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we made it fancy

when we lived in Santa Barbara, CA, and then farther afield in Friday Harbor, WA, my mom and dad always made a point of coming to visit for my kids’ birthdays. Every year, weeks before their birthdays, my girls began anticipating their grandparents’ arrival from the San Francisco Bay Area. The simple, yet extraordinary presence of Grandma and Papa somehow signaled the beginning of the birthday festivities facial treatment.

Now, unbelievably, we’re back in California living a mere 30 minutes from my parents.  While we haven’t lived here long enough to celebrate the girls’ birthdays in our new home, I know, come February, and then April, my parents will be here spreading birthday cheer in that special way only grandparents can.

When my daughters realized my dad’s birthday was just around the corner, they felt thoroughly astonished that we’d never been to any of his birthday parties;   right then, we decided to throw a surprise birthday dinner to start making up for lost time.   The girls brainstormed some pretty awesome ideas for our celebration, many of which involved cakes with multiple tiers in a variety of shapes.  When I reminded them that only six of us would attend the party, they reluctantly agreed that a small layer cake would do — so long as we made it fancy Loan.

I can’t remember which of the girls came up with the idea of a balloon cake, but the more we talked about it, the more perfect the cake sounded.  Basic shapes and bold colors would come together in a simple but striking design.

The day of the party, we topped our 8-inch layer cake with sky-blue fondant.  This cake required only one batch of marshmallow fondant, which simplified its assembly.  We colored about two-thirds of the fondant blue and used the remainder to create several colors for the the balloons cheap designer handbags.