The birthday cake!

I’m a big believer in celebrations and the more over-the-top, creative, yet frugal – the happier I am. Someday I plan to follow in the footsteps of my grandmother and learn baking and bake our own family cakes. But till then I have to rely on the services of others.

I am a sucker for doing things the same way or in other words – love the traditional approach! So last year, I ordered at JustBake. Though the cake was good, it was a little disappointing as it wasn’t as well-made as the one pictured on their website. But still for the kids, the cake rocked. They loved it! And showed their appreciation! (Bless them)

Justbake

This year around, I am again ordering from JustBake. Only this time instead of a monstrous 7 kg cake, I’m ordering two cakes – a 3kg one for the morning party with her classmates and a 4kg one for the evening gala with all her/our friends.

I’m just thrilled with the cakes and hope they turn out as good as in the pictures.

Gift Box

The first one, we’ll cut in the morning. The party theme is the “Three Billy Goats.” But since we couldn’t get anything remotely goaty or farmyard like, we decided to go with these “roses in a green meadow” type cake.

Also helps that her morning frock, have the same colours of green & rose.

Wedding

The second one is actually listed as a wedding cake and not a children’s cake. But the cake is so identical to her dress – the same colour, similar roses and sugar pearls – that I had to have this one.

I actually wanted the theme “Kabulliwallah.” But within a few discussions, we realised it’ll be too complicated and boring a subject for kids (Now you know what I’ll plan 9 years later). So we next thought of “The Jungle Book – Mogwli.” But then again -trying to have a skit or a puppet show – would be difficult. Just imagine the characters! So, we then decided to go with “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” The playschool owner’s cousin had already staged this puppet show earlier. So the theme, colours, everything got switched within a week of the birthday.

And here we are! So will post most updates of the party to which the “Three Billy Goats Gruff” graced their presence with.

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Birthday up-ahead! LL turning two!

Billy-Goat Gruff Invitation-page-Edit

Invitation in line with the party theme of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”

Munchkins is turning two this year! And I can’t believe it myself. Its been quite a momentous journey, with her philosophy of “happiness being the most precious commodity.”

Seeing munchkins grow up is bitter-sweet. I remember the little baby who fit in my lap. She’s now half as tall as me. Each physical change has brought with its own memories. At her current height, she’s still able to play horsey on mummy’s legs. She can still hide inside the last shelf in the cupboard – Oh! Sorry! I meant the enchanted cave. We can still play “Open the Gumaiyo” with empty packaging cases. The game consists of munchkins trying to hide inside a carboard box – with the mummy folding and unfolding the four sides as we play “Open the Gumaiyo” and “Close the Gumaiyo.”

Gumaiyo – a word which my daughter uses everyday at least a dozen times – we are sorry to say we still don’t know the meaning of. We have no idea if its a verb, noun, animal, food item, human. In fact, my friends, relatives and other baby-ma well wishers have confessed themselves to be as baffled as amused by “GUMAIYO.” Its pronounced, according to the best authority in the world – its sole proprietor my daughter – as “GUMAAAIYOOOO”!

I think the enchantment of these words will disappear once she learns to talk – which is why its so important to enjoy children at every stage.

குழலினி தியாழினி தென்பதம் மக்கள்
மழலைச்சொல் கேளா தவர்

(“The pipe is sweet, the lute is sweet,” say those who have not heard the sweet lisp of their own children)

So yes, its her birthday week. And the sweetest sound I will hear is her voice!

Baby-ma’s off to school!!

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Baby-ma’s (1 yr, 9 months) all ready for her First Day at School !!! History repeats itself a little earlier! Apparently, I so badly wanted to go to school that my parents were forced to take me to the nearby school when I was only 2 years old. I was so happy that on my first day I hugged & kissed every single kid in the class of 20. However, by the time I was 4 they had to take me kicking, biting & screaming to school! Wondering how long this HAPPY-going-to-SCHOOl spell will last!!

THE BAG

The little one was so happy with her new school bag – that she didn’t want to let go off it from the minute she caught sight of it at the shop. So when it came to billing at Fooba Wooba – I actually had to lift her with bag firmly in place on both shoulders – right onto the counter for scanning the barcode as almost the entire staff stood around grinning and all eager to help.

The bag soon became THE BAG – with it being constantly examined; opened, re-opened, stuffed with her water bottle; stories being told about the two bunnies in their little car & a careful check to see if any of the felt trees, fruits, car or bunny were edible.

A lovely wedding!

A shallow pool lighted up with fairy lights, crystal danglers, tea-lites and daisy pom-poms @ the wedding

A shallow pool lighted up with fairy lights, crystal danglers, tea-lites and daisy pom-poms @ the wedding

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a very close friend’s wedding. It was a really beautiful affair with lots of fairy lights, lengths of white tulle and white-white flowers everywhere.

What is really remarkable about the wedding is that the entire cost of the wedding was borne by my friend and his lovely bride. They had saved up for nearly a year to make this lovely evening with friends and family happen. Its also a really touching and beautiful thing that they have been dating each other for the last 10 years – from the day the couple turned 20.

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The arch – entiwned with bamboo, white tulle, ferns, white gladioli, white tiger lilies and daisy asters. The aisles were lit with white Chinese pom-poms and gigantic two-foot high candles @ the wedding

Since the girl’s people were from Andhra and my friend’s from Bengal – instead of going for the ritual ceremonies of either cultures, the couple decided to be a little un-conventional and went all subtle, white n Western for the wedding. Though many Indian brides have started donning white gowns on their D-Day – still quite a number of people kept coming over and asking if the bride or my friend was a Christian (as if white gowns are the sole prerogative of Goans and Indian Christians!Lol!)

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Lovely daisy pom-poms strung on crystal chains – interspersed with glass tea-lites @ the wedding

There was lots of fun, dancing & great food at the wedding. I don’t think anyone enjoyed the music half as much as baby-ma. My little girl started dancing at 7 and didn’t stop till the clock struck 11 – when she was forcibly carted off to our waiting car. She also managed to have so much zest and energy on a diet of lime juice, pineapple juice and whatever other juice she could lay her little grubby hands . She refused to eat so much as a bite of food as long as the music was on. It was nice to see our friends patiently steering her away from 3-inch stilettos and patent-leather flat-soled shoes as she took her place on the dance floor!

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Lush with flowers n fern @ the wedding

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Chinese box-lanterns add their charm to the subtle fragrances of the flower pom-poms @ the wedding

Another nice thing about the wedding were the wedding vows – my friend apparently promised to “cook n clean; don an apron and look good in it too.”

Here’s wishing them a very happy married life!

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Pretty as a picture @ the wedding

Late night creative sparks!

These days I find it a little difficult to crash after work & baby-ma. Since sleep eludes me, I’ve started reading Perry Masons, crocheting and making costume jewellery to while away the midnight hours.

Yesterday, one of my dear friends from Delhi visited. She was interning with a city NGO and it was lovely meeting up with her. She plans to leave soon for Paris on a scholarship for higher studies (sounds so glamorous, doesn’t it?). For lunch, I had invited her and two of my other colleagues – we had a wonderful time just chatting and talking about the good old times. I was also quite pleased that the pasta, salad and sandwiches turned out well, even if the chicken didn’t measure up to standard.

As a little surprise thank-you gift for her, I made this necklace. I hope she likes it!

Emerald n ruby-lookalike pendant encircled with white stones n green loreals - Rachel Chitra

Emerald n ruby-lookalike pendant encircled with white stones n green loreals – Rachel Chitra

Christmas @ The ChocolateKids Playschool

One of my school friends S Nirmala started the Chocolate Kids Play School in Chennai in 2011 for tiny-tots. The school has seen rapid growth and is now a familiar cornerstone in the bustling, sub-urban area of Guduvancheri.

At her school, they recently hosted their Christmas celebrations and I really couldn’t resist showing you pictures of the  children’s handiwork. Pretty talented wouldn’t you say?

The Nativity scene - pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
The Nativity scene – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool

Tiny Christmas trees all sparkling with the efforts of their bright, little owners - pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
Tiny Christmas trees all sparkling with the efforts of their bright, little owners – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
Another set of prettily decked up cheery trees  - pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
Another set of prettily decked up cheery trees – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
A little Christmas village made from paper hats -  pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
A little Christmas village made from paper hats – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
An Indian Gingerbread house -  pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
An Indian Gingerbread house – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
A 3-d card paper Christmas tree and a cotton-snowman -  pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
A 3-d card paper Christmas tree and a cotton-snowman – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool

Christmas tree

I really love this Christmas tree that I bought for my little girl when she was just three months old.  Honestly, I still can’t decide if its more eco-friendly to buy a real bio-degradable Christmas tree every year or get a plastic one and use it for the next 30 years.

At my grandmother’s place last year, we also put up the Christmas tree of my childhood. The one my mother got for me when I was 5 years old. I still treasure that little tree – which looks as beautiful and sparkly as the day she first brought it home.

So I’m sharing with you pictures of our my little girl’s Christmas tree from this year and last year.

 

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

 

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013