Monday, April 22, 2013

How to plan a 40th Birthday Party

Hey everyone,

It has been a little quiet on the blog front due to all the preparations and time it took to bring together every detail for my 40th Birthday Party Celebration.  As promised and I am not sure on which social media site I promised it but I did promise to do a post with links from where I sourced things for my party.

So here goes super long post ahead.  Feel free to just scroll through photos if you are not interested in the long content.

The planning all began at the start of this year,  although in my mind I knew from this time last year that I wanted to celebrate turning 40 with a party.  Coming from a catering background with my parents owning a reception centre from when I was born, organising parties for me is no big deal.  I knew what had to be done it was just a matter of bringing together all the ideas I have accumulated over the years and to be honest the amazing content now on the WWW makes it super simple.  I did begin a board or two on pinterest to start pinning ideas of things that inspired me and caught my eye that I may want to replicate.  You can view the board here party board.

Back in early Feb first thing I did was find a venue.  I ended up booking the Balwyn Community Centre  Funnily enough I came across this place when I was looking for somewhere to hold my classes last year and I saw this hall as I was walking through and thought it would be perfect as a function room and it was.  Great room, lots of space and a dance floor.  This would be a great place for day time events, lunches etc also and of course classes and workshops if you have larger numbers.  As a side note,  I probably wouldn't leave it so late to book a venue I thought it was really early but a few of the places I enquired about had already booked out at this stage, so if you have your heart set on somewhere book it at least 6 months in advance.  I was lucky this place was still available.

Once that was done it was time for invites.  I sent these out approx 4 weeks before the party.  Of course the link for the all the supplies used in these invites is my website Koko Vanilla Designs

I wanted the invites to be bright.  I wanted to theme everything in my favourite colours at the moment, turquoise, lime, pink, yellow.  Having a few colours gives you more variety in other items like decorating.  It makes it a little easier to find matching supplies.

Onto food I decided I wanted to have catering as I didn't want to have to do all the food myself.  I have a friend who owns a catering business so that was easy I asked here to do a fair bit of the catering you will find her here Sage Leaf Bistro & Catering  Didn't get a chance to photograph the food but it was amazing and everyone commented.  I supplemented the catering with some food I made and some family members held it.  It was all cocktail style food though.

One of the other things high on my list was a dessert table.

I pinned an amazing cake on my pinterest board, a ruffle cake and then went it search at the last minute like two weeks before to find someone who could make it.  Another note don't leave it that late as once again a few people I contacted were fully booked luckily Debi from Studio Cake had one spot left and offered to make this beautiful cake you see pictured below.  I highly recommend Debi she was lovely and friendly and really helpful and you can tell she loves her work.  She absolutely went above and beyond.  I always look for that trait in people I have dealings with because I am the same I have that expectation of others.  By the way the cake on the inside is chocolate mud and it was so decadent and lovely to eat.

Below you will see photos of my dessert table.  The hardest part about this was that I could only access the venue for set up around 5pm so I knew it had to be quick and easy to set up.  I ordered a few of the items that are on this table and then some family members added to the collection.  In the end it was a very full dessert table.

I also ordered for the dessert table yummy cupcakes from a Teacher and Parent at our local primary school who also runs a cupcake business.  These beautiful cupcakes were made by Linda at Cupcakes by Linda.

The flavours I chose were Red Velvet, White Chocolate and Raspberry and Vanilla.  The cupcakes tasted delicious and looked gorgeous and once again Linda was really helpful and lovely with my requests and I highly recommend her services too.  She has lots of other flavours and sizes to choose from too at her website.

Another cute idea I did for the dessert table which I have seen everywhere are cute mini wrapped chocolates.  Aldi makes a mini sized bar and they come in packs of 5.  There are a few flavours.  I purchase mixed flavours.  I then unwrapped the outer layer and lef the layer underneath which is foil.  I then re wrapped them with Kraft Paper and decorated them as in the photo below.  I did this using the same papers I used for my invitations.  Once again all the supplies are from my site.  These would make a great alternative to lolly bags for any sort of party even kids birthdays.

I chose to make tissue paper garlands to hang around the room.  I knew these would be easy to hang as I premade them before the day, they were strung up and ready to go.  They are time consuming but look great and can be done ahead of time.  The photo below shows you how we strung them up.  They were easy to hang because there were beams coming across the ceiling.  I also put a couple around the dessert table and above it see photo above.  I also purchased some honeycomb balls from ebay in Hong Kong.  One batch arrived and one didn't even though I purchased them 4 weeks ago.  You can see them hung up on the sides.

Music for the night was my brother DJ Pepp

You can just see him in the photo on the side, he is awesome and highly recommend.  Best DJ everrrrr.  Played great music and extremely helpful.

You may have also noted a projector a couple of photos up.  We made a slide show of photos of my life so far, the kids helped with this job.  We then hired a projector from someone local from gumtree and had the projector running through the night.

I think that's about everything and here are a couple of photos of the final item you need for a party family and friends.

It was a really fun night with lots of laughs, conversations, dancing, music, eating and drinking.  Lots of work involved but so worth it to have the memories.  I hope you find some handy tips and links here if you are planning your own party.

If you have any questions feel free to ask away, I hope I haven't missed anything. Happy to impart my knowledge and advice for anything else I may not have mentioned here.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kids Card Workshop Roundup

This is why I am so awesomely proud of the 16 girls who attended my kids card workshop last week, because as you can see the cards we made were these pictured below.....

Booked into this class were 16 girls aged 10 - 14.  As I haven't held a class like this for this age group before in this style, I really didn't know what to expect.  However I had four goals, firstly to teach my style of cardmaking, to challenge, creatively inspire and have fun, ( okay maybe 5) and to work their busy little fingers for two whole hours, and that's exactly what we did.

My strategy was to make enough samples that we could work through that would keep us going for the two hour class.  The girls each had a pack and would take home what they made as well as some extra goodies I had thrown into each bag.  Here is the best part not only did we manage to get through the 5 cards and the gift tag, the girls totally rocked each and every card design.  They all watched my instructions and then went ahead and created and the cards looked as perfect if not better than the sample I created.  Some of them altered their cards in their style, which was just wonderful and some wanted to make theirs exactly like mine.  Either way is absolutely perfect for each individual.

Here is a snippet of the class in progress...

Lots of fun and smiles and concentrating and working diligently, me teaching in the background and of course pride at the finished product.  So fabulous to see.

The follow on from this class is that I have had nearly every single parent email or text or call after the class to say how much each girl enjoyed the workshop and how amazing the cards looked and when is the next one??

From my perspective I am so glad I did it and am really grateful to have such a fabulous response and reaction to the workshop, not too mention that it was lovely to teach these girls.  I have to admit I was a little nervous but sometimes we just have to look fear in the face and move on anyway.  It almost always disappears when you begin.  Such a great lesson for me.  It doesn't have to be perfect and I did make some mistakes, like leaving a couple of bits out here and there, but we worked around it and it was all fine in the end.

So moving on, to be fair I have had lots of adults asking for a class, so this is next on the agenda.  I can only access this room that I used here for this class in the evening as it is fully booked on weekends, so I guess it will be a weeknight.  I will have to come up with some challenging designs for the adults now

So look out, time to inspire some grown ups!!!


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