Make way, make way! Yasmin lu it's time you knew, how we love you, we love you so much we do!
After months of playing the Moana soundtrack, trips to the cinema and watching the trailer over and over on YouTube there was no doubt the party theme for my little niece's 4th Birthday this year.
It's fair to say our family really get on board with a party theme. Even with just 5 children and 2 babies the village of Motunui came to town! For Yasmin, Sammy and Ollie the build up and the preparations to their birthday parties are as much fun as the party itself. The weeks of FaceTime calls showing each other their costume ideas, exchanging parcel openings of bits and bobs for party bags and group performances of "Your Welcome!" - my sister and I squeeze every bit of enjoyment out of the celebrations.
A very well timed trip over to see Uncle Pat in America meant that I could scoot into the Disney store in New Jersey and pick up a few extras, including a Maui hook for Rich which gets played with everyday since, Moana truly came to Maidenhead on a bonus sunny weekend in April! We borrowed/took over my sister's in laws' garden and in a couple of hours had set up a sweet table, a makeshift coconut shy under the swing and dragged a cardboard boat that my brother in law had made into position!
We were blessed with blue skies (which was lucky for those who braved just a grass skirt!) and we played simple party games, musical statues, races with balloons and a blow up limbo stick wedged in between the garden chairs. Spot the difference between my two...!
The thing with having a party from 2pm-4pm is that it's not really lunch or party tea time and that means you can serve your guests all the naughty treats and not worry about carrot sticks! We set out a dessert table, complete with a Hawaiian-last-minute-table-skirt with Yasmin's cake as the centrepiece.
Now I am all for the wow factor but with the minimal effort. I can't bake, one day I am going to crack it but for now I will settle for mediocre icing skills and a polystyrene tower. At a lot of the boys' parties the cake goes untouched. It's a big moment when we sing but if I forgot to slice it up for the party bags it ends up wrapped in foil and squashed into the plastic storage box to get left unloved on the kitchen worktop. I wanted all the beautiful cookies and cupcakes I had ordered from Sugar Plum Bakes to be a eaten instead so our false cake was absolutely perfect.
I don't know how Vaani does it. The painting in icing - it's spectacular. Not to mention delicious. Just look at the detail on the boat!
I used a glue gun to stick the polystyrene false cakes together then simply used ready made tubs of icing mixed with a drop or two of food colouring and a palette knife to make wave like patterns around the cake. We raided Yazzy's Moana figures collection and I pushed a bouquet of faux flowers from a pound shop into a backwards S shape. That and I threw a handful of turquoise sprinkles at it. I think it possibly looked better in the photos than up close in the flesh!
She loved it and that's all that mattered!
We had popping Volcano candy and sticks of sugar "Lava" rock for Taka, Hibiscus and pineapple lollipops, palm leaf boats filled with sweeties and multi coloured fortune cookies. My sister's mother in law makes the world's best chicken chow mein and we all dived into bowlfuls with a few hand rolled spring rolls on the side!
We found a handful of games kept them all entertained for a couple of hours and it was much more fun when the adults joined in too.
- "Consider the Co-co-nut" Shy! My brother in law made the stakes himself and we used a heavy cricket ball to knock the coconuts off their perches. The Dad's contest was the best. Let's just say there was more than a slight competitive edge between them all!
- "How Far I'll...drink!" The Long Straw games is so simple but they loved it. Stick a paper cup to a piece of card wide enough for the children to stand on. Then use extra long straws to see who can drink the cup of water (we only filled them a little bit not a full cup!) the quickest.
- Limbo is always a hit. We made it last about ten rounds by making it lower, higher, who could jump over and who could commando crawl under.
- "We know the Way Round Granny" Take it in turns between the adults, men and women and children to make a conga line holding a balloon in between you. You have to shimmy together round an obstacle (Granny!) without the balloons falling down. A test of teamwork!
It was a hoot. 3 generations all chasing each other around the garden with balloons between their chests! Poor Yazzy was on day 4 of chicken pox but she soldiered on, the party really lifted her and while we cleared up after her two best friends left, we settled the cousins onto the sofa with their party bags.
I LOVED how much everyone got into the spirit of the theme, (My mum looked insanely good as the Grandma) all for the love of a four year old sweet girl who lights up our lives.
We've saved so many of the party decorations Talking Tables kindly sent us so we need an excuse to have another luau party soon! Logan couldn't quite work out how to twist his lei off from around his tummy!
Yasmin couldn't have been more grateful, before, during and after the party.
"You're Welcome" my darling girl.
We are still as much in love with Moana as we were last month and hats off to Rich for donning a skin suit. That's uncle love!
I didn't think we could adore another as much as her Pony Party last year complete with a miniature hairy guest but yes, life with this girl just gets better and better.
Next up in the family calendar is another green get together! Sammy's turns eight this week and I have 19 boys heading back to our garden after school for a... wait for it... tortoise themed party. If ever I was hoping the weather was on our side this week is it.
Ok Sammy, I'll do my best!
Thank you so much to Talking Tables for all the beautiful table ware & decorations.