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!)

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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!)

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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!

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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.

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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.

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The taco menu–

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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!

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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.

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Lastly, cake time!

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And the next day we left for Perth!

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.

onesie making

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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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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.

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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.

Colorful Summer BBQ

After a whirlwind couple of months with travel, including Singapore last weekend we decided we weren’t quite up to another weekend away. We decided to stay in Hong Kong, enjoy the long weekend (maybe you saw the Dragon Boat on Google), and indulge in a beach and BBQ day. A week late for Memorial Day, but sun, burgers on the grill, corn on the cob and watermelon.

After a fun day at Big Wave Bay, we headed back to our terrace to start the BBQ. We love light, refreshing Pimm’s Cups, so we tried out the Bon Appetit  recipe. We also had white wine {I made a few spritzers, cutting the wine with soda water}, coconut water {hydrating!} and beer.Last Import - 02

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For appetizer we had cut veggies and hummus, as well as chips and guacamole. Since there were so many pretty colors, I had to use my Merimekko napkins. I mixed some healthy tortilla chips and with regular tortilla chips to allow for health preferences.

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For dinner we set up a buffet {yes, I was trying to add some sparkle with the disco ball in the corner} then we sat down together under the lights. Burgers, carrot salad, corn, chips and watermelon made for the perfect beach day dinner.

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For dessert I wanted to end with something chilly to cool down after a hot day. We bought mango sorbet for something a bit lighter, topped with strawberry and kiwi. I loved using cute paper cups with my favorite flamingo napkins. Last Import - 30

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We sat around chatting in the moonlight for a bit, being glad we didn’t have to go to work the next day. A wonderful way to spend a long weekend!

 

How To: Polka Dot Party Tablecloth

Do you remember this awesome party? At Charlee’s 5th Birthday I painted this polka dot tablecloth, as well as some striped ones. Since the original post was lost, I thought I’d re-create it here.

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I won’t lie– this is a time consuming process. It took me 2-3 times more time I expected. But the results are awesome– so colorful and fun. I was sad to see them go at the end of the party!

 

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First I washed and dried the tablecloth (I got a blend, part cotton to make it a little stiffer) and laid it out on the floor, on paper.

Since I was working with so many colors, I marked bowls to lay out the color and the look, giving it that perfect, but not too perfect, randomization.

I made a circle stencil for each color, and used acrylic paint to make the dots. Pick up the stencil quickly, so it doesn’t dry to the tablecloth. Let the tablecloth dry overnight.

Drape it over a table and get ready for the compliments!