Party Planning for a 6 Year Old (eek)

So this week is my little lady’s 6th birthday, excuse me whilst I fan myself down, knock back a bottle of gin and lay down for a while, but yes, she is growing up (runs away and weeps).  Ok, ok I’m pulling my self together.  I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of these packaged birthday scenes everyone seems so into these days, or is that just Solihull?  I know the kids love them. in fact I have been to some pretty awesome ones this year.  And look life is busy, life is hectic and if it pleases your child and makes your life easier, then go you, in fact, maybe I should have done that, no really *quickly wipes beads of sweat from brow*.  However, I really like that I can, just about, still string a home made, home based party together and M will still have an ace time.  A couple of classic party games, a bit of cheese and pineapple, a bowl of ice cream and a party bag, you can’t fault it can you?  Anyway as always the anxiety has begun, ha ha, I told you I’m not knocking your pre made parties, you seem like fun but I love a struggle!  So I’ve pinned, see here.  I’ve planned, see mad sleepless night’s mind map below, and I think I’m nearly there.

mind mapSo to start with, I had plans of buying invites, of course I forgot and ended up having to make (this aint as glamorous as it sounds) and print them myself. Canva is brilliant for this stuff, fling together a background and some text and it looks like you’ve had the invites designed for you, well I hope it did?

Megan's Birthday

So onto entertainment, party games are where it is at, so the plan is fairly simple:

When they (the small ones, beware) get there, whack on the bubble machine, a little inane music and let them run wild, whilst children assemble offer face painting. a skill you may have picked up on Pinterest and now realise is something you could possibly do as a career should something awful occur at work and you be forced to set up your own business, just saying.

Once all the guests have arrived, commence the schedule (there is precision here, I am a teacher you know).

1.  Activity – Design your own party bags (previously ordered 10x canvas drawstring bags and 3 packets of fabric pens)

2.  Wind it up – musical bumps

3.  Classic, can’t be missed – pin the tail on the donkey

4.  Treasure hunt – preparation well and truly delegated to Grandma, she did them so well when I was a child it would be rude not to

5.  Gather the children for the finale, party would not be a party without, PASS THE freaking PARCEL – it’s always a winner, well it is if you wrap interim presents right?

6.  The FOOD – last year we delegated well, again, to Grandad, it was ace but under appreciated (aka he made so much we wasted half of it) so this year we are pairing down and simplifying, the dinner this year is simply pizza and ice cream.  Slices of warm cheese and tomato doled out to all, a notional offer of crudites and hummus to make me feel ever so slightly virtuous.   And then for pudding, ice cream, I have dreams of going all Pinterest (I know I’m obsessed) and providing individual jars of the stuff with an array of sprinkles but inevitably the paper bowls will be out and the kids will still love it.

7.  Cake – candles burning, wax melting, clanging chorus of  ‘Happy Birthday’.  Cake generously provided by amazeball chef Grandad or bought from local supermarket, equally pleasing birthday girl.  Sliced, packed in party bags with essential bubbles, balloon, toys (Amazon has been a hero here with multi buys of springs and finger puppets for bargain prices) and sweeties/chocolates (of course).

8. Children slowly depart.  Daughter runs round in circles for next hour on sugar high.  Mother collapses, only intravenous drip of wine will revive her now.

Done! Well that’s the plan anyway…

Maybe Mcdonalds wouldn’t be frowned apon for next year?  What do you do for your children’s birthdays?

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Adventures in Half Term

So this week, as well as whipping by like lightning, has been blissful. I love holiday times with my little lady and feel very lucky to be able to spend most of these days with her.

Monday began the holidays with Twycross Zoo, just a 40 minute drive from us and a guaranteed fun day out.  Tuesday found us wandering down our local canal, feeding the ducks and muttering about how we really should do this more.  Wednesday with more rain, was spent with a quick trip to the supermarket and a potter round the newly housed local library then an afternoon slobbed out on the sofa watching Tinkerbell (living the dream!).

half term fun
Then today, well today was a special day. We began with a trip to the morning showing of ‘Charlie and Lola’s Extremely New Play’ at the REP theatre in Birmingham, well wow, it was simply magical. I won’t give away too much but I highly recommend this production, the puppetry is amazing and I found myself grinning from ear to ear throughout the whole show. It’s on until Saturday here in Birmingham, see here for details. We have seen this company before in Wimbledon at the Polka Theatre, an awesome children’s theatre in south London so I was so excited to hear they were touring and dropping by on old Brum with their new production.

day out 29th may

The second wonderous event today ( I won’t count the unfortunate trip to Monsoon and the calamitous accidental purchasing of not one, but two, oh ok, three items of beautiful clothing in between, that is to be kept between me and you ok?).  Anyway, if it wasn’t for my stumbling on a few bargains, which may have hampered our chances of being seated immediately at a couple of other restaurants,  we wouldn’t have been forced to try the new burger joint in the Bull Ring shopping centre . So Five Guys, oh my. It. Is. AMAZING. I had thought the delights of such dirty, filthy American burgers would never come to the tropical climes of Birmingham, but they have. AND…drum roll please, they only go and cater for coeliacs. Now don’t go all ape on me dear readers they didn’t go so far as offering gluten free buns, although their website does state you can bring your on should you wish. They do however offer god damn delicious, delectable and down right d__________ (you fill the blank with an appropriate alliterative adjective, go on spoil yourself) bun free burgers with ALL the toppings and frankly fantastic chips, golden brown, skin on, crispy, salty goodness (most importantly for us coeliacs, not cross contaminated by any other frying, just pure glorious potatoes). I’m dribbling salivating just thinking about them.  *Sigh* People of Birmingham, people of anywhere, seek this place out, it’s awesome.

Ok, and onto the third and final, ok maybe less monumental but equally wonderful flavour revelation of the day, and feeling rather virtuous too I might add.  I may be a tad late to the party on this one, but when seeking out a naughty little sweet something before we popped on the train home, we found Yoomoo frozen yoghurt stand in the Food Hall in Selfridges.  I don’t know why I’ve never tried this before but boy is it good, we had a vanilla pot with strawberries, white chocolate buttons and chocolate sauce (good choice lil m) and I have to say me and my little companion were mighty pleased with our choice.

So after another classic game of eye-spy on the train back, we are home, cartoons might be on the telly, we might well be planning to *forget* we have washing to sort and we may have turned a blind eye to the mounting  toy covered carpet in the living room, but who cares, we had an ace day and I hope you didn’t mind me sharing it with you.

What have you been up to this week?

 

Changes Afoot…

If there is anyone out there, I just thought I should let you know I’m making a few changes.  I haven’t written a blog post here for quite some time because it just wasn’t working for me, partly because my life changed and things got a bit hectic but partly because I felt a bit limited.  So, a change is as good as rest, so they say, and that is what I’m up to.  I’m hoping to expand my repertoire, give you a little window into more that makes me and just have a place to put stuff, you know STUFF, other things apart from food, well, as well as food (I wouldn’t desert you like that dear food).  So to start we have change of name.  Ice Cream Castles, a lyric from one of my favourite Joni Mitchell songs.  Google it. 

See you soon jelly spoons…