I made ladybird decorations to hang above the dining room table. I had several ladybirds and I also made some with bees on. I strung the circles together in vertical rows of two and three and they spun happily above the table throughout the party and for a few days afterwards!
Tom wanted a mini beasts birthday party and I focused mainly on ladybirds and bees because he collects them. In addition to the cake and fairy cakes, I also made a red jelly and scattered chocolate buttons on the top to make it look like a ladybird and Lily arranged the strawberries and blackberries to look like a ladybird. We had all the Podlings' favourite party foods, though it was all I could do to make Tom and his friends sit still long enough to eat anything! They were having far too much fun to require anything so mundane as food!
I enjoyed the delights of having a child actually be really helpful whilst getting the party ready. Lily wanted to help me get the food together, so I gave her a few simple jobs to do. Often I will invent kitchen jobs for the children to do, or slow everything down so they can help me, but for the first time I had one of my children take a job completely off my hands and I was so proud of Lily for helping out so willingly. She is growing up! I hope she never loses her willingness to be helpful.
Tom clearly enjoyed his party and had the pleasure of enjoying a school packed lunch the following day composed mainly of leftover party food!
The birthday cake was a variation on our traditional family Smartie cake. Victoria sponge covered in thick milk chocolate, with Smarties to decorate...a tradition started by my Nan many moons ago and still kept alive sporadically throughout the family. The imaginative amongst you may notice my attempt to make the Smarties round the edge of the cake look like caterpillars. Three green Smarties for the body, a red one for the head and strawberry laces cut to size for antennae. The little bee and ladybird sugar decorations were a hit!
Party decorations were provided by Tom's extensive ladybird collection!
It took a distressing amount of food colouring to get the icing the shade of green I wanted! The ladybird icing discs were purchased online.
Two of Tom's toys presiding over the drinks table
Blowing out the candles, Emma's favourite part of the proceedings. We always have to relight the candles to let her blow them out too!.