Oofey the Magic Dragon

Its that time of year again, Birthday Party Time!!

I had magnificent plans to give Ari a Micky and the Brooms party. I know cool right! I had all my ideas, broom crafting, mdf wand invitations and a magician but thanks to my daughters astounding imagination I’ve had to shelve it all because she is insisting on a Magical Dragon party. Well an Oofey party to be exact. Don’t know who he is? Nor do any of the guests. But, as Mossy always has to remind me “its her birthday let her choose the theme” (insert stamping foot here) Oh well an Oofey party it is then.

Oofey the Dragon came into our life thanks to Australia Post. A little blue guy covered in seagreen spots, with all the love in the world for his new owner Ari. A mighty fight she put in to take him home and to this day I cannot remember whether I made her wait for him or if I did the unthinkable and bought him just to shut her up. Oofey has since become a much loved part of Rainbow Lane, so much so that I gave in and started thinking blue and green party decorations.

I admit Lady Moss does love a kids party but not to the extent that it rules our life. I’m a bit of an outsourcer when it comes to cupcakes and cookies (oh the shame!) but I always, always make the cake. I used to try and cook everything but it just gets on top of me and I don’t get to enjoy the day. I have a limited budget and I spend it very very wisely. A system when it comes to planning and running the day that has been whittled down to minimum effort for greatest impact.

1.  Lists, Lists, Lists.

I use my dear, faithful iPhone to plot out the entire show. That way it is always with me in case I come across anything in a store I think I might need. Also stops me from over shopping, once its purchased I can immediately cross it off. Most of the time. I’m not perfect. I know seriously….  Start with your ideas for food, decorations, games, invites, party boxes etc. Beneath each section list everything you plan to make, for example for the Oofey Party we are doing:

Food:

Cupcakes with Oofey Images (cupcake factory, ordered, pickup Friday)

Macarons (Zumbos, ordered, pickup Sat morning)

Celery sticks with cream cheese and blueberries

And so on…….

As you plan, write your shopping list on a separate page. Add every item from tissue paper, to food colouring, to ice. Add your suppliers of outsourced items so that you remember to send hubby to pick them up.

2.  Plan your decorating theme.

I have a budget for lovely balloons I adore balloons! I have tried using online party stores but I’m always disappointed when the product arrives and the colour doesn’t look like the web version. Also I’m very lucky, I live nearby to the Queen Bee Party Shop in Rozelle. Its an easy decision to spend my money and support small local business by getting all I need there. Also funner! So exciting for the Littles to help choose the bits for their own party right? What’s the point in mama sitting hunched over a computer at 10:00pm trying to order balloons from America and matching plates from Melbourne?

I make as many decorations as I can. I order a helium balloon display for the party table and front gate with basic blow ups to hang anywhere and everywhere in beautiful, bright bunches. I find you don’t need as many if you group them together and spend a little extra on oversized ones. Thanks to my Dad and Bro for their unending patience with my exact specifications in balloon coordinating.

I only buy napkins and paper straws. I think it is an utter waste of money and burden to the environment to buy plastic plates, forks, cups etc just to be thrown away. Instead I make finger food only, and serve the cake straight onto a napkin. I’ve also built up a stockpile of mini glass bottles that I pour clear cordial into and inset a matching paper straw. They look divine in a group on the party table, again its all about impact! For adults a tub of ice filled with some piccolos will do. Sparkling mineral water for mornings, champers if you are feeling cheeky.

A handful of tissue paper pompoms fluttering at the front of your house is such an exciting way for your party guests to find your house don’t you think? $8 spent at the dollar store and a little bit of effort (the instructions are also on the blog) for divine results.

Print up your invites onto postcard sized paper – I do mine at Kmart onto matt card and send them by post. I like to email out a diary note two months prior to save Ari from being disappointed that her friends can’t make it.

3.  Order anything that you can far ahead of time. I source colour coded lollies online to fill huge glass apothecary jars on the party table. I then decant them into mini cake boxes that I buy in bulk from bakers suppliers, keeping a few hidden for myself to eat in front of the telly when the mania is all over.

4.  Pre-cook your cake. Seriously it is well worth the effort. I make mine the week prior and freeze. Day before the party I simply take it out, use my electric breadknife to cut it into the shape I desire and decorate. This is the best tip I have for you dear readers and must insist you do this. Takes ALL stress out of the day.

5.  Create a party plan that covers every job up to three weeks out. Include any shopping, online ordering, decorations to make, food to prepare and cleaning to be done. It may sound intense but a little list giving you one job a day is so much nicer than running around two days prior upsetting your little party person who just wants to help.

Lady Moss has a few tricks up her sleeve that will be revealed closer to the date but this will give you a head start on the action.

And finally remember. A children’s party isn’t about what the kids think, its all about what the parents you don’t know think. Little’s are happy with fairy bread and pass the parcel. But those days are long gone. Don’t for one second forget the kindy mamas and papas aren’t judging how tidy your kitchen is under duress, what sort of toilet paper you use and if you managed to make the beds as well as hang balloons that morning.

Seriously though, if you enjoy it do it, if you don’t it really doesn’t matter just have fun. Breeze your way though, let everyone enjoy themselves, most importantly the birthday baby and you won’t be left afterwards wondering where your life disappeared to.

Just make sure you take pictures for Facebook……

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hmm I see now why Wolfie’s first bday party was cancelled. Not due to the gastro (although it did play a small role) but more likely my ineffectual party planning. I burnt myself out on the invites and barely even sent half of them. I’ll take note from this post and hopefully party attempt number 2 (date tba!) will be way more successful! And this time I will actually send Kingsley and Ari their invite… sigh..

    Reply
  2. Lady Moss

     /  February 28, 2012

    Well I must admit the invites aren’t as good as normal ran out of time……and anyway your Wolfy bunting was pretty fancy Mrs!! Xxx

    Reply

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