Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Tolkien Twelfth Birthday

Today my sweet Shortcake turns twelve. In my mind she's been twelve for the past year! My two big girls are so close that sometimes I think of them as twins. (They are only 18 months apart.) 

She requested a Tolkien birthday, not just a Hobbit birthday or a Lord of the Rings birthday because there are so many stories of Tolkien's that she loves. Roverandom is one that was published after his death although it was originally written in 1925. Tales from the Perilous Realm was just published in 2008 but again, it's a collection of previously published stories. So, to incorporate all her favorite stories, I made this decoration for the wall. 
It's brown paper colored to look like the Tolkien books she loves. I used the Tree of Gondor and the Riders of Rohan symbols as the bookends. The happy birthday banner written in Elvish font was left over from The Professor's 13th birthday along with the Gandalf staff which has been hanging out in our garage since then. We also put up some Tolkien quotes. Some that she'd heard of and others she hadn't.

We hung some greenery, The One Ring and used her presents as table decorations along with Tolkien books. Her main decorations were the edible kind and a surprise when she woke up. 

A fun, Hobbitish breakfast with scrambled eggs, pumpkin spice waffles, scones, sausages and coffee in the teapot. Everyone, even Dad before he had to leave for work, sat down to enjoy a breakfast feast. 

After breakfast, we played a few rounds of Baggins Bingo. Did you know that Tolkien's original name for Frodo was Bingo?

"Interesting to note is that in early drafts of The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo Baggins’ name is “Bingo Baggins”, and his relationship to Bilbo changes numerous times over the course of these drafts." ~ from Tolkien-Online.com
I'm going to try to get this uploaded for others to use but it's not going to happen today, so more on it later. 
You can read more about Tolkien names here:

We also had some fun reading some "did you knows" about Tolkien and taking a quiz to prove to ourselves just how much we didn't know!

Oh, and if you haven't taken this quiz to find out what kind of Middle-Earth character you'd be, then by all means, go have some fun. We've got 3 Hobbits (Cupcake didn't take the quiz, I'm just calling her a hobbit because she's short and adorable), 3 Elves and one Wizard in this family. I won't tell you who the wizard is because his ego can't stand much more boosting. :)

~A Gift~
Most of the packages you see on the table above are little things that her brothers and sisters made for her with some special items from us. This one little gift though came from Grammie and just delighted her. It's an open book charm for her bracelet with a quote from The Fellowship of the Ring engraved on it.

~The Cake~
"Looks awesome!" according to the birthday girl. She was very specific about what she wanted. A hobbit hole cake with frosting... NO COCONUT! She hates coconut.
The handpainted bookmark you see below was my inspiration for decorating the cake. I liked the idea of a blue door because it was a complimentary color to the green of the grass. And then I was thrilled to find out that in the original story, Tolkien told his children that the color of Bilbo's door was blue. When he changed it in a later retelling, his son corrected him and he made a note of it. Although, it appears he decided to go with his revision in the final draft. The little pebbles and rocks are called Choco Rocks and they are edible. My kids were delighted!
We are still celebrating and waiting for Dad to come home. Cupcake just took a 2 hour nap (what a great gift!) so I'm posting this now because I have the chance.


  1. Amazing Charlotte!!! How fun!

  2. Happy Birthday Shortcake!

    Everything turned out so wonderful, Charlotte, as usual! I've always especially loved your birthday posts and ideas. And they just keep getting better and better!

    My children are all absolutely amazed by the cake, especially the boys who had been talking about a possible Hobbit birthday for next year. "It is SO NEAT!!!!"

    Happy Birthday from all of us!

  3. OH, my gosh!! I personally have not read the books, but my son and husband have, in fact my son just walked in as I was reading this and said "Hey, a Hobbit house cake!" I read the food and he said, "that's all in the book, that's what they eat" Everything looks wonderful!

  4. Happy Birthday to your daughter. The cake is amazing. I am taking notes. One of my daughters has asked for a Hobbit birthday party.

  5. This is incredible!!! So much love in all that work you do to make their birthdays special. I love it!

  6. Happy Birthday dear Shortcake! Looks like you're having a wonderful celebration! That's one fabulous cake your mom made! We also love brown paper packages tied up with string. (and it's so fun for all of us to see our Tolkien gift tags 'in action' - very cool)

  7. My husband was dozing and I nudged him awake for this - he loved it! You always blow me away with your birthdays. Your family is so blessed, your love shows in the details. Happy birthday!

  8. Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter! That charm! What a lovely and sentimental gift it was. She will treasure that forever. Your cake turned out just fabulous as did the the breakfast and packaging ideas...but the cake was by far the greatest I've seen on line to date!

  9. What a cake! What a birthday! Happy birthday, dear Shortcake, from all of us.

  10. Happy 12th Birthday to Shortcake.

    Now that makes three birthdays if not four that I am going to totally copy from you in about ten years. I'm still swooning over the Jane Austen Party!

    Bingo Baggins? Thankfully NO! I also read that "Strider" was initially "Trotter." Somehow I could take Strider the Ranger a bit more seriously than Trotter. Oy. A couple of weeks ago I found "The Book of Lost Tales 2" on our shelf that I nabbed at a used bookstore because it had Tolkien's name on it, and found that Tolkien had done a LOT of adjusting to my absolute favorite Tale of Beren and Luthien. For instance, poor Beren gets captured by giant cats (?!?!?!) and enslaved in their kitchen (?!?!!?). Also Tolkien didn't have him as a mortal man at the time, but an Elf in a kindred that he called Gnome. So Beren the epic mortal hero suddenly sounds like a garden gnome enslaved by cats. I wonder if Tolkien ever expected his drafts to hit the public view?

  11. amazing! love the cake. I'm pinning for use next year! thanks for your lovely ideas

  12. I love the ideas you have used here. My son is hoping for a Hobbit Hole cake for his 8th birthday next week, your photos will be most helpful. Also, is there any way you could share the Bingo cards with us? Thanks!

    1. Mindy,
      Send me an email and I'll get it to you.

    2. I am also hoping you can send me the Bingo cards.

    3. Tim Clark,
      Send me an email. You can click the button with the envelope on it over at the top of the right side bar.


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