Little Party Animals

Hello and welcome to the Kids Teepee Tent blog, all things Moozle Teepee and a little bit more besides. I am continuing with the foxy theme of the last post as we celebrated Dexies birthday with a Fox themed party…The kids were so obliging when I requested a quick (you have to be speedy with these guys…they don’t stay still for more than 3 seconds) pic with their masks on, they arranged themselves and posed like super models!

I found the woodland garland printable here and the fox masks here.

The teepee is the BIG Moozle teepee, you can find it here.

My kiddos and I prepared for the treasure hunt earlier in the week, we printed out some animal drawings we found on Pinterest, Dex wrote numbers 1 to 10, cut them out and stuck them onto each animal card, Dolly and I came up with clues for each animal (things like: I live in the wild but I can also be a pet, I have long ears and a twitchy nose…what am I?…). Half an hour before the party began Doll and I went around the trail we’d found and placed the cards in sequence with little toadstool printouts as clues for direction at a fork in the path…it was teamwork for sure and Dex was a trooper not shouting out any of the answers.

I thought the mainly 7 year olds would find the game a bit young for them…but they really had fun and were happy with the treasure they found buried under leaves in a natural ‘den’ under a tree. We were so lucky with the weather, a perfect warm Autumn day.

Everyone who knows our boy knows he has some kind of fox thing going on, he is always drawing foxes and woodland scenes in general, as a little birthday present we had one of his drawings printed onto a tee-shirt for him…he loves it. We used a company based here in Holland called SpreadShirt, great quality tees and super nice print quality..check them out here. We selected this one to get the colour we wanted, but they also have a small bio cotton range.

You don’t need to have a fancy birthday party with lots of expensive activities and goodie bags, simple things, nature and a bit of imagination goes a long way to creating happy memories and showing our children that is all they need. x

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Fox Cookies

Wow, I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last blog post…yikes, time surely does fly.

It’s been a busy ol’ time, buying a house, selling our apartment, all that goes with that (paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork followed by appointments, cleaning, sorting, more paperwork, finding a new school…) and also (almost) completing my yoga teacher training course…and last week our lovely boy turned 7, I’ve posted a few pics of his birthday treats over on my Instagram account and been asked if I’d share the recipe so here we go…I tried a few different recipes and this one is really good, the cookies keep their shape, don’t spread in the oven and taste good too. *don’t even think about using a shortbread recipe…what a waste of time THAT was!

I used a Fox cookie cutter by Emporte-PiΓ©ces at MeriMeri and then I made a little cardboard stencil out of the packaging to use for dusting on the cacao powder.

Ingredients: (makes around 35 cookies when you keep rolling out the off cuts and cutting more)

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) of unsalted butter, softened (room temp)
  • 1 1/2 cups of castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups (17 ounces) of All-Purpose Flour (use white flour to get the pale colour of the cookie)
  • Cacao powder for dusting (optional)
  • wooden cocktail stick to make the indents for the eyes.

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375f / 190c degrees.
  • Sift the flour into a bowl and set aside.
  • Place butter in a bowl and beat until smooth. I used my KitchenAid to do this but you can do it by hand.
  • Add the sugar and mix until combined.
  • Add eggs one at a time mixing well in between each addition.
  • Add the vanilla, salt and baking powder and mix well.
  • Mix in the flour one cup at a time and mix just until the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix.
  • Divide the dough into 3 balls and place in the fridge for about 10 mins, this helps the gluten to develop so you can roll it out without it breaking up.
  • Roll each one out on a mat (I rolled out onto baking paper then layered them up on to a baking tray), roll them out to about 3mm deep, any thinner and you risk the cookies breaking too easily. Then pop them into the freezer for 10-15 minutes and cut out your cookie shapes and bake 7-9 minutes. It is important to freeze them first as this really helps them keep their firm shape.
  • Once I had cut them out I placed them onto baking paper on an oven tray, then used the stencil I’d made and dusted them carefully with the cacao powder using a soft brush (I have a craft brush I keep for this job), made the little indents for the eyes with the cocktail stick and popped them in the oven, I did one tray at a time for around 8 mins each, place them on a wire rack too cool and then stop the kids from wanting to eat them all πŸ™‚

The paper bags in the image above are simply stitched rectangles of baking paper filled with dried fruit (I used cranberries and raisins) and some chocolate covered pepernoten and raisins, I wanted a simple non-plastic treat for the kids to enjoy. #uselessplastic

What Do Six Year Olds Want?

Children’s birthday’s are often an emotional time for parents, remembering how far you’ve come to get from newborn to ‘wherever’ you are at, the ups, downs and day-to-day journey your family has been on, the passing of another year in their lives is worth celebrating.

When we first moved to the Netherlands I found it quite strange that people congratulated me when it was one of my children’s birthday’s (even my mum was congratulated when she visited us on Dolly’s birthday, much to her bemusement), in fact, the whole family is congratulated when one of us has a birthday…but now I ‘get’ it and love it, it’s like saying “well done, you’ve made it through another year! You are here, you are together and you are alive!”.

This week we celebrated our Dexie turning 6. He requested an Owl cake (we always try to make whatever cake the kids like, it’s become a bit of a family tradition…not to mention challenge (see last years Pirate ship!!), for some reason Dex had an Owl theme going on, he drew a picture of an owl to be made into his birthday invitation (lucky his daddy is a graphic designer eh?) and I made owl cookies as the traktatie (school favours traditionally given out to class friends here in Holland).

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The Owl bisciuts are from a tutorial I found on Pinterest here, I subsituted currants, pressed into the eyes 3 – 5 mins before the bake was finished (to stop them burning) for the bakers chocolate chips, as it’s hard to find those in regular stores in NL.

For the chocolate cake, I used a Delia Smith ‘all-in-one sponge’ recipe with cocoa powder instead of vanilla extract, 2 layers of sponge with fresh whipped cream and strawberries sandwiched in the middle. The choclate on the outside is a mousse recipe as I think that butter cream is too sweet, the mousse is quite rich…but very delicious and just a small piece is plenty, this cake cuts into many servings, so you can invite lots of friends to celebrate with you.

So, what do six year olds want? Cake, owl cake in our case…and lots of it! x

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Dolly turns 9

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Happy ninth birthday to our lovely Dolly! She asked for a new Monster High doll (Jane Boolittle FYI) and to take 2 friends for sushi as her birthday treat, such a mix of sophistication and child πŸ™‚

Of course I couldn’t resist the urge to ‘style’ up her birthday table even though it was for no actual ‘party’ but hey…I get my kicks in strange ways. Nine years ago to today I became a mama when this sweet, funny, timid little girl came into the world and changed our lives. I will forever be yours my baby girl.

School traktatie (the treats you take into school for your class mates here in Holland) had a kawaii theme this year, I painted the marshmallows with black food paint and a felt food pen for the cheeks, cut the watermelon with star cookie cutters and made chocolate coated breadsticks with sprinkles for homemade Poki sticks! Drying them without messing up the chocolate was fun (not). I will not be painting marshmallows again. And that edible ink stains the kids lips!!!

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Party on Dexter!

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Hello and welcome. we celebrated a birthday here this week, our Dexie-Pie turned 5! All he asked for was a Lion cake (in honor of his bestest teddy) so after a little think I decided to base it on a teepee design I recently did that you can see here.

The other parent designed the invitations, that we later reworked and made into cupcake toppers. And the end result is as you can see above. The cake took a little time (I’m not the best baker, I certainly wont be applying for ‘Bake-off’ any time soon, or EVER), but looked ok in the end, it lasted all of 30 minutes once the kids arrived back from the trampoline party and then demolished it!

Dex was very happy with the result (happy me) and set-to drawing a cake inspired picture and setting up a still life for me to capture for him (that I’ve now stolen for my blog!!) before his friends arrived.

If anyone would like me to send them a PDF file of the cupcake toppers and invitation design (front side only at the mo, the 5 can be omitted) then please get in touch here.

Happy Sunday evening all.

Lion