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!

…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…

IMG_7681 IMG_7695 IMG_7702

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!

IMG_7946 IMG_7949 IMG_7951

The kids at snacks and dressed up as dinosaurs.

IMG_7979

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

IMG_7987

IMG_7982

 

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.

dino in the supermarket

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

dino invite

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.

IMG_7758

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.

IMG_7751

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!

IMG_7738 IMG_7739 IMG_7743 IMG_7748 IMG_7749

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

IMG_7736

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.

IMG_7732

IMG_7809

I think the kids had a good time!

IMG_7773 a86ebf40-5fd4-4f25-844f-9caf85f6503c

 

 

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.

713f62f6-aaae-4048-b33c-a19c639cdd8d (1)

 

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.

IMG_5278

IMG_5292

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!

IMG_5322

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.

IMG_5308

IMG_5342

IMG_5329

IMG_5276

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

IMG_5310

IMG_5345 IMG_6919

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.

IMG_5362

IMG_5367

IMG_5376

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

IMG_5301

IMG_5302

IMG_5304

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

IMG_5296

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.

IMG_5282

All and all, it was great party!

1604b9a4-9cdb-4170-9012-2af1ed691166

 

 

 

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.

invite

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.

tifiti 2

tifiti

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

mask

masks 2

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!

banners

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!

boat

boat 2

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

cornhole

hula

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.

cake

blowing candles

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.

rush

fans

girls drinking

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?

family

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!

img_3645

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.

img_3880

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.

img_3881

img_3888

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?!

img_3885

Drink menu– cold drinks only for this overheated mama!

img_3887

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

img_3884

img_3882

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.

img_3958

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!

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!

taco-invite-east blured

Mamas have to be adaptable, even party planner ones!