The Mum Network

5 KIDS. 27 BIRTHDAYS. And I’ve only ever made one cake.

So you read the headline of this post. Bad mother right? Well…..not really. You see on my son’s 1st birthday, I intended to make something that looked like this:

Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 2.41.50 PM

The reality was, it turned out a little more like this:

Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 11.11.58 PM

Even then my 1 year old son gave me that look of PLEASE MUM, never ever again.

And so began my years of outsourcing all things birthday related. It’s been with pride, joy, happiness and a little bit of added smugness that I have held the kids parties at Lollipops, ClownTown, LaserTag, 10 pin bowling, Jambaroo, movies – you name it, anywhere but home. No mess, no fuss and always without doubt, the obligitaory Wendy’s Ice cream cake with appropriate Disney Character Themed edible topper.

Screen shot 2014-01-23 at 12.30.43 PM

An ice cream cake is always 100% eaten on the day, no one is judging you on how it looks AND tastes and no one wants to see good ice cream go to waste so 100% of the time, the parents grab some too. Add to that  you’re not stuck with icky cake in the fridge for days on end not knowing what to do with leftovers and I think I’m onto a bloody winner.

I didn’t realize my genius idea of outsourcing parties however was a crime against motherhood and so last November my sister decided enough was enough and my no 4 son deserved at least one home made cake during his childhood so she showed off her epic decorating skills and made this work of art which I believe represents a truck demolishing a worksite which is what my 3 year old does to my house most days. Bravo little sis, point taken.

Screen shot 2014-01-23 at 12.36.52 PM

With mother guilt at an all time high, Miss 5 was turning 6 and was DESPERATE for a Princess Pamper swimming pool themed party at….gasp….HOME!!!!! I went into panic mode but again sought refuge amongst the pages of Pinterest where all mothers go to feel completely inadequate about their home making, birthday party throwing and general organizational skills.

16 little girls and a princess party to die for. Sure, I could do that. SO here’s what I did.

  1. Purchased outdoor tent/marquee thing from Bunnings $90
  2. Hung random bits of fabric hanging around Mum’s house around the tent and put kids toy room furniture in it too look like “Pamper tent”
  3. Purchased the cheapest and tackiest Disney themed party decs that I could find for $30 at local party shop.
  4. Got every face washer I owned and dipped them in mint towel fragrance for ‘cool neck towels’ on arrival.
  5. Gathered every beauty product I’ve ever owned including face masks, nail polish, lip gloss and hand cream for pampering.
  6. Cut up one cucumber for face masks.
  7. Found incredibly daggy Disney themed bed cover that was being stored at Mums, put it on backyard wall to look as if it was “meant to be”
  8. For first time in my life thanked myself for having her a week before Christmas – decorated table with loads of silver Christmas trees and a pre made Gingerbread house.
  9. Used glasswear to display food in a fancy PINTEREST type way.
  10. Had made mental note to decorate food by simply putting as much as possible on skewers. Everything that looks good on Pinterest is on a skewer.
  11. Bought lollies and pink coloured musk sticks, popcorn, biscuits for “party table” table
  12. Made $4 Greens Cupcakes – even I could do that – did icing with fancy icing decorator thing, icing ended up looking like pink runny dog poo but – whatever.
  13. Hired my favourite teenager and next door neighbor to conduct pampering during the day
  14. Cut up Miss 6’s colouring in books that she had forgotten about and set up “colouring station” for bored children with Miss 6’s used colouring pencils from the end of school.
  15. Bought the coolest Katy Perry, Psy etc playlist from Spotify for disco – $14.95
  16. Served the Princesses nuggets and chips and put carrots near the table so that fellow mothers didn’t judge the complete and utter lack of effort I had put into nutrition and BINGO – easy!
  17. Obligatory Wendy’s cake with Princesses on it – sorted – by this stage it was all looking so fancy, everyone was going to think I made the cake too.
Miss 6's fancy Wendy's Ice Cream Cake

Miss 6’s fancy Wendy’s Ice Cream Cake

I’m fairly sure I managed to put on the entire party for about $250. The quote from the local Princess Pamper party lady was  $30 a head – that would have been $480 without food or cake. I was feeling like a genius at this point…….eat your heart out PINTEREST. I instragramed the crap out of the pics for my future website as a party organiser…

Here’s a few pics …..

Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 11.58.50 PM Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 11.58.07 PM Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 11.55.39 PM Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 11.55.29 PM Screen shot 2014-01-23 at 12.42.01 PM Screen shot 2014-01-30 at 12.01.18 AM

The only problem was, in my effort to put make the food PINTEREST worthy, I did go a tad over the top with the skewers. My very observant friend’s first reaction was…”um…Lara, do you realise  you made the marshmallows look like penises?”
Screen shot 2014-01-23 at 12.41.29 PM
Oh Em Geee…….

I have retired forever as a party planner. Outsourcing it is!




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