Saturday, August 31, 2013

Audrey is 3 - The Cake and Desserts

    I've been wanting to post these photos from Audrey's party for the past week but I have been so busy! It was a crazy week of deadlines and activities for the kids and I was dead tired by night time and couldn't get up early enough (at dawn!) either to sneak some blogging time! 
   Anyway, I think these sweet treats deserve a post all on its own though so we are starting with these :) I'm pretty sure you will love what you will see! 

The Cake
A BIG BIG Thanks to The Cake Shack girls for this truly beautiful, colorful and yummy birthday cake that they made for Audrey! :) It was such a delight to see what they came up with after our brainstorming session together before the party! They put in all the details that we requested and exceeded our expectations! We especially love love love the Audrey topper!!! :) And all dressed up in her actual outfit for the party too! ;)

I am very particular with details and I can honestly say that I am so pleased and happy with how this cake turned out! There are many cake makers out there that can make yummy cakes but are not very meticulous about the details 
and proportions of the designs of and on their cakes. I think you will agree that the toppers on this cake were well 
made and crafted beautifully. They obviously put in a lot of effort into making this and if you are a perfectionist and 
don't want to get disappointed, then the The Cake Shack is your kind of cake maker :) 
They've got talent and diligence combined!

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, you slice the cake and see this!!! A rainbow of colors sandwiched between rich lemon cream cheese buttercream! :9 This rainbow cake is not just beautiful but delicious as well! It was moist and yummy and it's no surprise that The Rainbow Cake is their best selling cake! It usually comes covered in whipped cream (which I've tried already and it is good!), but for the party we had to use fondant so we could achieve our design intent. Needless to say, this cake was a big hit with my friends! :) I kept getting messages after the party about how yummy their take home slices were!

This is the Dessert Table which we loved as well! Love and Lavender teamed up with The Cake Shack to come up with this colorful and artsy setup! Bea prepared the melted crayon art which we requested from our initial meeting and she made this heart (Audrey's favorite shape!) with colorful strings! Also loved the calligraphy that she provided :) Everything just came together and the details were perfect for our art theme! :)

All of these cupcakes were courtesy of The Cake Shack as well! They prepared Caramel Walnut cupcakes with colorful icing for our paint palette display, yummy Chocolate Yema flavored ones with a cute spilled paint topper on each, and Red Velvet cupcakes with a mini paint palette on top. These were instantly wiped out at the party! In this photo collage is the Mini Blank Canvas Cake for Audrey that she will be designing herself during the party - an idea that the Cake Shack girls suggested to us and we absolutely loved! :) And of course, inside these giveaway bags are Cupcake Decorating Kits made up of a Red Velvet cupcake, rainbow sprinkles, rainbow crystals, and two mini piping bags for the icing! It was a whole lot of fun to make at home :)

Bea of Love and Lavender provided the labels using a scanned copy of Audrey's artwork :) She also prepared these cute mini Chinese takeout boxes (which Audrey really loved!) for the candies and the label for the Cupcake Decorating Kit bag! Check out a closeup photo of the melted crayon artwork that she made for us! I can't wait to try doing this with Audrey soon! :) Bea said it was really fun to make!

These sweet colorful drinks were lovingly prepared by Love and Lavender as well.
The details and colors were perfect for our setup and theme :)

Bea of Love and Lavender took care of displaying and presenting these yummy candies in jars,
funnels and big bottles :) Thanks to my friend Tintin for giving these candies to us!

Colorful jello in shotglasses were placed by Bea on a tier display.
The Watercolor Palette Cookies and Paintbrush Rice Krispies were made by Michelle of Coco Cakes.
These cute and yummy treats were loved by both kids and adults! :) 

Audrey the Artist at work on her Mini Blank Canvas Cake!
She was pretty serious about designing her cake with the edible markers
that The Cake Shack girls provided :) Dad and I also got to doodle on the cake a bit hehe.

Our photos with the Birthday Girl! :)

Another photo of the colorful Dessert Table setup :)

Here is our photo by the Dessert Table with Patty, Genine of The Cake Shack, Bea of Love and Lavender
and happy little Audrey (and Mommy)! :) 

Thank you again to Genine, Gui and Bea for making Audrey's party sweet and a whole lot of fun! :) 
And Thanks to Lemarc Limosnero for most of the photos (especially the closeups of the treats!) in this post! :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Audrey is 3 - The Video

   Here's a video of Audrey's 3rd birthday celebration :)

Video by Patrick Filart of Thirty Six-O Media
Shot with a Blackmagicdesign Pocket Cinema Camera

Thank you so much Ninong Pat for this awesome and happy video! 
And we love the background song that Tita Patty chose for this :)
This will always give us a wonderful memory of our fun art party!
You guys are awesome!!! :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Audrey is 3 - The Party Preparations

    Last weekend we were finally able to celebrate Audrey's 3rd birthday! :) But before the actual event, there was a lot of planning and preparation involved. Thinking of a theme was super easy. As Audrey has developed a love for arts and crafts ever since we started doing them regularly at home, an Art Theme was perfect! And I can't deny that art is close to my heart as well so brainstorming was a breeze! Check out the concepts that we had for the party :)

I designed Audrey's Save the Date using a portion of one
of her paintings as the background.

The concept was an Art Exhibit because Audrey had so many artworks that we wanted
to showcase at the party while we painted and did artworks with her friends as well :)
This "ticket" serves as our invite :)

Audrey's Welcome Sign for the party was based on the
design and layout of the Save the Date and Ticket Invite

I had fun designing, coloring, labeling and laying out the signs for the party :)

I mounted Audrey's artworks in colored cartolinas to: a) provide a colorful background for them at the venue, b) to make transporting them easier, c) to save time and make it easy for us to stick them on the wall. We included 21 artworks and placed them all in 7 cartolinas! I also included labels that described the artwork, just like what you see in museums and exhibits :)

I printed Art Quotes with 3 of Audrey's paintings as the background to use as table
centerpieces and signs. Our picture frame can display photos back to back so the other
side had Audrey's pictures in them :)

Guess what this is?

Our painting smocks!
I prepared small, medium and large waterproof smocks in different colors
to go with our rainbow + pink color motif (Audrey's favorite color is pink :) )
I then got sticker paper and cut out paint blob and art palette shapes
and used them as the name tags for the kids' smocks (so that they don't have to
fight over which one they want at the party hehe)

The birthday girl saw her pink smock the morning of the party
and was happy to try it on :)

I made a "Happy Birthday" sign and an "A" as part of the party decor. I painted this with
watercolor at 630am during the day of the party and it was very therapeutic and relaxing for me :) I think I should paint more often ;)

A collection of concepts for the party, including a photo of Audrey's outfit fitting! ;)
I showed the cake and cupcake design to The Cake Shack girls so they could make their own version of these goodies for Audrey and they asked me to send them a photo of Audrey in her outfit so they could prepare a mini version! And boy, they didn't disappoint!!! :) Wait till you see how the cake turned out! They had such wonderful concepts and it got us so excited! They tagged team with Love and Lavender for the setup and props for the cake and dessert table! Photos coming soon!!! :)
I also asked for the help of my good friends from Carnival Party Needs and Catering Services for the supply and setup of the multicolored hanging balloons similar to the photo. Events by Marge made setting up our art table and exhibit area possible without me getting stressed out! You will love how these awesome suppliers did the set up for us when I post the party photos! :) 

These photos were taken during our meeting with The Cake Shack girls, Gui and Genine and Love and Lavender's Bea. I showed them our pegs and we had a fun time conceptualizing and sharing our ideas with one another. Audrey even joined us and did some sketches (more like doodles hehe!) with Bea :) And of course, a HUGE Thank You to Patty Laurel-Filart who introduced these awesome suppliers and accommodated all of us in her home for this meeting! :) Thank you for your ideas and your big heart! Audrey and I, and the rest of our family are truly grateful for your efforts! I'm such a busy working mom and as much as I'd like to do everything myself, it's just not possible haha! I really do need the help of other creative and skillful people who have such brilliant ideas to make my dream party for Audrey come to life :)

Photos and Video of the party to be posted soon! :)

Suppliers mentioned above:

The Cake Shack

Love and Lavender

Carnival Party Needs and Catering Services
B62 L3 Unit 1 El Grande Ave. BF Homes, Pque
5699083 / 09291438470

Events by Marge

Friday, August 16, 2013

To My Dearest Audrey

       Though I've known you for only a little over a thousand days, you have made such an impact in my life. Your presence gave your dad and I a ticket into the wonderful world of parenthood. 
        I have not met a little girl as sweet as you, as funny as you and with a memory that constantly surprises us and sometimes fools us into thinking that you could actually read.
        Your creativity and God-given talents always amazes us, as does your appetite! :)
        And your loving and giving heart, although you are still a very young child, is a precious blessing - a gift.
        We are truly blessed that you came into our lives and are a part of it. We could not have asked for anything more the day you were born three years ago.

         Happy Birthday! :)

Nine months old and giving us a reason to smile and laugh at your antics :)

Photos above by Catilo Photography

A year and eight months and almost a big sis :)

Photo by Little People Lifestyle Photography

Two years old and posing for the camera with your infectious smile :)

Photo above by Mom :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Encourage Creativity

"Every child is an artist. 
The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
                                                                                                - Pablo Picasso

    Watching the video below could not have come at a better time for me. This week I am quite busy preparing for Audrey's birthday party and the theme that we've come up with encourages kids to practice their creativity. I for one believe in encouraging a child's natural talents and abilities - their God-given gift that is unique to them. I love discovering what Audrey is good at, interested in and what she can do out of these skills.
   This video talks about how school can sometimes hinder these natural inclinations to learning and creating, or expressing one's talents - because of the set standards that students feel they need to follow. 
   I remember my own experience in school and how I sometimes felt limited, or different. In our freshman class in college we were asked to think of a concept for a house and translate it into a drawing. I didn't think of doing the usual box with a triangular roof, square windows and rectangular doors. Instead I thought of my favorite musical instrument as a concept - the piano. So my house didn't have a lot of corners, but had curves. I didn't have a pitched roof, but a flat one with an overhang. And it was just black and white. After submitting my work I saw some of my classmates' drawings on the way back to my seat. I saw rectangles, triangles, squares, and some arches. Most of them drew structures that I've already seen. And I suddenly felt that I may have done something wrong. I just hoped I would be given a good grade for thinking of something unusual. 
   Well, my drawing came back with a grade I was happy with but with no encouraging comments (like "very creative" maybe? haha!). I felt then that maybe I should just play it safe - draw structures that looked like every other structure that already existed. And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only architecture student who has felt this way at some point. It would have been great though if our teachers then pushed us to break free from the norm and design without thinking of boundaries.
    So with my own kids, I am open to encouraging creativity. When I noticed that Audrey was fond of building towers with things (blocks, canned goods, milk bottles, markers, you name it) - I didn't tell her how she should stack them up. I let her figure out how she can balance them, even if she did it in a way that would seem odd to an adult. Well, the important thing is that it would work and not topple over. I can already see her building buildings that are interesting and unique.
    As for me, I still try to design out of the box when an opportunity arises (with clients who like to experiment!). Sometimes I'm told that this and that might not work because they haven't done it before. But since I'm the designer and I draw up the details, I say let's try it :) 
     This talk by Sir Ken Robinson is really interesting and eye-opening - not to mention entertaining. So glad I was able to watch it (even though this talk actually happened years ago already).

    Thanks Patty for retweeting the link to this video so the rest of us could watch it :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Get Well Soon

      My my. It’s been quite a stressful week.
     Natalie caught a cold bug and after a few days, Audrey caught it from her too. So we have two sick girls who are harboring a cold and fighting a cough.         
    I’ve had to suck out mucus from their noses, and nebulize them 2-3x a day with saline solution with a bit of salbutamol to relieve them from coughing. We’ve used up a whole lot of our cloth diapers to wipe away mucus and catch spit ups like we haven’t since our baby was a newborn. Even the yummiest lunch we served ended up back in the high chair accompanied by phlegm. And we’ve had to keep washing our newly changed pillow cases whenever our baby blankets failed to catch the vomit. Oh well.
     Audrey hasn’t had a cough like this since she was five months old! She’s always been strong enough to battle a cold before it turns into something worse. This was quite a tough bug we had to face.
     This was also the first time Natalie got sick. It started with a low grade fever which never went beyond 38 degrees Celsius so it was obviously a sign of her fighting off an infection. It wasn’t something to be extremely worried about- as with a viral infection, it should be over in about 7-10 days. But she’s been really fussy and would poop 3-4x a day due to the virus. And in the first few nights of this infection, she would usually throw up most of the milk that she drank from me. My doc said we needed to do small frequent feedings, and this was tricky because Natalie seemed to just want to drink more. Anyhow, after three difficult nights, she was better and hardly spit up.
     More than anything else, it was difficult for me to see them both having a hard time - waking up in the middle of the night to cough, throw up or just cry and groan because of the discomfort that the cough and colds were causing. My husband and I would wake up from our sleep to comfort either child. Sometimes they would cry and fuss at the same time. It’s been quite a challenge but we’re surviving. Unfortunately though, my husband and I have caught the bug as well. It’s quite hard not to if your kids cough on your face even if they know that they should be coughing on their elbow or cloth diaper- and who can blame them? Sometimes they just forget because they’re having a rough time (of course this applies only to Audrey, Natalie doesn’t know how to strategically avoid coughing or sneezing directly on other people just yet). And constant close contact can’t be helped either so I guess this was almost a given. I haven’t had much sleep myself so I’m pretty sure my immune defenses have gone down.

     I can’t wait for the girls to get well completely. We’ve missed out on an out of town trip and a kid’s party – we didn’t want to risk them fussing and being uneasy, not to mention spreading the germs. And even though this was hard, I know it won’t be for long. They will be back to their happy and active state and again suck out my energy, haha! I would much rather get tired caring for healthy kids having too much fun J but of course I don’t mind taking care of them both at this time AT ALL. They are my children, my blessings from the Lord, and I love them. This task of caring for them was assigned to us, their parents, and along with this mission was given a heart full of love for them that no matter how difficult and taxing it is, we will DO IT anyway. 
     Get well soon, my loves! J

Thursday, August 8, 2013

        Background photo by Little People Lifestyle Photography