Sorry I was MIA again. I was just gearing up for our most important party of the year, i.e. Aiden's 2nd birthday party (with the theme Disney Cars) and of course our housewarming event. That definitely took up almost all of my time (outside of work) after being home from Houston. As usual, I am still going through the pictures from our own DSLR (taken by my sister-in-laws so please excuse their faces being in almost all of the photos), until our own hired professional photographer delivers the official photos (which may take 2-3 weeks).
Why Disney Cars, you ask? After last year's Football theme, I decided an F1 Racing theme would be interesting. Slowly but surely, it evolved to include Disney Cars. Then, I started religiously reading party blogs, most of them from outside of Malaysia, and their Disney Cars ideas were so interesting that I wanted to try them out for myself!Here are some of the great party blogs I used as inspirations:
- Buckets of Grace: Melissa provides links to almost all of the resources she uses for a particular party. And check out her son's birthday party, her ideas are so unique and inspirational! A special shout out to Melissa for her great help: When I was in Houston, I emailed her to ask where she found those checkered ribbons and her pretty cake stands. She was so sweet to immediately reply the very next day, and needless to say I found everything I needed where she told me to go! So if you're ever in the States, go check out Hobby Lobby, T.J. Maxx and the dollar aisle in Target. You'll be surprised at what you can find in there!
- Kara's Party Ideas: A collection of parties to refer to. They also have winning party features every week.
- Gywnn Wasson Designs: Desperately wanted to try her popcorn cone idea but never found the time to do so! Such a shame....
- Catch My Party: Hundreds of party themes for inspirations.
Goody bags: I bought almost all of the goody bag items from Houston, mostly sourced from Arnes Warehouse. Not only do they have almost everything under the sun, they sell it at dirt cheap warehouse prices too!
Got the Cars plastic cup, Cars blower and Cars pencil (not in picture) from Arnes. The bubbles and the horn were sourced locally. I also made personalized labels for each bubble bottle.
And assembled them to look like this. Each net holds a handful of chocolates, sweets and mini jelly puddings.
For the cake cutting session, I desperately wanted to make a podium. The problem with me is, I am wonderful at making ideas, but a sad case for executing them. I had to turn to dear Hubby for help. This was how we did it: Firstly, find an old tall bench and use that as a stand for podium number 1. Take black styrafoam (easily found at art shops) and cut to size. Paste the 4sides to each side of the tall bench to cover it. Then use a similar width sized styrafoam and paste at each side of podium 1 to make podium 2 and 3. Use white tape to outline the edges for a neater finish. Paste checkered A4 sized paper to each of the podium and print the numbers in a cute font (since it is a child's birthday party), and tadaaaa you're done!
My dessert table centerpiece - the before (picture Googled) and after.
Besides all of the above, I also made a pennant banner for the dessert table and some cute life-size signages, inspired by the daily road signs that I see on the road. No pictures of the preparations but you will see the end product further down this post.
I also found a picture of a triangle checkered flag on Google, enlarged it to fit an A4 paper and printed them double sided. I would then spend my after working hours cutting them out and then used glue to stick them to a rope. Simple, cheap banners! I also printed some mini rectangle checkered flags, cut them out and glued them to a toothpick to be used to spruce up the dessert table.
Now for all preparations made a day before the event!
First thing I did was to pick up all printables from Dear Azalea. This includes the table center pieces, using Ikea Tolsby frames - one side with photos of Aiden in his Disney Cars t-shirt (not in picture) and the other side with cute cheeky descriptions of Aiden.
Made 10 centerpieces frames, one per table, designed to match all other printables.
I highly recommend Dear Azalea for your design and printing purposes. (Although I wouldn't recommend it,) they were kind enough to accommodate my last minute edits (and last minute pictures as we only had a photoshoot with Aiden in his Disney Cars t-shirt about 5 days before the event!) and even rushed the order so I could pick it up earlier than schedule. And since their business is really booming, I recommend engaging them at least a month and a half before your party to avoid your order being turned down.
Then, I laid out everything for the dessert table. A special thank you to Azwin for letting me borrow her Ikea containers as it certainly saved me from having to buy brand new ones. I had previously studied pictures of dessert tables from past Dear Azalea projects, so I had a feel on what I wanted it to look like. I also made sure that I ordered/pre-purchased the desserts that I wanted to lay out, so I had time to specify my tent place cards to match the food.
Bought this frame stand for the dessert table in Walmart, and my cheeky boy turned it into a gun instead! I wonder, where did he pick up this influence??
Chocolate bars and all other printables by Dear Azalea. The two remaining empty trays to be filled with Oreo Tyres and Mushroom Quiches on the party day. The four Ikea jars to be filled with jelly beans, puddings, Reeses and wafers respectively. Round styrafoam on the far left pasted with black foam paper with ridges to resemble a tyre, to be filled with Pop Cakes.
Aiden playing in the garden with another of the Target bucket in blue (for next year's birthday, perhaps?). Can you see the checkered pillars in the picture on the right? I found some checkered black and white tikar getah (latex mats) at a local shop nearby and I managed to convince Hubby to nail them to the garden pillars. I then hung my self-made triangle checkered flag banner in between the pillars.
I used a vacuum cleaner. I am not kidding! My Rainbow vacuum comes with not only a suction hose, but an inflator tool as well! Just stick the nozzle into the balloon (as shown by my SIL in the picture) and turn on the blower.
Yours truly twisting the balloons into pairs of two.
Also, the key to a beautiful balloon arch is to ensure that all the balloons are equally sized. We blew up the balloons within a box to use it as a rough measure for size, as shown by Norman (and Noris) who came over to help us with the balloons.Besides trusty office colleagues, friendly neighbours also came to help! My two neighbours trying to twist the balloons to the vertical PVC pipe.
We're getting to the end!
Noris, Norman SILs, Fatimah, Lin and Lina, look at what we created!
By then it was close to midnight, and Hubby arrived home after picking up the Pop Cakes (by Walnut and Almond), chocolate coated cars (not in picture, by Sureachoc) and of course, the full calorie birthday cake (not in picture, by Shahue's Sugar Pink Icing )!
And insisted on running into the balloon pile we had carefully put aside to be hung outside the next day!
Printed a high resolution Lightning McQueen image, pasted it on a styrafoam and cut to size to make a simple and cheap backdrop! The yellow trophy was a pinata from Aiden's first birthday. I simply used it again as decoration as it matched the theme! Although in this picture I have yet to put the box base underneath so it looks like it's inside the podium rather than on top!
Hung a birthday banner at our favourite corner in the garden.
Mini rectangle checkered flag purchased from a party shop in Ikano Power Centre. Did not know what to do with them so I ended up sticking them in front of my flower bed!
A3 board by Dear Azalea. Easel stand purchased at a local art shop.
Centerpiece made by my SILs. I just gave them one example and they made the remaining at their own home. Also in picture is the other side of the Tolsby frame. Not in picture are colouring sheets of Lightning McQueen with the words "Aiden is 2" and colour pencils to keep the children occupied while the adults eat.
We then dragged the balloon arch out to the gate. Imagine 4 girls carefully carrying a balloon arch out of the door, squealing and shouting whenever the balloon touched the ground!
So proud of the end result!
The birthday boy checking out what the commotion was all about.
Next, we piled the inflated balls into a self-made net.
The net was by the gate in the open so that the kids can just take one ball whenever they wish.
A view of the garden.
Excuse the garden hose. Hubby actually wanted to water the grass the morning before the party!
And finally, the bouncing castle arrived.
Come back for the next post featuring Aiden's 2nd birthday party!