Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hoppy Birthday Party

Date: Sunday April 24, 2011 (Easter Sunday)
Location: Mississauga, ON
Guests: 10
Budget: $75

  •  Crackers and Cheese platter
  • Thai Chicken bites with Sweet Chili dipping sauce
  • Veggie Platter
  • Mini Samosas
  • Fruit platter
  • Strawberry and cream trifle
I made all the platters myself. Prepared veggies, fruit and cheese trays are so expensive. If you have the time, it is well worth it to make it yourself. My only suggestion is to buy the fruit ahead of time, so it has time to ripen. Which I didn't do-thus no melon. The cheese I got was on sale, as well as the grapes and strawberries. The samosas are pre-made, but were a good price and baked rather than fried. For the chicken bites, I simply baked the chicken breasts in the oven, sliced into cubes to be eaten with toothpicks. Now that I think about it, no one even used a plate! So I didn't have to wash dishes. Bonus!
The spread: it's it so colorful?
    Mini Samosas: very yummy. Next time I will add a yogurt dipping sauce
    Maple Leaf Prime Thai Chicken, comes with the sauce. I had a coupon for $2 off.
    Grapes, strawberries and pineapple. No melon, they weren't ripe.

    Old Cheddar, Goat Cheese with herbs, Marble, Havarti

    Various peppers, celery, cucumbers, grape tomatoes

    Trifle: angel cake, whipped cream and strawberries
     The trifle was an accident-it was meant to be a strawberry shortcake inspired birthday cake. It fell apart when I added the second layer. It fell to pieces. Epic fail. In a panic, I called my sister, since it was Easter Sunday grocery stores were closed. She said "do you have a bowl? Make a trifle". Thank goodness. She also picked up a carrot cake from a small market that happened to be open, just to be safe. We could have gone without it, but I was worried about it. But it tasted great after all. Silly me, I failed to stick to the plan. A few weeks ago, I baked a test cake since it has been quite awhile since I actually baked a birthday cake. The test cake was great. Then I saw cake mix on sale for $1 and in my zeal to save money used the cake mix instead of my original recipe. Bad idea. The lesson-stick to the plan! 

    • Hoppy Birthday Banner
    • Paper Streamers
    • Paper Bag Easter Baskets

     I made both the banner and the streamers from cardstock. The paper streamers are simple to make, you simply need a piece of paper, scissors and some tape to hang them up. You can find further instructions here. My original plan was to hang them all vertically from the ceiling, but I have stucco ceilings and they all fell down. So taped them to the wood shelf and in the doorways. It seems the theme of this post is "what went wrong", I don't want to give the impression that the party didn't go well because that is not the case at all. This just goes to show how things don't always go according to plan, it's good to have back-ups because you never know.

    Paper Bag Easter Baskets:
    These paper baskets are so easy to make, and look great. All you need are paper bags, scissors and some tape. The instructions on how to make these are here. I added a paper flower for the girls, and a bunny for the boys. Inside the baskets were bubbles, small toys and some chocolate eggs. The grass is green paper I shredded with a paper shredder. Easy, cheap and recyclable.

     Rosette hair pins:
    For each girl, I made a felt rosette hair pin. Simple to make. You can find the templates and instructions for free all over the internet. Find one you like, and go for it. It only takes a few minutes. As many of you know, felt is my favourite crafting material and this project is a great way to use up small scraps.

    • Dye Easter Eggs
    • Egg Hunt
    • Golden Egg Challenge
    Even though we are all adults (no kiddos yet) my sisters wanted to dye Easter Eggs. Some of the boys hadn't ever dyed eggs before, and they really got into it! We used both store bought kits, as well as food colouring and vinegar dye. The store kits did not work as well as the dye. And the smell! Ugh, so were awful. My favourite eggs are the ones we dyed with food colouring. We used dental floss, elastic bands, stickers and wax crayons for the patterns.

    Egg Hunt:
    I hid plastic eggs with candy inside all over my apartment, and outside on the balcony. It might sound silly, but it was really fun. I think I hid the eggs too well, I found an unfound egg the next morning.

    The Golden Egg Challenge:
    This was the birthday boy's idea. He wanted a game where the winner won a golden egg trophy. I found a "golden egg" aka a yellow glass blown egg on clearance at Home Sense for $4. The birthday boy invented the game, which consisted of knocking down a pyramid of plastic cups with a Nerf dart gun. The person who knocked the cups off the table with the fewest darts won the golden egg. The birthday boy won (of course). So he gets to keep the egg for a year, and is responsible for coming up with next year's challenge. We'll keep the tradition up from year to year, passing the egg around. Again, silly but fun.


    1. Wow - I'm so impressed; the food, the games, the decorations, I wish it was MY birthday. Maybe some year, R will get you to help with my (surprise) bd party?

    2. I'm glad you like it! Those streamers are really easy to make, you can make alot really quickly. And with bright coloured paper you can get alot of impact very quickly and for very little money. I'll definitely make them again.

    3. Those eggs are so pretty, like those European ones.

    4. The pics look awesome - looks like a great party.