I am in the midst of preparing for another party, so this reminded me that I have neither written nor posted about the last birthday of my little girl when she turned three!
So allow me to go back to a few months past and share with you what happened during that sweet and happy day…
Since my daughter and I love strawberries, we decided to use a party theme that revolves around our favorite fruit! Since I am not keen on using cartoon characters or anything of that sort in this party, we came up with a uniquely charming idea : A Strawberry Fields Picnic Party!
The practical and sweet invitation.
To save on costs, I bought small clear glass jars from SM Department Store myself and ordered customized mini heart macarons from Alchemy. My two talented friends, Mia de Lara and Kitty Bunag of Craftsmith meanwhile, did the design and packaging of this yummy and unique invitation in a jar.
For this party, I searched high and low to look around for different venues. Since I have attended a whole lot of children’s birthday parties here in Manila (which are mostly held in closed door venues), I knew I wanted to get a place that’s different and special. I wanted a venue that has good food, bright open space, natural lighting through huge windows and a place that is just pretty. (Was that too much to ask?!) So after asking friends around and a few ocular visits, I found the one that has it all : The Atrium at Enderun, located right inside the gorgeous campus of Enderun Colleges in McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio.
I worked closely with Kitty Bunag, who did such a wonderful job styling this party. My only request to her was that we should keep the decor simple and practical, since the venue in itself is already very pretty. Since we share pretty much the same aesthetic when it comes to party styling, we agreed to do away with the usual balloons and heavy styling. We used some of the most basic and practical party decor we could find — and just added that extra flair (or that X factor as we call it) that is more often than not, lost nowadays in heavily decorated children’s parties.
For the guests’ tables, instead of having the usual round ones scattered all over the place, we decided to use rectangular ones that were put side by side. I must admit that having long rectangular tables added to the whole picnic vibe of the party. These tables were covered in the basic white table cloths provided by the venue. We just added table runners on top that had a shabby chic floral pattern to it and that were done in muted shades of red, pink and white. The table centerpieces meanwhile, were topiaries, or little green shrubs mounted on white clay pots, tied with a red and white gingham-patterned ribbon to bring out the strawberry fields theme of the party.
Since I am a big fan of desserts (as you all probably know by now), I worked on my favorite table at the party : the DESSERT TABLE. I chose each and every dessert that was placed here bearing in mind that most of them should be made of strawberries and of course, chocolate!
What were the sweet treats on the table?
A delicious chocolate fondant cake decorated in pretty flowers by The Delightful Miss Joyce.
Cakelets with dainty little flower toppers also by The Delightful Miss Joyce.
Rustic Strawberry Pie by Catherine’s Cakes and Pies. (This was a special customized order, since Catherine’s does not have strawberry pies in their menu).
Strawberry Cheesecake by Cheesecake by Guy.
Chocolate Strawberry Lava Cake and Green Tea Cupcakes by Cupcake Lab.
Pastel pink, blue and green mini macarons filled with dark chocolate and salted caramel by Alchemy.
Calamansi Pie by Swell Sweets. (Just because I love a good sour and tart calamansi pie!)
Sugar Cookies topped with strawberry fondant also by Swell Sweets.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries by Fruits in Bloom.
Strawberry Shortcake by award- winning Chef Miko Aspiras, who is simply one of the best pastry chefs we have in town.
To be quite honest about it, that dessert spread was a bigger hit with the grown ups than with the kiddos!! 🙂
Moving on to the other half of the party… this time what the kids enjoyed most : the entertainment and activities.
Maan San Buenaventura of Party Starters (my favorite one-stop party shop) helped me a lot on this side of the party. She provided the wooden kiddie tables and chairs covered in red and white checkered tablecloth so it remained consistent with our theme : A Strawberry Fields Picnic Party.
Beside the kids’ picnic tables were the Craft Corner and the Herb Garden, where kids were allowed to choose the type of herb plant they want to grow and bring home after the party.
The Pots Art Corner was right beside it too. This is where kids were allowed to create and explore their artistic side all while having fun at the party!
For this birthday party, I did away with the traditional loud and music-filled games. I noticed that little guests enjoyed these types of arts and crafts activities. Bonus part was that they were learning too. 🙂
Balloon Twister. There were no other party balloons inside the venue, except for this guy’s artistic balloon creations!
If the little girls had the Craft Corner, the little boys busied themselves with the Sand and Lego Tables!
A Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt booth was also placed at the garden for those who wanted a nice cold treat.
For the giveaways, instead of giving toys to the kids, we set up a fresh flower garden under a beautiful black and white umbrella (provided by the venue), where we allowed the kids and their mummies to pick whatever type of flower they wanted to bring home. This setup not only added flair and style to the party, but it proved to be a thoughtful going-home present too.
The kids were able to use those empty bottles wrapped in burlap cloths as their flower vases. They brought it home and as I was told by my mummy friends later on, the kids took care of their own flowers and even used it to decorate their own spaces at home!
Staying true to our theme of having A Strawberry Fields Picnic Party, what’s a picnic without having your own basket of freshly picked fruits? This was another takehome loot for the guests. Instead of giving them sugar-coated candies and chocolates, kids and grownups were pleasantly surprised to receive their own fresh strawberry fruit baskets on their way home!
And that pretty much sums it all up for this little girl’s birthday party. I can never fully express with words, the gratitude, the mix of emotions and everything else that transpired during this party in one blog post.
I am simply thankful for the privilege to have shared this day with family and friends. Thankful that the party turned out to be as pretty as I imagined it to be. Thankful to everyone who helped turn it into reality.
But most especially, I am and will always be forever thankful to the One who created this special being and entrusted me with His masterpiece.
(If you want to see what happened in her second birthday party, click here.)
Photography : RR Barretto of Brick Studio : 0917 724 0627