• Chane Brown

Ryton's Birthday Party

I cannot believe that Ryton is a year old already. It didn't seem like a year has already gone by.

We have been planning on Ryton's birthday for weeks now. We invited some of our closest friends and planned our menu weeks in advance. I have ordered balloons, balloon blower upper thing, backdrop, fondant, edible paints, things like that well in advance because we knew that the theme was going to be safari. I also ordered fondant molds for the cake as well as try and learn how to make fondant animals which was a feat in itself.

I practiced the fondant animals for about two weeks and kept redoing animals or starting over. I kept watching video after video to try and practice techniques until I finally got 4 animals that I am proud of. I then used molds to make more fondant animals for the cake. Once I had 2 sets of 6 done, I painted them gold. I had a vision for the cake. I wanted it to be two tiered wrapped in white fondant. The bottom layer I will hand paint the fondant with green leaves and then place the gold molded animals around the cake. Then for the smaller layer I would paint leopard print and place the other animals on top of the layers. While writing this, I haven't decorated the cake just yet (that is my plans for tomorrow) but the end result will be placed below.

I wasn't the only one practicing. Ouma was in the kitchen baking countless cakes until we found 2 that we really enjoyed. The bottom layer will be a chocolate cake and the top will be vanilla. I preferred the chocolate cake, which was obvious because I basically ate the whole cake myself.

The weekend prior to Ryton's party, we all bunkered down and cleaned the house from top to bottom. It truly needed it but it is a hard job as we live in the country, plus all of our animals, and the dirt just piles in.

On Ryton's birthday we went to dinner. I am not going to go into that right now but you can read all about it here.

The Thursday before his party, I took the day off to prepare. I wanted to clean the fish tank, blow up all the balloons and get started on the patio which needed a big clean. I got not much done at all that day. Ryton was being such a momma's boy and never gave me the chance to do anything. It wasn't too bad though as he was in the best of moods. Smiling and laughing so much, crawling around the bed saying momma, so I wasn't too mad. However, he did not want to go down for a nap. Normally he goes down around 10:30 - 11 and will nap till about 12:30-1. He was so energized that he was up until 2:30. When he was finally ready for a nap I was ready for one as well. He woke up late this morning which was why his schedule is off. When he woke up at 4 (as did I), he was ready to go. With this delay though, it also meant that he was going to go to sleep late tonight, and he did. He went down at 10. Once that did happen, I was able to finish my chores for the day. I helped shampoo the carpets, finished blowing up the balloons, and did the fish tank. I didn't make it outside as the raccoons decided to pop up for a visit. They haven't been around for a few days as its been raining so much so we gave them extra food tonight.

The next day I was working so I made sure that after knocking off, I dug deep into prepping for the party. I cleaned and organised the patio, I made the frosting and decorated the cake, put up the balloon arch and our leaves backdrop. I was still up working at 2am. When finally there was nothing more that I could possible do, I finally got into bed but I was proud of my accomplishment.

On the day of the party we were so ready getting the final touches organized. We went down the road to pick some pampas grass as I thought it would look absolutely perfect for our table. We tidied everything up, I set the dining room table, my mom spent the whole morning in the kitchen making koeksisters (A South African Dessert) and other things in the kitchen. We also had to get ready for the party so we were all running around like crazy ladies. However, once the party arrived, it was all worth it.

The first thing people did was notice my cake. They took pictures of it and gave me so many compliments that I was truly proud of the creation I made. I criticize my work a lot but I am truly happy how this cake came out. Everyone was telling me to just buy the animals or just the cake and I am so glad that I didn't listen. This means so much more that I was able to make this and I am proud of myself for it.

This Rhino is my favorite.

Like I said earlier, we had a safari theme so the table had to match. Here is the design I came up with.

I had a white table cloth with African style place mats. I then collected all of our Safrican ornaments from around the house and placed them on the table with the cake being a show stopper. I made two vases full of pampas grass for each table and loved the way everything came out.

While people were over we had a braai, had South African music playing, and it was perfect.

Ryton, however, wasn't in the best of moods. He had alot of people over at his house. Everyone wanted to hold him and all he wanted was momma. When he finally started getting used to it he was a bit more social but still shy.

When we finally sat down to eat, the food was absolutely amazing. There was not one thing that went wrong. This is the area where my mom and I thrive. We love having people over and we love hosting dinner parties. I think sometimes the energy fails us and the amount of cleaning up and prepping for a party always is the part we dread.

After dinner and coffee, we opened presents. Ryton's Godparents gave him an investment piece which is a silver coin. They let me know that if I want to buy some coins for Ryton that they would put me in the right direction for that investment and I think that is a good idea. Ryton also got a chair for his birthday and he is absolutely obsessed with it. He loves climbing on it, playing on it, standing. I am so nervous that he will fall but I love that he is happy.

He loved the chair so much that I had to incorporate it into a little photoshoot that I did with his balloons.

I loved that his first birthday was such a success with all of our close friends that I can't wait to do this more often. I will definitely play around with fondant animals more often, that is for sure.

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