Hello dear ones. Happy Spring!! What better way to celebrate the arrival of this floral season than sharing my vintage cactus party with you. This was actually my daughter’s tenth birthday party late last year. After much deliberation, and yes I confess, perhaps even a persuasive word from Mama bear, we decided upon a cactus theme. I wanted to keep the colours bright and fresh, using crisp apple green and lolly pink, with white accents.
Happy Saturday my friends! The weekend is here at last. As I sit and type this I am actually watching the sun gloriously peek his head over the horizon to say hello. It is promising to be another fine weekend.
It was our daughter’s birthday this week. Our baby turned 6, and while I am constantly informing her she is a big girl now (usually when she is having her more unravelled toddleresque moments), I am secretly relishing the fact that I still have a child young enough who plays with dolls, dances in the kitchen, has all her baby teeth, and tells me how pretty my face is.
If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen my post about Miss Kitty’s birthday. As often happens in Motherland, her birthday festivities were thwarted by the inconvenience of Mama Bear coming down with an inconsiderate flu. I was so sick I simply could not get out of bed. Awesome timing. This may not be a big deal for some (and yes, I relished the forced rest and even managed to read all of Ross Poldark. Score)
…but birthdays are really important to me. I have a strong need to create festive celebrations (duh..really!?), shower love, gifts, balloons and cake on the birthday recipient, making them feel like the most important person in the world. So to be sick in bed while my wide eyed little lamb eagerly expected creative attention, was quite distressing. Talk about pressure.
There was only one thing to be done. I rallied big sisters to my bedside and charged them with the task of making little sister’s birthday a success. I needed them to wrap the presents (I had been too sick to do them before), set a pretty breakfast table for her, pick flowers from the garden, blow up the balloons and shower her with love and attention. They did not disappoint. They took their mission seriously and gave my sweet lamb the most delightful day. I am so proud of them. Proud of the sisterhood that rallies when one of the troops is down.
And speaking of birthdays, this is my birthday cake.
As I just mentioned, in case you didn’t pick it up, birthdays are really important to me. Even my own. Now, I humbly recognise that not everyone has the desire, ability or even inclination to want to throw festive fanfare around at birthday time, but for me, unashamedly, it’s a must. A few years ago I had the revelation to throw myself a tea party every birthday. Possibly bordering on OCD, I need to make my own cake, choose my theme and style and, yes, I have been known to buy my own presents, just to make sure I get what I really want. Told you it was intense.
As often happens in Motherland, I was sick on my birthday last month. Not cant get out of bed with the flu sick, but struggling with some health issues that hindered my ability to gather my ladies around and spoil them with celebration.
So I decided to make a cake. At least I was up for that.
My birthday present to myself was to buy the prettiest flowers in colours I love, make a cake in colours I love, with my favourite flavour (chocolate with peanut butter Swiss meringue buttercream) and then take a few photos, pull all the flowers out, sit down and eat it. Well, not all of it. Not all at once.
And so I did. Just for me.
The funny thing is, you guessed it, as often happens in Motherland, by the time I got a window of time to actually make the cake, it was way past my birthday, half of my family were away, the gorgeous hot pink gumnut blossoms that were to be the star of the show had all fallen out, and no one really wanted to eat my cake anyway.
Never mind. I ate it. And enjoyed it. I gave the rest away. Better luck next year.
Hip Hip Hooray.
To me. Yayy!
See you next Saturday with that baby shower I promised. xx
Cake topper || Glistening Occasions
Good morning Lovelies. Another glorious day here in paradise. What are you up to this weekend? We might take the kiddies for a swim in the lake before I decorate my orange and poppyseed cake for church tomorrow. I am thinking of doing more succulents, just because I want to and they are way too much fun.
Oh hold your hat!! As I am sitting here chatting with you I hear a faint cheepy chirpy sound coming from our incubator. Low and behold we have the first of our teeny tiny chicks hatching into the world today! Yayy! How exciting. Don’t you just love new life?
Anyway, as I was intending to say ….last Saturday we had our third 18th birthday party. I gave myself the challenge of creating my very first non vintage monochromatic dessert table and donut board. Not an old rusty, weather beaten prop in sight. As modern decor is not my native tongue, so to speak, I am quite pleased that I managed to pull out shiny, black, brand new non vintage items.
As for the monochromatic look…..well, I tried really really hard. I honestly did, but then I found this deliciously blue Mosser glass cake stand online, that I had been searching all over the country for. As soon as I had it in my hot little hand I just knew it would provide the perfect pop of colour to send my dessert table to the next level. Before I knew it, I had blue isomalt to make a sugar sail for my cake and matching cupcakes, colour coordinated candy and hues of blue on my cake that would make Van Gogh proud. What can I say, resist as I might, colour is my passion and as my twelve year old daughter expressively declares, “It’s just my natural musk!”
As our son is a tradie, I thought it would be fun to use nails as pegs on the donut board. Do you have any idea how many nails there are in Bunnings? Oh my. I was standing there in front of hundreds of packets of the dear things..feeling a little out of my comfort zone to be honest. Now I know how hubby would feel if I sent him into Spotlight for quilters thread. Anyway, I finally found some that fit the peg board and they looked really effective.
I have to say it. This was a very cheap DIY dessert table display. Totally budget friendly. Most of the props were sourced from Kmart and were under ten dollars each. The black metal grid framing the donuts are small clothes drying racks. I found a set of three round mirrors for $9:00 which I used under the cake and wire basket to create a reflective illusion of space. Flat metal trays served sweets and desserts, and a metal display shelf attached to the peg board backdrop held the cupcakes.
Some of my favourite DIY elements of the party included the cake stands I made. Again, all items were found in Kmart. I bought two round stone trivets and glued them to a geometric candle holder, which I turned upside down. Voila! A trendy modern cake stand for less than ten dollars. I also glued three black tin hexagon planters together to hold the lollies.
The sweets menu consisted of a chocolate orange blossom birthday cake and cupcakes…my new favourite combination (recipe coming soon to blog). Our daughter graciously carried four dozen Krispy Kreme donuts on the plane from Sydney, which were possibly the stars of the show. Everyone loves a good donut! Tim Tam pops and chocolate coated peanut butter crackers were decorated with edible metal gun grey paint and silver leaf. (Note to self, metallic edible paint is not actually designed to go on chocolate and gives a bitter taste. Hmm. All good, I conversed with the edible paint creator on that one and I obviously didn’t read the fine print. But boy, I loved how they looked! Presentation people!)
Without a doubt , the most fun I had was playing with isomalt. It’s the first time I have used it and yes, I was quite nervous. Isomalt is a sugar substance that lets you pour, pull, mould, drizzle and spread it, much like toffee. It is shiny and glamorous and makes you feel like you are holding glass. You have to work quickly, but oh it was fantastic to play with! I am absolutely addicted. The only down side is that it melts. My cool thin wispy threads were starting to melt by the time I got my camera out. Oh well, never mind. Isomalt and I are at the beginning of a beautiful friendship and I will overlook her flaws for now.
Well folks, that’s a wrap. My very first modern, mostly monochromatic geometric dessert table. Not a flower in sight. I am quite pleased with how it all came together. As a bonus, our son now gets a new black wire dirty clothes basket and a cool round shelf for his room. Now, if you will excuse me, our third little chicky is hatching and I must go and marvel at the wonder of it all. Have a great weekend.
Good morning Lovelies. How was your week? If you read last week’s post on Motherhood musings you may have picked up that I was having a bit of a moment with my lack of organisational skills and ability to run a large household efficiently. Well, I am pleased to announce that I have gained the victory this week! Forgive me for boasting, but today I actually saw the bottom of our two huge washing baskets in the laundry. Yes, I did it. I washed every single piece of dirty clothing and can proudly respond to the children who are looking for a certain item “Well, it’s all clean, so you must be able to find it!”
Actually, that joy lasted about twenty three minutes as I soon discovered a small mountain of dirty clothes stuffed in obscure places in the kid’s bedroom. Sigh. Nevermind, I’m still going to own it and pat myself on the back. Good job Mum.
Tonight we are throwing an 18th birthday party for our youngest son. Like every mum, I can’t believe he is all grown up and charging head on into adulthood. He is certainly becoming his own man, forming his own views and finding his place in the world. It’s such an exciting time in a young man’s life. So much to look forward to. I remember being his age like it was yesterday. Gosh I loved those years. So much fun and laughter. Not a care in the world. However, I am grateful for different seasons in our lives and would never want to stay 18 forever. As good as those years were, I much prefer settling back into the wisdom of my years surrounded by my loving husband and precious babes.
And so, of course there must be a dessert table at the party. I’m a bit excited about my self imposed challenge to create a modern, male friendly, non vintage dessert table. No bright colours, no rusty old things and not a hint of clutter. I am also creating my first donut wall. I will post about the party next week, so stay tuned for some monochromatic marvels.
Now onto cacti. I am loving this trend in the cake and party world at the moment. There are so many talented cake artists who are rocking these buttercream succulents. This is my first humble attempt at a cactus cake. I am practicing for my daughter’s 10th birthday cactus party next month. While they are a bit rough, I’ve gotta say these succulents were a whole lot of fun and I can’t wait to go a bit cactus crazy!
I hope you enjoy my cake and your weekend. See you next week.
What a wonderful afternoon we had a few weeks ago for my daughter’s 11th birthday. Last year she had her first ever birthday party, which was a spectacular Vintage Rainbow theme. This year, with a bit of encouragement from Mama Bear, she chose to have a horse party. She is animal crazy, and I love the idea of a rustic horse theme. Of course, to make it authentic, we needed to find somewhere to give the kiddies a horse ride. My expectations were blown out of the water by Jo and her amazing team from Seahorses Byron Bay. They provide up to ten beautiful horses for guests to enjoy. Even young children can groom and feed the horses before going on a spectacular ride along the glorious beach of Brunswick Heads.
The birthday girl’s favourite colour is aqua, so I designed the dessert table with a pop of colour to offset the rustic elements. I found leather fringing at my local Spotlight store, which gave the table a country/cowboy look. The old horse shoe tied to the fringing provided a central focal point to the front of the table.
One of my favourite elements of the dessert table was the horse favour jars. I had glass jars left over from our son’s Vintage barefoot wedding and I bought a bag of cheap plastic horse toys which I glued onto the jar lids and spray painted aqua. Such an easy way to make unique and quirky take home favours that will be a lovely keepsake for your guests. I filled my jars with chocolate covered and natural pretzels, Chex cereal and Maltesers.
The sweets menu included peanut butter Tim Tam pops, sticky date cupcakes with expresso chocolate ganache, assorted lollies and a banana cake with peanut butter frosting. Popcorn and potato chip bags were also added to the table. For a light lunch, I offered ham and cheese or coriander chicken rolls tied with aqua fabric scraps to keep in with the theme.
As delicious as the sweet treats were, the highlight of the party was definitely the horse ride. Jo assigned a horse to each of the riders, and a helper for the younger children. Charlotte immediately fell in love with her horse Candy. After time spent putting on helmets and being instructed on riding, it was time to mount up and follow the trail to the beach. Excitement levels were high! Seahorse Rides are perfect for the whole family and no riding experience is necessary. From my four year old to my husband, everyone in our family was able to enjoy the experience together.
After their spectacular ride along the beach, riders were encouraged to spend as long as they wanted grooming their horses and feeding them apples. Jo didn’t need to ask the kids twice! They have never been so up close and personal with horses and the intimacy that was shared between them was beautiful to watch.
Our horse party was such a success. The children were literally beaming the whole afternoon, long after we came home. Special thanks to Jo and her incredible assistants and horses, for giving our children one of the best days of their lives.
My baby turns four tomorrow. I can hardly believe it. I have been pretty much giving birth every two years since 1995 (21 years ago!) and as crazy as it sounds, I honestly didn’t think our sweet little girl Kitty would be our last baby. I am one of those mothers who love having babies so much that I could never imagine ever having my last.
Don’t misunderstand me, I do not find pregnancy easy. On the contrary, I have had morning sickness (more aptly named all day and night sickness), possibly for years if I added up the long months of that wretched, relentless, all consuming bane of my life. I gain weight with each pregnancy, as eating is the only relief I get from morning sickness, while exhaustion hits me like a freight train. No, pregnancy is tough.
And childbirth…well…sometimes people assume that because I have had nine children I am an earth mother who delivers babies in twenty minutes on the bathroom floor with mild cramping. OH NO! Lets talk about days, not hours of labour in some cases. Let’s talk about emergency caesarians at midnight into the third day of labour (baby number 7). Let’s talk about hitting the midwife with my gas mask while screaming at him ( yes him) to do something to help me before I plan to rip down the curtains and climb the walls out of sheer terror (baby number two). How about the planned VBAC home birth (baby number 6) where I stood in my lounge room like an amazon warrior woman with the force of the universe shooting through my body. Oh Such power! Or the planned caesarian (baby number 5) I chose to have because I was still reeling with grief a year after the loss of my newborn son and was too afraid to go into labour again.
So yes, I have had a fair share of diverse and challenging childbirth experiences. And I would be willing to do it all over again.
But now my youngest is turning four and there is no sweet newborn coming after her. It’s quite a new sensation. No more nappies. My beautiful Emmaljunga pram is getting dusty and my purple Maya Wrap sling that has been a permanent attachment to my body for years is tucked away in my drawer. However, my dear Kitty can dress herself and insists on doing so. She can put on her own shoes and get herself strapped into the car! Hooray!! There is definitely a plus side to all of this.
I am planning a Vintage Kitten party for my Kitty next week. Lots of pretty pastels, pink cupcakes and old vintage fabric. I can’t wait. For now though, here is my inspiration. I love my tiny ceramic kittens and put them into party mode by making little party hats out of cupcake papers.
Like all of our children, Kitty has been such a joy to our whole family. She is a spunky little sass pants who knows her own mind and loves to sing and dance. And while I would dearly love to give her another brother or sister, I am so blessed to have my ‘baby’ ( No mummy…I am a big girl!!) and intend to appreciate every little stage and milestone…and give her years of wonderful birthday parties!
I’m already planning her fifth birthday party…..Vintage Hello Kitty? Inevitable!!
I have been sitting on this wonderful vintage rainbow party for some months now. Our son’s wedding kept my blogging at bay for a good while, but I am excited to finally be able to share this very special party with you.
In July our vibrant fun loving daughter turned 10. We have four family birthdays in three weeks (!!) around that time, so it’s a tricky balance trying to celebrate everyone accordingly. As neglectful as it may seem, this particular daughter had never had a real party before. I need to clarify that I don’t feel bad about this. Her birthday has been celebrated every year, with lots of love and presents, but somehow the big party had eluded this sweet child. In an age of instant gratification and spoiled children, it’s not a bad thing to have to actually wait for something! And I can tell you that this made her party even more special.
The rainbow party theme was a challenge for me. It has been done so well by so many amazing Pinterest worthy party stylists and wealthy mothers. Firstly, I didn’t have a fortune to spend on it, and secondly, I didn’t want a party that looked like everybody else’s. I wanted to put a twist on the rainbow theme by keeping to my first love of vintage styling. I am crazy about chenille bedspreads. They flood my memory as a 70’s child who had a bright orange one, and they make the BEST vintage tablecloths! I based the whole theme on my sunshine yellow and bright blue chenille cloths. I also wanted to use coloured wool and ribbon to satisfy my love of texture, and also because they are cost effective. I spent many a night wrapping wool around my vintage milk bottles. I brought out my lovely white milk glass cake stands and hobnail dishes and sweet little ferris wheel cupcake holders for all of the treats. As Miss Charlotte is our flamboyant, dramatic child, I wanted her name to be a feature of the dessert table.
The backdrop was made up of cheap paper like coloured fabric from Spotlight, that I picked up for less than $2:00 a metre. I bought white paper pom poms on Ebay. The sweets included an array of cloud cookies, coloured lollies, white chocolate Tim Tam pops, my own Hummingbird Cupcakes and a rainbow cake hidden inside an unassuming white buttercream cake.
I’m not really into party games. By the time I bake and set up the whole dessert display, I just want to sit down, talk to the mothers and drink tea. The last thing on my mind is Pin the tail on the Donkey ( I’m a bit slack like that!) I’m also a firm believer in old fashioned play, and like to give children unstructured time to just enjoy each other and be. However, I did want the children to have one activity to do, so each guest was given a cupcake to decorate. This was a real winner. As it was our Charlotte’s first real party, I did splurge at the local discount shop and bought a range of colourful hats for the kiddies to dress up and take home. They were all very proud of their creations…and my hope is to instill a love of cake decorating into the next generation!
My own children helped me with many of the handmade elements. Our invitations were made of hand sewn felt clouds with rainbow ribbons hanging down. We also carried this design through to the Thank you take home bags. The girls made all of the clouds.
As you can see, the birthday girl was beaming all day and had such a wonderful time at her party. I probably say this often, but this party comes pretty close to being my favourite. I hope you enjoy looking through the photos and get inspired to give your next Rainbow party a vintage twist! XX
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 large bananas, mashed well
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups plain flour, sifted
- 1 3/4 cups castor sugar
- 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts if your prefer)
- Preheat oven to 180 Degrees C
- Line two muffin trays with 18 papers
- 1. Whisk together eggs, then add oil, vanilla and sour cream.
- 2. Stir in banana and pineapple, mixing carefully until well combined. Add water. Stir well.
- 3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, bi-carb, baking powder and sugar.
- 4. Add pecans and stir to combine.
- 5. Pour wet mix into dry mixture carefully. Lightly hand whisk together until well combined.
- 6. Scoop into cupcake liners until each is 2/3 full.
- 7. Bake in moderate oven for 18 minutes or until firm to touch.
- 8. Cool and add cream cheese frosting.