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! ūüôā

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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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

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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!)

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 balloonРwhich 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!