November was an extremely exciting and birthday filled month for us. While everyone else seemed to be busy Christmas shopping, or discussing Christmas shopping, I was still chaotically hunting for birthday presents and haphazardly party planning. Fortunately everything came together and we celebrated Izzie turning five and Poppy's first birthday with a fantastic joint princess party.
Still feeling guilty that Izzie didn't get a proper party last year, and because it was a celebration for both girls, I decided to arrange a slightly larger bash than usual. I invited our friends and family, as well as, Izzie's classmates to help us celebrate. We hired our local community hall, a bouncy castle and even invited Queen Elsa!
We have used the community hall many times before and I have always found it hard to decorate and fill the big, grey space. I started looking for ideas and quickly came across Qualatex balloons manufactured by Pioneer. They also make a range of coordinating party supplies, which includes everything you need for your party from cups and plates to banners and goody bags.
Qualatex kindly put me in touch with a local party store, Simply A Party, who are based in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire. The lovely Lisa from Simply A Party created these stunning bespoke balloon arrangements using Qualatex balloons to fit in with our princess theme. Both Izzie and I were completely overwhelmed when we went to collect them.
As well as two bunches of helium balloons for the party table (£10 each), Lisa created two personalised arrangements with the girls' names and ages (£30 each) and an arch of balloons for the cake table (£25). Izzie adored her personalised balloon arrangement but my personal favourite had to be the balloon arch that beautifully framed the girls' birthday cake. Lisa's fabulous bespoke creations really go to show the possibilities of decorating with balloons. She can create arrangements for all occasions (including Christmas), just take a look at the Simply A Party Facebook Page. Lisa is generously offering a discount for all Along Came Poppy readers. More information can be found at the end of this post.
To complete our party look, Qualatex also sent us a selection of fantastic party supplies from their princess range. The cups, plates and napkins looked great together on the kids' table and coordinated with the bespoke balloon arrangements perfectly. Simply A Party will be stocking this princess range as well as other popular Disney characters very soon. Alternatively most of these items can be found online at Party Pieces.
Included in the bundle of goodies from Qualatex were some Quick Link balloons, which I used to create some banners myself. I would certainly recommend these for all celebrations as they are available in lots of different designs and are very easy to use. I inflated them with air using a hand pump and tied them together to create several long banners, which I attached to the wall using the special stickers supplied. The Disney Princess balloons are currently in stock at the Disney Store. Once inflated they lasted for several days so could be prepared prior to any celebration.
Now I bet what you are really wondering is did the party go smoothly? Well, I am not going to lie to you, the party day itself was fairly chaotic even with my little team of helpers (thanks Mum). However the adults all survived and, more importantly, the children had an absolute blast so I'm going to call that a success!
With three children still under 6, I have many years of children's parties ahead of me so I would love to hear your party planning wisdom. Here are my top five party tips:
1. Involve the birthday girl or boy in the planning.
Children always have the best imaginations and ideas.
2. Choose a theme.
This could be something as simple as a colour but it makes it much easier when deciding on entertainment and party supplies.
3. Decorate with balloons.
They are so versatile and, as you can see, are fantastic for creating an impression and filling large spaces.
4. Serve Birthday Cake as dessert at the party rather than putting it in the goody bags.
This saves money plus no-one really wants to eat squashed cake!
5. When opening presents keep a note pad and pen to hand.
It will help you keep track of who brought what. A useful tip for Christmas too!
SIMPLY A PARTY DISCOUNT: Just have a look at these amazing Christmas balloon arrangements created by Lisa at Simply A Party. Quote "Along Came Poppy" for a 10% discount but order in advance to avoid disappointment! This special discount is valid until 31st July 2017.
*Disclaimer: We were sent a range of party supplies from Qualatex and received the stunning balloon arrangements created by Simply A Party for the purpose of review. All opinions are, as always, my own.