As the saying goes, “Every child is an artist.” If we observe our children, all of them doodles and draws as soon as they learn how to use a pencil or a crayon. Even with a lot of notebooks, sketch pads and loose paper, children would sometimes draw and paint on walls, tables or anything that resembles a canvass. As parents, we would want to encourage our little ones to express themselves through various medium of art.
One of the bonding moments of daddy and Yui is to paint. Apart from enhancing her drawing and painting skills, it is also a way for them to have some quality time. Normally, Yui would start and paint whatever she feels at the moment, then daddy would do the finishing touches. Here are some of the paintings that they have completed so far. Sharing it here for us to be able to look back to in the future and also because I’m amazed at how much she’s better than me at painting LOL!
Her first painting which she calls, “Person Crossing the Street”
For her 7th birthday, Yui wanted a party so she can celebrate with her friends. At first she wanted a Minecraft themed party, then changed her mind and wanted Descendants instead. I was already searching the net for ideas when she asked if she can change it again. I told her that as long as we haven’t started the actual preparations, she still can. Her third, and thankfully the last, theme is Tangled – the Rapunzel movie. I got excited as well since I LOVED that movie too! I immediately told my friends Rog, Wendy and Ivy so we can start the preps. We spent two months for the planning, Divi shopping, and DIY-ing the decorations and other items for the party. Complete with a detailed workplan, help from other friends and our hyper-mode excitement, we were able to pull our DIY event styling.
Our DIY moments
Here are the things that we DIY’ed for the little girl’s party. (Apologies for the long post, I just wanted to chronicle our labor of love ❤ hehe!)
Pulled out my Photoshop skills to create her invite. Since we’re digital, go green and all, this wasn’t printed anymore but was just posted in the FB event
Created 40 of these lanterns in 3 weeks
My friends and I had another opportunity to plan and setup an event this month. This time it’s a Lego themed party for the first birthday of Zac, the little boy that we did the Dr. Seuss baby shower for. We started planning for the party around May, went on two trips to Divisoria, spent a weekend painting boxes and sleepless nights designing and printing stuff for the party. It was truly a team effort and on top of the successful event, I was grateful to have spent more bonding moments with friends. It made the party much more special for me. I hope Zac would look back at his first birthday fondly when he grows up, since mommy, daddy and his ninongs, ninangs, titas and titos, all made the party special. Here are some details of the setup we did for the party. 🙂
Preparations started around 10AM and since we lost the balloons we bought at Divi, we had to make a quick trip to Market! Market! to buy additional balloons. It was worth the trip, since the venue truly brightened up with all those balloons hanging from the ceiling.
Rog and Kaye setting up the ceiling decor
One of the Christmas events at Robinsons Place Manila this December was the Kiddie Ball last December 14. It was a magical afternoon for kids as they came in their princess and prince costumes and enjoyed treats from Robinsons Place such as the Face Painting, Glitter Tattoo, Photobooth and also, cupcakes and cookies from Homemade Cupcakes by Grandma Ethel.
It was our second event at Robinsons Place and we had a blast with the Kiddie Christmas Ball. My friend, Rogeena and I setup a Winter Wonderland buffet table to align with the magical afternoon’s theme.
Our Winter Wonderland buffet table setup
The Christmas Ball Centerpiece
Snowflakes as our backdrop
Kids learned how to dance the waltz
The King and Queen picked the best prince and princess of the afternoon
My mom has been baking for as long as I remember. Her specialty is the banana cake and as I grew older, I would be the one to research new recipes to try. These cupcakes are normally for family and friends’ consumption only as we would only make them on special occasions. We had an opportunity to share the little cuppies to others when my cousin got us as one of their suppliers in a 2-day weekend event at Robinsons Place Manila. We were hesitant to accept the 800 cupcake order at first but decided to take the plunge.
With the help of some friends, we were able to pull it all off! All 800 cupcakes (and more) were baked, frosted, delivered and displayed on time. We were also able to setup our kiddie carnival table complete with circus animals, carnival tickets and the crowd-favorite Ferris wheel.
Setting up our Cupcake buffet
Setting up our Cupcake buffet
Vanilla Choco Chip cupcake tower
Circus animals and carnival tickets as cupcake tower topper
Circus Fun banners as cupcake tower topper
Mr. Ferris Wheel with the Robinsons Place Manila sparkling Christmas tree
Homemade Cupcakes by Grandma Ethel table setup
Grandma Ethel with the cupcake buffet
The Kiddie Carnival event can be considered as our lucky “push”. After the event, cupcake orders poured in. We were able to join our first ever bazaar and another Robinsons event in December. And just like that, Homemade Cupcakes by Grandma Ethel was born. 🙂
Last week was crazy in the household. It was Yui’s exam week and we’ve got tons of cupcake orders. That’s why we didn’t get a chance to have some Kiddie Kist time. Since it’s already school vacation this week, we finally get to have some time for arts and crafts. The second activity in the December Kiddie Kist box is the Potpourri Christmas Card, which was really nostalgic for me. I remember during my younger years before Photobooths became hip and popular, giveaways on birthday parties and weddings are potpourri bottles. I don’t know how they were so popular back then but I remember having a huge collection in my boarding house. So it was cool for Kiddie Kist to introduce potpourri to the younger generation. 🙂
Yui loves making crafts as she’s been making projects in Homeroom Center ever since she was 1 year old. It helps boost her creativity and is a great way to spend her time at home. That’s why when Teacher Pia asked if I want to be a part of Kiddie Kist, I did not hesitate one bit! Kiddie Kist is a monthly subscription for parents who want to boost their child’s creativity and intelligence. They send out a box full of activities just right for the child’s age. When our Christmas Kiddie Kist box was delivered, Yui was so excited to see all these crafts. I don’t know about this kid but she gets excited with glue, tape and sequins. 🙂
The first activity from this box is the Christmas Cone Ornament. They send out the instructions in e-mail and post it on their website. After school, Yui got the box and took out the materials for the cone ornament.
Taking out the materials
Excited to start her project
One of my close friends at work, who is a soon-to-be-dad, planned a baby shower for his wife. Since my friends and I love crafts and planning events, we volunteered to help with his preps. I got more excited when I learned that he is having a Dr. Seuss theme for the baby shower. Yui loves her Dr. Seuss books so I know the characters but although my friend is not familiar with Dr. Seuss, it didn’t stop her creative juices at all.
We had so much fun planning for the decorations which were assigned to us. We searched the net for ideas for the table centerpieces, banners and other decors. Since we only have about 2 weeks to prepare and had to squeeze the planning and execution in between work, we opted for easy to make but fun, cute and functional decorations. I even get to share our collection of Dr. Seuss books to display at the event.
Dr. Seuss-inspired decors
I started my interest in crafts when I was in high school. I would create scrapbooks for my friends using “scrap” (cut outs from magazines and pictures). It was an era when cute scrapbook materials are not yet available (or are waaaay expensive for my high schooler budget :)) I also ventured into beads. I would go to Quiapo and buy cute beads which I would make into accessories for me and friends. I even made a small business out of it when my friends would start ordering necklaces and bracelets. I remember our class president ordering rings and gave it to all of our classmates. So we sort of had a “class ring”
Until now, I still keep a scrapbook toolbox which I take out whenever the crafting itch comes. That’s why I was ecstatic when Yui started showing interest in the craft kits whenever I’m tinkering with something. One time I was doing a diaper cake for the christening of her cousin, Yui helped me roll the diapers. After a while though, she was quietly cutting construction papers with the pinking shears and then asked me to cut some ribbon for her to make it into a necklace. That’s when I knew that we are going to share this fascination with crafting. 🙂
Yui’s “Punched” Necklace
The last time that we went to Daddy bunny’s province, I brought along this cupcake decorating set toy that was a gift to her last Christmas. We spent our Saturday night decorating the pretend cupcakes and had a lot of fun pretending to eat them too!
Before: Cupcake Decorating Set
After: Yui-decorated cuppies
Last week we went to our friend’s dressmaker to measure Yui for her flower girl gown this May. There we saw some gowns that they are making and putting beads on. Yui said she wants to have beads too. Good thing grandma was at Quiapo that time and bought some for us. It was sort of nostalgic to be making bead accessories again. But this time instead of making bracelets for my friends, we’re making bracelets for my daughter’s friends.
Bonding session over beads
Yui’s own bead box organizer and her first bracelet collection
I’m really enjoying these craft activities with Yui and I’m looking forward to more bonding sessions over beads, scrapbook materials and other craft stuff with my baby. 🙂
In our continuous effort to go green during the holidays, this year we went brown. Brown bags, that is. Last year we used old magazine clippings to wrap presents and thought of something different for this year but still much more eco-friendly than the Christmas wrappers being sold.
Since we have lots of extra brown bags from our office Halloween trick or treat, I decided to use these to wrap this year’s presents. Out came my handy dandy scrapbook box, some loose construction paper and ribbons.
Personalized gift cards and ribbons
It was actually easier this year than the magazine clippings of last year since all we have to do is just put in the gifts inside the brown bags, fold and put in a ribbon together with the gift card and viola! A Christmas gift! 🙂
Brown bag gifts
The only tricky part this year was wrapping big presents. I had bags and organizers ready for wrapping and didn’t know how to wrap them. With these, we re-used paper bags from old gifts or reusable bags. It was oh so easy to wrap them too! I would say, this year’s gift wrapping was simple, painless and fun!
Our little Santa with the presents
I wonder how will we wrap the presents next year? Hmmm… I still have 363 days to think about it! 😉