Shirley's party advice thread part 2

(1000 Posts)

...can I take the liberty of starting another thread, since the other one filled up?

Blatherskite Wed 14-Dec-11 13:32:22

Yey! I was beginning to panic that you'd all left me!

I typed a huge post and then it said "this thread is too big to accept new messages"

Luckily, it let me go back and C+P it grin

Sounds about right to me MrsJangles. Maybe some sandwiches for the super fussy? My food list is above if you want to have a look.

Right, I have...

- Wrapped the pass the parcel and reused one of the sweetie boxes from yesterday to house my stash of spare sweets for the "losers"
- Made the cake to go on the cake. It looks very sweet and I've put 2 Angel Flame candles in the top for DD to blow out. One will have a red flame and one will have blue which will match the cups on the table.
I've bagged up everything I've got so far and have 1 bag for decorations which has all the ballons and banners in plus tape and blu tak for holding them up. I've also stuck in scissors and assorted rubbish bags so we can sort the recycling out as we go. I've got 2 bags of food!, a bag for activities which only need the gingerbread bears to go in now but I'm not going to make them until Friday so they're fresh. There is also a bag full of plates, cups, tablecloths etc.
- I've made Mum's Granola and Hot Choc mix and re-wrapped the Christmas pud nicely.
- I've made up DBIL's hamper.
I even managed to have lunch smile

I still need to work out how to glaze my sausges (I'm going to pop to Hobbycraft again and have a look what they have while I get ribbon for Mum's cake), marzipan Mum's cake ready to ice it in a day or two and make the Biscotti.

I think I'm doing ok! shock

blathers I wrote a long post about sausage glazing (amongst other such vital things) and it bounced and wouldn't let me go back to C & P. I will try and remember the rest later, but piping gel is what you need.

Helloooo new thread. I was gonna say piping gel or you can by glaze for sugarpaste blathers. Sorry dd's just 'writing' and i can hear her saying 'dear father christmas, i love In many .... Different... Ways.

Cant stop laughing, god knows where shes picked that up.

Anyway, blathers, sounds like you've achieved loads!! Whats still left?

Ive cleaned the house for inspection, just need to dust the bedrooms. I had a glorious hormonal tantrum on dh because he's playing pool tomorrow then going to watch darts in london. I threw a big fit at being tired, doing all the cleaning and christmas etc. I didnt feel well so asked midwife to check me over but all fine. Told dh i dont want to visit everyone over xmas as im so tired. He said we may as well be recluses and has scheduled visits on 23rd, 24th, 26th and 29th dec. Im very close to telling him to go alone. And although i was ready for xmas, now ive got no food in except sausage rolls, sausages in bacon, stuffing and gravy and an uniced cake.

I need some of your whirlwind action blathers.

BlastOff Wed 14-Dec-11 17:58:30

Mrsjangles (hope you find this thread) I second sandwiches, and have found at the last few parties ds has been to that the jelly doesn't get eaten. Can't remember if you had things like cucumber sticks/ carrots etc. what age are the children?

Blathers - sorry, had a snigger at how to make your sausages shiny <childish emoticon> and don't even have a useful suggestion - luckily the rest have. Can we di anything to help? You sound very in control and you've done brilliantly with your list.

TheDW - Sounds like you need to put your feet up and have a rest. I found being pregnant and looking after a toddler much more exhausting than having a newborn and a toddler - this is the hardest bit. I hope you feel better soon.

Stealthsquiggle - meant to say I had a browse at your cakes when you linked them a few days ago. Amazing! I'd love to have a go but wouldn't even know where to start, and just know it would look a bit like ds had done it. Actually might have a go and then can blame it in him if it all goes horribly wrong. I'll say he fell on them or had a go himself or something grin

Shirley - hope all is well with you.

Blatherskite Wed 14-Dec-11 21:13:11

I've had to remake the plates! The first set welded themselves to the lids I'd used to mould them and fell to bits when I tried to get them off. New set are not quite so fragile and have cling film under them to stop them sticking. Cake should arrive tomorrow afternoon and then I can get cracking. I tried the glycerine on a couple of sausages and it seems to have worked which saves me another trip to Hobbycraft which will save me buying more^ teddy bear decorations! The visit earlier added jelly diamonds and pink glitter sugar to my arsenal smile

The food has to be done on the morning of the party really (luckily it's not till 12) so I'm not worrying about that yet. Jobs for tomorrow are finishing the cake, making the royal icing for Mum's cake and cleaning as much as I can manage - including washing the sofa cushions as DD seems to have spilt juice over one of them! I managed to marzipan Mum's cake this afternoon and decorate the other bits of the hamper with ribbon and tags etc.

My back is really, really hurting now though from being stood all day so I'm numbing it with Baileys and trying to write out our Christmas cards.

I cannot wait for this party to be over now! I've decided party planning is a bit like hangovers. When you're suffering you say "Never again" then time passes and it seems like a good idea again. Right now, DS is getting a Pizza Express party and a pre-made cake from Tesco but I bet you come March I'm busy planning extravagant party bags and a complex bloody cake again!

ShirleyKnot Wed 14-Dec-11 21:41:23


Had no internet access at work at all this work for the tail end of last week and and and and...

then I wrote a message and the THREAD WAS FULL

and so...I'm off to catch up.

ShirleyKnot Wed 14-Dec-11 21:43:19


Everything is sorted.


Blatherskite Wed 14-Dec-11 21:46:57

Not quite. I'm still panicing!

ShirleyKnot Wed 14-Dec-11 21:51:59


(oh and I've got to tell you this - I was listening to the Radio 4 afternoon play yesterday in my lunch hour <old> and they used the term "He's a blatherskite" and I only bloody well thought of you and did a big "O" mouth and then a big "DER" face while I was in my car and someone in the car next to me smiled at me and that is the end of my story about hearing your username while driving to get some lunch yesterday)

Blatherskite Wed 14-Dec-11 21:59:51

smile Even the wise Mme Lindt thought it was a reference to someone named Blather with a kite. It is in fact a very clever* username with meaning and everything

*may just be me who thinks it's clever

ShirleyKnot Wed 14-Dec-11 22:03:37

Tis very scottish, no? and means someone who is inflated with their own importance - like someone full of hot air?



That's SO not you!

Blatherskite Wed 14-Dec-11 22:15:27

I think the 'official' meaning is "someone open to empty or volumable talk" - basically somone who talks a lot while actually saying nothing - which fits perfectly wink

6 penguins, completed and installed on their cakes last night (well, in the early hours of the morning, anyway) - DC fighting this morning over who was going to give which one to which teacher (they are all different) but I didn't really listen because I don't plan to wrap them until tonight (for delivery through the snow tomorrow) and I was trying to get them out of the house at the time, cursing the fact that the school had a late start this morning (because of late finish tonight) leaving me with zero margin on my journey to work.[yawn]

How's it going, Blathers?

Shirley - we you don't seem to have many "Christmas/New Year" party "customers" ATM?

Blastoff - thanks blush for cake comments - I shall put up the penguin pictures later tonight!

BettyBum Thu 15-Dec-11 12:53:12

Hi Shirley, I wondered if you had any unusual/quirky ideas for a surprise 30th for my DP on 21st Jan, (at our house)

Blatherskite Thu 15-Dec-11 12:56:46

The cake is here! <panics>

What sort of scale, BettyBum? I have been looking for some time for an excuse to use these people, for example...

BettyBum Thu 15-Dec-11 13:15:42

Oh gosh maybe think smaller budget! Looks fun though envy

About 20-30 people...

You can get just the bus without the marquee (but yes, still lots of money and I am starting to save now for next "significant" birthday in 7 years time grin)

ShirleyKnot Thu 15-Dec-11 13:59:59

Hello Betty!

Erm. So a surprise party for a 30th eh? Where are you having it? At home or a hall or a restaurant or what?

Going to throw a few ideas out there and you can take 'em or leave 'em (also, check out the old thread too, there are loads of ideas over there)

1) 1980's party - DH born in 1982? Great fun and not too expensive. Easy to get decorations, music and you could make it fancy dress (if you're into that at all)

2) Theme around a hobby? Is he wildly into anything that could be used?

3) Favourite film? James Bond, Indiana Jones, something like that?

What's his favourite food - could you do something based around that (y'know like a mexican Fiesta! or a Chinese New Year type of thing? Jan 23rd is the Chinese New Year in 2012 - that could be FAB!)

BettyBum Thu 15-Dec-11 15:26:41

Hiya Shirley!

It's at home. He is into boxing in a big way! Food- he loves it all!! grin

I would love a hog roast but bet they are £££££££.

Eighties theme could be a laugh!!

ShirleyKnot Thu 15-Dec-11 16:06:06

What about a Rocky party then?

HA! That could be good fun - and will tie in the 80's and Boxing!

ShirleyKnot Thu 15-Dec-11 16:07:49

Oh! and then you could do US themed food - which won't be too horribly expensive.

Hog roasts can be pretty spendy - but seriously, you can make a terrific pulled pork of your own if you have a slow cooker (and cheap as FUCK!) got a recipe if you want?

Let me know which party you fancy and I'll pull some ideas together for you.

BettyBum Thu 15-Dec-11 19:07:19

Ooh a Rocky party sounds good! Tell me more!...

ShirleyKnot Thu 15-Dec-11 20:45:25

<rubs hands together>

I presume we're talking fairly low budget? Coming so soon after Christmas and all? I'll give you some options OK?


Download an image (something like this maybe and superimpose your text onto the top of the pic (or have the pic in the centre of your invitation and the text at the top and the bottom)

You want something like. Invites: "YO HOW YOU DOIN'? THE CHAMP WOULD LIKE TO INVITE YOUS TO CELEBRATE ___'S 30TH BIRTHDAY THIS (insert date) AT (insert time). DON'T BE NO BUM; COME DRESSED IN YOUR BEST "ROCKY BALBOA" ATTIRE & BE READY TO ENJOY A KNOCK-OUT SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY!" (I found this link with loads of ideas for a Rocky party) If you want to make it fancy dress then you can stipulate this on the invite (v easy to do really, just tracksuits or dressing gowns and shorts! grin OR you could make it just an 80's fancy dress theme if you want - it'll work!

If you're a little more flush how about here and creating your own invite online? I wonder if you could somehow get your DH to do a Rocky pose and take a pic without arousing suspicion. <ponders>


Some ideas here

Love the idea of making the main party room look a bit like a boxing gym - you can definitely download a bunch of images from the net of stills from the film and blow them up before printing. Rope is a great idea and you can also go for lots of american flags look here or you can go for the 80s theme here


Right - I would deffo go for a US theme foodwise. Rocky was a Philadelphian so I'm SO tempted to tell you to go for their state food - Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, but I fear this will drive you potty and is not worth the instead how about a buffet of traditional american foods?

So for some authentic bits and bobs look here it's a bit expensive so just a few bits I think - a big bowl of "candy" maybe or some Gatorade to drink?

Do you want my pulled pork recipe? You can serve pulled pork sandwiches, southern fried chicken, popcorn, hotdogs and burgers - most of this stuff can be cooked in advance and kept warm.

Music - piece of piss, all 80's obviously.

The SURPRISE - have you thought about this yet? It would be great if as he walks in you could have Eye of The Tiger playing.

Mammoth post. <wipes sweaty brow>

Tell me if you need anymore...

Blatherskite Thu 15-Dec-11 21:17:17

The cake is done.

I think.

I'm done for today at any rate so I'll look at it again tomorrow and see if I think anything else needs doing.

DH has taken over the PC so I can't upload the photos from the camera but I do have one on my phone. If I upload it will you give me your honest opinions?

Feel free to suggest things to change as I can have a go tomorrow.

ShirleyKnot Thu 15-Dec-11 21:35:44

Blathers - you've had my opinion via twitter - it. is. amazeballs.

BettyBum Thu 15-Dec-11 21:36:47

OMG Shirley you are an amazing woman!

Sounds fantastic! Yes budget is pretty tiny but think I can do most of those things on a budget. Will have a think tonight but it sounds ace!

It's very exciting, he doesn't suspect a thing bless him! It's even more exciting that it's happening in our new house that we should be moving into early Jan. We bought it partly due to the entertaining space smile

BettyBum Thu 15-Dec-11 21:45:16

Am loving the inflatable boxing gloves!

BerryLellow Thu 15-Dec-11 21:46:32

Hello Shirl and everyone smile

DP, in his infinite wisdom has decided we should throw a party in between Christmas and New Year. It's going to be fairly low key (in our house), for adult friends only (but not in a pervy way) and doesn't need to have a theme as such, but I'd like to steal hear all your food and drink ideas for parties, maybe a good cocktail or two that can be done in jugs. I think I'll be heartily sick of mulled wine by then, but no doubt there will be some on the go.

DP is thinking pork (as always) so I'd really really like your pulled pork recipe pleeeeeease Shirley, so I can wave it at him and he can make it.

I need to make invitations too, and I haven't wrapped any farking presents yet <tears hair out>

Christ. This is a silly idea isn't it?

ShirleyKnot Thu 15-Dec-11 21:57:40


Yes Betty - the stuff I've linked is pretty low budget (apart from the American sweets and the zazzle stuff)

I made pulled pork a few months ago using a cheap joint of pork and it cost peanuts - (I didn't like it personally but my boys loved it so <shrugs>)

If you're tight budget wise then use cheap hotdogs and burgers and spend a little more on some great sauces and relishes - food is generally just fodder anyway for the booze...

Talking about booze - I have become slightly obsessed with making flavoured vodkas and rums. This is a great addition to a party as you can buy the "basic" brands (Sainsbo's do a 750ml bottle of voddie for a tenner for example) and then chuzz (juss? jhuzz?) it up with the addition of some sweets to make something really special and unusual.

I can link you up to my blog posts on pulled pork, a Man vs Food Party (with southern fried chicken and cornbread) and booze help if you want?

Vodka jelly shots are also a great idea (and I THINK in keeping with the theme - Legs like Jelly after a punch from Rocky?) and cheap and easy to produce...oh and you MUST have a punch! It's so obvious I'm scaring myself! grin

I make a halloween punch and add a frozen hand (by filling a rubber glove with water and then freezing it - I'm wondering if you could do the same somehow for a boxing glove...anyone else on this thread have any ideas?

ShirleyKnot Thu 15-Dec-11 22:11:21

Barry Sweetheart!

<does the MC Hammer dance>

<does the Push It Dance>

Helloooo! and welcome to this thread (so happy to see you)

Oh a mid Xmas NYE party is FAB!

Right first up for you Barry is my Pulled pork Ignore the gumph about fanny bread and you can ignore the stuff about the BBQ - it's not necessary really.

At Christmas I like to make pomegranate shots. So get the seeds out of a pomegranate and fill a shot glass halfway with the seeds (you can make tons of these in advance and leave them macerating) then add vodka or gin. Yum.

I have recipes for flavoured vodka's on my blog (linked earlier) if you want to try something a bit different and I think a jug of cocktails made from...sherbert lemon vodka (for example) and lemonade would be great.

If not then how about thinking 50's cocktail party?

OH MAN do this one - everyone get's to dress up - you get to send out totally cool invites, the cocktails back then were FIERCE and you can listen to FABULOUS music all night...

Let me know what you need.

<call me face>


BlastOff Thu 15-Dec-11 22:18:46

Blathers - that cake is FANTASTIC! Wow! Very impressed. How is everything else - all under control?

I don't know anything about Rocky really - I've not even seen it blush - except there are lots of Rocky films. And he ran around the street of Philidelphia to train. I'll have a think.

BerryLellow Thu 15-Dec-11 22:27:53

<you can't touch this -> or this -> grin )

The pulled pork looks great - why you no like? Is it really different to a hog roast sort of thing? <ignorant>

I'm LOVING flavoured vodka, but boringly have only done the blackberry and the christmas pudding versions. Do the sweetie ones take less time? I really like the idea of sherbert lemon etc. Yum. I shall be scanning your blog for vodka tales shortly, you've probably answered all my questions there.

I'd absolutely adore a 50's cocktail party, but I just don't think I'd be able to convince everyone else to do it in that betweeny week. I might do it for my birthday in Feb instead <excited> Lot more time to plan that 13 days?! SHIT! I think I'll have to keep it all wintery/christmassy/new yearsy for this one. Although it's a housewarming in a fashion too... So I need to make some invitations that won't bring on a panic attack/ meltdown in their complexity.

<rambles on>

I'll be back when I'm not tired and delirious

BerryLellow Thu 15-Dec-11 22:29:20

Where are my manners?

Thank you Shirley! <grinds> <big kiss>

ShirleyKnot Thu 15-Dec-11 22:55:00

blush I had blocked out my dance that involved pointing out things that people couldn't touch.


My pulled pork is pretty much like the stuff you get from a van at a festival. I think I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm not really a major pig eater.

So - to bastardise my recipe further to make it serviceable for a winter party I'm going to urge you (Both Berry and Betty) to forget the final BBQ section and instead...remove the pork from the slow cooker (I do have a recipe for an oven cooked version that takes about 24 hours - ask if you need it?) take the excess fat off and shred using two forks. Add some good quality BBQ sauce and shred again.

Pulled pork = DONE.

Berry - I have just posted about a dishwasher version of sweetie vodkas Here

You can make 'em in on a rainy Sunday afternoon - no problem.

OMG - Blathers - the cake is truly amazing - do not change a thing, it's perfect

If I had any time at all whatsoever I would make you one of these to go on it, but it really doesn't need it.

Blathers your cake is ace!!! I love the little sandwiches with bites taken out. Where did you get your lettering? Never seen those before! Are they edible?

Shirley jesus you've surpassed yourself with the rocky party. Makes me wanna organise it myself!!! I was going to ask about the pulled posk as i dont like bbq, so you think it'd be okay to omit that? Was thinking if i made big loafs of stuffing i could indeed make pork rolls like fairgroynd fodder. Not that i have a party planned mind you, just storing ideas.

Nigellas christmas book has some great pitchers of cocktails in it barry, and the free tescos food magazine thats in store at the moment.

BettyBum Fri 16-Dec-11 09:31:57

I must admit that the PP looked do-able until the BBQ bit which looked like a faff. See I love pork so think it would be right up my street. I don't have a slow cooker but could probably borrow one.

I do have Jamie Oliver's 'Jamie's America' so am going to have a look in that in a bit for some more US inspired food.

ShirleyKnot Fri 16-Dec-11 09:59:20

DO you want me to dig out the recipe for pulled pork that goes in the oven?

I can do that tonight for you if you like - IIRC it takes about 12 hours or something shock

TheDR - YES, the BBQ bit was just something I did because it was summer and I could get my hands on those little disposable BBQ things. It's really not necessary AT ALL.

What IS necessary though is the pickles and coleslaw! grin

BettyBum Fri 16-Dec-11 10:09:48

That would be great. For the love of god woman you are committed! grin

ShirleyKnot Fri 16-Dec-11 10:24:38

Pfft. I'll probably disappear off this thread for 3 weeks after this flurry!

grin wink

Blatherskite Fri 16-Dec-11 10:41:16

I'll put up some more photos now DH is at work and I have the computer back.

DW, the letter was cut with a scalpel from roll out icing! I printed off the font on the PC, cut out the letters and then used them as templates. After sitting and painting the rug squares with red food colouring, it seemed like a nice, quick and easy job!

Blatherskite Fri 16-Dec-11 10:57:34

Actually, the camera photos aren't much better than my phone ones. Will take some more today. I need some good pics before it gets eaten!

Blimey blathers thats inspired, i just use letter moulds, the kind where you whack them on the table like a shatterproof ruler. Shirley glad to see you all fired up with parties again.

Im making onion marmalade and it feels like my eyes are burning!!!

Blatherskite Fri 16-Dec-11 14:26:19

My car broke down this morning. Not the end of the world, I managed to get it to the garage and get home without wasting too much party prep time. I could have done without the £102 bill right now but I need the car so...

But now DD has a temperature of 39.5!


ShirleyKnot Fri 16-Dec-11 14:31:54

Oh crispy crap. sad

It's OK, it's OK, it'll all be OK.


Blatherskite Fri 16-Dec-11 14:46:17

I'm hoping it goes as fast as it came. She seems absolutely fine apart from the temperature. Maybe a bit quiet but not ill as such.

I'm going to carry on baking gingerbread bears in defiance of sods law and hope I can win with stubbornness. DD gets hers from me after all

ShirleyKnot Fri 16-Dec-11 15:05:47

Get some calpol down her!

followed swiftly by some ibuprofen. <<crosses fingers for swift recovery>>

BerryLellow Fri 16-Dec-11 15:58:52

Calpol AND nurofen works a treat!

Yes please to ovenable pulled pork recipe Shirley. And with sweet vodka, is there an exact sweetie to spirits ratio that must be adhered to? I've been thinking about sherbet lemon vodka all day blush

Betty, the baked beans from Jamie's America book are amazing, a friend did it for Halloween and people couldn't get enough of it.

Will now flick to alcohol section of nigella Christmas, it's open at chilling jam at the moment and my silly hands are burning from not wearing gloves to chop the chillis.

Ahhh shite i wanted to do chilli jam i completwly forgot. Reckon dh'll like it more than onion marmalade. How long has it taken to make as i still have jars spare and dh is away until tomorrow.

Ooo what is it with kids. Remember mine was struck down before her party. Second alternating the calpol and nurofen. Bet she comes down with nasty cold. Mine did. Then we all did. Including the guests but tough tits to them, i'd worked too hard on that party.

ShirleyKnot Fri 16-Dec-11 16:45:23

I will sort the ovenable PP recipe tonight.

Sherbert vodka - I would do 750ml vodka and get 3 bags sherbert lemons. You will deffo need 2 bags (smash em up before putting in the kilner jar) and then taste once it's done (if it needs more sweeties, you've got the third bag to fall back on)

Blatherskite Fri 16-Dec-11 17:17:39

She's stomping round the lounge in an old pair of DS's slippers that are 2 sizes to big! She adores them and insists on wearing them - apparently, her feet are cold! The rest of her is burning up!

On the plus side, I have made 60 gingerbread bears today between runs to the garage and poorly girl snuggles. That's 2 each per child plus 6 spare!

House is still a tip but the party will be fine. Just hoping DD isn't too poorly to come sad

BerryLellow Fri 16-Dec-11 18:23:52

Chilli jam didn't take long at all, couple of hours? I did a lot of faffing too!

3 bags it is then, I'll get it tomorrow. Probably. And then report back!

Hope dd stages a rapid recovery blatherskite

BerryLellow Fri 16-Dec-11 18:31:15

Has anyone made the gingerbread from nigella Christmas? I've been eyeing it up all week.

FellatioNelson Fri 16-Dec-11 18:36:32

Ah. Now I know the offical meaning of your name Blathers I think it is perfect for me. I never shurrup but it's mostly hot air and twaddle. Want to swap? grin

FellatioNelson Fri 16-Dec-11 18:38:59

<wonders if will find sherbet lemons in Qatar or whether to add them to visiting mother's emergency food parcel list>

CupOfGoodCheer Fri 16-Dec-11 18:50:16

Please can I have some party help from you lovely ladies?

DP and I are getting married next year, in July. We want a teeny tiny wedding, and are subsequently getting married in the local registry office on a Friday morning, then going for a nice lunch. 16 invitees total.

However, the only way I have managed to get my DM on board with this is by promising them that they can throw a huuuuge party on the Saturday night.

Currently we have over 100 possibly being invited, a marquee in the garden, a rock and roll type live band and a buffet. Basically my parents are paying so they can have (imo) pretty much what they like.... BUT

DP and I don't want there to be any kind of wedding reception-y feel to it at all. Its a party to celebrate a wedding, but NOT a reception, iyswim! However, DM is now chuntering that some of the guests will be coming an extremely long way (DP is German and even though we are also having a party in Germany, some of his friends/family want to come along to the UK knees-up too) and they will expect some sort of wedding-y type "fuss". She is also stealthily starting to suggest such wedding accoutrements as a seating plan, a wedding list, a Big Dress etc etc.

My question is, how do we make it special enough for those travelling long distances (and spending lots of money) without compromising too many "principles"? We are totally adamant that there will be no first dance (DP would curl up and die), no cake, no cheesy colour scheme, no dress code (although I'm considering re-wearing my very simple wedding dress as "people will expect to see you in it"), speeches (except my Ddad will give a short welcome speech, including some in German for DP's family).

Oh, and question number 2, can you think of any way to get the German contingent feeling more involved? At the moment they feel that their noses are being a bit pushed out, but I've no idea how I can include them in something happening 1000 miles away! I'm not even really organising anything much myself at the moment, as DM has gone into wedding-planner mode!

Sorry this is so long, but does what we have planned sound ok? I'd really appreciate anyone's thoughts!! Thanks x

FellatioNelson Fri 16-Dec-11 19:00:45

I think you should have a dual-nationality buffet with typically English food and typically Geman food. Perhaps have British flags and German flags crossed/linked around the room, and as it's in the garden get a football match going of German V British. Perhaps you could have teams including women, children etc so it's all light-hearted fun and not too competitive.

FellatioNelson Fri 16-Dec-11 19:02:23

Or do the marquee up as a beer keller. grin

CupOfGoodCheer Fri 16-Dec-11 19:05:15

That sounds interesting, Fellatio.

Maybe it would be better to start a bit earlier and kind of manage it a bit more. Tbh I was just going to open the bar about 6, buffet at 7:30 and let everyone get on with it.

grin @ the bierkeller, DP would certainly feel right at home!

CupOfGoodCheer Fri 16-Dec-11 19:06:50

There's also only about 16 German people coming to the party, and a ton of British friends.

Do you think we should "give in" to DM on having a seating plan to ensure people mingle, or let the German contingent stick together?

CupOfGoodCheer would your DM have a complete melt-down if you turned it into a mini-festival? I am thinking get a couple of local bands, and maybe do a barn dance / Ceildh (sp?) ? More of a general chilling-in-a-field (or garden) vibe than a stuffy wedding one? DrsW's idea of "fairground food" would work well for that - mini-stalls rather than one buffet?

(this is all fantasy party planning, BTW, as I have never done anything on that scale grin)

...ooh and if you had food "stalls" then the German contingent could plan a couple of their own without anyone imposing stereotypes on them??

CupOfGoodCheer Fri 16-Dec-11 19:11:43

Ohhhh that might be a great idea stealth - DP is a musician so it would be right up his street!

Money would be a worry, as the band we've got are costing about 1200 quid. Wild horses wouldn't make DP play. The Germany party will definitely be a ton of DP's friends all playing a small set each, so it could tie in quite well.

We could do something like a barn dance early on maybe, then segue into a rock and roll knees up come the evening?

Regarding food, I'll look into whether any caterers could do stalls. Or a bbq maybe?

Yes!!! If its in summer you can do like a british summer fete rather than a wedding. Fair ground fodder, bunting, candy floss etc etc. No need for a seating plan as very much a mingley affair. But if you do it pastelly coloyrs rather than brights it may feel weddingy enough to keep your mum happy. You dont need to worry about the german element as you could be making it a taste of british summer. Look on pinterest loads of 'rustic' ideas that would work for a british garden party/fete stylie. Damn it may steal that for my imaginary christening but my garden aint big enough.

ShirleyKnot Fri 16-Dec-11 19:14:52

Oh stealth - you are too, too good at this!


<waves hello at Cupofgoodcheer and FN>

ShirleyKnot Fri 16-Dec-11 19:16:35

I like the Summer Fete idea as well! You could go quite shabby chic (if you like that kind of stuff) which can keep costs down...

Is it too late to swap 1 expensive band for 2-3 cheaper (young and keen) ones, especially if DP is in a position to choose good ones?

Barn Dance with a good caller and a liberal sprinkling of children to bully the adults into taking part works well IME.

It would also give you an excuse to dispense with stuffy expensive bar and make it more of a beer festival bar if you can find a good local pub who would run it for you (or would that be a step too far for your parents?)

CupOfGoodCheer Fri 16-Dec-11 19:23:45

<waves at Shirley>

DP is enthusiastic about farmer's market type food (he's a food snob smile) and maybe starting mid-afternoon....

We could have hay bales scattered about to sit on, bunting.... maybe a footie match or something else which brings everyone together? Then maybe a couple of small local bands (cheap!) and have the main act starting around 7? They are also providing a DJ in with the price, who could play later on.

We'd also need bacon butties or something to eat later on, if people will be eating early.

Gawd I'll be hammered!!! grin

Maybe a more informal dress code might be needed?

CupOfGoodCheer Fri 16-Dec-11 19:24:27

Not too late for anything, I don't think anythings been paid for yet. Maybe the marquee....

CupOfGoodCheer Fri 16-Dec-11 19:25:55

Parents are pretty cool to be honest, in fact I think they'll love the idea as its a bit more of an "event" iyswim.

They'll possibly be worried about cost implications, although Ddad is being a star about it all (only daughter grin)

CupOfGoodCheer Fri 16-Dec-11 19:26:41

Barn dance wouldn't be up DP's street I don't think, he HATES dancing <miserable>

My 'best' wedding i've been to was at a farm. I didnt even know the bride or groom (dh's golf buddy) so its remarkable that it was my favourite. It was at the brides uncles farm. Lovely canapes, flowers picked and put in vases and jam jars, bunting, homemade jams as favours. They had catering but desserts was this huge table where the families had made their heirloom recipes so 'mums sherry trifle' great aunt doris's chocolate cake. They had the recipes on luggage lables if you liked something to copy. Was a real summer affair, live bands and her dress was a prom style vintage lace number. Lovely.

I can remember all that and i cant for the life of me remember their names! How awful!

LEttletownofBOFlehem Fri 16-Dec-11 19:36:58


Shirley- you really need to turn this into a business, you know.

CupOfGoodCheer Fri 16-Dec-11 19:49:54

I love the relaxed feel of a fete, but.... what if it rains? Could be a disaster...?

Your replies have made me see this in a whole new light! Thank you a thousand times grin

ShirleyKnotChristmas Fri 16-Dec-11 19:57:10

Heh - Boffy!

Well its traditional to piss it down at a fete. Buuut you could hire tons of umbrellas and your mum is planning on you being under a marquee anyway so i'd imagine she pictures you sat at crisp white linen tables and cut glass whereas you could fill it with haybales and stalls etc.

At wimbledon they have like a little village of stalls strawberries and cream, fish and chips etc. You could do similar with catering for some and some self service if you wanna keep costs down and people mingling. In fact can i come?

CupOfGoodCheer Fri 16-Dec-11 21:08:04

hehe all invited, tdw46!

No, DM isn't precious about linen, crystal glasses etc at all. Her requirement is simply a big knees up that she can invite family/all her friends/hairdresser/the postman to grin

I'll definitely give her a ring tomorrow to discuss all these fab ideas!

BlastOff Fri 16-Dec-11 22:31:46

I have written two massive posts today which have been eaten by my phone when I've tried to link to sites. The summary was : fete/ festival = brilliant. People love to go to what is 'authentically' British, just as if we would love to go to authentic German/ Italian / insert as applicable party/ wedding. And it's nostalgic and fun for the Brits to love too. I agree - perfect.

What about oversized garden games like Jenga, connect four etc. I would link but phone being a nightmare, but local places throughout the country and not that expensive at all. Not sure how many/ what age children but they'd love that too. I think croquet possibly a bit too garden party, but went down a storm at my wedding; copious amounts few glasses of champagne and everyone's game, and any low key, join-in-if-you-fancy games are good for mingling and mixing your guests.

BlastOff Fri 16-Dec-11 22:38:48

Also, there are plenty of places like this one round the country which could add a real fete vibe.

I went to a wedding which had a hot potato van which went down really well as late evening food. You can also hire ice cream vans etc, but not sure how much that's getting to price wise.

Blatherskite Sat 17-Dec-11 08:32:08

DD seems to be better!! shock grin

Am cooking the pizza ready. Will bore show you all the photos later.

Fellatio, if I was going to swap names with anybody, it'd definitely be you smile

BlastOff Sat 17-Dec-11 10:04:52

Oh I'm so pleased. Hope dd has a wonderful party, and it all goes as you have planned and you enjoy it too! Good luck!

Great news blathers. Lots of pics please!!

Fellatio if i was gonna swap names it would not be yours. Good god imagine the ideas dh may get! <faint>

Eggrules Sat 17-Dec-11 13:41:24

Hello All <brings wine and a massive box of Worcester Sauce Wheat Crunchies for ShirleyKnotChristmas>

I am planning an informal get together for 2 other families over Christmas and would appreciate food and celebration ideas. The main problem I have is that one of the dads is very fussy and his whole family like very plain food - garlic bread is spicy.

So far I have had made chili, pasta, pizza and am looking for something different that will appeal to as many peeps as possible. There are 6 adults, 4 DC aged 4-8 and a 1 YO.

Very many thanks.

Is greek too out their for them? My dd's godmother does a great greek spread. Feta, olives, klefitico type stew dishes, greek salads, dips and breads. Hmmm nice.

Or if pizza and pasta have done well before could you do an italian theme. Antipasti, lasagne, salad, ciabatta.

If its around christmas maybe christmassy stuff thats not turkey! A baked ham, breads cheeses, chutneys and let everyone help themselves. Im pregnant so im making pitchers of 'mocktails' could you do similar?

And has blathers not surfaced yet. Party was at 12. Hope she survived.

BlastOff Sat 17-Dec-11 19:30:09

Eggrolls - What about a big casserole, served with green veg and warm crusty bread for mopping up the sauce. I have a lovely Italian Beef recipe I could post (has artichokes and olives in - would that be 'plain' enough?) Or Jamie's 'jools' favourite beef stew' is fabulous. Equally you could do a coq au vin or sausage casserole? Or Delia has a lovely venison sausage casserole recipe with juniper berries?

A big one pot would be lovely and warming and once prepared is done and you can concentrate on drinking your guests.

Blatherskite - how did it go? Hope the teddy bears enjoyed themselves and you have a large glass of wine in hand.

Blatherskite Sat 17-Dec-11 19:42:32

It's over. It was complete chaos and a little too much for DD if I'm honest but I think everyone had a good time. My family came back here afterwards for a sit down before they drove the 2 hours home which is why I've not been back for an update before.

I couldn't have done it without my family helping. Even my Brother's brand new girlfriend who I've never met before pitched in and helped. He can keep her [wink}

I'm totally knackered now so will upload the photos tomorrow.

Time for a fried egg sandwich and a large drink now I think - I've earned it

BlastOff Sat 17-Dec-11 20:31:14

Enjoy - well deserved. Hope you've done better with the photos than I did!

Yeahhhh great to hear it went so well. And well done blathers bro for picking a good'n.

Todays advent activity here was a magic bathtime. Dd had bath paint soap stuff. She was as blue as a smurf! Blue hair. Totally loved it.

Cant wait for pics please blathers.

Eggrules Sun 18-Dec-11 09:42:52

I missed some essential information out blush

Egg Towers has a shortage of space. I struggle to seat 2 families, 3 is out of the question. I like the idea of (stifado) stew, veggies and bread - I could bulk this out with mezze type things.

I think it will be too too exotic for my plain eater though (pasta is out). Ham, cheeses etc is a good alternative; as is a fried egg sandwich.

Blathers- your cake was amazing. Glad the party went well and that your DD was ok.

BlastOff Sun 18-Dec-11 19:11:25

blush sorry Eggrules for calling you Eggrollsblush It must have been Blathers fried egg sandwich which did it grin Anyway have you considered moussaka? Would that be plain enough? Or if you do go with stew you could make two - one very plain and the other a bit more exciting. I think for that many people you will need two anyway, and the base is the same for both.

Eggrules Sun 18-Dec-11 19:38:17

Rolls/rules it's all fine grin.

I have a massive slow cooker that will feed that many people. I need a house big enough to entertain properly in (and less fussy guests).

BlastOff Sun 18-Dec-11 19:51:30

Ahh, unfortunately I can't help with those two wink

Eggrules Sun 18-Dec-11 20:22:35

In fact I love my little semi and it would fit 2 families comfortably grin.

Nah I'll be nice

Blatherskite Mon 19-Dec-11 09:18:16

Photos are finally up. smile

So was everyone suitably admiring of cake and concept and everything, Blathers? AS for it being a bit much for DD, I often felt that with my DC when they were smaller - but when they reflect on the party afterwards they claim to have really enjoyed it. DD secured her next completely OTT party with a sleepy "Thank you very much for the party, Mummy" as she snuggled down after this year's grin[sucker].

Eggrules as soon as anyone says "I can't eat...." all I can think of is recipes which won't work. My Godmother, who can't eat cheese, and a friend who can't eat garlic (properly can't, it makes her throw up, even if she couldn't taste it hmm) have the same effect on me. DM and I even once made cheescake for Godmother's visit without thinking it through. All I can now think of is lots of lovely spicy food for feeding crowds!

BlastOff Mon 19-Dec-11 10:19:06

Blathers - love it! The table with the food on looks great, and I love the picnic basket too. Your cake still looks spectacular! Fabulous - you must be really pleased.

And now for Christmas... winkgrin

Ah yes, Christmnas. Must do something about that grin. Actually, today (apart from working) I need to make a guitar-playing penguin and finish the left-over 3 mini cakes (no idea what the other 2 are going to have on, or who they are for - but DD wants one for her guitar teacher who is coming tomorrow)

Wow Blathers...look at that massive table! Loving all the detail, well done you. Picnic basket is brilliant. So what party are you planning now then wink

I'm trying to work from home, quickly catching up as much as I can. Neant to start mat leave on the 15th jan which is three weeks before baby comes. trying to persuade DD to watch a disney DVD and let me get on. We've made DH's xmas card, a footprint penguin which resulted in DD running across the lino with black painted feet! arghhhhh.

so blathers is now exhausted in a heap, eggrules has to cater for the masses with no room. what are we all doing for christmas?

I am trying to work at home with both DC here. It's not a good idea. They are currently squabbling over the attempt to make a cuddly reindeer as a present for FC's reindeer - a nice idea, but the execution is going to result in bloodshed. I can't moan at my DM about them because I am going to dump them on her tomorrow in order to go to a meeting so she needs to believe they can be good.

Blatherskite Mon 19-Dec-11 12:31:30

Everyone was very impressed with the cake. Obviously, I had to shrug off all compliments as replying with "yes it is good isn't it" would have been a bit lot big headed grin We still have plenty left too!!

I was a bit worried that the hall looked a bit sparse, especially after 75% of the balloons popped before anyone even got there! but there was a limit to how much we could take down and put up before everyone arrived. There were only 5 little tables too so we had to set up the long picnic bench then wait till everyone was finished and move the tables to do the activities. It all went a bit hectic in the interim which I felt was the only thing that went really wrong on the day. I think it was the massive age range that did it, too many different levels to try to cater for. DS had a cake at a local farm for his 3rd so hopefully I can scale things down next year.

Next party is DS's 5th in March. He's asked for a pizza making party at Pizza Express which is fine by me. I was already wondering about making a Pizza cake though wink and there'll be party bags to do too....

This thread is going to be bad for my stress levels I can tell grin

Christmas is at MIL's although we are spending Christmas Eve here. My plan is to watch Polar Express with the children while snuggling on the sofa eating Pizza and Popcorn and then give them their Christmas eve presents (new PJs and a Christmassy book) that I've wrapped with little Polar Express style bells on the tags before bath and bed, into new jamas and snuggle up with new books before settling down with a large bottle of something with DH.

Blatherskite Mon 19-Dec-11 12:33:28

I was going to attempt to make reindeer antlers with the DCs this afternoon but they're both currently engrossed in the Disney Christmas movie so I'm on here instead grin

Pizza cakes are both easy and fun, Blathers grin

Blatherskite Mon 19-Dec-11 12:39:35

Temptress! wink

If we do the Pizza Party, it'll be about £10 a head plus some extra pizza for the adults so we'll be far fewer guests and won't need a massive Costco cake. Pizza Cake would just be a round sponge with some modelled toppings I thought.

The challenge would be to make it as realistic as possible.

ohhhhh polar express bells is a brill idea. I've got the film and PJ's to give DD on xmas eve, we've all got PJ's actually. DH has penguin ones from asda. never thought about the bells (off to ransack the instrument box).

I've got xmas at home but all our parents are seperated and so each set insists that we visit them over xmas. I did invite them here as I'm too tired to start doing the rounds but everyone declined and now are calling repeadedly trying to find out when we are all coming. really annoying me. Xmas eve I think there is a kids church service, then a kids party at the village pub, home to bed for christmas film. At some point Dh and I have to build a wooden play kitchen! And hide it!

Eggrules Mon 19-Dec-11 13:06:22

I am working from home too.

Poor you DoctorsWife, parent situation sounds complicated.

Blathers your party looked AMAZING.

We may have visitors for NYE DH has invited his Sis and her partner. I like more notice to plan properly so they need to decide if they are coming or not asap.

I did a Day of the Dead Halloween theme party. Fussy eater ate crusty bread. Have also done colcannon and mash - onion gravy and pork and apple snags were... too exotic. I do feel sorry for the poor fella, his diet is so plain he must be bored.

Blatherskite Mon 19-Dec-11 13:36:13

I've started DD on the cake making obsession - she got this for her birthday grin

I love that cake decorating set. I've been tempted by that many a time. good one blathers. Eggrules I suggest your fussy eater is just presented with a loaf and cheese and sat in the corner!

My parent situation is horrendous and I've thrown a real hissy fit over it blush. I've even stooped to playing the pregnancy card. His dad we have seen twice in a year (lives 30 mins away) yet he insists we visit him. He tried to insist on me bringing DD to him on xmas day, I refused. he said he wanted to see all the kids before he went to friends in somerset, that he is driving to two other sets of grandchildren but cant stretch to us so we'll have to bring DD to him. I said no way. she doesnt leave the house on xmas day. i wouldnt mind but DD is petfrified of him as no idea who he is.

MIL insists on us all going round for present drop etc before xmas, so busy sorting that. then she announces that she'll do a big family party between xmas and new year so we have to go back for that too.

My mum i asked here for boxing day but she then swapped it to her house so that my brother could come (he is a chef near her). So it all gets swapped to hers and my bro announces today that he's working and wont be there!

My dad i tried to visit for his 60th at the end of October, his wife told me no we couldnt come because her brother was coming down and they were going out with them instead!!! Then at DD's party my dad suggested i come down for day at London zoo as I'd suggested. Errr no thanks. Not now. i told him I'll come on 2nd jan but now he's not talking to me.

oh and its my anniversary on the 27th...not that anyone seems to give a shiny shit in our families. God forbid we may want a nice day together for that. Nooooooooo.

rant over. wanna hear my hypothetical christening plans?

Blatherskite Mon 19-Dec-11 15:17:42

Sounds complicated DW. I'd be pulling the pregnancy card big time and getting them all to come to you and ignoring strops - I'm getting good at that. "Friend" of previous birthday party upset and her DH were making "funny" comments about DD's party and Christmas themes/outfits all evening when we went out the night before. Do what I did, Smile and ignore - and then come back here and bitch about it wink

We may be going to MIL's for Christmas but I've been tasked with bringing desserts so I've just ordered the bits for 'Spruced up Vanilla cake' a la Nigella (I have the special bunt tin and everything smile ), Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake. The Christmas cake is already made, it just needs Icing. I have also got the bits to make a Gingerbread House for us. Our house is so simple, I'm going to try to make it look like home - I'm mad right?

Still, we'll have fun trying smile

Blatherskite Mon 19-Dec-11 15:18:18

And yes please to the Christening plans. I never got the DCs done so I missed out on all that

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Mon 19-Dec-11 15:20:33


Do you like my Christmas name?

wow xmas name. No way of festiving mine! I iced my xmas cake yesterday. complete cop out, holly and ivy leaves in white on white cake. Silver balls dotted about and silver ribbon. well easy but very fast to do.

Well in my head this christeing is my chance to showcase the family tree work i've done since DD was born. So thinking our family tree has grown, green and white/leaf theme. making a family tree with skeleton leaves on with forebears on it etc so quests can trace their own lines back.

Thinking something like this
made into topiary trees for table.
for guests to complete for baby as keep sake

want to do a cake like this leaf cupcakes stack but trying to think how I could maybe put bootees on the top?

come on people chip in with some ideas....I know its probably bad luck to plan a christening for a baby that isnt born but seriously. i need something to get me through this pregnancy ha ha. I saw this too but think it's prob too weddingy but I like it a lot..¢er=272429&gallery=228649&slide=125426

LOL at the getting DC hooked - DD is getting this for Christmas grin

DrsW, I will be all too glad to join in vicarious christening planning, as soon as my DC stop squabbling for more than 5 mins [sigh].

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Mon 19-Dec-11 16:38:44

I love the thumbprint keepsake. I want one of these for my family but need a good excuse to buy it grin Either that or I need to make one myself, I'd quite like the tree to say 'Family' (like Family tree) rather than 'Love'.

I think if I were doing the cake, I'd put just the leaves on the cupcake and the bootees on the top, cake layer only. Could look a little too busy with them on all the cupcakes too and the beauty of it is it's simplicity.

These would make great decorations.

Alternative invitations?

See i've sucked you in to my fantasy plans now. Invites can be absolutely what we like as my dad is a graphic designer/typesetter so can do bespoke for freeeeeeee.

Love the love tree blathers. Agree family would be nice. That website is great for inspiration for 'stuff i can make myself for cheaps'.

I should add that technically its not a christening. Dd had a service of thanksgiving where we gave thanks for her and swore to provide a loving home but she still has godparents. So doesnt have to have strong religious theme.and i had my wedding dress made into a romper suit with detachable skirt so either sex can wear the 'gown'.

BlastOff Mon 19-Dec-11 19:22:22

I love the family tree idea. You could have a beautiful drawn tree with family photos on as a centrepiece or table plan (depending on how formal you're being and how artistic you are!). Or an actual little tree, say 5ft, such as a silver birch and hang family photos from the branches. If having trees indoors is good enough for Kate and Wills... grin

Have you seen the gorgeous Quaker tree prints? I'll see if I can find an image; they really are stunning.

I also made footprint Christmas cards with ds1 & 2 - snowmen out of white footprints. I like the idea of penguins out of black footprints but not sure I can face the ensuing carnage again this year.

I ordered a sainsbury's shop to come this evening but I forgot about it didn't finish it last night as I had planned because ds2 laughs in the face of sleep at the moment... Last night he woke every 1 1/2 hours. Arrrgh. So I have two packets of smoked salmon, 4 lemons, philadelphia, blinis and 8 potatoes coming at 9pm instead of my Christmas shop... blush grin At least I didn't just fill it with loo roll and dishwasher tablets.

BlastOff Mon 19-Dec-11 19:31:48

It's the Quaker tree of life. Which is so appropriate. THere are a couple of images here and here. There are lots of images and I believe they were often cross stitched as keepsakes.

I am sure you found find a really beautiful one for invitations etc if you like them.

BlastOff Mon 19-Dec-11 20:24:53

Humph - did those links on phone whilst feeding ds2 (aka amazing non sleeping baby) - they are rubbish. Let me find some better ones.

BlastOff Mon 19-Dec-11 20:59:01

here and here and if you google 'tree of life' and 'quaker tree of life' there are lots of lovely images.

Blastoff that sounds like a balanced and almost complete Christmas shop to me grin

I am liking the whole Quaker tree-of-life thing. It's a gorgeous theme for a Christening/ Naming (DS had the latter - no church service involved, just the party. I think the sticking point on organising something for DD is that we have used up all the best Godparents blush)

I've got the same issue with godparents stealth so im going to duplicate. Dd has three sets rather than three people. I couldnt choose from couples we're so close to, so we had couples rather than trying to choose husbands over wives etc. We had one couple from dh's friends, one couple from mine and a set of mutual ones. And one set are our childrens named guardians. Well you heard about our weird families!!!! Rather my friends had them!!

I am named guardian for one of my DGoddaughters, DrsW, and godmother to the offspring of 2 of DS's godparents.

whilst we are planning hypothetical parties, ideas on how I could spin a naming-day-equivalent for a very stroppy and opinionated 5yo would be welcome grin

I am named guardian for one of my DGoddaughters, DrsW, and godmother to the offspring of 2 of DS's godparents.

whilst we are planning hypothetical parties, ideas on how I could spin a naming-day-equivalent for a very stroppy and opinionated 5yo would be welcome grin

I am named guardian for one of my DGoddaughters, DrsW, and godmother to the offspring of 2 of DS's godparents.

whilst we are planning hypothetical parties, ideas on how I could spin a naming-day-equivalent for a very stroppy and opinionated 5yo would be welcome grin

Sorry stealth i missed that, what'd you say? wink

What are you thinking a humanist kind of style anywhere you like? Religious type thanksgiving like im going for with godparents or an official naming ceremony with a registrar?

Oh FGS stupid stupid 'phone blush

Humanist-style was what we went for with DS, but he was a baby so it was a "welcome to the world" party as well, which clearly anything we did for DD couldn't be. I wouldn't be averse to a church element (we live "next door" (across a field) to the church) but I think our vicar is keen on integrating baptism into regular services rather than it being a private thing. I am intruiged by your mid-way option too [dither].

This, BTW, is as far as I get every few months, and have done for the last 5 years!

BlastOff Tue 20-Dec-11 18:34:02

Stealthsquiggle - does your dd's name mean anything? Or does she have a nickname? Could you use that some way?

Or if you are into that kind of thing, could you use her birth stone or star sign some way?

Or is there some significance as to where she was born? Or spent the first few years?

Which month was she born in?

Or what about a colour or rainbow coloured party (discussed much earlier in the thread)?

It's a flower name, Blastoff, so it would be easy enough to theme a party. I guess the stumbling block for me is how do I position this (hypothetical) party? It's not a welcome-to-the-world like DrsW is planning for DC2, so what is it, really confused?

BlastOff Tue 20-Dec-11 18:53:41

Perhaps just say it's a celebration.

And if you feel you need to say more you could say it's because she didn't have a naming ceremony, or even say it's an excuse to get everyone together?

or that you really want an excuse to plan another party and make another cake wink

BlastOff Tue 20-Dec-11 18:55:10

I've just read your post stealthsquiggle and realise that, despite you posting it three times, I hadn't read it properly at all, sorry blush

What i'm having/had for dd would work. Service of thanksgiving for a child. As parents we had to swear to provide a loving supportive home. With gods help we will. Godparents promise to support the parents. Extended guests promise to do the same etc.

I had two readings, one wishes for the child type thing.the other was a guide for parents. As its thanking god for your child you can hold it anywhere so long as minister agrees. We had ours in a chapel but its deconsecrated so could well have been a hotel room, garden, your own lounge!

I had that as i wanted a religious element but dh is a non believer. Even he could agree to provide love.

Any good for you?

Oh and i avoided baptism because it was part of sunday service and i wanted a private ceremony which this was. 20 people. I even had the minister who married us. Was lovely. She did say i could have had the service anywhere i liked.

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Tue 20-Dec-11 22:25:14

The reason DS and DD had such big 2nd birthday parties was because we never had a christening/naming ceremony for them. Could you do a bigger birthday party next year maybe instead?

d'you think I could get away with combining that with her acquiring pseudo-godparents? I do feel that "special" non-related adults are an important concept in life and I feel awful at having provided them for DS and not for DD.

Is it important for someone to name those adults. I mean label them officially or could you ask them to act as godparents/sponsors and maybe do a reading or similar at the party?

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Wed 21-Dec-11 07:39:45

I do feel bad that my children don't have named guardians for if anything should happen to us. DH's family are all far too religious for my liking, as are his close friends and none of my family and close friends live close enough for the children to know them very well. I do worry about it as I think SILs would be the ones who would probably want to take the children if anything were to happen. I just can't think of anybody I'd trust to bring them up the way I'd like sad

Could you maybe make the cake into a birthday/ceremonial cake with a candle each for DD and her "god"parents. Get the "god"parents to bring the cake out together and everyone blows a candle out at the end of happy birthday to signify them being linked?

It's a horrible thing to have to think about, Blathers, and TBH we haven't done the paperwork properly (whereas DGoddaughter's uber-organised mother did it before she was born!)

I need to think on this birthday-and-godparent-acquiring combo (we call DS's godparents to avoid confusion even though they made no religious promises) - I do have a while.

Meanwhile, we can concentrate on DrW's christening plans grin - and I can decide whether to do a Twelfth Night party this year.

Blathers excuse me if I'm stating the obvious but you do know guardians arent godparents? Please dont think im being patronising, its just not clear with the guardians verses naming day talk etc. Although we hadnt made our wills, we'd asked our friends and notified our families that DD is to go to our friends.

We only got round to writing our wills about 3 months ago as Dc2 made it more pressing. I've had to write a letter too enclosed in my will explaining why I choose friends over family as the decision can be overuled by the family court in the event of my death. My brother is a hippy waster and my SIL is evil personified. Wished me dead in child birth (which was nice). So no way do I want them raising my kids. Our chosen friends are also recently approved for adoption so in a worst case scenario they could end up going from no kids to about 4 in moments!

I'm loving the cake idea that blathers has suggested but would go to the lengths of them each lighting a candle for her. DH and I had the baby name talk for the first time last night.....anyone wanna play that game as no way would I dare brave the baby name boards. Wanna dissect the choices?

Do you know what variety DC2 is, DrsW, or are you debating both?

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Wed 21-Dec-11 12:54:54

Yes, DW. It has all got a bit mixed up hasn't it! DH has Godchildren and we're not their guardians, I'm aware they're not the same thing smile

Let's hear your baby name options then - I have a feeling DSis is thinking of using DD's nickname for her baby which is going to annoy me no end if I'm right

debating both! DD is adament that its a girl. So I think its a girl but I'm not sure if thats legitimate feelings or DD rubbing off on me. She absolutely never waivers, girl girl girl. Screaming abdabs in the shop when I wont let her buy her pink baby some pink shoes. So we're debating both sets..

Here goes then. Right it may get complicated. Firstly DH loves the name Percy for a boy (his great grandad) I said no way as its a euphemism for penis. So he now only likes Henry. Henry was my grandad's name so I'm okay with it but I really love Elliott.

So we have
Henry Elliott
Elliott Henry
Henry Charles
Henry Albert

(old names that are wild cards I suppose but Charles was my grandads middle name so i havent challenged DH on it, his grandad had charles so assume its where he pulled it from)
I should add that it is expected that any son will be called John! I have said no way. Its his family name of 6 generations. Still no. So their could be ructions about using Henry but not John. I'm quite okay with this!

Girls at risk of outing myself DD is Sophie Ella.
Top names are Lucie, Katie, Lily and DD has taken to calling her girl baby Percie! Now DH is turning cartwheels as i vetoed it for boys but in my hormonal state its growing on me with DD keep saying it. Not one girl in 2010 was named Percie, Persie etc i have told DH there is a reason! Although its short for Persephone that is not twee enough for DH. he likes sugary names like Milly, Ellie, Sophie etc. I wanted to name her Lydia!

Now i love Lucie Emma, but its sounds like I'm matching it with Sophie Ella.
So Lucie Emma
Lucie Lydia
Katie Lydia
Katie Emma and so on...

or Percie!

BlastOff Wed 21-Dec-11 13:27:20

I love love love Henry. I'd have gone for it but dh vetoed it. I know a lovely little Elliott! All the middle names are nice too.

I really like Lucie and Katie. I'm not sure about the alliteration of Lucie Lydia, but I do like Lydia per se. I think it's very elegant. Emma is nice and classic too. I liked Lucy if we had had a girl, although I would have spelled it Lucy as I think it's less likely to cause confusion when other people are spelling it, but I can understand that it's more 'unusual' as Lucie.

I think you've picked lovely names. Great taste! smile

Ah yes the alliteration isnt a problem as our surname is "s" so sophie is "SS".
DH wants to use spelling Lucie rather than Lucy as mirrors DD's spelling.

I quite like it as its the spelling of Lucie who met mrs tiggywinkle!! Im an old fart me. we have a nephew lewis is that too close both likely to get called "lu/lew" Lucie is my favourite so far though.

My vote would go to Henry Charles for a boy, and Lily <any of the 2nd names except Lydia because it doesn't go, although I like it in itself and there are Lydias in DCs school> for a girl. The trouble with Katie is that everyone assumes it is short for Katherine (which I assume it wouldn't be?).

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Wed 21-Dec-11 13:52:22

We had a Henry round here this morning! smile

I know a little Elliott too but he's French. I think they're both lovely but if I were choosing, I think I'd pick Henry. All the middle names go really well too. I'm not really helping here am I?

Girls - I'm definitely keener on Katie but then that is the nickname of DD's that I think DSis might like for her new baby. I know it really doesn't go with the fact that we chose to spell her name with a C but I was hormonal at the time and it just felt right-er spelt that way - and if it's good enough for Kate Middleton, it's good enough for me grin

DD's middle name is Emily too which means my choice is easy.

I agree with BlastOff that Lucie Lydia is a bit too alliterative for me and I'd probably spell Lucie as Lucy to make misspellings less likely.

I wouldn't worry too much about matching the names. It's only going to come up when you fill in official forms and might be nice for them. I have 2 sisters and Mum finished all of our names with the same 2 letters and started all of our middle name with the same letter too so we properly match. It's never been a problem and I actually kind of like it. Depends on how many more children you're going to have though I guess. By the time Mum got to my DBrother, the choice of names that matched was so limited that the name they ended up with as the girls option was truly terrible, I was relieved when he was a Boy and I was only 6.5!

DS and DD 'match' in that both their names are Greek with 9 letters but that was purely accidental.

Emma is a female family name on my dad's side and so I'd be quite glad to use that actually .

Henry I do love too and having done the family tree I've seen that its my family name going back about 8 generations. I'm really relishing the chance either way to announce "It's not John!" to the in laws. Callous cow. Actually it just dawned on me. If I do family tree theme christening, they'll see quite openly that the names are from by side and John was clearly not good enough for me. eek.

<shh> Blathers I have exactly the same illogical name/nickname combination as your DD grin

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Wed 21-Dec-11 14:55:54

Really? grin

Does it work? DD is only 2 so we've not had much chance to test it out yet.

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Wed 21-Dec-11 14:56:23

Right, I'm off to make a replica of my house from Gingerbread. Wish me luck!

Good Luck with the gingerbread, you nutter (of course if it goes wrong you can just deny that it is supposed to look anything like the house). I have to make a birthday cake for my mother later (birthday is tomorrow - oops).

Name combo works for me but does confuse others - I chose to revert to my full name when I went to secondary school so friends from there, uni and work know me by my full name, family call me by nickname, and DH's family call me by a different shortening which I have never used and don't much like hmm. I do have to remember which I am when I sign cards, and the rare occasions when those communities mix can be confusing.

I am making it sound not all right at all, aren't I?! I think you need to decide whether to make a point of telling school, etc what DD wants to be known as otherwise they will default to her full name. There are, for example, 2 Isabellas in DD's class, who were called "Isabella X" and "Isabella Y" until one of their DM's went into school to point out that her Isabella was never called Isabella at home, and they now have "Bella" and "Isabella". It was because I couldn't be bothered going through the whole "it's not <longname>, it's <shortname>" with every teacher that my name changed at senior school - if I had been down on the register as <shortname> I would probably still be universally known by that.

Good luck with gingerbread house and your cake stealth. My mind is swimming with names now and dd is still talking to 'percie'. Im now desperate to know who's in there!!

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Wed 21-Dec-11 16:42:00

It's going well. All walls made and looking good. The windows worked really well which I'm pleased with and I've iced all the window frames on already.

Just got to wait for it to dry a bit and then put the thing together, That'll be the point at which it all goes wrong obviously.

DS is known as his shortname and we've told school as much. DD so far seems to be longname unless it's just the 2 of us at which point I seem to shorten it occasionally. We've got almost 3 years until School starts so I guess we'll wait and see which sticks. DS was shortname from about 2 weeks old so I'm wondering if DD's longname will stick being as we've gotten to 2 years without it being shortened very often.

My name is unshortenable so I never had this issue growing up and DH's family refuse to let anyone shorten his so he only ever got it at School.

BerryLellow Fri 23-Dec-11 12:23:06

Hello everyone!

Amazing pictures Blatherskite, really like the idea of teddy bears picnic.

Shirley, did you find the ovenable pulled pork recipe? Did I miss it? Sorry to harangue on Christmas Eve Eve smile

Merry xmas party planners. Im sipping my first 'mocktail' nigellas xmas zinger.
Off to the xmas eve market. Then make a quiche and prep my veg.

Hope you all have a lovely lovely christmas. And blathers, im hoping your silence doesnt mean the gingerbread house collapsed?!

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Sat 24-Dec-11 15:44:16

Don't panic, the house is fine, I've just been too busy with pre-christmas baking to find the time to upload pics. Even the little glass windows worked!

Happy Holidays everyone. Hope you have a lovely day tomorrow

BlastOff Sat 24-Dec-11 16:13:56

Happy Christmas to you all! Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Just got home from a bracing walk to hand deliver last minute cards and peer at Christmas lights and trees with the boys, to find a homemade apple pie on the door step from one of our neighbours. It has been made with apples from another neighbours tree apparently. So lovely! Feeling even more full of Christmas cheer now. And, even better, both boys fell asleep on the way home and are napping. smile

Right, where's the bubbly? grin

Looking forward to seeing the photos of your amazing sounding gingerbread house after Christmas Blathers. I so don't belong on this thread, but I love seeing how talented and imaginative you lot all are!

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Sun 25-Dec-11 22:23:53

It's been a good Christmas. I got 2 new cake tins, 2 new frying pans, a camembert baker and a hand mixer! grin

Hope everyone else had a good day too

GrimmaTheNome Tue 27-Dec-11 21:40:36

Excuse me butting in - I have been advised to come here to beg ShirleyKnot's advice on party ideas for a 13 year old DD. My thread is here.

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Tue 27-Dec-11 21:44:05

Butting in is fine smile

GrimmaTheNome Tue 27-Dec-11 23:30:49

Can anyone do a link to part 1 of this thread please?

BlastOff Wed 28-Dec-11 05:47:08

Hellllooo planners. Worst xmas ever. Had xmas day at home then off to everyones houses. Finally sat down in my own home again at 9.30pm last night. Food all stale uneaten and toys still strewn across floor from xmas day not yet played with. I was all ready for a few days at home family time, i get my date for c section in the morning but dh has been called for an interview so im going alone.

Got some great presents though, ghd's and lovely pair of boots. Gonna go back to the shop get loads of nice food in again and watch all the xmas tv i taped.

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Thu 29-Dec-11 17:56:54

Oh DW that sucks sad

We had Christmas morning here then went over to PIL's where both SILs and family were and spent 2 days there just coming home to sleep.

It was fine and PILs are very gracious hosts but I really longed to just stay at home and let the children play with their new toys. They loved being with all their cousins and there were more toys there but DD missed her nap because of the excitement and then dinner because we didn't eat until 4.30 and she was just too tired by then and I spent the day not totally relaxing because I never feel quite at home there and under scrutiny.

Good news is though, I said on the way over that part of me wished we could stay home - and DH agreed! So I think next year might be our first proper Christmas at home with just the 4 of us grin

I've never wanted to before as I've always felt it wasn't really Christmas without lots of family but now there are 4 of us and the children are big enough to be proper individuals, it feels like the 4 of us might be enough. Plus, we were pretty much forced to have Christmas at home the year DD was born as I was only 8 days past my C-section on the day and not up to travelling with the scar and a brand new baby. My Mum, Sister and Brother came over so we had visitors and I really enjoyed planning it all. I even managed to have most of the food cooked before they arrived!

Looks like we're going to be home for New Years again this year. We were supposed to be going to my Mum's but DD has a temperature and was sick at Dinner so I think maybe taking her in the car for 2 hours and then hoping she sleeps somewhere different might not be the best plan right now.

Good luck to you and DH for your meetings tomorrow. Fingers crossed you get a good date and he gets a job smile

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Fri 30-Dec-11 21:22:59

Do we have a thread full of party people and no New Years parties?

DD's been ill so we're staying home. I'm going to cook something and we'll watch Jools Holland until midnight. Just trying to decide between steak and dauphinois potatoes and prawn linguine...

BlastOff Sat 31-Dec-11 03:30:51

DrsW sorry to hear you had such a disappointing Christmas. There's so much pressure for it to be perfect isn't there, but it's so often a really difficult time. Dh got d&v and so we couldn't go to my parents house as planned, but it worked out for the best as he was much better on Christmas day and we ended up having a lovely day just the four of us. It's spurred us on to stay at home just the four of us next year too. So much less stressful. it was looki g like being a v stressful day at my parents for various reasons anyway, so it was a bit of a relief not to have to go tbh. Hope your hospital appt went well and you got a date you're happy with, and your dh's interview went well.

Blathers - yes, one of us should be having a proper knees up shouldn't we?! Maybe Shirley or Stealthsquiggle are? We are staying in - no babysitter but tbh ok didn't try at all very hard to find one. I vote prawn linguine - yum! I think we'll have salmon stuffed with smoked trout and ham with a mayonnaise and caper sauce with new potatoes if i can find a small enough whole salmon - sounds much posher and more impressive than it actually is. it's actually very simple and will go well with a game of scrabble I expect! Woohoo - high life here!

Happy new year!

Shirley can I ask for help too please? Probably a question you've answered a million times but I can't find anything as on phone.

It's my dd's 13th birthday in February....she wants a sleepover for 10 confused. So many of her friends seem more 'mature' than her so don't want to risk anything too babyish.

Was thinking movie on the evening with popcorn and choc fountain. Any ideas on how to theme it? Make it a little more special?

And then I have the problem on what to do with them for the day? I don't want to spend a fortune but I guess with 10 of them nothing is going to be cheap?

Also ideas for cakes? I have a fab cake lady so anything is possible.

DD is very girly, loves ice skating, music, make up/face packs and such stuff ...but I guess I'm having the usual problems of having done it all already (too much too young), done the skating, cinema, bowling, make over, shopping parties.

Too tired if you can find our previous thread shirley had quite a lot of ideas for sleepovers/teen parties etc until she comes along again.

Some lovely new years meals planned. Im ashamed to say dh and i packed all the xmas stuff away today and blitzed the house. After dd's birthday, advent and xmas the house was just cluttered. So we cleared it all away and got the last of the baby stuff down. Im apparently having my baby on feb 6th!!

So, happy new year to everyone as im bound to fall asleep at 9pm. Hope everyone has a lovely time and here's to a new year with lots of parties to plan xxxxx

Thanks DW..I shall have another go.......I'm rubbish on this iPhone blush

BlastOff Sat 31-Dec-11 17:11:54

tootired - I have linked to the first thread up this page where it says just 'here' and nothing else in my post!

Oooh 6th Feb! Fab - nice date 6/2/12 mathematically! Exciting!

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Sat 31-Dec-11 19:01:49

Ooh yes 6/2/12 - 6x2=12. I loved knowing when DD was due although I had to wait a bit longer as they didn't give me my date until a week before thanks to the idiot consultant deciding that I would change my mind and have a VBAC so not actually booking me in for the ELCS I asked for and leaving me to wait for a cancellation or to have DD at 44 weeks at the next open appointment (it was very busy over Christmas) hmm angry It made finding care for DS much easier. We dropped him off at PILs the night before and went out for dinner with our last night of freedom. I highly recommend it smile

I got the bits for both meals in the end but we're opting for the steak tonight. I'm doing dauphinois potatoes, garlic mushrooms, broccoli and asparagus with it. I can't wait. We'll have prawns tomorrow I think - then the diet starts! It's just going to be me and DH watching Jools Holland tonight I think. We'll be in bed at just gone midnight too. The children will be up around 7 regardless and it'll be no fun tomorrow if we're both tired and grumpy.

Good Morning everyone. I hardly touched MN over Christmas/New Year so have just had to hunt out the thread again. DW I hope you are now chilled, with clear house and room for DD to play with newly-acquired stuff? Our house got fairly well blasted for (yet more) visitors yesterday (we have clearly perfected being so bad at going to other people that they come to us!) but tree, etc still very much in place as 12th Night is a BIG deal here grin - in fact, I have a mini-party to plan for next Saturday - 6-7 adults and DC aged 1, 5 & 9.

OK, what was a vague thought is now crystallising into a plan. Middle-Eastern (think 3 Wise Men) themed food for 12th Night. Any brilliant ideas?

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Tue 03-Jan-12 19:05:13

Tagine? All Eastern spiced lamb jewelled with pomegranate seeds and served with cous cous?

I'm sure I've seen Nigella do something that could work.

Would look fab if you could get a glazed tagine pot with the pointy lid.

We have one of those, Blathers grin (TBH, there are remarkably few kitchen gadgets we don't have blush) but it always seems to be too small when we use it, so I think it will end up being used for a side dish.

DH has found a variation of that Nigella slow-cooked lamb, and a moroccan chicken dish. Both are cooked with potatoes, but I think I may do couscous as well just because it is pretty - and a couple of salads, and then Galette des Rois (12th Night cake, involving crowning a king/queen of the feast).

If I get very carried away then lots of tealights may be involved in the decor grin

BlatherskitesInFairyLights Tue 03-Jan-12 20:15:45

Sounds amazing.

I can just imagine the table dotted all over with tea lights in little jewel coloured glass holders making the table sparkle like a treasure chest. Maybe a sari as a tablecloth or table runner to give it a really moroccan feel. I got one years ago from a charity shop and it is the most amazing deep purple with pink and gold. Maybe golden chargers for the plates? There must be some Moroccan ideas on Pintrest mustn't there?

oooh - I have silver platters, and some huge gold scarves/shawls hiding in the bottom of my fabric stash.

..and now I come to think of it, we have some candle lanterns lurking in the garage somewhere too grin

Blatherskite Tue 03-Jan-12 21:15:12

Perfect smile

Blatherskite Tue 03-Jan-12 21:16:50

Would tenting the ceiling be taking it too far?

Can I come? grin

tenting the ceiling would be lovely, but I can't think of any appropriate fabric in the stash and DH would kill me if I bought several more miles of fabric (plus it wouldn't get here in time) - also the 5yo and the 1yo between them might bring it down on top of the candles [eek]

Of course you can come

<<tries to think about explaining that one to DH grin>>

BlastOff Tue 03-Jan-12 23:09:22

Tagine is lovely, in fact I adore middle eastern food.

I suppose a hookah is probably a step too far, as is belly dancing grin, but why not download some really haunting middle eastern music for the background?

Mint tea as an option?

A big star hanging from the ceiling? grin grin

Blatherskite Wed 04-Jan-12 10:24:34

There has to be a big star for 12th Night. DS's school made a fab one from paper, I'll see if I can find anything....

Blatherskite Wed 04-Jan-12 10:27:31

This is it exactly! They look really good in RL. DS had one hung above the stage for the reception nativity. They had them made from 2 colours of construction paper at the School but they gold paper looks amazing. Seems quite simple too.

They look really good. I am being stricken by slight panic about the house-tidying challenge (am also working and have DC at home this week!) - need to focus on that for a while, I think....

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 13:57:08

can I ask for some help please? DD's 5th bday in just over 3 weeks. All girls (same age) apart from 1 boy, so even though she's fairy mad (predictable I know), I'm trying to think of a unisex theme and have (I think) convinced her that a teddy bear's picnic would be a good idea. What do you think?

Was thinking:-

1) pin the ?nose? on the teddy
2) pass the parcel with teddy as prize
3) picnic on floor which is another reason why i'm doing it bec we dn't have enough seats

I need help with
1) decoration (or do I not bother too much and put some balloons up?)
2) a teddy related craft activity for when they arrive

any ideas?

GrimmaTheNome Wed 04-Jan-12 14:03:49

Nice idea, sits.

There really ought to be bread and honey, marmalade sandwiches but that could end up horribly sticky!

You will of course serve some bear pombears? grin

Just balloons is fine.

How many will there be (some craft activities are suitable for half a dozen but not two dozen!). If a small number, make some bear biscuits for them to decorate maybe.

Blathers did a Teddy Bears picnic - this and the other thread (link somewhere down this one!) have loads of details. I seem to recall she did decorating gingerbread bears, but there must be lots of other teddy-related craft you could do.

You could read them this (favourite "scary story" for bears in this household grin).

Decor - well it wants to be sunny and picnicy - or perhaps wood-like and picnic-y? You could do trees like DrsWife did for her Gruffalo party, or just big bunches of balloons and/or bunting for a more "village fete" kind of picnic? Lots of picnic rugs on the floor and as many bears as you can round up (ideally out of reach - maybe hanging onto balloons?)

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 14:15:34

of COURSE I'll be serving pombears grin
think I'll stay away from honey though..

I think there'll be about 10, and yes was thinking of decorating bear biscuits and then they could take it home but am thinking there's too many of them to do it.

depends how many helpers you have / can get - we did "cooking" (decorating cakes and topping pizzas) with ~25 but most if not all parents stayed and were prepared to get involved.

Blatherskite Wed 04-Jan-12 14:28:21

I did a teddy bears picnic (as documented in length on this thread and the last one wink ) last month - ask me anything! It was for my daughters 2nd birthday but we had 25 children aged from 5 months to 13 so I think most of the activities would be OK for you.

We had a 'picnic' on little tables but you could easily move it onto the floor. I bought 10 red gingham disposable tablecloths on ebay for less than a tenner which looked really picnic-y and could be thrown away afterwards to save on cleaning up as we had hired a hall so needed to be out fast afterwards. You could buy a proper cotton one if you wanted to save on waste. We also had lots and lots of bunting which really made it feel village fete/picnic-y too. I'd bought tonnes of balloons but most of them popped before the children even got there sad

Sandwiches went down well as did chicken nuggets, mini sausages and fruit - and of course Pom Bears smile

For activities, the favourite by far was the Gingerbread bear decorating. Even some of the adults joined in. I made enough bears so that everyone had 2 each and made little bowls of powdered icing up then put out pots of decorations. I raided my baking cupboard and then went a little mad in the Supermarket home baking aisle so there was plenty of choice and the children loved dressing thier little bears. The other popular one was colouring. I printed out lots of free colouring sheets from the internet then put out some crayons and a big tub of foam stickers I got from Hobbycraft. Some of the children made pictures to take home and quite a few made extra cards for DD, it was lovely.

The activity we nearly did was to make teddy crowns, both for the teddies and with ears stuck on for the children but we ran out of time in the end. I looked everywhere for a teddy-bear-pin-the-whatever-on but couldn't find one to buy and ran out of time to make one.

I did manage a pass the parcel with a teddy in the middle though. I got a cheap one from Ebay for a few pounds and birthday wrap from poundland. I put packets of Haribo in the layers. I'd wanted just jelly teddies but couldn't find any so they ended up with starmix instead as it has teddies in.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 04-Jan-12 14:28:43

How about jointed teddies - theres even a pdf template. Though I'd be inclined to draw head/body and all limbs on one sheet for each child to colour, then while they are eating you get an adult helper (or big sib) to cut out and put in the fasteners.

Blatherskite Wed 04-Jan-12 14:29:57

I did bear biscuits with 25. Like Stealth though, most of the parents stayed and were happy to help. I also got cheap aprons from a shop near TheDoctorsWife for 25p each so we could cover party dresses up which helped.

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 14:42:38

wow thanks for some great ideas. think I will do the decorate the teddy biscuit then since it proved so popular. maybe I could do it in the kitchen instead of the lounge.
by powdered icing what do you mean? icing made with icing sugar and water?
those squishy out coloured icing tubes are so hard to use.

due to lack of space (at home) I was thinking of asking parents to drop off if they could so I won't have THAT many helpers I don't think

colouring also a good idea (and easy) & will have a look at those jointed teddies

just noticed the time, got to go, will come back later!

Blatherskite Wed 04-Jan-12 14:53:41

Yes, icing sugar and water.

I decided that the squishy tubes would be too hard for the little ones to use too so made up little bowls of thick-ish icing and put out little spoons to apply it - it worked really well.

My other tip would be - give them paper plates to decorate the bears on. We did and it saved the table from getting too sticky and caught all of the spare sprinkles before they went all over the floor. It really helped keep the mess to a minimum. I'd bought a load of really cheap white plates and we were able to give the children a new plate for each bear. Helped with getting the uneaten ones home too as we just wrapped bear and plate in cling film for the parents.

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 15:48:19

thanks blathers. will get paper plates from asda, they are dirt cheap. Maybe I could write each child's name on a plate so we know which one is theirs to take home once dried

how big were you teddies? I have a teddy cuter but it's really quite small...

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 15:50:49

"your" teddies
teddy "cutter" !

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 16:04:53

hmm am trying to find a teddy to go in each party bag - £1 maximum - any ideas?

MartyrStewart Wed 04-Jan-12 16:10:07
Blatherskite Wed 04-Jan-12 16:13:03

I got a set from ebay. It had 1 large and 1 small bear and I ended up making one of each size for each child. I'll see if I can find some the same for you...

I gave up on party bags and ended up just doing cones of sweets but that was mainly because my age range was so big that nothing suited everyone. They went down really well though. I also added some little teddy bear shaped reflector key rings that I found, they were popular too. DS has his on his School bag. I'll find a link for those too.

Blatherskite Wed 04-Jan-12 16:18:11

Keyrings are here This guy was really helpful and let me buy 2 random bears on top of a pack so that I had enough for everyone without having to buy 2 huge packs. He might break one down for you if you need fewer. They came in pink, yellow and green and I got a mixture.

I can't find cutters like mine but this one is 12.5cms which should be plenty big enough. There are some 10cm ones the same if you think that might be too big.

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 16:23:31

that's great, thank you very much

think I might do party bags with
1) keyring
2) teddy bear stickers (sure they're easy to find)
3) sweets
4) not teddy related but got some clips from primark recently so can pop them in, just need to find something for the boy who's coming

poundland bears look great. If you couldn't find those, then these might be worth a try if you can wait (and pay shipping cost) - if that was all you ordered it shouldn't get done for customs duty?

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 18:16:59

they don't ship abroad stealth, shame
there's a poundshop in town, will have a look

or would a paddington bear/winnie the pooh book be better do you think?

They will ship internationally (I have used them) but it's painful - you have to contact them about it and they will quote postage based on weight. If you had a friend in the US who could take delivery and ship them on it would be easier.

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 18:44:00

sounds like a bit of a nightmare and am worried about time. Will use them next time when I am more organised. hmm

Pops head in. Glad the teddy bear ideas are going down well. I too did teddy bears picnic for my dd. I made bear ears out of fake fur stitched to headbands, all my guests brought their bear (even dd's godmother brought her 60 yr old bear) we sat them all around their own little picnic on the floor.used dd's tea set on picnic rug.

Cake blathers made a big picnic rug with food on and seated real bears around it. I made individual cakes with sweets and a teddy holding a lolly wrapped in cellophane in place of a party bag. We decorated pictures of bears but wish i'd done biscuits.

Stealth- twelfth night party sounds lovely. Do keep us posted.
Im 'nesting' half prepared by hospital bag and clearing out crap from bedrooms etc. Gonna start batch cooking ready for c section recovery and my lovely mil bought me an additional freezer for the shed so i can really stock up. Tonight im having a curry and the christmas pudding i forgot to eat. That's heartburn for me tonight

Blatherskite Wed 04-Jan-12 19:55:31

sitsyou have a look on Book People or similar. They often do book packs that you can spit to give each child a book. Look for either those little pocket library things or just a set of books. My Sister got DD about 10 bear themed books as a present and I'm pretty sure they must have been a pack from somewhere.

There are pictures of my cake on my profile if you fancy a look smile

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 20:13:47

oh my god blathers that cake is amazing! (as are your other ones)
I had a look on the book people and the only one I could find was a collection of paddington books which would have been great but they're sold out

doctorswife I love that cake too, especially the idea that they get one to take home. Were they difficult to make?

Am going to ask everyone to bring their bear and was going to sit them round DD's teaset.

Was thinking of doing a bear hunt - I take photos of all the bears we have (I think we should just about have enough), then place them around the house. Each kid is given a photo of a bear, and they have to find that particular bear. They bring it back to me and they get a prize. Only thing is I'm worried they might think they get to keep the bear?

Blatherskite Wed 04-Jan-12 20:29:50

Everyone brought bears to my party too - even my Mum. The round the cake party got quite crowded smile

The cake was from Costso sits, I just made a few bits to go on top. It looked way more impressive than it should have done for the effort I put in. doctorswife modelled the Gruffalo and friends from sugarpaste, my cake and plates seemed like cheating after that.

I love the idea of the bear hunt but you might get some children claiming the bears I think. Maybe you could do the same thing with the poundland bears and then let them keep them? It would work OK as long as you could get enough different colours. Or maybe get all the same colour and lots of different coloured ribbons to distinguish them?

Rocketthedoordog Wed 04-Jan-12 20:42:30

Sitsyou - how about this Paddington bear book set?

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 20:51:30

who cares blathers it looks so cute!

That's not a bad idea to do them with poundland bears with different ribbons... only thing is though, from experience, 5 year olds now ASK for party bags shock at the end, and if they get the bear, I think they will still expect a party bag too.. Unless we do the bear hunt at the end and say 'right, we're not doing party bags but instead you're going to do a bear hunt'???

or I say 'DD's bears have gone wandering off so we need you to go on a bear hunt to find them for her' to make it clear that the bears aren't for keeps?!

(am sad that I don't have any bears from my childhood! in fact I don't really remember having any that were constants)

Blatherskite Wed 04-Jan-12 21:12:46

Or make them each up a named party bag, send them on the hunt for the bears and then get them to pop the found bears into their own bag ready to take home at the end of the party.

That way you get to play the game, ensure no-one leaves their bear behind and fill the bags at the same time...

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 21:15:04

good idea, I'll do that. Now I just need to find some goddam bears!

Love the bear hunt idea. The individual cakes were a piece of piss. If you wanna go that way pm me and i'll scan you the pages from the cake book with instructions. Basically make a maderia cake. Cut into squares(i split and filled mine with buttercream and jam but you dont have to), wrap in icing with a 2cm overlap at the top. Fill the top with smarties and put a bear in each. Put a lolly in the top. Eeaaaasssyyyyy.

Although i love blathers one esp as it involved real bears.

sitsyou Wed 04-Jan-12 22:04:39

rocket sorry I've only just seen your post. I did see those books but think they may be for younger kids.
I have found these bears
which are slightly above budget but they are very cute and I could put different coloured ribbon on each

yes please doctors wife that would be great. will pm you, thanks

I have that cake book too, DrsW - I know exactly the cake you mean! I did look at the "mini monster" one for DS once, but chickened out at the idea of making 25 of them grin.

FWIW we have done parties where they make/find/"win" things which are then put into their (pre-labelled) party bags to take home - it works well, generally.

DC's task for the day is to make a king/queen of the feast crown. So far DS has drawn a picture (the child doesn't even build dens without drawing plans first hmm) and now they are watching CBBC. I am not clear where that features in the plan confused.

sitsyou Thu 05-Jan-12 11:59:19

stealth they are really sweet bears,but says seller's away til 30th Jan which will be too late for me

defo going to do pre-labelled party bags

sitsyou, i've emailed you the cake instructions.

argghhh no i havent, its stuck in my inbox at over 45mb! how can i resize it to email its saved as a PDF. Am I better to save as a jpeg?

I am not sure how you resize pdfs - I got sent a huge file the other day for the same reason. I think jpg would be easier to compress..

ShirleyKnottage Fri 06-Jan-12 16:20:01

<marks place>

sitsyou Fri 06-Jan-12 18:23:40

thanks doctorswife - I have no idea how to do it but will ask DH when he gets home

Blatherskite Fri 06-Jan-12 18:56:38

I think you'll possibly have to zip a .pdf. I think maybe changing it to a .jpg would be easier

Right leave it with me and i'll try again tomorrow!

Blatherskite Sat 07-Jan-12 21:24:11

Stop marking your place and come back and share your exciting news with us Shirley!

You said you'd tell us after Christmas.

Is it bad that I've been trying to think up party bags for DS's birthday in March already? blush

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 08-Jan-12 19:07:44

Hello - I was on a thread in Chat talking about parties, mentioned I'm doing a science party soon, and Stealthsquiggle suggested I came over for ideas.

Boy will be seven. We're having the party at home, 7 invitees plus birthday boy and his five year old brother. I have quite a few ideas already, the experiments are not a problem (I'm a science teacher, and used to work in a hands-on-science museum doing demos to hundreds of children!).

Any ideas for food? We're doing glow-in-the-dark jelly for pudding, with ice cream, but I could do with some suggestions for savoury bits. That don't require too much faff, as I am teaching the day of the party until about 2 hours before.....

welcome, Endoplasmic!

I am sure you have more than enough party ideas - since we are a mix of chemists and engineers as a family, we did a mix of "experiments" (we had 25 DC there!) ranging from building structures from coffee stirrers, marshmallows and wotsits, through making shadow lanterns with LED tea lights in (which was cool because it was dark by the time the party finished so they could all admire their work), to making silly putty (glue and borax required) and the cola and mentos thing (we turned it into an "experiment" by testing which sort of dirt cheap fizzy drink went highest grin) but the unquestioned star of the party was dry ice - we did bubble blowing with it (came from an american party website - fabulous fun) and I used it in the cake - which was a flask, with a glass sunk into the top, into which we put water & dry ice, so that the flask overflowed with "smoke" as it was brought out (needs tall candles so that they don't suffocate, though)

As for food, I did a fairly standard issue birthday tea in the end, but one idea I contemplated and which would work well if you are working on party day was "brown bag lunches" - because everybody knows wink that all scientists eat lunch at the lab bench from a brown bag - so you could "dress" the table as a lab bench by borrowing lots of stuff from school and have the bags packed before you go to work?

Glow in the dark jelly sounds fab, BTW - how are you doing that?!

Blatherskite Sun 08-Jan-12 20:47:06

It sounds more like you should be giving us ideas than the other way round Endo! A science teachers science party! It'll be amazing. How on earth do you make Jelly glow in the dark? Tonic water and black lights maybe?

If you've only got 2 hours, I'd be tempted to theme the party bags but not the food and just do standard issue party food like Stealth says or maybe even just order in pizzas which would go down very well with 7 year olds. Maybe hot dogs if you want to cook at home? You don't want to get yourself too stressed out. Science is quite a tough theme for food too.

I'll have a look and see if I can find anything.

Blatherskite Sun 08-Jan-12 21:03:23

OK, found these bits.. Lots of the suggestions are gross stuff for a "Mad Scientist" type party. Is that what you'd like to go for or is it more straight science?

Have your party guests make colored celery sticks by soaking cut celery in food-coloured water. You can explain capillary action! Serve the celery with cream cheese or peanut butter.

Apparently hot dogs can be soaked in food colouring to make them odd colours too.

Serve drinks in graduated beakers instead of party cups.

Turn grapes, strawberries, blueberries, melon balls etc into molecules using tooth picks.

Put the jelly in petri dishes

I'll keep looking....

Blatherskite Sun 08-Jan-12 21:08:27

Some party bags ideas too... Popping candy, those little pots of slime, magnifying glass, one of those crystal growing tree kits, mini bath bombs that turn the water coloured or those flannels that are packed up into a hard block and turn soft when immersed in water...?

Blatherskite Sun 08-Jan-12 21:12:51

Do you have one of those lightening balls you could pop on the table? A test tube rack? You could fill the test tubes with fizzy drink and they'd bubble for a while through the party...

Didnt one of you have colour change drinks idea? Im sure i didnt dream it.

Sits i havent forgotten you, dh took me out for surprise meal with friends as its my b'day this week. But they chose a restaurant half hour for them, hour for us and so i had a 2hr round trip for a chinese buffet. Im in agony from a small head rocking around my pelvis so came to bed. I'll try your cake thing again when dd is at preschool tomorrow.

Blatherskite Sun 08-Jan-12 21:53:11

Don't you just wipe the inside of the cup with food colouring for the colour changing drinks? Not enough to colour the cup but enough that the clear drink goes coloured when it's poured in? Would work brilliantly in the beakers. If you can't get plastic ones maybe clear plastic cups made up to look like beakers?

sitsyou Sun 08-Jan-12 22:07:39

it's my birthday this week too doctorswife grin - happy birthday to us!
don't worry anyway no mad rush, and have been otherwise occupied by poorly DD sad.
love the science party stuff - I was rubbish at it but still sounds like fun

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 08-Jan-12 22:24:29

Yup, glow in the dark jelly is tonic water and UV light. I was thinking of the coloured celery as well - trouble is that natural food colouring really doesn't do the job (I've tried) and not sure I want to tartrazine-up the guests! We're going to blow the candles out by making carbon dioxide (baking soda and vinegar).

Am a bit wary about drinking out of beakers - would need to buy a fresh set! Although did get some plastic "test tubes" in the supermarket, I think they sell them for people to have shots. I did buy some plastic beakers and am going to mark lines on them to look like beakers.

Sounds like I've got lots of the same plans as stealthsquiggle - am planning on diet coke and mentos, fizzy tablets in film canisters, fake snow, slime, elephant's toothpaste etc. We're going to build structures with marshmallows and (uncooked) spaghetti. I've made some "labcoats" by drawing on white t-shirts with Sharpies, am going to borrow some safety goggles from school and offer hair gel to achieve the "mad scientist" look.

I think standard party tea will be the way forward.

Party bags - I got some brown bags, have printed out hazard signs and stuck them on, and was really lucky in our local ASDA just after Christmas as they were selling off the Science Museum science putty for 50p a tin, have also bought them a glowstick each on ebay.

Blatherskite Sun 08-Jan-12 22:32:46

Hoorah, my GCSE science hasn't failed me after all smile I did Biology to A level but there weren't so many mad experiments in that - am all set for the gross with the disections though! Yuk

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 08-Jan-12 22:34:19

I teach A level biology, but thought a dissection at a birthday party might be a bit much. Although my son would probably enjoy it.....

when I saw that post endoplasmic I started contemplating a "dissected frog" cake - how much would 7yo boys love that grin? FWIW, here is my science party cake (and here with less "smoke")

sitsyou Mon 09-Jan-12 10:19:26

oh my GOD stealth I have just been looking at all your cakes - I am in awe!

grin, sitsyou - I have had 9 years practice now and they look better in photos

ShirleyKnottage Mon 09-Jan-12 10:32:48

Colour change drinks are 2 drops of food colouring in the bottom of the cups, leave to dry and then pour in the lemonade or whatever.

dissected frog cake - I knew someone must have done it grin

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 09-Jan-12 20:01:00

That cake is brilliant. I've seen "how to do a flask cake" online, but have no time, so I'm just going to do an ordinary choccy one.

Blatherskite Mon 09-Jan-12 20:39:33

You could always get something like this done Endo

Get the text done with the traditional "Happy 7th Birthday DS" but have a picture of something scientific instead? Maybe an explosion or a molecule diagram or the periodic table or even a frog disection smile You'd just need to find a reasonably sized, copyright free image online somewhere.

They're really easy to use, you basically just lay them over the top of the finished cake. They're less than £3 including the postage too.

Blatherskite Mon 09-Jan-12 20:41:42

This one is nicer but a bit more expensive. About £4

EndoplasmicReticulum Mon 09-Jan-12 20:43:50

That's a very good idea - and much cheaper than a photo-cake - thanks!

Blatherskite Tue 10-Jan-12 19:55:19

My friend has just asked me to decorate a Costco cake for her 2 sons birthday party next month - theme is Pirates (and Princesses for the girly girls)

I'm happy to do it but the pressure of getting it right for someone else is worrying me.

I need some ideas that will look good but be relatively easy to do.


Blatherskite Tue 10-Jan-12 19:56:36

The boys will be 5 and 2.

BlastOff Tue 10-Jan-12 20:02:46

Treasure chest? Very easy and can look brilliant. Is that too easy iyswim?

BlastOff Tue 10-Jan-12 20:05:19

(btw wouldnt be easy for me but everyone else seems to be so talented I thought you might be wanting something a bit more challenging?)

BlastOff Tue 10-Jan-12 20:12:19

This link has instructions and some other ideas too. My friend did a treasure chest. It looked amazing and very popular with children because of the chocolate coins, jewels (sweeties) etc.

Blatherskite Tue 10-Jan-12 20:31:09

Looks good. The base cake will be pre-made so I've only got to decorate but I was thinking I could perhaps construct a box to fill with sweeties and maybe cover the surrounding cake with "sand" to make it look like it's just been dug up. Not sure what I'd make the box from though.

The only problem I can see is the cutting of the cake at the party. You'd end up with a big pile of sticky sweets if you took them out first.

working from a pre-made base, I would opt for a pirate island or a map, I think. I will google for ideas later.

Blatherskite Tue 10-Jan-12 21:05:02

I've been googling too. Can't find anything exciting

how about something like [[ this]], Blathers? Ignore te sides and it is no more complicated than your picnic

bother. this

Blatherskite Tue 10-Jan-12 21:16:56

I like it. Shouldn't be too hard hopefully

Cool - first try

<<polishes "I can google, I can" badge>>

Blatherskite Thu 12-Jan-12 18:40:48

It's all gone very quiet. Surely one of us is organising a party somewhere?

And Shirley never did tell us her exciting news!

Im here. Sit im sorry i still havent had a chance to scan that thing again. Im huuuuugggeeee and mega uncomfy. I really dont think this baby will wait til the 6th. No parties planned here til i see who i've got in here.

I want this baby ouuuutttttt. It hurts now.

Shirley get back here with your news, you promised.

<<takes pity on DrsW's whale like blooming state>>

We are talking teddies in bags cake here, right? I can scan that one sometime this afternoon / evening when I get home - sitsyou I will PM you when I have the thing scanned.

Blatherskite Fri 13-Jan-12 13:06:28

Fingers crossed that baby comes son DW were all waiting to help plan the christening wink

Ah stealth thank you for taking that on.

Dropped dd at my mum's as dh taking me out as it was my birthday this week. Got there and my mum laid into me saying i should change my mind and have natural birth rather than c section. Wasnt interested in my reasoning just told me that it would be fairer on my dd. Came away wanting to cry my heart out, drove an hour home feeling awful. So i'm off to bed for a rest before my first 'date' with my husband in three years!!!!

Blatherskite Fri 13-Jan-12 13:49:37

Oh DW sad

If it's any consolation, I think having DD by ELCS made things easier for DS.

We knew exactly when she was going to be born so didn't have to rely on someone being on call to come running when I went into labour and DS got dropped off with a kiss and a smile for a planned sleepover at Nanny's and was completely unfazed by the whole thing whereas I think waking up to find Mummy and Daddy gone to hospital and someone babysitting would have worried him.

DH knew exactly when to plan his holiday for and had taken 3 weeks off to help plus ime an ELCS is much, much easier to recover from than a EMCS, probably because they took their time and could be much more gentle, so I was up and about less than 24 hours later and a lot less battered and bruised so it was much easier to cope afterwards. I probably wasn't quite as mobile as someone who'd had a natural birth but it was certainly a lot better than I was after the EMCS. I made a Christmas dinner on day 8!

You need to do what's best for you and your family and ignore your Mum if she's not helping.

Feel free to PM me if you want to chat about it

Blathers im sorry i think i've pm'd you my spleen. Im just so so upset. Ive researched vbac and for me i just dont want to risk it. Personal choice. But my mum is hinging her whole argument that dd wont be able to climb up for a cuddle and thats not fair to her.

Blatherskite Fri 13-Jan-12 14:54:20

Have replied. Possibly got a spleen from me in there too blush

Oh sad, DW. I read your post on my 'phone and couldn't reply sooner, but I could have almost written Blathers' post. DS was EMCS after 18hours of 9lb 10oz baby with huge head and no intention of going anywhere, and since DD was on track to be bigger (she wasn't) they gave me the choice and I went for ELCS. DS was dropped off at school in the morning, and DH made it back in time to pick him up - he had 3 days of Daddy's undivided attention and then got to show his baby sister off at school. Since he would not have dealt well with the uncertainty of not knowing when LO was going to arrive, I think it worked out far better for him, TBH.

DS was NOT short of huggles. I ran his (typically OTT) 4th birthday party when DD was 3.5 weeks old grin. In fact, the only impact my recovery had was DH having to knock down and move the kitchen by himself because I couldn't swing a sledgehammer or wheel a wheelbarrow - so I snuggled with DS instead. Shame, that.

Blatherskite Fri 13-Jan-12 16:23:29

I was shocked by just how good I felt after my ELCS!

You'll need to take it easy obviously and you may not want to be jumped on but there is no reason why your DD should be short on cuddles.

ShirtyShirley Fri 13-Jan-12 16:28:00

Oh! I'll take your mind off it DrW.

(Oh and you must do what feels right for you - sod anyone else. <strokes head>)

RIGHT! My secretty secret? I'm taking the boys to FLORIDA baby in July and CANNOT WAIT! Aw man, it was fab surprising them on Xmas day - so I won't be throwing any parties between now and then as I have to save every single penny.

SO EXCITED! Never been to the US before. <SQUEEEE!>

I forsee major diversion from party planning (althought we need to drum up some more victims customers for that!) - we have "done" Florida, Shirley, although not with teenagers (yet) - loads of fun grin.

If anyone is desperate for a "party" to plan, I have to do something very low key indeed about Chinese New Year because DS is completely dragon-obsessed and he and all his dragons are already excited about it being Year of the Dragon. Unfortunately it falls on a Monday (23 Jan) but I think I might have to bring it forward to the Sunday for the sake of my sanity.

ShirtyShirley Fri 13-Jan-12 16:37:42


Oh stealth I'm past myself! We're having 7 nights doing the parks and stuff and then I'm driving down to the gulf coast for 7 nights in a hotel RIGHT ON THE CHUFFING BEACH. <happy sigh>

<love> the idea of a Chinese NY party - definitely best to do it on the Sunday. You could probably pick up some of those Chinese lanterney things quite cheap at the moment after our NY. Are you doing food and games?

probably just family, Shirley, so the focus will be on the food grin (the dragons (well, the bossiest one) have ordered "fireballs").

Blatherskite Fri 13-Jan-12 16:50:49

Food should be fairly easy - either just order it all in or make some bits yourself.

Red should feature quite highly as a colour as that's meant to be lucky. Isn't it traditional to give out the red envelopes on Chinese New Year? Could you tuck them each a fiver in a decorated envelope?

I think you're supposed to decorate one of those flying paper lanterns with a wish for the new year too, ready to be sent up into the sky when it's dark.

The holiday sounds amazing Shirl. I doubt we'll get to go away this year so I shall be wanting to hear all about it so I can live vicariously. We went to Vegas before the children were born and I've been to the Jack Daniels distillery in Tennessee but never to Florida or the parks. We're doing Legoland this year but only the Windsor one

ShirtyShirley Fri 13-Jan-12 16:53:28


YY to the red envelopes with a little bit of money in! Cor I want to have a Chinese NY party now hmm

Blathers - God I'd love to go to Vegas. I have a phobia of flying, hence why I've never gone further than Turkey but...OH MY GOD WHAT AM I DOING!!!!...I'm just going to have to get over it. ARGYH!

Hypnosis I think

Thank you stealth and blathers. Feel much better after your stories. Only someone who hasnt had a c section could make you feel like its an easy/lazy choice. I might tell her that!!

Shirl, florida how amazing i bet the kids are soooo excited. How did you tell them at xmas?? Im scared of flying i went on holiday once to st lucia and had bad turbulance and shat myself. After that i took drugs to fly. We went to new york for our honeymoon and i took valium. Doc told me to take three in first hour but i took five!!! They were good at calmimg me but frankly next time im asking for sedative. Thats why i havent flown with dd yet, too young to understand that 'mummy is in a drug induced coma darling'. Well done for putting the holiday before yourself, ive turned down freebies because i cant face it.

Chinese new year- brilliant!!! Gotta have fortune cookies for some fun filled foresight and chinese astrology traits etc. Think i saw the lanterns etc in the works going cheap. Will you attempt the food yourself or go mad at the takeaway? In fact will takeaway be open. I should say you need the dragon dance really for good fortune, go on make a giant head and rope everyone in to give it a go!!

I am bidding on something on ebay which I will show you all if I win it... [best mysterious face]

Fireballs may turn out to be sweet and sour pork balls, or octopus dumplings, depending where I manage to shop between now and then. If I do get to a Chinese supermarket, then some lanterns and money envelopes may find their way into the trolley as well grin.

<checks ebay for full chinese dragon suit for dh>

<<sits firmly on all "exciting" flight stories and tries to remember that just because I have done so much flying for work that it is just like getting on a bus doesn't mean it's not scary....>>

DrsW given that you have done an EMCS, the ELCS will, honestly, seem like a walk in the park. Yes it's major surgery blah, blah - but not major surgery after the stress and exhaustion of labour - that's what really knocks you out.

Stealth thats exactly what i pm'd to blathers. I had terrible 36 hour labour with dd and the exhaustion coupled with a cs recovery left me struggling to cope with 'little miss colic'. I dont want a trial of labour on top of a potential cs. Its like being in a car accident and handeda baby to care for after!!!!

Blatherskite Fri 13-Jan-12 17:57:38

Do you know, I saw fortune cookies in the supermarket today and totally didn't link it with the fact that it was Chinese New Year soon!!

I've had a bad day today though. I had to drive to the shops twice as I forgot my wallet the first time! I'd have given up only we really needed nappies for DD.

Las Vegas was great Shirl. We only stayed there for a few nights as we spent the rest of the time driving round and seeing the Hoover Dam and various canyons but we had a great time. I got so drunk in Coyote Ugly that I don't remember getting back to the hotel! We went on all of the rollercoasters too - even the one at the top of the Stratosphere. The steak we had in the Bellagio is still to this day the best steak I have ever had. It was amazing

Smug smug smug.

My mum had nagged to have my dd. I explained that shes very unsettled at night so often gets in our bed as she'll cry etc. Much tutting about 'rods for own back etc'. Anyway i relented after being accused of having issues about letting dd stay away. Picked dd up from my mum and she gushes
'dd was an angel slept though all night in her own bed'
To which my stepdad pipes up, 'well thats not true, she woke at 4am calling out for you and you had to get in bed with her til 7am.'

Hooooray for dd!! After being left so crap yesterday i came away doing the smug smug smug dance. Maybe i should have given her advice on making a rod for her own back. Even dh was gloating.

tee hee.

I bet your stepdad is in disgrace now, though grin

MrsKitty Sun 15-Jan-12 14:24:52

I've started a thread with this question, but then realised that this was probably 'the place to be' for party advice and support!

Just starting to plan a party for DS (will be 5) next month. Whole class + some other friends, so poss 28 kids (crossing fingers for less!) age range 4-8 with a couple of 2 year olds thrown in for good measure!

Bouncy castle/trad party games and food.

I'd been thinking 1130-1330 timeslot, but that's not very convenient for my bouncy castle man (friend of a friend), so what alternative time would you go for? 1-3, 2-4, 3-5?

Worrying that 1-3pm kids either won't be hungry (had lunch) and there'll be lots of food waste, or they'll be starving (no lunch), 2-4 seems a bit of an odd time, not lunch, not dinner IYSWIM...When I send my DC to a party I like to think of it as meaning I won;t have to bother cooking for one of those meals blush! 3-5 works in principle, but worrying then that my 2 yo will be too tired (she's not a napper...) or that DS will be so wound up by waiting for his party all day he'll be too overwrought to enjoy it!

Yes, yes, I know I'm overthinking this, but that's what I do! Decide for me please smile.

ShirleyForAllSeasons Sun 15-Jan-12 17:55:14

3-5. That amount of time to get sorted on the day of the party will go like <snaps fingers> THAT!

You can get DS involved in 'helping' you to quash a bit of the mad excitement, and I'm sure the little one will be fine.

2 -4 has worked well for us in the past - especially with winter parties - they don't start hungry, IYSWIM, because they have just had lunch, and then what you are feeding them really is "party tea" - an extra meal, so you don't have to worry about shoe-horning anything actually nutritional into it (and I tend to assume that most DC except mine will then only need a small snack when they get home).

I got what I was bidding on for Chinese NY - here grin

Yeah i'd go for 3-5 then parents can assume that their dc's are getting an early tea etc. You can run them ragged and perhaps leave food til later in the slot. In fact i may do that next time!!

Stealth what on earth is it?? Like a motorised kite thing? Wow it sounds huge!!! What are you're plans with it, tether it in the garden? You must take photos. Come on tell us what other plans you have finalised?

MrsKitty Sun 15-Jan-12 20:44:15

Thanks all. Think I'm going to go for 230-430 (compromise!).

Will be back for advice and opinions once more planning gets underway.

Ooh, in the meantime, any tips on making a castle cake?


Blatherskite Sun 15-Jan-12 20:51:40

Making it 2:2, I'd go for 2 till 4.

Food at the end of the party always works best and as Stealth says, you can concentrate on fun party food rather than anything actually nutritional and filling if you're not trying to replace a whole meal.

The kite looks amazing Stealth. You must take photos

2:30pm - 4:30pm is a good compromise! castle cake - any good? If you are interested I can check which book it came from (DrsW - this was the one I made 3 weeks post ELCS!)

I hope the kite is fun. Not quite sure what I am going to do with it yet - hang it the length of the house stairwell, I think. I have moved directly from worrying about someone out-bidding me on it to worrying about whether it will arrive on time hmm

shortcutplease Sun 15-Jan-12 21:16:33

This is a fantastic thread, thank you all for inspirational ideas.

I am planning ahead for DS's birthday in march. The whole thing makes me feel very nervous for some reason blush.

I have one major decision to make- might sound silly but I am really uncomfortable with the thought of not inviting his whole class. I hate the thought of leaving anyone out- but it simply is not an option as there are 32 children in his class. Ideally I would like to ask 15-20 children from school (will be a few non school friends invited too. This feels like a manageable number (will be in village hall) would you agree?

However, this makes me feel very uncomfortable. Am I being silly? Can anyone offer advice?

32 is entirely impossible, I agree - unless you team up with one or more other parents and make it a joint party.

My personal rule of thumb is "less than half the class, or all the class" - that way, you are never leaving a minority out, IYSWIM.

Blatherskite Sun 15-Jan-12 21:41:07

I'm only posting tonight to agree with Stealth grin

Less than half or all is the best way to go. That way you get a 'chosen few' rather than just leaving out a few.

The most I've ever done was DD's party in December with 28 kids and that was crazy - I'm never going that big again if I can help it. 32 does seem too many. I'd stick with 15 max (10-12 tops would be better I think though for the reasons above) and your non school friends. Plenty to have fun with and not so many that it gets out of hand.

shortcutplease Sun 15-Jan-12 21:53:12

Thank you do much for your responses. Less than half does seem like a good plan. I don't want the hall to be too sparsely populated if that makes sense, but I think I will maybe aim for 12ish, welcome siblings and ask a few non school friends too.

It really does seem like a minefield!!

Thank you again

12 + a few siblings + a few family friends = more than 20 before you know it - that's why I said not all 32, because you would end up with 50!

shortcutplease Sun 15-Jan-12 22:29:45

Stealth, I can see where you are coming from. DS has been to a whole class party in the same hall that we would be hiring. Masses of work had gone into planning this party and in many ways it was brilliant.

However, the sheer amount of children was insane! Whole class + some siblings + most parents as few were comfortable leaving their DCs!!

Gah, that's another thing that makes me nervous- what to do with the parents who I don't really know who will all be around the sidelines 'watching' me trying to entertain their DC?

Am beginning to wonder if I am lacking in self confidence as this party is making me feel nervous already. I have until March to sort myself out.

Deafworm Sun 15-Jan-12 22:31:53

We are just planning for dd1 and dd2 joint party in march, we are looking at around 70 children but planning to hire a disco. We shared with a friend 2 years ago when the age gaps were the same as between my dds this year and it worked really well but mainly because the dj did most of the hard work! Its the thought of party bags, prizes etc for 70 plus I will be around 20 weeks with dc4 then so it will either be wonderful or hideous! There's no way I'd have a full class party for even one child though if I was doing the entertaining!

shortcutplease Sun 15-Jan-12 22:37:33

Wow deafworm that sounds hectic and fantastic all at the same time!

Deafworm Sun 15-Jan-12 22:43:27

To put it into perspective their last party where we ran the activities last year had a guest list of 15 in total, I'm really not brave enough to do it myself! The dj we use is amazing and really keeps them in check, just keeping fingers crossed he can do it again!

Dd1 wants a castle cake dd2 wants a pirate ship so I've spent the evening looking for ideas, ordered their fancy dress outfits and looked at the party bag stuff on eBay, not massively productive but feel like I've been doing something!

MrsKitty Sun 15-Jan-12 22:46:41

Stealth, that cake is amazing, and exactly what I was after! Way more impressive than the others I've come up with on Google. Is it particularly tricky? I have limited cake experience, but managed a pretty good Thomas cake last year. which took several weeks of practice and about a million eggs

I don't remember it being especially tricky or needing any spceial kit, MrsKitty - in fact, I have just had a quick look at the book and I made it harder for myself by not going with their suggestion of ready-made swiss rolls for the turrets. It is from the same book which I am now carrying into work to get the party bag cake instructions for sits having practically resorted to kicking the bloody printer at home and still not got it to scan. I will post a link to the book as soon as my bloody PC decides to co-operate...

[ this]] is the book containing both castle and party bags.

MrsKitty Mon 16-Jan-12 11:18:10

Thanks Stealth. Looked it up and they have it available at the library so have placed a hold grin. If it's good, I'll probably end up buying it anyway once the spiralling costs of this party have gone away

Hall is booked, need to get back to the bouncy castle man and ask him to change the time (I'd gone for 1-3 before all the advice came in, but then realised how little time that would give me to prep in the morning!)

Next job - invites. Will start googling this afternoon once I'm at work wink,

what is the theme of the party, MissK?

MrsKitty Mon 16-Jan-12 11:29:24

Think we're going along with a general theme of Knights & Castles.

DS wasn't that bothered about a theme, and wanted to have the same cake as last year "but Percy, not Thomas". Given that he doesn't show any interest in Thomas anymore I think this was mainly because he didn't realise you can get all sorts of different cakes, so I suggested a castle, which he jumped at as a 'good idea'!

MrsKitty Mon 16-Jan-12 11:32:30

For the party itself I'm considering having a decorate a sword/crown activity table as well as the bouncy castle / pass the parcel / musical statues, but need some advice on whether that will be too much going on, and how to manage all those things going on with potentially 28 children to manage. Also, how do you do it, do you just leave all the kit on a table and let them get on with it, or do they need supervision, and how do you let them know that it's there fore them to do?

Silly questions really, but some advice would be v appreciated - you lot are great!

I have done knights for 20+ 4 and 5yos. I really must focus on my meeting for the moment but will be back later with ideas grin.

3duracellbunnies Mon 16-Jan-12 12:27:50

Pass the parcel for 28 children lasts forever. For that number I do two parcels, overwrap by 5 or so - i.e. Two parcels with 18 layers and get any other parents spotting to make it fair (plus few spare sweets just in case).

Doing knights and princesses with toddler activity group this afternoon. Going to do jumping beans style game, where call out person and they pretend to be that - princess, knight, king, dragon, servant, magician, jester. Doing jousting relay race, hobby horses (homemade), foam swords from 99p shop and some hoops to get. Then parachute game of dragons and rangers - dragons have to put eggs in forest (parachute), rangers have to get them off. Followed by sleeping beauty where all sleep under parachute. You could also do prince x says (simon says), what's the time mr dragon.

With a bouncy castle though they will probably just want to bounce, do you know how many allowed on at one time? How about having 4 activities which they rotate on, one of them being bouncy castle, one being crafty stuff, plus one or two more, so not all in one place.

Sorry stealth that you had scanning issues too. Feel terrible that i delegated to you now!!

Mrskitty if you look on our previous thread we had tons of ideas around knights etc. Making shields, swords, decorate crowns. Pass the parcel would be insane at that level of kids so either have smaller groups or multiple parcels. You could also go with a lucky dip type affair so pass a bag/decorated box round that each child takes from.way easier than keeping tabs on layers etc.

Craft activity have as a seperate table to where you eat. Buy paper tablecloths and fold the whole lot inwards and chuck into a bin bag at the end. Decant any sparkly decorations/embellishments into paper bowls along the table. If you cant seat all the kids at once rotate areas but make sure you have multiples of your craft thing in case kids want to do more than one each.

I'd go with long banquet style table with bunting like you have at jousting events etc.

Oh and im not at whole class party dilemmas yet but nooooo way would i be hosting 32 kids. Get ds to select maybe ten.

Blatherskite Mon 16-Jan-12 13:23:55

For DD's party, instead of doing 28 layers of pass the parcel, I did 12 and then had a tub of sweets to give out to the "losers" afterwards. It stopped the game taking forever and everyone still got a prize.

I've been looking on Ebay for a princess outfit for DD. She's been invited to a fancy dress party but because she's so tiny, I need an 18-24 month old sized outfit. I'm not finding anything exciting so far...

Blathers tesco!!!! I went in my big tesco yesterday and they had fairy/rainbow princess style dresses. Dd thought they were for dolls because they started at 9-12 months!!! Im sure their sale is online too at the moment.

Failing that do you have a home bargains. Ive got some dresses which come up small from there.

Blatherskite Mon 16-Jan-12 14:03:05

No home bargains but we do have a enormous Tesco. I'll check there when I'm in later this week.

Just looked online and fairy costumes are for teeny ones but they also have nativity angel for 8 quid. White and gold. Ditch the halo get a tiara and you got one cute princess. Doesnt appear to have wings.Oddly.

loads of knights-related crafts stuff here. We did shields rather than swords to keep the injury count down - we then gave them all inflatable swords after tea and let them go - it was chaos, but so much fun.

MrsKitty Mon 16-Jan-12 14:58:09

Thanks stealth - I looked at Baker Ross yesterday (having seen you mention it in the earlier party thread grin) What I'm wondering is, for a lot of their 'decorate your own' stuff it says to use 'Deco Pens' or acrylic paint. WTF is a deco pen, and will bog standard felt tips / crayons / pencils work, or do they have some kind of coating on them that they won't work on?

deco pens are their expensive paint-pens.

For all cardboard things, being paranoid about other people's children in their party clothes, I use mega-washable felt tips - I bought a class pack of the crayola ones from some school supplier or other. Worked fine!

I did buy deco pens for a party of DS's when they were doing china and fabric painting but they were older and there were less of them - those are definitely NOT washable.

MrsKitty Mon 16-Jan-12 16:30:53

Ok, sounds good. Especially since DD (age 2) thinks you can never have too many felt tips - she'll be thrilled to have a tub full to draw all over the walls with do nice colouring with after the party!

I'm thinking either the cardboard swords or the knights masks and maybe some crowns, with felt tips and self adhesive 'jewels'.

I was going to say - stickers (big tubs of foam ones from baker ross or hobbycraft) were the most popular means of decoration - of shiields, and of all other craft things we have done since.

the other big hit for knights was a cardboard play castle which they all decorated

MrsKitty Mon 16-Jan-12 18:09:18

Blimey, with all these fab ideas I might have to do a knights party next year too!

Am wondering if the bouncy castle was an unnecessary extravagance, but DS specifically asked for it (probably because he had one last year!) We shared last years party with a friend but they're at different schools now sad.

Blatherskite Mon 16-Jan-12 18:29:08

We had a big tub of stickers at DD's party. That along with the colouring and biscuit decorating were by far the most popular activities we did.

cardboard castle - annoyingly, the one I had was both larger and cheaper than this, but it was a long time (5 years) ago grin

3duracellbunnies Mon 16-Jan-12 20:40:08

Just to say that the jousting relay was a big success. We had 4 teams, 3 2+3 year olds in each, and each runner had a homemade hobby horse (stuffed felt head on top of pipe insulating foam stick), and a 99p foam sword. They had to gallop up on horse and hook a football cone marker with the sword and bring it back and hand over equipment to next knight. Trying to think now how to turn into fairy party game for dd! Thinking maybe will do knights for ds 3rd birthday in sept!

Jousting relay sounds so cool

<<trying to work out how to persuade girly-pink DD to have a knights party>>

Blatherskite Tue 17-Jan-12 12:28:32

Get her to have a Princess/Knight party and invite lots of boys grin

She'll soon change her mind about the jousting when she realises that her part involved just dropping a hanky

grin we have already done princesses (her idea) and pirates (my addition)

3duracellbunnies Tue 17-Jan-12 13:43:45

Yes, coverting it for girls is my next project, having a rainbow fairy + goblin party end feb, the horses will be recast as magic horses and the swords replaced by wands (might give goblins option to have sword); just not sure what to do at other end. Collecting the football markers worked well, as easy to see which team won, dh said they could be recast as mushrooms. I wondered about pictures of butterflies etc with velcro on back of pictures and wand, but not sure if have time, as dd1 birthday first. Anyone got any other ideas?

3duracellbunnies Tue 17-Jan-12 13:54:34

Sorry converting, not coverting!

can the football markers not be fairy rings (if party girl is sceptical, you could wrap ribbon/tinsel around them)?

I don't think I could stomach rainbow fairies and goblins [horrid pink-hating Mummy]

Blatherskite Wed 18-Jan-12 18:31:05

How are everyone's party plans going?

We need updates sits smile

How are you doing DW?

sitsyou Wed 18-Jan-12 20:45:51

hello, am back! Sorry went awol, both kids have been ill but recovered now (although DD now has a cough which is keeping her awake).

Anyway, due to illnesses I haven't got very far (3 weeks to go) but have ordered teddies, balloons and (empty) party bags, oh and the cutters (thanks blathers). Tomorrow I'm going to try and make a couple of 'trees' for the picnic scene. Will get DCs to help me paint them.

Tonight (or maybe tomorrow) am going to source some ribbons to put on each teddy (ebay?).

Haven't had a chance to read up the thread much, have I missed much?

Im still here. Im having hideous braxton hicks quite regularly but not that gripping wave of pain like labour. Tightening so much that the pressure in pelvis is immense and hurts. Got midwife tomorrow so i'll ask her to check me if it carries on. Came to bed to get comfy and dd fell out of bed on her head. Ran to her and now im back to tightenings now.

Just wish it was that true pain of contractions so i could call hospital and get gone!!

sitsyou I have PM'ed you.

hurry up, DrsBaby - we have a party to plan for you, you know smile - DrsWife when is the planed date for ELCS?

My dragon kite has arrived and is really rather splendid - he is draped all over the dining room at the moment until I work out what to do with him, but if anyone sees me on here for more than another 5 mins then kick me off - I have to leave at 5:30am and DC's clothes are unironed (as are mine) and the house is un-sorted even by my standards and I can't find my card reader to upload photos but I am NOT going to waste time looking for it tonight

Stealth where are you going at that hour?

Elcs is planned for 6th. Im not sure i'll last that long although watching one born every minute making me cross my legs smartish!!!

I cant wait to see this dragon kite in action. Your gonna end up like shirley hoarding random stuff from parties. One day in ten years someone will say they need a dragon and you'll be dragging all 30ft or however long it is out of your shed!!

only going to work - nothing more exciting than a 9am meeting a bloody long way away sad.

I just remembered DD has swimming tomorrow and am now wondering what else I have forgotten.

The 6th is a long way away sad - still, maybe LO will take things into their own hands before then? The dragon is only a kite - 30ft is mostly tail - he's not a full-blown dragon dance dragon - I am not quite that mad. I had to promise the seller that we would take him flying and not just use him for room decor grin.

Right. Ironing and bed. Bed seems to have DS and a selection of cuddly toys in it already (DH is away). Evictions may be called for.

sitsyou Thu 19-Jan-12 18:01:23

stealth I called the library and they don't have it. If you really don't mind sending it that would be great - will PM my address

Right, I have now got:-
- teddies for the bear hunt & ribbon on order from ebay
- green balloons for 'woods'
- prizes for games (pin the bow tie on the bear & 1 more) - can I give a book (the bear one you recommended stealth for a pass the parcel prize or it it too much/too boring

What I need your help with is to come up with teddybear/bear songs. I can only think of (off the top of my head without googling)

1) teddy bears' picnic
2) bear necessities

Blatherskite Thu 19-Jan-12 18:03:12

DW you're a genius. I got DD a very princess-y looking dress from the Tesco Christmas range (I think it might probably have been an angel outfit) for £4 in a size 18-24 months. I'm going to need to take it up but it fits everywhere else and DD loves it. It even has little capped sleeves so she can wear a vest underneath to keep her nice and warm. I really didn't want little spaghetti straps and all the others I'd seen seemed to be like that.

DS already has a pirate outfit so we're all set now smile

Blatherskite Thu 19-Jan-12 18:04:37

sitsyou - what you need is "The many songs of Winnie the Pooh" - loads of bear songs on there.

sitsyou Thu 19-Jan-12 18:26:35

thanks blathers I just played a sample of one of the pooh songs to DD and she said "I don't like it"! FFS

Blatherskite Thu 19-Jan-12 18:37:18

Teddy Bear by Elvis?

sitsyou Thu 19-Jan-12 20:01:16

ooh yes! thanks

sits - no problem at all to post it - I have even managed not to lose it since last night (it did go to London and back with me by mistake) and I have other, less interesting reasons to go to the post box grin

There must be more bear songs, surely? [blank mind]

sits - potential bear books? (Red House sale ends tonight but I am sure there will be plenty of deas left tomorrow)

..although "in the woods" is still my bear's favourite and would be an entirely appropriate PtheP present.