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!)


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.



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