Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Haircut

I put it off as long as I could, but the other day, I finally gave Henry a haircut. Well, part of a haircut. As much of a haircut as his majesty would let me give him.
So here he is in his throne, eating marshmallows (a Finlayson family tradition for first haircuts) while I attempt to cut his hair.

The finished product....although it's not really finished. As has been his way from the very beginning, Henry is just a different animal! He only let me get a few cuts in, and the rest will have to wait for later.He does look cute, doesn't he? It's just sad that my little man is not looking so little any more.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Concerning Hobbits...er, Hobbit Cakes

After much discussion and brainstorming, Thomas decided that he wanted a Lord of the Rings theme for his 9th birthday cake. So the wheels started turning. LOTR should be easy. Three stinkin' long movies should provide plenty of cake inspiration right? My brain just kept going to things that were impossible to duplicate in cake. Well, impossible for me.
For example (yes this is really a cake replica of Minas Tirith):

Yeah. So not attempting that.

But then I also wanted something a little more advanced (and not as creepy) as this cake:


So, we settled on a nice, cozy Hobbit Hole cake. After looking at the last scene from Return of the King where Samwise is returning to his hobbit hole I came up with this design:

A close-up of the doors and garden:

Bird's eye view

From the back

He looks pretty pleased with his new home.

Everything you see is fondant or buttercream, and all handmade. It took forever, but it was the most enjoyable forever! I had so much fun decorating this cake. It's definitely my favorite cake so far!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Shower Cake

My sister picked a cute, beach-themed cake for her baby shower from one of my favorite cake sites, Cake Central, and I did my best to copy it. I did make a few minor design changes but it is essentially the same. It took a lot of time this week, but it was all worth it in the end. She really loved it and I am happy with the results. It's definitely the hardest and most labor intensive cake I have done to date. Here's the baby I made from gum paste for the topper. Notice she's got a itty bitty pacifier.

Everything on the cake was made from edible materials. (The only thing I didn't make is the colored shells, the white shells are gum paste.) Each cake tier had 3 different flavored layers: pineapple, coconut, and banana ( I liked pineapple the best). They were filled with a coconut mango filling and frosted with a Cream Cheese Buttercream. The fondant was homemade. A friend told me this week that store bought fondant (Wilton) does not taste good, so I guess it'll always have to be homemade for me. Luckily, one recipe was just barely enough to cover the cake, the board, and some of the decorations. (The beach balls are fondant covered jawbreakers.)
Okay, so next week it's Thomas' birthday. He wants a Hobbit cake. Back to the drawing board....

Random Acts of Finlayson

Just a few random pictures to share since it's been a while since I've posted any.

A recent rainstorm...it's hard to really get the full effect from the picture, but it was really pouring...notice the waterfall from the roof.
Henry's new favorite pastime is climbing stairs. Big brother Austin follows behind to make sure he makes it to the top unscathed.

More bath photos. This kid LOVES the water. And chewing on toys apparently.

Emma set up this "tea" party. Notice she even has lovely background music via the toy record player.

Henry likes to fall asleep watching Good Eats while Austin holds him.

Austin, otherwise known as The Ramen King, decided to take his noodle passion and combine it with architecture to come up with this masterpiece.

Blueberries for Henry (and the rest of us)

I was bound and determined not to let the summer go by this year without at least buying, if not picking, blueberries from the local blueberry farm. I went twice and froze about a dozen quart bags of berries. Turns out, Henry likes berries just like the rest of us!


Thursday, August 6, 2009


Life is crazy this week. Last week I spent a lot of time getting ready for starting school this week. Then Rick offered to take over all my responsibilities over the weekend so I could relax at the beach before this week hit (that was SO awesome, btw). Rick left Sunday afternoon for a Baltimore business trip and just got back last night, which made the first half of this week extra crazy. I never realize what a help he is to me until he's gone on a trip.

The craziness officially started on Monday, our first day of the new school year. Very full day, with a hair appointment in the afternoon, followed by our first Mapquest Monday geography club meeting with my sister's family. We studied Denmark and Finland, and made representative foods for tasting. That was fun.

But then Tuesday came and it was time to start getting Amy's baby shower cake going. It's quite an ambitious cake, and it's not turning out how I would like but it will still be nice. I spent many hours on Tuesday baking (it's a 3 tiered cake with 3 layers of different cake flavors on each tier). Yesterday I literally spent all day making fondant, forming gum paste figures and decorations, frosting and filling the cake, covering it in fondant, and stacking it. Today we have our history and science co-op so I'll have to finish the rest of the cake this afternoon. I actually don't have a whole lot left, thank goodness. Just the finishing touches which should only take a couple of hours. Then it's off to Amy's shower tonight, which is going to be fabulous!

Rick brought me back an apron and Tshirt from Charm City Cakes in Baltimore (he didn't actually drop by there, just got it at a gift shop). I can't wait to wear it, I just wish I was as good a cake artist as those guys! He brought back a CCC Tshirt for Audrey too, since she loves cake too. The other kids got cute crab Tshirts.

Tomorrow or Saturday I'll post some photos of this week: art, cakes, showers, and more.........