Ella’s 3rd Birthday: Hello Kitty & Keroppi Theme

3rd birthday last Saturday was a delightful success! Throwing a party in general takes a lot of work and most of all, preparation. But what makes it all fun is taking care of all the little details.

  • My sister-in-law kindly took the time and creativity to make Ella Hello Kitty and Keroppi cake pops — she did an awesome job!
  • I created a personalized coloring/activity book that went inside the goodie bags.
  • With the help of our 10 year old, we created baggies of M&Ms (in Hello Kitty colors of course) complete with a personalized tag.
  • What is a Hello Kitty party without little bows to wear in your hair? These were fun to make.
  • I baked cupcakes that were adorned with easy-to-make wrappers. I used a basic template and added Hello Kitty & Keroppi’s faces.
  • We played a group game that was fitting for the toddler and pre-schoolers. The older kids stuck paper bows (as in Hello Kitty’s bows) all around the house and patio (some even got stuck on a few Daddies – LOL) and like a scavenger hunt, they had to find all the bows. Their prize was a goodie bag.
  • We found a perfect Keroppi-green frame that was lightweight enough for the kids to even hold and used it as a prop to take colorful, fun pictures!
  • Gotta love the Asian-market finds – Ella and her friends each had their own Hello Kitty Yan Yans as a sweet treat.


The Eggstraordinary Egg Hunt 2011

Thanks to a very disappointing Egg Hunt last year where our little ones were nearly trampled on, we were determined to take matters into our own hands and plan an Eggstraordinary Egg Hunt in which adults and children alike would enjoy a relaxing, fun-filled, stress-free day where everyone comes out a winner.

Every family was asked to bring a dish to share and two dozen eggs for the hunt, which was more than plenty! We asked all the Daddies to hide the eggs, and it looked like they had fun doing that! The older siblings helped the little ones during the egg hunt itself. After the hunt, everyone enjoyed the “pot luck” brunch and relaxed as the children played. It was a wonderful day, and it looks like this will be an annual event for us all! :)

Ella’s 3rd Birthday: Inspiration

So the planning begins for Ella’s 3rd birthday — well, mostly brainstorming. I found some super cute and creative ideas and although some may be a little bit too ambitious for me (i.e. the Keroppi sushi rolls), these ideas serve as food for thought as I begin to put some ideas together for Miss Ella.  Since Hello Kitty is a pretty “girly” theme and Ella has a good number of boy cousins and friends, I decided to have a Hello Kitty & Keroppi party for her. I had to do a little bit of web research to confirm that our frog was in fact “male”. LOL! This year, we’re having it at our house and it will be a small(er) event than say her 1st or 2nd birthday celebrations.

Cute Hello Kitty Party Ideas

All Over The Hangover

Recently, the Hubby and I watched the movie The Hangover. In fact, let me say that I was trying to take an afternoon nap and was awaken by the hilarious dialogue of The Hangover and had to wake up to see what it was that I was listening too. Since then, we have been obsessed with the ridiculous characters and have been emailing each other random quotes from the movie. Apparently, I’m Stu and the Hubby is Alan. LOL. Or vice versa…whatever. :)

So with my newfound love for this movie, along with my love for creative “stuff”, can you imagine how much I got a kick out of this Hangover-themed 10 year anniversary party??? Oh YES! I recommend that you see the movie before clicking on the link so you can “get” and appreciate ALL of the details. Jennifer Sbranti, founder of Hostess With The Mostess, is my idol! :) Click here.

Double Digits Today: Alyannah’s 10

Seems like just yesterday I was planning her 4th birthday. It was a princess theme. She was dolled up in a pink dress with matching pink sandals and a tiara on her head. She truly was our little princess. Today, she is 10 years old. How ironic that we had a ‘royal’ themed birthday for her this year – Tween Queen.

Then & Now

Then & Now

Personalized Favors

Cousins & Sibs

Ella upgraded her sister’s crown – lol

“Happy birthday, Aly – I hope you enjoyed your special day. I feel so blessed to have such a joy in my life. I love you.”

Justice’s 18th Birthday

I know I said awhile back I’d post pictures from Justice’s 18th birthday — then came Christmas and all things Christmas-y. I had intended on many occasions to do it, but just never got to it. So as promised…

Some background to the party planning…

Hubby and I enjoy planning parties (even if he doesn’t want to admit it, I KNOW he enjoys it – heehee) as a way to get together with our family and friends, celebrate special milestones and especially to celebrate our children’s birthdays. Correction, as this child specifically just became an adult with this birthday. Sigh.

The challenge was how to come up with a party that appealed to 1) a bunch of football players and 2) teenagers. Of all of our kids, he is the one we never planned a themed party for complete with an invitation, catering, etc. Sure, we had celebrations for him but they were quaint and usually at home or at the grandparents’ or at a restaurant. This was his first real party, since I’ve been in his life anyway.

I went down one path with his invitiation and completely changed my mind when I saw the Bruno Mars video “Just The Way You Are”. I scrapped my original design that was 95% done, grabbed the Canon and opened up Photoshop. The photography took minutes (I can be pretty quick sometimes) and then Hubby had a brilliant idea to include the Dr. Dre headphones in the design so we shot that midway through the redesign. Still…it was minutes for this portion of the development. Surprisingly.

I wanted his invite to have a bit of retro (cassette tape) and a lot of “cool”, plus a place to personalize with shout-outs. I also wanted to include a baby picture and his senior class picture. This is the final invitation:

The invitation

I was intrigued by many party planning blogs and was determined to include a “photo booth” type thing at his party. With the help of our two good friends Myko V. and Ryan A. we were able to make this happen. Again, sticking to the “hip hop” theme, I designed a black and white backdrop with a pattern of boomboxes. I thought it would be fun to have “props” and was worried they wouldn’t be used…but was I wrong! They were a big hit!!!

Our family & friends having fun and getting creative...

The photo booth!

Here are some photos from the day — both sides of Justice’s family, friends and heartfelt speeches. Hubby burned about 75 CDs of a special hip-hop/R&B mix our good friend Rudy put together. Thanks to Tre from Z90, Raekwon from WuTang (thanks to our dear friend Rona) and our 3 girls for personalizing the CD with dedications throughout the mix. This CD was one of the two favors for his guests. The other favor was a bag of candy with personalized labels that matched the photo booth backdrop. We also had the Tabe Taco Truck cater the event and Unique Technique play music throughout the day. The birthday cake was our family’s favorite Tuxedo Cake from the Ralphs bakery near our house. And we lucked out with a sunny day during a series of continuous rainy days. It was a very happy, blessed day for our family.

The details

The most heartfelt part of the party was when it was time to do speeches. His mom, his dad and I said our speeches and then Justice had his turn. Me being Miss Emotional could not keep it together to save my life — but I was able to say everything I wanted to say to him and to our guests. I would have to say that the best part about that day was having a special moment with him after our speeches where he came up to me and told me he really appreciated me and all I do for him, complete with a big hug. That meant so much to me.


Happy 18th birthday, Justice. I love you and am so fortunate to have you in my life as my Son.

New Blog Fave: Be Inspired

I love being inpsired by other creative people, even moreso when they are busy parents like myself. I recently stumbled upon the Shim + Sons blog in which designer and crafts extraordinaire AND mother Sally J. Shim shares her projects, ideas and inspiration. I absolutely LOVE everything she’s done and how much thought and “thinking outside of the box” she does. Our boy’s 18th birthday is just around the corner and I will be borrowing some clever ideas from Ms. Shim. Check out her blog and be inspired…

Eye Candy

It’s here! It’s here! Autumn has officially arrived. And although SD is now in the high 90s, I am not going to let the heat stop me from enjoying my favorite season. I picked up a bag of Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Flavored coffee, I’m enjoying football every Sunday, I’ve made a big batch of chicken noodle soup, I’ve already started my holiday shopping, and I’m making plans for the holidays with a big grin on my face (can you say Disneyland?? hehehe) – I love it! I can’t wait to start baking too and making fun treats with the kids, especially little Ella since I’ll know she’ll enjoy the messy creativity that goes on in the kitchen.

Check out some of these fun fall treats and ideas from hostesswiththemostess.com  and be inspired!

Who says Halloween parties can't be hip??

The sweetest looking spiders...

Love the purple & green color scheme

Adorable (and edible) monsters...

Simple and spooky!

Creative candy bars...

Party Inspiration

Happy Friday to all! I know I’ve been out of sight but this woman has been busy wrapping up work projects, home projects, back-to-school stuff, family newsletter, appointments, running errands…you get the picture.

Before we head into a long 3 day weekend, I wanted to share some fun things I found on one of my favorite blog sites (hostesswiththemostess.com).

Here are photos from a sock-monkey-themed 3 year old birthday party.

Simple and striking

Love the details...

Sweet and clever favor

This next themed party has got to be one of my top favorites – One Year In A Flash Birthday. The little celebrant Liv definitely has a set of creative parents! I love all of the attention to detail and quirky ideas incorporating the word “flash”. Love the vibrant colors too!

The invitation

Cute water bottle labels (I heart the curly frame illustration)

So incredibly FUN!