While Noah and a group of his friends went laser tagging this year,
the small girl decided that she would prefer to have a high tea at home for her birthday.
I love planning and making a party happen and Ivy and I have enjoyed looking through the internet on hospital days deciding just what she’d like
and because I’ve found a lot of great things along the way to the great high tea of 2013
I thought I would share.
Also, I just want to show you all of the photos!
I had so much fun making this party a reality.
First things first -
Ivy and I sat down and talked about what she wanted for the day.
The first thing she said was a lolly bar
and the second thing she said was a rainbow cake.
She thought a craft activity would be good and some games as well
and she also liked the idea of a photo booth, which was my one and only suggestion for the day.
The party was scheduled to go for two hours, so I thought we would need to keep things structured and simple
and she wanted pastel colours.
These were printouts made by the same company that I bought most of the party paraphernalia from.
I was sent the files via email and just printed them out at home.
Of course, you could easily make them yourself if you wanted to. I just didn’t have it in me, so I was thankful for someone else’s handy work.
So sweet and we dressed them up with ribbon from the two dollar shop and little cards from Typo.
Sweet Little Soiree is an online store and reasonably local to us but they delivery Australiawide.
I first came across them at some markets, where I was drawn to their lolly jars.
After getting a few things I ended up ordering a package online.
They have everything you could imagine and then some for that kind of old world feel and everything in between to make the party as whimsical as you’d like.
Their service is super fast and they are friendly too.
Note: while all care was taken by the company, Australia Post were a bit rough on the delivery and consequently a couple of things were broken.
My advice is, if you can buy them and bring them home personally then all the better but home delivery is still a good option, so long as you’re ready for the possibility of breaks.
I replaced the two broken jars with two deliciously shaped ones from one of those Hot Dollar places
and then because I am a sucker for home wear, I bought two more from a different bargain store.
While it is very easy to spend loads of money on party things these days (the initial outlay for the package was roughly $200) it’s also easy to add to it quite cheaply.
Those bargain shops were fantastic, once I knew what I needed.
We bought extra paper staws, paper lanterns and paper pom poms, some diamontes and other bits and bobs from there
along with some cute little dixie cups, which came with cute wooden spoons for ice cream.
It’s also where we got all of the party favours and the jars that were used for the girls’ take home sweets
and it’s because of shops like this that I was able to afford to do it.
I had so much fun repainting an old side board that we had been given when we first moved out of home
and an old table that I purchased, along with some old wooden apple carts from Molly Retro Store
Other things that I purchased for the day included a cake tray or two
and these gorgeous display stands from Sorelle Designs.
I found them when I was exploring Pinterest for ideas – they were Australian, I loved the colours and the prices were good too.
On a side note: Pinterest has the best cache of everything party.
You can spend hours just getting lost in all of the beautiful things pinned in there.
Bunting and garlands seem to be the way to go for parties like this, so I started by taking the little print outs that came with the ivitations
and attached them to some twine, with sticky tape. I scratched them up a bit to make them look worn and then added in doilies, folded over 1/3 of the way and glued to the string.
In between each bunting flag I added in off cuts of ribbon.
They turned out really nicely and Ivy was very happy with them.
I used some little felt ball garlands from Typo that I found (which were on special) and gorgeous fabric bunting that a friend made for the girl.
Along with the paper lanterns and tissue paper pom poms we used a gorgeous tea set, that was lent to us by a friend as the table’s centre piece and filled little tea cups with flowers.
We popped them around the house, with some of Ivy’s favourite ornaments and were really happy with the way things looked.
The little owl vases also came from Typo and were perfect for holding the lollipops and the party favours.
You can’t have a lolly bar without lollies and lots of them and I sourced these from an online lolly wholesaler called The Professors.
They have an amazing range and have virtually anything you could imagine, including lollies that are gluten and dairy free.
We wanted to stick to our pastel colour scheme too and they made it very easy to do that.
In the end Ivy and I chose;
* yellow shimmer gumballs
* pink and white jellybeans
* bubblegum flavoured clouds
* pink piggies
* blue acid drops
* pink sherberts
* white chocolate frogs (not gf or free of lactose)
* rhubarb and custard bon bons
* “love notes” (little, hard, chalky candies with words of love printed on them)
and these little purple things called “sixlets” which are a bit like M&M’s as in they had a hard shell and chocolate in the middle.
Finally the girl picked some yellow and pink swirled lollipops too.
On a side note, I ordered quite a lot and this was because I doubled up for the boys’ party bags, for Noah’s party too.
We made cupcakes, iced biscuits, fairy bread and the macarons were sourced from a little place called Exquisite Cakes locally.
I also made homemade sausage rolls and chicken bites and everything was gluten and lactose free.
The girls were none the wiser.
To finish things off, Maddy made some strawberry shortcake ice cream.
For drinks I made one big vat of strawberry lemonade and another of (lactose free) strawberry milk, which we served up in little glass bottles and were loved by everyone.
Because it was an afternoon tea we only really made enough for each girl to have one or two of each thing, knowing that the lolly bar would be kept until the very end
and that the girls were welcome to go crazy there.
I wanted something easy that went along with the theme of the party and so we decided that we would decorate hats.
We purchased $2 hats from the Hot Dollar store, along with some feathers, flowers and ribbon.
The girls each decorated their own hat – they could make it as simple or as flamboyant as they liked and then the big girls helped them to stick their accessories on with a hot glue gun.
Everyone had fun and finished their headwear off with a feather boa (which I brought from here) to drape around their necks.
It completed the picture of twelve little ladies (and one Gran) who had come to tea.
I had a couple of games up my sleeve for the day but in the end we only had time for one.
The teapot relay is a team game where each child scoops some water into their tea cup, carries it as quickly as they can on top of their heads
and then without the cup leaving its position they attempt to pour the water into the teapot.
It had been pouring with rain just the day before and so at the last minute I decided that water races inside the house wasn’t going to end well for anyone
so I switched the water for glitter (not much better inside , I know but at least I could spread it around a little more with the vacuum cleaner afterwards).
As it turned out the sun was shining the next day and we could play outside.
It was fast and furious
The reason we only had time for one game was the photobooth.
I set it up simply, with a sheet pinned to a wall.
Sweet Little Soiree had a cute cut-out package full of glasses and moustaches in the package
but we added some felt animal masks that were made in pastel colours by the talented people at Mahalo
and some floral head pieces, along with their hats and boas.
Add in a dog or two and some funny faces and you easily have over 30 minutes of fun.
The girls all had a blast (especially my crazy girls)!
Ivy decided that she didn’t need a huge cake but she wanted it to be pastel rainbow inside, none the less.
I found some mini moulds in a Japanese shop called Daiso but you could also use a large,clean tin can as well, which I’ve done before.
It was just a matter of making up one big cake mix and then separating it into six, adding the colouring and then after they had cooked,
layering them with icing sandwiched in between.
I always find that if I make the cake a few days before and freeze it it will
a) be ready on time (very important!)
b) hold together really well when you ice it
and c) stay fresh while it’s on display at the party.
In the end I kept it very simple on the outside, with baby pink icing
and topped it off with a china teacup, full of roses and a sweet little sparkly 8 (which I found at Spotlight)
and candles, of course.
I was pleased with how it turned out and the small girl was thrilled.
At the end of the day (party favours).
We had the lolly bar – where the girls were able to select their own lollies.
This was such a novelty – I would definitely do it again.
The girls loved being able to choose
and it was quite sweet that when they were asked how many of each lolly they would like, how their eyes lit up when they were told they could have as many as they wanted.
To thank them for helping Ivy celebrate each friend was given a little teacup and a trinket box with a nail polish and a little eraser inside,
they could also choose, if they wanted a pencil and some bubbles to add to their stash
and they were each given a balloon to take home.
It was a really nice couple of hours and with lots of forward planning and preparing, I was able to enjoy all of it too.
Ivy (who was unfortunately not feeling the best) had a lovely day.
As much as I love doing together things for the twins on their birthday there was something to be said for separating their collective parties.
We celebrated as a family in the morning, which was great
but it was so good for David to be able to spend good quality time with Noah and his friends being as wild as boys can be
and for me to be able to make Ivy’s birthday wish a reality.
* loves lego, gadgets, minecraft and anything remote controlled. If he’s not building something, he’s pulling it apart to see how it works.
* has had and continues to have an obsession with the Titanic (when he was three he made me look up the day that it sank – 14th of April 1912, in case you wanted to know). Has asked for a model of the Titanic to build for Christmas (is getting it).
* is two whole minutes older than his sister. This is very important in the grand scheme of all things twin.
* is insanely ticklish everywhere and has the best laugh in the whole world. We realised he was ticklish when he was still in the NICU and I stroked his little feet, which were immediately pulled up and out of the way. I think his feet are his most ticklish part, although his collarbone area is sensitive too.
* favourite food is still spaghetti bolognese, although he has quite a sweet tooth at the moment and has a gift for sniffing out chocolate.
* has an alter ego called “Monsieur Chicken” who is very cheeky but can get away with it…mostly. Monsieur Chicken gets the blame for most naughty happenings in Noah’s life.
* always has at least five questions for everything you have to say.
Eg; Me: “Noah, please wash your plate after you’ve finished dinner.”
N: “Do you think cavemen had to wash dishes after they ate?”
” I wonder what cavemen used as plates…or ate for dinner for that matter. Do you think they had spaghetti?”
” Is there a plate that washes itself yet because if there isn’t I could invent one and make lots of money and never have to wash a dish again.”
” Why do we wash plates after we eat off them anyway, they’re only going to get dirty again the next day”.
” Mum, why are dishes called dishes, why aren’t they called something else like ‘curvy food holders’”.
* has been counting down to this day since the end of September.
Turning eight is very exciting, apparently.
* loves to read, sing, create artworks, play with things with lots of small pieces, draw, write – in her diary, letters to her doctor, information on raising baby chickens (her current obsession) and, of course, dance.
* cuts paper into tiny pieces and sorts them into three containers when she is stressed, upset or trying to work something out.
* would choose stationary over almost anything else. Especially pens and notebooks but also erasers, sharpeners and stickers. Anything crafty comes in a close second.
* maintains that pumpkin soup is her favourite thing to eat, even though the last time she had a tummy bug it was her last meal before she got sick (we all know what that means) and she has not once asked for it since.
* is still upset that Gumboots ( one of her favourite children’s clothing stores) changed over to Pavement and now only stocks sizes 7 – 16, when she is only a size 4. It’s been over a year.
* has a small and somewhat inappropriate love of liquid foundation, much to her older sisters’ disgust as theirs is often missing, along with their other essential make-up items.
* claims that she is some kind of animal whisperer and that all animals are drawn to her because she can communicate with them via some sort of Ivy-to-creature telepathy.
* loves a good sleep in, doesn’t really do mornings very well at all but will be making an exception on her birthday because: pancakes and presents!
Birthdays are worth getting up early for.
Happiest of birthdays to my big (very excited) eight year olds!
I don’t know why but I’m grumpy.
It’s something I can’t quite put my finger on.
Actually, maybe I can but I don’t know how to talk about it
I’m not sure.
I do know I’ve been out of sorts since I agreed to Ivy having surgery next week
and as each day passes, the closer we get to the 6th
the worse I feel.
They tell me it’s nothing – a search and biopsy but when is any kind of surgery nothing to a mother.
It’s where it is.
It feels like a violation to me.
The small girl is handling things a lot better than I.
She knows it’s a ‘yucky’ procedure but in total maturity says that she’ll be asleep, so will be none the wiser.
If only I could be so zen.
It could also be that we have been (and are) doing the days leading up to the operation without IV antibiotics
and I never know what I am going to wake up to – whether Ivy will remain well
or be sick
and when I see her heart rate climbing and her energy waning I can’t help but feel on edge.
I just hope she can hold it together for her birthday.
I just hope that I can.
Crying at a school meeting today was by far not my finest moment.
The girl is struggling to keep up with her peers now because of all of her hospital time
and next year there will be a teacher change, when we had just learned to feel safe.
Of course, that’s right.
I’ve accepted that with all of my kids – it’s a part of moving through school
but Ivy and Noah’s teacher this year has been like a second mother – to all of us.
It’s just hard to let that go, I guess -
to give up her safety net.
I feel so far behind in every aspect of life right now -
even simple things like the mail
and staying on top of all of the end of year goings on,
lost in my own need to keep up and slow everything down.
I hope that I can get rid of the grumps soon.
Maybe some therapeutic chocolate will help.