Saturday, 4 May 2013

Pirate Tea as easy as 1, 2, 3!!

Avast me Hearties! Come join me in an adventure on the highs seas!
I do love a pirate theme so we had lots of fun last night when the kids had a couple of friends round for tea. I have some tips for the most easy party ever and even a recipe to share with you today!

At the beginning of the week, I decided to add a pirate them to tea for the kids, so I sat down and thought of  what food I could do and some piratey names! I didn't want party type food so decided on baked potatoes with beans (Treasure chests filled with rubies!), carrot sticks (peg legs!), sweetcorn (pirate teeth!) and chicken dippers (Golden nuggets!). I also included potato waffles (pirate rafts) and spaghetti hoops (pirate hoop ear-rings) as my son doesn't like baked potatoes! So , really easy and nothing I wouldn't normally make but livened up with cool names!
 I used the circle tags from my kit to make little picks for the treasure chests.
 Food trays are great for serving and labelling food so the golden nuggets, peg legs, rafts and treasure chests  were served up in these.

 The gold teeth and pirate ear-rings were served in some plastic serving bowls and I used some menu cards to label these.
 My trusty mini milk bottles were brought out and labelled with each child's name (no more wondering who's cup is whose) and of course a pirate straw flag was added to each! I also re-labelled some water bottles with Salty Brine labels. A popcorn treat box was filled with some large chocolate jazzies and sweetie necklaces as treasure for after the main food.
As an activity to keep the kids busy, they made and decorated their own cupcakes. These were then popped into cupcake wrappers and a cupcake topper was added.
Everything was served up on the table with a treasure chest and jewels (this was from a treasure hunt game my son has which we played before eating). The kids really enjoyed it and it was pretty easy to prepare and clean up afterwards.

The Golden Nuggets were home made and you can get a free recipe sheet here.
So, I hope this has helped to give you some inspiration for any pirate themed party you have and also show you that entertaining can be easy! And don't forget that once you have your printable package you can use them over and over again!
Take care
Suz x

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Pirates In The Jungle??

Well I have been busy over the last week designing two new kits! We have pirates and a jungle theme - two things I love!!
I've made up a few samples of some of the products to show you.
I've also been adding some new items to my usual kit - large and small bottle wraps, popcorn boxes, my ever favourite circle tags, straw flags and a small food tray.
First, some photos of my circle tags! If you only get one product for your party then this is the one to get! My kids came in the kitchen while I was taking photos and immediately asked if they could have a drink in the mini milk bottles with their own name tags on!! They just love them!
You can use these tags to tie around bottles and jars for drinking from, as little picks for sandwiches with the fillings written on, tied onto a party bag or as a cupcake topper. I invested in a 2" circle punch (about £10 from Hobbycraft). It's so much easier and quicker than cutting by hand so if you plan on using them a lot then it's well worth it.
Many of these products can be used for any occasion - make tea a bit more fun when the kids have a friend over!, during the school holidays have a fab teddy bear picnic out in the garden. The downloadable products on my website can be printed off as many times as you want so have fun and create some fantastic memories!
I'll leave you with last photo (but check out my facebook page for many more, here). I'm really quite proud of this little mini envelope as I wrote the piratey poem on the back myself! It comes with a mini map to help your budding captains find the hidden treasure! They are really easy to make and filled with small sweets or a golden chocolate coin would make great party bag fillers or special prizes at the end of a treasure hunt.
Have fun and take care
Suz x

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Can You Afford A Party?

Hello and good morning to you all. We've had a bit more snow again this week but the sun is out today and I'm told that spring might actually make an appearance this year sometime soon!!
I thought I share a couple of articles I found this morning on the price of price and the competition to give your child the best party ever!! Party competitiveness is certainly something I've noticed in the past with my kids friend's parties, although in recent years most of the parties have been more at home parties which the kids really do enjoy. From my experience, just having something a little special is enough to make them go "Wow!" and really make the party.
Here are the links to the two articles I found
Extravagant Parties and Planning Children's Parties
I will continue to search out new ideas which are affordable and easy to organise to help you in your party planning.
My two youngest are both already planning their birthday parties with me (they're also already thinking ahead to next year!!) so I will share ideas we have come up with. My son is autistic so parties have always been quite difficult for him as he gets stressed with too many people around. He also likes to be organised so we have a mind map with ideas for the party. We have started with the theme he wants and branched off with games he'd like and ways to theme them, food he wants and again ideas for themes and we've thought about the party bags and things that would actually be used to put in them.
My daughter is far less fussy and will be happy as long as she has her friends and cake!! Easy!!

Well, for now, goodbye and take care
Suz x

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Easter Lunch

Well, I hope you are all having a lovely weekend and enjoying the Chocolate!! Apologies to any of you on diets who are managing to be good (a big well done to you as well!!).

I organised a little last minute Easter lunch and treasure hunt for my two youngest and their friend who stayed for a sleepover last night. Luckily I had a few bits and pieces left over from last year - cups, plates and napkins but most of it was designed, printed cut and assembled this morning!!

First up, and idea I've been waiting to show you for a couple of weeks now! A few weeks back I posted about my new mini milk bottles. Now these are really cute and I love them but at about £12 for 6 they're not cheap and being glass there is always a risk that one or more will get broken at some point. So one day as I was washing out jars for recycling an idea struck me that the right sized jar would make lovely little bottle glasses for parties. The jars I've used are sandwich paste jars (luckily Theo has an obsession with sandwich paste at the moment so I've got quite a few!!). These jars are only slightly smaller than the milk bottles and the kids thought they were the milk bottles so an excellent result there!

I tied circle tags onto the necks of the jars using green and yellow curling ribbon (from Hobbycraft's Easter range) and popped in a green straw with a straw flag on. 
Next up, I made up some popcorn boxes and emptied a packet of crisps into each.
These little boxes have now been secreted away to the den in the wardrobe where things are just a little too quiet!!
I simply added a sandwich pick (circle tag taped to a cocktail stick) to a plate of sandwiches and added some tomatoes and cucumber at the side. Very easy but effective.
And to finish off, some cupcakes with toppers. These are shop bought cakes which I had in (99p from Home Bargains and great for lunch boxes too!). 
So a lovely little lunch and very easy to do. I'll be completing some more items in this kit for a more substantial and better planned party and they will available from the website in time for next year. 
I hope this post has given you more ideas for planning parties or even just special lunches and teas for when the kids have friends round! With this in mind, I think I'll design some mini tea party kits in a few different themes that can be used any time of the year. 
So for now, it's a goodbye from me and I hope you enjoy the rest of the Easter weekend.
Hugs, Suz x

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Mouth Watering Melon Lollies!

Make these really simple and healthy lollies to bring a touch of summer to your parties!! They're really easy to make and might even entice fussy eaters to try some fruit.
Step 1. Slice the melon into strips. For the larger slices in the middle, cut in half down the middle.
Step 2. make a slit in the bottom of each melon slice with a sharp knife.
Step 3. Insert a lolly stick into the slit and hey presto, fabulously mouthwatering lollies!

Why not try it with different types of melon, bananas and large strawberries. You could even drizzle some chocolate over them (especially the banana and strawberry ones!).

Remember to keep checking back for more inspiring party ideas!
Suz x

Thursday, 21 March 2013

What Shall I Do With Them Now?

One of the most important things to get right when having a party is entertainment! I can't think of much worse things than a group of kids running around with nothing to do especially if the party is at your house!
Classic party are great and they're classic for a good reason. Most of the children will already know how to play and they are usually easy to organise too. The first ones which spring to my mind are Musical Bumps, Statues or Chairs, Pass the Parcel, Corners, Simon Says and Pin the Tail On The Donkey. These games can easily be revamped and themed to your party too.

Musical Bumps, Statues or Chairs
If space is limited then musical chairs might not be very safe. You could use cushions instead or cut shapes from paper to fit with your theme - a shield shape for a Knights party, a crown for a Princess theme, wings for Fairies, eggs would work for dinosaurs or Easter. You could even have the children decorate the shapes with crayons before the game as an extra activity if you like.
Rather than just asking the children to dance you could get them to do different actions before they sit down or become statues. I've often found that some children feel a bit shy about dancing or are rather cunning and don't move too much so it's easier to become to a statue. Again, you could customise the game to your party theme by doing appropriate actions.
To make musical statues more interesting ask the children to pose in a particular way when they become a statue! I'm currently listing jungle animals for a jungle themed statue game for my son's party - I have a snake (children could lie down), a crocodile (perhaps they might use their arms and hands as jaws) and a nice easy elephant! This is great way to get the children really engaged and using their imaginations and I'm sure there'll be lots of giggling as they try to think of something for more tricky poses! How about offering extra prizes for the best pose, the silliest pose and the most giggling!

Pass The Parcel
One of my favourites! You can add a small sweet in each layer so everyone gets something which is always popular or I have seen this game played with the child who has just unwrapped a layer then sitting out so that everyone only gets one turn. Another way I've seen this played is with a slip of paper in each layer with a challenge on which the child then has to do such as sing a nursery rhyme, tell a joke. I would be cautious with this as some children will find it very difficult to do anything in front of others, but if you know you're guests will be fairly confident then this could work very well and adds depth to the game.
For groups of slightly shyer children (like me!!) I thought that having a "fortune" in each layer would be nice. Again, these could easily be themed so at a princess party you might get the fortune "You will meet a handsome prince".
I do have some plans to make a sheet of fortunes and challenges in different themes which can be used for games like this (also great in crackers and party bags).

A fairly good space is needed for this game and for anyone who doesn't know the rules, you simply have four corners of a room assigned a different name (colours or something to fit with your theme). Stick up a piece of paper or card with a picture on to remind everyone which corner is which. You play music and the children dance: when the music stops the children have to run to a corner. Some would be the caller and without looking will then call out a corner (ie blue) any children in that corner are out and the game carries on until you only have one child left (or maybe 2 or 3 if time is running short).

Simon Says
I'm pretty sure we all know how to play this game. Another easy one to theme by changing Simon to The king, the fairy queen, Obi Wan Kenobi! And again the actions you ask the children can include some themed ideas - wave your wand, Strike down the Emperor! You don't need too many special actions, just add a few in with all the normal stuff like clapping hands, jumping and wiggling bottoms!

Pin The Tail On The Donkey
A little artistic skill may be needed here but I find children are pretty forgiving if your dinosaur looks more like a poorly cat!! Using a piece of wallpaper for your picture will keep costs down. If the children are quite young then just blindfolding them but older children can be spun around once or twice (try to gauge their ability so the game isn't too easy but they do have a chance!).

Well, I hope this has given you some ideas for simple games. Look out for future posts on booking an entertainer, doing something crafty, timetabling the party, party bags and food presentation.

Suz xx

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Red Nose Day Fundraising Set

I had a little idea yesterday afternoon of making a party set for anyone who is planning a Red Nose Day Party and donating the proceeds to Comic Relief. I set to work straight away and designed a set with some party basics in it.
I wanted to get some photos of the set in action so Theo and I spent the day baking, cutting and glueing to create a yummy dinner for the family! I'm afraid the photos are not that brilliant as I have quite low lighting in the living room and it gets dark pretty early at this time of year up in the frozen North!!

Above you can see the full spread of goodies!
We made two sizes of cupcakes. The larger ones were decorated with butter cream and half a strawberry (see they are healthy!) and the smaller ones with a circle of red icing (to look a bit like a red nose) and then topped with a mini tag on a cocktail stick. Theo wanted something to take into school on Monday so there are lots of little ones!
I taped a mini tag onto soufflĂ© pots to serve ketchup and mayonnaise and the food trays from the set were filled with crisps and homemade jam donuts!! Oh, and they taste so yummy!! You can find the recipe we used here.
I used my mini milk bottles to serve juice and water. They look great with a mini tag tied on with red ribbon and the straw flags on black straws. This was a very last minute idea and so I made do with what I had in - you could obviously use red straws, plates, napkins etc but I hope this shows you that you can make your party great without spending a fortune!
As a main savoury dish I made homemade popcorn chicken and popped them into the popcorn boxes!
I must say I had lots of fun and the hubby said the donuts tasted like they were from a bakery!! The kids were over the moon and Theo is looking forward to taking some cakes into school.

So.... want to help raise some money for Comic Relief and have a fantastic party at the same time? Maybe you help with Guides, Brownies, Cubs, youth club or school? This set is really easy to use so you can get the kids involved and don't need to be an experienced crafter.
You can download the set for £3 from here, by contacting me on my Facebook page here or email me at All except the paypal fees (20p) will go to Comic Relief and for every 10 sets sold I will donate an extra £1.
Oh, please do share any photos of your parties and fundraising with us!
Hugs Suz x