It's amazing just how fast time flies when you have kids. It still
seems like yesterday when I decided that I wanted a third child and how I
was over the moon when that dream finally came true. Fast forward to
now, the littlest in the family has turned one and even though we were
so busy planning for the move last month, I knew I had to, had to,
organise a party for him if not I will feel horrible that I shortchanged
him just because he's my thirdborn.
While it's not hard to get the elder sisters to come up with the guestlist for their party, for the baby, the fact that he doesn't have any real friends or classmates means that Mummy needs to decide on who to invite. To celebrate Asher turning one, which also happens to be a few days before Christmas, we wanted to make it purely a family gathering and thought of inviting the whole extended family - from the one-year-old cousin to the 84-year-old great grandma.
Yup, that's quite a huge range and I can say that from experience, I usually get a headache when planning for such parties because the needs and wants of the different age groups are very diverse. I have to make sure that the younger kids have games to play, the teens are kept entertained, the adults are happy and occupied, and the elderly are well taken care of. It's really not that easy to find a venue with facilities and activities that can suit everyone and just when I was racking my brains about it, The M.A.D.Z reached out to me and I heaved a huge sigh of relief because honestly, I wouldn't have been able to come up with a more perfect venue. I am also very thankful to Imagegarden Capture for helping us to capture the beautiful and absolutely precious moments from the celebration.
In this post, I share with you more about the birthday party, the theme and decorations, pictures of the birthday boy as well as take you on a tour around the place.
Introducing The M.A.D.Z
Situated along Tanjong Pagar Road, The M.A.D.Z sits on level 3 and from outside, you can hardly imagine that there is such a spacious and charming place located within. With its Victorian themed setup, it serves as a private event venue that can accommodate up to 35 people. It also doubles up as a photoshoot studio with various Korean inspired wedding scenes to choose from.
Doesn't this floral carriage look gorgeous? Too bad it didn't fit our theme or we would have loved to have it as a photo backdrop. We did a recce before the actual party and the moment I stepped in, I was like "This place is HUGE"! Personally, I really loved the mezzanine that gives the place a very spacious feel and creates two levels for guests to hang out. The ground level is more catered towards the needs of the elderly and adults while the mezzanine level can be considered a fun paradise for the kids and teens. I'll tell you why later.
One thing that I always make sure is included or accessible in my parties - nope, not the cake or candles or party dress, but the TOILET. I mean, you have to make sure that the guests are well looked after and their needs are met, right? For Asher's full month party which was held in our HDB neighbourhood, we even rented a portable toilet just so the guests didn't have to walk all the way to our house. So, I was very much relieved when I saw that there was a toilet right within The M.A.D.Z for the guests. After all, they have to walk up the narrow stairway all the way to the third floor to get here and at the very least, we had everything we needed within reach. There is also a refrigerator for guests to make use of and we were able to store two cakes (we had a celebration for the little sister too because her birthday was just two days after), some drinks and beer too.
For those who would like a little peace and quiet during the party, there is also a pantry area that comes with a wooden table, two chairs and a picturesque blue brick wall backdrop. Yes, I have a thing for brick walls and I totally loved this setting.
Asher's 1st Birthday Party
It wasn't hard to come up with the theme for the boy's first birthday because it was apparent to me that he is in love with something for now - Balls. Yup, all kinds of balls. He loves to hold them, throw them, grab them, hit them, bite them and even chew on them. So, we wanted the guests to come over and have a ball of a time as we celebrate his big day.
What I like about The M.A.D.Z is that when I met up with the owner Zann, she was not only friendly but also very flexible and willing to accommodate our requests. When I suggested that I wanted to do up the decorations myself, she obliged immediately and even offered to help prior to the event on the actual day itself. For instance, she saw that I had a ball theme and thus shifted over the carpet grass to give it more feel and also helped us to set up the tables according to our needs.
Moving onto the activities, I have to say I was really blown away by what The M.A.D.Z had to offer. Read on and you'll see why!
For a family who loves to sing, including the children and the elderly, this was very popular and from the moment the first guest stepped in to when the last guest left, there wasn't a moment of quiet because there will definitely be somebody singing! At first I was half thinking if the songs were going to be oldies but no, you do get the oldies but you can also find some really new and current pop songs too! Woohoo! Plus, the system was easy to navigate and we didn't have much problem learning to use it on our own without any instructions. You won't really expect the sound system to be as solid as those you get in Teo Heng or KBox but in my opinion, the fact that you get to hold a concert and sing to your heart's content at a birthday party was already a huge bonus. It was a showcase of talent we never knew existed in the family and I really loved how music united us and made us sing, laugh, chat and bond.
Seriously, you mean there is a pool table in The M.A.D.Z? Yes, there is and you bet the youngsters were thrilled about it. I think it was very smart of the owners to bring it in because it made a huge difference and left behind an impression. Well, when was it that you went for a birthday party and managed to play pool, right? It makes me miss my secondary and JC days so much because that was the time I would hang out with friends after school to hit the pool table and the arcade.
So our family likes to sing and we also love to play mahjong. Just so you know, I learnt to play it when I was a small child and no one taught me; I just picked it up by watching my mum, dad, grandma, uncles and aunties play the game. For those with guests who love to have a round or two, you can easily set up a mahjong corner for your party because they have everything you need here - from tiles to table and chairs.
I think one of the reasons why we love this place so much is that it has so many of our favourite games! Well, I used to be the darts captain back in my hall in NTU and the hubby was also outstanding in this game. I remember how we always liked to challenge each other and we even set up a darts corner, with a real darts board, in our house in Sweden which slowly became unused when the kids came along. For those who love the game and would like to try it out at the party, they can do so at the mezzanine level.
-> Board games
Right, talking about the mezzanine, it's meant to keep the young ones entertained and you can find plenty of games and activities here. Located on the bookshelf on the right are boards games and also toys for toddlers and small kids.
-> Ball pit
It might not be huge but at least there is a ball pit to provide some fun for the small kids too. Just nice for a ball themed party, right?
-> Mini golf
This was also a hit with the kids and even adults who tried to achieve a hole-in-one.
-> Video games
Last but not least, kids and teens can also have fun playing the games on Wii and Playstation too! You see, there just isn't much chance for one to feel bored, right?
If you would like to, you can also set up your own games because there is ample space to do so.
While The M.A.D.Z doesn't provide food for the party, you can get a caterer of your choice and have your buffet spread set up at the ground floor right across the staircase landing. We chose to go with Elsie's Kitchen, same as for Asher's full month party, because the feedback we received was positive. The good thing is there are plenty of spare chairs, tables, sofa, bar stools available in The M.A.D.Z so you most likely don't need to get these from the caterer or bring along your own.
Time for the star to make his appearance! Check out the birthday boy who was looking all sporty in his new Real Madrid jersey (the hubby is actually a Liverpool fan but try as I might, I couldn't find a kid-sized one in the stores)! I must say he was really a darling who slept through the first half of the party, and allowed guests to eat, play and enjoy themselves, before waking up just in time for the cake cutting ceremony and displaying his best smile.
It was a joy, and a blessing, to be able to sing the birthday song for the boy in the presence of all the family members who love him so much and I was thankful for every moment of the party even though I still had to handle tantrums, settle squabbles (what's new?) and didn't manage to sit or eat in peace. Anyway, after the caking cutting, the photographer asked if Asher could eat some cake and so we put a plate with a huge slice in front of him in the hope that he would gobble it up and make a cake mess.
It turned out that this boy is either not a fan of cakes or he was way too gentle because after a good few minutes, he was still poking it with a fork and getting none in his mouth. So we ended up smearing it all over his mouth and face and that was when he suddenly realised that 'cake is yummy' and wanted more and more.
Well, very soon, my dear! You can eat cake and candies and fries and all things junk very soon! Meanwhile take your time to grow up so I can cherish more of you as my cuddly, needy, clingy, lovely baby.
Happy turning one, my baby boy. I love you.
The M.A.D.Z Pte Ltd
18 Sin Ming Lane #07-32 Midview City s573960
Disclosure: We were invited by The M.A.D.Z to review their place as a party venue and received complimentary usage for Asher's 1st birthday. Photography credit goes to Imagegarden Capture. All opinions are our own.