Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Of Birthdays and Party Planning

I’m sorry if my posts have been coming in late. I’ve been pre-occupied with work and planning for my daughter’s second birthday party. You know how that is!

Speaking of birthday parties, my husband and I didn’t originally plan to have one for our little girl this year. We wanted to mark the big milestones like one year and seven years, and maybe a small one with her classmates for when she starts going to school. But my father passed away on the night we celebrated her first birthday party so that was a very dreary memory for us. This year, we (my siblings and siblings-in-law, fairy godmothers, my nieces and nephews, my husband and I) all decided to throw her a not-so-big party to make up for last year.

Party at home
Most parties nowadays are held in a big venue, styled with really pretty themes by professionals, have all these arts and craft activities for before the really cool magic and/or bubbles show, a photo booth, and a popular caterer… I love those parties! My daughter had one last year.

Everything indoors
Parents hire me to photograph those parties and I simply enjoy shooting for them. We’ve even been invited to attend many of these parties, which my daughter really enjoyed. But what I wanted my daughter to experience was the kind of party we had growing up, a good ol’ fashioned children’s party with homemade food, decorations made and styled by mom, old school games like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey facilitated by Ate or Kuya, and have it at home. And because Hello Kitty is her current favorite, we decided to make it the theme. We didn’t want to spend much, but we wanted it to be fun!

Food Carts
Thanks to my fairy godmothers for having a big home with a garden, we had the party there. If it rained, then we bring everything indoors. A little cramped, but still cozy. We ordered some of the food from friends: Chicken lollipops from Koyen de la Cerna of Koyen’s Kitchenette and Barbecue from Carmela Torres of Urdaneta. We also had spaghetti and cheese pimiento sandwiches lovingly made by Merlyn, our cook (of 40 years who is like family to us).

As if all that food was not enough, I even hired food carts from Jelly Bellies. I chose my daughter’s favorites (which are also my favorites): flavored fries, mini corn dogs, and sorbetes by Hungry Tykes. We also had really delicious authentic Spanish Churros con chocolate by the Don Churro which was a big hit with the young once.

Then, of course, we needed a cake. My fairy godmother wanted a big big one, but I convinced her that bigger isn’t always better. I introduced my fairy godmother to the wonderful world of Pinterest. She instantly fell in love with a cute, simple and very feminine cake which the creative hands of Kristie Lacson of Sugardust by K wonderfully executed. She also wanted cupcakes to go with the cake and so Kristie excitedly made yummy one with cute Hello Kitty head on top.

Now comes the fun part. The decorations! My sisters and I made a trip to Divisoria back in August just for this. I couldn’t believe how incredibly easy it was to plan a Hello Kitty themed party because it is everywhere.

We probably spent most of our time in this party store at the second floor of 168 Mall (please don’t ask me for the name, I can’t remember). When I say they have everything, I mean they have EVERYTHING! Hello Kitty paper plates, paper cups, ice cream cups, dessert cups, paper napkins, balloons, streamers, puzzles, fans, pens, EVERYTHING! There also are a number of Hello Kitty specialty stalls around the mall so we had a lot of options when it came to loot bags, prizes, and other things we may have forgotten.


Setting them all up is another story. The beauty with having your party at home was that we could start rearranging furniture and setting up for the party days before. Thank God for my older sister who was born to lead, my younger sister whose hands work like magic, aunts who spoil my little girl, and awesome yayas, I had all the help I needed to make sure my little girl’s party was all set.

And what party doesn’t have any games and entertainment. Luckily, my little girl has awesome older cousins to lead the games, a fun uncle to do story time, and a super cool Ninang (who happens to be a pre-school teacher) to do a music and movement activity. It was so nice to see all the kids have so much fun!
Cousins as game hosts
Pin the ribbon on Hello Kitty


Story time with Tito Wappy
Music Circle with Tita Bam

















Mommy in action
Lastly, pictures! As a photographer, people hire me to take photos of their kids’ birthday parties. So I thought, why don’t I take her party photos. It’s going to be a lot of work being mommy and photographer, but I’m going to feel good about it after. I had been training my husband’s niece to shoot with me and so she covered everything that I didn’t get to.

Planning for a children’s party, especially one that is DIY is a lot of work, but a whole lot of fun too. It brought out a lot of my creativity and organisational skills, as well as patience and love. It made me realize how much work and love my own mom would put into my parties when I was a kid.
The Team

*To see more of my work as a photographer or for inquiries, please visit my Facebook page at Caren Carlos Photography

1 comment:

  1. It's tough to make high rated party planning. Everyone is busy and so I think online bookings are only the options left. My friend's birthday party was organized easily and LA event venues were hired online with all food and drinks. Best cake and cup cakes were ordered. Also décor was sober and liked by all the guests.

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