Almost a year of parenthood celebrated

Munchkin's first birthday

 
Note; this blog mainly consists of ramblings about the past year with Munchkin and motherhood. The photos are a sneak peek of our recent celebration of Munchkin’s first birthday. I’ll have more photos, templates, recipes and tutorials to share in the coming weeks.

I can’t believe that at this time just last year I was desperately trying to sleep and failing. I was due to be induced the following morning. After 12 very long days of regular contractions that just weren’t strong enough, the doctor decided enough was enough. Munchkin was coming out, one way or the other.

Late that night, DM and I had a discussion about what we hoped our bundle, of what then felt like all elbows and knees doing the hokey pokey in a very confined space, would be like.

A year in, and I can say she’s everything we hoped for and a little bit more. She’s generous, loving, independent, strong, social, gentle but no pushover, scarily intelligent and just because she’s ours, perfect.
 

Munchkin's first birthday

 
It hasn’t been an easy year. My fitness, sanity and health has taken something of a beating due to iron deficiency, sleep deprivation and adjusting my life expectations to my new reality.

Breastfeeding and getting our little one to thrive took about four stressful weeks to work out. There were what seemed like endless days as my butt became one with the couch as Munchkin fed every hour threatening my dwindling sanity.

Our marriage feels stronger, as it feels it has now been forged by fire. The fire of months of colic and walking paths around the dining table, our hearts breaking as we tried anything and everything to soothe our tiny, sweet bundle.
 

Munchkin's first birthday

 
But it’s also been the most amazing year of my life.

I never dreamed I could want to do nothing but stare at my baby for days on end… and I did. I’ve experienced the seemingly indescribable joy of seeing my little one accomplish something and look at me with pride as she’s just learned to roll over, clap her hands, say “Mum”, stand up, bottom shuffle or get a spoon into her mouth and not her nose, ear or forehead.

I’ve loved living in this little nest we’ve made. My priorities and goals have shifted in ways I never dreamed would be possible. I thought Motherhood and I would be a tough fit and avoided it for as long as possible. It turns out I’m not as terrible at it as I feared. I love it.
 

Munchkin's first birthday

 
And through all of this DM has worked tirelessly, both at his job and then when he got home. He’s perfected cooking and has made dinner more times than I. He can cook some of “my recipes” better than I can now! He’s been home most of the time to give Munchkin her bath (and me a few quiet moments alone). He’s rocked, soothed, fed, bathed, read, played, chatted and revelled in fatherhood. He’s done an excellent job. Frequently, in the early days, he’d arrive home, take the screaming Munchkin, soothe some of my frazzled feathers, make me a cup of tea and take over. Definitely not the easiest year!

And, in amongst all of this, he’s almost completed a thesis.

I have no idea how he has done it. My admiration, pride in and love for DM is limitless.
 

Munchkin's first birthday

 
All of this needed to be celebrated. So we invited our nearest and dearest in Lausanne and threw a party to celebrate the amazing miracle that is Munchkin’s first year.

I got to making, designing, baking, crocheting, adding faux gold foil to invites, making packaging, trying my hand at floristry and stocking up on champagne.
 

Munchkin's first birthday

 
I’ll share patterns, templates, recipes and the rest with you in the upcoming weeks.
 

Munchkin's first birthday

 
I’m so happy with the result! It seems worthy of what feels to us, and I’m sure to all parents, the gorgeous accomplishment of a lifetime. And we’ve only just begun!
 

Munchkin's first birthday

 

All the amazing photography in this post is by the fantastically talented Hayley Hay

Munchkin’s first, first birthday party

Munchkin's first first birthday

Munchkin’s birthday isn’t for nine days, but her grandparents are here in Switzerland at the moment. So we decided to have a little party before the big one with friends next weekend. It just so happened to coincide with Australian Father’s Day, so we’ve had double the reason to celebrate!

Munchkin's first first birthday

I made a little gluten-free, organic, vanilla butter cake made with rapadura sugar and swiss meringue buttercream. Then I topped it with a Miffy plaque and candle I’d made out of modelling chocolate. Munchkin adores books and Miffy is currently one of her favourites.

Munchkin's first first birthday

For decoration I bought a couple of helium filled balloons and a cute little number one that were all anchored with some streamers.

So Munchkin, after her nap, was greeted with this… (along with four very excited family members)

Munchkin's first first birthday

She loved it!

Munchkin's first first birthday

After the prerequisite off-key singing, Munchkin was presented with her first ever piece of cake.

Munchkin's first first birthday

Devoured with almost no mess, I’m assuming this means it was liked!

Munchkin's first first birthday

Our little party was perfect and we’ve had a gorgeous day!
I’ve now got to get back to work for next weeks party!

 

Tea Party Invite & Envelope Printable

Mad Hatters Unbirthday Party Themed Invite/ Notecard
Tea Party Suite

 

A couple of years ago DM and I decided to host one big party per year, to celebrate Summer and well… just because we wanted to! The first year we held an Unbirthday Themed Party. I made a cake and decorations and sent out letterpress invites I’d made. We gave away gifts to all of the children who attended, had a piñata including gifts for the adults, and ate way too much cake whilst quaffing alcohol laced lemonade.

Unfortunately we don’t have many photos of the table or event as we had so much fun we forgot to take photos! Last years event was a little more sedate and adult in nature. And this years will be even quieter as I’ll be 7 months pregnant when the time comes.

But since the first party, I’ve often looked at the letterpress invites and have wanted to do something more with them. So I’ve decided to create printables so you lovely people can use them as invites or note cards.

They’re really simple to put together, just cut out, fold and add a little bit of glue to the envelope. You can download each of the templates below. You’ll need A3 paper for the envelope and A4 Card stock for the invite/ card.

 

Tea Party Suite

 


My templates and tutorials are free for personal use only.

Envelope-Download
Invite-Download

This cake & I don’t like each-other much right now

Before you read this, I need to clarify something…
I’m a perfectionist. Not with what I expect from others, just with myself. It’s bad enough that my friends have classified it as ‘nicola perfect’; as in, “I know it’s not ‘nicola perfect’ but I like it”. I’m fairly sure that’s not a good thing… I’m working on it  ;)
For example there is no way I’d ever have blogged about this cake 6 months ago. But I figure it’s not fair if I only ever blog about the successes. So here is my latest near failure. 

 

I’ve hidden from the world for the past week so as not to share the lurgi I bought back from Spain. But I’d finally improved enough to go out into the wide wonderous world on Saturday. And to get baking for a lovely friends birthday tea hosted at the gorgeous Clare’s on Sunday.

But I swear this cake just did not want to get made! Or photographed. And it was determined not to be the tasty delight I’d prayed for! This cake inspired at least 3 inner tantrums (because I pretend to be a lady and no longer actually stamp my feet).

I found this recipe and it looked perfect for a ‘farewell Summer’ afternoon in the park birthday. And converting it to a gluten free recipe seemed easy. Read more

Lego Party Goodie Boxes

My friend Clare has a 7 year old son who is Lego mad! He’s gone as far as memorising the catalog numbers of the kits he wants and can tell you just how many pieces there are in each box!

So it was pretty much a given that his next birthday would require a Lego theme. And whilst Clare has the challenge of creating a Lego cake and all manner of other Lego themed party items, I offered to make her some goodie boxes for each of the children to take home filled with gifts and lollies.

Read more