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Cheap & Free Party Decorations

WOW! First post of 2013 – I’m a bit behind, but I’m also a bit busy (that was probably obvious due to the lack of blog entries). This is most likely the latest “HAPPY NEW YEAR” ever, but I’m still closer to the start of 2013 than 2014, I wonder if there’s actually a time frame for when you should just not say ‘Happy New Year’…Hmm…excuse me while I Google….

QUESTION: When is it too late to say Happy New Year?

ANSWER: (My fav on Google) “It get’s ridiculous when someone says it to you in February or March…”  – So do I wait till April???


Ok, seeing as I’m ‘ridiculous’ Happy CHINESE New Year!!! (Soon my pretties, soon).

Anyway, this isn’t what I’m writing about today. I’ve been looking for all sorts of funky, cheap, fun, colourful, did I mention CHEAP ways to decorate the garage for a Birthday party, MY Birthday party. It’s not till March but I like to prepare in advance, especially if I’m ordering things from overseas. I’m having a “Fiesta” themed Birthday Party with a very dear friend of mine, mainly because I wanted to wear a giiiiigantic hat, wear a dirty moustache and for once look like a bad a$s with a fake cigar hanging out my mouth. I have discovered a world of “free” printable’s, cheap and effective decorating ideas and recycling ideas that would never in a million years cross my mind, so I thought I would share my top 5 with all of you!


In no particular order:

5. Home Made Photo Booth (say whaaaaaaat!?!): Get a refrigerator box, paint the inside, sparkle it up, stick material all over it, make a flower feature wall, whatever – let your creative juices spill out on the inside of this box, as long as it’s in theme. Find a nice little chair, or no chair and you have yourself a little photo booth.

Home Made Photo Booth

Alternatively you could just have a ‘feature wall’ as the back drop to your photos like this AWESOME Sequin Photobooth

Sequin Photo Booth

and print off some FREE photo booth props like these and stick them on skewers.  HOLY SMOKES! Look at how professional you look!

FREE Photo Props

4. FREE Themed printable’s (You heard): There are so many of these free ‘packages’ around, they mostly consist of Invitations, Bottle Labels, Cupcake Toppers, Little flags for drinks or food, “Thank you” cards (wow, there’s a word a lot of people don’t know how to say, teach them while they’re young!) and some even have food labels, like my fiesta one’s have margarita’s and guacamole labels…Mmm….Margarita’s….

FREE Themed Printables

3 & 2. Giant Paper Flowers & Paper Rosettes: In these two blog/tutorials, the flowers were used for a wedding and the rosettes were used as a backdrop – I’m thinking I should mix it up and stick a whole lot of both of these to the ceiling in the garage and turn the lights on, that way there’ll be a ‘glow’ to some of the flowers and just enough lighting for a party mood.

DIY Giant Paper Rose TutorialPaper Fan Rosettes

1. Just to add a bit more colour and height/depth – Streamer Chandeliers: Umm, yea, it’s pretty simple really and I don’t know why i’ve only JUST found out about this now. Look at how effective they are in that giant marquee in the photo.

Streamer Chandelier

I also just remembered another idea for cheap party lighting – balloons with glow-sticks  You can have these on the floor, floating in the pool, attached to string on the walls, hanging from the ceiling, wherever your heart desires that little glowing sack of air to be.

Go ahead, count up how much you’ve saved, you know you want to! And remember, these are just SOME of the money saving awesome idea’s I’ve found – If I have time to find these in between cakes and everything else, YOU have time to find yours.

The world is your canvas and you are the paintbrush – Ooooh how cheesy was that ;-)If you’ve got kids, get them to help out, if you’re a big kid (like myself) – get the other big kids to help out, I promise it’ll be fun and if you do end up making any of these, I would love to see them, so email them through to me and I may just slap it up here for the world to see…or on my facebook page – which is pretty much the world.

  • Oh Christmas treeeeeee!

Thank YOU!

Finally. I have a minute to sit here, catch my breath and feel somewhat ‘human’ again. Firstly, for those of you following the blog and not facebook/twitter, I apologise for my lack of posts.

What a crazy, hectic down hill rush for the end of the year. I have just finished off the last of 3000 cookies for the Auckland City Mission Christmas lunch and I feel relieved (Thanks Mum & Bro for your help!). I just want to sit here and do nothing for the next few days – but we all know that’s not going to happen because within the next 20mins, there’s a cake in the oven that needs to come out – oy vey!

This time of year is the storm BEFORE the calm – everyone’s going crazy, rushing to get things done for this one special day that usually ends up being the calmest day of the year – funny.

For all of you that have ordered from me this year – thank you, for those who have helped me achieve milestones – thank you and for those of you who continue to support me and give me the confidence I need with your kind words, feedback & recommendations – thank you.

I can’t believe that this time last year, after having this online business running for just four months I had just over 100 followers on facebook and now, a year later I have over 1000 followers. This truely means a lot to me, I appreciate every single one of you and cannot thank you enough, some of you I may never meet as you all come from different parts of the planet so I paid it forward. For each ‘like’ on facebook, I made yellow Chirstmas tree cookies for the city mission – 1026 yellow cookies – I know I only have 1025 followers but one’s for my Dad, I know he would be my biggest fan and I only wish he could see me now.

I want to wish you all a safe and happy holiday season, be careful on the roads, enjoy the time you have with family & eat lots of cake!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!





feedback, kind words

Behind the Scenes

Aaaaaaaaand here it is! The behind the scenes video of the A La Robe ( shoot – crazy day is an understatement, but with this video, you would never know 😉

A HUGE THANK YOU to my amazing friend Giancarlo for your help on the day, and for keeping the cake alive in the rain and stormy winds and also to Jane and Lydia for letting us be a part of this. I have the full collection of the worlds greatest friends!!!

Videographer: Natasha Tylee

Main Photographer: Lydia Arnold

Styling and Design: Jane Mow


  • Yikes!

You get what you pay for…

So apparently there was a couple, who saw this picture (on the left) and sent it to a “cake decorator” to make for their wedding. On the day of the wedding this (picture on the right) is what they got – Scary!

I’m not exactly sure HOW such an event occurs but just a word of warning, you really do get what you pay for.

  • Warning
  • Now Showing…
  • THE cake
  • Sparkle Sparkle
  • Naughty!
  • Anaconda
  • The Birthday Girl and Her Cake – Look at how happy it made her :-P
  • Superheroes and Supervillains

Bad Ass

WARNING: Images NOT appropriate for facebook are totally appropriate for – why? Because I own it, I can do what I want and I love it! So here are some photos of the cake and a couple from the party last night.

Make sure you haven’t got some kids running around looking at the screen as the glimpse of the ‘colourful’ bits may result in a birds and the bees talk – Random fact #8925 I have NEVER been given the birds and the bees talk by my parents and I turned out fine…honestly. HAHAHA!!!!

Credits: Sadeer Kattan for the ‘colourful bits’



  • Gumpaste flowers

Spring Is Here…

And it found it’s way into my kitchen and then up my nose (thanks to all the lustre dust) so I couldn’t stop sneezing. I made a whole lot of gumpaste flowers today, it’s very time consuming, it took forever to make this little bunch of hydrangeas, although it was my first time so maybe i’ll pick up some speed for next time. There’s a cage made of royal icing to go around the cake that these flowers are going to sit on top of, however – i’ve never made this ‘cage’ before so I’ll see how that works out and post photos in a few days. If you don’t see photos, the cage died.

It’s 11.46pm and i’m in bed already! Something must be wrong, it is way too early for me to be in bed. It’s usually at about 4am that I can hear my bed singing “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” (Admit it, you’re singing along to it now and pretty soon it’ll be stuck in your head on repeat because those are the only lyrics you know).

Now that i’ve left you with that sweet, sweet lullaby, I shall sleep…for once…





  • Fallen Flowers Cake and Kirsti Arnold Flowers
  • Love this shot and my favourite model of the day!
  • ‘Fallen Flowers’ Cake, ‘Creamed Berry’ Macaroons and ‘Earthy’ Cupcakes
  • Shimmer Berry Macaroon
  • Just one bite…
  • Yoshi Bear – Cutest Samoyed ever!!
  • Our slightly damaged cupcakes haha!!

A La Robe

Recipe for disaster:

It doesn’t matter what the recipe is as long as you live in Auckland where you literally have four seasons in one day. The wind was so strong our cupcakes went flying, the cake had to be guarded by the models (who then got hungry and started eating it), I guarded the macaroons with my life (those are the biggest little sh*ts to make and there was no way a freakin storm was going to rain on my macaroon parade!!), the fur – Oh God the fur!! Rain and fur do not go together – AT ALL, let alone hours of work on hair and make up.

This shoot had a team of over 20 dedicated people lugging equipment across a rocky beach in the pouring rain and stormy winds only to have the sun come out and shine when we put the last chair into the back of a car and stood there soaking wet. A fleet of cars headed from one end of Auckland to the other in rush hour traffic to catch the sunset lighting and although NOTHING went to plan the photos are proof that if you’re good at what you do, you can make the best of any situation.

To read more and see more photos head over to Lydia’s Blog. All styling done by Jane Mow.

Brown Sugar

I’m waaaaaaaiting….waiting for the damn cake to cool and the ganache to cool and i’m pretty cool. I dislike this part, especially when it’s late at night and my brain isn’t functioning and i’m dragging everything out because…I don’t know why, I just do.

I’ve prepared myself for another sleepless night, oh you think i’m joking but i’m pretty cereal right now HA!!!

I decided to investigate some new music as the CD in the car is on repeat and i’m sick of it (Oh my did I just say CD!? Woah! MP3 you haven’t conquered the world yet, my precious). What a disappointment to find that all the ‘latest releases’ are a bunch of technological sounds put together, what happened to people using their voices and talent and experiencing life situations to inspire a song??? Did you know without music we would die? (<— First comment – “of course! music is our soul! if no soul no brain donno what we will think then we will eat anything we can find and bacteria and germs will get into our body and THEN we’ll die.” – HAHAHAHA!!!!!)

Forget the new, let’s go back to old, I shall leave you with none other than Mr. Brown Sugar himself;

D’Angelo: Cruisin’ – Orchestra + Hot Backup Singers + USA polo + Voice of awesomeness = Music – Keepin’ it real…Dawg…Word to you Mother.

My God I need sleep!!!



  • I can’t stop laughing at this photo


This is the funniest thing I have seen in awhile. Apparently there’s a haunted house – Nightmare’s fear factory that takes pictures of people as they’re walking through. You can find a few of the funniest one’s here. Take your time, look at everyone in the photo, laugh till tears come out, then thank me later 😉


  • Heart Egg

I ♥ Eggs

Check out this simple and clever Japanese technique that Anna The Red shows us how to do.