Cassie Turns Two: Taco TWOsday

I can’t believe our little baby turned two already. Before Marco and I started planning her birthday celebration, I already knew I wanted to make her a mini dessert table even if we weren’t throwing her a birthday party just to make her feel special. Its only been 4 months since we moved here in Muncie and I haven’t been exactly little Miss Congeniality so we didn’t really have any close friends to invite and I wasn’t too comfortable inviting the neighbors kids since we barely knew them and they were mostly older than Cassie.

At the end of the discussion we both decided that we’d still go to Great Wolf Lodge for Cassie’s birthday trip but we’d still throw a party, sorta like our late house warming/ mini birthday party for her and invite family and Marco’s co-residents (a plus if they had kids, haha). I figured that since we were doing a party anyway might as well come up with a theme and I instantly fell in love with the idea of a fiesta—its fun, its colorful and Mexican food is good and so convenient (or so I thought). Here I was planning a dessert table, I had no idea my husband was planning to cook the entire menu so this party ended up being a LOT of work. We did another Marco-Rhea teamwork and pulled it off.

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I know it isn’t so clear in the photo but the “CASSIE” sign was a last minute DIY project I did a few hours before the party. I covered it with green cut out crepe paper and added some pink mini flowers so they could like like mini cacti.

It was also my first time DIY-ing giant paper flowers and I even used construction paper because I was on a budget but I’m glad they turned out pretty okay. I just made them in different colors so they could go with fiesta theme.

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The fiesta inspired table cover I purchased from Amazon, and I’ve attached the link if anyone is interested. Just a heads up, this isn’t made with fabric but with plastic instead.

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We weren’t really sure if any kids were going to show up but I prepared a few goodie bags anyway. I bought those small bags from the dollar store, filled it up with some candies and small maracas, wrapped it in colorful wrapping paper and cut out some “thank you tacos” I printed out.

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I didn’t know where to get my cake, cupcakes and sugar cookies so I asked mamas in our local mom group and I’m so glad they pointed me out to Simply Patisserie. Chef Maggie made an awesome job making Cassie’s taco cake, flower and cactus cupcakes and taco, cactus and sombrero sugar cookies. You should them see for yourself.

Anyone here in local Muncie looking for a place to get their cakes and pastries I personally recommend Chef Maggie of Simply Patisserie and her rates are pretty reasonable. Just click the link above.

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Most of the stuff on the dessert table were from Dollar Tree— the colorful plastic bowls, the purple vases and the bright colored faux flowers. Also on the table you can spot my DIY Taco Piñata, I figured since I made one for her first birthday might as well make her one this year and just make it into a birthday tradition.

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DIY Taco Pinata Details up close

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I wasn’t sure if I was going to make her do a smash cake so I decorated her high chair just in case. I kept it simple by cutting various sizes of different colored crepe paper and I hung it around her tray. I also purchased a giant cactus ballon from Amazon…I mean why not?

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We ended up not doing a smash cake, she decided to pick a cupcake and eat it on her fiesta decorated high chair. Fair enough.

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Of course I had to somewhat decorate the dining area, I figured since Marco wanted to go all out on food, I could do a little bit more on the decorations. Haha.

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Literally everything you see on this table Marco cooked/baked/prepared, I just assisted him (a little bit).

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Here’s Cassie blowing her candles.

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Yay, we actually had a bunch of kids come to her party. She had fun playing with them even if most of them were boys. 😀

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For someone who hasn’t made a lot of friends yet here in Muncie, she still ended up getting a bunch of presents. Thanks to all our family and friends local and overseas for spoiling our little girl on her birthday and making her feel special.

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Last but not the least, here’s a selfie from me and the birthday girl just coz we were twinning. Hope y’all had a wonderful time going through the details of Cassie’s fiesta themed party, thanks for allowing me to share this with you. If anyone of you is throwing a fiesta themed party and is needing some help with DIYs or decorating or maybe you just have a few questions for me, just comment or shoot me an email I’d gladly help in anyway I can.

~Rhea

 

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Cassie Turns One: Cassie and the Chocolate Factory

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The things we do for Cassie, Marco and I DIY-ed our version of the Wonka Factory Gates. In hindsight, we probably could have made this more sturdy but we didn’t foresee the wind that afternoon.

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We filled Cassie’s dessert table with assorted sweets—gum balls, chocolates, candies, cookies, anything and everything colorful. Of course we could not have a Wonka-themed party without actual Wonka candies.

Below are more detailed photos of the dessert table, my favorite part of the party.

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Marco and I tried to go in theme in our floral tops, purple coats and black top hats.

Trivia: Marco is wearing his old Joker costume that I recycled by sewing on a floral cloth to pass as Willy Wonka’s vest.

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Cassie’s Wonka Themed cake from My Dulce Cake, a local Houston cake shop that has been getting good reviews and has been featured in the Knot, Ruffled and the Food Network. Y’all should check them out!

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And this would have to be one of the best gifts ever…..thanks so much to the Quirays especially Marie for this labor of love, you are extremely talented (y’all should check her Etsy store). This completed Cassie’s dessert table and made it more perfect than ever!

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I even DIY-ed some Wonka Bars although none of them had the golden ticket. I’m actually glad I found some Wonka Bar wrapper printables online, I wrapped the Hershey’s bar with foil and wrapped the printables around it once done. It would’ve been easier if the Hershey’s bar had its old packaging.

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Rico’s neighborhood-famous French Macaroons, of course I had him Wonkafy them by coloring it purple. They were the first to go.

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Ninang Pauline’s contribution to the party, homemade Cookies and Cream Cake pops that was

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Framed some Wonka sayings from the movie and used some of them as part of the table centerpiece.

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This will have to do for “lickable wallpaper”, they’re edible and they’re on the wall. Haha.

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Last minute chocolate fondue, thanks to the Babas’ and the Vera’s for lending me your fondue machines even if we asked last minute.

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Fizzy Lifting Drink station

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Tried to take a photo before we could finish setting up the food table. Marco cooked Lengua, Chicken Anette (I honestly don’t know if I’m spelling that right) and made Cheeseball dip—they were all a hit. And we ordered Spaghetti, Barbecue and Egg rolls and the Almacens brought us Pancit (you guys are the best! thanks geng). The Wonka Bar Mocha Cake, which we used for her cake smash

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Cassie’s giveaways.

For Adults, I recycled her old baby food jars by painting the covers purple and sterilizing the actual jars. I then made my own personal template to wrap around the jars that included a picture of an Oompa Loompa and a chocolate bar. For the sizing of the printable, I randomly searched a water bottle template and pretty much just worked on it by editing the design. I filled up the jars with a mixture of Whoppers and M&Ms combined. I then made a small version of the Golden Ticket as her “Thank You” labels and attached them around the jars.

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For Kids, I used thesame picture of the Oompa Loompa but printed out bigger versions of them, cut them out and pasted them on purple gift bags that I bought from the dollar store. I printed out bigger versions of the Golden Ticket Thank You labels and pasted them on the gift bags as well. And since I was trying to go for certain look where it seemed like the Oompa Loompas were holding the Golden Ticket, I had to look for printable hands (or white gloves rather) online. It’s a good thing I thought about Mickey Mouse’s hands looking similar to the Oompa Loompas’ white-gloved-hands, so I just googled “Mickey Mouse hand” and it was a breeze from there. So yeah…those are Mickey Mouse hands. Haha.

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What was inside the goody bags: Shades that we passed off as Wonka goggles, Colorful bouncy ball that we passed off as an everlasting gobstopper, a bunch of wonka candies and a bunch of non-wonka candies.

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And my artist sister, Angelie (the one who painted Cassie’s tree in our room) pulled through and did an all nighter to finish the giant-sized Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Characters that we displayed in the hallway downstairs. Now it sits in the game room upstairs with the Wonka contract where the guests signed.

Below is a closer look at the characters. Colored Construction paper, colored pencils, pencil, scissors, glue and shading skills and voila…she wasn’t too happy with the outcome but artists are usually their own worst critic. Cassie and I loved it langga, thanks again for doing this.

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Veruca Salt

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Mike Teavee

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Augustus Gloop

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Violet Beauregard

Images were copied from the free online printables of Activity Village.co.uk . Printed some of these for the older kids to color as well.

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Here’s the Wonka contract image that I enlarged and stuck to a cartolina to serve as her guest book. Thank you Walgreens for being so efficient!

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I also made a snapchat filter in theme with Cassie’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Party. Of course I had to cater to my millennial siblings’ generation, haha.

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This little girl did not want to wear the birthday romper we got her. She probably found the tulle too itchy, its a good thing we got her this candyland tutu as back up.

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Daddy Marco as Willy Wonka holding my DIY Wonka Hat pull-a-string piñata.

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We had a bunch of younger kids as guests so I opted to make a pull-a-string piñata rather than the piñata that you whacked with stick.

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….And Olivia (or Mommy Ann rather pulled out the lucky string)

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Thanks to all the guests who made it to Cassie’s First Birthday. I wish we took photos with every single one of you guys but the crazy birthday schedule didn’t permit it. Thank you for showing our little girl much love on her birthday celebration.

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IVL would have to win Best Costume. She came in as an Oompa Loompa on point!

For Cassie’s photobooth, I just used the altar area close to my parents room and used the purple table cloth as a background. I enlarged some of the photos and printed them in color, stuck them to hard cardboard, cut them out then stuck some art craft sticks on them to make photobooth props.

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I transferred Cassie’s toys from upstairs and made a small play area in the living room for them to play in since most of her guests were infants. For the older kids, Marco and I rented a bouncy house and placed it in the backyard.

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Whew, we survived my Mr. Willy Wonka!

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Printed out Cassie’s monthly milestone photos to display in the cake smash area. The colorful candy themed balloons and the large purple #1 balloon were all ordered through Amazon. (my ever reliable favorite)

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We did Cassie’s smash cake with just us, family. It was a call I made a few days before her birthday celebration, I knew she was going to be a bit overwhelmed with all the activities and all the people in the party.

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And we opened gifts on her actual birthday just because we wanted her to do something special on her actual day. We would like to thank everyone who made it to her birthday celebration, thank you for your presence and your presents. Haha. And thank you to all those family members and friends who showed her love even across the miles by sending her gifts and most importantly prayers. And lastly thanks to all those who contributed and helped out to make this birthday celebration possible, Cassie probably won’t remember any of these but hopefully a few years from now she’ll see these photos and realize for people to go through all that trouble to throw her a birthday she won’t even remember, she must be really loved. We love you Cassie!

~Mommy Rhea

#BOHOLIVIA

I’ve been a sucker for themed parties for as long as I can remember and it amazes me how much fun I have with it even as an adult. You see me blog about someone else’s party and that’s just me appreciating the turn out of the celebration. To other people parties are just parties but it does take a lot of love, time, effort and creativity to pull off something like this especially here in the US where hiring party planners are a bit out of the budget.

So when you see me go all-out on a themed party, that’s just me showing my appreciation. It doesn’t faze me that people think I’m “feeling” the theme too much especially when it’s not my party. They took the time to prepare for it, at least take the time to look prepared and besides dressing up is soooo much fun. I hope Cassie grows up and sees it the way I do.

Here are some snippets of Olivia’s 1st Birthday Party. #Boholivia

And NO Cacay, it’s not #Bohol-ivia, its #Boho-livia. Haha.

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Our Bohemian flatlay before attending Olivia’s 1st Birthday. #Boholivia

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Olivia’s teepee set up greeting you as you enter the venue

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Her boho themed birthday giveaways. Feathers galore.

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Of feathers and teepees

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Cassie clearly enjoying the set up already

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Olivia’s cake smash area

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How cute, a cactus piñata!

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Olivia’s Dessert Table

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The cake—Keeping it boho chic and boho classy. 😀

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Happy 1st Birthday Olivia and Happy 1st year as parents Ann and Charles!

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Cassie and Daddy

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Boho-lovin Mommy and Cassie

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We couldn’t resist taking a picture even before the birthday girl arrived. Good job on the set up, geng!

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The Almacens and the Mendezonas


Here’s what Cassie wore:

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(ROMPER: floral; Sparrow Collective/ HEADBAND: boho feather headband; Pip and Tumbleweed/ SOCKS: gray knee high fox socks; Amazon/ MOCCASINS: pink fringe; Amazon)

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  And just coz it’s been awhile since I last did an OOTD. Here’s one just for the heck of it.

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Selfieeeee

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(DRESS: velvet rose pink dress, Rue 21/ SANDALS: cream colored high knee gladiators; Charlotte Russe/ HAT: maroon fedora; Icing/ SUNGLASSES: round frames/ SCARF: thrifted from the Philippines/ CHOKER: nude florals; thrifted from the Philippines)

~Rhea

A Milk and Cookies Baby Shower

I’ve always been fascinated with “Milk and Cookies” for a party theme, I mean who gets milk and cookies at a party unless its a pajama party, right? Now this theme is truly and wholly dedicated to that, its easy to execute and what’s not to love—-c’mon it’s milk and cookies we’re talking about.

The fascination became stronger when I came across this 6-pack set of milk bottles from 5 below, they were selling it for just $5. Hmmm..not bad at all.

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A week after seeing those bottles at 5 below, I happened to be at a Target store and I always visit their dollar section at the entrance. They had a bunch of good finds especially for fall—burlap runners, burlap strings, halloween decorations, the usual socks, dollar treats and they had decorative steel buckets and steel milk canisters as well.

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The milk canisters are similar to this photo and they were sold for only $3/each, at that time I knew I just had to get at least 2 of these canisters and I had to go back for those milk bottles at 5 below to keep for a future “Milk and Cookies” party I’d be throwing for Cassie if not for a baby shower with my friends. Marco and I finally had the time to pass by 5 below again I went in and was relieved to see a few more boxes of those milk bottles, I quickly grabbed 3, paid for it and was surprised when the cashier told me that I only had to pay close to $8 for all 3 boxes. Noticeably with a puzzled look on my face, he was nice enough to inform me that the milk bottles were actually on sale and were half off, he even grabbed 4 boxes for himself just the other day. I quickly thanked him and slowly walked towards the parking lot where Marco was waiting for me. I told him him about the sale and asked him if I should get more, he agreed and so I did. Another 6-pack of milk bottles for $2.50, not bad…not bad at all. Looks like we’re really pushing through with that baby shower.

And since we received a $20 gift card for TJ Maxx, we found a cute winter onesie set for Cassie that was on sale and we ended up using the rest to buy 2 big vintage glass milk bottles for $3.99/each (as seen below) and a vintage glass cookie jar for the party.

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Our last purchase for the dessert table was the most expensive one at $12, it was an oval galvanized vintage bucket for drinks we found at Hobby Lobby and we wouldn’t have even purchased it if it weren’t for the 40% coupon that I had so we ended up getting it for around $7

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Thanks to the gift card Marco and I only ended up spending around $23 for the 4 boxes of milk bottles, 2 galvanized milk canisters and the vintage bucket.

PRINTABLES:

Now I tend to go overboard with the printables, I like to see the variety of free printables the online world or “Google” has to offer. And if I see that they’re not up to par with what I’m looking for then I just make my own.

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For the invitation I couldn’t find anything that was just simply black, white and red. Other than “milk and cookies” I wanted everything to be in those three colors; it’s plain, basic and simple. So I turned to ever reliable Microsoft Word (I’m pretty sure there’s an easier program out there and a better one at making simple invitations but MS Word works for me), googled “cow borders” and this one came up, I got it from Cliparthut.com . It had a watermark in the middle and soI worked around it by putting a big thick black border in the middle,I could’ve edited it out but it worked anyway. Next I googled “milk and cookies” illustration and found this one, credits go to Jomar Aplaon who made the illustration and who happens to be from the Philippines too. Then I pretty much just filled up the entire thing with the details of the party.

And since we decided on Tuesday to push through with this thing even if I’ve been feeling extra and heavy and sluggish the past few days, we sent the invitation through text, Viber and Facebook of course.

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I also ended up making a cover photo for the event on Facebook. I just googled “Got Milk Logo” and pretty much added the “…and cookies?” part.

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The template for the game word scramble I recycled from the baby shower in the Philippines. I just changed the color of the border line from pink to red and changed the actual borders from chevron to cow spots.

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I made “Onesie Wishes” for the tea party baby shower in Manila and decided that this time it would be ice to have the titas and titos write wishes for Cassie on milk canister cut-outs.

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Thanks to Simplybovine.com for this free cow spots banner printable. I actually found it a few minutes before the start of the party when I realized that the other table looked bare. There was no time to put these cut-outs on a string so I taped them directly to the white disposable table cover.

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And since the prizes that were wrapped in clear plastic bags, tied around with white curling ribbons looked bare as well, I looked for printables that I could attach to it just to give it more character and found these cute chocolate chip cookies  by Glitterlambs.com .

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The “thank you” tags were made with MS Word as well. I looked for blank tag outlines and pretty much embedded the Milk and Cookies illustration right in the middle and placed the following text as seen.

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DIY-ing

THE PARTY:

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Pre-party set up.

Note how the cake isn’t on the dessert table and the 2 vintage milk bottles are missing as well. Marco and I waited for the guests to come before putting those out.

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The plastic jars were recycled, they were actually containers of the lychee coco jelly we get from the Asian store. I like how their covers are red but they were too big for us to fill-up so I ended up combing two kinds of cookies in one big jar. The other clear plastic containers were recycled from other parties, you can just get them from Dollar Tree or any dollar store and it’s intentionally plastic so when someone accidentally knocks it over, we won’t have to deal with any shattered glass problems. To provide levels on the dessert table, I wrapped old shoe boxes and made sure they were sturdy enough to hold whatever is on top of it.

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Cocktail Punch—mixed fruit punch, orange juice, ginger ale and a few slices of lemon. Voila!

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Didn’t get to take photos of the food but we had Cocktail Meatball in cranberry and barbecue sauce, Cocktail Smokies in grape jelly and barbecue sauce, Potato Salad, Domino’s Pizza and Marco’s family dip and chips for merienda. 

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You did it sweetie, the dip was a hit.

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The Dessert Table

This whole thing was literally a Marco and Rhea production, I love you Marc.

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Not bad for a Target Cake. I’m actually impressed.

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Cake slicing with this dork of mine.

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Cassie will have a handful to read when she’s all grown up but she will feel loved.

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Dirty Diaper Game—alright girls, keep sniffing

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Tito Marco and Riley

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The prizes—Krispy Kreme scented candles and Udderly Smooth Hand lotion.

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Yes, the prizes were in theme

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Riley’s matching mommy Jo now.

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Ninong Paulo and Leia

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Eat anything but Cassie sweetie..Haha

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You’ll have crazy fun with Tita Roxi, Cassie…that’s for sure. Haha

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Cassie’s Titas and Titos

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Thanks Tita Jasna for this cute Diaper Cake! We love owls- Cassie

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Okay we’ll admit it, we’ve never been so happy to see this much diapers and baby wipes.

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Mason jars from Walmart filled with different flavors of cookie bites— Chips Ahoy, Oreo, Nutter Butter and Ritz Bits Cheese (technically biscuits but whatever). Take one for the road, hope you enjoyed guys and thanks for coming!

~Rhea and Marco

A Magical Woodlands Baby Shower

Originally made the invitation through e-vite.com but most of our guests still preferred good old invitations and since it was a little bit too late to have this printed out my mom ended up sending a text brigade regarding the baby shower with this invitation as an attachment of course, the things you can do with the magic of screen shot.

My sister Pauline originally came up with the theme “woodlands” for the baby shower but my mom wanted to incorporate these cute little Ann Geddes babies, I am always up for the challenge so I told my mom that we could still pull off the “woodlands” idea and I would find a way to make these babies pop-up during the event. I ended up searching Ann Geddes babies that were somewhat compatible with our theme (as shown above).

I printed out the selected photos and placed each one of them in wooden frames, its a good thing we had a bunch of them just lying around the house. We used them as part of our centerpieces and placed them on top of the tree stumps along with a small vase of flowers or random cream colored candles.

Thanks to Tito Raymond Ramos for coming up with the wood stumps, he ended up giving us around 10-12 pieces of 4-6 inch wide wood stumps for our centerpieces and went through all the trouble of finding someone who could cut those logs into thinner, smaller pieces for the shower.

This tree branch was one of our inspirations for the wishes but as usual with us Ramas(es), no matter how hard we prepare, things always end up getting accomplished so last minute. I’m just thankful that at the end of the day we end up pulling it off.

I made these wishes on MS Word and googled illustrations of woodland creatures, these particular ones that I ended up using for the card I got from etsy. I printed them out on cream colored card stock.

Thanks again to Tita Mimi and Tito Raymond Ramos for this dead branch that we ended up using for the shower, sabi na may gamit pa eh, haha. We didn’t have the time to decorate it with hanging  woodland creatures nor did we have the time to use strings to attach the wishes cards for the baby but I’m glad I bought those cute wooden owl laundry pins from 168 when I was in the Philippines, it came in handy.

Loved how our dessert table turned out.

Shout out to Tita Mymar Farinas for this woodlands baby shower cake—not only was it beautifully in theme it also came in homemade mocha flavor, my FAVORITE!!!! (hopefully it’ll be Cassie’s favorite too)

Owl Cupcakes from Target

Pecan Tarts from Target as well

Mini size nutter butter + hershey kisses = My DIY chocolate nutter butter acorns.

Rico’s macarons were a hit. Still can’t believe these were home made. What can you not do? 😀

Potluck food from my titas—literally this shower would have not been possible without you (and the rest of the guests would be starving too, haha)

Even the paper plates were in theme. The utensils were brown wrapped around maroon red napkins with the remaining jute twine from the give aways and floral crowns

Wearing one of my handmade floral crowns that we were handing out during the baby shower, too bad I wasn’t able to come up with a lot. I actually bought the first 2 dozen floral crowns from 168 for 3/ P100, I didn’t think the guests would make it to a little bit over 40. I think I only made 10 more to add so clearly there weren’t enough…sorry titas.

Let the games begin….

How awesome is this, I ended up with a table solely for diaper cakes. Aren’t they the cutest?

My titas who came for the baby shower 😀

The cake was too nice that we almost forgot to cut it, haha. I think we just wanted to keep the entire thing for ourselves. It did come in my favorite flavor.

Thanks Kylee for these printable woodland themed tags!

Ended up using them for my baby shower favors with a handwritten “Thank you” on it. Oh Lord, forgive the handwriting…its literally been years since I last wrote anything in cursive.

Just bought 4 packs of those mini mason jam jars from Walmart and filled them up with trail mix, then we tied the tags with jute twine that we bought from Hobby Lobby. 🙂

Family photo at home before opening Cassie’s gifts (we’re missing Paulo and Pauline)

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Here’s a closer look at the diaper cakes!!!

Owl and Butterfly diaper cakes both from Tita Robyn Capistrano

Baby diaper cake from Ate Jen Hufstedler

Motor diaper cake from Tita Margie Patino

Vintage Burlap diaper cake from the Estigoys and the Veras

Woodlands Themed Diaper Cake from Tita Ruby Alcala

They even matched the woodland stuffed toys my mom got for Cassie

Daddy setting aside Cassie’s stuff the day after the shower.

Thanks again titas for spoiling Cassie immensely, and to think she’s not even out yet.

~Rhea