At our church when people have a new baby they are made meals by people for a week. It is so wonderful to be on the receiving end of these. Recently we’ve had 3 friends give birth and I was making a meal for one set last night. I always like to do a dessert and I quite like the cupcake thing.
The new big sister (19 months) has this gorgeous top that is made of wide pink and green stripes that looks a lot like a watermelon. So Bounce and I made them some watermelon inspired cup cakes to finish off the meal.
I always feel like doing baking as make my week is cheating (because my baking isn’t flash and I do it every week) but I am trying to embrace creativity wherever it comes and value it. I am often amazed and inspired by other people’s baking and see them as very creative. Here is one such source of tempting inspiration!
To see what other people are creating click on the Creative Spaces button on the right.
Do you have rules for what counts as creative pursuit? Where do you most express your creativity?
My wee man is 6 today!! So we had a mystery party. Being that all the invited guests were 6 or younger I didn’t think we were quite ready for murder mystery (and neither am I!)
But we did do a great old mystery party – one sweet guest said to me, ‘Mrs F********* (they call me this because I do parent help at school) this is the best party I’ve ever been too.’ Bless him – it was a lovely bunch of friends he invited.
I had rather a tight schedule for the party we missed a couple of games entirely but we had FUN!
When the guest arrived they did a Mystery Person sheet – a self-portrait with some extra info afterwards. The intention was to use these to guest who was who at the end of party but we ran out of time.
All the guests received a pack with a magnifying glass, a clues notebook, a clues pencil, a name sticker, a little envelope with colour swatches in it and they added their prizes to it as they went
We played -
The Mystery box – feel it, shake it and write-up your guess in box 1 then I gave them 3 clues – I am metal, I am found in the kitchen and you use me to eat with. Then they wrote their second guess.
Guess the Guest – each guest rsvp’d by email with month of birth, no. of siblings, favourite – food, colour and animal. They put their name stickers on (so people could write their names without having to guess spelling etc) and I read out the information about each person and they wrote the names next to the spaces.
What’s My Colour – time was ticking along so I did this instead of getting the kids up and giving them a go. Each child had 7 colour swatches and I gave them a clue and they had to be the first to hold up the colour e.g- I am the colour of grass.
What is My Number – 9 different number sentences and the children wrote which number they thought was the mystery number for each sentence. E.g – I am less than 10, I am even and I rhyme with 4
Then we had a mystery treasure hunt each clue was written on white paper with white crayon so they had to paint dye over each clue after they found it to expose its message
Food – we had mystery food bags. I showed them some very cute ‘food pictures’ then gave them a mystery bag filled with foodie bits which they had to make into a picture on a white serviette and then tell everyone what they made.
I also provided some extra bits, including plain bread which a few of them used and then ate!
Cake – a big question mark made from cupcakes – easy!!!
Mystery Box Punch – I saw this idea on pinterest a while ago and it was a neat way to give the kids a small prize to take home.I forgot to take a final before pic!!!
They picked a number out of a hat which determined their order. (Flip and I had already discussed he would go last) and then they punched through the tissue to get their prize.
The party was great fun the 1.5hours disappeared and we didn’t get to the Mystery Bag – put your hand in a bag and guess the item before pulling it out, Reverse Hide and Seek, or finish the Mystery Person Pages. I probably could have done 2 hours but I always like to keep things short and sweet before there are tears and tantrums!!
A great day, a simple easy themed party, all good! What is your best birthday party tip??
The other thing that worked well was a list of jobs that needed to be done today so that everyone could help with the jobs to get the party ready and I didn’t have to give jobs out constantly.
And I’m joining in with Simone’s great link because I love seeing what others are up to!
Although I’d like to think of myself as a ‘naturally gifted parent with no help needed’ part of becoming the mama I want to be is intentionally becoming more skillful and thoughtful in how I parent.
Last night The Atlas and I started a 6 week ‘Parents Inc’ toolbox course. All my life I’ve held to the fact that I would rather learn from others mistakes than make them myself. This supports that theory for me – learn and take courses before things are tricky.
The fun part is that we are hosting so I have the perfect excuse to make recipes I wouldn’t normally. Last night it was Cherry Ripe Mudcake – mmmmmm – narrowly missed eating leftovers for breakfast!
and Flip and I made these little treats as well – happy to do a how to post if you want one!
I want my boys to feel they have a contribution to make in terms of making people feel valued and welcome in our home and baking is one of those things.
We are a family that LOVES having people over and this is no exception and it means my house gets vacuumed at least once in the week!
How do you feel about having people at your place?
This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be) is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. Please inspire me with the little moments you are snatching with your little people OR with ideas I could do with mine. If you have blogged about it please leave a comment so we can all visit and encourage each other. Thank you so much for those of you who have given me really encouraging feedback recently!
Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be
Not that I’ve seen many episodes but oh the inspiration….
As you’ll be well aware I love baking with my boys but after seeing that programme I decided I also really want to ‘educate’ them about food as we cook/bake together.
Someone was owed a baking session from his ‘Learning to Ride a Bike’ chart
So today we rubbed in the butter and I let them do everything they could handle – whisk, beat, soften butter in the microwave, measure, add and mix and I talked about ‘why’ we do certain things when we bake.
But before you think we’re getting all ‘culinary artist’ on you we did decorate true to our preferred style – colour, sugar, fun (not so much class!).
What activities have you got planned in the holidays?
This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be) is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. Please inspire me with the little moments you are snatching with your little people OR with ideas I could do with mine. If you have blogged about it please leave a comment so we can all visit and encourage each other.
Simple. Intentional. Achievable: becoming the mama I want to be.
Thursdays are my day with Bounce. On Thursday mornings this year I have decided I am not available for coffee dates or last-minute errands (unless they are truly urgent) because I have a boy who is growing up fast. Already he is at kindy 3 mornings and these ‘me and he‘ times are for treasuring.
Today we made cupcakes. This afternoon friends are coming to play and one of them turned 4 today so we’re having a little impromptu party.
Although I am trying to live simply I also believe in excess in a big way when it comes to people and baking. Bounce is his mother’s child. While we were mixing our cupcakes he said ‘I like it when you put chocolates in the middle’. We had no chocolates, but we did have marshmallows.
And instead of icing we made chocolate mousse. And then we added sprinkles and jaffas because when you are 4 you are not counting calories and you are probably not that worried about perfect icing.
For some time in my life I felt like people thought I was ‘too full-on’ or a bit of a ‘try hard’ when I went unnecessarily over the top, for no good reason. But I’ve come to believe that people are worth going over-the-top for. Not when it causes stress and upset to do it, I agree. But I like surprising people with more-than-expected and I enjoy a good bake up with my 3 year-old.
And actually I think the world needs a bit of ‘full-on and crazy’ now and again and it’s up to those of us to who like it to get on and do it, even when people roll their eyes or tell us we really don’t need to try so hard or go to so much effort. Maybe if I’m feeling very brave and some one says that to me I’ll tell them to ‘stick a cupcake in it’!
You’ll be pleased to know we licked the beaters after we made the mousse and Bounce said to me – ‘this is good for your heart and throat isn’t it mama?’. Oh yes little Bounce it is good for your heart for sure (just not the heart the doctor checks – aye Grandad!).
After getting through that marathon of reading – other creative people can be found here.
It was The Atlas’ birthday on 3rd of Jan so I threw him a little surprise pot-luck tea with some friends.
And even though I planned it before Christmas no-one ‘spilled the beans’.
So after a morning and a half surfing he came home to a tidy house and a bench full of baking.
(The tidy house hardly every happens – when my boys said daddy needed more presents I told them the tidy house was one!)
The lego cake is an idea from the Donna Hay kids magazine I got just before Christmas.
Super easy and suitably pleased with using a book/magazine I own to actually make something.
Actually yesterday was one of those days when I felt like I had NO time….. and 700 things to do before Friday…..
anyway I digress
Sometimes, in my spare time when I am not thinking about how I need to do X,Y and Z, I think what fun it would be to be a food critic. Of course this would not be a good choice of job in reality because there are far too many things I won’t eat, try or don’t like.
However, watching shows like masterchef makes me think about the way I eat and taste food. Watching the judges savour mouthfuls and move them around in their mouths extracting every taste motivates me to try to appreciate everything I eat. Then I sit at dinner focussed on who wants what, who’s eating what and who needs a drink and I forget what I am even eating myself.
The Atlas would love a job as a food critic, most of his happiest travel memories revolve around food and he remembers the names and locations of obscure restaurants we ate in, in all sorts of places.
So when Baker’s Delight gave me a Christmas cake as a thanks for the reviews I’d done for them this year we tried to do the food critic thing.
‘Good weight, I think that is a good sign in a fruit cake. Smells lovely coming out of the packet. No fake red and green cherries (hooray they are on my won’t eat list).’
She tastes the cake thoughtfully. Slowly savouring the mouthful.
‘Mmmm rich without being sickly. Fruity but still maintaining a cake like consistency. Moist but not wet. Flavorsome but not soaked in so much alcohol you’d be afraid of a breath test on the way home.’
Yes so that’s my take. I think The Atlas mumbled something while his mouth was still full it sounded like ‘pass me some more please.’
Not sure he’s ready for a career change yet but he does have lovely manners.
I did enjoy this fruit cake and as I can’t/won’t make my own I feel very lucky to have it.
On my birthday I was very spoilt.
I wanted to share a few of the handmade gifts I received that might inspire you.
This amazing bag Juliet made.
This cute, cute purse/clutch from Nin made by Annie.
This gorgeous stitching made by my sis.
And this incredible cake that I was given at music group made with love by one of our mamas.
With all sorts of my favourite details made from handmade-fondant icing.
And I received a cake on my birthday from another friend too.
I know – so spoilt and that was all of the handmade loveliness either.
The lovely Dee invented/coined/created the idea that we ought to ‘pin real life’. For those who aren’t pinterest fans or converts – pinterest is a web hangout for creating virtual pinboards of all the pretty things one comes across. But Dee rightly said we need to use pinterest to inspire us rather than create desire/dissatisfaction about our own lives.
On Friday night we had a bloggers Christmas swap – more about that tomorrow!
And I had a chance to make some Christmas Edibles for the occasion so I did these all inspired by pin, pin, pinterest ideas.
Spiced cupcake Christmas Trees with gingerbread stars.
North Pole Cupcakes
and Christmas Tree brownies.
So this is my first ‘pin real life’ but I can see I’ll be doing more!
It’s such a satisfying feeling to take inspiration and make it concrete/ do something with it.
This weekend we celebrated a certain little man turning 3.
Our gorgeous little Bounce is 3 on Nov 1st.
He is a bear lover and a truck lover.
So I hired a cake tin from here and made him a teddy cake.
Along with this we had some little games, ‘Toss the Teddy’,
‘Teddy Drawing’, and ‘Grab the Teddy Story’.
We don’t really do children parties until 5 but some of our usual crew had recently moved!
So we swelled out the numbers with some of those we consider extended family.
We had some fun.
It was a good day and, as I see it, there are few things worth celebrating more than the gift of children to us.
I was pleased with the teddy cake the hireage included a yummy recipe, and all the bits and instructions to avoid crazy cake frustration.
I think my icing could have done with some improvement.
More about Bounce on his actual day.