The Little Princess’ Frozen-Themed 2nd Birthday

I promised I’d share with you about the Little Princess’ Frozen party so here I am fulfilling my promise. 😉 But allow me to be a bit nostalgic first…

Can you believe this little angel has already turned 2? Awww, how time flies!

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She was just a tiny fragile always-sleeping cutie patootie 2 years ago and now, she is already a strong-willed but absolutely sweet and talkative li’l girl running around our house. Our breath of fresh air from a tiring day of work and our ray of sunshine when things don’t seem to go well, along with her Kuya.

And you know what? This Little Princess of mine loves to sing and dance just like her mom! ;)(Hubby won’t contest, I assure you. 😉 ) Whenever she hears a music play, especially an upbeat or a familiar one, she would wiggle her hips and dance away! Or sing to the tune like a diva. Or do both at the same time. 😉 She’s a natural entertainer! 🙂

Among her favorite songs are from Hi5 and boy, she loves this show so much! If it’s Hi5 time, she would drop her toys and go in front of our TV to watch intently. And once the songs have started, she would sing and dance her heart out and would sometimes invite me or her dad to join her. 😀 She knows how to sing the songs and perform the steps. 🙂

Another favorite of hers is Frozen. Who doesn’t like Frozen among kids, by the way? 😀 She sings the songs with much emotion, brows furrowed (haha!) and have memorized even the speaking lines on the song “Love is an Open Door”. Her love for this movie was influenced by no other than her dad. Haha! So I therefore conclude that it’s her dad who really likes Frozen. LOL! 😀

For the Little Princess’ 2nd birthday, I was having a dilemma which of the two, Hi5 and Frozen will be the theme for her simple party. (I know, mommy problems. 😀 ) So I asked hubby and you now know why we ended up using Frozen. Hahaha! 🙂

As always, the Little Princess’ 2nd party was full of my labor of love. 🙂 I started working full time on the decors the night before her birthday barely getting some sleep until the afternoon before her dinner party. I thought I was doing a paperwork again, except that I super enjoyed doing party stuff and it was less stressful mentally. 🙂

Yup, I took a leave on the date of my Little Princess’ birthday  in the middle of my super duper busy work schedule that week, of course, to spend this special day with her. My children’s birthdays have always been a priority for me and I always take the day off from work no matter how busy I am, to be with them on their special days. Because hey, these special occasions only happen once a year and the same birthday would never happen again and I don’t want to look back one day and regret that I wasn’t with them during these memorable days in their lives. Time flies and I’m pretty sure, in a blink of an eye, they are all grown ups. Must cherish the moment!

Going back to the party preps, I decided to just use Elsa and the blue and white colors as the inspiration to make my life easier. Haha! Kidding. 🙂 I love the blue color, basically. 🙂 I only had an imaginary moodboard which I envisioned to be something fancy, magical and of course, princess-y — hanging snowflakes, castle background, some balloons, birthday banner, patterns and doilies. With the help from Google and Pinterest, I came up with this. Tadaaaa! 🙂

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First things first — the cake.  Where else will I order but from Nadine of Swirls N’ Sprinkles! 🙂 As expected, she delivered the design I wanted, an Elsa doll cake. 🙂 She had a little lapse though as she thought I ordered chocolate cake instead of red velvet. It was forgiveable because I also like her chocolate cake. 🙂 The cake stand is my signature DIY:  2 shoe boxes wrapped in nice gift wrapper, usually matching the birthday banner. 🙂

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Speaking of the birthday banner, I DIYed it, like I always do, using a nice printed gift wrapper in white, light blue and gray that fit perfectly with the theme. But since I just did it the night before, I decided to just print the text in a bond paper to save time and pasted it on a blue paper instead of my usual tracing-cutting-pasting approach. 😀 Hubby’s compass cutter (that’s what I call it) also helped in speeding up my process of creating the birthday banner.

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Off to the decor and other DIYs.

I manually made snowflakes in different sizes out of white bond papers. (Pinterest has a lot of tutorials and design ideas to offer). It was fun to do as you get to be creative and imaginative on how you want your snowflakes to look like but the finger sore I got from cutting them was not fun at all. I realized after finishing everything that the culprit for my aching fingers was my ignorance on how thick I should fold the papers. Not too much next time. Haha! 😀

While I was physically suffering from cutting the snowflakes and mentally challenged in designing them, I asked our helper to air the metallic white and baby blue balloons I got from where else, Celebrations Party Central in SM Megamall. 🙂 Using a leftover crochet thread from the Big Boy’s rocket-themed party, we tied the balloons with around 2 to 2 1/2 feet strings then taped the snowflakes on the other end of the strings. Since the balloons don’t have helium, I hung them by taping the top to the ceiling. 😀 There goes my hanging balloons and snowflakes. 🙂

I also recycled the white hanging paper lanterns we used during the Little Princess’ Sofia the First birthday party last year to add prettiness to the overall design along with the light blue paper medallion I bought also at Celebrations Party Central.

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For the backdrop, I was imagining a regular brick castle but as I browsed the Internet for patterns, I thankfully found a Frozen castle image. I drew the pattern on the blue cartolina, cut it and taped it on the wall.  I then put a cut white paper to serve as the castle’s door.

To complete the backdrop’s look,  I attached the birthday banner and added some more snowflakes in different sizes.  I love how the print of the birthday banner popped against the blue castle. Perfect! 🙂 I also prettified the awkward edges of the birthday banner by covering them with snowflakes. The number 2 mylar balloon and Olaf were the final additions. 🙂

Next is the table which was a bit challenging because I had no idea how I was going to arrange everything. What I did was I first covered our table with a blue Geena cloth I got fromCotton Touch for P30/yard. I DIYed a table runner out of the white blanket I used at the Big Boy’s rocket party. Look at how the table runner seemed to serve as a pathway to the castle. I loved it! 🙂 I purposely placed the Elsa cake beside the castle door as if she was inviting everyone to come inside the castle. I loved it, too! 🙂

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For a princess-y, sophisticated look, I bought some paper doilies also at Celebrations Party Central which served as our placemat.  I also bought the light blue paper cups, paper plates and paper straws at the same party supplies shop.  The snowflakes papercup I fortunately found at Robinson’s Supermarket. The wooden spoons and forks which were excesses from the rocket party were prettified with some blue washi tape. Our mason jars had special participation once again as our reliable utensil holders as well as the blue plates from the Big Boy’s Superman party. 🙂

The food were also product of our labor of love. I personally cooked the pasta using my tried and tested recipe (as if! hahaha!) while I asked the help of our helper in preparing the rest of the dishes: chicken barbeque, fish fillet, taco, hotdog on stick with marshmallows and fruits as I had become busy prepping the table. There was no candy station but I added some knick-knacks like biscuits, wafer sticks and chocolates on the table for the kids (and the adults, too 🙂 ) to enjoy.

A Frozen party in a summer season wouldn’t be complete without an ice cream! No picture though because it was in the freezer but you will note the sugar cones in a jar displayed on the table in other photos. 😉

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Lastly, all of us, especially the birthday girl, needed to blend with the theme so I bought the Little Princess an Elsa sleeveless top from Robinson’s Department Store and matched it with her white skater skirt. And her cloth diaper was in Frozen print, too! Too bad I wasn’t able to take a photo of it in action but here’s how it looks like.  It has a matching dress which she wore the same day before we changed her into her birthday outfit. 🙂

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Frozen themed matching hybrid fitted cloth diaper, dress and headband from PooppeeTrap 🙂

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On the other hand, Daddy J, the Big Boy and I wore shirts in blue and white. 🙂

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The Little Princess totally enjoyed her simple party especially when she saw the Elsa cake. We also played the movie Frozen much to her delight! All the efforts paid off! 😉

Looking forward to more birthdays with this sweetie pie! 🙂

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The Big Boy’s Rocket-Themed 4th Birthday

We’ve already made the Big Boy’s 4th Rocket Birthday Party possible! Last Saturday, we had a small gathering with our immediate family at home to celebrate the Lord’s wonderful love for our Big Boy who turned 4.  The celebration was simple — we just had a filling merienda and some sweet treats made even more satisfying with lots of chit chats while the kids happily run around the nearby playground, sliding and swinging with much glee. And the joy in my Big Boy’s face was more than enough to compensate for the efforts that we put into preparing his simple yet special and memorable birthday.

Speaking of preparation, like what we always do, we made a lot of DIYs to achieve the Big Boy’s rocket-themed party. Two weeks before his birthday, I asked the Big Boy if he wanted Lego as his party theme. He boldly answered, “No, I want rocket ship!”. I had to scratch all the Lego ideas I had planned and started looking for rocket party inspirations. From my research, we came up with a rocket-themed party in royal blue, red and yellow colors.

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So let me tell you now the story of our rocket party preparation. 🙂

Let’s start with the cake.  Of course, there had to be a cake and it had to be rocket-themed! So I got in touch with my suki baker, Nadine of Swirls N Sprinkles (who also did my husband’s FC Barcelona Jersey cake) two weeks before the Big Boy’s birthday to bake and craft a rocket cake based on the peg I sent. And as expected, she delivered well. 🙂 My initial reaction upon seeing the cake, “My son will love it!” True enough because when the Big Boy found the cake I was trying to hide from him the night we picked it up to surprise him, he screamed, “Mommy, rocket ship cake! Wow!” with so much delight he wanted us to slice and eat the cake that night instead of him going back to bed. 😀 To display the cake, I just DIYed a cake stand out of a box wrapped in the same printed gift wrapper that I used for the DIY banner.

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To fill our tummies, I took a different route of ordering party food instead of usually cooking all of them ourselves or placing an order from our forever go-to delivery Amber Restaurant. This is to save us from getting all busy and stressed in preparing food so we could allot more time instead in doing party DIYs. Haha! 🙂 On a serious note, it was more manageable for us to have the food delivered given that we have 2 kids that needed to be looked after while we were doing our thing. So, I placed an order at CCME Catering, which my friend Juzi introduced to us during our Christmas get together. Their Merienda Grande consisting of Baked Macaroni with beef and bechamel sauce,  Chicken Barbecue, Embotido Grande and Potato Salad was superb and totally worth it for P1,930 plus P150 delivery fee. They’re now on my top-of-mind list when it comes to party food. 🙂

We added tomato pasta cooked by my sister-in-law in the menu for variety and other pica food like rocket-shaped fruit kebabs, star-shaped tuna sandwiches, chips and salsa and hotdog with mallows on stick which I all placed in blue plates from the Big Boy’s Superman party to make the food binge more fun and within the theme. 😀

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I designed and printed DIY toppers and cut and pasted red flaglets out of cartolina supposedly for the cupcakes and mallow cakes but they were already out of stock at the nearby cafe and the supermarket so I just pinned them on the star-shaped sandwiches.

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Fruits are a staple in our parties and I made it more manageable and fun to bite on by putting some watermelon, honey dew and melon on sticks resembling a rocket ship. 🙂

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Apart from the cake, I also set up a dessert station for my Big Boy’s indulgence since it was his special day! 😀 I pulled out of the storage once again the red bowls and jars I have always been re-using for our birthday celebrations and filled them with treats — choco-peanut candies, milky chocolate balls that look like moons, Stik-O, mini choco chip cookies and pretzels — and creatively labeled them with weird space names (haha!) using the oval chalk clip label I bought from Celebrations Party Central and my DIY round chalk label out of black cartolina and white bond paper. Finished the crafty look of the jars by tying around them some baker’s twine.

We also prepared some mallow and Oreo pops in blue, red and yellow chocolate coating through the help of my SIL who painstakingly melted the chocolates, dipped the mallows and Oreos and decorated them. 🙂 I was so jumping with joy when I found blue and white chocolate bars by Dough It! at SM Supermarket’s baking needs section because we didn’t have to rely on Goya’s Easymelt White Chocolate Buttons which always fails us (it doesn’t melt into a little runny consistency which makes dipping difficult). Just bought red and yellow McCormick food color to add to the white chocolate.

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Some mallow pops display hack:  I didn’t have any available styro foam so what I did was I used a clear jar, wrapped the inside with a Japanese paper, then filled it with uncooked rice grains. I had an instant base for the mallow pops! 🙂  I got no other container for the Oreo pops so I just laid them down on a snack server. 🙂

Too much about the food. Let’s move on to the crafty stuff! 🙂

I started preparing for the decoration a few nights before the special day. First, my favorite birthday banner! 🙂 As usual, I manually cut and pasted it using red, blue and yellow cartolina and blue and green printed gift wrapper. For some reason, I couldn’t find our puncher so I just made an around 0.75cm slit using a sharp cutter on the banner where I slid the ribbon as the banner string.  The dessert station had the “4, 3, 2, 1 Blast Off” banner while the food table carried the one with my Big Boy’s name.

For a space/universe feel, I, with the help of our helpers, cut yellow and blue stars in cartolina in different sizes, stuck them alternately on a crochet string and hung as a background decor together with the small gold and blue mylar balloons I bought at the mall. I also enhanced the look of the dessert station with a number 4 mylar balloons that the Big Bot brought with him while running everywhere. 🙂

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Then I covered the food table with white cloth we have at home and accentuated it with a red “runner” which was actually a folded red Geena cloth. Then I sprinkled the remaining cut yellow stars on the red table runner for added style. The dessert station was covered with yellow Geena cloth making the look more festive.

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To avoid having piled up dishes, I always use paper plates, paper cups and wooden spoons and forks whenever we have parties and the best nearest available source for such pretties is Celebrations Party Central in SM Megamall.  I got from them blue plates, yellow napkins, red and white paper cups and black chevron paper straws. The wooden spoons and forks I bought from SM Supermarket.  I also put on the table our mason jars to serve as glasses.

The spoons and forks were prettified with a washi tape as well as the paper straws with glued little yellow flags. I placed them in mason jars and styled with recycled baker’s twine.

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What’s a party without party hats? 🙂 I got striped red and white party hats from Celebrations Party Central and decorated some of them with a rocket ship for the Big Boy and stars for me, Daddy J and the Little Princess. 🙂

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Finally, our party outfits also had to blend with the theme. 🙂 I was very thankful to have found a rocket shirt in blue at SM Department Store for the Big Boy to wear on his special day.  The Little Princess wore a yellow top while hubby and I were both in red. 🙂

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Happy Blasting Off to 4, my Big Boy! 🙂

The Big Boy’s Superman-Themed 1st Birthday: Party DIYs

When I was planning for the Big Boy’s 1st birthday party, I knew I wanted to do a lot of DIYs on top of the inevitable spending for party suppliers, because one, we had a limited budget and two, I wanted to put personal touch on the party and put into practice some creativity I believed I have. 😀 Though the ideas were mine (yup, I couldn’t rely on hubby for DIY stuff. Not his cup of tea. 😀 ), I don’t take all the credits because some God-sent souls in the persona of my MIL, SIL, brother, uncle, parents and our helpers lent their hands in order for me to execute all the DIY ideas for the party.

Here are the products of all our DIY team’s time, effort and sleepless nights. 🙂

Invitation

We “spread the news” about our Big Boy’s 1st Birthday and Baptism Party through a Daily Planet inspired invitation. I dug my “journalistic skills” and spent until wee hours of the night thinking of the content to put in a 4-pager “newspaper” and asked the help of my brother in laying out the invite in MS Word. The first page consisted of the headline announcing the details of the birthday and baptism event in a news fomat. On the second page were some fillers — map to the venues and commuting directions, gift registry information, and some “ads” with the Big Boy as the model which also served as gift ideas. 😀  The third page contained the “news” about the Godparents of the Big Boy for his baptism. And on the fourth and final page, I just put some facts about the Big Boy. I printed the invites on a letter sized specialty paper and quarter-folded them a la newspaper then put a sticker label bearing the name of the recipient on a space in the front page resembling a delivered newspaper in the neighborhood.

Tokens for the Godparents

The tokens I ordered from Thought of You were originally packed in a small ziplock bags with printed stickers in Superman logo shape. I wanted the gifts for the Godparents to look more special so I individually wrapped them in blue (for the Ninongs) and red (for the Ninangs) Japanese paper and placed them inside small red and blue drawstring bags which I bought in Divisoria for P7 each. I added shredded blue, red and yellow Japanese paper inside the bag to make it fluffier and look more creative. 🙂 Then I printed tags in Superman logo shape and stuck them on the bag. 🙂

Baptism Candles

I also incorporated the Superman theme at the Big Boy’s baptism where I, with the help of our DIY team, “dressed up” the candles like Superman. 🙂 I cut rectangular pieces of blue Japanese paper and wrapped it around the candles like a cape. Then I taped printed superman logos in the middle of the candle. Voila, Superman candles! 😀 Easy peasy! 🙂

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Party Decor

Hiring a party stylist was already way beyond our budget so I just tapped my uncle, Tito Ricky who is also experienced in styling events to decorate the area with blue, red and yellow. We bought the balloons and other materials where else but in Divisoria (my first!) and Tito Ricky, assisted by my mom, dad and one of our helpers, made the venue look more festive with a Superman feel. 🙂 I liked that my uncle no longer hung balloons and swags in the ceiling as it would make the area appear small and cramped. He just displayed colorful paper banner to complement the table set-up. He was also the one who prepared the balloon center pieces. What he actually decorated with a lot of balloons was the stairways to the 2nd floor to welcome the guests to the fun party. Too bad I couldn’t find a photo of this decorated area. 😦

Candy Buffet

For the candy buffet, I wished I was the one who styled but I had no choice but to leave everything to my uncle because it was the Big Boy’s baptism right before the party and I didn’t have time to set it up. I had a different picture in mind on how the candy buffet would look like but I was very thankful anyway to my uncle for taking over. 🙂 We bought the treats from Divisoria and supermarkets and put them in blue, red and yellow bowls and plates which I bought from the mall and in Clark Dutyfree. The plates were supposed to be built as a 3-tier candy holder with plastic glasses as the base but my uncle thought it wouldn’t work so they just simply laid them down on the table. I lost track of how much we spent for this but I’m sure it was much lower than hiring a candy buffet stylist.

I also prepared candy buffet labels, with the help of my SIL and our helpers, in a call-out, comic-like design but they were not placed on the table. 😦 The labels might not stand up on crumpled table cover per my uncle and they were probably also running out of time to stick them on to the bowls and plates.

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Our DIY crew also helped in cutting and pasting the candy buffet banner that read “Joshua’s Super Treats” made from blue, red and yellow cartolina. It was oddly displayed again as it extended up in the kids’ food table instead of just the candy buffet and choco fountain table. 😀

To complete our DIY candy buffet, I also printed a candy buffet table label and put it in a Superman photo frame which I bought from National Bookstore.

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Stage Backdrop

Fancy, themed backdrops rented from party planners cost a fortune so I decided to use a 6 ft by 4 tarpualin instead for the Big Boy’s party.  My brother designed the backdrop which I had printed at a printing shop. We just spent around P500-600 for the printing instead of around P8,000 just for backdrop rental. 🙂

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Photobooth Backdrop

I know I was just supposed to comment or approve the design but out of frustration with the lack of creativity of the photobooth supplier, I personally took charge of designing the photobooth backdrop. It was just simple and easy to create even in MS Word. 😀 I made the backdrop comic-looking by putting action texts like “Zap!”, “Pow!” and “Kaboom!” and adding “Happy Birthday” and “Happy Baptism” call-outs as if these were being said by those standing at the photobooth. 🙂

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Guestbook

To make the party more memorable, I prepared an unconventional  Superman-themed “guestbook” using a 20×16 (if I’m not mistaken) poster paper adorned with the Big Boy’s picture and handpainted by yours truly with the party details (date and venue).  Upon arrival at the venue, we requested the guests to write their well wishes for the Big Boy using a paintbrush and blue, red and yellow poster paints.  I intended to frame and hang this on our wall but it got lost when we moved in to our new place. Huhuhu! 😦 At least I have a photographed remembrance of the “guestbook”.

Pre-party Activity

While the kids were waiting for the program to start, I had some coloring materials prepared — Superman-themed coloring pages which I downloaded from the internet and printed on a bond paper and small boxes of crayons — so that they would have something to color or doodle on.

Party Accessories

I wanted the kids to have a total feel of a superhero party so after gathering ideas from the net, I asked the help of my mother-in-law to sew 20 pieces of red cape using Geena cloth and 20 pieces of yellow Wonderwoman headband with matching cufflinks. I downloaded the headband and cufflink patterns from the internet and my MIL graciously sewed everything! (Really blessed to have a very supportive MIL! 🙂 ). We also added red masks for the kids but they were not in the mood to wear them. 😀

Name Tags

Instead of using regular rectangular name tags for the kids, I personally designed in MS Word (I love MS Word! 😀 ) a Superman logo-shaped name tag for the boy which says “Hi! I’m Super _______” and Wonderwoman for the girls that reads “Hi! I’m Wonder _______” and have it printed at a shop (because we already ran out of ink 😀 ) to complete their superhero outfit!

Loot Bags

We bought the lootbags and their contents from Divisoria for a wholesale price of I think P20 per piece.  The boys received Superman zippered backpacks while the girls got drawstring Barbie bags. We tried searching the corners of Divisoria for a superhero backpack for girls but nada, so we just settled for a generic girly bag. We put Superman and Barbie themed puzzles, crayons, pencils, wallets, stickers and blowing bubbles along with some chocolates, candies and lolliipops purchased from the supermarket.

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Game Prizes

I went gaga buying game prizes in Divisoria! 😀 Because I felt our first visit was bitin, I was able to convince Daddy J to go back and complete our shopping. 😀  We bought toys amounting  from P50 for the minor prizes to P100-150 for the major prizes. I didn’t realize we got a lot! Even our host said the prizes were too much! 😀 So we ended up giving away the excess to the guests especially the kids who enjoyed them a lot. 🙂 Early Christmas presents! 😀 Also got some prizes for the adults like foldable fans, spoon and fork to name some. I segregated the major and minor prizes and instructed our helper to display them accordingly but it got mixed up at the prizes table! Tito Ricky did it! 😀 The host just picked up whatever prize he felt giving to the game winners.

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Piñata

A children’s party wouldn’t be complete without a piñata!  We filled the Superman piñata we got from Divisoria as well for I think P180 with treats like chocolates, candies and lollipops. Plus, to make it more fun, I put 5 pieces of Superman logo-shaped cards labeled with a special toy prize. However, the winners were not able to get their special prize because they were given away as game prizes. Hehe!  We just let them pick which toy they want out of the many that were left. 🙂

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That completes the documentation of the Big Boy’s Superman-themed 1st Birthday and Baptism party. I’ll find time to write about his succeeding birthday parties though these were much smaller and intimate celebration but with a lot of DIYs still. 🙂

The Big Boy’s Superman-Themed 1st Birthday: Party Suppliers

It’s the Big Boy’s birthday month and I’ve got a small, intimate themed party I need to prepare again. The Big Boy said he wants rocketship for his party theme so his wish is my command. 🙂 But, before I get busy conceptualizing and researching for DIYs for his coming birthday, I promised myself I will document the party preparations I did for all of his birthdays since his 1st for my personal reference and for other people who would like to get some ideas for their parties. Let me start off with his Superman-themed 1st birthday and baptism which ignited my interest for parties and DIYs.

A DIY Superman party is actually manageable to put up. The key is to plan everything ahead of time, as early as 4-6 months before the party, to be able to scout for the most cost-effective party suppliers and book them on time and save your self from all the cramming and hassle especially when you are doing DIY stuff. We only had a budget of maximum P50,000 to work around way back in 2012 so I just hired myself as the party planner free of charge and used my research skills and some creativity to come up with ideas. My Big Boy’s 1st birthday was a mix of outsourced and DIYs through the help of my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, uncle, brother and our helpers. For the ones we needed suppliers, I’ll try to remember how much each costs but I’d probably be giving just a rough estimate just to give you an idea.

Let me take you through first the party stuff we hired/rented.

Venue:  UP Balay Kalinaw

Our requirements for the venue were 1.) easily accessible for us and the guests, 2.) can accommodate at least 100 guests and 3.) within our budget. After checking the rates of several venues, I was able to convince hubby to consider UP Balay Kalinaw whose rates were half lower than the others I inquired from. There was bias I guess on his part being a UP alumni himself. 😀 After doing an ocular visit of the venue, hubby and I decided to book the place for an afternoon event from 3pm-6pm. I think the rate was around 4,400 for 3 hours but since hubby and I are UP Alumni, a discounted rate of less than P1,000 I think was given to us upon presenting my alumni card (one alumni card would actually merit a discount). The rate was merely for the venue rental though, additional minimal costs ranging from P50-P150 was applied for anything that would require electricity use such as the sound system, chocolate fountain etc. There was also a corkage fee for non-accredited caterers for every 50 guests. All in all I think we paid around P4000+ for the venue.

Baptism Venue:  Sta. Maria della Strada Parish Church

Daddy J wanted a Catholic baptism for our firstborn. Since we had already booked Balay Kalinaw as the party venue, we scouted for churches near the area. Our first choice was the UP Chapel which is just a stone throw away from Balay Kalinaw but they only hold mass christening on Sundays and Daddy J does not like that idea. He, and I also, preferred a private, intimate event for our first baby’s christening so we visited other Catholic churches near UP. We went to Teacher’s Village at the Claret Church but I think they required that both parents are Catholic if I’m not mistaken so we crossed it off our list. Then we proceeded to Sta. Maria della Strada Church along Katipunan which thankfully did not have strict requirements and we found a suitable schedule at 2pm. There was a P2,000 fee for exclusive baptism.

Caterer: Verleo Catering

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I’ve read good reviews about Verleo Catering so I considered them in my list. I was surprised to find out that they offer budget-friendly rates so I computed for a P230/head for 100 pax and P150/head for 30 kids and it actually fitted our budget! I got hubby’s approval who was the financier so I closed the deal. 🙂 The representative assigned to me was also easy to deal with and accommodated my requests for the color theme and all the additional tables for the gifts, prizes, etc. For a merienda event, we got Garlic Rice, Baked Macaroni, Chicken with Lemon Sauice, King Dao Spareribs, Mixed Vegetables with Quail Eggs and Mango Crepe for Adults and for the Kids, Baked Spaghetti, Chicken Lollipop, Hotdog with Mallows (1 stick), and Choco cupake with Sprinkles. The food was good and did not disappoint and I’m actually considering getting them again for future events.

Chocolate Fountain: Choco Bliss & Fairy Cakes

I personally love choco fondues so I made sure we had one at the Big Boy’s 1st birthday party to make the event more enjoyable as guests would have other food to munch on and other stuff to get busy on at a children’s party. 🙂 The most affordable one I found online was that of Choco Bliss & Fairy Cakes. We got their Baby Bliss package good for 80-100 pax with 3 hours dipping time worth P3,000 plus P350 transportation fee. I liked that they used good-tasting premium chocolate which defines a chocolate fountain regardless of how many dips are available. The Choco Bliss team was at the venue an hour before the event and even assisted in setting up our DIY candy buffet. 🙂 I also had an easy breezy transaction with them.

Cake and Cupcakes: Swell Sweets

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When I saw the beautiful and creative product portfolio of Gel Colet of Swell Sweets online and found out that her cost was more affordable than the other cake and cupcake bakers I inquired from, I immediately booked her and paid the downpayment to bake and create a Superman-themed cake and 24 pieces of cupcakes for my Big Boy. The total package costed P3,940. We communicated via email and I was confident that we were aligned on the details of the cake and cupcakes. Come party day, I was expecting to see a 3D building cake with flying Superman and a Daily Planet globe but what was displayed on the cake table was a round yellow 8×3 cake with a patched with blue stars and 2D superman, globe and building  toppers. Also, the cupcake toppers were supposed to be Superman’s logo and the Big Boy’s name stamping similar to the ones in her portfolio but what was prepared were below my expectation. It seemed like the cake and the cupcakes were done last minute. I never placed an order from her again even if I was offered a discount for future orders.

Host: Butch Gonzales

The original host that I booked for my Big Boy’s party was Chayno who I got through Jacque of Partyboosters. But due to some miscommunication, Chayno accepted another booking for the same date and cancelled mine (which was actually irritating given that I was the first one to book!). Jacque looked for a replacement and recommended Butch Gonzales who I read positive reviews about so I approved her reco. I was expecting Butch though to come in an outfit related to our theme but Jacque wasn’t able to inform him about the party theme. I just let it pass because what was important for me was how the host would lead the party and handle the crowd and Butch was able to deliver! 🙂 The kids and the adults alike enjoyed his games, magic show, balloon twisting and ventriloquism. There was never a dull moment. The P8,000 was worth it! 🙂

Face Paint: Groove Paint Party Needs 

Our budget could no longer afford a lot of side entertainment so we just settled for face painting for the kids. I read about Groove Paint from a blog and the review was positive so I decided to book them. Besides, they were the ones that suited our budget. For the P1,500 package that I got, they provided 2 face painters for 2 hours. Thankfully, I had no problem dealing with them except that the people they sent to the event sounded unprofessional via text because when they were asking for the direction to the venue, the SMS was “jeje” (you know what I mean :D) and there was a missent jeje text to me with foul language which prompted hubby to ask me where I found them. 😀 Other than that, no complaints as they were able to deliver on their service.

Photobooth:  White Elements

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The photobooth was not a priority given our budget but my MIL thankfully volunteered to sponsor it mid-planning so I took time to look for an affordable photobooth provider and stumbled upon White Elements via sulit.com. The 3-hour photobooth with unlimited shots in 4R prints and customized template and backdrop/tarpaulin costed P4,500. The owner was responsive, accommodating and provided good service pre, during and post event. I just had a little difficult time finalizing the template and backdrop design because they couldn’t execute well the design I had in mind even if I already sent the pegs. I had to render it myself just for them to visualize what I wanted. I think creativity in terms of design was something they could improve on. Also, the photos were not printed on photo paper and the print easily faded. I provided feedback and they were generous enough to send me another batch of good quality prints.

Party Giveaway:  Choclit Talk

Since we had a birthday and baptism party at once, we decided to give a souvenir to everyone. I wanted something personalized that can be used or consumed so the idea of chocolate bars came up after doing some research. I contacted Choclit Talk and booked my order of 100 pieces of medium sized personalized chocolate bars (P24 per piece) worth P2,400 via email. This supplier was really good to deal with — he was quick to reply and constantly provided updates, was able to execute the Superman wrapper design I wanted and accommodated some revisions I requested and provided my order on the agreed upon schedule. The chocolates actually tasted good and the guests loved the giveaway. 🙂

Baptism Tokens for Godparents:  Thought of You

I also incorporated the Superman theme on the tokens for the Godparents. Thankfully, I discovered Thought of You that creates handmade, personalized crafts. So I placed an order for personalized items made of polymer clay — business card holders for the Ninongs and Lolos and compact mirrors for the Ninangs and Lolas — and relayed the design I thought of. The owner was very easy to talk to and was prompt to reply. She provided a really excellent customer service when she made prototypes of the designs and showed them to me for my approval before proceeding with the rest of the orders. I was so amazed with how well she executed the design. 🙂 I actually contacted her again for the Little Princess’ 1st Birthday and Dedication last year but she was tied to a project at the time and couldn’t accept orders. Anyhow, the 10 business card holders and 10 compact mirrors amounted to P2,500, discounted P130 per piece for the card holders and P120 each for the mirrors.

Photographer: Gerard Aquino and Apa Bagawan

I got the kind service of my photographer cousin Gerard, who also took some of the photos on our wedding, for free and just requested him for an additional hand to help him shoot the event so he tagged along his photographer friend, Apa who we handed a friendly rate of P2,000. The photos were in raw files as agreed with them but my cousin was kind enough to edit some of pictures. 😀 What I loved about their shots was they were able to capture emotions even if I myself look weird in some of the photos. Haha! But nonetheless, the photos were filled with smiles coming from the faces of the guests. 🙂

That was our supplier list. I’ll be sharing about the more enjoyable part in the next post: the DIYs! 🙂

FC Barcelona Themed 30th Birthday

I love small, intimate parties. I love crafty things. I love DIYs. Putting all these three together awakens the Martha Stewart in me. 🙂 Imagine my delight in conceptualizing what I would do for my husband’s 30th birthday which we celebrated last October 14.

Weeks before his birthday, I asked Daddy J how he wanted to celebrate this milestone in his life. He is a simple, no-fuss person so he is not keen on parties — more so, big parties. As mentioned in my previous post, we thought of mounting a “big” party (big means around 30 people? 🙂 ) to celebrate his “thirtyhood” but eventually brushed that idea off and just came up with a simple celebration at home.

And so, the “artsy-fartsy” me brainstormed on how I can make his 30th birthday a little special and memorable and finally came up with a theme that I was pretty sure he would like. Daddy J is into football recently and is an avid FC Barcelona fan so red, blue and yellow it was! I immediately Googled ideas for an FC Barcelona themed party and listed down what I needed to prepare given the limited time I have. Since I have a regular 9.6-hour job, I only got to do all the DIYs at night after the kids have slept which is at around 10pm. Whew! 🙂 Here are pegs that I worked on:

Via Karo’s Fun Land

Via Crissy’s Crafts

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Via Hip Hip Hurray

To pull off the FC Barcelona theme, I covered our dining table with a cheap green cloth from Cotton Touch in Market! Market! for around P30 per yard and turned it into a “football field”. I got 3 yards to be sure but found out 2 yards would already fit in our table. I DIYed a net out of a roll of white yarn at P14/roll and stuck it on the wall to make a “goal”. I just covered the ugly edges of the net with strips of white cartolina then posted the birthday banner I did myself and a soccer ball printed out on a paper. Voila! An easy and simple FCB party decor! 🙂

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I apparently didn’t get to take photos while doing my DIYs because I had to maximize my time but I’ll give a little bit of details on how I did them. Let’s start off with the table cover. I initially thought of painting the green fabric with white acrylic paint to create the football field look but due to time constraints, I had a eureka moment at the night I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the cloth. I remembered I have some sticker papers left in my supplies so I just cut about 3/4 inch strips and connected them together. For the circle and semi-circle, I traced a plate that would fit the size of the sticker paper and just estimated the 3/4 inch width while cutting it. Just a tip: when you stick the round stickers on the cloth, do not peel everything yet because it will crumple and you won’t get the perfect circle. Just peel a portion then lay down the circle then start peeling and sticking portion by portion of the circle. That’s a lot easier than peeling it all together then sticking it.

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The “football field” slash dining table. Upon seeing it, my Big Boy J exclaimed, “Football field!” 🙂

For the net, I was thinking of just purchasing it but I couldn’t find one so I resorted to DIY-ing it. I found this video tutorial on YouTube on how to do a net and just simply followed it. What I did was not so polished as I would like it to be but hey, it was alright past midnight then! 🙂

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DIY net for the “goal”

Next is the birthday banner. I love doing banners myself. I mean manually cutting and pasting them. 🙂 I obviously didn’t print it because it will consume too much ink and as I said, I love holding the scissors and cutting the shapes and letters and getting my hands sticky with glue. I’m crafty! Or I claim to be. 🙂 Eversince I started doing DIYs since the Big Boy’s 1st birthday, I’ve always loved manually doing birthday banners myself. It’s a little time consuming, yes, but I find it fulfilling seeing the banner displayed. Labor of love, so to speak. 🙂 For Daddy J’s birthday banner, I used red, blue and yellow cartolina so it wouldn’t be so light and floppy like a paper but not too stiff like a board. I just Googled and printed a t-shirt pattern then traced with a pencil and cut it out in a blue cartolina. Then I cut 3/”4 inch strips of red cartolina and pasted them on the blue shirt. I looked for a free FC Barcelona font and calculated the font size needed for the letters to fit in the shirt and be visible enough from afar by trial-printing on a paper. Once I got the perfect font size, I printed all the letters needed in shadow or outline format (so as not to waste ink!), traced and cut it in a yellow cartolina then pasted in the center of the shirt.

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Birthday banner handcrafted with love 🙂

Of course, the FCB-themed birthday would not be complete without a cake! So more than a week before Joey’s birthday, I contacted my ever-trusted cake supplier, Nadine of Swirls N Sprinkles Bakeshop to bake an FCB jersey cake. She is also the one who made the Big Boy’s Cars cake for his 2nd birthday and the Little Princess’ Sofia the First 1st birthday cake. (I’ll post them, too as well as the DIYs I did on my kids’ birthday parties. When? Let’s find out. Hehe!). She executes very well the design I have in mind for all the cakes that I ordered and they all tasted good because they were not too sweet — you can actually eat a lot without getting easily satiated. The price is also very friendly. It is one of the most affordable amongst the bakers I have canvassed prices from. She also responds very quickly via email or SMS which is important for me especially when I have clarifications re my order. I’ll continue to be a constant client and I’ll actually recommend her to my relatives and friends. 🙂

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Barca cake! Daddy J loved it! And the kids, too with the Big Boy pestering me to cut it already even if his daddy was not yet home. 😀

To save time and effort in cleaning utensils after the party, I just bought some paper plates (P80 for the 8-pc square one, P60 for the 8-pc round one), paper cups (P55 for the striped, P45 for the solid colored, both 8 pcs), paper straws (P100 for 60pcs) and table napkins (P60 for 24pcs), all in FCB color or football theme, from Celebrations Party Central located at the 4/F Fashion Hall of SM Megamall. Oh, I love that place! A newfound haven for small-party-lovers-and-DIY-ers like me (apart from Divisoria which is quite far from our place)! 🙂 The wooden spoons and forks I bought from SM Hypermart for P72 each pack. I put the straws and the spoons and forks in mason jars and styled them a bit with a red bakers twine which I also got from Celebrations Party Central for P60 for 15 yards. Bakers twine is a must for parties! 🙂

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Good thing we also have red, blue and yellow plates and bowls at home which I bought for the Big Boy’s Superman themed 1st birthday party. That’s where we put all the food that we prepared — grilled pork, fried shrimp, fried lumpia, tacos, pasta and assorted fruits like kiwi, papaya and honey dew. And oh, to make it more healthy and (to add some more reds in the whole party theme 🙂 ), we prepared talbos ng kamote juice, the recipe of which I learned from Velvet Roxas, the lecturer at the Tamang Kain seminar that I attended last week (I’ll also post about that seminar where I learned a lot. 🙂 ). Just a quick how-to on the preparation of talbos ng kamote juice: you will need 1.) violet talbos ng kamote, 2.) calamansi and 3.) honey. There was no exact measurement of the ingredients given, you will just estimate the amount and prepare according to your liking.

  1. Boil the talbos ng kamote then remove the talbos. Leave the juice.
  2. Squeeze some calamansi.
  3. Add honey.

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Going back to the party, the Big Boy and the Little Princess should absolutely have a major part so I dressed them up in Messi jerseys. 🙂 Notice that the yellow jersey is too big on A because it belongs to her Kuya. 😀 Daddy J changed into his FCB jersey, too to match the kids. I was also planning on wearing his yellow jersey to match A but I found out it was already in the laundry. Therefore, OP (out of place) me. 😀

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I actually wanted to put some red, blue and yellow balloons on the chairs and make some tiny flags or pom poms from crepe papers but I didn’t have time anymore. I was also not able to create a large FCB logo on a blue and red backdrop to be placed above the “goal”. But I  think the set up already made a nice Barca theme even if I failed to include other details. What do you think? 🙂

All the time, effort and sleepless nights for making this FC Barcelona party to reality paid off because the birthday boy loved it and it’s all that matters. 🙂