Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tea Party Table Manners

The Butterballs love our pretend tea parties

so it was no surprise when Tamlyn requested a real tea party
 as part of her Birthday Bucket List activities.

After practicing a lot of the basic table manners during our pretend tea parties, 
I decided to take it up a notch...
think Downton Abbey manners :)

First, the Butterballs got to put on their Sunday Best.

Then I set the table using my favorite china teapot (eeek!!);
  my special espresso cups, 
which were just the right size for the Butterballs little fingers,
and of course a few cute, sweet treats.

I was so nervous about letting the Butterballs handle my best teaset
but they surprised me by being extra careful!

I filled the teapot with a creamy strawberry steamer,
you can find my recipe for it on this post%%%%.

We used mini marshmallows in place of sugar lumps.
1. A good hostess always asks 'one lump or two?' in their best British accent.

2. Stirring of tea should be done without clanking your spoon against the side of your tea cup, 
preferably in a small figure-eight shape.

3. Dab the corners of your mouth delicately with your serviette.

4. Sit correctly with one hand next to your plate and the other on your lap,
no elbows on the table!!

5. Pinkies up!!! Can't forget that one ;)

Monday, 22 September 2014

Cupcake Fondue

Number 3 on Tamlyn's Birthday Bucket List was cupcake decorating,
which really means : smother cupcakes in frosting and coat in sprinkles!

The Butterballs love of sprinkles is no surprise, considering their mama is a sprinkles addict!!
Sprinkles solve a multitude of problems!! 
Just looking at their pretty colors makes me feel so HAPPY!!! 

So I decided to do a cupcake fondue for my Butterballs -
I baked mini chocolate cupcakes, 
filled little bowls with frosting,
and added an assortment of sprinkles to a paint palette.

The mini cupcakes and little tubs of frosting, limit their sugar intake,

and setting out the sprinkles in a paint palette
 restricts the amount of sprinkles they consume!!
...and looks super cute!

I whipped up a batch of frosting, then separated them to create 5 different colors,
each with their own flavor : bubblegum, blueberry, strawberry, banana and cream-soda

The Butterballs used little forks instead of skewers -
perfect for little fingers and the cupcakes don't accidentally slip off into the frosting!!!

The Butterballs looooved smothering their cupcakes in frosting and sprinkles!!!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Special Birthday Breakfast - Mini Donut Cake

Tamlyn loves mini donuts or pancakes for breakfast.
So for her Birthday Breakfast Treat this year, 
I decided to make her a strawberry-glazed, mini donut cake.

My mini donut-maker makes delicious fluffy donuts minus the oil- no frying needed!

Strawberry Glaze
1 cup fresh strawberries
2 cups confectioners sugar
pink food coloring
about 1 tbls water

Blend strawberries and add to icing sugar. Mix well. 
Add a few drops of food coloring and enough water to create a smooth paste.
Dip donuts into the glaze and top with sprinkles.

Once set, arrange donuts in a pyramid.
Add a few a candles or sparklers and serve with glasses of milk.

Perfectly Pink Birthday Breakfast!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

DIY Pretend Play Candy

 The second item on Tamlyn's Birthday Bucket List was a pretend Candy Shop.
I spent ages going through Pinterest in search of simple pretend candy...
simple pretend candy that DID NOT REQUIRE ANY SEWING!
(I'm hopeless at sewing, stitching on a button is all I can do!)

Here are a few cute, No-Sew Pretend Candy Ideas.

Lets start with the super easy stuff.

 Mini pom-poms became Gumballs,
Drinking straws became Sherbet Straws,
and Cotton-balls become Fluffy Marshmallows.

I used paper napkins to make cones that fitted perfectly into my snow-cone holders.
Just right for displaying our pretend treats.

 The Seed Bead Rock Candy was really easy to make.
All you need is seed beads, glue and lollipop sticks.
Coat the end of the lollipop stick with glue and sprinkle the seed beads onto it. Allow to dry. 
Add a second coat of glue and seed beads. Once dry, tie on a little bow - too cute!
The best glue to use for this project is quick-drying clear glue.

 Next we made Pipe Cleaner Lollipops

 For this sweet treat you need: lollipop sticks, pipe cleaners and a glue-gun.

Twist pipe cleaners around to form a swirl. Paste on little dots of glue and secure the pipe cleaners to form a tight swirl . Add a dot of glue to the back of the pipe cleaner swirl and attach the lollipop stick to the back.
Once dry, wrap in cellophane or simply add a little ribbon... good enough to lick!

The Butterballs loved making the Floam Truffles.
All you needed to do was press little floam balls into mini silicone cupcake cups.
Allow 2 to 3 days to dry.

Felt Candy
 Our cute, felt sweets didn't require a single stitch.
I cut the felt into strips, stacked the strips to form 2 layers and rolled them up.
I secured the roll with little dots of glue from the glue-gun, as I went along.
Once they glue had dried, I wrapped the sweets in cellophane and a bit of twine.

 Next, we set up our Candy Corner Shop

 I made little price tags for each of the sweet treats and the Butterballs used tiny buttons as pretend money.
The prices on the price-tag were written using different colored markers. 
The number told the Butterballs how many buttons they needed to pay the shopkeeper,
 and the color of the writing told the Butterballs what color buttons they need to pay with.
eg. the pom-pom gumballs cost 6 green buttons each.

This activity was great for practicing their counting skills, sorting skills, as well as color recognition.

We used a toy cash register to store the valuable buttons.
We used cupcake cups as candy packets and the shopkeeper served the customer using a pair of tongs.

The Butterballs took turns playing the shopkeeper and the customer.
Tamlyn addressed Ethan as 'Sir' which made him giggle :)

 Beside being lots of fun, using the tongs and playing with the tiny buttons, 
gave the Butterballs plenty of fine motor practice and helps develop pincer-grip.

After playing with the candy shop, 
the Butterballs decided that their button money could also double as M&M's
so they quickly sorted them according to color and added them to their candy display :)

All the pretend candy are reusable,
so I packed them into a container to be stored with all the other pretend play props in the toy box.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Capturing Childhood - Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping with kids, especially when both are under 5 years old,
is a serious undertaking!!!
A task that would take you 15 minutes, suddenly takes you almost an hour,
and you end up with a trolley full of stuff you don't want!!

Deep down, I know this phase won't last forever,
so today I did what I never thought I would...

I shopped slowly, I let my Butterballs do what they always do, 
without a word of complaint, 
without a glance at my watch,
I simply cruised the aisles with my Butterballs in the trolley,
 while I leisurely picked up what I needed.
(as well as many unexpected items - which mysteriously vanished when we reached the checkout)

The butternut that Ethan chose, traveled along with us all the way to the checkout
(where it mysteriously disappeared!!)

Stopping at the toy department is a must.
 For the love of pink!!

' Ooooo! A racing track?!'

I'm proud to say that we left the shop without a single toy,
and amazingly, without a single tantrum as well!

*sigh*They really are growing up so quickly!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Slumber Party Family Fun

After watching Sofia the First- Perfect Slumber Party,
Tamlyn has been obsessed with the idea of having a Slumber Party of her own!
So Activity Number one on her Birthday Bucket List is to have a Slumber Party

A bunch of 4 and 5 year olds sleeping over at my house?
No... I don't think so!! 

We have a Family Fun Night every month so this month,
I figured we could do a Slumber Party Fun Night!!
My only problem was ensuring that the Slumber Party wasn't too girly!

After searching through Pinterest for a while, I finally settled on a few not-too-girly Slumber Party Activities.

Our first activity was designing eye-masks.

Supplies : craft foam, ribbon, stickers and an eye-mask(to use as a template)

First we placed the eye-mask onto the craft foam and traced around it.

I cut out the eye-masks and poked little holes onto either side
After threading through the ribbon and securing it with a knot,
I handed over the masks to be decorated.

The Butterballs used self adhesive rhinestones to decorate the eye-masks

Guess which one is Tamlyn's!

After the Butterballs helped me set up the mattresses in their reading nook, 
we played a Sumo Wrestling Game.
(Not girly at all!)

Both Butterballs pulled on one of my T-shirts and stuffed a pillow under it.
They had a blast!!!

Check out their intimidating faces...:D

After dinner, I set up a snack bar.

Popcorn with various toppings

Crispy Fairy Bread - Rice cakes dipped in melted white chocolate and covered in sprinkles...Yum!

We had creamy, strawberry steamers which were so easy to make
and tasted delicious!

Strawberry Steamers
Heat a liter of milk in the microwave till almost at boiling point.
Add strawberry syrup and mix with a milk-frother.
Pour into glasses, and top with whipped cream and sprinkles.

What's a Slumber Party without fluffy slippers!

The Butterballs cuddled up with Dad to watch a movie.

Then upstairs for some old-fashioned Slumber Party fun!
The Butterballs loved jumping on the bed !

Can't have a Slumber Party without a pillow fight!

Time to Tickle-Attack Dad!!

Bedtime Stories and cuddles!!!

The Butterballs, Calvin and I finally curled up under the blanket for some well deserved shut-eye.

The Butterballs loved having us all sleeping together in one room.
Placing our mattresses on the floor, made the Slumber Party pain-free for Calvin and I
...no stiff sore muscles from sleeping on the floor!!!