Friday, October 14, 2011


When I was a kid, my Mom made the best birthday cakes. I have strong memories of a Hickory Dickory Dock cake in particular and I want to be able to create these kinds memories for M. So, like any good Pinterest addict and parent, I have taken note of the trends that are big in kids birthday parties this year. The one that I thought would be fun for M's second birthday (and the easiest to run with) was rainbows! Specifically, I really wanted to make a rainbow cake. I was looking forward to seeing the looks of surprise on everyone's faces when I cut into it and who doesn't love bright colours on a summer's day?!

First, came the invitations. I loved these fun striped invitations by Chickabug on Etsy so I ordered the printable PDF file and easily printed them on my own. Unfortunately, the Canada Post strike foiled my plans of mailing all of them but luckily, since it was a PDF, I was able to email copies. Crisis averted!

Next, I decided that I wanted to start a new birthday tradition with a fabric "Happy Birthday" banner. Since the theme was rainbows this year I tried to find one that would work and would also be gender neutral (fun for the whole family!). This rainbow owls celebration pennant from stichinginsocks fit the bill perfectly.

I decided on an easy menu of BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, spinach salad and fruit skewers. These rainbow fruit skewers that I saw on Pinterest were a big hit!

Finally, the star of the show (aside from the birthday girl, of course), was the cake. I looked at several different recipes but since I didn't want to buy additional types of flour that wouldn't get a lot of use, I decided on this beautiful cake by Kitchen Corners.

It was easy to make - I did three layers instead of six; two colours per layer - and most importantly, it tasted amazing! I think we only had a small sliver left at the end of the day which I call a success.  Here is my finished cake complete with a cake-topper inspired by this one I saw on Pinterest. I simply created some diamonds in Word (no fancy Photoshop for this girl), cut them out and glued them onto a piece of shipping string.

Finished product

Happy 2nd Birthday!

What are some of your best birthday memories?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

DIY play kitchen

M. turned two in July and I decided that I really wanted to build a play kitchen for her. I had seen all sorts of great examples on the web and settled on this kitchen that I saw on Pinterest.

Like a lot of DIY play kitchens out there, this one uses the RAST nightstand from IKEA as the base. So, off to Ikea I went to purchase two nightstands and various other bits and bobs like a towel rack, handles and knobs. I picked up a cheap faucet and mixing bowl at Wal-Mart and purchased all of the hinges, fasteners and wood from Rona. I ended up stealing one of my Mom's smaller mixing bowls when I discovered that the one I purchased was too big around. (Don't worry, I gave her my new one!)

My step-dad was a huge help in the building process seeing as how the last time I used power tools was in grade 8 industrial ed. when I built a birdhouse. Bits of Becky provides great instructions including all of the cut dimensions so it was fairly straight forward. It took us about 5 solid hours of work and then another couple of hours by my step-dad to finish things off (apparently the oven door was a bit of a pain) and re-sand all of the edges. I should have started this project way before M's birthday but I'm a bit of a procrastinator. We did have it finished and ready to go for her birthday party though so I met my self-imposed deadline.

There are still a couple of things I need to do like add legs to the fridge (at least), sew a curtain for under the sink and possibly paint the whole thing. I might even add a backsplash with some of our left-over glass tile.

All in all, it was a success and I hope it stands the test of time so that one day our grandchildren can play with it.

Here it is loaded with all of the play food and the Green Toys kitchen set that she received as gifts.

Complete set



Have you DIYed any birthday gifts recently?