Saturday, 29 September 2012

the party prep

Despite the laborious task that is prepping for a party, I really rather enjoy it. Until the very end, at least, when I am cursing myself for making everything by hand and staying up till 1am for a week. The curse of the able crafter. Baking, icing, crafting, list making. Always with the lists. I would be useless without the lists!

Five is a big deal for me. A new chapter is soon to begin in my daughter's storybook of life - the school years. When I was growing up, we were allowed to have a party for the 'big' birthdays. Five, ten, thirteen, eighteen, twenty one. I was always jealous of the kids who were allowed to have parties every year. Of course, now I see that my mum had it right all along. When I told Ruby she could have a party and invite some kindy friends, she rattled off all the girls' names. Eleven of them. Add their mums and I was questioning what I had done. I'm not a fan of huge birthday parties, I would rather keep them small and intimate. I had wanted to do a small family gathering, separate to the kindy friends party. Ruby was not impressed with the idea that her extended family would not know all the girls' names - how could they play together if they didn't know their names? First world problems for my fellow control freak Virgo. September is always really busy for us - our wedding anniversary, my birthday, her birthday, every weekend full. There was no other opportunity to celebrate her big day with our families, so I bit the bullet and dived in head first for a big joint soiree, despite the heavy sweating and ridiculous size of the head count tally. Thankfully, we had a few apologies. Phew.

The day after her fourth birthday, she told me she would like to have a dolly cake for her next birthday. Her cake of choice stayed the same for nearly a year. Until about a fortnight before her fifth birthday when it changed roughly 23 times, and then ended up back where she started. Dolly had a little twist, her skirt was to be a rainbow cake. Having seen them e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, I had to try one. A simple, easy cake to assemble, with maximum wow factor when we cut her open. And, most importantly, the birthday girl was suitably impressed. For the cake, I used Donna Hay's Rainbow Cake from the latest DH Kids Annual, minus the sprinkles, plus the obvious addition of colouring paste (I use Wilton). This cake is so beautiful, the perfect consistency for stacking so many layers. Dolly didn't move!

I'm not big on full on theming for parties, perhaps I am too lazy or just not organised enough to source everything. I am definitely big on doing it as cheaply as possible. I think I am pretty good at making things look great, while barely denting the bank balance. We had loose connections between food and decorations based around the bubble blowing she requested before we sent out her invitations, together with the rainbow cake. The rainbow cake was genius, because anything goes! And I do love me some colour.


  1. Ohhhhh That Cake! Just gorgeous. I am with you, I love my lists. I love planning for a party and I put so much effort into it that at times I think what on earth am I doing. but when you see the pleasure it brings it just makes you all warm and gooey inside. Well done hun - hope you are now relaxing and basking in the joy of all your work for your gorgeous girl. xx

  2. You know you took the words out of my mouth - five is a big deal! We were the same growing up - birthday parties for the 'big' ages. It makes them so much more special, and also means I can go all out a bit more than I would if we had them every year!
    Definitely need the lists for party prep, and I'm learning, the earlier I start the better. I say this as I'm sitting up making decorations for our pending party! I love the party prep too, getting things right in your head and hoping they work in real life! I may well be over it come next Sunday morning though. Oh, and always on a budget. $1 pack tissue paper - hell yeah!
    You did such a good job with the cake, it looks amazing!! And I absolutely love the loot bags. Ruby did so well with the drawings and the notes.
    How can they be five??

  3. Oh, forgot to ask, are your cookies sugar cookies? X

  4. Oh wow. You did a wonderful job Mama! Is that home made honeycomb? Mind sharing the recipe?

  5. OH MY GOODNESS! you are all kinds of awesome my friend!! And I love the the lolly bags, the best! xx


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