29 June 2015

Ninja Turtle Party - How to Make and Do it All

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Party How To's

It was about time that I finally posted the tutorial for our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Party (seeing as it was nearly three months ago now). In this post I'll show you how to do all the cool-but-simple things that made our party so cute-and-fun. Like the Ninja Turtle PiƱata, the cute Ninja lollipops, felt masks, the brick-stenciled table cover, that Turtle Face Fruit Platter - and of course the CAKE.
It's all here in this post.
Here it is, as simple as I can make it - How to throw a super Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Party...

24 June 2015

Kids' Sport the Way it Should Be

Kids Sport is all about having FUN and working as a TEAM

We've all seen those stories on the news: over-competitive parents overstepping the sideline and attacking the Ref, the opposition, each other.
These days there are signs up all over the place on Saturday mornings reminding us all that: "This is not a World Cup match, this is a kids' game of soccer/rugby/netball".
Some of us get a bit excited and forget that fact, apparently.

17 June 2015

To Kill A Mockingjay Cake (and other cake fails)

To Kill a Mockingjay Cake

There have been many cake fails in my birthday party history, but none quite as spectacular as the time I nearly killed the Mockingjay Cake.

Ironically I photographed every step, because this was meant to be a tutorial post on how to create a marvelous flaming Mockingjay Cake for your epic Hunger Games party, sponsored by my lovely party partner, Sandra at Kiwi Cakes. Sandra had sent me all the gear - the black pre-coloured fondant, the clever little fondant cutter, the edible gold dust - so really I had no excuse. OK so I was still making do with my $2 shop piping kit, but I HAD A PLAN and it was a good one.

The first few steps went so smoothly that I was literally clapping my hands with glee...

16 June 2015

Grateful for Grandparents and Great Sausages

Sausage sizzle fundraiser

This is the post I intended to write on the day I lost my camera cord and all the fun that followed. It was meant to be a simple sharing of pictures from my son's weekend's fundraising efforts, aided and organised by my amazing husband and sponsored by the awesome blokes at Westmere Butchery (best sausages in Auckland - and maybe the world).

12 June 2015

The Upside of Imperfection

The Upside of Imperfection

I don't know where we ever got the idea that perfection was a possibility, but every second mother I talk to beats herself up on a regular basis for not being perfect.
We agonise over whether our lack of consistency is going to result in life-destroying character flaws; we lie awake at night worrying if our growling and nagging and shouting is wreaking havoc on our children's fragile psyches; we compare ourselves to every other mum out there who we imagine has it all together... When the reality is that we don't. Not a one. None of us do.
We are flawed and imperfect, every one.
Because we are Human. That's just how we are: none of us perfect.

I myself am far from perfect, and to try and pretend otherwise would just be silly.
Maintaining a pretense of perfection fools nobody.
There's something very freeing about admitting you fail, acknowledging your weaknesses and mess-ups and letting others see you are human.

09 June 2015

Getting the Black Dog Under Control (beating depression)

Getting the black Dog under control

Last week I wrote a post on a subject I haven't broached in a while as I found myself pursued by my old Nemesis, the Black Dog. After a nice long spell free from it's hounding, it was something of a shock to feel those old feelings again. But after years of dealing with that mutt's harassment, I was in a much better place than I once was to get it back under control again.

I'm talking about Depression, if you haven't figured it out. It dogged me for years (ha, see what I did there?).

In recent times I've been symptom-free, partly helped by anti-depressants, which deal with the chemical side, and partly helped by regular visits to my awesome counselor, Jane - or as I prefer to think of her, my life coach. With this two-pronged plan I've been making steady progress at dealing with stuff, getting stronger, finding my voice - and the Black Dog was nowhere to be seen.

But I knew it was still lurking in the background somewhere, waiting for it's opportunity to pounce. It was tied up, sure, and under control, but I was under no illusions that I was done with that Mutt for good. It's a vulnerability I have, like a dodgy knee that plays up in cold weather. If I don't stay vigilant, if I let things get on top of me, if pressure starts to build and I'm not careful, then look out - the Black Dog will slip his chain and start roaming free again.

(It helps me to personify the Depression as a Black Dog, prowling. It may seem odd to you, but it works for me).

Over the many (many) years I've spent dealing with the black dog, I've learnt a few things. I'm not the quivering mess I once was, in the face of the Mutt. I know I can beat it and I'm not afraid of it's bite anymore because I know how to act quickly and get it under control before things get out of hand. At the first sign of it's loathsome growl, I am on alert and the call goes out:

We have a situation: The Mutt is free, he's off his chain. Beware! Alert all systems. Move to DEFCON 4. 

02 June 2015

Today it's all Too Much

It's been a long long time since I've felt this way. Today, for whatever reason, I have hit the wall and I don't really know why. For months and months - maybe more than a year - the Black Dog has been safely tied up. He hasn't been barking or snapping at my heels or raising his ugly black head.
But today, all of a sudden, there he is. Ugh. I hate that mutt.

What is this feeling of overwhelm? Where has this desire to climb back into my bed and pull the covers up over my head come from?

It's been building all weekend. I've been snappy, snarly and a right grumpy git, to be honest.
But I've been holding it together. Until just now when I went to plug in my camera to upload some photos from the weekend and SH*T, some bugger has taken my camera cord and stuck it who-knows-where.

In that instant all of the little things that have been building up like a weight of snow on my emotional roof suddenly become too much. In the blink of an eye, here comes the whole lot of it crashing through and landing on me like a cold wet blanket.

Suddenly everything is too much.