Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dairy-free party food

Like I said in my last post, my vision was for a completely dairy free menu for Blossom's party. She attends birthday parties with a "special box" of goodies for her and generally eats away from the other kids. She doesn't care at this age but I hate the segregation. So I wanted her party to be utterly safe for her. Plus we wanted the food to be as additive/ preservative free as possible.

And we did it! All the food was dairy free, and normal. It was not weird or funny tasting and no-one noticed it was 100% dairy free. Success!

The Kids menu:

  • Sausage rolls- we found that Ernest Adams sausage rolls have no dairy ingredients at all. We use Watties Lite tomato sauce as the salt content is low and they are relatively preservative free.
  • Chippies- Red Rock Sea Salt chips are basically salt/ oil and potato. Fantastic!
  • Popcorn with a bit of oil and sea salt.
  • Fairy bread- white bread/ Olivani spread and sprinkles
  • Marshmallows on skewers (blunt ones!) dipped in dairy free chocolate and then dipped in sprinkles.
The menu was short and sweet and the kids loved the food. I used glass bottles and pretty paper straws for drinks. The drink was Vitafresh cordial (low in preservatives and coloring free)

The Adult menu:

The same as the kids menu but added:
  • Zucchini cake- sounds horrific but so good that my friend Meg's husband ate half the loaf!
  • Home made hummus and plain taco chip pies.
  • Fruit platter
  • Dairy free chocolate chip cookies- Meg's recipe

The CAKE! So important! I wanted a "normal" looking and tasting one.

Meg was a life saver here. I asked her for a cake recipe and when she gave me one I realized she just adapted a normal one. So I looked at my own chocolate cake recipe to see if I could adapt it. YES! It's an oil based one with no butter and I substituted the cow's milk for soy milk. It tastes exactly the same. I was thrilled.

Meg then gave me an American Frosting recipe for the icing. It was so easy to make using Cremelta/ Olivani and rice milk. And it tasted so good, I much prefer it to butter icing. It was also a gorgeous white color so I just used heart sprinkles to decorate the top. Simple and just my style...

The goodie bags had a ball and some sweets/ lollipop in each one. These were the only sweets at the party and the plan was to inflict the related sugar-high on the parents in the car on the way home. This nearly went to plan but as soon as the first mini guests left the rest of the little guests demanded their goodie bags. Oh well, haha!

I was so encouraged by how easy it was to create an entire party that was dairy free! I felt that the party food didn't lack anything by being dairy free and this was just what I wanted. A "normal" party for my little girl where she could be free to eat whatever she pleased. And she did!


Sunday, May 27, 2012


Yesterday we celebrated! It was Blossom's Princess party and we had a blast. My vision was to have a feast that was completely dairy free so Blossom could whatever she liked. I loved watching her take her pick of the food.

Blossom eating her fill off a plate like all the other kids!

I styled the house and table in pink and orange with a bit of lavender thrown in for good measure.

Little boy cousins blowing bubbles in their drinks!

My generous friend Meg did face painting for the kiddies...

And a small dinosaur emerged complete with ROAR!

Dida and his best boy

 A tiny princess blowing out her candles. She knew JUST what to do!

I am a former "party-phobe"and am completely sold on the idea of kids parties now. They are a chance for family and friends to come together and celebrate the life of a small person but also celebrate being a community. Our parties are for adults and children alike and I love how we all come together and celebrate!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

thomas loving

We really do love Thomas the Tank Engine in this house. Blossom got her own set of trains (Percy, James, Emily and Rosie) and the Sodor Bay bridge for her birthday. She was thrilled. Before this she had been sneaking plays when Rupi was out of the room as she was not allowed to look at his trains when he was around.

Funny how the new trains and bridge have miraculously developed a sharing attitude in the small man. The tracks are all combined and they play together. Love it.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

the happiest day


Today you are two years old. Happy birthday sweet girl. As Rupi made me a Mama, you completed me as a Mama. You are the most perfect bud of a girl, sweet and fiery at the same time.

You bring such joy to me. Just the way you are, no more and no less. I love knowing you and being your Mama is the most amazing gift.

Love you forever


Tuesday, May 15, 2012


After 8 long years of being a patient at my fertility clinic, I went into say good-bye this morning. I graduated- with honors, I mean, have you seen my children!!??

It was super emotional but not the "cry" sort of emotional. Just relieved and a teeny bit sad and so happy. I did 3 rounds of chlomophene, 3 cycles of IVF, one cycle of IVF/ egg donation, had 2 miscarriages, adopted a precious boy, designed their clinic and bore one beautiful girl in those 8 years.

Ignore my facial expression- what the heck?

The staff are amazing. The egg donation nurse (my favorite) told me she still remembers me calling to tell her we had adopted Rupi and seeing him for the first time. They had not met Blossom yet, as I didn't take her along to any of my appointments, so were very happy to see her. The last time they saw her she was only 6 cells big!

These nurses and my doctor have seen us through so much. What a triumph to finally walk in with two amazing children. God is so faithful! So now the door is firmly shut and we end as we began with an appointment. But what a difference! An appointment of joy and fulfillment.

Of course we finished off with a sorbet celebration! Bliss.


Monday, May 14, 2012

In my garden: May

We are really into simple living and natural eating. I have done a ton of research into nutrient dense food and would love to learn to grow my own food. Until we get to live on a little block of land I am honing my (non-existent) skills in our little suburban patch.

The Koanga institute is where I have learned a lot and ordered seeds, fertilizers and books. The institute is dedicated to saving New Zealand's heritage of seeds and simple. natural living.

This season we wanted to start small and grow learn to grow carrots, beetroot and onions from seeds. Our soil is clay based so we have improved it with Koanga's EF Active calcium and EF Natures Garden Fertiliser.

The carrots have done well! They are super easy, sew seeds into the soil and they grow. We chose the Oxheart variety as they are good in clay soil. We got a free packet of snow peas and these grew really well from seeds too.

Here is my little beetroot patch. The beetroots were so hard to grow from seeds and this was my third attempt. I choose the Chioggia variety as they are striped. That's the only reason (!)

Next to the beetroots are the onions. These are not from seeds as I gave up. They didn't even raise their heads out of the seed tray *sigh*. I bought seedlings which are the same variety as the seeds- Pukekohe.

This is a bit hit and miss and I am learning. But it's such fun and I can't wait to eat our own food!


Sunday, May 6, 2012


There has been a lot of goodness over the last few days. I feel stuffed with gratitude and joy!

We try to have a beach afternoon once a week. It's glorious. Except when someone falls in. Twice. I was trying not not laugh and failing miserably. Luckily my very wet small boy held himself together and once we changed in the car, wanted to go back for the walk.

But, I did not have a dry top for him. No problem, I sandwiched him in his sisters (size 1) coat and off we went. Ha!!!

My Mom and I went on a date to Little & Friday cafe (Mon put me onto this cafe) I am such a baking snob (don't hate me) and this cafe bakes better than I do. It's AMAZING. And doesn't my Mom look good? We are nearing the end of the hateful chemo and I cannot wait.

We have had some serious growth spurts and the kiddies feet seem to have grown overnight! New gumboots were called for. Kiwis are in love with gumboots and I am a convert. Our long wet winters mean gumboots are great at keeping the kiddies feet warm and dry. They pop on and off at the door to the house and warm dry socks mean little feet are toasty. New grey truck ones for Rupi and pink strawberry shortcake ones for Blossom...

Lastly I am free! I forgot how awful miscarrying was and it's done and dusted. I will never have to go through that again, whoop!!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012


We kept all our baby clothes. And with babies of different genders and born in different seasons, there is a lot. I am sentimental about the little clothes so wanted them to go somewhere special. One of my besties is having a boy after two girls and this was the perfect opportunity to 1. bless her, 2. give the clothes to someone I love, 3. see the clothes being used on another little being.

So I started sorting. My friend now has an entire wardrobe for her little boy. My children seem to have a lot of clothes (hmmm..)

It only hurt a little which is good. And that hurt is a normal hurt I think. The end of the "little baby phase" hurt.

Now to sort through the stack of girl clothes! Penny, come and visit soon!

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