Our Rowen is a country girl at heart. She loves animals, prefers to wear her Blundstones, with a pink frock of course, and is very comfortable on a horse. For her party this year we brought a little country to the backyard. 2 "cowgirls", 3 bails of hay and the sounds of Dolly Parton, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash.
*I managed to just capture this picture of the girls who, 5 minutes before the guests arrived, became a rainbow princess and a.. well... purple fleece housecoat, leather vest, crushed velvet cape and paper crown wearing princess. Sheeesh. This is a farm party girls!!!
Did I mention it was 29 degrees?
Brown paper bags with a savoury mix, bowls of apples and jugs of apple "fizzy drink" (apple juice and soda water)
Toffee apples were given to all of her little guests as a thank you. Now I'm not sure if it's just me, perhaps I'll blame the lack of candy thermometer, but toffee apples are not as easy to make as they seem. After 2 batches we never quite achieved that thick caramel finish. I even managed to crush Piper's dreams in the process. "Oh thank you mum, all I have ever wanted in my WHOLE life is a candy apple". One bite - straight to the bin. Sorry Piper.
Rowen's birthday cake was one giant cupcake with a horse galloping through a green coconut field. Simple. I decided to cull the idea of moulding a horse out of rice krispies and dipping it in chocolate for the cake topper. Perhaps a little too ambitious??
With the help of a couple of lovely friends the night before, we managed to pull off this bake-a-thon. It all seemed so simple in the organizing.
Now we did break my number one party rule; Keep it homemade. No extravagant outside entertainment and well, we got that pony.
The pony was a surprise, that turned up half an hour early. It was not too obviously grazing on our front lawn. As each guest arrived, walking very slowly past this obscure scene, I thought there is no way we can pull this off. After begging one child at the door to pleeeeease keep it a secret she ran in and exclaimed "there is a real live pony in the garden!" Luckily no one was paying much attention. Rowen grabbed a spot on the kitchen floor and began to rip her presents open. A welcome distraction. I just hoped she wouldn't turn around to see the lovely pony covered in sparkles and pink pretties framed perfectly in the window just behind her. Oh the stress! 10:30 finally arrived and the surprise could be revealed. We got away with it. Only just.