Quarantine Weekend Theme-Space

After watching the launch last weekend, I was inspired to put together a space themed weekend for the kids. It was a bit harder than I expected, mostly because many of the activities seemed to be targeted at boys. I did my best to approach it as gender equally as possible, and my daughter had a blast.

I was hoping for an easier plan, decor wise, but my husband was committed. So he cut and paint the planets to scale on Friday night. I added tiny gold stars the next day.

After the kids came back from outside, they had a snack of a rocket made out of fruit!

Then we jumped right into a moon toss! We just bought our first new TV so we had a large box that was perfect for this. For the astroids we wrapped paper in foil. Our kitty also really like the box and the foil balls!

Next we tried out a space shuttle repair activity. The idea was that astronauts worked in space with gloves on, so we simulated that hard work with nuts and bolts (plastic and wooden ones from one of their toys) in a tub of water with yellow gloves on. My little one thought he couldn’t do it, but he managed.

Usually tempers are likely to flare just before lunch so we watch about 30 minutes of videos. We watched this one and this one. Maybe the first time I didn’t find pink fong annoying!

After lunch and nap we started on galaxy playdough. We’ve never actually made playdough before so it was a bit of an experience. But they liked the process and playing with it when it was ready.

My husband pre-made galaxy popcorn— which may have been my favorite thing (chocolate popcorn is my jam). We watched while we watched moving stars– kind of like a light show.

Then we had to dance of that sugar! We did this one and a cosmic yoga.

Afterwards we quickly made Alien balloons, using some leftover balloons from last weekend. I prepped the eyes ahead of time, so this only took about 15 minutes or so, but the effect was pretty cute.

Finally– it was time to watch Wall-E, which I had never seen. It was sweet! Then time for dinner and bedtime.

The next day we started with rocket jet packs! I thought this was super fun. We didn’t have 2 liter bottles, but we emptied out some water bottles we had on hand and wrapped them in duct tape (ran out) and foil. We used white duct tape for the straps and attached it to a piece of cardboard. We also had a fair amount of felt on hand to make the fire (even some red chevron, which I thought was a stroke of genius!).

After that was an extension on the same theme– dress up play (the kids started playing in the rocket on their own!) to simulated walking on the moon by walking on an air mattress. I was hoping to fill the time we usually spend in the water pool or table (there’s no water in space!) but we didn’t quite make it. I’m hoping I can make water fit for next weekend. (It’s usually good for an hour of quiet).

Finally it was time for videos! We watched this one on food in space, and this one on gravity, which my 5 year old loved. Then it was lunch and nap– thank goodness!

After nap we made earth cookies by making green and blue sugar cookie dough. We put the doughs together and they don’t blend much while cooking, giving a great earth effect.

Next we made rockets! This one came out of my head– no link, sorry! Using toilet paper rolls for the base, we pre-cut the cone for the top (although they had to glue it) and the black base at the bottom (they had to assemble it) with notches in the toilet paper roll for the base to sit in. They colored their rocket then we put it all together!

Lastly, we did a moon rock hunt. My husband and his mom collected some rocks from the condo and painted them green. I hid them around the house and Rush collected them, then counted them.

We were supposed to play “cold” potato (like hot potato but instead it’s too cold to touch), but we didn’t have enough people to play, so we cuddled watching Lilo & Stitch and ate pizza.

Overall, it was a fun weekend and I hear the kids spouting random space facts, so some learning snuck in. I’ll take it!

Quarantine Weekend Theme- Superheros

When the kids were picking themes my son came up with superheros, and my daughter readily agreed. But when it came to planning it I realised I knew very little about them. So my husband took over– and I was happy to have a weekend off. I’m not sure he enjoyed it as much as I do, but it was really fun and super creative.

After some outdoor time on Saturday, the kids, Rush, 3, and East, 5, were ready for snacktime. We started with watermelon cut like Wonder Woman’s logo. We did check my daughter’s shirt for the placement of the star!

We then did a superhero matching game that I think my husband made from scratch with images from google. (Here’s a printable one but not the one we used). Once each match was made, we learned about their backstory and each superhero’s ‘favorite food.’ Magically, those foods all showed up in our Superfood salad for lunch! (good touch, Papa, good touch.)

He kept it action packed, with a superhero puzzle perfect for toddlers. Rush loved it.

Then the kids dressed up as their favorite superheros (thankfully our costumes from Halloween last year), and we did a mini-photo shoot in front of a “green screen.” Sadly, I threw away Ti Fiti last weekend- as it was amazing we got to use it even twice- but would have been perfect for this use. So we used a blue-green duvet. My husband took a few minutes to edit a little video that the kids loved!

Here’s the video, if you want to take a look!

Then it was time for the Superfood Salad. Yummy and healthy- and the kids mostly ate it. The kids were better at remembering the Superhero’s favorites than Papa!

After a short nap (mostly for Mama), the kids had a quick Spiderman snack of strawberries.

it was time for spiderweb toss. Papa put masking tape in the doorway in a spider pattern, and the kids used tape balls wrapped in saranwrap. We tried the kids standing on the floor, on stools, and later throwing balloons.

Next was the laser maze. I saw this here and thought it was amazing. We got some 3M hooks and used red string in our entryway (hence the mess!). The kids went through it a couple of times (although I may have liked it more than they did!) .

After all of that activity, we did a couple of superhero dances we found on YouTube before watching The Incredibles (while the adults had a cocktail class).

The next morning we started early with green foam painting on the balcony, then spraying off and played in water. Always good for more than an hour of play!

Once they dried off, the kids made cookies to decorate later (gluten free for Mama). Then they created their own superheros out of pipe cleaners, paper straws and beads. I will say my husband ordered the beads for the joints and the head, so it wasn’t entirely made with things found around the house, but close.

Another naptime (mostly for Mama and Papa) and another cute snack when the kids were up. Guacamole and chips in a Hulk face and we were good to go. Usually Rush doesn’t like guac, but even he tried some.

Then it was time for Superhero bingo! Papa let me help him so I found an online printable bingo that looked cute. We already had some chips made from an alphabet bingo we did in English class (home based learning for the win!), so we were ready to go.

We were ready to decorate the cookies after that! I found some circle superhero logos for us to use as inspiration. While the adults got a bit serious about it, East made a couple of logos for her ‘Super Intelligent Girl’ that she invented that morning.

Afterwards we were going to do a dance video, but we were tired, so we moved up the schedule to watch The Incredibles 2 before eating pizza, like any normal Sunday. And we got the cookies for dessert!

It was fun and Mama’s not entirely exhausted (although Papa might be!). We also had a vote on our last two (we hope!) weekend themes… so a few more of these to go! I hope you will stick with me!

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.

food table

collage- fooddrinks

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!

game time

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.

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.

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!