For last night's Senabration (I will be copyrighting that phrase) I got crafty.
People ask me about this stuff a lot lately. It's kind of funny to me because although I'm no seasoned DIYer, making things and projects are second nature to me. Homemade Birthdays are the best - I always remember once being in a campsite in France, and a Birthday was celebrated with banner letters cut from newspapers and an improvised special meal. I can literally picture it like it was yesterday. It's a big point of pride for me that I grew up with the idea of making things yourself although I think it's only just starting to really come out in me. Maybe I've spent 22 almost 23 years absorbing and learning through osmosis. Anyway, lucky me that I had people to learn FROM - not everybody does.
So with short-notice news that it was Sena's Birthday I had to come up with something that would suit - Sena is sweet, sophisticated, a little mischevious and very stylish so challenge on.
Sena has had a jar of Nutella in the fridge forever so with that as inspiration I made these cupcake-brownie Nutella-loaded treats. It was actually a regular chocolate sponge recipe, baked in my favourite silicone reusable cake cases. Once I made the cake mix I added Nutella which meant that when they were baked they were a little densier, fudgier and chewier like a brownie...mmmmmmmm. The cool thing about Nutella is, it's three of the ingedients already in a cake mix - fat, sugar and in this case cocoa so it just added extras of all those things plus hazelnut goodness. I then put a blob of Nutella on top of each cake, and THEN added a decorative dab of hand-whipped Nutella cream.
To further party-ready the living room I covered the table with a charity shop pink scarf that I used to use as a wall drape and we had a snack table of crisps and dips and drinks. I did a couple of drape things with some cool sparkly fabrics that Granny and Poppa sent me ages ago that I was very happy to put to good use.
With all this in place all we needed was some K-Pop (that's Korean Pop, I will probably post about it soon because it's becoming a growing obsession) some guests and the Birthday girl.
When she got home and I let her in, she actually stood outside the door for 5 minutes making this strange howling noise...this is Sena's way of being quite overcome, I think, but I was really confused and Jacob had to kind of guide her through the door. But then she got over it and disappeared to her room and came back wearing a tiara. Of course.
We have guests on tap thanks to the neighbours so all we have to do is knock on doors and 2 minutes later they show up - Ruth bearing flowers and some leftover sweet stuff from an event at the Bohemian National Hall where she works (a Czech arts organisation). And Charles bearing a cupcake for meeee! We had a lovely evening catching up with friends and enjoying Sena and her friend Gena's inspired performance of 'Gee Gee Gee Gee', a K-Pop song by girlgroup Girls Generation. And we played charades, natch...everyone starts out saying 'no no, I can't play I don't know any movies/books, I suck at this game' and before they know it they are swept up into the excitement and the adrenaline...everyone succumbs eventually.
Project time continues today - I was supposed to be in this dance event flashmob thing today but it is snowing...in March...in a weird cold wet horrible way...so because said flashmob was outdoors it was called off leaving me with an unexpected totally free day. Ok I'll take it!
So far I have made one thing - my own version of 'shakshouka', a North African (?) dish that is popular in Israel - I discovered it via my friend Sivan at an Israeli coffee and sandwich chain. She loves to have it for breakfast. I did a somewhat westernised, mediterraneanised version with peppers and onions since that's what I had lots of but it came out pretty well and is a really healthy and tasty breakfast.
Home improvements are GO