Anwen Turns Two ~ A Pretty Party & Time Saving Tips

Our beautiful, feisty, adventurous daughter turns two today.

Getting to know her personality over the last two years has been such a joy (and a challenge in recent times!) Her strength of character and sunny personality constantly leaves Sam and I smirking at each other, trying not to laugh, whenever we attempt to tell her off about something.

Yesterday we held a party for her to celebrate. It was the usual sort of party that we hold for the kids - at home, with their best friends, garden fun and plenty of cake. I'm not sure there's anything else someone at their age needs....or any age for that matter.

At the start of the day I had my usual MASSIVE list of things I wanted to get done/ bake/ decorate and, whilst buzzing around on caffeine, mostly managed to tick everything off. Thanks to some lovely partywear from Meri Meri I was able to pull off a lovely Liberty theme, with their distinctive florals adorning the decor, cake and party bags.

Some of the items are things I stock in the little maldod shop (direct links are listed below) and all day TODAY you can enjoy 20% off the whole 'party' range, (with the code 'letsparty' until midnight 16th March). Other items were directly from Meri Meri and you can find direct links to their shop below too.

The Decorations

These Liberty Betsy Pinwheels added an easy but effective touch to different parts of the house, from my favourite shelf in the hallway to the mantle piece. The Miniature Liberty Flags looked great above the mantle too and will be staying up long after celebrations are over.

The Games 

No new tricks here, we stuck to classics - pass the parcel and musical statues. Check out the concentration on Wilf's face, he takes after me in the competitive (Monica Geller) game stakes. Meanwhile his younger sister remained restless until I stopped the music on her, giving her a long awaited "choc choc" (Milkway).

The Cake

Obviously I had grand plans for a masterpiece 'naked' cake or one that was perfectly iced to within an inch of it's life. My slightly uncooked sponge (which went back in the oven on the rack to finish off) didn't quite cut the Mary Berry mustard. Cue time saving tip number 1 - Nutella.  Nobody can argue with a freshly baked cake and lashing of hazelnut spread can they?! I reminded myself whilst licking the spoon that, to little ones at least, cake is cake and when one of them laughed at the fancy pink Gerbera on top, all was confirmed.

The Liberty Cake Flags added the perfect finishing touch and will definitely be reused for future celebrations. 

The Party Bags

Again, in my grand plans for the party, I'd imagined stringing these Gerberas from ribbon and giving one to each guest along with their party bag. Cue, money saving tip number 2, accept that some ideas are nice in theory but totally unrealistic and unnecessary when your guests are due to arrive in 5 minutes. In actual fact, they looked just as nice in a tall vase by the fire (not sure what's going on with the random up ended log!) 

I was pleasantly surprised by a quick upcycle of a left over white storage sack I had in my stock cupboard. With a few Liberty Alphabet Stickers I turned it into the perfect place to keep any gifts that were kindly brought by guests. I can see 'personalised birthday sacks' becoming a new family tradition and maybe even a new product for the shop.

How lovely are these mini Liberty Crackers and Betsy Party Hats! The crowns went down a treat but in all the chaos I didn't get a chance for any photos anyone wearing them. A few were left behind so no doubt we'll be sporting them at some point today.

This week when thinking about party bags, I turned to the wonderful Instagram community for some tips. I was determined not to fill the bags with little bits of plastic or yet more bottles of bubbles, so wanted a few tried and tested ideas that were just a bit different. I was amazed at the brilliant and creative suggestions that people had and gladly used a few to fill some Besty Treat Bags. A trip to Tiger left me with a great stash of goodies including packets of seeds, birthday sunnies and some wooden beads which I used for mini bracelets. I picked up a couple of packs of Easter cookie cutters in a pound shop and popped them into a spotty treat bag. Finished off with a bit of chocolate (obviously) and a number 2 shaped iced biscuit, just in case they didn't get enough sugar AT the party. All in all, the contents cost just over a pound (don't tell the guests!)

Here's the birthday girl commanding the buffet table (ahem, bowls of fruit, pom bears and party rings). Whilst her friends took their plates into the lounge for a carpet picnic, she stood there grazing, shouting "GUYS" after people as they headed out of the kitchen. I don't think she minded being left to her own devices, with all the cake to herself!

Anwen, you are a delight to spend time with, an absolute gift to our family and an honor to Mother. You bring life to any room you're in and I can't wait to see what the next two years have in store for you. 

Happy Birthday Pops! X

Thank you to Meri Meri who kindly sent us a few items from their lovely Liberty range to help us celebrate.