…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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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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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!

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!

She’s here!

Our baby girl finally joined us! She was a little late, and after about 24 hours of labor we couldn’t have been more excited to meet her. Born March 10 this little baby with all the dark hair is ours. 

I promise I won’t go all baby all the time, but I am planning a peak at her nursery. And I’m sure there will be some cute birthdays in her future. But for now, we are just spending time getting to know each other. 

Little Gifts to Show We Care

We are back from our US adventure, jet lagged, tired, but full of love. I’m trying to get back on schedule, but that 12 hour time difference kicks me in the pants.

While we were gone we asked some friends to stay in our apartment to take care of our cat {she’s needy and hungry}. To say thank you we left a little welcome gift of Japanese chocolate covered potato chips. I wrapped them up with ribbon and a note. IMG_6895

 

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For our friends and family in the US, we wanted to share a little taste of Asia. The green tea taste has won us over, so we got some mini green tea KitKats to hand out. I added our contact information to each package. I attached the strips with special edition washi tape of the Hong Kong Star Ferry and skyline.

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We hope everyone enjoyed our gifts!

DIY Wellness Day

This past Sunday I hosted some girlfriends for a healthy day of yoga, juicing and massage. It was a great to relax and spend time together, and feel good about it the next day. We had so fun that we are thinking of making it a series.

One of the girls knew someone who could teach yoga as well as our juicing class, so we arranged a private class. Sandra from Latin2Yoga was a great instructor and she got along well with the entire group. She was so laid back and helped the entire day run smoothly.

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The weather held out, so we were able to have the yoga class outside on the terrace. It was supposed to be a scorcher, so I put together water bottles for each of the girls, as well as sweat rags (nothing is worse than slipping and sliding on your yoga mat!)

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We started the day at 9 AM, with some light nibbles before yoga class. When everyone arrived, we had oatmeal chia bars and fruit out. I didn’t want it to be heavy, but some people need to fuel their work out, so I wanted to have something available.

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Our yoga class was 90 minutes of breathing, movement and relaxation at the end. It was the perfect amount of work and wellness—and I definitely felt sore the next day!

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After yoga, we were presented with cold towels, scented with peppermint. We added just a few drops to the water to give that high end hotel feeling.

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Then we really dove into the fruit, oatmeal chia bars and veggies with homemade hummus. I tried new bars this time, from my every day muffins, and they drew rave reviews. I used this recipe here.  We also served cold water and flat belly water {lemon, cucumber and mint, infused over night} as a choice of beverages.

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After we snack a bit, we started the juicing class. It was a 2-hour class, the first hour for understanding the benefits of juicing and smoothies and the second hour for tasting. Most of us are fairly educated on the value of organic produce, so it was a lot of fun to try out new recipes we had never imagined.

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Once we were well prepped and educated, it was time for lunch. My awesome husband put together a healthy spread of various salads and roasted vegetables. They were so good and so beautiful. With lunch we served iced tea {like the proper southern girl I am!}, my favorite T2 Quince Tea and for a light dessert, I made my favorite unprocessed mounds bites.

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Once we were good and full, we piled in a taxi and headed to get massages. One of the girls found a modern, fun place where we could get a choice of foot or body massage. It was nice to be able to all get a massage at the same time. I got a body massage and it was wonderful.

As a take away, I gave each girl a box of organic chocolates and some tea to take home to extend her wellness.

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We had so much fun spending the day together, and focusing on our wellness and ourselves. And, in truth, as I spend a lot of time eating healthy, it was great to share some of my recipes and favorites with my friends. I’m looking forward to the next installment!

 

New Obsession: Quince

As you all probably already know, I tend to get obsessed with something {particularly food} for a bit. For awhile, everything seems to be about that dish. Right now that obsession in quince.

I’ve heard of quince before, but until Australia this Christmas, I’m not sure I ever really came across it. In Melbourne we found this quince tea that we now make iced tea from every weekend, and this amazing smelling soap. It’s become my new thing- I look for it every where. Because the scent is sweet and spicy, it would be a great hostess gift or new flavor to your next party.

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Artisan quince syrups.

What a quince looks like.

Quince paste, which is quite tasty. They say it’s good with cheese.

This is the brand of soap we found. Smells so good!

T2 teas are all the rage in Oz. This quince tea is perfect, it doesn’t need any sweetener.

I bet this body moisturizer smells amazing, too.