Aviya’s 1st birthday is just over a week away, and while knee-deep in preparations for it, I realised that with the mayhem and madness of visas and flying to Australia in October, I never posted the photos from Ameli’s 3rd birthday party. For her party we had an Under The Sea party at a Puck’s Oak Barn in Compton. It’s an absolutely stunning venue and it happened to be one of the rare beautiful days of last year, weather wise. It didn’t rain, and in fact the sun came out and cast that golden hue around the orchard. It was simply breathtaking, even though it was still a little cold.
We didn’t have entertainment, because we were in an orchard, and while it took everyone a little while to ‘warm up’ to the venue, once they did I think everyone enjoyed just being outdoors. The kids made up a treasure hunt with pretend maps and it was – to me, at least, – an idyllic afternoon.
As guests arrived they walked through the door with hanging fish garlands* (US Link) meant to represent the ocean, like they were ‘swimming’ through a school of fish. I had some of these same fish on the floor inside the hall.
We had a great big blue sandpit shell that we borrowed from a friend. I set up balloons around it – they’re missing in this picture – and put a white blanket inside and set up a camera on a tripod so people could take photos of themselves in the shell, like perfect little pearls.
I spent a lot of the days leading up to the party planning and preparing food for it. There were octopus red peppers on the home made hummus, and a platter of vegetables to choose from. I had a treasure chest – far right- with Starfish Haribo (US Link) pouring from it like treasure, and kiwifruit lollipops covered in dairy free chocolate with edible fishy printed ricepaper. These icecream cones are an unhealthy favourite in our house, originated from the icecream week we did for Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home. Not quite under the sea, but close enough to the sea to be welcome.
These ice cream cones were gluten free, with cheese and chicken or ham, pressed out of bread with cookie cutters (US Link).
And there were white and brown bread fishy sandwiches (US Link) with Tuna and sweet corn and home made mayonnaise .
A lot of effort, but worth every second for this, my beautiful princess, my three year old.
I hope, my gorgeous child, that every year affords me the ability to make your birthday as special as your life has made mine.
*If you purchase through any of these links, you will not be charged any extra, but Amazon will pay me around 5% of the purchase price. If buy without an affiliate link, Amazon just keeps the whole amount!
** You can find many more ideas on my Under The Sea Pinterest Board
Ameli is loving Winnie the Pooh, ever since we went to see the Winnie the Pooh movie in April this year. As a result, and since we live in a beautiful woodland area, we decided to have a 100 Acre Wood Party.Â Here’s the low down on how we hosted a fab party:
We were going to have the party in the woods, butÂ a lot of factors combined and we ended up having it in our (rather overgrown) garden.
Guests were a mix of our friends without children, and a few friends with children, so I had to try to balance the snacks to not just be kids food.
We had the party from 2 â€“ 4 so that we didn’t have to provide lunch as such.
I went a little over the top, I’ll admit, but I knew early in the year already what the theme would be, so over the course of months I was able to pick up bits and pieces at discount rates, sales and so on. We have a “present cupboard” where I put things I pick up throughout the year, ready to be presents for people, or in this case, party supplies.
We had a goody bag, with toys from eBay, a Winnie the Pooh themed purse for each child from a party shop in South Africa, crayons I found in a sale, and I separated the pages out of a couple of Winnie the Pooh sticker books and added a few pages to each goody bag. I found Winnie the Pooh badges in another shop somewhere, which we’ll be using to close the bags, ready to be given out when guests leave.
We had a few oversized characters for decoration (although these are part of Ameli’s toy collection anyway) and various other little bits and pieces collected over the last few months.
Food, for me, is the central point of a party. It’s the thing that brings people together, and for me, good food makes the party.
For this occasion, I must admit I had very little time and very little energy, so I had to prepare most of my snacks in advance, or choose things that would be easy to make, and easy to eat.
Being all about Winnie the Pooh, and Winnie the Pooh being a lover of mainly honey, I themed the foods around honey. My selections for the children were:
And for the adults:
The party was only two hours, and most of the children were under 3, so I didn’t worry about party games â€“ instead we just had all Ameli’s toys in the playroom available, and hired a bunch of large outdoor garden toys from our local Toy Library and let everyone play as they wished.
There was a lot of sugary food, but also plenty healthy options, the toys weren’t particularly eco, but at least we hired them and can return them, which I think is a great lesson in recycling and sustainability.
Overall, I’m really happy with the party, and if we were to do it again or with a bigger group I’d have some of the adults dressed in Winnie the Pooh character costumes, but as a small and intimate party I think it was great, and most importantly, Ameli had a wonderful time.