Tag Archives: birthday

Getting It Right (Or Close Enough)

After our first attempt at Lily’s Dora castle cake went horribly wrong, I hoped that Lily would never ask me to make a cake again.

Such a classic cakewreck that it has to be posted twice.

Lily has a dairy allergy, so it’s hard to find her a cake she can eat without breaking out in hives. I had hoped to go to the vegan bakery to get Lily’s cake for her kid birthday party this past Sunday because we’ve seen what happens when I try to decorate a cake myself. It didn’t seem right to subject our birthday guests to my cakewreck. I mean, sure, it would be funny, but the cake itself looked disgusting even though it tasted good.

But, of course, Lily wanted to make the Dora castle cake again. This time I was determined to do a better job with it. Someone on here suggested painting the cake with jelly and water and putting it in the fridge overnight. I did this. Other people suggested making the frosting thicker. Did that. I also switched from vegan margarine to butter-flavored Crisco. The vegan margarine gets super soft when out of the fridge, making the frosting ooze, but then super hard when cold. When we took her first cake out of the fridge, the frosting was rock hard. Butter-flavored Crisco solved our frosting consistency problems.

And with those minor changes, the cake was actually ALMOST respectable looking.

A cake that resembles the recipe? It's almost like I'm competent.

But then I had to put this giant thing in the fridge. The cake was so tall that it was impossible to cover. I am ill-equipped to deal with the storage of super tall cakes. I’m sure there’s some easy way to cover them, but I don’t own that kitchen accessory. So when I tried to cover the top with foil, it knocked the ice cream cone towers over once again.

So much for looking like the cake-decorating goddess mom.

Note to self: If you ever make the Dora Castle Cake again, put the ice cream cones on the day of cake consumption and keep some extra frosting around to patch things up.

Luckily, none of the other parents at the birthday party had any cake decorating skills so they were super impressed by the cake, even with its tilting and crumbling towers and, by that point, sagging decorations. They thought I was majorly inventive until I ruined it all by showing them the picture and telling them how much Lily wanted to make this cake.

The cake is way cuter with leaning towers anyway.

Lily’s rating of the second cake compared to the first? “They’re both my favorite!”



Filed under Uncategorized

“Best Cake Ever”

A few weeks ago, Lily found a picture of a Dora castle cake along with directions on how to make it.

“I really like this cake,” she kept saying, and carried the recipe around with her. Later she came to me and said “Mommy, I just want to make this cake with you.”

I told her that not only could we make the Dora castle cake, but we could make it for her birthday if she wanted. This idea really excited her. As her birthday got closer, she kept talking about how she and I needed to make her special cake. According to Lily, Rose was not allowed to help. It was supposed to be just me and her making a special castle cake with graham cracker doors and jelly bean decorations.

I was a little nervous about my ability to make this cake because I’m not very good at cake decorating. I told Lily this.

“Don’t worry! You can do it, Mommy!”

So I figured, how hard could it be? You make two round cakes, put four cupcakes on top, put four sugar cones on top of THAT, ice it and then decorate it with candy. It looked so simple that only an idiot could mess it up.

Apparently, I am an idiot.

What are you talking about? It looks just like the picture!

What? Like you could do any better.

Actually, you probably could.

I’m not sure what went wrong. The frosting oozed everywhere. It seemed like the right consistency before I put it on the cake, but it was my first time making frosting from scratch so what do I know? It’s funny, as I was making the frosting I was marveling at how much easier it was to make that I expected and beating myself for never making it before. Well, clearly it’s not as easy as I thought.

I fail at spreading frosting. Whenever I try, chunks of cake come up even though the cake was fully cooled. I don’ t know what my problem is.

As we overlooked the fact that the cupcakes and sugar cones were slowly sliding off the cake, Lily dumped an entire jar of giant star sprinkles in one precise spot. It was impressive. And since then, Lily has plastered the cake with jelly beans, peppermints and gummy bears.

Look at that cake! It’s an embarrassment to humanity!

Lily, however, still loves it.

“Look at my cake! We made it! It’s the best cake ever!” she keeps saying, every time she sneaks a peek at it in the fridge.

And it is. Because I’ve never laughed so much at something I created in my life… unless you count how much I laugh at Lily and Rose.

Happy fourth birthday, Lily, I hope the cake tastes as wonderful as it’s made us feel!



Filed under Uncategorized

The Big 32

Seven and a half years ago when I started dating my husband, I had a mild panic attack about whether or not I was old enough to be to be dating a 32 year old. I mean, 32 was just so… OLD. When I kissed him for the first time, I rushed inside my crappy efficiency apartment freaking out that I’d just made out with an old chemistry professor (Note: He was not MY professor or even teaching at the time.). How could I, a 24 year old, be old enough to be kissing a 32-year-old chemistry professor? Two-and-a-half weeks later he turned 33 and I almost dumped him over the fact. Not really, but it was VERY distressful.

Early Dr. Toy Warden and I.

Well, it’s come full circle. Today I turn 32 and it’s mind-boggling to me that a 24 year old could think that I am too old to spend time with, too old to date. I feel like I’m still 24, although there are some amazingly huge differences between my 24 year old life and my 32 year old life… though surprisingly not much difference between my husband’s 32 year old life and MY 24 year old life.

*At 24, I thought I was doomed to be single forever. At 32, I’ve been married 5 years.

What our family looked like on our 5th wedding anniversary.

*At 24, I had a baby pact with my best female friend. We aren’t lesbians, but we planned to move in together and help each other raise sperm-donor babies if we hadn’t found husbands by the time we were… I think it was 32! At 32, we have two kids each with our husbands. Unconventional lifestyle averted!

Bringing home a puppy 6 weeks after we started dating. Puppy planned out months beforehand.

*At 24, I lived alone in an efficiency apartment and drove a Honda Civic. At 32, (the bank, my husband and) I own a 3-bedroom house full of people and a dog in the ‘burbs and drive a mini-van.

*At 24, I was a graduate student with no intention of ever staying home with children. My kids were going to be daycare kids. At 32, I’ve been staying home more than 4 years and love it more than I could ever imagine. The loss of income seems worth it for now. Ask me again in 25-33 years when my husband and I aren’t able to retire. Or even ask me again in 3-5 years when I go back to work and have to start on the bottom… although I WAS on the bottom when I stopped working so at least I won’t be going backward.

*At 24, I wanted jewelry for a birthday present. At 32, jewelry would still be nice, but what I really wanted (and received! from different people. I’m not THAT spoiled.) was a Keurig and a patio set. And a patio. And curtains. Didn’t get those last two things. Maybe for Hanukkah?

*At 24, I said I’d never be at coffee drinker. At 32, I wanted a Keurig for my birthday.

The Keurig: And suddenly my house is a Starbucks. Thanks, Mom!

A lot of things changed in the time it took me to catch up to the age my husband was when I thought he was too old for me to date, but I’m glad to finally be here.

Just a few hours before I became truly old.


Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized