Wednesday, May 15, 2013

this ain't our first rodeo

So I more than chronicled my failures and successes with Meatball's last birthday (here, here, and here).  It only seems fair I mention what went right and wrong with the Beans' second birthday, right?

Truth be told, I don't think it was anywhere near the same level of mess up.  In fact, it more or less worked out fine, but I also had my sights set substantially lower.  I only had a few things I really wanted to do and I focused on making those couple of this successful.  I wanted him to have a cute shirt that I made, like I did for his Uno themed first birthday, and I also wanted him to be able to actually EAT one of his birthday treats.  Around one Beans was completely incapable of consuming solids or anything like them, so it was a bit of a a bummer for me as I really had envisioned the whole smash cake deal.  But motherhood is all about rolling with the punches, and roll I shall, dammit.

So first off I needed a shirt.  To do that I need a theme.  I already had that, since Beans refuses to wear anything other than his favorite pair of camo cowboy boots (yes, Paul Bunyan bought them and I had little to do with it), there had to be some kind of boots/cowboy theme going on.  Then someone used a phrase I had heard a billion times before and BAM, it hit me ...

I made the shirt in Word, but some asshole at Microsoft decided to screw up Word Art and I couldn't reverse the image unless I reverted back to a compatible older version, which screwed up my cute fonts and colors.  So I had to redo it in Pagemaker, which I had to simultaneously learn while still swearing about the asshole at Microsoft.  After I got it all done I realized that I could have probably gone into my printer properties and just reversed it, but I didn't want to check.  By that point I was several hours in and totally felt that ignorance would be bliss unless I needed to do this again.  Just make the iron on, and move on I told myself.

I also made a back, because I thought it was stinking cute.

So the shirt was done.  Now for cake.  I could have spent a fortune on a top 8 allergy free cake, but at the time we were still consuming gluten (this has since changed and it is a post in itself) so I remembered my pumpkin muffins I had no real trouble making.  Duncan Hines' Classic Yellow Cake mix is free of the Bean's major allergens (dairy, egg and nuts) a fact I was both thrilled and a little alarmed by.

So I made a batch, but I needed to have a "topping" so they were less muffin and more cupcake.

I experimented, and very nearly lost teeth in the process.

I very nearly lost teeth with this sample bite
The spoon was stuck to the bowl.
You wanna eat that?
Not wanting to waste anymore cupcakes, I used the heel of
sandwich bread and found my mixtures were too watery (left)
or dangerously sticky still (right)
Sometimes simple really is better.  A combo of regular sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon mixed together worked much better.

Then just dunk them in and press gently so the topping sticks.  

I nabbed the boot and hat toppers at Hobby Lobby for like $3.99 with a 40% off coupon.  They also had the bandanna cupcake holders, which I also grabbed because they were freaking adorable!!!  I had already baked the cupcakes, so I just stuck them in as decorations 

Final product was delicious, everyone loved them.  Most importantly, the Beans ate almost a whole one himself!  Seriously, I cried.

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