Archive for February, 2013

Emily’s Birthday Fairy Cake

I was 90% pleased with Emily’s cake.  Of course I know and see the flaws.

Anyway I had a couple of websites where I got the inspiration.  Garden of Delight Cake for the base idea, fairy toadstools and fairy topper were the inspiration for the outside and for the inside were from these sites – Australia Day Cake and this site which showed you how to make a checkered cake.

OK this cake took a few nights work due to the colouring of the fondant.  I buy my fondant and the first night I settled down to make the fairy topper.  I decided to make her purple and I dyed the fondant and added the tylose powder.  That was the first night.

Dyed HandsThat was the colour my hands turned but by the next day they were back pretty much to normal.

The next night was my red and pink night for making flowers and butterflies.  Then the next was green, yellow and black for making the leaves and flower stems and bees and lady bugs.  Oops I must have done some more red. This site gave me some idea on how to make my ladybugs but I didn’t make them so miniature.  I couldn’t make the second video on bees work but I got an idea.

Cake fondant decorations Fairy Flower Fondant Cake ToppersI used a cake carrier to protect them and keep them sorted.  So the day before the party I got my 3 cakes out of the freezer.  I had made pink, yellow and green.  I had used 8 inch pans but I had not used up all my basic butter mixture to fill them up, I made a couple of cupcakes with the left overs.  SO my cakes were not quite the same height but near enough.

I use a biscuit cutter to cut out the middle and quickly learnt DON”T push it all the way through all it will get stuck half way.  I used it to give me something to trace around for the other two cakes.  I used a bowl to trace around for the middle circle.

Cutting the cake The bowl different colours joined together icing the checker cake all the layersI used icing to rejoin all the layers, so the icing was around the outside and also around each insert, very handy when an outside circle cracked and I “glued” it back together with icing.  So around each circle I put icing around it before inserting it.  Then I used what icing I had left over to cover the cake.  I had many compliments for my icing. I am not a big fan of butter cream icing and I prefer cream cheese or what we use in my household where the kids don’t eat dairy, tofutti icing.

Tofutti is found with the cream cheese but it is actually tofu but it is lauded as being better than cream cheese.  I find it awful but once you add sugar it is lovely!

I use a tub of tofutti, about 1/2 cup of nutalex (dairy free margarine), 2 cups of icing sugar, a squeeze of lemon and a1 tsp of vanilla essence.

It was a bit uneven since the cake layers weren’t even but with fondant over the top it looked fine!

Once this was done and the kids were in bed I got out the rest of the fondant and the blue icing colouring.

Emily's cake

Unfortunately my butterflies were a little heavy for the florist wire I had them sitting on.  I had made many more butterflies but decided four flying around was enough.

Then time to cut – to see if it worked!

Emily's cakecheckerboard cake gardenSo that was lots of fun to make and I got some lovely comments and Emily LOVED it which was the important thing!


February 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm Leave a comment

Why I won’t be in a hurry to use plaster of Paris again!

For Christmas Emily received a make your own fairy snow globe.  It actually was a late Christmas present and by the time she received it we were planning her fairy birthday so we thought it would be a good activity to do at the party.

It was sitting in a box and then I realised I should get onto making the models for the girls to paint at the party as they took a couple of days to make.  I blithely followed the directions without starting at a clean OUTDOOR space.  The liquid I had mixed promptly filled the model, dripped out the bottom and into the kitchen sink.  Do did the second lot!  I fear for my kitchen sink now (I sent down ALOT of HOT water).

After this I decided it was time to pack it in and try again another day after some research.  This research showed me that it is about 2 parts powder to 1 part water.  Further research decried the product, saying waste of money etc etc.  Anyway heart in mouth I tried again, OUTSIDE, with a tablecloth (plastic) over the outdoor furniture.  I then mixed with half the amount of water listed in the instructions and IT WORKED! Yay!  So after a big mess involving plaster setting  before I could pour it into the mould and just plaster everywhere I ended up with enough moulds for the party.

Plaster of Paris Plaster of Paris Mess Plaster of Paris finished

The kids had fun painting – some put more effort into it then others.  Next time I think I will just buy a kit where the plaster is already made and the kids can just paint.  Though now I have the moulds I am thinking I will make the bicarb dough and press them into the moulds and then bake.

2 c. baking soda
1 c. cornstarch (cornflour)
1 1/4 c. cold water
I wouldn’t recommend using plaster of paris with young kids.  I made all these without assistance because of the risk of breathing the dust in and just the plain mess of it all.  I think EMily may have stirred one batch but that is about it.

February 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm Leave a comment

Recount and Museum Visit

Cake in the oven, trying to convince the kids that Quiet Time is QUIET time, lots of shouting going on between the two rooms and not always fun shouting.

Well tomorrow is the first day of Kindy for Alexander, a big day so on Friday I thought we would go to the Australian Museum because it is the last day we could do something on a weekday in a school term and I was hoping the museum wouldn’t be too crowded.  They were showing an exhibition of Alexander the Great so we HAD to go.  The day turned out cold and windy and rainy, completely unlike the day before.  After a spot of bother trying to find where my husband had left the keys the day before we were off, after a detour to pick up my mum.

Someone had been surprised that I was taking the kids to see it, commenting they wouldn’t get much out of it.  While I was at the museum I thought of this as I was dragging the kids back so they wouldn’t leave mouth and finger marks all over the glass.  The exhibition was crowded and it did try my patience juggling the two kids.  There was a great app for kids that we got about half way through and then the hints seem to disappear.  The kids had to find specific items to “pack” for Alexander the Great.

After the exhibition mum headed to the museum shop and the cafe to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law but I took the children for a further exploration of the museum.  Emily was pleased to find they did have a giraffe (skeleton) at the museum, that was what she was wanting to see.  We didn’t see a woolly mammoth but they did have an elephant skeleton.  They also had a skeleton of a person on a bike and you got to ride a bike next to it to see how the bones moved.  We then headed upstairs and found minerals and futher upstairs we found dinosaur bones.  Emily didn’t like this room too much, the dinosaurs were too big and the lights flashed and thunder rumbled (effects) and cast shadows she didn’t like so we went to look at the stuffed birds and mounted butterflies.  We explored the kids exploration room where there is lots of things for them to touch (YAY!) and we visited the under-5’s museum as well.  Because it wasn’t too busy I thought it didn’t matter if Alexander came in too.  That is a great space where kids can touch, dress up, move things, read books.

Then we headed downstairs to the cafe.  I think they loved this bit the best because their uncle and aunt gave them free play on their iphones.

When we got home (after a horribly way too long drive in the car due to congestion – I forgot about city traffic and back to school and the streets were already clogged at 3pm! – inclement weather and TWO broken down cars in one stretch) we chilled out.  When their daddy got home, he asked them what they had learnt about Alexander the Great.  Their response was coins!  There had been lots of coins that we had looked at and next to the coins was a fun touch screen where you could get close ups on the coins and even rotate them to look at both sides!  So I could see why this would stick in their memory.

Alexander’s teacher last week, after his Best Start Interview, had commented about his recall and we have noticed this at home, in that he needs prompts when recalling events or stories.  So on Sunday I printed off the photos I had taken (none in the Alexander exhibition because no photos allowed).  I hadn’t taken a heap due to that line of – being involved with them/stepping back and taking photos!

I had a photo book (one that takes 10 x 15cm photos) that I had bought on sale so I put the photos in there and wrote a story about their trip.  I alternated the photo and the text. I based it on a book we had been reading – “Maisy Goes to the Museum”.  I won’t write the whole book here, just a couple of pages.

“One rainy day Emily and Alexander went to the museum with their Mummy and Grendy.”

Alexander exhibition(this photos was actually taken at the bus stop with the advertising as we couldn’t take photos inside the exhibition)

First they saw an exhibition about Alexander the Great.  They saw coins, jewellery and statues that were over 2000 years old.  They saw pictures of horses and elephants.  They also saw breastplates and helmets.  (Trying to help them recall what they saw)

DInosaur bonesThey saw lots of skeletons.  They even tried to make one ride a bike!  There was a giraffe skeleton, an elephant skeleton and a snake skeleton.  Look at the enormous bones on this dinosaur skeleton.  Look how small Alexander looks!

dionosaur skullWe got up and close with the skull of a skeleton belonging to a dinosaur.

My what big teeth!

Brightly coloured birds Brightly coloured butterfliesLook at the brightly coloured birds and butterflies!

And so on…

They loved it – it helps them remember and they love looking at photos of themselves.  Their daddy also likes it because he can see what happened while he was hard at work!

I am  hoping this will help Alexander’s recall and he can start writing one with me next time.

Here are some books we read to get us ready for our museum trip (or are still reading now)



There are some great ones out there, these are just the ones we currently have borrowed from the library.




February 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm Leave a comment

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