Shirley's Party Advice Part 7 - how did they all get so big...

(841 Posts)

Part 7 - link to previous one to follow!

Link to part 6 - sorry about the unimaginative title - the other thread was at 999 posts so I didn't have time to come up with something better.

And finally part 1, which took a bit more finding!

<<housekeeping over>>

So where were we? Badvoc has her pirates all sorted, DW is jumping up and down waiting for her invitations, Blathers needs a treasure chest, and I have no idea who has replied because I am away and DH will probably have forgotten who said what to him over the last 2 days...

Apparently these are "the latest thing" in the US - do you reckon I should get some as a time-filler and let DD be seen as a trend-setter, or (probably more realistically) have a couple of rioting games lined up to play after tea? If the latter, what? Musical pots, maybe...hmm

Blatherskite Thu 26-Sep-13 16:00:08

I do like them but they might be all crafted out after pottery. I'd go for the games...

Blatherskite Thu 26-Sep-13 16:07:22

Here's a question...the pirate ship food table....Do I buy some brown fabric/hessian (or another IKEA sheet and dye it) to tie up and do the table with?


Do I take advantage of the fact that I can get huge pieces of card dirt cheap from the scrap store and the fact that we're having the party at home giving me tonnes of set up time and turn the table into a more 'Bucky' looking ship with cardboard sides?

Do the cardboard. Enough hessian to wrap a table won't come cheap.

What games do you think? Not sure I can be bothered with PtheP, and not sure they would want to sit down anyway.... [dither]

Badvoc Thu 26-Sep-13 16:45:44

Ah...I am in Leicestershire sad
You can get card ones you put together - I think i saw them on amazon...will have another look.
I would use cardboard too. Hessian is not cheap.
Wrt party games..if they are young and like to run around how about duck duck goose and traffic lights?

Badvoc Thu 26-Sep-13 16:49:31

Yes they have them for £7 - sorry can't do links on the iPad.

Badvoc - they are 6 (DD will be 7 but she is the oldest). I think they may be a little too cool for duckduckgoose sad. Maybe musical something or other...

Badvoc Thu 26-Sep-13 17:00:09

Dance comp?

Blatherskite Thu 26-Sep-13 17:04:06

You might be close to DW then Badvoc smile

DS and his friends played duck ,duck, goose at one of the later turning 6 parties and they all loved it stealth. Some of those children would have been late 6's. Ask DD but I wouldn't dismiss it.

DS played a good game at a thing last week where they all had to sit in a circle and one child had to walk really slowly, zombie style towards any other. The only way to stop the zombie 'getting' you and making you 'it' was to call out the name of someone else in the circle - then the zombie had to go and 'get' them instead.

Obviously far too easy for your DD and her close friends (these children were learning each others names in a new group) but maybe you could do something similar and choose a topic? Get them to name a 1D song or something? It'll get harder and harder until someone gets 'got' and then you pick a new subject?

grin Badvoc - I have a horror of little girls prancing around and the boys would probably rugby tackle them anyway.

I will take the easy way out and ask DD for ideas, I think. Although she has said that she doesn't want to know all the details of the party in advance.

Since I have said sensible clothes for pottery anyway, they could play stuck in the mud clay without ruining too many party dresses..

Badvoc Thu 26-Sep-13 17:23:30

Yes, me too.

Stuck in the clay would be ace!

Badvoc im in leics....

Blathers im cross now. Make a bloody treasure chest like i told you too!! Ive still got a box and you have many weeks.

I text my dad yesterday you know all chatty like, does he not realise asking after his dogs is code for "where the bloody hell is my bloody art work damn it!!" Jesus christ i coulda learned illustrator in this time. If they're shit after waiting four weeks(four weeks d'ya hear me in party planning world is like five months!) im gonna scream!

<panics that badvoc is friends with the mums on the dreaded PTA>

And Blathers - cardboard!! Way better you can bend it n mould it to shape.

And stealth what the buggary bollocks ate those pile of elastic bands??

Badvoc Thu 26-Sep-13 18:13:27

I am not their friend sad they are too stepford wives for me.
You could make a pretty easy treasure chest from a shoe box actually. ESP one that has a flap top not a not a normal lid.

Blatherskite Thu 26-Sep-13 18:30:41

I have one half made out of an old Amazon box but it's going to be too big for 4 year old girls to pass round.

I did buy 2 new pairs of running shoes this week though both of which came in flap-top boxes!

I also have a box from a pair of DD's shoes that might be more manageable for tiny hands.

Badvoc Thu 26-Sep-13 19:31:08

The flap top should be pretty easy...

Badvoc Thu 26-Sep-13 19:32:58 other news ds2 has a temp and is complaining of a sore throat sad
And dh is away in London tomorrow til midnight.
And it's my nephews b day party on Saturday.
And it's ds2s party on Sunday.
And it's his school trip on Monday.
Please tell me I am over reacting by wanting to cry?...

My dd has a sore throat and a cough but its eased off today so the worst lasted a day. If that reassures you.

Blathers im telling ya, washing tablet box! It clicks shut and everything and nicely square like a treasure chest!!

I dont mean square...i mean ....i dunno squat? Boxey?

Blatherskite Thu 26-Sep-13 21:20:40

I've remembered that DS has one of these

Panic over smile

It clicks shut and is about the right size for 6 presents

Blathers - perfect.

DW - google 'rubber band bracelets' it's the latest thing dontcha know you behind the times person you

Badvoc - panic not. Paracetamol and party adrenaline will carry him through.

Ghent, in case anyone was wondering, is a very pretty city, and I was very sensible and didn't go on to the bar that everyone was telling me I had to see (feeling boring now, but know that I will get to be smug in the morning).

jetstar Thu 26-Sep-13 22:20:14

I'm not really seeing the point of those rubber band wristbands - I must be getting old!

The fact that there is no point will not stop medium sized girls from needing them, jetstar (not that I give in to these things, generally).

I suppose at least I would always be able to find a rubber band when I needed one grin

Badvoc Fri 27-Sep-13 11:52:12

It's tonsilitis so 10 days of ABs.

Badvoc Fri 27-Sep-13 12:14:04

What the hell do I do about the party? sad
Dh says he will have had 3 days of ABs and be ok. (He seems fine in himself just got a manky throat)
Have spoken to the teacher about the school trip on Monday and she wants to take him if he is ok to go.

Blatherskite Fri 27-Sep-13 12:28:27

I'd got for it. After 3 days of AB's he should have turned the corner and may well be feeling fine - especially if he's fine in himself now. If he's feeling grotty on the day, a spoon full of Calpol half an hour before the party should see him through and it might even take his mind off it.

If he were really suffering and poorly now I might say postpone it but if he's fine...

I'd go for it too. AB's will kick in after 48 hours, and if he's OK in himself now then he will be fine on Sunday, and it's not like he's infectious or anything. Just time drugs so that he has paracetamol (or whatever), as Blathers says, 30 mins before party (whether he seems like he needs it at that point or not) to see him through.

Badvoc Fri 27-Sep-13 13:46:52

Thanks guys x

Yep me too. I'd be going ahead with it unless it was the plague lol.

Dd2 has decided that 2pm is the time we must get in the car and fetch dd1. Every single day she has a full on tantrum that we need "shoes" "car" "dd1"

Shes got full on dribbly snot mass hysteria sobbing and the last few days ive driven there early just to stop her but its prob setting her body clock that yes your right its time for school run! I dont get dd1 til 3.10pm!!!

Badvoc Fri 27-Sep-13 14:17:27

He hasn't stopped eating today yet so I hope that's a good sign!
It's my nephews b day party tomorrow so dh can take the dc to that and I can get on with all the stuff I should have done today sad
I have also arranged an ocado del for the morning as we just wont have time to do a shop.
We were going to church on Sunday morning but will stay at home and prepare for the party instead!

It sounds like you'll be well sorted by partytime

Blatherskite Fri 27-Sep-13 16:44:24

I had an idea for DD's party today....making their own pirate treasure!


I picked up a couple of bags of cheap beads today so was thinking I could buy some elasticated thread and let them make themselves a necklace each ready to be added to their 'swag' at home time....?

Badvoc Fri 27-Sep-13 16:56:43

That sounds like a lovely idea blathers.
You can get choc coin makers but I have heard they are a bit of a fAff...

Blatherskite Fri 27-Sep-13 17:20:32

The choc coin makers get slated every year on the annual 'shit toys to avoid' threads.

Despite me buying things already, DD's party isn't until December blush so I should be able to buy chocolate coins pretty much wherever I want by then.

Honestly, once we get into October, Halloween will take over, followed by Christmas and I'll be pretty much left with online only for party supplies so my crazy advance planning has a purpose. I've gotten bits from poundland and those compasses were 4 packs for £5 in ASDA - none of which will be available once we get to November. Apparently, September is a big birthday month so now is the time to grab the bargains. Plus, I have Christmas to organise too and I only have enough head space for one at a time!

<excuses excuses>

Badvoc Fri 27-Sep-13 17:29:59

I am hoping to avoid Xmas shopping this year.
Have a started already and bought online. Ds2 is done and ds1 just needs another something. Stockings also nearly done.
We do secret Santa in my family for the adults so 2 gifts there and then the dc x4.
Not feeling terribly festive this will be the first without my beloved dad.
I will make mince pies etc, and put the decs up etc but my heart really isn't in it.
Dad would be furious with me....he loved Xmas! smile

Blathers - rainbow cake - recipe - link or book, please?

Badvoc Sat 28-Sep-13 13:48:11

You're not going to believe this...the church hall has been double booked!
You couldn't make it up....
Waiting for a phone call.


Fingers crossed the other people back down..

Blatherskite Sat 28-Sep-13 17:18:27

Hummingbird bakery Vanilla cake mix + gel colours stealth. I used the vanilla frosting recipe for filling and covering. 1 double recipe = 3 layers so you'll need to make the cupcake mix x4.

Blatherskite Sat 28-Sep-13 17:18:59

Also crossing everything that the party can be sorted Badvoc

Badvoc Sat 28-Sep-13 17:28:03

Oh it wasn't a party it was the vicar!
Sorted anyway, thank goodness!

Ah - the cupcake mix. I have never tried that as a cake. Thanks.

Blatherskite Sat 28-Sep-13 18:16:50

I have 2 of the Hummingbird books stealth, both with the Vanilla cupcake recipe in. One has instructions on how to double it to make a 3 tier cake which is what gave me the idea to use it. It worked well too.

Glad your party is sorted Badvoc

I got "Halloween" skull and crossbones felt bunting from Hobbycraft today and a really nice sized cardboard treasure chest for £3.50! I know I've got a few now but I figured I could fill one full of chocolate coins to use for party game treats and maybe plonk on the table at food time too. I also got the yellow fabric and brown ribbon to make DD a Pixie dust bag just like Izzy's. The tin treasure chest is DS's and the big cardboard one I've half made is too big really so I can paint this one for DD to keep afterwards.

jetstar Sat 28-Sep-13 19:55:32

Cake panic! The treasure island cake is part buttercream (sea) and part sugar paste (island)
a) do I need to refrigerate it overnight?
b) will the buttercream make the sugar paste disintegrate?
Probably should have thought of this earlier - it's made already - am I doomed?

Jet star don't put sugar paste in the fridge it goes wet and sticky. If you buttercream it and add the paste you can leave it to the air quite safely, if you want to chill it buttercream end, add the sugar paste after.

jetstar Sat 28-Sep-13 22:44:20

Ok thanks DW smile

Leave buttercream out. Once it has crusted it will be fine at room temperature, and no it won't disintegrate the sugar paste. If you want a different solution, though, royal icing makes really effective sea.

jetstar Sun 29-Sep-13 08:34:28

thanks stealth it does appear to be ok this morning!

Badvoc Sun 29-Sep-13 11:20:16

Food box done.
Yellow paper islands done.
Craft box done.
Ds2s pirate costume out and ready.
Decoration box done.
I am sure I have forgotten something! smile

Badvoc Sun 29-Sep-13 18:05:56

Well...back from the pirate party!
It all seemed to go well and the kids enjoyed it.
Lots of helpers too so clean up only took 15 mins.
Ds2 is shattered though so early night.
Thanks for all the advice and exhausted!
Ds1 has impetigo on his ear so May not be at school tomorrow.

A kid at our school had a bad case of impetigo which i question and was told quite stroppily that secretary hsd lost her infectious diseases list but that it was fine. I checked and its 48hrs once you start the antibiotic cream or til its crusted over. This kid was at school the whole time and was in charge of distributing snack too so im waiting to see if we get it too.

Sorty i posted too eatly, dd was having a tantrum on the floor.

Glad the party went ok. Did you get all your activities and games done? Did it all go down well?

Glad it went well, Badvoc. Could you have a duvet day with DS's tomorrow or are you working?

Christening cake was well received and duly demolished by the congregation at a very "high church" service.

Onwards. Party. I only have one "no" so far (mother in question said she wasn't sure who was more gutted that they are away that weekend, her DD or her grin). I will start baking and freezing tonight, I think.

Badvoc Sun 29-Sep-13 18:37:25

Hi DW...he has had it before (in the same place on his ear) and I have put some of Dhs impetigo cream on but I think I will phone tomorrow and say he won't be back til weds...he is off tues anyway due to industrial action by the teachers.
Ds2 has a school trip tomorrow. He will be shattered.
Party seemed to go worked although it was a bit frantic. My sils sister came too who is a nursery nurse and she did some songs and join in games which really helped whilst I got the food out.
All the kids - only 2 of a class of 20 didn't come - behaved really well. 2 of the mothers asked me if I hired myself out for parties!!
(I said no)

Badvoc Sun 29-Sep-13 18:38:08

Stealth...I don't work so will be at home with him tomorrow which is a bit of a nightmare as I have so much to do....oh well.

I must admit i quite enjoy hosting parties and get really pissed off if the host is a wet lettuce cos i want to say get out the way and let me do it better! Im dreading the pizza party if some spotty oik is gonna be leading it cos i'll be saying you make pizzas and let me get in with this!

Oh and i have received my characture dd1 images from my dad ready for invites. Yippeee

9 out of 10 Spotty oiks would retreat at the first sign that someone was prepared to do it for them, so I think you will be ok smile.

I am working myself up to attempting the aprons. Trouble is, having read the instructions in the dye kit, I have realised that it's a one shot deal - the dyes only last 45 minutes once you have added the water, so everything needs to be ready to go. Which in turn means that I can't do it until I have answers (or at least most - if there are a couple of non-replies then they will just have to have aprons without names on).

I also now need to wait because I unpacked the aprons to wash them this morning and there is no way on earth that they will fit DS, so I need to find adult sized aprons too (which Baker Ross used to do, as I have had them before, but now don't angry)

Grr. I need to get stuff like this out of the way before I start cooking...

Badvoc Mon 30-Sep-13 10:04:40

I got ds1 a plain apron from John Lewis stealth for £6

Right so we have two problems?

To label aprons with the right name and to source aprons cheaply in adult sizes? Do they need to be cotton because the aprons im getting are cheap but polyester.

In terms of the labels can you just label one for every invitee or is there some reserve list? If ive done personalised stuff(did personalised chocolate bars when dd1 was 2) then ive made up a party bag anyway just in case n sent it on saying sorry you couldnt make it? Can you do that? Just make them all up?

Ebay looks the best bet for cheap aprons in all sizes.

Labelling aprons is a problem because of my mad plan - which is to write names with dye resist, and then tie dye the aprons. This also means that I need cotton aprons for adults (if I do them) and DS (who is about 5ft 4" nowadays shock) because the dye won't take otherwise. I have the small/medium sized DC ones, from Baker Ross, and I have just found ones aimed at teenagers for £3.10 each, so I think I will go with those.

I can't do named aprons for non-turner-uppers, as I only have enough for my DGodaughter and her little sister if I take into account the one "no" that I have already... If we end up with some non-named ones, that's fine, we can add them to the collection.

Red, orange and yellow cakes in oven

<<crosses fingers>>

Did you do indigo, or stick with 6 layers?

Blatherskite Mon 30-Sep-13 21:35:46

I did 6. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple rather than indigo and violet. Made dividing the cake mix up easier if there were 6.

That's the sensible option, clearly, but the pedant in me wants to do 7 and use the rest of the third batch of cake mix for fairy cakes grin

I'll see how this lot come out. I might need to redo orange - the colour wasn't looking great.

Blatherskite Mon 30-Sep-13 21:47:03

I ended up with fairy cakes anyway even with 6 cakes. I left them colour free for the parents who were a little jittery about the colours.

I did 6 too and dont be fooled by oramge, my yellow and orange i redid them as they didnt seem right but when i broke into them they had been perfect the outside was browned and threw me off.

My orange gel is very old - orange has lumps of colour in hmm. And red has broken slightly at the edges, so I think I will end up with a third batch anyway. Not tonight, though - need to get 3 cakes in freezer and colours into the dishwasher before DD sees any of it.

My dd knew what was in ours because it was dd2's but now i wish i'd kept it from her. Mind you dh stole my big reveal anyway by his slasher routine. Bastard. wink

All my invites have duly been sent in the dead of night by my Daddy. Woke at 5am to an invite a pizza box label, another for coming and charactures of all the party guests. Except my pizza boxes and printer are all packed now!! Im yet to pay the deposit so im going to absolutely have to do that now.

Now, is it wrong to book the village hall now for dd2's (i want to do a messy play party) whilst im still a resident and get resident half price rates. Then move on friday.

True to form i googled cake ideas for dd2 (not even done on dd1 yet) and i want to make a cake slice cake that looks like playdoh like this here

Except then i found this and its way better but i cant do it like this now can i!! look

You're not moving far, are you? I am sure they will let you get away with it.

No im moving about 2 miles on the other side of school. Did you get your cakes frozen and stashed?

Sorry i should have been clearer whilst im not moving far i will be in the town now rather than the village. I think i'll risk it. Or get my mate to book it for me.

Blatherskite Tue 01-Oct-13 09:56:11

I'd book it. I'm sure no-one will be that bothered

I knew you were moving outside the village bounds, as it were, but I still think they will let you get away with it - anyway, it's worth booking it, even if they then come back and say "oops - you're not a resident any more - we need more money" (they won't - most village halls barely remember to collect the money at all grin)

Cakes are stashed (probably a bit too warm - I am going to have to defrost them carefully to avoid sogginess) but haven't actually made it into freezer. Multi-coloured washing up made it into the dishwasher.

Tonight, green, blue and purple. Then I will decide if I do another batch.

I love the 'slice of cake' cake, BTW - and no, clearly, you can't do the rainbow one (unless as a deliberate reference to her last cake, but then you would need raspberry sauce dripping off it wink)

Blatherskite Tue 01-Oct-13 10:10:37

He he. This place needs a 'like' button for funny posts smile

Blatherskite Tue 01-Oct-13 13:13:29

I've just been and bought silver foil platters ready for DD's party. I think that might be the first time ever that they have been exactly what I wanted and not just the cheapest option smile

I thought they were fairly pirate-y???

I've got them, a couple of pewter tankards, a very 'message in a bottle' type bottle and my beautiful blue swirly 'whirlpool' bowl that I bought while bored and on jury service. I've also got a couple of bits of driftwood I bought for something a while ago that I thought I could prop up to make a shelf at the back of the table.

I've also go card and huge cardboard tubes to make a boat and mast around the table and sheets to make sails. Just need a tablecloth to cover the tabletop now.

You are way more organised than me and you have 2 months longer to go.


How far have you got stealth?

Blathers im hot on your trail once i'm unpacked its pizza party a go-go here.


Who wants to hear another of my freaky stories...?

How far have I got?


Not very.

Need to:

- menu plan.
- Plan a couple of games just in case.
- Do the cake.
- Sort out which of the 1000001 decoration ideas I had are actually going to happen.
- Dye the aprons.
- Print notes to go in party bags.

I have party bags, labels for same, stuff to go in them (except sweets), need to check tableware stocks. We have these fab tablecloths like squared paper which you draw on (with special pens or with crayola ultra-washable ones) and it all washes out again - I need to work out if they will be big enough when combined or whether I need something else.

What have you got for the party bags? What are these tablecloths?

And do u want to hear me story?

Party bags - I have little blocks of air dry clay (I was planning to print wrappers saying that their creations needed to go back to the pottery to be fired and would be delivered to them in a few weeks, but here was something to keep them amused in the meantime), plus plastic tools for clay. They will get that, plus a freddo and maybe some haribo, and their aprons. That's enough, I think, given that they will get what they made too.

Tablecloths - these, although I didn't pay that much for them. I have one large and one medium, but I am not convinced that they will fit the size and shape that the table has to be to fit the DC in.

Yes, of course I want to hear your story....

I love the tablecloths ive been looking at the paper doodle ones on amazon.

Right, this house is on the market and i have a viewing tomorrow but the house is a TIP! Dd had just had a horrendous nappy changed and was grizzling in the highchair over lunch.

The door goes and i ignored it but they were frantically knocking. When i opened it, it's the agent with an older couple grinning and asking ready for the viewing? I said no cos its actually tomorrow cue them all looking at each other in horror. But i say come on in if you like but really ignore the mess (and the stink from the nappy). They wander off upstairs and the door goes again!

I open it really cursing all these unannounced people and its my father in law(now i should explain this is DH's real dad and his wife as opposed to lovely Mil) all our family live an hour away so i was really shocked to see them as they live in a different town. So i usher them in saying sorry, sorry ive got mess everywhere, dd is whining and ive got an unannounced couple upstairs viewing the house!

So we're all stood talking in the kitchen whilst the agent takes these folks around upstairs and they start to come down. Dh's stepmother looks horrified and i say "are you okay Grandma Stepmother?"

And she shrieks...thats my first husband!!! Coming down my stairs!!!


The poor agent - can you imagine what he is going to say about his day when he gets home?

The agent came in last and there was this steely gaze between both parties when my FIL cleared his throat and said sternly "hello graham".

The agent says "errr is there a problem?" I said erm these are my inlaws and it would appear that this is my Mil's first husband?!!! He looked horrified. The guy span round and shrieked "how do you know them?!!" I said "i told you there my inlaws!!! I'm married to his son!!"

Whats funny is im in contact with their children/grandchildren as their dh's stepbrother/sister etc.

It was soo bizarre!!

Did I mention <<whistles innocently >> that I won another cake competition? grin

So, DW, did they like the house?

Poor you, and poor agent.

Blatherskite Tue 01-Oct-13 21:43:43

It could only happy to you DW! grin

I dont think they liked the house. Thank god cos its a bit of a turkey as houses go and i'd feel terrible.not that its my house!

What cake competition and which cake was it stealth?

The fact that they were looking suggests that you might end up with strange half-relations living pretty close, though.

It was a mywaitrose competition and, frustratingly, I don't know which cake won - they allowed multiple entries and haven't told me which one I won with confused. Ironically, the prize is a cake decorating course confused smile

Pmsl at cake decorating course. I hope its the one you just did!!! Ha ha ha

It's an in person one - at Waitrose Cookery School:

"Perfect your batch of light and fluffy cupcakes with step-by-step guidance from our professional chefs. We’ll take you through the golden rules of baking classic cupcakes and achieving those tricky icing and piping skills to produce flawless results.
Whether you’re baking for a girls’ night in, a special birthday party or just fancy learning some new kitchen skills, on this entirely hands-on cookery course we’ll teach you how to dress your cupcake for each occasion with a recipe that you can adapt to endless flavours. On this course you will make a batch of lemon cupcakes with lemon butter cream and then with a little patience and creativity, you’ll decorate your freshly baked delights with shimmer sprays, edible icing decorations, glitter and cut-outs from the endless array of products in the Waitrose home-baking range."

Friend and I thought we might as well do it, for a laugh...

Ahhh do it! It'll be fun. Although what a weird prize when you clearly have cake making skills!

I went to check my new house as i thought a parcel had been taken there in error. I was checking all around and looked in the bins and there lying in the bin was one solitary old mans slipper shock


Chilling aint it.

Badvoc Wed 02-Oct-13 16:10:46 are looki for a ine legged pensioner DW smile

Badvoc Wed 02-Oct-13 16:10:59

Or one legged even!

Badvoc you musta missed my last tale, the previous occupant was an elderly man who set himself alight with a teatowel on the hob. Our new house seemed too good to be true as it was completely renovated with stickers still on the oven and cheap rent. Then we found out the real reason why....

Badvoc Wed 02-Oct-13 18:42:57

I'm psychic!
(Sort of)

You will soon banish any sad memories in that house, DW. Lots of happy cake making is needed.

How is the packing going?

I have put names on to most of the aprons. This whole tie-dye thing is going to be such a massive leap in the dark. Scared.

I cant wait to see these aprons!

The aprons are stressing me out now. I want to get them done and out of the way.

Blatherskite Thu 03-Oct-13 11:45:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Do u wanna report that cos you inadvertently put dd's name

I am meant to be packing but cos its all the last bits that we're still using its taking ages...thank goodness dd1 is at an afterschool club. I hope this is it now. The next time i move i want it to be in a house im finally buying again!

Good luck with moving day, DW.

Answers all in. Class of 23 (so 22 +DD) Yes:20 No:1 no answer:1 (don't expect them to come, they have never answered and never turned up before hmm.


In other news, green, blue and purple cakes look revolting cooking, don't they?

jetstar Fri 04-Oct-13 19:27:01


Blatherskite Fri 04-Oct-13 21:12:30

This is the one downside of being a party guru - none of the kids ever want to miss your parties wink

Green, blue and purple are a bit odd looking once cooked yes, but they'll look better once layered up and cut open.

I think that was my "problem" my first batch were like pancakes but the next batch i destroyed because they looked wrong. It was only hacking into them to taste the ruins that i realised inside they were fine!

I am moved. Im 95% unpacked too. We all have fully usable rooms and even have photos etc up already. Just got to cull some more toys and have a proper sort out. The only thing i forgot was my clothes! They are still hangining in the fitted wardrobes back at the old place. Im considering doing a modern day lady godiva and riding back naked in my Zafira.

Hangining? I've been with dd2 and her baby talk too long

Hopefully you still have access to old place for a while?

Aprons are cooking in their dye. Everything crossed.

The chickens turned their beaks up at blue green and purple cake trimmings. I was not impressed - they were supposed to be eating the evidence before DD came home. Useless lot.

Lol at chickens refusing your cake!! Has dd asked what it all is?

Yep we have this week to clean the old house except i cant think of anything worse because every minute there is a minute away from sorting my lovely new one!

Fortunately either the chickens came round to the idea or something else ate it (and DD didn't go outside to play when she got home last night because she was too busy grumping about being made to go shopping).

My aprons didn't work - at least the dye resist names didn't. I have just ordered puffy fabric paint to put names back on with [sigh] - cos I really couldn't be bothered with the 20 mile round trip to go and get some. More stuff to do.

OK. Menu:

crisps (assorted)
cocktail sausages
cherry toms
cheese sandwiches
ham sandwiches

biscuits ('7' shaped)
cake pops (maybe)
window biscuits (see above)
krispy cake
mars bar krispie cake
mini meringues


What am I missing for 24 DC (some of whom can eat quite a lot nowadays) and parents, most of whom want to stay and play? traybake, maybe? Or something more interesting in the savoury line? My family will want/demand green chicken sandwiches as they are "a tradition" but they are also an awful faff for something none of the children eat..


crisps (assorted)
cocktail sausages
cherry toms
cheese sandwiches
ham sandwiches

biscuits ('7' shaped)
cake pops (maybe)
window biscuits (see above)
krispy cake
mars bar krispie cake
mini meringues
rocky road


Ok what is green chicken?


Green chicken is chicken, avocado and mayonnaise.

(but all chopped up, for ease of rapid sandwich assembly)

Badvoc Sat 05-Oct-13 19:17:57

Something that went down really well at ds2s party was giant marshmallows with pirate flags in smile
None left...even the adults were eating them.
Got them from asda - 50p per bag.

Badvoc Sat 05-Oct-13 19:18:32

Oh, and I did the apple boats too smile went down very well.
I got the mini pirate flags from amazon.

Blatherskite Sat 05-Oct-13 21:38:38

I got huge bags of marshmallows for DD's party too Badvoc. She had a rainbow theme and I used them as the clouds. The bag was enormous and they all went. There's something about marshmallows that no-one can resist smile

Don't tempt me, Badvoc - I am dying for an excuse to do marshmallow teacups again, but I so not have time.

Badvoc Sun 06-Oct-13 08:21:10

Marshmallow tea cups!?
You have to do them stealth and send me one

for Badvoc - I did them for DD's second birthday and have never had another chance.

Badvoc Sun 06-Oct-13 15:57:34

They are amazing!

The idea came from a MNer - but she was in Australia and did the handles with lifesavers (possibly, but bigger and fruit flavoured). I decided polo and marshmallow would be revolting, so I made handles out of gumpaste - marshmallow, handle, party ring biscuit, jazzies (I think that's what those giant buttons with sprinkles are called) and some royal icing to stick it all together. I might do "flat white" versions with Cadbury giant buttons, maybe.

possibly polos

Im stealing that for the next cake stall!

Blatherskite Sun 06-Oct-13 20:15:29

Yep, pinching them for the xmas cake stall smile

Badvoc Sun 06-Oct-13 20:19:48

I don't know if I's my b day on tues stealth...<goes wide eyed in hope>

grin Badvoc - apart from the fact that I currently have none of the ingredients (except royal icing), I am only doing one birthday this week.

DD has added cheese and salami (on cocktail sticks) to the list for party. I also need to do stuff for Friday (her actual birthday), including cakes to take to school.

Badvoc Mon 07-Oct-13 07:23:37

Ah well...I tried smile
Hope it all goes well x

Blatherskite Mon 07-Oct-13 11:28:27

How hard are quilts to make? DD has been walking round with Roary under her arm all morning and even had to take him to pre school so I've got this romantic notion about making her something for this year's birthday/christmas too. I can't find a quilt that matches her new room so I was considering making one. Am I mad?

Bear in mind that I'm also considering a quilt for DS too as I seem to make him much less stuff than I do DD and was wondering if I could make a Lego quilt!

I am probably not the person to ask as I have a fully assembled quilt top waiting for me to have the guts to actually quilt the damned thing. The only things that I have actually quilted have been bags and a quilt for DD's doll wink

Can i just say that stealth is being all coy as shes done her aprons and they look amazing. Or amazeballs whatever it is the kids are calling it

Sorry. Not being deliberately coy - waiting for holiday pics to upload to flickr, otherwise I would post the link to the photos.

Paint has arrived so that's tonight's job. I have also bowed to the inevitable and booked Friday off.

Right - Blathers - I need you. I have my one and only pre-party chance to go to Costco on the way home this evening. What do I need?

Oh, and aprons are here before I forget again!

Blatherskite Tue 08-Oct-13 21:00:50

Gah! I've been offline all afternoon thanks to swimming lessons, clubs and running, sorry.

I only tend to buy cake from Costco but the bags of chicken nuggets are good for parties and actually really nice. Ditto the mini sausages. I got the enormous bags of marshmallows from there too - although today I got a smaller bag of the same marshmallows from morrisons. The bag is smaller but the marshmallows are enormous. Huge!

Bugger. Mini sausages. Should have got them. Never mind - I have Sainsburys ones in the freezer anyway. Marshmallows I did get - I still have the remains of the last huge bag, but they are a bit elderly now and will get melted down to make krispie cake.

Their helium was expensive, disappointingly, so I have reserved some at Argos to get with the last of my love2shop vouchers instead, given that I cannot pretend that helium is anything other than a frivolous indulgence grin. I couldn't get pizzas or anything like that since they wouldn't last.

I am awarding the polite party guest award for the year to the father of one of DD's friends who called me (twice - he left a message the first time and I hadn't got round to calling back) to ask if he could please possibly bring his younger DD with him, and she wouldn't need to join in or anything, and please feel free to say no, but his DW is away all weekend, etc, etc.

A breath of fresh air vs all the tales of uninvited siblings you hear and child in question is a very sweet 4yo and I am more than happy for her to come.

I will remember this lovely story when my pizza party ends up having <counts of fingers....> possibly 4 under 2's dragged along too. Ive put a note on the invite and have said Pizza MAKING party to them. Dd1 doesnt want dd2 there even but im inclined to say no sorry shes your sister shes coming! Our good friends did some raised eyebrows when i said no siblings but TOUUGHHH, the amounts of parties ive thrown including the kids thanksgiving services and this is the first time ive restricted numbers!! Shooooo.

Ahhhh that felt good.

Is the puffy paint on yet stealth? My dad is rejigging my apron designs and ive ordered them now. Ink is ordered for the printer and i should be good to start next week. In fact i need some takeaway bags again..

Blatherskite Thu 10-Oct-13 13:14:17

I ended up with 2 younger siblings joining in. To be fair, I think they both had more fun pizza making than their older brothers!

How many bags do you need, DW? I needed 26 so ended up ordering 50 hmm

I would happily have siblings (most of them are lovely) if I could but the potter is a bit hmm about the numbers as it is. However, since I have had one cancellation and am fully expecting another not to turn up, there should be plenty of room and food for one extra if I ever get as far as making food. Friend who is coming to help is bringing her almost-3yo and almost-1yo DDs too, so 3 "smalls" in total. I do think your DD1 will just have to lump it on DD2 being there, though smile (DD went to her first party aged 3 weeks - DS's 4th)

Puffy paint is on, but RL got in the way and I left it too long, so it won't puff, and a few of them somehow managed to stick to each other (probably when I was moving them all so that DD didn't see them - this whole "I want it to be a surprise" thing is becoming unsustainable).

Blatherskite Thu 10-Oct-13 14:12:27

The scrap store does take out bags now smile

I'm not even trying to hide DD's pirate ship mast. It's taller than me!

I sewed 35m of tie dye bunting last night [yawn]

Aprons hidden, cake trying to hide, toppers for fairy cakes for school tomorrow hidden, helium tank failing to hide in the back of my car...

It would be simpler if I just hid, I think.

Blatherskite Thu 10-Oct-13 16:44:46

Help! DS (6) has been invited to a Nerf Zone birthday party and I'm not sure I want him to go!

There isn't a huge amount of information on the website. All it says is "One hour of NERF Blaster fun including target range training plus combat quest in the giant-inflatables arena! A unique birthday party that’s a real blast!" and offers the "Chance to try a huge selection of Nerf Blasters in the Armoury"

Now it sounds like fun but I have a real aversion to guns and playing with guns. DS tells me it's all firing at targets but a) "Combat quest" sounds very much like firing at each other to me and b) given the birthday child and the boys I saw clutching invites, it will soon turn into firing at each other even if it wasn't meant to be.

Now, I know an adult who has just been through weeks of hospital treatment having been hit in the eye with a Nerf 'bullet' which might be making me extra twitchy but I still wouldn't like the guns element even if I didn't.

Things are also complicated by the fact that I am due to go away for a run that day. The party is over lunchtime and while I don't need to be at the run until 6pm, I do need to drive there (90 mins) and have time to get changed at the other end (halloween fancy dress) so I may very well be leaving around lunchtime and mega-shy DH will either have to drop him off and leave him or take DD with them.

Am I being way over protective? Should I let him go?

Oh Blathers I'm a bit torn on that. My dh has nigh on begged for a nerd gun to fire in the new back garden but I've got a real aversion to guns and my dd1 recently revealed she had no idea what a gun was when she asked why the local MOD troops were marching with sticks!

I just typed out I'd be letting him go, then I went back and deleted it all. The thing that pulls me is that whether we like it or not warfare games and rolling about in battle seems to inherently "boyish" to all the little 6/7 year old I know and so dare I say it's prob their idea of a fantastic party.

Stealth I can't wait to see the final photos of all this. I need 12 takeaway bags...?

Lol at typo nerd gun...nerf!

Reevesandmortimer Thu 10-Oct-13 21:07:12

Hello there. Sorry to butt in on your lovely thread but I wondered if you might be able to lend me your creative brains for ideas for a puppy adoption party next weekend for my 4yo DD? So far I have some identical puppy toys on leads. I have planned:

- giving out puppies - treasure hunt?
- making collars - ribbon, stick on jewels, name tags
- decorate bag to put puppy in
- little "agility" course in the garden for them to do
- adoption certificates?
- colour in paper plate/ draw food to give puppy?
- maybe groom puppies (although their fur doesn't really brush)/ pretend to give injections etc

Haven't really thought about food/cake yet. I wondered about some kind of game involving maltesers and pretending it was dog poo - a step too far?!
I am not in the same league as you lot with your fab plans (am slightly in awe of you all actually). I am also now desperate to include those amazing marshmallow tea cups! I would be very grateful for any ideas - googling just shows me loads of mad expensive American parties and I'm not in that league either! TIA

DW I will post you 12 bags.

Blathers - I would let him go, but then my DC have nerf guns and DD is going to a laser quest party next weekend, and it doesn't seem to make either of them any more inclined to play "bang bang you're dead" sort of games, which I do loathe.

Right. Cake. I'm going in (will think about puppy party later)

Stealth i'll text you new address etc..


Firstly - interrupt, thats what we're here for!!

Secondly - Well done on coming to our thread with I think the most unique party we've seen yet! In sooo many threads thats got to be one of the best unique themes yet! I'm soo impressed.

Thirdly- how many kids are we talking about? Be prepared for us to fire ideas at you galore as we love a new theme.

I've just re-read your post, is this at home? Could you set up a little vets/dog grooming station and put a printer in it? That way they could do all the craft stuff etc and bring their dog to the vets for the injections check over and take a photo and print the adoption certificate that way they can choose its name etc.

If you make a dog groomers could you have a stash of ribbons? Mirror? Maybe thats where to take the photo then you can do thank you note "congratulations adopting spot" and include the photo with their dog.

Instead of a bag to decorate can you get some little cardboard boxes on ebay and make them into basic kennels drawn up/hole cut out then they can colour them in and write the name over the door etc?

Games : a version of simon says but with doggy instructions like, sit, beg, roll over etc..

I just read an idea of a feed the dog game make a big dog face with cut out mouth and do a bean bag toss into its mouth.

Food, hot dogs!! Obviously. biscuits like bones, paw print fairy cakes, sandwiches cut into bone shapes etc. the puppies can be fed cereal in a bowl.

Tellus more about your malteaser idea, my dd is nearly 5. She'd be thrilled with a dog poo game!

BlackberrySeason Fri 11-Oct-13 22:16:05

Hi all, not exactly a party but I am hosting a Halloween timed get together for friends and between us we have children aged 2-4. I am absolutely broke. What Halloween food/decor can I do for almost zero spend? I was thinking orange jellies with little Halloween sweet on top, cheap Halloween decor - table sprinkles and pumpkins?? Any (probably much better) ideas gratefully appreciated!

Is it really zero spend because the poundshop usually have lots of stuff for a pound obviously!

Pumpkins will be on offer at that time and i think i got two small ones for 2.00 last year for my girls. I'd focus purely on the table if i were u for minimal spend and maximum impact. Some food colouring in drinks will give a lurid effect for no money. Blathers is great for food theming if she comes along in a minute but if you can get sone cookie cutters you can do shaped sandwiches, cookies and fairy cakes or green jelly?

Wait for the others to come along cos my eldest dd is frightened of halloween so we dont do it.

Hello - sorry, being useless for the weekend as I can't think of anything except my own lists...

Reevesandmortimer Sat 12-Oct-13 18:38:32

Doctorswife thank you for all those fab ideas. I love the idea of boxes and am trying to work out if they will fit in those lunch box ones on amazon. I think our printer is too temperamental to do printing mid party so I think I will print out certificates before and write the names on. I will definitely get pics of them with their puppies though, great, and I love all the food ideas.

Re Halloween I have done cupcakes with orange icing and then a face with black icing pen - if you google jack o lantern cupcakes there are some nice ones. And yes to the drink - you can put a tiny smidge of diff coloured food colouring in each cup and then fill with "magic" lemonade and each cup goes a different colour.

Good luck with your party stealth

So Oooh tired. Went well. Potter was fantastic and stuck around to the end of the party. I will update properly tomorrow and try and upload some photos.

Oh yes do come back and tell all!!

I need to upload some photos to Flickr album, but most of them are on my father's camera (being wielded by friend as my father was ill sad) so I won't have them for a while. The potter was just amazing - he just mucked in, so much so that as DH said it was easy to forget that we were paying him to be there. Aprons, activity, and food were a success - including new "traditions" like stained glass window biscuit lollipops (and marshmallow teacups, which the boys seemed to really like grin). We played a couple of riotous games of stuck in the clay and musical island with a shrinking brown paper island for them to all get on, which were chaos but fun. I am beyond shattered, but it went really well.

How are everyone else's plans going?

Oh stealth that all sounds brilliant.cant wait to see pics. Now, what have you got planned for ds?

Oh no hold on, hold on? How'd dd like the cake? I mean the pottery look as well as the reveal? In fact how'd she like it all as you tried so hard to surprise her.

Ive had such a stroke of luck. DD is on a particular table in school and in a double/adjoining room classroom her and her group are in one room six of them. And the remaining 25ish are in the other room. I was a bit concerned at first but it transpires they are given extra work/challenges! So anyway, i digress.

She keeps saying she wants her table.fine. But then keeps choosing random girls that i know are all part of little cliques of their own. I told her we'll invite just her table as thats the fairest way than cherry picking random children. Then, this week one girl she likes on the table was swapped with another boy. I told her she'll have to invite him as she cant exclude one child from her table. She was really annoyed and kicking up a fuss that she wanted the previous child too. Then the new childs mum revealed they are jehovahs witness and could i not invite him please!! See! God smiled at me cos i had the vicar round for tea i tell thee!!

So, invites are made in mini pizza boxes with the invite inside the lid and a jelly pizza in them. Dd wants to go house to house in a chefs hat and tash to deliver them!! I've had my aprons delivered and they are flimsy as hell and the neck straps are too long but you know what i dont care for 1.70 each. Need to get fil to print them.

I was gonna make choc pizzas, i have a 4" pizza mould but only one as it was about 4.00. And now im thinking how do i make 10 4" choc pizzas with just one mould whilst keeping choc melted. Unless i make them in batches by melting individiual portions of choc buttons?

Mammoth post sorry.

Wheres blathers? X

I think you will have to make pizzas individually, DW - how long have you got? Your party bags are packed up and I will post them tomorrow.

DD loved the cake as it was, and was thrilled when she saw the inside. I don't think many people "got" that it went with my rainbow tie-dye aprons and bunting, but never mind eh.

Lots of people still talking about the party today, which is good - DD kept saying "Thank you for everything, Mummy" last night before she started wailing about not wanting me to go to work/away this week so I think I met her objectives.

DS wants to take 2 friends to do "proper" pottery (a half or full day depending how generous I am feeling), so other than that we will do a family meal at some point and I might get carried away doing applique aprons for the 3 of them.

Oh, and Blathers is running, I expect - she usually is grin

Ahhh so glad dd liked it all. Really want to see the pics!

My dd1 dressed in a chefs hat, painted on tash and apron. She got a big cool bag and went to all her friends saying "pizza delivery". They loved them. I got a few funny looks about the invites and a bit of "too much time on my hands". Bah humbug!!

My friend visited today who lives near my inlaws so shes taken the aprons over for printing and posted niece/nephews pizza boxes. Ive printed out characters/names for each party bag so just need to stick them on(thank you). I need to make up the boxes for the choc pizzas and start thinking about the cake.

How did you do yours..tell me how you did it and what you'd do different. Most ive seen are left as cake crumb edges etc but i saw a great one that was iced in fondant and painted so looked more breadlike than sponge cake.

Blatherskite Mon 14-Oct-13 19:41:51

Yeah, I was probably running. I've had friends force feeding me cake today as I obviously need the calories apparently!

The pizza invites look amazing DW. You are so going to outdo my pizza party even without tip!

I made my pizza cake with plain cake edges and I think it looked fine. I made the cake in a huge cake tin that I had from when I did our wedding cake so that it was wide and shallow and I think the natural golden-ness of the sponge made a very believe-able pizza crust. The tomato sauce was cream cheese frosting with red food dye, the cheese was grated yellow roll-out and then I made mushrooms, green peppers and pepperoni - remember the fruit leather debacle?

I am trying to remember how I did pizza cake - it was made in a tearing rush for DB2. I know I used a 12" deep tin (but not a deep cake) and I dithered about which side to ice. I definitely left the edges uniced, which could be a problem if you need it to last. I do remember that it took ages and a selection of colours to get the right shade for the sauce (I was using a jar of passata for colour matching). I put fruit winders through the pasta machine when DH wasn't looking to make salami and made olives from black fondant. I used grated white chocolate for the cheese and grilled it a bit to melt it (it did end up looking a bit curdled - I think it would have worked better with shaved rather than grated chocolate)

Oooh tips indeed. Okay remind me of the fruit leather debacle. I like the look when their melted a bit but i darent grill a cake. If i remember rightly blathers tou thiught your yellow gratings were too yellow so bunged white choc on?

So what if i melted white choc, added a teeny weeny bit of yellow and chilled it back down to grate. Could i drizzle some over to achievw the melted look without grilling a cake?

*you thought

Blatherskite Mon 14-Oct-13 21:39:24

I know I put white choc and yellow icing on at first and then removed most of one or the other. Can't remember which one though!

I went everywhere looking for fruit leather don't you remember? I ended up in Holland and Barratt and it looked ace in the end. I cut it into little circles and it looked very believably like pepperoni

Sod it im gonna do a practice run i think. If the great british bake off can practise all week im sure i can do a dummy run pizza cake.

It's not like it takes tons lots of cake like rainbow cakes

Grill the practice cake. Do it. Do it.

<ive just got a bashing on a thread i started about teaching assistants. Im really laughing as i think its a first for me>

And you say it doesnt take loads of cakes but remember i was the one that ended up with a million failed rainbow cakes lol

<stifled giggles>

Im obviously getting to the professionalky offended today. I just did the school run and one of the invitee mums said " do you not think all that was a bit errrm well you know?"

hmm no what?

"A bit ...well OTT for a party invite?"

I said oh see thats how we do parties im afraid! Be afraid lady be very afraid you may have years of my OTT efforts.

LOL. I am almost immune to those comments (and the "don't you have anything better to do with your time?" ones) now.

I said yes yes i know but i have no job do i? and grinned at her.

Best not mention how i dressed the baby as pascal the chameleon or did a lantern release..

Blatherskite Tue 15-Oct-13 12:49:47

Bah, she's just jealous because her 10 for £1 from Tesco invites get lost in the sea of mediocre party invites on the playground whereas no child is ever going to forget having a jelly pizza invite delivered by a friend dressed as a chef.

I need to up my game with these pirate ones now don't I?

Ideas please?

Even worse...she thrust her freebie wacky warehouse printout at me. Ive seen some foil helium ballons reduced to 1.75 from 4.99 giant pizza slices!! Im bloody getting them. They be better than pizza express ones wont they. Stick that in your humbug pipe n smoke it mardy lady!!

Right need to do the message in a bottle i think...delivered by a pirate...i cant think how you could wash it ashore to them.

Even better 1.25!

Theres a woman in town who does cheap cards etc i winder if she'd fill them for me save me buying helium?

Or in a bottle of sand or something so they have to actually find the hidden message and maybe a choc coin or two. ahoy matey you found the treasure. follow this map on this day to get more..and draw a map of your street etc. An evian bottle - drop the bits it, fill with playsand jobs a good'n.

Where are you finding bargain helium balloons envy?

LOL at you raising the bar with fancy delivery methods. One of the advantages of whole class parties is that there is no need to be subtle about delivering invitations - they went into school and teachers/TAs put them into book bags (and, apparently, this year, the whole class discussed what these mysterious parcels with their "fragile" labels could be grin).

I had an uncharacteristically efficient 10 minutes on the way to the airport so bags are on their way to you, DW, and I have enough asthma drugs to keep me alive for a while.

...and I have just (at the airport now) viewed and ordered DD's school pictures. I was thinking that I wouldn't be getting any this year based on the fact that I was away so she went in looking pretty scruffy, and apparently no one even told her to pull her socks up hmm but they didn't put the best ones on the leaflet and they did in fact get some with characteristic cheeky grin and no scruffy hairdo or falling down socks visible, so I have been suckered again. At least you can buy the jpegs and rights rather than just overpriced prints.

Blathers I thought you had already settled on messages in bottles for invitations?

Ohhh im so jealous of your school photos. Mine was poor and dh says we have to get it!

I got balloons on amazon dont worry they prob arrive as mini ones and bite me in the arse!!

Ive been to parents evening and im gutted. Dd1 reads beautifully, at home she reads the oxford tree level 4 which is about level 5 at school(green i think?) shes been bringing pink band 0 books home so i asked when i can expect the two, home and school to be closer aligned(last night she was reading a julia donaldson book in bed to herself).

The teacher says she didnt realise dd can read. That she clams up and wont speak etc. i'd already approached the school nurse saying i was worried as she is incredibly anxious rather than shy. I told the teacher she gets angry at the "baby" books school give her. She wont read to dh or her grandparents either so i dont know why im so crushed or surprised. But ive done so much phonics work with her i know she could breeze the yr1 phonics test even now yet they think she cant read. They only do group reading and questioning her shes revealed she wont read in front of a group.

I dont know what i can do. Shes so desperatly anxious about doing maths or reading in front of anyone other than me and her skills are being lost underneath it all. sad

It's her first school photo - I think you have to get it, come what may smile. These people are new - they are venture-style photos and they take about 30 of each child as far as I can see - then put them all on a website and just give you a code so that you can go and choose and spend far more than you meant to I will text you a guest pass to last year's ones on flickr - when we got both of them together (DS was away this year)

sad about DD. How did the teacher react when you told her what DD can do, and how frustrated she is? If the teacher or the TA could gain her trust and get her to read to them, then I am sure they could find ways to coax her out of her shell. I don't really know what to advise, as ours have always done one on one reading with teacher/TA/other helper every day.

My phone just died. Your photos are lovely!! But that could just be the gorgeous kids!

I'm so upset with the school. The teacher said she suspected she could read because her writing is great. I asked about 1:1 reading and they said no it's all groups and that's it. I asked Dd about it and she says she doesn't want to read in front of everyone, six kids and her teacher in the group. She asked to read in her room tonight and I taped her behind the door. She's so good reading most sight words and occasionally sounding out. She read the words "thought" and "whispering" and I could cry. The teacher is saying she can't read. I'm not bothered about the reading bands because she's reading so well at home and luckily I use the letters and sounds pack to guide her phonics etc and read with her loads so even if nothing changed I know I'm keeping her skills alive.

But that's not the point is it. The teacher suggested what if she reads a story to a child that can't read? Would that help. I don't know what to do. My heart says let her find her own voice and leave her alone but my head says the school should be addressing her confidence issues not leaving her floundering because she's too shy to read aloud in a group!!

Blatherskite Tue 15-Oct-13 21:37:56

I was but would it look OK in a plastic bottle? I can't afford to go out and buy nice glass ones.

I've tried the map but our estate doesn't really translate very well into pirate map. It's too long and thin. It's hard to get all of the details I need on too (date, time, address) without looking odd. I could either make up a map or just write a pirate note I guess. I've got DH downloading a good pirate font and I'll rip the edges and toast them in the oven to make them look old then roll them and tie them with string. Will that be enough without the bottles?

I think you have to keep pushing them to intervene, TBH, but it's hard. They will no doubt say that it doesn't matter (yet) because she is not falling behind, but if she gives up on school it will be hard to get her back, IYSWIM.

Would she read to another child, do you think? Will she read to DD2 - if so, she might expand it to another child that can't read? My DD was the opposite - one of her friends in nursery told her mother that minisquiggle could read really well - she couldn't, at all, but she would look at the pictures and make up the story with such confidence that the other child believed that she was reading it grin

Blathers - I have a little skull and crossbone mould (about 3cm across) - you could borrow that and make little fimo skulls to tie on to the pirate notes?

I share your reservations about plastic bottles, TBH.

Blatherskite Tue 15-Oct-13 22:02:38

Ooh, I like the little skull and crossbones idea!

Would you like me to stick it in the post? I won't be home until Friday but could do it then...

Blatherskite Tue 15-Oct-13 22:11:16

I'd be worried with those bottles that the note would go in but never come back out again! It needs to be something with a wide neck I think. I contemplated picking up a pack of glass bottled coke this morning but I think they're too narrow too.

That picture of the mould has reminded me that I bought a skull and crossbones cutter than came with a tiny one that might create something similar to that. I'll dig it out tomorrow and have a play

Scrolls would work just as we'll.

I can see how blathers town wouldn't translate on a map. It all looks the same!!!

Guitargirl Thu 17-Oct-13 20:28:12

I am a lurker on this thread as I love planning and organising parties but am delurking to say how hilarious it was reading about the pizza invitations and the reaction of humbug other mum. grin grin

I wish I had been a fly on the wall. Brilliant!

I may be planning a pizza party next year so will be back to pinch your ideas for inspiration...

Blatherskite Thu 17-Oct-13 21:16:47

Don't lurk Guitargirl - come and join in! smile

How's everyone doing? I need to focus on other people's parties for a little while - DD has 3 parties in the next 3 weeks (1 for twins, so 4 hosts) so I need to make some bags. And some aprons for DS and friends for their pottery day. Better get sewing and I probably ought to hem our bedroom curtains at some point too blush

Oh and one of the parties DD has been invited to is fancy dress (no specific theme) so I need ideas.

Blatherskite Fri 18-Oct-13 11:51:20

I've just been to the scrapstore for Zombie making supplies and picked up some cardboard cone thingies that they use in factories to wrap thread around. Rubbish description but I think they'll make fab pirate spyglasses so that's another party activity sorted smile I'll paint them brown (as Jakes spyglass is wooden) and then I'll let the kids go crazy with pirate/gem stickers to decorate them. Sound OK?

Your DD must have a dragon outfit stealth!

grin she has a tail and wings from last year's party. Not sure what she wants to be, though.

I sort of wish DD were small enough for this

(not that I would buy it, I would make it)

Letterbox have very reduced pirate plates and stuff in their sale.

Blatherskite Fri 18-Oct-13 14:38:30

I have plates and cups although I remembered after I bought them that I still have the IKEA things which would have done, it is Disney after all!

My children have a halloween party to go to. I need to check them in last years outfits to see if they still fit.

Blatherskite Fri 18-Oct-13 15:48:04

Just checked my scrapstore receipt. The cones were 45p - for 10! grin


Blatherskite Fri 18-Oct-13 16:18:48


They're about 30cms long each so should make a decent spyglass. I've just googled Jakes spyglass and I think a bit of brown paint, some gold paint and a bucket load of pirate and gem stickers and they should make lovely party bag presents.

Evening all!

Spyglasses are a great idea blathers. I really need to come to that shop. That combined with my cheap art shop and i'd be in my element.

My fil rang to say my aprons have come out brilliantly but he printed dd1's lunchbox upside down so i'll reserve judgement for now.

Stealth damn it my dd2 would look so cute in that! Not even for fancy dress just normal clothes. Ive got loads of things i need to make and now you're adding to it!! <wonder if i could get mil's zillion pound embroidery machine to add it to a normal pinny dress>

On an aside note dd1 came home today with a stage 5 reading book and a note from the teacher saying they had done a 1:1 reading session with her and they agreed with me about her abilities.

Guitargirl Fri 18-Oct-13 19:37:00

Thanks Blathers!

I am in awe of you party gurus. Reading this thread is a bit like a novice jogger watching the elite athletes run a marathon!

Anyway, I have a Halloween party to sort out for next weekend. I have been on Pinterest for ideas. DC's costumes are sorted I think, party bags themselves have arrived from EBay and contents are more or less done. Still got food to go. Am thinking hotdogs and whatever Halloween themed stuff the supermarkets do. I could open a shop selling Halloween decorations so I think we are sorted on that front! Anyone else planning Halloween parties?

Blatherskite Fri 18-Oct-13 20:36:54

Do you have a supermarket nearby that does canned croissant dough Guitargirl? If so you should definitely do these I did something similar last year and the kids loved it.

DS's absolute favourite thing is when I hollow out oranges, cut a pumpkin face in them and fill them with chopped jelly. He's not asked for them yet this year but I'm sure it won't be long smile

Sounds like you are well prepares guitargirl.

Im not doing halloween because aside from my dd1 getting scared, it would mean halloween, then dd's pizza party, then xmas, then dd2's birthday. My friends would be rolling their eyes saying oh christ another party at dw's house yawwwn.

If your on pinterest, theres so fantastic food ideas on there. Like hotdogs made into manky fingers. Have you searched on there specifically for halloween food. Thats the only time i get tempted to do

Blathers could you do them with puff pastry?

Blatherskite Fri 18-Oct-13 21:05:04

I think puff pastry was what I used last year.

I made a huge meal last year. I piped ghosts from mashed potato with black sesame seed eyes, pumpkins from mashed carrot and parsnip with parsley stalks, garlic bread witches fingers with red flaked almonds for nails....I did the hot dog things and there was something else...? Will try to find pictures

Hooray for teacher who listens and reacts, DW - is DD1 pleased?

I want to get DD this for fancy dress party, but I decided to test how much she wanted it by saying she would have to contribute £10 of her birthday money and she went into a big overtired snot-filled dithery meltdown, so we have parked the whole conversation for now.

Blatherskite Fri 18-Oct-13 21:23:59

That is a fab outfit stealth. So many parents were commenting today about how their kids had actually really needed yesterdays strike day. It's been a long half term and everyone is tired.

I uploaded some pics of last years halloween dinner but the only one I could find of the orange pumpkins has DS in it so it won't be up for long. It wouldn't work as party food but I thought you might like to see anyway smile

I'm supposed to take pizza to the party we're going to this year and I'm already dreaming up ways to make it special

Guitargirl Sat 19-Oct-13 08:35:46

Thank you Blathers for sharing your Halloween photos - I think am going to do the jelly pumpkins!

And your cakes - wow!

I will also have a look on pinterest for Halloween food, not long to go now. And I have a busy week at work this week.

I would have loved a dragon outfit like that when I was little.

After some much needed sleep, DD has decided this morning that she does want to invest in that dragon outfit smile. DS is a little miffed that it doesn't come in his size.

Blathers that food is so lovingly done. And ds looks so much like you in that picture!

Blatherskite Sun 20-Oct-13 08:27:15

Poor kid wink

Hello - trying to get organised again for Feb birthdays as work is manic after Christmas so need to start getting sorted now.

Currently working on dd1's 9th birthday - going to be a mystery party/scooby doo, mainly girls at home. Planning to do some spy type training followed by solving a mystery. Working on party bags at the moment. Have ordered some ring watches to synchronise -34p, some led lights, 11p each. Will make some fake ids etc.

Also might get some theromochromatic dots to make lie detector cards. Have also seen some mini compass, and maybe invisible ink pens/frixion pen and spy notebook. Any other cheapish ideas? Have had to ditch plan to do psychedelic tye dye t-shirts due to cost/hassle.

Will also need something to put them in to take home- wondered about massacring some envelopes and putting top secret on them, or is that to cheap?

I am planning to bring the bits out one at a time (e.g. watches at beginning to synchronise, lie detectors when they capture an informant, etc) so there won't be new stuff to take home at end, hoping by 9 they will understand that they have their stuff already does that sound reasonable?

SchrodingersHat Mon 21-Oct-13 14:46:01

Hi, hoping to interrupt and get some ideas. You helped me with a dinosaur party for my 3 year old DD in March and it was fabulous (she still talks about it as if it was yesterday. We've been talking about birthday parties and she wants a zog party for her 4th birthday. Still plenty of time to change her mind but I think it sounds like great fun so I've been thinking about what I could do already!

Current plans (bear in mind I've only been thinking about this whilst DD has been watching toy story this afternoon, so not very long) are:

Children arrive (with dinosaur tails if they came to that party as they can also be used for dragon tails) at Madame Dragon's school and get given some dragon wings.

I dress up as madam dragon (tail, wings and mortarboard), take the register and have some lessons / party games:

Lesson 1: learning how to fly - running around game wearing the wings (a variation of musical statues)
Lesson 2: learning how to roar - lots of shouting, not sure exactly what game this could be??
Lesson 3: breathing fire - ????
Lesson 4: capturing a princess - treasure hunt to find a peg doll princesses
Lesson 5: learning how to fight - decorating cardboard swords and crowns with stick on gems (hopefully no actual fighting involved!)

Pass the parcel - each child wins a golden star badge. We've got the zog book with cd so can have the flying doctors song on a loop.

At some point we'll need to read the book since not everyone will know it.

Party bags - I was thinking about getting some cheap canvas bags and making them into doctors bags by putting a red cross and the child's name on the front with fabric paints. Inside a bandage, some plasters and some sweets (soothing peppermints). I saw that Baker Ross have a sticker set with dragons, knights and princesses in it. I had a similar dinosaur set earlier in the year and it went down well.

Food/decorations/cake - dragon, princess, knight, doctor themed - lots of choice there!

Not sure how many children to invite - we only had about 10 to her 3rd birthday. But she's been to a few whole class parties, so if we do the same it could be around 30 people - eek 30 dragon wings and peg dolls to make!

That's a rather long post isn't it? What do you think? Any ideas for games that could fit into roaring/breathing fire? I had a google / Pinterest search for zog parties and couldn't find anything....

SchrodingersHat Mon 21-Oct-13 15:08:26

I've just had a thought. Breathing fire could be "pin the fire on the dragon". I just need to work out a good roaring game now...

I'm looking forward to this! DD had better not change her mind grin

Zog party is an amazing idea and I am very envy.

You'll be needing a horse.

Will answer that and scooby post later when waiting for plane (again [sigh])

Ok. Blew that. On plane now grin. Try again later.

I'll do a proper reply later but couldnt the fire bit be the point that you get dd to blow out the candles on her cake?

SchrodingersHat Mon 21-Oct-13 21:20:39

DW that's a good suggestion, I was wondering how I was going to fit the food in. I guess that the only problem with that is that the blowing out fire is fairly early on in the book and at most parties I have been to the food and cake is at the end once the kids have worn themselves out from running around. Although I could switch the timing round though and have it start at 11am, say. Do you think blowing out candles as opposed to breathing out fire might be a bit too subtle for a 4 year old? Although, thinking about it, I could do pin the fire on the dragon but as an extra twist get the kids to pick their "fire" when blindfolded and have some of them pick out snow, ie "Breathe out fire not snow"

Stealth I have a horse! Well only a stick horse and a horse space hopper type of thing (although it looks more like a donkey). Not sure how I could incorporate these into a party?

Thanks for the help grin

BlathAarghZombieBite Mon 21-Oct-13 21:30:50

Could you get some red/orange/yellow party blowers for fire? Could you make some maybe?

Are you going to give out plasters, mints and stretchy bandage at appropriate points?

Love that book smile stealth and I both have dragon obsessed DD's so hopefully we can help with this one.

Don't worry birthdaybunnies, I also have a Scooby Doo loving DS wink

BlathAarghZombieBite Mon 21-Oct-13 21:32:56

Fire party blowers a bit like this. I'm sure you could make something better...

BlathAarghZombieBite Mon 21-Oct-13 21:36:38

Could you do something like this for fire lessons?

SchrodingersHat Mon 21-Oct-13 21:49:52

Fab idea, although maybe I should get ear plugs for the adults as well. A roaring game immediately followed by the party blowers might be too much for some of them! smile

I was going to give out the plasters, mints and bandages at the end. But maybe I should give out wings and the bags at the start then the plasters, mints and bandages after each game (although my guess would be that they just cover themselves with the plasters when they get those if DD and her best friend are anything to go by).

I still have almost 5 months to plan the details..... (I'm ignoring the fact that I have lots of half finished projects that I need to finish so should really be concentrating on those rather than starting something new)

SchrodingersHat Mon 21-Oct-13 22:08:32

I found these variations of the toilet roll fire breathing dragon on Pinterest

here and here

I guess that it would be best to make them in advance rather than have this as a craft. It would take too long for any glue to dry so they couldn't be used immediately.

Those paper cup fire blowers could work as a craft activity if you used (pre-applied) double sided sticky tape instead of glue. Then they could do target practice with them blowing ping pong balls off stands (kitchen roll or wrapping paper tubes?)

Not sure about roaring - some variant of grandfather's footsteps where they have to sneak up and then roar, maybe? Then you have to practice rescuing princesses somehow.

Just as well you have 5 months, really - this could get complicated grin

BlathAarghZombieBite Mon 21-Oct-13 22:19:39

No, the fun is in making them! You can buy self adhesive googly eyes with peel off backing and sellotape or even double sided tape would work instead of glue. You could even replace painting with felt tip pens if you get the right cups

BlathAarghZombieBite Mon 21-Oct-13 22:20:45

Good x post stealth smile

Scooby doo/spies. When we did spy party, we split them into teams (and assigned an adult helper to each team) - every time they finished a game/activity the team for another bit of a jigsaw, IIRC. When complete, the jigsaw gave them a code, which they had to put into a computer (DB2 wrote a little simulated safe interface) which opened the "safe" which their party bags were in. My ScoobyDoo knowledge is sadly lacking, so I have only idea how that could be adapted. I did make a mystery machine cake once though grin

BlathAarghZombieBite Mon 21-Oct-13 22:35:01

Obviously food is easy for a Scooby Doo party. Pretty much anything goes smile I'd be tempted to do bone shaped biscuits and call them Scooby Snacks though.

And you need an adult dressed as something that you can unmask at the end to complain that s/he would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you pesky kids

3bunnies Mon 21-Oct-13 22:51:03

Teams probably sound like a good idea - was it competitive or did the teams work in parallel? Our house is a bit tiny so maybe working in parallel would work better. But teams probably preferable to 12 charging together! Was it an actual jigsaw? How many pieces? eyes up fifi and flowertots set and wonders if any of them still has correct number of pieces

How long did the mission bit last? I am having trouble thinking about the timeline - I've done the usual treasure hunt with normal clues which is 5 mins or so of pure charge; but I was thinking for this probably go, get a clue come back solve the code etc. Will be tricky trying to pitch the level right tempted to throw in some NVR clues to work out how many already being tutored for 11+!!

Not sure how much is still going to be scooby doo, I think a few acents maybe in some of the filler games and probably the cake.

What did you do for party bags? -- not that I'm obsessed-- Hope your flight has taken you somewhere fun.

3bunnies Mon 21-Oct-13 22:56:55

smile already planning to cast dd1's godfather as the villain as many of them won't know him. Having real dilemma of identity though as above. Dd1 loves scooby but also the wider world of mystery - helen moss, harry potter, roman mysteries. Just wondering whether her friends at 8/9 have moved beyond scooby doo.

SchrodingersHat Mon 21-Oct-13 23:02:14

Scooby doo party sounds great. I'm tempted to make Scooby snacks just for fun smile

Ok, you've convinced me, breathing fire can be a craft activity! I haven't heard of grandfather's footsteps. Is it like What's the time Mr Wolf?

I had thought of a treasure hunt for capturing princesses with the princesses (peg dolls?) as the prize. It went down well last time. But harder to do if we're in a church hall, I'll have to sort out decorations that can be the clues (last time the party was at home and we did a treasure hunt in our close).

Teams were working in parallel - so they rotated round the activities. The main challenge with that is that each activity has to be somehow made to take the same time. Jigsaws were real ones - cardboard ones you buy as blanks. I can't remember where I got them but I think Muji sell them.

I am now struggling to remember what the activities actually were blush, but IIRC we had 4 of them, taking 20 mins each, then tea, then they assembled their codes and cracked the safe. I will try and browse some photos during my meeting tomorrow to see what else I can remember wink.

Plane took me to Stockholm. Meeting tomorrow then straight home. Somewhere along the way I realised that I had forgotten to pack socks, so I just washed the ones I was wearing which are DS's anyway and stuck them on the radiator. Never let anyone tell you that business travel isn't glamorous hmm

Schrodinger - yes, essentially the same as what's the time Mr Wolf. I love your name, BTW. DH and I were debating whether modern children would just conclude that the cat was a zombie grin.

I can't find any photos sad. I am sure they exist in some digital archive somewhere but not one which has made it on to my latest PC.

SchrodingersHat Tue 22-Oct-13 21:10:05

Thanks stealth hmmm zombie cats - interesting smile

a bargain for those planning halloween stuff (I have used the site for other LED lights)

Guitargirl Sat 26-Oct-13 22:29:18

Did the Halloween party today. I am exhausted.

More details when you have recovered?

Guitargirl Tue 29-Oct-13 09:27:41

It's been 3 days now and I think I am more or less recovered! Ach, it wasn't that bad, just felt pretty full on - lots of very over-excited kids but then I guess that's to be expected at Halloween.

Everyone looked great in their costumes. I spent most of Friday putting all the decorations up. In the end decided not to go with games which involve dunking face in water/jelly as I thought some of the children might come with faces painted which they did.

For food, Pinterest was my friend so I did ghost bananas, tangerine pumpkins, pumpkin-shaped pizza, hotdogs. And then bought ghost crisps, monster much spider web crisps and did ghost and pumpkin marshmallow kebabs. Bought Halloween cakes from Waitrose. The thing which disappeared first from the food table were M&Ms in pumpkin shaped dishes from M&M World. I put 2 dishes out, went to the kitchen for a minute, came back and they had gone already!

Kids played spot the witch in the garden and danced around to Halloween CD (bought from Amazon). Lucky dip of lollies from carved out pumpkin. Kids could choose glitter body stickers (bought from Accessorize).

They made some Halloween decorations - ceramic pumpkins and card things - bought from Yellow Moon.

Some of the parents stayed after pick-up time for wine which was lovely.

So, all in all, it was good I think - just exhausting. Wasn't helped by late night dash to the shops on Friday night for party bag things. Doesn't seem to matter how organised you think you are, it all gets frantic towards start time.

But the thing which could have potentially put a spanner in the works was DS coming out in chickenpox the morning of the party! I phoned everyone we had invited in the morning to explain and they were all happy to come anyway, most people had had it already and those who hadn't said they wanted their DCs to get it whilst still little. So, we ended up with an unplanned chickenpox party, just hoping now that it doesn't cause problems for anyone!

Hello all. Its 23 days til the pizza party and i cannot get motivated to sort the last few bits out. Ideally i want to make the cake and freeze it. I also need to make a smaller cake for family tea on dd1's actual birthday. I need to make a practice choc pizza to establish how long they're likely to take me with just one mould.

Ive been trying to get sorted for xmas too and so i've hit the wall really. Come and give me a kick! My list:
*Check with pizza express if the kids get hats cos i'll print a sticker off to personalise if they do
*Ive got a playdough pizza set so either i buy two more and use them for the three games they play there ir use one for a pizza colouring contest or something but not sure they'll have time for that?
* make a choc pizza then go on to make 10 choc pizzas!
* label the takeaway bags(thanks stealth)
* make the cake base and freeze
*in fact make a practice cake to grill and test!
* buy dd's birthday present and a dress to wear to the party!

Please come and motivate me!

Halloween party sounds amazing, Guitargirl. I might even consider it one year..

DW - stick with one playdoh pizza set and award it randomly for pizza colouring or just keep it for DD1 if the occasion doesn't arise. I am sure you could start making chocolate pizzas now but not sure it is worth making the cake in advance - the cake bit is pretty easy.

We collected all the "creations" from the potter when DS went down with 2 of his mates for a lovely messy day's workshop as his birthday treat. I made them huge aprons and they still managed to come home with shoes, hair, sleeves coated in clay grin - I haven't seen what they made as DH picked them up and their pots are waiting to be fired.

I have managed to pair lumps of clay from DD's party with their creators based on party photos, all bar 3 where I am just going to have to show them the photos of the creations and get them to tell me which is theirs. DD is working on Thank you letters now with the intent to deliver everything on Monday.

I am thinking of completing the transfer of large amounts of money to the potter by buying DM a weekend workshop for her birthday. Shows a lack of imagination, but I think she would enjoy it.

I have an unexpected trip to the US in a couple of weeks. It's a PITA, really, but I could use the opportunity to shop if I knew what I needed.

Blatherskite Wed 06-Nov-13 10:30:28

OK, crazy half term is over and I am back - with a sore throat but back none the less.

Need to get on it for DD's party now. I thought I was organised but there seems to be so much to do!

There always is, somehow, Blathers. I thought we could manage a fairly low key, school night "birthday day" for DS yesterday (birthday treat done in half term) but, combined with work being more than usually nuts (6:45 am conference calls, anyone hmm?) it nearly killed me producing a cake, Dim Sum for supper and a suitable pile of presents. Still, he had a good day and was very sweetly overwhelmed with the number of envelopes with cash/vouchers he got (from relations) as well as presents.

Next stop, DGoddaughter+little sister's combined birthdays, DB2&DS's combined "family" celebration. I am so tired. I want a day, any day, when I don't have to set an alarm, and I can't honestly see one between now and Christmas sad

Anyway - enough of me moaning. What is still on your list for DD?

Blatherskite Wed 06-Nov-13 11:33:59

Oh loads! I still have to make invitations for a start off!

I really need to get this house sorted before I can start anything though and I've done nothing today because I feel like death warmed up sad

While you are sipping hot ribena and getting better....

Your DD needs one of these for Christmas (or birthday, come to that). I just got 2 for DS and DD and they are snuggly and gorgeous and made to be best friends with a dragon-pirate-girl like your DD - FC is going to end up getting credit for our two because DH can't mutter "too many soft toys" at him grin.

I managed to incorporate a small dragon into DS's scuba diving themed birthday cake [obsessed]

Blatherskite Wed 06-Nov-13 15:06:51

DH would grump almost uncontrollably if I bought DD another soft toy!

Maybe I could get an Auntie or Uncle to get one wink

Definitely. Not even the Grinch could turn away a dragon who comes from a lovely Auntie or Uncle. And he's a very reasonably priced dragon as well as being very cute indeed (they are bigger than I expected).

Blatherskite Wed 13-Nov-13 10:00:04

Blimey, we've gone over a week without anyone posting!

I know sad

Go on, then, if you are bored, write my US shopping list for me... grin

Blatherskite Wed 13-Nov-13 14:42:37

Well, split cakes for blathers should obviously go on there wink

Blatherskite Wed 13-Nov-13 15:03:20

Someone help me word this pirate invitation. I want to say - come to DD's party, time place and please come dressed as a pirate - but all in pirate speak!

I'm tying myself in knots and it all sounds wrong

Does google translate not do pirate?

I was just about to ask what split cakes were and I remembered. Where would one get those?

Blatherskite Wed 13-Nov-13 20:36:24

I have no idea to be honest. I've only ever seen them on the facepainting mails I get sent occasionally and on ebay

Has the translator helped?

Let me come back to this in the morning cos i just ran through about three versions in my head and its all garbled.

Ive lost my party mojo so i'll hopefully have renewed vigour for yours xxx

Blatherskite Fri 15-Nov-13 16:00:45

The translator didn't help much to be honest.

So far I have ....

"Ahoy there me hearties

Stop yer pillaging and lend me an ear,
I have a message for you to hear,
Ye be invited for some pirate fun,
I’m having a party, I hope you can come

Ye be invited to DD’s 4th Birthday party

Chart ye course and set sail for <our address> on Sunday 8th December.

Dock at our pirate hideaway between 11.30 and 1.30 for fun and games and gold dubloons.

Pirates, Buccaneers and Mermaids only please. Landlubbers will be made to walk the plank!"

I hate it to be honest sad

I think it's lovely. My suggestions were all along the lines of ahoy me hearties captain C invites you to Neverland for a swashbuckling adventure....etc

Yours is really nice rhyme. I know it's hard when you've lost your mojo though. It didn't even occur to me that my dd's birthday is just over a week away!

Why do you hate it, Blathers?

Does DD want to be Captain DD, or another name? I used to have an outlaw wanted poster mug which was "Calamity DD's name" I am sure we could come up with another descriptor that works with her name?

Blatherskite Fri 15-Nov-13 20:35:34

It just seems a bit contrived - but that's maybe because I spent ages contriving it. It's neither a poem or prose, just a mash up.

She's usually Captain DD but then Jake is just Jake so I was wondering if she needed a title.

Captain dd sounds good alliteratively speaking.

If we're spurring each other on where can i buy mini smarties?

Blatherskite Fri 15-Nov-13 21:05:22

Mini Smarties? No idea. Are the treat size packs normal sized Smarties in smaller boxes or mini Smarties?

Amazon have some...

I like Captain DD.

Mini smarties is an interesting one. I have only encountered them inside eggs /chickens/snowmen. I shall hunt.

Blatherskite Fri 15-Nov-13 22:35:17

I got some Dr Oetker mini chocolate beans from Tesco a while aog that could pass for Smarties if they didn't necessarily have to be the real thing?

Dd2 has a sickness bug! Im praying it doesnt hit dd2 too ir i'll get nothing done.

Nope dont have to be real smarties i just thiught they'd be good on my chocolate pizzas like pepperoni but the big ones are too big.

I need to shift myself. I have to make the chocolate puzzas, the cake, and a second cake for the family tea. Actually i could just make two pizza cakes if they are so easy. Then i need to shop for the family tea inc gluten free stuff.

And i feel sick.

I meant hit dd1 too didnt i

Probably wink.

It's 8am my time and I am sitting in a (very loud) presentation that I could have given better (and more quietly) myself.

Where are you stealth? Should i be jealous of your life(you know fear of flying aside?)

Right, tomorrow i've got to get my arse into gear. No more depressive apathy. I need to really give this kid a lovely pizza party (i think its the fact im not hosting it has robbed me of my mojo). Choc pizzas first then the cake(s) and i need to go to pizza express to get pizza boxes

Denver, CO, DW - and no, probably not. Business travel can be fun when you know lots of people but this week I am at an event where I know nobody (well, 2 people, but I am treading on their turf and they don't want me here) and I am fed up and lonely.

Not having complete control does take away the mojo - DS's birthday treat just involved me dropping them off and I had to really motivate myself to try and make it special (aprons for the 3 boys, a special picnic with baby dragons in chocolate krispie nests) because it didn't feel in the slightest like a party.

I get home Thursday, and Sunday we have family birthday lunch for DS and DB2. Which reminds me, I need to do something about DB2's present. And think of a quick and easy cake.

Oh sad dont be lonely, we're just here. smile

You suddenly gave me a jolt into what birthdays are going to be like in a few years sad

My friend is planning her first big party for her dd who will be 7, previously she's had tea with a few friends or a day out etc. my friend messaged me saying a "disco is 100 for 2 hours and thats before, food, party bags and an actual present for dd" i said welcome to my world!!

I've made five chocolate pizzas. Initially i was buggering about with boiling water and a bowl. Then i cottoned on that each pizza took one packer of aldi chocolate so i shoved it in a pyrex jug, melted it whilst the previous one chilled in the freezer, popped that out and into fridge then poured the next one. I've got another five chilling and one more to start. By tonight i will have 11, 4.5" individual choc pizzas that cost 99p each if you factor the mold in, 45p without!!

Chocolate pizza production line sounds cool.

Blathers - I found a mould for pirate themed lollipops in a shop - this one - are you interested? (a word of warning - they are big lollipops!)

Blatherskite Mon 18-Nov-13 21:29:10

I think I'm sorted on the food and drink front. Feeling mojo-less to try much else anyway sad

Oh dear sad. I saw some really cute piratey fabric too, but it was too expensive for impulse buying and I had already spent much too much anyway

Theonlyoneiknow Tue 19-Nov-13 12:48:25

Hello Party Experts!

I am a total party novice. I stumbled across this thread by the power of mumsnet search :-)

I am having a gruffalo themed party for DS who will be 4 (joint party with a friend whose DS has similar birthday) and there will be approx 25 (gulp) little ones there.

We have hired a hall to play games and eat food.

Was thinking about party games (duck duck goose but owl owl snake or something), stick the tail on the gruffalo, maybe buy the gruffalo pinata ? Any other suggestions?

I am struggling with party bag ideas that don't cost muchos £££ being the gruffalo theme. Had thought about buying cheap socks from Poundland or somewhere and sticking on googly eyes to make snake puppets (read that somewhere on MN!) but that would be a lot of snake puppets, also some white chocolate mice maybe and some green jelly beans for warts, and a piece of cake. Any other suggestions?

Food wise - making the pizza gruffalo themed (somehow), sausage rolls, cocktail sausages (roasted fox?), will have a squizz on pinterest?

Thanks so much in advance (if a gruffalo theme has been discussed indepth on earlier threads could you let me know which one and I could do a search?)

Much appreciated! It's next Sat (leaving it late, as usual!!)

DoctorsWife did an amazing gruffalo party for her DD1 in one of the early threads - not sure which one though... 1 or 2,maybe?

It was our very first thread stealth, her third birthday. Next week is her fifth birthday. We really have been talking parties for two years!!

Your ideas sound great theonlyone, i think my gruffalo cake may still be on my profile.

We got a big gruffalo floor puzzle and hid the pieces around so the kids had to hunt the pieces and make it together. I made huge copies of the characters and coloured them in. I bought those potted herbs from the supermarket, collected fir cones leaves and conkers. I made big big trees to decorate the walls and used green balloons on the ceiling as a canopy which would be tricky in a hall. I bought mini toadstools and stuck them in the herb pots and put the herbs/fir cones all over the table.

Party bags i bought the julia donaldson pack from the book people, i bought takeaway style bags and stuck pictures of the gruffalo on the front. I gave each child a julia donaldson book as well as woodland themed items like a jumping squirrel, bark effect pen i think i cant remember. Bakerross usually have loads of woodland themed crafts and toys.

IIRC, the first thread contains a lot of angst about the figures for that cake wink

Theonlyoneiknow Tue 19-Nov-13 20:14:43

Thank you so much, love the ideas! Will go and have a rummage for the thread!

Lol ah yes the scale of my snake and mouses tail snapped!

My table is currently covered in about 40 fondant pepperoni's drying! Far less trouble.

Theonlyoneiknow Wed 20-Nov-13 11:38:25

Great idea re: the takeaway bags - the proper gruffalo party bags are really expensive!

Blatherskite Wed 20-Nov-13 11:45:00

We love a decorated take away bag on this thread wink

or a fabric bag

<disclaimer - I am not serious - this was a one-off, made as a present for one of DD's friends who had a gruffalo party. I was pleased with how it turned out, but not even I would be mad enough to suggest making them for a whole party's worth of DC>

Blatherskite Wed 20-Nov-13 17:40:58

No. Dragon bags (complete with tail) are OK for whole parties but not Gruffalos wink


Dragon bags were less time consuming per bag than embroidered gruffalo (I think. I choose not to work it out blush)

Gather round, it's getting technical now.


I Can't risk using the un-iced cake because the party is sun and family party Monday and I only have tomorrow to make them, I'm worried they'll be like biscuits if I leave them un-iced.

So I've made fondant pepperoni which all look fab. I need to make the cakes, so I've watched a lot of YouTube and done some googling and I think I'm ok with fondant covering and painting it up pizza crust colour. Then topping, grated white cholcolate then pour melted on too. Then the pepperoni and dab with a bit of colouring to make it look browned.

So do you think buttercream would be okay spread on a fondant covered cake otherwise I'll paint fondant. And secondly if I make a 10 inch sponge in an 11 inch tin you think it'll be thin enough?

Do you have a 10 recipe stealth? Google gives too many versions and I don't trust it!

I think buttercream spread on fondant would be better than painted sauce. It will make the fondant underneath it go soggy, but that really doesn't matter in this context.

Painting pizza crust - I think I would sponge it - cut chunks from new sponge and dilute the colour with some vodka. I would also have a real pizza standing by to keep me going use as a reference.

Do you mean a 10" recipe? It wants to be relatively shallow. What flavour cake are you after? I am about to get on a plane home from the land of starting-with-cakemix, so I don't exactly have any to hand but can probably find something when I get home tomorrow.

Sorry stealth I forgot you were away from the cake books.

Yes I ordered a dominos and photographed it to death. I made the pepperoni and painted them with vodka.

That's what I'm thinking to get a shallow cake, I've got an 11" 10.6" and 10" set then a separate 8 inch tin. I thought if I maybe did a 10 or even 9" quantity in the 11" tin it should be shallow enough?

9" mix in 11" tin sounds about right to me. I think I would lower the temperature a bit to try and get it to cook through to the middle before the edges own, but I seem to be a bit rubbish at these things lately fortunately the chickens are happy to eat the evidence as long as it isn't blue or purple

I seem to be rubbish at cooking at the moment. You know when you've made something a zillion times and it seems to have morphed into something different and horrible!

Blatherskite Fri 22-Nov-13 17:04:33

Having cake issues again DW?

I have possibly torn my calf muscle (3 days before a bloody race!) so have spent the day sat down. One the plus side, I have made notes for DD's pirate party. Who's bored and wants to critique?

Blatherskite Fri 22-Nov-13 17:54:40

Also, sewing gurus, I got a load of mega cheap black fabric from the scrapstore so I was planning on making pirate loot bags rather than using take out bags again.

Should I just cut circles from the fabric and gather it up with a piece of ribbon to tie the top (also bought cheaply at the scrapstore) or should I cut out and sew little pouches instead? Perhaps with the ribbon threaded through a channel - although that is probably pushing my sewing skills.

No cake issues, they are turning out perfectly so far. I baked them to utter perfection, ive buttercreames/fondant and painted them a crust colour. They looking good! Letting the sugarpaste dry as much as poss before adding the buttercream topping etc.

Sewing. Drawstring really isnt hard just sew all the edges and a channel at the top, thread it through using a safety pin easy peasy!! How many do u need to do?

Abd ouch to the leg!

Blatherskite Fri 22-Nov-13 19:01:07

I need a pattern. I'm floundering!

The invites are finally coming together though..

I'll find you and online tutorial later, Blathers. What sort of fabric and how wide is your ribbon?

Blatherskite Fri 22-Nov-13 20:14:30

Erm, It's heavy-ish, like something you'd make cushion covers from or maybe light curtains. Like a heavy cotton. It's shinier than cotton so I'm guessing some sort of polyester. It had staples in so I think it's been used to cover a table or something. Can you tell I don't really know? It's black and I got about 3 meters for £3.

The ribbon is about 6-8mm.

Blatherskite Fri 22-Nov-13 22:01:19

DSis is being a genius again. My delicate returning mojo is feeling a little bruised already

Whats Dsis done?

Oooh - just seen her creation.

Bet she can't beat your parties though. wink

I just finished my "quick" cake for DB2 and DS shock (yawn)

Whats sis done?!!!

And what was the easy cakes?

Blatherskite Sat 23-Nov-13 11:15:04

She's making badges to put in the party bags for me. Skull and cross bones badges on a treasure map backing card with a sprinkling of sand in the wrapper. No half-arsed attempt from my sister!

Other sister is making pirate hair clips.

Wonder what I can get brother to do?

I think the least bro could do would be to turn up in full pirate gear and lead the games.

Blatherskite Sat 23-Nov-13 13:33:26

Our house is too tiny for big games.

The plan is :

Spyglass decorating - I've painted the cones I got from the scrapstore brown (Jake's spyglass is wooden) I'm going to add some woodgrain and some gold bands and then I've got a load of self adhesive jewels for them to decorate them with.

Necklace/bracelet making - I've got a load of beads from the scrapstore and have ordered some beading elastic so they can make themselves some pirate treasure

Pass the parcel treasure chest - small chest bought from hobbycraft which I'm halfway through painting. Will fill with gold dubloons and candy necklaces and let them choose a prize when the music stops

Pop up Pirate - obviously.

Possibly Pin the spade on the map - I'm considering making a treasure map with a big X in the middle and then blindfolding the kids and seeing who can pin their spade closest to the right spot. Sound OK?

I'll have some colouring as a back-up for anyone who looks at a lose end.

Between that, food and plenty of pirate music, I think we can fill 2 hours. If not, I have plenty of episodes of JatNP on the Sky Box wink

Thats all brilliant Blathers! Sounds like your mojo is back!

What's left to do?

Ive finished the cakes, inflated giant pizza slice balloons, labelled and filled all the party bags, i'm going to wrap that pizza playdough set just in case the games run short.

I'm going to wrap all DD's presents tonight and make up her new surprise desk and chair.

Our elf on the shelf is due to arrive on the 1st so tecnically i'll have about five days grace between dd1 birthday and advent to indulge in some planning for dd2. Really thinking of doing the playdoh party or going the whole hog and doing full messy play..

Blatherskite Sat 23-Nov-13 16:30:48

Left to do:
Put on extra coat of brown on the spy glasses, paint woodgrain and gold bands
Paint the mast that I've just made brown. That will need wood grain too and then it needs yellow ball pool balls adding for the finials.
Sew sails
Make boat surround for table
Sew loot bags
Finish treasure chest
Make cake
Make shark infested jelly
Make food
Make sails for hot dogs and jellies
Fill treasure chest
Make pin the spade bits

Off the top of my head...shock

Jewels and elastic are ordered as is Jake bunting. I need to buy the sharks for the jelly. I've got 2 local sweet shops I can check on Monday otherwise I'm going to have to get a big tub from Ebay. I'm going to use jelly whales rather than sharks as a) the kids won't know the difference and b) they're grey and will show up in blue jelly when blue sharks wouldn't. I thought I might get some jelly crocodiles to put on the top next to the orange segment boat and give the boats Hook's ships sail.

Stealth for fun i spent an hour looking at messy play ideas and found crayon shaped balloons on oriental trading three for under two dollars. Just as you came home!!

Blathers can you finish your mast and spyglasses tonight watching telly?

Blatherskite Sat 23-Nov-13 18:23:32

I've already done the last coat of brown on the spyglasses. Am now weighing up putting a yellow coat on before the gold to make them a bit more disney looking.

I've also put another coat on the chest.

Just remembered I need to paint the flag too. I wanted the JanNP skull and crossbones or at least something very cartoon-ish so I ordered a plain black flag with the intention of painting my own as I couldn't find anything suitable.

Blathers this is a neat way of doing bags without faffing around threading ribbons through (I hate that job, although FC may have a special threading thingy for me which he bought in the US).

DW - blooming typical. I am going again, but too late for DD2's birthday, I think (late Feb, IIRC).

Blatherskite Sat 23-Nov-13 21:00:37

I'm torn between saving myself the faff of threading ribbons through when making them and saving myself the faff of having to tie the ribbons every 5 minutes for DD once I give one to her.

You could always make one with a threaded ribbons for DDwink

Blatherskite Sat 23-Nov-13 22:01:13

Good idea smile

Damn it stealth yes shes early feb birthday. smile

Blathers does it absolutely have to be this fabric bevause if you made them from felt you could snip buttonholes along the top seam and weave a ribbon in and out.

Or just wonderweb them! No sewing channels then. I made three huge drawstring bags on my sewing machine know the argos one that died. One was double lined and they took me half hour max and thats cos i had no frigging idea. The pirate dress i made for dd2 was the same principle except it had armholes took about an hour to sew by hand. You can do this!!

And a jake flag although last time i googled the jake flag my phone was bombarded with a site called "local sluts" which always nice shock

Im off to our party in an hour. Dd1 has dissolved into tears, shes had excitement all day and just erupted!! Its my faukt cos i timed the party for teatime knowing that she'll finish there, friends presents, bed and wake up to her birthday but its too much for a five year old to wait all day for a party ut seems.

I am returned from the pizza party!

Firstly im exhausted. It went so so well. One child didnt eat as they didnt like the food etc but it was fine. We completely overran as the kids were having a great time.

Im so glad i made all the stuff i did though because pizza express really dont give you anything other than a certificate. Ive already had messages from people saying they cant believe the effort i'd gone to, and that the party bags were the best they've ever had. So another Shirley thread success I'd say.

Tomorrow its the family tea and presents etc. its been sooo much nicer doing the party on a different day to the actual birthday.

Well done DW - job well done. My DC look forward to party day almost more than birthday itself, but I agree it's a lot easier if they are different days.

I had a disturbingly realistic drug induced dream in the 3 hours sleep I got last night. Amongst other things it involved me meeting Blathers' DH at the conference I am going to today. It was so real that I almost packed he little skull and crossbones mould this morning so that I could give it to him hmm blush.

Blatherskite Mon 25-Nov-13 10:15:18

Ha ha ha grin The scary thing is - that could really happen one day! I'd be so jealous!

Good news on the pizza party DW. I still get told that the one I did was the best party some of the parents have been to! but yes, you do need to provide extras as the party itself is fairly basic. Good for us though wink

Right, talk to me about pirate sweets. I'm going to make a treasure chest cake and stuff it with sweeties and then put some extras in the party bags. I've got jelly rings and candy necklaces and lots of chocolate coins but whet else could I use? Do I pay out for proper edible gems or shall I just go with fruit pastilles or similar?

I may need to save some money as I have my heart set on jelly whales for the 'shark infested jelly' but aquarterof are out of stock which leaves me looking at buying a whole tub of them for almost £8 from ebay!

I assume he's not actually at a conference in London todaysmile? I even thought of it when the train stopped at Blatherstown Central this morning.

Go for fruit pastilles. Gems are expensive and end up looking grubby because they show every fingerprint really badly.

Blatherskite Mon 25-Nov-13 10:31:19

Not today. You're safe smile

Thanks for the reassurance on the gems. The kids aren't going to car are they and it'll save me about a tenner which I can then spend on jelly whales

Blatherskite Mon 25-Nov-13 15:04:31

Right, as much as I hate gender stereotyping, I've bought the boys a little ball that looks like a globe each to replace the hair clips the girls are getting. Neither have enough hair to need clips anyway wink

They're also getting whoopie cushions rather than necklaces. I bought those a while ago for reasons I can now not fathom. I know DS thinks they're hilarious but I hate them.

All pirates love a good whoopie cushion and it will get them out of your house

Blatherskite Mon 25-Nov-13 18:40:36

Almost. One of the boys is DS.

Thats mafe me laugh blathers!

Im so so so tired, we've been up since 5.30am, dd has played with nothing of her presents other than wait for it...facepaints!! We had a family tea and she painted all her grandparents, dd2 and me. Ive never laughed so much she painted mil with a complete brown face as a rabbit. She looked like a miner!

So shes in bed now listening to her new paddington story cd on her new cd player. So thats it now, another birthday done and dd2 to plan for now.

Blatherskite Mon 25-Nov-13 21:12:56

It sounds like she's had a lovely time. Well done Mummy smile

It occurred to me today that boiled sweets were probably even more jewel like than fruit pastilles. Going for one last hunt for jelly whales and crocodiles tomorrow and then I'll have to order them online!

Blatherskite Mon 25-Nov-13 21:18:53

Oh and just to distract me when I get going - DS needs a top for 'Christmas jumper day' at school! They want us to buy them a special christmas jumper and donate to the charity of the day! DS would never wear any of the ones I've seen through either embarrassment or overheating so I'm making him one. I've got a bright cheap stripey, long sleeved top from M&M this morning and have cut a tree from felt. Going to buy some 'baubles' tomorrow (hoping to find some mini jingle bells), some tinsel-ly ribbon and will pick up some battery powered fairy lights. I'm just going to tack the finished tree to the front of the shirt so that I can remove it afterwards and he can wear it again.

My DC each in turn owned a plain red jumper which I tacked a green felt Christmas tree onto for "Christmas jumper" purposes. Same jumper, same tree, 4 years apart [cheapskate]

DW - it sounds as though DD1 has had a wonderful birthday. What is even better is that she will remember this one, for sure.

DS got to spin out his birthday a bit more at the weekend by sharing a lunch and cake with DB2, who is exactly 3 times his age grin. They both liked the piano cake, even if it did cost me a night's sleep.

Talking of which....bedtime!

Blatherskite Tue 26-Nov-13 09:55:44

I was considering making the tree an item all it's own so that it could be reused smile

DD would probably quite happily wear a Christmas jumper though. DS overheats easily so all of the one's I've seen would be discarded in minutes as they were quite thick. He seems to be quite excited about our home made version at least.

Right, DD and I are on a shopping mission for more party things today.

Blatherskite Tue 26-Nov-13 13:50:16

Right, I've been to the sweet shop on the market and have jelly crocodiles (for the tick-tock crocs), some cola grog bottles, and some floral gems and boiled sweets for gems. All I am missing is the jelly whales.

He had baby dolphins which were blue or white so either wouldn't work in the jelly or would look wrong. He says he thinks he had some of the grey jelly whales but he's not sure where and I should check back with him at the weekend to see if he's found them.....

Do I risk him finding them? Do I buy the ones from ebay while I've still got plenty of time to get them posted or do I forget the idea entirely?

If I check with him at the weekend I can buy just the small handful that I need but if he hasn't got them, I then need to either order the ones from ebay and hope they get here on time or forget the whales idea. There are 120 in the ebay box and it's going to cost me £7.69! Postage is free at least. Is it worth it to guarantee having some fish sweets in the jellies or am i going over the top?

Blatherskite Tue 26-Nov-13 13:53:21

I did get a string of 10 LED battery powered lights from poundland for DS's t-shirt while I was out

Blatherskite Tue 26-Nov-13 14:48:41

Only 1 light works sad

I think on balance I would check with the sweet man at the weekend (whilst swapping the lights!) and if he can'tfind the whales, go with the dolphins and risk them disappearing. unless you could sell the remaining whales on to him??

I think on balance I would check with the sweet man at the weekend (whilst swapping the lights!) and if he can'tfind the whales, go with the dolphins and risk them disappearing. unless you could sell the remaining whales on to him??

oops. train WiFi.

I'd hold off for the sweetie man blathers because 8.00 is a lot for a handful of sweets!

Ive got some mini jingle bells multicoloured. How many do u want and when for?

Blatherskite Wed 27-Nov-13 13:26:59

I know it's sensible but I'm panicing that the guy on the market won't find his whales and I'll end up chewing my fingernails hoping that the ebay ones make it here on time or forgetting the idea which would be sad.

Am distracting myself but doing some more to my 5' tall mast!

Got an old hessian coffee bean bag from the scrap store for 80p yesterday which I'm going to use for my tablecloth. Need to make a start on the surround too!

Blatherskite Wed 27-Nov-13 13:30:22

Thank you DW but I got some bells from Hobbycraft yesterday. Ds is so excited about his Christmas jumper smile

beansbeansgoodfortheheart Wed 27-Nov-13 18:46:23

Hello! I'm hoping you lovely lot can help me! gringrin

I'm getting married early next year and need help planning our party! We're not having the traditional do. We're getting married alone and then throwing a party after. It's going to be casual - no fancy outfits. Just a good time I hope!

So far I have hired a pub function room. The pub will be doing the food and we'll get some drinks in. I've sent invites. I've organised music and a photographer to get some pics on the night.

That's as far as I've got! Pleeeease help. I have looked on Pinterest and all over for ideas and am overwhelmed. I want everything to look beautiful and 'special' but so much stuff seems to be very feminine and twee which just doesn't suit us.

We can decorate and have candles. As it's in the winter I want it to be twinkly and cosy.

ALL ideas appreciated on:
Table decs??
Cake (traditional cake? Something else?)
Guest book (most alternative ideas too twee. Is a bog standard book ok?)
How to set square tables up in rectangular room(!)
Other entertainment -we have music but should there be any?

And ANY other ideas you have! Thank you.

But if he can't find whales you could use dolphins...

<abrupt change of tack>

Bakedbeans, I think what you are lacking is (in a non-twee way) a theme. Once you have that you can sift through pinterest and the like for the ideas which work for you. Is there something about you and DP which would work? For example, DoctorsWife and I got thoroughly carried away with the idea of a book theme a thread or so back - something about "the next chapter.." (not that you would advertise that as it's a bit barf-inducing) - lots of flowers, tea lights etc made out of old book pages, and a general sepia and black colour scheme.

Anyway, my point is, a theme doesn't have to be naff, and helps the whole thing not look like a random collection of stuff IYSWIM.

beansbeansgoodfortheheart Wed 27-Nov-13 20:24:30

Thanks for replying stealth! We did our invites like chalkboards (outing self), so chalk writing on a black blackboard going down the theme of pub! Simply because that's where it is and I love the pub wink I imagine I'll use blackboards in some capacity

Other themes I have considered: paper/books as I have seen nice decs made with both.

Forest/nature: unsure how to do this though without spending oodles on fake trees. Could get big twigs and the like though. Have also seen candles and candle holders in nature-y shapes like acorns, fern cones etc

Other random things I like incl those big paper pom-poms, ball lights, antiquey fairy lights

right, beans - I have never tried this before. I made you a pinterest board - what do you hate, and what (if anything) do you like?

beansbeansgoodfortheheart Wed 27-Nov-13 23:24:12

Oh that's fab, thanks! I like the book roses and the pic with all of the pom-poms and paper balls etc. I could make some chalkboard/slate looking stuff myself - like food sticks etc

<<DW, she likes the book roses - can we dig out all our other links without scaring her off, do you think? >>

The lanterns and pom poms are few my favourite seller which stuff, who I regretfully have not yet found an excuse to use myself sad

So - cake - that's where I got a bit stuck. Any ideas about what you would like / not like?

Incidentally, Blathers, I am going to change my tune entirely. Order the whales. Shark infested jelly is something you have been wanting to do for ever, and everything else in this party has been responsibly scrap-store sourced or produced by your amazing siblings. Go for it. Put the extra whales sharks into the party bags.

'scuse typos. SwiftKey has stopped working on my phone. I am off hunt Trills down and blame her personally.

Blatherskite Thu 28-Nov-13 12:02:18

That made me smile stealth You're right, I would be upset if I didn't finally get to do my shark infested jelly. I've gone as far as ordering blue jelly from Sanza, seems a shame to fall at the last hurdle. It wouldn't have been a problem if hadn't sold out of the whales as I could have just paid over the odds for a few instead. I've even e-mailed them but they're not going to be back in stock in time.

beans Let me get this party out of the way and I am all yours for the wedding planning. I have a brain stuffed full of pirates at the moment though which is not the theme I'm guessing you want for the wedding wink

One suggestion while it pops into my head though - DSis and her husband got a picture frame with a really wide boarder mount and left it out at the reception. Everyone wrote messages on the boarder and after the wedding, they put their favourite wedding photo in the frame. They have it up on the wall in their home and it is a lovely reminder of their day. You can buy kits ready made or choose a special frame for yourselves and get a frame cut. It's an alternative to a guest book and something that's likely to be looked at a lot more often.

Like this or this You could put a nice photo in there for the wedding and then swap it to a wedding one afterwards. Fit's your black and white chalkboard theme quite nicely too...?

Ooooh ooohhhh jumps up and down with excitement.

If you like chalkboard and you like the books, make the theme "script" or similiar and it all hangs together nicely. Ive got to go to the opticians in a moment but on my pinterest i had some cakes that would fit a text/chalkboard/font type theme hold on...



There was another but it wont link which was a white cake covered in white letters but the word love was anongst the jumbled in letters in red. Really simple and striking.

I cant get the second one to link its a sillohette of the couple with words written all around them like love, friendship, etc.

beansbeansgoodfortheheart Thu 28-Nov-13 23:12:33

Thanks so much for the ideas! Loving the sound of shark infested jelly - maybe we can have that instead of wedding cake wink

Liking the theme script and really like the frame guest book but wondering how I can use that idea for something I can put on a shelf rather than hang it on the wall...

I was thinking earlier of making a guest book that has sections to sort of 'fill in'. So something like 'On your first wedding anniversary you should.....' Or 'the first time I met beans I thought...' Or 'draw a pic of the happy couple.'
Half our friends are very sweet and the other half total piss takers so could be quite fun.

Dunno. Thought it might be a bit more fun than a load of 'congratulations'

On cake, my mum has offered to help. She's a fairly good cook with lots of time on her hands. Would like really good cake or several small ones- doesnt need to be a three tier job.

Blatherskite Fri 29-Nov-13 10:30:40

My Sister had a pile of cheese rather than cake. They bought whole wheels of their favourites and piles them up like a wedding cake then decorated the stack with grapes and olives and crackers and put out loads of crackers.

Me too i had a cheese-cake and got not one morsel of it!! Dh says he didnt even see it!!

Blatherskite Fri 29-Nov-13 17:13:37

Had a bit of good luck today.

We had invited 9 children in all to DD's party, 7 girls and 2 boys. When we gave out the invites, 1 child's mother was fairly sure she wouldn't be able to come so when I did the Yellow Moon order and stuck on a pack of 6 plastic rings to go in the pirate treasure party bags I though all would be OK - 1 each for the girls (minus the probably-not-coming child) and the boys are getting something else. Then probably-not-coming's Mum told me she's sorted everything out and the little girl would be there after all! Back-up plan was going to be to sub littlest niece with something else.

The rings arrived this morning and as I quickly looked at the pack, I noticed that one of the rings was missing it's gem so I rang YM. They're sending me a whole new pack and I can keep the old one too! So now I'll have 11 party rings for 9 children and the boys might get one too smile

I am officially recovering and looking forward to wine having gone from no babysitter for tomorrow (and extreme stress) to 2 options.

Blatherskite Fri 29-Nov-13 21:13:50

I can't avoid the sewing machine bits of birthday party prep anymore!

Starting with a nice 'easy' sail....

<<crosses fingers >>

Make sure you have a nice new needle.

(in better news which no one cares about I have updated SwiftKey and it's working fine again grin)

Blatherskite Fri 29-Nov-13 21:48:48

Rectangular (easier) sail is done.

Now for trapezoid sail! [scared]

Blatherskite Fri 29-Nov-13 23:06:31


Bed time.

Party bags tomorrow?

curiousgeorgie Sat 30-Nov-13 01:20:37

Hello smile

I've been advised to repost this on this thread..

I want to throw a 'Once Upon A Time' party for my daughters first birthday. I've done huge parties for DD1 (Alice In Wonderland, Ben & Holly & Princess Pink) with marquees, endless decorations, entertainers etc.

Once Upon A Time / Storybook is currently the best idea really for my DD2 to compete with her older sisters parties and I want to make it amazing.

I'm thinking book page bunting, Snow White 'poison' toffee apples... Lots of netting / voile under tables and around gazebos and marquees to make it more fairytale.. And then I'm struggling!! Any ideas? grin

Georgie can my DD be friends with yours, please? Your parties sound fab.

Storybook - so, decor sounds good. There is a fantastic "once upon a time" cake in one of my books which would be perfect. You need all the elements of a fairy tale somehow - heroes, princesses, dragons, witches. Where I am currently stuck is on what they could do. How old is DD2?

I found the cake - it's in a Lindy Smith book called "storybook cakes"

[[ this one]]

Lol sorry stealth.

georgie can you give us more info is this in a marquee like the others? When is it? How many kids etc? Because im sure we can go mad with a summer/spring in a marquee better than january in the village hall..

curiousgeorgie Sat 30-Nov-13 09:48:24

I love that cake!

It's in June, I know it's a long way off but for my daughters third birthday this year finding about 100 teapots, spray painting them and adding spots and making them into towers, painting cups and saucers, making giant flowers, making / finding costumes, stringing about 1000 playing cards onto wire etc took months so I'm trying to get a head start!

I'll get a marquee again and have it in my garden, probably a Capri one (or 2) because I like how open they are to incorporate the rest of the garden and decorations.

It's a first birthday but will probably be about 50 adults and 30 children of all ages as we invite everyone in our family and all our friends.

I'm I'm Surrey and also looking for theme appropriate or at least colour appropriate bouncy castle & soft play to hire too...

And a theme appropriate entertainer.

For Alice in Wonderland I had a mad hatter magician who was fab, but an Alice who did party games and balloon animals and the kids didn't like her at all!

What age range of children? Would a storyteller work, do you think?

beansbeansgoodfortheheart Sat 30-Nov-13 11:21:12

Can you do my party please curious?!

Blather and TheDoctors - yes I want that cheese thing!

Is it worth making pompom things or should I find them cheap on eBay?

beans - it's worth a look at eBay prices vs cost of materials, but if you have time I would find a bulk supplier of tissue paper and make the pompoms, leaving more budget for hanging lanterns wink

beansbeansgoodfortheheart Sat 30-Nov-13 12:19:46

Lanterns that take candles...?

LED tealights

curiousgeorgie Sat 30-Nov-13 16:11:42

The youngest child will be about 4 months by then, a few 1 year olds, lots of 3 year old and then cousins and friends children from 3 to 13.

Not helpful I know!

Blatherskite Sat 30-Nov-13 16:48:50

<waves at georgie> Sorry, I'm on countdown for my own party so am in full on pirate mode but will be back with some ideas once it's over smile

Right, today I've done the -pin-the-flag-on-the-map map and sewn DD's pixie dust pouch. My theory was that the party bags will just be slightly bigger versions so it was good practice. I know where I went wrong so the bags should be easier now...

But they'll have to wait until tomorrow, I'm running tonight, in the dark, in Bedford! On a calf I tore just last week that is still a bit sore! Wish me luck

Good luck blathers.

Beansbeans - i've made the pompoms before and they are so quick to make, if you google it shows you how to cut the ends to resemble different flowers like peonies/chyrsanthumums etc. i'd say if you can get the materials and make your own you'll prob get much more for your money.

Georgie - as yours is a bookish/fairytale theme you may like a lot of the stuff we recommended for beans further up this thread, stealth did her a pinterest board with lots of script/book pages stuff that would work really well as decoration in your marquee.

Right so once upon a time, with book page themed decorations etc i'd aim for a mismatch of key fairy tale details a yellow brick road? Gingerbread/sweetie houses(buy them up now as their everywhere or lakeland do a mould so you can make some over and over again) gingerbread man, the three bears chairs or porridge bowls? A bed piled high with mattresses and a pea..cinderellas coach or glass hiding hoods. Food in riding hoods gingham clothed basket..

Entertainment: a storyteller or a puppet show of various fairy tales?

Blatherskite Sun 01-Dec-13 20:31:49

I have done loads this week!!

DD's outfit is done. I have finally sewn her a little 'pixie dust' pouch so she's good to go.
The mast and sails for the food table are finished and hidden in the garage so that DD will be surprised on Sunday.
The spyglasses are painted and ready to go. I've painted the cardboard cones I got from the scrapstore brown and added some woodgrain and gold bands round the top and bottom. DS told me they were really good which made me smile. The gems and stickers have arrived to decorate them too.
I've drawn out a big 4 shaped pirate map to pin the flag on to,
The pirate flag for outside the front door is finished,
and I've just finished the party bags!

Left to do are:
The flags for the map - I thought I'd make little coloured flags on cocktail sticks and then stick them in a lump of blu tack ready to be stuck on the map.
The flags for the hot dogs and shark infested jelly boats
The signs for the food
and to make the food but I can't do any of the just yet. I do need to work out how exactly I'm going to make this cake though! Any ideas?

Also, DH is unconvinced by the pass-the-treasure-chest idea. He says how will they know when it's finished? I guess I can either let them pass it round with no more treats in than there are children so the last sweet goes to the last child or I use my little chest filled with gold dubloons as a party prop and do a 'normal' wrapped pass-the-parcel? I'm going to wrap up 1 present anyway for the person who wins the Pin-the-flag game so I could wrap another....

beansbeansgoodfortheheart Sun 01-Dec-13 20:54:02

Can I ask your opinion on something please!

As we're not doing a traditional wedding I'm not sure what to do about drinks. If we were doing the usual thing we'd get wine for the meal and champagne for toasts...

Anyway, so it's evening start with a buffet and a normal bar.

Unfortunately we can't afford to do a free bar. sad We could either not pay for any drinks at all or we could get enough champagne/prosecco for a glass each and have bottles in ice buckets for when people arrive or we can put a bit of money behind the bar - enough for a drink each.

Which one should we do?

Blatherskite Sun 01-Dec-13 21:01:49

I think the usual thing is to give everyone a glass of something bubbly as they arrive and then leave them to buy their own drinks from then on. Friends did this when they got married last year and it went down well. We all got to toast the new couple with that first drink and then got on with ordering our own at the bar

Bubbly stuff on arrival has more impact for the same budget than money behind the bar, IMHO.

Ok, Blathers - cake - what are you trying to do and what is the problem?

I have marzipanned 3 out of 9 Christmas cakes today, made bags for 2 out of 9, and have yet to decide how to decorate them....

Blatherskite Sun 01-Dec-13 22:01:20

I want to do a treasure chest cake. Am struggling to work out how though. It needs to feed 20-ish at the party. Is 3 rectangular cakes too much? 2 for the body of the chest and another for the lid. I'm thinking I'm going to need a hidden cake board under the lid cake so that I can prop it open to stuff treasure in. Was planning to use melted chocolate to cover the cake and drag a skewer through it to make woodgrain and then roll out icing for bands around the chest?

Blatherskite Sun 01-Dec-13 22:03:59

A bit like this

Yes to 3 cakes so that the chest is deeper than the lid, and I would do it as described in that link, except that I would carve the lid cake rather than adding a ton of icing to make it domed. You definitely need a thin cake board and some dowels to hold the lid up - just hide the dowels with strategically placed coins.

Blatherskite Sun 01-Dec-13 22:23:32

Yes, definitely planning to carve the lid rather than add icing. Dowels were also in the plan. I've got tonnes of sweeties to hide them with

Do you think the chocolate wood will work?

DD wants chocolate cake and I'll layer with chocolate frosting so chocolate covering would go.

Blatherskite Sun 01-Dec-13 22:24:27

I was planning on putting the lot on a gold cake board and crushing up some rich tea biscuits to make 'sand' to sprinkle around the chest.

Chocolate covering or just buttercream - I have never tried to cover a cake with pure chocolate TBH.

Rich tea biscuits make food sand - all the better because this is one cake that doesn't have to be transported.

food sand confused?

good sand.

Blatherskite Sun 01-Dec-13 22:31:06

I'm sure I've done pure chocolate when I was younger. Been a long time though. Chocolate frosting could work though.

I notice that cake used brown sugar for the sand. Maybe I'll mix some in with my rich tea sand?

Rich tea sand worked better for me, as long as you have the food processor and the patience to grind them very fine. I guess a mixture could work too.

Whilst buttercream or similiar would work just fine. Im getting frustrated now...its been two years...two years we've been doing this and you still have the fear of fondant?

Theres me thinking brown sugarpaste, scribe or emboss woodgrain into it, wash with a dark brown colour to highlight the grain and then you can handle the cake and manipulate it into position etc not squishing your cream up. If im thinking it Stealth must have her head in her hands weeping..

But yes buddy, buttercream would work brill xx

LOL at DW. I hadn't actually thought that, although I wouldn't do it with buttercream myself because it's a PITA to handle. I am not in a strong position to lecture, though, as my icing - hating DS has decided he quite likes buttercream, so his scuba cake was mostly buttercream apart from the diver, sharks, octopus etc. (in other words the sea was buttercream!)

I am entirely lacking in inspiration for teachers' cakes. As it stands they are going to be a slight variation on ones I did a few years ago, hoping that there are not many (if any) of the same teachers involved. I will be away 4 days of the last week of term, so they have to be finished this week.

Blatherskite Mon 02-Dec-13 08:31:05

grin Yes, the fondant fear is still strong here. I just can't seem to work it and then I get to making the cake last minute to keep the cake fresh and the extra stress is just too much to handle!

Wash dark brown what into it exactly?

I may have to come down n practice with you! I made madeira friday the 22nd it was still absolutely fine, nice even on friday the 29th but i threw it anyway.

If you have brown sugarpaste, you can let some gel colour down with vodka/gin and wash the "paint" over the paste. If you scribe woodgrain gently into the icing then the paint collects in all your wood effect and brings out the detail. You need to remember that a cake under paste is being kept frin the air etc so its a great way of making a cake ahead because the cake is safe inside and the icing benefits from hardening time.

I think I may have a solution for the fear - for this cake, at least. I am assuming that it is big sheets of fondant which you find hard to handle? In which case - don't use them! Cover the cake in a thin layer of chocolate buttercream, and then put the wood on one plank at a time. That was how I did the pirate ship

Blatherskite Mon 02-Dec-13 12:32:51

OK, Ok, I'll give it a go!

I bought a roasting tin to make the cakes in today as it was just the right size. Need to visit the cake shop near me to buy supplies next.

So, shopping list:
Brown sugarpaste
Brown gel colour
Gold sugarpaste for the banding
Anything else?

Need a lovely, gooey chocolate cake recipe for the cake inside next.

I've bought a JatNP table cover today just in case I don't get round to the wrap because I'm farting about with sugarpaste too... grin

Blatherskite Mon 02-Dec-13 12:34:00

Oh and gold cake board - gold would be best right?
Mini, thin cake board for lid layer
Cake dowels

G&B's inmate's chocolate cake:

500g plain flour
500g caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
150g cocoa powder
150ml buttermilk
150ml vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
7floz water


Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F gas mark 4. Butter and flour the
baking tins. (2x20cm /8" cake tins with deep sides ) or play around
with one 8" deep square or 9" deep round tin
Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk using a mixer or with a
strong arm! for about 3 minutes.
Bake for 35-40 mins (longer for single 8" deep sq or 9" rd sized tins)

Is the board going to show at all? Does it matter what colour it is?

Blatherskite Mon 02-Dec-13 13:04:54

The board will hopefully be hidden. It'll have cake on top and I was only planning on open