Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Little Baby!

miss jilly I love that scrunchy little face!
My little Jilly-Bean turned one year old last Saturday. *sniff sniff* She’s my last baby and I had a really hard time letting her turn one, but she went ahead and did it anyway! She has been such a joy in our lives. She’s beautiful, happy, mellow, playful, and just as sweet as can be! She’s had the typical run-ins with new teeth and separation anxiety, but we’ve come through it into the lovely state of toddlerhood. (Even thought she’s not quite toddling yet.)
Somehow, when she was still a tiny baby, she acquired her own personal style. Or at least, her own personal color scheme! When I see pink and brown together I immediately think of Jilly-Bean. So, the color scheme for her birthday party was easy enough! I couldn’t think of anything (besides jelly beans) that reminded me of her enough to use for a theme, so we just went with those colors.
So, the thing about the jelly beans. . . . when Jillian was born, my dear friend, Claudia, brought the CUTEST thing to the hospital. She’d glued (with royal icing) jelly beans to a cake board in the shape of a baby’s face and spelled out Jillian’s name and birth date with more jelly beans. SO CUTE! And I don’t have a picture of it, I could just kick myself! Also, the wonderful woman brought me all the extra jelly beans to munch on. Just one more reason why I love Claudia so very much! Ever since then, Club Soda and Cotton Candy Jelly Bellies have been my favorite. So, when planning Jilly’s party I knew I had to order some Jelly Bellies! I popped online and started browsing their website. I picked out the kinds I wanted, Club Soda, Cotton Candy, and Rootbeer. (because it was brown and matched the theme.) Turns out that with shipping my total was going to be $36. They run a continuous special that if you order $50 they’ll ship it for free. That’s only $14 more than I was going to be spending and I would end up with twice as many beans. That sounds like a good deal, right? It must have been a good deal because I ran it past Jay and he gave me the go ahead! (And he dislikes spending money.) So I picked out three more flavors. All from Cold Stone Creamery, YUM! Apple Pie, Strawberry Blonde, and Birthday Cake Remix. They arrived in no time and of course we had to make sure they tasted just right!

jelly beans!
What patient little hands!
party decorations
I kept the decor very simple, since I'm completely capable of stressing myself out enough before a party without adding complex decorations to the mix! I like to cover the table with mailing paper (it’s fun for kids to color on while they’re waiting for cake!) and I made easy and inexpensive pom poms and hung them from the ceiling. (I did string a few pretty glass beads on the fishing line I used to make them a little more special.) I wrapped ribbon around small canning jars (4 oz. size) and affixed it with double stick tape, (since I’d like to use the jars for actual food again and I might be able to salvage the ribbon ;)  and distributed the jelly beans. (Turns out, the Cotton Candy was the most popular! I was really surprised, I would have guessed the Strawberry Blonde!)
Jilly-Bean's birthday cake
Jillian’s cake was just delicious. An almond cake, made from the best cake recipe ever (I just swapped a really nice almond extract for some of the vanilla), brushed with raspberry puree, filled with almond pastry cream and coated with an absolutely DIVINE raspberry buttercream.  To be very honest, I’m not as pleased with the fondant I made for it as I’d like to be. I had to make the pastry cream three times before I got it right, which kept me up pretty late and depleted my drive for decorating the cake. Jay came through like a champ and helped me finish up with the fondant. He made that rose for the top of her cake and did some cool things on the top of some of the cupcakes! I just loved his curly-cues!
 birthday cupcakes  
So, before I go snuggle up with Jillian and cry like a baby (seriously. Someone make her STOP GROWING UP!), I’ll leave you with the frosting. It’s simple enough, but just so unbelievably scrumptious. It was incredibly difficult not to just eat the whole batch with a spoon! Really. No, really.

Raspberry Buttercream
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1/2 cup SEEDLESS raspberry jam
LOTS of powdered sugar. At least 2 pounds. (Sorry about the inaccurate amount, I keep mine in a LARGE container and I just kept adding until I got the right consistency.) 
2-3 tablespoons cream
In a mixer, beat the butter for a minute until it’s all fluffy.
Add the jam and mix until incorporated.
Stop the mixer and sift (you know, through a mesh sieve)  a few cups of the powdered sugar into the bowl.
Mix in little bursts on the lowest setting, until the sugar starts to get incorporated. 
Add the cream.
Sift more powdered sugar into the bowl until you reach the consistency you desire.
Frost something. Frost something quite large, like a cake. Or lots of cupcakes. Or sugar cookies. Or graham crackers. Or white bread. Or a waffle. Or a stack of bills. Or a cardboard box. Or . . . .
Just a couple of pictures for my mom! Isn’t Jilly-Bean just a little doll? I just love her Who-hair! (You know, like those ‘Whos down in Whoville’?)
new water bottle
Her Daddy picked out this dress while he was out birthday shopping with the kidlets. Isn’t it darling??? And look what he did. . . .
He bought a matching one for Amelia!!! How sweet is that????
a fairy!
She’s holding the little fairy princess that came with her new dollhouse. I think it was her favorite present, she just kept coming back to it over and over!


Carol said...

What a fun party! I love the pink and brown theme. The girls look adorable in their dresses! Who hair is cute!

Leia said...

So so cute! And that frosting looks AWESOME! Saving this! :)

Jennie said...

Thanks, Mom :)

Leia, I'm going to be making it again tomorrow, I'm going to have to add a picture! It is the prettiest mauvey shade! Just lovely :)

Lilipadella said...

Awww, I LOVE polka little Bella's 2nd birthday was ALL polka dots - classic. She is A.DOR.A.BLE...the cupcakes and cake look scrumptious...I would hate to cut it! said...

Your daughters are beautiful! And the cake and cupcakes look fantastic - great job!