Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Party That Was (+ some party planning tips!)

Phew! All the hard work over in just 2 hours! Well, the main part of the party that is. I'm not kidding when I say I had sleepless nights planning for this party for this 1 year old! The dilemmas with the venue, guests and food. In the end we decided to have it at home with the handful of friends from Ipoh and our dear family. Thank God everything went pretty well and I had thoroughly enjoyed the whole process even though I was flat after that. If you're planning for a party yourself, here are some things you might want to consider:

Tip #1: Have a good variety of food suitable for the different guests
We had 1 baby, 3 kids, and 2 mom-2-bes in our midst. So, I included some light & healthy finger foods for this group. I prefer quality than quantity. So everything was homemade and the menu for about 20pax goes like this:
  • Toasted sesame pita with egg & potato mayo filling + a slice of tomato & curly lettuce
  • Fried mee
  • Curry chicken
  • Deep fried wanton with minced pork & prawn filling
  • Chocolate fountain with fresh strawberries, grapes, bananas and marshmallows
  • Konyaku jelly with peach/ kiwi fillings
  • Drink - fizzy lemon & mint
  • Angku kuih and red eggs for tradition sake
  • Birthday cupcakes - would have loved to make these too but had to order them as our oven wasn't functioning :( Had a problem getting contacts for cupcakes in Ipoh and eventually decided to order from Evadis Cakes in Penang and get dear hubby to bring it back after work on the eve of the party. Would say it's worth it. Not too sweet and pretty enough not to be eaten.

Tip #2: Send a reminder a few days before the party stating date, time and venue
Even by doing this, one of our friends still turned up at 2pm. The party was from 11am-1pm. She thought it started at 1pm. Hmm.....

Tip #3: K.I.S.S. (Keep it short & sweet)
Especially when you have kids and babies at a party. You don't want them to get overstimulated and start whining and crying. You know what they say about kids crying, it's contagious... It is also crucial to consider baby's nap time when deciding on the timing of the party. However, keep in mind that some will still turn up at Malaysian o'clock (2pm!?!). 

Tip #4: Have a safe play area for the kids
Preferably somewhere where the parent(s) can still keep watch while having some adult conversation. Have a few books and toys in the area or even leave a cartoon channel on for them. Don't forget to stow away baby's favourites in case they get broken.

Tip #5: Get good quality balloons
You don't want them popping and giving the little kiddos a scare. We had some filled with helium. We left them outside by the entrance before the guests arrived. Then brought them in and moved them next to the cake during the song-singing/ candle-blowing/ cake-cutting ceremony. Besides creating a party atmosphere, they will also go down well in photos and make a great going away gift together with the party packs if you plan to have any!

Tip #6: Get a good camera and cameraman!
You'll be waaaaay too busy to snap. So it's wise to do so at such a momentous occasion. Unfortunately I was using my old camera which shoots lousy shots with dim lights and overexposed ones with the flash on. On top of that, no one else knows how to use the settings on my camera which means we were left with a few blurry or dark or overexposed pics :(

Tip #7:  Keep it cool
If you can control it that is. We had the air-conditioning switched on (half an hour before the party started) to keep our guests (and ourselves) comfortable and dry. Pretty crucial when it feels like 40 degrees Celsius outside!

Tip #8: Get help!
If anyone offers to cook a dish, say 'Yes! Thank you!'. I would have been so grateful if someone had offered to keep an eye on Baby O for a few hours or to colour the eggs red while I move on to something else (thanks Mom & dear hubby for doing all that you can!!). But there's nothing stopping me from asking people to help even though they are the ones turning up at the party!

Tip #9: Have a theme for photos sake (optional)
Baby O is currently having Elmo fever thus the Elmo on her cake and balloons. She also received a 4feet Elmo plush toy as a gift.

Tip #10: Other nitty-gritty details
Details to me are what makes a party a little extra special. At our little party, we had:
  • Nursery rhymes playing in the background - upbeat ones with actions in case we need some distraction for the kids
  • A slide show of baby's pictures running on the laptop
  • Pictures of baby from  birth till now
  • Party bags with carefully thought of items for each child appropriate to his/her age
  • A chocolate fountain which I thought was a special little feature for a house party
Wow.. now I know why I couldn't sleep! Hopefully these tips can help you sleep better! :-)

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