Party Planning Princess mode


We’re in full party-planning mode at the moment with not one but TWO parties coming up. Our annual Halloween bash will be closely followed by my husband’s ‘significant’ birthday party, which we’re holding at the old Frank Cooper’s marmalade factory in Oxford.

Now I love a bit of party planning. I go a bit Martha Stewart if the truth be told. I’ve photographed enough weddings to know what makes a good bash and I’ve spent enough time on Pinterest to understand how high some people set their party bar! Ah yes, I do like a challenge…

We’re hosting a good old-fashioned Prohibition-era speakeasy for Spence’s party. There’ll be illicit cocktails, moonshine, gangsters and flapper girls aplenty. His band will play and there will be one or two surprises along the way. I need to get pinning and planning!

For now though, my focus is on Halloween - we made the cupcakes above a couple of years back so this year I’m on the look-out for even more ghoulish treats. I have my green & black witches’ tights and the boys have costumes ready, but it’s the treats and sweets that make a Halloween party go with a bang, no? That and the blood-based cocktails*…

*not actual blood, but enough cochineal to turn one’s insides pink for a week


1. Making pompoms. It’s a little bit addictive.

2. A new stack of books for the dark winter evenings. The top one is our Book Club read for February. It’s a surprisingly easy read.

3. A pretty typical morning scene in our house.

4. Louis’ science party for his 9th birthday. Enormous fun was had blowing stuff up, making sherbet and spinning candy floss.

5. Goggles, a plastic apron and a mouth full of sherbet, what more could a boy want?

6. The aftermath.

7. The piles of washing never seem to get smaller do they?

These are a bit of a mishmash of stills from the last two weeks, I’ve been a bit remiss in keeping up!

Joining in with The Beetle Shack’s Stills: A Weekly Collection linky

An old-fashioned birthday party

Xavi turned six on Friday (six! where did the time go?). We had a family tea party after school on Friday evening and held an old-fashioned party in the meadow for him and his friends on Saturday afternoon.

We had egg & spoon races, sack races, running races, bush craft stalking games, a bit of French cricket and an old-fashioned sweet shop. We decorated the meadow with bunting, balloons and our trusty old bell tent and barbequed mini burgers, hot dogs and corn-on-the-cob for Xav and his little guests.

I made confetti strawberries and this camp fire cake (although stupidly I forgot to photograph it in all the excitement - doh!) and the boys munched on rocky roads melting in the sun.

Instead of party bags, we grew and potted baby sunflower plants for each boy to take home along with a bag of sweets and a slice of chocolatey camp fire cake.

The sun shone, the meadow echoed with boys’ laughter, there were only a couple of prickles in grubby hands and just one punching-in-the-stomach-incident. And after the party, the parents stayed and chatted, drinking wine in the sunshine as the kids made their own fun.

All in all, I think we did our little six-year old proud. Although my mum’s sage advice to offer him £100 next year in lieu of a party made a lot of sense as I sat nursing my aching body and sunburnt limbs on Saturday night…

Do you have a winning formula for children’s parties? Every year I think ‘never again’ but then Pinterest gives me ideas and off we go again!