Maddie’s 5th Birthday – Barbie Drive By Party

I simply cannot believe my eldest has turned five! It honestly felt like just the other day that I became a mom for the first time. What an incredible journey the past five years has been being this precious little girl’s mama.

If you have been following me for some time, you might remember last year we had to cancel her 4th birthday as it was a week before we were due to go into our hard lockdown. It broke my heart and it was incredibly sad to have missed out on throwing her the party we had planned for her – everything was booked, paid for and ready to rock n roll. We had told her that when ‘it was all over’ that we’d still have her 4th birthday party – even if it was months later but a year later, things still aren’t ‘over’ and we still need to be cautious so that party never happened.

With her 5th birthday coming up, I had to remain on the side of caution when planning her special celebration. As much as it seemed that things were slowly going back to normal and people were becoming a lot more comfortable taking their kids to parties and socialising with each other – I knew that the fear of a third wave was hanging over our head. I knew that I didn’t want to selfishly put my friends or the parents of Maddie’s friends in an uncomfortable predicament whereby they wouldn’t feel comfortable allowing their kids to go to a party. I knew that I couldn’t break Maddie’s heart having to cancel if things with the lockdown level changed and I knew I didn’t want to waste time and money again this year on a party that could never happen. So after a lot of taught and consideration, Brett and I decided that we’d throw her a party – COVID style… we figured it would be one for the books and we felt it would be the safest option for everyone. SO, we planned a simple but beautiful drive by party!

Maddie was sold on the idea from the get go – as long as she could choose the theme, Barbie of course, she was happy. I obviously worried that she wouldn’t understand that her friends could only pop by for 10 mins max and that they had to leave shortly after arriving. She surprisingly understood and promised me that she wouldn’t mind.

Planning the party was quick and easy and knowing I would set up outside my garage here at home – made set up and break down so easy!

Here are a few details of what made Maddie’s 5th Barbie inspired Drive-By Party super special…


She asked for ‘spoofy’ and big, just like Barbie’s! The first person that came to mind was Durban children’s clothing brand, Princess Gabi Clothing. If anyone could custom make Maddie and her baby sister Barbie inspired dresses, it was them! And boy, were we blown away! Maddie couldn’t stop twirling in her dress on the day of her party and my heart still aches looking at my two girls in their dresses. I mean, just look at Charlie…


With a small set up in-front of my garage – I knew I wanted a wall of balloons which would cover my garage door and create the most beautiful backdrop to her Barbie box (which a friend kindly borrowed us for the party) and I decorated with some stationery fans created by My Instant Party Box. The Barbie box would be front and centre (and act as a photo booth as such) alongside her cake table which would also form a stand out centre piece to the set up. I hired a carpet which would cover up my drive way, as well as a BRIGHT PINK chair for the birthday girl to sit on when she grew tired.

Alongside the set up, I hired a long table for the party packs which were created by My Instant Party Box as well as the party favours. TM Signs supplied us with a number 5 light box for the party table.


We called in our go-to balloon extraordinaire, Taryn of Mad Hatters Balloons who came through the morning of Maddie’s party to set up the balloon wall and add finishing touches to our set up. She created the most perfect backdrop with such ease!


My Instant Party Box were kind enough to put together 12 boxes for Maddie’s friends. They were uniquely designed and put together – flat packed in a box and couriered to us to pack. Each pack included chips and sweets and I added a Woolworths Barbie themed juice box into it. So quick, so easy and absolutely effortless! My Instant Party Box to the rescue!


My friend (from way back when, high school days) Kirsty of Hustle & Heart Cookie Studio was kind enough to create the most beautiful DIY cookie kits – Barbie themed of course! Each kit included four biscuits and three icing bags and sprinkles for the kids to take home to decorate cookies. Each box also included an iced Barbie biscuit with their names. This was the perfect favour for the kids to take home and further celebrate Maddie’s special day.

Because there were things I didn’t have to budget for because we were having a drive by party, I decided to spoil each one of Maddie’s friends with their own Barbie doll to take home. The boys got a Ken doll!

Their little faces lit up and couldn’t wait to leave with their arm full of spoils! Which helped lessen the blow of the very short visit!


I knew I wanted a modern version of a traditional Barbie cake… I had one when I was a kid too! And Kalamaty Jane Cakes of Glenore KwikSpar blew it out of the water! Yes, it tasted as good as it looks… even better in fact! And Maddie was blown away… happy mama! We had grandparents stay to enjoy the cake with us after the party. They arrived last after all the kiddies had made their stop. So yes, the cake was eaten and enjoyed!


Hustle & Heart Cookie Studio iced some cookies for us to display and enjoy – these were the same cookies included in the DIY kits the kiddies took home – only iced.


Last year we had booked Tom the Magician from Big Top Entertainment, who we didn’t end up using but we were excited to have him add a bit of magic (in a very big way) at Maddie’s drive by party. Tom honestly made the party! It added substance to each kid stopping, getting out their car, greeting Maddie, watching one of Tom’s magic tricks (their facial expressions were priceless) and be given a balloon animal before Maddie giving their their party favours and saying goodbye. Without Tom’s five minutes of entertainment, I think the party would have fallen flat.

Maddie had the most special two hour celebration with a new friend arriving every 10 minutes…

(not all kids pics have been shared in this blog post due to respecting their privacy).

And we ended off with her beloved grandparents arriving to sing happy birthday to her and eat cake, and opening all her gifts. She got so spoilt with a ton of Barbie goodies!

Definitely a 5th birthday party we will never forget and one for Maddie to tell her kids about one day…


FURNITURE HIRE: Furniture Lab | | | @furniturelabkzn

LIGHTBOX: TM Signs | | | @tmsignskzn

BALLOONS: Mad Hatters Party Shop || | @madhatterspartyshopballito |

CAKE: Vanessa of Kalamaty Jane Cakes | @kalamatyjanecakes |

BISCUITS: Hustle & Heart Cookie Studio | | @hustleandheart.cookiestudio

PARTY PACKS AND STATIONERY: My Instant Party Box | | | @myinstantpartybox

DRESSES & HEADBANDS: Princess Gabi | | | @princess_gabi_clothing

MAGICIAN: Tom of Big Top Entertainment | | | @big_top_entertainment_durban

PHOTOGRAPHS: Karen Mackridge Photography |

You can watch a sneak peek of her special day on my IG page…


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