Nine months ago he had started talking about his next birthday. Nine months notice to organise a cowboy-racing car-rocket birthday. I couldn’t really say no, after being given so much warning now could I?
– local shop ordered in a kids cowboy hat for me
– opshop shirt (thrifted and still new)
– bandana from a stash at home
– cowboy pants and vest made by my mum
– Playforever car
– vanilla cake, strawberry jam and vanilla mascarpone inside.
– A chocolate ganache for the outside.
– Rocket made from sugar paste and colouring.
Honestly, birthdays make me just a touch nervous. I adore birthdays, love the fact that we are slowly creating our own traditions for our little people, forming hopefully wonderful memories, while also having had many beautiful birthday memories of my own.
So why would they make me a little nervous? It’s the overload possibility factor. An overload of “things.” I don’t generally feel that comfortable stipulating what people can and can not buy for my kids. I don’t want to sound like a poop, but I really don’t want people to purchase things just because they feel they have to. Environmentally, living in a small space and the fact that The Monkeys really don’t need much are also factors. So each year, I suggest certain family members contribute towards something bigger, (or something they really do need). A combined gift that can be enjoyed for a long time and later can be passed on, instead of a quick gratification, breaking and ending up in landfill.
For friends this year I’ve also said that no gifts were necessary. If they would like to draw a card, Little Monkey would love that. Otherwise just them being there and getting to share a cupcake at the park is super exciting for the little fella. I’m aware that I may not be able to do this forever. Perhaps in years to come, if one of the boys has a party and there is an envelope there to put in a dollar or two and then that money can go towards something of his choosing? How would people feel about that?
A friend of mine gets people to donate to a charity of her choosing and close to her heart instead of bringing a gift. This is a wonderful idea but apparently people still want to bring a gift as well. Who wouldn’t, a lot of people love giving gifts…I love giving gifts!
Then there is hand made gifts. If someone goes to the trouble of making something by hand or even purchased from someone who in turn had hand made something…. oh I’m over the moon, but hang on, I said no gifts!
Aaahh, you see… this is why it makes me a little nervous each year.
Anyway, a lovely day was had. Little Monkey loved every minute of it and now gets to be a cowboy any day of the week that he chooses, (and it looks like it well may be every day this week.)
links for people that may like a few little-people gift ideas.
Playforever car- these cars will last FOREVER. Beautifully made, they look awesome and would appeal to any sex or age (Mr Chocolate wants one now.)
Tiger Tribe car boxset- everything packs inside its own box. Handy, compact, well made and fun.
If you are in Australia I bought both of them through this company.
What’s been your favourite gift? To be given or to give?
This is my go to cake at the moment for a basic cake recipe. Simple and can easily be used for mini cupcakes or scaled up to a larger cake.
Vanilla Birthday Cake
150g softened butter
150g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla
80mls milk (1/4 cup)
2 tbls natural yogurt
225g s/r flour (1 1/2 cups)
In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until changes colour to a white shade, then add vanilla, eggs, and milk/yogurt. Fold through flour.
Bake at 180C for approximately 10-15 minutes for smaller cupcakes, and obviously longer for bigger cakes.
1 tbls softened butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
For the icing you can switch the tastes round to basically anything you feel like. Lemon juice instead of vanilla, with some lemon zest through the cupcakes, amaretto, a little chocolate. Lots of possibilities…