Friday, 23 March 2012

Party, party, party

It’s my husband’s birthday in a week or so, which had got me thinking about birthday parties. Not for him, but for children, much more fun and an excuse to eat jam sandwiches! I had so much fun planning my daughters first birthday party, even though she was a bit young to understand what was going on! We had an Alice in Wonderland theme, which worked so well and I’d do again, maybe even for a grown up party. However, I can’t lie, it took ages to plan and organise the food and decorations, not to mention the presents!

So, I thought I’d share some tips that I have picked up along the way, and some ideas that have worked for us.

First up, if you can stretch your budget, I really recommend getting someone to help with food. If you are having more than a handful of people, it become a real chore making sandwiches or cooking things. Before I had children, I used to rope in my lovely mum, who would batch bake brownies, cupcakes and cookies. I then found an fabulous children’s party caterer (who also makes grown up food too, and wow it is yummy!) who is very reasonable and does washing up, waitressing and looking after screming children, whilst serving up delicious, healthy snack and goodies. She’s called Georgia and Fulham based, find her website at this link

If you don’t want to go all out, but just get a nice cake, which is the most important bit of a child’s party, a great cake maker, also based in Fulham is Victoria Defty (find her website here). I stumbled across her adorable Iggle Piggle cupcakes and was sold (if you don’t know Iggle Piggle you are really missing out. On that note, at Fifi’s birthday, my slightly drunken friends enjoyed an episode of In the Night Garden in 3D, they are all huge fans now!). Her cakes are mini works of art, for any occasion, and very reasonably priced, but will get lots of ‘wow’s’ from friends, (especially if you tell them you were up all night making it…..I would never do that….!).

So, once you have the food sorted, the next big thing is decoration. I like to go all out, but a few tastefully placed balloons can work too! If you are in the flamboyant school of party décor with me, Etsy and Pinterest are great places for inspiration and cheap supplies. Sadly, most Etsy shops are US based, but I’ve never had a problem with shipping stuff over and it’s all so much cheaper than anything you could find over here. My budget for our party was £100 for décor, and for that I got signs (to Wonderland, Down the rabbit hole etc), tissue paper pompoms (actually very simple and cheap to make, just Google it!), Alice themed goody bags, bunting and amazing invites. Have a look and shop around. You’ll be amazed at what’s out there! And for DIY enthusiasts, Pinterest has lots of tutorials and instructions for every type of decoration.

So, the house looks like Disney Land, the kids are chock full of sugar and sandwiches, now you have to entertain them. Here I am a bit of a novice, and as yet have not had budget or need for paid entertainment (a one year old is not going to appreciate the finer points of street magic or slight of hand). So, unless your kids are big, bribe a friend or two to come in fancy dress, give them a large of glass of something to gee them up(I’m not talking about Ribena), and in our case, watch the birthday girl cry in fear……

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