Tuesday Tour: The home behind the cute kids room

Happy Valentines Day! Hope you're getting lots of loving today from the ones you love!

Today, I'm loving this New York brownstone. The owners style is a stunning eclectic mix of retro 50's and Danish design mixed with traditional features of the building and modern influences. Just lovely. So, here's the tour...

The kids room...

The rest of the house...












Noah's Birthday and my special secret icing...

This evening I'm a proud mum. For a few reasons... 

First, my little guy has turned 3! He makes me proud every day (well, most days). 

Second, we had a little get together with friends to celebrate today and it was fun! I didn't stress too much beforehand and it all came together ok! 

But mostly, I'm proud of my cake effort. In the past, icing and I haven't really taken to eachother very well. We just don't get on. But this birthday I found a secret. And I'm going to share it with you... It's incredibly easy to make, tastes delicious and it makes cake decorating as easy as playdoh...

Here's Noah's cake...

Here's Noah blowing out the candles... (with me hiding in the background)

And because the cake itself was a bit special I had to show you that as well. It's a vanilla rainbow marble cake. Looks impressive. Dead easy to make. Ready for some instructions?

Vanilla Rainbow Marble Cake
250g (9oz) softened butter unsalted
2 cups (15 1/2oz) white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups (1lb) self raising flour
1 cup (8 1/2oz) milk

Preheat oven 180 degrees celcius (360 farenheit)
Grease and line your cake tin
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs one by one, beat well after each
Beat in vanilla
Add sifted flour and milk a little at a time mixing well

Pour mixture into 5 bowls evenly.
Add 3-4 drops of colour to each bowl and mix.
(we used red, green, blue, yellow and purple)

Pour each colour into prepared tin and run a knife around the mixture in the tin to create marble effect. 
(you only need to run the knife around once or twice at the most - any more and your colours will blend into preschool brown)

Bake for around 35 minutes or until golden.

Marshamallow Fondant Icing
(aka: My secret weapon)
500g marshmallows
2 tablespoons water
1kg pure icing sugar

Seperate your white and pink marshmallows into 2 bowls.
Add one tablespoon of water to each bowl 
Take the first ones you want to work with and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Once they start frothing take them out and mix with a spoon or knife till smooth.
Add your food colouring at this stage. Be generous as the colour will waeken a little as you add the icing sugar.
Start adding sifted icing sugar mixing as you go
Keep doing this until mixture turns into a dough like consistency.
Once it forms a ball, move it to a "sugared" bench (like a floured work space but using icing sugar instead of flour), and knead.
Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic cling wrap

Repeat for second colour
Refridgerate overnight

When you're ready to use your icing microwave it on high for 10-15 seconds to make it pliable again
Roll our to a thickness of around 5mm
Lay your sheet of icing over your cake
Trim excess at base

I used rolled up balls to cover the cut edge
And we used our playdoh cutters for the letters and shapes to decorate.
Simply wet your fingers with water to dampen the back of the shapes before placing them to "glue" in place.
Done!

Notes: Use a good brand of marshmallows - ones you'd eat anyway. If you use cheap nasty ones your icing will taste cheap and nasty too.


This fondant really is a godsend for me. I love making kooky cakes for the boys birthdays and I've never had any success with butter cream icing. I'll never use anything else now. This is incredible stuff.

Cake recipes via Hip Hip Hooray by Julie Lanham 
Marshmallow fondant recipe adapted from here



Ace Space Saturday - Mila

Todays Ace Space comes all the way from Shanghai in China. Mila's mum and Dad are Australians living in Shanghai and previously lived in Tokyo. They've put a little piece of each of the cultures of the countries in which they've lived into Mila's room which I think is a really nice touch.




Valentine delish

Love this idea to get the kids involved in a bit of "love-fest" celebration...
We'll be making these on the weekend...

Tuesday Tour: The home behind the cute kids room

The cute kids room...
...and in this case there are a few...





The rest of the house...








I want...

So here's what I want to do in the boys room... I've seen a similar idea done once before but with a ladder that was positioned out of sight inside the wardrobe. The wardrobes were floor-to-ceiling built-ins so the space was truly secret. The access leads to a converted attic space where the kids can play, study or just hide out and read. I think it's a wonderful idea. Something the boys would love and would probably ultimately add value to the house. Still though, Joel thinks I'm out of my mind... Maybe I'll just get the saw out while he's at work one day...

Creative Crush - Jennifer Dell

Todays creative crush is photographer Jennifer Dell. Hop over here to see more of Jennifers work.




Ace Space Saturday - Norway

It feels a bit like I say this almost every week, but this is possibly my favourite Ace Space so far...
The natural light in this room is nothing short of delectable and the whimsical vibe is just where my head is at right now. I love love love it! How about you? What do you think?






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