Showing posts from March, 2013

First birthday party recipes - sweets

These can be used interchangeably as sweet snacks/entrées or as desserts. I had them out on the table from the start, expecting guests to have some before the bbq and after.

Rainbow fruit skewers
1 punnet strawberries 3 mandarins tin of pineapple chunks 3 kiwifruits 1 punnet blueberries bunch of red seedless grapes 24 wooden skewers
To prepare the fruit, cut the tops off the strawberries. Peel the mandarins and separate into segments. Peel the kiwifruit and cut each into 8 - cut into quarters lengthwise, and then make one cut widthwise, leaving you with 8 chunks.
Thread fruit onto each skewer, first the grape, then a blueberry or two, a piece of kiwifruit, a piece of pineapple, a mandarin segment and finally a strawberry.
Makes 24
Fairy bread

Every Aussie knows how to make this favourite!

hundreds-and-thousands (not sure what this is known as around the world, but they're tiny round balls that are sweet and crunchy, you sprinkle them on icecream or cupcakes. Ok, looked th…

First birthday party recipes - Entrées

I served three dips at the party, hummus (which i've made many times), baba ganoush and white bean dip. I wasn't overly fond of the white bean, it tasted like it would have made a good salad dressing rather than a dip, so i won't repost it here. The baba ganoush was surprisingly nice, and i love hummus.


1 400g tin chick peas
3 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
juice of half a lemon (about 2-3 tbsp)
2 cloves garlic (or 2 tsp crushed garlic)
a glug of olive oil

Put all the ingredients except the water in a food processor and blend until smooth. While you're blending, drizzle water in through the feed tube until it reaches the desired consistency.

Baba Ganoush (from Annie's Eats - modified slightly)

1 large eggplant
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic (or 1 tsp crushed garlic)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Slice the eggplant in half and salt it, leave for 15 mins then rinse and pat dry. Place the halves on an oven tray in the oven at 260c for around …

Twelve months postpartum

As per usual, TMI warning and photos of bare mummy tummy :) If you don't want to see, look away now!

A year old. Such a milestone, and such a big change for bub from my last postpartum post. He's now cruising around the furniture, getting into everything that's within his reach (although he can open the cupboards, he hasn't yet started pulling items out) but our laptops are finding they need to be heavy duty! He can stand for a few seconds but then plops back down. He's able to climb up the slide :o (not the ladder, but the actual slide part).

We started him on spoon fed purees at nine months, after the CHN at our eight month checkup freaked me out about his refusal of food and lack of weight gain. Hubby fed him - the first night he cried and fussed, but each time his mouth was open to cry hubby popped a spoonful in. He'd stop crying, taste the food, swallow, and then go back to refusing the next spoonful and crying. The second night he cried a little, then sta…

First birthday party!

We got to the park an hour earlier to set up. I wanted to hang the balloons from the trees like this picture i found on Pinterest from

But hubby was hanging them, and i could see he didn't have to patience to hang each of the 33 balloons individually, so i compromised and had five bunches tied to various easy to reach with the ladder branches.

Guests started arriving early before we finished decorating, so i wasn't able to take photos of our setup. Instead, i've cropped photos from the party so guests can't be recognised (for their privacy).

I had little printables that i made for the food, but we had so many bags of various bits and pieces for the party, that i couldn't easily find them and didn't want to ignore the guests while i looked for them and stickytaped them down (it was very windy). I actually didn't find where i'd put them until we went to get the sparkler for the cake!…

First birthday party prep: Day 2

I had to look after bub by myself on day 2, as hubby was at work from early morning until around 11pm. Luckily he was so good, i put him in his playpen for most of the day and although he grumbled a bit, he spent most of it reading his books and playing. I gave him lots of breaks of course, we went for  a couple of walks and to the park, and played out the front for a while.

Because he was so good, i got almost all the party prep completed. I had forgotten about the balloons though so found myself blowing up (by hand!) 20 balloons at midnight that night with the rest to finish the next morning.

First up, we went to the shops to get the ingredients for the salad i'd forgotten the day before. Then i started on the cooking again. I finished the jelly, finished the potato salad (apart from the mayo which was to be done freshly the next morning), made three dips (and made the white bean twice as i was tired and misread the ingredients), cooked and assembled the rice salad and made the …

Archived appointments

Ethan's first birthday party - 17 MarBaking birthday cake and party food - 15-16 MarFirst haircut - 3 MarCake smash photo session - 2 MarBake cake for smash photo session - 1 Mar11 month photos, finish invitations and print - 9 FebVisit CHN to say goodbye before we move - 26 Sept6 month vaccinations - 18 SeptemberPMH Orthopaedics for final hip check - 29 August4 month vaccinations - 17 JulyChild health nurse clinic appt - 13 JunPMH diagnostic imaging and orthopaedics - 21 May2 month vaccinations - 15 MayChild health nurse home appt - 26 AprDoctors appt 6 weeks postpartum - 24 AprilChild health nurse home appt - 28 MarPMH orthopaedics dept - 26 MarDoctors appt to view haematomas - 24 Mar

First birthday party prep: Day 1

I took today off work to bake, and i am so glad i did. The shopping alone took me two hours and it wasn't even that much! Although, it did look like it filled my entire car boot, but really most of the room was taken up with the pram behind all the shopping.

I got everything except the breads, which i'll get fresh on Sunday morning. I love Sunday trading. I still need to find some serving platters, Coles and Woolies didn't have any large ones in white, but i spotted some at the $2 shop.

What i've done today is bake, ice and decorate the cake (and curse the oven for not having an accurate temperature dial - i had forgotten and after half an hour the cake was still liquid), boiled and dressed potatoes and boiled eggs for the potato salad, have done two of the three layers of the jellies, and got hold of some gorgeous blue and white paper straws from a seller on Gumtree. That actually took us an hour and a half as i had to find somewhere to get cash out, and then buy some…

Happy birthday - one year old!

Ethan woke us up early this morning (he must have known!) so we had plenty of time for him to enjoy his presents before we had to leave for work and daycare. Sadly we didn't have much time this evening, as a truck rolled over blocking the road we decided to take home tonight, so it took us an hour and a half to get home and then it was time for his dinner, which he ate while chatting to his grandparents on Skype, then bath and his bedtime routine. However, we knew we'd be pressed for time on a weekday so i'm glad we got to enjoy some extra time with him this morning.

I'm also very happy to say we made my goal of breastfeeding for one year. We made it through the pain caused by a shallow latch, persisted through recurrent blocked ducts, and expressed at work for four and a half months. It was absolutely worth it. I've been struggling the last month expressing enough at work - i used to easily express 160mL three times a day, and now i'm getting 80mL or less twi…

Last day as a zero year old

I've heard people say it so many times it's become a cliche, but it's true - life goes so fast. Normally i wouldn't really notice the speed of the passing of a year, but now i have a little one to watch change with the seasons it has really brought it home. Today was his last day as an eleven month old; and really, as a baby. Tomorrow he's a year old, heading into toddler territory.
So, for something that remains still without changing, i've pasted below a screenshot of my blog's tickers. Tomorrow the top ticker will say, Our baby is 1 year old. I still remember when i first set up the ticker, at six or so weeks pregnant. Really doesn't seem that long ago.

We've had an absolute ball. This first year with Ethan has been full of such fun, hard work, and so rewarding, watching him develop and grow and be so happy. Now i'd better get to bed, so next time i wake for his feed it's actually his birthday, rather than sitting here alone at the compu…

Birthday bbq party menu

We've had a dozen adults with four babies rsvp, so I've now been able to decide on the menu for the party.

There'll be nibbles of several dips with crudites and potato crisps. We'll be barbecuing two dozen sausages and two dozen vegetable kebab sticks, with three different salads, mini quiches, and a sliced french bread stick for sides. On the sweet side of things are fruit kebab sticks, fairy bread, chocolate crackles, frogs in ponds (chocolate frogs in jelly), and then we'll celebrate with the birthday cake.

I've taken the day off work on Friday to do the baking and as much preparation as can be done ahead of time. That is the dips, cake, potato salad, frogs in ponds, chocolate crackles can be made, i can prepare the rice salad by making the rice. I've asked my mum to bring mini quiches as she offered to make something, so that takes a fiddly task away :) The rice salad, green salad, baguette, kebab sticks and fairy bread will need to be prepared/assembl…

Favourite baby food recipes - hi lee ming

This is an old family recipe, i think it's one that has many names. It is a faux chinese dish but really yummy and simple.


500g beef mince
1 onion, chopped
1/2 packet chicken noodle soup
1 tsp Keens curry powder
2 large handfuls rice
1/4 cabbage, shredded
1 lemon
toast, to serve

Fry the onion and beef mince in a deep frying pan until the mince is browned, drain off fat. Add in the chicken noodle soup, curry powder and rice, and then pour in enough water to almost cover. Simmer for about 12 minutes, until the rice is almost done, then add in the cabbage.

Squeeze over a few wedges of lemon, and serve (for the adults) with a wedge of lemon and a round of buttered toast cut into small triangles. I keep a few serving spoonfuls aside for bub and freeze individual portions for later dinners.

Building our home: demolition complete!

This happened with a speed that shocked us. After less than a week of seeing movement and the asbestos cladding come off the front, then sides, day by day, i expected to next see the tiles off, the rest of the cladding off and finally just the frame of the house before it was pulled down. I was wrong.

It went from a house missing some outer cladding to an empty block in one day.

We were stunned at how fast it had disappeared. That a house that had been home to many over it's hundred years could be taken down in a single day.

They raked the site the next day and that completed the demolition.

Now our building company has completed their siteworks quote, we're just waiting for the building permit to come through, and then we wait on them scheduling the start. Once the pad is down, they have just shy of a year to have the house completed.

DIY cake smash! part 2 - the shoot

All the equipment that i bought for the photo shoot arrived in time, except that the transmitter/receiver combo didn't have a connector that fitted my light. Not to worry as hubby had brought one home for us to borrow as backup, so we used those instead.

In this photo which i took after we'd finished (you can see the blue icing on the backdrop!), you can see my 150cm octabox, which is attached to the Alienbees light and that is on a heavy duty stand. The light doesn't weigh much, but the octabox is quite heavy so needs a strong stand. I've also got my white backdrop up on hubby's backdrop stands. We only just fitted it in the room, it's 3m wide.
Not in the shot is my camera, a Canon 500d, which i used with hubby's f1.4 50mm lens. I had it set to manual mode, ISO 100, f4.0, 1/60. I'm slowly learning what these settings mean.
I took some photos of the cake itself while bub was napping, then took it away again. We waited a few minutes after he had woken fr…

DIY cake smash! part 1 - the cake

I've been flat out the last few weeks with work (traffic is shocking at the moment, there's roadworks on all the main Perth roads so getting anywhere quickly at peak hour is impossible, and it's taking me an hour each way to do 15km), after work is spent playing, feeding, and doing the bedtime routine with Ethan, and then i have 2 hours to do everything else (cooking dinner, housework, video/photo editing, party planning etc). I need to organise myself better so i can get more done, however today i've been off work injured (learn from me and don't try to walk downstairs to feed the dog in the dark) and have finally been able to finish off the cake smash photoshoot storyboard!

As usual i won't post pictures of Ethan unless they're very small, for privacy, but i will post a picture of my storyboard template and the cake, and my studio setup. I've broken it into two posts to keep them a manageable size - part 1 is all about the cake.

I baked the cake on Fr…