Monday, October 26, 2009

Party: Food & Deco

I have too many pictures of Rosabelle's birthday party on Friday morning, and since there are many to share, I decided I'd just break it up into different components/aspects of the party, the first being the decoration and the food (rest like her dress for the day, guests, gifts, and activities to follow).

In the past week, we invited the usual bunch of kids that we hang out with in the yard, telling them to come to our house after 10:30am on Friday morning. On Thursday night, Wayne, the nanny and I worked hard at the preparations and decoration, shifting our furniture around to make space for the guests (we expected about 20 kids). By the time I went to sleep, it was close to 3:30 am!

But of course, the results of our hard work all paid off when we had happy, impressed guests who took photos to 'see how they can organize nice birthday parties in future', with nice deco and food to match, haha! This is the ultimate planner streak in me coming into full play here...

Take a look at the signage at our lift landing, and on our front door - I downloaded alot of templates from Widdlytinks, as they have beautiful backgrounds and formats:
This is what greeted our guests when they came into the house - I pasted photos from Rosabelle's June photo shoot, and added ribbon streamers to the balloons.
This photo wall at the back of the glass was hard work, firstly I had to select photos representative of each month, and also because we had so much difficulty sourcing for birthday-related signages. In the end, we cut out circles of the banner with the ching-chong words, and printed her name separately. It was most fitting that the shot of her at 12 months old had her pointing 'one' very clearly, hehe! The guests all commented that Rosabelle looks so different now from her birth photo, and they enjoyed looking at the photos as well.
Entering our home, guests will then see the tray of goody bags, as well as a simple sign-in sheet that allows them to pen greetings/well wishes for Rosabelle. We used Rosabelle's high chair for this purpose, and added a nice helium balloon for effect.
We had so much trouble trying to find nice balloons for her party, and Wayne managed to get one outside the hospital (yah, vendors cashing in on parents trying to placate crying babies). Here, you can see Rosabelle playing with the balloon the night before, attaching it to her walker for kicks.
I'm actually quite pleased with the goody bags - all 20 of them - which included a squeaky toy, a wooden toy, marshmallows, lollipops, haw sweets, and gift tags that we personalized with print-outs of a thank you note.
Amazingly, our living room looks mighty spacious (our voices even had echoes) after moving the sofa 180 degrees against the TV cabinet, and pushing the dining table all the way to the side window. The seating (sofa and chairs) might look too little for 20 guests (and babies) but alot of the time, they were all over the floor as kids being kids, they can't/won't sit still.
We only got about 20 pink balloons and Wayne scattered them over the place.
We prepared the small bottles of mineral water, fruits, and sweets the night before, as well as got the serving plates ready in anticipation of the food we ordered from Malacca Legend. I prepared nice table food tags at the top of each plate so the guests would know what they were eating, and importantly, indicated that the curry puffs were spicy (to avoid any children eating them).
I got into a bit of a panic in the morning as there were already about 5 guests, but Wayne had yet to arrive with the food and the the birthday cake. He later told me that the restaurant was rather slow in putting things together for him, but thank goodness he rushed back quickly and we quickly laid and cut the food up so that the guests could feast on roti jala, yam cake, curry puffs, pandan cake, nyonya cake, and char siew pau. One of the kids' mummies sweetly made a plate of home-made cookies and madeleines that I could offer the guests first, but I forgot to take a shot of it before they got all eaten up - here it is at the right hand corner of the photo below.
For the table decoration, I looked for three photos of Rosabelle enjoying her food (spinach face, gorging on a big pear, and a face smeared with mango), and included thought balloons asking guests to enjoy their food...
Here is the obvious kids' favourite on that day...
I purposely laid out the photo wall away from the goody bag area, away from the sign-in area, away from the food area, just so that we would not get all congested in one single place, and we have mummies here leisurely taking their pick of foods from the spread.
Rosabelle did not have a proper lunch that day, but ate pandan cake, roti jala, and of course her birthday cake (to be featured in the activities post later).
She also grabbed lollipops and tried to do some random dance with matching orange sticks...
And that's us taking photos with our hard work...
After the last of the guests left at close to 1pm, I asked the nanny to make steamed egg and broccoli for Rosabelle (with helium balloon attached to high chair, and one hair clip still on), and she very quickly finished the whole bowl up. It must have the excitement and the activities that made her hungry, and of course the fact that she did not have a proper lunch.

There was quite a fair bit of leftover food which we ate for lunch, and I brought down the leftover sweets and balloons to give out to whichever kid in the yard over these two days, announcing Rosabelle's birthday and getting alot of well wishes for her in return, heh!

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