…The Dino Party Continues

After 26 kids at the Moana party last year, we thought it might be easier to break up the event into 3 different events.

We had rainbow cupcakes in dinosaur cups…

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The dinosaur in the supermarket party you saw yesterday…7f0c19b0-14a3-4a50-9fd6-e42d3e8ffb91

And then we had a party at home for her playgroup friends. I pre-purposed a lot of the same elements, and added some more elements, including fun dino tails!

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The kids at snacks and dressed up as dinosaurs.

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My husband made a cute cupcake cake this time, that pulled apart. I think it turned out pretty cute.

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Was it more manageable? Yes.  Would I do 3 parties again? No. It was so tiring! For all of us, including the birthday girl. We celebrated the heck out this birthday!

 

 

Dinosaurs in the Supermarket

Since my daughter’s Moana birthday I’ve wanted to produce a girl’s dinosaur birthday party. So from the day after her 3rd birthday, I put the idea in her head… and it worked! It took me a bit of time to decide how to make it cute… until I remembered one of our favorite books, Dinosaurs in the Supermarket, and thought it would be a fun theme.

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We used the illustrations as a starting place for the invitation, and added the red and white awning to make it more supermarket-like.

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We found a playroom with a supermarket set up (among other things). So we used it as a starting place for decoration.IMG_7768 IMG_7767 IMG_7762

The birthday room was brightly colored, so we tried to keep it simple, with some red supermarket banners and gold foil balloons.

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One of my favorite things were these adorable mini-carts we decorated the tables with dinosaurs pushing them, of course! The kids took these home, as they were filled with tattoos, a lollipop and dinosaur eggs to grow at home.

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Also, the food at this party was pretty amazing. A dinosaur kale pesto, dino watermelon fruit salad, dino hump empanadas, dino cheese, and a supermarket sample tray, just like you’d see at a grocery store!

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I added dinosaurs to the cups to help with identification and the red ones were for adults.

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And, as usual, my hubby made the cake. My daughter asked for green on the outside and pink on the inside, so he made it happen. It was maybe his tastiest cake yet.

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I think the kids had a good time!

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Woodland Animals 2nd Birthday Party

Leading up to my little one’s birthday we were debating on the party theme; we couldn’t decide on diggers or woodland animals. We went back and forth, but in the end we decided this is probably the last year we would get to decide, and we thought the animal theme would be cuter. So a modern woodland animals theme won out!

My husband worked with a designer on zazzle to customize the invite.

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We held the party at the kids’ dance studio, which offered a great background for theming. It’s fairly new, so they were really open to letting us decorate how we wanted. We added trees and animals throughout the 2 room main rooms, the sitting room, and the hallway.

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We had 2 tents in the main dance room, that we decorated with pom poms and pillows. My hubby made a fire, which was realistic enough that my daughter wouldn’t let me touch because it was hot!

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In the second room we had the food and drinks tables. Somehow I didn’t get fantastic pictures, which is too bad, as there were a lot of fun details! We made the runners– black and white triangles, with a an animal print the other way. We added triangles to the front to add some color. I had some fun triangle banners for behind the tables, and colored balloons, along with balloons with the birthday boys name. Also, we got adorable cups with lids (important with the little ones!) which had animals on the front.

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For activities, kids could become animals– they chose ears or crowns, and we had a amazing face painter.

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We also asked the dance studio to provide a dance class– which was a lot fun. We asked her to plan something around animals and the kids loved acting out different animal movements- the perfect ending to the embodying of animals.

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Ok, now for the food! We had a lot of fun thinking of cute and campfire food.

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For the cake, we did a naked cake. I made the toppers by hand.

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I rarely do take away gifts, but these were so cute, I couldn’t help it. I put a marshmallow, a chocolate and stickers inside.

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All and all, it was great party!

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Black and White Kitty Party

I know this is a year late in posting. I know. But in my defense, shortly after this party we had 2 international moves with 2 kids, 2 and less than 6 months. No easy feat, my friend. So posting this party fell by the way side. But this year’s party was amazing and I HAD to post. Which made me nostalgic… and here we are.

Last year I decided on a black and white cat themed party. My MIL gave me some fun wrapping paper for Christmas, which sparked an idea and the theme bloomed.

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We decided with a 4 month old at home, we weren’t up for hosting, so we held the party at a nearby pre-school, which was perfect. We only had the room for so long, so I couldn’t get too crazy with the decorations, I didn’t have to worry too much about the mess, and there would toys. Done and done.

Also, because I had a 4 month old, I made and organized all the decorations, but I left it to my husband and my mother in law to set up. They did a great job.

We had a #2 balloon, which the birthday girl loved.

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The table had kitty headbands, cat confetti, and labeled cups.

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Let’s just say we still have some of those headbands and they were my halloween costume last year! headbands with Rush and East

The food turned out super cute– swedish fish and fish crackers, cat shaped sandwiches, veggies with hummus, and rainbow fruit.

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Of course with cute plates and cups!

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And the kitty cat cake! My husband made it (why do I ever doubt him?).

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And my very favorite photo ever–

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For activities, we had a cat themed story time, and made a cat mask. And toys, of course!

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craft time

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It was one of our best parties– the kids loved it and it wasn’t over complicated. I’ll have to remember that for next year!

 

Hot Air Balloon 1st Birthday

Rush turned one back in November, and I’m just now posting the pictures- yikes, sorry! We love you just as much, little boy!

We decided to have the party in our apartment, with his little playgroup friends. Of course I still wanted to make it special– and I was so lucky that some of my daughter’s dance class mom friends really helped us out. It was amazing!

Here’s the invitation:

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I had a variety of honeycomb balls and made hot air balloons and decorated them. I strung them up in front of our long window to make them look like they were in the sky, and added clouds in the window to add to the effect.

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I decorated the entry way with a new born picture and a recent picture, a banner, and the take away sunshine inflatables. Not to mention the #1 balloon!

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We also created a photo opportunity of a hot air balloon, with a basket and balloons. photo opp

It’s cuter with kids in it!

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For activities we had a thumbprint decoration corner– they decorated their own hot air balloons (on a kids table provided by a dance mom)! We also had a ball pit (provided by another dance mom!), and a hot air balloon themed book for story time.

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And… the cake. My husband made it and it turned out really well. cake

Although Rush got a banana cupcake instead! He seemed to like it (Once we pulled it apart).

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Overall, it was a great success! The kids had fun and Rush felt celebrated!

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A Moana Luau Party

I thought I had another couple of years before character themed parties took over. But Moana was one of the first movies my daughter saw and it stuck with her. She started asking for a Moana birthday in October– about 5 months before her actual birthday– so I knew I was stuck. What was a momma to do but acquiesce? She also decided to re-wear her Halloween costume, and come to her party as Moana. Sure, why not?

Since she didn’t see much of the invite (it was sent out via What’s App by mommy) I was able to use the more stylised Moana.

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We decided to hold the party by the pool, as it offered a beautiful back drop. Sadly, the function room was not in fantastic shape (from many past parties, taping decorations to the walls) so we had to be creative about how we could make the room look inviting, in theme, and cover the mess.

I knew I wanted to make Tifiti– I had an example on Etsy, and we figured it out. We painted a green sheet, added a balloon and leaf crown, vines and flowers. This was on the back wall, in front of the food, so you couldn’t miss it! I added foil balloons to the side, to add more coverage.

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We also found rolls of brown butcher paper and painted tiki mask faces to cover the side walls. There were 7 different designs.

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And in front of the drinks and present table, I used Happy Birthday Banners (bought on Etsy). And I also added a picture of East when she was born and one from her recent photoshoot. She’s grown so much!

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We also replicated Moana’s boat, for the kids to sit in, like a photo booth. We had a little kids boat, made it bigger with card board boxes and covered it with the brown butcher paper. My husband made the sail with muslin and dow rods. The boat was flanked by blow up palm trees, which didn’t make an appearance in the pictures. We, naturally, had to include Heihei!

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For activities we had a coloring table, a cornhole game in the shape of Tomatoha (I didn’t get a great shot of him, despite all of my work! You can see another glimpse of him here) and Hulu dancers who taught the kids and performed. coloring

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For the drinks for the kids, we found these great coconuts and pineapple cups– with lids! The flower straw added a lot of fun. (We also had Moana playing in the corner, in case kids needed a breather.)drinks and movie

And for food we had pork sliders, hawaiian pizza, fish crackers, ‘driftwood’ pretzels, fruit salad and veggies. food

And.. the cake! Here I had to use the traditional Moana, or I’d be in trouble. I bought the sign on Etsy. My husband made the cake– can you believe it? I asked for the wooden cake stand for our anniversary — it all turned out really well.

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Instead of a giving away bags at the end, we incorporated the take homes into the theme– flower crowns and clips, fans (it’s really hot in Singapore!) , and the cups.

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All and all the party was pretty epic– and not just because we had over 20 kids running around! My daughter hasn’t stopped talking about it — and is already talking about her next Dino birthday! Sigh! Give Mommy some time to recover, eh?

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Modern Animal Nursery

I know I promised this blog wouldn’t become a kids blog– but this is my life currently (along with spit up and sleepless nights). I am working on my daughter’s second birthday coming up in March, so hopefully there will be some party updates coming soon.

Anyhoo, if you follow my on instagram you know that our baby boy was born in November. He’s a sweet little boy, our Rush Elias.

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As they say, we weren’t quite as organized with the second baby. For our daughter, her nursery was ready a month early. Rush’s nursery has just come together, 2.5 months after he was born.

When we found out we were having a boy, I figured the new baby would take over East’s room, so I brainstormed on how to use her arrow linens. In the middle of the night (when all the best ideas come) I decided on Woodland Animals. Turns out woodlands animals are out and safari animals are what’s trendy right now, so I had to be a bit flexible with my animal choices. It still turned out cute, I think!

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Don’t these animals look like these popular (and expensive) heads?  I looked all over for something that wouldn’t cost tons for shipping to HK and was able to find these on TaoBao (the Mainland China Amazon/Ebay). The site is only in Chinese, so my husband’s work colleague had to assist us– in return she saw them before I did! But we were able to save hundreds of dollars (and who knows– they could be the Chinese supplier of the fancy brand!).

Hong Kong isn’t always the most stroller friendly place, so we have tried nearly every baby carrier. We have quite the collection and I need somewhere to keep them organized and accessible. I loved this arrow hook panel from Target.

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Aren’t those little animals cute? I did get some woodland creatures in, with this cute bowling set from Etsy. That sweet picture of my hubby as a chubby little babe, with his favorite bunny kills me every time. And who can resist an inspirational sign (also from Target)?

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Even though the room has built in closets, I needed additional storage, particularly drawers. So we got IKEA dresssers (not our first choice– ah, the joys of living in a big city!) so I thought I’d customize them a bit with some washi tape. The blocks on top are from my baby shower with sweet messages from friends.

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When we moved, my first purchase was a rocking chair for nursing. I used it a lot when I was pregnant due to being so uncomfortable, so we moved it to the living room. So now we have 2, one in each room. And who’s that sitting in the chair?! Right under a picture of himself, the cutie pie! (By the stuffed animal basket is a mat I use to lay him on for stretching and tummy time).

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And finally, here’s a pulled back picture of the room. I’m pretty happy with how it came together. What do you think?

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(It was a rainy dark day, so please forgive the dark pictures!)

T-Party Baby Shower for Baby #2

I wasn’t sure I was going to have a baby shower for my second baby, coming this November. But then I saw an adorable T-Rex tea party that just stole my heart. I had to do it, even if it were much more simple and streamlined than the baby shower for East. Between a toddler, being pregnant, moving apartments, our nanny being out of town, and a busy time at work, I needed it to be easy.

I found out one of my favorite lunch spots had a rooftop terrace, so it worked out pretty well. We had 2 typhoons that week, so I was sweating over the weather that week (the inside option was definitely not as good). We lucked out that the typhoons had passed, so we just sweated outside. It did cool down a bit at the end of the party, but I drank a lot of water that evening!

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We sent out the invites via What’s App and Facebook, to make life easier. Although that did create an interesting challenge, as it was hard to make clear who was invited (I was looking for a ladies only tea party). It was tough for mamas with babies but most made it work, which meant the world to me.

I didn’t get a ton of pictures– and hardly of any guests– but hopefully you can get an idea of the fun we had.

Since most of the seating was bench seating, I asked the staff to bring up a couple of chairs for myself and the other pregnant ladies that we attending.

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I found two large T-Rexs (it was surprisingly hard to find specifically Tyrannosaurus Rex), and gave them one of my daughter’s tea cups, and added flowers, to make them less scary.

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Food menu, of yummy Lebanese food (and interestingly some of the best chocolate chip cookies in town!). No pictures of the food- what’s wrong with me?!

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Drink menu– cold drinks only for this overheated mama!

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If you remember, last time we had iron-on onesies. This time we had draw on blocks, which turned out really cute!

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And these were the guest take- aways from the party. The bags were from etsy (always sweating if they will make it to Hong Kong in time!), filled with a tea sampler and a cookie.

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These pretty ladies were amazing guests and even helped us get into a taxi. img_3895

Overall, it was a great event, and I’m so glad I decided to do it. The company was amazing, and I felt so loved. I’m getting excited for this baby!

Let’s Taco ‘Bout It!

This is the first birthday party that almost didn’t happen.

We planned really well, ordering fun items from the US in time to be hand carried by my Mother-in-Law who came to visit for East’s first birthday. She arrived the end of February. Not 2 days later, East started coughing and came down with a cold, so bad her chest was rattling. Then my Mother in Law fell ill. By the weekend, a week before the party, I succumbed. My husband held out, making me a short time believer in the flu shot. But we forged ahead planning, thinking we’d be better in a week.

We weren’t. My glands were still swollen a week later and I had no voice. East was probably the best, but she still had a cough. My Mother in Law was ill, and my husband was starting cough. But the real kicker was Friday afternoon, the day before the party, the cat got sick too. With running all over town, going to vet and the pediatrician, still not full recovered, we decided to postpone the party a week.

I’m glad we did– we ended up with more babies able to come in the end. We lost some people, gained some, and fun was had by all. My sweet MIL made 2 pinatas and supervised the food, I had a voice and could talk to guests and give instructions, my husband managed the drinks and the non-baby friends, and East was able to play and have fun. Some people may have thought it was a bit odd to have a taco and margarita party for a 1 year old– but I think it was just perfect for us.

I dreamed of having a park party– a common US kids’ party location– but the weather in Hong Kong is too variable. You don’t know when it might rain, or be cold or crazy hot. So we settled on the common rooms of our building (our apartment– and most apartments– are much too small). Thankfully this offered us flexibility in terms of the date– although not much of the decor. It’s what I call medieval Vegas– but there is a kids playroom, a kitchen, a bar, and a couple of sitting areas. We made it as festive as possible, with tons of papel picado, balloons, flowers, and pinatas.

When guests walked in: DSC_0134

You can just see the sitting area to the right, with the baby food (veggies and no salt food) to the right. And you may be able to make out the taco pillow! (These quesadillas were popular!)

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Also some fun hanging elements in this room. DSC_0142

This was outside the kids playroom, with the first pinata. DSC_0157

We put out mats for the little ones to crawl around. I also found taco and burrito felt toys to get the kids in the mood. (The birthday girl trying them out!)

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Heading the other way, towards the food, stopping at the bar is mandatory! DSC_0111

 

And chips, salsa and guacamole, of course. I love those pineapple plates!

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The obligatory letter balloon– which is still inflated! East loves playing with it!  You can also see the papel picado  and the cake in the background.

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We had an a regular full sugar cake (lemon with blueberry filling) as well as no sugar banana cupcakes for the babies. East ate a whole cupcake herself.

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The taco menu–

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Can you believe we didn’t end up with any pictures of the tacos?? What’s wrong with us?! But we do have a pic of the taco pinata!

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For activities, we had story time, read by my husband. Appropriately, Dragons Love Tacos. East loved it. easts birthday party

 

And we made maracas! Using just plastic eggs, beans, wooden spoons and tape, I think the kids (and parents!) had a good time. And it was a good take away.

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Lastly, cake time!

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And the next day we left for Perth!

Sending Invitations…via What’s App

East’s first birthday is nearly upon us, and we are deep in planning mode for her party. For as much as I love paper and would have loved to send out (or deliver!) gorgeous invitations, I communicate almost entirely by Whats App these days. Not only to talk to my family back home, but to schedule play dates, learn about events, or share baby stories with other moms. So when it came time to getting out the word for the party, I wanted the fastest, most effective way to get on people’s busy calendars. So via text it went!

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Mamas have to be adaptable, even party planner ones!