Monday, November 29

The Much Anticipated Fairy Birthday Party

Pull up a chair and a hot drink... it's going to be a long post... with lots of photos... :)

It's been 3 weeks in the planning and yesterday it all came together and was (in the words of our 4 year old girl) "the best birthday party ever"...

Let's start at the beginning... every party needs decorations... Elizabeth had been persistently asking over the last month whether we could have decorations at her party, so I made up this bunting using bias binding tape ($3 for 5 metres) and paper triangles cut out of some scrapbooking paper I got for free ages that was just gathering dust... Basically I cute 5 triangles per 12x12" piece of paper and then sewed them into the bias binding... I got the idea from here - it was a really cheap way to create some really pretty decorations (quote from Elizabeth - "It's better than streamers Mum!")... we also had the ever compulsory balloons...




We had 9 little girls come around to celebrate the day (we were expecting 10, but we had one sick friend who couldn't make it :(...) They were all dressed up in an array of different dress ups ranging from fairies, ballerinas and princesses... As each girl arrived, we put some glittery body cream on their arms or hands to make them all pretty :)(I made up the glitter cream using some $3.00 aloe vera gel and some sparkly silvery glitter) Funnily enough, the first 5 girls arrived and they all just stood there quiet and shy and looking at each other like stunned mullet (even though they all knew each other!)... I was worried this was going to be a flop of a party since they weren't interacting at all... but my worries were unfounded, 'cos they were all playing together in no time...

We started the party off making some necklaces with flowers and beads...


This worked well to entertain the girls as everybody was arriving... and when they finished making the necklaces, they wore them (or gave them to mum and dad to hold!) and happily went off and played in the backyard either running up and down the hill, playing on the slide and toy car or just running after each other...




Once everyone had arrived and had made a necklace, we got everybody gathered around for a game of pass the parcel... oh and if you're wondering why I'm sitting in the circle it's because Elizabeth and her friend Angie insisted I be a part of it... (these photos taken by Vicky... thanks Vics... good job.. :)) -




In between each layer of the parcel there was a miniature My Little Pony figurine... the girls really liked them... (those that already had claimed their little prize were so distracted they forgot to pass the parcel around and needed prompting... LOL) They really liked them so much that nobody seemed to care about getting the main prize (a Fairies colouring in book with textas)... Elizabeth was stoked with her Pinkie Pie pony... :)

Next up was the pinata (or the "curvana"... as Elizabeth calls it... what the?!)... Apparently this was Elizabeth's favourite part of the party (I wasn't going to do a pinata, but I was so glad I did now that she told me it was her favourite part!)... The girls loved getting the random goodies out of it...






Elizabeth scored a (annoying!) recorder/whistle thing, some bangles and a few chocolates... There were heaps of lollies and chocolates, but she was content with just a couple of chocolates... she just loved her whistle!


And then there were fairy wand biscuits -


We did a "decorate-a-fairy-wand-biscuit"... there was lots of icing... and an array of coloured sprinkles and other pretty things and the chef-lings got very creative ...









Munching on the biscuits was followed by more party food -



We had an array of fairy bread, vegetable and bacon quiche (which despite being prettied up in tinkerbell cupcake cases was not a hit... LOL), spring rolls and heart sandwiches.

Everyone was full... so full they said they didn't want to eat the birthday cake... although most changed their mind when they saw it -


This cake was the source of some serious frustration and panic for me... It took me 3 attempts to actually bake the cake during the week using the same recipe I used for Catherine's baptism cake (I burnt the first batch, the second batch I didn't make enough cake mix and rose unevenly in the bowls, so it wasn't the right mushroom shape and finally third time lucky, it all worked out)... Then assembling the damn thing, I had issues with the mushroom cap sliding off the bottom layer (due to the warm weather, my buttercream was not holding together all to well and was a bit too soft)... I was lucky that we managed to narrowly avert disaster when Phan caught the top layer when it was sliding off... (warm weather made the buttercream quite slippery and the base was a little bit too narrow to make a steady base.. in hindsight, I should have levelled off the top of the base to make it bigger, but by the time I'd realised this, I'd already covered the base in buttercream and put on the windows, doors and flowers, so it was too difficult to cut the top off)... So in the end we resorted to drilling 3 holes through a cardboard cake base and put skewers through it to keep it all together... The buttercream isn't as smooth as I would have liked it to have been on the mushroom cap, but I was so stressed out by it in the end, I just wanted to touch it as little as possible and have it just stay together! I actually ended up mortaring the cakeboard to the base with some extra buttercream with my finger (think selleys no-gaps style!) in a bid for extra stability. It all worked out in the end, but I can tell you I was in a bit of a tizz on Saturday night when it wasn't working! Elizabeth adored the cake (it was her second favourite part of the party... :))... She has been talking about it almost daily for the last 3 weeks... so seeing how much she loved it made my stress worthwhile...






Post-cake there was more squealing and shrieking while racing down the hill and running away from monsters and other imaginary games... Seriously, I think I could have got away with not planning any party activities... That hill in our backyard was instant entertainment... they could have run up and down it all day...









What the photos do not adequately describe is the amount of high pitched squealing that was going on... seriously insane... Imagine that it was loud ... and that it was constant. Elizabeth is normally a reasonably sedate child, but put her in with a group of little girls and she becomes this crazy, excitable, shrieking banshee! And we had a flock of them! I wished I'd taped some video on my iphone to share... (Phan did get some on high-def video though... if he gets a chance to compress it down, I'll share it).

I'll mention now that Catherine was really well behaved during the party... she got freaked out at first by the large number of people.. but on the whole she was happy being in the company of either Daddy or Vicky... here's a shot of her hanging out with her godmother (and watching all the girls and probably wondering what the heck all the noise was about...)-


The party ended with Elizabeth opening the presents from her friends -






She loved them all... I think the funniest moment during the present opening was when she opened a package with a Barbie doll, but only ripped half of the wrapping paper so all she could see were legs and she goes "There are legs... I've got legs!!!"... LOL... yes... that was really exciting for her and hilarious for the rest of us ... She was happy when she saw it was an entire Barbie doll though!

Then everybody got a party bag which looked like this (I forgot to take a photo of all the party bags together, they each had a different coloured flower on the paper bag) -


And that was the end of the party... Two hours just flew by... Elizabeth was a bit sad to see all her friends go home... I think she wanted the party to go all day... "All my friends have gone home now... " she said with a melancholy face when she was the only one left... but opening up some of her toys cheered her up again...
(She really loves the barbie car and her 2 barbie dolls, polly pocket & littlest pet shop and a sparkly dancing ribbon.)

And there ends the mammoth post - hope you enjoyed it... The really weird thing is that last year when we had Elizabeth's cupcake party, I really didn't manage to take as many photos as I wanted, but for some reason this year we managed to get a lot more photos, even though I now had Catherine to attend to and we missed having Bao as an spare pair of hands... (although we did have Vicky there to help us out in between looking after her kidlets and she was more than obliging when it came to cuddling Catherine for us... :))

It took a fair bit of planning and organising, but in the end it was worth it just to see how much fun Elizabeth had with her friends...


Friday, November 19

Lots of Random Photos...

Okay... I have a tonne of photos that I've been wanting to share and seriously, if I don't do it now I'm never going to do it... So I've forgone any fancy post-processing just so I can post these photos up...

These are all pretty much random and not in any particular order -

1. We started Catherine on solids last Sunday... whilst she's not against the concept of solids, she isn't entirely convinced about it either... a bit of a contrast to Elizabeth who was gung-ho from the very first mouthful and just couldn't get enough... Still, we're making progress... so far she's had plain farex and some pear with farex (which she like a lot more than the plain farex)... but she does seem to think the bowl is better eating than the actual food...


2. We've also discovered she loves drinking cold water from a glass... I was drinking some water the other day and she was reaching out to my glass, so held the glass to her lips and she just went for it... it was hilariously cute... and she got pretty annoyed and whingy when I took the glass away! Unfortunately no pics of this since I was holding her and the glass at the time, but instead I'll share this shot of Catherine munching on a rusk one evening while we were sitting outside having dinner...


3. I still find it fascinating that there is so much rainfall here in the warmer months in Brisbane... here's the girl having some fun one day a few weeks ago when it was just bucketing down with rain ... I laugh at her choice of clothes (all her idea)... she looks like such a bag lady -


4. Elizabeth went through a phase about a month ago of watching this 2 minute short cartoon called "Trotjo" which is about a little donkey that does funny things and gets up to mischief often... she was obsessed with an episode where he went through his mummy's makeup and put white powder on his face and lipstick and turned himself into a clown... so one morning, I turned around to find Elizabeth with white toothpaste all over her face! When I asked her what she was doing she said she was trying to be a clown... too right... she is a clown!


5. I just think the frown on Catherine's face in this shot is funny...


6. And I'll finish with a bunch of photos that I took while Ong Ba where here for Catherine's christening -