Monday 28 May 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake

My friend's twins are celebrating their 2nd birthday, and when I found out she was having a 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' party, I begged her to let me make the cake. I LOVE the hungry caterpillar and kicked myself for not thinking of using it for a theme for one of my kiddies parties when they were younger, so I was delighted when this opportunity presented itself.

I decided to use only white fondant and then hand paint it to get it as close to Eric Carle's artwork as possible. I had so much fun making this cake!

The cake itself was rich dark chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream icing, my favourite!

Friday 25 May 2012

A Few Random Things

My friend saw an apron similar to this in a store a few months ago and loved it, so I thought I would make her one for her birthday this year.

If only it were that simple. Half-way in to the project my precious sewing machine had a terminal accident and had to be replaced, then the whole business with my knee, and to cut a long story short, she did NOT get on her birthday, or even within a month of her birthday. I promised her though that she would get her gift very, very soon. Well, two months late, she finally got her apron! I am pleased to say that she loves it.

I think I will have to make one for myself too!

I like to find little things that I can do for my kiddies, kind of tangible ways to tell them that I love them. One such thing is to occasionally add a surprise to their packed lunch. Sometimes it is a fun sticker or a note written on the sandwich bag and sometimes I do fun things to their food, like cut the sandwiches in to shapes with cookie cutters. I got this little idea from Pinterest:

Tasha thought it was brilliant and I had to do it to her apples every day last week, using different shapes. I always cut up her apples and vacuum pack them for school lunches, this is the only way I can be sure she will eat them, especially now while she is missing so many teeth.

I also like to leave little gifts on their beds for them to find when they come home from school on a Friday. It is usually something that they need, like clothes, hair ties or artists pencils, together with a sweet treat and sometimes a 'pocket money toy.' They get so excited when they find them :)

This is a position you can often find my daughter in:

She is such a book worm and will read a whole book in a day, carrying it round with her as she does other things, and a common expression from her when you ask her to do something is: "May I just finish this page first please?" She is also loving the sunny weather and spends plenty of time outside picking wild flowers and bringing little treasures in to show me.

It is great to see the kids spending so much more time outdoors, and our basketball hoop is finally getting some use again.

I look forward to being able to play with him in (hopefully) a few weeks. Jon has been enjoying taking the dog for walks without me.

Sometimes he even lets the dog use her own legs!

Our kind neighbour has also taken him and Tasha on dog walks with her and her children. This knee of mine really does need to heal now, it was one thing when it was raining and miserable to be glued to the sofa, but I want to go for walks now too, I am missing out on all the fun!

Oh, and Tasha met the Queen and Prince Harry!

No, not really, although this photo has certainly fooled a few, they are just cardboard cutouts at our local Tesco. Makes for a fun photo though.

Monday 21 May 2012

My Birthday

I celebrated yet another birthday this weekend. My plan was to make myself a fancy multiple layer cake, but just wasn't feeling up to the task, so my darling children swooped in and took over and baked, iced and decorated an amazing cake for me all by themselves, and it was delicious!

It is decorated with a love heart, a cupcake and a stitched square of fabric - cute huh?!

I also got a home made gift from Jon:

It was Father and Son's camp the evening of my birthday, so we delayed celebrations until the next day after the boy's got home and freshened up. We went to go and see The Avengers 3D and demolished huge bags of popcorn and M&Ms.

Instead of going out for dinner afterwards, my wonderful hubby cooked me a divine fillet steak dinner at home, so much yummier than any restaurant has to offer, he is an excellent chef :)

I felt really spoiled and special this weekend with lots of birthday wishes from friends and family, cards, flowers and gifts, thank you!

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Happy Cookies

I made these cookies just for fun (and because I'm still experimenting with my cookie recipe). All the sunshine and flowers outdoors inspired me to use bright cheerful colours.

Howard really loves 'Iced Zoo' biscuits, so I decided to make cookies after that pattern, but wanted to do something other than putting animals on to them as I did on these:

I really liked the words I piped on to some of the cookies for Tasha's pamper party, so I thought I would do words again, since I was making them for my family I went for happy, family related words.

The kids loved them and kept asking: "may I please eat forever?" or "can I please eat Uma?" This may not seem so strange while you are looking at the cookies, but when asked randomly through the day while you are busy with other things it can be quite amusing. It became a game, with each child trying to out do the other to come up with the funniest question. I will have to make a set with funny words on them sometime!

Sunday 13 May 2012

Cars, Ducks, Dogs and Lego

So we managed to get out a bit this weekend, after being cooped up at home the last few weeks it was just what we needed.

We started off the weekend with a bit of car shopping, Jon enjoyed helping himself to hot chocolate, while Tasha fancied herself a salesperson. Not the kids favourite weekend activity, but we made up for it later with a BBQ a la Howard and movie.

Today, after church, we had a simple picnic lunch, went for a short walk and fed the ducks, swans and geese. Jon drew quite a crowd of greedy swans round him, but Tasha was particularly delighted with the ducklings.

Uma got to play with her 'boyfriend' next door. It is so fun watching these two young dogs chase each other around, leaping over each other and tumbling around.

And we played with Lego - working on Tasha's homework project, a Roman style sun temple.

It was quite the family collaboration, but Jonathan decided that is wasn't fair that Tasha was getting the credit for the construction (as it was her homework), so he posted this on fb:

Kids are so funny :)

Saturday 12 May 2012

Kids in the Kitchen

As an after school treat, and a break from homework and chores and all those boring things, I got the kids into the kitchen to make some yummy, uh, "fluffeonies" (this is what the kids decided they should be called - fluff + oreos + brownies).

Tasha made the brownie batter (box mix)...

...while Jon prepared the Oreos by pouring milk over them (better to just quickly dip the Oreos - they got too soggy this way).

First into each greased silicone muffin cup was a spoon of brownie batter...

...then a milk dipped Oreo...

...followed by a dollop of marshmallow fluff (plain marshmallows actually work better)...

...and another Oreo.

This was all smothered with plenty of brownie batter...

...and they were popped in to the oven at 160°C for 20 minutes.

Then there was much licking of spoons!

FINALLY they were ready!! 20 minutes, plus cooling time, is an excruciatingly long time for kiddies to wait with the promise of warm, gooey, chocolatey goodness at the end.

The kids had a lot of fun making them, but the best part will always be the eating, and these kind of treats always seem to taste even better with the knowledge that they made them all by themselves.

Mmmmm... Fluffeonies!!