Swimming Pool Party Ideas With Dessert Table

In the summer months we always find it hard to extract the children from the pool, so a pool party is always an enjoyable option.  For this party we created a carved shark watermelon, beach ball cake pops, mini pavlova swimming pools and a pool styled birthday cake.  

For a different type of favour bag, we created small pools from plastic storage containers, filled them with goodies and topped them with a swimmer and umbrellas.  A range of printable items were created and are free to download.

A great day overall, a pool party is a must over summer.

Pool Party Dessert Table

Pool Party Dessert Table

Mini Pavlova Pools and beach ball cake pops graced the dessert table.  Mini Pavlovas have to be one of the easiest items to make, we used store bought pavlova shells then filled them with whipped cream with a touch of blue food colouring.  We decorated cake pops with simple edible glitter and topped with a silver ball.  The cake pops were placed in a styrofoam holder covered with blue celephane and a printable boarder.

Mini pavlova pools

Mini pavlova pools

Beach Ball Cake Pops

Beach Ball Cake Pops

Fresh fruit is always great for a party and we loved this carved shark with a mouth full of fresh fruit skewers and an old barbie doll with some red syrup on the legs for good measure.  The eyes were also simple with olives and tooth picks.

Shark watermelon carving

Shark watermelon carving

Cup cakes are a must have and are always devoured, we includes some life savers in the spirit of a pool party and some blue jelly cups.

Pool Party jelly Cups and Life Savers

Pool Party jelly Cups and Life Savers

Pool Party Cup Cakes

Pool Party Cup Cakes

Pool Party Birthday Cake

Our birthday cake was also pool inspired and was simple to make with a garden of crushed chocolate ripple biscuits and coloured gel for the pool.  These were topped with some pool sun lounges made from royal icing, palm trees, umbrellas and flowers.

Swimming Pool Birthday Cake

Swimming Pool Birthday Cake

Pool Party Decorating Ideas

As this party was mostly outdoors we tried to refrain on the indoors,  just a nice water image table cloth and lots of balloons.

Pool Party Table ideas

Pool Party Table ideas

Pool Party signs

Pool Party signs

pool party table ideas
Pool Party decorating ideas

Pool Party Favours DIY

I like to get creative with party favour's and this one was quite simple but very effective.  We purchased small blue plastic containers that were filled with goodies and covered with blue cellephane.  We added a thank you card, a swimmer and a couple of umbrellas,  The thank you cards and swimmers are available as a free down load.

pool party favour bags DIY

Pool Party Games

Most of our games revolved around novelty pool races including races while sitting in rings or on kick boards.  We did have a number of team relays and you can download our team selection cards here.  These were laminated and used to create teams .  We included one treasure hunt using water proof items and making it slightly harder by naming some of the pieces.  

Pool Party team selection cards

Pool Party team selection cards

Pool Party treasure hunt game

Pool Party treasure hunt game

Free Pool Party Printables

Free Pool Party Printables

Pool Party Free Printable products

We have created a range of printable products for this party that are available as a free download.  We had a lot of fun at our pool party and it is a very easy option for summer birthdays

Enjoy Julie

Christmas Table Setting Red and Gold - Christmas Decorations

We all absolutely love Christmas, a time of year to relax with family and friends and enjoy great food and company.  This year our table setting is rustic red and gold using lots of berries, pine cones and leaves.

Enjoy  Julie 

Christmas Table Setting Red and Gold Design

Christmas Table Setting Red and Gold Design

Table decorations include a large gold moose, red and gold pine cones, gold leaves and red berries.

Christmas Table Rustic Red and Gold

We alternated the table settings between gold and red with opposing bon bons.  This Christmas we used gold flatware.

Christmas Table Place Setting 

Christmas Table Place Setting

Small brass deers and gold tea candles were used among the foliage.

Christmas Table Setting Rustic Red and Gold Design

We decorated stemware with berries and holly leaves.  Long strands of berries were twirled around tall red wooden candles.

Christmas Stemware with Berries

Christmas Candles with Berries

The table looked wonderful both during the day and the evening when the candles all started sparkling.

Christmas Table Setting Red and Gold Rustic Design

A lovely vintage glass pedestal dish was a great option for mince tarts.

Christmas Table Setting Red and Gold Design

We decorated the sideboard with red and gold deers and a wonderful gold Christmas tree.

Christmas Table Red and Gold Design with Deers

Metallic chain and red string lights where thread into the design, this also looked wonderful during the day and the evening.

Christmas Sideboard Red and Gold

Christmas Sideboard Red and Gold

Christmas Sideboard Red and Gold

Halloween Vampire Party Game - The Blood Donation Room

At Halloween parties I always have an area dedicated to "keeping the children amused" so the adults can enjoy a quite, or not so quite drink.  This year was a vampire theme so we created a Vampire Blood donation room.  This had children dressed in bloody white coats taking blood donations from a group of happy donors.  A small set of printable items have been developed for this game.

Enjoy  Julie

Halloween Vampire Game - The Blood Donation Room

The Blood Donation room had lots of small bottles of blood (coloured water), blood bags, bloody bandages, syringes, white coats, face masks and bandaids.  Finally we included a reclining chair for the victims.

Halloween Vampire Party Blood Room

Halloween Blood Bags

We used a very old dresser as the counter for our blood collections, and a large black candelabra to hold the blood bags, the blood bags are easy to find on-line.

Halloween Vampire Party Decorating ideas

The decorations included a mix of vintage pieces including silver, glassware and bottles and modern halloween props.

Vampire Party Games

Vampire Party Games - Blood Drawing

Our young victims patiently waited their turn before being subjected to the blood drawing.

Halloween Vampire Game

Halloween Vampire Game - Blood Types

We developed a small set of printable items for the party, the waiting room had a sign, queue number and small circles for blood types.  The blood drawing room had small cards for the blood drawers to complete.  We found some blood syringe pens on-line.  This printable set is available in our shop.

Halloween Vampire Party blood decorations

Halloween Vampire Party games

We collected a lot of small bottles for this party, they were filled with water and red food dye to look like very dark blood.

Halloween Vampire Party Syringes and bandaids

Halloween Vampire Party decorating ideas

Syringes are easy to find on line. We included some small tweases and lots of bandaids in a vintage silver and glass serving dish.  The dressing table had lots of small shelves that were decorated with a few modern halloween pieces.

This was a great game for a vampire party and many an adult ventured into the blood donation room to emerge with a few artfully applied bandaids.  You may also like our other Vampire Posts: Vampire Dessert Table and Gothic Vampire Party.

The printable items we used for this party are available from our shop.

Halloween Vampire Game Printable Set

Halloween Vampire Family

Halloween Dragon Blood Punch - Alcoholic

Halloween Dragon Blood Punch, this is a delightful combination of Malibu Rum, Cointreau, tropical soda and ginger ale. Great for a Vampire Halloween party, recipe below.

See the full party here.

Enjoy  Julie

Halloween Dragon Blood Punch - Vampire Party

Halloween Vampire Punch

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle Malibu
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau
  • 6 cups tropical fruit punch soda
  • 6 cups Cranberry Juice
  • 6 cups apple juice
  • 2 litres Ginger Ale
  • Lots of vampire teeth iceblocks

Method

  1. Combine everything except the ginger and iceblocks in the punch bowl.
  2. Top with the ginger ale.
  3. Add ice blocks.
  4. Enjoy

Halloween Dessert Table - Vampire Party

What more could a young and young at heart Vampire want from halloween than a halloween Vampire Party with a Vampire dessert table laden with Dracula Cake Pops, Castle Cup Cakes, Blood Jelly and Coffin and Bat Vanilla cookies.  

We trust you will enjoy our Halloween Vampire Dessert Table.

Halloween Vampire Dessert Table

This dessert table was a lot of fun to create and quite simple.  The backdrop for the dessert table was a large wall of flying bats, this was achieved with a lot of card bats that we found on-line.  We used a lot of black and red elements on the table  

Halloween Vampire Dessert Table

Vampire Cake Pops and Cookies

I positioned the bats to look like they had just left their roost for the night, soaring across the night sky in search of victims.  The moon worked well as a centrepiece. 

Halloween Coffin Cookies

Halloween Bay Cookies - Vampire Party

Coffin Vanilla Cookies and Bat Vanilla Cookies worked well for a vampire theme.  They were simply decorated in red or black icing with small silver and gold cachous to add definition and sparkle.

Dracula Cake Pops - Vampire Party

Vampire Cake Pops - Vampire Party

We made Dracula cake pops for the party and used a combination of large and small cake papers to make capes.  The cake pops were placed in styrofoam that was covered with small bones and bats and wrapped in a castle printable from our Vampire Dessert table package.

Halloween Vampire Party - Blood Jelly

We served Blood Jelly in LED cups with the colour set to red, these looked really effective in a dark room.

Castle Cup Cakes - Halloween Vampire Party

Halloween Dessert Table with Bats - Vampire Party

We decorated the cupcakes as Dracula's Castle.  We used a slice of Licorice Allsort for the front wall that was trimmed at the top to create a parapet.  The wall was then edged by two licorices pieces and topped with two large cachous balls to create castle towers.  These are easy to make but you will require icing to hold the elements together.  They looked great on the cup cakes.

Halloween Vampire Castle Cup Cakes

The castle cup cakes were topped with a cup cake topper from our printable range.  We also created a blood donation room game for this party, this was a great game that kept the children occupied all evening.

Halloween Vampire party dessert table printable set

This was a fun party and the vampire theme led to lots of great costumes.  We have created a small number of printable products for this party, they are available in our shop.

We hope you have enjoyed our photos

Enjoy  Julie

Halloween Bloody Eyeball Punch (non alcoholic)

This year we had a vampire themed halloween party so a "Bloody Eyeball Punch" was created.  This is a really nice punch enjoyed by young and old, recipe below.

See the whole party here.

Enjoy  Julie

Halloween Bloody Eyeball Punch

Halloween Vampire Punch

Recipe 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Caster sugar
  • 8 tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • red food colouring
  • 4 litres red creaming soda
  • 2 litres good vanilla ice cream.

Method

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and cook string over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved,
  2. Remove from the heat and add the milk and almond extract.
  3. Transfer to a large jug and allow to cool to room temperature, then move to the fridge to chill.
  4. When ready to serve, transfer the mixture to the punch bowl.
  5. Add food colouring a bit at a time until you reach your desired colour.
  6. Add soda, leaving space for the ice cream.
  7. Add ice cream using a scoop
  8. Pop in some washed eyeballs
  9. Enjoy

 

Halloween Vampire Party - Gothic Inspired

My attraction to vampire stories started long ago when I opened my first vampire book, Anne Rice's Interview with the vampire.  Who could resist Louis?.  Since then, I've read a lot of vampire books and watched a lot of vampire movies but tend to always gravitate to the image of the gothic vampire, the suave and sophisticated creature of the night.

This party is set in the 18th century and involves a select group of stately vampires enjoying a blood tasting that includes a small sample of Count Dracula's blood.  The party is very vintage and includes lots of crystal, silver and very old books with a small set of printable elements that are available in our store.

A great option best suited for an adult audience.

Enjoy,  Julie 

Halloween Vampire Party Gothic Inspired

This party was planned a good year in advance that allowed me to collect some wonderful vintage pieces including Crystal decanters and glasses, silver platers and lots of very old books.  Each decanter held a different blood type (aka Red Wine), tasting notes were provided.

Halloween Vampire Table Decorations

Halloween Vampire Vintage Decorations

The decanters were arranged on piles of vintage books and vintage silver pedestal trays reminiscent of a stately drawing room or library.  Vintage stemware in crystal and silver was arranged for the wine tastings.

Halloween Vampire Wine Tasting Table Decorations

Tall candles provided height for the table.  the only modern element on the table was some select bats placed on candle sticks and books.

Halloween Vintage Vampire Party

Halloween Vampire Syringe Cocktail

I included some old Chinese and Egyptian pieces on the table to make the host appear well travelled.  During the evening we served a Blood Tingle Cocktail with a Syringe.  Safe useable Syringes are available on-line and our blood tingle cocktail was a standard fruit tingle with a Cherry Advocaat substituted for Blue Curacao.

Halloween Gothic Vampire Party - Vintage

Small battery tea lights  were placed around the decanters and glasses to caste an ernie glow over the table.

Halloween Vampire Party

Halloween Vampire Blood Tasting

When creating this look it's important to source a variety of old books with different covers and widths, just ensure they are stable to support the decanters.  

Halloween Gothic Party

Halloween Gothic Party

The room was kept quite dark for this party that allowed the glow from the tea lights and candles to caste shadows over the table.

Halloween Vampire Printables

Halloween Vampire Blood Tasting

To add to the drama I created "blood Tasting Notes" depicting the unfortunate individuals who freely or not so freely made blood donations for the evening.  

Catering

This was a late party so catering was as simple as drinks and simple finger food. I always make a couple of large bowls of punch at halloween.  We served a non alcoholic Bloody eyeball punch and an allocholic dragon blood punch.  

Halloween Bloody Eyeball Punch

Halloween Dragon Blood Punch

A cheese platter is always great for halloween and a tray of assorted niceness such as olives, wasabi peas and dragon balls with a couple of red dips.

Halloween Dip Platter

Halloween Cheese Platter

Vodka Jelly Shots have became a staple at my halloween parties and are always consumed.  A small collection of printable elements were created for this party, they are available in our shop.  

Halloween Gothic Vampire Printables

A Halloween Gothic Vampire Blood Tasting Party is a great option for a Halloween Party, especially if you love vintage pieces.

We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I hope you have enjoyed the photos.

Time to think about next year!

Cheers

Julie

Chic Party Ideas

Halloween Vodka Jelly Shots

Halloween Gothic Vampire Party

Owl Baby Shower Cup Cakes with Free Owl Printables

This week one of our favourite teachers left us to move into the special phase of motherhood and while we will miss her dearly we wish her all the best.  To celebrate this special occasion the class held a farewell party with some cute owl cup cakes.  

Given we do not know the sex of this baby we created half pink and half blue.  To celebrate this special occasions we are offering our owl cup cake toppers as a free download.

Enjoy

Owl Baby Shower Cup Cakes

Owl Baby Shower - Baby Girl

Owl Baby Shower - Baby Boy

Free Baby Shower Owl Printables

Australia Day Baked Potato Bar

It's hard to believe another Australia Day is upon us.  Where has the year gone!.

When planning your celebrations why not try a Baked Potato Bar.  A nice crunchy baked potato with lashings of toppings is just so good.  This could be a meal in itself or nicely sit beside the BBQ.

For dessert we included a blueberry Pavlova and Chocolate Ripple Cake.  Both very Australia desserts.

We trust you have a wonderful Australia Day.

Enjoy

Australia Day Baked Potato Bar

Australia Day Baked Potato Bar

We kept things pretty simple and just included potato, coleslaw, crispy bacon, butter, cheese and sour cream,  I found the small Australia Day cardboard box's at our local supermarket.

Keep it simple: Potato, coleslaw, bacon, butter, cheese and sour cream.

Keep it simple: Potato, coleslaw, bacon, butter, cheese and sour cream.

We used an Australian Flag (Also from the supermarket) to cover a small side table used for plates and cutlery.

Australia Day decorating Ideas

Australia Day decorating Ideas

We kept dessert simple with a Chocolate Ripple Cake and a Blueberry Pavlova, both very perfect for Australia Day.  Both desserts can be prepared well in advance.  The Pavlova was made with my all time best Pavlova recipe .

Chocolate Ripple Cake - Australia Day

Chocolate Ripple Cake - Australia Day

Blueberry Pavlova - Australia Day

Blueberry Pavlova - Australia Day

I could not resist some classic Aussie starters of crackers, dips, cabana and vegetable sticks.  An Australia Day staple for decades but much nicer with the Australia Day flags.

Australia Day - Classic Starters

Australia Day - Classic Starters

Decorate your table and room with lots of flags, bunting and balloons.  I also like to incorporate my large birds into Australia Day parties.

Australia Day Decorating Ideas

Australia Day Decorating Ideas

Australia Day Decorating Ideas

Australia Day Decorating Ideas

Australia Day Decorating Ideas

Australia Day Decorating Ideas

Australia Day Baked Potato Bar

Australia Day Baked Potato Bar

Christmas Pudding - A must have Christmas Dessert

I remember as a young child the delights of the Christmas Pudding being bought to the table with a jug of brandy custard.  In those days my grand mother used to hide her precious collection of threepence in the pudding and it was good luck to find one.  I now feel is was even better luck to find one without breaking a tooth or consuming the threepence.

This is a very old family recipe that has only received a couple of minor tweaks over the years.  It is not for the faint hearted cook as it does require a long looking time, but it us absolutely delicious.

Enjoy

Christmas Pudding

Recipe: 

Ingredients

  • 250g raisins
  • 250g sultanas
  • 185g currants
  • 185g dates
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 250g butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar firmly packed
  • 5 large eggs
  • 250g plain flour (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon - ground
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 200g fresh breadcrumbs (Use day old white bread)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons of extra flour 
  • 1 pudding cloth and tie

Method

  1. Cut the raisins and dates to the same size as the sultanas.
  2. Mix the fruit together, add brandy and stir well.
  3. Cover with glad wrap and leave overnight.
  4. Next Day
  5. Cream the butter and sugar.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well.
  7. Add the fruit and mix well.
  8. Add all dried ingredients including the bread crumbs and mix well.
  9. Boil the pudding cloth for 10 minutes and allow to cool.
  10. Fill a large boiler 3/4 with water and bring to the boil.
  11. Lay the pudding cloth on the bench and sprinkle the centre with the extra flour to approximately 35 cm diameter.
  12. Place the cloth in a large colander.
  13. Spoon in the pudding mixture.  Pull the sides of the cloth together and tie with string as close to the pudding as possible.  Make a loop in the string for easy hanging
  14. Lower the pudding into the boiling water and boil for 5 hours.  Top up the pot with extra boiling water every 30 minutes.
  15. When cooked, carefully remove the pudding from the pot with the handle of a wooden spoon.  Allow the pudding to hang, swinging freely and not touching any surface.  Note:  I do this by hanging the pudding on a broom stick over the laundry sink.  Twist, or peg the loose ends of the cloth to the string so they do not touch the pudding.
  16. Allow the pudding the hang for a few days
  17. Transfer the pudding to a plate, remove string and secure with glad wrap.  Place in the fridge until Christmas eve.
  18. Christmas Eve / Day
  19. Remove the pudding from the fridge on Christmas Eve.
  20. A few hours before the pudding is required bring a large boiler 3/4 filled with water to the boil.
  21. Retie the pudding with string, and include a good loop.
  22. Lower the pudding into the water and boil for 1 1/2 hours, topping with boiling water every 30 minutes.
  23. When cooked, gently remove the pudding from the water and suspend for 15 minutes.
  24. Working quickly, transfer the pudding to a plate, cut the string, gently remove the cloth and transfer to a serving plate.
  25. Allow to stand for 20 minutes before serving.
  26. I find this pudding is best served with brandy custard.
  27. Enjoy

Note: I try and make the pudding 4 weeks before Christmas, but it can be done as late as 2 weeks with good results