Aug 19, 2013

D148-51: oh my goodness gracious me oh my


Am writing this

With a tall cup of tea in front of me

And nothing in particular to do

Just for a while.

Here are my Maker wins at the end of our first First Birthday season.

One: The Bunting

I finished the birthday bunting on Friday night, in good time for the in-laws' visit on Saturday.  Even more rewarding was that Bub noticed it as soon as she entered the dining room that morning and made lots of sweet noises and pointing gestures.  *glee!*

Sub-wins include it looking nice and neat and not having to correct any spelling errors.

Two: The Party Favours

Sorry for the poor pics. The colours were rather cool though!
I finished the biscuit icing in good time for the party, though wish I'd been quicker on Saturday morning.  I was finishing them off as family arrived, but it did help explain everything I was doing.

I even chose to 'delegate' in a way.  I had thought 6 biscuits in a bag might be too much for little kids, but two bags for bigger kids makes it clearly unfair.  So I had bags of four and of two, and explained that parents could decide how much was enough for their children, considering how many chocolate crackles, corn chips and pieces of fairy bread they'd already had.  And there was heaps that way, with lots of choice.

Deciding to do bags of twos and fours meant I didn't need to bake and ice more biscuits so that every child would get six.  Yay for brains!

Three-A:  The birthday cake

What was left after the party
I took a risk and used Nigella Lawson's Awesome Vanilla Cake recipe.  The risk was in never having used the recipe before and that it uses oil instead of butter.  I've made cakes with oil before, but not with no butter at all.  Initially I could smell the oil really easily.  However, I think that smell largely left once it cooled and the butter icing made a good difference for the taste.

I chose the recipe because it's ridiculously quick to make and there was a pretty good recommendation on the webpage.  And it is very quick to make.  Seriously.  You couldn't even use it in a race, it's that quick. Beat egg and sugar for 1min, add the rest, beat for another minute. Pour.  See?  Zoom.  Took longer to line the pan.

On Saturday night Hub helped me make it a random rainbow cake, which was fun and successful.  In the end I didn't get a proper shot of the cake.  I thought it looked rather amateurish, but it tasted yum and looked happy, which is all the really matters.

Three-B:  The birthday cake again

By Sunday morning I was worried one cake wasn't enough.  So I did the time calculations and after putting Bub down for her morning nap I made another layer, this time without colour.  It had cooled enough to sandwich the two cakes together with blackberry jam, cover it with butter icing and arrange some Smarties on top (all the pink, red and purple ones in the shape of a 1), all completed mere minutes before we left.  Two helpers made a difference too, which leads me to...

Four: Asking for help

I called on one of my BFFs. She's the kind of person I'd trust with my baby, my keys, my kidneys.  She's that good.  At less than 12hrs notice she came to the party 90mins early, bringing her fiancĂ©, and they helped us chop, slice, scoop, decant, sort, decorate, arrange, glad-wrap, pack, transport, arrange, heat, serve, tidy, clean, wash, vacuum and mop.  It was above and beyond the call.  I sincerely look forward to being able to pay it all back, coz I don't think I can thank her enough to actually match my gratitude.  It could not have happened without them.

And not a Maker aspect but a win nevertheless...

Scoring the venue!

We had hoped to use the park on the day and told our friends a few weeks ago.  Then we realised there was a hot plate there so thought sausage sizzle, yeah? Little casual, whatevs.  Then we got into the week before and knew that we'd been kidding ourselves.  August has been windy. (How windy? More italics please.)  It's been showers and generally random <10°C all over the shop.  Yuck.  And we were going to take our friends to the park?  In the wet wind?  With food that rolls?  Hurrrrrrr...

So long story short, I found that the room my parents' group uses was not only for hire, and not only available for that afternoon, but about 60% the regular cost coz I'm a member.*  Full kitchen, outdoor play area and lots of toys appropriate for my friends' kids?  Yes please. The only downside was the start time being 90mins later, but in reality we needed all the prep time we could get.

And the extra icing on the cake: Bub enjoyed herself and rolled with the day in very fine form.  She was a star.
Our little One Year Old girl!

It was a total success.

*At this point I knew I was about to do exactly what I said I wouldn't do, which was cater for all our friends at a hired venue.  I was sure panic attacks would ensue and I'd unravel in a pyjamaed, crazy-haired, watery, jittering mess.  Two things saved me: being too tired and busy to actually build up any anxiety, and knowing, in the back of my mind, that all my friends would be absolutely fine if I'd chucked it all and ordered a dozen pizzas.

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