Darla Turns 3!

Friday, April 30, 2021

Thanks be to God. Our baby's growing up so fast - indeed, the nights are long but the years are short. 😅

This year, we had a simple celebration at home. I decided to dedicate this day doing what makes Darla happy instead of having a big party or a family holiday. As usual, I got up before her in the morning so I could finish her Disney Frozen ice-cream filled cake (which I started making last night) and decorate while Dad cooked pasta and chicken for our breakfast.

With sleep still in her eyes 💗

After decorating, I went upstairs to check if she's waking up. Just in time, she was stirring from sleep, and before she got cranky, I greeted her "happy birthday!" Her face broke into a huge smile and she hugged me. Her first gift, she loves seeing mommy first thing in the morning. 🥰 

Then we talked about how our day is going to be happy while I help her dress up in Elsa gown and braid her hair sideways like Elsa's. I told her I need to get her sparkly shoes downstairs, as an excuse to exit and asked her older sisters to takeover so I could get the table ready - I had to take the cake out the last minute because there's ice cream inside and it could melt!

The pasta and chicken weren't done yet so I replaced the food with balloons and gifts. Much better coz Darla doesn't really like food that much hehehe. Finally, I signalled Demi and Daisy to usher her downstairs. Ate Daisy tried her best not to annoy and make her cry today, her second gift. 😁

The joy on Darla's face when she saw the balloons, string lights, cake and gifts was priceless. The goal of this celebration had been achieved. I, for one, could breathe now. She had seen the cake it it's best form, it can crumble anytime if it needs to hahaha.

Daddy was still cooking, so we went ahead and opened the gifts first. They weren't very expensive ones but she was very contented with all of them: a small pink Frozen purse, Frozen toy phone, bagpack with clay and molding tools inside, DIY-glow-in-the-dark-under-the-sea-lamp-kit, and more Frozen accessories!

Out of all the Frozen gifts before her, she was particularly drawn by the under the sea lamp kit because she just loves everything that's associated with water (shells, sand, water guns... name it hehe). So even though I have saved the kit for another day, we went ahead and made the lamp - it's a project she had seen on YouTube and recreating it was like a dream come true for her. 😍

It was a quick and easy project. Darla wanted to make more when she finished but there's only one kit. Actually, she just wanted to pour water into the bottle in which case, I had 3 spare empty bottles upstairs. 

Lucky, before she got full cranky, food was ready. Time to eat! She was distracted and started playing with the other toys while eating. Darla loves her chicken and rice but the rest of us enjoyed the fried chicken with the seafood marinara. 

Meanwhile after breakfast, the big sisters started to dig into the cake for dessert. Their feedback was really nice. They said the cake was yummy as much as it looked pretty. Well, the taste wasn't to my credit as both the sponge cake and frosting were store-bought. 

The frosting was too sweet to my liking, the kind that gives you sore throat after - it happened to me hehe. But I have to agree that the vanilla ice cream inside made all the difference. Best cake they had, they said! I'm elated. 🥰 

Indeed, it was a fun-filled day for all of us! We met up with loved ones in the afternoon and in the evening, we also went to the pools with dear friends. A bonus for Darla who loves swimming. Did I mention she loves anything to do with water? 😆

And here is how the day ended: get-together with lovely people late in the night hehehe. I would have loved to stay and chat unfortunately, 2 of my children were getting exhausted and throwing tantrums so I had to excuse myself. Nevertheless, it wasn't really a drawback. Darla's birthday, overall, had been a blast!

Thanks be to God for a day well-spent.

PS: Also thanks be to God for my brother's Sabbath celebration in the Philippines. 

Here is a collection of the wonderful moments we had on Darla's 3rs birthday.

Now that everything has subsided, I think it's time that I and my hubby sit and relax over coffee, to celebrate our love for each other, which was the beginning of all these lovely family adventures. Happy anniversary my dear! 💗

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DIY Disney FROZEN Cake Anyone Can Make

Disney FROZEN Cake easy DIY

My toddler's recent birthday had been a blast, thanks be to God. Since she loves Disney Frozen and Elsa, I decided to make her a Frozen themed birthday cake and I'm sharing this DIY cake that I'm sure anyone can make. If you do not have baking tools and equipment (like me), no problem. Stick around and I'll show you my solution. 😉

The reason you went here was because you wanted to DIY your baby's Frozen themed party, am I right? If that is the case, I might as well share some ideas for your DIY party.

Ideas for a DIY Frozen-themed birthday party

I shared snippets of my baby's simple birthday party on my previous post. I kept it very simple this year because I didn't have much free time. I was busy with work and taking care of my clingy toddler. Also, I was on a budget.

Still, I wanted to give my baby a memorable birthday celebration. If you're in the same boat, don't be disheartened. You can still pull a nice Frozen birthday party that will make your baby happy, like I did! To make life easier, I just focused on these 3 things:

  • the Elsa costume;
  • the backdrop decoration; and
  • the cake.

and gifts, if I may add as fourth hehehe. Of course, the gifts do not have to be all about Frozen or Elsa or Anna, etc... unless your baby really, truly and only wants these characters. 😄

Elsa's gown wasn't a problem. I bought her one from last year which she's been wearing quite often already. You can buy her a new one if you want to. In my case, I just bought her additional accessories like the crown, shoes and wand.

The backdrop was a bit challenging for me. I wanted to go for a dark blue look with balloon-garland at the top and sparkling fairy lights like icicles on a snow. It didn't turn out very well. First, because I do not have talent with balloon decor and second, because my fairy lights were too short. 

If you like balloon decorating then this one's easy for you. But if you're like me, you can try replacing it with a Frozen bunting banner such as this one:

Disney Frozen Bunting Banner
Disney Frozen Banner

At least the cake turned up pretty well. In fact, I got a lot of undeserved compliments and questions so I decided to write this post to share how I made it.

Before I made my own cake, I searched the net for a design I want and chose this:

My sample cake by Sprinkle Some Fun

It's clean and simple and just in case I can't find someone to make it, it looks simple enough to make it myself.

The truth is, I didn't plan to DIY the cake hehehe. I did approach a few bakers around first. I am surrounded by friends who are talented bakers such as sis Karen and sis Che, to name a few, but I decided not to bother them as they have toddlers too hehehe. 

I tried FB Marketplace but I didn't get anyone willing to make the design either. So I went to a physical bakery shop, showed them the cake but negative. They told me they can't make the sugar candies (Elsa's Ice Castle!) so they'll make the cake with the white frosting only (because I told them I'd provide the figurines) for $80!

Nah... too expensive. That's how I ended up making the cake myself. 😂

How to make the cake

I was so ready to bake the cake this time but when I looked at the cupboard, I realised that I only have 1 round baking pan and I don't have an electric mixer (you'll need this if you want to make the white frosting). I don't bake a lot you see. The last time I made a cake was in 2016 for my husband's birthday. 

So I had to find a solution by getting store-bought sponge cakes and frosting instead. In this manner, I was able to keep things low budget plus I figured it would also save me time. If you want to bake the cake and make the frosting yourself, you can refer to the recipe from Sprinkle Some Fun linked above.

Without further ado, here's how I made the cake:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Vanilla Sponge Cake (Woolworths)
  • 1 Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting
  • Vanilla ice cream

Woolies sponge cake and Betty Crocker icing
I bought these ready-made cake and frosting from Woolies (I only used 1 tub of frosting)

Procedures:

  1. First, apply a thin crumb coating (using Betty Crocker's Vanilla Frosting) on the bottom sponge cake.
  2. Cut a hole in the middle of the 2nd sponge cake.
  3. Place the 2nd sponge cake on top of the bottom sponge cake and apply crumb coat on the sides.
  4. Fill the hole with vanilla ice cream.
  5. Store inside the freezer.
Easy steps DIY Frozen cake with ice cream

How to make Elsa's Ice Castle (sugar candies)

While we're making the sugar candies, you should keep the cake inside the freezer to make sure the ice cream doesn't melt.

Ingredients for the sugar candies:

There are many recipes you'd find on the internet but I came up with this one myself. I had to modify the measurements based on the actual results because the sugar candy did not harden the first time because there was too much water (moisture).

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup glucose syrup
  • 1/2 tsp blue food colour
  • 1 tbsp water

DIY sugar candy ingredients

Procedures:

  1. Prepare the baking paper on your kitchen counter (or tray). Spray with cooking oil.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a pan (except for the food colour) and cook until boiling.
  3. Once boiling, add in the food colour and stir for a minute or so.
  4. Turn off stove, set for a few minutes but not too long or it will solidify inside the pan.
  5. Using a ladle, scoop out and spread the melted sugar onto the baking paper.
  6. Wait to harden.
How to make sugar candies
Add the food colour when it starts to boil like this. Stir for a few more seconds before turning off the stove.

Once the solution hardens, it sticks to the pan and is difficult to wash off. But don't worry. Just put the pan back onto the stove, turn it on, add some water and stir continuously until all the hard sugar bits melt off and dissolve into the water. 

As I have mentioned above, my first attempt was a failure. This was based on a recipe I have found online which basically suggests to put as much water as glucose syrup. Sad to say, it didn't harden up.

No mistake DIY sugar candies
My first attempt was a failure. The ice candies became a pool of water 😓

I've experimented a bit. I figured there was too much water so I cut the amount of water I used from 1/4 cup down to only a tablespoon. I thought this should be more than enough because the food colour would also add "water" in . The second attempt was a success! 

Sugar candies for FROZEN cake
Elsa was happy with the second attempt hehehe. We can finally make her castle!

Finally, break the sugar candies into ice pieces to stick around the cake. Make sure to keep a few bigger pieces for Elsa's castle. There is no certain pattern for this, so just be creative on this part! 😉 

To complete the whole picture, place the Frozen character figurines (I bought mine from Target for $25) on top of the cake. The figurines also make for great toys after the party. 

Easy DIY Frozen cake with figurines
The final outcome - Darla's Frozen-themed cake with ice cream inside - very cold indeed!

I loved how the cake turned out! The only downside was that the icing was too sweet for my liking. Maybe next time, if I plan to re-make this Disney Frozen Elsa cake, I'd buy a mixer so I can make my own frosting.

Overall, Darla was very happy with her FROZEN-themed party. The delight on her face when she saw her birthday cake was all worth it! 

Even my older daughters said that they liked the cake. They didn't mind the level of sweetness and thought it was the best cake they had ever eaten! 

I'm one overjoyed momma. Once again, thanks be to God for a successful birthday celebration. Simple and inexpensive but filled with fun and so much love. 💗

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My Toddler Is Breastfeeding So Often, It's Killing ME 😖

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

My breastfeeding experience

Darla is the first and only baby I have breastfed. When I was pregnant with Darla, I approached my friends who were well-known breastfeeding advocates, for advice. I thought it was simple. My idea of breastfeeding was nothing more than what I see from pictures. But these were ads, one-sided, happy mom and happy baby having a tender bonding moment.

The real deal was shocking to say the least. On Darla's second day (night as she was born at 12 midnight) she began feeding non-stop until I got bruises. The pain and exhaustion plus the anxiety of starving her was more than enough to break my spirit. That was my first taste of cluster feeding, and it sent me down to my knees begging for a bottle of formula milk faster than the sun could rise. 

But I did not give up breastfeeding altogether. After a month of mixed feeding and bugging my friends for help and inspiration, I managed to go back to exclusive breastfeeding. It won for the simple reason that it was noticeably the most beneficial for Darla and me. Darla used to vomit after formula milk feeding because she couldn't control her intake. As for me, I kinda liked the convenience of not having to wash bottles and carrying light when we travel - not that we travelled much when she was a baby. 😁

I have a love-hate relationship with breastfeeding

So no doubt, I loved breastfeeding. BUT, I can't say I love it all the time.

In fact, if you're still breastfeeding your toddler and you're like me (impatient), there might be times you have thought about weaning him or her if you haven't already. I know I have. Since Darla turned 2, I've been debating about it, but only when she cluster feeds and sucks the life out of me, literally.

For starters, it's frustrating me because I thought after 6 months, breastfeeding would be less often. Not for me. My almost 3-years-old-toddler actually still wakes up more than 3 times during the night to feed. If I'm lucky, she'd feed for 10 minutes, let go and sleep again. If not, she feeds for hours, let go and then cry again!

So why am I not weaning her off? I was already going to actually, but recently, Darla got sick. With no medicine but 24/7 breastmilk, she was feeling better again in just a couple of days. At that time, I was reminded of what I would be losing if I give up breastfeeding now. Darla's immune system relies so much on breastfeeding. If I stop it now, she might get sickly too.

On top of that, there are the less obvious benefits we'd lose if we stop now. Toddler years are developmental years and based on lots of studies, it's a powerful tool in soothing a bruised knee, ending a tantrum, or putting an overtired toddler to sleep.

Still, knowing these benefits doesn't really give a concrete answer to my problems with a cluster feeding a toddler. Sleep deprived, stripped off of energy, sometimes even giving me stomach aches, I often feel like pulling my hair out. I'm not gonna lie, I'm stressed out!

So what can I do?

Some tips from helpful moms on the net

Full article by Renee Kam can be read here.

Distraction

Plan out activities for your toddler to keep him or her busy - playing with toys, going out to the park. When your toddler is busy, she's distracted to even think about breastfeeding.

While this is true, it can't work for me. I have work during day time and although my hubby looks after her and keeps her busy, there comes a point when my toddler would snap out of her trance and look for "Mommy!"

Take some time out

Some moms recommend leaving your toddler behind with someone so you can take breaks and indulge yourself. 

This sounds like a good idea. But as per first point above, I can leave Darla behind unfortunately not to take a break but to work, work and work. Weekends are for family and husband's time to go out of the house and run his errands, so I can't take a break either.

Ah never mind. I'll take a break when I'm dead!

Turn to like-minded mothers for help

I've got a lot of like-minded, well-meaning mothers like me in my life but I'm not sure if I should turn to them. For one thing, they have their own toddler(s) to tend to. Another thing is that they're all very busy too.

Perhaps, the only mothers I could turn to with be the ones with older children. They've got some spare time however, they won't be able to relate as much. So yeah... I can't do this one either.

This too shall pass

Finally, setting your mind for better days - perhaps this is the most feasible in my situation. I remember the nursery rhyme "Going on a bear hunt."

The song goes, "We can't go over it. We can't go under it. We're just gonna have to go through it."

And that's exactly what it feels like right now...

Oh well, I'll just pump my veins with HemoHIM and lots and lots of vitamins and supplements to get out of this alive! 😂

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Free Hugs In A Card April 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021

Finally, the highlight of the month! Happy mails for April would just be right on time. I will be sending these paper hugs on Thursday, God willing. 💗

April 2021 hugs in a card for sending 

If you'd also like to get a chance to receive a handmade card, just fill in this form or click on this image on the right-hand sidebar. Hugs in a card is open for everyone 🥰

Such a hectic, hectic month April is! One minute it was just starting and the next it's past the middle of the month!

Nice day at the beach

I guess it went really fast because there were so much that went on from the beginning to now: celebrating the 2021 1st quarter Special Thanksgiving, going out with friends here and there to make use of our dine vouchers and to squeeze in beach hopping before it gets really cold, but mostly going out with the kids while it's school holidays.

School holiday family bonding 

In between those events, there was illness too starting from Daisy and then Darla. Been fighting off getting sick myself so I've been taking lots of HemoHIM and supplements. But everytime Darla gets sick (even for just a little bit), she'd be cluster feeding like an infant but 10x stronger. Alas! I think my body is about to give in... please no!

Anyway, I will share more about our escapades on my next post. Fingers crossed I could find ample time to write them down... 😁

Kiama adventure with friends


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Terrible Two? Wait Til Your Toddler's Three 😏

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Temper tantrums by my toddler

My almost 3-year old daughter was singing the chorus part of Roar by Katy Perry one lazy Saturday afternoon while we were lying on the bed. 

"...tiger, fighter, dancing through the fire..." she went in her cute toddler articulation. After a few rounds of singing the same lines over and over, she got stuck and then looked at me while singing. I thought she needed guidance so I started singing along.

To my shock and horror, my baby threw a full blown tantrum. She was so angry her entire body stiffened like a plank. Meanwhile, I was speechless at her reaction and I can feel my only-just-starting-migraine escalating as I racked my brain for resolutions. 

"Foolish, foolish you!" I scolded myself in my head. I looked at her disbelieving. I've normally done this before: she looking at me and on cue I would help her. Then she would give me an appreciative smile. So what did I do wrong?

Don't get me wrong. This is not the first time I've seen her throw a fit. But her previous meltdowns were mostly due to frustrations from difficulty in communicating. It was a common scene with her dad and sisters but not to me. I was usually the one to pacify the situation. When her dad and sisters don't get what she's saying, I'd translate for them and her frustration disappears.

But this - her utter displeasure at my assistance - was alien to me. 

So what did I do?

Well, first I stayed calm and thought of the situation. Maybe, because she's getting older, she wants to be more independent and my assistance was taken as interruption?

So I said sorry for interrupting her and then I tried to hug her. But her tantrum only got worse. She was squirming out of my arms and so I let her go before she hurt herself.

I tried to divert her attention as well, but there wasn't much within my reach to distract her. I've read that babies are supposed to have short attention spans but I know my toddler to be quite stubborn. I ditched the strategy as it wasn't working. Besides, the more I said something, the more she raises her voice to block me out.

Then I asked her what she wanted. I've read somewhere before that when your child throws a tantrum, the one phrase that could make her listen to you was: what do you want?

However, I realised later on that this was more applicable for tantrums stemming from communication frustrations. As I have assessed, she was upset because I intervened. Her tantrum was more of a violation of her "autonomy."

As a last resort, I raised my voice and told her to "stop!" She only got louder, of course. I couldn't get any angrier because in this instance, I myself can't point out what she did wrong. She was just innocently singing, I interrupted, and boom! CHAOS!

Finally, I decided to leave her alone. I secured her first and made sure that nothing around her could hurt her, and then told her I will leave. Besides, I was on the brink of losing my cool anyway. 

As soon as I got out of the bedroom and closed the door behind me, her crying subsided. After a few more minutes, she completely stopped. I opened the door and there she was, lying on her stomach waiting for me. She's calmed down and ready for peace talks hehehe.

From then on, I learned to hold back jumping at her aid. Children aren't the only ones learning from their parents. Sometimes, we do too. That incident was a reminder to me that my baby is growing up and she needs to also learn how to do things on her own.

I shouldn't be hovering around her all the time anyway because helicopter parenting is not helping our children to do grow up independently. So from now on, we just watch Darla do things on her own and are more careful to jump at her aid.

Understanding how a child's mind works help in dealing with our children. But brace yourself still, it's not going to be easy. I have forgotten how I went with parenting my 2 older girls when they were toddlers (after the 9 years gap!) and so everything I am experiencing with Darla is new to me.

X means you're wrong and I'm right 🥵

So cheers to all the mommas out there who are raising toddlers. The nights are long but the days are short. Cliche, I know but it's the truth. Before we know it, they're babies no more. These are hard days, nevertheless, precious so no matter how difficult it gets, let's treasure these days - that is after pulling our hair out. 😫💗

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April Is Here - It's Darla's Birthday Soon!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

We love the month of APRIL 💟

A new month begins and just like that, the first quarter of 2021 has already gone. We're 5 days into April already and I'm thankful that we began the month with a 3-day thanksgiving in church. We were also able to spend quality time with friends and people we love. Indeed, April has given so much already thanks be to God!

This month is special for us because Darla's birthday falls in this month (29th). Not only that but we also celebrate our anniversary on the same day as my cheeky toddler's birthday. I have shared this story in my post before but let me just share briefly again how it happened. It's simply magical 💖

Darla's birthday falls on our anniversary

I was scheduled for caesarean section on 2 May 2018 (or was it 5 May, I can't remember anymore 🤷🏻‍♀️). But I felt a steady wave of contractions on the morning of 28th April. They weren't very strong but the waves were frequent and lasted a minute or so for each contractions. At 5am on a Saturday morning, I was already awake. 

A couple of hours later, the contractions were still steady but weak. Feeling exhausted, I fell asleep at around 8am despite the discomfort. By 1pm, I was bleeding a little so my husband decided to take me to the hospital. I can feel she's coming out!

Lucky I had packed the hospital bags beforehand. Still, it was chaotic for hubby since the girls were still very young. He had to go back and forth from the hospital and home to check on them every once in a while. 

As for me, I was so nauseous with no energy left in me. Still, I couldn't go in because there were other mothers who were "more ready" for birthing hehe. Finally, at 11:30pm, they wheeled me inside the operating room and hubby and I knew we were going to celebrate our anniversary while I was being cut open! 👀

What a celebration! The nurses and doctors were greeting us both for our anniversary and new baby! My husband was only able to go back home at 3am to check on the girls who were, thank God, sleeping safe and sound.

It has been 3 years since that glorious night. So now, every 29th of April, instead of our anniversary, I'm busy brainstorming for our little girl's birthday bash 😁

Here are snippets of her previous year's birthday parties.

First birthday - Under the sea themed party 🐟🐬🐠

Of course, the first year is always the most special. Indeed, I've put in a lot of effort and turned the house around to make it look like under the sea while hubby was in charge of the food. It was a success considering we stayed within the budget too hehehe.

Decors were all handmade by yours truly :) food cooked by my hubby - the cooking was so much more difficult than decorating so kudos to my hardworking hubby 

The backdrop was a cheap $2 party table cover in aqua colour. I just added in the different coloured crepe paper streamers at the bottom, and scrunched-up aqua serviettes as coral reef. Then I printed and cut out Darla's photo and name, then added the cut out of sea creatures from foil paper. 

I added some mermaid string lights around the table and filled the house with lots and lots of balloons in shades of blue, teal, pink, purple and white for the bubbles


Even the bunting banner at the top was DIY. I traced and cut shells from cardstock in light aqua, then topped them with the aqua-coloured serviettes and silver foil letters. I used my teal ribbon to connect the shells together.

We've also arranged the backyard because the lounge and dining area were too small for everyone

For the backyard deco, I just covered the tables with party table cover. I've ran out of aqua so I used pink for the desserts table. Then I used large foil balloons and silver bunting banner all store bought - it's an easy alternative as this was last minute decisions and I've had enough with DIY hahaha.

DIY giveaways - treasure chest and sand bottle charms

The giveaway trinkets were also handmade but I couldn't make a lot due to time constraints. So I only made 6 treasure chests out of printed cardstocks (template here) and 7 bottle charms. The chests contained gold coin chocolates for kids. The charms were fragile so I gave them away for the adults. In between taking care of Darla and making more of these? I probably needed a year before hand hahaha.

These were all of the thank-you souvenirs

I also added these children's books for my giveaway items. My 2 girls had outgrown them so it was perfect to find new homes for them. Then I added some bags of lollies and stationeries all in mermaid or under the sea themes (the books weren't under the sea themed). I included bookmarks in the bag and for the books for a personal DIY touch.

The prizes - "guess the number" bottles of lollies - and Darla's info board containing some trivia about her

I didn't make a lot of prizes because I didn't have a lot of games prepared. To be honest, I was clueless how I'd be able to handle the program knowing that Darla would cling to me the whole time and that hubby would be busy in the barbecue grill. So very thankful to sis Alma, our impromptu MC that day, she was amazing in keeping the kids entertained. Such a natural! 💗

DIY under the sea photo booth frame

I also made photo booth frames although I remember that hubby and I hardly had any free time to take photos - I just went overboard maybe because I was so hungry for arts & crafts too after a year of no excuse to do anything except take care of a baby 😆. Fortunately, my wonderful visitors were able to have fun and use them in their photo ops.

I made the frame out of a cardboard box wrapped in aqua table cover (the excess I have cut off from the backdrop). Then I printed the mermaids, the diver and the fishes and sharks out of A3 paper and just cut and patched them up together on the cardboard. I cut the faces off last with a box cutter.


The other photo booth frame - Instagram 

Because I didn't want to waste the other side of the cardboard box, I decided to make another photo booth frame (I was able to make 2 photo booth frames in one cardboard box - see, I went over-overboard haha). This one was a down-played frame of just Instagram.

Cake and photo frame

The cake was just a simple swirly blue I bought from Michel's. I would have preferred a teal one but the store didn't have it. The toppers were bought from ebay and I just customised it to write Darla's name and the die cut of the number 1 on the shell. It looked a bit bare in the beginning so I decided to add some pink swirl lollipops. It completed the mixture of blues, purples and teals.

The shadow box beside the cake wasn't intentional. It's just that I have this spare shadow box I bought way before Darla was born plus itching hands and lots and lots of unused crafting supplies. So I came up with something useful for Darla's birthday hehehe.


Darla's gown was this pretty dress gifted by sis Karen

Darla's mermaid gown was gifted by sis Karen. I was so happy indeed, because I didn't have the luxury of time to get out of the house when Darla was still a baby. I just added a dark purple bow in the middle, some shell-sequins and aqua crepe paper at the bottom, to match it with her very colourful birthday party theme.


The invitation - I made them at least a month before the birthday

Finally, here is the invitation which was the first of all the DIY I made for her birthday. It's a shell that opens up to a pop-up mermaid version of Darla with long hair hehehe. This was before I had die cuts and stamps so every single detail here was fussy cut - oh except for the intricate seaweeds behind the mermaid-Darla (which was from Stampin' Up!, the cardmaking company that introduced me to the wonderful world of handmade cards).

Second birthday - Emma Wiggles themed party 👧💛

Second year was so-so because nothing compares to the first and also because of covid lock-down. She loved Wiggles (and Blippi) when she was 2 so she was really delighted to be "Emma" on her birthday.


Our simple backyard table

Emma-Wiggles-theme was a hundred times easier then under the sea, but it was also very simple. All things just had to be accentuated by the colour YELLOW and that was it! Darla's costume alone had carried the theme for itself hehehe.


For this party, the only DIY parts perhaps were the number 2, the lopsided-balloon-boquets and the cake topper. The table cover was just an excess fabric I bought years ago to make white skirts (for KNC) when the girls were still little, while the yellow satin/silk (faux) fabric was excess from a bow I created for our choir costume when I was 6 weeks-pregnant with Darla. 

Great stash, I didn't have to buy anymore for the party decor! Good timing too, because we can't really get out of the house except for essential reasons during those times.


The number 2 was fun to create - however, I should have used a yellow background instead of hot pink


Balloon art was never my forte, so this was my best attempt at decorating using balloons. The cake was made and gifted by sis Karen again - the best baker there is in town 😉 Around this time, they have finally moved to Sydney after years of living in Muswellbrook. They were able to join us for a simple backyard birthday party.


The cake isn't just pretty but also yummy! Creamy, buttery and just the right hint of sweetness.


Darla enjoyed the party, feeling like an adult in Emma costume and drinking off her champagne glass! It's plastic, don't worry hehehe.



As for her coming 3rd birthday, her interests have gone more diverse from Wiggles to Blippi, to Nastya and Diana, Mulan, Wonder Woman and so much more. But she's into Disney princesses and because she already has an Elsa gown, so Frozen themed it is hehehe. 

Besides the party theme, I haven't really planned anything yet so let's hope and see what happens!

Until my next post God willing! Wishing everyone a happy month of April!

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