How to make a monkey cake

As we head towards Toby’s fourth birthday, and I consider how I am going to make the requested Numberblocks cake, I thought it would be the perfect time to share this post of how I made his monkey cake again.

I’d never made a cake with any sort of design on it before so when we decided to have a (sort of) party for Toby’s 1st birthday I took to Pinterest to find some inspiration for his cake. I was considering doing a spotty number one cake but decided I didn’t want to brave proper icing and would prefer something with buttercream. Then I saw a few monkey cakes – a perfect choice for my little monkey. I combined a couple of tutorials to come up with a monkey cake of my own…and this is how I did it…

How to make a monkey cake

Step 1: Make the cakes

Read more

Living Arrows 34/52 (2016)

It’s been a busy week here – hence the lack of blogging that’s been going on! Toby and Gabe had their first full days at nursery on Tuesday and Wednesday and both had a great time by all accounts. On Wednesday it was Gabe’s first birthday. I did feel a little bit guilty for sending him to nursery but he was none the wiser and we got chance to open presents in the afternoon when they got back and Barry was home from work. On Friday we went to a new baby and toddler group near my parents’ house – it was definitely good to get out and start meeting some new mums and kids. On Saturday Toby and I went to Manchester for an event with Dyson and Currys PC World that I’ll be telling you more about soon, and then yesterday Barry’s parents came to visit to bring Toby and Gabe’s birthday presents!

So you can see it’s been a pretty hectic week. On top of that Gabe and Toby have both been taking ages to get to sleep every night and then Gabe has been waking up again about 11 pm. With all of that I haven’t had a lot of time for blogging, even though I’ve had loads to write about. I’m hoping I might manage to get a few posts written while the boys are at nursery this week and start catching up a bit.

We finally gave Toby his main birthday present this week too – we didn’t want to give it to him before we moved only to have to put it into storage and him not be able to use it so we waited until Gabe’s birthday to give him his new balance bike. He was so excited to get on it but I think it’s a bit harder than he thought it was going to be – lots of practice is going to be needed!

34_52 16 T

Gabe’s picture this week was taken whilst he was exploring his new birthday presents. He’s looking very happy here but it’s been a bit of an up and down week for him. I think he must have another tooth on the way because he’s hardly touched any solid food for the last few days and he sleep has been quite rubbish again soon. Here’s hoping it doesn’t last too long whatever it is!

34_52 16 G


Living Arrows

First birthday (sort of) party

If you’ve been reading some of my other posts you’ve probably seen that Toby turned one last week. Originally we weren’t going to have a party at all. I know this might not be a popular view but I don’t really hold with massive birthday parties for one year olds who have no clue what is going on. I understand that for the most part these early birthday parties are as much for the adults as the babies but with Toby’s grandparents all living 250 miles away, and us not having many other people we would invite there didn’t seem much point.

However, as both sets of grandparents decided they would like to visit round about Toby’s birthday we decided we would just have them all at the same time, invite our friends Claire and Dave and their nine month old twins and we would have a BBQ and make a bit of a party of it.

First Birthday Party

I didn’t really have a theme and my only concession to decoration was a few balloons. I suppose it was a vague jungle theme as I’d made a monkey cake, the balloons had jungle animals on and Toby wore his funky banana leggings! As it turned out it wasn’t great weather for a BBQ on the day either but my dad was quite happy on cooking duties out in the garden under a gazebo! We had a bit of a BBQ buffet, including home made bread rolls that Barry made in the morning. I was quite pleased we decided to have a party in the end too because it meant I had an excuse to make a proper birthday cake! (If you want to know how I made the monkey cake there’ll be a ‘how to’ post coming soon.) Toby blew out his candle (with a bit of help) but I was a meany though and didn’t give him any cake. I did let him eat the monkey’s eyes though, which were his very first chocolate buttons!

First birthday cake

My mum and dad were staying with us so they were already here. Claire and Dave arrived with their boys not long after midday and we gave the babies their lunch – the birthday boy got to be king of the castle in his highchair while the twins sat in their Bumbos on the floor which was quite comical! Then Barry’s parents turned up too, we had some present opening, some food and then began the fun task of trying (unsuccessfully) to get the babies to nap! We all had a lovely time though. I’m glad all Toby’s grandparents got to see him for his first birthday, especially as they don’t get to see each other very often.

The best thing about the whole day for me though was how well Toby coped with it all. He’s normally fine around other people but because we don’t often have people visiting our house he can sometimes have a meltdown when there are other people there. He still doesn’t really know his grandparents either, although I think he is starting to recognise them more as he gets older. He was fantastic all day though. We didn’t have any crying (until I tried to get him to nap!) and he was happy to give everyone cuddles. All in all a very successful (sort of) party I’d say!