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 some kids - just getting through an average day is a feat of endurance and nuclear meltdowns can occur with worrying frequency. You might know someone like this (it might be your kid) and you are baffled as to 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 for kids whose brains are a bit quirky (like those with dyslexia or ADHD), 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.

09 March 2016

Paper Garlands and Getting to Hawaii

Did you know that I am no long the Glue Gun Queen? I have a SEWING MACHINE and I use it all the time. Most recently I used it to create a bunch of paper garlands to sell at our garage sale on the weekend.

Miss Fab and I are fundraising to get her (and me) to Hawaii in June for an international Cheerleading competition. How cool is that?
Me and Fab in Hawaii. Competing with the best cheerleading teams from around the world.
But first we have to get there.

01 March 2016

Corners of My Home: Entry & Hallway

I love DIY. I love picking up a paintbrush and turning something tired and naff into something fresh and new with nothing more than paint, elbow grease and a bit of imagination.

In the last week I've been on a painting binge. One day I was driving past Resene (on my way to pick up coffee) and on a whim, stopped in and grabbed a litre of white paint. Or should I say "Quarter Thorndon Cream water-based enamel, low sheen" - to touch up the dings that were bugging me in the kitchen I made-over nearly two years ago.

Once I started I couldn't stop, and ended up retouching all the white paintwork in the bathroom and toilet as well. I was on a roll, so yesterday I moved on to the half-finished hallway I started painting over a year ago and finally completed it, and felt so proud I wanted to show you all.

Which gave me an idea. Why not do a series of posts called "Corners of My Home"?
Space by space, show you my little corners, share my home-grown DIY decorating style and welcome you in to the place we live.

Today I'm beginning with the entrance and hallway. Our home is a large-ish 1920's Californian bungalow that we bought nearly ten years ago before house prices went completely nuts. It was extended in the 1970's by a craftsman-joiner, painted pastel shades by the owner before us, and has been turned into a home that reflects "us" by me and my paintbrush over the last two years.