Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

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Party prep

…ok, so I am exhausted, but we are nearly there – party prep is in full swing, 2:30 tomorrow and it will all be on the way, and by 4:30 done!

  • Cake – is made and dirty iced. The fondant and figures will be added today.
  • Sugar crystals – all grown and must just be dried tonight.
  • Macarons – yes, I have that child who asks for macarons for her party, seriously! Made and must just be sandwiched together tonight (I use nutella for these ones, so super easy)
  • Biscuits – made and iced and good to go.
  • Fudge and Smudge – done
  • Chicken and Ham rolls – to be done in the morning tomorrow.
  • Pin the tail on the fox – done
  • Hedgehog ring toss – done, including the rings
  • Scavenger hunt bags – to be printed
  • Necklaces – to be used as prizes for the scavenger hunt – done.
  • Sweetie jars – to take home, done
  • Decor – done – except for the moss and some pine cones.
  • Thandi’s dress – done.

I can’t wait to share the photos with you guys!


… to get that Christmas spirit going here, guys! Thandi and I had fun this weekend. We baked up a storm – biscuits, fudge, coconut ice, a gingerbread house. (I really appreciate how you can see the difference in her arms here – a permanent reminder of what she has endured this holiday in her splint – that left arm is pale, (look at her hands esp) and skinnier than the other)

We decorated our tree, we embellished the house, it’s been good to sort out, throw out where necessary and clean up. Getting things in order pleases me. The fact that there is a lot of mess first distresses me, but thereafter I am destressed.

(In my decluttering, tonight I tackle the spare room!)

HBD Charlie!

…so this weekend we celebrated Charlie’s 45th birthday; or as I liked to tease him; half way to 90! And when you put it that way, its a bit scary. Chances are good we have already lived half our lives! Really? Really? I know the whole Business Women’s Association awards thing kinda made me reassess things, but once again I am reminded that it really does go by in a flash; and I think we must always be clear on where we are going in life, be clear about our goals, because before you’ve realised it, it’s too late! Thanks for that reality check, my love!

The weekend felt jam packed! On Friday night Charlie, Thandi and I had a quiet dinner out to celebrate the birthday boy. That was nice and it was good to relax with a glass of wine after a really busy week. Saturday started with a fabulous run – pain free, I felt like I could run forever! Then it was onto the first birthday of a friend’s little girl, for whom I made that cake – so much fun to see such cute little people playing and having fun! Saturday afternoon I pottered in the kitchen – baking a cake for Charlie’s birthday celebration and prepped some gourmet boerie rolls for supper while watching the Springbok game.

Sunday started with another run. The polar opposite to Saturday’s run – the pace was fast, probably a little too fast for me, my legs were tired and after about 5 km the calves started to cramp up again – I struggled through 15km, but had tears along the way. I was soooo frustrated! I guess I will have to get some more dry needling done again! Aitog! Anyway, I dusted myself off and then prepared for Charlie’s lunch – a roast leg of lamb and all the trimmings – totally divine and indulgent! Followed by a cheese board and then a scrumptious apple and pear cake with a salted caramel drizzle. Yumyumyum!

And now it’s monday, and the diet must start again – just once I have had this slice of cake with my tea…

Party prep

..ok, so things have been insane the last few days – between party prep, birthdays and the judging interview.But I am still standing!

So, the interview for the BWA awards went well, I felt good and confident going in, and coming out. I was nervous, but realised that there is nothing I  couldn’t answer. I am my own boss, I have my own passions and ethics; and I think I carried that over well. I was happy with how things went. So we will see – Monday I hear if I am indeed a finalist, then we go from there.

On the party prep side, I think I am on track…

  • fudge and smudge √ (yum – my favorite fail proof recipe – realizes that the brand of condensed milk matters – having made 2 batches, the one took way longer to cook than the other – I will have to share recipe at another time, all of a sudden I can’t remember if it’s 125gm of butter or 250gm…) 
  • coconut ice √(ooh, bad photo – super easy too – 1 can condensed milk, 340gm icing sugar – mix together; 340gm desiccated coconut, add in. It’s tough to stir! Then divide mixture in half, add colour to one, and then press them into your pan, in layers.)
  • rice crispy treats √ 
  • sugar crystals √ (The recipe for this is super simple, but don’t be scared by the amount of sugar – I start with 2 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar in a big pot, and bring to a simmer, allowing the sugar to dissolve – keep adding a cup of sugar at a rtime until it doesn’t really dissolve anymore – it usually ends up between 8 and 10 cups (!!!). Take it off the heat and allow to cool a bit. Prepare your sticks – make your skewers wet, roll in sugar and then allow to dry; then it’s the tricky part. I use my champagne flutes, pour the sugar syrup in with whatever food colouring I’ve chosen; and then it’s a matter of suspending the sticks in the syrup. I generally use a clothes peg and then adjust the height of it to accommodate the glass. You don’t want the stick to touch the sides or bottom of the glass. Then watch them grow – I grew these for about 10 days, I think, maybe longer. I do move them around every day, so they don’t get stuck to the sides – these things happen. Thandi loves watching it all too! Good science demonstrations!)
  • biscuits √(with a food colouring pen I am going to draw in a little Think, and the sprinkles are coming out of her wand – I’ll take a finished product picture.)
  • cake √
  • dresses, bunting, table runner √

Still to do

  • icing of cake
  • cupcakes and icing
  • tinkerbell onto the biscuits in food colouring
  • filling of the little jars as favours
  • and on the day – sandwiches and fruit skewers.

I have a friend helping out with lemon meringue and brownies for the adults, and my husbuddy is organising the water for everyone to drink. Phew! Now just to pray for good weather.






…glory, how did this happen? Well, technically I know, but really, 41 years, I’m not ready to be that yet, I am still so busy doing stuff! I’m astounded that it has come to this!

My year in review has been interesting – far too much work, but somehow I can’t seem to change that at all; some running, probably not quite enough, but I have been plagued by the odd ache and pain; some incredible friends, and just not enough time with my wonderful little family. Somehow I think this is all pretty standard for a working person like me!

Anyway. today is looking to be a good one. The weather is glorious, I am at work for a few hours this morning. DrHF flies in at lunchtime, and it is young Charlotte’s birthday and party today (my twin – nice of me to deliver her on my birthday!), so we are off to that this afternoon/evening. My clever husband has spoilt me with a new Garmin running watch, one without that bloody chest strap that chafes me to death, yayayay! So even though I am on a strict no running instruction from my biokineticist and physio, I might have to head off for a little trot tomorrow. Watching the sunrise may just be what my soul needs! And a girl has to test her new gift!

Tomorrow brings the great party of 2016, Little Miss Sunshine is going to rock in at our house for the afternoon, and I know those giggling girls will all have so much fun. I just have one or 2 things to tweak – a few more layers to the pass the parcel; sticking the characters on the cake, doing 2 more party packs, cupcakes, fruit skewers and popcorn, hanging up all the decor and then we are ready to roll! Photos will follow – can’t wait to show you all!

Have glorious days, my beautiful blog peeps!


Party Planning

…so it’s that time of the year again, when I start to go to into OTT mom mode, and start to plan Thandi’s birthday party. And this year’s theme, a la Mr Men is Little Miss Sunshine! It’s such a fun one to do – I’m loving the bright colours and fun images! (bear in mind the party date is the 28th of May – expect lots of updates!)

I’m quite far ahead of the curve this year, invites and paper printables are done – gotta love Pinterest for the inspiration! Next step is my table dressings and then the games – I’ll do another Photo Booth effort, with holes for the children to stick their heads through; and we’ll do a feed Little Miss Greedy – where they must throw a beanbag through her mouth, and a pin the crown on Little Miss Princess! And then there will be all the usual games – pass the parcel and all that jazz! Should be fun!

Foodwise – already planning and thinking – I know what cake I want to make for her; and that I will have to co-opt TAFKAD into helping with – some biscuits, some fruit skewers (I found some really cute skewers with hearts on them!), some popcorn and a few other treats.

Party packs – I’m going to fill little mason jars with some yellow and white sweeties – now if M&M would just get back in touch with me, so I can get some yellow M&M’s! Fun all round!



Catching my breath

…was what I tried to do this weekend. I’m not sure it worked, but hey, onward and upward. Thanks for all the positive feedback on my last post, I’m hanging on with broken fingernails at the moment. I will see what the week brings and take things from there.

Friday night I spent preparing for Saturday’s Valentine’s Eve dinner. And we managed to have drinks with friends too. It was a good calm evening. Then Saturday began – there was shopping to finish off, there was a house to tidy and a table to set, and then food to cook! My tapas, I think were well selected, and seem to be enjoyed. I enjoyed the preparation of them, the only issue really is that it is such a ‘last minute’ prep, that I felt under prepared a bit harassed when everyone started arriving! Anyway… Our menu was

  • smoked paprika almonds
  • marinated artichokes
  • olives
  • patas bravas – brave potatoes – cooked and roasted with garlic and chilli – yum!
  • Tortilla Espanola – a traditional spanish style potato frittata
  • jamon croquettes – fried ham and potato dumplings
  • albindangos – meatballs in a saffron and almond sauce
  • chickpeas in vinigrette
  • mushrooms in chilli and garlic
  • prawns poached in beer
  • pan con tomate – kinda like spanish bruschetta
  • serrano ham wrapped plums
  • a spanish meat and manchego cheese platter

Dessert followed – caramel stuffed churros, unfilled churros with chocolate dipping sauce, figs baked with goats cheese and honey. Yum! I really do have some special friends; we were counting and this is the 6th year I have been hosting this dinner! This year they spoilt me with some stunning flowers – lisianthus in shades of purple, and a beautiful bracelet! Thanks my inner circle!

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Sunday was indeed the day, and we were lucky enough to get invited to go on a yacht trip out the harbour. It was a great trip, and we got to see some very playful dolphins surfing the waves and feeding in the harbour mouth. The girl child had such fun with her friends. The weather was great and the company special!


The rest of Sunday was consumed by a birthday party for one of Thandi’s school friends – she had a blast! From a jumping castle, a sloppy slide, a swimming pool, a treasure hunt to an enormous piece of birthday cake – fun was had by all!

By last night I was almost comatose, and collapsed into a heap. I didn’t run this weekend, I was not feeling up to it – I know that my brain is my most powerful tool – both constructively and destructively, and this weekend, I felt pulled in a 1000 different directions, and running got sacrificed. I did run this morning. It felt tough.