Isn’t Christmas simply the most magical time of the year? A time for opening up our hearts, showing those we love how much we care and for creating special memories with them. But it’s especially magical for the little people in our life. There’s a Christmas quote I saw which I simply love which says, “In the eyes of children we find the joy of Christmas; in their hearts we find the meaning” and this year I am especially joyful to create many more Christmas memories and traditions with my little Annie. In the last few months she has blossomed into this beautiful curious little girl who simply lights up our life every single day with her little quirks, her adventurous spirit and the little things she does and says.

One day when she is older I want her to look back on her Christmas memories and remember the magic and joy not only of Christmas morning but the weeks leading up to it, how we baked cookies, put the tree up and decorated our home, how we shopped for our yearly Snow Globe to add to our collection, how we gave back to those less fortunate than us and how we excitedly counted down each day until Christmas.

So this year I decided to do an Advent Calendar to make each day of December leading up to Christmas extra special for her. Knowing how much she loves a good “suplise” I know she is going to love this year’s advent, but I wanted to share the DIY printable with you too and hope you will create wonderful Christmas memories.

In line with our Christmas theme we created a Christmas Village Advent Box, which can equally double up as a little favour box for your table setting. I loved the idea of incorporating the Bakery into our village which also boasts a Coffee Shop and Toy Store.

To start with print the template on plain white card stock paper. You may choose to do this on a colour printer at home or take the PDF file to a local print shop. I had mine printed by Jetline in Century City on 160gsm card stock. Gather required materials – a good pair of scissors, a glue stick, and a ruler or straight edge to score the folds. You can use a bone folder for scoring if you have one or simply pre-fold.

Cut the template out. Refer to diagram below. Cut lines are solid and black. Fold lines are dashed and pink.

You can now pre-score your fold lines with a bone folder if you have one and ruler or straight edge. Pre-fold the lines you have just scored and then flatten the template back out again.

Apply glue to the side tab. Cover the surface evenly. Line the tab up under the far side to form a box. At this point it’s a good idea to flatten the box and press along the seal you have just created to ensure it adheres well. To begin forming the base, fold up the rectangular tab. Next apply glue and fold down the tab that lies opposite to the rectangular tab. Apply glue and fold in one of the side tabs. Finally, apply glue and fold in the last side tab. Set the box down and use a long instrument to press down and secure the base tabs from above. You could use your bone folder, ruler, or the fat end of a pencil. Squeeze the tops together to form the peak of the roof.

To fasten the boxes I used miniature wooden clothes pegs which I bought at the craft store and painted red. I then used hot glue to glue the numbers onto the pegs.

The fun part was obviously filling the boxes with all the treats and gifts. For Annie’s boxes I bought felt tree ornaments from Little Wilds as well as a few tree ornaments from Typo, a variety of sweets and biscuits, some surprise eggs, toys and small Christmas figurines I bought from Wish, but for a more adult version I would suggest brownies and biscuits from our bakery, Nespresso Coffee Pods and chocolates for the Village Coffee shop and items like mini Funko Pops, key rings, nail polish and ornaments for the Village Toy Store. Once I had filled my boxes I fastened them with my pegs.

I simply cannot wait to very merrily count down the days to Christmas with my little girl and enjoy her squeals of delight at the opening of each Christmas village shop!

To create your own village download the attached templates. Enjoy!


A few months ago I got to plan a very special baby shower for Lucia and my goddaughter Baby Leah as well as for my sister Leanne and niece Baby Gracie. Lucia’s baby shower was going to be at home whilst I was travelling down to Port Elizabeth for my sister’s baby shower. I decided to do the same theme at both baby showers – an earthy Boho theme with touches of pink and mint.

I sent out the invitations which I bought on Etsy digitally and used the same editable invite for both baby showers. I then set out to find beautiful Boho Dreamcatchers to frame the cake table with and bought two white dream catchers with touches of lace from No Negative via their Hello Pretty Store. They have some really great Boho macrame wall hangings, table runners and dreamcatchers and is the perfect place to shop at for a Boho inspired party. I added a few artificial flowers I bought from China Town to the dreamcatchers to give it a softer feel and set out to make DIY teepee centrepieces from an idea I found on Pinterest. I bought some wooden dowels from Brights, along with a grey chalk finish spray paint and hot glued my teepee together, sprayed it grey and gold and then decorated it with a variety of artificial flowers, vines, some glittery gold feathers and a small white dreamcatcher (which I bought off Wish). Both the dreamcatchers and teepees were gifted for the babies’ nurseries afterwards.

For the backdrop I used one of our dark wood photography backdrops which we had previously bought from the Backdrop Shop for our photos. I had a custom laser cut name made in a Boho theme with each Leah and Gracie’s names on. I spray painted Leah’s one gold. Custom laser cut designs like these are available to order from our store.

I wanted a very woody and rustic feel and so I hired wooden slices and cake stand from Happy Tree Designs. I also hired the Donut Stacker from them as well. I got coordinating printables from the same Etsy store which I printed at Jetline in Century City who do all our printing. The lace table cloth was one we already had at home and Mr Price Home happened to have Boho photo frames which I loved.

Once I had all the decor it was just a matter of choosing which cakes and treats we would make. We decided on a fondant feature cake in an ivory colour with the cutest fox and teepee toppers and touches of grey, pink and mint. The bottom tier was a dummy and the top tier was mommy’s favourite vanilla cake which she got to take home.

Also on the cake table we had two small 6 inch red velvet and chocolate cheesecakes which we decorated simply with macarons, fresh flowers and a touch of sprinkles.

We also made cake pops and biscuits in a boho theme. For the cake pops I had small laser cut dreamcatchers and arrows made which I hot glued onto the straws of the cake pops. The biscuits were packaged with a tag and were for our guests to take home as a little thank you treat.

 

To compliment the table we made a donut stack of our delicious brioche donuts with pink and mint coloured sugar glaze, mini bite size lemon meringues and bite size key lime pie bites. These are available on order.

Knowing that we were going to gift the feature cake to Lucia, Tessa arranged a sheet cake which we decorated with fresh flowers and berries as no one ever leaves our home without a box full of yummy treats!

For the mommy to be I bought a sash from Ginger Ray and a flower crown from China Town and hired a pink teepee for decoration and to keep all her wonderful gifts in with a printed banner with Leah’s name above her seat.

Mommy to be looked radiant when she arrived! We grabbed some snacks and drinks from the Mom-osa Bar and got comfy for the gift opening.

To make the opening of presents a little fun, I asked everyone to give me a childhood photo of themselves which I printed out and stuck on their gifts for Lucia to guess which proved quite difficult but fun nonetheless. Whilst Lucia was opening her gifts we played Baby Bingo with some great prizes for the winners.

We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and laughing, and oohing and aahhing over baby stuff and had a really amazing time sharing this day with Lucia and just about everyone from the bakery.

Photography by our talented friend Sheena Henry Photography.

And then on 27th September this gorgeous little girl came into the world and made herself welcome in our hearts.

Welcome to the World Baby Leah!

PS: I used a lot of the same decor for my sister’s baby shower but a totally different look! Unfortunately I don’t have many photos.

I am sharing some cut files and printables with you which you can download at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3cd5kcvq5e6hihm/AACarlz4zmwyaUtTn4KWEZH_a?dl=0


I have always loved birthdays, not only mine, although I will openly admit to being that person who reminds everyone months in advance that my birthday is approaching, but more so I especially love making those close to me feel extra special on their day. It wasn’t however until I had our little Annie that I realized how truly magical a new life is and that birthdays took on a whole new meaning to me. I remember the day she was born better than any other day in my life, the anticipation of finally being a mom, the excitement when we woke up at 5 am to get ready for our scheduled C-Section. I remember listening to the music playing in theatre with tears streaming down my face as I turned to my fertility specialist and said don’t worry these are happy tears, and then the moment that took our breath away, that first cry, oh how I will never forget that very special moment, it was as if her first breath awakened something inside of me, something so fierce and protective but equally loving and kind. The day I became a mom, singularly the most important day of my life. I want her to always know how important she is to us, how much the day she was born means to me and how grateful I am to be able to call her my daughter and her birthday is just one of the many ways I can show her that, though at 2 she doesn’t understand the concept just yet, she will one day.

There is also a good chance I have a serious party planning addiction and I might even have another baby just so that I can do this twice a year! I just love the attention to detail, I love researching ideas on Pinterest and social media, searching through Etsy for party printables, shopping and crafting. It’s a creative outlet for me and I just love the joy it brings to my daughter and her little friends.

Annie loves Peppa Pig, in fact one of her first words were Peppa and I have genuinely picked up a hint of an English accent in some of her words, like the way she says Okkaayy just like Peppa does, so it was easy to choose her theme a few months in advance. I was also lucky that Peppa was coming to town the weekend after her birthday. So once I had the theme chosen the fun began.

When planning a party my Go-To is always Etsy which has a diverse range of party invitations and printables for every theme imaginable. I chose a custom invite from PartyHooray and sent these out digitally to all our family and friends.

I also have an obsession with photos and Annie’s 2nd Birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity for a family photoshoot with our very talented friend Sheena Henry, the photos she took were nothing short of amazing, little moments of time captured and treasured for the rest of our lives. Tessa had bought Annie the most beautiful pink floral dress when she was only a few months old and sent me the inspiration for her birthday shoot one evening, a picture of a little girl standing next to a huge floral number 2. I ordered a 1 m tall polystyrene number 2 from Hot Wired and found tissue pom poms at China Town. I spent a good day and a half ruffling the pom poms and hot glueing them to the number 2. I underestimated the amount of pom poms it would take to make this (a whopping 50) and had to make a return trip to China Town, but in the end I was super proud that it came out looking so beautiful. I used the number 2 on the photoshoot, the morning of her birthday as well as on the dessert table.

Keeping up with trends we made a Number 2 Cookie Cream cake for her “smash cake”.

A month before I started crafting some items for Annie’s Birthday Party. We had bought a Brother Scan ‘n Cut machine a few months before and I couldn’t wait to put it to use. I started by making Peppa Pig headbands for each of the little guests. I found pink headbands at China Town for only R3.00 and bought two shades of pink felt from PNA. After cutting out the shapes for the ears, I used my hot glue gun to glue the felt ears to the headband. These ended up being super cheap to make and I loved seeing the little ones (and a few moms) wearing them.


I made the Peppa Pig party boxes myself using my cutting machine. This took up the most time and effort but the boxes were really cute in the end. I filled them with all the usual party pack goodness and added a Peppa Pig Bubble Wand which I found at China Town and a small pack of colourful pens for the colouring book I got on Etsy.

I had initially bought a template for a Peppa Pig favour box, but the boxes ended up being too small to use as a party pack. I still used the little boxes nonetheless and filled them with some sweets.

Lastly I bought a backdrop and some Peppa Pig Printables and tags on Etsy. I also got a cute Peppa T-shirt from Subella.

Finally party day arrived! I set up most of the dessert table the night before, bar the cheesecakes which needed to be in the fridge as we were heading off to the show early in the morning. Annie absolutely loved the show. A few of her friends joined her as well and it was amazing to see them interacting with Peppa and jumping in muddy puddles.

I reused the fake grass from our Easter photoshoot as well as the picket fence border. I used my floral number 2 on the table and put up the backdrop (rather skew I must say) behind the table. I used an old wooden crate I had and repurposed Annie’s muddy boots from last year as a flower container and used some of her Peppa plush toys and duck bath toys for decor. I had a red polka dot runner which I used as well and then laid out all the incredible cakes and treats from our bakery:

This amazing two tier Peppa Pig Cake was certainly the show stopper.

I also had a Red Velvet Cheesecake in a pink Tessa’s style design with a 2D Peppa Pig Fairy on top.

As well as a Peanut Butter Cheesecake surrounded with Kitkats and topped with a muddy bath of ganache. We used some of Annie’s Peppa Pig figurines for the toppers on this cake.

Our talented team made some incredible cookies, from George’s Dinosaur on a stick to Mrs Duck in her pond as well as Peppa playing in Muddy puddles. We also couldn’t help but add some cakesicles to the table which was a massive hit with the little guests.

Before her party we had noticed a delicious new trend called Grazing Tables (do yourself a favour and go look it up). We attempted to recreate one and I must say it was beyond amazing and really such a hit with our family and friends. We packed our kitchen table from corner to corner with a selection of cheese, biscuits, dips, dried fruit, nuts, savoury snacks from the bakery like mini quiches, mini pies, spanakopitas and bought some phenomenal mini rootis, samosas and pitas from a friend’s aunt and then our guests did exactly as the title said, grazed all day on all this goodness.

Annie spent the day playing with her friends in the garden and in her Play House and we really all had such a wonderful day but sadly I have to pack away my party planning cap until next year.

If you are planning a Peppa Pig Party I hope you have as much fun as I did! I’ve put together a file you can download here with some of the Peppa Pig Party Printables I used.

Now go jump in muddy puddles!

Love, Des (AKA Tessa in Training AKA Tessa’s Daughter in Law)

 


I am so excited to be able to blog about our little Anastasia’s Magical Day. When deciding on a theme for her First Birthday I knew I wanted rainbows, after all she is our longed for rainbow baby, our ray of light after the storm. We struggled for a long time to have her and fought through several rounds of IVF, six to be precise, several rounds of disappointment and the loss of our beautiful twins. Our journey was hard, but the moment I heard her cry for the first time, the moment I held her and looked at her through teary eyes, I fell in love and in that moment she completed me.

So needless to say when I finally got to plan her first birthday it was no-holds-bar, I literally went the whole nine yards and while hubby grimaced at the sight of our emptying bank account, he simply let me be as he knew how much it meant to me!

I must admit that unicorns are my guilty pleasure, it’s no co-incidence that we have so many unicorn cakes and treats. I’ve loved unicorns since I was a little girl and now I get to be surrounded by them daily.

Annie’s special day was captured beautifully by our friend Sheena Henry Photography and as usual Cape Town Balloon & Event Company didn’t disappoint with a phenomenal rainbow balloon arch that was truly such a showstopper. I hired a glitzy gold sequin table cloth from Grand Style Hiring and our friends at EPRO Products made me the silhouette unicorn in wood which I then spray painted gold for the backdrop together with gold and pink Ginger Ray fans and being a baking family we have no short supply of cake stands.

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We chose four cakes for our cake table:

  1. A stunning two tier fondant cake, gold sequin bottom tier with pastel rainbow and a soft pink top tier with gold glitter unicorn silhouette topper. (R1,250.00)
  2. Rainbows and Unicorn Cake from our celebration cake collection, however we opted for a white chocolate ganache drip instead of the dark chocolate drip (R425.00).
  3. Sugarplum the Unicorn Cake our popular resident unicorn from our celebration cake collection (R450.00).
  4. And finally we customised our red velvet cheesecake with a pastel watercolour design rainbow icing, chocolate shards and meringues and a cake topper that read “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” (R395.00 excl. topper).

Annie birthday party-70   Annie birthday party-68   Annie birthday party-71

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We also had a load of fun making different unicorn and rainbow theme treats:

  1. We made Unicorn cake pops with pastel flower crown and used these awesome gold Ginger Ray paper straws (R25.00 each). Annie birthday party-76
  2. Of course we had to include our uber cute Unicorn macarons (R25.00 each).Annie birthday party-63
  3. We made a mix of chocolate, red velvet and vanilla cupcakes iced with pink, yellow and purple flower crown and Unicorn horns and ears (R28.00 each Unicorn Cupcakes).Annie birthday party-62
  4. Of course my favourite treat in the whole bakery has to be our Oreo and Caramel Popcorn Rocky Road and I customised these with a pink, purple and yellow chocolate drizzle (R18.00 per Rocky Road bar – I cut my bars into three)Annie birthday party-75
  5. Rainbow Rice Krispy Treats (R15.00 each)Annie birthday party-78
  6. Rainbow Fudge – these were so tasty and the recipe uses marshmallows and white chocolate in the fudge so it’s not too sweet but totally tasty and delicious, I coloured the fudge in layers of pink, yellow and purple (R12.00 each – again I cut my squares smaller)Annie birthday party-77
  7. Layers of white funfetti and pink coconut ice (R12.00 each)
  8. I filled a jar with rainbow coloured macarons (R12.00 each)
  9. I bought in some candy floss aka Unicorn Hair (R10.00 each)Annie birthday party-64
  10. I bought in the customised cookies from our Cake friend Delight Baked Treats and Sweets.Annie birthday party-67

I made little party packs for each of the kids using Ginger Ray‘s party bags from their iridescent range which I customised and filled with a few treats and Cristina from Little Wilds made each of the girls their own unicorn headband (these were such a hit with the girls who ran around pretending to be unicorns).

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There were so many other suppliers that made the day simply perfect, we rented a soft play set up from Giggly Jumpers and a little toddler roller coaster which Annie enjoyed the most of all, we also hired a carousel from Kiddie Rides and a carousel jumping castle and the kids really had such a great day on all of these.

Annie’s first birthday was really a perfect day for us, I know she won’t ever remember the day, but it is a day I will never forget, it was a wonderful celebration, but really every day is a celebration with her in my life.

As you can see we not only do some amazing cakes for your little munchkin’s birthday party, but some awesome treats as well so don’t hesitate to contact us to chat about making your little one’s birthday extra special!

 


Cake Smash sessions are a unique way of celebrating that 1st Birthday milestone and we recently had a lot of fun with our little Annie at her 1st Birthday Cake Smash, which of course was a Unicorn theme. We have some amazing photos to treasure for many years to come thanks to our friend Sheena Henry from Sheena Henry Cakes and Photography.

What is a Cake Smash? Quite simply set the birthday boy or girl up with their very own smash cake, presented without utensils for the birthday munchkin to enjoy in whatever manner they see fit. They can feel free to squeeze it, drool on it, crumble it, face plant in it. You name it. No one else is going to eat it but them!

The Cake Smash trend originated in the US, but has become trendy in South Africa too. We’ve had many requests for smash cakes at the bakery and we were so excited to finally get to do this for our own little munchkin. We baked her a small 10 cm pink velvet cake and iced it in a white buttercream rose design with magical unicorn horn and flowers to match her own little headband. Did she plough her face into like we had hoped? No. She very elegantly picked a few meringues off and had a few bites of icing, but at one stage she did have us in fits of laughter as she knealt over the cake biting off chunks of the unicorn horn.

Why? Because …

  1. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – They only turn ONE once and as much as it’s a big milestone for them, it’s an even bigger milestone for mommy and daddy, like crossing the finish line after a marathon!
  2. The photos will be priceless – Have your camera ready! The reactions and faces are absolutely priceless.
  3. First Taste of Sugar – The idea behind the smash cake is to ceremoniously give your baby their first real taste of sugar.
  4. It’s free entertainment. Everyone will love watching baby destroy their cake with abandon.

Want to do a Cake Smash? No problem, simply give us a call and tell us about your theme and we can whip up a quote for the perfect smash cake for your little one to adorably destroy.