Shirley's party advice part 5 - Here to Help - come and say Hi

(954 Posts)
Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 12:54:01

Didn't notice we'd gotten to the end of the thread!

me either! I may or may not be on webchat - work stuff.

Cant stop here now you two i'm off the lurk on the delia chat. Slow cooker question indeed..tut..to the culinary queen.

Bravo blathers you got a response. Casserole.

What a revelation.

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 13:32:23

Hmm yes. Not exactly ground breaking.

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 13:33:57

RebeccaMN has added a link to the end of the old thread for me so hopefully people will be able to find us now

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 13:41:00

Anyone else a bit disappointed ?

Disappointed in delia?

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 13:46:28

A little.

Glad to see you got a response too.

Mate i only asked one cos im sat here hitting refresh waiting on the cake competition results. Im finding her a little "snooty" to be honest. Thats why i thought i bet delia dont cook spag bol every week!

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 13:51:48

It was the 'how do I scale up/down cake recipes' one that made me go hmm

My gall bladder op letter has arrived. I've forgotten all about Delia and am bricking myself sad

Why are u bricking it? My mate had op on hers few weeks ago. They tried to take the stone but it was massive so they rebooked and took her in again and removed the lot.

She was fine, both times the recovery was really quick and she was quite trippy on oramorph each time. The first time she was in hospital for 4 weeks waiting on the op!!!

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 14:03:00

I've never had an operation that wasn't a c-section before. It's the being under general that scares me the most I think.

Mines a 3cm stone so i guess I have to have the lot out. I'm hoping they know that and will not mess me around like they did your friend!

How long was she in for after the op do you know?

Only a couple of days. Hers was bigger than a golf ball. I can relate to the fear if the G.A but its fine. I promise you. Ive had a few and you saw on the last thread what a total wimp i am. But its totally fine, tell them your scared and they hold your hand. Ive found it hard because at the point of going under you're not allowed anyone with you. Thats when i get scared. But it really is like going to sleep. And ive often cried like a true wimp.

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 14:21:56

I had a spinal alone when I had C. You'd think this would be less scary!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I better report that thread as i put dd's name in it!

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 14:26:55

I've just gone to check appointments and they are none! I've only got the option of 1 hospital just 2 departments. It's all very rubbish so far

Oh no! How long is the wait?

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 14:34:03

No idea. There are no dates at all to choose from.

I keep telling you, Blathers - walk in the park. 3 days lovely sleep and 2 weeks off work (oh, no, sorry - you don't get that bit do you sad[evil]).

I was completely and utterly knackered at the time though. It was just after my father's 60th (big party), and a few days before that my GM died (not unexpected, but still obv a shock) so I was trying to help DM through the party and all the other stuff, and deal with DS who was about 18mths old, and generally not stopping to sleep cos I didn't have time. I went to sleep with the pre-med - they had to wake me up to take me down to theatre blush.

Much better than the Swiss insistence on spinal because I am asthmatic which meant I got to listen to them grubbing about digging escalator grease out of the inside of my knee (sorry DW)

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 16:20:15

You do keep telling me Stealth, but I keep panicing anyway smile

I need to time it so that DH can be off work for at least the days I am in hospital and I can get help with the school runs for a while once I get home. I need to time it NOT for a school holiday too so I have a minute chance of getting at least a little rest

I had to be restrained from going back to work early hmm blush - I felt fine after a couple of days at home.

Yes my friend was def doing the school run wheb she got home. She certainly wasnt "laid up". She's had two sections too and said it was easy compared to that.

It really will be easier than a spinal cos its just like when they put your cannula in the back of your hand. Except this time instead of capping it they'll put the stuff through it. Your arm goes cold and you feel it travelling up where u have this oh shit moment of "hold on im awake im awake i can feel that going up my arm dont you touch...zzzzzzzzzz"

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 16:31:16

Right, called the booking helpline who have sent details through to the hospital who now have 2 weeks to get in touch with me to book an appointment. Given that I got referred for this in November, I'm not holding out much hope.

Blatherskite Thu 28-Feb-13 16:39:08

I've just been reading up in it - on the NHS website so as not to scare myself too much - and it has occurred to me that my 3cm stone ain't coming out of a 1cm keyhole incision. It won't fit!

Anyway - this isn't good party talk. Someone suggest a party quick!

Yes.

******A note to any mnetters who need party help******
There are 3 of us here who sit around waiting to advise in parties. Do not be put off by our delia put downs or gallstone chatter.

Do please interupt us, we will happily advise you on themes, games, decorations. We do a mean line in themed food ideas and advocate the use of blue jelly...a lot. We also have two cake competition winners on hand too.

****Ask away*****

<now we just wait>

Yes - parties - bring 'em on grin.

I really want to do those string eggs Blathers found - I am kidding myself that I might be able to find time in the DC's holidays to do them with them as pressies for GPs.

(on a non-party note, I have come down from the adrenaline buzz of presenting a webcast and winning a prize to realise that the dull ache and gunk in my chest aint going nowhere and yes I do have a full on chest infection sad. Waaaah)

Oh no stealth. I can imagine how crap that feels. Dd2 and i have a cold. Im praying dd1 doesnt catch it as her asthma seems controlled at last. Me, ive been milking the ventolin. So then yesterday dh starts clearing his throat saying i think ive got your cold.

I said be glad you aint got asthma too then hmm man flu.

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 09:55:44

Sorry you're feeling rotten Stealth. Do you have a quiet weekend coming up to recuperate?

I got my 7th RSVP this morning so after only giving out the invites in Tuesday, I've already got replies from everyone. Your wording was obviously just scary enough Stealth smile

I've stopped feeling as guilty about the boy who wanted to come too as another boy in DS's class has been asking if he can come too. Somehow, because it's not just 1 anymore, I feel less like we've left him out.

I can now concentrate on how I'm going to do this cake. What flavour are mountains? I'm thinking probably chocolate/chocolate fudge. Maybe put some choc chips in for rocks? Trex frosting definitely looks like snow, I just need to work out how to make it less tooth-achingly sweet

I think mountains are chocolate. Possibly with white chocolate rocks.

It depends how you define "quiet" - DH is leaving pre-dawn tomorrow and won't be back until next Sunday. However I suspect the DC may not entirely go along with my plan to spend the weekend with my duvet....smile

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 10:58:00

I think you might be right. Maybe mixed choc chips with choc fudge between the layers?

Get the DC under the duvet with you and watch a movie. It won't be totally restful but better than nothing. I prescribe at least 1 take out/no cooking/no washing up dinner too smile

At least it's not you jetting off this time.

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 10:59:26

I'm trying not to get too jealous that all the comments on the Delia thread are along the lines of "oh, I knew the asparagus cake would win..."

envy

grin - yours needs close up photos to appreciate quite how fabulous it is, though. Have you noticed that there is a link to the photos on the home page now? I can only see photo galleries on my phone - Internet Explorer won't let me move forward and back through the gallery confusedangry

No TV in bedroom, and duvet on sofa + DC could not be described as restful. I may be flying next week if everyone ever stops arguing about who would pay and how but not far - then both home for a week, then me off to the US again. It is not normally quite this manic and yes, I am glad me and my gunky chest are not doing long-haul flights just now.

I knew that asparagus cake would win...

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 11:21:03

I never really go to the homepage. Tempted to ask MNHQ to add some close up photos wink

It must be really hard to be in different places so much. I hope you have a good week together.

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 11:21:56

Ooh, you're a meanie sometimes DW

Im only teasing i promise! You know i love you really, look at the lengths i went to on gall stones! I got my mate stripping off for ya!

And you should ask for some close up images to be added, you deserved to win and show it off!

My DC were singlularly unimpressed - DS asked how many entries there were, said "is that all?" and then went on to list all the other cakes I have done which were better than the asparagus cake hmm

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 11:34:04

Nah, seems a bit "look at me". MNHQ chose my cake based on the photo on the thread after all. If others people can't see the brilliance, that's their problem wink

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 11:39:09

Although, having finally been and looked at the other cakes, I'm not sure I should have won either!

You should!! You both should!! They told you it was the detail in uour plates of food so you are both deserving winners!

They chose them for different reasons, though, Blathers - the other one was fantastically done (especially the scrabble tiles), yours is incredibly detailed and beautifully modelled, and mine is just nuts.

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 13:30:23

<snort> at "mine is just nuts" grin

There are some other amazing ones there though. I'm glad I wasn't choosing!

I feel like martha stewart today. I've got one friend making a birthday cake asking for blow by blow tips which is making me laugh. She is freaking out at a crumb coat saying she normally sticks icing down with jam!

Then another friend, our best man, who's just adopted. Its his wifes birthday so i sent him a message saying mothers day will be more important so make sure you go to town on behalf of DS. He was like birthday?!! Mothers day?!!! Useless. So he just messaged saying hes git her a spa day, clarins an a scarf!!

I seem to be the events woman today. But ive chosen my own mothers day present this time and sent dh a link to avoid theme park tickets again.

Lets talk Easter again. Blathers is doing string eggs and egg boxes. I still need a menu for easter sunday and possibly make eggs or decorations for the easter tree. I'd love to do blown eggs but a 4yr old perhaps aint ready for that?

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 16:00:30

I've booked myself in for a 10k on Mother's day. I know at first glance it doesn't seem like a treat but - it's an hour and a half to myself (although I'm hoping the run only takes an hour <snort>) and the calories I burn off will mean the children* can take me out for lunch and I can have a dessert guilt free. There is method in my madness grin

I'm definitely doing the egg box lunxh but term breaks up the week before so I still need to plan for Easter Sunday itself. I'll do another Easter egg trail definitely. Haven't decided on the string eggs yet

*DH

BobbiFleckmann Fri 01-Mar-13 16:09:50

ARGH ladies, I need your URGENT party assistance... I fear I have overreached myself on a sweet tree job. the entire polystyrene ball has just collapsed down the wooden dowel "trunk" and I have only one remaining polystyrene ball (party is sunday, looks like there will only be one tree EEK).
anyone got any great tips for a total idiot on how to stick the sweets in to give full coverage of the ball without being too heavy? I used a lot of lollipops, going to have to cut back on them and use more jellies. Have toothpicks. Do I cut them in half & have them closer to the ball so fewer sweets? at least i have the remnants of one ball to practice on ;-(

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 16:12:25

Hmmm, I've never made a sweet tree so am guessing but would think your jellies idea would work best.

Off to google sweet trees

I would take the opposite approach - find a way to better secure the ball. Could you superglue something (a 2p coin?) to the top of the ball and put a ribbon around the ball to secure it, maybe?

Alternatively, marshmallows and flumps are very light smile

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 16:23:10

Good idea Stealth!

Back to Easter briefly - DW, Craftplay have ELC "Make an Easter Hen" kits for 99p at the moment which your DD1 might enjoy.

BobbiFleckmann Fri 01-Mar-13 16:25:20

yes I've only done Marshmallow ones before! the 2p idea is brilliant. KNowing my luck, someone's child will swallow the 2p before stabbing them self in the eye with a half toothpick...

Blathers type candy topiary into Pinterest and you'll see what Bobbi is doing.

Bobbi when I've seen them lollies are usually done on cones rather than balls. Like a Christmas tree. Or you use lots of towels together to make one fat trunk. As you've discovered, they are too heavy otherwise. So just shove a few more dowels in and it should be saved.

Pinterest shows you lots if you type in lolly tree/topiary.

And blathers...yes!! Craft play!!

Anyone got any nice lamb recipes? For Easter. And something like a roulade or a pavlova pudding cos I always do cheesecakes for dh.

My favourite lamb is variations on a theme of 24 hour roast lamb shoulder - I like lamb moist and falling off the bone, not pink. Actually I might do lamb curry this year (even though DD will moan).

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 21:19:11

Ha, I was about to suggest slow roasted lamb shoulder! With feta salad and flatbreads <drools>

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 21:28:20

DW - and potentially Stealth - you're needed over here

I did a jamie oliver lamb shoulder once but it was too broth like.

We have a nigella variation which is good.

Tell me tell me.. I too like falling off the bone slow cooked stuff. Dh is not gonna go for greek meze style easter dinner. Debating whether to invite my mum. She would faint at feta cheese.

I will copy the recipe out for you tomorrow, DW

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 22:29:50

The one I made was copied out of a paper I think. You could always serve it with dauphinois potatoes and a green salad instead?

I love how blathers got a slow cooker question from delia, you are both getting her book and its nigella we want.

Im trying to stay awake cos my friend making her cake is icing it now and im holding out for the big reveal. Bless her.

Maybe i could shock everyone and do turkey! Considering i was ill at xmas begging dh to cancel maybe i could do xmas mark two. You know without the coughing/sicking cycle,

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 22:40:33

It was this one I made. It is Jamie but it definitely wasn't broth like.

I want my Delia book for the apparently moist chocolate cake recipes to make DS's mountain with smile

Oooh that jamie one looks good <sorry delia>

The one i did had all the veg etc in it like a one pot job, it was watery stew. Meat was nice but everything else no. I think i saw it on tv.

Right im either doing xmas round 2 or that!!!

Blatherskite Fri 01-Mar-13 22:56:01

I did it a few years ago and my Sister still talks about it. The smashed veg would make it more sunday-dinner-esque and less greek meze too

Yes! See dh ain't mad on lamb but its my favourite. Now, do I invite my mum....confused

DTisMYdoctor Sat 02-Mar-13 18:59:18

Marking my place so I know where to find you when I start planning DS's party. But while you're talking about Easter food - any suggestions for a make ahead meal for Easter w/e for 4 adults and 4 kids? We'll be out all day so trying to think of something nice enough for dinner guests without slaving in the kitchen after a day out.

If its for a gathering we always recommend shirleyknots pulled pork recipe. However, if you dont fancy the bbq flavour we did think it would work really well to slow cook the pork shoulder, shred it and serve in rolls with stuffing/applesauce. A cheap small scale hog roast.

Blatherskite Mon 04-Mar-13 09:40:06

I have an ace slow cooked pork recipe that would work well for that if you decide to go with it!

I like mine with coleslaw smile

Blatherskite Mon 04-Mar-13 09:41:23

In fact, it's worth sharing anyway so here it is

RuthlessWarHorse Mon 04-Mar-13 10:48:49

Hello!

Shall I tell you about my party? If nothing else it will give my poor bruised thumb a break from sewing bunting.

Youngest is turning 1 and instead of a childrens party I thought I'd have a lunch party.

about 20 adults and 20 children, mostly aged between 5 - 8.

We live in a hot place so it's outside. I've hired tables (no cloths yet though... hmm).

Because there are so many children I have got a few packs of chalks for them to doodle all over the drive, and I thought I'd get some flower pots and seeds to decorate and plant and take home.

Party bags?? Yes probably - but only bubbles and a balloon I thought... what do you think?

I'm cooking mexican because it's easy for that number of people.

Some big jugs of alcohol free fruit punch.

Trays of pink fizz.

Lots of bunting.

And trifle.

What do you think?

I'm worried the food is not right.

I'm worried there's not enough for the children to do.

I could set up a football game in the back garden?

this is the Nigella lamb recipe I had in mind.

Make ahead meal - what are the limitations? I would be tempted to do curry/chilli/something similar when all that needs doing is to reheat it and warm bread - serve with salads and bits.

You could then go to town on pudding - my DC made a huge OTT chocolate trifle in a big glass bowl last Easter - topped with mini eggs - that could be made in advance and just topped with whipped cream at the last moment?

Blatherskite Mon 04-Mar-13 11:01:03

It sounds lovely ruthless. I'd be tempted to make some plain jelly to go with that trifle though as in my experience, small children don't tend to like trifle.

If you're doing mexican food, why not carry the theme through and have a pinata too? Again, for the little ones, I'd make sure there is something very, very mild to eat. Mine adore Quesadillas as they're pretty much tortilla calzones.

Football sounds like fun. Maybe a sack/egg and spoon race or obstacle course to keep them amused too if you've got loads of space? Or a treasure hunt?

Ruthless - it sounds lovely!

As for more things to do - yes, maybe. I am assuming you have guaranteed weather on your side, so football would be good, or a treasure hunt of some sort if you can be bothered? You could print out pictures on cards and give them a card showing what they have to collect. If you wanted to really go to town you could make the ones for 8yos different (and harder to find) than the ones for the little ones?

5-8yos might also expect/welcome pass the parcel and a couple of jumping-around-to-music sort of games, but that might interrupt the flow of your lunch somewhat.

Table cloths - I impulse purchased one of these and my DC and their cousins loved it - but actually you could achieve almost the same result (minus the grid lines, which they did like) by buying a roll of cheap white fabric to use as a table cloth, and some washable felt tips (the crayola ones wash out perfectly, we tried it) - it would help keep everyone amused whilst actually at the table?

x-post with Blathers there!

Blatherskite Mon 04-Mar-13 11:22:58

Love that we both came up with treasure hunts though stealth smile

RuthlessWarHorse Mon 04-Mar-13 14:18:59

Thanks for your thoughts.

Bowl of jelly a greAT IDEA.

I did a treasure hunt once years ago and it was a lot of work for approx. a minute and a half entertainment. Did I do it wrong?

I could do a 'things to find in the garden' worksheet thingy?

Gah. Wrote whole response and then MN crashed angry

Right - treasure hunts. If they are linear (follow from one clue to the next) then I agree they don't last long. Also, if adults have to do them too then they are a bit of a PITA. I was thinking of something more like a scavenger hunt that they can do individually while adults drink wine.

DC's school PTA-equivalent do one at Easter - each child has a sheet with a number of pictures on. They have to find the matching card shapes. Each age group has different pictures - so the bunny/chick/egg for the nursery to find are large and "hidden" in plain sight at ground level, while the daffodil/hedgehog/basket on the sheet for the 7-8yos are much smaller and much better hidden. The result is that it takes everyone roughly the same amount of time, and when each child brings back a complete 'set' of whatever they are supposed to find they swap it for a prize. It seems to work well, and doesn't depend on the DC being able to read.

OK, peoples - going to the US again has to have some plus side.

what do I "need" for Easter?

Blatherskite Tue 05-Mar-13 14:05:00

Well some plastic Easter eggs ready for Easter packed lunch obviously. I've already ordered some from Yellow Moon otherwise I'd be giving you my order ;)

Anything else you want/need?

Blatherskite Tue 05-Mar-13 14:44:40

You could get some of the toy filled ones for DW wink

with a few especially for your DH too?

Blatherskite Tue 05-Mar-13 15:04:59

No idea! I've been through 23 pages of Easter bit and there's nothing I can't live without - at least until I move to dream house with plenty of room to store all of this stuff!

Ebeneezer Blathersgrinch would only complain otherwise

I am sort of coming to the same conclusion. I will get some plastic eggs, just because I failed to salvage last year's for re-use. Possibly some of those putty-filled ones. Maybe a rabbit or two.

Any general craft stuff you need?

Blatherskite Tue 05-Mar-13 15:26:12

Not at the moment I don't think. After my cupboard clear out, I found loads of stuff I'd forgotten I had - including the spoon animals we were attempting to make when Ds had stage 2 of his exorcist impression this afternoon!

How is exorcist child doing now?

You do realise that if neither you nor DW wants to fill my suitcase with party crap essentials then I will just have to go to Jo Ann fabrics instead grin?

Blatherskite Tue 05-Mar-13 22:06:36

It seems to be over. He'll still have to have tomorrow off school though as he needs 24 clear hours before he can go back.

Im okay for eggs thank you, i have about 24 i think from the poundshop years ago. Im on the look out for decorations to hang on my easter tree. But see easter annoys me because my house isnt pastels/springtime brights and so it never ties in very well. Xmas is much easier to co-ordinate.

I would have had you getting me a popcorn whirleypop stealth but dh ordered me one for mothers day. But im off to scour those pages for any loot i can get you to haul home.

I am tempted to buy loads of "he lives" religious tat for mother in law!

You are certainly spoilt for choice on that front. No easter dinosaurs this year though, I notice grin

incidentally - WTAF is a popcorn whirlypop and why would I need one?

Blatherskite Wed 06-Mar-13 20:43:37

I wondered that too stealth. I'm guessing maybe an air popper?

I've been looking for cake inspiration. Looks like my Glacier Mint ice lake might work - here I've ordered a lego snowmand and we've made up a couple of lego sledges from DS's extensive collection too.

Kiriwawa Wed 06-Mar-13 20:54:25

Okay you lot - look lively now grin

I'm doing a build a (fake) bear party for DS (6) and 11 of his school friends. There will be 11 boys and 1 feisty girl. I've got the bear kits and there will be 4 adults for child/bear wrangling.

This is my plan:
- game of musical statues to burn off energy, prize for winner (bought)
- pass the parcel with bear label in each layer - every child gets a chance to open and then gets the appropriate bear skin
- stuff bears
- eat food (bear shaped sandwiches/pom bears (see what I did there?)/party rings
- cake/go home

I need help with:

a) figuring out what I've missed. I have planned this like I would a work training session but I don't know what I'm doing
b) how do I cope/get rid of extraneous parents. I don't want them - help me make them go away but if they insist on staying, what do I do
c) party music. DS wants gangnam style for musical statues but I need music for pass the parcel plus background for the bear stuffing.

And any suggestions on how to reduce my stress levels would be v welcome ..

OK, Kiri - looking lively (I am in yet another hotel room, and anything is better than concentrating on my presentation for tomorrow, even though I must do that soon)

Musical Statues - TBH, at 6, I wouldn't bother with a prize for the winner unless you are 100% sure that is what they expect. 6yos of my acquaintance still prefer a sticker as you get out (also handy for telling which of the DC dancing are actually still in) and it always seems to get down to the last few uber-competitive DC, at which point I give it a couple of turns and then declare them all winners [coward]

Extraneous parents - um - not good at this one as most people generally still stay at parties here (very rural, massive school catchment area (independent school), not worth going home, and also the only time a lot of us see each other). Is the party at home (in which case I can see why you want rid)? How about some breezy wording on the invitation to the effect of "no need for parents to stay if you could just leave me your mobile number...." ?

If they insist on staying, either put them to work, or, if that is more trouble than it is worth, give them coffee and ignore them. Is 4 bear/child wranglers going to be enough to supervise bear stuffing, though? I have only been able to do stupidly ambitious craft stuff because I know a reasonable proportion of parents will muck in and help - are you going to be able to sew up bears and serve food and take DC to the loo and....? If not, you could phrase it as "no need to stay, but you are welcome to stay and help if you would like to" - that would get rid of most of them grin

Blathers I love the glacier mint lake. I need to work a frozen lake into a cake now grin

Look what I just found - a recipe designed especially for our letter press biscuit cutters (and Gingerdead man, except he really needs gingerbread) - here

Kiri - music - past experience suggests that bear themed music is remarkably hard to come by. If your DS is as "with it" as his choice suggests, then I would just grit your teeth and download NOW 542 or whatever they are on by now. My DH has, to his eternal shame, a One Direction album on his iphone from DD's last (6th) birthday party grin

Blatherskite Wed 06-Mar-13 21:22:00

a) I'd say you need an activity to do at the very beginning of the party while everyone arrives. At 6, you might get away with just putting some music on and letting them chat/chase each other round for a bit.

b) Extra parents can be useful, especially for things like bear stuffing where some kids might need a lot of help. I should think at 6 you won't get many though.

c) By 6, most parties seem to go for current pop music IME. The last one we went to (DS is about to turn 6) had lots of Moves Like Jagger and Katy Perry. Gangnam style is very popular. If you wanted to theme it a bit more, you could go for The Jungle Book soundtrack and have Bear Necessities etc. They might be a bit big for Winnie the Pooh by 6 but that went down very well at DD's 2nd birthday party.

Pom bears are a must smile

Blatherskite Wed 06-Mar-13 21:23:23

Bear music is indeed tough. I spent hours searching and we ended up with Winnie the Pooh, The Jungle Book and some random Elvis song

Blatherskite Wed 06-Mar-13 21:26:16

I've got a question - sheet cakes - do I need a special recipe or will most things work as a sheet cake?

I'm thinking some sort of marbled vanilla/choc chip cake with chocolate fudge layers would be very mountain-like.

I've never tried a sheet cake but I would be cautious.

this recipe looks OK though?

Blatherskite Wed 06-Mar-13 21:57:32

It's going to have to be a sheet cake to cut a 6 out of I think. That recipe looks good. Traybakes would be a similar sort of thing right?

True, yes - Mary Berry has some good traybake recipes. Or you could hire a '6' shaped tin if you have anywhere to get one from (less "spare cake", which may or may not be a good thing - my DS will always opt for the maximum "spare cake" option because that's his favourite bit (he hates icing hmm))

Blatherskite Wed 06-Mar-13 22:18:16

It looks like the local cake shop might hire tins. I've got a fairly specific 6 shape in mind though...

Kiriwawa Wed 06-Mar-13 22:20:09

Good thinking about Now 359 - I have paid good money for sodding Gangnam style so I may as well throw good money after bad. grin

I have Pom bears! And am making bear shaped sarnies. I wanted to give them mini packs of haribo gummi bears but I couldn't find then anywhere except in bulk. Corner shop maybe?

Definitely corner shop, or pick and mix type thing. Gummi bears are a must - I love themblush

Blathers - LOL at the image of that conversation

"can I look at your '6' tin please - I need to see if it is the right shape"

"confused hmm "

Blatherskite Wed 06-Mar-13 22:30:15

I found gummi bears surprisingly hard to buy too! In retrospect, the easiest thing to do might have been to buy some little cellophane cones from ebay and a huge bag of bears.

Blatherskite Wed 06-Mar-13 22:31:54

"Oh no no no, that 6 is totally the wrong shape to make a ski slope from!"

grin

Kiriwawa Wed 06-Mar-13 23:13:12

Thanks for your help, party gurus smile I will report back

I got a tub of mini bags of Haribo from Costco for party bags, and ~1/4 of them were Gummi Bears which I kept for me

Kiriwawa Thu 07-Mar-13 08:09:55

Thanks stealth. I don't have a costco near me and the booker only does big packs. I might put out a bowl of gummi bears as a compromise.

I haven't done party bags on the basis that they get to take their bears home and they come with a special bag to put them in. Will the children be disappointed?

Blatherskite Thu 07-Mar-13 08:22:52

No, I think a bear in a bag will make a lovely party bag. You could maybe add a little pack of sweeties if you wanted.

Kiriwawa Thu 07-Mar-13 09:21:52

Phew, thanks. I am going to try and calm down today grin

Kiri. Great tips you've had for the party. If you find a traditional sweet shop you can buy bears in "quarters" in individual paperbags. If you dont want the hassle of bagging them up yourself.

Blathers that lake looks brilliant. When is the party cos i'm now anxious to see this cake!!

Stealth a whirleypop is here

I adore popcorn. I used to live behind a massive cinema complex and i'd often call in for salted popcorn and butter to take home for my tea!!! So now try all ways to get the best popcorn. Air popping/microwave is crap so apparently this "kettle" agitates the corn on the heat. Rumour has it i may get a gourmet mix of varied kernals to pop like a conniseur.

Blatherskite Thu 07-Mar-13 11:00:07

I swear there are some posts here this morning further up the thread that weren't there last night! confused How odd!

Glad everyone likes the 'ice lake' My plan is to put it in the hole in the 6 and to potentially have it raised up with some foil underneath it to make it sparkle so I need to work out a way of making it separately in the right shape. I was wondering if I cut the top and bottom off an empty bean can, I could melt the mints inside it to make a perfect circle. Would it work do you think or will it set like concrete? If it worked, I could use the can to cut the hole out of the sheet cake too assuming I don't hire a shaped tin.

I also need to make a hole in it for the Eskimo to fish through. Do I use something to make the hole as it forms or make the most of the fact that it is highly unlikely to get eaten and just break out the drill?

Calming down is easier said than done smile.

Bear in bag is a fabulous party bag. Either one of my DC would love to go to the party you have planned.

DW - I googled grin. Do you want me to look for gourmet popcorn, or would DH sulk?

Blathers you would need to line your baked bean tin, I think.

Blatherskite Thu 07-Mar-13 11:13:49

Yes, it'll definitely need to be lined with something that will take the heat of molten sweets. I was thinking a top and bottomless bean can might also be flexible enough to wriggle the 'lake' out of when it's set?

Dh might have a bit of copper plumbing pipe I could use for the fishing hole. Might be a bit big though. Maybe the drill is the way to go?

Blatherskite Thu 07-Mar-13 11:16:12

Oh, and the party is on the 24th DW. A week late but we're going to Legoland again on the actual weekend

I think it would shatter if you drilled it.

Wooden dowel of some sort?

Blatherskite Thu 07-Mar-13 11:32:17

Would a wooden dowel not soak up the mix and become part of the solid? I could wrap it in foil maybe?

Stealth.. Apparently im sorted for corn but if i flutter my eyelashes ever so nicely..do you think you could scour the shops for "popcorn butter"Looking online i'm certain its just hydrogenated shit with butter flavour in it but i'm willing to risk it!

Boiled sweet lake, could you not use a bolt or a screw dropped in once it cooled down it may retract enough to wiggle it out. So long as it wasnt deeper than the bolt head.

Blatherskite Thu 07-Mar-13 13:22:23

I ought to get you to bring me some Velveeta Stealth, my brother in law loves that plastic yuk stuff.

Blatherskite Thu 07-Mar-13 13:24:22

My plastic eggs have just arrived. They were hours inside of the maximum delivery estimate and the box looks like it's been used a s a football - no square corners left on it at all! Yellow Moon are really going downhill recently it seems

I think they use one of those self-employed courier networks, which means that it depends on your local bods. Most of ours are pretty good.

DW - assuming that I escape to go shopping, I will certainly look.

Oooh thanks stealth. I do actually have a stepsister in the states but i try not to converse with her ha ha

excuse me while I bang my head against a wall for a while.

How did I manage to forget that into the mix of an already stressful day today I had added saying the plumbers could come?

Don't get me wrong, it will be great to have central heating through the whole house for the first time in months, but I have a load of work to get done, and then need to pack and get off for night away with DC tonight - and DS is doing his piano exam right now (eeek) and was fragile, to say the least, this morning, so I thought I would focus on getting him to school in one piece, and shower later. Which I now can't do. And I am freezing cos the heating is off and drained down.

Sob.

Oh and I after I had got home at 8pm, and then sorted the DC out, I made apple muffins to take with us for DM for mothers' day (and some sugar flowers to be plonked on top of cream cheese frosting) - and DS tried one this morning and declared them "not nice" sad

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 11:01:24

Oh Stealth sad

OK, cross things off the list -

DS's Piano exam - done
Get heating sorted - done
Pack -
Work -
Shower -
Pick up cake from shop -

See you're already 33.333333r done smile No-one will mind a bought cake just this once? Have you tried the apple muffins? They may be lovely, just not quite kid-friendly.

Thanks for the sanity check.

I think the muffins are ok - I just need to make an alternative for DC.

To add to list - pick DD up and take her to get her hair cut. Unfortunately I have a call at the same time, so that is going to end up being 6yo dictating her own terms to hairdresser. DD has also demanded that we have time for snuggles "cos you are always working" sad (I have been away, and so is DH, so she is feeling hard done by)

Plumbers have just reached the point of familiarity with our CH which would result in swearing if they weren't so polite.

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 11:36:37

DS's Piano exam - done
Get heating sorted - done
Pack -
Work -
Shower -
DEFINITELY Pick up cake from shop -
Get DD's Hair cut - after telling the hairdresser what needs to be done wink
Snuggles

DD is going for a sleepover at MILs tonight so it'll just be me, DH and DS home. He's feeling a little left out so I need to make time to do something special for DS too. Special dinner maybe?

Would he regard being able to cook with you without DD interfering as a treat? (I know my DS would)

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 11:51:33

I'm not sure.

He definitely thinks being allowed to play on the X-box without her trying to help as a treat though wink

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 12:16:14

Ha! Remember the string eggs I said I wanted to try earlier up the thread?

Guess what DD made me at pre school for Mother's Day?

smile

grin

I bought a pack of water bomb balloons with the intention of doing those. We'll see.

Ah feeling sad at these dc's feeling left out. Whats making ds feel that way blathers? sad can see how working away a lot would make dd sad stealth. Def snuggle time.

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 12:46:05

He'd just like to go for a sleepover too I think.

Don't feel too sorry for him. DD is going to MILs so that we can do stuff with DS - Me to a Mother's to school afternoon today and Dh to a party with him tomorrow because he won't want to be left and I'm face painting. Instead of repeatedly dropping her off and picking her up, MIL suggested she just keep DD overnight. He'd just like to have a sleepover too. We'll do something fun tonight while it's just the 3 of us. He'll be fine

DTisMYdoctor Fri 08-Mar-13 12:48:52

Not been on properly for a while, so I just wanted to pop in and say thanks for food recommendations. I will go back and look at suggestions/links properly.

DS is firmly in the 'star wars party' camp (for now) for his 5th birthday in the summer and has even been coming up with some games suggestions. 'What's the time Darth Vader' and 'Darth, Darth, Jedi' as variations on popular games from nursery. I'm thinking about ordering some rolls of felt to make some non-sew trainee Jedi type tunics so the parents wont hate me because their kids don't have star wars costumes. Holding out for a little while in case he changes his mind.

Sorry to hear about DC feeling a bit left out etc. DS struggles a bit when DH or I away for work. He's say 'can we have some family time please' which breaks my heart!

I wouldn't feel too sorry for my DD either, DW. I was away for 24 hours and she got to be spoilt by Grandad smile. She does have a point about snuggles, though. Fingers crossed we will have a warm sitting room to snuggle in without me having to light a fire <<nurses arm with large weeping yucky hole where I burned it on Wednesday sad >>

DT - I have a link somewhere to instructions on making jedi robes - I have used it for wizard's cloaks as well - I think we have 4, in various sizes and colours.

DTisMYdoctor Fri 08-Mar-13 12:58:39

If you could find the link that would be great Stealth. Funnily enough, I did a random search on here for star wars parties the other day and came across an earlier one of these threads.

Am now quite into the idea of doing a star wars party - a complete change from a few weeks ago when I was pushing for superheroes!

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 13:00:41

DD is currently having a meltdown because she wanted MIL to pick her up from pre school not me sad

She'll be fine once MIL gets here

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 13:04:33

Don't forget the light saber game too DT. That one sounds like fun!

AFAIR you make light sabers out of something soft-ish like pipe lagging or pool noodles, wrap one end in gaffer tape to make a handle and then challenge them to keep a balloon off the floor with them.

I'll try to think of some food for you but I've got an Eddie Izzard sketch about Geoff Vader and trays stuck in my head right now and can only think of penne a la arrabiata grin

DTisMYdoctor Fri 08-Mar-13 13:08:00

grin Blathers. Yep, light sabre game on the list - I found some cheap pool noodles online. Something around putting them in pairs to try and keep the balloon in the air. Am working around a trainee jedi theme so they have to learn jedi skills and then get a certificate.

Food ideas would be great - it's the one thing I'm stuck on. I am contemplating outsourcing the cake this year though...

I think I started with this - but adapted it to cut the curved hemline from the start rather than do it afterwards - I made a pattern out of newspaper.

If you google Jedi youngling costumes you get the variation which the littlies wear in the film(s) - I made one of those for DD when she was ~18 months and we were all going to a Star Wars party - so cute.

If you are outsourcing cake anyway, then I can show you this grin

Yeahh back on party talk. Altho i get baffled at starwars parties. I cant follow the bleedin' films so how do these little kids manage it?

Dd made me laugh this morning telling me all these hypothetical costumes she could ever wear for bookday/parties. Then said a mermaid. And started to go on lavishly how the cake would look, the costume, the people. It took every fibre of my being not to leap about saying yes yes lets plan a mermaid party! Because when she is 5, she'll have been at school for 3 months and i really dont want a whole class affair! So i prewarned her that that may be the year for a family meal or one friend to theme park type day. Will be have formed friendships enough to form a party guest list in three months...cos the requested cake of shells and a mermaid castle got me chomping at the bit!!

She made pizzas on saturday. So i said "remember you saw Blathersboy at baby group well he had a pizza making party when he was 5, with aprons and a pizza cake" planting the seed!

* will she have formed friendships?..

grin that your DD is now a mini party obsessive.

She will have made plenty of friends by the time of her birthday. How big is the class likely to be? Might "all the girls" be do-able?

I think the classes are usually around 22. So yes girls might be an option i should think. If she gets into the village school she'll be going with a girl she goes to preschool and gymnastics with too. There are loads going from preschool actually but the rest are "yucky naughty boys".

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 15:55:59

DS got invited to a party within about a week of starting school. I think it was mainly kids he'd known from pre school but it worked well.

See how it goes. Within a few days she'll likely be back talking about X and Y and Z that she plays with and you'll be good to go on the mermaid party.

Although the pizza one was lots of fun too.

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 16:26:28

Whoo hoo, I whinged at Yellow Moon about my battered box and they're refunding my order as a "gesture of goodwill" so now the Blathersgrinch can't complain about me spending money on plastic tat as they were free grin

I'm sure it can manage to complain about something - they will take up too much space, or some such nonsense grin.

Shame i dont live closer to an aquarium for mermaids!

madcow78 Fri 08-Mar-13 19:52:02

Hello all, very excited to have found this thread. I think it might be my spiritual home - I get very carried away with party planning for the DD's!

I'm currently working on DD2's 3rd birthday party next weekend. I'm going for a rainbow theme. Rainbow cake, cupcakes with different coloured icing, rainbow cookies, fruit kebabs, layered rainbow jelly. Any ideas for some rainbow themed savoury food? Also ideas for activities (have Jo Jingles booked so not much time to fill ourselves) and party bag fillers would be great.

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 19:58:15

I posted earlier and it's disappeared!! confused

I agreed that the Blathersgrinch would definitely complain about the eggs taking up too much space but as he was likely to do that anyway, at least I'd avoided half of the moaning smile and that DS had had proper, delivered pizza - in his own little box no less - and a nice, long, uninterrupted go on the Xbox without his Sister trying to help and was no longer feeling left out.

He's since had a bath on his own and a couple of chapters of his new book. Not a bad night when you're 5.

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 20:06:57

Hi madcow I can help, I did a rainbow party for DD's 3rd in December!

I did a rainbow cake too (which went down really well), layered rainbow jellies and fruit rainbows with marshmallows as clouds at each end. I struggled with rainbow savoury food too so ended up with pizzas and crisps which wasn't very themed but went down well. You could always make the pizzas rainbow-ish by making the bases arch shaped and arranging toppings in stripes - tomato, orange cheese, yellow cheese, green peppers, olives?

For activities, I did colouring sheets with lots of coloured pencils on the table and I got some coloured card crowns from Baker Ross which the children decorated with stick on gems and foam stickers. They loved the crowns and they went down really, really well.

I did a mixture of stuff for party bags - coloured windmills, multicoloured crayons, sweeties etc but I think DW's layered sweetie cones were better. You can get cellophane cones from ebay quite cheaply and then layer them up with brightly coloured sweets.

Yes i did rainbow party too. For party bags i wrapped books in rainbow wrapping paper (whsmith). I also gave rainbow lollies to big kids which were a bloody bargain off ebay. I made a huge balloon arch which in fact was piss easy and i gave the balloons away at the end. But at the end of the rainbow balloon arch i had a pot of gold coins forbthe babies who couldnt have lollies. We had a jo jingles type group too who did a big stint of parachute play which looked great on the photos with coloured stripey parachute.

For a balloon arch make sure you have a helper but get a needle and long thread, thread each balloon neck on to the stting and weigh it down at either end. Then you can slide the balloons around on yhe string to space them out and take them off to hand out. It looked amazing as a decoration but was cheap giveaway too.

bargain lollies here

I messaged the seller and i got 25 lollies for a tenner i think it was.

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 22:11:23

Just don't ask DW for rainbow cake tips wink

madcow78 Fri 08-Mar-13 22:35:17

Thanks for all the ideas. I was planning on doing a balloon arch - should they be helium filled or could I do it with ordinary balloons?
Those lollies look amazing but possibly over budget.
Dare I ask about the rainbow cake?! I'm a bit nervous but excited too - this is what I'm planning to replicate
http://www.myjuicecup.com/rainbow-cake/

You need helium ballons to make an arch so they all lift along and pull it up into the arch.

And the fecking cake..ask blathers for advice cos mine...well jesus. I tried splitting the batter and colouring it, overworked it mixing the colour and they were crap. Then i realised my baking powder was a YEAR out if date?!! In the end i made six individual cake mixes and cakes but i froze them so i made them over a week rather than a mad dash of cakes!

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 22:44:12

That is very similar to the one I made. I can't remember whether there are any pictures of it on my profile but I can upload some tomorrow if there aren't.

I found it really, really easy. I used the Hummingbird Bakery Vanilla cake recipe and quadrupled it to make 6 layers which I coloured with Sugarflair gels. I layered and coated with the Hummingbird bakery vanilla frosting. I thought it was really easy.

DW's didn't go quite as smoothly <understatement>

Blathers breezed hers...

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 22:50:11

I was genuinely a bit confused when DW started having issues as it'd been a walk in the park for me.

It must have been the out of date baking powder and the new oven I bet.

There were times i actually wept over that cake. And my iven is def wonky!

(Oh and we currently have a rodent in the cavity between my bedroom floor and the lounge ceiling) which makes the shit oven feel like the crown jewels!

*oven!

Blatherskite Fri 08-Mar-13 22:57:59

We were almost ready for me to bake one and DW to do a 3 hour round trip to pick it up smile

I've uploaded a photo for you now.

DTisMYdoctor Fri 08-Mar-13 23:23:24

That Star Wars cake is amazing Stealth!!! Definitely too stressful for me to contemplate grin

Loved all the younglings costumes, but possibly a bit adventurous for me. I've no sewing machine for starters, and don't fancy attempting to hand stitch a dozen costumes. I came across an idea for a no-sew costume, basically just a felt tunic (rectangle shape, folded over with a v cut out). Thought I could use a beige or cream colour and cut brown felt ties for a waist band. I'm hoping that will have the right kind of feel?

Despite being determined not to start planning the party yet, I already seem to have a list of party games, outfit ideas and have started thinking about party bags and decorations! I've found some cheap Lego Star Wars sticker books and I was thinking of getting some big rolls of black paper and covering them with silver star stickers. Although, I have just found a set of amazing looking Star Wars battle decals - millennium falcon, tie fighters, Death Star etc which would look amazing! Pricey, but very tempted!!!

This month's bbc good food magazine has a recipe for a rainbow cake btw.

DTisMYdoctor Fri 08-Mar-13 23:27:39

Oh, and DW - I'm going to have to watch the Star Wars films again for some inspiration! I'm sure DH and DS will keep me right. DS has already asked me to 'put some effort in' for his party this year. Cheeky bugger, last year's pirate party was fantastic if I do say so myself

Stealth - did you make the pirate waistcoat for me last year (have NC'd a few times since then) - DS still wears it loads!

Yes it was stealth that made it. She's a star like that.

Blatherskite Sat 09-Mar-13 08:12:13

Stealth is amazing. She made my little girl a dragon bag with a tail too

madcow78 Sat 09-Mar-13 08:34:26

Think I might start baking the cakes this weekend then, in case it goes disastrously wrong. At least then I'll know what height I need when I make the royal icing rainbow. I've got the good food magazine so will try out there recipe.
Just about to order some cellophane cones and rainbow ribbon too - thanks for the idea!

DTisMYdoctor Sat 09-Mar-13 09:37:18

Stealth is indeed a star - thanksthanksthanks

I was so chuffed that a complete stranger went to all that trouble!

Good luck with the rainbow cake, they do look very impressive. And slightly more appetising than the green/blue swirl sponge I did for DS's Octonauts party a couple of years ago!

Blatherskite Sat 09-Mar-13 10:03:25

I think this thread is generally full of lovely people. Always ready to spend an hour or so googling random party themes to find ideas and make a strangers child's party special.

DW posted me little teddy bear jelly moulds on our very first thread for my little girl too.

thanks for everyone.

Blatherskite Sat 09-Mar-13 10:23:58

DS's lego snowman arrived for his cake this morning. Just got to get some trees now but bugger me they're expensive.

Thinking of these for candles as I think they'd fit the cold theme rather well. The whole cake will be 6 shaped. It's either that or 6 normal candles...?

DTisMYdoctor Sat 09-Mar-13 10:43:34

Blathers - does it need to be Lego trees? I got some snowy plastic trees for our Christmas cake this year, which were pretty inexpensive I think?

Blatherskite Sat 09-Mar-13 10:47:49

To appease my perfectionist side, it does I think. I'm making a snow slope with lego ski-ers, snowboarders and sledgers on. I've also got a lego snowman, skater and ice fishing eskimo. Non-lego trees would be OK but lego trees would be perfect.

I think I'm going to bite the bullet and buy some and just keep reminding myself that lego-mad DS will probably play with them loads so they won't be wasted.

Ultra perfectionist me has her heart set on some taller, more rounded pine trees but they must be some sort of collectors item as I've seen them going for £15 each so that's never going to happen!

DTisMYdoctor Sat 09-Mar-13 10:59:33

I can relate to that - sometimes it's very hard to pull your finger away from the 'buy' button!

DTisMYdoctor Sat 09-Mar-13 11:00:10

I liked the happy birthdat candles btw.

Blatherskite Sat 09-Mar-13 11:06:11

I've ordered the trees - and the handwarmers blush

Apart from candles, I think we're done then and I can get on with panicing about making it!

DS and DD are both lego mad so once the trees have finished their job on the cake, they can go into one of the many lego tubs and become playthings which means they're probably better value than purely cake decorating trees - right?

I've bought the party children 1 handwarmer each. I know it's tight but they're about £1 each and I needed 8. 1 should be enough to warm hands enough to eat and then they can pop them in the bag of plastic tat that the slope is providing along with the little lego birthday man kit.

DTisMYdoctor Sat 09-Mar-13 11:19:19

Definitely better value for money in the long run!

Betterbet Sat 09-Mar-13 11:25:10

Hi I just wanted to jump on the star wars party bandwagon as DS has requested one for his 5th birthday at Easter, with 12 4-5 yr old boys - eek!. Love the Jedi training stuff - Ithought about splitting them into groups and doing light sabre stuff, obstacle course, throwing balls at cardboard cut outs of baddies. I am trying to persuade DH to dress up as Darth Vader at the end - anyone know where you can get a cheap DV mask?

Am also thinking of attempting a Darth Vader pinata out of paper mache.

Would also like to make a cake - there is no way I could do that r2d2 one though. I wondered about a millenium falcon as I think it's just a round shape with a few extra bits on but if anyone finds any (simpleish) ideas I would be so grateful.

I have got those star wars sticker books from book people as well so can just give 1 of those at the end with some sweets out of the pinata and they can take their light sabres home too. Getting quite excited actually but can you all pray for good weather!

DTisMYdoctor Sat 09-Mar-13 12:16:27

I am currently trawling through Pinterest looking at Star Wars ideas betterbet! There are some great ideas on there. I did come across a millennium falcon cake & instructions, but I didn't pin it. I'd search and link but on the train on iPad and web pages are taking forever to load!

If I can get DH to be Darth Vader, we're going to have 'what's the time, Darth Vader' (time to join the dark side). I'm also thinking of some kind of Jedi boot camp to put them through their paces - so with an obstacle course followed by star jumps and some other exercises.

Blatherskite Sat 09-Mar-13 12:26:06

Oh goodness, I love the idea of 'what's the time, Darth Vader' (time to join the dark side) grin That's genius!

I think if it were me, I'd attempt a Death Star pinata as you could easily make a globe using a cheap light shade from IKEA for a base or even papier mache over one of those punch ball balloons.

I might have to talk Ds into Star Wars for next year as these parties sound amazing.

DTisMYdoctor Sat 09-Mar-13 12:45:19

Would it be safe to throw paper mâché mini asteroids at a bunch of 5 year olds? Thinking of a space walk that involves an asteroid shower! DS helped come up with What's the time - he's a party planning fanatic in the making! He also wants to play Darth, Darth, Jedi as a variation on duck, duck, goose.

Blatherskite Sat 09-Mar-13 13:03:56

I've had a look on ebay and you can buy foam balls which might be safer. Grey ones are a bit harder to find but you could maybe either paint them or wrap them in thick grey tights?

DTisMYdoctor Sat 09-Mar-13 13:15:58

Good idea, Blathers, I'll have a look. My train journey is almost over so I'll have to suspend party planning for a while much to DH's relief. I am trying to explain why I'm starting on it when there's three and half months to go...

I have a death vader robe suitable for anyone up to about 6ft 4" - we did Darth Vader's footsteps. It may be available for loan grin.

Death star is a good call for a cake. You can get spherical cake moulds really cheaply nowadays and I have seen some good online tutorials for it. I do not recommend trying R2.

DT we always say its never too early to plan a party. My dd's birthday isnt until nov but as you saw, i was already on mermaid ideas!!

We all have themes in our heads so we often dream of dream parties and then force them on people. We've gone mad on mad hatters parties in the past. My dd2 was 1 in feb (the rainbow party) but im seriously gonna try and force my playdoh party on her when she's 2. I also want a cake decorating party, an art party, a science party.....

Kiriwawa Tue 12-Mar-13 10:12:45

Thank you party heroes for your advice - party was a huge success and is being talked about in the playground grin

No parents stayed which was a big relief and the sticker suggestion for the children who were 'out' in musical statues was a genius idea - they were all really pleased with their stickers and I gave the kid that won (he really was very good indeed at standing stock still!) a mini bag of Haribo which he was really pleased with.

I think next year I might do a trad style party with just standard games. They seemed to really enjoy it and I realised that none of them really knew how to play pass the parcel which is shocking! I might even do things like Oranges and Lemons

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 10:27:23

Glad it went well smile

There is only one downside to hosting a party so good it becomes the talk of the playground.....you're expected to top it next year grin

Just ask Stealth!

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 14:46:33

My little Lego trees arrived today and I've paid the balance on the party. DS is 6 on Sunday but the party isn't until the weekend after. Did a test cake yesterday which was good.

Getting impatient to get making now!

I always find party day after actual birthday works much better than the other way around, otherwise actual birthday risks ending up as a bit of an anticlimax.

Does DS know about your plans or is some of it going to be a surprise?

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 17:44:53

He knows we're going to Legoland but not about the hotel that night - which may very well be his favourite bit smile - He's got no idea what we're doing on Sunday but that's mainly because DH and I haven't decided yet so there's nothing to know. We considered London but if it's this cold, that might be an awful plan anyway.

I've ordered him Skylanders as a present which he has no idea about at all but I think he's going to adore. We might have the best day at home letting him have a good play with it and maybe going out for lunch?

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 19:55:23

Anyone else considering a red nose lunch for Friday?

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 20:28:04

Do you think this would be OK cold for lunch?

That'd be fine cold blathers!

We have a rat in the house and i dont mind telling you ive sobbed about it this evening. My house is bloody immaculate bordering on ocd clean and theres a rat!! Its caught between the lounge ceiling and my bedroom floor and i keep hearing it scratching and bolting across the plasterboard. Well tonight i just cried. Rat man has been. Its either coming via the loft or the more likely cause, there is an old soil pipe under my bedroom floor still attached to the house/active manhole. I can only assume its not capped off and ratty keeps popping in for a visit. Rat man is back on thurs but i cant take much more of the noises etc its genuinely making me depressed to be on edge in my own home!

On a brighter note, the kids have been invited to a pirate party. Ive tried to convince bigg'n to wear pirate style pillowcase dresses but she wants to dress as izzy from neverland pirates. Soo, im gonna make littl'n a dress and hope that dd1 wants one after!!

DW - PM /text me if you want to empathise about rats. They are an almost annual visitors to the void between our bedroom ceiling and DD's floor and I bloody hate them.

citybranch Tue 12-Mar-13 21:08:37

Hello party geniuses!

I've been lurking on your thread for a few days and am finding your ideas and enthusiasm inspirational!

DD will be 4 in May and I'm looking to hire a local hall and get an entertainer to ease some of the burden. I know I definitely want a more unisex theme as there will be a lot of boys, we have a DS (age 6) and he have a few pals there too.

I'm thinking of an 'on the beach'/seaside theme as we can still girly it up a bit! Will I be able to pull that off in a dreary church hall though?
Cheap decor ideas welcome! Also style/wording for the invitations......

Family member is launching a cake business so will get her to do that - thinking DDs name with pink heart shaped sunglasses or something similar....(she loves sunnies and usually chooses them over toys as a treat!)

I'd like to incorporate Sweetie/pick n mix table with vintage type paper bags instead of party bags. Kids can pick their own goodies at the end.

Food will be simple sandwiches etc I think, any simple ideas that fit with the theme would be great. I quite fancy cocktail umbrellas in the drinks!

I expect maybe 15 kids aged between 3 and 6, plus parents.

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 21:14:42

I think he'd like the pizza but what do I do with it?

Very jealous of your clean house DW. Mine never gets anywhere near. I hope the rat man can sort your problem on Thursday and that ratty leaves you alone in the meantime.

Hi citybranch. Seaside theme sounds lovely. I found some oyster shell biscuits a while ago that sprang to mind when I read your post so I'll have a look for them for you and get a link.

The pick and mix idea sounds lovely too. I bet the kids will love it.

<off to google seaside parties>

How big is the hall? Would it be even vaguely possible to "tent" the ceiling for full on seaside effect?

It would be amazing to have Punch and Judy. And ice cream cones.

There are some great seashell beads which they could thread - or you could for party bags. I will find a link later.

citybranch Tue 12-Mar-13 21:46:30

Thanks to both of you, gosh the hall is quite big, possibly too big to tent but I will chew it over.

Oyster biscuits and Seashell beads etc sound amazing! If you do find a link that would be lovely. I'm taking notes smile

here is the infamous Shirley herself on the subject of beach parties, albeit for older DC

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 21:53:05

Here they are.

But without the eyes maybe?

Stealth text me cos i deleted your number accidentally.

Seaside theme: without googling i'd do...hmmmm....

* sandpit/sand table put plastic sheet down loads of buckets and spades etc. where i live they do beach in the town square and kids just live sitting in sand fiddling with it!
* bunting and inflatables would be great decoration.
* pick n mix is great but i'd use buckets and spades to hold/shovel them into bags. Bags are a pittance on ebay and you can get great colours.
*games- lucky dip in bucket of sand. I know its more halloween but maybe applebobbing to bring in a water element. Sports day games like sack races, egg and spoon etc may work well. Or a treasure hunt/scavenger hunt if you could hunt beach type objects that you've planted around.
Food* individual lunchboxes might work well here on a picnic type theme. Could you afford an icecream van to swing by and get the kids an icecream each? Might be a bit steep but worth asking as not particularly icecream peakseason so the man might be okay to pop round.

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 21:57:42

Hot dog sail boats

Gorgeous cupcakes

You could do the ever popular blue jelly pots with gummy fish in and the cakes in ice cream cones too...

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 21:58:24
Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 22:00:01
Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 22:00:50
Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 22:02:19

I was in poundland today looking for bits for DS's party and they had bucket/spade/mould sets for £1 each. You could use those instead of a traditional party bag?

I have a stripy beach hut sort of theme in mind but can't quite find a picture.

What are the constraints? If the hall has a wooden floor they won't be keen on sand.

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 22:06:13

If the hall has an outside area, you'd probably be safe in may to stick a pop up paddling pool out there full of sand though.

The weather better be nice, it's my birthday in May too!

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 22:14:19

DS went to a party a couple of weeks ago where the Mum gave out fish/sausage and chips to all the kids. They loved it. Just remember the ketchup and wooden chip forks smile

citybranch Tue 12-Mar-13 22:16:48

All fantastic ideas. Buckets and spades for the pick and mix is inspired! Will get to pound land.
Also Shirley's blog is great. I actually have a shed like that in my garden but I just couldn't face so many kids in my house. Maybe next time.

Constraints, hmmmm. I doubt they'd fancy sand in there but the paddling pool could be a go-er. Last year May was dreadful weather if I'm correct, but who cares?

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 22:19:06

You could always pop it under a gazebo and surround it with stripey wind breakers to make it extra-authentic

Pirate Party in garden for 10 5yr olds, boys & girls. Bouncy castle and ice cream van will be booked. May. Game ideas? Themey stuff?

And thanks in advance!!!!!

Blatherskite Tue 12-Mar-13 22:23:01

Ooh, loads but I'm falling asleep over google at the moment so it'll have to be tomorrow. Night all x

Thanks Blathers,any advice much appreciated, no hurry at all!

DS would LOVE that cake... oh I have cake envy! He v much likes Captain Jack.

Stairs- let us come back to you in the morning but we've done pirate party ideas loads. If you want ideas before the morning look for our previous thread and im sure we tackled it early on.

I'm not in a hurry so will keep checking this thread. Thank you!

And I'll try and find the previous thread too.

some cool craft ideas - my DC have also done cool crabs and octopi from paper plated.

DTisMYdoctor Tue 12-Mar-13 22:51:48

We had a pirate party last year for four year olds - I'll have a look at what we did and post tomorrow!

DTisMYdoctor Tue 12-Mar-13 23:20:17

I found the running order for our pirate party, so here it is:

Guests arrive and go to the Pirate Cove and get ready for their pirate adventures - we had a table with small foam pirate hats and tiny foam swords (very cheap from tesco), jewels (cheap plastic rings from amazon/ebay), small eye glasses (can't remember where from - party bag filler size) pirate tattoos and pirate face paints (I bought a set of pirate face paints and parents did their own kids). They also decorated their own party bags with stickers and stick on jewels (the spy glass, hats swords etc forming the bulk of the party bags).

Matching pairs (this was in lieu of a treasure hunt as it was in a hall) - take the spy glass and find the matching pair to your card to win a gold dubloon (used a pirate snap game, gave everyone one card and they had to find the pair - gold dubloons from ebay)

Pass the booty - pass the treasure chest (everyone got a prize - cheap pirate party filler type things from ebay/yellow moon etc)

Musical islands - swim among the islands (pictures printed, laminated and placed on the floor) and find one when the music stops - if no islands left move on to pin the flag on the treasure map (to give the kids something to do once they were out)

Pin the flag on the treasure map

Sleeping pirates - grown up dressed as a pirate - they have to try and creep up to him and steal his treasure (he had a bag of doubloons). If the sleeping pirate wakes up ‘arrrr, who’s stealing me treasure’ they have to freeze. Keep going until they’ve all got some treasure.

<insert pirate name> says... The pirate would say one of these and they would have to do the actions - it took a few practice goes

The captains coming - salute and shout aye, aye captain
Climb the rigging - pretend to climb a rope ladder
Port - run to the left
Starboard - run to the right
Hit the deck - lie on your stomach quickly
Man overboard - jump, holding your nose with 1 hand raised
Sharks in the water - hand in front of face like a shark fin walk around

Then we sang 'When I was one....' with all the actions

We had pirate themed food which I'm struggling to remember, but if you look on one of these previous threads (around this time - June last year) I'm sure it's all on there (though I've name changed since then). I did do the watermelon that blathers linked to with blue jelly. It was easy and looked fab.

We also had this photo prop, lots of pirate balloons, pirate bunting and a big pirate flag for decoration.

Hopefully thats enough stairs?

Citybranch do you need more seaside ideas?

Blatherskite Wed 13-Mar-13 10:00:51

I went to bed dreaming of pirate parties last night!

Some ideas running through my head:

Swap party bags for small, cardboard pirate chests (you could buy these but I bet they'd be easy enough to make too) Fill with chocolate gold coins, candy necklaces, midget gems, jelly rings and then Tesco do really cheap packs of mini spyglasses (3 for £1 I think) and eye patches you could add in too.

DS went to a party a few weeks ago where they played a version of a game that I think is usually called bulldog? The kids have to run from one end of the room to the other without being caught by a "shark" otherwise they become one too (the first shark can be an adult to get things going) Keep going until you have 2 or 3 winners who get a prize - maybe a pirate bandana or a flag?

I see DT also has a load of brilliant pirate games which sound like fun.

That melon shark I liked to above would work well for food, as would the shark infected jellies. You could swap the sails for red stripes and jolly rogers on the hotdog boats above too. You could make the spaghetti octopuses that seem to be popping up on my Facebook feed daily at the moment! This octopus dip would be really good too.

Blatherskite Wed 13-Mar-13 10:04:51

infected? I meant infested!

Playing British Bulldog (or variants) is a brave decision at a party grin - I would be paranoid about slippy floors and bumped knees/elbows. The only party DS has played it at is a regular summer party held at a cricket ground - they play cricket and then they play British Bulldog at the end for as long as assorted fathers can keep it up!

citybranch - how about these as the basis of seaside party invitations?

Blatherskite Wed 13-Mar-13 10:47:44

DS and his friends have played varients at the last 3 parties without problems. The middle party had islands instead of sides but the running around grabbing each other bit was still there.

They got more hurt doing another game where they had to drag each other along in pirate ship decorated boxes. I would not recommend that one!

at work but just read, some great ideas thanks and ill check the other thread tonight! You lot are brilliant!

Blatherskite Wed 13-Mar-13 20:52:15

Cool - and yet not as ludicrously OTT as some American super-mom parties

That is amazing mario party!!!

Blatherskite Wed 13-Mar-13 21:27:45

I considered a Mario theme for DS's birthday. Will have to wait until next year now sad

I am mentally trying to re-stage that party in a village hall with lousy weather outside. It would be tricky.

Go on then, on a "never too soon" basis, what shall I persuade DD that she wants for 7th birthday in October?

Blatherskite Wed 13-Mar-13 21:52:14

October! Hmmm, Alice in Wonderland? How to train your Dragon? Halloween-y?

DTisMYdoctor Wed 13-Mar-13 21:52:16

Stairs, I found the food menu from our pirate party:

Grub & Grog:
Cutty Sark sarnies (using pirate ship cutter)
Cutlass cheese biscuits (nigella's cheese biscuit recipe, using cutlass sword type cutter)
Peg leg veg (carrot batons etc)
Cap'n blueberry muffins
Jelly rodger boats (from Fay Ripley book - I didn't do these in the end though because I had the watermelon shark and blue jelly)
Buccaneer brownies (brownies with sails in on cocktail sticks)
Cannonballs (melon balls - didn't do, but liked the idea!)
Ruby treasure (strawberries)
Apple Grog

I must get back to Star Wars planning soon! I wonder if I can use blue jelly again!

We did dragons last year grin. My default position is science ATM.

DT I think you need some of [[ http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/s/ref=pd_sl_2dw8eq4ebg_b?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Astar+wars+ice+cube&keywords=star+wars+ice+cube&ie=UTF8&hvnetw=g&tag=hydrukspg-21&hvadid=16275258327&hvptwo=&hvpone=&hvpos=1t2&hvrand=17961194581489303149&hvexid=&hvqmt=be these]] - definitely work with fondant for cake toppers, might work with jelly too?

DTisMYdoctor Wed 13-Mar-13 21:57:26

Not much help on 7 year old I'm afraid. Love the sound of an Alice in Wonderland party though!

Bother.

try again

I love the idea of Alice too, but am saving it until she is older and too cool for other themes

Blatherskite Wed 13-Mar-13 21:59:56

We proper party-porned Alice in Wonderland on a previous thread. I neeeeed to do it one day now.

One day when DD is older and I can talk her into a half birthday (Merry un-birthday) party as it needs to be done in a garden.

Either that or I'll pinch it for my 40th or something smile

By 7 i want dd taking a friend to the cinema and pizza after!

DTisMYdoctor Wed 13-Mar-13 22:01:40

Love those ice cube trays! I did attempt some pirate chocolates last year with a silicon pirate teay, but it was a bit of a disaster. I think I really needed to temper the chocolate but didn't realise until it was too late. Jelly worth a try!

No you don't really, DW - or you won't with DD2. I let DS 'get away' after his 8th (although he loves helping with DD's) and now I am all sad about how few parties I have left blush

Blathers - my 4th has been and gone and I am hoping to talk DD into it before my 50th grin

40th, even....

Yesterday i was dreaming up a party a bit like a budget wedding in a garden, bring a dish job. I knew of the perfect place a 10 bedroomed manor house near mil that hires out house and garden for peanuts. Then i googled for prices and found its up for sale for nearly a million. I was thoroughly pissed off that it ruined my party plan.

Then i remembered it was a hypothetical dream party. So i filed it away under "my 40th".

Hmm stealth you may be right about feeling sad about parties but i timed by kids crap around christmas and the skint me. Soooo if i can offload them to frankie and benny's then i could have summer extravaganzas for adults.

Im stilll smarting over my 30th. On the actual day we'd done nothing and i had dd1 who was 6 weeks old constantly on the boob. At about 5pm dh just bundled us in the car and said right we'll drive to your mums leave dd for 2hrs to have a lovely meal and stay there to feed dd etc. so i went fir the meal expressed about 6oz of milk just in case. Dd had awful colic and cried nonstop anyway. I was gone 1hr 45 mins and my mum sent me a photo of her sleeping so i sobbed cos i missed her and rushed home. I got back and dd was screaming, bottle empty and my mum screamed at me that my baby was starving and feed it!!! I still feel sick with guilt and i know deep down she wasnt starving her just wanted mummy.

6 months later dh had a massive massive garden party with three bbq's pumping out food for his 30th!!! So i'm owed!!!

Thanks for those links, just gone over everything and have some great ideas now for games etc which I would never have thought of.

Am going to buy card treasure boxes & fill with picnic stuff in for each kid - sandwich, crisps, grapes maybe? I always get flustered doing food. Loved blue jelly though. Plus treasure cupcakes with gold buttons and jelly jewels.

Not sure about birthday cake design yet. Last year was monster party- cake pic on profile!

Still trying to think of inexpensive decorations- what about a net on ceiling with balloons inside & green streamers hanging down (for inside room)? I have lots of bunting and will get balloons. It would be stupid to buy a life sized Captain Jack Sparrow, wouldn't it...? grin

Me too on the crap timing (October and November) but I get quite panicky thinking that I only have 2, maybe 3 parties left.

That's why having Shirley around was great. Her teenaged DC still had, and appreciated, mad parties envy.

fishing net strung over the ceiling with things hung from it?

stealth- yes, perfect. Like the pirate skeleton too...

DTisMYdoctor Wed 13-Mar-13 22:44:58

We had the pirate skeleton too, I forgot about that. I have it stashed away for use at future Halloween parties.

I have 4 boxes of Halloween decor stuff, DT. Lots of coloured lightbulbs. Love Halloween parties...

Stairs - why not fill the chests with the savoury food and then have a loot table of cakes, jellies etc?

Am I allowed to show you my pirate ship cake? It was the closest I ever got to making cakes for money (auction of promises - went for £25 - bargain)

Loot table is a good idea.

Yes! Please show! Pirate cake would be beyond me but I love a good envy stare at someone else's effort!

Treasure chest is the sane and sensible option for a pirate cake, though.

DTisMYdoctor Thu 14-Mar-13 06:59:08

Stealth, your cakes are fantastic!

I do agree that a treasure chest cake is ridiculously easy. I was really pleased with mine - it was my first attempt at a novelty style cake.

Blatherskite Thu 14-Mar-13 13:23:14

Right, I've got cheap mini pizzas and some extra toppings for tomorrow's red nose packed lunch and I'm going to set red grapes, blueberries and some cocktail cherries into red jelly. All I can think of for the third section is some red noses cut from a red pepper? I might do green and orange ones too just to make it a bit more interesting....

Blatherskite Thu 14-Mar-13 13:29:03

Stealth's cakes are amazing.

Stealth is that a little man at the top of the mast?

citybranch Thu 14-Mar-13 18:11:48

Hi guys, thanks so much for all these seaside ideas!

I'd started to worry a bit as I added up the costs of things and it was rolling into the hundreds! Luckily DH has listed something old (and apparently very collectible) on eBay and its getting healthy bids so he has begrudgingly said that I can have the proceeds towards the 'party fund'.

Have you ever spent 'too much' on a party and regretted it? We spent a lot on DS's full class go-kart party and while I felt it was worth it (as a one off) DH did baulk a bit at the cost. Thing is, he never had a party as a kid as he was the youngest of four. I'm an only child so had quite a few big parties.

We save all our £2 coins and I used them towards DS's party, as his birthday is very near Christmas and so the extra funds are more than welcome!

DW - it's a monkey grin

City we all have kids with birthdays close to xmas so totally understand. My dd1 is 4 weeks before and dd2 about 6 weeks after skint skint skint.

But thats one of the good things about this thread. We try to find cheaper ways to achieve things always!

Stealth - thought it was a monkey but i thought it was less offensive to ask if it was a man and its a monkey than ask is that a monkey and its actually a man!! He's cute up there though.

I have a breakthrough on the rat but i'm off to catch up on recorded tv so i'll update you later grin

DTisMYdoctor Thu 14-Mar-13 20:58:36

I'm going to start ordering stuff for DS's party this week so I can spread the cost between now and the summer. You can have a party without spending mega bucks, but there are a lot of tempting things to buy... I'm looking at you, Star Wars battle wall stickers!

slp123 Thu 14-Mar-13 21:08:48

Hi,
I have been following this thread for sometime. It will be my DD's 4th birthday in April. I have booked the hall and entertainers and I'm now starting to think about the cake.
She would love a princess castle and wondered if anyone had any ideas of how to make one.
My friend (who is ace at baking) has offered to make it but I'm looking for ideas.
Thankssmile

slp - yes, definitely - bit busy trying to remember what the hell I promised to present to a conference tomorrow, but once done with that I will find you some links to show the cake maker.

Advance buying is why we all think about themes months in advance - but it does have risks. When I did the round up before DD's dragon party I found stuff that I had completely forgotten buying blush. It's my money that I waste on these things, so DH doesn't get to add up the cost thank god

slp123 Thu 14-Mar-13 21:33:28

Stealth - thank yousmile

Right - 45 mins worth of something brilliance plagiarised created. Fairy Castle cakes now. Much more interesting.

this is a nice tutorial on castle cakes - I think I started with a Lindy Smith design - probably this one but what made a difference (it was for my goddaughter, who lives in super-SAHM land and needed to impress her friends) was making hollow towers and then putting LED tealights like these at the bottom of each tower, so the windows were lit up (I left the roofs loose so that I could drop the tealights in at the last minute)

this was the result (not a brilliant photo, but scroll through the others and you get the general idea). I am sure I would do it differently/better if I did it now, but my brain is too tired to think how, exactly.

Blatherskite Fri 15-Mar-13 09:22:31

Advance buying definitely helps with keeping costs down, as does scouting around for good deals and potentially bending your ideas to fit. A good google usually throws up some cheap-ish ideas for most things.

As for regretting the amount spent - I've often spent more than DH is totally happy with but when the kids are having a lovely time and the party ends up talked about for months, it all seems worth it smile

DD got invited to a party yesterday. Birthday child is one of her friends from pre school who also happens to be the cousin of one of DS's friends at his school. She's doing a pizza party. "Sounds lovely" I said "DS had one of those last year". "I know" child's Mum said "That's where we got the idea". grin I also got told at the time that the pizza party was the best kids party one of the Mum's had ever been to. The same child is coming to DS's party next week so I'm feeling the pressure for it to be good!

slp123 Fri 15-Mar-13 17:57:59

Stealth - thank you. Your cake is amazing!

Probably more helpfully, I could suggest a few books that you and your cake maker could look at. Alternatively, if she is confident, just google for photos and show her some that you /DD like.

Beach party planners - look what I just came across beach ball lanterns

Blatherskite Mon 18-Mar-13 15:56:53

Hi all. DS's birthday weekend is over which means that this week I have to attempt the ski slope cake!!

Wish me luck

citybranch Mon 18-Mar-13 18:18:45

Ski slope cake just sounds so much fun. I'd love to see a pic of that!

I've got to choose between two halls for the late May beach party.
I'm leaning towards the more expensive one as we'd have use of grounds with a kids play area. If the weather turned out nice we could do most of it outside.

The other hall is about £50 cheaper but is just a small hall.

Decisions!!

slp123 Mon 18-Mar-13 18:44:15

Just a little update re the castle cake. Showed my friend the tutorial and its all systems go. We are in the process of organising all we need.
The only problem I have now is that my rather spirited 3yr 11month old daughter is now insisting she wants a batman cake! She has no idea what batman is all about apart from a couple of boys at her nursery charge around shouting 'batman!!'.
I told her she could have a batman cake(£9 from Sainsburys) on her actual birthday (not the day of the party) but she then said she will get a tummy ache if she has too many cakes. At this point I thought I'm not sure if she is actually my child as 'too much cake' does not feature too much in my vocabulary!
Anyway, my guess is she will be changing her mind in the next couple of days so will continue with the castle plan!!
Invites went out today and she has ended up wanting to invite 12 children from nursery (plus 4 friends from other activities). This is fine but I am thinking there will probably be a few who can't come.
My next thing I need ideas for is ideas for pass the parcel and party bags. So any advice re these would be appreciated.
I know party bags are very controversial but I am quite sad and would like to do something nice/different that does not involve plastic tat (sorry if I am offending anyone) and loads of sweets.

Thanks again
smile

You are are tempting me not to focus on my meeting. Must concentrate. Back later.

DTisMYdoctor Mon 18-Mar-13 19:56:39

Good luck with the cake blathers!

Party bags - the book people usually do packs of books that could be split to give each child one? Or for party bag sized things - packs of crayons, mini colouring books, stickers etc. there are plenty of party sized packs of these things on eBay. Or a mini craft pack - buy packs of feathers, stick on jewels, pompoms etc and split them to do a little bundle of each for the party bags?

Blatherskite Mon 18-Mar-13 20:15:34

Yes, I thought it sounded fun but now I'm faced with imminently making it, I'm panicing a little! There will be photos of whatever I create though smile

We like party bags slp and hate the plastic tat too so you're not offending anyone. DT has some good suggestions. I think the thing to remember is that it doesn't necessarily have to be a bag, some of the best things DS have been given are Book People books and, at a party he was at recently, a full sized football! These things are loved and read/played with again and again whereas the plastic rubbish generally ends up in the bin within a day or two. I hate the thought of spending all that money on things just to have them binned so I always try to get slightly nicer things.

I think for your age group I'd definitely go for a book and maybe a bag of chocolate buttons...?

DTisMYdoctor Mon 18-Mar-13 20:32:57

Just remembered that we had some crafty bookmark making kits in DS's pirate party bags last year from Yellow Moon. They had other things though, so worth a browse on there too.

I hate when DS gets plastic tat but mostly because he loves it grin it does always end up broken/doesn't work properly and ends up in the bin. We've had mini bubbles though which are also popular.

CityBranch - I think, for the greater good, that you need to book the hall with no outside space. That way we will have glorious weather in May, and the rest of us will get to enjoy it while you kick yourself for not paying the extra and having an outdoor beach party wink

Party bags - if you are so inclined, then some appropriate fabric made into party bags (of which my dragon bags were an extreme example, which were all Blathers' fault for saying they needed tailswink) go down well. Ours tend to be filled with stuff they have made at the party, plus chocolate buttons and, if I can find some, an appropriate small cheap cuddly toy. Ones my DC have received and remembered have included seed kits, a football, an apron and a biscuit cutter (from a cooking party) - for some reason books don't seem to be a popular option round here confused.

Blatherskite Tue 19-Mar-13 10:16:43

I still maintain that the dragons tails was a genius addition and made the bags awesome smile

I have a problem - DS's party is on Sunday. DSis is now coming to visit on Saturday which will bet a serious dent in my cake making plans. If I make in on Friday will it still be OK do you think?

What cake recipe are you using?

The quick answer is yes, definitely. I try to give any cake which is going to be transported at least 24 hours between being finished and being moved, anyway.

Oh, and you were, of course, 100% right about the tails.

Blatherskite Tue 19-Mar-13 13:52:21

This one I think. I did a test cake last week and it was nice.

Going to layer it with chocolate frosting and cover with trex frosting to make it white. Got to dig out my edible glitter for the snow too

That will easily keep. I would bake it Thursday, wrap it up, decorate Friday, leave it to dry/relax Saturday - it will still be fine to eat most of next week.

Blatherskite Tue 19-Mar-13 21:07:42

Thursday?! Will it not be past it's best by Sunday?

Not if it is iced on Friday - it needs to be fridge-cold before you carve it.

Blatherskite Tue 19-Mar-13 21:36:37

I'll stick it in the garage overnight - it's colder out there than my fridge right now!

So glad we talked DS out of crazy golf now

slp123 Tue 19-Mar-13 22:11:36

I was just wondering what is the norm for people RSVP ing? The parties my DD has been invited to I reply almost straight away. I think you either know if u can go or not. My husband is telling me to relax as some people are less worried about replying straight away. When I asked colleagues at work, they too said they reply ASAP.
I jut wondered what your experiences are?
Thanks
p.s I think you can tell I am totally new to this party malarky!!!!smile

DTisMYdoctor Tue 19-Mar-13 22:25:19

Blathers I did a marble cake (choc and orange I think) for DS's pirate cake and I definitely baked it a couple of days before. It was absolutely fine.

RSVP's - I always try to reply promptly but we have had our fair share of late replies for DS's parties!

This is a whole topic unto itself on MN. Apparently some incredibly rude people think it is acceptable not to reply to party invitations. Of those obnoxious people, there are some who think no response means "assume I am coming" and others think it means "assume I have better things to do and am not coming" angry angry angry

Personally I have no patience with them (can you tell wink?) so I chase replies, but that gets a lot easier as the DC get older and I know the parents a little better.

DTisMYdoctor Tue 19-Mar-13 22:49:02

A bit off topic, but I'd appreciate thoughts on my birthday dilemma for DS. We'll be on holiday on his actual birthday and I have no idea what to get him. We can't not have a present for him to open on his actual birthday, but we're pretty restricted on what we can take on account of a well known budget airline's luggage policy! Also, when to give him presents from family etc? We're probably going to have his party about a week before he goes, so will let him open presents from there afterwards. I'm really struggling with this - if we were at home I'd probably get him a bike or maybe a Lego fire station or something.

I might be tempted to give him a very small present, and a photo of a pile of parcels waiting for him at home grin

Yeah the cake will be fine. You're doing it with trex frosting arent you(?) thats not going to spoil. I cannot wait to see this cake but how was legoland etc?

Partybags- we all hate plastic tat here and we always try to do a theme so that we can get our partybag geared around it. So blathers has included handwarmers at her sledging party. At my gruffalo party i gave julia donaldson books, rainbow lollies at rainbow party etc etc.
have you got a theme in mind slp i cant remember and scrolling back on here is hard as im typing in a tiny box on my phone!

Sorry i was replying to the previous page- bloody phone!

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 10:12:05

slp I needed RSVPs to DS's party this weekend as I have had to pay for each child individually and didn't want to fork out £14 if the child was not coming. Stealth helped me put together a good little note to write on the invites and I had all my replies within the week!

And you can always prime your child to mention to the invitees at school that no RSVP means no party bag - that usually gets the replies rolling in smile

Personally, I always try to reply quickly but at the last party DS was invited to, I was waiting to see if I could get a babysitter for DD and it took a few days for me to reply.

DT I was thinking the same as stealth - take him a small gift and a card with a picture of some presents or even the bike/lego inside it ready to be opened when he gets home

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 13:55:15

What else do I need to decorate this cake?

I'm ordering the flour and the suagr and the trex etc but I'm panicking that I'm going to need more than Lego men and trees to pull off this ski slope? What else is on ski slopes that I could put on?

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 14:20:53

I need a cake board!! Panic-trip to the cake shop tomorrow I think!

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 14:24:51

I've just found this picture DS made a little lego house just like that one on the right last month at the mini build club. This thing could end up more lego than cake if i keep adding though!

I might try flags...

Awnings or something down the sides? Or little flags like slalom?

Gingerbread ski lodges! - i'm making more work arent i!

Chairlift!!

DW you made me chuckle inappropriately in the middle of a meeting.

Chair lift. It has to be done.

Blathers given that this cake is going to remain under your control, you could do it on a chopping board if it's going to be a pain to get a cake board leaving more time to build the chair lift

Have you got any technic lego, you could fashion a chairlift easy from that! A working one!!!

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 15:50:58

There is no chair lift at the Snodome :p

There are no flags either but I'm thinking they might actually be possible. The only Technics Lego we have in the house is mine is for building a 10" tall R2D2 and I'm not sure that would work as a ski lift.

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 15:55:41

OK, so there is a pole-lift thing but the sledgers can't use it.

The slope itself is a little uninspiring

I go to tamworth snowdome and they have lodges and mountainous murals. But i
Quite like the stark red and white at yours.

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 18:39:38

No way you can say you didn't see the pillar coming is there smile

I might see if there is space for the little house when the cake is done

Tomorrow i'm off to get bits and pieces for the easter egg hunt in the garden. On my list i have knickers and baby socks! And a playmobil person. Im doing blathers lamb. I usually do dauphinoise with lamb so im not sure whether to do it or change. For pudding im gonna make the ultimate chocolate cake here as ive done it loads and its fab with cream as a dessert. But i'm gonna make it look like this

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 18:44:01

DSis is coming to visit on Saturday and I was considering doing that lamb too smile

You must include that house!!!

I saw your nieces today with two older women. I said "ahh i know this child". The lady then looked at me quizzically so i said "i know h well no actually i know her sister." Then she said how? And i thought oh no how do i explain this? I just said baby group in the end!

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 18:47:58

It is rather perfect isn't it smile

Hmmm, I wonder who's been babysitting nieces then. DSis is back at work now so you might see a lot of them with DSis's MIL.

There were two of them. L was fractious so one said you take her and i'll take the other cos she's happier!! Ha ha!

Did i dream this or is Dsis a teacher did you tell me? You have to remember when i met her she was about to start mat leave!

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 19:04:02

Yes she is.

slp123 Wed 20-Mar-13 20:35:06

Still not one RSVP from nursery. I'm beginning to wonder if they have actually given them out!! I will check on Friday when my DD next there.
With regard to party bags I was thinking maybe plant pot, some seeds, little make your own windmill...was going to experiment to see if I could personalise the plant pots. Not sure what with as yet.
Any ideas as to anything else I could add or if you think idea any good.
There will also be a 2yr old, and four others aged between 12-18months so I will probably need to think of alternative for them do you think?
Also do you think plant pot idea is ok for 4yr old boys?
Thanks againsmile

DTisMYdoctor Wed 20-Mar-13 20:38:50

DS is 4 and he'd love a plant pot and seeds!

I am going easter tat shopping on Friday afternoon grin. Can't wait (and I haven't forgotten about popcorn butter)

Plant pots and seeds are perfect for 4yos, BTW.

slp123 Wed 20-Mar-13 21:04:10

Great, will pursue that idea some more then.
Any ideas for 2yr old and 12-18month olds?
Sorry for all the questions but really appreciate your responses.

My dd at 2 loved seeds etc but cress as it came up faster and i'd happily grow them for my dd who's 1yr so i think its a winner for all the kids!

Stealth i got my whirleypop. And about 13 types of corn. I popped these mini blue kernels but the actual corn was too small too. Dd1 actually ate it all- a first! So i'm ready to pop a bigger kernal next. I put melted flora on the last batch. It was rubbish!

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 21:19:38

I'd go for seeds for all. You could give them all stickers and let them decorate their own pots or maybe paint them with blackboard paint and give them a pack of chalks to go with the pot?

DW - it has to be proper butter on popcorn!

I know but i didnt have any and if you use proper butter it makes popcorn wet you have to clarify it. Thats why i neeeeed stealth to find sone butter flavoured grease!

Blatherskite Wed 20-Mar-13 22:21:33

The secret is to eat it quickly so that it doesn't have time to go soggy wink

I need to build an itinerary of shops for my lovely free time afternoon. smile

Oh stealth if theres an itinerary feel free to treat me to goodies from Sephora.

Blatherskite Thu 21-Mar-13 10:22:56

Right, it's baking day! Supermarket should be delivering all of my lovely ingredients just after lunch and then I can get going. I'm planning on making 3 sheet cakes/tray bakes then layering them with chocolate fudge frosting. Then - and this is where it will likely go wrong - cutting diagonally down from the top edge of the top cake to the centre of the bottom of the middle cake and placing the wedge I get off on top of the whole lot to create a cake that is 5 cakes high at one side and 1 cake high at the other. Easy right hmm

Then I'll cover the lot in cling film and put it in the cold garage to firm up before cutting it into a 6 shaped mountain tomorrow. Again, easy hmm hmm

I've been and bought and board and box for transporting it to the venue and I have all of the Lego bits, I just need to make some flags.

I used to work for Sephora. You know it's the same stuff as Max factor right?

Yep i did know that( but its their cheap brushes i like) i could tell you some more doubled up brands cos this is my aunt and uncles company here they make the packaging for most big names, and small.

Im so excited to see this cake by the way.

Blatherskite Thu 21-Mar-13 13:08:40

I used to work for a company that made point of sale stuff for a lot of the big brands. I designed stuff for them all and had drawers full of the samples they sent us for working with as it was quite usual for us to get a box of a dozen lipsticks or whatever because it was less hassle to send us one 'unit' than one out of a box.

Generally, you never want to buy a display bottle of perfume as they tend to be full of dye and formaldehyde as perfume discolours and goes clear if left out in the sun.

Never mind being excited about this cake - tell me if my cutting and stacking plan sounds insane first!

Blatherskite Thu 21-Mar-13 14:45:53

Cake 1 is cooked

Cake 2 is almost there

Cake 3 will have to wait until after I've picked up DS and possibly taken him to a taster session at the tennis club if he still fancies going.

Attempted to cover cake board but fondant was dry and the bit that was workable was too small to fit on the board. I don't have any more and am fast running out of time to get some more. Can I cover the board in frosting do you think?

Just realised that if DS does go to tennis, I'm going to miss running too. Might try to talk him out of it, it's not as if we can afford for him to join if he loves it anyway sad

Cover it with frosting once the cake is on the board. I cant visualise what your trying to do with the cake stacks?

I just tried to make a pirate pillowcase dress but its not wide enough and my sewing machine just died. My bobbin case wont stay in the race cover. It wont lock in, just keeps flying out. What can i do stealth??

Blatherskite Thu 21-Mar-13 16:44:37

I've been and bought extra fondant now. Good old DS decided he wasn't bothered about tennis after all.

DW - I am in a meeting, but take it all out and vacuum the fluff out. Then rethread from scratch. Also maybe try another bobbin?

Blathers - I get what you are trying to do. Should work fine as long as you stick with a 45 degree slopes, if I have the maths right.

Blatherskite Thu 21-Mar-13 20:57:13

It worked!

I layered up the three cakes with the chocolate fudge frosting and then went for a run. When I came back I cut the wedge off the top two layers and flipped it over and stuck it back on the flat section I'd left to create a taller cake. Although I'd run out of choc fudge frosting by then so it's stuck on with nutella.

The whole thing is wrapped in multiple layers of clingfilm now and is chilling in the garage as there is absolutely no way it would fit in my fridge.

Job for tomorrow morning is to cut it into a 6 shaped mountain and get it crumb coated. I'll do that while DD is at preschool so she doesn't hear the swearing.

There is going to be some bloody impossible challenging geometry going on in the Blathers household tomorrow wink

Blatherskite Thu 21-Mar-13 21:37:21

I'm hoping making it mountainous might be just a case of marking the 6 on the sloped face and then hacking bits off at an angle towards the bottom edges. Mountains are quite rough looking after all.

<hopeful>

I'm really pleased with my little frozen lake. It came out exactly as I imagined. Lets hope the rest of the cake follows suit.

Send me photos of this blow by blow creation.

Stealth- the machine has no fluff in it!! Its only been used once. The bobbin case thing wont stay in the race whatsit its not catching and locking in. Its royally fooked!

Are you putting the bobbin in the wrong way round (not that I have done that, ever. wink)

No. Ive taken the race thing out, the holder the bobbin and the bobbin case and reassembled it and rethreaded it over n over. The metal bobbin case you hold by the hinge thing, but it has a kind of stick thing sticking up that locks into the race. But it just isnt, its rattling abound and falling out. The machine was only about 40 quid from argos i bet a repair is more than the machines worth!

Blatherskite Fri 22-Mar-13 08:18:14

DH will kill me if I send that many picture messages!

You need a twitter account...

Blatherskite Fri 22-Mar-13 09:27:25

I've uploaded some photos for you DW - and anyone else who fancies having a nosy smile

I texted you one of the ice lake last night, did you not get it?

No messages from the blatherskite?!

I'm on whatsapp if you have that on your phones either of you?
I do have a twitter account, it is unused. I viewed all your photos the other day. You in a blackdress in a very 90's vibe.

Oh wow, thats really looking good. I dont know what i thought it was gonna be like. I saw a cake the other day on pinterest but discounted it but actually if you had done it it would have really highlighted the six. Let me see if i can show you..

How did u do the lake in the end?

here

I didnt show you cos its not lego but trees like that would really make the 6 "pop"

Blatherskite Fri 22-Mar-13 12:47:02

I lined a ramekin with foil and filled it with Glacier mints. I added a rolled up piece of foil to make the Eskimo's fishing hole and put it in the over with the cakes.

It looks really good (even if i do say so myself) as the foil has given the bottom a crazed sort of ice-y look and it has a few bubbles in it too. The hole isn't quite as perfect as I would have liked but I think it'll do. I'm going to stick it down with blue-y-grey icing to make it look more water-y

Blatherskite Fri 22-Mar-13 12:49:14

Oooh, I like that!

I'm intending to make little slalem flags in an attempt to bring out the 6. I only have 7 trees and don't really want to make them instead as I think it'll detract from the lego theme. I'm planning on the slope being smooth while the sides are quite rough too which should help.

Well hurry up would ya im dying for the big reveal.

I have been on the phone to my landlord. I have developed a crush on him. He is sorting the rat. He looks like jason statham and is a pilot with a cheeky london accent. I told him im scared of flying and he gave me a nice reassuring pep talk all the way from dubai. I can forgive the rat problem. He is rather dishy. I will continue to tell dh that he looks like johnny vegas

Cake is looking amazing, Blathers, and I don't think you will have any problem seeing the 6.

DW - I know exactly what you mean. My old machine was the same. I am now racking my brain trying to remember how I resolved it. Does the holder go in if it is empty?