After all the planning and preparation it’s all over for another year. Yesterday our eldest boy, our rainbow baby turned 2 and we held a construction party to celebrate. To me, a birthday party should be all about having fun……. and the food!
Since I am keeping things ‘simple‘ this year, we decided (I say ‘we’ but really mean me!) to keep things small and just invite his little friends that he sees regularly. In theory this is fine, but when you then add parents and siblings it can turn into a much larger gathering quite quickly! Regardless, we had a great day with wonderful friends and great food (well at least I’m hoping everyone liked the food!).
I may sound surprising, but I like catering for parties/friends and I enjoy sitting down planning menus and working out when everything needs to be done – shocking I know! This year I was determined I would be organised and keep things simple so I could enjoy the day and not end up stuck in the kitchen.
I attempted to complete the grocery shopping earlier in the week, but when both the boys decided to fill their nappies in the middle of Woolworths (and neither was in a good mood about it), we had to cut our shopping trip short. I then spent the day before the party, baking Blueberry, Carob and Coconut muffins, Corn, Cheese, Spinach & Tomato muffins, Sausage Rolls and I got started on the birthday cake (I will post these recipes later this week).
Last year I went all out with a two tiered fondant covered jungle cake – however trying to work with icing in the middle of summer is NOT a good idea and I decided to save myself some heartache (as well as $$$ from not running the air conditioner full time to keep the cake cool) and decided to make a good old butter cake. To jazz things up a little, I made a chocolate swirl butter cake by making one plain butter cake mix and one chocolate butter cake mix (just add 2 tablespoons of cocoa and 2 tablespoons of milk to my recipe) and combined the two together in two separate cake tins.
The hours of my life that I lost to Pinterest paid off. As our big boy is a
obsessed fan of trucks, diggers and all things construction, it made sense to throw him a Construction party. I just had to make him a cake with a truck on it, to make a construction cake, I cut the two butter cakes in half, and sandwiched then together with chocolate buttercream (just add 3 tablespoons of cocoa and 3 tablespoons of milk to buttercream recipe).
I then (with just a little bit of trepidation) used a knife to cut away a chunk of cake to create the ‘falling rocks’ effect. I used the remaining buttercream to cover the rest of the cake, and then created the rockfall effect using crushed chocolate ripple biscuits as dirt, and Violet Crumble as the rocks.
I decorated the base of the cake with yellow smarties, and added a toy truck and some construction signs to the top of the cake.
Our special two year old LOVED his cake (especially the truck on top) and was super keen to try some
Again thanks to Pinterest, I got some great ideas for table decorations. I found the two truck I used at K-Mart for $10 each which I thought was pretty reasonable, especially as they already have been given a good workout being driven around our yard.
I also made little cars using tiny teddies, smarties and some melted dark chocolate. These were a big hit with the kids, and while they were a bit time consuming, I made them the day before and just popped them into the fridge. I found using a toothpick to apply the chocolate to the teddies and smarties to be the easiest way to go.
I may have gotten a little too carried away with the catering, we also had sandwiches, cheese and dip platters, pizza slices and fruit salad boxes…. not to mention chicken nibbles and mini sausages that I forgot to put out!!
All the preparation paid off, I was actually able to sit down and watch our special boy playing happily with his friends and the feelings of happiness and just a little pride were overwhelming. I think he sensed that it was a special day, he was particularly affectionate towards all of us, and was in a great mood all day. I admit I’m a little sad it’s over, as it means my big boy is growing up, but I also can’t wait to celebrate many more special birthdays with him.
How do you celebrate birthdays?
Linking up today with The Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays