Today my daughter’s turning 10! Happy Birthday Paige! I can’t believe we’ve hit the double digits! This year Paige requested a pool party, so last weekend we got together with friends and family to celebrate. Although thoughts are turning to fall in blogland, it’s a hot 30 degree day here, and certainly still warm enough to fit in a few more pool days. We were so blessed to be able to have the party at my sister-in-law and brother-in-laws house, since they have a lovely pool and live only a few minutes away -thanks Keers and Steve. I did worry about rain -since it’s rained on Paige’s parties for about the last 3 years, but the forecast was for sunny skies. Despite the forecast about 15 minutes before we were set to begin, guess what -it started to rain. Picture me holding an umbrella over the desert table and praying. The prayers were answered, and it only rained a few minutes. By the time the guests arrived it stopped and it was time for the fun to begin.
Paige’s favourite colour is aqua, and it went great with the pool party idea, so it became our theme. For the invitations, since Paige loves art, we came up with the idea of ombre watercolours. I designed the invites, and then printed them onto watercolour paper. Paige then painted with watercolours to create the ombre effect. Really simple.
The main event at the party was, of course swimming. But I had a couple other little activities set up, just in case. One was this fun water table. We’ve had it for years, and every spring I bring it out and it’s like a new toy. This worked great between lunch and dessert, when the kids were done but the adults were still eating.
We also set up some origami to make paper boats. The paper boat idea became part of the decor and went well with our water theme. I just cut up some pretty aqua scrapbook paper and printed the instructions. Paige had fun teaching her friends how to make them.
We used the boats and some water -coloured with a few drops of blue and green food colouring to make aqua, to make easy centre pieces for the tables. Luckily we’d tried it at home first, and discovered that paper boats actually absorb the water and sink fairly quickly. We used parchment paper, and some basket liners that had a waxy finish to make the boats for the centre pieces and they worked great and lasted the whole party.
We continued the origami boats into a bouquet of paper lanterns and pom-poms. I made lots in different aqua paper, and sizes, and strung them into a few fun garlands. I love how this turned out. We hung them from the deck and over the lunch table. For lunch, we had hamburgers, hotdogs, and salads around the pool.
We also played a few typical pool party games at the party, like Marco Polo, and colours. Paige also wanted to have a “diving contest”. It was so much fun. The kids had to name their dive and then jump in -with marks for creativity.
We printed out a few number signs and designated some judges. There were a couple younger kids who didn’t want to jump in the deep end so they helped judge. It was hilarious.
After lunch it was time for dessert! We had a lot of fun putting together the aqua/blue dessert table. Weeks and weeks before the party, I happened to see at One Krieger Chick, an adorable ombre “Make a Splash” sign, so Paige and I gave it our own twist and used it as the pretty backdrop for the dessert table (and now it’s in her bedroom). To add some height to the table I used my vintage suitcases. I was reminded again how great it is to have serving pieces in white and glass -it doesn’t really take too much of your colour, here mainly just the actual food, to really create a great effect.
The tiny little bottle, beside Paige’s picture, is a little origami boat in a bottle. We used Pudding Fish Cakes AMAZING video to make them and they turned out great.
One little issue, cause nothing is ever quite as easy as you hope it will be, was some of my boats started to sink. I followed the instructions on the video, but maybe because I had a different kind of resin or because of the heat and humidity when I was making them, after waiting the two hours for the resin to harden to a certain consistency I added my boats and noticed about 15 minuets later that they were sinking into the resin. After all the work of finding mini bottles, finding resin and chalk pastel, and then folding all those tiny, tiny boats I was feeling beyond sad to see the shipwreck. I put on my timer and used tweezers every 15 min. for about two hours to pull them up and reposition them, since they weren’t totally submerged, and I thought I could still rescue them. Some did sink too far, so I pulled them out and waited to add in new ones. At the end of the day it all worked out, but if I were doing it again, I’d do a test one to make sure before making 10 of them! Here’s a shot of the one beside my camera lens cover, just to show you the scale of how tiny they actually are. We put them into tiny organza bags and included them in the loot bags for our guests.
I also made a little drink table on the side, with cold drinks.
Now, for the desserts! -our favourite part. I made vanilla cupcakes and decorated them with different shades of aqua blue icing. I just started out with the lightest shade, and then kept adding more gel food colouring as I went along. The little flags are made out of toothpicks and washi tape.
I found fun mini Chinese takeout containers and used them for blueberries.
When it comes to blue food, you have to get a little creative, so just think of your favourites and add a little blue chocolate. We made rice crispies and dipped them in blue candy melts. They were the first thing gone.
I also made sugar cookie bars -they were a first and so, so much easier than sugar cookies, but with all the same great taste. I used the same icing as the cupcakes to make them ombre too. And the pom-pom pics are just pom poms from the craft store hot glued to a toothpick -love is in the details.
I also wanted to include some candy, and there were little bags so our friends could take some home too. I used rock candy, gummy sharks, and home made lollipops. I used the same recipe and technique I used here, except we used aqua food colouring, and added lemonade flavouring this time. They looked so, so pretty.
I also tried my hand at making home made macarons for the party. They were my second attempt and still not perfect, but they were still really good. We made them blue and filled them with a raspberry butter cream -I’ll be sharing a whole post on my successes and failures in macron making soon. What I do love about these special little cookies is that you make them a couple of days before you need them and let them mature in the fridge, so it’s great for a party since it isn’t last minute.
Last, and almost forgotten in the fridge, which is why they aren’t in all the photos, classic blue jello, with a squirt of whip cream. All the kids loved them and they were certainly easy peasy.
One last detail, I used another vintage suitcase to hold the little loot bags with the origami boats, chapter’s gift cards, and candy from the sweets table.
We really had a wonderful afternoon celebrating Miss Paige turning 10! Happy Birthday Paige, you certainly make my life into a party!