Watermelon Birthday Cake & Party

Watermelon birthday cake with chocolate chips, ants, and picnic basket 

One of the great things about having so many girls is that it means even more birthdays. More birthdays mean more excuses for parties and cake!

Sometimes that means wondering what the next theme will be, but somehow, a comment is always made or a picture is seen or personality trait is shining….and suddenly, all the pieces start coming together. Before we know it, the cake is planned and an entire party theme has been born.

This party was no different. Instead of being “just a special cake,” it turned into a full fledged “picnic party.” There’s a picnic basket, picket blanket/tablecloth, watermelon trays for chips, sandwiches, bubbles, and watermelon…both of the real and cake varieties.

So the page doesn’t take forever to load, check out the summery flower collage below. As usual, mouse over them to pop up a larger version or see all of them in their full-sized glory in the QuirkyCookery PB album.

Here are some of my favorite moments, stories, and pictures of the day:

My mom is going to hate me for posting this picture. And yes, hate is still considered a “bad word” so I’m going to surely get in trouble for that, too, but she’ll agree as soon as she catches wind that I had the nerve to post it:

Icing mess Licking icing off fingers

Totally worth it. The left is cleverly posed so that her face won’t be shown, but the look of sheer shock and disgust as my sister licks the icing ‘mistake’ of her hands is one I can’t possibly censor with black bars. Golden.

If it makes you feel any better, I do often take the time to edit pictures so that nobody is left looking bad. I mean, like this gem:

Bad pictures of ice cream bubbles and kid

Who would want that posted publicly, right? Oh wait…. ;)

Anywho, I’m this far into a birthday party post and you haven’t even seen the birthday girl yet! This is N from 2009, pre-party:

Dirty kid holding ears

Yes, covered in dirt, holding her ears, and waiting patiently for someone to come and retrieve her for cake time. You haven’t forgotten our tradition, right? Note to self…I have a video of this tucked away that I should upload, too.

Covering eyes for surprise Photobucket

And in case no one believed me that the cakes and party scene are kept a complete secret, there’s an example of a (very ugly) covered doorway to prevent peeking, too.

Child getting ready to blow out candles on watermelon cake

Even she doesn’t want to peek, and she’s sitting at the table! The anticipation is a wonderful thing. <3 Oh, and to the far right of that picture is an example of a themed present, too….watermelon scented body wash and shampoo.

Kid scowling while eating sub sandwiches

^ The “sweet innocent one”….until she gets food. :P

And in case you don’t click through to the rest of the pictures like you should, here’s the inside of the cakes.

 Watermelon cake with red inside and chocolate chip seedsCovered end of watermelon cake with chocolate inside

White/red cake for the chocolate haters and chocolate for the rest of us, mmm. Take note of how realistic she made the rind icing, too….it’s squiggly/wavy/textured all the way down like the lines of a real watermelon.

7 little monkeys, hanging on a cake

Monkey cake with nutter butters, vanilla wafers, chocolate icing and faces drawn on

Bs last birthday, they did make.
Mama was the baker and the baker said
”One slice, two scoops, ‘til everyone’s fed!”

Okay, so maybe she didn’t, but at least it rhymed, right? And this is another flashback from 2009, so it wasn’t even the last birthday but….oh whatever, it worked, leave me alone. ;)

Birthday cake banana drawingMonkey cake with nutter butters, vanilla wafers, chocolate icing and faces drawn on 

Normally I like just letting the pictures speak for themselves, but as I look back at some of these pictures, I realize that some of the little tidbits that were unique stories back then, aren’t necessarily obvious to the outside eye…and that means I’m way more likely to forget them myself, too.

Monkey cake with nutter butters, vanilla wafers, chocolate icing and faces drawn on - Could be cupcakes instead with bananas, too

Like how each one of those 7 monkeys (signaling her age, of course) has their own personality. No, I’m not joking. Take a closer look. Each one has a different hairstyle. They don’t have identical mouths. And yes, some of them even have different eye colors.

Little girl blowing out candle for birthday cake
And that look? That’s the look of “Are you calling me crazy? A monkey? What?!”

Young child blowing out candles on a monkey birthday cake

But that sly grin as she blows out the candles? Oh she knows how bananas she is! 

One scoop of ice cream with birthday cakeTwo scoops of ice cream with cakes

And a story I’ve already forgotten is why it was important to take identical pictures of the cake….but one with one scoop, and the other with two.

Animal zoo crackers on ice cream icebergs with cake

The animal crackers were a minor detail that tied things together back then, but I wouldn’t have been able to recall without this picture. It was “a zoo” and the animals were escaping. Duh.

And sure, at this point it’s obvious that the “theme” was sort of that “jungle/zoo/crazy” vibe, but chances are, most people wouldn’t notice all the dollar bills in the next pictures had I not pointed it out, right?

Monkey birthday cake table with presents and platesMonkey cake with nutter butters, vanilla wafers, chocolate icing and faces drawn on 

7 year old girl opening birthday presents

Cash is pretty standard as a birthday gift these days, but it can also be pretty boring to open up cards….so we tucked single dollar bills everywhere instead. In the hairties, around the gameboy, under the cap of the body wash, in the thinking cap….

Thinking cap game as birthday presentOpening birthday presents/basket of goodies

Maybe it’s easily forgotten, but at the time, it’s small details like that which can make “yet another party” feel like something special and exciting.

Or maybe it’s the bug audience that does that…

Eating birthday cake with plastic insect bug toys

How to host an amazing crawfish/shrimp boil party

Shrimp boil with corn on the cob, garlic, polish sausage, carrots.

Circa 2009 again.
I had never even heard of a “shrimp boil,” much less been to one. I wasn’t even sure what to expect, but whatever…it was a party invitation with new friends of the family and really, when have I ever turned down the chance at food?
If you don’t know what it is either, it’s often times with crawfish (crayfish? crawdads? craw daddies?) and is mostly associated with Louisiana or at the very least, the coast. Wikipedia is happy to explain more:
A boil is usually done in a large pot (60 to 80 quarts) fitted with a strainer and heated by propane. However, some traditionalists see no need for a strainer and make use of a net or a wire mesh scoop. Seasonings include crab boil packets, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, salt, lemons, and bay leaf. Ears of corn, new potatoes, onions, and heads of garlic are usually included in shrimp and crawfish boils. Some people will add smoked sausage links and/or mushrooms. (….) The contents of the pot are removed, drained, and then dumped onto a newspaper covered table. (…) Bottles of hot sauce, lemons and melted butter are usually available
I didn’t know any of this beforehand, so it was quite new for me. Watching the guys rip open ‘alcoholic beverage’ boxes and bags for the serving platter and dumping food everywhere was….well….spectacular.
I know it’s silly, but I love that! Nothing fancy. Nothing scheduled or concrete or any special way that something has to be eaten. Just dig in!
We learned lots that night actually, and the pictures will teach you about a great party way better than I can with words, so enjoy:
Family hanging out, playing cornhole, peeling shrimp
(Oops, sorry it’s blurry…old camera)
Friends and family are key. I don’t remember how many people were there, but everyone acted like they knew each other, even though some of us were clueless. A great party should feel like you’re hanging out in your PJs with family, even when it happens to be coworkers, too.

Boil master, watching the pot of shrimp and foodKids hanging out on swing

Seats should be aplenty, but musical chair should be encouraged. Adults and kids alike were all over the place, running about or playing games, but there was always a seat ready to be taken when feet needed a break.

Oh, and on the left, there, that’s the Boil Master. He’s in charge of manning the pot, making sure the ingredients go in at the right time, and keeping anxious fingers at bay.

Shrimp boil pot being dumped out on beer boxes
Potholders are key. The basket is hot and you don’t want to waste any time with burned fingers unless it’s from popping open shrimp!
Shrimp, corn, carrots, garlic being dumped onto torn up bags and beer boxes

Dump away!

Louisiana seafood boil dumped on spread out newspaper

It might look like there’s a helping hand involved there, but really, there’s just a line of people waiting to dig in and as soon as he backs up, they’ll crowd the table from all directions.

This is actually a picture from the second or third round, as evidenced by the carrots left behind from the previous go and a fresh batch going on top.

Blowing on pile of food from food party

Blowing on it really isn’t going to help, but if you’re hungry and impatient, you can try, hehe.

Child (N) peeling shrimp

Learning to peel your own shrimp can be hard…and gross even.

Kid learning how to devein and peel shrimp for the first timePeeled shrimp looking at you, rawr! :P

But the success is so worth it. Even the shrimp will be smiling by the end. :)

Bottles of condiments - Ketchup, ranch dressing, butter, etc, for seafood boil with cracks and Budweiser Light

Ketchup, ranch dressing, squeezable butter and crackers should all be arranged on your best pink kids’ table. The crackers are perfect for the whole garlic clovers that will melt in your mouth or to pair with the butter while you’re chomping at the bit, waiting for the next round to come out.

Little girl picking up bags for game of cornhole

Kids playing cornhole

Bags/corn hole can be a backyard blast, especially if you have little helpers in between. Horse-shoes could be fun, too, but watch out for little toes.

Older sister hugging and comforting younger sister who was hurt

If accidents do happen, make sure you have a big sister around to comfort you. They’re the best.

3 pairs of princess fake shoes

Princess shoes are optional, but highly recommended.

Little girls deciding over who gets which pair of shoesTrading princess sheos

They entertain for hours, encourage sharing and trading….

Man with yellow princess shoes heels

And really, even the big kids will love them. ;)

Kids playing with pink Barbie jeepPrincess running away from little boy

Just keep an eye out for runaway jeeps and princesses.

Kid climbing onto her mom's lap while she's playing the guitarLittle girl climbing onto her mom's lap while she's playing the guitar after a great party

And at the end of the night, when bellies are full and everyone’s happy, there’s nothing better than impromptu music and curling up on mama’s lap. If you choose to do them at the same time, though, your mileage may vary…. ;)