1st birthday party celebrations

Happy birthday to my 2 gorgeous kids this week. Of course Noah's 7th bday on Wednesday and our beautiful Zali's 1st bday yesterday.... "WHO ME?????"

Zali Mirjana Stevens born 11/08/11

"ONE already???? I've had a ball this year, thanks for welcoming me into this world" said ZaliWell not really, I'm her narrator at this point in time....

Yes it has flown. This entire week has been a blur as there has been soooo much happening. Mind you I have been one man down as the LOMF (love of my life) has been extremely unwell with the flu but is slowly on the mend. I am so thankful for all the lovely people that helped me this week and pulled off one kick a double s party celebration!!!

Where do I begin??? Oh yes, grab yourself a coffee or get comfy as this is going to be one lengthy post. I'll be more visual, as I'm time poor with my writing..... besides a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll take a short cut!

DecorationsMy lovely girlfriend came for a coffee on Thursday and was such a great help when I started party prepping for Zali's bday. We folded, we snipped, we zig zagged, we hung, we stuck etc.... and came up with the final design of Zali's fringe garland.

garland idea

The letters for ZALI's name was just a font printed which I cut out on love heart shape card stock which I then stuck on plain white card stock paper, from a scrap book paper shop.

Then I had plans to start baking this 4 level tiered cake which I saw on this site  .... fingers crossed that my first attempt worked out as it had to beat the epic rainbow cake I did for Mietta's 2nd birthday last year.....

Back to Zali's cake.....I decided to make a vanilla base butter cake (20" pans x4) but decided to make a double batch so I could have them for these cupcakes....

So here is my 4 tiered cake attempt. I'd love to share with you the butter cake recipe however I promised my beautiful friend Julie who runs her own business Sugar and Spice Custom Cakes in Canada that I would not divulge her secret recipe.

I simply had red dye and added different strengths for the dusty pink, baby pink and bright pink

I left the first layer as the natural butter cake colour and then started icing with the famous Swiss Meringue which is such a beautiful tasting icing.

zali bday cake steps.jpg

I wanted to swirl a light baby pink top layer into the actual cream coloured icing followed by lilac but I need more practise. Not bad for my first attempt.

Okay.... now to dress the table with all the pretty pink, white and lilac sweet things....

1. thank you macaroon bags 2. pink roses 3. sugar free pink milk 4. pink crackle & marshmallows

All in all a wonderful day with the help of my sister in law, mother in law and step mother for bringing platters of food and fruit and we can't thank Celeste enough for taking the beautiful photos x

The birthday table......

All I did was the cake and cup cakes, whoop-di-doo-da!!!!

It did look pretty though......

Zali had the first taste test!!!!

And it did taste and look amazing when we cut her first BIG slice....

She was into it!!!!!

Yummy pink milk (sugar free of course!)

Time to blow out the candles.....or rather candle!

Here's our family picture with Mietta's famous wink!!! What a classic!

There you have it!!! A pretty amazing first birthday for Zali, which I thought I would do with a BIG BANG!!!! It's the LAST 1st bday party bash I'll be hosting!

Now back to food and other stuff, real quick. As it may be information overload!!

Breakfast Traditional crepes (sandwich) with yogurt, raspberries and walnuts

How I make them.......

1. ingredients 2. blitz it all together 3. pan fry 4. serve

Although this time with a twist, I mashed a banana in the mix. Blitz wholemeal flour, 2 eggs, milk and banana and serve away!!! Morning snack Fruit salad with yogurt

Lunch Coconut veg & chick pea curry

Method I sautéed onions, zuchinni and carrots with some curry. Added a can of chickpeas, cooked them for a couple of minutes, added coconut milk, low simmer and allowed to evaporate until I got a nice creamy consistency.

Afternoon snack Fruit smoothie

Dinner Grilled flat head with roasted potatoes, cucumbers and asparagus

****Ab challenge & exercising

starts back this week****

I haven't forgotten about our ab challenge peeps. So for those interested, let's touch base here as I would like to lock in our ab exercise regime, start date, pictures so we have before and after shots. Happy for you to just take a mid section picture (no head shots required) eg: above your pants and under your bra top/pectoral region :-) let me know if you are happy to share otherwise keep them as a before and after shot for your own personal journal.

For my FYM's Mary, Michelle and Sheri we have our TT12 system. Celeste you have your own personal ab program from Fitting In Fitness, others can do a Ms Skinny 30 day challenge. For any of my male readers and my bro, I will look into one for you and Adrian to do. We have plenty of options and anyone else wanting to participate please add your ab program and send me an email, which I will add in our comments below.

Over and out until we meet again xxDani

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, but  must be felt with the heart" - Helen Keller