Friday, July 31, 2015

The month of July

July is always a busy month for our family.  Two of my kids were born on this month - my daughter on the 28th and my second son, on the 31st. This year was extra special as my daughter turned 18.

Being an only girl, you might think that we had big plans to celebrate my daughter's birthday.  To be honest, we didn't. Early this year, she went on a study tour to Greece and Italy and I really thought that was it.  No more big party.  After all, the trip was already a huge expense.  My daughter herself was very undecided on whether she wanted a party or not.  Since all her friends were turning 18, nearly all the weekends already had parties scheduled and she couldn't be bothered thinking about what else to do.  

We weren't keen on preparing anything until a friend asked us about it (around end of June) and convinced us to give our daughter some loving attention by throwing her a party.  She was right. 

Come first week of July, I unexpectedly got sick.  Sick enough to be hospitalized.  I suddenly had severe stomach pain one night, went to the hospital a day after to see a doctor, given a blood test and ultrasound and was admitted then and there!  The next day, I underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, or in lay man's terms, a gallbladder removal surgery.  My surgery lasted for almost 4 hours (when normally the procedure only takes one hour) as the surgeon said, my gallbladder was very, very inflammed and infected. I really don't get sick ever so this was all a big shock to me!

While in hospital, plans for a surprise birthday party for my daughter went underway.  Imagine me, as soon as I got home to recover, texting all of my daughter's friends, printing out invitations and handmaking giveways while she was at school.  My husband took care of booking the venue and then for the next 2 weeks, woke up at around 4am everyday to quietly work on a video presentation before going to work. 

I am not going to go into details anymore of how the whole scheme was carried out but suffice it to say that the party was a huge success!  My daughter was clueless and was totally surprised!  Wish I could share with you the video of when she entered the venue and also photos of the party itself, but for privacy reasons, I'd rather not.  It was a fun night with lots of food, a photo booth, touching videos and well wishes even from family in the Philippines.  It was a small celebration shared only with the most significant people in my daughter's life. 

Given my recent surgery, I had little energy to bake and decorate a cake BUT of course, I just had to!  Here's the cake I secretly made for the occasion.  I made it to match the colours of the invitation.

It's small (8") and simple but I loved how the bright colours really popped out.

We didn't serve this cake as there were loads of desserts in the venue.  I sliced it all up and gave it away for some of the guests to take home.  Unfortunately, I don't have photos of the cut cake but it looked really good inside - 4 beautiful layers of green tea cake!

Today, the 31st, it's my son's turn.  He's 20 now! For him, I made another Baskin Robbins-inspired cake.  

It's kind of another version of the cookies and cream but Baskin Robbins calls their ice cream cake, Cookie Overload.  You can understand why just by looking at it.

My cake has two 2" layers of chiffon - chocolate at the bottom and vanilla-Oreo at the top.  It is filled and frosted with chocolate whipped cream and garnished with Oreo crumbs.  It looked a little bit weird with just one whole cookie on top so I added more cookies to finish off.

I will share how I did this cake on my next post, which hopefully will be within the next few days. I took some photos of the process so yes, I intend to be back with them soon!

In case you might want to know, I am feeling ok now.  My incisions have healed well and I am now able to eat normally.  I lost some weight without meaning to and I must say, it is one good thing that came out of being sick!  I am back to doing the usual stuff (except heavy lifting) but I am taking a rest from selling cakes. Understandable, right? Baking once in a while is fine but for now, just for family only!

Hope all of you are well.