Hallowe’en

End of summer… the trees will start to turn red and gold then before you know it, it will be dark nights, bewitching sights, madness and mayhem!

Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”) comes from the Gaelic “Samhuin,” the end of summer and is known by most as Halloween, but for many Pagans it is a Sabbat to honour the ancestors, marking the dark time of the year;  a time of hibernation before the next regrowth.   It’s a time to contact the spirit world with a séance, as it’s the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest. Many other cultures celebrate this time as a festival of the dead, from ancient Egypt to pre-conquest Mexico.

After all, when summer is ending here on earth, it’s just beginning in the Underworld. Samhain actually refers to the daylight portion of the holiday, on November 1st.

These days, we have a bit of fun for the children… we face painters are in great demand at the end of October!!!!  Most dates have been booked for months in advance.  Please contact me, just in case we have a weekday date free!!

Here are some simple treats for you to set the mood.

Zombie Fingers

  • 250g stoned dates
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped up
  • 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp porridge oats
  • Flaked, toasted almonds

Put all the ingredients [not the almonds] into a food processor and pulse until you have a knobbly looking mixture.

Line a tray with baking parchment and mould the mixture into fingers, then lay them on the tray. Press an almond ‘fingernail’ into the end of each finger and place in the fridge to harden for at least 1 hr. Serve in a small bowl with ‘fingernails’ showing.

Banana Ghosts

  • 200g bar white chocolate broken into chunks
  • 4 medium-large, ripe bananas
  • 85g desiccated coconut (you won’t use it all)
  • handful dark chocolate drops

Use a small bowl, gently melt the chocolate [microwave – in short bursts or a bowl in a pan of simmering water (make sure bowl isn’t touching the water). Leave while you get the bananas ready.

Peel the bananas, cut in half, and push a lolly stick into the middle of each piece. Put some coconut in a shallow bowl. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment, and make sure there is room for the tray in the freezer.

Dip a banana half in chocolate, letting excess drip away. Sprinkle with plenty of the coconut until coated, and then lay it on the prepared sheet. Now add two chocolate eyes and a mouth. Freeze the lollies for at least 4 hrs, or up to a week.

Please enjoy the season!

 

School’s In

Well the summer is coming to a close; the children are back at school and some normal chaos has returned to our morning road journeys.

In the Children’s Entertainment industry, the warmer months are overflowing with village fetes, County fairs, Company Fun Days, Weddings, and Christenings.  Of course there were still birthday parties but sadly one I performed at, many guests did not arrive, without sending any apologies and the little boy was visibly devastated. If you know you will be away, please let the host know.

Parties aside… large corporate groups often employ our services but a small number do not think it matters to keep us waiting 2 months or more for our payment.  When you have others working alongside you, they rightly expect to be paid up to 30 days after the event but small independents do not have the means to stump up ££££’s whilst waiting for the indifferent accounts department to ‘approve’ your invoice.

The Law is on our side.  https://www.gov.uk/late-commercial-payments-interest-debt-recovery/when-a-payment-becomes-late but we would much rather these customers, some with well-known names, pay up in a timely manner.

If anyone has had this problem and tackled it using the above law, please write to me and let me know the outcome of your endeavours.

 

Denise www.angelfaces.net

denise@angelfaces.net

 

via

Party Planning – Angel Faces

We can’t cover every type of party so if you have any questions or suggestions please email us at and we’ll do our very best to help.

3 Months ahead

1 – Decide the location. Remember venues and entertainers can be booked up months in advance so be flexible as your first choice might not be available.  Check Community halls for an inexpensive choice. If you’re looking for particular facilities like a kitchen or car park this is a good option. You are normally expected to clean floors etc afterwards so allow extra time to set up and clear up.

2 – Set the date and time nearest to the birthday date. Parties can be at anytime, after school, Saturday or Sunday morning so party food could be lunch

Soft play centres etc often have a party package for you to choose from so find out what is included for what price.

3 – How many invites? A joint party with another birthday child minimises costs whilst sharing the excitement!

Write a guest list; not all will be able to make it.. Are any adults staying at the party? This could be friends of the family, helpers or parents of younger children. Also bear in mind that there may be some younger or even older children than your children – how will you cater for and entertain them?

Your budget will have a bearing on the size of your party and whether you need to hire a venue, do you want a particular hall or need space for entertainment?

Save money, DIY cake and party bags.

4 – Decide on the two most important things, food and entertainment

Plan your party food and drink menu if you are doing the catering

Keep it simple. Kids do not eat loads at a party so why not use “boxes” with their names on and include:

 ½ a sandwich or a small roll (cheese spread, marmite, jam )

 Small bag of crisps

 2 cubes of cheese (wrapped in Clingfilm or mini bag)

 2 mini sausages (wrapped)

 3 grapes or other small fruit

 1 biscuit

 1 small cake

 Individual drinks in cartons or plastic bottles

Decide if you want any thing else with your Face Painter? Games, Bouncy Castle, Magicians, clowns or disco and book your entertainment

Party games can be simple and cheap to organise.  Again your choice of extra entertainment may be dictated by your theme and choice of venue.  Please ask for our list of suggested games!  We also have outdoor games, Snakes and Ladders, Genga.

***A note about the weather ***

Summer parties can be in your garden or outside at your venue. But don’t rely on it. We have a 3x4m marquee available for hire or make sure that your indoor space is adequate.

1 month before

List all things that need to be done.

Shopping list for the food and drinks based on numbers of RSVPs.

Plan a schedule for the day such as:

  •  Food into the car
  •  time to arrive at venue
  •  list of jobs at the venue (see helpers* list)
  •  The duration of the entertainment
  •  Get the children active before the entertainment to burn off some energy
  •  decide when the will food be served?
  •  When will you do “happy birthday” candles?
  •  Clearing up time

 

Then make sure you have enough *helpers to do these jobs:

 erecting and setting the tables?

 putting up banners?

 Laying out food boxes?

 Who is running any party games?

 someone to cut the cake for the party bags?

 organise handing out the party bags?

 who is bringing the birthday boy/girl to and from the venue?

 

If children are being left by parents, note contact names and numbers and we suggest

that each child has a name sticker too!

Find some suitable music

Add prizes for the games to your shopping list

Order your cake (or plan your own!), balloons, party bags etc

 

Invitations:

 There are a wide variety of pre-printed invitations in card shops and supermarkets. Or you could make your own on your PC, there is a range of card software you can buy to help you with this, or on the Internet

 Name of Child

 Details of event including any theme

 Start and End Time and Date of Party

 Location of the event with postcode (for all the Satnavs out there!)

 RSVP Date

 RSVP phone number, postal address or email address

 Can/should parents stay

 

Keep a note (or spreadsheet!) of all the RSVPs TIP – Keep this for when the presents are being opened in case you have any presents without a tag or that you can decipher

Buy the party goods Tableware (such as plates, napkins, bowls, plastic cutlery)

Decorations (such as balloons, party banners)

Buy Party Bags and contents (if you’re doing your own) – plus any prizes and sweets for games

 

A week before

Confirm the venue, cake, balloons, catering and entertainment etc

Confirm adult helpers and make sure they know where to go and what time to be there

Write a list of everything you need to take on the day and make sure you have containers (boxes, cool boxes/bags) to carry everything in.

 

1 or 2 days before

Buy the food and drinks for the party.

Charge cameras or video camera batteries and take spares if you can

Make or collect the cake

 

On the Day

Get everything that you can ready at home before you go to the venue and this includes your child! Who will be dressing them and getting them ready?

Do you have?

Food

Drinks

Party Bags

Party Banners, balloons, balloon pump

Camera/video camera

Scissors

Sticky tape/blue tack

Dustbin liners

Paper plates, bowls, napkins, tablecloths, table clips and plastic cutlery

Stereo and music

Matches or lighter for the candles!

Decent knife to slice the cake

Baby wipes

Kitchen roll

Vacuum cleaner (if needed)

 

At the venue

Before things start:

Make sure everyone knows what their job is and they have everything they need to do it

Make sure you lay out enough tables and chairs – don’t forget one for presents that is easy to get to

Make sure you put a birthday banner or balloon at the door or gate so guests can easily spot the entrance

Be there to welcome your guests, accept presents and direct guests to where you want them at the start of

the party. The older birthday child can join you for this but younger ones will be playing with their friends!

During the Party

Stick to your schedule as far as possible and make sure the helpers know what they are doing

And enjoy it!

Leaving:

Make sure that guests have a party bag

Make sure that children go home with their parents or carers only

 

After the Party

Recover!

When all the presents are being opened keep a pen and paper handy to note who gave what

Send “thank you” emails within 10 days of the party if possible

 

 

 

Countdown to Xmas – special offer

It is that time again, December, with all the searching for great gifts for the family!  As your children get older, it is amazing how much their ‘stocking’ items evolve… no more sneaking in the pair of school shoes, track suit bottoms, masquerading as a ‘gift’ [Yep I did this on more than one occasion!]. Or indeed the old fashioned satsuma trick…. so much is commonplace and ordinary these days.

How do we pitch this?  Do we ask them what they want thus spoiling any surprises, or do we try and listen in on their conversations in the hopes of gaining ‘insider’ information?  Sometimes this is more difficult than you can imagine, especially when they reach Secondary School age…. try cocking an ear to a teenagers phone conversation and you will be met with a frosty look, a grumpy noise and with that, a disappearing act!

I tried to get them to write a list so, when they were small, a copy of the Argos catalogue came out and they avidly scribbled down EVERYTHING they lusted after!  At least we had something to go on! Time went on and it was explicit cd’s, inappropriate clothes/jewellery and don’t get me started on X-box games!

Trust me, it does not get any easier when they hit their 20’s.  It can be a tad more expensive though.  A bottle of perfume can set you back £60, aftershave is little better – the clothing becomes more practical with a winter coat here and there but don’t get me started on X-box games!

I am so glad my business caters for the slightly younger members of our society.  Each and every one of them has a birthday so my face painting and balloon modelling skills keep me busy, as does the craft workshops and glitter tattoos!

Now, my little Xmas gift to a few lucky children: I am offering a discount on a two hour birthday party held during the last two weekends in January – so there you have it!  Go to my website and using the drop-down menu to contact me, Denise,fill in the request and mention the title of this article in the message.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

http://www.angelfaces.net

@Angel Faces UK

 

Monday Muse [tbc]

What affects people’s happiness most are things like quality of sleep, little ups and downs at work and relationships with our friends and family. In other words: it’s the little things that make us happy.

When you’re down or worried about something, people often say: “hey, try not to think about it; just put it out of your mind!”

This is very bad advice. Trying to suppress your thoughts is counter-productive. Like trying as hard as you can not to think about pink elephants or white bears. What people experience when they try to suppress their thoughts is an ironic rebound effect: the thought comes back stronger than before. Looking for distractions is a much better strategy.

One of the weirdest and most unsettling findings in psychology is the idea that we find it hard to hold two contradictory beliefs, so we unconsciously adjust one to make it fit with the other.

The gap between people with mental illness and the ‘sane’ is a lot smaller than we’d like to think.

Fantasies also fail to flag up the problems we’re likely to face on the way to our goals.

Please feel free to add your thoughts xx

http://www.angelfaces.net @Angel Faces UK