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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Can You Dig It?

I’ll tell you, I wasn’t excited about this party to start. I didn’t think I could make a construction theme party cute. I asked for monkeys or elephants or airplanes or- basically anything else. But my son would not be deterred, so we made it happen. And thanks to @butfirstparty, I found some cute inspiration. So let’s dive right in!

Here’s the invite. We ended up hosting the room in our condo’s function room– which we will not do it again. You heard it here first. Here’s the invite. bc05d7ac-0e90-4887-bcd5-c507b4525f79

We decided we would do a lot of activity stations, which was great for all of the little kids. We filled a water table with salt and put smaller construction vehicles in it.

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We covered a soft kids pool (with fabric from Rush’s 2nd party!), filled it with rice and put some larger diggers in it. You can also see the road tape we put on the floor, which turned out really cute.

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We used an IKEA table, filled with small pasta and lentils and some small  vehicles for pushing and digging. This is now in his room, even though it’s kinda a pain to keep clean.

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My husband built a digger out of cardboard to act as a photo op, and we also had an IKEA rug on the floor for them to push the trucks around.

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We also did a cone toss and a rider digger outside.

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The backdrop, made from the inspiration of @butfirstparty turned out pretty cute, although the fringe on top didn’t.  Apparently I needed more than the 1,000 feet of caution tape I used! We ended up re-using the backdrop for this room.

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We had some fun with the food and tried not to make it the same old, same old.

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My husband made the cake- and he may have topped himself!

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I made the orange cups into cones on the drinks table,  and added a coloring table nearby (for the older kids).

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We got a balloon guy to create balloon diggers, bulldozers, cranes, etc. My daughter wouldn’t comply with theme, but she’s cute so we forgave her.

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My husband, who was the rockstar of the this party, also dressed as Rush’s favorite youtube star, Blippi.

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Overall it was a really fun party, and we re-used a lot of the items to re-do Rush’s room into a big boy room. He’s a big 3!

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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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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 Gold Baby Shower

The other weekend I had the most wonderful baby shower. My good friend (who also took these pictures) and my husband worked together to throw me and our soon-to-be baby a lovely tea party. I couldn’t help but get involved with decorations and I think it all came together beautifully.

My friend found this gorgeous space in Central Hong Kong. It was open and lofty and gave plenty of room for food, mingling, and activities.

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My husband was the caterer and made all of the delicious food, including homemade cherry pop tarts and chicken and waffles.

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One of the crafty activities was decorating iron-on onesies. These were such a hit– and turned out so cute. I can’t wait for her to wear these awesome designs made by friends.

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Along with a fun best wishes mad libs, we played a pub-style quiz in teams. We had 2 teams win– but thankfully we were prepared for that!

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Guests also got a take-away of kettle corn with a “corny” message.

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It was such a great party. I felt so loved. I can’t wait for the baby to meet all of her fantastic aunties.

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Campfire Treats

Doing any camping this summer? If so, you might be looking for some tasty treats that go beyond the basic s’mores. Kick it up a notch with some of these campfire baked snacks.

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1. Bake muffins in an orange! What a great camping hack.

2. I love these elevated s’mores. Belgian cookie crackers, giant marshmallows, chocolate, and strawberry sauce.

3. Skillet brownies . (yours don’t need to be so healthy. Unless you want them to be.)

4. Baked apples, rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

Summer Lovin’

How’s your summer going? Can you believe July is nearly over? I’ve gotta get in my sunny days in while I can!

Here are some things I’m loving right now…

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1. This baby shower tablecloth is so cute.

2. I must have this gold {temporary} tattoo.

3. Chocolate potato chips? Yes please!

4. I adore this 40th birthday. It gives me ideas for a future party for my hubby…

5. Tiny gift parade. {this has made the rounds, but I love gifts!}

6. Candy necklace napkin ring. So colorful and fun for summer.

What are you loving this summer?

A Little Girl’s Frozen Dream

One of my favorite followers on Twitter asked for some party ideas for her 3 year old’s birthday. This little lady loves Disney’s Frozen (I mean, really, who doesn’t?), so I put together a party that I’d like to attend!

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1. Some cute movie ticket invites {free printables!}

2. I like this marshmallow topiary. And naturally, styrofoam snowmen would be welcome.

3. These would be adorable give aways.

4. A plastic snow globe would be a fun and easy activity for little hands.

5. Flowers {and snowflakes} always add. {I’d probably use mums}

6. The name just asks for frozen treats– snow cones, popsicles, ice cream. As long as it’s blue!

7. These simple decorations {but still cute!} in the blue color story will allow you to create consistency, without being too theme-y.

 

Let us know how it goes!

Summer Dayz Popsicles

During these hot summer days I find that I’m craving something sweet and cold at the end of day. Let’s make some popsicles!

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1. I made a few with fresh strawberries, pureed and pieces.

2. Pimm’s Cups are refreshing.

3. Coconut water is hydrating, so it would make an excellent popsicle.