Monday, 22 October 2012

Roman's Picnic

We recently celebrated our son's first birthday with a picnic at Centennial Park with out family and friends. Although the weather was ominous that morning, the skies opened up and we were blessed with good weather. We had a lovely time... as hostess and mama I was a little busy between one thing and another and so I don't have as many pictures to share with you as I would like, but here are a few nonetheless.

This was our picnic spot for the day, Willow Pond at Centennial Park in the heart of Sydney. Ever since we moved to Sydney shortly after we were married, we always wanted to host a picnic at Centennial Park. It is truly one of the best things we love about Sydney. Did you know that you can book picnic sites at Centennial Park? It is such a good around this time of year when a lot of people are hosting picnics and getting a nice spot can be a bit of a hassle - unless you book of course! We chose the Willow Pond site at Centennial Park as it is relatively close to facilities, is shaded by a beautiful large tree, and has a gorgeous view over the pond. For more information about booking picnic sites at Centennial Park, click here.

I must admit, even thought this was 'just a first birthday party', I couldn't help but into get into the whole planning of it. It all started with this beautiful invitation from the print to party collection by Style Me Gorgeous. The theme seemed to flow on from there.. 'Colour my world'. Below is a picture of the invitation, and alongside it is the cake I made to match!

Here are some larger pictures of my cake creation... the bottom tier was my signature chocolate cake with chocolate swiss meringue buttercream and chocolate ganache. The top tier was eggless vanilla cake with fresh strawberry buttercream and white chocolate ganache.

I tried to make the figurine like my son. I will let you be the judge of whether or not I was successful! Here is a picture of him on the day.

To decorate our venue, I hung assorted coloured paper lanterns from the tree which looked great and was quick and easy. I purchased these, along with red paper cups and polkadot paper plates from The Little Big Company. I also found Spotlight to be a great source for all things party related, where I picked up cocktail napkins in different colours, as well as the materials I needed to make bunting to decorate the table (see picture below).

Although there are no pictures at all (d'oh!) the food we had catered was ideal for a picnic ... gourmet sandwiches and wraps plus Vietnamese rice paper rolls with dipping sauce, all delivered to our picnic site. This was through Mr Fingerfood and I am so glad I decided to outsource the food. It really took a lot of stress out of it for me.

In the background of the above picture you will see a drink dispenser. I hired two of these from a great little party hire company I found through Gumtree. They are called NY Party Hire and Nomi and her husband are lovely to deal with. They are based in Baulkham Hills and offer very reasonable delivery prices. Their 5 litre size was perfect, and they kept our drinks wonderfully chilled on the day. For more information click here.

Although I was admittedly a little knackered afterwards, I am glad we did it. I guess a little one's first birthday is significant not just because it is a milestone to turn one, but it is also an opportunity for us parents to mark our survival of the first year of parenthood and all of it joys and challenges. What a year it has been... I am so grateful to have The Emperor in my life - he is such a cool little fella, and he has changed my life for the better in so many ways. Without him I doubt I would have decided to take the leap of starting my own business, a dream that has now become a reality. Thank you, Roman, and bring on the second birthday party!

Until next time, dear readers :)

Ladybird xxx

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Jamie's Italian, Sydney CBD

I think any parents out there reading this will understand completely when I say that making it to your child's first birthday is a very significant milestone. It's one of those times in your life when you breathe a huge sigh of relief and say "Phew... We made it!" I'll be posting soon about little Roman's birthday picnic, but this post is about our parental celebration :)

To celebrate making it through our first year of parenthood, Mr Ladybird and I headed to Jamie's Italian on Pitt Street in the Sydney CBD last week for lunch (by ourselves - wahooo!) Sure, having lunch with Roman is nice and all... but so is just the two of us. No stress over high chairs; cutlery being jabbed in the eye, or glasses being sent flying from the table... just the two of us, like "the old days"!

I really enjoyed this meal. The vibe at Jamie's Italian is stylish and unpretentious. And the food is much the same - simple, delicious, and nothing over-the-top. Just good honest Italian food. Service was prompt and friendly too, which can often make or break a dining experience! We started with complimentary bread and lovely olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

For entrees, we both had the zucchini flower special ($14.50)... a scrumptious stuffed and deep-fried zucchini flower with a rich tomato sauce and rocket pesto. I'm not usually one for anything deep-fried, but I can never say no to a good zucchini flower. The crumbed exterior was wonderfully crisp and crunchy, a nice contrast to the creamy interior of the flower.

For mains, Mr Ladybird enjoyed the pasta special - ravioli with asparagus, peas, mint, lemon zest and watercress $18.50. I enjoyed a small Pumpkin pasta ($12.50) which was wonderful.

Oh yes, and a cheeky side of Polenta Chips ($8.50).

And for dessert, Mr Ladybird and I shared a portion of rich Special Tiramisu ($9) coffee flavoured trifle with orange mascarpone and chocolate. Heaven!

All in all a lovely treat to ourselves on our son's first birthday. Thumbs up, Mr O!

I'll post again soon with some snaps from our little one's birthday celebration (and the cake of course!) Till next time...

Ladybird x

Jamie's Italian
107 Pitt St, Sydney
(02) 8240 9000 Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon
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