October 30, 2012 · 5:38 pm

On Friday, Lil’ L celebrated his 9th birthday. I’m still in shock that he’s 9 already. Where did all that time go???

For the first time in his life, his birthday actually fell on a school day. He wasn’t too impressed about this to begin with, but it turned out to be a really fun day. It was the last day of the term and and they spent the afternoon making Victorian cam toys.  It sounded really cool!

He’d decided to save most of his presents until he got home from school, and he was just so excited and delighted about everything he opened. I loved watching his facial expressions as he ripped the paper off.

Check out his face when he discovered that his Nan had bought him the Nerf Supersoaker Scatter Blast Water Gun!

I couldn’t believe how many presents he’d been given. That boy was seriously spoilt ;)

Reading is still one of his passions and he’s recently got into graphic novels, which are inspiring his imagination and artwork.

He’s also loving the Tom Gates series. From what I can tell, it’s along the lines of The Wimpy Kid but with more graphics.  Here’s the ‘blurb’ (as Lil’ L calls it)….

“Brilliant comedies from a Roald Dahl Funny Prize winning series.  Tom Gates is a master of excuses, expert doodler, comic story writer extraordinaire – and the bane of his grumpy teacher, Mr Fullerman. And in his wacky journals, you’ll find all sorts of comic craziness to make you groan with glee! Tom’s battered homework diaries are crammed with his scribbles, stories and cartoons – as well as comments from the long-suffering Mr Fullerman. What with his awful big sister Delia, his band Dogzombies (rock stars in the making) AND the school disco, Tom’s life isn’t always easy. But it is laugh-out-loud hilarious!”


(If anyone’s got a 9-11 year old that would enjoy these books, I’ve spotted a great deal on the Scholastic site, where you can buy 3 Tom Gates books for £10. Here’s the link).

Once the presents were opened, it was time to light the candles on his cake and sing Happy Birthday :)

I tried a new vegan chocolate cake recipe for this year’s birthday cake. It was okay, but not outstanding. However, what I did love about the cake was the topping and filling. I could have just eaten a plate of those and skipped the cake ;)   Both were made without any refined sugar and they tasted scrumptious! I will definitely use them again. Here’s how I made them…

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Chocolate Date Fudge Cake Topping (dairy-free / can be made raw with no refined sugar)

26 dates (about 1 cup’s worth), soaked for 1 hour in water to soften, then drained
100g / 3.5 oz / 1 bar of good quality dark chocolate or 1 cup of dark choc chips (you can make this topping raw and sugar-free by using raw chocolate. I make my own and the recipe can be found here.)


  1. Gently melt the chocolate using a bain marie. Place the dates in a food processor and pulse to finely chop. Add the melted chocolate and process until completely smooth, pausing now and then to scrape down the bowl.
  2. Use a knife to spread the date fudge on the top of the cake. It will firm up slightly when cool, giving it a lovely fudgey texture.

Raw Chocolate Cashew Cream Cake Frosting / Filling
(raw / no refined sugar / dairy free)

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight), then drained
3 tbsp raw cacao powder (regular cocoa powder will work too)
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil, gently melted into liquid form
2 tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Place the cashews in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth, pausing now and then to scrape down the bowl.
  2. Using a knife, spread half the mixture onto each of the cakes, then assemble the cakes, one on top of the other. Gently press down to secure the cakes together.

In the evening, for a third birthday in a row, Lil’ L chose to go to his favourite Indian restaurant, Rajpoot in Bath. We all had onion bhajis, mango chutney and poppadoms as starters, then Lil’ L and I chose to share three side dishes as our main course…
- Dall Roshun (Mosur Lentils seasoned with garlic)
- Bagun Bhajee (gently spiced aubergines)
- Mushroom Bhajee
… along with some boiled rice. Lil’ L also had a naan.
M chose to have the Navaratan Pulao (a nutty, fruity vegetable pulao).
All the food was absolutely delicious!

And, to top it off, the staff gave Lil’ L an amazing chocolate ice cream dessert as a birthday treat. Check out the huge sparkler that’s stuck in it.  It was awesome!

The birthday celebrations continued all weekend long. On Saturday, he went to the cinema with his best friend to see Madagascar 3. We let them go into the cinema alone (a first for Lil’ L… he was so excited!) while M and I enjoyed some time together in the foyer coffee shop :)

The cinema trip was followed by a picnic on the lounge floor, a Lego Star Wars film, then lots of lego building, general larking about, book reading in their sleeping bags and then, at nearly midnight, there was silence as the boys finally fell asleep ;)

Lil’ L had such a fantastic birthday weekend and thank you so much to everyone for all the kind birthday wishes, cards and presents he’s been sent. The ‘thank you’ cards are in production :)

Take care everyone!

I hope you’re having a great week so far :) xx

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