Smorgasbord Sundays: My Nephew’s Birthday Celebration & Childhood Birthday Memories

Happy-Birthday-CakeIf you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ll know that yesterday, I celebrated my nephew’s 2nd birthday!

Yup, Berkeley is a ‘big boy’ now. πŸ˜‰ (Well, his birthday’s actually on September 10, but we celebrated it a bit early.)

It was pretty cool to also see my niece, who’s a little over 3 months old. She’s so sweet and well-behaved!

My brother and sister-in-law got Berkeley a special cake – it had a Winnie-the-Pooh theme, and the cake was comprised of several cupcakes! (When I was a kid, I never had such a lavish cake, so Berkeley is really getting the red carpet rolled out for him.)

In today’s Smorgasbord Sundays post, I’ll share some photos of his cake (because geez, it’s like a work of art – talk about attention to detail!), and I’ll also briefly share some fond memories I had of my own childhood birthday celebrations.

P.S. I took all these photos with my new (and first) iPhone, so I still have a lot to learn. I’ll need to play with its camera more to improve the picture quality. But, for now, I think these are decent.

So, here’s the impressive cupcake cake! Everything on it was edible except for the Winnie-the-Pooh characters and everything on the tree stump that Pooh is sitting on.

(When I first saw the cake, I giggled because the ‘leaves’ on the trees looked like green piles of cartoon poop! Yes, I’m terribly mature, aren’t I? πŸ˜› Maybe I should be celebrating myΒ 2nd birthday…)





Some of My Childhood Birthday Memories

Up until I was around 10 years old, birthday celebrations were a big deal. Since my older brother and I shared the same birthday month and days that were pretty close, my parents thought it would be a good idea to celebrate it on a single day.

While at first it might sound like a major bummer (to a kid) to have to share your birthday with someone instead of basking in all the attention directly at only you, it actually was all kinds of awesome! You see, my parents went all out.

Money was extremely tight, but when I say that they went all out, I don’t mean that they bought a lot of presents or material things for us – they couldn’t afford to. The big bash was highly anticipated mainly because of the people who were invited! πŸ™‚

Of course my brother and I got to invite our friends, but my parents also invited their friends and their friend’s children. It was a huge party for both adults and children. The adults had their windy conversations, and us kids ran around and played.

During the birthday celebration, we’d play with toys, play music, dance, and run up to the adults to show them something we thought was important (hehe, like how I braided Barbie’s hair). Sometimes we’d watch Disney cartoons and play board games.

As for the cake situation – my brother liked chocolate cake, and I liked vanilla cake. It became a tradition to always have one of each cake at the party! The chocolate one was usually a black-forest cake, and mine was a vanilla one with yummy layered filling with things like custard, whipped cream, and strawberries.

Also, another tradition was having little chocolate mice on the cakes. Even if a cake didn’t come with any, my father would ask the baker to put tiny chocolate mice on both of the cakes. And we loved it! Every year when we saw the cakes, the first thing we’d do would be to look for the mice. And nobody except for the birthday boy and birthday girl could eat the mice. It was a small thing that made us really happy and that made us feel very verrrrryyyyy important. πŸ˜‰ (Chocolate mice everywhere shivered when they saw us.)

My father also always had white-chocolate name plates put on each cake. So that was another thing devoured exclusively by the birthday children. πŸ™‚

My dad would also make it a point to always get a few helium balloons to decorate the place. Then he’d let me decide where I wanted to put them in the living room. (My brother didn’t really care, so I was the sole ‘interior decorator’.)

And the dinner was always delicious. It was a pot-luck, buffet style. The guests would bring over tons of food, plus my mom would slave away in the kitchen making all sorts of delicious things. That night, everyone ate like a pig…an extremely happy pig! πŸ™‚ *Oink Oink*

It always made me sad when the night ended. It was even greater than the sadness you feel when Christmas is over. (I actually looked forward to those birthday celebrations more than Christmas celebrations – that’s how awesome they were!)

So, you see, even though I never got such a lavish birthday cake like Berkeley did, I still managed to have some of the best times of my life, thanks to the love of my parents.Β The thoughtfulness that went into the planning made the memories that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

What are some of your childhood birthday memories? Do you still celebrate your birthday with a party?


18 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Sundays: My Nephew’s Birthday Celebration & Childhood Birthday Memories

  1. Janet "The KnitMaster"

    Chocolate mice? How different is that? I like the idea but what’s the story or reason for the mice?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey The KnitMaster!

      There actually isn’t really a story behind the chocolate mice. My dad just always wanted us to have a special edible treat, and at that time, the bakers usually didn’t even charge extra because the chocolate mice were so small. πŸ™‚

  2. Barbara

    My best friend loves Winnie the Pooh and I’m sure she’d like this cake even though she’s waaaayy older than your nephew!
    Nice touching post.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Barbara!

      Hehe, even I wish I had a birthday cake like that. I’ve never had such a lavish cake when I was little or even up to now! There are so many different colours going on and even different textures. Truly it was a work of art. I wonder how much it cost, though! (I didn’t ask.)

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey The Lacquer Tracker!

      It looked incredible, and it was also very tasty. πŸ˜‰ I had two cupcakes, and I would’ve eaten a third, but my brother and sister-in-law were already in the process of packing away the cake. πŸ˜›

      You know, sometimes I do see cakes that are sold with tiny chocolate mice (not often, but occasionally), and that makes me smile and think of my dad and good childhood memories.

  3. Kay

    Oh man! I’m so envious of the cake your nephew got for his birthday!!! I am SUCH a huge Winnie the Pooh fan πŸ˜‰

    Reading your recount of your birthday celebrations when you were younger put a smile on my face as all the little details made me feel like I had attended one of them πŸ™‚

    P.S. Vanilla cake for the win!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kay!

      Hehe, maybe for your next birthday, you can get a custom cake like that. πŸ˜‰ You’re never too old to enjoy a yummy and beautiful birthday cake. (I’ve never had any lavish cake before, and one day, I want to.) On a side note, I also one day want to jump out of a cake. (I’m not kidding.) Although I don’t know how that second thing is going to happen. πŸ˜› Nobody I know buys life-size cakes. And even if they would buy one, I doubt they’d let me jump out of it. πŸ˜›

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed reading about my childhood-birthday memories. πŸ™‚ I haven’t thought about it in a long time, but Berkeley’s birthday brought it all back to the forefront.

  4. maria emma

    Well.. I remember I used to love my birthday.. but for some reason, because my brother’s bday is only 10 days before mine, my parents’ decided it was a good idea to celebrate every birthday together.. so i really learned how to HATE my birthday.
    they always celebrated it closer to my brother’s bday, and he always got to choose the theme, because he was younger and i was bigger, so i was suppose to know better.. so i grow up hating my bday, i was all like: dude, my bday is my special day now I have to share it with my brother and he got to choose everything about it.
    it sucked so much.
    so once I turned 16, i started arguing with my mom every single year until i moved out. and yet, there’s always a small thing that makes my bday sucks..!!

    xmas was waaaay better.. but once my little brother discovered the truth about Santa, xmas pretty much sucked. hahaha OMG I’m such a hater..!

    this year will be my first xmas at my new flat, so I hope will be the best since I was a child.
    maria emma recently posted: Once upon a polish!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maria emma!

      Aww…I’m sorry to hear that your birthday celebrations were very one-sided and not in your favour. πŸ™ See, my brother’s birthday is just a day after mine in the same month (but he was born in a different year) and my parents tried hard to keep everything equal so we wouldn’t fight. (My brother and I fought a lot as kids!)

      Well, now that you’re older, you can choose exactly how to celebrate your birthday I hope! Even thought your childhood birthdays weren’t the best, at least it showed that you weren’t spoiled.

  5. Jessica

    Wow, that is one cool cake! I really like that cupcake idea–it looks like it makes it easier to just grab a piece you want.

    Chocolate mice, huh? That’s unique :). It’s the special things like that that make birthdays memorable. Also, I now want chocolate. πŸ˜‰

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jessica!

      Exactly! If you like more icing (like I do), then you can eat the part with the trees, but if not, you can take the plain parts. Wish I could’ve tasted near the middle of the cake. The two cupcakes I had were from the outside, and they were yummy!

  6. Carmela

    A belated happy 2nd birthday to Berkeley! My niece is turning 2 in a couple weeks so that should be a lot of fun. πŸ™‚ They grow up waaay too fast tho! I want them to stay cute and squishy for much, much longer. We were just visiting her yesterday and we found out that she has a “boyfriend” at daycare! And she’s not even 2! Apparently, this little boy who’s around her age is pretty attached to her because they’ve been in the same group since they were babies. The daycare folk told my sis in law that he’d even cry when she had to be taken to go potty! Cute but I’m pretty sure my bro in law doesn’t approve. Hahaha! πŸ™‚

    P.S. Those chocolate mice were a very nice touch. πŸ™‚
    Carmela recently posted: Polished Indulgence is turning 1! [GIVEAWAY!]

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ He’s getting to be so big, and his personality is coming through even more.

      Aww…and your niece will be two soon! It’s exciting to see kids grow up. When they’re old enough, you can actually have proper conversations and find out exactly what they’re thinking (or at least what they want to reveal). I’m going to ask a million questions. Kids say the funniest (and most cruel) things!

      How cute that she has a boyfriend! Hahaha! That reminds me of when I went to daycare. There was this boy who used to kiss my arms several times from my wrist to my shoulder. Haha, I told my parents one day, and they thought it was hilarious because he probably learned it from his parents. πŸ˜›

  7. Marta

    Oh Mary, your childhood memories really warmed my heart and soul. You truly are one of the sweetest people around and if the world had more people like you it would be a much happier/lovelier place.

    My girls are exactly two years appart so their birthdays are shared also… I always wondered if one day they will regret having to share their day, but they also get two cakes and I hope they look back on their celebrations with as much appreciation as you!

    Happy birthday to your nephew πŸ˜€
    Marta recently posted: On this Day…

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      Hahahaha, if the world had more people like me, I think there would be a severe shortage of green nail polish on store shelves everywhere. πŸ˜› And all the pumpkin pies would be scarce…except in the bellies of the Mary clones. πŸ˜›

      I’m sure that your daughters will have fond memories when they look back on their childhood birthday celebrations. Two cakes means two times the yumminess! πŸ˜‰

      Thanks – Berkeley sure is getting bigger! πŸ™‚


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