29 July 2014

A Fabulous Girly Sleepover Party

I now have a ten year old daughter, and this is how we celebrated - with a Fabulous Girly Sleepover.
All my girl wanted was "a sleepover with my friends from school and a chocolate fountain..." so I did my best to make it special. Ten is, after all, a pretty big milestone. Double digits and all that.

With daddy and big brother out of town for the weekend, we arranged a sleepover for little brother too, so it could be "just the girls". I also arranged for my brave friend Linda to join me/help me, which she was more than willing to do (once I bribed her with the promise of a chocolate fountain).

The birthday girl wanted the decor simple "just bunting, mum", so I ditched the elaborate schemes for chalkboard murals and  silver star strands that I had tortured myself with.

I made everything pretty, soft and on-theme with bedding. Flannelette sheets, vintage pillowcases, woollen blankets and lots of pillows. Everything was pastel and pretty and made you think of SLEEP (girly sleepovers should really be called wakeovers, but one can always hope??!)

After I made a giant cosy bed on the floor with dragged-in mattresses, the couches were swathed in sheets, the vintage-sheet bunting (made by the lovely Deb) was strung and every pillow in the house was called into service, along with my Typo lanterns, old teddies and a brand new photo board...

It's a sleepover party. It could be as plain or as pretty as you want (I choose pretty;  no surprises there).

Our guests started arriving at 3pm and that's when the squealing started. Horrors - I could see my friend Linda looking at me thinking, "What have I got myself in for?" and I must admit, I was wondering the same. (A bunch of excited tween girls can be ear-shatteringly loud and I was just grateful we'd trimmed the guest list from ten down to six). I made coffee and hung out with my mummy friends while the birthday girl squealed and bounced around with hers...

We had afternoon tea, to kick things off properly.
My take on Red Velvet Cupcakes (Miss Fab's fave) and strawberry milk. The icing roses are made by me, oh yes they are. Aren't they pretty? Deceptively easy too.

Miss Fab, her friend Yaz and I made the roses after school one day, just for fun.

One of the best things about sleepover parties is the chance to simply hang out with your friends for a nice satisfying chunk of time. 
Really, all girls of this age want to do is hang out - bash each other with pillows from time to time, sure - but mostly just hang out.

I had a bunch of games up my sleeve, games we play around the fire like "truth or dare" "circles and triangles" plus "indoor spotlight", just in case the girls got bored. They didn't. We didn't play one single game.

But there was A LOT of Looming... (thank heavens for looms, I say. Once the looms came out the noise level went from fever-pitch to blissful, which reassured poor Linda that she wasn't completely mad for agreeing to help me).

I provided a gazillion loom bands and had asked the girls to come with their looms. I had a few cheap $2 looms lurking too just in case someone forgot theirs (which some did). The room was a hive of industry. 

I'd labelled paper bags with each girl's name for them to collect their creations in. Inside was also a "friendship" loom band made by Miss fab for each of her friends, along with a little handwritten note...

While the girls "loomed" me and Linda drank endless cups of tea and hung out; I made the pizza dough in a very relaxed fashion. It was all so positively civilised that it gave me hope that maybe - just maybe - I might actually get some sleep tonight.

Dinner was homemade individual pizzas, with my favourite pizza dough recipe as the base. After the dough had risen, I cut it into eight lumps for each of the girls (plus me and Linda) to shape into our own pizza base.
The mini-pizzas were laid out four-to-a-tray lined with baking paper, with each person's name written beside it, so there'd be minimal mix-ups.

The girls came into the kitchen two-at-a-time and created their personal pizza with their choice of toppings. (We had shaved ham, pineapple, salami, chorizo, olives, anchovies, spinach and basil with tomato puree spread on the base and grated mozzarella cheese sprinkled on top.)

After dinner, while the girls prepared a "show" to dazzle us with, Linda and I prepared Miss fab's Dessert Bar - complete with chocolate fountain...!

After researching the cost to hire one of these gadgets (horrific), I spotted one on super-special in Stevens (for $30), and figured it would get plenty of use. The question was, would it work?
Linda and I melted the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of boiling water (750g - 3 blocks - of Whittakers milk chocolate plus 3/4 cup of canola oil). Nervously we turned on the chocolate fountain and poured in the melted chocolate... would it work? IT DID!!!! Eek. (Now it was my turn to shriek just a little bit).

There was more shrieking when the girls saw the chocolate fountain. The birthday girl, hugged me and declared that this was THE BEST BIRTHDAY PARTY EVER.

Then we sent ourselves into a sugar coma.
Two kinds of icecream, homemade berry coulis, squirty cream, lollies, oreos, grapes, berries and cherries... topped off with that decadent flowing chocolate. It was dessert heaven.

I cut them off when their eyes started to glaze over and declared the dessert bar "CLOSED".
Off they staggered to get into their PJ's.
(At some point they did put on their show for us - a dance starring my birthday girl and her cheerleading pal, Yaz, with the other girls all filling roles as DJ's, MC's, lighting and security. Miss fab was in her element).

Time to snuggle down into sleeping bags and watch the movie ("Johnny English" as requested by Miss fab, a suitably silly film) and Linda headed home. She's not silly. Six giggly girls and chocolate fountain does not bode well for shut-eye.

I cleared up the kitchen while the girls watched the movie; it took awhile. I've never disassembled a chocolate fountain before (it was easier than I thought).

After the movie the girls were still wide awake... surprise surprise. I figured they wouldn't be sleeping anytime soon and our best bet for calm and peace was another movie...
This time an inspirational true story, "Soul Surfer" about Bethany Hamilton whose arm was bitten off by a shark while surfing; she made a comeback and ended up becoming a professional surfer. It's a wonderful inspiring  movie, and it put the still-not-sleepy girls into a reflective mood so after the credits rolled I turned off the lanterns and made the girls promise to "only whisper" and if I had to knock on the wall too many times (my bed being right through the wall) I'd hate to have to separate them...

Would you believe it if I told you that by 11.15pm there was not a peep? Everyone was sound asleep, despite the sugar rush. Horror stories about girls having pillow fights all night and girls up talking til 3am and parents getting NO SLEEP... did not happen here. Woop!

They woke up gosh-darned early though. 6.15am (I checked my alarm clock). It was still dark outside.
I tried to ignore the noise and stay asleep-ish, but in the end, gave up and went to make breakfast...

Waffles (the toaster kind), juice, hot chocolate in a jug. Maple syrup, berry coulis, squirty cream. Marshmallows. What can I say, they loved it.

I'd asked the parents to pick their girls up by 9am, because I had to pick up Mr G and Dash from the airport at 10am so we had to get moving after breakfast, quick smart, don't dally. Then I got a call from hubby saying he'd messed up the times and it was 10PM not A.M.
Panic over. Relax. Txt the parents and say, "No need to rush and pick up your daughter because we are all having such a wonderful time". Truly.
Who'd have thought?

Finally I couldn't put it off any longer. It was time for the birthday cake. (I really didn't want to destroy my work of art but it had to be done).

[Note the addition of a "throw rug" on the end of the bed disguising a hole.
Scrag got curious and poked his finger in. Grrrr]

We lit the candles and I snapped a pic of the girls, in the order they appear on the cake...

We enthusiastically sang the song. Happy birthday, Miss Fab, Happy birthday to you! and after the wish was made and the candles blown out, we began to destroy enjoy the birthday cake bed. Using a long spatula I was able to slide the whole brownie "bed" off the top of the cake, remove it to a platter and give each girl "themselves" - which tickled them immensely.

We hung out, looming and looking at old photos, until the mums arrived one by one. 
Miss fab pronounced it her best party ever, and I have to say - I rather enjoyed it myself!

Happy Birthday Fabulous Miss Fab. I had such fun making this party to celebrate your ten fabulous years on the planet.

(P.S. We had a family dinner with our "boys" and Nan and Grandad last night on her actual birthday; a repeat of homemade pizzas and a dessert bar with all the party leftovers. Special.)

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