As usual, I outsourced the cake. I know lots of people like to make their children's birthday cakes themselves and hats off to you - that is awesome! In our house, the cake tradition is well and truly alive, but different to other households. I promise our boys aren't deprived of any cake love. They get to choose the cake they would like, normally from Pinterest, and have so much fun looking through all the amazing cakes on offer. My love is poured into their parties and I'm sure they feel that too.
All the food for the party was prepped the night before and was kept very simple. The hardest thing to do was make jelly for the 'frog ponds' and chocolate mousse for 'the pigs sty', which isn't very hard at all. I'm talking mega easy food - you'll see that when you look at the photos.
We dressed the birthday boy in overalls (which lasted about 15 minutes and then he found dog poo, had a quick bath and outfit change and returned to the party) and the guests all received a take home 'build your own farm' play dough set from Kmart ($3 bargain - and full of playdough goodness!).
I forgot to take photos (with the proper camera) of the 6 baby chicks we had at the party and the hay bales that everyone sat on - so here are two pics I snapped from my phone. Bad blogger! It doesn't show the 8 haybales or the 6 chicks.. but it gives you a sneak peak.
|One of the six chicks.|
|Before the party started and the food was brought out - see the hay bales? You have to squint!|
Here's some of our 'party rules':
- Don't sweat the small stuff. The first party that I put together took me months and months of preparation and I spent SO MUCH time concentrating on the little details, which I'm convinced most people didn't notice. These days I keep decorations easy and simple - it saves time and money and the party will still look cute!
- No hot food. My dear mother in law makes the sandwiches for every party and that saves me a lot of time! The sandwiches are always a big hit! I always carry the party theme over into the food so that everything that is on the table ties back to the theme. The reason I don't do hot food is because I then have to watch the oven before and during party time. Having cold food means that I can prep it the night before the party and not worry about having to make anything the morning of the party.
- Be a guest at the party. Once the party starts I make sure that there is nothing I have to do, other than enjoy the party. I hated that I was so busy at the boys first few parties that I missed out on enjoying the party with them and having fun myself.
- Early party time. This one works for us, but doesn't suit everyone. I had one 2pm party and then swore I would never do it again. I spent all morning running around organising everything and by the time the party started I was exhausted. I now have parties at 9 or 10am. I make sure everything is finalised the night before the party and then wake up on the day of the party with very little to do. This way I am not overwhelmed on the day of the party. Our boys are also happiest at this time of the day and I love that once the party is over, it's time for all of us to have a nap.
- Clean up straight away! The minute the guests leave I spend a solid 30 minutes getting everything back to normal. Then I have lunch and join the boys for a nap. It's lovely waking up to a tidy house after the party is over.
We request no presents on the boys invitations to friends. It's a personal decision. The boys are spoilt to have a party every year and so we let them know that that is their present. Some friends still choose to bring them something little, which is fine (and lovely), but we don't want their parties to be about the presents. We just want them to look forward to playing with their friends.
I think this answers all the questions I was asked regarding party planning - if it doesn't, let me know and I'll add to this. As always - this is just what works for us.
Thanks for all the lovely comments you have already left on Facebook.
Let the photos begin! There are a lot of them...