Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mexico in My Mind This Morning

Ok, I'm just bursting with ideas right now! :-)

Let me give you a gist of the sitch (situation). My daughter is celebrating her second birthday this coming May. We had already reserved the venue and had originally planned to go with the Dora Fun Fiesta theme, so  we're thinking Mexican party/cinco de mayo-like elements, and of course Dora, will be included in the decor.

Unfortunately though, I recently found out that there are a lot of restrictions as far as decor is concerned, especially if they'll be hanging from the ceiling. I felt kinda let down, because I really wanted to hang flower pompoms from the ceiling to make the event colorful. And Dora stuff/balloons too. Turns out I can't, non-Jollibee characters are not allowed, just generic elements. Oh well.

Anyway, to cut this sad long story short (which I will blog about in a bit), I woke up this morning with new ideas which are just bursting out of me right now that I must put it on paper (or online.hehe).

Here are the new decor details I thought of:


This is where the cake, lootbags, and game prizes are supposed to go. Jollibee Macapagal only uses a plain, mint-green fabric, as tablecloth and that's about it. Booooring. And one thing I don't want my little girl's party to look like is ho-hum. I know it's just a Jollibee party, but it doesn't mean we can't put in interesting details.:-)

Dora Lootbags. Picture from party needs supplier Ma Arte Aims on Facebook.
I'm thinking of hanging a string of plain-colored banderitas, with the triangles alternated by pictures of chili, mexican sombreros, and maracas printed on paper and posted on board paper. I'll also buy those fuzzy little balls that you see decorated on Mexican sombreros to hang on the table as well. On top of the tables, I'm also thinking of putting the lootbags, with the backside facing front (the front part is Dora, the back part is my baby's picture), just like the image on the right, so technically it isn't a character that's on display, because it's my baby's picture.


My DIY centerpiece for her first birthday last year
I'm thinking of doing a DIY centerpiece, I'll design a flower pot, and I'd put in about four pieces of maracas on each, along with paper flowers, and a DIY sign that says "Please Get Two For Each Kid" (so the adults would understand that they're for the kids. Hehe). I'll be recycling some of the centerpieces I made for my daughter's first birthday, and design them according to the color scheme, and the mexican fiesta theme. That will serve as my 'flower pot centerpiece' now. :-)

*** Update as of 3/27/2011, 9:25 PM ---- I just attended a Jollibee party today, and realized that table centerpieces are not ideal. Their tables are too small, and it can get really crowded when the food is served. I'll concentrate on front table decors na lang, and perhaps some floor decor. :)


For the entrance, I'm thinking of just placing two balloon pillars, and if the budget permits, a personalized standee of my daughter. :-)

If I could get a couple of Mexican hats, then that would be really suuuper! We're going to Divi this coming Monday, and I'm so excited to source out the stuff I'd be needing for my DIY projects. I'm not really good with arts and crafts, but well, there's no harm in trying right?

If it will help me add details to the party without spending too much (I'm budgeting about 500 to 1k for the DIY decors), then I will definitely do what I can to make it work. That's what moms do. :-)

So far, that's what I have in mind right now. Hopefully, I'll have more this afternoon, and I'll update this blog later. :-) I hope I get to wake up to more mornings like this!

My First Time

When I was a kid, birthday parties meant colorful balloons on a string, one-layer cakes with edible flowers for decoration, candies in a plastic bag, spaghetti, menudo, and fried chicken. These filled our small bungalow on my first and seventh birthday, along with about 20 or so guests which included close family and friends.

Otherwise, we normally just dined out.

And all the while, I thought that's how kiddie birthday parties are still. Oh, was I ever wrong!

It all began when I was planning my daughter's baptism. My hubby has a big family and we had lots of friends who wanted to be part of the event. So the party-at-home thing was out of the picture. We just didn't have enough space for more than 80 people. So I thought, ok, let's just find a venue and find a caterer.

The event turned out great, despite a strong typhoon that hit the northern part of the country then, we still had a lot of guests who turned up. The food tasted good, the decor looked really pretty...but there were a lot of elements I failed to figure in. I didn't have any sound system, and didn't even have a cake (I thought it wasn't necessary. Ehehe. Newbie.)!

My daughter's baptism
So there, charged to experience. 

Now planning my little girl's first birthday was an entirely different story. My eyes were opened to a host of options as far as themes, caterers, decorators, souvenirs, lootbags, giveaways, clothes, etc. are concerned. It was rather overwhelming at first, but I eventually found myself falling in love with all of it! :-)

Sure there's still spaghetti on the menu, but there's also lasagna, roast beef, and even viands with French names - for a kiddie party! Back then, when you had cakes and ice cream, your party's a blast already. Now, there are dessert buffets, choco stations, and lots, lots more. And food carts! I never imagined you could have hotdog stands, pancakes stands, popcorn stands, and even designer coffee stands in a kiddie party.

And oh, my squeals of delight were embarrassing (but very much genuine), when I saw the amazing balloon decorations that are now being done for children's birthday celebrations. Cake archs, balloon pillars that are taller than me, balloons in the shape of animals, balloons cascading from the ceiling... ohhhh it was love at first sight. 

And yes, the lootbags and giveaways. In my day, lootbags meant clear plastic bags with candies, and giveaways meant excess food (pabalot). Now there are lootbags in all shapes and sizes, and they almost always contain more than just candies. They usually have toys, activity books, candies, and snack items. I'm sure today's parties still include pabalots, but giveaways a.k.a souvenirs now mean fancy figurines, towel cakes, backpacks, personalized tumblers, and sometimes, even personalized jewelry. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Really I could oooh and aaah all day about all these wonderful discoveries I had when I was researching for my little girl's first birthday party. I wanted all of those awesome stuff for her first birthday bash! But no, I was working with a budget (which I later exceeded. Woohoo!), so I had to content myself with just the fabulous balloon decor, bubble machine, magic acts, balloon twisting, face painting, and candy buffet. 
My daughter's first birthday

My mom was scared to find out how much everything had cost, my little kiddo was ecstatic and curious about everything she saw at her party, my hubby was proud (despite, errrrr, one major setback we experienced. But that's worthy of a separate post.), and I... I was hungry for more. 

That's how my love for kiddie parties began. :-) And well, let's just say, I just keep on falling in love with everything kiddie-party-related!