Sunday, 13 October 2013

Hello!! I'm Back!

Hello - I can't believe how it's been since I last posted! And so much has happened since then! The kids went back to school, we had Nienna's postponed birthday party, my eldest daughter turned 18 and moved into her own flat, my mum went into hospital for an op and my sister and her son came up to help me out with her and my Grandma!!! Phew!!
OK, so tonight I'll just share some of the photos from Nienna's very girly pink Cotton Candy party. I must say that this party turned out exactly how I imagined it in my head and I was so pleased with everything. I really went to town on the small details and they paid off - although I discovered that the piping bags I had were of very little use what-so-ever! I'll be looking for some tips in that department if you have any to share.
First up - I decided to get really creative in the kitchen and make my own chocolate cupcake toppers in the shape of the cotton candy and lollipops I designed for the printables.
Piping with candy melts really isn't easy as they set so quickly and the oil from the chocolate was just being squeezed through the material of the piping bag!! I was a bit disappointed with these until I turned them over and this was the result I got!!
 Not bad for an amateur! I also attempted cookie pops and macarons for the first time too!! I like to live dangerously! My macarons were something of a disaster, albeit a rather yummy tasting disaster!

The photo below shows the table setting with a cake pop, cookie pop and name pop alongside a little vase with pink gerbera and a mini milk bottle with pink paper straw (and flag).
Each girl had a doily place mat and Nienna helped me to add half a small doily to each of the vases and the milk bottles too.
I think the different shades of pink flowers worked really well on the tables and instantly added a professional touch with the need for any fancy flower arranging skills which is something I don't have!
The mini Pick and Mix table was a huge success as usual. I honestly suggest having something like this at the next party you throw for your kids. It doesn't have to cost the earth as you can pick up good offers on sweets in the supermarkets and the discount stores are fantastic for sweets too. I used a couple of small fishbowl vases, one tall candle holder type glass, some plastic cocktails glasses from Poundland and little sandwich paste jars with party circle tags on. All the sweets were pink and the little pots in the middle are ice cream pots from Home Bargains.
As it was a very girly party, I provided some make up from my rather pathetic stash for them to play with!! They also had nail varnish which had a little pen applicator and a stash of gems built in to the bottle!! They each got to take one of these home along with a hairbrush and these fabulous handbag gift bags which had lots of goodies inside.
Now, no self respecting Cotton Candy party would be complete with some candy floss!! Thanks to my best friend who lent me her candy floss machine.
And here we have the birthday girl with her candy floss and her birthday cupcake as I didn't make a big cake - far too many sweet things to eat already!

Here's a lovely photo of the girls getting stuck into their cake pops after their lunch.
I'll leave you with other photos of the day and next time I'll share some photos from Lorien's 18th Birthday Horrible Histories party.

Night all, take care
Suz xx

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A Night At The Movies

We had a lovely trip to the Living Room Cinema last night. The food was fantastic and included hot dogs, nachos and cheese, popcorn, pick and mix, cupcakes and sodas.
 I used a stash of old 3D glasses to decorate the table. Large tin buckets from Poundland were used for popcorn. I added depth using boxes wrapped with white wallpaper and a few paper doilies added a nice touch.

We watched Oz, The Great & Powerful and everyone had a great night.
If you want to download any of the printable products click here. And I'd love to see any photos of your movie nights.
Suz x

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Alice In Wonderland Tea Party

Hello! It's me! Did you wonder where I'd gone? I've been spending some time with the family as the kids have been off school for the summer holidays for just over a week now and my eldest daughter has come home to stay for awhile (or maybe longer!).
The Alice In Wonderland party was a great success and we had gorgeous weather! I think it was the hottest day of the year so far!
Above, you can see a small coffee table with an old tea set I found in a charity shop and my 3 tired fruit basket which had little favours of tea bags and candy pouches for guests to enjoy. 
The children at the party really enjoy the mini pick and mix bar. The sweets were mostly from a pound shop or on special offer from the supermarkets so weren't too expensive. At the back there are two fish bowl vases with lollipops and marshmallows and a old glass sweet stand from the charity shop. I also used popcorn treat boxes and food trays from my Wonderland range. Small candy bags and tongs were bought from Amazon.
Delicious red cake pops were also a huge hit with the little ones. You can also see two large tin buckets which we used for popcorn and crisps. 
I'm not much of a flower arranger but I'm really pleased with the arrangements I did using teapots and these tea cup garden decorations. Once again, I kept prices down by buying these from a pound shop and I simply repainted them to match the colour scheme. 
Some bunting from the Wonderland range.
This juice dispenser was a great find at John Lewis. The kids really liked the fact they could get their own drink without having to have an adult open up tight lids on bottles.
Cute mini tea set in a spotty suitcase! Perfect for decorating this party.
This is a selection canvases my daughter painted. They should have hanging around the marquee but it was quite windy and the sides were blowing in a lot so we decided it was safer if they went on the ground. 
My friend made these cool signs which we nailed to a tree! 
Theo as the Doormouse posing in my photobooth frame! Nienna and Lorien added some red hearts for the occasion.
And that's me!! But anyway.... quickly moving on something far prettier...
Here's Nienna as the White Queen!
And finally, napkins with the napkin rings from The Wonderland collection.

So there you have it... my Wonderland Tea Party. I hope it has helped to inspire you with some ideas which are pretty easy to pull off even on a budget.
Take care 
Suz x

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Minion Treat Spoons (and free download!)

Any one who knows me will tell you how much I love the minions from Despicable Me! So much so, I am planning to have a Minions and Unicorns party for my own birthday early next year!! Can't wait to get started on that!!
So you will understand that I was thrilled when I saw these adorable candy spoons from Living Locurto.
Pop on over for a tutorial on how to make them.
Suz x

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Jungle Party!

Good evening
Well today Theo had his jungle themed party and while I'm waiting for the little monkey and his friend to go to sleep (it could take some time!!!) I thought I'd share a few photos from the party. My dad came over before we got started and got some professional photos of the deserts so I'll share them later in the week.
Firstly, here's the birthday monkey himself in our homemade photo booth! I got the inflatable banana and monkey from Amazon (the banana was only 50p!) The kids had lots of fun with both of these and as 10 year old boys tend to do spent the afternoon bashing each other with the banana!
As Theo is autistic, he struggles with large groups of people so the party was very small - we invited 3 guests but only two could make it on the day. He had a meltdown free day (the day before was a different matter but hey ho, that's life in our house!!).

I made this sign using decoupatch to hand over the desert table.
As I said before it was a small party so a huge desert would have been a waste. So, instead of a large table I used a set of shelves (easier on space in a small living room too). I made cake pops which looked (I hope!) like monkeys and some in a plain green. We also had chocolate marshmallows and slices of banana coated in chocolate. The large round brown thing is Theo's birthday cake! More of that later...
I really wanted to have a sweetie pick and mix at the party too and I think that my little food trays worked really well to keep the quantity of sweets right for the number of children.
This part of the party was a huge success! One of Theo's friend's comments was "it's like you have your own sweetie shop". The sweets were bought mostly from Poundland or on special offer from supermarkets. The green apple laces (or jungle vines!) went down a treat and the children were very kind and let me have the last jelly cherry!
The main food was burgers (all home made of course). I also served crisps and fruit and these cute little pots of veggie sticks.
I saw the idea whilst browsing for inspiration. I think it was on Kara's Party Ideas but can't remember for sure! They're made by wrapping a strip of crepe paper round little plastic shot glasses and then tying some green garden string round it. That garden string was an amazing buy! Only £1 and as you'll see it featured quite a bit! Pop a teaspoon of dip into the glass and then add a couple of veggie sticks.
Here's the full spread partly obscured by a late appearance of the sun!

 Plates and cutlery wrapped in napkins.

 Some of the food trays for crisps and fruit.

 Ketchup with more of the garden string wrapped round the top to obscure the label and a napkin ring round the middle.

 Bottles of juice with my bottle wraps to match the theme.

 I used these lovely bright yellow flowers in two small vases to brighten the table up a little bit.

Oooh, look! There's that sunshine again!
And my monkey cake pops. I won't be giving up the day job any time soon but I really enjoyed making these and I think they do kind of look like monkeys!
And lastly, the birthday cake! I was so worried about how this would turn out and half expected a gooey mess but this is what we got when we cut into it....
Here's a link to a tutorial to make a cake like this. I only looked at it briefly to get an idea on what to do then did it my way! I filled this cake with M&M's as I thought it would easier to cut into but you could use whatever sweets you prefer.
Well, I hope this has given you some helpful ideas for your own parties and shown that you can still have a cool party on a budget and for only a small number of guests. Parties don't have to be lavish, huge bank busting affairs - with planning and the willingness to do a bit of DIY craft and baking (and a ball of garden string!!) you can create a fun party which your guests will remember for a long time.
I'm off to see what all the giggling is about and see if I can settle these two monkey's down! Wish me luck...
Good night

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Tutorial - Mini Cupcake Stand

Good Morning to you all. Well. it's been awhile since I posted as I've been busy with a craft fair and getting organised for Theo's birthday party (it's his birthday today - can't believe my baby is 10!!). I had to have some enforced time off after getting a steroid injection in my knee last week too! But I'm back now and have a lovely tutorial to make a mini cupcake stand using one of my printables. These are a really cute way to display some cupcakes or perhaps you could just make one and have the special birthday girl/boy's cupcake on it.
Firstly, download your free cupcake stand printable here, and print out onto card.
Cut out around the outline of the stand. Leave the white ovals in the middle. Score along the lines. Score down through the white ovals too as you will need to fold these bits.
Turn over and apply glue to all areas except the tabs at the top. Now you need to concertina fold the stand together to form a cross shape. The white ovals should be together.
You can now cut out the white ovals.
Fold down the tabs at the top and apply glue to each. Place scalloped circle on the top.
And there you go, a lovely mini cake stand. I hope you have fun with it.
Suz x