An ‘enchanted forest’ 3rd Birthday Party

Somehow, just somehow, our little girl turns 3 today.


Clichéd as it may sound, it seems like it was only yesterday that we welcomed her into the world. Yet here we now are – 3 years later – with a spirited and adventurous daughter who make us laugh every single day.


For months now, Charlotte has been telling me that she wants a ‘Ben and Holly’ party. So I ran with the fairy and elf theme, and before long we had ourselves quite the ‘enchanted forest’ soiree.


Despite all appearances, we kept the food relatively simple (and appropriately sugar-laden!).


The gorgeous toadstool cupcakes were courtesy of Little Miss Cupcake (my fondant skills still being in their ‘developmental phase’) while most of the other goodies (jelly, fairy bread etc) could be made in advance…

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As for the cake – well I must admit that I cheated a little. While I made the green ‘grassy’ base using chocolate cake and fondant – the castle itself was actually a cardboard cutout!


The little Miss was still super excited when she saw the finished product – so I’m calling it a mama win – cheats and all!


Fortunately we were also blessed with a beautiful sunny day – meaning we could set up the backyard for the kids to run amok.


The little toadstool set was hired from a local party company – while Mr BBB got creative and adapted a regular trestle table into “kids” size (we figured we’ve got plenty more kids parties ahead of us!!). As for entertainment, we had a lovely fairy entertainer drop by and read stories,  play games and ‘glitter-fy’ the kids.  The trampoline was also a hit, as always, and there was no shortage of snacks and dressups.


Overall – it was so very wonderful to celebrate this milestone with our nearest and dearest. For decorations and cakes aside, it was having all her family together that really brought a smile to the birthday girl’s face!


Wishing you a very happy 3rd Birthday my beautiful girl. May the year ahead be filled with wonder and adventure! — Oh – and just because I can’t help but take a trip down memory lane…

party Where did our baby girl go???

A farmyard 2nd birthday party


Well what a wonderful weekend that just was. One that was filled to the brim with family, friends and a llama….


Say what?! For when Miss C’s love of animals became apparent a little while ago – so did the theme for her 2nd birthday party.


A farmyard frolic!


As always, I had so much fun planning and preparing for this special occasion. Some things I purchased, some were handmade, and some were a combination of both. Pinterest became my best friend, and it wasn’t too long before the theme really began to take shape.


(Idea taken from here).


With pink gingham as my colour inspiration, I couldn’t resist creating a dessert table with farmyard inspired treats…

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Including fruit and jelly cups, chocolate mousse ‘muddy puddles’, trail mix ‘chicken feed’, pretzel ‘ropes’ and a beetroot dip and‘veggie patch’. And as for the all important cake – well this was a prime example of how homemade + store-bought can often work well together.


For while I made the actual mud cake, and (with the assistance of my niece) managed to apply the green fondant and fence posts – the adorable animal toppers and plaque were purchased from here.


As were the cute cupcake toppers that I placed onto mini muffins.


And while the cake was certainly a little rustic in parts – at least the bits that we made – Miss C seemed thrilled and even managed to blow out her own candles!


For beverages we served a fruit punch, made simply with tropical juice, ginger-ale, fruit and lemonade.


Along with the other usual suspects….champagne, beer, soft drinks and “moo juice” for the kiddies. And as for the goodie bags, well these were simply brown paper bags, finished with some gingham ribbon and a handmade thankyou note card. Filled with lollies and toys – and an advance apology to the parents for any lolly-bag induced sugar highs.


And not even a last minute sign painting fail could dampen our spirits, particularly when the stars of the party arrived shortly thereafter. For what farmyard party would be complete without the animals?  Lambs, chickens, baby goats and even …


Hamish the llama!! Not to mention Mamma rabbit and her two week old babies!


Needless to say – the kids (and adults, for that matter) had a lot of fun patting and playing with these beautiful and gentle creatures throughout the afternoon – when our normally boring backyard was transferred into a farm for the day!

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It was so very wonderful to have our house filled with the laughter and squeals of 11 little kiddies – as they frolicked with the animals, painted and jumped to their hearts content on the trampoline.


And as for the birthday girl, well she didn’t rest for a moment. Between stealing chippies, blowing bubbles and ripping open presents…. well I think she was in her element the whole time.

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(Her gorgeous skirt + hair bows came courtesy of an ever-talented friend….) Needless to say, the birthday girl didn’t need much encouragement to go to sleep when it came to bed time that evening (nor did I)!


Overall – it was a fun day – and one that I hope C and her little guests enjoyed. I still can’t quite believe she is two. For it feels like only yesterday that we had her Cheeky Monkey 1st Birthday Party!

60th Birthday Party Fun


What a weekend indeed. Fun, frivolity and lots of laughs, with some of my nearest and dearest family.


We travelled to Melbourne to celebrate my Mum’s 60th birthday, and had an absolute blast from start to finish.


From making cakes, salads and pulling together the dessert table…


(And learning the hard way that one should not stir red velvet batter while wearing a white shirt)…


And gasping in awe at this beautiful teapot cake a local cake maker created for the party…

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We had a lot of fun all-round. Not even the 38C+ days and a toddler who refused to nap could quash our spirits, as we partied until the wee hours of the morning.


Hokey pokey and all!


I returned home tired, but definitely grateful for my wonderful little family.


Happy Birthday Mum!

What about you? What did you get up to this weekend?

Our cheeky monkey first birthday party


Last weekend, we were lucky enough to have all our closest family and friends in town to celebrate Miss C turning 1. We were also blessed with a warm Canberra day, perfect for an indoor / outdoor celebration, followed by a casual BBQ dinner.


And while I am sure there will be lots of pink and princesses in future parties, we decided on a slightly different theme and colour scheme for C’s first birthday – a cheeky monkey party!


I had a lot of fun putting together the dessert table for the party – using yellow and aqua as the main colours. Featuring – rocky road, lemon meringue pies, bananas, blue jelly beans, lolly pops and Miss C’s favourite – banana milkshakes!


As for the cake – I was inspired by the Martha Stewart monkey cake (link here), and the idea grew from there. This ended up being a HUGE cake, but was a lot of fun to put together.


I also made a smaller monkey to use as a “smash cake”, although he ended up being a little haphazard….


When decorating the rest of the house, we kept things relatively simple. Some bunches of yellow and aqua balloons scattered around the house, along with fresh yellow lilies and colourful lanterns lining our deck.


So how did the party go??? Food was eaten, the bubbly was flowing, songs were sung, cake was smashed, presents were opened and many cuddles were had.

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And we were again reminded how very blessed we are to have such a close and loving family Smile

A Magical Moroccan Dinner Party


Thankyou all for your sweet comments, tweets and general warm wishes for my 30th birthday. I must say, I have had the most wonderful couple of days – and was fortunate enough to have birthday celebrations that were beyond even my wildest expectations. Friends and family – coming together for great food and lots of laughs. Could a birthday celebration be anymore perfect?! And, to say that I was spoilt, would be an understatement. I was truly blown away by the generosity of my nearest and dearest, and I really am so very blessed (but more on that to come tomorrow). Ok enough mushy sentiment, let me share with you the highlight of my weekend. My Magical Moroccan Dinner Party.


Taking advantage of the large living area in our new house, I decided to hold a dinner party for 40 people. We hired chairs, tables and cutlery, and with the help of cheap fabrics, candles and vases, we transformed our living room from this….


To this!

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I am not really sure how I came up with the Moroccan theme for the party. All I know is that I wanted something elegant, yet festive and filled with flavour.


I am pretty certain we delivered – thanks to the wonderful efforts of my family and best friend who worked with me all of Saturday morning and afternoon to decorate the house and prepare the food! I chose orange, red and purple as the main colours for the party, using orange hessian as the table cloths…


with strips of patterned material for the table runners.


In the centre of each table we placed a large vase filled with these gorgeous red flowers and some greenery.


At each place setting was a little trivia card about Morocco – which I am told were quite the conversation starters amongst our guests.

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We placed our couches outside (under a large heater that we had hired), providing a little ‘break out’ space.


And lined the entry hallway with luminaries.


But it wasn’t just about the decorations……for what dinner party is complete without food. Glorious food. Our wonderful local Turkish restaurant provided the entrees:

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A selection of dips / Turkish bread, and stuffed vine leaves (and some warm zucchini balls that went un-pictured as they were gobbled up so quickly!) Served communally on large platters.


While the main menu was made up of a variety of slow cooked Moroccan tagines and meatballs…


Some of which I have shared on the blog before (here and here) during our trial runs. There was plenty of food at the start, and not too much at the end, so they can’t have been too bad lol. We served the dishes buffet style, and our guests were able to come and help themselves.

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And the feedback was all positive, with the lamb and date tagine emerging as the clear winner! But now….onto dessert 🙂


Or a dessert buffet if you will! I used my DIY art technique to make the colourful ‘back boards’ for the buffet, and we were loaned some red lamps that gave the table a real Moroccan feel. But the star of the evening was a glorious macaron tower…


filled with a variety of macarons supplied by our local French Patisserie.

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As well as freshly made baklava from the local Turkish restaurant.


ok ok –  not so Moroccan but tasty nonetheless! It really was one of those nights that disappeared in the blink of an eye.


It felt like I had only just said ‘hello’ to my friends and family, when midnight rolled around and the crowd began to dissipate.  The night turned out even better than I had hoped, and created so many wonderful “new” memories…

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While also having the chance to reminisce about some “old” memories 🙂  A wonderful night indeed!