Another year has passed and the girl has just had another birthday. Where exactly does the time go? I know people say that all the time but I’m really feeling it at the moment. Seriously. I distinctly remember writing this post about her pink & sparkly birthday cake, and here I am again with another birthday (and cake) to write about, looking for fresh material!
The girl is 5 now, which seems very grown up. Cue mummy moment…
She seems to be getting taller by the minute and is in big school now. She’s learning letters and sounds, and is building models of the Eiffel Tower at school. And she is as fashion conscious as ever. She has eschewed the normal school uniform sweatshirt in favour of a plain red cardigan because she doesn’t feel the sweatshirts look as nice as a smart button-down cardigan. And of course choosing the right hairstyle/accessories on any given day takes consideration. On Halloween night it took an absolute age to get her costumed up, as she just couldn’t decide what to wear under the costume. Yes, under the costume. Apparently it mattered! I see the humour in it now; I didn’t see it quite so much then.
She is still the younger sister to a big brother and all that entails, but we now occasionally see her try to push his buttons. Out of the blue a few weeks ago, after the boy and man had been away for the weekend, she informed the boy that she and I had gone to Jamie Oliver’s Italian for lunch while they were away. We hadn’t gone there, you understand. Jamie’s Italian is one of our favourite family restaurants, but it’s not like we go there every day. We save it for special occasions, go there maybe once a year, and the kids (and adults) get quite excited about it. And my girl, knowing her brother would seriously object to us going there without him, used that knowledge to wind him up. You could see the wheels in his head turning as he processed the information and turned to me with an incredulous look, not quite knowing whether or not to believe her. And she had just the slightest grin on her face as he was doing this. I did my best to keep a straight face and let her have her moment of glory, despite desperately wanting to laugh. Go girl – you made your mother proud! And after the fact even the boy admitted that he was impressed.
Whereas the boy has very firm opinions about many things and is quite prescriptive about his birthday cakes and what they should entail, the girl tends to be much more laissez faire about them and more or less leaves it up to me. This year I decided to introduce a bit of my own childhood to hers. When I was her age (and probably every bit as fashion conscious as she is, although you wouldn’t know it now!) I loved those princess/Barbie cakes which were basically a Barbie stuck into a skirt made of cake. I thought they were so incredibly beautiful. I can’t actually remember if I ever had that sort of birthday cake, but I do remember admiring them.
So a princess cake with a gorgeous flowing skirt it would be. Quite fitting for my young diva. She is slowly coming out of her pink phase and will occasionally consider other colours now, so I took advantage of that and decided on a purple skirt. Plus I had purple food colour paste on hand, so wouldn’t have to make the effort of buying more!
Once the basic form was determined, the cake itself needed to be considered. While it was likely more important to the girl that the cake look beautiful, it was more important to the man and I that it taste good! I absolutely hate sickly sweet birthday cakes that just end up getting thrown away once the kids have had a go at them. I’m still quite inspired by European style tortes made up of multiple layers of moist light cake and a creamy filling. So although this cake would be decidedly girlie and childlike on the outside, it would be much more of an adult, not-too sweet cake on the inside. A moist, chocolatey genoise filled with cherry cream.
The birthday party was a success. Costumes were mandatory, so in attendance were 3 princesses (Cinderella, Snow White & Rapunzel), 2 vampires (1 male, 1 female), and one big brother. Birthday girl had a few minor meltdowns, but hey, it was her party and I guess she could cry if she wanted to!