Lowly Worm birthday party (part 1)

It was a long, cold winter, so I spent a lot of time looking forward to Noah’s first birthday party. It would have been a lot of work if I tried to do it all in the week before, but since I spread it over about 3 months, it was just fun πŸ™‚ Many of my ideas stemmed from this blog post.Β I also got my lovely large high quality Lowly image to print from the same blog πŸ™‚ I had made the invitations already, so Lowly was a bit pixelly, but after I used a Sharpie to do some outlining, it improved quite nicely πŸ™‚IMG_20150409_133636

There are not many Lowly worm cake ideas to go on, so I was pretty much on my own for that. (In hindsight this wasn’t so much a Busytown Birthday, as a Lowly Worm party, but oh well!

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With some assistance from my talented mother, we managed to create a cake that at least resembled Lowly. (My two year old could see it, but one of my nephews informed me that it didn’tΒ really look like Lowly, but the icing was very delicious! πŸ™‚ ) We did the party in two rounds, so the first day I served cupcakes, and the second day we had cake.

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I decided on apple cupcakes since they were nice and simple, and fit in with the theme (Lowly’s apple car).

I was pleased to find these cheap paper plates that matched nicely with the colour scheme!

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I also whipped up this decorative garland (and yes, I mean whipped up, it was so easy!)

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I will post part 2 tomorrow, hopefully, with the rest of the decorations πŸ™‚ It’s so much fun planning a themed birthday party, but if you have to spend a pile of money, it’s not quite so enjoyable. I can confidently say that I spent less than $20 on everything, much of which is reusable for future parties!

Stay tuned for the rest of the pictures tomorrow πŸ™‚

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Move Aside, Dutch Pancakes

A few weeks ago, I stumbled acrossΒ thisweekfordinner.com.

Among other delicious recipe ideas, I found a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding. I’d read about it in James Herriot books, but never thought to try it. It is more commonly eaten with roast beef (I believe) than the way I’m going to share, but trust me, this is delicious stuff.

All you do is take your basic Dutch pancake recipe, and blend the ingredients together. (Don’t quote me on this, but the ratios seem very similar. The ingredients are identical.)

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Cut a chunk of butter (salted is best) a little small than 1/4 cup and toss in a 9×13 pan. Put it in the hot oven.
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When it begins to bubble, like so ^^^ πŸ™‚ pour your blended ingredients into the pan.
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Now it looks like that ^^ and you are wondering (I was, anyway) how this is all going to work out..
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Ta-Da! It worked out! The true colour is a lovely golden brown, not the bland stuff you see in the picture.
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For best results, top with homemade Ontario-strawberry jam! It’s a hit all around. Serve with fresh fruit to round the meal off a little. It’s probably more of a dessert, but no one here has any problems with letting it pass for dinner every once in a while. πŸ˜‰

Not the healthiest, but hey, you can’t beat the deliciousness. So much less work than Dutch pancakes and (sorry, Dutch heritage) much better tasting. Plus no smoking up the house. Or maybe that’s just me. The smoke alarm going off at dinner time is a sure sign I’ve been making pancakes.

Anyway, that’s my version of the recipe. The real one I followed is here. As she notes, the recipe is easily halved. I have usually done it in an 8×8 pan, but last time did a 9×13. We had leftovers, so I’m curious how it will reheat.

Woodland Cupcakes

Ok, this was a lot of fun! Frog, fox, owl, and mushroom cupcakes:

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I wish I’d had something neat to display them on, but we ended up at the park anyway, so my tupperware container was the most practical!

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So the foxes were the most difficult. Apparently fox cupcakes are not super popular. This was my attempt at them. Next time, I think they will turn out better, and neater πŸ™‚ The important thing is that the birthday boy was excited about the foxes… so I said, “Mission Accomplished!”

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The owls were easy, but a little time consuming.

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I think I would count the frogs as the most successful of the whole lot. However, I did learn my lesson about freezing m&m’s. When I thawed them, all the colour ran over the icing. They still looked like frogs, but not as neat.Β DSC_0616

2 weeks later and cake

Well if the silence on the blog didn’t tip you off, this picture might:
DSC_0073I made this cake a few weeks before my due date and thankfully we were able to serve it to a few visitors. (I say thankfully because I thought.. what if it’s a girl? I can’t show the cake to anyone and we’ll have to eat it all ourselves!) DSC_0075Anyway it’s nothing fancy (can you tell I ran out of whipped cream! haha) but it kept me busy while waiting for Noah to arrive! And now here we are more than two weeks later and I’m typing one-handedly, holding our little boy in my arms πŸ™‚

I remembered, while in labour, to tell Dan to take the cake out of the freezer. I vaguely recall him looking at me kinda funny and saying, “Really? Right now?” In that moment I was envisioning celebrating with a piece of cake shortly after the baby was born. That didn’t happen, but at least it was thawed for the next day! πŸ™‚

Baby Prep: baked goods and baby room

I wasn’t completely unprepared when Elijah showed up much earlier than expected, but this time, I set my mind to being completely prepared by 36 weeks. Although I still have a large list of things to do, (and somehow it keeps getting bigger) all of the big essentials are out of the way. I went on a baking binge for a few days and stocked up the freezer. The only problem is those carmel toffee bars! I keep snitching them out of the freezer. I believe the number should be corrected to about 25. I’m keeping a list of the baked goods I have in our chest freezer which is pretty necessary since it’s now also packed with 40 different freezer meals so it’s hard to tell what’s there. Ideally, I will try to make another tray of squares and batch of cookies and then my list will be complete.

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Elijah and I eat bran muffins pretty much every day so I made plenty of those too. At least we won’t be going hungry πŸ™‚ 31 days till my due date!

We ended up redoing the bedroom upstairs into a baby room. Initially we were going to have the baby sleep downstairs for the first few months (We will still do this for the first few weeks, I’m sure) and then pop both kiddos in the same room once the baby is sleeping through the night. Then, on a bit of a whim, we decided we weren’t really using that room for anything else anyway and it was quite dull and boring. So we bought paint and added some tree and owl decor. Anyway.. more on all that another day. What this picture is really of, is my packed hospital bag for the baby. It was so fun going through all the really tiny diapers and onesies again πŸ™‚Β 2014-03-07 12.49.31Speaking of diapers.. I also pulled out all my newborn “clothies” (as cloth diapers have affectionately come to be called here) and stocked them on our new little change table. (Aren’t they so cute?) I must say, I’m much more prepared in the way of cloth diapering this time around. What’s a few more diapers on top of the ones I’m washing already anyway? A newborn in cloth diapers isn’t very practical though, so I will probably not start using them faithfully for a few months. We picked up this change table for nice and cheap at Ikea. We have a nice heavy duty one in Elijah’s room, but this will be good enough for when the baby is still small.2014-03-07 12.48.19

After getting all inspired by mobile ideas on Pinterest, I decided to try one for myself. It was less than $15 for all the supplies and was probably about 4-6 hours of work. I’m quite happy with how it turned out, but don’t look too closely for mistakes, because you will find plenty!
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Now, these have been done for quite a while, but the prints are so cute! Two large receiving blankets, and I made little wash cloths out of the remaining strips (backed with terry cloth).Β 2014-03-07 12.49.08

 

These kind of projects are great for keeping me busy when I’m already at home! I’m kind of at the point where I feel like I’m just waiting for this baby to come because it’s getting harder and harder to do regular tasks! (Bathtub cleaning anyone?) Little sewing projects are very rewarding, and for me, very educational. I’ve learned a lot about sewing and gained a lot of confidence by just working on these little things (receiving blankets, wash cloths, cloth diaper inserts). I still have plenty to learn, but thankfully my mom is willing to help me with the bigger projects– which I will share next week!