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Showing posts from February, 2013

First birthday party entertainment

I don't mean the paid kind of entertainment. I don't really go for the huge expensive kids party entertainment that some parents apparently try to outdo each other with.... pony rides and a petting zoo and a bouncy castle and a balloon twister and face painting and... well, you get the picture. Besides which that would go right over our budget, and i don't think a one year old would enjoy all of that anyway as it would overwhelm them. My favourite part of kids parties, that i remember, was playing impromptu games like chasey or hide and seek, and fairy bread. I love fairy bread! That reminds me, i must put it on the menu.

Instead, i'm thinking along the lines of entertainment for the adults, and some non-messy (or not too messy) fun for the babies.

Adults are usually happy with conversation and a beer or two at a bbq, but as it's for our son's first birthday, i thought they might like to see some video and/or photos of his first year. I'm busy trying to fin…

Favourite baby food recipes - creamy mango puree

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I'm going to start noting down our favourite recipes for bub, so that i don't have to go searching for the recipe, and also so i can note down any changes i make to it.


This first recipe is Creamy Mango Puree from the Woolworths Baby and Toddler site. The first time i made it i followed the recipe exactly, and he loved it. In fact he cried when i made the 'all gone' sign and i had to go get some more for him. The third time i made it i added some pears to prevent his stools being too firm, as he loves bananas and bread and he was eating them daily (they can cause constipation).

The original recipe you can see in the link, and my modifications are below. I used fresh mango the first two times, which is fantastic, but it's close to the end of season now and they're getting expensive ($4 a mango) so i used tinned in this one.

Ingredients:
2 fresh mangoes or 1 400g tin
2 pears
1 banana
2 tbsp natural yogurt
1 tbsp coconut oil

Method:
Blend until smooth.

I use a food …

Chocolate macarons

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This recipe from ChocoParis makes the tastiest macaron i've had. Really really chocolatey :)

I had two problems with the recipe.

One was my macs still come out looking grainy, and i think that's caused by me using almond meal as opposed to almond flour - it's not as finely ground and my food processor's not capable of grinding it further.

The second problem was with the recipe itself - like several of the commenters on the page, i found the mix too thick, and it never achieved macaronage. I ended up beating an extra egg white which helped a lot, so i've added that amount into the recipe below.

Ingredients

Macarons:
115 g egg whites (about 4 large eggs), at room temperature
125 g ground almonds or almond flour
125 g icing sugar
25 g unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
125 g caster sugar divided into two equal portions

Ganache:
125 g dark chocolate
100 ml thickened cream
25 grams unsalted butter

Directions

Pulse the almond powder, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a food…

Building our home: Demolition has begun!

On Friday last week when i dropped by the house after work to take a photo, there was a wire fence up out the front and the front door was wide open! The demo company's logo was on it so i knew the permit must have come through, and sure enough in the mail on Monday was our copy of the permit. I was so excited Monday afternoon to see what they'd done... but they hadn't touched it Monday (at least not on the outside).

Nothing changed until Wednesday, when the outer cladding came off the front of the building (weatherboard/fibre/asbestos house) and the weatherboard trimmings had been removed from the side. The next day the front looked mostly the same, except they'd removed some of the lower roof tiles, but all the outer cladding had been removed from the right hand side of the house. Friday nothing appeared to change, hubby said they'd stripped the interior.

We're expecting to see a bulldozer next week and then, an empty block!

First birthday party ideas

Ethan's first birthday party is coming up in a month and a half, and planning is well underway. We decided to invite mostly family (we don't have many close friends) so it won't be a big stressful party. To keep stress down even further, we're going to hold it at a nearby park, so there's no frantic tidying of the house and gardens, and we can leave at the end of the party (without the problem of a particular guest overstaying).

This does mean our decorations need to be quick to put up and easy to transport. Since we're holding the party on a Sunday, it also limits our options for certain items like helium balloons (we'd have to hire a tank and find some way of returning it on Monday when we're back at work). So i don't think we'll do helium.

I stopped at a party shop on the way home from work today and had a look at the balloons. I really liked the pearl sheen ones, and the lady at the shop was nice enough to blow up a few of the colours i want…

What it's like being a working mum

For me, anyway. Everyone is different, i'm sure some are far more organised and i'm sure there are some that don't handle it as well. I'm enjoying it overall, but honestly i think bub benefits the most.

Pluses:

I get a break from looking after an increasing mobile inquisitive fun baby! It takes a lot out of you to chase after them, keep them from danger but still let them explore, and to think of new ideas to keep them stimulated and learning. Add to that trying to meet up with other mums to socialise the babies. Working suddenly seems like a rest!I don't have to change so many nappies. Bub gets to play with other babies his own age, and learn from those who are developmentally ahead of him. At his first daycare, he learned very quickly how to crawl, and hold his own bottle (breastfed bub so wasn't used to a bottle). At his second he's now learnt to stand, and i'm sure will soon be following the other babies into walking with the walker toys.He has carer…

DIY Cake Smash - equipment

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As our newborn photographer has moved house and doesn't have her studio set up yet, i've decided to attempt bub's cake smash photoshoot by myself. Here's a list of things i decided were the absolute basics for setting up a home studio, for an amateur :)

Obviously, for a photo shoot, the first thing you need is a camera! I have an entry level Canon DSLR, and for the shoot i'll be borrowing hubby's 50mm prime lens (prime, i've discovered, means it doesn't zoom). There's a very informative article about 50mm prime lenses here.


I wanted the focus to be on bub and the cake, with nothing distracting around, so i needed a backdrop. Most cake smash shoots seem to be on a white background and i liked this look best. I was tossing up between fabric and paper. Fabric seemed the best idea as you could wash it when it got dirty, whereas paper would have to be tossed, and with an icing covered cake and a baby things are going to get messy. If we had the same opti…