So we held a combined birthday party for the girls last week and I have to say with a grateful heart that everything went just as, if not better than, expected. Hip hip hooray! After months of anticipation, it was definitely a joy, and an achievement, to see that everything was in place and that all the activities went smoothly. You know, even though I have a small and cramped house, I still prefer holding small-scale parties here and the least I can do is to make sure that every guest, big and little, is well taken care of and enjoys the party.
On the night before and the morning of the party, we made sure that all the decorations were set up. As you know, our DIY wall decor has been put up since a month ago and I really love how it brightens up the house and the girls are happy being surrounded by the beautiful Sofia. In addition to those, I also hung up some hanging swirls, purple balloons (ah huh, I do mean I climbed up with a big tummy to hang them because instead of depending on others, I still prefer to do everything myself), put up some directional posters along the corridor and welcome decor at our main door.
The girls were also thrilled to see their Sofia the First themed birthday cake and cupcakes, kindly sponsored by BakeAvenue. These two chocolate lovers couldn't resist the M&M chocolate cake and even the cupcakes were also chocolate flavoured! I have to say that I was very pleased with how pretty the cakes and cupcakes turned out to be and many of the guests gave feedback that these were yummy. Other than cakes and cupcakes, you can also order customised pushpops, macarons, cookies too. If you are interested to learn more about baking, BakeAvenue also conducts classes in a comfortable, home-based environment. More details can be found here.
After making sure that the house was ready to welcome the guests, I had to make sure that the stars of the party were all set too! The sisters happily changed into their matching Sofia dresses, which come in a comfortable cotton top and purple tutu bottom, put on their necklaces that we bought from H&M, and what touched me most was when they said "We must put on the flower crowns that Mummy made too!" And so they did, and they looked like the most beautiful princesses in the world to me.
To make the party favours extra special this year, we personalised each of them based on the age and what we think are the preferences of each of the kids who would be coming to the party. Then we wrapped up the gifts in different shades of purple and stuck on a personalised thank you note with their names to show our appreciation. I really hope they liked the presents!
As for the food, I turned to the trusty Neo Garden and ordered their mini buffet. We had a total of 11 kids and 12 adults as our guests so a buffet for 20 pax sufficed to meet everyone's needs. I was relieved to see that the food arrived promptly and in good order too. So far, we've never had negative feedback or bad comments about the food served so I'm pretty happy to stick with them for our parties. Next, we shall move on to the much anticipated activities and games!
For those who arrived early or on time, the kids were able to join in the art and craft activities including a colouring session and a make-your-own-personalised-crown/tiara craft session. For the latter, I provided templates of crowns and tiaras that I had cut out previously and gave them stickers, including alphabet, rhinestones, star and heart shaped ones, to personalise them. I will be sharing in more detail about the activities and games in the next Creativity 521 post, so stay tuned for that if you are keen!
Oh wait, some kid just mentioned she was hungry, a parent texted to say that she was running late and the rest of the kids were already playing with toys in the kids' room! You know what I've learnt about hosting parties from all these years? It's that you have to be flexible and not be rigid about timings and activity schedule. In fact, you have to be able to deal with last minute changes and just try your best to cater to everyone's needs.
So, we took a good half an hour to let everyone fill their tummies, get to know each other through playing with toys and just basically get warmed up and ready for more action. Then, when I sensed that they were all set to go, I gathered them and we continued on with the games! For the first game, we did a similar version of Pin the tail on the donkey, but instead of that, we had to Stick the amulet on Sofia!
I had printed and stuck on a huge picture of Sofia the First onto our wall and also cut out a personalised amulet for every of the children. They had to take turns to be blindfolded and try their best to stick the amulet in the right place.
Some of them were quite smart and tried to grope to see where the rest of the amulets were before sticking their own. The younger ones tried their best to listen to the directions given by their siblings or parents and did a pretty good job too! For everyone who tried, they would be rewarded for their efforts with these charming rose pens that resembled wands. I bought these from “K”rafers' Paradise in City Square Mall and thought they were really pretty!
Now, considering that the house does not have much space for games, as usual, we like to take it outdoors! I love the feeling of bringing a dozen kids with me to the void deck or playground for games. Thankfully, there's always the hubby and a bunch of friends who would be so nice as to offer to help carry the equipment, be the station masters and basically make sure that the kids were all taken care of. Thanks a lot, people!
In order to be the sporty and adventurous princess that Sofia is, we started off by playing some ball games! There were two stations set up - one was bowling and the other was can knockdown. Both were a hit with the kids who tried their best to strike or hit down all the 10 cans!
In fact, they seemed to enjoy the ball games so much that we ended up spending nearly half an hour here just playing them over and over again. The kids were really awesome in learning to queue up and wait for their turns, plus they were excited to report their scores to me as those who scored 8 or higher would receive stickers and become the star players!
After that, we moved on to the playground where we had another fun game waiting for the kids! It was a really simple game that I invented and called the Animal Hunt, since Sofia was such an animal lover and could communicate with them too. What the kids had to do was to act out an animal (there were 12 different animals), run around the playground to hunt for the matching animal cards (a total of 3 cards for each animal), retrieve them and score points. Those who emerged with the top three scores would receive a DIY medal and be crowned the winners.
When asked which was their favourite game, many of them said it was this one. Perhaps it was because they got to pretend to be animals, or that they were able to run around and release their energy, or that they enjoyed the friendly competition. That not only surprised me, but also reminded me that the most fun activities can be the simplest, and cheapest, ones to make.
Lastly, we ended off the day's activities with our DIY pull-string pinata! It was really a last minute decision on my part to make this and I was just glad it managed to bring joy and fun for the little ones. You know what, it was actually starting to drizzle a little when we started the games but it seemed like luck was on our side because the rain cleared and we did not have to call off any of the games. Phew!
With hearts filled with joy and shirts filled with sweat, we made our way back to the house for the cake-cutting ceremony. I was really elated when the kids told me they liked the games and that they had a good time. That was all I could possibly ask for, right?
Of course, singing the birthday song and seeing my girls cutting the cake together was yet another milestone that I will remember for a long, long time. Has it been really six years and three years since the days they were born? I seriously wonder how time can pass so quickly, yet with a thankful heart, I know I am blessed to be where I am in this motherhood journey.
Yippee! Dear Angel and Ariel, I hope you enjoyed every bit of your Sofia the First birthday celebration and cheers to being one year wiser, my darling girls!
Here's a big THANK YOU to everyone who attended the party and made it such a memorable and fun-filled one for our family! Till the next one where I will officially be a mother of three year end babies!