Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Holiday Preps! :-)

Oh the joy! The site where I do my online work is down for maintenance for the next 30 minutes... enough time to do a quick post! Yey! :-)

Anyway, the holiday season is upon us, and Christmas and New Year happen to be my two most favorite holidays of the year, so I'm really giddy with excitement. This year has been pretty awesome for me and my family, so I plan to host a special thanksgiving/noche buena dinner at our house.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kiddie Partyholic was on Halloween Break...Or not! :)

After our little Snow White party, I had a 'party-withdrawal-sickness'. I was missing that crazy fun rush of preparing for one. Thankfully, the opportunity presented itself before I was too sad for words. :) My younger brother turned 25 years old on October 28, and since hubby's schedule at work won't allow us to go trick-or-treating, I decided that we'll have our own little halloween/birthday party.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's A Snow White Success! :) PART 1

It turned out to be a rainy Saturday morning, despite the fact that Typhoon Pedring has already exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility... So our little house party, had to be relocated to our subdivision's little function hall, which was thankfully unoccupied and available for the rest of the day. :)

Our birthday girl Angel (my hubby's niece) was super excited for her party, since her last big one was her first birthday. :)We, hubby and I, were actually more excited than she is, being that we would be doing almost 100% of the party decor. We had such a small budget allotted for this particular party, and it was really challenging for us to put together.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Easy Candy Buffet DIY - The Gummy Skewers!

I have just finished working on a candy buffet for the 7th birthday party of hubby's niece last weekend, and it was a huge hit with the kids! :)  I'd discuss the details in a separate post. 

In the meantime, let me share with you one of the 'new' things I learned from other party blogs, and tried out for this particular party: GUMMY SKEWERS! :)

Photo from Hostess With The Mostess Blog

Friday, September 30, 2011

Cupcake Liner Pompoms are Love Love Love! :)

It's a stormy stormy day today, yet my to-do list is a mile long! How I wish I could just play and sleep all day with my little girl...BUT, can't do that, especially right now because she's been admitted to the hospital, and I'm currently playing the role of WAHMMY (work-at-(the) hospital-mommy). :)

Since I need to kickstart my 'inspiration' on this sleepy sleepy day in this cold hospital room, I decided to blog first on my recent successful attempt at making pompoms using cupcake liners (finally!) :)

If you remember my post about pompoms, there's a tutorial on there that I had been wanting to try. And I did earlier, with errr, not exactly the same materials, which led to this blog post. The results of that first attempt wasn't really awful, but since I used patterned crepe paper instead of cupcake liners, the outcome wasn't as I expected it (of course). But it was a great learning experience too, and it also means I had found an alternative material for that craft as well!


Thanks to Best Way in Divisoria (located along Sto. Cristo St.), I was finally able to score really pretty patterned cupcake liners at a super affordable price (45 PHP for 100 pcs). They also have a wide range of options as far as designs are concerned, and since they supply bakers and cake stores too, if you're into baking, you're sure to find all you need there.

Here's what I did to make my cupcake liner pompom:



1. The materials I used were pretty basic: Glue gun, glue stick, a size 5 styro ball, and 100 cupcake liners.
2. I chose yellow-colored liners with flower patterns, and I absolutely adore how dainty they look. :)
3. Wrap the liner around your pointer finger, so it forms a small circle on the base. Dab some hot glue on that small circle, and stick on the the styro ball. Press for about 5-10 seconds to ensure the glue sticks to the styro.
4. Repeat number 3, and arrange the liners as close as you want them to be. A fuller pompom would require more liners of course, and less space in between when you glue them on the ball.

And.....that's it! :)

Really simple right? Though as far as costs are concerned, you may have to spend a wee bit more than just doing the usual pompoms out of crepe or tissue paper, but I tell you, this version has its advantages. Aside from the fact that it takes so little time to make (about 15-30 minutes at most), they are also 'automatically fluffy' because of the styro ball. They're also 'sturdier', and won't get flattened easily (I personally haven't tried flattening a styro ball. :))

Check out the finished product below and how I plan to use it for an upcoming party. :)


Oh before I forget, I used balloon centerpiece stands, to serve as a stand and glued it on a plastic pot. To make some higher than the others (for levels), I placed styro layers inside the pot.

I absolutely LOVE how they turned out, and I plan to make more of these for other family parties and occasions. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT: Art N Faces Body Art

Whenever I reminisce about my daughter's first birthday party, one of the most unforgettable aspects I keep looking back on was my discovery and first-time experience with face painting and glitter tattoos.

The idea of having it as part of my daughter's party was pitched by my balloon decorator then, Jacque Tan of Partyboosters. I saw pictures of their partner supplier for body art, and I was immediately thrilled with the thought of having them as part of my little princess' celebration.

Curious? Well, I'm sure you've heard of the name: Art N Faces Body Art.

Here's some of their awesome work during my little darling's first birthday celebration.

The kids enjoyed ANF's face painting and glitter tattoo booth! :)

Who said only the kids had fun with the activity? That's my pretty aunt with the nice butterfly detail on her arm. :)

Unfortunately, my family was super busy (and stressed due to errr, a reason I'd rather forget. hehe) during the party that we didn't get to have ourselves 'painted' or 'tattoed', but I'm pretty sure I'd have something done in the theme of butterflies and flowers, or something girly like that. :)

What really amazed me with ANF's work is their staff's meticulous attention to detail, and how their handiwork really looks like art, well-thought of and well-executed. The quality of the materials they used cannot be denied either, you can see it in the vibrant colors and the sharp lines. And I'd have to really commend their staff, courteous, creative, and really hard-working (imagine almost three hours of non-stop painting!).

Ms. Liby, owner of Art N Faces shares more about their awesome company for this edition of Kiddiepartyholic's Supplier Spotlight:

What ANF does...
ART N FACES Professional-Quality Body Art or the ANF TEAM is an exclusive group of artists with various talents in face painting, glitter tattoo, henna tattoo, nail art and salon. The ANF Team Artists are usually booked as part of side entertainment in parties and different types of events, both for personal and business purposes.

How the company was started...

It began in the millennium year, 2000, as an unexpected sideline, I had a regular job then as a junior graphic artist in a small media licensing company.  But I started to invite additional artists in 2008, when my ads generated a lot of inquiries.  It made me realized that I needed to recruit and train a group of artists so they can be inspired by my own style of face painting. 

On their first customer....
 
Before my solo engagement, I discovered face painting when I was hunting for a job.  During an interview of a manager of the talent agency “Bata-Batuta”, he offered face painting as a weekend job or part-time.  He booked me for a free face painting at Ever Gotesco Commonwealth.  Then when I went solo, I think I first gave a free service at a birthday party of my high school friend’s daughter, and then what followed was a customer from internet inquiry.

About challenges they encounter...

It’s the never-ending series of situations wherein my patience and unconditional love is being tested.  It is a very challenging task to handle people of various character and personalities, especially the younger ones who are still immature in terms of fulfilling their responsibilities as an ANF Team Artist.  No matter how I try to put things in order, there are still these hard-headed, irresponsible and even disloyal artists.  But generally speaking, I hate getting mad but sometimes I had to because of disciplinary reasons.  ANF should always do its role in preserving the strong culture with regards to ANF Core Values.

About their contributions as a business to the Philippine society...

ANF was created for a mission.   And part of this mission is to help the simple artists in the community to have and maintain a decent living.  I guess this is how ANF touches an economic issue of the Filipinos.  ANF hope that each artist will work hard to improve their financial situation.  Aside from generating additional source of income for simple artists, ANF envisions itself as a Catalyst of change through promoting a positive and strong culture of values which aimed to last for generations.  ANF Core Values are tested to be the key factors to be successful in this kind of business.  In short, ANF’s goal is to gain a financially, socially and spiritually rewarding life while being a part of the ANF Team.  Now as a concrete step to its fulfillment,  ANF has been very committed to its advocacy on Peace, Love and Art – a campaign that softly promotes peace, love and prosperity in life...

And finally their plans and ambitions for ANF...

To keep working and to always fulfill our Mission and Vision.

MISSION & PASSION:  To provide affordable & professional-quality body art services to simple families, big companies and even celebrities while helping artists in the community have decent living.
VISION & ACTION:    To be the Leader among body art service providers in the local party & events industry and to create a strong culture where ANF Core Values prevail even in generations to come.

And if given a chance, to expand by creating a bigger group of artists, who will be also known for professional creative services in different fields of Arts not just body art.  I hope that ART N FACES will be the top company known for sourcing local creative talents, even for international market.  If this happens, I wish to put up a Foundation to promote Arts to children who are out-of-school, while offering them scholarship until college.  Then they will be most welcome to join ANF.

Here are some of their amazing works of art from their Facebook page:



 

Coolness right? 

If you want to get in touch with ANF to make your party fun and colorful, here's their Facebook page and here's their Multiply page




Thursday, September 1, 2011

An Attempt At Pompoms

Remember my post on paper pompoms and how there are a variety of them we can actually make? My mind was so obsessed over how awesome the cupcake liner pompoms looked that I actually tried to make one! Or did not. Or I at least tried to make something like it. :)

Ok, here's what happened, one rainy Saturday (as the past Saturdays have always been), we were finally make able to make it to the bookstore to get some supplies. I unfortunately did not find any patterned cupcake liners at the mall that we went to (there were some plain ones, but were only in white. :(), and I was so sold on making one using patterned liners, that I decided to forego the cupcake holders for the meantime and find an alternative.

For some strange reason, my mind wandered around using what's traditionally used on paper pompoms - crepe paper. They were inexpensive, perfect for my trial run, and were available in bright colors. But I was pleasantly surprised that in my search, I actually found patterned crepe paper! COOLNESS! I immediately bought it (not knowing yet how I'm going to use it for the new version of the pompom).

I later on found out that (to my delight) the patterned crepe paper was actually made of thicker paper than the normal flimsy crepe paper. I cut out circles on it using a big tumbler, and folded the circle to find its center part, and basically followed the rest of the instructions on this tutorial

The materials I used and the pic on the bottom right is the half-finished pompom. :)

I encountered a few challenges while I was making it, since it was my first time. But I did find it easier to make and you're minus the 'how-to-make-it-fluffy' dilemma when you choose to go for this version of the paper pompom. I'd definitely try to make another one once I get hold of some cute cupcake liners, I bet it's going to be more fun, and will take lesser time to make. :) I made this one for about 30 minutes.

The not-so-perfect-but-equally-delightful output. :) I used it as a centerpiece for our dining table...

I think I'll be making more of these pretty things, and hopefully, I'll have the right materials next time (cupcake liners, I'm coming!), and no more bald spots... :)



Friday, August 26, 2011

Balloonless Kiddie Parties: THE BIRTHDAY BUNTINGS

Oh my, I feel so ashamed.

I haven't blogged here for more than a week! Been terribly busy lately... And my hands are now completely itching to tell you more about more fun party ideas. :)

Photo credits to Canon
BUT, I'll control my urges and concentrate first on telling you more about one of the most noble party decors that stood the test of time, and had evolved to adapt to the many demands of modern kiddie parties. - the BIRTHDAY BUNTINGS!

A.K.A birthday streamers, pennants, banners, and what-not, birthday buntings are those triangular-shaped (used to be just triangular, now, not anymore!) flaglets you hang on the walls or ceilings during any special celebration.

I'm pretty sure they've found their way into one of your own childhood parties way back.

Here in the Philippines we call them 'banderitas', and they've now evolved from just being plain-colored to character-themed. And of course, these banderitas are not only used during birthdays here, but also during local town fiestas.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Balloonless Kiddie Parties: THE PAPER PINWHEEL

I was pretty curious too....

What exactly is a pinwheel? According to www.freedictionary.com, it's: A toy consisting of vanes of colored paper or plastic pinned to a stick so that they revolve when blown on.

I don't think that gives enough of a visual, so here you go:

Photo credits to:http://rubberstamping.about.com
 
Pretty isn't it? That's a paper pinwheel (and I think they enhanced the plain purple paper through rubberstamping, coolness. :)). Now what does this little 'toy' have to do with parties?

I used to think these rotating vanes of color were just decorative items for the garden, or simply just toys for the kids (and kids at heart) that they can play with during the summer. But then again, my fellow kiddie partyholics found a better use for it... as party decor!

And when I did my usual online search for kiddie parties, I found how creatively they can be used! Here are a couple of pictures from Kara's Party Ideas:

Photo from Kara's Party Ideas. A variety of ways to use pinwheels! :)

Photo from Kara's Party Ideas. Pinwheels as cupcake toppers! :)

Photo from Kara's Party Ideas. Pinwheels for a baby boy's party! :)

Ok, just looking at these three pictures, you'll see the maaany ways you can use pinwheels to decorate your kiddo's party. :)

I believe the first picture was for a vintage-themed pinwheel party, and I'm just in love with the patterns and colors, as well as the really creative ways they used the pinwheels! :) They were used to decorate the cake and were also given away as a party favor. On the second photo, you'll find how they were ingeniously used as cupcake toppers. Simply pretty way of accenting such a yummy treat!

The third photo is from a little boy's party, and I adore the color scheme! Pinwheels were used as accents for the table of goodies. See? Even your little man's party can make use of pinwheels as party decor, it's just a matter of choosing the right patterns and colors.

Now how do you make these cute little 'head-turners'?

I have not yet 'perfected' making one (but I hope to do so soon), so I don't have the confidence yet to put up my own tutorial here....BUT, there's a lot of them online that's pretty easy to follow. :)

Here's one that I used: http://asubtlerevelry.com/a-pinwheel-tutorial-the-easiest-ever, and here's another one that's pretty easy too (and with more basic materials) - http://www.kidsgamesandcrafts.com/paper-crafts-for-kids-1.html

And since I got so carried away with my amazement at these things, here are some really great templates you can use so you can make pinwheels with that extra oomph! :)

http://heatherbailey.typepad.com/links/FlowerPinwheel.html - For pretty flower-like pinwheels. 
http://www.firstpalette.com/tool_box/printables/basicpinwheel.html - - For plain and printed (think butterflies, stripes, etc.) templates that you can edit using Gimp or Photoshop to put in some color before printing. :)

By the way, I made a couple of pinwheels a few days ago with leftover cardstock paper here at home. I'll make sure to make more once I get my hands on more materials. My little kiddo's thrilled by the idea already! :)

My first attempt on making pinwheels. :)

My number one fan loves 'em! :)


Go ahead and make yours now! Whether you're having a party or not, making these paper pinwheels make for some fun bonding with your family, and I'm pretty sure your little ones will have the time of their lives just making them turn and turn. :)

My next post is definitely something to look forward to as well as I'll be featuring: BIRTHDAY BUNTINGS/PAPER STREAMERS! :)





Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Balloon-less Kiddie Parties: THE PAPER POM-POM

When I think of kiddie parties, my head used to automatically conjure images of a balloon-filled venue with cake, an awesome spread of food, little kiddie chairs, and checkered tablecloth. My own kiddo's party venue (especially the first one) was decorated mainly with balloons.



I love how they add color to any space, and they just bring out that child-like glee in me (and I'm sure the kids go crazy about them too).

Based on my own experience, getting a balloon decorator's package would cost about 5000 to 6000 pesos for a basic, over-all venue decor package. This would usually include 'balloonderitas' or balloon drops, a pair of pillars, around 10 balloon centerpieces, and perhaps a simple cake arch. Short of the story is: it can get pretty pricey.

If you have 'magic hands' like most mommies (or daddies in my case), you can also do DIY balloon arrangements, and that will cut costs by half. :) But of course, it also means you have to double the effort. :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The DIY Wonders of the Online World

It's been a really crazy week, this. But all fun just the same. :) I was able to put in a few hours of party prep 'work' (I wish I could do more of it, it's just so enjoyable!), and those are like the highlights of my every day. 

After weeks of browsing the awesome featured parties on Hostess with the Mostess, Kara's Party Ideas, and the Celebrations at Home blog, I began to wonder, how on earth do they get to do such extraordinarily amazing parties? How much does it cost? Do they have party planners? I have a list of questions that I would love to ask given the chance... :)

Based on what I've read from the party descriptions, some of them do have suppliers where they buy their stuff from, but I discovered that a lot of them...are proud DIY (do-it-yourself) projects!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, on Snow White DIY mode I go!

I may have to postpone working on the candy buffet post as I am extremely busy with work and with the DIY stuff I'm putting together for a special 7th birthday party this coming October.

So far, I have done a number of drafts for the invite, and had scanned many nooks and crannies of the Internet to find great templates, printables, freebies, cliparts, etc. for my share of the party: the candy buffet! :) 

Everything is still on draft mode (meaning: still on to-be-improved mode).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Busy Busy Busy... :(

I've been thinking about kiddie parties on a daily basis, and I still do... But I've been quite busy for the past few days (quite busy is an understatement), and have to take a couple weeks off from blogging. I work from home, which means my every day is a crazy mixture of house work, baby duty, wifey chores, and hours of online work (have to pay the bills...and save up for future parties. hehe).

My head's been filled with whimsical thoughts of a really princessy candy buffet for a party I'm helping out with this coming October (a 7th birthday for a sweet little girl). And I've been scouring the web for ideas. I must say, candy buffets are the new 'it' stops in any kiddie party! I am loving how most of the candy buffets I've seen came with a lot of DIY ideas, and that there are also numerous resources online for party printables.

I hope I'd be able to work more on the draft of my next post (my current obsession: candy buffets. Oh, I think I said that already.), but for the meantime, here's another great site for awesome party styling ideas: http://sophisticatedyum.wordpress.com/.

Happy Kiddie Party Planning guys! :) 















Saturday, July 16, 2011

Themed Parties, anyone?

I don't remember ever having a themed kiddie party of my own. Just the usual cake-balloons-spaghetti kind of thing every year. My childhood was great just the same, but it made me think just how fun it would be to look back on those birthday memories if I had a themed party....

Oh well, done with reminiscing. :)

I really couldn't blame the 'modern kiddie party world' if it had to give birth to party themes, as they make those special events even more memorable, and yes, easier to organize.

Why Would You Want to Have A Themed Party?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What is a Gift-Buying Guide?

Gifts are an important element of any party, especially one being held for a kid. Just imagining a little child's face light up when he/she opens a present, is enough consolation for going through the stress of planning a party.

But has it ever happened to you that you got gifts that your kid wasn't able to use, wear, or simply did not appreciate? I'm pretty sure you've experienced that at one time. :)

It seems inevitable, that we'll get birthday gifts like clothes that are too big or too small, toys that cannot be played with by your kid at his/her age, or items that your kid simply can't use.

BUT THEN AGAIN, gift registries and wishlists happened.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Supplier Spotlight: Babies and Hairbows

Dressing up your baby girl for her pre-event shoot can both be exciting yet challenging. Our little princesses are already naturally adorable, but of course, we would want them to look extra special not only on their pre-birthday pictorials, but also on the day of the party itself.


This was one of my priorities when I was laying out my things-to-do for my daughter's first birthday party last year. Her first birthday had a princess theme, and I wanted her to look every bit like one, and still be unique. I don't remember exactly how I stumbled upon this site, but the first time I saw Babies and Hairbows' products, I fell in love.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's with a Pre-Birthday Shoot?

I haven't had my wedding in a church just yet (formulating plans for that though, maybe in 2 years, IF the budget permits), but I am fully aware that before the wedding, couples go on a pre-nuptial photoshoot. Romantic, dramatic, nostalgic...all those stuff make up the overall impact of the pre-nup pics. The couples use those pics for their wedding's printables like invites, souvenirs ,etc.

And one of the many discoveries that I had when I started my party planning frenzy was that kiddie events also have their own version of a 'pre-nup shoot'!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mexican Fiesta: SUCCESS! the CAKE and (DIY Stuff) Part 2

This is the last installment of my very 'comprehensive' (in short: long. hehe) supplier rating series. :-)

The Cake

Rating: ❤❤ out of 5

I originally wanted a Dora character cake. But then due to the restrictions at Jollibee, I had to opt for a generic-themed cake if I wanted to be able to display it during the party proper (normally it's just brought in for candle-blowing).  My search for a cake supplier began with this thought in mind: I wanted something simple, but with good detailing, and done with great execution. Oh and yes, I wanted it made with fondant icing. Since we won't be able to eat the cake at the venue anyways, and we already have adult and kiddie giveaways, I decided to just opt for an 8" round cake without cupcakes. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mexican Fiesta: Success! (DIY STUFF) Part 1


A mother is she who can take the place of all others. - Cardinal Mermillod

I don't know who Cardinal Mermillod is, but well, he pretty much hit the spot. My own mother has been my tutor, my principal, my financier, my worst enemy (when I was a teen), my lunch buddy (when I was still single and working), and my best friend, now that I'm a mom too.

For my little girl, I'm pretty much just her playmate, her other aliping saguiguilid, her personal cook, and yes her very own party planner. :-)

Last year, I pretty much depended on my balloon decorator for most of the party decor. Partyboosters' package was pretty comprehensive, and the end result was really nice. It was, however, quite expensive this time for my small budgeted party. :-)

DIY projects can be quite tasking, but in the end, they figure less when it comes to expense. And since I wanted a more personal touch for my daughter's 2nd birthday party, I opted to take on more DIY stuff. This is also ideal if you want to reinforce a not-so-traditional theme.

I am so NOT an arts and crafts kind of person, but since I really wanted to be more hands-on with personalizing her 2nd birthday, I dived in and took the 'risk'. Hehe.

These are our DIY projects for my daughter's 2nd birthday:

1. Message book
2. Mexican hats and Mexican-themed styro letters
3. Labels and wrapping for game prizes
4. Colorful paper streamers and Balloon Decor

The Message Book
Rating: ❤ out of 5
I've always been a fan of photobooks. The first ones that I fell in love with were the magnetic ones that I saw at a wedding. Those looked like they will last forever because of the materials used. I actually wanted one like that for my daughter's first birthday party, but they proved to be waaaaaay too expensive for me.

Last year, I made guest sheets for her first birthday messages. I did the layout through scrapblog.com, an online scrapbooking site, and just downloaded the files as jpeg. Since I only got the free version, I had to make do with the resolution which was only good for up to a 5R size print. All in all, I spent about 325 pesos on it for 50 pcs. I just compiled them in a huge photo album which was a gift from my daughter's baptism. :-) Moms really have to make do with what's available. Hehe.

Anyway, this year, I wanted something different. I have been an artscow user since last year, and my first project was a 6x6 photobook of my daughter's first birthday pictures. It was more of a 'trial effort', just so I can check the printing and color quality of artscow's products. And since I was pretty impressed with the output, I opted to have my daughter's 2nd birthday message book done through them.

Front cover of the message book

Inside layout of the message book (with messages in picture)
This 6X6 message book was ordered last March 2011 (my baby's party was May 14 2011). I just did some tweaking on Artscow's template and added baby's pictures to make the layout appropriate for a message book. I made sure to order it way in advance since regular shipping time for artscow if done through  airmail is about a month. Since the photobook itself was free as there was an ongoing promo at that time, I only paid $3.99 (about 167.58 PHP) for shipping fees. :-)

I loooooved how it turned out, the colors were exactly as I saw them online, the paper was of great quality, and the cover had this slight gloss.

A few tips:
  • Artscow products are made and shipped from Hongkong. Make sure to order about 2 months in advance if you intend to use your end-product for a party. 
  • Since there are available templates on the website, you don't really need to be an expert at it, but still, a little knowledge on tweaking it would be of great help. So take time to play around the photobook builder first. :-)
  • If you intend to use their photobook as a message book like I did, you'd have to get rid of some of the cute elements on some of the templates. Make sure to leave ample space in the middle of a page for the messages. :-)
  • One 6x6 message book is good enough for about 50-60 guests since it already has 20 pages (additional pages would incur an additional charge.). If you are expecting more guests, you might want to get a bigger-sized one or order of the 6x6's. 
  • If you want to put in some of your kid's photos, make sure to check the resolution, especially if you plan to make them bigger. Photos from camera phones can work, but only if the photo would be used on a small scale, otherwise, they tend to pixelize.
  • Use raw files from your digital camera, and NOT those you have uploaded from Facebook. If you did not save/upload your photos in high-resolution on FB, then you'd get a low-res file when you download it. 
  • Have your guests use a waterproof, no-smear, permanent fine-point marker (not the broad ones or the whiteboard markers) when writing on the message book.
  • You can either have the guests sign upon registration (so they don't forget to do it. Hehe.) or you can have someone pass it around during the party. If you're going to do the latter, then make sure that somebody's monitoring it's whereabouts. :-)

Mexican Hats and Styro Letters

When I decided to go for the Mexican Fiesta theme, I got really excited with planning on how to go about working on the party decor. I did some research and found some really great ideas on the Smartparenting forum with the help of the moms there. :-)

A couple of party elements I really liked that I found online were paper flowers and pompoms that can be hung from the ceiling. Unfortunately though, hubby didn't like the idea. :(

I thought of Mexican hats as a great addition to the decor as it instantly suggests the idea of a Mexican Fiesta when you see it. They are also very colorful and can definitely add some fun factor to the decor.

My first thought though was: Where can I find these hats?

I had hoped and crossed my fingers that I will find or at least something that looks like them in Divilandia....and I DID! Yey!

I spotted plain and colored Mexican hats (pointed buri hats) on Tabora St. and they were a definite steal at 25 pesos each for the small ones (for the plain ones. 35 for the colored ones). I wanted to hoard 'em hats, but since I was on a super tipid mode I only bought four plain small ones. My mom went to Lucban Quezon, her hometown, for their HS reunion, and she bought me two big pointed hats there. :-)

I decorated them with art paper in different alternating colors and just established the patterns I saw on Mexican hats online.

Since I'm not good at all with anything that involves using scissors and glue, the output wasn't exactly perfect, but they were cute. :-) Here's how they turned out:



I was informed by an SP mom that the letters used for the celebrant's name in Jollibee parties were rather... let's just say, looked like they have gone through a lot of parties. :-) And I do remember attending some Jollibee parties, and had also seen some pics online where the letters were either lost in the tarp (because of the color) or were tearing apart in some areas. Since I wanted everything (as much as possibe) to be great, I took it upon myself to make my own letters. I also thought it would be nice if I can align it to my theme as well.

I first printed the letters on short bonded paper, one letter for each page, and then glued it on the styro. That served as my pattern for cutting the styro. I then wrapped the letters in orange and violet crepe paper (super effort because the crepe paper was so flimsy), and decorated it with art paper to adhere to the Mexican Fiesta theme. The output looked like a gradeschool project, hehe. But I'm proud of it, and it looked ok in pictures, so all's well that ends well. :-)

A few tips

  • Use the half-inch thick square or rectangular styro. They're easier to cut. 
  • Crepe paper - not good for wrapping stryo letters. :-)
  • Make sure that the colors you'll be using will not blend in with the color of the tarp. 
  • Make the letters as big as you can. They'd look better when photographed. 


Thanks again for reading! Please look out for the Part 2 of my DIY Stuff post. :-)

(Check out Part 2 on this page.)





Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mexican Fiesta: Success! (BIRTHDAY OUTFIT)

One of the things that amazed me with kiddie parties of this generation are the pre-birthday activities. All I remember about my childhood pre-birthday events is well composed of one most-anticipated moment - buying a new dress. And by dress, I mean nothing grand, just a prettier dress than the usual stuff in my wardrobe.

But nowadays, kids go through a slew of pre-birthday activities and preps. There are pre-birthday photoshoots, pre-birthday shopping for party stuff, pre-birthday dress fittings and dress rehearsals, and lots more. I bet those who have a bigger budget for their kiddie parties have even more pre-birthday stuff going on. Hehe.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mexican Fiesta: Success! (PHOTO COVERAGE)

Rating: ❤ out of 5

I am a self-confessed camwhore. I love taking pictures of myself, and I love taking pictures of my kid, and just about anything and everything that I do with her, and with our family.

And being a lover of great photos, I wanted to make sure that we get quality photo coverage for Keisha's 2nd birthday party. Since we were not keen on getting video coverage (we're not comfortable with video cams. hehe), I decided to scout for the best person who's talent I can afford. :-)

One of my dream photogs for a kiddie party is Ging Lorenzo (http://photosbyging.blogspot.com/).I love her simple yet elegant style, and how her output don't look too post-processed. Maybe they are post-processed to make them look flawless, but hey, they don't look it. :-) I actually stumbled upon a blog post of hers where she covered a Jollibee party in Bluewave Macapagal Ave, and it looked a-mazing!

I personally think Jollibee parties are harder to cover than the clubhouse kiddie parties that run for about four hours. First off, because Jollibee parties are just two-hour events, they are usually fast-paced. Set-up's only for 30 minutes, and the program itself runs for only two hours. Aside from that, Jollibee parties aren't usually as detail-rich, as one is not given free rein with decors and themes due to company/brand restrictions.

Photogs who cover Jollibee parties must be used to fast-paced shoots, and already know what details to catch. They must also be pretty creative, so as to get a unique perspective on what moments to capture. :-)

In my search for great kiddie party photographers, I chanced upon a couple which really caught my interest, one of which is Sophiaphotography. I love the way they capture quirky, fun moments at parties, and make them even more interesting through post-processing. They also offer a really good deal at 4,000 (or is it 5k? I'm not 100% sure anymore. Hehe) for two photographers to cover the event.

The other one is Warren Camitan. I believe he was (not sure if he still is) the other half of Image Warehouse Photography, a photo coverage supplier that offers affordable yet quality services. Upon checking their body of work, I was immediately convinced that they have enough experience to handle a fast-paced Jollibee party. It was Warren's shots that I first found with a Google search, so I contacted him. His style was a lot like Ging's (point number 1! :-)), communication with him was quick and easy (point number 2!), and most importantly, his rate was very affordable (three points!).

I actually thought he'd charge somewhere from 5,000 to 6,000 pesos, but no, his rate was at 4,000, and only requires a 25% deposit.

I was a wee bit OC with email and text responses, and in all fairness, he always gave a timely response (with a couple of hours from the time you texted or emailed at the most). Never did I feel that scary 'oh no, hindi pa sya nagrereply' that you get when a supplier has not responded after a couple of text messages, and within 24-48 hours.

There were specific that I wanted, so I made sure to email him about those details. He quickly acknowledged those requests via email, and gave clear answers. From there, I knew, this was one supplier I'm never going to have a problem with. :-)

On the party date, he was there at 9am, just as I had asked him to. :-) I originally planned to have a mini-shoot before the party starts for our family and Keisha. Unfortunately though, since most of our decor is DIY, hubby and I were quite busy most of the one-hour allowance we had.

Since we couldn't make use of the time for a pre-shoot, Warren made himself busy by shooting some of the colorful party details. One of my favorites was this photo of Keisha's party dress:



Here are other photos that I suuuuper love out of the 800+ shots by Warren Camitan. Oh and yeah, I was pleasantly surprised that he had that many. Hehe. The party went on for just a little under two hours, and I was expecting that he wouldn't be able to get a lot. :-)





I'm still in the process of uploading the rest of the pics on my multiply page, but if you want a sneak peek of more photos, you can go here.


Many thanks for the visit! :-) Look out for my next post. It's going to be about the cake and the sweet treats! :-)

(UPDATE: As of this date, 8/9/2011, I found out that Warren (as well as a lot of other photogs) have increased their rates. Please get in touch with Warren for the updated price. :) I still highly recommend him though, increased rate and all. :) ) 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mexican Fiesta: Success! (CANDY BAGS and SOUVENIRS)

I originally wanted Dora Fun Fiesta to be my daughter's theme for her 2nd Birthday party. The picture on the right is my 'inspiration' for the theme. However, due to restrictions at the venue (Jollibee Bluewave Macapagal Ave.), I had to work around the theme and make it generic.

Here's what I did:

For the color scheme, I chose violet and orange, which are the colors on Dora's dress here. I also designed my little girl's dress based on Dora's dress on this picture. I then revised the theme to Mexican Fiesta which turned out to be a fun and colorful choice, and it didn't clash with any of the Jollibee branch's restrictions.


CANDY BAGS
 out of 5


You might be wondering, what are candy bags? Is it the same as lootbags?

Hmmmm, it's basically very simple, candy bags are party give-aways which only holds sweet treats! :-) Lootbags on the other hand can contain any kind of party favor like notepads, stickers, pens, small toys, etc.

For my daughter's 2nd birthday, I actually wanted customized Dora and Boots lootbags, and had originally planned to get canvas bags customized for the event. Unfortunately though, those turned out to be expensive. So I had to find a way to find something that works with my 20-25 PHP/piece budget.

Luckily, I stumbled upon this picture from Ma Arte Aims site. And I immediately fell in love with it.


Transacting with sis Aimee was a breeze. She gave timely responses to my questions, and was always willing to make adjustments to the design. She was also very punctual in sending back proofs for me to check on before they were printed.

Since one of the restrictions of Jollibee included 'no character lootbags', I had to find a way to be able to still display my lootbags and not have problems with their restrictions as well. Since I was having these customized, adjusting the design was pretty easy. If you would notice on the picture above, the back part of the candy bag shows the pic of the baby and the name/message. Since I wanted to make sure that I wouldn't be hassled with it on the party date, I asked sis Aimee to make sure that the design on the back would show no indication that it was a Dora character candy bag. Here's what she made:

back of Dora candy bag

back of Boots candy bag

I was so happy with how it turned out! :-) Since sis Aimee is also from Bacoor Cavite, we just met up, and I was so glad to be able to save on shipping fees! Hehe. And to add to that, they were only 25 pesos each! :-)

When I got the products, I was initially a tad disappointed, mainly because they weren't the size I was expecting them to be. I thought they will be big, perhaps the size of a short bond paper when folded in half, but no, they were more like 1/4 the size of a bond paper in height.

BUT, nonetheless, I was happy with the output. The colors on the bag were bright, the layout was beautiful, the materials/paper was of good quality, and the make was sturdy. These candy bags can hold a lot of sweet treats! :-) BTW, I won Milkita Lollipops' Kiddie Birthday Treats FB promo, and I got two heaping bags of candies and lollipops! :-)

Here are pics of the final output from sis Ma Arte Aims:




Sweet contents - Lollipops, candies, gummy worms
Treats from Milkita

SOUVENIR/REF MAGNETS
 out of 5
I actually had second thoughts of getting a souvenir for adults. I wanted something that's personalized, can be used as decor, and would have some substantial use. Mugs and tumblers were actually my first choice, but were a bit expensive.

Thankfully, I stumbled upon ref magnets on Ma Arte Aims site, and I really liked how it was packaged. I inquired from sis Aimee about costing, and they were just for 28 pesos! Yey! Pasok sa budget. :-) And it had everything I was looking for.

I really liked the acetate packaging with matching ribbon and wooden flower accent, it made the ref magnet look sosyal. The colors on the magnet itself were bright and printing was of good quality. All in all, it was a great deal. :-)

Here's a photo of the layout and the ref magnet output:
layout

Final output


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mexican Fiesta: Success! (FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT)

This second installment of my supplier ratings is about food and entertainment. Since we had the party at Jollibee, of course, we had no choice but to get both of these from them. Hehe.

FOOD
❤ out of 5

I rated them 5 out of 5 simply because we love Jollibee food! :-) Their chicken's juicy and tasty, their spaghetti is meaty and filling, and their chocolate sundae is just the perfect complement to any value meal!

We opted to get Package 4 of their food packages which consist of: regular french fries, spaghetti, fried chicken with rice, chocolate sundae, and regular softdrinks. The minimum order is 30 pcs, but since at that time we were projecting to have around 50 guests-75 guests, we put in 50 orders.

At the time we made reservations for the party, the package was just priced at 195.00 PHP, but when we made the final payment for the 50 persons about 2 months later, it already shoot up to 205.00 PHP! :-( Thing is, we had to pay the amount based on current prices, which is of course very much understandable. Prices of food and other commodities are constantly on the rise, and it's not surprising that fastfoods caught on.

TIP #1: When you do your budgeting prior to the party, make sure to put in some buffer money in case of food price increase. Nothing beats being ready for anything. :-) 


We chose this package because it had basically all of our favorite foods from Jollibee, and was in really filling servings. Now about 2 weeks before the party proper, while I was finalizing the guest list, it turned out that we were to expect 80 guests. Surprise suprise!

Good thing though, I segregated the list to families, and then to adults, and kids. And based on the list, we will be having about 20 kids in the party. To save on food costs, we decided to make our package 4 good for 60 persons (adults), and will order 20 Yumburger value meals for the kids.

TIP #2:  I'm not sure if this rule goes for all Jollibee branches, but the minimum order per package is 30, and you cannot mix them up, like 30 of package 4 and then 20 of package 1. What you can do though, if you want to have a simpler set meal for your kids, or a more affordable option for your 'buffer meals' (in case some uninvited guests show up.hehe), make reservations only for the number of people you are sure to expect. If you find you'll have more guests than expected a few days before the party, you can actually opt for the more affordable value meals rather than order more of the party food packages. 


Jollibee's kiddie party food packages. Please inquire from the branch about current prices. 


For example, package 1 here costs 125 per head. If I go with the minimum order, it would be 3750 for 30 persons. If you have already ordered any of the food packages, especially package 4, it would be best and more cost-efficient to choose a value meal, say Value Meal B1 (regular yum meal) which only costs more or less 70 pesos. For 30 persons that's only 2100.00. :-)


This is ideal especially if you have already ordered a set of any of the party food packages for adults. Kids don't really eat much, so ordering a food set for them from the party packages can be potentially wasteful. The adults can share their food with them anyway, so you can just opt for simple value meals for the kiddos.

REMINDER: If you are to make additional food orders aside from what you have initially reserved, make sure to inform the branch around 3 days before the party date. This is of course to avoid any hassle on availability on the day of your event.

In our case, our number of guests jumped from 50 to 80, so we had to inform the branch 3 days before. If it's going to be equal to or less than 20% of your original number (for 50, it's 10 additional), it can be accommodated on the date of the event itself.


ENTERTAINMENT
❤.5 out of 5

Before the party proper, we went to Jollibee Bluewave to discuss and clarify some of the party details. I met a mom through the Smart Parenting forum who had her party there about a couple of weeks before my daughter's and she had some not-so-pleasant feedback about them as well as their party hosting. During her party, there were about three people doing the party hosting, when in fact, it was supposed to be done by only one person (with the help of I think one or two party assistants. Party assistants are not supposed to do the hosting).

I made sure to discuss this with the party representative that I met with a few days before my girl's party. I asked them if their party team undergo appropriate trainings for party hosting, and she of course, said yes. I believe this to be true, but I wanted to point out to them that I expect only one professional party host to handle the program, hindi yung 3 tao ang nagpapalit-palit sa mic.

I met the party team an hour before my daughter's celebration. They were quite helpful with the set-up (we did DIY decors), and were attentive to the instructions I was giving. The one who did the hosting was a lively petite girl who reminds me of Love Anover from GMA-7. :-) She knew how to work a crowd and make them participate in the program. Maybe it also helped that Jollibee was there throughout most of the party, and even helped with facilitating the games.

The party assistants weren't as 'sharp' as I wanted them too when it comes to giving of prizes. I made the effort to color code my prizes for boys and girls, and had placed them on the table with labels as to which prizes are for adults, and which are for the kids. When it was time for the games, they almost gave the wrong prizes to the adults, and there was even an incidence wherein the party assistant handed the game winner one of my daughter's gifts instead of the adult prize! :-) That was funny, but nakakainis to a certain level.

Tip # 3: Make sure to discuss pertinent details and give specific instructions to the party team before the program starts. It's also ok to give them reminders or pointers of how you prefer the party to be handled (e.g. no 'green' jokes, make sure to have no 'dead air', etc.). Instruct them as well as to the distribution of prizes. 


The party team. It's the short girl (second from the left) who did the hosting. (Photo by Warren Camitan)



I unfortunately misplaced my copy of the program flow, but let me jot it down based on memory:

PRAYER
INTRODUCTION OF PARENTS AND CELEBRANT
GAMES 
SERVING OF FOOD/EATING
GAMES
CAKE BLOWING
MESSAGE OF THANKS FROM PARENTS
GIVING OF LOOTBAGS
PICTURE-PICTURE
END OF PROGRAM

Since it was just a two-hour program, it went pretty fast. I no longer opted to add other party activities since the two hours was pretty much filled with them already. :-) They had the traditional games like the longest game, but they put a twist to it to make it more interesting. Meals were served an hour or less after the party started, which I think would have to be the best time to eat since guests would already be a bit tired from the games, so this would be their rest time, and it was the closest to brunch time (11am). 

Tip # 4: If you want to add your personal touch to the activities, plan it beforehand, and make sure to inform the party team around 30 minutes before the party starts. Make sure to also inform the party team beforehand (like a few days before the party) if you want to add anything to their program, to make sure it's not included in one of their many restrictions. Jollibee branches are mostly franchises, and tend to have different rules, so make sure to ask questions about these before you go full force with party planning. 

Also, make sure to assign a person to do the opening prayer before the party begins. If you can do this way before, then that's better, so that person can prepare. 

Tip # 5: If it is at all possible, ask your guests to be participative during the party proper. You can either mention it in your invites or just pass the message along via SMS. :-) A party host can only do so much as encourage, but your guests would have to have the willingness to participate for the party to be fun fun fun! :-) Also, invite as many kids as you can, especially those around the ages of 3-7, as they are easier to convince to join party games. 

I personally advise NOT having other activities like face painting, photobooth etc. for a fastfood party like Jollibee's. A two-hour party is very time-restricted, and you wouldn't want your guests to be distracted with other stuff, and not join the games. If you plan to have more activities and a longer, more comprehensive program, I'm guessing you can opt to get two time slots from Jollibee. However I'm not sure how the program will go or what the particulars are for this kind of arrangement. It is best to check with your branch of choice. 


Hope this portion of my supplier ratings help! :-) Happy party planning everyone!