Birthday Prep disaster

Mason is at that phase where he switches love for toys every few days.  

I LOVE Octonauts! No..Ghostbusters, no...transformers!, no...[insert fun toy of the week here].

So when I asked him what theme he wanted for this years' birthday he chose Octonauts.  This was going to be a tricky one because you can't buy Octonaut merchandise anywhere in North America (I had to get his Xmas presents - a comforter set + puzzle from England) and all the cake images on Google were with fondant, which I have no experience in:

Image Courtesy of Finesse Cakes by Sue Fields

 I asked a few more times and it suddenly changed to 'Robot'.  Now, originally I pre-wrote the blog because I had a *huge* plan for a Robot party but that all came crashing down (literally) when I tried to build the cupcake stand & the robot mold did not come by mail in time.  Grr.  So we are scrapping a theme for this year and it's just going to be 'Go Banana's'.  I'm going to keep my original post words so you can see what I had planned and then afterwards I'll write why it didn't happen.

I went to two different Dollar Stores in search of robot..well anything.  What did I find? Zip, zilch, zero.  There were cowboy, barbie, princess, pirate themed everything.  Robot toys have been around forever.  Why was I having such trouble finding decorations and cheapo toys for loot bags?

Not being one to give up, I decided to be a bit  more crafty!

Pinterest is a huge help for ideas so I started there.  Instead of baking a robot cake, I decided to go with cupcakes.  We are not having a large party so individual 'cakes' seemed much better.   Instead of a boring platter, I found this neato stand:

Image courtesy of Spaceships and Laserbeams & GeezShellLouise (Photobucket)

I have been collecting tin cans, toilet paper rolls, etc for weeks!

Finally topped off with a little robot chocolate.  Instead of buying them, I'm going to make them!  I found this handy gadget on Etsy ad purchased  for $8.00 including shipping (I could only find them online).  Easy to use and made out of silicone, simply pour melted chocolate inside each of the molds and pop out when cooled.  Super cute! 

 I was going to purchase some robot cupcake liners that I saw at Chapters.Indigo (for a whopping $12.00) but I thought it was silly to buy something that people were jut going to look at, say 'cute' and then chuck in the garbage (can't recycle them with cake bits stuck to them!) so I said to myself, "You are a crafty Woman, figure out how to make 'em!).  First I took a regular cupcake liner from home and cut it up so I could make a pattern but it was like an accordion so I went in search of a template instead.

 I found what I needed on!  The link is here:

 The only problem is that it's a PDF and I wanted to add my Robot dudes onto it.  So I ended up pasting it into a word document and enlarging the image slightly.  You have to play around with it a bit so it fits on one page.

You can do this by pasting your images on a second page, right clicking on the image and selecting Wrap Text and then choose In front of text.  This will allow you to move images freely around the page.

I found the robot pictures in Google Images and copied over to the template.

The template is here.

Mason is obsessed with sprinkles right now  so I will lightly frost and cover in different versions of sprinkles.  I found a decorator kit at Michael's that will be perfect!:

I didn't end up making it to Michael's and went to Winner's instead and bought cake mix, frosting and sprinkles in a shaker:

I was happy to see the original price wasn't bloated as I've experienced with Winner's before.  The XO Baking Products were originally $7.99 marked down to $4.00 each and the sprinkles were $4.99.

I have had pretty good luck with GF cupcake mixes but I'm going to bake these little cakes today (a day before the party) to ensure they are yummy, I will resort to the Monkey cupcake recipe if it's a GF Fail.

I also bought a carrying case that was on sale (how else am I going to transport without ruining my icing job?)

I'm not sure who makes this carrying case but it was regularly $19.99 and I think I got it for $7.99.  The snap handles look poorly made and hopefully it doesn't drop while I carry it!

So what happened to the Robot theme??

As I built up an impressive collection of tin cans and toilet paper rolls, I figured I'd try to build it early so it was not a last minute rush item.  As I stacked *very* heavy baking sheets over empty tin cans, it became clear that it was a disaster waiting to happen.  I went back to the original post to see if I could find any instructions.  Nope.  There wasn't even confirmation that they used empty or full cans.  Full cans would have been smarter.  I didn't have any full cans!  So I envisioned piecing this monstrosity together, filling it with delicious cupcakes, carefully decorated and one little tiny hand reaching to grab a cupcake, missing and the whole thing toppling over.  Then nightmare style picture in my head of a toddler concussion and icing and cake everywhere.  The cans were transferred to the recycling bin and the pans went back into the cupboard.

Okay so I don't have to have some very creative stand, I can just put them on a table like a normal non craft obsessed Mom would.  But I still had the cupcake liners and molds, right!  Um no.  It's almost 3 weeks after I placed my Robot mold order from Etsy and no mold.

I sent a total of 3 panicky emails to the shipper.  The story is:

  • Cheap price for a Robot Mold & shipping (shoulda known then).  Item shipped Feb 1
  • I ignored instructions to read shipping policy
  • After 3 weeks, sent an email asking where the h3ll my item is
  • First email delayed due to extra long 2 week holiday in China.  (Grrr) 
  • Anger ensued.  I *thought* I ordered from the US
  • Email is returned.  Yep, coming from China GRRR
  • Requested shipping tracking # (which was never proactively sent)
  • Shipping website did not provide an estimated delivery date
  • Angry email sent back to seller with negative rating

I'm not new to buying things online, I've used EBay for years and Etsy for 2.  The main issue I have with this particular seller is that in her little Bio she fails to mention her Country.  ONE word [China] would have stopped me from choosing her as the seller (I chose her because of the low shipping cost, not thinking she was a world away.  These silicone molds don't weigh much so I wasn't suspicious).  She politely reminds me that all her info (which was true) in her 'shipping policy'.  However I ordered three weeks in advance so I didn't think I needed to read stupid policies.  Lesson learned I guess but I still think she could at minimum state where she lives!

So now it's a day before Mason's party and no mold.  I'm not even bothering with the liners (printer ink is expensive).  I don't think Mason is really going to care.  Pizza, cupcakes (aka pure sugar), friends & a play centre is all he needs.

I will be posting pictures from the actual party tomorrow. 

Go Back