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Little Mermaid cake makes a little girl’s 3rd birthday super special!

January 10, 2011

Hi all!

Happy New Year!  2011 has already been a busy and exciting year, filled with dog training (Christina got a Black lab puppy for Christmas, a new friend for Meghan’s pups, Tucker and Mason) and cakes too.  Christina made the cake below for a New Year’s celebration at the home of her neighborhood friends, Jonathan and Marli.  (Let the record show that because of the aforementioned puppy, she could not join her best friend Maria at her home for their traditional and annual sleepover – sorry, Rie!)

Happy New Year!


The first week back at work (recall we are both teachers) was a busy one.  By Friday, we were exhausted and looking forward to our next day off!  Then, a message came to us via our site that would rock Christina’s weekend.

(Note:  The rest of this post if from Christina’s perspective.)

Irene, a mom of four from Miami, Florida, sent us a message requesting a last-minute cake for her daughter, Mia’s, third birthday.  She wanted the cake to be an Ariel (Little Mermaid) cake like the one she saw on our blog made back in June 2010, which she found via a Google search in her hunt for someone to make what she wanted.  And she wanted the cake delivered to Sloan Kettering in Manhattan at 1pm on Monday.

Upon reading the message, I was torn because if the cake had to be delivered to Sloan Kettering, that meant that Mia was a cancer patient, and who wouldn’t want to make a cake for any child, let alone one suffering from that dreaded disease?  But the delivery time was just not possible; both of us work at that time and we can’t just call out from work to deliver a cake!

I sent Irene a heartfelt message apologizing and telling her that I just didn’t see it working out.  Not only was it last-minute (I had a packed weekend planned with vet visits, kids’ birthday parties, dinner plans, etc) but the delivery would be impossible too.  I also told her that the Ariel cake pictured on our site served over 50 people, so perhaps a smaller cake and picked up on Sunday evening might work better.  It was the best I could offer on such short notice.

Irene got back to me and said smaller was fine, but she was from Miami and did not know the area so pick up was not possible.  Could we find a way to deliver?  At this point, it was Friday evening and I had dinner plans with some girlfriends.  Over wine and sushi that night, I told Marli, Gina, and Steph about the situation, and Gina, saint that she is, offered to deliver the cake herself.  All three women agreed that this was a cake I simply had to do, if only because it was good karma, let alone that all four of us are moms and could not imagine what Irene (and Mia) must be going through.

Filled with hope and goodwill, I came home and sent a late-night message to Irene telling her I would make the cake for Mia and to call me in the morning.  After a mishap with a wrong number (I told you it was late at night!), I spoke with Irene early Saturday afternoon.  We agreed on the details of the cake, and off I set to make the most perfect cake ever.

By 9:30 that night, exhausted but pleased after 8 hours of work, I went to bed with a final message to Irene that I would deliver the cake to her in the morning.

Sunday morning dawned cold and sunny.  I set out with Mandara, my oldest child, into the upper east side.  Our destination was Ronald McDonald House on 73rd, between York and 1st.  The Ariel cake was nestled safely in its box on the floor of the front seat.  By 11am, we arrived at our destination, and were waiting in the lobby for Irene, Mia, and the rest of their family to meet us.

When the elevator doors opened, I experienced a feeling of panic and exhilaration.  What was I doing, meeting perfect strangers this way, putting myself out there like this?  But when I saw Mia, I knew I had done the right thing.  All of my hard work, all of my doubts and worries, all paid off when I saw her sweet face.  And especially when I saw how thrilled and touched Irene was.  Nothing could compensate me for that look;  I will never forget it.

Mia was hungry, as we had interrupted her breakfast, so we accompanied the family up to the dining room.  Mia’s sister, Cecilia, got her waffle ready while we settled Mia at a table and I unveiled the cake.  Mia loved it!  She had been fussing up to that point, but settled down and set about admiring it.  It seemed that she approved.

Mandara and I spent a lovely hour with the family, talking about their experience (Mia was diagnosed on February 19, 2010 with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer.  In Miami there was nothing they could do for her; only Sloan Kettering gave them hope for their baby.  Their pediatric oncologist removed a 2 lb tumor from her tummy which they never knew was there because Mia never complained), admiring the cake, playing hide and seek, and taking pictures.

Mia's special cake!


Mia admiring her cake with her mom, Irene, and her friend, Esther!


      By the time we left Irene and Mia in the lobby, I knew that I hadn’t seen the last of them nor was I ever going to be the same.  I came home determined to dedicate some of my time to Mia and children like her, not only making them cakes for special occasions but also offering whatever else I can give.  Mia and her family have forever touched my heart and I wish them all the best in their journey.

Happy baking!

Christina (and Meghan)

P.S.  I just received this e-mail from Irene:

“Good morning Christina,
Thank you so much for everything.  Today is the big day. What you did for Mia speaks volumes.  Your kindness and giving heart is truly beautiful.  You have shown your daughter a very valuable lesson in life.  You gave (your daughter) a chance to see very special little children yesterday.  Mia kept saying “No eat my cake”… lol.   She just wants to kept it.  That is so funny (because) I knew she would not want to eat it.  It really is beautiful.  I will forward you pics from Sloan.  Again, thank you so very very much!!

Always thankful,

Irene & Mia”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Betty permalink
    May 10, 2011 2:38 PM

    Your cake is so beautiful and I have to say this story has brought me to tears. Do you know how the little girl is doing these days?


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