Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Teddy Bear's Picnic

 I had such a great time planning and decorating Ella's Teddy Bear Picnic Party for her 2nd Birthday that I forgot to photograph a lot of it with my camera and some of these shots are blurry phone shots.

I bunched together as many small tables as I could find and used them to barricade off the back of the shed so the kids didn't get into anything they shouldn't have, and decorated them with either gingham tablecloths or just cut plastic tablecloths and then tore a square of gingham as a table topper. I went with as many odd colours as I could because I knew nothing was going to match.

I managed to find a Scene Setter for the party which was a background of trees and balloons floating, absolutely perfect. Then I decorated the floor with 3 picnic rugs.

I mad a few table arrangements with fake flowers and tin pots, I bought the stuff to make the sunflower arrangement and the pink pot I already had and decorated it with leftover flowers from stuff I had from my wedding, (hoarding can come in handy sometimes).
Apart from the Cake (see previous post) I also had some more fun with food, making some things that I found on Pinterest (yes I actually made something that I pinned) a fruit rainbow and my MIL made mini marshmallow teacups.
We also had fairy bread, mini pikelets and baby Quiches (thanks MIL), homemade Sausage Rolls and baby Butterfly cakes (thanks mum) and I made Tiny Teddy/Milky Way/M&M racing cars, I even went a little crazy making a little Nascar style racetrack for them to drive on, complete with Mater in the middle for additional decoration. There was also other nibbles for the grown-ups Mars Bar slice, cinamon pastry scrolls (thanks Aunty M).
The party was a huge success, Ella had such a great time, she got heaps of annoyingly noisy presents, must thank and payback those parents, she also got great new books which I am thankful for as I could almost recite some of her favourites as I had read them that many times.

I must say a special mention to my dear dad, ma n pa had all good intentions of arriving at the party early to give me a hand, a few things went astray that morning and they were about an hour late. My father insisted that he bring back my excercise bike that he borrowed (months ago) and therefore had to bring the trailer. Somebody had parked across our driveway so he took it upon himself to 4wd across my neighbours front lawn, trailer and all. He neglected to see the water meter on the neighbours lawn and ran straight over the top of it. Water was gushing everywhere, meanwhile picture me trying to keep an eye on 14x 2 year olds running amok in my backyard. Thankfully he was able to turn off the tap and stop the gushing, while I got my plumber on the phone (yes I have him on speed dial for just this occassion) I couldn't wait to hear how much is Sunday Emergency callout rates were going to be. I have to be thankful for bad surf that day which made the plumber available to come and sort out the debacle on my neighbours front lawn. Now the comedy of errors could make this story go on for pages, however my father (the anal engineering type) stood over the top of the plumber with a bodgey leg (he pulled serious ligaments/tendons just that week), instructing plumber where to dig and basically how to do the repair. I can assure you my father would have fixed the damn thing himself if he didn't have a sore leg and done a better job of it. Unfortunately for him $280 later the neighbours had water back on, many apologies to the very understanding neighbours, plates full of cupcakes being handed over the fence as a peace offering.
So poor dad missed the entire party, got 1 cold sausage roll and got to sit down and rest his sore leg 3 hours later.

Cake Decorating - my first attempt

So my little baby turned 2 and her absolute favourite TV show (which is on Austar) is Special Agent Oso (SAO). Dare I say I can tolerate watching it, if I have to. Oso is a "unique stuffed bear" he is like the James Bond of teddy bears, doing special assignments to help kids with simple tasks, such as wrapping birthday presents, borrowing books from the library, making party hats etc etc. Episodes are on YouTube if you feel the need to see him. Anyway I guess Oso is my go-to-guy if I need Ella to sit quietly while I cook dinner or do some housework. We have Austar Mystar and record episodes so he is on-call when we need him.
When thinking of a theme for Ella's Birthday I wanted something where I could incorporate Oso, so it was decided to have a Teddy Bear's Picnic.

I bought a Teddy styled Cake tin off ebay and went about baking 3 of Greens Indulgent chocolate mud cake mixes, I baked this mix last year and it worked and was tasty, so I went with what I knew.

After doing a 2 hour cupcake decorating course and playing with Ella's play dough, I felt suitably qualified (NOT) to tackle this cake with Fondant. So off to buy my supplies, a hundred plus dollars later I was armed with mini rolling pins, fancy spatula's, circle cutters, gel food colours, fondant etc etc etc.

The party was happening on Sunday morning so I scheduled to decorate the cake on Friday, lucky for me I work for my In-laws at their house, my MIL allowed me the use of her kitchen so armed with all my stuff and the baked cake I headed to work as per normal and spent the majority of the day answering the work phone whilst clad in my apron and up to my elbows in food colouring.
MIL must have seen the challenge ahead of me and donned her Apron and was a great help in bringing Special Agent Oso cake to life. I must say playing with Fondant was heaps of fun, I could totally get addicted to this, but will refrain as I already have 1 expensive hobby.

The weekend was chaos as on the Saturday was my niece Lauren's 13th Birthday and we had a family gathering for her on the Saturday night and Jamie was going to his brothers Bucks day, so we decided to give Ella 1 of her presents a day early. It was a plush SAO, I wasn't sure if she would bond with him but of course she love love loved him, she talked to him like he was real, sat him on her lounge and literally carried him around everywhere, if I picked her up, I had to pick Oso up too.

Sunday morning saw 14x 2 year olds in my backyard all fighting over the same car or cubby house etc, it was amusing to watch. More about the party in another post.