Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A Right Royal Third Birthday Party

Gosh, I've not blogged in an age, I've been so busy planning Hurricane's party, viewing houses and preparing for a mini holiday I've just had no time at all.  

A couple of months ago I asked Hurricane what theme she wanted for her party and unsurprisingly, she chose Princesses.  At that time, Roux was going through a bit of a "pink is for girls" stage so I suggested we did Princesses and Pirates just to save a tantrum.  He's since decided that pink is for everyone (after cajoling from me) and that he quite likes Princesses so I didn't need to have bothered.   

So, planning commenced and I started pricing up various things such as plates and decorations etc when I was shopping in a supermarket with Roux and he spotted a Knights costume, now, one thing about my boy is that he doesn't do fancy dress he has loads of costumes but prefers to pretend he's wearing one and won't actually put it on.  So he asked for this costume and obviously I said no due to the lack of costume wearing that generally goes on with him but he insisted, a 4 year olds logic is a wonderful thing to behold and he tried and tried before he finally found what he needed to get what he wanted - "But Mummy, Hurricane is having a Princess Party and Knights go with Princesses so I could be her Prince Knight"

Suddenly a Knight costume was in the trolley with me over the moon that he'd actually wear some fancy dress again and I started mentally replanning the party to include a Knight element.  On the day of the party he refused to wear it and decided instead on Ben10 *bangs head on floor*, still at least he's over his fancy dress aversion.

As with the Roux's TMNT Party I turned to Hurricane's talented Godmother to whip up a few posters and the invite and I think she did a brilliant job.

The swirly font is a free one from dafont and called Shooting Stars.

So the invites went out and a venue was found, a local community centre that was large enough but not too big with plenty of space for children to run around and more importantly, space where the fantastic Northumbrian Nannies could set up their soft play.  Unfortunately, the people that run the community centre I'd booked do not communicate with each other so when the day came, I turned up with Northumbrian Nannies to a locked venue and despite calling the owners no one turned up to rectify the situation.  Being that the party was being held on a Sunday morning I coudn't find another venue so after waiting for almost an hour, 15 minutes before the guests were due to arrive we decided to host the party at my Mothers and quickly informed all of the guests.  I'd booked Northumbrian Nannies to provide indoor softplay so most of the equipment they'd packed in their Tardis of a van was not suitable for a domestic home or a garden.  They did save the day though as they'd packed a bouncy castle and organised a game with a parachute so the children were very entertained.

Next up was the cake, Hurricane enjoyed looking through pages and pages of cakes on the iPad until she decided on a purple Princess with long hair.

So it started with a copious amount of flour, butter and sugar

Added some colour and put it into a pudding basin

It certainly wasn't my best work, the basin exploded during baking and by the time I actually got around to icing the cake it was getting towards midnight and I lost the will to live.  Hurricane loved it though and really that's all that matters

For food, I opted to repeat the lunch bags that I'd previously made for Roux's TMNT party.  Up until this year, I'd always provided a buffet but it can prove expensive and this party needed to be done on a budget.  I bought the bags, die cuts and food for just under £30 to make 16 bags and some nibbles for the adults which I think isn't bad value at all.  

The bags, as before, came from an eBay seller Smiffihobo and once again were received within a couple of days of purchase and were excellent quality.  For ease, I ordered some diecuts from two eBay sellers, elsonbabe and Annabel1212.  Both were well made and arrived within 48 hours which was perfect and I think (even if I do say so myself) that they looked brilliant on the bags.  Using word, I made the banners with the names inside - the older children were quite excited at the prospect of their own lunch bag.  Each bag contained a sandwich, crisps, vegetable crudités, crisps, chocolate fingers and a cake that I'd topped with some personalised rice paper discs that were another eBay purchase from Tiggerjosh.  The artwork was so clear on them, I was quite impressed.

The party bags were again something I'd done for Roux's Birthday and were cellophane bags (from this eBay seller) stuffed with sweets.  This time, instead of the VIP badges I provided a sparkly ring with some bracelets for the girls and a water pistol for the boys.  Roux had asked for a sword but they were all over a pound each and that would have made for expensive party bags.  Again, a special Godmother provided the artwork for the labels.  They are so easy to make and I would recommend this seller as again, they arrived within 48 hours and were the perfect size.

The decorations were to be some pink netting pinned to the wall behind the food and covered in fake flowers, twinkly lights and large tissue paper pom poms hung from the ceiling.  Due to the lack of time I actually had to decorate and the fact that my Mum wouldn't appreciate me sticking pins in everywhere this was reduced to just some twinkly lights around the door and the tissue paper pom poms hung from the ceiling lights and in the conservatory.  They were destined for Hurricane's bedroom afterwards but some very cheeky friends took them home with them instead!  I'll just have to a make more when I finally move house.  

I'm amazed that on my holiday last week I came across a pack to make 3 of these that cost £18.99! It's just tissue paper, wire and a bit of thread - how can anyone with a conscious sell a kit for this amount?  They looked so effective and I'd like to play around with different edges. 

So that's food, cakes and decorations covered, the only thing left was games and entertainment.  

Fun, in the main, was provided by the highly talented Northumbrian Nannies who luckily had packed this Bouncy Castle that was a massive hit with the children.  After a little while they organised a game with the parachute for the older children so the toddlers and babies could have a go without being bounced all over the place by over exuberant Princesses and Knights.

Next up was the ubiquitous pass the parcel which always seems to be demanded/expected at every party, then a round of piñata, this one was just £3 from Asda - it would not be broken!  The children really enjoyed giving it a good attempt but it was perhaps not the best idea for me to hold it as my hands and bump got a few strikes. 

The game that was most popular was a reworked pin the tail on the donkey, this time in the form of pin the kiss onto the frog.  Hurricane is currently loving The Princess and the Frog so she was quite delighted by this and I've not been allowed to put it away yet.  

Despite all the issues - venue and cake - the party went really well and the children never noticed the stress that had been caused by the venue change.  Princess Hurricane was left happy, exhausted but still very excitable so I've got to say it was a success!  Perhaps going on holiday the next day (also my Birthday) wasn't the best plan but that's for the next blog post.

As with the other posts, I'll leave you with a list of suppliers in case you've see any of the ideas here and want to use them for yourself. 

Northumbrian Nannies - I honestly can't recommend this company enough, they were absolutely fantastic and the party wouldn't have gone so well if it wasn't for their input.  Not only did they entertain the children but while we were waiting outside the venue and my panic was starting to set in they kept me wonderfully calm.  If you are based in the North then please, please check them out. 

Elsonbabe - Shield and Sword diecuts

Smiffihobo - Lunch bags

Polymailbags - Cellophane party bags

Tiggerjosh - Cupcake toppers

Annabel1212 - Carriage and horse diecuts

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