An ice cream themed party...first instalment!
Our gorgeous little girl Emma turned two earlier this month. I can't believe how quickly that seems to have happened - everyone tells you the years fly past, and it turns out they're all actually right! What a couple of years it's been though. Every day I have to remind myself how lucky I am - working on a little business I love; getting to see my daughter grow into a beautiful, happy, confident child; spending so much time with the family I adore - it's just heaven. Anyway, enough slush (not sure what's come over me) - this blog is the first instalment of Emma's ice cream themed birthday party! I say first instalment - having been through all the photos, I'd probably crash our website if I tried to put everything on at once...
I think it's probably best for everyone if I just 'fess up and admit upfront that I seem to have 'accidentally' gone rather over-the-top with Emma's party once again ;-) True, this year I did restrain myself from making another three-tier cake (ooooh I was tempted though), we didn't hire a venue, and there weren't (quite) as many people as there were at our wedding...but I think it's also fair to say that I realise that a two year old doesn't really need a fully fledged 'theme' to have a nice party. The ice cream was cool though (cool, ice cream - geddit?! oooh dear, I'm so not funny).
My amazingly talented Grandad made a full sized ice cream cart for the party. He's so clever at things like this (I think he developed all these skills over 65 years with my Nana, who was good at coming up with similar 'bright ideas', which merely required full technical execution from Grandad to make them a reality!). I just drew him a (pretty rubbish) diagram (containing the occasional technical inaccuracy like the cart not having any legs), we went to B&Q to get the wood one morning, and by that afternoon he'd put most of it together! Now the party is over, the wheels come off and it even converts to a low play table for Emma (wowee - how great is that!). In return, he took the role of chief tester for the 4 different ice creams I made (and he's got the substantial leftovers!). Emma also gave him massive thank you cuddles which I suspect is payment enough for him x
Mum was roped in to help with all sorts of things too - as well as baking cakes with me, she made bunting to go round the ice cream cart and inside the house. We re-used the bright spot oilcloth bunting she made last year for Emma's first party, putting it all round the outside of the house and part way down the garden. I love the fact that so many of the things we've made can be recycled each year - getting them all out again is reminiscent of unpacking the Christmas decorations each December :-)
We were so lucky this year to be joined by lots of family, as well as many of our friends and their gorgeous little people (thank goodness the weather was fantastic, it might have been a squeeze inside otherwise!). My aunty and uncle were staying from Australia, which was super special for me as for the first time I can ever remember, I had 2 sets of aunties and uncles in one place :-) Vin's mum just made it back from her holiday in time, and my lovely sister in law and her fiance were on full blowing-up-the-bouncy-castle duties (we so owe them one!). Mike was off on a stag weekend (which I'm imagining had a somewhat different vibe), but he assures me that although he was gutted to miss the party, the very plentiful leftover cakes basically made up for it.
My Uncle Billy was head chef on BBQ duties, and with all the ice cream (complete with a ridiculous array of toppings and sprinkles - obviously) I really didn't need to go overboard on cakes. But of course I did, whoops ;-) I actually put on a full 2kg in the week of the party because of all the cake I ate. Double whoops!
Emma's birthday cake was a 5-layer pastel 'rainbow' cake in ice-creamy colours, complete with a summery windmill and fondant letters on the top. And the all-important two candles, naturally!
We had a separate mini-buffet for the toddlers. The picture below was taken fairly early on, if you'd seen it at the end you would have noticed a distinct imbalance between leftover carrot sticks (the bowl looked untouched) and leftover party rings (decimated).
Emma, needless to say, had a wonderful time. She was finishing a nap when people started arriving, and when I went upstairs to get her up, I held her up to the window so she could see the party that was just starting out in the garden. Her face then was the absolute highlight of my day - she's just reached that age where she could really understand the party was for her, and her saying 'wow' made it all so worthwhile :-)
Next time I'll post some photos of all the themed details I entertained myself by making - which even includes a couple of stickers (well, I'd never be able to resist that would I?!) xx