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The Other Formal

Last night I was out with family and trying to relax and enjoy myself but a text came in from Arabella, ‘I’ve had a few issues mum but don’t worry, the kitchen is clean’.  And she sent the message with this image:

Arabella making a cake!

You would worry though, wouldn’t you, if that came through in a text.

I came home and yes, she had cleaned up the benches but not the floor and that looked far worse than the granite.  Never mind!  I was up early this morning to help her ice the cake.  It didn’t help that she’d left the cakes in the tins so now sticky moisture had set in gluing the cakes to the base and sides.  Both cakes failed to come out cleanly and so like a jigsaw I pieced them back together then secured them with wooden toothpicks.

I always ice my cakes frozen as it is so much easier and avoids crumbs being blended into the icing but as these cakes had been left on the bench overnight in their tins, we didn’t have that luxury.

Yesterday I wasn’t able to source the required lollies so we had to make-do with what I was able to buy.  I also didn’t have the right sized pudding bowls so the toadstool is a little disproportionate but I don’t think teenage girls would mind.  Arabella piped windows onto the house and stuck the front door onto it and then she did the rest of the decorating.  I was surprised and amazed at how good it looked.  And the birthday girl and the hangers-on were thrilled.

Arabella’s toadstool cake

Arabella and her cake were given a lift to school then I had a couple of hours to clean up the kitchen floor before she was home again to prepare for the ‘other’ formal.  We were leaving for Paddington where she had appointments for hair and make-up when Flynn phoned to say he would be at our house at 3.45pm to pick her up.  Why he didn’t let her know that weeks ago is a mystery.  We thought the pick-up was 5pm so now we were scrambling.

The hair and make-up were a big success and we flew home to find all her girlfriends on the doorstep ready to wish her well and see her all dressed up which was so lovely.  Flynn arrived and we had a lightening fast photo shoot, all on my i-phone I’m afraid, and off they went looking gorgeous.

I’ve already had two text messages and she is having a great time.

And that’s it for the formals until it is Alfie’s turn in 2022!

Here’s a few photos of the night that has been a long time coming…

Hair by Valonz

Arabella waiting for her date

The Dress!

And because she was so happy, I would have to say, it’s been absolutely worth it!

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  1. She looks amazing!!!!! And the cake too, i was right, she turned out to be good at it!!

  2. niasunset says:

    She is beautiful… Her message made me smile… but the cake was so lovely, Thank you, have a nice wekend, love, nia

  3. Exhausted for you, Charlie, that’s what I am. Thank goodness Alfie has years to go before he comes home from his formal in his underwear! 🙂

    Arabella looks gorgeous, as does the cake! You’ve worked your magic again! 🙂

  4. Oh, thank goodness! That beautiful smile in the last picture is what makes it all worth it. Good job, Mom!

  5. Oh, she truly looks so incredibly happy; the happiness makes her shine even more! And I’m super impressed by the cake. I’d have a tantrum if I tried making something like that! Simple unfrosted cakes are my love. (And what I’m only capable of…)

  6. Truly taking after her mother, both in good looks and kitchen skills! 🙂

  7. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    The photo of Arabella waiting for Flynn is absolutely fantastic. She is gorgeous and he looks so handsome.

  8. She looks so gorgeous! You can’t be mad about a kitchen mess when she has such a cute face as that!

  9. Absolutely!!! But thank goodness you have some breathing space (or time to forget) before the next child’s turn. Enjoy the peace if you can.

  10. I think it’s brilliant that she made that cake with all the things that she does. You know, you don’t do anything all day, you could have made it for her. 🙂

    She looked stunning in that dress. You couldn’t look at that smile and not beam from the inside out.

  11. Hoe gorgeous both the cake and Arabella are! I absolutely love her dress.

  12. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Thanks for posting a photo of Arabella’s cake. It turned out so cute. She is a thoughtful girl to go to all that trouble. (And kudos to you, mom, for helping get it finished.)

    She looks radiant in her dress.

  13. TomJTaylor says:
  14. Gorgeous cake and gorgeous daughter!!

  15. Jennifer Cullen says:

    Gorgeous. Again. Bet you’re happy to be done with formals for a while!

  16. Cheers to Arabella for getting that cake made and for looking so gorgeous, and cheers to her mom for the same two things!

  17. Wow, incredible dress, Charlie, thanks for sharing the story and photos. I’m glad the glange didn’t dampen the evening. What high shoes…hope her date was tall too! The cake turned out beautifully and I’m sure her friends really appreciated it. And the kitchen wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. My Mom was always surprised at how many dishes and utensils I was able to dirty while cooking. And because I wasn’t any good at cleaning up (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) she always cleaned up my mess. Now JT does it!
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend. The humidity broke last night and dropped from 90% to 30% so it’s definitely patio Friday!
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

  18. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Love the photos, love the mess, love the whole concept. And thanks for the tip about frosting cakes when frozen–how genius, and I’ve never, ever, heard of that before.

    Arabella looks so radient and natural. Stunning. I can see that it makes your heart just gush forth with love, and so it should

  19. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) says:

    I really can’t say that my kitchen is any cleaner when I’m baking. 🙂

  20. Hi,
    She certainly didn’t do too bad at all with the cake, and good job getting it out of the tins, I know how hard that can be. 🙂
    Arabella looks gorgeous, the dress really suits her, great photos.

  21. yummychunklet says:

    Cute cake!

  22. ChopinandMysaucepan says:

    Dear Charlie,

    What a cool dress and Arabella looks awesome. I remember my formal and it was such an exciting evening.

  23. You’re not wrong Charlie – she does look very happy 🙂 Hope she had a great time!

  24. ChgoJohn says:

    Just look at how she beams in that picture! Now that is one happy young woman! And that dress looks as if it was made with her in mind. Just perfect! I hope she had a wonderful time.

  25. Arabella looks gorgeous and so happy! And nicely done on the cake!

  26. wow she looks stunning. I love the dress and yeah it’s all worth the trouble. Funny that this morning, before my husband left for work, guess what our topic was: you and arabella haha.
    happy weekend!

  27. Jackie Brown says:

    Cute cake and she looks lovely 🙂

  28. Juliet Batten says:

    Oh, what a good outcome! And didn’t she do well with the cake (despite the mess) – it was a good thought on her part. She looks great in her yellow dress, and very happy.

  29. You are clearly the best mother ever – to say it was worth it is quite a bit comment to make!! I am glad she had a good night though (she certainly looks amazing!) and am also glad for your sake that the formals are now done for a while 🙂

    I’m impressed with the cake too and suspect you’re glad that is over with too!

  30. Lovely pics and lovely cake, Charley.
    And I’m hugely relieved for you that it is all over for the time being. Gives you time to gather strength for the next round.

  31. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    She looks fabulous! And what ended up happening with the other girl in the same dress? 😉

  32. InTolerantChef says:

    Both are gorgeous!
    What happened with the other girl and her dress???
    If you suffered this time round, wait until engagement party, and (gasp) wedding! Lucky you have only one girl 🙂

  33. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    Yay for you now that you can have a breather for a while.
    🙂 Mandy

  34. That cake and dress look amazing 😀
    Time for you to sit back with cake and enjoy the fruits of your labour my friend!


  35. JasmyneTea says:

    The cake looks pretty amazing considering it was left in the tin!

  36. GourmetGetaway says:

    Both Arabella and the cake turned out amazingly!! Congratulations to you on both counts 🙂

  37. Wow what a gorgeous dress and gorgeous Arabella! The cake looks absolutely fantastic. I am very impressed.

  38. pattisj says:

    Wow, that was great for a “first ever” cake! She looked quite lovely for the formal, beautiful braids!

  39. Oh my goodness … she’s gorgeous 🙂

  40. Tina @ bitemeshowme says:

    Arrabella did a superb first time cake. I would not even want to attempt anything like that. Congratulations to Arabella and yourself – you should be proud 🙂 Aaaand she looks stunning! I love her hair!!

  41. OH wow 🙂 Arabella looks absolutely STUNNIING ~ That dress looks amazing on her and even though she’s never made a cake before and you didn’t have the time to freeze it before icing, it still looks great! I really need to work on my cake decorating skills ~ Glad Arabella had a great time! She deserves it after all the stress and pain she’s gone through with Glandular Fever 🙁

  42. Love how cute that cake looks! and love the splash of yellow from that dress!

  43. Thats a really cute cake!

  44. Oh yes, she DOES look happy! And oh so pretty! I’m sorry the formals are all behind you, simply because it has been so much fun to tag along! But I’m sure you have enjoyed a sigh of relief, Charlie! The cake is cute…you are such a patient mom and willing participant! oxo

  45. Your daughter is such a beauty Charlie, and the cake came out fantastic, things like that, messing up floor and carpets, dont know how to “handle” a fresh baked cake, are normal things to happen. I;m happy with how it came out anyways, you are right, it was all worth it!

  46. justonecookbook says:

    Ohhhh I love Arabella’s dangling earrings! She’s so gorgeous, Charlie! Also her cake is so cute and amazing!

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