Tag Archives | twins

Ladybird Birthday cake for the twins

Making Ladybird Cake - Pretty Pretty

Making Ladybird Cake - Pretty Pretty

Making Ladybird Cake - Pretty Pretty

Making Ladybird Cake - Pretty Pretty

Making Ladybird Cake - Pretty Pretty

Last week was my niece and nephew’s second birthday and they where having an insect themed party. Wow can you believe it’s been two years since these little critters joined us? – so to celebrate and make my sister’s life a little easier I volunteered to make them a ladybird cake. Yes, this probably was a completely bonkers idea as I had never made a proper birthday cake before. By proper cake I mean one with fancy icing and shaped like a something, as opposed to the run of mill round choccie cake I have made many a time before.

My plan was pretty straight forward – Youtube was to be my baking instructor and if all else failed I would dash off to Charley’s Bakery and buy a backup conventional cake as a substitute.

And so my adventure as a #nervousbaker began. First I watched a bazmillion Youtube videos and read a ton of forums and blogs on cake making, crumb icing and fondant covering, then I set about making my cake. The Buttermilk Cake recipe I chose was from this nifty website called Craftsy, they have all sorts of great tutorials and videos (some of which you have to pay for) but the bits I needed where all part of a free online course, so I signed up and got going.

After backing all my cakes I left them to cool in the fridge overnight, as this makes the cake much easier to work with and sculpt. So far, so good!

Next morning I made my buttercream icing – beginning of problem number one (eek!)

I followed the recipe precisely, in fact I watched the necessary video 3 or 4 times, but for some reason my egg whites did not whip up like marshmallow fluff, as in the video… oh dear! What had I done wrong?
I tried googling it again, looking at loads more Swiss Buttercream recipes till I came across good old Martha Stewart’s recipe where she said to let the eggs whip for 15-20 minutes… a lot more then the recipe I was following, they said whip for 5 minutes.
So I decided to just let the mixer go and see if anything happened. Well, after staring at the whites being sloshed about in the mixer bowl for at least 15 minutes, the egg whites finally started to look a little thicker and after 20 minutes of whipping the egg whites turned shiny and thick… yippee! Problem number one solved! I then continued to follow the recipe and successfully made the buttercream icing.

Next step was to assemble the cake, sculpt it and them crumb ice the outside. The twins chose a lady bird as the shape they wanted for a cake so off I set to make these 4 round cakes into the rough shape of a lady bird. This step was surprising easily, thanks to the fancy cake cutter and handy palette knife I bought -it always pays to have the right tools.

The neatly iced cake required lots of resting and cooling in the fridge in between layers of crumb icing, thus making sure the edges where all beautifully smooth and ready for the coloured fondant. So after another night in the fridge, my little naked lady bird was ready for her red and black outfit.

Here the real fun began. I had bought red and black fondant from Woolies so I didn’t have to mess about with food coloring, so I got stuck in straight away.
Working with fondant is fiddly and thanks to the endless tutorials I had watched I had lots of tips and tricks to fall back on. Before you knew it, the cake was looking like the real deal and I was having so much fun!

I could almost not believe my good luck, thus far there had been no problem number 2 (don’t tempt fate Jo!)

I opted to make the feelers for the lady bird out of air drying clay, so I whipped those up. I then cut up all the dots her back and made some eyes and a mouth and of course 6 little feet. WOW -the cake was was looking more and more like a success, I was so surprised!

On Saturday morning I carefully nestled my lady bird in a box in the back of the Landy and off we set to the twin’s party. This was the bit I was dreading the most and I think poor Alexis was sweating all the way there. Each corner we went around I cringed and he apologized, but all went well and all three of us survived intact.

When we got there I popped Miss Ladybird’s feelers in and she was placed in the middle of the birthday table.
WOW – I could not believe it, this was too good to be true! The cake was a success, we did not have to move to plan B and the twins where ecstatic. Oh and I had a blast! Who would have thought making cakes could be so much fun! If asked, I think I would happily do it again.

Just goes to show, if you put your mind to it (and you watch a Youtube video or two) you can do anything.

8 months of Cuteness

Yesterday my little niece and nephew turned 8 months old. I couldn’t be prouder of these two little angels. Although twins their little characters are so very different (even at this age). Gorgeous Annabelle (Little Belle), is shy and contemplative while crazy Dominic (Button) is super out there and smiley – put them together and you have a show stopper. Little crowds form around their stroller whenever they go out. They easily steal the hearts of all who see them (and that’s not just a boastful Aunt comment).

I take my hat off to my sister Alison and my amazing brother-in-law Rob for being so calm and patient all the time. You guys are super heros.

Happy 8 months all!

You can see more adorable pics of the twins on my sister’s blog Love Thyself
If you are curious you can see how teeny tiny there where when they where just two months old here.

Happy 2 months

Happy 2 months
Aren’t these babies just the most adorable things? If they were made of jelly, I would gobble them up, no problem! (dont worry Ally & Rob, I wont nibble on your babies)

I can hardly believe that Annabelle and Dominic have been with us for 2 months now. So much has happened in their tiny lives and they are growing so beautifully. Ally (my sister) has been religiously posting photos and updates of their little lives, so that family and friends across the globe can keep up to date on these amazing little twins – check out her blog here. (How she manages to do this and look after these two hand fulls I have no idea)

Have a fabulous 2 month birthday guys! Enjoy your first weekend away and please be well behaved for Mum and Dad.

PS. That is a real fig leaf in the photo – yes, these are teeny tiny babies!

Softies for the twins

As some of you may be aware, I recently became an aunt. Okay, there is NO way I will ever be addressed as Aunty Jo, but I can proudly say I have acquired the title none the less. My sweet little sister recently gave birth to the teeny tiniest little twins and today is their 3 week birthday. Happy 3 weeks Annabelle and Dominic! To make this day even more special today is the day they get to go home for the first time.

Having little ones in the family does give me the opportunity to drool over the cutest of things, adorable shoes, awesome beanies with ears, rompers with tails and insanely cute bibs… Why dont they make these things for grown ups?

Here is my first post of things that are on my “Aunty” wish list. Softies – all cuddly enough for sleep time.

Softies for the twins
1 – Sara Carr
2 – Marisa Girardi
3 – Sara Carr
4 – Sara Carr
5 – Janee Lookerse
6 – Sara Carr
7 – Sleepy King

Oh Dear!

(All these brilliant photos are from Kimmika’s photostream)

Goodness me, the Christmas holidays have come and gone and 2012 is well under way.

I have been on a glorious break from the digital world. My days have been spent relaxing with my beloved husband, eating too much, sleeping too late and generally enjoying the good life. We have also been very busy with my latest decorating project. Alison and Rob (my sister and brother-in-law) are about to become the proud parents of twins and in the excitement of realizing I was about to become an Aunt I volunteered to decorate the nursery.

It has been an amazing experience, we transformed a manilla colored guest bedroom into a gorgeous grey and white baby room. It’s a light and airy room, punctuated with pops of bright yellow and framed beautifully with bold white stripes. (photos in the pipeline)

The babies are expected to arrived next Monday (yippee) so there is much excitement in our family. My poor Mum can bearly contain herself (it’s her first adventure into grandparenthood) and I too can hardly wait – my new niece and nephew are going to be so spoilt. Finally Mum and I have legitimate excuses to coo at cute baby clothes.

Then to add to the New Year’s excitement I am having Lasik surgery tomorrow. After wearing glasses (and later contact lenses) since I was 11 years old, I decided to take the plunge and ditch the frames. Tomorrow I go under the knife (or laser) and hopefully a miracle will be performed. Apparently its a fairly routine procedure, but the prospect of being able to see it all happen is a still super frightening. I will be out of action for around a week and after that I intend getting back into work and normal life (sans the specs)

So here is wishing you all the most wonderful 2012, I hope its a year filled with smiles and adventure and doing what you do best.

(All these brilliant photos are from Kimmika’s photostream)