Dylan & Alexis' Birthdays Part 1: The Planning

Thursday, July 30, 2015

OFFICIALLY LESS THAN 2 DAYS TO AUGUST!!!!!

August is a very important month for me because, well, everything that is of some importance falls in August.

My birthday falls in August.
My husband's birthday falls in August.
Our wedding anniversary falls in August.
My dad's birthday falls in August.
My son's birthday falls in August.
My daughter's birthday falls in August.

You guys get the gist.

Alexis is turning one this August and we decided to throw her a party because she didn't have a full month celebration when she was one-month-old. Dylan got his, so we made his one-year-old birthday party more intimate.

Even though the party is only gonna involve about 20 guests, I am determined to make it into a very intricate one, simply because the two of them won't have something like this again. (oops)

Nian and I have this thought that if we always make their birthdays a blast every single year, then they will grow to have an expectation of it. If we plan a grand one, it is a given. And if we don't? It will feel like we've let them down. We don't want to give our kids such expectations.

More on that next time. ;)

Since this is gonna be a one-shot-one-kill event, I started as early as February to plan for the big day in August. Now that we are typing, we're already less than a week to it!

The Theme

Dylan is a big fan of Mickey and friends and since Alexis still has no preference over anything except food and my boobs, we decided on the theme to be Mickey. Mickey and Minnie makes a boy and girl duo so I guess it fits the both of them?

I also did up a mood board on it on my Pinterest (since last year wtf), where I'd pin all the beautiful party set-ups that I can probably refer to.

And then I got workin'.

Securing A Venue

Venue was pretty straight forward for us because we only had three places in mind:
1. Polliwogs at Suntec City
2. A condominium function room
3. Our void deck

We actually thought about renting the hall at our nearest Community Center but its rental is a whopping $1000+, food not included yet! It is quite scary considering that it is supposed to be for "community" but it costs as much as booking a restaurant?

So anyway, after asking around and comparing various pros and cons (like how a void deck has no toilet and air-conditioning...), we eventually settled on a condominium function room that is big enough to accommodate a bouncy castle, simply because I want to get one for the kids to bounce on. Hehehe.

The Invite

After the venue was booked, I could then start on my momzilla activities and start designing the invite!

A lot of people think that invites are pretty redundant because of the age of technology these days, anyone can set up a Facebook event and then e-invite all our friends and they could RSVP by a click of a button.

We did that too for Dylan's first-month party but I guess it was okay because we didn't even have a theme for anything?

This time, I took time to create an e-invite from scratch. But seriously, we can't get away from the convenience of technology after all. Instead of mailing out the invites + RSVP slips, I saved it in jpg file and then whatsapped it to just 3 group chats and 2 private chats wtf. Everyone RSVP-ed in like 3 minutes? #fastestfingersfirst


Seeing the two of them hugging and taking a photo together makes my ovaries swell again.

Settling Buffet

Buffet was honestly the biggest ticket item because most of them caters to a minimum of 30 guests and we don't even meet the minimum! 

We were toying with the idea of catering small items, like Old Chang Kee or Subway, but Nian thinks that having Subway for dinner is a little too dissatisfying and he was looking at something more... substantial.

So I called Old Chang Kee and wanted to get their signature curry puffs, sotong balls etc, only to find out that they don't do delivery on public holidays and because our party is so close to National Day, they are too busy dispatching food to the people at work, they didn't want to take our orders.

We could buy them straight from the outlets, but they cost so much more than the bulk purchase package offered online.

We eventually decided to go for a 30 pax proper buffet and considered Chilli Padi because my god-sis, XY, caters them regularly and they. are. SO. GOOD. Downside is that they are pretty expensive as well and would set us back at least $500 for 30 guests.

We eventually settled for Neo Garden because they have several ongoing promotions. We got 15% off our total bill for 1 year old birthdays so we paid about $460 eventually.

Total damage so far: $32 (venue booking) + $460 (buffet) = $492. Our aim is to get it completed in less than $1000!

Selecting A Cake

This and the dessert table, are the biggest headache amongst all because the first problem we met was that most bakers no longer bake Mickey Mouse themed cakes because of copyright issues. Apparently, Disney is coming down hard on bakers who replicate any parts of Mickey and friends and so, many bakers I looked for don't bake anything Mickey-related anymore.

The closest they would get to is to bake a scene (like blue skies and green grass) and then we would have place the Mickey Mouse toppers ourselves.

Disney, why you so anal?

ALL of these, cannot do

I ended up ordering a two-tier fresh cream cake in red polka dots + red/blue/green/yellow stripes to match the overall colour scheme (Momzilla tells you to refer to the invite above. *points up*). I'm not so sure if I'll eventually buy the toppers because they cost almost $20 for a set of 6?

I don't even need so many toppers wtf 

We had a few options of the birthday cakes initially:
1. Pine Garden (which comes up to about $300 for a two-tier fondant cake)
2. A rainbow cake from a baker I really liked but she was already booked for our day
3. Agar agar cakes, which are like in the rage these days

Ended up with none of the above LOL but with this particular baker I found online, with pretty good reviews. Costs us $140 for a 2kg fresh cream rainbow cake.

Nian was pretty impressed that it wasn't too expensive for a rainbow cake!

Total damage so far: $492 + $140 = $632

The Dessert Table

Having styled so many tables for so many children, of course I had to make use of my accumulated experience to throw them a dessert table as nice as possible because hey! I am no longer restricted by budget! (*grins at the husband's horrified face)

First of all, I had to make up my mind on the dessert items. My list includes sugar biscuits, oreo cookies, twisties, marshmallows and jelly cups.

I am secretly hoping my oreos will turn out *just* the way like this. Wish me luck on this ya!
I haven't quite figured out how to make that polka-dotted bow, but I might consider fondant or something? If all else fails I'll just stick to making Mickeys LOL

Here's how the sugar cookies look like! All polka dotted and stripes to match the theme colours. We also have rainbow biscuits!
Jelly cups that is stuck with stickers that I lovingly designed from scratch. :)
More proper pictures after we get through the event! Oh gosh, to think I will have to start prepping these cookies early next week sends me into all sorts of flurry!

The dessert items set us back about $90.

Total damage: $632 + $90 = $722 - omg we're inching close to 1 grand!

General Decorations


Prepared the birthday bunting for the party to go with a specially designed backdrop for them! You do realise how ridiculously I am obsessed with the red-polka-dots-and-colourful-stripes consistency yah. :p


Then Nian and I bought these red polka dot plates from Daiso, with some red poms to decorate the place! I am hoping it to turn out something like this:



Bottle labels and cupcake toppers, followed by a welcome sign that would be stuck to the entrance:


I've also prepared balloons, Mickey and Minnie ears for everybody and the dessert table will be decked in red table cloth while the buffet spread will be in gold because they didn't have black nor red. Regardless, I am thankful that Neo Garden was very accommodating to my requests of choosing a skirting colour.

I spent a total of $145 on the decorations.

Total damage: $722 + $145 = $867

Entertainment

I honestly think this is where I would burst the budget entirely because.... I ordered a bouncy castle for the children. Nian was a little shocked when he heard me do that, but to be honest, I really love seeing kids bouncing around on an inflatable. It just looks so funny to me. I only hope that they don't puke inside please please please.

BOUNCE, BOUNCE, BOUNCE!!!!
I also prepared a doodle area where Nian and I prepared a tray filled with Mickey and Friends stickers, colouring sheets, crayons, bubble bottles (see picture in goodies bags below!) and temporary tattoos.

I am usually restricted by my clients' budget to "go all out" so this time, granted that it is our own party, I have the green light to do whatever I likeeeeeeee!!!!

For adults, the best entertainment would be binging on alcohol I suppose, so we urm bought a couple of cartons of them and I might bring down my Instax camera and all, just for the fun of it. We adults usually just wanna lounge around so I don't really care about making entertainment for them LOL.

Total damage: $100 + $867 = $967

Goodies Bags


Another batch of items that I took very, very long to assemble because all of these artwork is done from scratch! Ok, the Mickey Mouse was a clip art taken online but everything else, including the clouds and the background was drawn.

After the design materialised, I printed them out and stuck them everywhere. Instead of paper bags, I decided to give the kids their party favours in little cake boxes instead. I love how they hold their shape so well and they never tumble forwards (which is a problem when we use paper bags).

As you can see, all of these boxes are personalised with each kid's name.


Crayons prepared for them! 8 pieces of super vibrant, colourful and non-toxic crayons for the younger ones to colour and doodle.


And bubble bottles.

Apart from that, I also packed them a Mickey Mouse and Friends luggage tag too, so that they can hang it on their bags and never lose them! If you're always out of ideas on what to pack in children's goodies bags, I have written a post on 5 useful goodies bags items you can pack for your party on our Hello Lobang blog, and a more detailed one coming soon on hellomrstan.com.

You'll never have to pack them tidbits just because you don't know what to pack for them again!

Total damage: $35 + $967 = $1,002

Party Wear

And of course, how can we forget their birthday outfits? 

Mothercare was going for some 30% GSS Sale last month, so we grabbed these at $50. Considering that these are authentic Disney products, I would say it is pretty worth the money. FOX Kids had a Disney collection that were way more affordable, but unfortunately, they have stopped the collection for younger kids. :(

We only bought pants for Dylan because he would be wearing a Mickey tee that we bought from Hong Kong Disneyland when we visited a couple of months back.

So there! An extensive, lengthy post on the planning and preparation that Nian and I have gone through for our two precious babies. I honestly cannot wait for the party to begin, even though it means that I would be the buffet coordinator, party stylist, host, handyman and everything else. It's all gonna be super fun!!

Next post, I'll share with you mummies the preparation for Dylan's party in school! Stay tuned and stay happy!

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