Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy

For her 6th birthday, East asked for a lemon party. Why? Because she loves lemons, of course! Her wish is our command! 🙂

Here were the invites, sent out via WhatsApp. I personalized the design, which I bought on Etsy.

This was a pretty fun party to put together. The hardest part was matching the yellows- if that kind of thing bothers you, maybe don’t read on. Due to shipping being an absolute nightmare, checking the color and sending things back was impossible. As it was, we didn’t receive most of our supplies (ordered from the US) until a day and a half before the party! I wasn’t worried we wouldn’t get them at all and I’d be buying plates and napkins locally.

Due to the COVID restrictions at the time, we could have 8 people over to our house, the largest group that was allowed. Knowing that it would be at home, I immediately knew I wanted the kids to have appropriately sized aprons. I didn’t know what we would make or do with them, but aprons were needed. We ordered a set in late January, but they didn’t make it, so we had to get another set made quickly– also necessitating using yellow fabric on hand. Thankfully, the kids either didn’t notice or didn’t care!

Decor

Since it was at home, the decor was focused on a few key elements- balloons, a photo backdrop and a piñata.

For the photo backdrop, we hung a gold curtain and styrofoam lemons from a door frame. I prepped some photo props, an instant camera, and cute little sheets based on the invite. These were perfect little give aways at the party.

I wanted a piñata to add visual interest but was less interested in the use of sticks to beat it in my house! I found a woman in Singapore who made them, and asked her to make the kind with strings, for the kids to pull. It turned out really cute!

I was also had an image in mind of this L shaped balloon feature, to frame out our large picture window. I didn’t capture it well, but it was pretty awesome in person. Also, the obligatory number 6 balloon!

I also got a few pillows for the couches, knowing they would be reused in East’s bedroom (she asked for her room to be re-styled in the same theme).

And I drew a quick picture on our black board!

Snacks

For the food, we decided that making everything lemon flavored would kill tastebuds, so we went for yellow food instead. Yellow (tumeric) hummus with yellow tomatoes, peppers, carrots, crackers and bread, corn, mango and pineapple cups, popcorn chicken with honey mustard dip, egg tarts (these were supposed to be lemon bars but they didn’t set right– delivery for with the win!) — and likely the most popular, key lime m&ms.

The cake turned out really cute! My husband made it and the kids loved… to look at it. He flavored the cake with almond extract, with lemon curd between the layers and the kids weren’t sure what to make of it. Most them didn’t eat it, although their parents did! And full disclosure– the almond flavoring was my idea. 🙂

The Reveal

We asked East and Rush to play together in a room so we could get everything ready. Then I dressed them in their lemon clothes– and captured their reaction to the room. This may have been my favorite part of the whole day!

Activities

Since the party was at home, we had plenty of activities to keep them busy! We started at the table; Each child got a cutting board (Ikea), a kid’s cutting knife (made from plastic with a serrated edge), and a juicer. They were able to take all of these home too, in a little bag, along with their apron.

We started by making lemonade. They cut the lemons, juiced them, then added their juice to the jug. They tasted it (too sour!), then added liquid sugar to taste. They were so proud to drink the lemonade they made!

Then they used the squeezed lemons and one more new set to do lemon printing. I put out plates of paint in citrus colors and gave them a large sheet of paper to dip the lemons in then print like stamps on the paper. I’m not sure it turned out quite as cool as promised– but any chance to play with (washable!) paint!

Then it was time to compete! We did a relay race, pushing a styrofoam lemon across our train table by blowing through a paper straw! (Note: at this time, COVID was well in check in Singapore so it wasn’t a big concern. No one got sick from this!). We broke the kids up into teams then let them blow!

For the game, we moved the boxes to the floor.

Some kids were better at it than others, and some just used the straw to push the lemon across the table. It was fine– all in good fun! The winning team got prizes as well.

Next, we went back to the table to play detective! The day before, my husband and I wrote a secret message on pieces of paper using lemon juice and salt– one word on each page. The kids had to color over the word for it to appear then decipher the message.

One of the girls guess the message right away– ‘It’s time to eat cake!’

So that we did! We lit the candles and sang ‘happy birthday’ in English and Chinese.

After cake (that the kids didn’t eat!), it was time for the piñata! They stood on our toy box and each pulled a string. When it opened– individually wrapped lemon heads flew out! The kids took these home as well.

Lastly, while the party was wrapping up, we took some pictures at the photo back drop. To be honest, they were probably a little young for this. The adults had fun with it though!

Overall, it was a success! The kids had fun, the parent had fun and the birthday girl was happy.

Modern Jumbo Jet Birthday Party

My kids love to pick out their party themes years in advance– currently they have have selected party details until they are about 10, even if I don’t take them seriously until about 6 months prior to their actual birthday. Rush was turning 4 and knew he wanted a plane birthday- specifically a jumbo jet party. In the middle of a pandemic.

Due to the COVID restrictions in Singapore we could only have groups of 5 people gathering or 5 people over to our house, so we decided to have 2 kids and their parents over to our house. The plan was to keep it simple– cake then swimming with the kids, to get out the sugar. But as things would have it, it was a stormy day and we stayed inside. Four kids in our apartment!

The benefit to hosting the party at home was that we had more time to decorate– although I tried to hold back since it was just 2 kids + mine! These were the invites to set the mood.

I ordered a dozen inflatable planes, and hung them from the ceiling. It was a really great effect. The hardest part was finding modern planes, not vintage ones. These worked out well! I interspersed the planes with floating balloons, which added depth to the look.

His face when he saw all of the planes on the ceiling

We created airport signs for around the party, which I loved. My husband designed them, then sent them off to a printer to mount them on foam board. I think it was about $20 for all the signs (6 total). It added so much fun to the decor– worth it!

This one marked the guest’s gift– the one vintage element at the party, filled with chocolate almonds and a tiny plane.

We did create a quick game, in case of rain. The kids folded their own planes then threw them through the holes. East and one kid were really into it– the others were not. Thankfully they all sat down to color at some point, since the pool wasn’t an option.

I found these awesome airplane window decals that I had to get, so we set up our chairs to be an “airplane.” The kids sat all in a row– it was a perfect picture!

For Rush’s birthday present, we switched out his train table for a runway and got him 2 lego planes. We created the runway, got it laminated by the same printers as the signs, then my husband added lights. He loved so much really didn’t want to do much else that day!

I kept the food really simple (as we were supposed to be at the pool!) with plane appropriate packaged snacks and bottled water. I struggled for a bit with the waste of bottled waters, but with the speciality labels, I gave in.

My husband made the cake, as always! Rush wanted a chocolate plane cake, and that’s what he got! It turned out really cute.

I think it was a great birthday party and fun was had by all! Rush has said his next party will be dumplings… let’s see! 🙂

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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ribbon wands

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

water bottles

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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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.

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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!

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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.

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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)?

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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.

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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).

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

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