The One with the Birthday Party

I bloody love hosting a party.  There is literally nothing I love sinking my teeth into more than planning a party or other event.  It may be time-consuming, complicated, flipping expensive and incredibly stressful when something goes wrong, but I love it!  Nothing beats the satisfaction of watching an event run exactly the way you planned it.

Last weekend was Moogle’s 5th birthday party.  As usual, I had got completely carried away and decided to go bigger and better than ever before.

The hardest part was trying to get Moogle to decide on a theme.  In the past we have had Princesses, Fairytales and Sofia the First but this time around she just couldn’t decide.  First it was Frozen, then Wizard of Oz, then Frozen again.  Eventually we had an evening where she was in fits of tears because she couldn’t make her mind up.  (First world problems, I know)

Mummy to the rescue, I came up with a plan: A “Favourite Things” party, where we could include anything and everything.

I then spent weeks meticulously planning the decorations, entertainment and refreshments that would be on offer.  After a week of solid baking and organising, the big day arrived.

We had arranged for a DJ to host the party as he had promised that he managed the whole event and I didn’t have to do a thing.  The only time he was free was 10am-12noon, which I did think was a little bit early for  a party, but didn’t really have much choice.  The entertainment also cost £160 which was a tad more than I wanted to spend, but I was not disappointed.

From beginning to end, the DJ kept the children happy and entertained.  He played some fabulous age-appropriate games, provided his own prizes, brought a special birthday hat for Moogle and even helped serve the children at the food break.  I couldn’t have been more pleased with him.

I kept the decorations relatively simple – I just recycled some old birthday banners that I had stashed away in the party box.  I did buy balloons, but rather than spending money on expensive canisters of helium I bought balloon sticks to tie them to.  This was actually a great idea for two reasons.  Not only was it cheaper than helium balloons but it also saved on the tidying up as the children took most of the balloons home with them.

The food was a very straight-forward party buffet with sandwiches, sausage rolls and all the trimmings.  For desserts we have chocolate mini-rolls, party rings and Jammy Dodger cupcakes (The recipe came courtesy of Lauren’s Looks – you can find it here).

The cake was particularly tricky.  It was supposed to represent lots of things that Moogle likes, so the bottom tier was based around Wizard of Oz and Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat, the middle tier was all about Frozen and the top tier had bunnies on it. (Moogle has a toy bunny that never leaves her side.)

The cake was ridiculously complicated to make and there was a point when I thought I’d never finish it, but I was quite pleased with the finished result.  And as long as you don’t look at the back, you’d never notice the creased and cracked icing!

I think one of the birthday girl’s favourite parts was handing out the party bags.  In an effort to cut down on cost I chose simple sellaphane bags, filled with all of Moogle’s fave party treats – lollipops, haribo, a notepad and pencil set – not forgetting the essential piece of cake.

All in all, I think the party was a roaring success.  I don’t think we had on hitch in the whole proceedings – which is practically unheard of!

The most important thing, of course, is that Moogle and her friends had a fantastic time.  When I see their little smiling faces enjoying themselves then it makes me feel so good about myself.  I know I’m not the best mummy in the world.  I’m messy, can be forgetful and I lose my temper far too quickly, but I do try my hardest to keep my little ones happy and make their dreams come true.  So maybe I’m not all bad….

Are you currently planning a party or event?  Do you have any tips you could share to keep things running smoothly?  Or do you avoid party planning like the plague?  Leave a comment below.

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