Trucks and Cars!
When I started suggesting themes for Everly’s birthday she slowly but deliberately vetoed each one. ‘Under the sea’? Nope. ‘Tutti-fruity’? No. ‘Flower garden’? No thank you. By the time I suggested ‘Birds of a feather” she had had enough.
“TRUCKS, MAMA! I just want trucks! And police cars! And an excavator!”
And so, the girly girl in me let go of my dreams of coral and rose gold decor and began to plan the best ‘Trucks and Cars’ party I could think of.
For our invitations I went with Teal Olive Designs, who have designed Everly’s birthday chalk board each year so far.
DJ is so talented and always understands exactly what I’m after- she’s also super accommodating when I change my mind over the next few weeks and make fifty five edits to the brief. #LifeOfAControlFreak
This year I chose one of her design templates, let her know that it was imperative to include a fire engine and an excavator, and after only two minor edits (I’m getting there) we had the perfect invitations!
The chalk board was perfect as usual and I’m planning on framing the one from each year. Some day, when I have five minutes free time.
The food & cake!
In the past I have always organised Everly’s party food myself- hotdogs and fairy floss for her Circus party, healthy platters for her Animal party- but this year I decided to outsource.
Zoe from Say Cheese delivered the most gorgeous platter boxes on the morning of the party- all vegetarian and one portion vegan. Cheese, dips, fruit, veges, crackers, bread, it was all there, beautifully presented. I bought paper plates and serviettes from Kmart and that was that! What a crazy relief it was, I don’t think I’ll ever be doing party food myself again.
The cake was a slightly different story… having never made Everly’s birthday cake before I decided this was the year to start. Don’t ask me why.
I googled ‘construction cakes’, ‘cake hacks’ and narrowed it down to what I thought was a fairly easy design.
In all honesty it probably was an easy design for someone who had even the faintest experience icing a cake. Unfortunately that is not me. Step in my beautiful friend, Emma, who helped me put together four Coles sponge slabs and ice them, freeze them, ice them, freeze them, ice them again and then start the decorating. What I thought would take an hour ended up taking closer to three and a half, BUT the end result was worth it. Topped with the perfect home made cake topper by another gorgeous friend of mine- Katharine- and it was perfection! Everly’s face absolutely lit up when she saw it!
I also put out a big drink dispenser for the kiddies with (very watered down) cordial, and set up two glass dispensers for the adults. One orange juice, one champagne, and a little sign saying “DIY mimosas”. I heard after the party that a few grown ups didn’t read the sign and thought the champers was apple juice! I honestly wish I’d been able to film their reactions after taking a swig of their ‘apple juice’.
I decided to keep the decor simple and go with a large balloon garland and tassel garland. We used Design My Party for Ev’s last birthday and I still had the tassel garland hanging in our hallway so I didn’t even go searching for other options when it came to the decorations.
We chose a Rainbow 2m balloon garland and Jane kindly designed a tassel garland to match! I remember her being so flexible last year and giving me advice on the colours, so it’s always worth sending an email if you’re wanting to tweak the colours or just need some help deciding what to go with!
The garland took around an hour to inflate and put together- you could definitely do it faster if you weren’t binge watching Netflix at the same time. It comes with an amazing plastic strip that you thread the balloon knots through- which is also reuseable! Keep that in mind if you purchase one of their balloon garlands.
The tassel garland is also DIY assembly and takes around an hour if you’re doing it yourself- and like I said, taking your time because you’re also watching the finale of Black Mirror on Netflix.
The party entertainment came in two parts…
Because we have such a large paved space in the backyard I decided to hire some Little Tikes cars and trucks. Toy Hire Gold Coast delivered a fire engine, police car, lawn mower, truck, coupe and petrol pump! (Everly is strangely obsessed with putting pretend petrol in things, so the second I saw that pump on their list of toys I knew we had to have it there!)
They also brought foam mats and a ball pit for the babies! We had a bit of light rain for the first hour of the party, but fortunately not much will stop a toddler when it comes to those ride on cars and trucks! They absolutely loved them and it was such a good way for them to keep themselves somewhat entertained while the adults ate cheese.
Marie delivered everything to our house a day prior to the party, and her husband picked them up the following afternoon. So easy. Everything was in perfect condition, in fact it all looked so sparkly and clean that I was concerned we’d be returning it in much worse condition!
They do have the option to pick up your hire toys, so if you’re in south
Brisbane or the Gold Coast you could definitely do that to waive the delivery fee (which really wasn’t expensive anyway!)
There are SO MANY toys and games available for different ages- jumping castles, roller coasters, ball pits, cars, jenga, connect 4. The best addition to outdoor parties.
For the second act, we had a fire engine come to visit. An. Actual. Fire. Engine. Now, admittedly, I did try for a week to see if we could get an excavator to come to the house. But health and safety something something legal ramifications etc etc meant that unfortunately you’re not allowed to just ‘get’ heavy machinery to ‘visit’ for a kids party. Who would have thought.
Enter Fire4Hire and every problem was solved. If there’s one thing that Everly loves as much as an excavator- it’s a fire truck!
Fireman Richie showed up and Ev’s face just about broke from smiling so hard. For the next hour he ran through some basic fire safety with the kids (big tick- I love anything educational), took them for rides around the block in the back of the truck and then let them use the hose!!
I was worried that the hour might fly by, but it really didn’t! There was time for photos (so many photos), trying on fire helmets, sitting behind the steering wheel, at least four trips around the block, playing with the fire hose, and every kiddie there got a Firefighter Participation Certificate.
I’ve heard from so many parents that they still haven’t stopped hearing about the fire engine party- it really was such an amazing surprise for them all!
(On another note- Fire4Hire also do hens and bucks nights, school formals etc… one friend at the party pulled me aside and said; “I was actually on that fire truck recently for a hens party. Bit of a different experience to a toddler party!”) #Best
Now on to my favourite part of the party coordination… The Party Favours.
I had this great idea in my head to make (ahem, get my friend to make) a huge batch of home made playdoh, collect recycled jars and hand label them for each child. But as we covered earlier in the cake section, I am not Martha Stewart.
So here is where two gorgeous instagram businesses helped bring my vision to life. Also keep in mind while reading this, that I gave these ladies a week or less of notice!!
We’ve collaborated with Wild Dough Co in the past so I was over the moon when Mel said she could make me twenty five jars of ‘Excavator yellow’ (I mean, it’s actually ‘Buttercup Gold‘, but we told Everly it was excavator yellow) honeycomb scented playdoh in time for the party. She stamped ‘Three‘ in each jar or playdoh, had them packaged, mailed and in my hands two days before the party.
Simone from Tipone had even less notice.
Simone creates personalised vinyl labels for just about anything you could possibly want to label. Home organisation, presents, birth announcements… last minute jars of playdoh.
Within four days she took the measurements of the playdoh jars, the list of party invitee names and had sent me 25 adorable labels to personalise each jar. With a bit of help from Kmart and my sister in law, we had a personalised jar of playdoh, a playdoh stamper and a box of smarties in each little bag for Everly’s friends to take home.
Luckily my best friend can take a good photo. Can take an amazing photo, in fact. So as her birthday present to Everly, Teneil spent a solid four hours behind the camera. Capturing dozens of images that I would not have had the time or headspace to even think about taking myself.
We have always hired people or had friends volunteer to take photos at Everly’s parties. It has always been worth it. The last thing you want to do is feel like you’re missing out on any of the special moments because you’re trying to capture them for later.
Hire someone, or find out which one of your friends knows how to use a camera.
Invites and chalk board – Teal Olive Designs
Grazing Platters – Say Cheese
Balloon garland & tassel garland – Design My Party
Toy Hire – Toy Hire Gold Coast
Fire Engine – Fire4Hire
Playdoh party favours – Wild Dough Co
Personalised labels – Tipone
Some vendors included in this blog provided products or a discount for their services. All words and opinions are an honest account of my own experience with them.