All things birthday

This week for Monday Listicles, we are talking about all things birthday.  I have to admit, since Q was born, a lot of preparation has gone into birthday parties.  The cake, the decorations, the location. What, you think I would actually host a birthday party at home? Ahahaha!

I haven’t really had a birthday party for myself in years, not since my disastrous 30th birthday party which was lovingly and carefully planned, then not attended by a single person other than my husband. I thought about having one this year, but was still feeling a bit head-shy, if you will (plus I am too cheap busy to plan a party that people might bail on again).  So until such time as I grow a pair get around to planning a party for myself, most things birthday party related have to do with the Q man.

Here goes:

– The cakes – what is a party without cake?  Since Q came along, I have discovered that I quite enjoy making fancy, fun cakes. Wanna see? The train cake I made for Q’s first birthday – my very first attempt at a fancy cake. This picture only shows half of the train, and man, were those cupcakes ever huge! One of the many dinosaur cupcakes I made for Q’s second birthday. I also made ones with spiderwebs and gummy spiders, but didn’t get a good picture of one. For his 3rd birthday, my Cars-obsessed boy requested a Lightning McQueen cake. It was my first and last attempt at doing this kind of cake, and it surprised me how much work it required. It took me HOURS, as I made the icing from scratch and hand tinted all the colours. Don’t ask me what possessed me to do that. I’m pretty proud of how it turned out though.

– Balloons!!!  What is a birthday-like celebration without balloons? We were at Disneyland just before Q’s 3rd birthday, and when we checked into the hotel, they gave him a bunch of balloons and a Birthday Boy button. He loved them.

– Treats – who doesn’t love a good birthday sundae? Or at least the whipped cream on top?

– Presents anyone?

– Fun times doing stuff you love

With the people you love to spend time with

– Last but not least, what kind of birthday party would it be without mummy ending up in tears or pulling her hair out over no-shows, people not RSVP’ing, or the cake not working just right?  Don’t worry, I don’t have a picture of that one. 😉

What are your favourite things to do with birthdays?  Do you like planning or celebrating?


  1. says

    That cake is amazing. Well they all are. I tend to pull my hair too. No , no pictures either. Great list. You always make me happy after reading your blog.

    • Brandee says

      Thanks Stasha. I’m glad I’m not the only one pulling hair out. You and your blog make me happy too. 🙂

    • Brandee says

      Thanks Wayne! I was glad that my son liked it. At least looking at it. Eating it was another story, but whatever. Maybe you could try it for your son’s next birthday. 😉

    • Brandee says

      Thanks! Can you believe that my original intention had been to make Lightning AND Buzz Lightyear? Clearly I didn’t think that one through. Haha.

  2. says

    Oh my goodness what happened to all the people for your 30th? That’s AWFUL! PS: You are a fabulous cake baker, Cake Boss better watch out!

    • Brandee says

      Ado, we planned a dinner and then night out dancing for my 30th, then everyone, over the course of the day, decided that they didn’t want to come out after all, or didn’t feel like making the drive, despite saying it would be fine previously. Needless to say, I was gutted. The whole night ended up being pretty much a gongshow, as they couldn’t find our name on the VIP list at the club until after we’d waited in line for an hour, it poured rain on the walk home and we couldn’t hail a cab. I guess they are all memorable things that happened that night, and we ended up having a lovely time, just the two of us.

      Thanks for the compliment – I am no Cake Boss, but I do try. 😉

    • Brandee says

      Thanks. I really enjoy doing parties for my little guy – he is only going to be a kid once, and I want him to remember these things, you know? Yay for birthdays! 🙂

  3. says

    Those are some awesome cakes! I must admit that birthday parties are not my thing. And I don’t love baking. The best cake I ever made had candy all over it. It was the only cake my kids have ever eaten all of.

    • Brandee says

      Thanks. I love baking, I just don’t get enough time to do it. I will confess, though, that the cake last year was Betty Crocker – what with making the icing from scratch and spending half a day tinting and squeezing, I just didn’t have the energy or time to make one from scratch. It was yummy though, so that is probably where I will make my shortcuts. Sadly, my guy didn’t even eat much of the cake, just the icing. Your candy cake sounds awesome!

    • Brandee says

      Heehee, thanks Harriet. Theo is not deprived, you are just not crazy enough to attempt a cake like that is all. Apparently, I am. Although every year my husband says “Why don’t you just order one from Dairy Queen?”.

  4. says

    I want to track down some people about your 30th birthday! Birthdays are fun people, get on board! With that being said, it looks like your son has had some lovely celebrations with some kick-butt cakes. (I mean Disneyland, come on.) Ellen

    • Brandee says

      Aww, that is sweet of you. I am finally (or mostly, anyways) over it, and actually don’t hang out with a lot of those people anymore. I hate flakiness, especially for something fun and important like that!

    • Brandee says

      Thanks. They are a collection of random birthday pictures from the last 3 years all crammed into one post. I figured that it was the only way I’d ever get away with that. 😉

  5. says

    Nice work on the cakes, lady! The Lightning McQueen one reminds me of the involved endeavors my mom used to concoct in the early 80s. I love the idea, but thus far have been uninterested in putting in the effort. Good on ya.

    I can also relate to the nearly-in-tears-hair-pulling-out stress of it all. Last year for Sprout’s first, we were up til 2am, I think, baking the cake *again* because the first version hadn’t risen properly. It all tasted great, but the lower tier was more of a brownie consistency. Major icing fail too, so I sent Oli to the store at the last minute to buy Betty Crocker. I remember thinking at some point during the actual party, “Wow, I’m actually enjoying myself now!”

    • Brandee says

      Thank you! I ended up using a Betty Crocker mix last year too, the previous two homemade ones just were a little dry for my liking, and we all like the cakemix ones, right? I figured that I was putting enough effort into the decoration, and no one would know the difference anyways. I have also done the late night cake making, and the early morning cake making… It’s funny – we put so much stress on ourselves, but when it is all said and done, we are still able to look back at the party fondly and with fun memories.

    • Brandee says

      Thanks so much! I thought it wasn’t bad for my first attempt at that. Of course, the shaped cake pan helped too. 😉

    • Brandee says

      Thanks. I bought that pan with the intention of making muffins in it too, but just haven’t gotten around to actually doing it. I confess, I quite like the shaped cupcake pans. They are so fun!

  6. says

    I am in awe of your cake baking and decorating skills. Hubs is the baker and decorator here. I love celebrating birthdays…and chocolate cake.

    • Brandee says

      Thanks. Mmmm, chocolate cake. My husband’s idea of baking the birthday cake is to pick one up from DQ or Cold Stone Creamery. Still good, but not quite homemade. He just doesn’t see the point. I think it’s fun, so that is why I do it.


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