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Our visit to Ballarat happily coincided with Leo's first birthday party.

This is Monty the Monkey. I made Monty as a present for Leo.
Sock Monkey: Monty

This is the beautiful birthday cake made by Jane.
Lion Cake

Here is the beautiful birthday boy Leo with his mum and dad.
Cake time

This is Jude blowing bubbles.

Here is Evie with Rosalie.
Evie and Rosalie

jess - 20th Nov 2011, 17:21 tags: evie ballarat kids travel LeoG nablopomo nablopomo11

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Today we caught up with Tash and Michelle at the Boatshed for lunch. Tash said that she was reading back through FuShMuSh posts about our previous visits to Ballarat. According to FuShMuSh the weather is always miserable when we visit. Tash claims we bring the bad weather with us but I maintain that it's just because the weather is often crap in Ballarat.

This what the weather was like in Ballarat today. Cold, misty and drizzly.
Ballarat's beautiful weather

Here is a photo of Michelle reading a book that she gave to Evie as a present. Thanks Michelle!
Michelle and Evie

Here is a photo of the girls.
The girls

Here is another photo of Evie and GeeGee.
Evie and GeeGee

jess - 19th Nov 2011, 21:10 tags: evie ballarat kids travel nablopomo nablopomo11

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Evie had her first aeroplane flight today. Exciting!

Here is her boarding pass...
Evie's first boarding pass

which she was more interested in eating.
Evie is more interested in eating her boarding pass

Our plane had a moustache.
Our plane has a moustache

Here is Evie on the aeroplane.
Evie on the aeroplane

Evie really wanted to drive to Ballarat but we figured the whole not being able to see over the steering wheel thing might be a problem.
Evie takes the wheel

Evie also met Great Gran (GeeGee) for the first time. Great Gran has six great grandchildren but only one great grandaughter.
Evie and GeeGee

jess - 18th Nov 2011, 20:19 tags: evie ballarat kids travel nablopomo nablopomo11

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Here are some more photos of Evie and the other MGroup bubs from the Magic Yellow Bus the other day.

Evie joins in the self-portrait fun with Mummy.


Tilly is a future concert pianist.

Tilly, the concert pianist

Andrea and Zoe.

Andrea and Zoe
Euan of the matching outfits.


jess - 17th Nov 2011, 16:54 tags: kids evie nablopomo nablopomo11


So, back to the M&Ms. I volunteered to make Clare's birthday cake as I had a bit of pinspiration bookmarked which I was itching to try. It was a number cake covered in M&Ms, created by Martha Stewart.

I cheated on the cake bit by going with a gluten-free chocolate cake and vanilla cake box mix. I had thought about trying out a couple of gluten-free cake recipes which I had pinned. I decided against this as I wasn't sure how much these cakes would rise. Gluten-free cakes are often quite dense and flat. I thought it would look funny if the two numbers were different heights.

October was breast cancer awareness month and Mars were selling pink and white M&Ms to raise money. I also stumbled across State of Origin M&Ms which are light blue and dark blue in colour. I was so happy to find some unusually coloured M&Ms I ended up buying 2kg of them, which in hindsight was overkill. But as I was going to be covering a cake with a pattern I didn't want to run out of a colour halfway through. I only ended up using about a third of the M&Ms... oops!

On Saturday evening I iced the cakes with butter cream (half a kilo of butter and a kilo of icing sugar!) and then covered them with M&Ms. Andrew helped with the decoration as it was getting late. We finished the Zero on Saturday evening and then decorated the Three the next morning during Evie's nap.
Decorating the cake

I found out the hard way that M&Ms do not refrigerate well. When I took the Zero out of the fridge in the morning the dark blue M&Ms had all discoloured. I replaced most of these dodgy looking M&Ms. I know they tasted fine because I ate a few of them as I took them off the cake (Mmm M&Ms and butter cream icing for breakfast). So if you want a pretty cake you shouldn't put it in the fridge.

Happy Birthday Clare! Hope you enjoyed your cake as much as I enjoyed making it.

More photos (slideshow) on Flickr.

jess - 16th Nov 2011, 21:36 tags: baking birthdays clare nablopomo nablopomo11

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