Trick or Treat turned Sweet

I was never really a fan of Halloween and Trick or Treating because I think there is no reason to celebrate the holiday. I’ve long forgotten our traditions of going to the cemetery since we stopped going to the province during Novembers. In the Philippines, November is the time to celebrate All Saints Day and All Soul Day. Halloween is too foreign and Trick or Treating for kids is not as popular. The latter is a practice that’s beginning to become more popular each year.

As a Christian, I don’t like the idea of everything spooky, ghosts, skeleton, etc. I decided long before my son was born that we wouldn’t let him join such activities until this year. Honestly, I had second thoughts whether to join the “Trick or Treat” at my son’s playschool. But then I thought it’s only for fun. His teacher said it will be a fun affair, no spooky stuff, and scaring the children. The students won’t be going around the building, instead, booths will be setup at a function room.

What made me more excited about the event was the fact that the Toddlers Class where Noah belongs was doing a Beauty Salon booth. It was suggested by David’s Salon’s very own top stylist Laura Charlton (David’s daughter). I got too excited so I suggested a French-Parisian Chic theme with pink and black as the main colors.  During my first unofficial Parent-Teachers Conference, the toddlers’ parents decided what things we’d bring. Since we were all busy with work and home, we had to communicate through SMS. There were only four of us communicating so it was easy.

The excited mommy in me volunteered to bring my nail polish collection, bring hair accessories for the little girls, treats, and do the decor. Each one of us would bring treats and whatever stuff we could donate to the class. Needless to say, the busy moms had to do with whatever resources and little time we had.

I was excited! The Parisian Chic Theme was my chance to unleash my kikay decorating powers. I have a son so decorating and doing girly stuff with kids involved is very much limited. This was my chance I thought. The other mothers thought so too because they also had little boys. Hihi.

I started researching on the Internet as soon as I got home but only got to do the shopping and the decors the night before. I enjoyed every second of it even if I had little sleep. I bought black and pink paper from the bookstore, hair accessories, small cheap gifts for the kids, and other pink and girly stuff for decor. I was on a budget so I went to a Divisoria-like mall in our area. I scored small gifts (mirrors, pens, notebooks, toys, etc.) for P10 each. I bought a lot but I thought the extra items could be used for Noah’s upcoming birthday party. I wasn’t able to buy candies as treats because I was in a hurry, had no time to pass by the grocery.

Pinterest helped me a lot. It’s such a godsend I tell you. Sure, there’s Google Image Search but searching for stuff in Pinterest yields more relevant results and images.

I made this pink and black Happy Halloween bunting. I saw a pack of black cut-out letters, cut the triangle buntings, and attached them to a used kraft paper thread:

Happy Halloween Bunting | I find this ironic? How can Halloween be happy? 😀
Bon Appetit!
Eiffel Tower Silhoutte Art Print

Our HP Printer was running out of black ink but good thing I was able to print all these. I used white, black, and pink paper:

French Chic Party Decor

Since we had the stylists of David Salon coming over, I thought of copying David’s Salon logo. I knew Laura wouldn’t mind since it was for our kids’ class:


The party favors, I wrapped each pne and printed cute party favor tags:

Parisian Chic Party Favor Packaging

I even bought a few bottles of nail polish for the nannies and the moms:

Nail Polish Party Favor for Girls

I brought these stuff to Noah’s school during lunch time because I knew I would be late later. When I arrived at the party venue, the Toddlers Class booth was all spruced up! I loved it! Kudos to the other moms and lolas too.

I bought my French vintage luggages, small Ikea lamp, and a few other framed art prints. I borrowed an Eiffel Tower display from a friend. It’s more special because it was fresh from Europe! I also downloaded French-related music to play at the booth: Amelie Soundtrack, Club Soda Vol. 4, Qui de noud Deux, Ratatouille Soundtrack, and So Young But So Cold Underground French Music.

Obviously, I went overboard again! What’s funny was that Noah wasn’t officially enrolled at the school but his mommy supported the event. I got too excited that I slept only an hour. I relied on the power of coffee the day after. My husband didn’t say anything because he already knows me when it comes to parties, decors, and stuff.

What’s ironic, I forgot all about Noah’s costume! Haha! I planned on making him a LEGO Minifig Costume because he is in a Lego phase but mommy was too busy with the girly stuff. I just had him don his Batman costume.

Batman Halloween Costume for Kids

My son loved his Batman costume until he saw the other kids wearing Iron Man, Captain America, and Call of Duty. He still had no concept of trick or treating or the candy collecting part. He was running around the whole night–like a tornado.  I think between the two of us, I had more fun. I enjoyed the preparation and I gained new friends too. This Trick or Treat was our very first.

What I loved most about that night was I remembered how my parents –my mom and dad– supported me all throughout school. I remembered my childhood that night. I thought about how my daddy would help me with my projects especially those with drawing and art required. He would drive me to school every single day too. I remembered how my mom would support our school activities, cooking for me and my friends (sometimes the whole class), and going up the stage with me to receive my medals at the end of the school year.  The two of them were always present.

I think my excitement in volunteering for this school activity stemmed from the fact that my parents were there for me…for me and my siblings. My classmates and teachers knew my parents so well because they were visible. That night, I was thankful to God because I grew up having very supportive parents–the two of them. I hope and pray that Joshua and I would that supportive to Noah. We want to be involved in his school activities someday.

The night wasn’t just about Halloween anymore, it was me remembering my childhood and my parents. Maybe next year, Noah would be able to understand the concept and enjoy his time more. Never mind the ghosts, monsters, and all the gore. 🙂

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

ROCK with NOAH

HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY NOAH!

Has it been 3 years?

My son turns 3 today. I wish to share a lot of new things today about my son but one day won’t be enough. I have a number of posts on draft already but I have no idea when I’ll be able to finish them.

I just want to enjoy this day with my son and husband. No big party this year…just a small one at Jollibee with family next week.

Planning a “small party” is more challenging than planning a big one. I could still remember Noah’s 1st Birthday party when I went all out. I promise to feature his Rockstar Themed Party preparations but I can’t find the time yet. But here’s a video to give you an idea:

Music was by 13Needles–my husband’s old emo-rock band- where he was the bassist. Video by my friend Richard Samellano.

That’s only the video invitation. Hee. 😀

And here is 13 Needle’s Cab One video:

Spot my husband. 😀

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Psalm 95:1

The Bible Legofied

Planning a birthday party for Noah led me to a website that featured The Last Supper with Lego Minifig characters. I started saving the photos because I didn’t want to forget about them. I was so amazed at the details. I had no idea then that The Last Supper was only one of the many Bible stories illustrated with the famous LEGO bricks.

I was trying to search for something Lego and the Bible and got the surprise of my life to see that a Lego enthusiast named Brendan Powell Smith came up with The Brick Bible series. The Brick Bible for Kids – Bible pictures books for the young LEGO fan.

Noah’s Ark | The Brick Bible by Brendan Powell Smith
The Christmas Story The Brick Bible by Brendan Powell Smith
The Christmas Story | The Brick Bible by Brendan Powell Smith

And these two LEGO books – The Brick Bible New Testament and The Brick Bible Old Testament.

The Brick Bible Old Testament
The Brick Bible Old Testament

 

The Brick Bible New Testament
The Brick Bible New Testament

Honestly, I wanted to cry, shout for joy, when I discovered these LEGO books. My son Noah is in a Lego phase so mommy is getting crazy too.  And what a special coincidence that I’m planning a LEGO party and then these new books were about to be released this October-November.

I wasn’t expecting to see the Noah’s Ark Brick Bible here in the Philippines this early but I saw one at Hobbes and Landes in Greenbelt 5. Josh couldn’t understand my excitement so I explained to him why. I was contemplating on getting one but I thought it would be cheaper if I buy from Amazon.

And so I did.

I bought 3 LEGO books published by SkyHorse Publishing: Noah’s Ark Brick Bible, The Brick Bible New Testament, and The Brick Bible Old Testament.

I don’t have the books with me yet.  I had the package sent to someone in the US who’s arriving tomorrow— Friday! One more day before I get my hands on these books. Yey!

This is the first time I bought items directly from Amazon. I’m impressed with the shopping experienced from searching to buying and customer service. I’m excited!

Here is a trailer of the new LEGO Books:

Brendan notes on his website that “Items sold on this site are not official LEGO products, and are not authorized, sponsored, or endorsed by The LEGO Group.”

These are not licensed by LEGO but I’m sure Ole Kirk Christiansen won’t mind. I will show you the books soon. 🙂

Interesting Links:

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“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. ”
2 Corinthians 9:8

Hip Pinoy Art + Food Fair

Just one of those many events to go to this long weekend…

Hip Pinoy Art + Food Fair

If you live in the area, feel free to drop by.

HipPinoy aims to bring together holistic, innovative, and passionate Filipinos to promote local ingenuity and creativity. The goal of the HipPinoy Art + Food Fair is to promote these through social entrepreneurship. We wish to provide a platform that will help bring to light Filipino talent and enthusiasm for constructive productivity 🙂

Hip Pinoy Facebook  Page : www.facebook.com/HipPinoy

How to Adopt a Kitten

So we’re adopting a kitten. It’s Noah’s first pet but it’s going to be a family effort.  I really hope this “Catty” will be a very good pet.

I believe God is the one directing the events in our life. I’ve been thinking of getting a cat lately and my neighbor finding an abandoned one the other day was no accident. It was meant to happen.

My friend Ying shared the story of how the kitten was found by her boyfriend Andy– in a comic strip! I love all her drawings but I especially love those related to Noah and me.

By: Aileen Oracion

Aileen shares the story of how the kitten was found:

Marc Andrei saw an abandoned kitten in a busy street the other day. He walked past it at first but as he continued home, he couldn’t imagine how it would survive if it rained all of a sudden or if it was swept into the street & run over b
y a car. It wasn’t until he got home & into the gate that he decided he was going to go back & get it.

There were 2 “tambays” seated along the sidewalk then. The kitten was right in front of them but they just ignored it. They were so surprised that he came back & took it. He felt their eyes on his back as he walked back home (as if they couldn’t believe what they just saw with their own eyes).

The kitten’s with us for now but Reah & family will be adopting it 😀 It will be staying with us until it’s healthy & ready enough to “defend” itself from their playful son, Noah (who also happens to be my godson)!

My first reaction to the story: Kasi naman ang laking tao pero animal lover.  Ang cute. Hehe.

You see, Andykins, as my officemates and I call him, is a big guy. He’s the protector-go-to-guy in our compound so you won’t think he cares about animals. This neighbors of mine really know how to care for their pets. Their cat RiRi is gorgeous while Chewey is a very good guard dog. Chewey and Noah…well, they’re not exactly best friends but that’s because Chewey gets jealous of the little boy. I hope someday they can become friends. 😀

______________________________________________________

My friends are the geniuses behind Big Ben Watches. If you’re into collecting vintage watches, check out their website.

Aileen Oracion is an artist! She never studied fine arts in school but her illustrations are awesome. She is now an art student, studying comic book illustration under comic veteran Nestor Malgapo’s mentoring.

Visit her Facebook Page: Aileen O Fantasy Art

We’re adopting a kitten!

I received a call from my friend and neighbor Ying this afternoon saying Andy picked up a poor kitten and asked if we wanted to take it. I was having second thoughts because that meant another responsibility. I’ve been wanting to get another fish or a pair of love birds for Noah but I keep procrastinating.

I asked Josh and he just looked at me but then I still agreed to adopting the kitten. Eeep! I know Noah will love the kitten because he’s very friendly with the stray cats my brother feeds from time to time. Husband finally said okay but that I’d have to do the cleaning myself. Okay. Fine.

Actually, I’ve been thinking of getting one too the past few weeks but I haven’t told Josh yet. A cat is smaller and is easier to take care of than a dog, right? Josh said we’d get a black Labrador when Noah is a bit older, not just now. I once mentioned if we could adopt Ivanna, the yellow Labrador, because Noah likes him so much and I like Ivanna too. This yellow lab was my companion when I would run around the village early in the morning or in the evening.  It was dear to me..she still is but I had to let go of playing with her when I learned I was pregnant.

Here is Noah and Ivanna:

I wanted to get a white Persian cat like Snowbell in the movie Stuart Little. Noah loves the movie but I really can’t accept the fact that the lead is a mouse—a mouse! But I find Snowbell cute and name suits it perfectly.

I had a white cat before which I named “Kim”. It was my first pet. My very own. Sadly, she went missing one day. I never found out what happened to her. She looked like this:

In two weeks, we’ll be taking home the kitten. Noah and I visited the kitten and he loved it! The little kitten still looked thin but my friend will be taking care of it for two weeks before Noah could bring it home. My son still has no idea that the kitten is his but I know he’s already in love with it. He kept on squishing, touching, and putting it back to its small basket. When we were about to leave, he picked up the kitten and put it inside the cage. I couldn’t understand what he was saying because he still speaks gibberish but he seemed to be telling the kitty to eat and stop whatever it is planning to do. Why, the little pet was trying to get out of the cage. Noah actually said “TOPS” — that’s how he says ‘stop’. Hehe.

I am excited for Noah but I dread the cleaning part. Hopefully, we’d train the cat to be well-behaved. I have no idea how but I have to start searching. Of course, I’d love to hear from cat owners too. Ying has RiRi, this gorgeous gray stray cat, so I have her to teach us.

I wasn’t able to take a picture of the kitten but it looks like this:

We can’t figure out if it’s male or female but it doesn’t matter. We’re still thinking of a name but I want Noah to give it a name. The cat at my parents’ house– he calls Catty but I don’t want that. Hahaha! We’ll see… 😀

Party Planning Lessons I Learned

Here are some more lessons I learned on party planning:

  • Keep the number of guests to a minimum as much as possible. In our case, we had no choice but to invite a lot of people because we had 4 baby showers.
  • When you hire a catering service, let them do everything. I didn’t give focus on the food so we (the servers) were scrimping at first. We had enough food…more than enough actually, as we forgot there were still containers hidden from the guests.
  • Decide on one or two party favors only. I got too excited so the surplus of souvenirs. They were cheap and I wrapped them myself so I had no problem. But since there were many, we ended up spending more on the favors.
  • Hire a professional photographer. Don’t just ask family or friends to take photos during the event. We were thankful to have awesome photographers during the event but since we know them, I was too shy to ask them to do this, do that. I promised myself to pay for one, someone I could request to do everything I tell him to.
  • Take care of the background music. I had a CD prepared. I carefully chose the songs to play. I had ideas in mind when this song would play, what song will be on loop during the dedication proper, etc. Problem was, we couldn’t find where the CD was. My husband said he gave it to me but because I was too busy then, I forgot where I put it.
  • Hire someone to help you or be your gofer. Sure, friends and family would volunteer and would love to help you but when party time comes, you’d be too busy to call them or be ashamed to request them to help as they are also enjoying the party. When I say hire, get someone you will pay a minimum day’s wage. You can request you friends’ and relatives’ helpers or nannies since most of them are “off for the day”. Promise you will pay them and do pay them.
  • Hire a point person or an on-the-day planner. Believe me, you can’t do everything on your own. I was trying to save and do things on my own that I forgot about myself, enjoy the party, and spend time with Noah. Since the venue was within the village, I drove home a few minutes before the guests started to arrive. I was planning to do my makeup and go to a salon but as usual, it didn’t happen. I was too busy! I didn’t really worry about how I looked because I knew I was gorgeous already (haha!kapal!) but it would have been nicer if I looked fresh. LOL!

All Aboard! A Noah’s Ark-themed Party

Almost 3 years too late but it’s only now that I’m sharing a full documentation of how I planned for this party. If you happen to visit this blog searching for a Noah’s Ark Party, then this is especially for you. 😀

This wasn’t the first party I’ve helped planned but the first I did on my own. I’ve had this them in mind even before Noah was born. The Noah’s Ark Theme was an obvious choice. Most baby showers, baptisms, and dedications have such theme so Noah’s Ark it is.

Even before we finally decided we’d have a big party, I already bought the party favors from an online Multiply store called Loot Bugs. I think Noah was only a month old when I started buying from the store, not knowing what I’d really do with them. I had ideas but I wasn’t sure if I’d actually do them because husband had not said ‘yes’ to a party yet.

When he finally did, I started researching for ideas. Thank God for Google for helping me. I was looking for that one Noah’s Ark image where I will base everything from. I decided on this:

Whimsical Noah’s Ark Theme

The next thing I did was to order Noah’s Ark party supplies from Party Pail and had the items sent to the Philippines via my trusted shopping partner Johnny Air.

I bought the centerpiece, confetti, mobile, candles, mini treat boxes, keychains, table cover, table napkins, dessert plates, and paper cups from the website. Total cost was $79.

 

I then prepared a Noah’s Ark Save the Date announcement which I sent to guests via e-mail:

For the party invitation, I asked my bestfriend’s husband, Patrick Tan of Design 911, to design it. I asked to simple base it on the Whimsical Ark image. He also did our wedding invitation. As expected, it turned out really great. Very cute!

I also asked Kuya Jeric, Patrick’s bro-in-law, to make a caricature of Noah with the animals. I planned on using this as a backdrop or flash this on a screen.

I designed the map myself. Thanks to Google Maps.

Notice the caricature on right? That’s Joshua, Noah, and I. It’s the 3rd version already of this caricature.

I had the invites printed from Digiprint, bought different colored envelopes from National Bookstore, and used the animal sponge stickers I bought from Pioneer Center. The stickers were a random find and each set was only 20 pesos. I bought ten because they’re too cute. Cost of each invitation was less than P10. The result was this:

Little Noah handing his Lolo Tem the invitation

For the godparents, we gave Noah’s Ark Keychains placed inside the Noah’s Ark Treat Boxes. I put a note inside that said, “Remember to pray for Noah when you see this keychain” or something like that.  I forgot.

Party Favors for the Godparents
Noah’s Ark Keychain for the Ninongs and the Ninangs

For the grandparents, Joshua’s parents and mine, we gave them this:

For the guests, we gave away the wooden animal pencils I earlier bought. I printed small Thank You tags and tied them on the pencils. I remember preparing colorful and animal-themed notepads, small wooden magnets, and erasers too. Like I said, I went overboard! I also remember buying Noah’s Ark Magnets as gifts to our Principal Sponsors during our wedding. I just can’t find a photo right now but they’re the ones wrapped behind the pencil party favors below.

The party was held in a big function room inside the village. We used to live in Bel-Air so we had 50 percent discount. I remember paying P2,500 for the venue. We were thinking of having the party inside the house because it was big and there was a spacious garden but we were afraid of cleaning and the guests being a delight to the mosquitoes. Hehe.

For the party decor, I didn’t want to spend a lot so most of them were made by yours truly. I ordered a Rainbow Ark set and Hanging Balloons from Theresemer. I asked for this…

…but ended up with a smaller one. This cost me P1,500. Still cute.

Hanging balloons. I ordered 8 sets. Now I wish I ordered more. One set cost P100 only.

 

I made the balloon centerpiece myself, bought colored cartolinas, and crayons to put in each table. My idea was to have the guests write or draw something for Noah. I also remember printing the Noah’s Ark story for the guests to read on each table.

I printed copies of the Whimsical Noah’s Ark Image on a sticker paper and placed them on each balloon

 

Who made this? 😀

I ordered the tables and chairs from Gem’s Balloons. Unfortunately, they delivered the items in the morning while we weren’t there. We had to set them up ourselves. Who set up the tables and chairs? Me and my mom-in-law’s maid Lor. As in, ako ha! Lesson learned: decide on a delivery time and hire people. I forgot where Joshua was but obviously, he was only doing my many requests.

We ordered the food from a caterer our churchmate, Noah’s Ninang Wendy, recommended. I remember we had carbonara, chicken, shanghai, sandwich, lechon as a gift from Tita Merci, and chocolate fountain prepared lovingly by my mom.

I can’t find photos of the food but here’s Lola Vishi and her famous chocolate fountain:

My mom Vaisy, Lola Vishi to her grandkids, prepared a Chocolate Fondue that everybody enjoyed
Need I say more?

I bought the colored plates, cups, spoons, and forks from the grocery. The food we served ourselves which I think was a mistake. Lesson learned: hire waiters.

I prepared cupcakes too.  I did not bake them but I prepared them with icing to be as cute and complement the Whimsical Noah’s Ark centerpiece I got. The cake stand I borrowed from Nio. I got too excited preparing the cupcakes that I prepared about a hundred: 60 boxed and the rest displayed on the stand.

I printed animals pairs to serve as cupcake toppers and the centerpiece I got I placed on top…

That’s me, (30 lbs ago!)  Noah, and my husband Joshua and the Noah’s Ark Cupcake Tower
Cupcake boxes from Sweet Craft for the guests
I also bought Noah’s Ark chocolate mold from the US and had them delivered together with the other Noah’s Ark loot. My mom made the Noah’s Ark Chocolate Lollipop.

The event started with a video prepared by our churchmate Claudine Rodriguez. I simply sent her photos and the songs I wanted and didn’t even bother watching it before the party. As expected, it was awesome! The video almost made me cry but I had to control myself. Di pa nga nag-uumpisa ang party!

Here is the video:

Pastor Jerry, our church’s former Senior Pastor officiated the dedication ceremony. It was a very special event for us. Joshua and I wanted to bring glory to God and show the guests that we are raising Noah in the fear of the Lord, praying that he will be an obedient and loving child of God.

This was during the dedication proper. Noah was well-behaved and was even laughing at one part. Sorry, but I can’t find a clearer photo.

And just because I wanted to, I rented an animal standee from Bebe’s Balloons.

My niece Unique and nephew Neicky
Cute! Ninang Karen, Sarj, and her nephew
ICS Youth – our church’s youth group

 

Noah was almost 6 months here

 

We ended up with 140 guests! We spent more or less P40,000 for this party. It would’ve been less if not for the unnecessary kaartehan. (Seriously!) I went overboard with the favors. As in OA!  It was fun though! I know everybody had fun. Noah may not understand what was happening then but someday, we’ll show him these photos  and know that mommy went overboard. Lol!

I hope you learn from me and my Lessons on Party Planning.

It’s been more than two years but thank you to everyone who came. Until the next party!

 

Ready for school, Noah?

I’ve been meaning to buy my baby a small backpack with wheels to work as a luggage. I want to teach him how to haul one because I can see the three of us traveling a lot in the future. Haha! And since he’s getting bigger and heavier each day, I’ve been having a hard time carrying him, his stuff, and my bag whenever we’d go out without the daddy.

More often than not, Noah wouldn’t walk and would always like to be carried. I though maybe this mini-luggage would get him to walk and bring his own bag. Apparently, my plan failed. He did enjoy at first but he still chose to be carried. He made sure though that mommy would also carry his bag. Sigh….:/

Photo was taken during our church’s Father’s Day celebration. He looked like a little boy getting ready for school. His outfit was even perfect for school! Parang uniform lang. 😀