I tried my hand at cup cake decorating for my nieces fourth birthday party on Saturday, which was a dangerous thing to do, because now I know how much fun it is! The last thing I need is an increased desire to ice cakes.
The cake decorating tips, that make it so easy to do swirly patterns and stars, also increase the amount of icing that goes on each cake. I used icing that comes in a plastic cup, and in the past a container of icing was enough for a cake mix. Not with this decorating technique. It would have been easy to use an entire icing container on a dozen cupcakes, so I had to restrain myself from getting too fancy.
I'm pretty sure the adults in the crowd enjoyed the cupcakes more than the kids, because the kids were too busy running, chasing, and playing hide and seek to slow down long enough for cake. I got in on a few rounds of hide and seek myself, and it was great fun to hide and then be found. I snapped the picture above as they realized where I was hiding behind a trellis. Before the party Jamie and I took great pains to trim all the overgrown shrubs and blackberries back so that there were plenty of nooks and crannies for hiding in.
Because the weather turned out to be perfectly sunny yet cool, I took the swimming pool down for the year and this created a sandy circle for using the various dump truck and tractor toys that I've accumulated for when my nieces and nephew visit. "Brandon's toys," as I call them, so nobody tries to take them home and leave me without toys for the next time. Once, when my oldest niece and my nephew were just big enough to play, all I could find to keep them entertained were some dried gourds and colorful rocks in my landscaping. A good aunt should have more than rocks and vegetables to play with!
The party had a teen-aged mutant ninja turtle theme, and we had the perfect number of turtles to represent the characters. It was strange to hear the kids discussing the ninja turtles with such familiarity because I was a kid when the first cartoons were aired, and all my friends loved the turtles too. Who would of thought they would become so popular again. But really, who would have thought sewer turtles who eat pizza and fight like ninja's would have been popular at all?
The birthday girl blew out all four candles and opened presents. Jamie gifted a bug vacuum toy, which sucks bugs into a clear jar with a magnifying lens. It was a big hit, and the kids ran around sucking up crickets and other bugs. We all had big laughs when, under Brandon's supervision, they sucked up one of the giant garden spiders and traumatized several of the adults who are afraid of spiders. I admit, it was pretty creepy to see up close, especially under magnification. I like the idea of getting the kids to enjoy bugs and spiders, and hopefully grow up thinking of them as interesting creatures and avoiding the irrational fears that so many adults seem to have. Or maybe they all went home and had spider nightmares!
I tried to provide healthy snacks for the party, and set out lots of vegges and bowls of nuts. Needless to say, I will be having cut up vegetables for lunch every day this week since there were so many leftovers, but there wasn't a crumb of cupcake left to be had. And did I intentionally buy too much ice cream, so I would have an excuse to eat some every evening this week? I'll never admit it.
We ended the party with an outdoor movie, the Emperor's New Groove. We have a movie projector we use in the house, but I have never tried to show a movie outside before. Brandon was skeptical of my idea, and set up the projector mostly to humor me, but we all enjoyed it. We had popcorn and juice boxes and entertained the neighbors with our front yard movie viewing. I'm sad that she only turns four once.