I got an email about free shipping for Halloween goodies from Oriental Trading. I already had my Halloween giveaways (and I have so many glow bracelets left over it's ridiculous -- thanks to super rainy weather at our church trunk-or-treat), but I did need things for Jane's party so I took advantage. I got 12 Minnie Mouse balloons, 48 blue and pink regular balloons (only one dud in the bunch), and a Doc Happy Birthday banner. I also got blue with white snowflake punch balloons (a la Frozen) and birthday bubbles (just because) to put in pink treat bags as thank-you-for-coming-gifts. I found Hello Kitty napkins on clearance at Target (52 cents per pack!), where I also got some sparkly pink plates.
For food we Jane asked for "Angel Cake." She'd never had angel food cake to my knowledge, but that's what I made. I used a box, because that's how I remember my Gran making it, but every box I found just called for adding water. And I know I remember Gran having to beat egg whites and keep the beaters and bowl completely dry. Maybe mixes have changed since then? Anyway, it came out beautifully. I sliced two packages of strawberries (out of season, but part of Jane's request) and whipped too much real whipped cream. It was delicious though, and I enjoyed using my Kitchen Aid stand mixer for that. Easy peasy.
Jane was mad that I baked the cake without her, so we also made some back-up cupcakes that were equally tasty. (I also wasn't sure if kids would like angel food cake, but they did!) I made buttercream icing, and I tried to dye it with raspberry juice. I hadn't microwaved enough frozen raspberries to make a difference so the frosting just stayed white. I did dip each cupcake in crystal sugar so they looked sparkly and pretty (a la Frozen). We also served strawberry and vanilla ice cream. YUM!
I also served some snacks during the beginning of the party (always send the kids HOME on a sugar high, never hop them up at the beginning). I had a flash of brilliance (at least what counts for brilliance to me these days) and decided to arrange cheese cubes in the shape of a 4 and have fruit around as the "background." Similar to the rainbow I did at Jane's second birthday party. Last year we strung balloons on a string and taped it up to the wall in the shape of a 3. This year she got cheese. It didn't last as long! (Those 3 balloons lasted for months!) Anyway, the 4 of cheese turned out a lot cuter than I expected ... and I bought WAY too much cheese so I have three blocks left. (I realized how much cheaper it is to cube my own ... aren't I a thrifty one? Uh ...) We also had an assortment of crackers, water and lemonade. No one drank any lemonade! I got some butterfly crackers that were adorable, and I think Jane ate most of them!
Jane had a great time, and she was given lovely gifts from her friends. I think the kids and parents had a nice time too. We invited four friends since she's 4 years old -- and I still stressed out about how many people were in my house at once because of siblings and parents. (Total was 7 kids, including Jane because two siblings stayed home napping, and 7 adults including me and Shawn -- 14 doesn't seem so bad I guess.) We had plenty of food, and Shawn's going to be eating ice cream and drinking lemonade for a while! I am exhausted, as I stood up a lot more than I'm used to (should start standing more as a rule!) and the pre-game prep and post-game cleaning were draining.
But everything's back in order, we have 50+ balloons still hanging around so the celebration will continue for a while longer. I love my big 4-year-old Jane, so the whole thing was worth it.