Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Beach themed party

You know that moment, when you decide it's easier to cater for a party yourself then deal with the uncertainty.
Knowing that the baptism of your children is so important, so the celebration which follows needs to be perfect.

When we decided our children were to be baptised in July, we didn't really think much further.
It transpires it's golf season, and there are no function rooms on hire.
And therefore hotels put up their prices accordingly.
And what remains is the venues used for children's parties.

And then you realise, that's ok, we're celebrating a day because of the promises we're making our children.
So, the venue was right.

And then I realised, what better to focus attention, and to make this work... a theme.
Deciding on a theme for a baptism is a balance.
And we decided for so many reasons on a beach theme.
Not only because we live so near to the beach, but also the book I was given as a child at Sunday School was about the loaves and the fish.
It all seemed to make sense.
Although my parents did bring common sense on my hopes to serve potato wedges and fish goujons (my take on fish 'n' chips...) and we were even planning to incorporate mushy peas (because they're Mr J's favourite), needless to say mum and dad ended up preparing lots of sandwiches and home-baked cakes.

Mr J had a list of pizza, chicken nuggets, salad, and fruit skewers (which we tasked his Yorkshire friends with assembling).

And me, well, what can I say, I turned to Pinterest.
I loved the idea of preparing a table which made children go "Can I eat that? Now?", I always figure if adults are like me, they'll be thinking the same as the child.
Whilst the weather had cooled down a bit, we were still constrained a little by the temperature in the room, and this was the culmination of a lot of effort:
This sounds daft but, the things I was most proud of?
The polystyrene 'lifts'. I've become a huge fan of Capture by Lucy's posts for parties, and whilst I took tiny steps, this was a great recommendation for getting everything 'seen'.
Whilst I sourced nearly everything from ebay, Morrisons and Home Bargains, I set Mr J the mission to find buckets and spades. He came home with spades which were a close resemblance to salad servers (perfect) and these amazing buckets which seemed absolutely vintage (albeit they were 'Disney Cars' and sourced at the 99p shop).

So, I tried to have a sand and sea half to the table, which looked great on paper:
But, in practice, so many things didn't play out. The ceilings were too high to have things having from them, even the bunting had to go from wall to wall:
I wanted to make 'pops' of some kind, and found a fantastic recipe which used rice krispies, marshmallows and golden syrup. Even after 48hrs in the fridge they had no strength in the outside world. We served them on paper, and they were delicious... next time in cupcake cakes, with chocolate used for krispie cakes on sticks!

And, so for the table, what did we do?
I finally managed a batch of biscuits that were delicious- using oats and coconut. Admittedly I hadn't figured out how best to make them starfish shaped, and ended up after trial and error opting for post baking. Covering in peanut butter and adding googley eyes made Mr J's day!

We followed up on our pirate boat jellies, with sunbathing jellies. This time seemed a lot more fun, with a lot more to add to the jelly, although in saying that Squeaks still insisted on discarding everything but the jelly.
We went for 'sand' and 'sea' cupcakes. And I was really proud of these! As Betty Crocker's Vanilla Icing had been on offer, I took this as an easy option. For the beach cupcakes, adding digestive crumbs and a Haribo starfish, for the sea, adding some blue colouring and trying to make rice paper look like shark fins.
 We added sweets to the mix. Loving the Cornetto sweet "ice-creams" we have found in Home Bargains:
And theming lots of sweets and savouries to fit our theme.

And adding some fun for the little ones (which created lots of fun for the boys as we selected which ducks to add dots to!).
I know we could have done so much more with more time.
But I was so happy with what we created.
It really was a fab party.
Given the children's birthdays are in January and March it was lovely to have such a summer themed party!


  1. It looks like the perfect party, so much more special too because you did it all yourself!

  2. That is an amazing party, I shall be pinning this and may well be stealing all the ideas next year!

    So think you should have done the wedges and fish strips!

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