I put out a whole bunch of food for the adults and pretty much forgot about it after letting the pregnant people and vegetarians know about food suitability. The Guinness Chocolate Cake was very well liked, and the icing was amazing. I made the cream cheese using my Mad Millie kit, but otherwise this is the world's best ever party cake: great taste, easy to make and serves a crowd.
I can't remember who pointed this out, but the bonus of having an ice cream cake is that the children will eat it! I found some cheerful ice cream cups with wooden spoons from Moore Wilsons, this made serving up very quick. We also had some raspberry sorbet for the girl with the dairy allergy, and adults who didn't feel like ice cream with sparkly cachous! My Mum and I made a similar cake for my niece's fifth birthday a couple of years ago. If you can snap the legs off the doll easily, and have heaps of sprinkles then this is a very simple cake. It took about ten minutes to line a bowl with glad wrap and squish in the ice cream, then my mum decorated the ice cream with cachous while the children ate.
I want to remember more from the day. It was chaotic and loud; there were some tears and tense moments, but also there were a lot of children having a lot of fun. My husband was in charge of pass the parcel. I warned him that having a lot of layers on the parcel would be confusing, but he liked the idea of randomness and building up to excitement. As usual it was very stressful with myself and the other mums advising which child was next. I made the mistake of trying to keep the children's attention by claiming that it was the last round (it wasn't: there were two more to go). This resulted in one incredibly clever child just holding on to the parcel and staring at my husband. I laughed so very hard, seemed logical to me! Finally it was over. We decided not to do the Pin the Tail on the Donkey game, I think it might have killed us.
I managed to start winding things down by yelling out 'party bags, party bags' a few times. I got the Sweetheart to pass them out and thank each child for coming to her party. I really wanted to get her to think of the other children and remember her manners. She then opened her presents, thanking each child/ their parents after opening them. I don't really know the etiquette around present opening at parties. I thought it was a good way to end the party, and show appreciation for presents that were very well thought out and just perfect for the Sweetheart.
The rain came as the party ended and it was off for a very quiet afternoon. I had a nap for a couple of hours - I was shattered. When I woke up the house was quiet, the cake had been finished off (too slow!) and it was off for dinner with the immediate family. As you can see below, she had her first ever soda/extreme flavouring drink. She loved taking a sip of each layer, but couldn't even get through half of it.
The next day was a rush of departing families, returning equipment and tidying up. Actually, it has taken a couple of days to tidy up everything. I've been prepping for the party for so long there was a dedicated location for all the stuff in the corner of my bedroom. Looks very empty now.