Raviv’s Dinosaur-Themed Gymboree Birthday Party Part 1: The DIY Decor & Aesthetics

Finally more than two months after, I’m now blogging about mi amocito’s super fun and super DIY birthday party at Gymboree Sta. Rosa! This time around, the theme was dinosaurs!  Raviv’s interest in dinosaurs was recycled.  Perfect, because Gymboree already has a customized dinosaur-themed play & learn birthday party celebration.

Since I knew that I’d be fulfilling one of my passions—event styling—through Gymboree, I decided to make Raviv’s party super DIY.  As in no catering, no chairs supplier, everything will be done by me and “my team”.  That way, we could already practice our artistic prowess (naks!) in case someone who books a Gymboree party in Sta. Rosa also opts to get an upgrade and have a customized and special decors.

So without further ado, here are the details:

 

The Venue

Raviv’s birthday party was held at the room adjacent to the Gymboree playfloor.  The room was really bare and had a low ceiling.

DIY Dinosaur Party Set-up 

Tables and chairs

Since I had no catering, I had to make use of Brain Train’s existing monobloc tables and chairs on top of Gymboree’s colorful kiddie tables and chairs.  Since the monobloc look so plain, I bought some cloth as and had a seamstress create table cloth and table runners out of them.  I would have wanted to cover the chairs as well, but since we were running out of time, I just put a rosette with dinosaur foam shapes on each chair.

DIY dinosaur party chair

It was matrabaho, yes, but it definitely made the place look hundreds of times better.

 

The Ceiling drops

I used latex and mylar polka-dot balloons to further prettify the place.  But the highlight among the ceiling drops were the diosaur pompoms that Yaya Beth and I painstakingly made.

DIY dinosaur birthday party pompoms

I would like to say that it’s actually easy to do that, but we actually had several tries before we perfected it.  Once we were able to discover how to properly do it, medyo dumali na rin.

 

The Invitation

DIY dinosaur birthday party invitation

If you’ve been following my blog since Raviv’s first birthday party, then you’d know how maarte I am when it comes to invitations.  I’m almost allergic to generic, impersonal invitations. #sorrybutnotsorry  Thus, career kung career ang invitation ni Raviv.  I designed the dinosaur cut-out (I just looked for an image of dinasaur online and took it from there).  Then I bought cardboard and cut out the “cracked egg” shapes.  But the most madugo part is the green mosaic you see—that’s real egg shells that I’ve painted, dried, pound, and stuck to the invitation.  Yes, I rounded up our neighbors and asked for their egg shells for 50 handmade invitations.  Sulit din naman because people gushed how cute Raviv’s invitation was!

 

[Read more…]

God is never late!

Happy Sunday everyone!

I was supposed to blog about the (long overdue!) details of Raviv’s Dinosaur-Themed Birthday Party, but then I was reminded of how much it almost never pushed through, and how much I just had to keep the faith in Him.

(Warning: This may be trivial to some, but I am grateful for little tests of faith like this. Such always, always reminds me that I have a living God whom I can still count on even in situations that others would deem trivial.) 

Rationale

Here’s the deal: My son’s birthday party would “unlock” Gymboree Sta. Rosa on Dec. 21, 2014.  It was a win-win idea because:

1) Raviv would get to experience the fun of a Gymboree party (it’s only up to 4 years old, and he was turning 4)

2) Having a “deadline” is always good because it pushes people to work doubly hard.

3) We would have a “practice” as to how birthday parties are conducted.

Almost all of our guests were either from Los Banos or Metro Manila, so I know I have to make this party worth their trip.  That said, I know that the Gymboree playfloor will motivate them to come.  Thus, it was a must that the Gymboree playfloor be ready on his party.

Problem solved?

Remember THIS POST?  I would like to tell you that things started to sail smoothly after that.  Unfortunately, things would go from bad to worse.  Like, just when I’d start to heave a sigh of relief, something would come up again that would make my heart feel as though it would jump out of my chest.

So yeah, the first batch of equipment has been delivered weeks before the party.  Because of that, I was no longer nervous.

But into the second week of December, I still had no delivery schedule of the second batch, which contained the flooring!

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Then five days before the party and still equipment-less, I started to seriously get worried!

 

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16:

 

 


OMG ‘di ba?!?  And on top of that, the Gymboree party host I initially booked got sick and couldn’t go to Raviv’s party!  Total disater!

Fortunately, I was able to convince Teacher Eli Santiago aka “Gymboree’s best teacher” (according to many), to host Raviv’s birthday.  But unfortunately again, Eli’s good friend passed away a few days before the party and she told me that if the funeral coincides with the party, she may not be able to host it.

I was left hanging for two things: my equipment and my host—the very essences of a successful Gymboree birthday party!

 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17:

The following day, still no luck.  At that point, I knew that I needed nothing short of divine intervention.  While I’ve been praying the whole time, I also sought the help of my churchmates.

 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18:

I had some good news:

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I was overjoyed beyond the moon!  But I couldn’t help but still be wary.


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When Mama Gi (my leader in our Victory group) said that “God is never late”, it gave me some sense of comfort.  All the more when Motherhood said the same thing to me when I told her my concerns.  Motherhood, who’s usually all about punctuality and preparedness, took my worries lightly and confidently told me to trust that God will deliver.  She just knew it, she said.

Moreover, Eli said that she would be able to host Raviv’s party, too.  Yahoo!!!

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19:

I was told that the truck will leave the port at 11 p.m. because it first had to be inspected by the customs, and then it had to wait until the truck ban was lifted.  That meant that the truck will arrive at our center around past midnight.  So technically, it would be there on the 20th—only a day before Raviv’s birthday!  But the utility staff of the Gymboree corporate office assured me that they will work double time to make it well before Sunday.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20:

I woke up early on this day and eagerly called our staff in Sta. Rosa, asking whether they’ve managed to finish our playfloor.  But my oh my!!!  I was told that only one truck has arrived, and worse, this truck did not contain our flooring!!!

Que horror!!!  The truck that arrived at dawn contained some wood equipment and Gymboree toys only!  No flooring!!!  The flooring was the most important thing as it takes a long time to install!  Moreover, the equipment can’t be set-up until after the flooring is finished!  We surmised the flooring was in the other truck that was held by the Customs!  I wanted to bawl, but I also had to get moving because we had review classes that day (In retrospect, I remember that Dec. 20 was date I initially wanted Raviv to celebrate his birthday.  However, Randy vetoed it because we had scheduled classes on that day.  Buti na lang!  Nagalit pa nga ako kay Randy!)

In between my classes, I would call everyone: from Sandra (Gymboree Corporate Office personnel communicating with the Customs) to Cathy (Gymboree Corporate Office personnel doing the inventory of materials at our site) to Kuya Eric (Gymboree Corporate Office personnel who installed our playfloor set-up) and to Yuske (our staff in Sta. Rosa).  All of them could not answer my question as to whether the truck would arrive in time for the flooring to be set-up.  The broker in-charge also could not say what time the truck would be allowed to get off the pier.

We thought of sending our L300 FB van over to Gymboree Manila Polo Club branch to gather and borrow the foam flooring.  However, I realized that our L300 FB van was in Los Banos and Dodong was too busy with our classes to drive it over.  It may take several trips, too.  So I said we had no choice but to wait.  Again.  But I also felt that was God’s way of telling me to trust Him and resist my urge to meddle.

But at 10 a.m., Cathy called it.

What she was saying is that she thought it was useless to wait for the second truck, because we’ve been waiting forever.  She was thinking that the second truck might also arrive at dawn the following day and we will no longer have any time to install the flooring or assemble the equipment.  I felt the stirrings to gaining control again, but a small voice was telling me over and over again that I had to be patient because “God is never late”.  So I ignored Cathy’s text message and told God that I trusted Him.  I told Him that I did all that I could–I never slacked off–and that this time, the ball was in His hands.   [Read more…]

Madame EKS (aka Motherhood)’s 60th Surprise Birthday Party Part 3: Photo Story

Continued from Madame EKS (aka Motherhood)’s 60th Surprise Birthday Party Part 2: The Great Revelation

Here are more up close and personal photos during Motherhood’s 60th Masquerade Themed Surprise Birthday Party, plus comments on my suppliers.

Venue: UP Seniors’ Social Garden


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Honestly, never in my wildest dreams did I think I’ll host a party here.  I pass this almost everyday, and when “undressed”, it looks plain.  Wala man lang flowers to make it a beautiful “garden”.  But since the other options were so ridiculously expensive and my stylist/caterer assured me that UP Seniors’ Social Garden is a great “canvass”, I agreed.  Indeed, it was prettified.  The only caveat is that there is no airconditioning.

 

Event Styling & Catering: Berris Cuisine

I chose Berris Cuisine when I learned they also do event styling.  Surprisingly, only a few caterers also do customized event styling.  I chose not to get a separate event stylist because I feel that a caterer-cum-stylist would be cheaper.  I mean, caterers already provide table centerpieces, right?  Thus magiging redundant lang.

cfc (12)Table centerpiece for a masquerade-themed 60th birthday party


Venue set-up for a masquerade-themed 60th birthday party

cfc (311)Celebrant’s chair/stage  for a masquerade-themed 60th birthday party

I was satisfied with the overall setup, however, my major complaint about the company is that the point person is quite difficult to contact.  I had to initially text and then forward my original message almost 10 times in span of 48 hours before a curt reply.  Ditto when calling her—antagal mag-pick up!  I also specifically requested to use an orange-y red and not a maroon-y red, but still I ended up with the latter.  Good thing she’s friendly when you actually talk to her.

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Dessert table for a masquerade-themed 60th birthday party

 

cfc (168)Chocolate liquers given by my sister-in-law Ruth were added to the dessert table

As for the food, IMHO, it was OK—something you expect from a regular caterer.  But no dish served got any raves, unlike when we got Center Table Catering (for Raviv’s baptism/dedication) and Passion Cooks (Randy’s birthday party last year).  But note that Center Table and Passion Cooks’ (especially!) rates were more expensive than Berris’.

 

Cake and cupcakes: Bakeville by Nek Manaig-Penalba

I always order themed fondant cakes from Rainbow Confections, but since I opted to order a traditional cake and matching cupcakes this time, I tried something new.  The cake and cupcakes with “boiled icing” (‘yun pala tawag dun!) were from Bakeville.

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Cake for a masquerade-themed birthday party

I find the cake and cupcakes reasonably-priced.  Aaaand, I loved the taste and texture of the cake.  The icing was not too sweet but not bland.  It’s really delicious and soft to the point that I kept the cake in our personal fridge in our bedroom (meaning, not for sharing) and allowed it to pile more and more calories in my body.  But Randy—who rarely eats cakes—shared with me.  Bonus:  Nek, the cake artist and baker, is also very nice.  Even though we were only communicating via Facebook, she would always reply promptly and very respectfully.  I love suppliers like this!

Cheesums (Extra Dessert) by Patricia Hilao of Pattycakes

[Read more…]

Madame EKS (aka Motherhood)’s 60th Surprise Birthday Party Part 2: The Great Revelation

On the day of the party, Tita Len was also at our house because I also “invited her to my launching because of Sharon Cuneta”.  Everything seemed to go well, until I got a phone call just before noon.  It was Tita Romilyn.  She was with one of the guests, Tita Ayet, who came all the way from Pangasinan just to grace Motherhood’s birthday.

Ang mahihiwagang bangus at rosas

But Tita Ayet’s thoughtfulness did not end there:  she also brought with her 7 bangus fish!  Since they had no ref or anything, Tita Romilyn asked me to get them.  Patay na, because I was also preparing for my afternoon class!  So I asked Tita Len to get the bangus for me.  Tita Len also bought roses from the market because, “Gagawin ko raw bouquet para ibigay kay Sharon.”  Hahaha!

Hours before the partey

I was not able to primp early because I had classes from 1-3pm. Alangan namang nakatodo make-up at 4-inch stilettos ako sa klase ko dabah? My students might just belt out a mocking “King & Queen of Hearts” upon my entrance.  That is, if they are familiar with the song.  So I was only able to start doing my hair (Parusa!  I’m so clueless when it comes to hairstyling!) and make-up at around 3:30 pm.  I was able to leave at 4:30 pm, na medyo disater pa rin ang hairdo ko.

The Plan

Since Randy’s class was to end at 5:30, the plan was that he would drive Motherhood and Tita Len to “Gymboree Sta. Rosa”.  Our good friend Regina Martinez also played a big role:  she was to do Tita Len and Motherhood’s make-ups, and help delay their leaving in case it’s necessary.  I couldn’t leave the task to Randy because Randy has no acting skills whatsoever.

At the event venue

When we (Dodong, Raviv, Raviv’s Yaya Beth and Dad) arrived at the event venue (UP Seniors’ Social Garden), Motherhood’s immediate relatives from Tiaong and Tita Romilyn and Tita Ayet with hubby were already there.  The place has also already been set-up, and my photographer friend with his photobooth were already there as well.

60th Masquerade Theme Surprise Birthday Party setup

60th Masquerade Theme Surprise Birthday Party setup2Venue set-up

However, Tita Romilyn and her co-dancers were still busy practicing their surprise number: they were gonna sing (lipsync) and dance Liza Minelli’s “Cabaret”.

Liza Minelli’s Cabaret

cfc (67)Tita Romilyn and her “Cabaret” back-up performers, Patty-uh and Albert

The UPLB senior who does not know the places in Los Banos

O di ba bonggels?  But at 6 p.m., several other guests haven’t arrived yetincluding the host, LOL! So I was busy communicating with Reg and Randy and Tita Len how to delay their arrival.  Ang giraffe guys!!!  Reg said that Motherhood was already having tantrums—those who know Motherhood know that she is the consummate on-time-dapat-lagi person!  She was stressed because I told her that the party will start at 6 p.m., eh bibiyahe pa to Sta. Rosa.  So pa’no na?  Well, I ain’t the mistress of surprise parties for nothing.  A great idea hit me: Fatherhood’s older sister, Auntie Cely, was in town visiting her grandchild studying in UPLB.  Motherhood and I invited her to the “Sharon Cuneta” affair (but I told Auntie Cely the truth days before the event).  So I told Randy to tell Motherhood that Aunty Cely was on her way to our home to ride with them to Sta. Rosa.  And voilà, that shut Motherhood up from hurrying to leave.  However, Reg called me to inform me that Motherhood was calling Auntie Cely!!!!  Patay na patay na!!!

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cfc (199)60th Masquerade Theme Surprise Birthday Party preparation
Caught on cam: Stressed because 1) I was panicking; and 2) I was using a bar phone at ang sakit na ng daliri ko!

I called Aunty Cely right away and her phone was busy.  Shet na malagket!  When I finally got ahold of Auntie Cely, I heaved a sigh of relief when she told me she didn’t answer Motherhood’s call.  Then I told her that I used her in my plan.  Later on I learned that this conversation happened:

Motherhood:  O Ate Cely asan na kayo?

Auntie:  Ay hindi ko alam.

Motherhood: Pakausap ako kay Nina (my niece who’s a senior at UPLB) siya tatanungin ko.

At nag-panic daw si Nina!

Motherhood:  Nina malayo pa ba kayo?

Nina:  Dito po sa may paliko….

Motherhood:  Anong paliko?  Diba galing ka lang sa FO e dire-direcho lang naman papunta dito?  Asan na ba talaga kayo?

Nina: Lola Emma…hindi ko po alam asan na kami.

Motherhood, thinking (not out loud):  Ano ba naman itong si Nina, 4 years nang nakatira sa UPLB hindi pa alam ang mga lugar?!?  UP student hindi nag-iisip!

Hahahaha!

And finally when almost all of the guests have arrived (plus the host), and Tita Romilyn aka Liza Minelli  and her gang have already practiced their special number, I called Randy and gave them the go signal to leave.  The plan was that Reg will be dropped off to the Seniors’ Social Garden where she is to attend a wedding (but while waiting, Mom was thinking again:  Ano ba naman ito si Reg napakalapit lang ng Social Garden magpapahatid pa eh late na nga kami kay Sharon!)

The plan

The host announced that Motherhood was coming.  So we dimmed the lights and all were asked to stand up and put on their masks…

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Preparing for Madame EKS’ arrival.  Everyone’s wearing masks for the masquerade party

and Fatherhood was to escort Motherhood into the hall.

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cfc (209)Dodong putting on the mask of the escort for the 60th Masquerade Theme Surprise Birthday Party

The arrival

Then we saw our car driven by Randy with Reg, Tita Len and Motherhood.  Reg alighted from the car, and asked Motherhood to get off as well.  Of course did not want to, kasi bakit naman daw siya mskiki-attend sa weding reception na hindi siya invited.  But then Randy also got off and said, “Uy Mom si Irvin!  Baba tayo Mom, tingnan natin!”  Still she did not get off, at nas-stress na siyaThen even Tita Len got off the car and expressed her interest to attend the wedding reception.  She was already alone in the car so she exasperatedly got off.  And then she saw Dad daw, who pulled her to the party.  Now she was getting confused and angry: Bakit andito ang mga tao eh dapat asa Sta. Rosa?!?  At bakit kami makiki-attend sa party na hindi kami invited?!?

Let’s take a look at the development of Motherhood’s expression, caught by the lens of my friend Charles Caramihan’s camera:

[Read more…]

Madame EKS (aka Motherhood)’s 60th Surprise Birthday Party Part 1: Party Planning

Ako na, ako na talaga!  For the second straight year, I pulled off another surprise milestone birthday party successfully.  Last year it was Randy’s, this year it’s Motherhood’s.

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Tita Len’s suggestion

Some time in July, when my Tita Len (Motherhood’s younger sister) visited us she asked me what my plans are for Motherhood’s birthday.  I told her I had no plans, because we will be in Hong Kong at that time.  She said we should throw a simple surprise birthday party for Motherhood’s because she will turn 60 na!  I was surprised because I didn’t expect that Mom would get her dual citizenship this year (You know—Filipino citizen and senior citizen.  Hehehe)  So of course, I agreed.  Except for one thing:  I did not like the word “simple”.  Allergic ako sa simple.  Motherhood deserves a somewhat bongga birthday party.  And knowing her, that’s what she would want.  Hindi naman bonggang-bongga that would cost hundreds of thousands.  But that party should have a program, nice décor, catered food, and guests should look handsome and beautiful.  Yung hindi naman backyard party lang at a-attend kung sino lang ang mahablot, if you know what I mean.

My initial cohorts

I will let you in on a secret:  to successfully throw a surprise party, don’t involve too many people early.  So after my talk with Tita Len, I contacted only two other people who love Motherhood so much: Kuya Mark Nas and Tita Romilyn Haresco.  Kuya Mark is one of Motherhood’s “intellectual” friends—ka-Genetics circle niya and Motherhood is like Kuya Mark’s second mother.  Tita Romilyn on the other hand is Motherhood’s batchmate and longtime college roommate at UP.

We had conversations on Facebook where we discussed the best date, time, motif, theme, etc.  I swore them to secrecy and made it known I’ll hate them forever and ever if they spill.

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the makings of a surprise birthday party

So after some brainstorming, we decided on the following:

Date: October 4, Saturday (we will have returned from Hong Kong by that time)

Time: 6 pm (pero alam namin na 6:30 ang dating ng mga tao)

Motiff: Red and black (red is Motherhood’s favorite color and black para old Hollywood ang dating)

Theme: Masquerade (para ma-reinforce ang air of mystery kuno)

The problem lang talaga was how to make sure Motherhood attends her own party.  In case you didn’t know, Motherhood and Fatherhood still live in Mindanao (although Motherhood is always attending meetings in Manila and Los Banos so parang taga-Luzon na rin siya. Also, since she’s originally from Tiaong, Quezon and got her BS, MS and PhD from UPLB plus she has lots of projects/collaborations with CHED, PCARRD, IRRI, UPLB, we’re sure hindi lalangawin ang Luzon birthday party celebration niya!).  Baka kami ang ma-surprise kasi no-show ang celebrant!  Kung anu-ano na ang iniisip kong reasons!

I:  Tita Len, ano kaya kung sabihin mong nakabuntis si Ochie (my cousin who’s still in college) tapos magpapakasal na sa Oct. 4?

Tita Len:  Ay juskopo ineng, magwawala iyon at baka atakehin pa!  Hindi n’ya na mae-enjoy ang mga benefits ng pagiging senior!

And after a long time brainstorming it just hit me:  I’ll tell her that I will open my Gymboree Sta. Rosa on Oct. 4.  And she had to be there because it’s so bongga that Sharon Cuneta will do the ribbon cutting.  I told her just that and she said she’ll make sure she and Dad will attend.  Aminin man ni Mom o hindi, alam ko anong naging magic words dun: Sharon Cuneta.  Hukhukhukhuk!

Motherhood used to watch this every Sunday!  May hanash pa si Motherhood dati na galit na raw siya kay Piolo kasi pinaiiyak si KC!

We all heaved a sigh of relief, and then I started booking a caterer (remember when my iPad got lost?  It’s because of this party! So Mom ibili mo ako ng bagong iPad!), a venue, photographer and photo booth, etc.  I also created a Facebook Secret Group where we posted details of the party and invited people.  Of course, each member was also sworn into secrecy.

#MadameEKSat60

I’m just so happy because it was apparent that so many people love Motherhoodisang request ko lang na could you do this or that, game agad.  And when I thank them profusely, they’d say it was their pleasure because Motherhood is like this or that to them, and that was the least they could do.  Take note, these are busy professionals and some have to juggle family and work pa, but they go the extra mile for Mom.  I remember when I booked her party venue, the person in charge volunteered to give me a big discount because she knows Motherhood.  Take note, I didn’t ask for the discount—she just volunteered it!

Anyway, before the party, we were all laughing our hearts out because Madame EKS (that’s Motherhood is called at her workplace—EKS=Emma K. Sales) can’t contain her Sharon Cuneta excitement!  Tita Rom posted this on our Facebook group two days before THE DAY:

Emma: Romilyn, sa Sat ay opening ng school ni Dew sa Sta Rosa.  Si Sharon Cuneta ang guest. Me: Wow, a-attend kayo?
Emma: Oo, dapat daw andun kaming 2 ni Edwin [Dad] at dahil bff kita, invited ka.
Me: Anong oras at anong suot?
Emma: 6pm Sat at syempre, maarte ang anak ko, formal daw.
Me: Sige, try ko.  Text kita sa Sat pm

Ang hirap magpanggap!

And then the day before THE DAY:

sharon cuneta excitement

So what happened the following day?!?  Abangan!

Superheroes at a Shakey’s Birthday Party!

Advertorial

Casual dining restaurant showcase the biggest league of superheroes for unforgettable birthdays!

As a mom of a toddler boy, I know how much little boys love super heroes.  So much, to the point that I have to namedrop them when I have to ask Raviv to do something.  Little boys are just in so much awe of superheroes!  Like two weeks ago when we attended a dog show, we “rewarded” Raviv’s patience during the dog show with a stop over at this place where stone figures are being sold.  Of course, he spent much of his time just touching and staring at the superhero statues.

I could only imagine how exciting it is for Raviv to gather his playmates for a superhero-themed afternoon playtime!  And the thrill Raviv would if I can actually bring that theme into play for his birthday party!  The caveat is that throwing these “lavish” parties may take so much time and effort.  Kung dati keri ko pa, ngayon hindi na because of my workload!

But I heard some great news:  Raviv’s favorite pizza restaurant chain Shakey’s is making this possible for those who want to throw an unforgettable party for their kids!

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Bringing in the “superpowers” of DC’s Justice League, Shakey’s is now offering the Justice League Unlimited party package, inclusive of signature dishes, activities, and even props that will further enliven the gathering. Mind you, they even encourage guests to dress up for the party!

JLU Image

[Read more…]

Raviv’s Amazing(ly Simple) DIY Spider-Man Themed 3rd Birthday Celebration at School

Hi there friendly neighborhood critters, este, creatures!  I want to share with you how we celebrated Raviv’s birthday at school last Thursday.  All in all I think prep was just two days.  Talaga!  Like I said, last week was super busy:

  • Monday – Raviv’s field trip + Brain Train Christmas Party
  • Tuesdayhabol ng work sa office + review ng Rejoinder ng kaso namin; then in the afternoon ginawa ‘yung invitation ni Raviv.  I was so lucky because our student assistant Jonathan Austria (who happens to be a amateur great layout artist) dropped by, so hinugot ko siya to create my concept of Raviv’s Spider-man-themed invitation.  It’s simple yet many complimented it.  Here it is:

…which I put in a brown paper and sealed with a Spider-man sticker.

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  • Wednesday – went to DOJ to file our Rejoinder sa case namin, and then when I got home at about 4 p.m. that’s when I started preparing for Raviv’s birthday celebration, which was on the following day at 9:40 a.m.!
    Grabe no?!?  Bad trip talaga ‘yung kasong ‘yunNakakaubos ng time.  I want to rant about it more but I want to stay positive.  After all, we are talking about my son’s birthday celebration.  Plus, I’ve already surrendered this case to the Big Guy up who knows everything.
    Anyway, here are some photos of Raviv’s simple Spider-man themed birthday celebration at school:

Lootbag:

spiderman party lootbag diy

Why the balloon?  Nako, nagkamali ng balloon na inilagay ‘yung saleslady!  I ordered 30 Spider-man mylar balloons like these:
spider-man mylar baloons

and four of these small balloons.  Binaligtad!  I discovered late that she put only four of the Spider-man-shaped mylar balloons and 30 of the round ones.  Hay naku!!!

By the way, these are the contents of the lootbag:

contents of spiderman themed party lootbagContents: Spiderman balloon, jigsaw puzzle, M&M’s milk chocolates, homemade chocolate chip cookies + snickerdoodles, bath gel, fruit pudding gelatin and tiny fruit-flavored juice

Cakes:

Nako, the cakes were rushed!  Since my sched was so hectic I totally forgot the cakes!  As in I told the cakemakers only a few days before!  Buti na lang they were so nice to singit my request!

The mini-cupcakes were from Bites, whose owner is my blogger friend Maggie Agustin.

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And this amazing Spider-man cake was from another friend, Iris de Ramos of Rainbow Confections:

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What I love about Bites and Rainbow Confections is that aside from the cakes looking pretty, they are yummy too!  These days kasi there are lots of cakemakers who just focus on the aesthetics, kebs na kung lasang papel ang cake.  But not Bites and Rainbow Confections.

[Read more…]

Party Pooper Parents

Two Sundays ago, Raviv attended a bonggels birthday party without Randy and without me.  It was the first birthday and christening celebration of the baby girl of an acquaintance (whom I hope to be a lot closer to in the future), Lindsay Abcede-Sese.

Lindsay invited me months before the party.  We were never really close but there were instances when we talked years ago about dogs (she and Randy belonged to the same canine club), and she was always super nice!  Walang kaere-ere!  Thus I told her Raviv will definitely come even if we can’t (it was scheduled on a Sunday…and you all know how crazy our weekends are!)

Since our Sundays have been pretty flexible lately, Randy and I thought we could attend the par-tey with Raviv.  The Friday before the party, I learned that the guests are requested to wear a superhero costume because the theme was superheroes.  I got more excited for my Ravivo!

On Saturday—a day before the party—we learned that Randy and I both had six-hour classes the following day!  Bummer!  That means we can’t accompany Raviv.  But we really want Raviv to go because the theme was his thing!  Good thing that one of my best friends and one of Raviv’s ninangs, Chrysanthemum Collado, was also attending the party.  So I asked her to take care of Raviv and Yaya Isay on the party.

raviv and ninang chrys

When Raviv learned he was attending a party and will be dressed as Spiderman, he was beyond excited.  In fact, right after he took a bath he was drumming on the Spidey costume—motioning that it was time for his transformation!

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Randy’s Surprise Basketball-Themed Birthday Bash Part 3: Photo Story

Continued from  Randy’s Surprise Basketball-Themed Birthday Bash Part 2: Finally!!!

As promised, here are more photos during Randy’s special day.  This time, I’ll let the photos tell the story behind Randy’s Lebron James/Miami Heat basketball-themed party.

Basketball-Theme Party Set-up

desserts/sweet treats table  basketball theme party set-up

Desserts/sweet treats table  basketball theme party set-up

Desserts/sweet treats table  basketball theme party set-up

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Randy’s age above ;)

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Desserts/sweet treats table  basketball theme party set-up background Desserts/sweet treats table  basketball theme party set-up background

The Food

Sweets

blowing lebron james design fondant cake

miami heat lebron james cake for basketball theme party Lebron James birthday cake by Rainbow Confections

cupcake with basketball toppers for basketball theme party

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Randy’s Surprise Basketball-Themed Birthday Bash Part 2: Finally!!!

Continued from Randy’s Surprise Basketball-Themed Birthday Bash Part 1: Pre-Party Story

Randy called the salesman he was talking to at Sony Center and came clean.  He revealed that our receipt mysteriously got lost.  I, on the other hand, called the DTI asking for advice.  The salesman said that what we could do was to present a notarized Affidavit of Loss.  I heaved a sigh of relief because that meant we would still go out!  We immediately went to the nearest law office to get an Affidavit of Loss.  Whew!!!  I was starting to relax.

Falling into place

Right after we procured a notarized Affidavit of Loss, we proceeded to Bellevue in Alabang for Randy’s often-postponed birthday buffet lunch.

buffet lunch at Bellevue Manila

main course at bellevue manila buffet

dessert at bellevue manila buffet

buffet at bellevue manila Lunch buffet at the Bellevue Manila

The food was terrific, but I was too nervous to really enjoy it.  After our lunch at the Bellevue, we proceeded to Makati to go to the Sony Center at Glorietta.  Randy showed the scratches of the “brand new” laptop Irvin bought for him, and thoroughly inspected the upgrade replacement laptop.

Afterwards we window shopped a bit (to stall him) and then we drove home.  I was doing breathing exercises on our way home, because I was just oh so nervous!!!  I was also texting and updating my cohorts of our whereabouts every now and then so they know what to expect.  Just when we were near Los Banos, boom!  Kamote, umulan na naman nang malakasGrrrrrrr!!!  Anyhoo, the plan was that I’d pretend I will attend a Bible study at a restaurant near our place and I’d have to be dropped off.  This way:

  1. The view from where the party is will be obscured; otherwise, Randy would use his usual route and he would see the party set-up; and
  2. Randy will open the gate himself (usapan ay walang magbubukas ng gate no matter how much honking he does); if I were with him he’d ask me to open the gate and we won’t see his reaction as he the sight unfolds.

Does the kamalasan ever end?!?

And ayun na nga.  As we were very entering our subdivision, syet na malagkit!  I saw my brother seeking shelter at a nearby establishment.  He was out and had no umbrella and no vehicle, and since the rain was so heavy he decided to wait.  Of course Randy stopped and offered him a ride.  I love my brother but I wanted to tiris him at that moment.  I was silently cursing him!

When it was time for me to alight from the car, I told my brother to go down with me.  This puzzled Randy, but I was adamant that my brother TJ get down too!  At ang TJ, nagreklamo rin bakit ko s’ya pinababa at mababasa daw ang sapatos n’yaGrrrr!

Let the party begin!

After alighting, we hurried to get home because as soon as Randy’s car honks, the festivities will begin.  True enough, still a few meters from our place we heard the sound of The Eye of the Tiger (Why the music?  Eh sayan ang napagkasunduan namin eh, bakit ba!), the party hosts, the guests’ chanting of Randy! Randy! Randy!

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Party host Deo Cajano and company welcoming the astonished birthday celebrant

CFC (82)Did I say that the birthday celebrant was astonished?
It still is too weak a word to describe Randy!

CFC (83)  Knowing Randy, I’m sure he was thinking:  Ano nanamang kalokohan ni Dewmaine ito?!?

Good thing our photographer was able to capture Randy’s priceless expressions!

And even of my and my brother’s arrival:

CFC (93) Basang-basa sa ulahahahaaaaaan…

When TJ and I arrived, Randy’s cake was brought out.  Blowing of candle na agad!

CFC (105)To my cohorts:  Hindi n’yo man lang tinanggal sa box?!?

Of course, kelangan umeksena ni Baby Raviv!

Then the program began.  That time, I knew Randy was cringing inside.

CFC (135)and outside palaHaha!

He’s really not one to revel in the spotlight.  But I knew that as the night goes deeper, the objective if this party will be met:  he’d feel loved and special.

Here are more pictures:

King Lebron James basketball party theme
Mwahahaha!  Look at that face!  S’yempre may crown kasi siya si

Lebron James Basketnall theme party setup

.King LebRandy James!!!  This was what I was doing while I was waiting for my turn to teach in QC the before Randy’s party.

As the program unfolded, I could see Randy warming up to his party.  He started feeling more comfortable and started to appreciate the sweat, tears and blood (exag, I know!  Hihihi) that were poured for this special day.

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