May 27, 2011

Party Planning Possessed!

By Natalie Anderson

The Party Planner heroine has been in vogue for some time and I totally know why. It’s a most fun way to spend a day!

Yeah, I was going to write about the creative power of H2O today, but I find my life has been consumed by planning my 7 year old's party which is on Saturday...

This is basically a major form of avoidance – we’re moving towns next week and I’m supposed to be decluttering the house so when the packers arrive on Wednesday I’ve gotten rid of all the unnecessary and all the rubbish. It’s an awful, overwhelming job – because we have too much STUFF. And it is so much more fun surfing the Internet and coming up with groovy games and tricky clues for a Scooby Doo mystery…

I was once crazy enough to make all the kids
 mini construction worker jackets 
with their initials on the back - even though I can't sew! 
I had to take the borrowed machine to 
the shop to get them to thread it for me...
Scooby is a perennial favourite – all my kids and their mates love him, so do most the adults I talk to. There’s something about the lovable, perennially hungry hound who’s a big chicken and a hero all at the same time.
So we’ve got ourselves a mystery to solve with a Birthday Phantom trying to steal the presents, a giant Scooby poster in which to ‘pin the tag on Scooby’, balloon Monsters to Mash, a Witch to wash away with water bombs and so on… Yes, it’s all totally over the top and I’m probably having more fun planning than the kids actually will at the party, but hey, I need the fun right now!

My biggest remaining concern is the cake – I think I’m going to try and create a Scooby face using fondant icing… yes, definitely tipping into mad territory. But then I am the woman who stayed up all night in my hospital room down the corridor from my newborn twins’ ICU unit, icing a cake into a penguin for my eldest who was turning four the next day. The nurses thought I was crackers. I think I probably was – but that’s hormones for you and the maternal drive to do whatever for their child – I didn’t want Miss 4 to miss out on her fun cake and party just because her newborn twin sisters had just upstaged (and pretty much upended) her life!

The made-in-hospital penguin cake...
But after the penguin, I ‘outsourced’ the kids’ parties for a while – gym parties, museum parties, yes – McDonald’s parties… so all I had to provide was the cake. It was just easier when I had so many young kids. So Scooby is the first party the boy has had a home for a few years and he specially requested a party at home, with some kind of a treasure hunt and for it to all be a surprise for him. No pressure then! ;)

And I have to admit, after the running around today finding masks and making spooky decorations, I’m not sure I’d want party planning as a full-time job – the pressure to come up with something new/bigger/better/bolder every time and being able to meet the party-goers expectations every time… oh wait a minute, that sounds a tad like writing romance novels! – Getting more creative, coming up with new while meeting the expectations??? Hmmm!!! No wonder we writers can identify with that career!!! What about you readers - is party planning a fun career choice to read about?
The mad things mothers do...
colouring in the giant Scooby for
'pin the tag'

And have you ever gone crazy over the top planning a party?!
 What’s the best birthday party you remember from your childhood or that you've organised? (I’m on the prowl for ideas for the next round you see!!!)

To prompt your recollections, I’ll giveaway a copy of my own party planning heroine Lissa from RUTHLESS BOSS, ROYAL MISTRESS – to a commenter with the most fab party story, together with a copy of my latest release THE END OF FAKING IT. Now, the Australian version comes as a duo with THE MAN SHE LOVES TO HATE by the most fabulous, triple RITA nominated Kelly Hunter – so there you go, the best ever reason to share your most awesome party moments!!!


  1. Natalie

    What a fun party you are planning the kids are going to love it (as well as the adults)
    I have four children (all grown up) and 6 grandchildren and with all birthdays I find myself making special cakes for them. I have a couple of childrens birthday cake books that the grandkids like to look at and pick which cake they want for their next birthday. I only had one party as a child so I made sure that my kids had one pretty much every year not as organised as your one but fun just the same.
    Have a great time Natalie and the moving will get done LOL

    Have Fun

  2. Nat, you're a fab Mum =) Like Helen, I only had one party growing up, but our youngest is a party animal!! Last year's had a spooky theme (*love* Scooby, btw!) and we played pin the lips on Edward Cullen. The girls (and Mummy) loved it!

  3. OMG, Natalie -- you've certainly got the party planning gene! What on earth are you going to do next year to top this year's party for your 7yo?!?

    Tell me, do each of the twins get a birthday cake, or do they share one...?

  4. Goodness, your child is going to have a marvelous party! I never had one as a child and my sister only had one but I have been reminding her of that for years and years lol. Mostly we did sleep overs for my daughters but one had a bash at Chucky Cheese and the other had one at McDonalds lol.

    For some reason blogger isn't working for me anymore so I can sign in as anonymous - catslady5(at)

  5. Ah, kids' parties are such fun. It all sounds great fun - have a great day.

    Anonymous, I've been having a terrible time with Blogger too. I may be Anonymous 2!

  6. The best party I was at recently was for a large group of eight year olds. The parents organised a bouncing castle and slide but on the day the rain bucketed down. All the adults were tearing their hair out wondering how to entertain the kids when some bright spark had the novel idea of putting swimming shoes on all the children. So off they went into the rain with their little white clad feet. They didn't emerge from the bouncing castle until 9p.m. that night. When it was dry the following day all we could hear from the garden was 'It's boring with no rain.' Better than going to an Aqua World and great fun to watch.

  7. Hi Natalie,

    Happy Birthday to your Seven Year old!

    He's going to have a blast with the party you planned. Today we celebrated GS first birthday and we just made a cake with one candle and had him blow it and cut, while we clapped and sang! You can see I don't have your talent for planning!

    Nas(blogger is not letting me post!)

  8. Happy birthday to-be to your big boy! Birthday parties are such fun - for kids, I mean. It's my birthday today, so just had to post and say so long as it's done with love it can't be bad. Ever! And when you do it for your kids, despite the work, what memories you are making. And what ammo for the 21st!!! Enjoy :-)

  9. Oh, Nat, you and your 7 yr old are going to have a ball!

    Most memorable party memory? When I was a uni student, I always made cakes for my friends' b'days -- simple buttercakes with icing and decorated with lollies. So for my 21st said friends put their heads together... and made me 21 cakes. It was amazing, and a hoot! We were all over cake for a while after that :-).

    Happy birthday to your 7yr old!

  10. Natalie, you're such a great mum! Going to all this trouble for a Scooby party, and making the penguin cake when you were in hospital. You deserve some kind of medal! I'd love to see some photos of the Sooby party afterwards - hey, it's on right now, I think!

  11. Gosh, you are good, Natalie. I never ran to themes, more like the theme cake, but I do remember doing a Bananas in Pyjamas surprise afternoon tea party for the children when they were little - the cake, biscuits iced to look the Bs in PJs, and the food they ate - runny honey cakes or something? So long ago I can't remember. But it was a surprise when they all got home from school and it was all set up. Pretty pleased with myself.
    And I've decided I'm having one of those pink marshmallow dress cakes with the doll in the top for my own birthday this year. Marshmallow, yum.

  12. Hi Helen - yes the moving *will* get done! This was just some light hearted fun that I needed. I have a couple of cake books too but admit I'm not very good at them - I tend to just ice a store-bought sponge and hope it approximates what the kid wanted! LOL.
    But Mr 7 was very happy with his Scooby head today :)

  13. Robyn - that's SO fab - I love the 'pin the lips on Edward' game - just brilliant!!!!!

  14. Emily - Mr 7 has already requested another Scooby party for next year (which suggests this one was a success) - only with a different mystery next time. His suggestion for the mystery was to go to the museum for the party and have the Mummy there disappear... GREAT idea... so not realistic sadly! ;)
    And yes, the twins get their own cakes - was something i read in a twin book when I was pregnant, grown-up twins were listing the worst things about being a twin and not having your own birthday cake was right up there... so my twins get their own - i did cupcakes last year. We do year about on who gets sung Happy Birthday to first as well *vbg*

  15. Anonymous Catslady - you've got to tell me about Chucky Cheese - never heard of that here in NZ - I'm guessing its some kind of fast food place - but what kind of food?!

  16. Thanks Zana - it was a lot of fun - I think the kids even enjoyed it too! LOL.

  17. Abina - that sounds fab!!!! I LOVE a waterslide - what a great idea and a total party save!!!!

  18. Nas - Happy birthday to your GS! And that sounds like a perfect party for a one year old to me!!! I don't think they need the games and stuff at that age - LOL... and you know, I crib ALL the ideas from the Internet... people do some amazing things for their parties!

  19. Hi Clare and Happy Birthday to you for yesterday!!!! I hope you had a great day :) And yes, I'm looking forward to doing the photo slide show for the 21st ;)

  20. Michelle that sounds like such fun!! How long did it take you to get through all the cake?!?! I do love the cake bit - really makes the birthday a party :)

  21. Rachel - I'm not sure the Scooby cake is good enough for public viewing - the kids loved it, but they have such great imaginations, they filled in the funny bits in their minds! ;)
    It was a really fab afternoon - bunch of really nice boys racing about and having a laugh, was really super cool :)

  22. Oh Jo - a surprise afternoon tea party is such a nice treat! I'm going to remember that for when the kids are all at school and we need a random celebration moment - sounds lovely to me!
    And yes, I LOVE those dolly cakes - I made one from a pavlova once - stuck Barbie in the middle of the pav and cream - it was for an engagement celebration dinner (not mine) - and she was supposed to be the bride in the meringue - literally!