B and I woke early(ish), left the kids with the grandparents (yay!), and headed through the tunnel to see my lovely sister and partner in Lyttelton (Aunty Katie and Aunty Bridgie to the boys).
Katie made us a much needed coffee,
and we walked down the road to the bustling farmers market for pies and other yumminess. I discovered a stall selling vegan cupcakes which was perfect for the party the next day. That meant I didn't need to spend hours in the kitchen baking instead of hanging out with my family. Later B and I went to Dressmart and then to the mall to buy a cake before heading home to see all of our nieces and nephews. Photos of them to come...
We took an early evening flight South for Labour Weekend to do some celebrating. Forty is quite a significant birthday. Nana and Grandpa shouted us a trip to visit them (and all of the rest of our relatives) and have a wee Pirate Party. I must say that electronic entertainment (phones, tablets etc) on flights is so fantastic. I remember the early days of flying with the boys and having to take so many books and toys and snacks to keep them entertained. It was a blissful flight down. I read my book and looked out the window... they all played.
I think even Kylie (the giraffe) enjoyed the flight.
On the Sunday before my birthday, after breakfast in bed, we went out for cake at a local cafe.
Cake, fresh juice and a game or two... some of my favourite things.
A Game of Thrones game in fact. It'll be many years until the boys get to read or watch GOT but they've enjoyed playing this quick and easy game with us. They now recognise many of the characters and seem to think that Jamie Lannister must be a goodie. Must be because he's so good looking! We haven't put them right.
We ate Mr Twit! On Roald Dahl's birthday last month so we celebrated by making a few recipes from our Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes cook book.
Mashed potato head. Boiled egg eyes with olives. Sausage and pine nut mouth. Mushroom nose and ears. Toast eyebrows. Potato chip, baked bean and pea beard. I heated him in the oven once he was assembled.
Hey there's a new series of the Amazing Race on... I think some more international theme dinners are in order. The boys are super keen (as long as we don't have to have that raw fish again, they said).
What cool things does your family do at dinner time? I wanted to share another couple of good ideas that I (probably) got from The Family Dinnerbook. I did a post last month about it and some of the games we'd been playing at the table,
The first is our set of Story Cubes that we've had for ages but hardly used. I found a wee bowl for them and set them on the dinner table.
Now sometimes we make up stories which each person continues by rolling a die and adding a sentence or two.
The other thing we're loving is a great set of table topics which you can print out for yourself. These lovely conversation starters are free to download here.
I printed them out at the shop and laminated them before cutting them out. I'm giving our printer away, the ink runs out so quick and always seems to need replacing.
They're very much family based and would be a perfect inexpensive and thoughtful Christmas gift for someone. You could put them in a large jar or container. The files even contain labels to make it look really fancy.
When we first used them the kids got really excited and wanted to go through them all!