Zoe’s 5th birthday party

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog you’ll remember my niece Zoe’s purple pony party for her 3rd birthday, and last year’s still quite purple 4th birthday party. Well, young Zoe’s growing up fast but still adores purple and ponies. We celebrated her 5th birthday recently.

Party guests place Zoe's birthday presents on the table. I reckon this one's clothes. Party guests placed Zoe’s birthday presents on the table. I reckon this one’s clothes…

Homemade sausage rolls fresh from the oven Homemade sausage rolls fresh from the oven

Beef and pork chipolatas with smokey BBQ sauce Beef and pork chipolatas with smokey BBQ sauce

Fresh fruit kebabs Fresh fruit kebabs

Honey joys Honey joys

My brother, Zoe’s dad had made kites for everyone. All the kids had to do was customise them by adding streamers for tails. He got the kite design from My Best Kite.

Kite-decorating demonstration Everyone pays attention to the kite-decorating demonstration. Zoe’s holding a special purple balloon flower made for her by her dad

Making Zoe's kite Customising Zoe’s kite

Kite-making session A flurry of activity!

After happy dances in the backyard with their new kites, it was time to head off to the local park to fly them.


The wind came in short bursts, so kite flying required patience, persistence, a little luck and quite a bit of running.

Out in the park ready to fly kites Out in the park ready to fly kites


DSCF0271Hmmm… this kite needs a boost

DSCF0284Dad to the rescue – waiting to catch the next puff of wind

It was thrilling whenever a kite caught a gust of wind, and with fluttering tails, took flight, twisting and tugging in the breeze as we cheered and encouraged the excited young kite flyer to turn the winder and release more string.

DSCF0319Ruby discovered a knack for kite flying



DSCF0316Grown-ups and kids got right into it

DSCF0424My brother-in-law Jay got into kite flying too. So did Jac, and she really enjoyed herself – but no pictures of her, as usual!

After this, back to the party for round two of food: lunch. My mum’s fried noodles, with salad and bread.

My mum's fried noodles for lunch My mum’s fried noodles for lunch, with pork, Chinese mushrooms and Chinese greens

DSCF0439The kids sit down to a long table lunch. Silver service too, impressive!

Birthday girl Birthday girl

The big bunch of birthday balloons must go where Zoe goes, however inconvenient! Auntie Belinda gave Zoe a big bunch of birthday balloons, which Zoe insisted she must take everywhere with her, no matter how distracting or inconvenient!

DSCF0515-2Caleb enjoyed hanging out and have a giggle with the girls

Birthday cake time! The cake was a frog pond, with jelly in the middle, decorated with colourful stretchy frogs and parasols. “Who wants cake and jelly?” “Meeeeeeee!” came the eager reply.

Cutting the frog pond birthday cake Cutting the frog pond birthday cake. I love the the enthralled way Zoe gazes at her birthday cake each year. Caleb couldn’t wait to taste it and stuck right by her side, eyes fixed on the cake

Angela gave me the details about the cake. The basic lemon cake recipe was from her mum. The Australian Women’s Weekly swimming pool cake was the inspiration, but Zoe requested it to be in pink and purple. Angela iced the cake with a simple butter icing (butter and icing sugar), coloured with homemade blueberry juice to give a very light purple tinge. The sprinkles around the rim of the pool are Hopper Natural Sprinkles – naturally coloured rainbow sprinkles, which includes purple. She made the jelly with agar agar, Nudie apple juice and more homemade blueberry juice for colour. Ange has written about her use of homemade natural food colourings before on her blog. The frogs and parasols came from a $2 shop. Lastly, Angela piped white chocolate in the shape of fish onto baking paper, let them set in the fridge and then placed them along the outside of the ‘pool’. The chunky jelly made it easy to serve – each slice of cake with a piece of jelly. Or two.

Who wants jelly? Meeeeee! Who wants cake and jelly? Meeeeeeeee!

There were lots of fun surprises in Zoe’s birthday gifts – new clothes, books, a furry tiger back pack (another Millie!), a special cupcake just for the birthday girl, and…

 A birthday cupcake! A birthday cupcake!

…A PONY! As soon as it was unwrapped, Zoe sat on the pony, and kids squealed with delight as it swished its tail and neighed!
“It’s talking, it’s talking!” Caleb exclaimed.
“What do you think it’s saying?” someone asked.
Ruby was confident she had the answer: “‘GET OFF ME!’

The birthday pony is put to work right away The birthday pony is put to work right away – giddyup, pony!

And what did Zoe name her pony?


It's a pony!Nibbles the pony

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  • Jessica

    Happy Birthday, Zoe! Looks like another wonderful birthday. And wow – Ruby’s hair is soooooooo long. I’m jealous! As a kid I always wanted super long hair like that. Never happened, I was too impatient.

    • Jessica, it was a lovely party. Zoe was so happy, and the kids had a great time. Hah, yes, as a kid I always had a terrible shapeless haircut. Then I grew it long when I was around 15. Then I cut if short. Then I grew it. Then I shaved it off while I was a university student. Then I grew it again. Have kept it long since.

  • Nicole Jackson

    My favorite Zoe picture is the one of her looking at the camera before she eats. Beautiful. Caleb running is too cute. I wouldn’t be able to stop cuddling him if I were around him. Ruby is getting so tall! She’s 7 right?

    • Nicole, me too. She was quite difficult to photograph that day – constantly running and dancing around, barely staying still. When she sat to have lunch I knew that was my best chance. :) Caleb had a very good run up and down the park, determined to get his kite flying all by himself. Yes, Ruby turns 7 later this year. And she is very tall indeed. I have no doubt she will end up much much taller than her Auntie Cyn.

  • Viv

    Ahh the Australian Womens Weekly kids cookbook. Never fails :)

    • Viv, I love to grab my own copy from the bookshelf from time to time and flick through the pages. Always a pleasure.

  • Sharon Westburgh

    Love your birthday/family posts! Zoe, Caleb and Ruby are such beautiful children, amazing seeing them grow up :) So nice to see the cakes you guys customise every year, too. Very sweet!

    Zoe’s new pony is pretty too!

    • Sharon, I love being able to capture these parties through my pictures and am thrilled that the family is happy for me to share them with you guys. The kids also like to see the pictures and have Angela read the commentary back to them.

  • Dea

    The kids have grown so much! And your sis in law’s cakes get more creative with each birthday. I would love some agar agar with birthday cake. I also really like how your brother made kites for the little ones and they got to run around trying to fly them. Such a great idea for a kid’s party and without any of that video game nonsense too.

    • Dea, the kids are all pretty active and love to play in the sunshine, whether it’s activities on the patio or making pies in the sandpit or climbing the playground equipment in their backyard or going for a run in the park. I can’t imagine them enjoying a party that was largely indoors involving video games. :)

  • Love your family birthday parties! I made my Mum make me the swimming pool cake for my 30th birthday a couple of years ago :)

  • Awwwww. What a great party and how cute are the kids? Love the kite making activity for the kids. I’d like a bowl of those noodles, please.

  • Cindy M

    It’s been too long!! Happy birthdays to Ruby, Zoe, and Caleb. Ruby has grown; taller! Again, what wonderful parties. Such food and fun! Yep, I remember the Purple Pony Party. Heck, I remember Zoe’s first photo at your blog! Time sure passes quickly.

    • So awesome to see your comments this morning, Cindy. I’ve missed them. We’re celebrating Ruby’s birthday this weekend. She’s grown even taller than you can see from these photos :)

      • Cindy M

        I’ll be here more often, promise. Really looking forward to Ruby’s birthday pics. Life’s been unpleasant these past 5 months, but on the upswing now.

        • People come and go – it’s no problem with me, but I’m always chuffed when they come back! :)