Wednesday, 16 January 2013

1st Birthday Party - Comments or Suggestions????

I have a uni exam coming up the same week as DS's first birthday party.  So I have decided to postpone the party for a week or so - and also in the hope the weather will be better, February is notorious for scorching hot days here in Adelaide, and this year is a hot summer.

Please help!
Any suggestions for a nice theme?
I tend to just buy plain paper plates and cups etc, rather than going over board in buying all of that stuff, otherwise it gets very expensive.  Instead I like to make cupcakes and or biscuits in the theme (see my previous posts about rubber ducky party and penguins).
So any suggestions or hints on what theme I should do & how to make the cupcakes, cake pops or biscuits.

Dinosaurs, Aeroplanes?  I could do a rubber ducky theme again.  I could do lions or another animal.  I tend to really like Elephants.  Maybe I could do an Elephant theme.
So any suggestions on how to make Elephant Cakepops, and Elephant Cupcakes???

Maybe I could use Banana lollies for a trunk & then two big freckles or button chocolates for the Elephant ears.  Would a snake lolly be better as a trunk than a banana lolly?

I am procrastinating thinking about his party rather than studying for my uni exam, but I know that if I have thought it all through and have my ideas, it makes it much quicker when I come to make it all.

Any ideas or comments - I would love to hear them, so please comment or email me with your suggestions.  
With 4 children, working and studying, I will be very busy so I won't have a lot of time to spend figuring it all out.  But #4 is just as special as all the others and so I want to do some special things for his 1st birthday just like I did for the others.

I have just found this   tim-tam-colosseum on Chocolatesuze's site.  Gosh Chocolate suze has some awesome things.  Maybe I could try this for DS's 1st Birthday.  Maybe a little smaller than hers was.
Maybe I could work on that theme..... a timtam zoo with elephant and lion cupcakes inside?????  I will keep thinking up things.

Cold Sore Recovery

It is now over 2 weeks since I felt the tingling and woke up the next day with the huge swollen cold sore blistered lip.
My lip has almost recovered.  It doesn't look bad anymore, just very dry & scaly and looks like my lip is peeling.  I am feeling so much better - although I still have a tight feeling in my chest when I breath.
The children are still all on school holidays here in Australia.  It is nice to be able to sleep in and have lazy mornings, although during the day when they are 'at' me and fighting I wish there were at school.

Thanks to all of you who have sent comments who have experienced the same or similar.

Pippi's Piece - Bonython Park Playground - Adelaide

Hi everyone,
Apparently there is a new playground in Adelaide.  Apparently it is really good.
There is a full new children's playground.  It is meant to be really good for children of all ages, so is good for those families with lots of children of mixed ages.
There is a bike track for children and a flying fox.

It is not fenced - so you do need to be careful that children don't wander off down to the River.

There is also a kiosk for parents to grab a coffee.

We were planning on heading there this week, but we haven't got there today (instead we made some of Chocolate Suze's fantastic cornflake cookies again - except we used the Nestle Caramel Choc Bits and they were Superb! - Thanks again for your recipe) and it is going to be 41C here in Adelaide tomorrow, so we aren't going Thursday either.  So hopefully we can get down there on Friday or over the weekend.

Monday, 7 January 2013

SICK - The Cold Sore of Cold Sores

The Chronological Diary of a Monster Cold Sore.  My day by day picture diary!!!
Well as you can see, I haven't posted on here for a while.

We were frantic in the lead up to Christmas with lots of school and family events.  Then low & behold straight after Christmas it is my D.D's birthday.  But I was so run down that I came out with my FIRST EVER cold sore.  Even before DD's birthday.  I didn't even get out of bed to make her a cake and my partner had to do it!!!  And he did a great job but that is another post.

I have googled and googled and everywhere it says that 90% of the adult population has the virus that causes cold sores & that it is when you get run down that they appear.  But why do I still feel unclean & dirty???  We eat healthily and eat a variety of foods, just I still have become run down enough to have this huge growth on my face for a week now.

On the first night - New Years Day no less, I felt the tingling and the blister developing.  I have never had a cold sore before and as it was late all the pharmacies were closed, so I couldn't rush out and buy any cream.

-  Be warned - dont'scroll down if you don't want day by day pictures - and it really does look like something out of an alien movie.  It is just gross!!!

 Initially my lip just kept swelling up and the blister began to appear.

 I felt ABSOLUTELY dreadful and my lip kept getting bigger and my nose started to swell too.


 The next night we rang the locum doctor to come out, as everything was continuing to swell up and we were thinking it may have been a spider bite. My partner even suggested we went into the Emergency Dept at the hospital.    The locum assured us it was a cold sore, albeit an extremely big one.  The biggest he had ever seen!!!

 The blister started to weep and sections started to scab over.  While other sections still felt like the lip was growing bigger.

 It then became quite scabby and yellow.  The sore had crusted over in places, while it was still a blister and beginning to weep in other places. 

 It finally started turning brown and sections of the scab starting falling off.

Lower Lip is still very swollen & scab is appearing, whilst it is still weeping from the middle

 It got so big it took up 3/4 of my lower lip.

 This is what it currently looks like.  It has now been 1 week since I first started to feel the tingling feeling and the blister was starting to develop.  As they are highly contagious I have stayed away from everyone and even missed the first birthday of a very close friend's only child. I still feel fairly average.  I never realised that a cold sore could make someone feel so bad.  I thought it was merely like a pimple, it hurt if you touched it, but didn't affect the rest of your body, but how wrong I was!!!!!  The skin on my hands is now sore from so much washing and anti-bacterial hand wash in an attempt to stop the spread to any of the other members of the family.  Let alone the towels over my pillow and facewashers that I am continually washing in vinegar to hot water to kill off the virus.

Pippi's Piece - Rudolf Reindeer Cake Pops - Woo Hoo!!!!!

This year for the children's school end of year Christmas parties, I made Rudolf Cake Pops!!!

They were fiddly, but they were really fun to make (albeit a little frustrating at times!!)  I guess they did take some time, but I did them in stages, so it didn't seem that bad.

First I made the cake pop balls.  I used a simple cake recipe and I have a silicon Cake pop mould.  I made the cakes and then put the little balls in a container in the freezer.

When I was ready to make the reindeers, I took the cake balls out of the freezer and left them defrost.

I then used some Nestle Milk Melts and I melted them in the microwave for about 30secs at a time on medium heat until the chocolate was melted with a smooth consistency.

I then placed the bowl over another bowl filled with hot water.  That kept my chocolate from setting too quickly.  But be sure not to get any water in the chocolate, as that causes the chocolate to turn & is then no good.

Next I dipped a wooden skewer into the chocolate and then into the cake ball.

I left the chocolate set.  I placed a cardboard box upside down & put some baking paper over the top  Then I just poked teh skewers through the box.  This was ok as a temporary measure, but the heavy balls on the skewers made the skewers lean over & that is why foam is much better, as the skewers then stand upright and the cake pops don't bang into one another.

Next I dipped each cake ball into the melted chocolate to cover it.

 Then I poked the pretzels into the top to form the antlers.  In Australia, I couldn't seem to find the right pretzel shape like many of the USA sites show.  Instead I bought pretzels and then cut them in half and trimmed a little of the top to make the shape.

Finally you dip the edge of a Jaffa lolly into the chocolate and stick on a nose, and then do the same with 2 m&m lollies for the eyes.

As you can see in the picture above, I also tried using white choc chip pieces for the eyes. I then dipped the pointy end bit into the melted chocolate to give the eyeball look.  However, I liked the m&m eyes better and found it less time consuming.
 You can also see that each one has slightly different antlers.


 Finally I ran out of room in my cardboard box arrangement and I was running out of time to get them done before class party.  So I placed a cooling rack over a plastic jug & started dangling the reindeers in there.

You can also see in the above picture, I tried dipping a few in the chocolate with the antlers on.  However I found that the antlers didn't stick as well straight into the cake, and if I re dipped them all after the antlers it used a lot more chocolate and took a lot longer.  Plus the pretzel colour makes them look more like antlers in my opinion.

The kids - ABSOLUTELY adored them.  My son was SO excited to be taking them into the class party.  When he thought that I wouldn't get them finished in time,  ( I had dipped all the balls on skewers, but I hadn't put the antlers, eyes or noses or yet )  he woke up in the middle of the night, and started finished a whole lot of them off for me.

It can be fiddly, as you need to hold the noses on until the chocolate sets enough to hold it.  So the chocolate needs to be melted, but not too hot and runny.  But I think it was well worth it, seeing the eyes on all those little children's faces!!!!

We also made Ruldolf Reindeers with Arnott's Chocolate Royale Biscuits, and Santa on his sleigh from Milkyway bars.  I will post those up here soon.   I know it is too late for this Christmas, but at least you will have some ideas for next Christmas now!!

Pippi's Piece - Easy Peesy Christmas Fabric Wreaths

Well I know I am a little late, life was fairly hectic around Christmas this year.

But I wanted to post some fabulous Christmas wreaths that my children made.

Firstly you get a wire coat hanger and bend it into a circle shape.  Keep the hook at the top, as that is what you can use to hang the wreath once it is finished.

 I bought fabrics and asked for each piece to be 10cms long. Then I came home and cut them into the 1cm wide strips.

Then you can tie the strips around the coat hanger wire.  

Depending on the fabrics you chose and the order or pattern that you tie them on, can change the look of the wreath.  Some we tied on in a consistent pattern, while others we did randomly.

 My eldest child did most of it herself.  We gave them to family and friends for Christmas presents.
Each one was individual and had a different look to it.  I particularly liked the ones with gold & silver organza fabrics.  However my daughter preferred the one mainly with calico and some gold and silver touches to it.
You can also hand or attach something - like a bauble or ornament from the hook at the top.  It then will hang in the middle of the wreath for a special touch.  We did that for some of our wreaths, but I forgot to take pictures, before we gave them away.

We also tied a big bow around the hook at the top so that it was much less intrusive.

They were so easy to do and kept the children entertained and productive in the exciting lead up to Christmas!!

Thursday, 15 November 2012


It is well and truly spring here in Adelaide and the weather has been beautiful.  We have had beautiful spring days.
I now feel I need to update you on our vegetable garden.

It is growing very well, and I will take some pictures to show you.

We have a large quantity of peaches, apricots and pears that are growing on our trees so we are looking forward to some lovely fresh produce in the new year.

Our corn (normal corn that is) is growing very tall, so again we hope to have some nice cobs to eat soon. 
The lawn (couch) that was in the patch before we dug it up for a veggie patch, is also flourishing with the extra watering.  So after this crop, we will have to dig it over again.  We should have sprayed and let the ground sit for a while, but we were a little impatient to get our veggies growing & dont' like the idea of sprays.

Our snowpeas are just gorgeous and taste yummy.  DD #2 who is 4 yo, goes out everyday to pick some & loves eating them straight off the plants.  Yesterday she played with her little friend Penelope and they had a wonderful time staying there eating snowpeas for ages.
Penelope said they were the best snowpeas she had eaten.  Not that imagine the 4 yo is a connisseur of snowpeas, I still felt my chest puff out!!!