Thursday, 5 December 2013

2 birthday parties in 1 day....and we survived to tell the tale..

Call it poor planning if you like...well considering number 5 was even more of a surprise than numbers 4, 3 and 2 you could call it a complete lack of planning...but any way you look at it November is the birth month of two of our daughters....the youngest and the eldest.

So 2013 brought about a 5th birthday followed 4 days later by a 16th.

Our little tradition has been for 5th birthdays to be celebrated with a few preschool friends.  A 16th was new territory for us but I liked the idea of a 'sweet sixteenth' so a party it was to be!

Living in a small house parties at home were out of the question.  A 5th party at the park was not an option when temperatures kept hitting the mid 30's.  An indoor playcentre.....simply way was I going there!  A about the her cousin did that....dinner with a friend from school did that....well then laser tag...oh I see that's lame....

One night hubby and I decided that hiring a hall was the way to go....two parties in one day!! And no we hadn't even been consuming copious amounts of alcohol...!!

Okay sure, in theory that doesn't sound too hard...we'll just have Miss 5's party from 2.30pm til 4.30pm then we'll have an hour and a half to set up for Miss 16's party which can run from 6.00pm til 10.00pm...easy!

Three and a half weeks out from the big day the hall was was now reality!  

Now is probably a good time to mention that I get a bit obsessed....even with the smallest details as you shall see.....

It was decided by Miss 5 that she would like a dress up being a parent that cringes when we receive invitations to themed dress up parties we opted to just make it come in your favourite dress up clothes....that should ease the parental hate towards us lol !

Invitations were quickly written up and handed out at preschool.  

In the dress up box we have a plentiful supply of fairy dresses, snow white costumes...I think there's even Minnie Mouse ears in there too....but Miss 5 was having none of it.  She was going to be a princess....but not Rapunzel because she hates purple this week, and apparently not Ariel, Jasmine, Cinderella or Snow White she wanted to be a pink princess...but not Aurora...just a pink princess.....with a tiara 

Off to the shops I went to find a pink princess outfit befitting of the belle of the party,,,,,proudly I came home with a gorgeous outfit complete with tiara....only to be met with a look of 'blah' when I unveiled it to Miss 5.  On my next outing I came across another pink princess dress and brought it home triumphantly...surely this would be the one to make Miss 5 smile.  Have I mentioned that I get a little bit obsessed with things being just right at parties!! 

Miss 5 tried them both on and showed each of us both princess dresses in turn.  She even went so far as to take a poll....I told everyone to vote for the second dress knowing that Miss 5 had not been impressed with the first costume.  It was unanimous.....6 votes for the second dress...what were the chances lol !!!  After this lengthy process Miss 5 declared that she would be wearing the first costume.....give me strength !!!!!

Well at least now we had Miss 5's costume ready to go! And the theme for her party was now set....anything princess and pink would go!

Next how were we going to entertain a dozen 4-5 year olds......eek !!  As the trump card I booked a jumping castle...not as easy to do as you might think only 3 weeks before the party....but after more than a few knock backs we were in luck....jumping castle secured and to be delivered to the hall at 1.00pm...perfect!

Ok so that will keep them busy for a while but there will always be some child who doesn't want to jump...or it could be too hot or it could rain.....  So it was thinking caps on for some indoor activities.  Thankfully a bunch of children this age don't have very high expectations (and for that I am extremely grateful!!) so we decided on a few balloons blown up and left around the hall, a pin the tiara on the princess game, a quick round of pass the parcel with a prize in every layer (we don't want any tears!) a colouring in station and a craft station....and music of course!!  

We fed them up with cupcakes and chocolate crackles and a few lollies, we served cocktail frankfurts in bread rolls and sausage rolls...we served fruit to look like good parents... (hubby made sandwiches for all of the parents) and we filled an esky with pop tops, poppers and water to save having to pour a thousand drinks and to reduce spillage (don't forget we only have an hour and a half in between time for mopping !!)

Outside we went for a pinata....with a slight delay while we looked for the string....I'm sure I packed it...pretty sure we packed everything but the kitchen sink !!  Anyway hubby to the rescue with some rope from his car (by the way I found the string about 10 minutes after we did the pinata....told you I packed it!)  Hubby was on guard as we armed the children with a stick and let them go wild

Then it was back inside for cake. If you are a cake making person you should probably close your eyes now......this was my very first attempt at making mud cakes and covering them with fondant...nothing like having a few firsts at a critical time.....anyway lets just say that the cake looks much better in the photos than it did at 2am the morning of the party when I finished it !!!!

Everyone went home having had food and drink topped off with cake and a lolly bag for later...there were no tears in I think it was a huge success.

Time to sit back and have a rest....oh hell no...we have another party starting in an hour and a half....

Miss 16 had decided on a 'favourite childhood character theme' which proved to be a godsend as it meant we could have some overlap in the decorations.

Miss 16 scoured pinterest and the internet for invitations that would impress but with time not on our side we concluded that we would have to make our own....I wrote a little poem, searched scrapbooking stores and stationery shops for the perfect paper to print them on, went to every $2 shop within a 5km radius to find fairy wands to wrap them around and send them with....there's that obsession thing again !!  

Well Jasmine is turning sweet sixteen
And she’s having a party with a childhood theme.
From the pages of a book or from the tv screen
as which childhood character will you be seen?
Will it be Snow White or will it be Cinderella
or perhaps Mary Poppins with her magical umbrella.
Maybe Bart Simpson is more your style
Or is it Donald Duck that makes you smile?
Well come dressed as your favourite one
And we’ll have a night that’s full of fun.
The party will be Saturday 9th November
so now do make sure that you remember
It will start at six and end at ten
So now you know all the details of when
All you need to know now is where
So that you can dress up and be there
The party’s at the neighbourhood centre
Make sure you bring your wand and invitation so that you can enter
The address is ......................................
Hope you can come coz you’re the ones she wants to celebrate with

So the invitations were for Miss 16 to choose a costume.  Have I ever told you that Miss 16 is crap when it comes to making choices.....well I'm telling you now!  Off we traipsed to fancy dress stores far and wide.....she tried on a Tinkerbell costume ....... wow Tinkerbell must get awfully cold in winter because there was not much coverage there.....she tried on little red riding hood.....oh my that is a terribly short skirt you have my dear.....she tried on a care that was kinda cute.......but then she tried on a Cinderella costume and it was decided.....Cinderella it was to be...Miss 16 would be the belle of the ball.

Well now we had the costume but we all know that story of Cinderella and her glass slipper don't we....and yes you guessed little obsession meant that we needed shoes to replicate the glass slipper.  And you are so not going to believe this but this is the shoe we found at the first shoe shop that we went to .....perfect !!!

Once again I now had a theme....everything blue and to make the local hall befitting of a the ball fit for Cinderella....and to ensure that the party was a talking point at school for all the right all know what I mean.....nothing worse than having your party talked about as the most lame party of the year.....the 5 year olds were a breeze in comparison to a room full of 16 year olds.

And speaking of a room full of 16 year olds.....what on earth were we going to do for entertainment?  

We needed music so a jukebox was high on the list of requirements and during my research into prices etc... I found one jukebox company that also hired out chocolate fountains...that was it...they were the ones for me....I sent them an email immediately to book in 1 jukebox and 1 chocolate fountain!  I don't seem to have a photo of the chocolate fountain...but lets just say it was well received by was the jukebox and especially its karaoke function!

So we had music and chocolate.....pretty good start.....but we needed something else.... Although my miss 16 would have been happy to play party games of some variety she wasn't too sure that all of her friends would be so receptive of the idea so that ruled that out.  We thought of how to host a murder scenarios which would have gone down well with her drama friends but probably not so well with her school friends.   After a few late nights spent with Google I came up with the idea of a photo booth ...yes fantastic idea....what roomful of girls wouldn't want to have fun with a photo booth ...and I'm sure the few boys invited wouldn't mind squishing into the photos with the girls!

Then I saw the price of hiring a photo booth ...hell no we are so not having a photo booth at between $750 and $1200 being the average prices of hire for a few hours.  

But you guessed now I was obsessed with a photo booth.....there was no time to create our own version of a photo booth ..and besides that would lean towards that lame element again.....I continued the search and with the help of some cyber friends found a link to living social that had a photo booth deal for $299.......OMG I was on the phone to them in a jiffy confirming that they were available for the date etc... and so now we had our photo booth.....

So okay it wasn't actually a physical booth which I had wanted at first but I had lowered my requirements by this stage!! 

With a few simple communications with the photo booth people in the week leading up to the party we decided upon the backgrounds for the photos and the wording to be displayed at the bottom of each strip and we were set.  

On the night the photo booth people arrived and set up and they were kept busy for the whole 2 was absolutely fantastic, created some wonderful photographic memories of the night and was a whole heap of fun....  At the end of the night we were given an album containing a copy of all the photos plus written messages from the guest, a disc with all the photos on it as well (I did pay an extra $99 to have the album but it was so worth it!)

So now we had them entertained...but no doubt they would be getting hungry soon!  The advantage of the 'childhood' theme meant that we had made extra when making the food for miss 5's out came cupcakes, chocolate crackles, chips and lollies....easy!

Pizza was ordered,  spring rolls and chicken strips were heated up in the oven and a salad was prepared...lets just say that hubby was kept busy in the kitchen!!  The esky was this time filled with small bottles of soft drink and water.

Hubby and I were run off our feet....luckily we had enlisted my sister to help as well!  

So now it as time for cake and desert.  Again close your eyes if you are a cake maker.....thankfully again the cake looks better in the photos....well that is if you don't focus on the smudges of chocolate ganache everywhere !!  

With the Cinderella theme a pillow cake seemed like the perfect idea...and during one of my late night computer sessions I came across the most perfect candle in the shape of a shoe..... I would have squealed with excitement had everyone else not been fast asleep!!  But then I realised that all the ones I saw were in the US.....but I was determined by now....there must be somebody in Australia from whom I could get one of these candles.....surely..!!  Eventually I found two companies that had them...but after email enquries they were both out of stock.....and they were both in Perth so it would have been cutting if fine to get one posted to Sydney with only a week before the party. 

I was getting a bit deterred at this stage.....but then eBay came to the rescue...there was one person in Sydney selling the same candle...I think this time I did squeal out loud!!  There was only one catch..they were selling a bulk lot of I know that this makes my a little crazy but yes I purchased the bulk lot of 30 because I had to have one....I will just list the other 29 on day!!  Come on...take a look at the candle and tell me you wouldn't have done the same...please tell me....pleeeaaasse..!!  Oh I also ordered the cutest little carriage party favour boxes from them as well for everyone to take home after the party....!!

So speeches were made, cake was served along with pavlova, icecream cake and fruit salad...see that fruit thing again....good parents !!!

There was more dancing and singing to be done and slowly the guests all went home  A great night was had by all....and again we had no tears!!  

Hubby and I were proud that we had turned the hall from this.....

To this....

I absolutely love this effect that I came across...again in one of my late night sessions....and again I had to have it!! Luckily it was the Lincraft fabric sale so I was able to purchase the organza at sale prices (and we have it hanging up again with the lights as part of our Christmas decorations!!)  and surprisingly hubby didn't completely freak out when I told him that he had to set this up in between parties!!

....and I love this lino dance floor...which was all hubby's doing!  He came home with the lino the night before the party!  It looked amazing!

The party was done and dusted well before the clock struck 12 so thankfully nobody saw Miss 16's carriage turn back into a pumpkin!!!  (by this stage hubby didn't even question why I wanted him to spray paint a pumpkin silver!!!)

We did it....2 birthday parties in 1 day....and 2 happy daughters !!!!

Then all we had to do was clean up....oh my gosh!!  Some two hours later we left the hall as it was when we arrived and wearily went home.

Three and a half weeks of way too many late nights, way too many shopping trips, way too many crazy ideas....but it was all worth it!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Day 4 December Photo A Day with Fat Mum Slim

DAY 4  -  TINY

My photo....Miss 16 isn't as tiny as she used to be!!

Miss 16's photo...she actually cheated as she is feeling sick but this is an archive photo of Miss 5's tiny body under such a big umbrella....

Miss 14's strange a tiny Mexican man!!

Miss 12's photo....there is no shortage of tiny Barbie shoes in our household..

Miss 9's photo.....a tiny toy mouse....eek !!

Miss 5's photo.....a tiny little Noah...he must have a very small ark !!

Four days completed !!!!

Day 3 December Photo A Day with Fat Mum Slim


My photo...

Miss 16's photo...

Miss 14's photo...

Miss 12's photo...

Miss 9's photo...

Miss 5's photo...

3 days complete !!

Day 2 December Photo A Day with Fat Mum Slim

this one had the girls stumped for a while...they had to think hard...

My photo...

Miss 16's photo...

Miss 14's photo...

Miss 12's photo...

Miss 9's photo...

Miss 5's photo

2 days done !!  29 days to go !

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Day 1 December Photo A Day with Fat Mum Slim

Okay guys I am going to attempt to complete a whole month of Fat Mum Slim's Photo A Day challenge...including posting the photos....and I'm taking the girls along for the here we go.....!!

DAY 1  -  RED

My photo...

Miss 16's photo

Miss 14's photo

Miss 12's photo

Miss 9's photo

Miss 5's photo

The girls each chose their own subject and took their own photos!  One day down....30 to go!!