Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Celebrating Hannah's First Year!

It has been 12 months.


I have no idea where the time has went to, but it was an amazing 12 months. 

The past 12 months flew by faster than a wink of an eye. 

Days ran into days of repeated motions.

Feeding. Pumping milk. Diaper-changing. Bathing. Soothing. Feeding again. 

So many chores. Big mess. Small mess. Interrupted sleep. No sleep. No time. 

Lots of crying. Both, u and me. And then, lots of laughing and everything repeats.

The days are long, but the months are short... 
So short that every moment is so precious n to be cherished, whether we r rolling in bed, or crying from lack of sleep.

This day marks a major milestone for us as a family. 
Milestone of #firsttimes... 

First time #wearethree. 
First time #weareparents. 
First time we met u hannah, #mylilenen.
First time we #laughedlikeneverbefore.
First time we understood what #unconditionallove really meant.

My lil enen, 

Everything is a #firsttime for you, #happyblessedfirstbirthday. You are much more than what we asked and prayed for. You are our #rainbowbaby and we just thank God for you everyday. 
We will always #bethankful for u and always celebrate every moment with you. 

In successes, in failures, #wewillbethere.

#happybirthday #happyfirstbirthday

Cheers to the many many more to come, and may the Lord's favour n wisdom always be upon you as you continue to grow.

Mama & Papa


"A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps."

Proverbs 16:9

#thisisus #thisisabundantlife #thankyoujesus #yearofhisrestoration #possessingourpossessions #sg50baby #sg50 #rusticrainbowparty #rusticrainbow #party #DIY #colorful #rainbowdecor


I have been planning this day for some time now,, hence when the day arrived, I was extremely excited! Cp says that her first birthday is more about what I liked than what she likes, well, that is true, Hannah is only 1, how does she identify such a deep topic like - what theme do you want for your birthday- right?

In fact, I must say that I am heavily influenced by the current trend of having a dessert table set-up. 

While many of these tables are extravagant in their designs, very pretty and fabulous, I am sure they cost equally fabulous as well - which is not the way I would prefer to spend this money (remember, I am currently unemployed and working in a job that pays me with joy & laughter instead of real cash!) 

What are the chances of you getting an affordable rate for food and decor design, if everything is customised? Close to none. If it is personalised, it has to cost and I am just not sure how much I am willing to pay.

So I dropped the idea of trying to source for a party planner, and focused on sourcing for ideas instead. (Pinterest, Google, Instagram, everywhere is filled with ideas!)

Truly, DIY-ing it made the whole process so fun and endearing. These are the memories and stories to tell Hannah when she grows up and I absolutely love every part of it.

Choosing a Theme 

A theme is essential in every party planning. Choosing a theme ensures there is a focus point when you look at your choice of decor, the styling materials and even the food choices, so when everything is placed together, they match up! 

There are some pre-requisites for me when it comes to making that choice. 

First, it has to be bright and fun, because it is a 1-year old party. 

Second, it has to hold a meaning for us when we look back at the photos years later.

Third, it has to be manageable and yet be able to reflect my personal taste/preference as a person. (i.e. I ain't a fan of disney or cartoons, I do not like anything formal, etc.)

Hence, the theme we choose was a "Rustic Rainbow" party.

Rustic because I am personally quite a casual person. So, plain, simple, country-style with lots of beige and woods is my cup of tea. (Best part is, I already have a lot of home decor items that I already own and can use for the party!)

Rainbow because Hannah IS a Rainbow Baby to us. By giving the party a rainbow theme, it brings awareness and remembrance to our first-unborned child (read more this here), and yet celebrates the victory of our precious first-born.  

I love the theme, even before I started planning.

A Rustic Rainbow Theme

Because I have worked so hard at each of the DIY items from the tassles, to garlands, to individual signboards and each and every cupcake and rainbow jelly desserts, (and I can only do that in the night after she falls asleep!) I am really, REALLY curious to see the overall layout when everything came together and the results did not disappoint! Indeed, this whole DIY journey was worth every bit of effort!

Deciding on the Venue

For some, I believe the choice of venue could be a stressful event cos it involves various components from food preference, to ambiance, to budget, convenience, number of guests etc. Should we do it at a function room, at home, at a restaurant, a cafe or what? 

Since this is a family-only affair where we only have close family members and some best friends attending, our guest list is 20-25 pax. So instead of the usual catering to some function room, we decided we could splurge a little on a good restaurant and we have always enjoyed dining at Chuckwagon BBQ & Grill, it was so familiar and completely in-sync to the Rustic mood. 

Furthermore, we already knew the owners personally, so we naturally opted for Chuckwagon.

Work on the details

A party wouldn't be complete without decoration and picture-perfect features and signages that symbolize the key of the event, so I came up with a few different items that needs to be made.

Better still if they are items that are meaningful, like photos, inspirational quotes and such.

1. Some kind of bunting/tassle. 
2. Main signboard/backdrop.
3. 1-year milestone chalkboard. (yes, I just follow the trend!)
4. 1 to 12 months "photo chart" 

I find that these will help my guests (who don't see Hannah every month) get to know her better and more personally.  

And because Mum's birthday is just 1 day prior to Hannah's I decided we could throw a little surprise party for her as well. Which also meant MORE PROPS to make.

5. "milestone" chalkboard for Mum (also!)
6. Some endearing photo display of Grandma and Grandkid - something she will enjoy browsing through.

Last but not least!

7. The type of desserts to be served.
8. Cake & Cupcake toppers.

Oh, and really, a bunch of theme-in-synced decor displays like wooden cart-boxes, tin flower pots, wooden stands and little nick-knacks - all these little details really spices up the entire decor by LOADs!

1. Rainbow Tassle Garland

Tassle Garlands are so pretty & can "partify" almost everything! They are reasonable easy to DIY as well!

Beautiful aren't they?

I bought a bunch of crepe paper from Daiso, my favourite store! hahaha

2. Wooden main signboard to feature some 1 year cake smash photos

It is completely up to you, how you intend to spice up that backdrop, some people prefer printing, but I love old school stuff, like a plain colorful bunting, dressed with some of my favourite shots of her.

Wooden boards can be found in Artfriend or even Carousell, but for this, it is a wooden home decor quote frame from home that I double up as a party prop.

3. 1-year milestone chalkboard

I can't recall the number of times I actually wrote, erase and re-write this since I am not gifted with beautiful hand-writing, but well, that makes me, ME. 

The trick (and also the challenge) is in aligning your different fonts to the specified areas (i.e. between the lines) and try to be as consistent and possible. If all else fail, open powerpoint and just print something?

 Chalkboard from Daiso as well. 

4. 1 to 12 months "photo chart"
I just love these tassles - they dress up anything and everything!

Materials from Popular.  

5. "Milestone" chalkboard for Mum (also!)

I am always inspired by my mum, and is like my live example of what a Proverbs 31 woman is.

Design was inspired by 1 of those mother's day display that I found on google.

6. Photo display of Grandma and Grandkid

This bottle-style manner of display is a random combination of 2 different ideas when I was browsing through google. Google is just - fantastic!  

Glass bottles are recycles brands essence of chicken bottles.

7. The type of desserts to be served

As they were gonna be homemade, I could only cope with 2 kinds of desserts, and if you googled or youtube "how to make rainbow desserts" tonnes of easy recipes will come up.

So I selected Rainbow Jellies & Rainbow Cupcakes (presented in 2 different styles).

Homemade Rainbow Jellies

Homemade Rainbow Fondant & Cream Cheese Frosted Butter Cupcakes

This 1st design for the Rainbow Cupcake was inspired by @Rosanna Pansino. 

Making each fondant rainbow looked easy, but it took up a fair bit of time. 
Coloring and rolling each layer isn't that easy afterall!

Homemade Rainbow Cream Cheese Twirl Cupcakes

This 2nd design of Rainbow Cupcake was inspired by @Hawaii Sweet World.

In fact, after making this, I am really keen to try the rest if the recipes!


 All platings, trays and cupcake standees can be bought from Ikea, Phoon Huat and Daiso.

8. Cake and Cupcake toppers

 Last but not least, these cake toppers are to handmade to decorate the 2 main cakes for the party. 

Heart-Shaped Rainbow Chocolate Cake from @Buttercake & Cream

Rainbow Jello Cheesecake from @jellyhearts

Finally the BIG DAY! 

The day started leisurely as I already spent the past 2 days making the jellies and baking the cupcakes. Although I have done a trial test for each of these desserts before actually making them for the real party, it was still time-consuming and a tad scary, cos if something went wrong with the baking process, I will have to re-do everything, and I DO NOT want to re-do anything! 

Phew, thank God all went well.

 Some extra to practice!

Of course, there are bound to be some "lemons".

Though the day started leisurely, it was quite a mad rush to get everything set-up within 1 hour-which was the lead time that I gave myself, before the guests arrived @ 4pm. 

(In order to avoid Hannah's "cranky hour", we held an early dinner that started at 4pm so we could end by 7pm and have her in bed by 9pm.)

Being a lil OCD, I have already created a MOCK-UP of how the set-up should look like so that I wouldn't go gabra, But because I was the only one who knows what goes where, nobody else could help me with the set-up except myself. And that - is the tiring part. 

Absolutely happy to see this go up!

Very pleased Grandma & blur Grandkid.

I am going to Photo-Spam!! YAY!

Daddy's little girl.

So, technically, Hannah has already visited a bar at age 1 year-old.

I think DIYing has made a lot of difference in the celebration for my girl's first year old and I will strongly encourage everyone to try it! 

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