October 8, 2023

Birthday Party Adventures and Decluttering Progress.

On Saturday we hosted our first ever kids birthday party - we rented a local hall.  20 kids and 20 adults came and had a blast playing with balloons and bouncy balls, as well as coloring in gliders.  We had food for parents and adults, including sandwiches from one of my favourite local cafes.  Isaac enjoyed and we enjoyed and we got to talk with our parent friends and generally had a great time.  

We started planning the party a few months ago and started with the basics - what do we want from a kids party?  This is the list we came up with:

  • People to show up
  • Isaac to have fun
  • Relaxed adults
  • Good food
  • Not schlepping crap
  • Eating cake at Party

Fun Fact - in the UK they don't eat cake at parties.  And often adults don't get cake at all.  I feel like in the states if I'm invited to a party, even if it's a kid party, I would like a piece of cake.  I may be totally out of touch here though... Americans with kids can you let me know what the cake etiquette is for kids parties where you stay?  Of course they do have cake at parties - the kids sing happy birthday, blow out candles, and then the cake is cut up into lots of pieces and each kid gets a piece of cake wrapped in a napkin in their party favour bag.  I just don't get it, so we did cake at the party.

We did a lot of cake research and it turns out buying a cake is expensive.  Unfortunately we don't have a Costco membership.  Andy decided to bake a cake and I made cupcakes.  Andy was pretty daring in his cake baking but it turned out awesome, and super delicious.  My cupcakes were from a box, as was the icing, but I'm still pleased with the look:
Today I was mostly very tired after a very active (for someone 35 weeks pregnant with twins) day. .  I'm sleeping terribly at the moment, often less than 5 hours a night, which is making lots of things trickier than they should be.  Even though I do laundry almost every day somehow it had piled up and I had the last load of newborn clothes to wash and put away.  I did four loads of laundry today, which has to be a record for me.  However, I feel good now that all laundry in the house is clean and away.  I also boxed up kids clothes that were too small and got out some next size shoes for Isaac.  

I completed a small decluttering project - the top cabinet of the kids built in wardrobe:
This was mostly baby stuff and so much of it seemed crap or easy to replace - why am I holding on to battered baby books which the babies won't even be interested in for another year?  Also, I found a puzzle (on the right) - why do we have puzzles everywhere?

I got rid of much of it and then cleared off this shelf in the kids room so I can move the big kids books out of the baby room (once I find decent book ends) 
Now she shelf is basically empty, and the cabinet looks like this:
And I have two more bags of things for the charity shop.  Horray!

What was your weekend success?


  1. What the what with no cake at a birthday party???????????????? If I'm strictly picking up or dropping off a kid, then no cake is fine, but if I'm staying at the party and socializing, of course I want the option of a piece of cake. And also I wouldn't know or care if the cake comes from a box - it's still cake;-)

  2. Oh that's so funny about the cake. Wouldn't it get all smashed up just wrapped in a napkin? And then it would be such a mess? And the cake is the climax of any birthday party, I think.
    It sounds like a lovely, chill party!

    1. I think the cakes are slightly sturdier or perhaps use less icing? But yes, they do seem to get smushed, or the kids dig them out of the party favour bags while in the car and then the car is a mess. It seems like chaos to me.

  3. That cake is gorgeous - and I am ALL FOR boxed cake mix cupcakes. Why not? One year for my daughter's 5th (?) birthday I laboured over homemade vanilla cupcakes and they were so dry. While I don't always use cake mixes, they're always moist and delicious and kids love them so they are a frequent go-to. Last year we made a cake mix and then turned that into cake pops which were a lot of work...but SO DELICIOUS and cute. We are definitely all about cake at birthday parties in Canada.

    Love the list of priorities for the party! And yay for decluttering. It feels so good. Hope you get a bit more sleep. It's so hard in the final stages of pregnancy and I'm sure exponentially harder when expecting twins.

  4. They don't eat cake at the party? I didn't know that was an American thing? How does the cake not get squished on the way home? I need more details about this!! I'm also pro-cake mixes. Which one of those children is going to have such a refined palate that they call you out on having a boxed cake? NO ONE!!

    1. I think the cake does get squished! Or, the kids eat it in the car which is super messy. The whole things is so odd to me. And yes, no child is going to tell me my cake is too boxed haha. We went to a party where someone made a home made sponge cake with buttercream icing and Lilah told them "I don't like this cake I like normal cake" which I think meant that she wanted chocolate. Oops.

  5. I've made cake from scratch, and honestly I'm usually happier with the ones from a box. Count me in as another American scratching her head about the cake wrapped up and sent home thing. And yes, you have enough cake for EVERYONE, adults included, to eat at the party. The cake/cupcakes are beautiful. And yes, bakery cakes are spendy!

    1. Thank you for the cake/cupcake compliments! I think for aesthetics the box cupcakes are guaranteed to come out looking OK, which is not the case for anything I make from scratch. I'm glad you agree that cake is for everyone too :-)

  6. Nice work with the decluttering!!

    Clearly I am going to be the odd man out here, but I am not really a big fan of cake so I couldn't care less if there was cake for the adults. However, for the kids here, I am fairly certain they eat the cake at the party. Do the to-go cakes get a box or is it just a smashed napkin of cake in a bag? That sounds messy.

    Even though I am not a huge fan of eating cake, I do love baking and normally make my cake from scratch, HOWEVER, if it is a bunch of kids eating it, or better yet, a bunch of kids squishing it into a napkin in a bag, I would definitely go the boxed route.

    1. I'm not sure if people get sturdier cake but it doesn't seem to get too smushed... but it definitely does get squished and seems way messier than just serving cake at a party!

  7. No cake at the birthday party? Well, in Germany everybody definitely gets a birthday cake - cake is mandatory (for kids and adults alike!).
    I think your cake and cupcakes turned out great and I hope they were enjoyed by all.