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Theo’s 2nd birthday (with toxic green icing)

by Clare Mansell
Theo’s 2nd birthday (with toxic green icing)
Picnic time..

Theo turned 2 yesterday and spent part of the day having his first taster session at his new nursery. We visited once before to view it, and on both occasions he dived straight in without a backward glance. This time we left him there on his own for an hour and a half and he was utterly unphased.

The nursery is based in beautiful old farm buildings and operates under the free-flow philosophy, where the different age groups mix and are free to explore inside and out, it even has an on site chef. I honestly couldn’t fault it in any way, and I’m excited for him that he’ll soon be attending regularly.

In the afternoon we had a family tea in the garden with presents, sandwiches and cake. The day brought to an end an incredible fortnight’s leave for Jim, where we have been blessed with day after day of sunshine and have been able to have some wonderful days out locally. We didn’t have a holiday this year, but the past two weeks have felt entirely like one, with the benefit of all our home comforts.

For Theo’s birthday I made him a tractor cake. I struggle a bit with novelty cakes because appaearance and taste seem to battle each other! I personally think royal icing is pretty horrible on anything except a fruit cake (and even then I’m not entirely sold on it) so I compromised with butter icing (which to be honest, I’m not a massive fan of either) Jim insisted it couldn’t be chocolate and had to be a colour (as you don’t get brown tractors) so we ended up with cake smothered in headache inducing, highly sugared, highly coloured buttercream.


I know what you are going to say, it wasn’t made for the adults! But there were more grown-ups than children at this party and I think most of us just pushed our cake around the plate! Oh for a nice simple chocolate fudge cake!

Fortunately I made cucumber sandwiches and one of my all time favourites, strawberry palmiers too. Now they really are delicious (and stupidly easy to make!)

strawberry palmiers

And after much game playing and running round the garden, after nursery and presents, no nap and far too many jelly babies, Theo collapsed into bed in his new pyjamas with an assortment of his new cars – one happy tired two year-old boy!

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Linda September 1, 2013 - 7:26 am

Loved your post. Happy days! I remember in the dim and distant past making novelty birthdays cakes, including Mr Bump, a football field and a big yellow teddy! Re tractors: my great nephew Dan, now 16 and about to start A Levels, loved tractors when he was Theo’s age. He was taken to see my brother-in-law’s tractor, the first real tractor he had seen close up. Offered a ride on it and he ran back to the house, frightened out of his wits by the huge size!

Clare Mansell (Maybush Studio) September 1, 2013 - 7:39 am

That sounds familiar, he definitely prefers to admire things from a safe distance, although we have tractors going past our house every day so it sees the real thing quite a lot!

moira September 1, 2013 - 1:10 pm

now you’ve set the standard for 2nd bday cakes #underpressure!

Catrin Lewis September 1, 2013 - 7:43 pm

It was my niece’s second birthday on Friday too! Remember that when Theo is older and looks back through photos he won’t be able to see what his cake tasted like -he’ll just see the great cake that his mum lovingly made for him x


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