, "Mum you should go on a competition too, cos you're a really good baker!"
Well bless my cotton socks. *Blush*}

But I digress. before the cupcakes were smooshed, there was the beach.
Right on Mon's doorstep. Wow.

Loving my beautiful country. Grateful for my beautiful country.

Loving the way kiwi kids race to the water. Even in the middle of winter.
Middle of winter? Pshaw.
That was two days ago. Those Antarctic gales have moved on leaving us thinking its Spring already.
I mean, just look at that lot. Do they look cold to you?

Loving splashing in waves.

Loving the way being in the outdoors forms kids into a happy bunch of funlovers. A "gang" if you will.
Funny how a bit of salt water can provide common ground.
Big boys playing with little boys. And even some girls.

Loving the way "dipping your toes in the water" becomes "diving headfirst" when kids are involved.
Loving that I know this now. I'm OK with it. I expect it.

Straggle-haired, sopping wet, sandy-footed larrikin in back seat of car?
Not a prob. Nothing a vacuum cleaner and an old towel can't handle.

Loving new friends united by waves.

Loving the way the simple things are the best.
The natural things are the funnest.
The silly things are the ones they'll remember.

Loving blue blue eyes. Rosy cheeks.

And supermodels who decline to enter salty seas in favour of keeping the birthday stockings clean and dry.

She may not look exactly ecstatic in these pictures; that's because its a hard call to make.
What to do on your birthday?
Watch the fun from the shore and keep your clothes dry?
Or dive right in and end up wet?
She chose dryness.

But don't worry. She didn't miss out. She had a great birthday.

She whispered to me when I kissed her goodnight, "This was my fourth-best birthday ever. Don't worry, Mum, I liked it. Its just that I have so many good ones to choose from..."

Loving that. And grateful for it all.

{Linking up as usual. You know the drill}

28 July 2011

She's Growing Up

I knew she was growing up fast when she started crawling. She was five months old.
When the running started at ten months I knew I had my hands full.
Once the talking started it never stopped. Sentences came early.
Logic, arguments and triple-barrelled words issuing forth from a two-year-old intent on being a big girl.
Then there was the fashion obsession. Two years old and a fashionista already.
Battles over less-than-pleasing leggings and dresses and already those words:
"You're not going out in that!"
A first crush at two. Big brother's buddy. Handholding and proclamations: "I'm gonna marry him when I grow up."
Slow down girly, slow down. Please!

So it continued through three and four.
The growing up. Fast.
Teenage attitude made an appearance before we'd even made it to five.

Role models were re-calculated, movies banned, attitudes checked.
Four-going-on-fourteen is not much fun. They say toddlers and teenagers have a lot in common.
I believe it.

But twining in and around all this fast-growingness was laughter.
Loud raucous tummy-jiggling laughter. High-pitched infectious rib-tickling giggling.
Soft-limbed snuggles and thousands of kisses. Words whispered and shouted, "I love you mama!"
There was dancing, twirling, skipping and a whole lot of never-sitting-still.
Five arrived and brought schooldays with it.
ABC's and finger-counting. Hopscotch and playground politics.

The growing up continued apace.
We raced to keep up with a child made from thunderstorms and velvet, lightning and sugar roses.
Then came six.
Six we could handle.
Six was a simple continuation of five, without the surprises.
We knew what we were getting at six.

A firecracker who explodes with laughter or tears.
A sweet girl running to help.
A kind hearted soul, capable, fast, articulate, fashion-savvy, friendly.
A girl who knows herself, her likes and dislikes. A fiercely loyal friend.
A little lady who hates to back down but can be wooed by a gentle voice.
An artist, a dancer, a singer of songs.
A race-winning runner with liquid mercury zinging through her veins.

That's our girl at six.

But Seven.
That's a whole other world.
Seven is serious big-kid territory.
Seven is no longer just beginning.
Seven is fully launched.

And here we stand, on the threshold of Seven.
Celebrating our daughter.
Thankful for seven years of the blessing that she is.
And the lessons she has taught us.

We have just one favour to ask...
Will you please stop growing up so fast?

Happy Birthday Beautiful Miss Fab.
Seven Years Old Today.
We love you More than the Sky.

from Mummy (and Daddy)
Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Miss Fab Favourites

{joining in here}

Mama’s Losin’ It
27 July 2011

WW: The Kids Stole My Camera

What happens when Mrs Readalot buries her nose in a book while the younguns play at the park...

{Photography by Miss Fab Studios, Scrag Unlimited, Dash Designs Inc., and Miss Fia Snaps}
25 July 2011

Tangled Party: Ideas and How To's

Miss Fab turns seven on Thursday. Eek.
Tangled Party Launching T-minus-1530-hours. This Saturday. Eeeeek.
Here's a few of the details I'm working on...

Too-Easy Bunting
Bunting is perfect with the Tangled theme - they actually have it in the movie, strung up all around the market place, purple with the golden sun emblem on it.
I figured out how to make this simple non-sewn version.

You will need:

  • The Stencil (right-click to grab it) - printed or traced onto thick paper or light card; adjust size to fit flags
  • A craft knife 
  • A Ruler
  • Purple A2 craft card
  • Gold paint (Resene "Gold" test pot worked perfectly)
  • A sponge or cloth for dabbing paint on
  • Long Ribbon or string of some kind
  • A stapler

Cut up the purple card as shown in the above diagram. First cut the card in half lengthways. Then cut out even triangles using a ruler and craft knife to get perfectly straight edges.

Carefully cut out the stencil, as shown above, leaving a "mask"

Position the mask so it fits completely onto the triangle and use the sponge to dab the gold paint on.

When the paint is dry, staple the flags evenly onto the string; alternate which side the gold motif is facing, to avoid having to stencil both sides {This also helps to disguise uneven placement of the stencil}.

String up and finish off with a pretty purple bow made from fabric leftovers.

Pretty Paper Doily Jar Lanterns

Lanterns are a major theme in the Tangled movie, and we are planning on having all kinds of lanterns at our party. These pretty lanterns are very easy to make and look stunning all lit up. I plan to have a row of them along the mantelpiece, trimmed with purple ribbon (or maybe some jute twine; I haven't decided...).

You will need:
Clean glass jars
A Packet of paper doilies
Spray glue

Trim the lace edging off the doilies. This is the part we will use on our lanterns.

Cut off a piece of "paper lace"; spray the jar with glue and position the lace carefully onto the glued area  (Note: spray glue is messy and sticky; you can try using a glue stick, but the "lace" may rip).

Stick it to the jar and repeat until the whole jar is covered. It doesn't matter if there are small gaps or overlaps; it all creates an interesting pattern once lit.

Put a tealight candle in the bottom of the jar and finish off by trimming with some ribbon or jute twine wrapped around the neck of the jar.

You will need a long lighter (or jumbo matches) to light the tealights inside the jars.
Enjoy the dancing patterns and shapes made by the flickering candles - so pretty!

Cute Tower Bookmarks
I found this clever idea on DisneyFamily.com and just knew I had to make some for the girls' goodie bags.
You can download the printable book template here (four towers to an A4 page)

You will need:
Skeins of golden yellow embroidery thread (two plaits per skein)
Tower template, Printed and laminated
Craft knife
Mini rubber bands suitable for tying end of braids

  1. Cut out the towers
  2. Use craft knife to cut a small narrow rectangular hole where the window is
  3. Snip the embroidery skein in half and then separate into two piles
  4. Wet the ends of your bunch of thread and poke it through the hole (i.e. lick those ends, people! Lick em good til they are all stuck together and easy to poke through!)

  1. Tie a knot in the ends to prevent the threads from pulling through the hole
  2. Snip the yucky gooby wet ends off neatly
  3. Plait the "hair" into a braid
  4. Use a mini rubber band to secure the ends of your braid (you can add a purple ribbon if you want. I didn't bother)

Admire your handiwork! Awwww, so cute 'n' clever! Looks just like Rapunzel's hair coming out of the Tower... (and costs next to nothing to make)

Easy Fondant Roses
I found a great tutorial on Pinterest which made making these roses look like childs play.
The original tutorial is here... I won't repeat it because I am still such a novice rose-maker and this blogger is a Pro, but her tutorial is stunningly simple.

So simple in fact that I roped my nearly-seven-year-old into helping make them. She made the rolled up bits for the centres; I made the petals.

Of course practise will make perfect. I plan on making some more in different colours now I know how easy they are... they will grace the tops of cupcakes and the Tower Birthday cake I plan on making. 
And I will be able to proudly say, I made those roses (with a little help from my kid).

Other projects include:

...Making a Mix CD; the best of the Tangled Soundtrack (from iTunes) and other of Miss Fab's favourite songs, to help set the atmosphere. {Download Printable CD Cover here}

...creating Tangled magnets to cut out and use on Miss Fab's magnetic wall. {Download printable A4 sheets here and here}

I've also added a large tree to the magnet wall, and Miss Fab helped me paint her pink pinboard with Rapunzels tower, flowers and butterflies. We have been very arty lately.

The list of things to do is still fairly long, with lots of last minute baking and decorating. We are looking forward to a simple-but-special party for six girlie guests on Saturday night...
  • Hairdressing in Rapunzel's Hair Salon (aka the bedroom) at 3.30pm
  • Afternoon Tea (cupcakes, cookies, pink lemonade in pretty bottles)
  • Watching the Movie while munching popcorn and homemade choc-tops, lanterns flickering
  • Sizzling sausages on the brazier outside (under shelter); more lanterns flickering
  • Toasting marshmallows, telling stories, drinking cocoa
  • Finishing off with releasing some sky lanterns; home-time at 8pm
We are hoping for a wind-and-rain-free night!
Cross fingers and pray for good weather...

{For more great Tangled Party Ideas check out Disney's Everything Tangled page}