GF, DF, RiceFree, SoyFree, NutFree cake please

With a party date set and the days counting down i set out to sort out Cub – H’s Cake. Now i knew we had a few guests with intolerances and i would hate to exclude them. So the challenge was on!

He didn’t have a specific shape cake in mind (phew!) but of course a Batman cake was the request.  Now i contemplated going with batman logo shapes and black tinted icings or fondants but nobody wants a completely black cake right?

But there had been a cake i had been wanting to try for a while – now at the moment rainbow layer cakes are all the rage – but unfortunately i had made this for Cub-H’s 2nd birthday ( did i mention I’m always ahead of trends?? hehe) so that was not an option.

So i researched around for piñata cakes. There were many different examples out there in cyber space – some impressive ( we are talking tempered chocolate domes and gold leaf) and some not so impressive. I researched and researched and then…… i looked a little bit more for a happy medium between disaster home made and amazing but stressful.

I wanted to avoid the chocolate dome type piñata cake as March in WA can be near on 40 degrees!

I did note however, that many cakes with the simple hole cut out the middle didn’t get that avalanche of lollies when the first slice was pulled out.

I wanted that avalanche ….

I wanted it to look like 300,000kg of sweets were falling out of the cake. More investigating took place…..

My findings found out that three layers were needed at least ( 4 if you wanted a taller cake would be even better) but the key was that the bottom layer must have the whole cut out too, not just the middle layers!

So for my 3 layers  – 2 would have holes in them ( looking like HUGE doughnuts) and the top one would be a normal full cake. Easy. right? hmmm….

I decided to use the Magic Bean cake for the Thermomix, made with Pulses ( i.e.. kidney beans, cannelloni beans etc) it was nut free, gluten free yet still so moist that people without diet restrictions would have no idea! plus the kids were getting a whole pile of protein and a lot less sugar ( well in the cake at least!)

Cake made it was time for construction – as i did with the rainbow cake i cut my holes out and then popped the layers in the freezer – well wrapped these would stay moist until party day ( a great tip – you can bake your cake and freeze it so its one less thing to do the day before, plus in the summer here icing a frozen cake means your icing is not so soft) i always freeze test new cake recipes and this one did not fail to deliver, defrosted it was still beautifully fresh and moist.

Here is my cake two layers up filled with smarties and freckles and a cake crumb icing layer  – it was surprising how few chocolates it took to fill but how impressive it looked!

IMG_1557

Top layer going on and the cake crumbing complete – off to the fridge to set.

IMG_1570

Finally the 2nd coating of the blue buttercream and the decorations – for this i had used some of his batman lego figurines ( some say its cheating – i say intelligence!)

I also make a batman logo out of black and yellow fondant to pop on top of the cake for solid “batman-ness”

 

 IMG_1526

 IMG_1528

The cake was a huge success!

For cub-H who didn’t know of the hidden surprise and for Papa-fox who may have forgotten about the hidden chocolates!

IMG_1652

IMG_1654

IMG_1660

 YUM!!!!!!

All in all i love this cake and I’m just a bit tempted to make a version of it for Cub-M’s 2nd carnival birthday coming up.

Who doesn’t love chocolate cake FULL of sweets right?

J x

Advertisements

Father’s Day Printables

Here’s hoping you had an awesome Father’s Day yesterday and all those Dads were truly smothered with attention.

I will admit i struggle on where to start with Father’s Day and this year has really been the first year that Cub – H has know what it is about.

So i was firstly relieved to hear that now in Kindy, He would be doing something in the classroom – and wow create he DID!

They made awesome biscuits and wrapped them up beautifully. They also made a card – i was astonished at how his writing is coming along – at just 4! His school P & C also run a small fathers day stall  – so off he trotted with his coinage to buy dad something he truly wanted. Sorted. Well if what Dad wants is a thermometer and a fridge whiteboard then yes . Sorted.

photo 4

This made me feel better – as if suddenly there was something to give… something that if all my great ideas fell through cub – H would have something to give. But it also encourages me. Knocks me into gear.

These printables from Bianca at A little delightful are awesome, so on a windy rainy friday we decided to get creating.

photo 1

Firstly this awesome printable for a picture of dad – cub-H isn’t one for taking too long at these “quieter” activities. So dad was drawn well, but quickly.  But after a  small amount of encouragement we filled up the page. Then i couldn’t get him to stop!

Suddenly we had not only dad but – the dog and clouds and sun and rain  – i was very impressed.
photo 2

Next we completed dads questionnaire – which was quite entertaining, especially when asked dads name and getting the answer “T for Dad” Hmmmmm might need to work on those Letter sounds a bit more.

But he answered truthfully and was nearly always correct, for example : what is dads favourite TV show?  – “the News of course” (this is because anything that isn’t a cartoon and that dad wants to watch must be “the news” – oh what it must be like to be the brain of a 4 year old!
photo 3

You can download these great printables Here  – there is also a great breakfast menu card which we didn’t get a chance to use this year. But I’ve put away for next year hopefully. Thanks Bianca – as amazing as always.

I also picked up this awesome book after seeing them in the Target brochure. I actually went in to grab the Marvel superhero book. however after having a quick flick through i decided it was a tad old. But i spied this book – it was interactively awesome and not to mention uber cute! little letters from inside envelopes from each different animal to their dad.

 

 

photo 2

photo 4

At the end we had a space to write a letter to our dad and i printed and stuck a picture of the boys on the back. I think i might have to whip out the laminator soon to just protect the letters for a bit longer ( especially with a 2 year old around who wants in on every book!)

photo 5photo 3

 

 

It was a great day with blustery river walks and an awesome roast dinner with friends.

With my gorgeous dad trekking around the world on adventures and this being the first fathers day since the passing of Pappa Fox’s amazing Dad – we held our special dad close and gave him an extra squeeze just because!

Love you Dad x

 photo 1

You are making what??

From about 2 days after Cub-H’s 3rd birthday he became obsessed with Superheros as many boys have done in the past.

Inparticular BatMan. Even to this day half way to becoming 5 he is still obsessed with Batman. Superman, Flash, Ironman, Spiderman all get fleeting spots of attention and are by no means “uncool” but batman wins hands down. Everytime.

So from the get go his 4th Birthday was to be a superhero party and he did not waiver for the next 363 days on that commitment!   I don’t particularly like to go down the “licensed” character style parties so we settled on a superhero party and i was happy with that so i set off in my hunt for non character items – not as easy as grabbing a batman or a spiderman party pack but i was convinced there was something!

In pure Me style my imagination took over and suddenly i found myself in spotlight buying 8m of red cotton and yellow felt –  luckily this purchase came just as spotlight sent me a 40% off voucher so 8m of red material was a bargain!

metres and metres of red cotton!

metres and metres of red cotton!

 

Crazy? probably!

But off i went to study and make 20 superhero capes that would become the gift each child could take home after the party.

Once i had worked out my measurements and had a process these were actually really easy to zip out  – i had the material folded over so i was cutting 2 each time, and by alternating them  – i could cut them out one after another with no scraps in-between (a bit like if you cut out triangles)- by using the pinking shears it meant the fabric wouldn’t fray and i didn’t need to get out the overlocker. I glued the cutout yellow lightning bolts ( cut out of felt) with my hot glue gun.

Lightning bolts

Lightning bolts

To cut the necks i used a standard side plate, folded the cape in half and drew out a semi circle round the plate and then cut. Using my glue gun i glued velcro dots to the two sides and viola! a cape!

As we were going to have such a mix of kids from 1 – 6yrs old, I cut a few inches off some of the capes for the smaller kids  –  I didn’t want the 1yr olds tripping over!

all complete

all complete

close up of the felt lightning bolts

close up of the felt lightning bolts

I nearly decided against the masks altogether as they seemed more complex to make, luckily i stumbled across these awesome masks in a $2 store and bought them all!  – it still made the total cost of each item about $4 which i decided was still well in budget.

all hanging and ready to go!

all hanging and ready to go!

I had found these awesome printables of superheros over at http://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/thecurriculumcornerfamily/2012/11/22/superhero-party-printables/  ) and they were perfect ! As my capes ranged in size i needed kids to grab the right size. so i added a tag with each name to each cape. This worked even better than i thought on the day  – as each family arrived the excitement built up with the anticipation from each child “is there one for me mum”  “which one is mine” making it all the more personal 🙂

Personal tags

Personal tags

IMG_1547  IMG_1552 IMG_1574

 

So that the Birthday Boy felt a little special  (plus the fact that it still should be a batman party to him) i made him a double sided cape that was sewn using my machine as i decided that it needed to last long after the party. He had batman on one side and a lightning bolt like everyone else on the other side. He was spotted changing it over numerous times during the party.

 

using the same concept as the lightning bolts  - hot glue gun for the win!

using the same concept as the lightning bolts – hot glue gun for the win!

the double sided looked great with the two colours

the double sided looked great with the two colours

They worked out better than i could even imagine and are still worn on a near daily basis around our house  – plus if anything becomes a little unstuck i can just whip out the glue gun and stick it back again.

IMG_1718 IMG_1629 IMG_1598

 

Jana x

Does time only fly when your having fun?

Here i am for my obligatory 6 month blog post.

Don’t get me wrong – its not that nothing’s happening – quite the opposite – its seems that so much is happening that i never get the chance to sit down quietly to put pen to paper ( so to speak!)

Like right now. My boys are actually playing together nicely (well 95% nicely), its raining outside so the guilt of needing to pull out those massive weeds is less (and being watered nicely – damn!) but i still can’t avoid the fact that i should be using this uninterrupted 5 minutes to fill in next years school paperwork or the new childcare forms, update my business plan, check my emails, sand the office walls – the list goes on. Anyway chin up and move on girl….

 

Speaking of Moving.. we have recently sold our house, found a new palace and moved over 100km south  (now I’m starting to realise how time has slipped by rapidly).

So far it feels like it rains more, is much less windy and soooo much greener. But we are loving it and can not wait for summer, When I’m sure we will be wishing that extra rain back again.

With still a twinge of sadness i regularly think of the old house we built, put the hard earned $ and effort into to finish, where PappaFox & CubJ got ready for our wedding, brought our sons home to for the first time and celebrated many an anniversary, Xmas or achievement in.

It certainly wasn’t that we didn’t like it or the suburb, but we had grown too big for the little hut and our boys were eager for more space for “boy things” like climbing trees and riding bikes too fast. Plus we were just that bit too far from the Grandies for them to get those precious first years together with the boys, whilst the admiration and “Grumps your so cool” still resonated from their mouths daily.But i will admit its hard to leave something you technically still love.

But off we went and we haven’t looked back….

just over half an acre full of beautiful trees, boy adventures, Kookaburra calls, veggie patches and most importantly space. Space to do what kids do best – play and laugh and be noisy.

We have decided to renovate as opposed to build again so as we embark on a slow renovating journey we hope to keep you informed – the good times and the bumps along the way.

Eep!  Officially Sold!

Eep! Officially Sold!

Moving Day! Not sure Mo is aware!

Moving Day! Not sure Mo is aware!

Watching the sunset on our new abode on the first night

Watching the sunset on our new abode on the first night

Jana XX

A new year …… a new start!

Without starting off on completely the negative foot – but prooving myself right is not always a wonderful thing.

With my last published post being May last year – have i just proved to myself that i can’t commit, that i can’t “get around” to doing the things i plan, that i have lost the “time” to do anything simple.

Well its a new year and a new start!

Last year was a busy one and i hope to cover some of the things we have been up to very soon. but until then here is a catch up!

Hope your 2013 finished with a bang and 2014 is treating you well

Jana xx

Image

30 – Alive or Denial?

So here we are a month since turning 30 and guess what?

I Survived  – and I live to tell the story!

Ok …… so that may be a slightly dramatic view!

Being in the era where all my friends are catching the big “30” one by one – more and more each month as the year rolls by. You would start to think it was some kind of disease slowly taking over the world like some airborne virus in a Stephen speilberg movie.

There was mixed reviews about what 30 would bring me from various friends –

“the start of better things”

“the end of an era”

“pull out the slippers” etc  – the list went on.

So i decided i would ignore it……. I certainly didnt feel 30! and after spending the last 12 years handing over ID cards to be served in pubs i was hoping i didnt look 30!

Now i know what your thinking! –  denial?     Absolutely not. in fact it was exactly the opposite.

I couldnt be happier  – in fact i havent been happier….. ever.

My teens – well they were a rocky, hormone unbalance, uneducated time.

My 20’s? travels, unsuccessful relationships, family communication breakdowns and a young professional in a male influenced workplace.

Finally…… im feeling comfortable, at home, happy and for once in my life –  petrified to lose what i have – not a bad petrified, just the type that makes you feel sick if you ever think “how would i feel if i didn’t have him” and thats the best type of petrified to feel!

I havent found myself bogged down in a number – but then with 19 years between me and hubby perhaps we have learnt to ignore the numbers a long time  ago!

Ok so i will admit there has been a few moments – like when you realise you no longer fall into the 19 – 29 group in surveys or you dont actually know what the number 1 song in the charts is!

Either way – its not so bad! infact quite enjoyable!

I cant wait what the years ahead have for me – Denial or no Denial!

A Rubbish Party!

So last month amidst the chaos that the beginning of the year seems to always bring, our gorgeous little Cub-H turned 3!

I will admit with babycub-M recovering from his lip surgery and wedding season in full swing, i nearly just skipped it altogether and brought an icecream cake and stuck a candle in it. Would he really know any different?

But – then his buddies at Kindy started to turn 3, then those in his Mothers Group and it all started to make sense to him.  Balloons, games, cake, singing and most importantly he finally understood presents. OMG did he suddenly understand presents!

Saying this however, he was an awesome present receiver – he would open the card first, (not a trait i taught him!!) then rip into the paper, gasp and cheer and exclaim that it was the best thing ever – every time, like he had been programmed.

Now, we find it important to instil manners and politeness into our boys so it becomes like second nature – but this kind of response you couldn’t programme. This was pure Cub-H enthusiasm through and through, it was gorgeous to see and brought a smile to every gift givers face.

So about a week before his birthday i suddenly decided that we should throw a party especially since he finally understood them!

Cue me running around like a nutter getting completely over the top with everything as always!! Cub-H’s birthday has always been that once a year event that we open up the house and hold a huge shindig – so why should this year be any different right?

Mummafox: Cub-H what kind of party should we have?

Cub-H: Bin man Party

Mammafox: Ok, how about trucks and cars and trains? or maybe a construction party?

Cub-H: no just Bin men.

Ok – we can do this! (Scrolling through Pinterest in my mind – will a search bring up anything for a trash party!!)

I picked up a truck picture from Google and a simple 3 to match and printed them onto transfer paper to make this awesome T-shirt that i must say was probably one of Cub-H highlights of the day! He LOVED it!!! In total it cost about $1.50 if you include the paper and ink cost!

Image

Our Dessert table – top level – party favours for the  young party goers  at just $3 each – small metal rubbish trucks also used as decorations and one big truck filled with “rubbish bags” lolly bags for the older kids.

Lower levels – Mud tubs with dirt and worms, Rubbish bins with pig sweets, Slime Jelly tubs, metal bins with party snacks, Choc pebble crackles (sans burnt popcorn – total mummy fail!)

Image

The Trucks were a huge hit with Cub-H’s 3yr old buddies.

ImageImageImage

The gorgeous printable thank you tags from http://www.catchmyparty.com – check out their free printables here – http://catchmyparty.com/printables

Image

We kept this table simple and child friendly  – with all the other food being outside.

AFter much scrutinising on the internet about how i was going to achieve the bin truck i finally decided on a simple design that was effectively the right colours and shape.

Cue some Oreo wheels, Chocolate biscuit dirt and lego men and we had ourselves a winner!  I actually forgot to take a final picture of it once i had completed the sign writing – but here are a couple pre-sign completion.

Image

ImageImage

Image

My Gorgeous Birthday Boy – i still cant believe its been 3 years!!

Image

All in all – albeit it rushed i think we managed ok !

Happy 3rd Birthday Gorgeous Cub-H!!

Jana (Mum) x

Do I Really have time?

I started this blog officially 12 months ago this week.

Yes, i know this is my first post. You see, everytime i sit down to write,  a number of questions run through my head and i never managed to actually publish my thoughts.

Why do people blog?

What makes me interesting enough to blog?

How does one just start to blog? and what do they put in their first ever post?

But most importantly – do i have time to commit to a blog?

Will it be like those Pjs and the 4 bibs currently stowed away under the stairs that i started sewing when Cub H ( now 3) was born? Or perhaps the scrapbooking album that sits half completed in my bookshelf?

In reality it recently dawned on me that time really doesn’t stand still, weeks and months zoom by – next week BabyCub M will be 5 months old!! It really seems like only yesterday he was born into our family.

I will admit its been an extremely busy  5 months with countless hospital appointments and babycub M’s Surgery. But i cant believe that he will soon be half a year old and I know suddenly his first birthday will be upon us.

People say – “you always look back and remember” or ” it will be a great story to tell them when they get older”  But i will admit i can’t always remember whether i ate breakfast this morning or not? How have i got any chance in hell of remembering some great childhood stories to retell my brood?

Therefore Ive decided that i DO have the time to blog – if only for me to return back to in 6 months, 2years or 10 years time to relive the moments of our family that at the time i may have been to busy to enjoy.

The diary of our lives – capturing the everyday antics that are often forgotten.

Please feel free to walk beside us  – sharing and remembering your everyday moments as well.

Jana x