I’m not blogging again, really I’m not. But it was Iggy’s 6th birthday party yesterday so I want to post some pics for his dad and my aunty Sue and anyone else not on Instagram who might want to see them (and also for my Pintrest of course) . This was our first at-home birthday party and I have to say I got way more cheap thrills out of the prep than the real thing. Jeez, two hours is a long time when you’re surrounded by 20 five and six year olds and can’t numb yourself with wine.
Here are the pics:
Iggy needed a dress rehearsal when his costume arrived (Disney via eBay) to prove I could draw a moustache.
Milo’s costume was also Disney, but in keeping with his personality he went for the goth version.
My brother is a graphic designer (firstname.lastname@example.org if you need anything done - he’s also single and v handsome and lovely fyi) and he whipped up some signage for us.
Cupcake decorating was a hit with the kids. This is the table before the carnage.
I don’t think the cake boss has much to worry about.
The giant flag was an eBay find and will be going back on there pronto (it’s like hiring, but with more choice), the skeleton was from itsallaboutkidsgifts.com.au, the chest was filled with all my old jewellery. The girl guests thought it was treasure to be looted and they all had to have their lolly bags checked on the way out… Oops. My bad.
Little flags were found on eBay. How awesome are cocktail franks?
Sword picks from itsallaboutkidsgifts.com.au.
I cut the sandwiches using a cookie cutter bought on eBay. While I was making them, Milo walked out and said ‘eww, white bread?!’. Pat on the back me.
I knew I wanted to do this for ages but forgot to save any bottles from any of the house parties/BBQs we’ve been to lately. As a result I was up at 6am pouring a few six packs down the sink. I can think of a few of my male family members who will find that unforgivable. The kids looked pretty funny swilling grape juice from them though.
Because Ig is the Don Juan of KX, he had more girls than boys at his party. I had to find some girls tattoos for the tattoo parlour from eBay and the moustache pencil had to moonlight as a Jack Sparrow eyeliner too.
I found the plastic beer steins on eBay and we made ice cream sodas to give that frothy effect.
Their completely unprompted, 20-year-old-dudes-at-the-pub poses scare me a little here. But my new nephew Uriah is adorbs.
Iggy in character.
We played Throw The Cannonball (with water balloons), Walk The Plank (with shaving foam), had a Treasure Hunt for gold coins (bought in bulk from lollyworld.com.au) in lieu of lolly bags and went old school with Pin The Treasure on the Map. Every single one of them cheated.
My sister Lara made the cake. I forgot the candles.
I can’t believe I remembered my Tumblr password after so long but I’ve had so many questions (and amazing kind words, thank you!) about various bits of our wedding since Paula Joye so beautifully ran our pictures on her site that I thought I should probably give credit to the people I hadn’t mentioned properly (and all in the one place. (This is not a return to blogging though… I’m much too lazy for that.
Hi Justine, I am trying to find in on-line copy of your M.I.C.K.Y right up in the Autumn Shop4Kids. I had the magazine but can’t seem to find it anywhere. If there is an on-line copy can you please send me the link... Thanks Cassie
If you email a request for the pdf of the story to email@example.com, she can get it to you.
This ad for UK store John Lewis got this ‘elf on steroids’ (as my partner calls me) all welled up. One of my boys is like this. The other… notsomuch.
I said to Milo “Santa can understand anything to do with kids so when you write to him don’t worry about checking the spelling with me, just go nuts. He’ll work it out.” This goes against his grain, he’s a perfectionist and not really a winging-it kinda guy. But he gave it a go. This is the totally awesome result:
Hello Santa, how are you today?
Please can you give me an old hero factory box for Christmas, and a bike, and the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and I don’t know what else.
Good luck, Santa. Bye.
PS And I forgot the Fire Dragon from Lego Ninjago. Bye.
Poppers in the morning sun. Retro.
So I’ve pretty much done nothing lately but make these Christmas videos (from the dancing elves people) for everyone I know. I’m easily amused.
And Santa’s Portable North Pole is up again, better than ever. I made Milo a ‘nice list’ video but put Iggy in the naughty category because that kid is driving me crazy. I hope he doesn’t get too scarred by it.
Love the festive season.
Organising a wedding in four months at a venue where you have to BYO everything from the napkins to the waiters and the toilets is also know colloquially as ‘biting off more than one can chew’. As a result, anyone who even vaguely knows me has been given a craft task for our wedding. Here’s Ig hand dying paper doilies. I have no idea what we’ll use them for, but it made for a fun wedding crafternoon (or five).
I lived in London for four years back in, oh, the early 1800s, and I’d been back a few times since I moved home but not for about five years. I was pretty excited to head there on a work trip to LFW last month for a few days.
But this time I had a real ‘you know you’re old’ moment when instead of checking into my hotel and bailing straight for Topshop, or even Selfridges or Liberty, all I wanted to do was go to Graham & Greene, a homewares store in Ladbroke Grove whose stuff I’ve always lusted after in Brit house mags, and who - so annoyingly - don’t ship to Australia.
I wasn’t disappointed: it was all of my housey dreams come true. Except I realised once there that of course I still couldn’t bring much home. But it was totes inspiring and at least I got some good (cheap!) gypsy cushions to mix it up on a bit on the sofa.
Along with the holy trinity mentioned above - Topshop, Selfridges and especially Liberty (my happy place) - I remembered why London actually kills NY when it comes to shopping. And Sydney? Ptth. We’re just the Aldi of the shopping world.
Iggy hung out in the office the other day. When he left he said ‘I don’t like how all those girls always laugh at me.” I said “They just think you’re really cute and cool.”
He rolled his eyes and muttered “They don’t know anything about my life.”
So R Patz.
Let this give hope to remarrying single mums everywhere…
I found the basis of this recipe online years ago and have had it on a sticky note on my laptop ever since. Sometimes I use a lot more nutella. The dough is kind of dry but still we manage to eat most of it raw.
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of plain flour 1/4teaspoonsalt 1/2teaspoonbicarb soda 1/2cupbutter, melted and cooled until warm 3/4cupbrown sugar 1/2cupwhite sugar 1/2cupnutella 1 largeegg 1 egg yolk 2 teaspoonsvanilla extract 1 cup chopped macadamias or hazelnuts
1. Heat oven to 160 degrees. Line a baking sheet without sides with baking paper.
2. Mix flour, salt and bicarb together in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
3. With electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in Nutella, egg, yolk and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in nuts.
4. Form 1/4 cup dough into ball. Holding ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth dough’s uneven surface. Place formed dough onto sheet, about nine balls per sheet. (Smaller cookie sheets can be used but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and the time may need to be adjusted).
5. Bake until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden, yet centers are still soft and puffy, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets. Store in an airtight container.
Speaking of Nutella, here is Iggy at our favourite LA breakfast place, The Griddle Cafe, with the next thing I want to try recreating at home: Nutella french toast. Maybe we’ll skip the whipped cream on top for DIY.
Can you tell I’m on a diet? The only thing I think about these days is food…
Three other phenomenal things to eat in Disneyland:
1. Half Baked Cookie Dessert from the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. Four of us didn’t even come close to finishing this thing. I’m going to try to make it with my chewy nutella cookie recipe next week.
2. The classic frozen banana. I make these for the kids at home all the time, but they’re not the same as Disney’s. Does anyone know how they keep the banana inside so soft? Mine go frozen solid.
3. Cream Cheese Pretzel. Apparently you can’t get them like this anywhere else in the world. That kills me a bit on the inside.
When I’m in the States I love this website called Dishtip. Basically you put in what you feel like eating and where you are, and it tells you the exact dishes nearby - not just the restaurants - that are the most raved about online. It’s like Yelp but more specific and I haven’t had a bum steer from either Dishtip or Yelp yet.
We tried it in Disneyland recently thinking nothing would come up because all food there has to be crap, right? But all signs pointed to the Disneyland Corn Dogs at the end of Main Street. Even food critics rave about this thing.
We were hesitant. I mean, dagwood dogs are revolting right? Deep friend mystery meat in batter is no-one’s friend. (Even if we do get one every year at the Easter Show because it’s ‘funny’ and ‘tradition’.) But we gave in. ERROR. Disney Corn Dogs are really, really good. It’s not batter, it’s like a crispy-on-the-outside-fluffy-on-the-inside corn bread coating. Slightly sweet. Bizarrely delicious. It’s still mystery meat, but hey, you can’t have everything. I wanted one every day and, let me tell you, what goes on in LA doesn’t stay in LA. It comes right back with you as excess body baggage. Totally worth it though.
When people ask me where they should go for their skin, I pretty much only ever recommend The Clinic in Bondi Junction. We just worked out that I’ve been going there for ten years in January and I trust Kaye and Lisa implicitly, even when they’re putting me through pain in the name of beauty (for years they would tell me in interviews that laser hair removal felt like ‘an elastic band snapping against the skin’ which I would faithfully print in whatever mag I was beauty editor for at the time, and then they actually did it to me and I realised it was lies, all LIES. Ouch).
They have me on a program for my wedding. It involves a new kind of microdermbrasion (which I had last week and was unreal) and something called a Dermaroller, which I’ll update you on next week. And maybe a Mini-Fraxel at the end, which terrifies me but apparently shouldn’t.
They’ve also got me using this new cult cream, Dermaquest Stem Cell 3D Complex. No, it’s not made from umbilical cords. I’ve never really known Kaye and Lisa to be excited about anything topical before (I’m sure they have been, they just haven’t recommended anything to me like they did this) which made me feel like it must work before I even used it. Anyway, it’s an all-you-need moisturiser using big doses of all the most effective ingredients around, created by one of the chemists who creates skincare products for big beauty companies all over the world, and it may just be my favourite moisturiser I’ve ever tried (and that’s a lot). Plus, it smells a bit like cake, which is really a nice treat while I’m on the bridal diet.