Tuesday, June 19, 2012

10th Birthday Cake - Lego again!

You didn't think I'd forget to blog his birthday cake??

One of Husband's research student's wives had sent me picture of a cake that looked like it was made from Lego, the boy just happened to be hanging over my shoulder and said "COOOL! That's what I want for my birthday!"  Thanks Lisa!

I found the same picture on Google images but couldn't find much in the way of a tutorial so made it up as I went along.  The original cake was white, but I had an excess of green icing so I decided it would be a grassy cake, then kicked myself for not thinking ahead and including his new Lord of The Rings Lego and making it all Hobbit-y!

Anyway, usual cake recipe, not as perfect ganaching as I'd hoped to make those corners nice and sharp,  too sticky and not enough time to freeze it, then lots of fiddly measuring, cutting and shaping.  I was very grateful to have a helper to add all the nobbly bits on the top layer of bricks, or I'd have been there all evening!  Lots of figures were loaned to make the scene and Birthday Boy was very happy!

I pressed a Lego brick into the fondant to get the size and positioning right then my helper pressed out the nobby bits with this icing nozzle and we stuck them into place with a drop of boiled water.

Trickiest bit is putting that top roll of icing on without it tearing!

Naughty Ninja!

Aztec Guy looks more the part holding a sparkler!

Monday, June 18, 2012


My Slap-Bang-Middle boy is 10.  

He's the 3rd of 5, he was born in the middle of the year and his birthday comes right in the middle of all our birthdays so the tag suits him well!

I've had lots of thoughts about his birthday today, especially in the light of a really unhelpful article by Mia Freedman, at Mamamia, about birth plans and "Birthzillas".  I was already over her extremely negative attitudes to homebirth and this article made me click on the 'unfollow' button as frankly I don't have the time and energy right now for her snarkiness.

Anyway, I had a birth plan for Joseph which was to stay home and have my 2nd home birth with my own lovely midwives present, my parents had also arranged to be in Scotland for the due date.  However, as often happens, things did not go to plan! A week past, then another one and no sign of baby.  Mum and dad had to go home and I was threatened with induction and threw a hissy fit as only a very pregnant lady can!  Thankfully my Obstetrician was on my side and very apologetically said that while she wouldn't push for an induction, legally I wasn't able to have my home birth and would have to go the midwife unit at Forth Park Maternity Hospital in Kirkcaldy.  That night I went into labour, trekked up to Kirkcaldy (thankfully Mum had returned and stayed to look after the 2 wee ones tucked up in their beds) and in a couple of hours, gave birth to another wee boy during the Italy vs South Korea football match in the 2002 World Cup!  While in some religions, special words are whispered into the babies ears, Joseph was taken to 'watch' the match while Mummy had a bath!

Those of you who have met Joseph will know how special he is (or "Special" as his brothers prefer to say it!).  He is quite mad, very physical, extremely loud, not altogether aware of the consequences to his physical well-being of some of his actions, but the sweetest, kindest, most generous boy you could hope to meet.  He sometimes gets left-out or over-looked but never complains.  He hates to see me doing jobs by myself, worries that I'm lonely so comes along to keep me company.  He loves helping out and takes his job of bin/recycling boy very seriously.  He has more energy than I would need for a week and I'm often relieved when he leaves the house in the morning, although I always look forward to his happy face when he gets home.

He's made it to 10 without major incident.  Our friends in Scotland advised us to look for a house near a hospital when we left, with Joseph in mind, based on his penchant for climbing lamp posts, trees, sheds, houses etc.  As it happens, Dad has needed the services of Accident and Emergency more than any of us!

I thought I would share lots of photos to celebrate his first decade. I hope you enjoy!

Minutes old still in hospital, we were home again within 4 hours.

2 months old, planning what to go and see in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

Such a happy baby!

First birthday

Always has his own 'interesting' style...


Monkey bars for a Monkey Boy aged 3.

More beautiful British beaches!  Aged 3

Well Done Award from Playgroup aged 3

Aged 4

4th Birthday - Superhero theme!

5th Birthday

Aged 6.


Aged 7

Aged 8

9th birthday

This years school photo.

Off to the Rubgy Aus v Sco in Newcastle 2 weeks ago, guess who he supported...

Today!  Happy Birthday Joseph! 

Monday, June 4, 2012


I've been struggling to find enthusiasm for things recently, onset of winter and general brain atrophy are probably to blame.  I have, however, managed to waste a tremendous amount of time mucking around with PicMonkey.  If any of you have been mourning the loss of Picnik to edit your photos, PicMonkey is from the same people but even more fun!

Here are some that I have played with, some have just been sharpened a bit, others have been properly mucked about with!

Archie overlooking the Forth Rail Bridge from our old home in Scotland

The boys being Jedi on the beach at St Ives, Cornwall, yes, beautiful beaches in the UK too!

Miss Meg in a ball pit at 1 year old. 

Colour focus

collages - suitable for your facebook or blog headers.

At the moment it is all free to use, and can even be accessed through facebook itself.  

Go on, you know you want to...!