Monday, October 27, 2008

Party Planning

When the end of October rolls around, I start to kick into birthday planning mode.

Savannah's birthday is not until the end of December. Obviously, I like to get a head start.

We don't really have a big bash for her, just something here at the house with a few friends. That's the problem with having a winter birthday; you can't go to a park, which is the perfect - and free - summer party place. So our choices are limited to having it here at the house or forking out big bucks for a Chuck E Cheese-style place. Thus far we've always opted to stay home in the interest of keeping our pocketbook happy. And since our house is small, our guest list is small.

So it's not like I need two months to plan it, since we keep it simple and there is not a lot to it. But I do like to make her cake myself, and so I start searching the internet for the perfect cake that is easy enough that I can pull it off.

And in case you are wondering, I have zero cake making experience. I don't know how to do things the right away, but that doesn't stop me from having some fun with it anyway. I would love to learn, and one of my goals in life is to take cake-decorating classes, but for now I just muddle through on my own.

For her first birthday party, we did a Baby Einstein theme. I had seen a cute caterpillar cake online somewhere, and thought I might be able to pull it off.
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I was happy with how it turned out, but let me tell you how much cake is in this two-foot long monster. Each of those balls represents an entire cake mix, so yeah...we had the equivalent of 5 whole cakes. For a small party. And believe it or not, we didn't have much left over. I think it was because each cake was a different flavor with different fillings in the middle, so everyone was going around sampling them all. Which was fine by me...I didn't need all that leftover cake hanging around the house. Danger.

For her second birthday, Savannah was completely obsessed with Diego. Not Dora. Just Diego. I realize he is a little boy character, but I didn't think it mattered that much, so I made her a Diego cake, and jaguar and monkey cupcakes. She was in love. Or maybe I am just imagining and hoping that she was because of all the work that we put into it...after all, how much of this stuff does a 2 year old really understand ?







Oh, but this year? She understands. She KNOWS about this birthday business. She's been to many, many parties this past year, and she realizes that there is a cake. There are presents. There are friends. They sing Happy Birthday. She is beside herself with excitement and she literally talks about it every day, how she will be FREE pretty soon (otherwise known as three) and she will have a BIRFDAY PARTY.

And her allegiance has now switched from Diego to Dora, and, probably just like every other 3 year old girl in this country, she wants a Dora cake.

So my search for a cute but still doable Dora cake has begun. Look at this one - way over the top, not to mention far beyond my skill level, but still amazing. I showed it to Ricardo and he said, "Huh. A little extreme, don't ya think?"


Photobucket


I'll probably end up doing something simpler like this, only smaller, and just add a plastic Dora topper. I found a recipe for marshmallow fondant that I want to try my hand at.



dora cake


If it turns out, you know I'll be posting pictures. If it doesn't, well, I'll remind myself that the main purpose for the birthday cake is to be eaten. At least according to my hubby.
UPDATED:

Finished product - just don't look to closely at the cracks in the buttercream! But the marshmallow fondant was super easy to work with....so much fun.



Thanks to Kelly at Kelly's Korner for hosting!

45 comments:

Smilingsal said...

After looking at cakes for birthdays 1 and 2, you'll never convince me that you are not "good" with cake baking.

Rachelle said...

Hello...You are like a cake master! What a great 1st and 2nd B-day cake...I think I will have to fly you out and hire you when our China girls get's here. Do you ever see those cake making competitions on the food network...I think you should get on the show! ;)

Colored With Memories said...

oh my word, jackie! no experience? are you kidding. were those your FIRST attempts?!?

i so wish you lived near here...i don't think your mad cake skillz would travel well or i'd be hiring you!

when i first started reading your post i was going to mention that hobby lobby offers cake classes...i don't think you'd need to be an attendee though...they could hire you as the teacher.

wow. wow. wow.

Cheri said...

Absolutely beautiful -I'm impressed. You won't see pictures of cakes on my blog. Store bought isn't all that impressive.

My son is a New Year's baby. From like age 2 through 6 we did 1/2 birthdays in June, allowing the fun to move outside. It also emphasized his birthday, instead of one long party week with Christmas running right through his birthday!

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

You are really good with cakes!

I am more a cook than a baker so I usually buy my cakes ;)

Gwendolyn said...

Good grief...I think you could start a business making cakes right now, and you haven't even taken a class? I think that you have discovered a talent! :o)

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Those are gorgeous Jackie! I'm so glad you posted pictures. I love to be inspired by others creativity.
Dave has made all of our boys birthday cakes and done a fabulous job! I'll have to email you a picture of the little einstein caterpiller we made for K's third birthday, It wasn't cool and 3D like yours, but was super fun to make!

Aspiemom said...

From looking at those cakes, I would never know that you haven't taken classes! You could probably TEACH classes! (There you go, a cake business and a web-design business!)

I used to do cakes on the side, out of my home. I don't anymore and all of my specialty pans just sit in the attic. Wish I could give them to you, but then they're probably outdated now. But you seem to do pretty good on your own!

I can't wait to see the new cake!

Rachel said...

Holy cow, I had no idea you were so talented! The Baby Einstein cake is amazing! I can't wait to see what you do with the Dora cake. :)

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Jackie...those cakes are amazing! I especially love the Baby Einstein one!

I used to make my kids' cakes every year. It helps that I'm not a perfectionist. LOL!

Hey, I've seen a cute Dora and a cute Diego Wilton pan at Hobby Lobby/Michael's. The kind that you bake the cake in then decorate with a star tip. I've used those pans lots of times and usually wait until I have a 40% off coupon. But, IF you want Dora and Diego, then you'd have to buy two and that might not be as cost effective as you'd hoped. Oh well...just my .02 I'm sure you'll come up with something AMAZING!

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Oh.my.word. You have eaten an AWFUL lot of humble pie, my friend. Because you have some talent! I love making fun birthday cakes for my kiddos...and I have always done the party with all the games and fun stuff with it, but the cake is what they always talk about!

But I've never made anything like what you've done here! Wow. Just the thought of "trying my hand with fondant" makes me cringe.

You are one brave girl! :-)

Jules from "The Roost" said...

YOU are WAY out of my league with the first cake! It is so cute! I like the fact that you are making her a cake and keeping things simple....To this day my kids want me to make their cake and they are in there 20's. It is just a simple cake mix. Something about homemade ;)

The Sullivan Sitcom said...

Oh girl, your cake skills are far beyond any skills that I have, in fact, on Maggie's birthday, her cake in the plain ol' 9x13 pan looked horrible and all I did was try to write her name. I'll have to find some pics. I was totally embarrassed. So for Max, his 9x13 cake pan, had 4 candles, that's it. My poor children.

Savannah will be happy with whatever her talented momma comes up with! Good luck!

Krystal said...

Girl I think you are pretty talented! Those cakes you decorated are awesome! I am very impressed! Yay for you for trying...I wished I was that good. But you see, I have zero decorating cake skills...zero, none whatsoever!

What day did you say her birthday was? Mine is the 29th! I couldn't remember if ours were the same!

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

I'm with Mer - those cakes are too cute! LOVE the Baby Einstein one. Great job!!

Sara@ Butterville said...

beauTIful cakes. I love that Dora one. It's not TOO much. The smaller one is nice too though. I'm with you...we plan early. Butter is Dec 27 and Roo is Jan 1. We get triple whammy this time of year.

Elena said...

Really cool cakes! You did a great job. I made Mary a pumkin cake last year and it turned out pretty good but it was a lot of work. We had a party for Mary's 2nd birthday on Saturday. I will be posting a picture/video montage of it and you can see the cake I made her this year. She loves Mickey Mouse but Dora is a runner up with her! I may be making her a Dora cake next year:) Have a great day! Elena

Gretchen said...

Howdy. Yep, you could teach classes. No more false modesty. :)

Family Fun usually has some good cakes to try--and party ideas. But if her heart is set on Dora, you probably just have do that. I love the "Zoey" cake. Gorgeous.

I'm a planner, too, BTW.

Tracy's Porch said...

Wow, Momma, I am IMPRESSED!!!! You did a fabulous job on the first two years. I just make a stop at my favorite bakery and have them do it. I think it is super special that you make her cakes.

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

Man, those are some over-the-top cakes and cupcakes. I've toned it down in the last few years because my girls are older. But, she'll love the cake.

SarahHub said...

The first two cakes you made were beautiful. I full expect to see pics of cake #3!

Jennifer @ Taking My Time said...

Okay now, along with everyone else, I'm thinking YOU could teach a class. Seriously, I'm clueless as to how you even make round cakes for the caterpillar. I'm pathetic, I know.

I make 9 x 13 cakes for my kids and impress myself when I transfer the cake to a cardboard cake thingy. I really feel like I've done somethin' special!

You are talented, don't be so modest! :)

Rach@In His Hands said...

What a great momma you are making all those great cakes!! I might just have to swipe that caterpillar idea once my little baby is home! So cute.

Kellie said...

For a beginner who just figures things out, you sure are talented! Your cakes were amazing!

Hollie said...

Your cakes are fabulous!

Becky said...

Pretty impressive, cakes 1 and 2.
Just don't have the disaster that I just did with the cookie cake!!

Michelle@Life with Three said...

I am so impressed! You're cakes are amazing! I can't wait to see what the cake looks like this year!

Alana said...

Girl, my hat's off to ya! Seriously. I order mine, cake decorating is not my thing! Can't wait to see your new creation!

photomama said...

You did an awesome job on those cakes. I am so not even posting my pics because they are so lameo. We do a big 1rst bday party but then we do just my husband and I and the boys for they're birthdays. We can do bigger things and I am not stuck serving all my guests instead of spending fun time with the boys. Just my way of giving them more with out breaking the bank and we love it.

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

OH MY! I am seriously amazed at your cake decorating skills! Can't wait to see how the next one turns out. I'm sure it will be super cute.

Carolina Mama said...

Oh wow! Jackie, can I just say I am hiding this post from the Tigers! :) I mean I attempt to make their cakes just like my mama did but you really excell at this. I just love the 1st year and the family photo!! Sweet! Can't wait to see your final cake!

Rachel @ Unexpected Blessings said...

Super cute! I can't wait to see what it will look like.

My four year old just walked in and said, "I want that for my next birthday!"

Meaghan said...

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We will be doing giveaways weekly so be sure to stop by often.

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Hirra said...

Wow. Seriously, your cakes are awesome. I think they're too pretty to eat. :)

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Oh my goodness. You're AMAZING!

mamajil said...

I am trying to catch a blog or two in between the kids schooling....I am so far behind. I love the caterpillar cake! and the Diego....my sister just made an i-pod cake with fondant icing and she said it was easy to work with... marsh mellow fondant is my favorite, my daughters friend makes that and makes beautiful creations!!I am looking forward to your pictures :)

Queen to my 3 Boys said...

Wow, you really have set yourself up! Those first two are going to be hard acts to follow!

Whitney said...

Wow! That caterpillar is amazing! Thanks for stopping by my blog!
I love yours - I'll definitely be back!

Living Balanced said...

Your cakes look professional compared to the one I did in September!

In Phoenix its too hot to do birthday parties outside, so I know what you mean about having to have it inside or at a place.

Marci @Finding Joy in the Journey said...

I say you should think about going into cake decotating! how cute are these. Dax jumped into my lap as I was reading and yelled "Iwant one of those!!" He pointed long and hard at the Diego Cake, he discussed all the pieces. I might just have to call you come May!

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Girl, you are one talented cake decorater. Ann's birthday is in a couple of weeks, could you please send over a cute little fairy princess cake? Pretty please?

Queen to my 3 Boys said...

Care to share the Baby Einstein recipe?

Jenn said...

I enjoyed looking around your blog this morning! Love your cakes - I can not believe that you have not taken any classes. The baby einstein cake was so cute but the Diego cake would be a huge hit around our house.

Family American Style. said...

Oh Wow!!! I love the cakes.

Annie said...

Wow, you made beautiful cakes. I like the last one with the fondant. Do you have that recipe? Please, share it with me I like to make my girls birthday cake.

Thanks for sharing.

Have a nice weekend.