Angry Birds Birthday Cake

By Monday, October 20, 2014 0 , , , Permalink 0

Angry Birds Birthday Cake

It’s October and that means we get to celebrate another Birthday! My Son celebrated his 6th Birthday this year and he requested an Angry Birds themed party.

We held his party at a playcentre – where the food & drinks were provided. I just needed to bring the cake. An Angry Birds cake.

I started baking on the Tuesday before the party and made 2 chocolate mud cakes. Wednesday sandwiched the 2 cakes together with a chocolate ganache centre and then I covered the cake in chocolate ganache. I was really wrapped with how the cake turned out at this stage…a very recent trip to the Cake, Bake & Sweets Show in Melbourne had me learning a few new tricks and taa daaa.

ChocolateMudCake

Thursday was covering the cake with fondant first with the white fondant and then secondly with the red & finally the face of ‘Red’. Sadly I didn’t take pictures of the inbetween stages…way to focussed on my goal to stop.

Angry Birds Birthday Cake

Lastly I did all the fondant figures on Friday night. I also had my Husband print out Oliver’s name with the Angry Birds font and I cut that and over layed it onto fondant and used a knife to cut the lettering. It’s not the most neatest up close but from a distance it looked awesome and Oliver was really excited to see his name in “Angry Birds writing”.

Angry Birds Birthday Cake

Angry Birds Birthday Cake

Angry Birds Cake

Now I will credit Pinterest for the ideas for the cake – that app / website is a gold mine of inspiration. I use it all the time to get ideas or just zone out.

Angry Birds Cake

It did take time to create but staggering the work over several days makes it so much easier and I always did any work on the cake at nights, only because I have kids that want to help. Ahhh yeah…lol.

If I were to change anything it would be the actual cake. It was a perfect Mud Cake but maybe using dark chocolate made it too bitter for the kids? I liked it and there is nothing worse than a cake that is sickly sweet, having said that you still need a glass of water after eating this cake.

Cheers

Alex

My trip to Mauritius

By Thursday, September 11, 2014 0 , , , Permalink 0

 

Mauritius

This is a huge post with heaps of pics of a recent trip that I took with my children. We went to the absolutely stunning island of Mauritius for a 3 week holiday. My Grandmother lives there & was about to celebrate her 80th Birthday so I thought it would be the perfect time to visit.

The flight was great, I actually was freaking out that my youngest would misbehave on the flight but she was a delight to travel with. They were both quiet on the flight and while sitting on the tarmac prior to take-off she asked “are we there yet” and “have we left earth” and “are we flying now”.

Flying Virgin to Perth

My daughter watching Tangled.

Air Mauritius

Our first flight left Melbourne & headed over to Perth roughly a 4hr flight. Then we transferred through to the international terminal to wait for our next flight from Perth to Mauritius which is about 8hrs. We left Melbourne at 7.30am and arrived in Mauritius at 7pm (ish) which I believe was about 1am Melbourne time. A very long day but we got to end it with some amazing Mauritian food.

Mauritian Food

Dhall Puri – My Number 1 favourite food of all time. Best bought on the street with all the yummy fillings.

Mauritian food

The 3 weeks was taken up spending time visiting family and driving around Mauritius to visit various beaches, the Botanical Gardens In Pamplemousses, waterfalls and even a tea plantation. Oh and we did the markets in Port Louis which was a bit unnerving to begin but a great experience.

The house we stayed out was 3 stories high with a pool & great views!

Flic en Flac

I saw this flower and was all…ohhh it’s beautiful & the colour is so rich.

Mauritius

Then saw the stem and was all…OMG…OMFG…thorn overkill.

Mauritius

We stayed in a private house in Flic en Flac that we booked for our whole family and despite being Winter the weather was amazing so the kids actually got to have a swim in the pool. My Brother insisted on buying fireworks so we were all treated to our very own fireworks show for a few nights in a row. A fantastic experience for my kids.

This small beach is up near the north of Mauritius.

Mauritius

I was wrapped that I was in one of my Summer dress in the middle of Winter. Amazing weather.

Mauritius

Inside the markets at Rose Hill.

Mauritius Rose Hill

Inside a fabric store at Rose Hill. I bought 6 metres of fabric for $300 rupees – About $10.00 AUS.

Mauritius Rose Hill

We also visited Chamarel which is where the 7 Coloured Sands is located. We walked around and took some pics of the coloured sand. Years and years ago you used to be able to walk on the sands (in the 80’s) and people would get bottles and jars and collect the sand to take home. Obviously now they don’t allow you to do that so that the area is preserved for future generations but it did get me wondering what all those people did with their 1 litre coke bottles full of sand. They sell test tubes filled with the coloured sand but I believe it’s not actually ‘THE’ coloured sands from Charmarel but instead it’s normal sand with coloured chalk. There were also some very big/old Tortoises that live at the 7 Sands and the kids were fascinated in them.

Waterfall at Chamarel. Moments before this pic was taken Arielle had a huge spew – car sickness.

Mauritius Chamarel

Mauritius Chamarel

Miss A was also taken to the Dr that morning because she had an ear infection – the antibiotics were just starting to kick in.

Mauritius 7 Sands

My wind swept hair.

Mauritius 7 Sands

There was a small kiosk selling food, it was too early for lunch so I got the kids cupcakes.
As I was ordering them I found out they were Pina Colada flavoured & came with tiny umbrellas on them! I doubt they were alcoholic.

Mauritius

The kids checking out the Tortoises.

Mauritius Tortoise

Across the road from the entrance to the 7 Sands is a new tourist destination ‘The Curious Corner of Chamarel which was a bit of fun for the kids –  we got some great pics. Over the sound system they were playing  Diana Ross ‘Upside Down’ & Lionel Ritchie ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’.

Mauritius Curious Corner

 

Mauritius Curious Corner

 

Mauritius Curious Corner

This was fun, posing for pics in a dodgy elevator!

Mauritius Curious Corner

My brother who is over 6ft tall is in this picture with my Son.

Mauritius Curious Corner

Miss A is bigger than Sir O.

Mauritius Curious Corner

One of the nights we went for dinner at The Beach Shack in Flic en Flac. We arrived with 15mins to spare before the end of Happy Hour. They didn’t give us menus or serve us until at least 20mins after sitting. Hmmm.

Mauritius Flic en Flac

Ok…so I ordered my cocktail.  I chose the ‘Wiki Waki Woo’. It’s their signature drink. I was keen to try it and I took a pic of what I got and tasted it but umm yeah. Until about half way through the drink my future Sister in Law comments that her drink doesn’t taste right. YUP…they have given her my drink & me her drink. I wasn’t impressed and they were so slack with service that I never actually got a chance to order it again and actually find out if it was any good. Meh.

Mauritius Flic en Flac My most favourite beach in the whole world Flic en Flac. It’s becoming too commercialised now so I think the beach I loved from my previous visits to Mauritius is soon to be gone.

Mauritius Flic en Flac

The kids on Flic en Flac.

Mauritius Flic en Flac

A family selfie on Flic en Flac.

Flic en Flac

A trip to Le Caudan Waterfront & they had this cute display of umbrellas.

Mauritius Le Caudan

We had lunch at the Sunset Cafe. They had a great little kids menu that came with a burger, chips, drink & ice cream. My Daughter ordered an apple juice. Let me tell you I was so freakin excited that it was a real life freshly squeezed apple juice. The real deal and she was drinking it & kept saying it was yummy. No over processed crappy sugar water but REAL apple juice.

Sunset Cafe Mauritius

Then I got super excited…I ordered a cocktail ‘Le Pirate’ and guess what REAL FREAKIN JUICE. It totally took this drink to a whole other level. It was amazing and I should have ordered another but with heaps of shopping to do & the heat…yeah. Brilliant cocktail.

Sunset Cafe Mauritius

Heading towards the markets in Port Louis.

Mauritius Port Louis

We went to visit the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens and again the weather was perfect. I would have loved to have walked around all the interior of this lovely colonial building.

Mauritius Botanical Garden

The giant water lillies. They were still opening up, so didn’t look so giant.

Mauritius

How amazing is this tree. It reminds me of Medusa or dreadlocks on a Rastafarian.

Mauritius

Walking along the path with the shade from the amazingly tall palms.

Mauritius

My babies!

Mauritius

My brother playing with fireworks. This is one of those things we do when we go to Mauritius. Usually it’s at Christmas time so every store is selling fireworks. I am sure eventually this will be something that will become regulated.

Mauritius

We had huge fireworks to play with. I must have grown up since I was last in Mauritius because I stayed far away from them. I used to be the ring leader, with the most amount of crackers and lighting them at stupid times.

Mauritius

Trou aux Cerf is located in Curepipe – it’s an extinct volcano. My kids heard we were going to a volcano & my Son asked where was the lava. Ahhh…

Mauritius

Swimming…in Winter…in Mauritius…because it’s too warm!!

Mauritius

We had tea at the Bois Cheri Tea Factory. We also had amazing crepes with banana & caramel. yum!

Mauritius

Selfie with the view from Bois Cheri Tea Factory.

Mauritius Bois Cheri

I still can’t get over this tea pot. If it seriously is from 1645 then I am just stoked that it was just sitting there in the museum at Bois Cheri, inside a protective little glass box. I want!!

Mauritius

We visited Alexandra Falls and this was the view (My Uncle taking it all in!).

Mauritius

Quick stop for coffee and I had to get some Napolitaines. I LOVE these biscuits. RS12.00 is about $0.45 AUS.

Mauritius

The most amazing tree at St Felix beach.

Mauritius

More of St Felix.

Mauritius

The beach has heaps of these really sharp bits of coral.

Mauritius

On a clear day this beach would be amazing.

Mauritius

I took this picture as we were heading home in the car. Looking North towards Le Morne (I think!).

Mauritius

Setting sun over Flic en Flac & the sugar cane fields (that sadly are disappearing to make room for apartments).

Mauritius

My two were wrecked from all that travelling & sight seeing.

Mauritius

I celebrated my Birthday while we were in Mauritius. We took another trip to the markets in Rose Hill. I picked up more fabric & got these rip off Ray Bans for the kids. They were happy.

Mauritius

We had Nandos for lunch and I got this non-alcholic cocktail. It was pomegranate syrup & lemonade and was actually quite nice.

Mauritius

The day before  we left my Aunt & Uncle took us to a place somewhere between Rose Hill & Quatre Bournes to have “boulette” or dumplings or if you are my 3 yr old “dumperlings”. Of course once we got there she didn’t want “dumperlings” she wanted noodles.

Mauritius

Farewell lovely Mauritius. Our last day in paradise and still the weather was amazing.

Mauritius

The view towards Flic en Flac from my Aunt’s apartment in Phoenix.

Mauritius

Of course a trip to Mauritius isn’t complete without a bowl of fish soup. This was amazing. I had two bowls and over ate and then felt uncomfortable for the rest of the evening…which meant our flight home. Still…it was worth it.

Mauritius

Coming home was hard, our flight didn’t leave Mauritius until 10.55pm and I woke up earlier that day at 6.30am so a full day awake and then we boarded our flight which landed in Perth local time 9.30am – about 4am Mauritius time and I had about 1 maybe 2 hours of sleep on the flight and then had to stay awake ALL day until we arrived in Melbourne at 7.30pm (1pm Mauritius time) so I was a little bit cookoo by the end of the flight. I think I might have crashed out for 30 mins on the Perth-Melb flight – I also may have high fived the guys at the domestic terminal that check your hand luggage just before the area where the gates are.

Anyway…that’s it for international holidays for this year and possibly for the foreseeable future. I am desperate to get my kitchen / laundry / bathroom updated so it’s time to start saving for that!!

Cheers

Alex

 

It’s another Frozen cake

By Monday, July 28, 2014 1 , , , Permalink 0

In April it was my Daughter’s 3rd Birthday. Yes she is crazy about Frozen and yes she asked for a Frozen cake and YES I made one.

My cake making mojo decided that it was the perfect time to bugger off and so what would normally take me a few days to bake & decorate took almost 1 week. I made about 6 cakes and they were all crap. I even weighed butter for one of the cakes but didn’t realise that the scales were resting up against my blender and it was adding 300gms more…so that cake had a shite load of butter.

Fondant snowflakes (I used a plunger cookie cutter) in white

fondant snowflakesAnd in blue.

blue fondant snowflakes

I had pinned heaps of frozen themed cakes and parties on Pinterest and also in this world void of anything Frozen related managed to find a whole set of Frozen cake toppers on Ebay that had Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Olaf, Kristoph, Prince whats-his-face and the Deer one (having watching Frozen over eleventy billion times I am surprised that both those two characters names aren’t FROZEN into my brain!).

The top layer of the cake is all covered.

Disney Frozen cakeFondant in hand I covered my cakes and also found this awesome recipe online for making a sugar version of ‘Breaking Bad’ blue meth – not the real stuff the fake stuff that they would use on the show. So I figured if I could make that and and break it into shards and stick it around the cake and on top then it has that icy thing going on.

Awesome, so I got all the bits together and the night before her party was up until 1am putting all the finishing touches to her cake.

Disney Frozen cakeUnfortunately the pics aren’t the best quality..but you get the idea.

Disney Frozen cakeIn the morning my Husband wakes me to tell me my cake is broken. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Yes!

Disney Frozen cake

 

Disney Frozen cakeThe crystal shards at the top of the cake had bent over and then stuck to the fondant icing at the top. He didn’t want to touch it and left it for me to handle.

Sigh!

I tried to fix it and it made everything worse.

Disney Frozen cakeLucky for me I had a piping bag full of royal icing and so I made another quick batch of blue sugar ice crystals and cracked some new shards to add to the cake. They melted again but by that stage the party was in full swing and no one actually realised that there was a ‘cake issue’. One of my friends said she thought it was supposed to be that way.

Anyway…here is the finished cake in all it’s glory. My daughter didn’t see the cake with the characters on it until about 1hr before her party. The look on her face and her saying over and over that “this is the best party I have ever had” made my day. She is happy…and I was happy!

Disney Frozen cakeThe cake toppers are her ‘friends’ now. She plays with them and only this morning we almost lost Olaf at school drop off. YIKES!

 

Cheers

Alex

How to get a hangover

I recently celebrated my Birthday. It was mid-week so we did a small cake & dinner with the kids and then for the weekend my Husband organised a night at a hotel in the city as well as dinner. I wasn’t told what hotel or where dinner was going to be…. just when.

My lovely parents were happy to have the kids for a sleepover and once we dropped them off we were on our way.

I didn’t find out until we arrived to the hotel that we were staying at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne, in fact the hotel is right next door to the church we got Married in so considering we did nothing for our Wedding Anniversary in April it was kinda nice to be so close to a special part of our lives.

The Park Hyatt Melbourne.

Park Hyatt MelbourneThe church we were married in almost 10 years ago!

Lutheran Church Melbourne

So we got all dolled up for dinner and I had no idea where we were going so I wore heels. High heels. High heels that I have worn only on two other occasions and heels that really bloody hurt. We had to walk. So yeah…dinner was at 6pm so we walked veeeeery veeeeery slooooooowly to arrive at Grossi Florentino!

Grossi Florentino Grill

Yay!!

We had a Bellini to start which was a little too easy to drink.

Bellini at Grossi Florentino.

Grossi Florentino Bellini

I couldn’t take pics of our food because the lighting was quite dark in the spot we were seated. Our entrée was delicious – pork & fennel sausages & bruschetta to share.

For our mains my Husband ordered a steak with a side of roasted potatoes. I got the mussels with kalamata olives and a tomato broth. I scoffed my dinner and I thought I might be hungry later but I was ok. I also ordered extra bread to soak up that broth.

My darling Husbands in his gorgeous suit & pochette from P. Johnston Tailors.

P Johnson Suit & Pochette

We both drank a glass of Malbec with our dinner. I used to be a huge red wine drink but I had horrible hangovers when I do drink it.

Finally dessert, we weren’t going to get anything, then we were, then we weren’t and then our waitress suggested the donuts. So we got a serve of the donuts to share and good heavens it was amazing. So I was carrying some pretty heavy duty carb bloatage (is that a word?..if not I just invented it…that word is mine!).

I also had a dessert wine which I cannot for the life of me remember the name of but it was amazing. Yum yum!!

Ok, so dinner is over we decided to head over to Lily Blacks for cocktails. Because we had our dinner so early (they have times for dining and the first session started at 6pm) Lily Blacks was pretty empty – a few small groups of people having a drink and we actually preferred it that way. We got our drinks straight away, got a booth to sit at and could talk & hear each other. WIN WIN & WIN.

Lily Blacks Cocktail menu.

Lily Blacks Cocktail Menu

So the first cocktail for the night was Sinnerman – rum, housemade fig & cinnamon bitters, almond & lemon. It was served in a wine glass and this was really refreshing. I enjoyed it and was a little too easy to drink. My Husband had a G&T.

Sinnerman.

Lily Blacks SinnermanSinnerman.

Lily Blacks SinnermanGin & Tonic.

Gin & Tonic

Then it happened. I spied a certain cocktail that I wanted to try in the wild. A non Alex version of an Old Fashioned. It even had it’s own special page, dedicated to variations of Old Fashions so we had to give it a go. Both versions were rum based. Carl got the Cherry & Kola Bitters version and I got the Fig & Cinnamon Bitters version.

Lily Blacks Old Fashioned cocktail menu.

Lily Blacks Old Fashioned

NO FREAKIN CHERRY….WTF?!?!?!??!

Old Fashioned -two ways.

Lily Blacks Old Fashioned

Hmmm. Nice big ass rock of ice in my glass, huge rind of orange that gave both of our cocktails that amazing citrus overtone but no cherry. Nothing. I was sad but I still drank my cocktail. We both agreed of the two, my cocktail tasted a bit better but amazingly we both agreed that my version using Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum was better….Yay Yay. My version just has an added level of depth to it. A nice finish on your palette to be all fancy.

Once we finished our drinks we decided to head over to Liverpool Street where Double Happiness is located. I wanted to try one more cocktail and then we could head back to the hotel so I could relieve my poor aching feet. My Husband walked and I hobbled to Double Happiness and again a few patrons but we got a spot to sit and grabbed a menu to pick our drink drink.

Double Happiness cocktail menu.

Double Happiness Cocktail MenuDouble Happiness – My Husband ordering our drinks.

Double Happiness Melbourne

I ordered Mr Foo which was made up of Chilli vodka, coriander, fresh lime and dry ginger. I liked this cocktail – a bit of an acquired taste. It’s spicy and I actually joked that the only thing missing from this drink was a bit of soy, some noodles, veges and maybe some chicken. I use lime, ginger, chilli & coriander when I make stir-fry. If only I had been brave enough to turn it into a cocktail – sans the food bits.

Hundred Flower Movement & Mr Foo.

Double Happiness Cocktails

My Husband ordered the Hundred Flower Movement with sake, rose syrup, lemon and peach bitters. My Husbands choice was delicious. I could have had about ten of these. I love it when they are easy to drink (doesn’t everyone!).

For our second choice, My Husband decided to have another Hundred Flower Movement and I went with Communist Manifesto with tequila, tamarind, lime, mandarin & Szechuan salt. The edge of the glass was rimmed with the Szechuan salt and this drink was dominated by the mandarin and was fabulous to drink. I really liked this one.

Hundred Flower Movement & Communist Manifesto.

Double Happiness Cocktails

Finally it was time to head back to our hotel. No more drinking because it’s expensive and yeah…no one would want to get a horrible hangover tomorrow…would they!!!

The Windsor Hotel with it’s amazing coloured light display.

The Windsor Hotel Melbourne

To top off my amazing night – a documentary on Elizabeth Taylor and her precious jewels. I was captivated and couldn’t believe the history behind La Peregrina Pearl that she was gifted. Oooh to have a collection like that!!!

My plan was to sleep in until at least 9am. With 2 pre-school aged kids they go to bed quite early in the evening and wake at 7am. I go to bed late and wake early. Instead of my lovely sleep in I woke up at 5am with the worst hangover ever. Needless to say every little bit of water I drank was purged from my body and I felt like crap for the rest of the day.

Bleugh…this is what a hangover looks like. I am wearing a gorgeous black vintage shirt dress with a pink cropped cardi by Revival both eBay purchases.

Vintage Shirt DressI felt truly horrible taking this pic and couldn’t even be bothered fixing my cardi.

Erstwilder Brooch

It was about 11.30am before I could keep anything down and the first thing I had was a coffee. That took the edge off my headache and a bacon, egg & cheese toasty from Argos Loves Company in Fitzroy to help my poor tummy.

So all up I had a fantastic Birthday this year, not to mention the amazing first day of Spring Melbourne had. Sunshine, warm air and just a slight breeze (that picked up a bit later in the day).

I love life (even with a shitty hangover!!).

 

Cheers
Alex

Birthday dinner

My Husband recently celebrated his birthday and chose to go out for dinner to our vey favourite Japanese Restaurant The New Yamagata Restaurant in Doncaster East.

We have a pre-schooler & toddler so we arrived early – 6pm so we could order, feed the ferrets & get out before they become over tired (sigh…how I long for the nights when you could eat dinner at 9pm!!).

I always order a Japanese Slipper when we eat here and I studied this version, especially after my stuffed up Japanese Slipper last week. This version is much sweeter than mine and I think….huge think…it’s sweetened with lemonade and not lemon juice. Although there are no bubbles on the inside of the glass, you get that distinct tingle on your tongue? Who knows either way it’s nice and sweet and a little too easy to drink.

Japanese Slipper cocktail

The second way too easy to drink cocktail I had was the Strawberry Margarita. Ahhh another very sweet cocktail with chunks of real strawberry in it and a bit of crushed ice. It was delicious and both of these cocktails were only $10.00.

Strawberry Margarita Cocktail

Finally with my dinner I stopped with the cocktails and went traditional and had the house Sake – served warm. My parents were with us and Mum tried some sake and pulled the ‘yukky’ face. She sipped it rather than throw it back (scull it – whatever you call it).

Japanese Sake Warm

We ordered the Yamagata special – sushi boat. Who doesn’t love a sushi boat, unfortunately we half devoured it before I got a chance to take some pics. Yum. The kids were keen to get stuck into all that sushi & sashimi.

Japanese Sushi Boat

Oh and it’s incredibly immature of me but I…snigger snigger I can’t help myself I look for mistakes on menus. Stupid things like misspelled words…ahhh typos. So, yeah…I know it’s stupid and childish but it kept me laughing.

Finally, something for the Vagetarians of the world. tee hee.

Menu typo

My Husband gots some bits & pieces for his camera so I jumped at the chance to have some pics of the outfit I wore. My Hell Bunny Vixen ‘Melanie’ bolero dress. I bought this on sale (can’t remember where from) a while ago and a combination of Winter & limited places to wear it out means this is the very first time I wore it out.

Also took my very cute vintage beaded purse out for the first time.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero Dress

I teamed it with a cropped cardi that I bought before Winter from Target and one of my op shop finds, the snowdrop brooch.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero DressI was watching the cat when this pic was taken.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero DressThe Hell Bunny Vixen ‘Melanie’ Bolero dress without my cardi.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero DressGetting tired and the giggles start.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero DressI was talking to the cat, he yawned at me.

Hell Bunny Vixen Melanie Bolero Dress

Oh and because it is cold I took The Alpaca out again. I can’t stop going on about how much I love this coat. The only reason I have for liking Winter is this coat…ahhh The Alpaca!!!

Collar down on The Alpaca.

Swing Coat AlpacaCollar up and this coat really is the best!

Swing Coat Alpaca

Cheers
Alex