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Mrs. Beautiful Skin 2016/17 Blogger Mom of 2 Beautiful Angels Wifey Fitness Instructor Happy & Contented

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Plan Baby's First Birthday Party

My Baobei Baby F. has just turned 1 year old last Saturday and boy time has just flew right pass our eyes, this little baby has now become a little girl who's all shouting & walking around our house everyday all day long - LOL! I'm having so much thoughts thinking back about when we first planned for a baby, then actually got pregnant and went thru the journey of being a Mom-to-be then eventually becoming one... there were actually alot of ups & downs in terms of my emotions but I'm not going to pour my heart out right now b'cuz today I'd like to share how I planned for Baby F.'s 1st birthday party - a small, cosy & budget one. 
So this was one of the best picture I could share with ya'all, that captured all of us nicely as well as most of the decor for the party. Baby F. isn't a very camera-friendly baby 'cuz she tends to be easily distracted, either that or usually she'd be camera shy and not smile when she sees us taking a picture of her. Haha as you can tell from the picture.

My party theme idea was inspired by these 2 pictures... I liked the birthday banner & fan background...

As well as the pinkish theme for a baby girl..

We only invited family & relatives as we wanted to keep the party small since the party was held in our home. I tried my best to plan for a budget party with all the nice decor & yummies yet not overdo it since I didn't like the idea of wastage.

Things To Prepare For The Party

1. Customized Name Banner - from Craftsmomship

First thing that came to my mind was a customized name banner. For some reason it seems like this is one of the popular must-haves for children's parties. I guess it's to show everyone what we are celebrating and who we are celebrating for. 

One year ago I already wanted to make one for Baby F.'s full month party. But b'cuz back then we weren't allowed (due to Chinese traditions) to plan for a full on party b'cuz of my FIL's passing, I gave it a miss. What I liked about this name banner or puff pillow was that we could actually reuse it again for another party or use it for her room decor - sweet eh? See more cutesy name banner designs here!

Draft was shown to me before Craftmomship started with the sewing.

This was one of the things I prepared/ordered the earliest as the entire waiting time could actually take up to 2/3 weeks (I'm over estimating) to be made then sent to you. You'd have to discuss with the vendor the theme and design you want and have the her prepare a draft for you to confirm before the actual work starts, and of course some more time for her to do the sewing as well as mailing out of the end product to you. Since Baby F. is too young to know what her fav cartoon character is, I decided to go with the sheep theme since she was born in the year of goat. And rainbow simply b'cuz its colourful & happy and I like it - hehe.

2. Customized Birthday Banner - from Sparksmoments

I ordered a customized birthday banner from Sparksmoments who specializes in custom made party banners, cards and cake toppers. The banner was done in light & dark pink shades to match the customized name banner. There's more designs to choose from like adding tassels or ribbons to the banner - you may check their Facebook page here. Waiting time was fast, some what around a week to receive from the time my order was placed. Honestly speaking if you have the time & paper materials at home, you can actually make your own birthday banners. But b'cuz we were too busy and since these didn't cost much, I think it was worth our bucks for the time & effort saved.

Ta-dah, both the banners on the wall of our home. Pardon the unsightly blue tack, I was damn kiasu (scaredy-cat) and afraid the banner would drop so I spammed blue tack - haha. You may find your own ways to put it up if you cannot tahan (stand) seeing the blue tack on the wall.

3. Decor For The Party Table - from Daiso

What do you think of this simple-looking party table decor? Its really budget yet I think it looks pretty decent for displaying pastries and also for photo-taking. I think almost 80% of the decor here was from Daiso?

Let me name you what was bought from Daiso here:

  • Party gifts/favours - get packs of candies & snacks and pack them into plastic gift wrappers. Kids love cute little gifts like these. 
  • Colourful/cute printed napkins - great as decor to lay around the party table and double up as serviettes for your guests.
  • Colorful/cute printed paper plates - similar purpose to the napkins.
  • Cute bottles - to fill with colourful candies, I used marshmallows 'cuz they won't "lao hong" (turn soggy) as compared to biscuits or stick to each other if you put in chocolates. Unless you use M&Ms, but the crisp sell would also "lao hong" after some time if you do not manage to finish them.. I'm assuming those cheap plastic bottles aren't air tight.
  • Fancy dish & cup (see below for pictures) - this is a budget way to create a makeshift cake/pastry stand. Usually a proper cake stand probably cost at least $20? This cost me $8 to make two, and after the party we could use it as normal kitchen crockery.
  • Shredded paper fillings - I bought these when I saw them b'cuz I knew it could come useful. If you had large mason jars/bottles, you could always use them to fill the bases before you add in your goodies. For me, I put it around the cupcake stand since I decided in the end not to spend more on mason jars 'cuz I checked that they cost around $20 each. 
  • Lace cabinet cover - I do not know if I'm naming this item correctly, but the picture on the label showed like its a screen to cover your open shelves or cabinets. I used them as makeshift table laces attached to the table cloth. Tassels along the linings of the party table look great, but also can be quite costly.
  • Little pastry holders - you can use them to hold different types of pastries, cookies, or snacks. In my case, I put mini packets of nuts in them. Okay, I know they're out of theme but I bought them for the older folks to enjoy - you know some may not have sweet tooth to enjoy the other cakes and all... just being thoughtful! If you can bake or want to bake your own cupcakes/pastries, these can come in handy to hold them nicely.
So this was how I made the makeshift cake/pastry stand. You could always get a taller cup/glass to have a taller cake stand, or get 2 sets and stack on top of each other to have more than 1 tier. If you find it boring to have clear stand legs, you may add in some shredded colour paper for visuals. I didn't do so 'cuz my stand was not tall enough for the legs to be that visibly noticeable.

4. Decor For The Party Table - from Carousell & Others

Previously I mentioned that a regular cupcake stands would cost quite a bit so I decided to get paper ones made from cupboard material. Didn't want to spend on cupcake stands 'cuz I don't think I'll be using them anytime soon after this party, and I'd still have to find space at home to store them away... zzzz.. Why not just get paper ones to use for the time being, and if they are not damaged I'll probably be able to keep them for use again. They are easy to store since it comes flat in a plastic package.

I got a set of pink cupcake stands from Carousell, at $7 each. Im sure Taobao sells them for a cheaper price but due to our busy schedule and planning for our wedding the week before, we didn't have the time to order online as the regular sea shipping from China would take a few weeks to arrive. But if you have the time and know how to shop on Taobao, do check them up online.

A panorama shot of the party table before the cake arrived. Pretty decent eh? Oh yea, other things on the table were chocolates I bought from Value Dollar store for $5+ a pack, the mini packets of nuts which came in a big bag for $7 which can be bought from most supermarkets, macarons & cheese tarts from Bread Talk (both were quite yums & prices were reasonable, our guests loved them!), and the fruit tarts were from part of the buffet spread - tried to save money & food since there were not too many people around; I'm just particularly not big on wasting food... I really dislike the idea of wasting food!

For the table cloth, all that I could find online were plastic ones and I personally preferred paper ones 'cuz plastic ones can look abit flimsy. Didn't find alternatives so I ended up getting crepe paper from Popular book store for $1.30 each. Our table was huge so I used 4 pieces to cover up the entire area. Its quite equivalent to getting plastic table cloths 'cuz those cost about $5 each. So really depends on which type you prefer. Again I think you can try Taobao for more options. We didn't order from TB 'cuz we were out of time to do so.

5. Customized Birthday Cake - from Delcies Healthy Desserts & Cakes

I had a really tough time deciding on the right birthday cake and cake vendor since I was spoilt for choice. These days there's simply too many good bakers around who make the prettiest cakes. Then I stumbled upon Delcies who are know for their healthy desserts & cakes. Me being a health-conscious person immediately found interest and I had to find out more about them (check their Facebook page here). Besides having healthy options like diabetic-friendly, gluten/nut/soy-free, vegan desserts & cakes, Delcies also have a baby-friendly option to choose from - just what I found perfect for Baby F.'s 1st birthday party!

This was how the actual cake looked like. The rainbow was supposed to be larger but we had to improvise b'cuz it broke on the was to us. Though I was quite disappointed seeing the rainbow broken into half, the party still went well and I loved the cake - so did Baby F.! Haha! Service recovery was great as they were apologetic & immediately issued a cheque refund. Nevertheless, the cake was still pretty and looked like what I had in mind.

Ombre-coloured cake - inspired by.. Just requested for an all pink theme. Actually the purple was really pretty too.
Rainbow fondant - inspired by..
And the Sheep fondant - inspired by...

All pictures were taken from the internet and provided to Delcies for a customized cake order. Do place your orders for customized cakes at least 2 weeks prior to the party to prevent any delays. The cake I ordered was a traditional cake with cream-frosting outer layer b'cuz I didn't like fondant like those on 3D cakes as they tend to be outrageously sweet as they're just sugar. I ordered 2 8" cakes (they were placed on top of each other) and were supposedly enough for 30 pax to taste. IMO I think this cake is suitable for up to 40 pax to taste as there were still plenty of cake left. I gave the leftovers to my neighbors and a box for my hub's colleagues at work.

Website: www.delcies.com

See this girl... enjoying her first taste of cake. Hehe.

6. Matching Mummy-Daughter Outfit - from Lovey Dovey Fashion

Daughters are one of the best reasons for you to dress up in the same outfits. As we do not head out too often, I hardly have the chance to dress Baby F. up. I'm the rare type of Mom who doesn't quite dress her baby girl up fancily and prefers simple-looking clothes for her. But for her birthday I thought of making an exception to try out our first Mummy-and-Daughter matching outfit.

Lovey Dovey Fashion is an online fashion store originated & registered in Malaysia. They are specialised in Women's clothing as well as matching Mother-Daughter outfits. Most of their baby outfits suit toddler sizes & up, but they do have a small range of outfits for 1 year-olds. I chose this white dress since I liked simple and not too loud outfits especially for her. Both dresses were ordered in the smallest sizes and it sure fit well. Quality & cutting was great too. Do remember to order at least 1-2 weeks pre-hand 'cuz like for me they ran out of size for my dress and had to order from the warehouse which took slightly longer than usual. Check out more cute matching outfits here!

This was probably one of my fav shots of the day!! Adorbs can!! *Helloooo*****

Website: www.loveydoveyfashion.com

7. Buffet Catering - from eCreative

It's our third time ordering from eCreative in a span of one year. We first ordered from them for Baby F.'s full month party, our wedding day high tea after the tea ceremony, and now again for Baby F.'s first birthday. What we liked about eCreative was that their prices are alot cheaper than most other named caterers, food is quite good (feedback from our relatives & friends), and they also have cakes available for your order or even customized cakes if you'd like to save time having look for separate vendors. Food portion was pretty much in proportion to the recommended number of guests - means little food wastage!! You can check them online here. For full month parties, the buffet comes with free cupcakes - one of the reasons why we ordered from them in the very first place. Though not the fanciest-looking cupcakes, I thought they were cute and decent enough to be served.

Panorama view of the 10-course buffet.

Was a winner for hubs 'cuz he loved the curry. I agreed too but have to admit its a tad too salty for my liking 'cuz I don't take rice - you'd have to try out on your own since I'm not the best person to feedback on "not-so-healthy" foods. 

What do you think? Looks not bad eh? For dessert I ordered the Soy Beancurd Pudding. I didn't try it but I was told it tasted like "Lao Ban".

I liked the "Shui Jin Bao" aka Crystal Dumpling - which was some what like Soon Kueh.

Website: www.ecreative.com.sg

8. E-Invite

Last but not least, do not forget to create your e-invite!! Do state down the date & timing of the party as well as your home address. I cropped off my home address for privacy purposes. Also remember to add a cute picture of your little one for the whole invite to look in place.

And that was about all I had to plan & prep for! It doesn't sound like alot but can be quite time-consuming just to think about the ideas & theme to tie the whole party look together (especially if you're gonna plan the whole party on your own). Im glad the 2 most busy occasions this month has been successful and now it's time to partay~~~ Haha.. like real.. Come come, share with all of you some other snippets of the party.

Family photo time! Look at her confused face, as usual...

Happy Birthday To You!

*Say Cheese!!* Where are you looking at my dear, starring at the macarons?!?

Haha please don't laugh at the makeshift cake stand.... I'm sure no one paid attention to it if I didn't mention.
And this again just saved us money! *Ka-ching*!

Close up of the very cute Sheep fondant from Delcies... as well as the used 1 YO candle.. When I asked my helper to get rid of some waste, she asked if I was gonna keep the candle. I looked at her confused and she explained to me that in the Philippines they had the tradition to keep the first birthday candle. What for? I really don't know. So I got her to wash it and I'll decide what to do with it later. Haaaaaa...

Hehe.. Baaaaaaaa~~~

My dear Baobei... *Muacks*

And that sums up my party planing advise and pictures to keep in memories of Baby F.'s 1st birthday celebration. I hope you have found my party planning advise informative even though to be honest we could have saved even more but I really do not know how to bake such a nice cake!! Why did I say that? B'cuz the only thing that was costly was the birthday cake which I think alot of you would have probably known that a customized cake can easily cost $250-$500. Apart from the cake, I would be proud to say I helped hubs to save quite abit - hehe.

Feel free to leave comments in the comment box below if you have any questions regarding this topic and I'll try my best to answer if it's not already stated in my blog above. Thanks for reading! : D

P.S. If you'd like to see my future posts, follow me on FB & IG.. 
FB: www.facebook.com/vannytelly
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P.S.S. In view of September 2016 being the month of love; our wedding, honeymoon, and Baby F.'s 1st birthday, I'm throwing TWO special give-aways on my Facebook & Instagram with lovely gifts to be won. Do check my page out for contest details & good luck to you!! Bye~!!

That's all for now, cheers and stay tuned for more. ; ) 

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