Party Supply Closet

This weekend is Father’s Day, and while that’s a mini-theme, my husband asked it mostly revolve around food and less around an intensive schedule. It was the kids last week at school, so I was happy to oblidge. I’m tired, you guys! (If you want to see our Father’s Day weekend it’s on my instagram stories and the highlights on my profile).

The #1 question I got throughout our quarantine weekends was how do we have so many supplies on hand. For the most part, we were able to get through the 10 weeks using things we had at home. At some point I ran out of paper, so I had to order more, but I’m still using it. We printed out a lot of templates so we did go through ink (although I also printed a lot for home based learning, so I’m not going to blame the weekends). We did get a few odds and ends (I needed more streamers for the Under the Sea and my husband ordered some beads for Superheros), but over 10 weeks thats not so bad.

I will say, before kids when I had plenty of time to look in cute shops when we traveled, I used to collect party supplies. And before we left Hong Kong I went to the stationary store and stocked up on some various items like pipe cleaners and puffs. But not an extrodinary amount, just normal toddler mom amounts. And we live in a condo, so it’s not like I have a ton of storage; no garage or attic or even a craft room. So I have to make due with what I have. It’s not pretty, but it’s effective.

But, given all that, I thought I’d give you peak into my storage solutions, and how we managed these weekends.

This area was probably the most used, as it’s where I keep all of the cardstock and papers and the printer. I also keep the glue dots and tape in one of the boxes, and my washi collection is always useful. The other boxes hold cards, ribbons, tags, paints, and other various odds and ends.

As we started decorating more, these 2 storage bins became more used, as they hold our various holiday decorations (not Christmas, those are under the bed), balloons, streamers, banners, some lanterns, etc. This is also our utility closet, with our vacuum and tools, so it’s not the most organized. But it’s pretty accessible. (You can see some things need to be put away still!)

This one is harder to show– it’s usually a lot more organized but with the in-and-out these days it has gotten out of control. It’s not a lot of space, just one side our TV cabinet. The drawer holds our paper napkins and down below is our table runners, cloth napkins, birthday candles, candles, some vases, paper cups, paper plates– this is a lot of cute party supplies from those pre-kid days, or left over supplies from the kids’ birthdays. They do come in handy when we need to decorate a cake, or have some paper cups on hand to make a dragon.

Lastly, this is the kids’ art supply closet. Along with some paints, it has stamps, pipe cleaners, pom poms, cardboard and other random things that can be used for kids art projects. Recently we moved to an art cart so the markers crayons and paper type supplies can be more accessible to the kids, but I feel like I’m always sorting and resorting. I’m not quite ready to take a picture of that.

So really, that’s what has been getting us through these past 10 weeks! Creative use of what we have, Pinterest and templates. As of this past Friday Sinapore has entered Phase 2 so things are slowly opening up, including our condo pool. I’m not sure of the future of our weekends, but I’ll keep you updated!

Quarantine Weekend Theme-China

Can you believe this our 8th post about our themed weekends? Which means we’ve had 9 themed weekends (the first 2 were combinesd, Easter + Indoor Camping) and 10 weekends in quarantine. I’m honestly not hating it, but also, I’m ready for a change.

This weekend, the kids asked for a China theme. They are in an English/Chinese bilingual program at school, but I really think it was an excuse to eat dumplings. They loved them when we had them with the Singapore weekend, and have been asking for them ever since. Christian and I lived in Mainland China and, of course, in Hong Kong, so we were happy to oblige.

Thankfully we had some Chinese New Year decoratons, so we pulled out our lanterns and pineapples. Then after much deliberation, we decided to use whiteboard markers on the glass to draw the Great Wall and Chinese pagoda and temple. It was a bit subtle, but still added to the fun. We debated over washi tape and paper, but, honestly, this came together pretty easily.

The kids usually go out Saturday morning, to give Mama a minute to wake up and work out. Recently Papa has been taking them out, so this Saturday he took them to the market. My huband and kids love the wet market, with fruit and vegetables, fresh fish and cooked food. They had a little adventure, even in the rain.

They got some fruit and rice rolls, plain, shrimp and pork. The kids chowed down on the red dragon fruit, lychees and rose apple/cashew apple (one of my favorites, yet I’m still not sure of the name), but the rolls were the favorite. I also love the peanut dipping sauce.

Next they got to make thier own hand pulled noodles, for lunch. Any time my kids get to play with dough, they are pretty much in. After making the dough, they were able to stretch and then put to dough in boiling water.

While the dough rested, they started on the afternoon snack, which had a base of rice krispy treats. They had fun melting the mashmallows and butter, and of course, eating the extra remains.

After that we chilled out and watched a video while the rest of lunch came together. We watched a couple of short videos on ancient china, including this one. Then it was time to eat the noodles they made! (This was the adult version with spring onion and cilantro.)

After nap, they got to sample thier other morning creation. We used the rice krispy treats to make dragons, with fruit roll-ups and a few other small pieces to decoate– marshmallows, 2 M&Ms, more fruit roll up and dried mango for the fins.

Then we started the lanterns. I found this guide, so we made them 2 different ways. The kids decorated them and they were pretty easy. I had some fun orential flower washi tape twhich the kids used as well as crayons and markers. We stappeled them together, making it fairly quick activity, once decorated, and promptly hung them up with the other lanterns.

The kids then made Chinese drums. We used old paper plates we had left over from a party, so they weren’t as nice as using Chinet, but it worked. It came together with a bit of hot glue, a popscile stick and 2 strings of yarn with a bead.

The kids were ready to move, so we did a bit of Comic yoga about a dragon making fireworks before settling down to watch Abominable. For dinner, we ordered Chinese food.

The next morning we made paper fans. I’ll admit, I was going to do this a bit more simply, but my husband got ahold of it and made it a lot better. He drilled the end of the popscile sticks in order to string them, then glued them to the paper. The glue took a bit to dry, so by the time we took pictures they were a bit over it, but they looked good.

The kids decided yesterday that they wanted to wear their Chinese New Year clothes. East picked them out and layed them out, like mama does.

Then we made paper cup dragons, which took a bit for the kids get into, until I showed them how the dragon would look when it was done. Then they got super excited and loved it. Rookie move, mom! Paper cups, left over from Rush’s Construction Party, paper towel rolls, string and streamers made it come together.

Finally, it was time for Dragon Boat racing! We used the box from the rocket ship and painted a quick dragon then positioned it front of the pool. We gave the kids the stick from the broom and let them “race.”

It was nearly time for lunch, so the kids watched a Seseame Street about Chinese New Year, while Papa steamed some buns he pre-ordered.

After nap, the kids made candied fruit with thier dad. You can buy candied fruit on the street in China, so we tried it ourselves. It wasn’t that easy but the kids still seemed to enjoy it.

During home based learning, the kids made a lot of books, so I thought they’d love making a book on China. Turns out, that wasn’t so fun. But they colored and worked on thier letters for about 25 minutes.

After that, the kids colored dragon masks. East and I used markers and Papa and Rush used crayons, then we tied them on with string.

Finally it was time for a movie! Mulan it was, followed by pizza, as our usual Sunday afternoon. Rush was asked if he had to choose between dumplings and pizza which would he choose. He chose dumplings, so we must have done something right this weekend!

Quarantine Weekend Theme-Space

After watching the launch last weekend, I was inspired to put together a space themed weekend for the kids. It was a bit harder than I expected, mostly because many of the activities seemed to be targeted at boys. I did my best to approach it as gender equally as possible, and my daughter had a blast.

I was hoping for an easier plan, decor wise, but my husband was committed. So he cut and paint the planets to scale on Friday night. I added tiny gold stars the next day.

After the kids came back from outside, they had a snack of a rocket made out of fruit!

Then we jumped right into a moon toss! We just bought our first new TV so we had a large box that was perfect for this. For the astroids we wrapped paper in foil. Our kitty also really like the box and the foil balls!

Next we tried out a space shuttle repair activity. The idea was that astronauts worked in space with gloves on, so we simulated that hard work with nuts and bolts (plastic and wooden ones from one of their toys) in a tub of water with yellow gloves on. My little one thought he couldn’t do it, but he managed.

Usually tempers are likely to flare just before lunch so we watch about 30 minutes of videos. We watched this one and this one. Maybe the first time I didn’t find pink fong annoying!

After lunch and nap we started on galaxy playdough. We’ve never actually made playdough before so it was a bit of an experience. But they liked the process and playing with it when it was ready.

My husband pre-made galaxy popcorn— which may have been my favorite thing (chocolate popcorn is my jam). We watched while we watched moving stars– kind of like a light show.

Then we had to dance of that sugar! We did this one and a cosmic yoga.

Afterwards we quickly made Alien balloons, using some leftover balloons from last weekend. I prepped the eyes ahead of time, so this only took about 15 minutes or so, but the effect was pretty cute.

Finally– it was time to watch Wall-E, which I had never seen. It was sweet! Then time for dinner and bedtime.

The next day we started with rocket jet packs! I thought this was super fun. We didn’t have 2 liter bottles, but we emptied out some water bottles we had on hand and wrapped them in duct tape (ran out) and foil. We used white duct tape for the straps and attached it to a piece of cardboard. We also had a fair amount of felt on hand to make the fire (even some red chevron, which I thought was a stroke of genius!).

After that was an extension on the same theme– dress up play (the kids started playing in the rocket on their own!) to simulated walking on the moon by walking on an air mattress. I was hoping to fill the time we usually spend in the water pool or table (there’s no water in space!) but we didn’t quite make it. I’m hoping I can make water fit for next weekend. (It’s usually good for an hour of quiet).

Finally it was time for videos! We watched this one on food in space, and this one on gravity, which my 5 year old loved. Then it was lunch and nap– thank goodness!

After nap we made earth cookies by making green and blue sugar cookie dough. We put the doughs together and they don’t blend much while cooking, giving a great earth effect.

Next we made rockets! This one came out of my head– no link, sorry! Using toilet paper rolls for the base, we pre-cut the cone for the top (although they had to glue it) and the black base at the bottom (they had to assemble it) with notches in the toilet paper roll for the base to sit in. They colored their rocket then we put it all together!

Lastly, we did a moon rock hunt. My husband and his mom collected some rocks from the condo and painted them green. I hid them around the house and Rush collected them, then counted them.

We were supposed to play “cold” potato (like hot potato but instead it’s too cold to touch), but we didn’t have enough people to play, so we cuddled watching Lilo & Stitch and ate pizza.

Overall, it was a fun weekend and I hear the kids spouting random space facts, so some learning snuck in. I’ll take it!

Quarantine Weekend Theme- Under the Sea

After a week off I realised how much I am enjoying these weekends! The weekend with no theme was so boring. I was so glad when it was decided we were back on!

This theme felt dependant on decorating- or was it just me? But my coffers are running low after so much crafting, so we had to order more craft paper, ink for the printer, streamers and some balloons. Hopefully these items will last us beyond just this weekend though!

I roped my husband into helping me decorate on Friday night, using streamers in front of our diffused white curtains. I had lanterns in my supply closet so we made jellyfish. And the bubbles were a mix of clear and white balloons on twine.

These were ready when the kids woke up the morning and they were mesmerised- as well as our new kitty! We also added some green streamers on the wall for seaweed, with some gold bubbles and free handed star fish and sea horse.

The kids went with dad to the fish market in the morning and had a blast– no pictures of that, sadly. When they got home they had a quick snack of seaweed– grapes on a stick.



And then we jumped right into the first craft of sea urchins. I saw this craft on Pinterest, which was supposed to be a flower. I thought it looked some kind of sea creature! We used foam balls I had around the house – which, if I did this again, I’d invest in some better/bigger foam balls. But we tried it anyway, sticking the balls with q-tips cut in half, then dyed them with colored water.

While lunch was prepared, we moved on to Chomping Sharks. I thought these were so cute. It took a bit to find the templates, but I finally found these, which worked well. They print out tiny, but it worked well for our clothes pins. I printed and cut them out, and the kids colored them. I helped them glue the sharks on the wooden pin. (The fish wasn’t glued on yet when I took this picture, but promise it looked even better.)

They did a bit of coloring before watching about 30 minutes of sea animal related videos (this and this), and then had oysters, clams and shrimp for lunch. My daughter was so happy!

We had a quick nap then it was time for snack. The kids got to make a sea scene on a graham cracker with a bit of blue icing, ground up graham crackers for sand, goldfish crackers and a couple of tiny round sprinkles for bubbles.

Then it was time to make an octopus! I love making paper chains, and we did get staplers in order to do this as easily as possible. I cut the strips in advance and the kids each took 4 legs. They couldn’t quite work the staplers, but I thought it would fit better for a toddler’s patience.

Papa was then in charge of the salt water experiment. It took a bit to get it going, but I think the kids enjoyed seeing if grapes floated in regular water, salt water, baking soda or sugar.

Soon it was time to dance like sea animals, where we ended with baby shark (of course!).

We watched Finding Nemo then played a quick fishing game before having fish tacos for dinner. Yum! Then it was bedtime– thank goodness!

The next day started with the cutest breakfast that their dad made them from frozen waffles.

Then the kids made jello from scratch in preparation for their afternoon snack. They dyed it and flavored it blue, naturally.

Craft time! We used celery to make scales on these fish. The colorful fish made it to our sea wall.

After a quick snack of green apple turtles with grape heads…

…it was time for lots of sea foam bubbles in the blow up pool. Always good for at least an hour of fun.

The kids dried off and we watched a bit about hunchback whales while we waited for the sushi to come.

Once we all had a good nap, it was time for the jello! Papa made a shark fin out of an apple covered in chocolate.

After the kids scarfed down their jello, we make turtles out of egg cartons. I thought the kids would want to paint it– but only Rush did. East used markers. I printed out the fins, then we added a pom pom head and I made little eyes.

The last of the activities was the one I was most excited. The kids dressed up (a mermaid and a shark), then we headed into a dark room for a rotating light up under the sea images.

Then we curled up to watch The Little Mermaid before our pizza dinner.

This may have been one of my favorite weekends yet. Maybe it was the anticipation, maybe it was the decoration but it really worked for me. What about you?

Quarantine Weekend Theme- Superheros

When the kids were picking themes my son came up with superheros, and my daughter readily agreed. But when it came to planning it I realised I knew very little about them. So my husband took over– and I was happy to have a weekend off. I’m not sure he enjoyed it as much as I do, but it was really fun and super creative.

After some outdoor time on Saturday, the kids, Rush, 3, and East, 5, were ready for snacktime. We started with watermelon cut like Wonder Woman’s logo. We did check my daughter’s shirt for the placement of the star!

We then did a superhero matching game that I think my husband made from scratch with images from google. (Here’s a printable one but not the one we used). Once each match was made, we learned about their backstory and each superhero’s ‘favorite food.’ Magically, those foods all showed up in our Superfood salad for lunch! (good touch, Papa, good touch.)

He kept it action packed, with a superhero puzzle perfect for toddlers. Rush loved it.

Then the kids dressed up as their favorite superheros (thankfully our costumes from Halloween last year), and we did a mini-photo shoot in front of a “green screen.” Sadly, I threw away Ti Fiti last weekend- as it was amazing we got to use it even twice- but would have been perfect for this use. So we used a blue-green duvet. My husband took a few minutes to edit a little video that the kids loved!

Here’s the video, if you want to take a look!

Then it was time for the Superfood Salad. Yummy and healthy- and the kids mostly ate it. The kids were better at remembering the Superhero’s favorites than Papa!

After a short nap (mostly for Mama), the kids had a quick Spiderman snack of strawberries.

it was time for spiderweb toss. Papa put masking tape in the doorway in a spider pattern, and the kids used tape balls wrapped in saranwrap. We tried the kids standing on the floor, on stools, and later throwing balloons.

Next was the laser maze. I saw this here and thought it was amazing. We got some 3M hooks and used red string in our entryway (hence the mess!). The kids went through it a couple of times (although I may have liked it more than they did!) .

After all of that activity, we did a couple of superhero dances we found on YouTube before watching The Incredibles (while the adults had a cocktail class).

The next morning we started early with green foam painting on the balcony, then spraying off and played in water. Always good for more than an hour of play!

Once they dried off, the kids made cookies to decorate later (gluten free for Mama). Then they created their own superheros out of pipe cleaners, paper straws and beads. I will say my husband ordered the beads for the joints and the head, so it wasn’t entirely made with things found around the house, but close.

Another naptime (mostly for Mama and Papa) and another cute snack when the kids were up. Guacamole and chips in a Hulk face and we were good to go. Usually Rush doesn’t like guac, but even he tried some.

Then it was time for Superhero bingo! Papa let me help him so I found an online printable bingo that looked cute. We already had some chips made from an alphabet bingo we did in English class (home based learning for the win!), so we were ready to go.

We were ready to decorate the cookies after that! I found some circle superhero logos for us to use as inspiration. While the adults got a bit serious about it, East made a couple of logos for her ‘Super Intelligent Girl’ that she invented that morning.

Afterwards we were going to do a dance video, but we were tired, so we moved up the schedule to watch The Incredibles 2 before eating pizza, like any normal Sunday. And we got the cookies for dessert!

It was fun and Mama’s not entirely exhausted (although Papa might be!). We also had a vote on our last two (we hope!) weekend themes… so a few more of these to go! I hope you will stick with me!

Quarantine Weekend Theme- Birthday

My daughter asked for this theme– 100% so she could have cake. I thought it was a great idea! Since I mentioned this idea I’ve heard so many families hosting half and quarter birthdays, which is also awesome.

I decided to revisit the kids’ birthday parties, East’s 5 and Rush’s 3, along with decorating the condo, making and decorating a cake. I went through our party closet and planned the weekend.

We started with Saturday snack, empanadas with dinosaur napkins and party hats from East’s Dinosaurs in the Supermarket party. We chose empanadas because they look like the backs of dinos!

Then it was time to make the cake! I recently stopped eating gluten, so my husband made me a gluten-free yellow cake, chocolate icing, with the help of the kids, of course!

Then I let the kids help me decorate our place. I picked out a few past party decorations, which added to the rainbow balloon structure that was still inflated from East’s party in March (!) and we blew up a few extra balloons for the floor.

Te Fiti from the Moana party, alone with the balloons from her most recent party.
From our Taco ‘Bout It Party

From our Woodland Animals party
Tossing balloons in the air

We took a little break with a Sesame Street episode on birthdays, had lunch, then made pinatas! We had some really cute ones at East’s Taco ‘Bout It party that my Mother-in-law made, and I happened to have some small pinata frames on hand. The kids decorated them with a mix of paper and markers and had a good time.

After nap we had a snack with kitty sandwiches with kitty napkins, from East’s Black and White Kitty party when she was 2. We thankfully still had the cat shaped cutter!

Then we made the craft from that party, which was a kitty mask. I still had a lot of black cardstock on hand (I assume from this party?!) so we cut out the faces with the silhouette and I free handed the rest. We taped the spoons to the back.

After this they got to decorate the cake! This may have been the best part of the day for them. After icing and sprinkles, I pulled out some candles I had on hand, as well at some decorations I collected in Japan years ago and never used.

Then we moved on to the next craft, which were ribbon wands from East’s most recent party, the Unicorn Rainbow party. I let the kids pick extra ribbon and we tried hot glue to adhere it this time. It worked better– and I have the burned fingers to show for it! The best part of this craft was because it was so recent, all of the supplies were together. It took literally no work to pull it together.

To burn off some of the sugar, we moved on to a dance party! For Rush’s Woodland Animal party we had a dance teacher lead a dance class, but this time we just had youtube. Still, we donned the animal ears and jumped around.

While dinner came together, we read Dragons Love Tacos 1 and 2- relics from the taco party— then had tacos for dinner! They were delicious! Then we lit the candles, sang happy birthday and cut the cake.

The next morning we started early with the fun! We did a couple of hula dances (youtube again!), while wearing our leis, like at East’s Moana party when she was 3.

Then it was snack time! The kids had fruit salad in dinosaur cups, reminiscent of the Dinosaurs in the Supermarket party.

Afterwards was water play- another highlight of the weekend! At Rush’s first birthday party (Hot Air Balloons) we had a ball pit for the little ones. We re-created it with water balloons in a kids pool on the balcony. We probably could have used more water balloons to complete the effect, but the kids had fun.

After the kids were dried and dressed, we cuddled on the couch to watch another birthday related Sesame Street, ate lunch (with a bit more cake to follow) and took a nap.

When they woke up, the kids got a snack of “safety cones” and “boulders” from Rush’s ‘Can You Dig it Party?’ complete with the plates, napkins and cups.

Once they had their fill, we moved on to two crafts- both from their first birthdays. These turned out to be the biggest hits, as they didn’t really remember them! We started with maracas from East’s Taco ‘Bout It Party – fairly simple with plastic eggs, beans, disposable spoons and duct tape.

And then we did thumbprint art with ink pads and a thin point sharpie, from Rush’s Hot Air Balloon Party. Since then someone gave me a book with a ton of thumbprint doodles so we had fun trying them out.

After all of this we were supposed to have sensory digger play (from the Can You Dig It? Party) but I didn’t have it in me to make a mess. So we pulled out some glow sticks and had another dance party. The kids had never played with glow sticks before (they are supposed to be in bed before it gets dark) so it was a really fun to break them, and dance in a dark room!

Following dancing our hearts out, we watched Alice in Wonderland and ate pizza, our usual movie + dinner Sundays. The weekend was a lot of fun and did get us talking about which parties were our favorites. The kids loved all of them (awwww) but the adults were pretty clear that Moana and the Woodland Animals were a cut above the rest- even if they all had something special and fun. Let’s just hope the kids remember it this way!

Quarantine Weekend Theme- Frozen

And the fun continues! We had a long weekend with Labour Day on May 1st, so the “cold” was extended. Since we are locked inside, we had to make the most of it- for mama and the kids.

We actually started the theme on Thursday afternoon during baking time by making marshmallows. They needed an activity and we needed marshmallows! We more or less used this recipe.

On Friday we started the day with some outdoor time (dodging those who want to report kids for playing), so for snack time we had some frozen fruit- grapes, bananas and watermelon. The grapes worked the best, but the kids loved bananas.

Then the kids helped to make chocolate chip cookies. Ok, so this one was a bit of a stretch. In the first Frozen they talk about smelling chocolate, so there is that. But also, I read about this gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe and I was craving it all week. So it seemed like the perfect time to try it! Also, please note our themed clothing. It’s as good as we can get in hot Singapore.

While the cookies were baking, we had a Frozen dance party, some Frozen coloring, then watched one of the Frozen spin-offs.

After nap, we had Frozen dress up and Frozen yoga. Cosmic yoga is the best.

In the afternoon, I pre-cut the marshmallows for the kids to make Olaf. We used 2 circles for the body, and I tried to free-hand the head (it didn’t work out great). My husband used the left over graham cracker from the camping weekend to make Olaf’s hands and hair. We used chocolate chips for the buttons and candy corn for the nose, and used a paper straw to hold Olaf together.

We then cozied up to watch the Frozen movie before dinner and went to bed.

Saturday started with some outdoor time, a snack of fruit juice (it was supposed to be frozen fruit juice, but that didn’t happen) before we started on our toilet paper roll Olafs. My kids did kinda complain about all the Olafs, but come on- he’s the cutest! I printed out the Olaf pieces and cut them out ahead of time. I cut a piece of white paper in half and used a glue stick to add the paper to the roll. We tried to add puffs to the buttons but they didn’t really stick.

We then watched a short video on Norwegian winter sports, which was kinda fun. We did note the fun cup/bowls they used for their drinks, and saw them again when watching Frozen 2 the next day! After lunch and nap, we were at it again, making ice cream! We have an ice cream maker that has barely been used, so we made a strawberry and cream vegan ice cream.

Next was charades, like they play in Frozen 2. Since my kids are young and can’t read, I found some charades cards and printed them. My 3 year old didn’t really get it, but my daughter loved it. We kept the cards and will play again!

Our next activity was to build a castle out of sugar cubes. I made some flags with toothpicks, thinking we could wet the toothpicks and insert them, but that didn’t really work. The kids were both amused and annoyed with the sugar cubes falling over.

Before dinner we watched the short 8 minute Frozen Fever, and about the same length video on ice skating. Then dinner and bed (and the adults had a trivia night, totally unrelated to Frozen!). My husband, always the sport, also made cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Grated, they were American style and not Swedish, but they were tasty.

After a bit we got started on the morning activity of frozen painting! The night before I mixed some finger paint with water and froze them in cubes. I taped some paper on the table and put the cubes out for the kids to paint. It was a bit cold so they used their fingers mostly. (Daddy got involved, can you tell?)

Then it was water time– we set up the pool on the balcony and added “snow” bubbles. The kids happily played for more than an hour.

We watched Olaf’s adventure again while we waited for our sushi delivery (hey, it’s salmon!), and after lunch and nap, we finished up our Frozen day. Rush had hot chocolate (on ice) with our homemade marshmallows.

Afterwards we made snowflakes out of popsicle sticks. Mama hot glued colored sticks together, and added a pipe cleaner for hanging. Then the kids had fun decorating with colored glue.

Lastly, we had a Frozen sing-a-long, before watching Frozen 2 and our usual Sunday night pizza dinner.

Overall, the Frozen weekend was a lot of fun. It was long, and I was tired Sunday night (maybe still?) but it was worth it for the memories. I hope the kids agree.

Quarantine Weekend Theme- Singapore

Our themed weekends are keeping us busy, both planning wise and enacting, so we are keeping them up. I hope you find them entertaining! We decided on a Singapore theme to enjoy in some local delights, just as Singapore announced stricter lock down measures. It made procuring treats more difficult, but we still had fun with it.

We started with fruit drinks on Saturday, which was one of the first things we did when we arrived in Singapore. I remember heading to the hawker center and ordering big cups of juice for each of us. We made them at home this time, with watermelon and strawberry.

Shortly after we started making the dumplings. My kids love dumplings, so making them is a fun treat. They started with the dough, then helped to roll it out and put the filling in the little pockets.

Singapore is more than 75% Chinese, and we ended up with quite a feast, with all kinds of dumplings, a scallion pancake, veggies, and salad for mommy. The kids ate a ton and were hardly hungry for the rest of the day.

After a good nap, and a failed delivery of Singaporean snacks, we started on our first craft of making Peranakan tiles. Peranakan is the mixing of the Chinese settlers with the local Malays in what is now Singapore, and they created beautiful tiles that can be seen throughout old shop houses. I wanted to create the tile designs out of paper, but really struggled to find anyone who had done this. We ended up cutting out shapes with the silhouette and letting the kids glue them to a piece of cardstock.

This one is mine.

After this my husband make some local mochi, called muah chee which is a little softer than Japanese mochi. Meanwhile the kids and I worked on a centrepiece for the table with red tissue paper flowers.

For dinner we did a mix of order in and making at home for the local favorite, Nasi Goreng. It’s a Malay, Indonesian, and Singapore dish that is simply delicious. And we had the muah chee, sesame and peanut for dessert.

For breakfast we had a typical Singaporean breakfast of kaya toast and egg. Usually the egg is soft boiled, but we opted for hard boiled.

Then we opened up our tiny balcony for some water play. One of our favorite things about Singapore is the plethora of fun water areas for kids around the city. Most of them are free and they offer a great way for the kids to cool off in this hot city. So the kids played in our water table, while enjoying Singapore views.

After drying off, we shared some boba tea and peanut butter pancakes (min jiang kueh). One of the things that closed just that Friday was boba tea shops, so we did make our own boba. But in the end we were able to find a shop that was able to deliver, so we had some commercial and some homemade boba.

homemade boba

After water play, we did another craft. We made chili crabs and merlions, both national symbols of Singapore! Both print outs are from here. I added a few more flourishes to make it fun.

Just before lunch we watched a short video on Singapore wildlife, which may have been one of the best parts of the weekend. I liked learning about the otters and birds and lizards. For lunch we had delicious Indian food. Singapore is about 7% Indian and the food here is delicious. We are so spoiled.

And per our usual Sunday afternoon activity, we watch a movie. This week it was Jungle Book. It was a good weekend, filled with yummy food. I think we would have made any Singaporean proud!

Quarantine Weekend Themes – Easter and Indoor Camping

Some people think half of the fun of traveling is in this planning- and I’ve tested this theory the last couple of weekends in quarantine.

The first weekend was a bit of a fluke as it was Easter. We dressed up for high tea, did a couple of bunny crafts, dyed eggs, hunted for eggs, had a nice Easter lunch then beautiful dessert and charcuterie boards for dinner. It was a lot of fun and we barely felt limited by staying indoors.

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We thought we’d try it again the following weekend with an indoor camping theme. I put together a schedule, we planned the menu, researched crafts and decided on a movie.

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Saturday morning, after the kids (ages 3 and 5) came back in from outdoor time, we started with snack time. We pulled out the nuts, dried fruits, coconut chips and chocolate and we made trail mix- and ate it. Then it was time for placemats- which took me right back to my Girl Scout days. I cut up the paper ahead of time and kept it fairly simple for the little ones, while challenging myself with a more complex design. (I generally followed this tutorial)

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We took a break to watch a camping themed episode of Sesame Street, a lunch of sandwiches and chips and naptime, then we were back at it with filling and baking apples and making rain sticks by pouring rice into a toilet paper tube (find out the secret here) before the spider hunt.

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I printed out a bunch of spider clip art on pinterest and added a bit of gold glue to help them shimmer in the flashlight. I hid them around the house, gave the kids flashlights, and they went on a spider hunt. I taught them to hold the flashlight by their eyes and look for the sparkle, and they ran around the house, collecting spiders. It was the most fun.

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Then it was time to “make the campfire” with Daddy. They made rocks out of paper and painted a fire-like structure (a wire pyramid with paper over it). While the paint dried, we sang campfire songs (with Barney, I’m embarrassed to say!). The kids were so excited to for the sun to set.

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We took a “hike” around our condo grounds, collecting nature items (sticks, leaves, flowers) that we later used for our centerpiece. After a proper camping dinner of hot dogs and corn on the cob, we had s’mores. We warmed a bowl of chocolate squares with marshmallows and served it alongside homemade graham crackers (recipe here), because hoarding has officially moved to cookies. S’mores are a family favorite and the kids were in heaven.

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After bath, we collected around the “campfire,” sitting on our mats to tell stories. The plan was for them to sleep in the tent together, but that didn’t quite happen for a variety reasons. They did “sleep” in it for naptime the next day (just so I’m clear, no napping happened).

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I’m not gonna lie, we were tired that night! The next day we had a special breakfast of French toast, then the kids took a visit to the “swimming hole” – a unicorn kid pool on our tiny balcony. The kids spent more than an hour in that tiny bath!

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After swimming, we made bird houses—coloring the roof, and hot gluing the popsicles sticks on the ends.

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After a lunch of BBQ chicken (the kids ate the drumsticks) it was naptime (for mommy!) and in the afternoon, we watched Charlotte’s Web before eating pizza.

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We had fun, and the kids haven’t stopped talking about this week. When asked what they are grateful for, they mentioned the s’mores and the spiders, and they haven’t stopped singing the songs from Charlotte’s Web. This weekend we are going to try a Singapore theme.

So why not try it? Maybe it’s not a whole weekend but maybe it’s a French dinner and watching The Artist, or negronis and an Italian countryside puzzle— it just has to be planned a bit in advance, so there’s something to exciting on the horizon. How else will we get through this pandemic?

A Rainbow Unicorn Party in the time of Covid-19

Well, planning and inviting people to a birthday party during the height of a huge epidemic has been a new experience, even in super organised Singapore. While we were planning and inviting people the threat level moved to orange locally, and days before the actual party was when the United States went on lock down. But thankfully, nearly everyone who had RSVP’d made it. We did put a bottle of hand sanitiser (we made it ourselves, as it was near impossible to find!) and called them ‘unicorn tears’ and asked people to use it as soon as they entered– but didn’t manage to get a picture of it, sadly! But please know we were doing our best to be responsible as we could be with the information we had at the time.

We researched fun venues around town and finally found one that we liked, with good healthy food and supported sustainability. So we booked it (with a clause that if we went to threat level red we could get out of the contract), and sent out the invites! Easts birthday invite

Because the room was quite nice, with brick walls and curved windows, we didn’t have to do too much for the decor. Unfortunately, these great windows didn’t make for great photos, but hopefully you can see the overall effect.

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We created a video that acted as decor, with unicorn themed songs that looped every 20 minutes. The idea was that it was supposed to be like a backdrop but it still sucked the kids in a bit more than we intended!

Our plan for entertainment was on the 2 tables- one with horns, coloring and tic-tac-toe, and the other with a colorful ribbon wand to make. I covered the tables in fun polka dot fabric that added some color.

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We also did a round of pin the horn on the unicorn, but it wasn’t all that popular with the kids. Which was fine, honestly.

Ok, now on to the cake! My husband made it (of course) based on a picture I saw on instagram. It was beautiful and added to the decor!

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The venue supplied the food and it went quickly! Chicken fingers, tofu pesto bites, guac and chips, pb and banana toast, chia pudding and yogurt cups. They didn’t have kids cups, so I found really cute rainbow cups for the kids and ended up making the tags. food resized

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Because the room had no outdoor space (and we had 20 5 year olds!) we decided we needed some additional entertainment! We found a storyteller who put on a unicorn costume and theatrically read a couple of unicorn books. She was fantastic and engaging and the kids were enthralled.

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We followed the storyteller with cutting the cake– which was, of course, had rainbow layers!

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The obligatory family photo! (Do you like our rainbow gear?)

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Overall, a fun time was had by all!

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