Tea and cakes

This week Dinosaur-Boy will be 4 years old. I am quite unsure how the time has passed so quickly, but somehow it has, and after the last two years of saying that he only wants family at his birthday parties, this year he has finally started smiling at the idea of a small gathering of friends in his birthday honour, and so on Thursday morning we will be having seven of his lovely friends to join us for party games and cake.

Today I started baking in preparation - first these tiny little cupcakes, such fun to mix up colour-coordinated icing and top off with a matching sugary jelly tot. Then I moved onto larger cup cakes, this time in pastelly shades...before I started wondering if boys will be agreeable to eating pink cupcakes. There will be a lot left for the one little girl that he has invited, if they don't. Despite the four years that we have spent together I still don't feel that I have attuned myself to boyishness yet. Dinosaur-boy fits in so easily, that he has never pushed me to do so - but I am thinking that reading this book (Raising Boys: Why Boys are Different - and What We Can Do to Help Them Become Healthy and Well-Balanced Men...nothing like a concise title!) could give me some reasons that I might not yet have thought of. What do you think about this - do you make any concerted efforts to nurture the 'boy' in your sons?

I am happy with the way that my cakes look, less so with the way they might taste....I am finding my new oven to be a challenge - my cakes feel hard and rock-like than, even though the colour is fine. Cooking with gas felt so much more intuitive to me. My lovely mother came and visited today and helped to entertain an ailing Zebra-girl who was weary with a head full of aches. In return I baked her a birthday cake to take round to her friend's house this evening: it seemed a poor trade-off and I implored her to stop off at Marks & Spencers on her way home to buy a replacement as I am sure it will be dense and that her poor friend will be reduced to having to put on some music to muffle the loud crunching noises as they eat it.

Cake trouble aside, there was a wonderful highlight to my day - the postman came bearing gifts from the lovely and very generous Ali! What a happy surprise - after my post about herb teas she had thought to send me some of this wonderful Pukka Revitalise Tea with Cinnamon, Cardamon & Ginger - you can only imagine the deliciously warm smell as I took it out from its cellophane. So this evening, enjoying the extra daylight, I sat and enjoyed a cup, and it is quite the most lovely thing - a cross between my favourite Licorice Tea and a spiced muffin (if such a thing could be drunk, rather than gobbled)....perfect. What kindness.

Also in the post was this postcard from my sister, Laura. I love it - there's something so perfect about a teacup (I am still meaning to do a whole post on my own teacup collection....so little time, so many random thoughts floating around in one's head) and this postcard so appeals to me, for I love any opportunity to play the 'which is your favourite?' game...it is a very small selection of the vast array that I have managed to photograph here!


  1. Oh those cupcakes look gorgeous! I've been thinking about whether I nurture my son's 'inner boy'...especially as yesterday he and his sister were fighting over who would get to wear her orange dress :O (as we were going out I convinced him that his blue t-shirt was a better choice for him, but if we were staying home...then, I probably would have let him have a turn wearing it...) But actually I've been surprised at how 'boyish' he is considering I really don't think myself or my husband have encouraged him either way. He has always loved trains and automobiles which I guess is a very 'boy' thing, and I think that quite probably the grandparents (whom we see all the time) possibly nurture this a lot. But all the same, you've got me thinking. Maybe I'll have to check out this book ;)

  2. the cupcakes look great to me, and if the boys go urrgg they're pink I'd just tell them they were coloured with blood.... I'm so glad it's not just me struggling with a new oven, I'm finding mine driving me mad..
    As for boyishness most parents of boys I meet want to tone it down, E is a very not boysy (is that a word?) boy when he's with us, but I see a different child when he gets together with lots of boys at school - and I don't always like it....

  3. I don't know I would get on with a little boy in my life. I look after my friends boy every week he is the same age as my little dear, but he is so different and I don't mean just in character I mean in the way he attacks things (not nasterly)And I cannot believe how much he eats, if my little dear leaves any of her food he just pours it onto his plate!

    The cupcakes look gorgeous!

    Happy birthday to Dinosaur Boy!

  4. The cupcakes do look beautiful so rest assured that decorating skills are not lacking. I sympathise with your oven trouble though - it's so hard getting to know a new one, or sometimes even an old one, which is why I shall cheer you up by telling you I served up a chocolate gingerbread at christmas that despite almost two hours in the oven was still raw in the middle. I'm sure yours were better than that...

  5. My boy recently turned 5 and I made a batch of cakes to hand out at the school gates. They were in black cases and I had hoped the buttercream icing would turn out more red than it did ... but it was pink. Very pink. Gulp. Will I totally embarrass him in front of all his friends? Will this be one of his first memories when he's older and will it be thrown in my face for time time eternal. Nope. Simple fact is: boys love cake. I was left with just a few crumbs at the bottom of my basket.
    Also I've read the Steve Biddulph book which I found fascinating and useful (especially as at the age of 4 my boy literally did get this surge of testosterone and would bounce of the walls for several hours a day. Once I knew what it was I was able to cope and channel his energy a little more. Now he's five, he has calmed down considerably.
    He likes to rough and tumble, play with cars/trains etc but is as happy (if not more so) with paper and pencils; and is so tender towards his little sister it makes me catch my breath.
    He is also (very proud mum moment) in the process of learning to knit!

  6. Your cupcakes.............Huuuuuuuuuuum

    And happy birthday to the little boy!!

  7. the cupcakes look great, as for raising a boy, my son is defintly one of a kind, he can out talk any girls around, and us for that matter, he is poorly today so I'm going to make him some banana cakes to cheer him up, and then we will go pack his little suitcase for traveling on sunday, we fly to San Francisco then, it will be a looooong flight.

    best wishes to the birthday boy.

  8. Your cakes look gorgeous! I know what you mean about having a little boy though - I feel quite sorry for Fred as he has two older sisters and I'm sure the "Boy" bit of him is slightly surpressed - he is certainly not a rufty-tufty lad! Maybe I should buy the book too!

  9. Hi Florence,I think boys will eat any cakes,especially with sweets on top!Absolutely adore the cushion!Your hair looks lovely too,in fact a whole post of loveliness!

  10. Happy birthday Dinosaur boy, I'm sure he'll eat up all the cupcakes with his friends and not even worry about the colour. Just happy that they are homemade by his clever mum.
    Not sure on the whole raising boys, as you know I have 3 pink girls lol but I'm sure if we had a boy he'd be just fine with all the pink girlieness around. His dad would see to all the ruff and tumble.
    I hope Zebra-girl is over her aches and pains now. There seems to be a lot going round.

    Have a wonderful time.

    Catherine x

  11. Your little cakes look lovely. Sorry you are having trouble with the new oven. Hopefully it's just a matter of getting used to it. About boys--I have a lot of them--I've never done anything special about their being boys--that's what fathers are for, I think. I just keep my parenting intuitive and so far it has worked out okay. Happy birthday to the little guy--I agree, it all goes too fast.

  12. Those cakes look delicious and so pretty

    Happy birthday to Dinosaur boy and hope Zebra girl feels better soon

    April xx

  13. You say after you made the small cupcakes, you moved onto larger ones? hmmm are you sure those aren't for the adults?! I had two boys before my daughter and also bought the Steve Biddulph book, but I have just decided the best way is just not to suppress them too much - they love rough and tumble, they love fighting with one and other (in a nice way) and yes it does sometimes end in tears. We went to the beach on Monday and they ended up with jeans wet up to the knees and sand in their trainers, but it was so nice to see them just enjoy being boys. My eldest is 10 today and moves up to 'big' school next September, a thought which fills me with dread, as I remember all too well how the big boys at senior school can be, but perhaps if I don't wrap him in cotton wool too much, he may just fit in and find his way - hope that makes sense - and Happy Birthday Dinosaur Boy! - Natalie x

  14. Yummy cupcakes! and as I read 'boys just love cake' Our two boys are 17&15 now and we never tried to steer them in any direction when they were little but they were naturally drawn to boy toys such as trains and lego. All the lego has still been here when raising our daughter but she never had any interest and certainly not for trains or cars. Saying all that I do remember as I mentioned before the pink shoes my son wore and the fact that they loved Grandma to paint their nails. Play fighting is not allowed in our house and neither is 'killing' someone. Both boys are very 'boy' now. ( no painted nails anymore ! lol)and have grown to be non-violent and respectful.I think it all happens naturally,and all the time they want to wear pink then go for it as it won't last once they get to school!
    Happy Birthday Dinosaur boy. Time really does fly by!

  15. Happy birthday to your boy. They have such energy and life that keeps things moving and everyone laughing. Enjoy it.

  16. I don't really do anything to nurture C's 'inner boy', becuase I think there are so many ways of being a boy. C hates football, but loves swimming (just like his father). He loves putting gel in his hair but has no wish to be particularly clean or tidy! He loves baking cakes but also loves building tanks. Such a rich mixture will hopefully make him a well rounded young man when he's older!

    Happy birthday to the dinosaur boy - those cupcakes will go down a storm I'm sure :o)

  17. I spend much of my day attempting to control the 'boy' in my offspring. Oh, there's testosterone aplenty round these parts. Believe me, it makes itself felt without any additional encouragement or nurturing on my part!

    But they are wonderful creatures. And a very Happy Birthday to yours.

  18. Jelly Tots!!!!! What boy or girl could resist! You can't get them here - yummy! That cake story made me laugh. When we moved in here I was a bit disappointed that we had such an old oven but it bakes like a dream. I have found that I just put the temp slightly lower and cook for just a smidge longer and everything is light and beautiful. I'm sure you'll find the magic in yours.
    Isn't that Ali a thoughtful girl. And I love that tea cup card - do you mind if I steal that for a quilt idea?? I hope your Dinosaur Boy has a completely fabulous time at his party - Happy Birthday!

  19. happy birthday to dinosaur boy - hop ethe party goes well.

    great postcard...please please please do the teacup post...please...I can't wait much longer

    ps no boys around these parts, but my girls don't act much like "girls" anyway so I might not know the difference if there were!

  20. Happy Birthday Dinosaur Boy! And as Charlie said to Lola "Even monsters think that pink icing tastes best!"

    Hope he has a wonderful day.

  21. I've got three boys... and I tell you... I had to find the 'boy' in me to survive the testosterone fuelled atmosphere!

    I like boys. They go with the flow, their anger is quick to rise but quicker to subside. And boys love their mummy.

    When we got a dog I insisted on a girl though...


    (I think that book it's brilliant.)


Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x