Thursday, 31 January 2013 23:20

Post-birthday update


I've been sleeping like a rock for the past 3 days. For some reason I am way more tired after the birthday this time around. Probably because of the extra guests in the house. When you have guests over, no matter how much you love them, the daily routine changes, an you can't be as efficient.


Yesterday my dad invited that same friend from Saturday to come over for dinner. Dinner for 10 it was. My dad cooked, I cleaned.


The pantry and the fridge are a disaster. The bones of the pantry (the base layer that I organized weeks ago) are still there. But now people started adding lots processed foods and other items that I no longer want to eat on a daily basis.  I gave up trying to keep it organized while they are here. I will have to complete that after most of them leave. 3 people will leave tomorrow (Friday). . But 2 of them will be back in April.


So I am going to focus on my next project: The master bedroom and master closet. This will be a long project, but totally worth it. I already purchased some items for the transformation. Hopefully I'll be able to start this weekend. I will definitely post pictures!


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Published in Creative Living
Thursday, 31 January 2013 20:42

Tinkerbell Party (Picture Galore Part 2)


Let's continue with Autumn Forest and Winter Woods rooms.


The 8-foot candy table in the Autumn Forest room


Edible lady bug, made of powder milk, hand painted "fairy-style". 



One of the party favors on the piano.


Another party favor on the fireplace.


Fairies on the ceiling. Why not?!


Winter Woods. Snow flakes everywhere!


The beverage table


Another party favor decorating the room.


Most decorations were homemade or recycled from previous birthdays. Creativity comes in handy at times like this, and can transform leftover tissue paper from old gifts into fairy flowers. Tinkerbell wrapping paper, and even fairies cut out off toy boxes became party decoration. Taking the time to customize dollar store items can give them the million dollar look.

All of the unwrapped candy on the candy table were also homemade. Big thanks to both grandmas! Some of the main party food was also homemade: potato salad on edible bowl, hummus mini sandwiches, cheese rolls, and popcorn. We all pitched in on that one. The cake was also homemade.

We started preparing for this birthday in mid December, and we started the set up two weeks before the birthday. We normally take a long time to prepare because I work full time. This year I was very lucky because my mom was here with me. She is an artist!

I realize this is not typically the way Americans throw kid parties. But I'm keeping the tradition my mom started in her country. This was possibly my daughter's last big party. It was very special to all of us.


See Tinkerbell Party Part 1 here!


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Published in Creative Living
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 23:10

Tinkerbell Party (Picture Galore Part 1)


My vision for the Tinkerbell party was to transform the house into Pixie Hollow. If you are not familiar with the Tinkerbell world, you need to know that the land is divided in 4 regions, representing each season. The fairies practice their talent and prepare for the change of the seasons on the main land (where we are).

Guests got to see a map of Pixie Hollow prior to entering the front door. The cake room was Spring Valey, the main party food was Summer Glade, the candy room/activity room was the Autumn Forest, and the beverage room was the Winter Woods. Every one of these rooms had a sign, so guests could easily locate themselves.

Spring Valley - the cake room



Table decorations


The Cake


The Summer Glade Room - Main Party Food


Fairy Food


One of the party favors decorating the window


Stay tuned! Tomorrow I'll post Autum Forest and Winter Woods on Part 2!


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Published in Creative Living
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 23:07

Pre-Birthday Update


Last time I posted, I was going to serve lunch for 10 people Saturday afternoon. So let me continue from there.


Lunch for 10 was served. My dad cooked the main dishes, and we had ice cream for desert. It turned out to be easy. I was able to take a little nap in the afternoon, for about 1 hour or so. Thank goodness. When I woke up, I got a text message from a friend, telling me she was coming over to my house, and she was bringing her friend along. We ended up serving dinner for 12 that night. :o !!! Good grief! Just so you understand the gravity of the situation, the night before the birthday is war. Really! I am running around to tie all the loose ends. And everybody better get out of my way...


I started baking the cake while my dad went to Walmart to buy something ready made for dinner. My friend and her friend arrived, and I immediately put them to work. One started to stick some butterflies that had fallen down, and the other fixed some rainbow cones on the wall. My mom needed no directions. It was like our brains were in the same network. So refreshing!


I baked all the cakes. I needed 2 12-inch round vanilla cakes, and 1 11.5-inch strawberry flower shape cake. In the mean time the two friends made "cup chocolate candy" (check out the picture on tomorrow's post). My dad arrived. He had brought some frozen lasagnas. Big mistake. the darn thing needed to be in the oven for about 2 hours! That meant I could not stay in the kitchen and start my cake decorating until everybody had finished dinner. The only place for us to serve the food, eat, or make the cake was on the kitchen island. Every other surface in the house was already decorated for the birthday. By the time we finished cleaning up after dinner, and I could start the cake again, it was midnight.


I started by making the icing that goes over the cakes, and under the fondant. Then I made the filling (chocolate cream). It took me a while to make the cream that day. Not sure why. Maybe because I was tired... I put the cakes in place, filling, icing and all. Then I fought with the fondant, and rolled it out. You will understand it better if you've rolled out fondant yourself... I placed it over the cake, and started shaping it. My mom was clearing out the kitchen in the mean time. At this point everyone had gone to bed, and only the two of us stayed up.


After the fondant was ready and shaped, My mom and I spent some time playing around with flower shapes and  design. Finally we decided on a style, and went with it. I made fondant flowers, and my mom painted them with a satin finish powder. Team work! Around 4:30 am I started placing the flowers on the cake. I finished the cake around 9 AM. Phew!!!! I am so happy everything worked out! You know I was so nervous about the cake. I had no plan B...



I had no time to eat breakfast. I had to finish so much still. It was almost 2 PM when I finally came up to take a shower. I am so grateful that my mother-in-law got my kids ready for me. When I came down, some guests had already arrived. The party had officially started!


Check out tomoeeow's post, it will be picture filled, with all the party decorations, the 8-foot long candy table, and more!


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Published in Creative Living
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 00:00

It's a Zoo


Things are crazy around the house. My mother-in-law arrived Monday. So now we have 5 extra people at home. It feels like a zoo. So much going on at the same time! So many people asking me questions, and what to do, how to do...


I have been consistently late taking the kids to school. You would think that with extra grandmas, the morning routine would go quicker. You know, extra pairs of hands to help with the kids and breakfast. So not the case! Grandmas are helping out, but interestingly enough I'm able to get the kids dressed, fed, and out the door much faster than all of us doing the work together.


Everybody is getting along so far. That makes me happy. On paper having all of them under one roof is really a recipe for disaster. But things are running smoothly for the most part. Better than I expected.


We have been concentrating on birthday decorations for the past several days. The house is really looking like Pixie Hollow!


I got some supplies to make the cake. I'm very nervous about making the cake myself. Last year worked out, but I think this year's cake is more challenging. I hope it's not a total disaster!


Here is a preview of the cake/spring room. (Disregard the TV on the side. It will not be in the room during the party.)





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Published in Creative Living
Thursday, 10 January 2013 00:00

Pixie Dust


I stayed home with my son and my daughter today. My son is not feeling well. He slept most of the afternoon, for about 4 hours. I used the time to print out happy birthday stickers, and finished all the party favor bags. Tinkerbell is everywhere....


My mom finished Iredessa's rainbow cones (you will only know what I'm talking about if you watched the first Tinkerbell movie - I watched each of the 4 movies about 1047 times...!).


My mom repurposed some empty baby food jars that I had saved, and she made a Winter Tinkerbell candy jar. The fabric was left over from when my daughter was born.  She also embellished a small, colorful treat box. Last week she finished some tissue paper flowers with a fairy on the center.



The key to the birthday parties at our house is to re-use, re-purpose, embellish and customise things we already have, or inexpensive items from the dollar store. A lot of the tissue paper my mom used to make the flowers were leftovers from previous gifts. The Winter Tinkerbell on the jars were from a wrapping paper from last year. I made all the Happy Birthday stickers that we used on the jars, boxes, and cones. We plan on cutting some of the fairies out of the toy boxes and packaging we got to use as part of the decoration.






I figure if my mom and I were fairies, we would definitely be tinkers!


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Published in Creative Living


My mom arrived well, and has been enjoying my new healthy recipes, and changes to the pantry. This was a total relief for me. I was worried about changes in my new routine. But, so far, so good.


Today my mom and I are going to spend a good portion of the day planning my daughter’s birthday. Her birthday is at the end of January, but since I work full time, I need to start planning in advance.


Birthdays at my house are quite the event. I admit, I do go overboard sometimes.


OK. Many times.


FINE. ALL the time.


But this is how I grew up. My mom did the same thing for the first 5 birthdays. After that, things were not as elaborate. So I’m following that tradition.


I do a lot of the decorations myself. I find lots of things at the dollar store, or on line. I re-purpose a variety of different objects. Some of my family members (you know, the ones who come for several days or months) also like to bring decorations and help me set up the party.


An early goal I want to set up this time around, in light of my new global organization plans, is not to let the post-party clean-up be sooooo overwhelming. The garage is where we put all the kids toys and furniture not being used during the party, dirty laundry baskets, extra decorations… you name it. Organizing things back up is always a challenge. I still have decorations that don’t have a home lying around my game room.


I’m thinking the game room will need to be one of my next projects, since we will be taking things in and out of there to prepare for the birthday. We don’t have a basement in our house, so the game room is the only place I can use for bulky storage. Funny enough, nobody plays in the game room.


So, on with my day. Beds are made, clothes put away. Clean sink downstairs. I lost another pound. I’m off to a good start!


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