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

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!)

DSC_0139

 

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!)

DSC_0144

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!

DSC_0113

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.

DSC_0130

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.

DSC_0116

The taco menu–

easts birthday party 2

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!

DSC_0124

 

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.

DSC_0162

 

Lastly, cake time!

DSC_0174

 

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!

taco-invite-east blured

Mamas have to be adaptable, even party planner ones!

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…

collage fav july

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?

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!

Party Themes I Gotta Try

I’m always looking for an excuse to throw a party, host friends, or make someone feel special. These ideas would be so much fun.

collage party themes

 

Living in Hong Kong, there is lots of to-and-fro. These invitation are amazing.

Do you have too many books and nothing to read? Me too.

A seriously healthy birthday cake. It’s pretty, but…oh.

And always, treat yo self.

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.