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Happy Birth-DIY

Tips on pulling off a great party without spending a crazy amount of money

When my first two children turned one, I enlisted the help of professional party planners to materialize my vision for their first celebrations. I always planned them to be in Manila where I have wonderful existing relationships with some of the best and most creative suppliers in the country. When Lila was about to turn one however, I decided to have a smaller celebration in our Singapore home for her. I wasn’t really up for the massive undertaking of an elaborate party as my Dad had passed away only two months before. I decided to go at it alone and came up with a theme. I then turned to my trusty Manila suppliers to get some basics printed up to complement the theme and assist in my execution. These included garlands, banners, food labels, and party bags. Believe me it’s the little details that make a party seem professionally put together.

THEN SHE TURNED ONE Amanda Griffin-Jacob's DIY party for her little princess Lila . /2016.mb.com.ph

THEN SHE TURNED ONE Amanda Griffin-Jacob’s DIY party for her little princess Lila . /2016.mb.com.ph

My go-to supplier for all of these things is Party Starters (@partystartersph). I have been working with them since we collaborated on my book Project Mom three years ago and I’ve remained loyal to them ever since. Not only is their turnaround time fast, their customer service is impeccable, and they are always very helpful. Their DIY party kits have served me for most parties I have thrown. They have also provided me with party hosts, giveaways, and most other party needs.

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I hired my handyman for the afternoon and had him help me jig a fabric curtain wall, which served as the backdrop for my dessert table. He also helped me move heavy furniture around so that we could transform my living area and dining room into the pink and gold confection that I wished it to be.

Next on the list of to-dos is the food. To cater or not to cater. Everything in Singapore is so darn expensive that I decided that I would cook all the food with the exception of the desserts and, of course, the birthday cake. I wanted to keep in theme so I kept the food all white (mac and cheese, sandwiches, and sushi).

Since Lila is kid number three, half of the party guests varied in age from below one to seven years old (many friends of my other two kids were in attendance, too). This presented a bit of a challenge. What to do with 25 kids on such a diverse age spectrum? I decided to forego the usual party host and set up DIY craft tables courtesy of La Pomme (@lapommehome) that I transported from Manila to Singapore. I also hired a playhouse with a slide and had inflatables for the pool. Something for kids of every age to do. I did know that I would have to have help corralling many of the kids, so I hired a 16-year-old high school student who had experience taking care of kids at birthday parties such as this one. She was godsent.

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For the dessert table and its star, the birthday cake I Pinterested to death for inspiration. I customized the cake and chose cupcakes that are known to be the most delicious in Singapore. The final touch were the balloons which added more color to my set up as well as having a big number 1 and stars (part of my theme).

Lastly, I had to come up with the goody bag. These days it’s all about the goody bag isn’t it? For Lila’s, we featured magic wands for the girls, stuffed toy swords for the boys, button mirror key chains of the birthday girl, and Kiele anti mosquito repellant that doubles as a cologne (a favorite in my goody bags).

The verdict? People thought I had gotten a professional to help me and that’s always the best compliment when you do a DIY birthday party! It isn’t as hard as you think. You can throw a party that looks amazing without spending crazy amounts of money to do so.

If you want me to share more of my healthy recipes, please email me at info@glamomamas.com.