Dhara’s second birthday party was a little shindig I planned for her with family on Christmas Eve. She was so happy to be dolled up in a little green salvar adorned with sequins and jewels from her “Beane Aunty”, and delicate gold sandals on her small feet. She was as cute as can be. In addition to some catered food, my sister and I cooked up some tasties — we had singapore noodles, beef stir fry, a baked ham, homemade mac + cheese, samosas, broccoli salad, spinach balls, homemade spinach artichoke dip in a bread bowl, and homemade holiday bread. For her birthday cake, we made Paula Dean’s Grandmother Paul’s Red Velvet Cake with coconut cream cheese frosting — I looove cakes from bakeries, but I’m really starting to love homemade birthday cakes because you can add your own special homely touches, like this (scroll up).
For Dhara’s birthday/Christmas gift, both of her grandmothers gifted her with a fantastic Montessori styled kitchen set from Palumba — if you haven’t checked out their site, it’s awesome! It really would be my dream kitchen if I were Dhara’s age. It’s made of all natural, beautiful materials — no plastics! And I love how it fosters an appreciation for the simple and beautiful, rather than the disposable and common.
We surprised her by having it ready to go — fully equipped with metal dinnerware from my mom’s trip to India (small cups, bowls, spoons), wooden food from all food groups (steak, banana, milk, bread, etc.), and a wooden cake from Grandma Smith. Dhara walked into the kitchen in the morning as we all relaxed on the couch waiting in anticipation to see her reaction to the kitchen set, but she walked right by it not seeing it at all! We all laughed, and tried to get her attention on it, but it took her 5 whole minutes before she noticed the little wooden kitchen tucked under the bar. Her reaction was priceless — pure joy.
she walked into the kitchen with her morning face and ran straight for my lap
she finally sees the itty bitty kitchen
we all sing happy birthday to her, and she sings too as she holds a wooden cake
helping zumie make her homemade red velvet birthday cake
exuberantly singing happy birthday with everyone!
not sure why she’s holding a pin cushion?
all three kids are ready to blow! hilarious.
(right) isaiah is highly pleased with his blow
after singing happy birthday, inspired by her daddy, dhara says to all her visitors, “thank you all for coming! love you!” and then indulges in a sweet piece of red velvet
isabel, dani, and dhara
dhara, seylah, and isaiah
opening gifts at midnight