Sunday, June 16, 2013

The twins' 4th birthday - of lollipops and ipads


So I had a huge fright when I realised that in less than 3 weeks we are having a PARTY!!!

(this might be normal for some of you but it's just another sign that my life is more out of control than I like)

The only things I've done are:
  1. book the venue
  2. send out invites
  3. think about clothes - I need to just try on the kids' things and ours... but we're mostly sorted

So, cake!

For the first year ever, I've decided to get in the swing of it and actually get a proper cake. I have 3 enquiries out... so I'll wait and see. I went to my lovely friend, Caren's, birthday lunch yesterday and the ladies there told me about two places in Jhb that do cakes. I've asked for quotes but everything is out on the West Rand and that's a lot of schlep for the morning of the party. Nevertheless, it will have to work out.

I can start with the party favours tomorrow but can only finish them off next weekend because I need to do all the printing. There's actually a ton of printing - best I make my list and get that sorted.

I've started Pinteresting (googling) the food and there are way too many options. We are going to feed people a lunch and then dessert of course but exactly what it will be remains to be seen :)

And then the presents.

I asked the kids what they want for their birthday presents.

Connor: A lollipop.... and chocolate.... and he proceeded to go on and on with FOOD!

Kendra: An iPad... and when I told her that will never happen on my watch, she then started naming random things like a glass, a ring and necklace like mine, a nice summer hat (she means frilly and girly and PINK), pink and green summer clothes, ballet bag, etc.

I realised that we still have bicycles we bought for Christmas hidden away (too many presents) so they will get that. And so I'm thinking there's no rush for the cameras and why not rather get them little travel suitcases (how cute will that be?!) since we go on a long weekend right after their birthday.

They remind us of this holiday every week when we drive past the airport! They would use those a lot for overnights with Granny (look at me being positive) and for our real holidays.

By the way, these travel agencies are tempting me so much, sending out things for Phuket all the time. Pay for 5 nights, stay for 7, and so on. I click and then half way through realise what I'm doing (that spending thing again).

What do you do when people ask you what your kids want/ need for their birthdays? 

I honestly mostly don't have a clue except what I don't want - battery-operated toys that make a noise :) and we have a TON of craft stuff (I think I have issues because it must be me buying it).

Anyway, a bit of a ramble but there you go.

Any good ideas for quick party food good for both adults and kids?
And where have you seen nice rolling suitcases for kids (bright colours but no characters since my kids don't know about these things)?


  1. HAha. No idea about suitcases. I usually ask for clothing. Summer clothing. Their birthdays are in August and September and it helps that the summer stuff are on the shelves already. Also, the winter clothing is usually marked down around that time so most people (i.e. family) tend to throw some of those in the basket too!
    I also ask for stationery. Because, as you know, one can NEVER have enough of that. IT helps that they both LOVE stationery. BUT, my first choice is clothing. My family (like Joshua) think it's silly to buy clothing for a birthday gift. So they buy clothing AND something that the kid would want. Like a toy or a book or something.

  2. Jack was easy - he is into anything with wheels and those plastic animals! He got too much stuff though - there are still presents unwrapped in the toy room!!

    Kiara is always happy for stationery.

    Cameron prefers money!

    I have seen nice wheely bags but in those suitcase shops so they will probably be a bit pricey? Why not try the Chinese Market?

  3. I think the suitcases are a great idea! We bought those for our girls before we came to meet you (!!!) last year, and they LOVE them. They get SO excited to pack them when we go somewhere...and they're so stinkin' adorable, too! :) Oh, and it keeps the girls' stuff out of my bag, which is a good thing.

    You know we do the "no gifts, please" on the invitation, so that cuts down on a lot of questions about presents. The only gifts they get are from close family, and I try to have something specific (a particular game or something) in mind to suggest. If I ever have to answer a very general question, I always say that the girls love books. :)

    As for party food...I often go with something along these lines...chicken or tuna salad, pasta salad, fresh veggies with dip or hummus, and fresh fruit. Those are all easy, make-ahead / easy to buy, healthy, and good for kiddos and adults (or at least our kiddos!). ;) I've made fruit skewers a couple of times recently, and they turned out super cute. The kids thought they were so fun, too. :)

    [And you know you're speaking my language with the "no characters" line...I love it!!!]

  4. I have been giving books as gifts for my grand babies. They just have too much toys.

  5. Bags are a great idea. Our ladies LOVE theirs. Fun and responsibility all rolled up with an owl on it!!

    For the gift thing I've generally stuck to future needs. Everyone knows to avoid electronics/battery-operated/marketed/stuffed toys with me. I've backed off my hatred of pink and frilly, since Claire lives for it. My go-to answer is the next size/season of clothing, shoes, seasonal accessories. Books and puzzles, now include games, are my second. This year I may ask for iTunes gc for more books because they have books on my iPad and have started playing some early Ed games. But that's something I'm hoping to incorporate into our homeschool so I'm not sure it will help you.

    I've also noticed that if I tell people their favorite color, animal, and pass time they usually figure something out on their own.

    So glad I'm skipping the party this year! I'll stress for you! Wish I was there to lend a hand.

    My easy go-to meals are crock pot BBQ and fruit salad. Those are two standbys that are easy and are never left over here!

  6. Am sure they will love the bags - do you have to get them the same gift though?

    I would be very interested to see what you get quoted for the cakes (not that i know what you want), but just to see. Am always panicking that my prices are too high, but i think not when compared to Jhb!

    I cheat terribly with party food. Mini everything from woolies, some decent crackers, cheeses, figs and I also buy the mini cheesey sausages from spar and put them on a plate with a small dish of sweet mustard. Goes down a treat. Also love doing asparagus toasties (mail me if you want the recipe). Oh, and I have great (and easy) recipe for Marmit (or bovril) scones they are so completely moreish you need to make about 40!

  7. YOu know I love the bike idea.

    For gifts I love books and Lego most of all. And things that I do not often think about - like pretty mugs Louisa gave the boys and they totally adore.

    With your theme - boerie rolls. Easy, filling, not expensive, simple

  8. I always say books or puzzles for Little OL - you can never have too many right? the Chinese stores have these great learning books, like shapes, numbers etc and I love it when people get her those.

    For her birthday I gave her a little vanity case and new tooth brush, tooth paste etc. She liked that. I let her grandparents and aunts/uncles spoil her.

  9. Hahaha @ your not on my watch comment on the iPad. And the characters of course. ;-)

    I don't really do a standard gift when we go to parties. I like to look at the invite for inspiration if I can. Usually there is a book in, and some sort of toy or puzzle. Sometimes I see something that just reminds me of that specific child or his/her parents and then I might do that instead. For smaller children I usually get some clothes too for a size bigger than what I actually think they are so that they can grow into it.

    For my own terrorist i don't mind going excessive (as you know). Last year I teamed up with my folks on that and we got the trampoline - that is something that she'll be able to use for aaaages. This year really depends on whether or not I manage to get us into a new living space with a pet friendly garden. I would really like to get her a pet bunny or puppy, but it's just not practical for where we are now and it's not the kind of gift I can park at my parents' place either. If that doesn't work out, we "might" do a bicycle this year...might.

    Cat: I'm glad they love those mugs! :-D With you always calling them your bear and lion, when I saw the mugs I just couldn't resist.

  10. Oh yes - ps! nope, my mom doesn't take orders for cakes. she really only does it as special favours for family, sorry.

  11. Shame man, wonder what's up this year, having quite a few breakdowns also because I feel totally out of control!!

    Hmm, I'm not exactly sure about this, but the Checkers Hyper in Meadowdale usually have a whole row of different colour, shape & quirky suitcases. I saw a suitcase the other day that looks like Kendra's boots, it was either at Game or that Checkers.

    Hope you get all the printing done. I have two cake friends who can also give you a quote on cakes if you want.

    Cakes By Rox - Roxanne -

    Cakes For You By Yvonne - Yvonne Myburgh - or 0769086900

  12. Can't wait to see how the party plans go. We were very low key with the boys this year as we came back in the country 9 days before their birthday and we were exhausted!

    Bikes are a great idea. I love anything that kids need to use their energy for.

  13. I like it that people ask what my kids needs or wants when it comes to birthday presents because then I can exactly tell them. This way we don't end up with things the kids don't want or need.

  14. I ended up postponing our party since it was the weekend I got out of the hospital. I still need to reschedule it. Ugh.
    My mom got the boys bikes, but we gave them to them early- as soon as it was nice out- so they could get use out of them. My guys don't need anything, we have too much crap here!


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