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Category Archives: Party!

A long time ago in Bethlehem…

A long time ago in Bethlehem...

….There was a ginger bread stable.

Sans ginger. Because we went to bake the gingerbread and realised we had no brown sugar. Or baking soda . Or indeed ginger.

So just a…. stable. With turkish delight roof tiles.

Mummy Bear x


You know you’re addicted to Pinterest when…..

….. You match your Christmas cake to your wrapping paper.

It didn’t start off that way. Honest. But then every time I had a spare minute, some trickery happened and some how my head ended up filled with pretty wrapping ideas. So I succumbed, and bought some nice brown reindeer paper. And string. And tags. And baubles. And cute paper bags. And red spotty washi tape. (And a sharpie pen to decorate mugs with, which didn’t work and was a total con. But that’s another story.)


Which was just about acceptable. But then I bought more string. And washi tape. And a reindeer and snowflake cutter, and suddenly, before I knew it, I had a matching cake. Oops.


On the upside, it didn’t take long at all. Which was just as well, seeing I was rushing it on Christmas Eve. On the down side, Daddy Bear decided this was the point a Pinterest ban should be enforced, before I got any more crazy ideas. (Although this could have also been because I converted one of our storage units into a kids toy kitchen after being inspired by a certain website…. which may have involved several swear words on Christmas Eve!)


Hoping all Bear Friends had a magical Christmas!

Mummy Bear x



As mentioned before, The Bears aren’t huge Halloween fans…. but we can’t resist a bit of pumpkin carving. Especially if it has a Mario theme!

Mummy Bear x

Don’t believe everything you read…

Last week I saw an awesome idea about how to make Jelly worms for Halloween. It looked amazing, and also incredibly simple. Well looks can be deceiving.

As usual, I started to make these and then realised I didn’t have exactly the right ingredients. Never fear. Just make it up as you go along, right?! I guessed as long as you have some straws some form of jelly and a tall glass, you’re essentially good to go. Well yeah, sort of. What I didn’t figure that you’d also need is a bucket full of patience. Good job Baby Bear has worked so hard to extend mine over the last two years then.

Ingredients (That I used.. the original recipe was different)

1 pack Hartleys raspberry jelly cubes

1/2 pint boiling water

1/3 cup double cream

1 tsp black liquid food colouring

Measure out 1/2 pint of boiling water. Cut the jelly cubes into the boiling water and stir until they have all dissolved. Put in the fridge until it has cooled to room temp. One cool, pour in the cream and the black food colouring and mix.

Assemble your straws so they are wedged in to the glass, and tie with a band at the top. Pour the disgusting jelly/cream mix into the straws slowly. It will seep out the bottom and start to fill the gaps into the glass too, but due to some physics which is beyond me, it will also fill the straws to the same level (so use the tallest glass that you have) so all will be good. Once you have poured as much of the mix into the straws/glass as possible, place the glass into the fridge and leave to set overnight.

Don’t be tempted to remove the straws any earlier, even if the jelly you can see in the glass has set, because it takes much longer for it to set in the straws (apparently the straws act as insulators. Wow, this is full of science.) Once set, pull the straws out of the glass one at a time, and squeeze one end (really hard!) until the worm starts popping out of the other end.

The once all the straws are empty, and you’ve figured out what you’re going to do with all the revolting looking jelly left in the glass (don’t ask me, mine is still sat on the side, waiting to be washed up!) you can use them to freak out your children. Or other people’s children.

Yes, they look cool, but don’t be fooled, it is a LOT of effort. This is why the Bears much prefer Christmas and Birthdays. At least there is cake involved then!

Mummy Bear x

Power up! (The obligatory Party post)

Very occasionally Mummy Bear feels the need to be creative in a non-baking way. It is very few and far between, and usually involves Christmas, but this time Big Bear’s Mario Party took the full brunt of my “Oooh, I could make this!” train of thought. Luckily (?) for my creative intentions Big Bear is very pedantic when it comes to themes and expected absolutely everything in the party to be about Mario, and not just the food as I had intended!

We set up the hall with two large tables, one for food and one for party bags, and then left the rest for the games, as we needed lots of space for some of them! Auntie Bear created a ‘Power up’ sign to hang above the food table by downloading a Super Mario Bros font then colouring the lettering in. We hung brightly coloured bunting above it and bought a Mario table cloth to decorate it. I bought Super Mario bros paper plates and cups from Sainsbury’s and some gorgeous blue and white paper straws for the children to use.


Just a side note to say Big Bear’s Mario costume and customized Mario/Luigi pumps were made by the fabulously talented Felix and Fox for any Mario fans who NEED to be exactly like Mario on their big day!

At Big Bear’s request the food was all Mario themed, which took a little figuring out! We had Brick Block pizza, Princess Peach fairy bread tiaras, Starman cookies1-UP cupcakes, ‘Fire flower’ fireball cheesy puff crisps, ‘Spring Mushroom’ salt and vinegar twist crisps, and ‘Ice flower’ prawn cocktail flower crisps.


The other table was for party bags, and we set them all out in rows with each child’s name on, and then when they won a prize in the games, they were able to put the prize into their bags to take home. We used the Piranha plant centre pieces Big Bear had fallen in love with to guard the party bags during the party.


I had thought about buying Super Mario Bros party bags, but because Big Bear had invited his entire class it would have been far too expensive. So in the end I made them all, by using printing the decal and sticking it onto brown paper lunch bags. Inside each party bag were a chocolate Mario moustache, a chocolate bar which I put a Mario wrapper on, a tub of bubbles which I substituted the original label for a Mario one, a party popper which I re-wrapped with Mario banner, and a party blower in Super Mario colours. They also had a slice of the Goomba cake wrapped in – you guessed it – Mario napkins!


In the photo above you can also see one of the Luigi visors. After being inspired by Cute As a Fox with their card visors, I knew I had to make my own for Big Bear’s friends! However I neither had enough card or time to make 30 in that style, so I adapted it by cutting out crescent shaped pieces of green and red card instead. I used elastic stapled to each point of the crescent to make them a universal fit, and printed Mario and Luigi logos from Google for the badge at the front of each visor.


We had devised several different party games for the children, as we had a whole 2 hours to fill and I had bravely naively decided to do all the ‘entertaining’ myself. We started with a game of ‘Mario Mario Bowser’ as we were waiting for everyone to arrive, because it is a game in which no one ‘wins’ as such, it keeps all the children in engaged in one place and doesn’t need too much adult supervision. It’s essentially Duck Duck Goose, but with different names!

Once everyone had arrived we played ‘Musical Freeze Flowers’ which is ‘Musical statues’ made to fit the Mario theme by playing it to the Super Mario Bros theme music! We had a variety of different prizes for the games, but for ‘Freeze Flower’ the winner got a Super Mario Question Block filled with chocolate coins.


The next game we played was Mario Bingo, as I tried to alternate and energetic dancing/running game with one which was more focussed. Mummy bear has two boys – I know how to keep them from going TOO hyper! I just printed them out, stuck them to green card to give the sheets some durability and cut up an extra one to call out the pictures from. The children used bingo dabbers to cross off their pictures, but these were messy because kids can’t resist pressing down really hard, so if I were to do it again I would recommend buying some sticky dots or stars to play with!


After they had been super calm and still for the bingo, we played Yoshi egg races. Originally this had meant to be a Yoshi Egg hunt, but seeing as the hall was a big almost empty room, there weren’t many hiding places and this foiled my plan! However Aunty Bear came up with a plan to save the situation and we played team races. In teams of 4 the children had to jump (like Yoshi does!) to the box at the other end of the hall, pick out an egg and then jump back to their team. The team who collected their eggs first won a prize each which for this game was a small plastic trophy because they had been racing. All the players got to keep a Yoshi Egg which was filled with banana skin sweets for their party bags. (Big Bear also loves Mario Kart. He doesn’t discriminate!)

ImageI’m not a very artistic person, so when Big Bear mentioned that he wanted to do a Pin the moustache on Mario Game I freaked a little. Especially when my best friend Google Search returned nothing suitable! But Auntie Bear is incredibly artistic, and she created the picture for the game which was a huge hit! Big Bear now has it pinned on his wall at home, and asks to play it sporadically. Although, that could be just because he thinks he is ‘good’ at it, as it was the only game he won a prize block for!


The last game before we stopped for a ‘Power Up’ as the boys started calling it, was ‘Musical Mushrooms’. This is basically an updated Mario version of Musical chairs: I made ‘mushrooms’ out of large circles of green and red card (dinner plate size) and stuck smaller circles (wine glass size) of white paper on them. I laid these on the floor in the hall in a large circle, and the children walked around them to the Super Mario Bros theme tune. When the music stopped they had to find a ‘mushroom’ to sit down on and the person left without a ‘mushroom’ was then out. The last person left walking round was the winner, and they won a special snap wristband with ‘Game Over’ printed on it which I had found in Primark the week before.

We then had food and sang Happy Birthday, narrowly avoiding the disaster of forgetting the candles thanks to Nanny Bear running to the shop next door!


And then, saving the best game (and the most likely to cause hyper kids which I could then send home to their parents!) till last, we had the Boo/Goomba stomp. This was meant to be just a Goomba stomp, and the Boo balloons were going to be used as decorations. However, it turns out brown balloons are quite tricky to come across and have to be ordered of the internet. And even then there is no guarantee that the supplier won’t send you pink balloons instead (not that I’m angry about it or anything!). So we filled the white Boo balloons with gold plastic coins to get them ready, and then on the morning of the party the brown balloons finally turned up. So we used both!

We copied the faces onto the balloons using a permanent marker, but just a word of warning, you can’t draw the faces on then let the balloons down to transport to the venue and blow up at a later date because all the pen turns to powder and smudges off when it contracts. This meant that when we got to the hall, we had to spend ages drawing the faces onto each Boo/ Goomba before the party started. It was totally worth it though as this was the best game of the day! The children got to keep the gold coins they found in the balloons (some balloons had 4 or 5 in, others only 1) and the player with the most coins got a prize block to put in their party bag.


And there we have it, if you’ve made it this far, then well done, you must be a Super Mario’s Bro obsessive to the same level as Big Bear. Luckily Baby Bear hasn’t got to the age of wanting parties yet, so it’s another year before I have to think about it all over again!

Mummy Bear x

Watch out – Piranha Plants about!

Whilst consulting the Wise Old Genie that is Google late one night for Mario Party ideas, I came across a tutorial for Piranha Plant Centre Pieces. I immediately dismissed the idea as being ridiculously cute but far too complex for Mummy Bear’s crafting skills, and pushed it from my mind. Unfortunately for me, Big Bear was next on the computer, and I forgot to close all tabs. So within 5 seconds it went from a cute but whimsical idea, to a mummy-you-don’t-have-a-choice-in-the-matter fact. And to be true to Big Bear they did look very cute guarding the party bag table at the party.


For ease we took the general assembly idea, and changed it a little to make it less time consuming. (Because us Bears will do anything for an easy life!) If you want to make Piranha plant centre pieces at home, you will need:

A pack of 6 polystyrene balls

6 x 25cm wooden dowels (I used the dowels left from stacking the birthday cake)

6 sturdy disposable plastic cups

1 sheet of white craft foam

48 flat topped drawing pins

1 sheet of white paper

1 sheet black tissue paper

Sharp knife

Pritt stick

Red, green and white acrylic paint

3 x small -paint brushes

Metal screwdriver

To start, use the sharp knife to cut a wedge out of each polystyrene ball to shape the mouth on the piranha plant’s head. Press a wooden dowel firmly into the bottom of the piranha plant’s head. This will give you something to hold the ball with whilst painting it. Use the small paint brush to paint the head (ball) red and the stalk (dowel) green, then stand in a glass to dry.


Heat a screwdriver on the hob and then use it to perforate a small hole in the base of each plastic cup. (I can not take credit for this part of inspired genius – it was Nanny Bear. I would have been hacking at the bottom of the cup with a pair of scissors.) Insert a plant through each hole so that it can now stand up right.

ImageCut out 8 triangular teeth per piranha plant out of paper, and the stick around the edge of the ‘mouth’ of each plant. Cover up where you have attached the teeth by cutting 2 strips of white craft foam per plant and using them for the lips. Due to the curvature of the polystyrene balls it will be difficult to attach the lips using glue, so these lips were pinned to the plant head using a drawing pin in each corner of the mouth, which were later painted white.


Create the green pipe base by cutting a sheet of green card almost in half length ways to create a collar to wrap around the plastic cup, and secure it into shape with the pritt stick. The collar needs to cover the entire plastic cup, and come approximately 2 cm more up the dowel stem towards the head of the plant. I didn’t feel the need to attach the green collar directly to the plastic cup as it will fit snugly and the lip on the cup will prevent the collar from sliding off when transporting the piranha plant. Fill the gap between the cup and the top of the green collar with scrunched up back tissue paper. Finally, paint 6 drawing pins per piranha plant white, and once dry insert them into the plant head.


And there we have it – Piranha plant centre pieces. I doubt there’s much call for these, but should you want to know how to make them, we’ve got it covered!

Now, back to baking!

Mummy Bear x



These were another item which Big Bear had requested for his party. However, I was making these after a full day at work on two hours sleep, (thanks to Baby Bear) so it’s safe to say they are not the most complex or beautifully finished bear-y cakes I have ever made! Which is just as well, seeing as they got well a truly bashed about in Daddy Bear’s rally driving attempt to get to the party in time.

The 1-UP! cupcakes were made using a simple vanilla batter in white paper cases filled slightly fuller so the made a dome shape on top of the cake. They were then spread with green vanilla buttercream using a butter knife, and topped with 3 white chocolate buttons each. I used a edible black ink pen to draw the two eyes on each paper case after decorating it, and then breathed a sigh of relief as yet another party snack was finished!

Mummy Bear x


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