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.

cat invite

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.

2

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

table

table with jess

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.

food 1

food 2

food 4

food 3

Of course with cute plates and cups!

plates

cups

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

cat cake

And my very favorite photo ever–

blowing candles

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

story

craft time

craft

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:

Birthday Invitation_Rush

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.

balloons

balloons 2

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!

entry way

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!

rush with jayden

east in basket

rush with jay 2

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.

activity corner

rush in ballpit

chair

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).

Rush with cake

rush with cake 2

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

kids in ballpit

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

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.

R- baby

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!

R-crib

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.

R- arrow

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)?

R- shelf

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.

R- dresser

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).

R- chair

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

R- full room

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

Gift for a New Mom

Speaking of gifts… I remember reading awhile back (probably on a blog) about a new mom, home on maternity leave with her new baby, asking for books to read while breastfeeding. As sometimes the baby will feed for hours at a time, she was looking for ways to entertain herself beyond social media and reality tv marathons. Being a big reader myself, I found this to be an interesting and thoughtful gift idea and stored it away.

books

 

I recently had a chance to try it out, as a friend had the good timing to have her baby exactly a week before we planned to see her. We were able to see her, her new baby girl– and the amount of down time she had those first few days. We certainly wanted to get her something to celebrate the baby’s arrival — and maybe we saw her on a day that she was feeling stir-crazy, but she seemed excited by the idea of some books.

I sent her 3 of some of my recent favorites– The Signature of All Things, The Language of Flowers, and Cutting for Stone. All paperbacks, to make it a bit lighter to balance. Hopefully she will enjoy them and find this to be a useful gift.

Moms, any feedback or thoughts on this gift?

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Personalized Gifts

I love giving gifts. It’s so much fun to find the perfect item for someone, just the thing that they need or want. For special occasions, I find that personalized gifts that commemorate the moment can become the most meaningful items to share. Living overseas, it can be hard to to provide these kind of thoughtful gifts– so thank goodness for shopping online!

Uncommongoods is now offering handmade and personalized gifts, making it so much easier for me to find the perfect gift for friends and family. From jewelry to entertaining items, home decor to slippers, you can find something for everyone. Just check out some of these items…

collage uncommongoods

 

1. I met 4 new babies while I was home in the US. These pillows would have been perfect gifts for those families.

2. These shark slippers make me laugh. These would be great for a nephew or a brother.

3. I love this personalized couple/family art. So cute and good for any stage of life.

4. This handmade basket is just plain cool.

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!

collage frozen party

 

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!

collage popsciles

 

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.

June Crush

Some things I can’t stop thinking about this month. #happysummer

collage june love

 

1. A how-to for writing on a cake

2. A Farmers Market First Birthday. So adorable.

3. Everything you love about your state, in a postcard.

4. Color code your bar cart. Yes please.

What do you love?

February was a little crazy for me, so I’m just as glad to see it go. I’m hoping March will be better. My husband and I are celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary mid-month with a trip, so it’s already looking up. #needavaca

That being said, there were some great ideas floating around the web world in February. Here are some of my favorite and I hope you like them, too.

collage fav march

 

Food station wedding buffets– but nothing beats that sign.

Billboard birthday messages.

I had to follow this board, with its Event Lucky theme.

These carrot stamped DIY dish towels are adorable. The wrapping, too.