Tuesday, 14 May 2013

birthday boy

Yesterday was our lovely boy's birthday
goodness me

It was a fairly quiet day to be honest
a trip to the cinema with his friend (him)
LOTS of cooking, baking, dishing out hugs and reminiscing (me)

The cake of choice this year was
'chocolate and orange swirly cake with very chocolatey icing'

One of his (many many many) hobbies is fish keeping
hence the edible fishy garland.

I made a plain victoria sponge and once it had been mixed
I divided it into two bowls
added chocolate to one half
and lots of orange zest to the other half
spooned it into the tins and then swirled it around a bit

The icing is a dark chocolate ganache
can't get more chocolatey than that!
Oh and the finishing touch .....
chocolate orange sticks around the side
He LOVED it and it tasted pretty nice too.

Tea was lasagne, garlic bread and salad
 (salad added by me, not requested by the birthday boy)
and pavlova

It seems birthdays round here are all about food!

Lovely G is cool
He has a sweet sweet soul
kind, loving and Oh. So. Funny
he makes me laugh like a five year old sometimes
his sense of humor is contagious and wonderfully silly.

He can mend (almost) anything
A genius boy
(in my eyes of course)
build a computer
he's a techno king.

He must get fed up with me
but never lets on
I OFTEN have a technical problem or three
yesterday he rescued me yet again
he always does
I adore him

When my children were little
I would sometimes worry about what it would be like
 when they were big teenagers
the thought scared me
what would our relationship be like?
would we still be close?
would we be friends?
We hear things, see things on TV
quite often teenagers are seen in such a negative light.

Both of mine went through some tricky times
growing up is a hard job
we all know that much
hormones and peer pressure are tough on them.
But ..... even when they would shut themselves away in their room
their safe haven, away from the world
Mr Sweet and I would always insist that we ate tea together
sat around the table
(we were very lucky that this was possible for us)
it was non-negotiable
we always ate as a family
and that was that.
This meant that we talked
sometimes it was awkward
but ALWAYS things were chatted about

Just Talk.

I just wanted to say this
as other parents may be feeling just like I did
and I'd like to say that
'It will all be alright'
Teenagers are AMAZING

Back soon
BIG love
x Jooles x


  1. Happy birthday to your lovely boy! :)
    What an amazing cake, as always Jooles!!!
    I agree with the sitting around the table,we have always done that too!
    V xxx

  2. Lovely post Jooles! Happy Birthday to your lovely boy- it sounds like you and Mr Sweet did a good job!
    And the cake-wowee!! It looks divine!
    I agree about eating together as a family- it surprises me how few people seem to do this, but it's really important to us. I just hope my teens will know I was always on their side even though they don't always like what I have to say!

  3. Buon compleanno to your big boy!!!!
    xxxx Ale

  4. Happy Birthday to your wonderful son, Jooles! Love that gorgeous cake, especially the wonderful garland made of jelly sweets like little fish :)
    Have a happy week!
    Helen x

  5. Happy birthday to your son. My eldest son is 19 next month & I think that Pavlova will be part of the celebrations. I had similar feelings whilst mine were growing up & you forget at times that you are part of their journey too.

  6. What a beautiful post, from the birthday celebrations to the words of wisdom for parents! You are so loving and kind in your descriptions of your children - but you need to look in the mirror and thank that shining star who helped them become who they are! Cx

  7. Happy Birthday to G. Lovely cake and yummy Pavolva. Wise words also ... they made me smile as, apart from the fish, you could have been describing my son. We too have always insisted on family mealtimes, which according to Jay are rare amongst his age group. I think it is so important to sit and eat together and talk. Best wishes, Pj x

  8. Lots of yummy looking food. I hope your son had a lovely birthday :)

  9. The birthday cake caught my attention but it is the sentiment expressed which will remain with me! Thanks for sharing such a sweet moment!
    A warm hello from the Pacific NW coast,

  10. What a thoughtful post and as always a divine inspirational cake photo!
    Happy Birthday to your lovely boy
    X Sally

  11. What a lovely post and happy birthday to your lovely boy. The cake looks amazing, you're amazing :) xx

  12. Oh my goodness Jooles!!! What an amazing cake, you are a genius!!! I bet that tasted fab-u-lous darling ;-)
    Hope lovely G had a great Birthday.
    Lots of love,
    Caroline xxx

  13. Hello my sweet Jooles, A very happy belated birthday to your dear son! I wish him all the best for his birthday and everyday! They grow up so fast. I can hardly believe my baby will be 18 this coming July! G's day sounds wonderful and his cake looks fabulous and yummy! You are so creative my friend and always make the most special cakes for your sweeties! They are always meaningful! My son loves Legos, so you have inspired me to decorate his cake with Legos! :) Tea sounds yummy and the pavlova is amazing! I think it is wonderful birthdays are all about food! That makes them so special too! Your dear G sounds like a wonderful young man. I know you love him dearly and are very proud of him. I was so blessed by all you shared. Your children are very blessed to have you for their mum! We do the same and always have dinner together no matter what. It is a wonderful blessing and means so much! I agree, teenagers are amazing.. and fun and inspiring! It just gets better and better! You have a beautiful relationship with your children and I assure you they are just as grateful for that as you are! Love you my dear Jooles! Will write you soon sweetie! God bless you and your dear ones! Paula xo PS~Your photos are gorgeous!

  14. gorgeous post, amazing cake (fish? genius)
    I actually felt a little teary - but then you know it's been an emotional few days round here. There was a time that we didn't think our own sweet boy would see his teenage years - and we too know how lucky we are.
    I love teenagers - and am finding these early teen stages much easier than the toddler stage. Unlike Cleggy who is already pulling his hair out! HA!!
    fee x
    (I have flagged your email for a proper reply....don't hold your breath!! I'm rubbish)

  15. Goodmorning Jooles, I landed here through Federica's "Countrykitty" blog and I loved this post. I could relate myself to every word you wrote about teenagers. I am also a mother of two boys, one just turned 20 and the other 13, and I had exactly the same worries about them, but so far everything is fine. We talk a lot and try to laugh a lot together, time passed oh-so-quickly but here we are, still together, still loving and relying on each other, me and my lovely boys. So a very happy birthday to your son and .. keep up the good job. I will come and visit again. Ciao from Italy, Silvana

  16. Oh my goodness, that cake looks divine and the fish garland is so clever. It was lovely to read about your son and you relationship with your teenage kids. My two girls are 12 and nearly 10, there is a lot of disappearing off to spend hours on their own in their bedrooms but as you do, we always eat dinner together and try to do stuff as a family, even if it is just watching the telly. I'm so hoping that my girls will still want to spend time with us as they grow older. It sounds like you've done a great job raising your children, you should be very proud. xx

  17. Oh Jooles!!! That cake is AMAZING!!!
    I think I may just accidentally find myself staying at your place on my birthdays from now on! :-)

  18. Such a lovely post Jooles, it certainly seems like a fab day was had. What a great mum you are making all those treats - your pavlova looks amazing and as for the cake, well it looks heavenly! I'm not looking forward to both of mine being teenagers, but like you, we do certain things together and hope to carry on that way when they are older xxx

  19. That's such a lovely post. I worry about the teenage years and it's so nice to hear that it's not all tears and door slamming. Happy Birthday to your boy. His cake is fabulous! x

  20. That last bit is so good to read..... So there ís hope! Our boy is only eleven of course, but after the summer holidays he starts at his new school...
    Anyway : very happy Birthday to your boy!!
    Love, Mirjam.


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