When your kid wants a rainbow party…

As usual, I’m late posting the birthday theme idea…only two months though, it was four last year. So as you can guess from the title, when I asked me little Mandingo what kind of party he’d like, he said “a rainbow party Mammy” and so my work began. Rainbows, obviously are lots of lovely colours, so I thought the best way to approach it and make it fun would be to have a Rainbow Paint Party in the Park.

With that in mind, I headed to my beloved Ebay and searched “rainbow birthday party invites”, shur you’d be blown away with choice but I went loved these from Sweet Sentiments. It was ¬£3.99 for 12.20170927_010715

Now the cake! The curse-a-God cake! I’ve previously made a Teddy bear cake (sitting up I’ll have you know) , a George Pig themed cake and a Lightning Mcqueen shaped cake, but this! THIS!!! This simple sponge cake was supposed to be easy….it was not…mind this was purely down to the roll out icing which I DO NOT get on with. These are the woes of home made cake making (I lovingly blame my Ma for always baking our cakes and thus I feel I should to the same for my sprogladite).170730075734_wm As always I used a prepackaged cake mix for my cake…less hassle. I baked 6 thin sponges, using 6 different food colourings to create the rainbow inside. Unfortunately though, I wasn’t happy with the colours, they weren’t bright enough for me, but the kids ooohed and aaaahed on seeing it cut up, plus the height of the slices was unreal! ūüėÄ I used jam and buttercream as fillings, alternating between layers. Now lads…now the fun began! I wanted a marbley/ colour splodge looking cake so I rolled out all the colours together as in the pic…. Of course I rolled it too bloody thin and it kept ripping as I lifted it. I tried sitting the cake on the icing and sorta folding the icing up around it….nah….no dice! I got thick then and I new in me heart of hearts that this would happen but I continued anyway….I smushed the icing back together and rolled it out again. Of course…just like when you mix paints, it turned brown!! FML!! I stupidly hoped for the best thinking maybe the underside would be ok and lifted it onto the cake. My son’s rainbow cake was now a swamp thing!!

I sent a pic to my Ma for help. Ma told me to stick some trees and little people on it and it would be grand! THIS…this was after she text my sis to say, say nothing but Donna’s 170730081531_wmmessed up Conor’s cake….in our GROUP chat!! At this point I’d no back up icing left and I’d ruined my son’s birthday so I decided I needed a drink.

After buying nearly ¬£30 pounds (yes, yes I know…) worth of cake resurrection supplies in a, what’s turning into a yearly Sunday morning cake panic dash to Morrisons, a patchy rainbow cake was created. In my eyes it was a bit poo but when the Small Man seen it he was delira and that was enough for me. I got the cool little bunting banner frommmm Ebaaaaay!!!170730081437_wm

In keeping with the rainbow theme, I made my usual fruit pots, consisting of chopped up strawberries, grapes and blueberries. Actually…I’ll just do a list of what we had to eat;

I baked some yummy, smartie rainbow cookies using this recipe from Baking with Granny.

I like to make things a little bit fun for the kids, these chocolate and sprinkle rimmed ice cream cones were based on a Pinterest idea. I stuffed them with jellies and popped them in individual cone shaped bags.

I made some rice crispie squares, which turned pink as I only had a bag of pink and white marshmallows, topped with sprinkles.

Marshmallow pops. Super simple, just large marshmallows, dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, stuck on a lollipop stick.

I always cheat with my buns…I buy prebaked ones and decorate how I like. So as it was a rainbow party, it wouldn’t be complete without some rainbows…hence my Rainbow Cloud cupcakes. Blue icing and rainbow laces…et voila!

I also took along a watermelon, popcorn, onion rings, two trays of sandwiches…..peanut butter, jam and cheese. My friend Elaine gave me a huge tub I filled with ice to keep the fruit shoots and fizzies (for the adults) in. Oh I also brought two mahooosive bottles of water to mix with robinsons.

Food done….now the party bags. I wanted everything rainbow themed. Everything here came from Ebay. I ordered rainbow cellophane bags from here and Thank You stickers from here. I stuck stickers on each bag and on each tube of giant bubbles, ¬†also Ebay. I got some fab rainbow pencils from here and crayons for the younger ones from here. The really cute mini paint trays came from here and those cool pull-out-nib pencils here. Of course there had to be sweets, so each bag had a packet of swizzles, a retro rainbow lolly annnnd Rainbow drops!

Now as the Small Man is a Summer bub, I try to make use of the free parks where I can. It can be a pain in the ass getting everything there, which is why everything I make is fairly handy to transport, and with a little help from friends and family, it works. This year we headed to Kennington Park. I donned my best (£3 from the market) Rainbow party dress and Elaine packed up her car with all me bits and drove me round to set up, under a nice big tree.

I took around all my picnic blankets and asked people to bring one if they had any. I also took round The Monkey’s giant foam tiles to act as a more level “table” running down the middle of the blankets. My SiL, Katie and Chanelle helped me lay out all the food and the little plates and cups, all odd colours from the local 99p store. I tied some balloons from the tree branches so our guests could find us.

Now it wouldn’t be a paint party without paint so I took along pretty much all of my paint supplies and a giant cardboard build and paint your own house, that I’d bought in Lidl aaaages ago and was saving for a rainy day. I also had two rolls of paper in my suitcase of tricks. Katie was good enough to help (and be painted) by the kids whilst myself and Chanelle did some impressive first timer face painting, for anybody who fancied it. I got a nice little Snazaroo set off Ebay for about ¬£13 and it was money well spent. I also took along an inflatable goals and a hoop throwing game that we had at home, and of course the kids had their giant bubble tubes to play with too.

I gotta say this has to be my favourite party we’ve had for the Small Man, the weather was great, it was like a mini festival, just missing the music and it really wasn’t that expensive….apart from the cake situation! I work out the party bags, including the bags and stickers to be just under ¬£4 each, based on 20 kids and I got 24 bubble swords for ¬£15. (Prices correct in July ’17)

Now this may seem mean and given that it’s a big class anyway, I don’t believe in inviting kids he doesn’t play with or mention to his parties but as his birthday fell on a school day, rather than hand out party bags after school, I thought it would be nice to bring something in for the whole class to share together at school. So as we’d just finished reading Handa’s surprise, I took the Small Man shopping and let him pick out his own fruits for his surprise to take to school for his birthday….hence Small Man’s Surprise!20170927_011014

I hope you enjoyed this post and got some inspiration from it. I know we’re coming into the winter months now but it maybe possible to adapt some of the “festival vibe” to an indoor set up. Don’t be shy, do comment and share your own party ideas…it’s good to share.

Thanks to everyone who helped me on the day especially the Hubbalump…God love him and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did.

Love,

Donna x

 

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Lightning McQueen themed birthday

I reeeeally meant to post this aaages ago but never mind, shur here we are now. So Small Monkey’s current obsession is Disney’s Cars. There was a phase where we watched either Cars or Cars2 EVERY night before bed….we’re down to 3 or 4 times a week now. I actually quite like the film though so I’m coping well. Anywho if your little one has a similar taste this post might be for you…failing that Pinterest is king! (My little posty wosty here should give you everything in one hit though!)

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Firstly, let me tell you where I booked, just in case you’re in the area and don’t know…Tiny Gym at Camberwell. It cost ¬£125 for 1hr 45mins. You got the use of the kiddie gym for 25 kids (or kiddults in our case) for 1hr and the use of a room to decorate and have your party in. The gym itself was great craic. The main attraction was the long, bouncy running track that everybody loved. There’s also a ball pit for smaller kids too. The room though, left a bit to be desired, but what do kids care? The time may have seemed short but it was well worth the money and it actually seemed longer, so yeah check out Tiny Gym if your in need of an idea.

So if you want people to come to your party you need to invite them eh? My fantabulous friend printed me off similar invites to these, I found through google as well as the little colouring books you’ll see later.161027111524_wm

Now no party would be complete without a cake and with Lightning being the theme, well he had to be the cake too. I’m no Mary Berry but I like to make the cake myself and I’m quite happy with how he turned out. I just used pre-prepared cake mix for this, filled with jam and loosely followed a tutorial online to shape him. I hate using the roll out icing and didn’t buy enough red so there was a panicked Sunday morning dash to Morrisons to sort that out. Lightning’s race stickers are made from rice paper and I got them here¬†and his wheels were oreos.¬†The good news is, if you can’t be bothered with all that effort, Asda now do a Lightning cake, sadly though it looks pretty small and hasn’t got great reviews.

With it being a car theme, I decided to turn the table into a motorway by using black table cloths, from ebay and used masking tape to make the road markings. I wanted the balloons to resemble traffic lights…as you can see with the colour scheme. I wasn’t overly happy with how they turned out, as I’d no clue how to make balloons sit nicely together but you get the gist.¬†I bought helium from Argos and ordered plain helium balloons from ebay ¬†with the odd printed Lightning balloon thrown in, my brother had the delightful job of blowing them up. I ordered red party cups from…yep…Ebay baybeeee!! I like to have a little personalisation, so I ordered some personalised Cars stickers and made my own Cars themed cups. This worked out cheaper than actual proper Cars party cups. I found a one off deal on the Cars themed napkins and plates on Ebay, so do scroll through to find the best deals when you look otherwise “themed” can be quite expensive. I made the food place cards by just cutting up some stiff white paper and going round the edges with black marker, I then stuck a Cars sticker on each. Cheap and cheerful…I was delighted with how they looked. I’m also a sucker for a personalised birthday banner…I like to keep them. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pic of Monkey’s one but I ordered from here and it was really cute….of course if the afore mentioned brother had of printed me off Monkey’s birthday pix…I probably would have a pic…hint hint!

 

For the the party bags, my friend put together some Cars themed colouring books from free printables found online. Between Ebay and the 99p store, the bags consisted of a winners medal and trophy, a car, a colouring book, some cars stickers, a party blower thingy majiggy (what are those things called?) and a kinder bar. In each trophy I wrapped a little parcel of smarties in cling film and popped them inside. I stuck a personalised thank you Cars sticker on each bag too.

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Now the fooooooood!! I can get quite grumpy I think when I’m getting party ready. I do have a vision in my mind and I tend to try and do it all myself, luckily for me, Ash won’t have it and my brother Steve had already started buttering bread and giving me jip! As it’s a party of course there were sweets but I’m a firm believer in it doesn’t have to be just sweets…we gotta try find a balance right. I had some ideas of what I wanted but again Pinterest really helped. So here’s what we had….my fav’s were the fruit cups and traffic light sambos…so cute to look at…

Fillmore’s Fruit Cups: flat bottomed ice cream cones filled with fruit.

Flo’s Strawberry Milkshakes: cupcakes topped with strawberry butter icing, sprinkles and one of those yummy lace thingys for the straw.

Doc’s Chocolate Drops: white & milk choc buttons and smarties.

Sarge’s Surplus Sambos: I bought a car shaped cookie cutter and Steve lovingly cut peanut butter and jam shaped sandwiches.

Mater’s Dipsticks: hummus with celery, red pepper, carrot and cucumber sticks.

Sheriff’s Traffic Light Sambos: Ash was in charge of production here. A slice of cheese sandwiched between two slices of bread played the part of the amber light. The circles were cut out using a fruit shoot top. A cherry tomato was used for the red light and cucumber for the green.

Luigi’s Casa Del Tires: oreo cookies

Pitstop Popcorn:…well it’s popcorn innit!

Mater’s Junkyard: wotsits and onion rings.

Sally’s Airbags (hee hee): giant marshmallows.

 

 

I took along bottles of water and sugar free fruit cordial for drinks. Oh and I totally forgot to cook the cocktail sausages to bring along…raging had these cute flags to use!

So there ya go, that’s how I did it and apart from my annoying balloon display, I think it looked quite good. I hope you find it useful, please share your pics of any themed parties you’ve had…I love a nose! I’m off now to start redecorating Monkey’s bedroom Cars stylee…I’ll let ye know how that goes.

Love Donna x

P.S Thanks Ash & Steve for help, actually, thanks for everyone’s help and thanks for showing up xx

 

 

Small Monkey’s George themed Birthday Party

facebook_1437605073170Hey guys! So my gorgeous lil man turned two there three weeks ago and as a Peppa monster I decided to have a George Pig themed birthday party. I know, I know, some people may scold my frivolity here with having a theme and all that, but that’s how I roll…for now. I think I managed quite well but there actually is very little George Pig themed stuff out there. Here’s what I did….

1) Invites. Total £4.49

I got these personalised George invites off ebay. 11698847_10205480768033431_8776173761295518389_nThese were probably my most expensive purchase and if I was computery I could have made them myself but I’m not, so here we are. They were really good quality though on a heavy card with blue envelopes. 10 for ¬£4.49 inc free p&p. I did have to doctor them though as I had to change the party date at short notice with no time to order more anyway.

2) Lunchboxes. Total £33.11

As it was more a picnic than a party and rather than trying to cart lots of trays to the park, I decided to do lunchboxes for the kids. Now you can get really nice actual Peppa Pig ones from Ebay but I found them a bit more expensive, so I ordered plain blue boxes ¬†(10 for ¬£2.99 inc free p&p)and personalised ¬†George 20150704_112620“thank you” stickers (21 stickers for ¬£1.99 inc p&p) instead. So in each lunchbox I put a Pig themed box of raisins (12 for ¬£1 @ B&M), a bar of chocolate (2 x6 for ¬£2 @B&M), a packet of breadsticks (2×6 for ¬£2 @ Poundland), a packet of jellies (2×6 for ¬£2 @ Poundland) and a carton of juice (8 for ¬£5 @ Tesco). I also included a Peppa book (Peppa Pigs Mini Library contains 6 books,normally ¬£4.99 each, got them from The Book Depository for ¬£6.14 inc del on special offer), some crayons (8 for ¬£1.99 inc p&p) and I found some free George pics on the net which I got my friend to print off and created a colouring book. As there was also 3 pretty much, brand spanking new babies attending, I felt a bit guilty with them not being able to eat so Asda had these Little Tikes block teethers for ¬£8 and I bought them to give them one each. I just used clear lunch bags, some ribbon and a “thank you” sticker to package them.

3) Other food. Total £22.26

I find that a lot of toddlers aren’t to big on sandwiches….well the ones I know, so I made some fruit cups up, using blueberries, grapes, melon and strawberries. This cost about ¬£7 inc the cups and made 12 servings. I also made a big bowl of tomato20150704_095815 and sweetcorn pasta which cost about ¬£2 in total. I made up a tray of chicken salad sandwiches for the adults (which cost about ¬£5) and took along some fruit cordial and bottles of water. Ooh I also had some breadsticks (Asda x2 98p) and Pom Bear crisps (2×6 for ¬£2 in Poundland). I cheated a little and bought pre-made buns (2×12 ¬£1.78) and decorated them myself using Betty Crocker vanilla butter cream (¬£2 on offer) icing and edible George rice paper toppers (30 for ¬£1.50 from Ebay).

4) George Cake. Total £6

My Ma used to always make our cakes so I want to continue the tradition although I like less hassle so I bought cake mix (2 for ¬£2 @ Asda)….hey it means less wastage too you know! Asda also do big blocks of ready coloured icing @ ¬£1.69 per pack. I bought the main colours I needed, my friend supplied some too. The cake mix was a doddle and was supervised by Ash so thankfully didn’t burn. I used the Betty Crocker as before and some jam as the filling for the cake. The picture of the cake is pretty self explanatory. George & Dinosaurrr were held together and in place using toothpicks. the muddy puddle was melted buttons. I’m really proud of how it turned out.20150704_120344

5) Decorations & extras. Total £12.78

I bought some brightly coloured party plates, bowls and napkins (£3.80 B&M). I also bought 10 bubble swords (10x50p £5 @ Morrisons). The bunting was £2 from Poundland and the balloons were from Ebay (20 for £1.98). I also actually spent £3 on a prize for pass the parcel but forgot to take it along with the bubble machine which we had anyway. My sister bought a football and frizz bee to take along too.

6) Venue. Total FREEE!!

It’s the height of Summer, it’s baking, my flat and myself couldn’t deal with that many people indoors on a day like it was so I invited everyone to the local park. Burgess Park has a really nice, world garden enclosed within some old Alms houses and we managed to set up camp beneath a tree there which was ideal. There was shade and as it’s enclosed there’s a lot less chasing of toddlers to be done, it was almost like a private picnic in the end. Also just outside this particular sight is the cafe, the loos, the playground and parking is a short walk away.

setting up camp!
setting up camp!

GRAND TOTAL: £78.64 this included no crying or fighting, the joy of the great outdoors and a really lovely day.

I think I did pretty well here and I think everybody enjoyed it. I know people who do go all out, hiring halls and characters, ordering super duper cakes and fair play to them if they can, but, personally for a two year old it’s the simple things they like the most.

For any of my friends and family reading, thanks to those who helped me out on the day and thanks to those who came xxx

I hope this post inspires some of you, please drop me a line and let me know what you think or about your parties.

Love Donna x