Birthday party cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Bella’s birthday coming up, her birthday cake is looming ahead of me like an exam that I am not really sure about! My hubby would say, “A cake, please come on man”, but the cake that I am going to try and make is the biggest I have ever made and includes fondant!

The baking part of it I am fine with, that isn’t the hard part but I want to have a 2 tier cake and that is the part that is daunting to me! How am I going to get this monster to stay upright and not fall down?  I have one or two ideas and have gotten some tips from other people but boy oh boy this cake better play along with me! It will be the first time I have ever tried anything  this large when it comes to cakes so I am a little concerned about it but holding thumbs that it will be fine.  Luckily I will have my trusty bestie Michelle and my mom to help so that I don’t stress about the little things and get the cake done on time. The decorations for it are done as is the colouring of the fondant but what is going to be interesting is putting them all together so that they fit. This is my challenge for the party and something that I want to try and do but do correctly and not make a silly nana of myself. So wish me luck and I will post pics of it once it is done!

If you have any cake baking tips, please let me know!

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Turning 30!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Baby all I want for Christmas is you” is the song that I am humming the whole morning already!  It’s partly due to the fact that I am taking part in a Secret Blogger Christmas Gift exchange thingy and also because a friend mentioned in 7 weeks it will be Christmas! 7 Weeks? What do you mean 7 weeks? Where has the jolly year gone? Feels like yesterday it was New Years Eve and we were popping the champagne.

Hang on, if Christmas is in 7 weeks that means in 4 and a half months I will be leaving my 20ees and going into my thirties! Oh s#$%! For those older than me, please take no offense, this is only relevant to my age as most of the time I feel 21 and the other day I thought well “I’m only 21 so what?” and then my mathematical brain added another 8 years to that and I gulped.  Luckily I had my mid life crisis at 25 as I felt that I wasn’t at the point in my life where I wanted to be  but I think I might just have a mini one at this age. 30. Thirrrrty.

Now my next point that comes to mind is do you throw a party for 30 or do you silently celebrate it with a case bottle of champers like you would any other birthday? My bestie is going to Thailand to celebrate hers (I’m 23 days older than her) so maybe I should wait for her to come back and then have a nice big old party for it. Notice how I slipped in the word old there! 😉

I think that I am just going to treat it like another old birthday and go from there. After all you only turn 30 once and with the time that is flying so fast, I will be 31 very quickly!

What do you think? Party or no party?

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I love my Mom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its 1am and I have been sitting making things for Bella’s party. This made me start to think of my mom and all the amazing things that she has done for my sister and I over the years! Since becoming a mom, I have realised how important it is to be acknowledged now and then for all your effort, sacrifice and lack of sleep. Also just what little shits my sister and I were when we were younger!

I remember as a kid that sometimes I would forget to tell my mom I needed things for school like cakes for the cake sale or a specific colour skirt for photo day. I would usually remember right when it was time to go to bed or some silly time when it was most inconvenient  for my mom to actually do anything about it but somehow she always did find a way that I would go to school with whatever I needed.  Don’t ask me how she did it because this was the time before 7-11 and those types of chain stores! Hmm that does make me feel a bit old though.

My mom has installed in me many of the things that I do with Bella now like a love for singing, cuddles and hugs. I have also taken her love for sewing and making things and while she often ends up helping me sew the big things, my mom has always believed and encouraged me to try and then ask for help.  This I now encourage in Bella and she now tells me that she wants to try things too which I let her.

My mom not only helps us but many others around her and has always brought Jess and I up to do charity and to always lend a hand as it could be you that a tragedy happens to.  While this has led to some interesting times in the past, it is a vital part of who I am today.

All in my entire mom is my guiding light and I love her with all my heart!  Mom’s are special, have you told your mom that she is special today?

 

 

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Tips for planning a kids party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 11 days it will be Bella’s party and I have finally gotten the final tally numbers for her birthday party. Yesterday I was on 14 and today we are 25 kids and 4 babies! At first I hit panic mode but I have been planning this for a while and been working on having 20 kids so what is 5 extra kids? I just have to make a few more things. I must say that had I not worked out a whole plan as to when do what etc, I think that I probably would have been in a far worse situation than I am now.

So far this party has hardly even cost what it would cost to hire a venue! I have been keeping a tally, making most of the things and to be honest it has been a lot of fun! Well maybe not last night when I was up until 11:30 baking cookies and making presents while  Bella and Rick slept as there was no one to share them with! Tonight it’s off to ice them

Here are some of the things that I have found to be working:

Work out your budget as this will determine how much you can spend.

Decide on a theme, if you are going to have one, and look on the net or in books for ideas.

Look on Pintrest and get ideas of what you would like to do. Create your own board so that you have you can pin pins that you like for easy reference.

Buy something towards the party once a week and start at least a month before the time so that you can stockpile or start working on things and not sit with a big amount of money that you have to give away all at once.

Print a calendar and use different coloured pens to mark when you should do what on your list and by when it should be completed. If you keep on track you will not panic as towards the end, all you should have left to do is bake and ice the cakes.

Well hold thumbs that all goes according to plan, so far so good and I should be done with all the little things by Sunday so that I can start the big things like baking the cakes and icing them! First time I am going to make a three tier cake so wish me luck!

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A tutorial on how to paint canvas shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a pair of canvas camouflage pumps that are really comfy to wear but not something the kind of shoes that you can wear them with anything because of their colour. So this got me thinking and off I went to the craft shop to get some fabric paint. Here is a quite 20 minute tutorial to paint your canvas shoes!

What you need:

Fabric paint in the colour that you need (check with the shop assistants if you need heat to set the colour)

A paint brush this a small brush on the front so that you can get to the tiny gaps

A hairdryer (if your paint needs to be heat activated to dry)

Newspaper

What to do:

Make sure that your shoes are clean and have no dust or mud on them

Spread the newspaper over the area that you will be working on so that you don’t mess

Holding your hand in the shoe, paint the shoe being careful not to go over any edges that have trimmings

Once you have finished paining your shoe, either leave it to dry or use the hairdryer on a hot setting to dry the paint and make it stay longer and you are done.

I gave mine another coat a week later to make it extra black! Please do send me pics of your “new shoes” if you do it!

 

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Kamersvol Geskenke 2012 was amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are an arty person like me or someone that loves creative things then I would definitely recommend going to Kamers vol Geskenke. My mother would rename it “Abbi squeezing the life out of my arm and fighting with her wallet to keep it in her bag”. I have a thing for owls, most people know this but I have also got a thing for swallows and silhouettes of birds and nearly every store there had a bird in somewhere!

At Kamers you will find everything from garden stuff to household to clothes all in tantalising different colours and sizes. There are metal, paper, ceramic and just about any product that you can think of there. There are things that boggle your mind in figuring out how people made them and also a few ideas to try at home. Looking at their website before the hand I was worried that it was going to be an expensive affair as this was my first time going but I found many things under R25 including my new blue ceramic heart shaped brooch with a black swallow on from Tamarillo.

Some of my favourite stores were Elsbeth Eksteen  with her quirky art, Tamarillo with their amazing ceramics, Su Wolf for cards, Honest Chocolate – Raw Organic Chocolate which made my heart melt and Bredasdorp square for amazing designs with garden things.

Next year I will definitely go again and really recommend that you go too! You won’t regret it!

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Allergies make me sick!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many things in life that can drive you crazy, toe nails been run down your leg, nails on chalk boards or worst stillsomeone eating ear wax but these are still within reason compared to allergies.When I was pregnant with Bella I read about this and thought that it would never happen to me but sadly I was mistaken and it did. Bella has a milk allergy as well as a nut allergy and dust can create quite a few interesting moments. The thing is that one can still deal with the dust but in South Africa there aren’t many chain store or big supermarkets that sell foods without these things in them unless you are prepared to pay a lot more and for the average Joe on the street, this isn’t always possible. So I have been Goggling and figuring out ways that I can create recipes for Bella so that she can also eat meals with us that we can all enjoy. Add to the equation that she is also a fussy eater and you have quite a bit of work on your hands!

I have found that Spar has the best soya milk (their own brand) and it can be substituted for diary milk in recipes. Butter and margarine can be replaced by milk free margarine but I always have to read the label as although it can say it’s made from vegetable oil, there are often milk substitutes in the products. Using milk free margarine has been brilliant as I can use it for cakes, breads and anything that it needs to be replaced for.

If you or your kiddie also has allergies, let me know and I can send you some recipes that I have found to work! 🙂 Who knows, maybe you have one that I will like too! 🙂

 

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Zombie needs coffee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you remember those days when you only had three or four hours sleep and it was normally because you had this crazy evening out dancing or watching series until who knows what time? My fav was doing movie marathons and watching them till the cows came home with big bowls of salted popcorn and giant mugs of coffee with lots of ciggies and maybe a chocolate or two.

Fast forward 2 years and if I say I have had three or four hours sleep, it means that either Bella or Rick or both have taken turns to wake me up. Bella at the moment with her coughing at night and hubby with his night sounds due to sinus. And not to forget my new internal (insert radio edit) alarm clock that seems to do off ever morning now at around 02:00 because I am used to Bella waking up around that time and before the coughing started, she was sleeping through for the first time in month. Well that all has gone to pot and this mommy feels like a zombie who could position herself under the coffee pot in a coffee shop and tell them to pour till they run out of coffee.

It’s strange how your body can take its toll on you!   They say you need 8 hours sleep a day but the person who wrote that doesn’t have any children. I can assure you of that! I suppose one can’t complain there could be a hundred worse things that could happen instead. I think as a mom you just never really catch up on the sleep that you have missed, it’s like a scale, if you keep eating chocolates, the weight is going to add and unless you do something, it is going to keep piling on!

Well this momma is going to try to go to bed early tonight and so that I can try to beat this feeling of exhaustion and see what happened from there! After all, it’s a danger to allow zombies to walk around town, what if they start to fall apart!! J

 

 

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Isabella – What’s in a name?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Isabella

This is a letter that your mom is writing to you so that if you ever have a dislike to your name, you can know why you are called Isabella.

I had a dream when I was 12 years old that a little girl with blonde curly hair and blue eyes came and told me that if I ever have her, I must call her Isabella. Your daddy knew before we were even dating that if I ever have a girl, that that is what your name will be. Most people think that is has to do with Ms Stephanie Meyer and her whole Twilight Series but alas it does not. When the gynae said that I need to go for IVF to have you and you eventually came by yourself, we found out the meaning of your name which is “God’s promise”. I think someone was trying to tell us something?

In case you ever need some back up and you are feeling low about yourself, think of all the powerful women in history that share the same name as you and never doubt that you are made of the same powerful stuff. There is Isabella of Spain who was Queen over Castille and did many great things. There was Isabella of Portugal  and though most people don’t know it, Isabella is the Spanish term for the name Elizabeth. Everyone knows what amazing woman Queen Elizabeth 1 and Queen Elizabeth 2 have been!   A version of your name is even used for Hurricane Isabel! As I mentioned before you are named in the series Twilight but you are also named in Shakespeare’s ‘Measure for Measure’, Jane Austen’s ‘Northanger Abbey’ and Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights! Oh and we mustn’t forget Isabella Rossellini, the famous actress and model!

I can see your strong personality developing and never doubt that both mommy and daddy will always be there protects and watches over you! Little Bella as they say, go forth and conquer!

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Don’t screw over charity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I belong to a mommy group on Facebook and this morning there was a post posted anonymous through the group admin for a mommy talking about the fact that she didn’t have enough food to feed her child and that she was worried about the state of her cupboards. She asked for any money donations to be made so that she could buy something for her child to eat. A little while later another mom posted that the first mom was actually not in such dire need as she claimed as she refused to take anything but money, not even food donations would suffice. If you were that desperate, you would take anything and people with children will always try to look out for others as your maternal and paternal strings are pulled.

This leads me to think about all the charities and people out there that do actually need donations and money to run. There are so many people out there that are preying on the feelings of others so that they can cash in on the bucks and score by putting the money into their own pockets and not actually for any charity. But who suffers? The people that actually need it of course as people start becoming suspicious of everyone around them and hence charities get less and less. It does also not help that the economy is in the state that it is in and more people are struggling with the prices going up so badly, especially since this jolly truck strike!

My mother always says that the wheel will turn and those people that are swindling money out of unexpecting people will get their day and their problem will be that no one will believe them when they come looking for handouts, definitely not from me!

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Tissue Paper Pom Poms Tutorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tissue Paper Pom Poms

With Bella’s birthday party coming up, I’m not planning on spending loads of money on decorations etc so I have been making them myself. Here is how I made a tissue paper Pom Poms! Much easier than it looks and takes about 15 minutes to make one and they are really cheap!

You need to make one big Pom Poms:

10 sheets of Tissue paper (the more sheets you add, the bigger the Pom Poms)

1 piece of florist wire (a sturdier kind is better)

Ribbon (It should be the length that you want your Pom Poms to hang)

Scissors

How to do it:

Put all the pieced of tissue paper on top of each other

Fold them over as you would for a Chinese Fan or an Accordion fold and run your hand over the fold to make it quite sharp. The tighter or smaller you fold them the more definition it will have when you open it.

Once it is all folded, lift up the tissue paper and place the florist wire underneath it. Place your finger on top of the middle of the fan so that it doesn’t come undone and using the florist wire, bend it around  the tissue paper where your finger was holding it down and then bend it around the otherwise in a knot shape.

Take the ribbon and attached to the wire by making a knot around the wire. Make sure that you make it very tight so that it does not come loose when hanging.

Take your scissors and cut the tops of the tissue paper in a half moon shape from one side to the other so that when you open the tissue paper, it creates that interesting ball shape.

Slowly separate the pieces of tissue paper from each other, separating them as close to the wire as possible. Don’t be hasty here as they tissue paper can tear and leave holes.

And Voila! You have a tissue paper Pom Poms! Use the ribbon to hang it up where ever you want it to be!

 

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Just ask!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can embarrass my hubby and friends to no end because I have this theory:  If you don’t ask you will never know the answer! Just ask!  This has led me to stopping people in malls to ask where they bought something or asking some random person how they did something  or asking about a a condition in a shop that I know applies but that others might not.

By asking I have got many things that have helped us i.e. directions to a place that my hubby was taking me to (after 2 hours of driving around like crazy people, I convinced him that it was time to ask someone!), free tickets for an Elephant Safari from a lady that I spoke to in a shop and so many other things.  Most people don’t mind you asking them things (within reason of course); some people have even smiled and seem to like the fact that someone else is taking an interest in their opinion/outfit/whatever.  This has resulted in some funny stories and once sitting on the pavement for an hour with a lady who burst into tears when I asked if she was ok! I think that now a day’s everyone is so focused on chatting via email and other social media that they forget to chat when they see someone or just to ask them a question. We rather do it through whatever medium we can think of besides talking verbally!

Today I have been very excited as by asking, I have saved myself over R350 for Bella’s party by asking if someone had cake tins and a cookie cutter that I want to use only for her party and not again. This is great for me because I can use the money elsewhere and had I not asked, I would have had to spend it! J see my theory is right! If you don’t ask you will never know the answer!

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