Sunday, 26 May 2013

Kids Party Trends 2013

Given my recent blog on top party trends for 2013 was so popular, I thought I would do some homework and of course put my spin on what I think are the hottest kids party themes for this year! I know we are already half way through the year (can you believe it?) but there is definitely some new themes that have emerged that are worth a look. I think we are all getting a bit tired of the old Ballerina and Bob the Builder themed parties, and need to think outside the square a little! Understandably your child may still be into Ballerina's and Bob, but that's not to say you can't put a different take on it. It's so easy to be creative with kids parties, especially if they have a twist on a traditional theme. So in saying that I've listed my top five boys party themes, top five girl party themes and then of course my top five unisex kids party themes for this year. Definitely something to consider when you are planning your next little one's party.

First the Girls:

1. Tutus & Bow Ties

Rather than the usual Ballerina party, why not put a spin on it with a Tutus and Bow Ties theme! The girls can dress in their tutus, the boys in their bow ties and the food can be themed with little bows and lots of pretty ruffles.

2. Vintage Pink Pony

Every little girl loves a pony party, but try styling it with a rustic edge, using vintage props and decorating your dessert table in hues of pink and brown.

3. Lions, and Tigers and Bears! Oh My!

Not just Wizard of Oz Party, but a Lions, Tigers and Bears! Oh My! party. There is a variety of party foods and theming that can incorporate the ideas of hot air balloons, yellow brick roads, red sparkly shoes, rainbows and of course little Toto motifs as pictured above on these cupcake toppers.

4. Paper Straws and Pink Milk

Yes every little girl's favourite colour is pink, but don't just have a pink party, focus the party around an element of food or drink as done here with this Paper Straws and Pink Milk party. Then dress your table vintage style with pretty floral tea pots, tea cups and cake stands.

5. Sprinkled with Love

Now this is a theme you can really have fun with! Sprinkled with Love! Sprinkles are so versatile and can be added to the dodgiest of baking creations to make them look spectacular! Decorate your party space with pretty coloured paper circle garlands, giant clear polka dot balloons and confetti.

For the Boys:

1. Little Mr Moustache

A seriously cute theme for little boys, you can be so creative with your moustache theming from the cupcakes, to cookie pops, drink wraps and favours. Set up or hire a photo booth for the kids fit with dress ups and of course stick on moustaches and let their little minds run wild!

2. 50s Rock Diner

What little man doesn't want to look super cool?! I love this theme, especially given the abundance of vintage soda crates and candy dispensers available now. Serve mini hot dogs and hamburgers for a real 50s touch and play musical statues with a 50s rock twist.

3. Ol' fashioned Camp Out

You don't need to head into the forest to go camping! You can do it in the comfort of your living room or backyard! Think mini picnic basket favours, scroggin bags or perhaps log fire cake made with Twix or Kit Kats. 

4. Wild Wild West

No this is not just a cowboy party....it's a Wild Wild West party! Transform your backyard with hail bails and cactus and let the kids enjoy countless cowboy games! Fill little hessian bags with gold chocolate coins as party favours to take home.

5. The Mad Scientist Laboratory

A new theme that has emerged that I just love. So many creative and gruesome foods ideas that can be incorporated  into his party. Make sure you get your hands on some plastic test tubes to serve yoghurt shots or popping candy in!

Unisex:

1. Dunkin Donuts

If you read my last blog on party trends you would be well aware that donut bars are all the go now, so why not make a whole theme of it! Let the kids make their own donuts and offer a variety of toppings, sprinkles and lollies to decorate.

2. Lollipop-land

A variation on a candy or rainbow party, be as colourful and creative as you like. Theme everything lollipop style from your invitations, to your cookies, cake pops and favours.

3. C is for Cookie!

Milk and Cookies parties are a bit last year......but that's not to say you can't still enjoy a C is for Cookie party! Still incorporate the milk and cookies but put a Cookie Monster/Sesame Street spin on it using shades of cobalt blue in your theming. And you don't just have to serve cookies.....try making pudding or mouse cups with crumbled cookie tops, or even cookie and cream flavoured popcorn!

4. My Little Pizza Shop

Got a wannabe Chef on your hands? Well give them their own Pizza Shop for the day! Of course pizzas will be served, either do a MYO pizza bar or create a pizza making activity for the kids. And don't forget the aprons and chef hats for all your little budding chefs!

5. Ice cream Parlour

If you can find one of those cool vintage ice cream carts to hire somewhere then definitely have yourself an ice cream parlour party. And if it's too cold for ice cream, make mock ice creams with cones filled with cake crumbs and topped with butter cream. I am loving the birthday cake featured in the above picture, poured ganache on cake is such a hot cake decorating idea right now and perfect for this theme.

As always the full image credits and Pinterst board with lots more inspiration can be found here.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Mr Meko hits a milestone

 
Some of you may have seen that Mr Meko hit a milestone birthday last week.....yes the big 40! We decided to celebrate quietly and save ourselves for a pending overseas holiday that we have coming up instead. With one of Mr Meko's best mates turning the big 30 only last month we decided to combine the two occasions and have double the fun. Labelling it the boys 70th, we enjoyed a lovely evening with all our close friends and unfortunately also with quite a few uninvited hiccups too!
 

We chose the venue Morris Jones, in Chapel St after hearing raving reviews about it. Dealing with the venue's function coordinator, she seemed to be very efficient with great attention to detail....well that's what I thought anyway. It seemed to be a different story when we arrived. As all our guests were escorted to our table I was mortified to see that none of our pre dinner drinks I had arranged were ready for us, in fact, nothing was known about them at all. But that aside, I was more disappointed with the fact that we had somehow been seated in a public area after pre booking and paying for a private room! I was not impressed I can tell you. The icing on the cake however was when we were seated and handed the al a carte menus, when I had preselected a menu for us. Needless to say there was no communication going on this venue. After advising the waiter of their countless errors and feeling rather embarrassed for my guests we still managed to enjoy the rest of the evening.
 

But unfortunately that wasn't the only hiccup we encountered. Given Mr Meko had the night off from the kitchen for his birthday, we had to go 'externally' for the birthday cake. We decided on a large reputable cake business in Malvern, as we weren't exactly ordering anything fancy and didn't think they could get it wrong. But yikes you can see from the photo why I was left asking 'what the hell is that that we ordered?' and 'what exactly were we getting for our money?'!! I could have done a better job than that! I would never let a cake go out of my business looking that bare and undecorated. It clearly needed the Meko touch! So a quick dash down to the supermarket was needed before the party to arm myself with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries to rectify this cake! I couldn't present that to Mr Meko for his birthday! Lucky for me I have been paying much attention to the berry placement on some of our recent cake orders and luckily was able to save the day.
 
 
 
But that's enough whinging for one blog. It was a memorable night, but I know for next time, if you want something done properly (and you run your own party business) it's probably best you do it yourself!
 
Ciao x

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Luv u Mum



The campaign has begun, I'm bringing back the Petit Four!  For those of you who are unaware, Petit Four simply translated means 'small oven', but is otherwise known as a sweet or savoury bite. Commonly served as an after dinner sweet served with tea and coffee, these little bite sized pieces of heaven are seriously under rated and need some decent air time. So this Mothers Day, forget the large scale cake dominating your afternoon tea or dessert table and let the Petit Fours be the focus.
 
 
We decided to draw inspiration from an old Valentines Day favourite of heart shaped 'I Luv U' candy (featured above) and create a Petit Four that will have your Mum smiling this Mothers Day. Be as loving as you like with your messages, or even be a bit naughty and consider messages like 'Feed Me', 'Clean Me' or even 'Iron Me'!

These are pretty simple to make but you will need the following:

Small heart shaped cookie cutter/s
Palette knife
Piping bag (bought or home made)
A large square white chocolate mud cake (packet or home made)
Soft gel pastes (pale pink, violet, lemon yellow, orange, pale green - we use the brand 'AmeriColours' available at most cake shops)
 
Butter Cream:
300g softened butter
500g icing sugar
 
Royal Icing:
300g icing sugar
1 egg white
Red soft gel paste

 
1. Using a serrated knife trim the top off your mud cake to ensure a flat top. If you want a ganache or cream filling in your cake, split the cake in half and fill and place back together. Click here for a good ganache recipe.
 
2. Using heart shaped cutter/s cut your shapes and set aside on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
 
3. Place your cake hearts in the freezer until they become firm. This will avoid any crumbling when you mask the tops with butter cream.

 
4. Make your butter cream by beating together your butter and icing sugar with electric beaters until light and fluffy.
 
5. Separate the butter cream into six different bowls for colouring.
 
6. Place one drop of each gel paste into five of the bowls and mix well to combine. Leave one uncoloured as a neutral cream.
 
 
7. Remove your cakes from the freezer and place the cutter/s back over each of the cakes to mask the top. This will ensure a sharp edge with your butter cream.
 
8. Using a palette knife spread a decent amount of one of the coloured butter creams onto the cake and scrape the top and sides for a smooth finish. Repeat the process with the other cakes and colours.
 
9. Make the royal icing by mixing your icing sugar and egg white together in a bowl until combined then adding the red gel paste gradually until desired colour is achieved. Load into your piping bag and with a fine nozzle/tip free pipe your text.
 


And that's it! Too easy. As per usual......enjoy, and Happy Mothers Day x

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