A Farmyard Themed First Birthday Bash

We all know my day job is Digital Account Director, and my fantasy job is party planner, right? Well, it’s true. So with Carters first birthday on the horizon I decided to put my hobby to good use and plan him a little farm themed birthday bash at our house this past weekend.

I had the best and worst time making all the decor and baking everything. I say worst because it took forever, and best because, well LOOK AT IT 😉

Thanks Pinterest for the sheep and pig cupcake ideas!


Luckily Im a massive hoarder so I used old formula tins which I wrapped and decorated, bread boards, platters and containers I had lying around. I also bought a lot of stuff from China Town – like paper lanterns, plates, napkins straws and bottles.

The harvest table


9 months of Carter, and as my husband so delicately put it: “Glass bottles for small children, fucking smart”.


The kiddies eating area



They look more like ‘Angry Birds’ than chickens…but I decorated paper lanterns to make farm animals…sort of. 



Let’s talk about the cake, shall we. I have never baked more than a vanilla sponge, but was adamant that I would make a 3 tier monstrosity that I found on Pinterest. So I did. It may have taken me close to 20 hours, but the result as SO worth it… and the cake was delicious to boot. I did have some help the day before when two friends came over to help me ice and assemble… and drink several litres of wine in the process.



Boys will be boys. My dad and Carter having a blast on the jumping castle. 




Little farm dudes all dressed up 




The jumping castle we hired came with a free Granny and her assortment of small children












I scattered hay bales around the garden, and covered them in hessian and checkered fabric. 






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I gave up carbs, booze and sugar for 21 days (and here's what happened)

This is not to say I’m stopping my ‘lifestyle change’ now that I’ve hit 21 days, but I do feel like I’ve reached a bit of a milestone in my ‘Fuck You Fat’ journey.

They say it takes 21 days to form or break a habit. Let me tell you, 21 days is a very long time when that habit is so ingrained in you, and such a part of your everyday life.

21 days 1

A few weeks back I made a commitment to myself to give up the following for most of January (I say most, because it’s my birthday in a few days, and there ‘aint no way in hell I’m going without champagne, sushi or spaghetti on my special day):

  • Gluten
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • White carbs

So, on day 22, how have I done, and how do I feel?

Emotionally I feel, well, the same. Everyone tells you how wonderful, revived and rejuvenated you will feel. I had visions of bursting through the office doors on a  Monday morning singing about the hills being alive while group high-fiving the entire office and drumming on my keyboard with organic carrot sticks. Alas, this never happened, and I feel none of these things. In fact, I am more tired, lethargic and moody than ever before. This could be due to other factors such as Zuma, my finances, the state of the Rand, work stress, motherhood, traffic or the weather.

21 days 5.gif

Physically I feel like a thousand bucks. No booze means my skin isn’t blotchy in the morning, and I have absolutely noticed less-puffy bags underneath my eyes. I’ve lost 3.5 kilograms and my tummy doesn’t bloat or ache like it usually does after a meal. I’m back in (some) of my size 10 jeans, and am feeling slightly more confident about my body. I say slightly, because I had to take some before photos for my SleekGeek challenge, and whilst clothed bodies hide a multitude of sins, half naked ones are truthful as fuck.

My diligence has paid off and I train 5-6 days a week, alternating between running, Pilates (which is super hard by the way, jaysus), crossfit &bootcamp style exercises and weights. Getting to the gym some most days is hard, and I often think up every excuse under the sun not to go, but afterwards I am so glad I did. Classes have also kept me accountable – it’s a lot harder to sneak out of a packed Grid class than it is to stop a treadmill run half way.

Side note story: Last week in my Shape class, 3 guys from the weighs section joined the class. I could tell they did it as a bribe or a dare from their buff gym boys, and I kept a close eye on them throughout the hour long session. Because I knew that about half way, they would be begging like orphaned puppies to be let loose and go back to the benches. These guys died. I had one of them ask me for my ‘girl weights’, one of them removed his weights entirely and the other one collapse to his knees half way through a jumping squat sequence. ‘Twas not sweat that fell from their brows, but little pissy man tears. They both made it to the end, but barely. Okes, before you ever judge a ‘girly class’ from outside, come in, do it, then say sorry.

21 days 6

I’ve cheated twice. Once was when I added 1 potato to a batch of fishcakes I made as we had nothing else in the house, and the other was when I added a tablespoon of curry powder to a dish I was making, only to realise afterwards that it contained gluten.

On that topic – everything you eat contains gluten and sugar. Have you read a label lately? Not even tinned Ratoutille  is safe. It’s incredible just how clean you start eating when you read food labels. I still don’t understand most of what the label says, but I have learnt what I should and shouldn’t have.

21 days 7

Planning is the most important thing when it comes to not falling off the wagon. It’s a schelp, but that extra 10 minutes you take at night to pack a lunchbox, means you absolutely can stick to the plan the next day. I’ve also found that meals are a lot more delicious and exciting than what you initially think of when faced with the idea of a carb, gluten,sugar and booze free diet. I allow myself brown rice and quinoa once a day. That, along with delicious fruits, veggies, smoothies, eggs and legumes have also meant I’m never bored.

Being accountable to someone or something is key. I mentioned the WhatsApp group I created – a bunch of ladies all looking to change their lives through diet, exercise and humour. Some need to lose 1 kilo, some need to lose 31, we are all different in our approach and style, but at the end of the day we check in with each other, post (gasp!) before photos and keep each other on the wagon in times of trouble (read: birthdays, weekends, kids tantrums and work trauma). The ‘something’ I’m accountable to is my FitBit device. I feel personally responsible for logging my food, hitting my step goal and appeasing this little band on my arm. The data doesn’t lie, and I treat the Fitbit challenges like my own personal Zelda quest.

I can live without sugar. I have never had a sweet tooth, so this was the least daunting approach of them all – and possibly the easiest of the items to cut out. I do still dream about a large pizza or a mac ‘n cheese though (because it takes 21 days to break a habit, not to kill your taste buds entirely). Funnily enough, my biggest craving of all? A donut.

I’m really battling to live without wine. 

So, whilst I’m nowhere near my goal, and whilst I won’t stop at 27 days, I will allow myself to have 1 ‘cheat’ meal a week. First stop? My birthday. That sushi carousel has no idea what’s about to happen to it.

21 days 4

I’d be very interested to hear your experience with breaking a 21 day habit – please share in the comments below.

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A Sprout Shower

Something I have been looking forward to my entire pregnancy has been my baby shower. I really am the luckiest lass as between my mom, 3 x A type bridesmaids and a host of talented friends and family, events like this are always filled with such attention to detail! (Remember my bachelorette?) My ‘Sprout’ themed shower didn’t disappoint.

I think the pics speak for themselves.

Side note – I highly recommend getting knocked up – the pressie and spoils are outrageous!

Only my mom would painstakingly grow dozens of Sprout heads..each personalised of course!


Dr Seuss, Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter. What more could a literature loving mom want for her kid?



Babies and Bostons… of course


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Instead of a card, each gift had a photo of the sender as a baby. Amy had printing issues so she decided to draw hers. I never would have imagined her looking like this as a baby… Mad skill!


Some people on the other hand, were a lot more easy to identify. 


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Chocolate brownie stag cupcakes… I mean, really. 


Food, glorious food!

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Guessing baby’s name… NO-ONE got it right 🙂

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 JBE_5966 JBE_5969  JBE_5973  JBE_5978 JBE_5979 19807_10152724777571776_7875324279010636816_n (1) 1978778_10152724776471776_7651977185734238897_n 10258946_10152724812911776_6583173772376437153_n 11040891_10152724812661776_5472457536159392104_nJBE_5983

Things then went back to our place where my hubby was having a nappy braai…let’s just say it got messier than a diaper after a first solids feed. 


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A Halloween Birthday and Pop Art Makeup Tutorial

We celebrated Halloween a week late this year, to coincide with a mates birthday. As usual our hosts pulled out all the stops with decor and the guests did the same.

This year I really wanted to do something different, and decided to attempt a ‘Pop Art’ makeup look that I have seen all over Pinterest.

My first effort was an absolute fail – so I decided to ignore the rules I had read and make up my own. Read below for a mini tutorial on achieving the pop art look, or just scroll down to see some pics of the Halloween party and the brilliant food and decor!

Pop Art Makeup Tutorial

1. You will need (most of these things should be in your makeup bag already, so the cost is minimal) the following:

  • Foundation and powder (I used a white mattifying powder)
  • Mascara
  • Liquid eyeliner
  • White kohl eyeliner
  • Eyeshadow (bright colours work best)
  • Red or fuchsia lipstick

2. The application:

  • Apply foundation – thicker than normal as you want everything to be covered. Apply powder – the whiter and matter the better. The reason for this is that you want the makeup effect to be the main focus, nothing else. Remember to contour your cheeks with a darker blush – this also helps when adding the cheek bone line.
  • Add a white base to your eyelids (and if you are doing the tear drop shape then that area too). I used the white eye pencil for this as it makes the colour on top ‘pop’ that much more.
  • Grab your liquid eyeliner (I like the liquid pen as its steadier and easier to apply) and outline the outside of your face, your cheekbones, your eyebrows, a line down your nose, under your nose and everywhere one would outline a cartoon drawing. Don’t do the lips yet – save that for last. Don’t forget to enhance your collar bones and cleavage as well 🙂
  • Grab your white eye pencil and start making equal spaced dots all over your face. This is time consuming, so don’t leave it till last. (TIP – blast the eyeliner under a hairdryer for a few seconds every several dots – this really makes the white come out and also makes it last)
  • Fill in your lips with a bright red or pink and outline with the black eyeliner pen
  • Finally, using a large brush or kabuki brush, dust the white/setting powder all over your face, chest and wherever else you have applied the makeup.
  • I found that not using any face paint was the best idea – as face paint is cheap, runny and goes on terribly.
  • Lastly – to complete the look, add a wig of your choice.

Pre Wig – Post Makeup

Pre Wig
Pre Wig

The finished effect

The final effect
The final effect

More pics from the Halloween Party. I am NOT embarrassed to tell you that I won first prize for my eyeball cake pops in a pumpkin – winning, no?

Creepy Eyeball Cake Pops
Creepy Eyeball Cake Pops

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There’s no hiding the bump anymore!

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A Pink and White Themed Baby Shower

So we all know that one of my favourite things in the word to do is plan a party – and after our wedding my fingers were itching to get crafty and creative again. Luckily my sister in law Bev is very close to popping out a baby girl and so a pink and white themed baby shower was in order!

The theme of “Baby Raisins”(Name to be revealed) room is “Tatty Bear” – so the decision to have the same theme for the baby shower was a no brainer.

I decided to paint her a Tatty Bear for the baby room:


The Baby Shower was scheduled for a Sunday morning – and as with most events I decided to make use of my parents gorgeous garden. I hate being restricted by venues and their rules and food – so this was the perfect choice. The day started out very rainy and overcast but thankfully the sky cleared and the sun came out to play.

The guests were also all asked to wear a touch of pink, grey or white.

Here are just a few things I did decor wise. A huge thanks to Bevs bestie Lauren from the UK who brought out a bunch of Tatty Bear themed goodies – as well as pink MnMs (apparently they have a 4 storey MnM store close to them…jellies much?)

Balloons on the deck
Balloons on the deck

I bought tons of pink and white sweets and filled all my old jars and containers (some call me a hoarder, I call it up-cycling) and used these as the centerpiece for the table.

Pink sweets
Pink sweets
Pink and White Sweets
Pink and White Sweets
Pink and White Sweets
Pink and White Sweets


Thanks for the cake pops Welly – YUM!


I looked everywhere for pink and white popcorn boxes with no luck – so eventually settled on those grey toasted sarmie bags – you know the ones you used to get at the school tuckshop? To brighten these up a bit I made small little ‘Ready To Pop’ (get it?) labels which I stuck on – these were then filled with salt and vinegar popcorn. (Side story – the night before as I was making all this popcorn I had a few girlfriends round for drinks… things got pretty out of hand and I think for every bowl of popcorn I made, we ate 3!)

"Ready To Pop" Popcorn
“Ready To Pop” Popcorn

The food was all delicious and a huge thanks to my mom in law and Lauren’s mom in law for the platters as well as Maureen – ‘The Cake Lady’ for the awesome cupcakes and Tatty Bear cake – genius!

Tatty Bear Cupcakes
Tatty Bear Cupcakes
Tatty Bear Cake
Tatty Bear Cake
The Table
The Table

For the drinks I filled small glass bottles with berry juice and made little labels which I glued on. Finished with a pink and white straw these were a really cute welcome cocktail for the guests.

Consol Bottle Cocktails
Consol Bottle Cocktails
Consol Bottle Cocktails

I thought a cute keepsake for the mom-to-be would be a fingerprint from each of the guests. I decided to draw the outline of a Tatty Bear on a canvas square and the fingerprints would then become the balloons. I joined these up and it turned out quite nicely.

Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting - Before
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting – Before
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting - After
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting – After

To make the photo booth I brought a plastic table cloth and cut out coloured hearts to stick on (Confession – I ‘stole’ some paint colour samples from the hardware store in various pinks and purples and greys – and think it turned out quite well!). I also brought chalk and chalkboard hearts for the guests to write personalised messages on.

Posing at the photo booth
Posing at the photo booth
Photo Booth Background
Photo Booth Background


To complete the look I strung white lanterns from the trees and roofs and put big clumps of pink and white balloons all over.

Balloons and Decor
Balloons and Decor
Balloons and Decor
Balloons and Decor

We also played ‘The Price is Right” and the gals filled out “Wishes for Baby” cards for Bev and Raisin.

The Price is Right
The Price is Right
Wishes For Baby
Wishes For Baby

Now we sit back and wait for baby to arrive!



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