Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rose's Party Part One

Well, what a beautiful day it has been! We are all tired but have had a wonderful party for Rose and the weather was perfect. It was an early start but we were lucky to have a lot of help from my family to get things organised.

The venue was great and we had loads of room to spread out. We set up an area for the fairy and then hired some children's size table and chairs. This was mainly because I was worried about getting food on the staffroom chairs! :-)

We used Rose's favourite colour, pink, as the theme and as you can see, had a lot of pink food!

The cake was finally finished this morning with a cute little fairy on top.

Part Two and all it's excitement is coming tomorrow! :-)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Twas the night before the party...

The baking and preparation for the party has continued well into the night and I "think" I have most things organised for now. Rose is super excited that there is only 'one sleep' left to go!

The cupcakes are done and my new cupcake tower will be having it's second outing. :-)

I am loving these Paper Eskimo Baking Cups. They are the cutest!

The cake is mostly done, I just have a few things to add tomorrow to finish it off. Due to my lack of cake decorating skills, I wanted a nice high cake so at least it would have one redeeming feature! I made two chocolate cakes and cut them down slightly so that together, they would make one high cake. I think I have worked out why I am no good at this. Great cake decorating takes patience and I just don't have any!

Here is a sneak peek of the half completed cake. It certainly isn't perfect but was made with love and Rose is happy with it regardless. :-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Baking up a storm...

A whole lot of baking has been going on in this house tonight! I found this recipe for home made Honey Caramel Popcorn on I pulled out the popcorn air popping machine which was hiding at the back of the cupboard and made the yummy coating. I managed to smoke out the entire kitchen and dining area and ruin a stainless steel pot by leaving it unattended for a few minutes. Argggh! I had more success with the second batch. :-)
Next on the list was Mars Bar Slice. I have been wanting to try this Aussie favourite for a while now but never had a good enough excuse...until now! Instead of making them into a slice I have put them in patty cases and will add butterfly sprinkles to them. I also added mini marshmallows which was a successful experiment. You can find the recipe here. :-)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let the Party Prep Begin!

Rose's 6th birthday party is finally taking place this Saturday and I am working my way through my long 'To Do' list! We have decided to hold it in the staffroom at my school as it is a large space and we don't have to worry about what the weather will be like.
Last night it was assembling the goody boxes. I contemplated making all these myself but then I found this fantastic seller on Trademe who personalises all the boxes with tags and ribbon, all for just over $1 each! I picked up a few little treats to go inside and the job was done.

I am now off to organise 'Pass the Parcel' and start worrying about the cake I am supposed to start making tomorrow night. Decorating cakes is really not a strength of mine and I am worried!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Keep Calm and Carry On

The other day I made this piece of art as the slogan really resonates with me in terms of my role as a mother. There are many times where I feel like giving in to the demands of my two darling children, even when I know I shouldn't. Nine times out of ten, it is easier and less stressful to give in to requests for more TV time, more snacks before dinner and not enforcing 'Time Out' for "unacceptable" behaviour. All I need to do is take a look at this print, and it reminds me to take a deep breath and stick to my guns. It is so hard to be 100% consistent when you are tired and sapped of energy, and yet I know how important it is. The hardest job on earth is being a mother and I need all the encouragement I can get! :-)

'Keep Calm and Carry On' was a poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of World War II, to raise the morale of the British public in the case of invasion. It was little known and never used. The poster was rediscovered in 2000 in a second hand bookshop and since Crown Copyright expires after 50 years, this image is now in the public domain.

I picked up this print as a greeting card from Homestore in Newmarket for $5.50 and used a white Ikea Ribba frame, sourced from Trademe. The whole thing cost under $20 and I really love it. :-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rose's Wardrobe Organisation

Anyone with a little girl will know how much "stuff" they accumulate over time. Little dresses, shoes, costumes and toys! We haven't done anything to any of the wardrobes yet so they were still in their orginal state, complete with grey/blue paint from the 60's. This must have been a common colour to paint wardrobes (or rooms!) in houses back then as our last house had the exact same dodgy colour!

These pictures are rather embarrasing but illustrate how desperately we needed to do this job. :-)

Taff repainted the interior of the wardrobe in Resene Double Alabaster to match the room and I set about clearing out and organising all the stuff inside it.

I bought some Sterilite baskets from Mitre 10 Mega and used them to store out of season shoes, bags, Barbies, extra blankets and toys. Everything is so much easier to find and Rose is able to clean up and put her items back in the correct place more easily.

I used our exisiting hanging wardrobe organisers for shoes and bulky jumpers and replaced all the coathangers with plain white ones picked up from the Warehouse (for consistency you see! lol).

The sliding doors have now been put back on after a new coat of crisp white enamel and Rose's room is finally finished.
One down, a few more to go!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Harry's First 'Proper' Haircut

Last weekend Harry had his first haircut with clippers! He was very chuffed to be having a 'real' haircut, just like Dad's and Papa's.

Nana put him on the special "haircutting" stool and away they went!
He was very pleased with his new cut and was excited to show everybody.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Our New Ikea Table!

I have been searching for a new dining table on Trademe for a long time now but just haven't found what I have been looking for. Although we love our current table, the dark Indian Hardwood just didn't look right with the light floors (more about that here) and I wanted something in white or a very light colour wood, similar to the floor. We also constantly had food dropping onto the floor at the ends where the kids sat as their chairs couldn't be pushed in to the table fully, so there was a big gap between them and the table surface.

I was looking at the latest listings the other night and saw exactly what I wanted at an amazing bargain price! This Ikea Norden table is huge at 220cm x 100cm and can extend out to 260cm. I love the simple clean lines and I quickly snapped it up via Buy Now before anyone else could get to it. The seller had seriously underpriced it and I think I got it within about 10 minutes of it being listed.

As with all things Ikea, there was a small amount of assembly involved (although most of it was done already) but the weather was gorgeous today so I was happy to sit in our sunny dining room during the process. :-)

We love our new table and now the kids can sit in their Stokke Tripp Trapps with us, rather than tacked on the ends. Why oh why do we not have an Ikea in New Zealand?!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mirrored Furniture in NZ

I have been in love with mirrored furniture ever since I saw this photo over on Ish and Chi. I love how glamorous it looks and even though I know it is totally impractical with small children and fingerprints, I still can't help dreaming about having a piece!

I did a little bit of searching but could only find mega expensive designer options available in New Zealand. All that has changed now as finally we have another option! This seller on Trademe has started importing a small range of mirrored furniture at reasonable prices.

At this stage I am still admiring all the pieces from afar and in the end, practicality will probably win but I can still dream!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Wiggly Tooth!

Rose has shown a lot of interest in the subject of teeth lately and is constantly asking when she will lose her teeth, how they will fall out, whether it will hurt, etc. I can only assume she has had a few friends at school lose some teeth and that this has sparked her interest.

We were out for lunch a few days ago and Rose was fiddling with her front tooth and then very excitedly proclaimed that she had a wiggly tooth! I took a look inside her mouth and this is what I found...
She did indeed have her first adult tooth on the way! I grabbed my camera and had to snap this great milestone. Perhaps the Tooth Fairy won't be too far away after all...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wallpaper Wall...

I have been meaning to blog about this wallpapered wall of ours for almost six months but I thought I had better do it soon as it may be changing! lol.
I bought this Sonnet Yasmin Silver wallpaper in the UK a year ago from this seller. We had recently bought our current house and it was still in it's "raw" state and I had visions of crisp white walls and charcoal, grey and white furniture. What I didn't realise was that underneath the worn, threadbare carpet we had beautiful warm light Tawa floorboards and once they were polished, the look I was envisaging was just not working. We have been in renovation limbo for several months now and I am supposed to be choosing a new colour but am terrified of making another mistake, so am taking my time...too much time.

My magnificant dad (best in the world!) is so helpful to me with my ideas and projects and has painted many an item of furniture for me over the years, bless him! :-) He lovingly wallpapered our entry hall for me in scorching heat and dealt with the challenge of glue that constantly dried too quickly.

After all that, I do like the wall a lot...but am not sure it is right for our space. I think I would like something lighter in a warmer tone to match the floors and at this stage, I am leaning towards stripping the paper and repainting it.

I think I would also like the back of our front door painted white to lighten up the space as well. It is a very dark brown at the moment, which we love on the outside, but I am not conviced about it on the inside. I'm not sure if it is because we were in such small houses prior to this one but dark colours scare me still! I was always focused on trying to make the spaces (all 80-90square metres of it!) look bigger than they were and I guess this is a feeling that has stuck with me!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Swimming Lessons

Rose and Harry are into their second term of swimming now and they are slowly, but surely gaining more and more confidence. They attend Helen's School of Swimming on Tuesday nights and are in a class with one other girl so they get a lot of individual attention, which has really helped them. Rose had a term swimming at school (they went to professional swim school) earlier this year and achieved more in one night at Helen's than she did in the entire time at school so it has been well worth the effort to make it a part of their schedule.
Both kids were very cautious in our pool last year and Harry fell in on one occasion so we are hoping that this summer they will enjoy using it a lot more!
Rose is now confident fetching objects underwater and is pretty good at using a simple stroke to swim around. Harry is a little less keen but he is still making good improvements.
Roll on summer!