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Tiffany Markman latest feb 13. jpg By Tiffany Markmancopywriter, editor and mom to an almost-four-year-old, who tries to balance her workaholism with cuddles, bookscaffeine & reining in her intrinsic kugelry. Follow her on twitter.

Lizelle de Kock’s Party Time, a practical and detailed party-planning book, both thrilled and annoyed me.

I was thrilled because it’s a) gorgeous, b) packed with lovely ideas, inspiration and how-tos and c) not targeted at professional-standard bakers, decorators or stylists. It’s for normal human moms. You know, real ones. Who are always in a hurry.

So why was I annoyed? Because 25% of the themes presented in Party Time (3 of the 12) are themes of parties I’ve already hosted in the last four years – and this book didn’t exist back then. My parties could have been much better!

What’s inside?

Inside Party Time, you’ll find ideas for food, treats, table décor, backdrops, cakes, snacks, party packs, venue styling, and more. But what’s really special is the fact that – while there are 12 themes – each theme can be tweaked to fit a slightly different event.

There are themes for boys (construction, army), themes for girls (mermaid, fairies), unisex themes (rainbows and rubber ducks, dinosaurs, candyland) and themes to tweak for adult get-togethers (picnic, love/lavender/lace, milk and cookies, etc).

You’ll also find a General Equipment list, a Recipe Index and a Supplier List. Nice!

Party Time by Lizelle de Kock

Extras included

Party Time also contains a CD with all the templates used in the 12 featured parties, so if you like the look of the cowboy décor, print out the patterns for your Toy Story or farm party. (I trawled the internet and eventually made my own. From scratch. Nuts!)

If you’re smitten with the circus patterns, borrow them for your carnival or animal party. (Once again, it seems I toiled and Pinterest-stalked needlessly.)

And if you love the idea of love, lavender and lace, but you prefer a yellow and grey colour palette to a pink and lilac one, copy the basics and change the easy things like the cake or cupcake icing, serviettes, ribbon and sweetie choices.

Simple, simple, simple. And a lot of fun. Just the way it should be.

Party Time, published by Random Struik, is available at all leading bookstores.

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