I am in awe of the wonder drawn across a child’s face at the very mention of the word “birthday.” A year older, a few inches taller, and just a little bit more grown up than the day before – a child’s birthday (or any birthday for that matter) is an occasion that deserves to be celebrated – cake, balloons and all!
Our beautiful daughter transitioned from to sweet talking toddler to a grown up little lady last week as we celebrated her fourth birthday (where did the time go?). The days leading up to her big day were filled with excitement, and many of the party planning ideas were courtesy of the birthday girl herself! With the heat turned up close to 50 degrees celcius in Dubai, a celebration in the garden was out of the question – so I went off in search of fun and creative ways to entertain 17 party-ready kids in my living room!
Birthday girl wanted a Peppa Pig themed party, and that’s what she got. Although Peppa isn’t the easiest of characters to source party from supply shops in the UAE, I found fabulous Peppa plates, napkins, balloons and stickers from Party Camel. They have great party bag fillers and unique party supplies that you won’t find anywhere else in Dubai. I also managed to find a lot of cute images online, which meant that there was a lot of printing, cutting and gluing on my part. Although I love to cook and have lots of patience in the kitchen, I am by no means the craftiest person! Thankfully, everything looked great, and there were little touches of Peppa and friends throughout the party.
We made Peppa Pig water bottles…
…party bags filled with cute little stuffed animals…
…and homemade brownie giveaways topped with, you guessed it, a Peppa Pig thank you card.
All of the prints were easy to find online, it only took a bit of cutting and pasting to make it work. Thanks to my amazingly patient husband who spent hours printing at Desco, the images had colors that popped and were a perfect likeness of their characters.
Since our love of entertaining in this household extends to birthday parties, there was plenty to eat for both the kids and their parents. Grilled inside-out burgers, baby sausages rolled in puff pastry, veggie sticks, and popcorn tossed with sea salt and olive oil were on the menu for the kids.
While the adults enjoyed burgers along with their little ones, they had their own spread of tuna nicoise, feta tomato scones, various salads, and a bit of Prosecco in between. Bellies were full, and everyone was happy.
We have a tradition in our family to make two Birthday cakes – usually a chocolate cake and some other flavor, this time it was vanilla buttercream. I’m not sure how this tradition started, but it works for us, and there’s always plenty of cake to go around! I found cute little Peppa Pig characters on Amazon which made adorable cake toppers, and found their way into our daughter’s toy box soon after the party.
Homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate graced the dessert table (because you can’t NOT have marshmallows at a children’s party!), along with cupcakes and some freshly churned vanilla-bean ice cream, which made a quick disappearing act before it had a chance to melt!
Much to my surprise, the children sat patiently while they waited their turn to play pass the parcel (a far cry from last year, when toddlers had very little patience for my game plan). Pin the tail on Peppa was a total hit with the over four crowd – the poster and tails were made from an online printable that you can find here.
My picture taking efforts usually fall short somewhere within the first twenty minutes of our parties, which is where my beautiful friend Pam usually comes to the rescue. Always the first to grab my camera and lend her support, Pam is a talented photographer and took several of the pictures captured during the party. You can find more of her work here at Pamela Durant Photography.
Long after the party, when our beautiful birthday girl was tucked away in her bed, she looked up at me with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen and said “Mommy, this is the BEST day I ever had!” A year older, a few inches taller, and yes, a little more grown up than the day before….
Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll be sharing some easy and fun party recipes. xo