Rainbow Popcorn

My sister-in-law just came back from sunny, luxurious Qatar recently and brought us all gifts – huge bags of multi-coloured, multi-flavoured popcorn for us to enjoy. My husband and I enjoyed guessing the flavours (after I took about a hundred pictures and wouldn’t let him touch any) – and this is my favourite.

Who said you can’t play with your food, eh?

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A Mad Hatter-Books-Pastel Themed Tea

I held a tea party for my sisters this weekend, and I’ve finally manage to sit down (and rest!) to post the results, which I was really pleased with. My sisters and I decided that for Eid this year, instead of giving everyone Eid presents we’d do Eid experiences – a day out, a picnic, a tea. I love my afternoon teas so decided to organise a themed afternoon tea for the girls.

I had a little difficulty deciding on a theme because I liked so many, and initially was going to just do a Mad Hatter’s tea party. But I do love my florals and we all love books, so I decided to work these into the look as well, which worked a lot better than I thought it would – I was worried it would look really messy and nonsensical. My eldest sister commented that it also reminded her of a colourful fair or festival, especially with the colourful bunting, and thankfully the guests all loved the results of the tea!

Here’s what the table looked like, and some of the desserts:

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My favourite part of the decor and table were these – book-themed toppers for the cupcakes. I picked out a bunch of our childhood books so that we could enjoy a few fond memories of the books we used to love (including our first Urdu learning book!) – these were a hit with the ladies and I was glad I included these!

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I had various things scattered around the room  for display to implement all three themes – pastels and florals, book wallpapers, piles of books and a top hat with playing cards to tie the themes together, which I thought went wonderfully together, not to mention the ‘this way’, ‘that way’ and ‘wrong way’ arrows.

I’m sure you can tell that the most obvious theme was the Mad Hatter/Wonderland one – I loved the variety of decor which is out there and took the opportunity to scatter random quotes and prints around the table, as well as ‘drink me’, ‘eat me’ and ‘take me’ tags on the food and goody bags. I also ordered giant playing cards for us to play with, although it was quite funny to see how people would hide their cards!
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My mum also lent me this beautiful tea set which was love at first sight for me, and very apt because it’s actually a Harlequin Tea Set! These were beautiful dainty tea cups in bright colours with matching sauces, which I put on display and thought really made the whole table (not to mention actually made the tea party an actual tea party!)

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My nieces and nephews probably enjoyed themselves the most (you can see my nieces shouting and giggling through my letterbox below), although my sisters and sister-in-law had a lot of fun looking for the small touches around the room too, and putting on false moustaches, giant glasses and hats!

I was really worried about not having enough food on the day, so my menu was a little adventurous, surprisingly I managed to make more than I thought. Even better, the guests all brought some amazing food as well so we were all seriously stuffed and  from red velvet cake, cupcakes, chocolate trifle, sandwiches, pizza, samosas, chicken bites and kebabs, to name but a few of the things we had laid out.

Having said that, my nieces were the first to run to the sweet table and run off giggling with sweets in their hands!

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I had

It was an exhausting but fun afternoon, which was made better by the scorching sunny afternoon and the yummy ice-creams we finished off with. We were meant to play games but we felt pretty lazy and the cushions on the floor were pretty useful for us to laze about in!

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It was really fun (and a little challenging) planning this tea party by myself, but I had fun doing it and also learned what I can make and what I can’t. I was really happy with the decorations I made, they took me a while (hence being quiet on the blogging front!) but I was really pleased with how it all came together.

So now I’m looking forward to the next Eid experience, and also more tea parties with different themes, which I’m already planning – I just need to recover from this one and I’ll be off again!

The 1920s-Inspired Bridal Shower

A week before all of the wedding festivities began, my sister-in-law threw me a 1920s’-themed bridal shower, which was mainly an excuse to have one last shins-up with all the girls in my family before the real party began. It was a really fun day, with my mum, sisters (minus my eldest sister who was absent due to the birth of my newest, squishiest niece!), cousins and a couple of aunts all enjoying the dress up, good food and silly games which made us all explode in girly giggles.

You may have read about my vintage, floral, polka-dot and pearls themed bridal shower which was a few weeks before, so you can say I was already feeling a little spoiled!

My sister-in-law hosted the bridal shower in her beautiful home, and it was an amazing setting for a old-style, 1920s-slash-Great-Gatsby themed bridal shower which she decorated for and made some amazing food for.  Below is just a glimpse of the table setting – we didn’t get to put the banners up which we wanted, because all of us forgot to bring blu-tack or tape, and we didn’t want to ruin the wallpaper by using anything else! We told everyone to either wear 1920s themed costumes or just red, white and/or black to keep it simpler, and it was great to see everyone stick to the theme – I loved some of the make-up styles that some of the girls did too, dark red lips, heavy rouge and smokey eyes!

(Credits to everyphototunity for most of these photographs, and you can also see her post here as well!)

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The food was probably the real highlight of the evening – my sister-in-law and her mother are both brilliant cooks so it was going to always end in some very full bellies! I also was lucky enough to have two cakes – my sister-in-law made a beautiful red velvet cake, and my sister made a beautiful red, white and black cake with a yummy chocolate filling.  There were also some beautiful, miniature tarts, various dishes like chicken kebabs, finger sandwiches and to add to the desi mix, good old spring rolls and samosas!

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I loved the decor, and I’ll admit, I didn’t really help out with it at all because everyone else did such a great job, and my sister-in-law’s house was pretty much a perfect backdrop anyway. My eldest sister made Art Deco style banners, another sister added small touches like beads and coloured balloons, and of course my sister-in-law did the beautiful table settings, complete with matching napkins!

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The costumes everyone wore were lovely, although as usual, the babies in the family stole the show! I had a really pretty black and white striped-and-circles maxi dress which I had intended to wear, but which I couldn’t squeeze my oversized which I changed my mind about, and I ended up wearing a black lacy dress with pearl beads and a mini top hat, which was pretty perfect for me! I wish I could post some of the other girl’s costumes, but my pictures aren’t great and I’d like to protect their privacy, but everyone made an effort with feather headbands, feathered-print dresses and red,black and white dresses!

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We ended the day with lots of gossip and a raucous game of ‘pin the moustache on the groom’ which was a little embarrassing because of all the teasing I got, but also very fun because we blind-folded all the older women and made them join in! The bridal shower was fun, intimate and very relaxed, and also perfect to set the mood for all the wedding festivities which started a week later (especially as we all had to run around after the bridal shower to get the preps done!) I’ve not been to a 1920s/Great Gatsby themed party before, and it was really lovely to have one for myself, especially as it gave all of us the chance to be creative and let our inner-drama queens come out!

What did you think of our party – have you ever dressed up for a 1920s theme?

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My Vintage, Floral, Polka-Dot and Pearls Bridal Shower

I’ve been a little absent lately, I’m so sorry! I’ve had a crazy last few weeks with last-minute wedding preps and house hunting, which I’m hoping will calm down now that mostly everything is done! I can’t make any promises so watch out for my sporadic blogging, I’ll post whenever I can.

My eldest sister Happy Muslimah kindly threw me a bridal shower yesterday which was really fun, especially as it was full of lots of my friends, family and sisters which turned out to be really enjoyable. We decided to have a garden tea party, with the theme and dress code being anything vintage, floral, polka dot and pearly, and I loved how much effort everyone put in.

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The decor was provided by my talented sister, who made banners and table decor, as well as made some yummy food for the table. My other sister put together the pretty draping in the garden to make a canopy, and also put together a lot of the decor and food, not to mention taking some amazing photographs of the day (I’m usually the one with the camera but didn’t get a chance to take many this time!) – so most of these photos are credited to her. It’s hard to tell from the photographs because I didn’t include a lot due to people being in them, but I loved all the details – the banners, the pegs, the butterflies and the colour themes.

The food was absolutely beautiful, most of my guests brought a dessert or dish, and they were all gobbled down. My sister made chocolate-covered strawberries which I didn’t even get to try because they disappeared so quickly, my best friend made some amazing double-chocolate chewy cookies, and yet another friend made pasties and pakoray. There was also an amazing chocolate trifle made by my sister in law which was very popular, and which felt very light and moussy.

Everyone tried to make an effort with the costumes, and I love that they all had a different take on it. I’ll admit, I didn’t get a lot of time to sort my own out, but I loved the floral dress I wore and my eldest sister lent me a string of pearls which matched wonderfull. Below you can see some of the floral prints and polka dots people wore, my sisters also wore floral prints and one of them even went for an excellent 50s’ style outfit.

I think the babies stole the show though, they toddled around in their dresses (my newest niece was being a relaxed kitten) and enjoyed the limelight, I’m pretty sure most of my friends were in love with them by the end of the day.

I wish I should show some of the more fun pictures with my family and friends in it, but a lot of them practise hijab and would prefer to remain private – but I can assure you it really was a fun day!

All in all we had a really nice afternoon – we played silly games (one involved asked me questions about the fiancé which they had asked him the answers for previously, if I got the questions wrong I had to chew some gum. I got all but 2 questions wrong!) and we had a good catch up with old friends, took photos and ate some yummy food. It was a really nice start to the wedding celebrations, I still have some weeks to go but it was nice to see everyone make an effort and also weird to be the cause of it. We’ll be having a few more parties before it’s all over, I’m sure, but this one was pretty amazing to start with : )

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My Sister’s Very (Mint) Green Baby Shower

We recently threw a baby shower for my sister, which was great fun because of all the sneaky (well, not so sneaky because she knew about it all along) planning and all the ideas which came together wonderfully. I’m not sure why we ended up with a green theme, but it worked out nicely and it made a nice change. Initially yellow was planned, then I suggested mint green with white, and it just went downhill from there – but I think we did ourselves proud with the decor and candy bar : )

You can see my sister’s pictures here, here and here (although mine are better, just saying) – I love the effort thay everyone put in to create the green theme. Cupcakes and biscuits from the mama-to-be’s hubby (which was hilarious, by the way), decor from myself, my eldest sister and my other older sister, and an amazing nappy cake made by the sister-in-law which was very impressive.

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There was plenty of green thrown into everything, I love how well the candy bar turned out, and the little touches like the favour bags, the windmills (which I made), the baby shower banner and the amazingly decorated marquee done by the brother-in-law and his family.

And of course, what is a baby shower without silly games? We had games like ‘make-the-best-nappy-using-toilet-paper’, a guessing competition of the guest’s baby photos, and a cake-eating competition (okay that last one was just me playing), but it was great fun for everyone.

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And with a green candy bar must come hot food, as only we Asian people must have – which in our books included samosas, kebabs, roast chicken, chana-chaat, chinese noodles a few giant-sized pizzas, some dishes brought by guests and  a mountain of chips, finished off with plenty of cake, cupcake and chocolates.

We ended the day with lots of beautiful gifts, group photos and watching the toddlers dance around, and it was lovely to get together with friends and family to celebrate a new arrival in the family. I love how things like these also show what we can put together as sisters when we put our minds to it, and the beautiful things we can make – we have a few more events coming up this year which I’m excited about because of our creative and gluegun-obssessed brains!

Blue & White Fluffy Cupcakes

These are more fairy cakes than cupcakes, because they’re tinier and cuter, but hey, as long as they end up in my tummy it’s all good. These are some cakes I made for a candy bar for a good friend of mine, where the theme was blue (for baby boys!) and white.

I didn’t have a lot of time or expertise to make overly detailed cake toppings so I kept it simple with blue icing and vanilla icing alternating, with plenty of funky toppings to finish it off. This is the end result, which looked quite pretty and colourful – I loved the vivid shades of blue with the white icing, although the vanilla icing was a lot more prettier than than the blue was! This was a fun and easy batch to make, and didn’t take long either, although if I had more time I probably would have spent more time experimenting and evening mixing icing colours.

I love the range of toppings available in the supermarkets and shops these days, there’s all different colours, shapes and textures which I have fun buying. I also had a helping hand from my sister who iced the cakes neatly, giving me a chance to let my creative bug out for an hour or two to throw blue sparkles and chocolate sprinkles all over the kitchen and ‘accidently’ into my mouth a few times, until basically we ran out of icing : )

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