My little Miss No. 3 Madeline turned 4 the other day, and I think she had a great day. I just love the unashamed joy little ones show when they are the centre of attention in a large group of people on their birthdays - with cakes in front of them, presents being handed over and free access to party food.
I was pretty excited myself as I looked forward to Maddie's birthday, as some time ago I made her a play tent that I just couldn't wait to give her - following the pattern in this gorgeous book:
I did alter the pattern a bit and make it a whole lot taller - which I think works better and means that it can easily fit 2 or 3 kids inside - or even 3 plus a little Lucy sized bubba! Important when there are lots of little people around here! I also just made it out of calico (the thickest one I could find) rather than canvas, as it was heaps cheaper. I was worried it might look a bit poxy, but was really happy with the end result.
Anyway, here's my version, and I must say I'm a bit in love with it!
I think Maddie was pretty pleased with it too - and all the girls have been playing in it, both indoors and out.
We had a little party with some friends at the park to celebrate the occasion, and although it sprinkled while we were setting up, it ended up a lovely morning. I did a repeat performance on the best birthday cake I've come across - we did it for Jasmine's birthday last year, but I thought it was so great it deserved another look in and Madeline was keen. It is actually really easy - just a whole lot of packet cakes, food colouring, icing and M&M's! It looks pretty good before it's cut, but the best part is the reaction when you cut that first slice and pull out the rainbow inside! Give it a go - it's fantastic and really very easy.
I found it here - I just did a butter cream icing so mine was a bit more yellow than the one they did. I did find another one (a more grown up version) that suggested adding flavours to each colour - like blueberry, orange, lemon etc. but I thought that was a bit too sophisticated for a 4 year old's cake. Anyway, it was a real crowd pleaser and although Madeline later told her Grandma "I didn't like my birthday cake" I know she loved the singing and the blowing and the theatre of cutting the cake and showing everyone what was inside. Like her big sister Jasmine she's not a real fan of actually eating the cake, so I wasn't too offended by her comment!
Happy Birthday cheeky Maddie!