Friday, May 28, 2010

"They are so much alike!" or are they???

Everywhere we go, people constantly say "Wow, Eadie looks JUST like Tori!" and "They are identical, it's amazing!" I agree with them of course, as they are right; they do have a very similar look. But in my memories they are also quite different. I decided to match some pics together to see whether my memory is playing tricks on me...
Vettoria is on the left and Eadith is on the right:

1 month:
6 months:


1 year:


WOW! When they were born I think there were distinct differences, but when they were 6 months old they definately looked similar. But although Eadith has maintained Tori's 6 month old look, Tori really did look different at 1 year old compared to a present day Eadie.

Well well, now we know. I was wrong, and right! Meanwhile, they are both just so gorgeous!!

Sunny Soccer Saturdays....


Every year Juan plays in the local Mormon soccer team as part of the Christian Soccer Association. Before the kids were born I used to attend every single game and it became a big part of our Saturdays during the season. But once Vettoria became old enough to walk around I just couldn't keep up with her and the game, and between that and the cold it just wasn't practical anymore.

But last Saturday was too beautiful to stay inside and my girls are old enough to play together, and we just couldn't resist going! So we got out the picnic blanket, took some books and balls and hit the park. Although I love watching Juan play, I knew the girls wouldn't share my enthusiasm, so I was grateful for the playground which provided ample entertainment! But we also got some fun pics which I thought I'd share. Oh, and Juan's team won 4-0! They have actually won every single game this season! (A huge improvement from last year). It makes for one happy husband, let me tell you!

EnJoY!


































































Tori the Parrot.... or something!"

Tori is so hilarious, she never ceases to amaze me. Everybody who has met her knows she is an absolute parrot. So when she comes out with comments the exact way I say them it makes everyone laugh, especially me. Some of these have included "...This is ridiculous!", "Don't do it again!", or the latest, "You're driving me insane!"Yes, that's right. My two year old says to me the words, "Oh mum, you're driving me insane!" at which I try not to laugh as I look at her and say, "Excuse me?".

There is however one word she hasn't got quite right... Usually she repeats the phrases in the correct context and, even though they are hilarious, they do make sense. Until she tried to copy my word "Already". You know, we use it things like "Hurry up already!" or "Just leave it already". Well Tori began saying another word and it actually took me a couple of times before I realised what she was trying to say. She tried to add my word 'already' onto some of her statements. But instead of 'already' she walks around saying things like, "This is ridiculous or something!", "You're driving me insane or something!" and "Eadie put it down or something!", and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Now, I don't know whether she does think that is what I actually say, or if one day she went to say what I say but forgot what the word was, so she just said 'or something' instead. But it is absolutely hilarious and she uses it regularly every day. Most of the time it is completely out of context and just sounds funny added onto her sentence. But we love it and I just had to write about it. "Isn't it funny or something?" :-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

SNIP SNIP - "Uh-oh...."

I DID IT! I cut Vettoria's hair - yes, the long curls! I know, "Am I crazy?" Maybe. But as her mother I reserve the right to say when is the right time to do it, so I DID it. Every day her hair is a matted mess of knots, knots, knots. Even using conditioner and brushing it after a shower, they just come back. Brushing it is torture for her and both of us decided it was time. This is how long her hair was with her curls (and knots) brushed out:



Long huh? I had a plan to cut only an inch, but somehow it ended up being about 3 inches. It's weird how it happens, it's like you cut a line, then another, and before you know it you're evening out those lines and then you step back and go "Whoah, didn't mean to do it that short!" Seriously, it's not THAT short, but it is shorter than I expected. Juan is convinced I've cut off all her beautiful curls, but I don't think so. I've straightened the ends which might make it look more wavy than curly, but I still think it will curl back again. Here's a pic:

SEE? Still beautiful!

My Night with Zorro....

Our ward had a great activity on Friday night that I was so happy we attended. Even though I put a lot of effort into the preparation, I still had to talk myself into getting ready to go 2 hours before. I'd had a full-on day with the girls and the weather was drizzly and cold. All I wanted to do was put the girls to bed and snuggle with a blanket on the couch.

But no Way! I'd gone to too much effort finding our costumes to do that! That's right, COSTUMES! It was a Hollywood themed fancy dress dance and Juan and I decided to go as Zorro and Elana from The Mask of Zorro. Of course, we decided this the day before the dance, so I was forced to frantically search for something, anything to throw together! Juan came together pretty good.

So, a special thanks to THOMAS for letting Juan borrow his Zorro cape, belt, and mask! Yes, the cape was extra small, but it did the trick! I then took off to the op-shop to look for a fabulous "Elana" outfit. I was fully aware that no look would come close to Catherine Zeta-Jones, nevertheless I walked away reasonably happy, especially because I pulled it together in about two hours! In all honesty I don't think the outfit resembled very much what Elana wore in the movie, but it kind of resembled the 'era' and the 'mode' of it all. However let's just say at the dance I was asked if I was "Maid Marion" and a "Gypsy"... Hmmm.... I had to walk next to Juan if I wanted to be recognised!! :-P

Oh well, we had a GREAT time and I got in my bi-annual dance fix, so that should keep me going til close to the end of the year! Tori on the other hand had quite a mixture of emotions that night. From the foyer she could hear the music and was excited, but when we entered the rec hall it was dark and very loud. There were lots of lights and suddenly people in costumes were coming up and telling her how cute her bumble bee costume was.... it was all TOO overwhelming! So for the first while she only wanted to be in the well-lit hall way, and then only with us sitting down... that is until we got up and danced! All of a sudden she wanted nothing more than to be on that dance floor with us! (In our arms always, but still in the mood for some fun). With Eadie asleep in the pram wearing her little fairy dress (don't ask us how she managed to fall asleep with all that noise!) and Bumble Bee Tori dancing the night away with Juan and I we had a wonderful night! Here's some pics for you:










Vegie Garden Update

So, CHECK THIS OUT!! It's my vegies! See how much they've grown? I can hardly believe it, and in only about a month. The tomatoes and corn just flew to the sky and look at this - TOMATOES! Tomatoes I grew!

It really is an incredible thing to watch vegetables grow. You put an insignificant little seed into a lump of dirt and then through the miracle of rain and sun it grows into a delicious thing you can eat! It's amazing! (I know, that's enough deep thinking for one day... ha ha :-)

We can't wait to eat them!! I'll let you know how they taste!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Question of the Week

Why is that Vettoria understands me more than ever, but I'm repeating myself more than ever???

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Time out for Mummies and Kiddies!!!

So on Friday morning Cassandra texted to see if we wanted to join them at 'Cinderella' park, our usual playtime destination. It was only 9:45am but I was already over being a mum by then, so we happily met them to have some carefree fun time in the beautiful winter sunshine! Then we realised that although we regularly go to the park, Cassandra and I have never taken pics of them having their fun. So we thought today was the day!
Here are some pics of the girls having a great time, and Cassandra and I having break time!! (if you can call going to the park with four toddlers, 'break' time... ;-) EnJoY!




Bad Mother of the Year Award Nominee.........

As mothers, we go through these "Am I doing all this right?", "Are they as healthy and happy as they could be?", or "What more can I do?" moments. Well, this week I had a "I suck!", "When will I learn?" and "I'm a BAD MOTHER!" moment. It went something like this:

I put Vettoria up in the shower as I made dinner. Like normal.
She played and then I went up and washed her hair. All normal.
She then got out, we put on her PJs and she came down and watched me make dinner. Still normal. When Juan came home he gave me a kiss then made his way to Vettoria where he gave her a kiss. Again, normal.
"What happened to her eyebrow?" he suddenly asked. NOT normal.
"What?!" I said, instantly afraid. There are only a couple of things in the world that constitute someone asking what happened to an eyebrow, and none of them are good.
"It's on both of them!" Juan said, pulling back her fringe to reveal a hideous and heart-stopping scene. My heart sank as I realised it was ALL MY FAULT.
I'll let the photo explain what happened:

While in the shower MY shaver dropped from its shelf and she played with it 'like Daddy' !!!! My poor, poor baby girl. I gave myself the "Do you realise what could have happened?!", "Lucky for you it wasn't a lot worse than that!" and the "You left it on the sink and she cut her chin the last time, remember? When will you learn Rani?!" lectures over and over....

On a positive note, it's actually difficult to see when her fringe falls over her forehead, so that's a good thing for her... But even though she doesn't seem to care, it still doesn't take the sting out of it for me....... :-( OK, I've learned the lesson to keep dangerous things out of their reach range.... ...again!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Eadie McGreedie!

We just can't believe our little new born baby is ONE! How did that happen? It has been a very exciting past couple of months watching Eadith change from being a baby, to a non-stoppable little toddler. Between walking then running, growing three new teeth overnight, learning to say "Tun-tu!" ("Thank you!") and so much more, we just love watching every minute of her life.

We celebrated her birthday with a family gathering at our house. It was the first time in over 2 years we have had so many people crammed into our little family room, which I was freaking out about, but we fit everyone in quite comfortably (including 7 kids and two babies!) and had a lovely time. Eadie received some great toys including a set of eight toothbrushes (random I know, but I actually requested them! Unless you know what it's like to say "Where is my toothbrush?!" in the morning and find it downstairs laying on the floor beside a pair of shoes and covered in hair and saliva, you cannot understand how frustrating it is when your almost three year old reaches up and gives it to your almost one year old for something fun to play with!). So, thank you Christinson family for giving us ALL this random but much loved gift!!!


She was also given a great toy piano toy with lots of noisy buttons to press, and an adorable book that plays farm animal noises (which has actually become Vettoria's favorite book ever!). Not only this, but she also received a beautiful blanket and bedding set that is so cuddly I'm thinking of using it myself! Oh - and did I mention the $50.00 note she got in a Happy Birthday card? So thank you to everyone who came and made the night such a special one for our special little girl.

Oh, almost forgot - she also got one of the most fabulous toys ever created! I found it at a "Made in China" store while at the markets that day - A Bubble gun!! Eadie just LOVED it and the kids went crazy in our tiny lounge room, jumping around and having a great time! Eadie could hardly contain her excitement at the awesome gift. Here's some pics. I've circled Eadie for you so you can see how much she absolutely LOVED it:



Yep, she loved that gun.... Good times, good times.

So between making the cakes for the markets held that same Saturday I was strapped for time to make her birthday cake. So I whipped out a couple and threw them together around 10pm the night before. Darned if I could think of a theme or decorations, I was so relieved I received my new edible designer prints from America in the mail that week! So I decided to give them a try as an experiment to see how they look. I then stuck in the tallest candle I could find, wrapped it in a matching print and added some piping (Did I mention how much I HATE piping?). Although it's not my greatest work it was a cute cake and it did the job. And hey, I remembered to sing "Happy Birthday" to my child this year, unlike poor Vettoria's 2nd birthday where I was too preoccupied taking a photo of the cake to remember to do it! Never again kids, I
promise!

Lovely baby, lovely toys, lovely family... it was a great night. Happy Birthday Eadie!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"How did the markets go?!"

I know you are all anxiously waiting to hear how my first market stall went, so I will keep you in suspense no longer!

Ultimately, the markets were a great experience. I was learning lots of new things about business and marketing and even picked up two brand new recipes to try! One of them is called a "Lollie Cake". It's a New Zealand favorite and I am really excited to give it a try! (Basically it's exactly the way it sounds!).

Carrara Markets are HUGE. I had never been before so I didn't know what to expect. But I certainly did not expect what I saw! Row after row, path after path of wooden stalls - everywhere! Just pic a stall, any stall! I am told there are over 500 and it's first come, first serve. But for this particular day I was situated in The Pavilion slightly behind the busiest areas. It was a more affordable option so I decided to give it a try there before moving into the renown packed places which were more expensive.

Well, the day was actually a lot quieter than anyone could have expected! Not only were all of us in The Pavilion surprised at the amount of customers we DIDN'T have, but even those in the usually packed areas were upset at the slow turnout. But despite this, customers took 1 inch worth of business cards! I just kept putting them on the table and they just kept disappearing! I was very surprised how many were gone by the time I looked down at the end of the day. Good thing I bought AND brought them!

Unlike something else I forgot on the day...... So we wake up at 4.30am to be out of the house and driving by 5.10am. Wow. Considering I was up until 2.45am actually decorating the cakes it really wasn't a great feeling to be doing my first stall EVER with less than 2 hours sleep. But, I soldiered on! After a tumultuous experience of driving around and around looking for a minuscule box marked "Office" where stood a man named 'Ed', I paid for the day and was finally directed to my stall which I was very happy with. I had two work benches, one for the cakes and a side bench for my little nic-nacs and working tools. I set up and this was the end result which I was really happy with. (John, the "lollie man" across from me offered to take a pic. thanks John!). Check this out:
So I was pottering around waiting for people to walk past when I received a phone call from Juan, who had just arrived back home, with an AWFUL question.. Well, it was more of a statement.....
"PLEASE tell me you don't need your wallet...."
Oh no! Between paying for the stall and unpacking everything I had left my wallet with all my money sitting in the car! Disaster!

My darling Juan, I would like to publicly declare you the World's Greatest Husband and most wonderful man in the world because not only did you stay up until almost 2am to keep me company the night before, but you also drove the 45 minutes to Carrara TWICE for me within 90 minutes just so that I could have a good day. I love you, I love you, I love you!

So, that was a little bump in the road, but come 7.30am I had my money and was ready to go. Waiting... waiting.... waiting. Chatting with John the "lollie man"... waiting, waiting, waiting.... When did these markets begin again? 9am rolled by... we got a few passers by. We were told that 10am was when it picked up.... I guess you can call 10 people every 5 minutes a pick up, but I wasn't really impressed.... 11am.... busier, but I was wondering if this was really all it was cracked up to be. Midday arrived and we had a pretty steady flow. Not overly busy, but steady enough. By now me and John the "lollie man" were great friends and I was learning a lot about his business. You know those long thick licorice straps with different colors and flavors they sell at markets? They're delicious and can be quite expensive. Well, he is the guy who brought them into Australia! Did you know originally come from Spain and they are all over Europe but have not yet hit America and Canada? Those licorice strips have already made him a lot of money and I think once they hit the USA they will be even more successful. If there is anyone that wants to start a franchise or work for him over in America, let me know. He has big plans! Plus, his wife, Vicki, was a successful cake decorator before she quit to help him so he even took pics of my cakes to email to her so she could give me some advice with marketing etc.

But I'm losing track here! Back to me and MY stall.

So I started my pricing at $45 but after about 30 minutes I decided I wasn't comfortable with that price and brought them down to $40. People loved the cakes but they didn't comment too often on the price, which made me rethink my pricing.... Then, after Vicki had seen the cakes via email she thought the best price was $35.00, which was the original price I had intended to sell for. So come 10am I was telling everyone they were $35.00 and receiving many comments about how good the prices were and that they were the perfect gift! Yay! I found my price! I was comfortable with this and the customers seemed to be as well. But before long I noticed a growing trend that was halting my success...... NEW ZEALAND TOURISTS!! I swear, every second person to come by the stall was from N.Z. I am NOT exaggerating. By 2pm I actually asked a customer if there was a bus that dropped off a bunch of N.Z tourists, because there were that many of them. But hey, they all loved my cakes, so that was a plus.

Long story short, I spent the day offering taste tests - which were a HUGE success, I took an order for a Mini the following Mother's Day weekend, I chatted with John the "lollie man" (who is named John Blackman, yes, related to THE John Blackman from Hey Hey it's Saturday! Yep, I've hit the big time friends! ;-) , laughed with Dave The Magician, listened to Majella the "bead lady" and basically had a lovely time showing off my adorable stall to the "oohs" and "aahs" of the passers by.

The Highlight of the day? Watching everyone's reactions as they looked at my fabulous black and white Wedding Mock. It came out even better than I was anticipating, so I was totally stoked. I fell I really went out on a limb with it, deciding to incorporate beads I had never used, or even seen used. I also had a vision of how cool the black fondant could look with the spectacular dark pink lilies I ordered in and was absolutely stoked with how they came out. I decided to add a little more ribbon to tidy it up and no one was more surprised than I, to see the final result. Here, this is it:
Compliment after compliment from both young and old flowed and people took card after card, so it really boosted my confidence in my own unique ideas and original designs.l designs.

Despite the fact that it was one of the quietest days anyone could remember, as well as the fact that I only received one order and didn't actually sell any cakes, I was very happy with the day and felt it was successful if only from the marketing perceptive. SO, that was my day. I met some really great people and I am looking forward to returning for the Mother's Day Weekend. Many people said they will return to get one then (we'll see..) and I'm hoping it will give people a better incentive to buy. But this week I will completely change my preparation routine so that I am NOT up until 2.30am the morning of the stall!! Hey, we live and learn!!!
Here are some pics of the cakes I had on display. I'll post some close-ups on my cake blog (www.creativecakesbyrani.blogspot.com) if you want to see them closer. Ciao for now!



Oh, and the brown one with the blue spots and the butterfly that Juan said didn't "match" and that no-one would like it... it was everyone's favorite! ha ha ha, who knows their stuff???? ;-)