Tuesday, February 28

Party: The Invitations (Part 2)

A couple of posts ago, I shared the invitation design with you guys. But that's just half of it. I had to add a location map with the main invitation because the event place was not a well-known choice for birthday parties.

My in-laws are avid golfers, and they usually play at the Navy Golf Club in Fort Bonifacio. My MIL suggested to have Allie's party there since they already are familiar with the place, the food and the service. We had lunch there before, and their food reminded me of nice home-cooked meals, which I really prefer for Allie's party. And so we agreed to have Allie's party there.

But back to the map design, I incorporated another element to my Lilly theme -- giraffes! I just love how it turned out. :)

I still gave paper invites in addition to the one I sent through social networking. Why? Because I love doing paper invitations and I know there are people out there (like me) who love receiving them.

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Baby: Weekly Photos (13-16)

The first four weeks in Metro Manila from Allie's arrival at the airport to the first time she was on her tummy trying to crawl.

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Saturday, February 25

Party: The Invitations

One month to go before Allie's party. I finished the invitations a few weeks ago. I love how they look -- from the front to the back. I just love diy-ing them.

Here's the inspiration invitation from Tiny Prints. I didn't include any photo of Allie on the invitation I did. I have a plan for that on the actual party. Watch out for it. *wink*

via Tiny Prints

I used the free Lilly Pulitzer desktop wallpaper, 'Skip On It', and replaced some of the colors to match my color theme.

I used double sided printing -- I put the Lilly print on the back, and the party details in front. I even added a border just to make it interesting. I used bright yellow green envelopes which I got from National Bookstore -- my favorite office supply and bookstore.

Fonts I used:
* Pea Olson
* Gill Sans Ultra Bold
* Rockwell

How's that for diy? Do you like it? :)
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Friday, February 24

Love: Design meets Party {Ghost Chairs}

Philippe Starck is one of my all-time favorite designers. I guess it didn't hurt that this Louis Ghost Armchair that I love so much was designed by him.

Louis Ghost Chair by Philippe Starck for Kartell
via Design Within Reach
I mean, what is there not to love? Below is a vanity area designed by THE Sarah Richardson using a smoke gray Louis Ghost Chair.

via DecorPad

Recently, I've been seeing these chairs in wedding receptions and even children's parties.

via Manolo for the Brides
Here's a birthday party setup using ghost chairs. I'm unsure if they're the real thing. They look amazing though.

via Ghost Chairs by Olive Tree
I didn't think ghost chair rental is available here in Manila. But they are! So far, the only ghost chair rental supplier I can find here is Olive Tree. I saw somewhere that you can rent their chairs at P160 per piece (about $3.75), but don't take my word for it. Ask them to be sure.

Email: olivetree.phil@yahoo.com | olivetree.philtrade@gmail.com
Web: http://olivetreephil.tumblr.com/
Mobile: 0917-866-4201

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Thursday, February 23

Baby: Weekly Photos (9-12)

I remember these. We were doing the biggest move of our lives -- with a new baby in tow. Talk about countless trips to buy boxes, hours packing our stuff and changing diapers. We also managed to squeeze in a Florida trip to visit Allie's cousins.

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Wednesday, February 22

Love: Handwritten Envelope Labels

When I did my wedding invitations, I decided to have the address labels handwritten. I couldn't find a good calligrapher back then that I liked, so I did it myself.

I think I did an okay job.

But if I could do it over again, I would have them handwritten by Anne Robin. She does the most amazing calligraphy that is exactly what I wanted.

Here are some of her samples, in different styles. All images below are from Anne Robin.

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Tuesday, February 21

Love: Coffee Infographic

Have you ever wondered how baristas mix your favorite espresso, and if you're pronouncing it correctly? Here's a cute infographic for the coffee lover from Lokesh Dhakar and from David McCandless, the famous author of Visual Miscellaneum.

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Saturday, February 18

Party: Giraffe!

I decided to add a giraffe in Allie's party theme. I got inspired by Mellisa Calaguiri. Remember my post?

Adorable right?

Here's a peek at the invitation. I'm using the giraffe as part of the map sheet.

I'm super excited to show the whole thing to you!

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Friday, February 17

Freebie: Floral Heart Monogram

Oh. My. Goodness.

I just recently followed Wedding Chicks; it's a site full of all things pretty for a wedding. I love browsing wedding stuff. It's my secret fantasy to become a wedding planner (not so secret anymore, I guess. Teehee.) .

Anyway, Wedding Chicks recently posted a free printable that I love. Make your own customized print at their website. Here's the link.

--and here's my customized print. Have fun making your own!

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Thursday, February 16

Love: Seattle

Seattle. How can anyone not love Seattle?

It was love at first sight... and it's not because of some feel-good movie (I love Sleepless in Seattle though), nor is it because of some McSteamy goodness (guilty of watching Grey's too). I love Seattle the moment I saw it in person.

Maybe it's because the weather was perfect while we were there. It was sunny and very comfy.

Look at the Space Needle -- so lovely from the bottom.

Here we are with our nieces and all our Keens.


...with the old logo.

Ever wondered why there's a Starbucks coffee name called Pike Place? Their oldest store is in Pike Place.

Oh, and while we were there, we went to the Public Market.

 -- which of course has fresh fruits in season

and lovely flowers.

Until we see each other again Seattle. I miss you already.

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Wednesday, February 15

Baby: Weekly Photos (5-8)

About this set of pictures:

Four weeks in 4 different places --
Week 5: Nashville, TN
Week 6: Atlanta, GA
Week 7: Philadelphia, PA
Week 8: Toronto, Canada

My baby travels everywhere.
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Tuesday, February 14

Love: Happy Hearts' Day

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Monday, February 13

Crafts/DIY: Martha Stewart's Paper Flowers

I am doing paper flowers for dear little Allie's birthday party. I think it's fun, and fits right into the Lilly Pulitzer theme.

I have done some research on how to do them, and I am getting all my materials ready for the DIY stage. I find that the Martha Stewart website has a really comprehensive how-tos. Here are the goodies --

Single-petal method
via Martha Stewart

Continuous-petal method
via Martha Stewart

Paper stamens
via Martha Stewart

Paper leaves
via Martha Stewart

Paper flower garland
via Martha Stewart

Paper flowers
via Martha Stewart

Paper flowers
via Martha Stewart

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Sunday, February 12

Food: Croque Monsieur

It was a good day. My cousin treated the big family to Stacy's -- an all-day breakfast cafe at Capitol Hills. I had the Croque Monsieur.

It was good. It could have been better if the potato chips were kettle-cooked. But I'm biased. :)

Here is Ina Garten's Croque Monsieur recipe from the Food Network. I want to try it.

Croque Monsieur
Yields 4-8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 2 cups hot milk 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • Pinch nutmeg 
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups) 
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan 
  • 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed 
  • Dijon mustard 
  • 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin 
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened.
  4. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.
  5. To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.
  6. Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread.
  7. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes.
  8. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

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Saturday, February 11

Inspiration: Scrabble

I had Scrabble as a class in college for PE. I know, lame right? But I wasn't not athletic (I'm still not), and I didn't want to get all sweaty. And besides, I LOVE board games.

So here's an inspiration board dedicated to Scrabble, one of my all-time favorite games.

1. Backyard Scrabble (via Sunset) -- a home project by architect Kristy McAuliffe. It was made from a wood frame, poured concrete that was scored into squares and separated by joints. Colored squares were made from water-based concrete stains. Letter tiles were made from baseboard trim with precut, adhesive-backed vinyl letters and numbers sealed with spray lacquer. Tile trays were created by a metal artist friend.

2. Scrabble Placecards (via Caroline Tran) -- DIY this using cardstock and your desktop printer. Glue in one scrabble tile unto a letter. Et voila!

3. Lettered Pillows (via shopdirsta) -- made-to-order pillows. I can see this as diy-able if you are great at sewing. You can sew white letters/numbers on grey fabric. If you don't know how to sew like me (I should really learn how to sew), use some fabric spray paint and freezer paper to stencil in the letters/numbers.

And because I love my readers, here is a free scrabble love print for you to use. Just copy the image.

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Friday, February 10

Baby: Weekly Photos (1-4)

I have been doing weekly photos of Alyssa since she was born. I am going to try to incorporate these photos on her birthday party. I don't know how yet.

Her birthday's coming up I know and I am almost done with booking the suppliers. After that, I'll bury myself in all the DIY goodness of party planning. Super exciting.

It seemed like it was only yesterday when I gave birth to her. Time flies. For real.

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Thursday, February 9

Baby: Games with Alyssa

I was clueless what to play with my baby since I am a first-time mom. I read this article from the Bub Hub which had a list and description of baby games categorized by age group. Apparently, I was doing good in this department. I've done some of these games with my baby, and the article gave me more ideas to entertain my baby (and some DIY too!).

Below is their list with a short example, and I included some of Allie's pictures, too.

under 3 months 

Music fun -- Put on a CD and help your baby clap hands, clap feet, bicycle his legs. Show your baby how you clap hands, wriggle fingers, twirl, and bob up and down.

Foot Tapping -- Lie your baby safely on their back. Tap the bottom of your baby's feet gently in time to a song that you are singing for example Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Looking in the Mirror -- Hold your baby in front of a mirror so they can explore what they look like. 

Mobile -- Hang colourful, and black and white things, things that move, and things that make noise over your baby's cot. Tie securely and don't use anything smaller than would fit in a 35mm film canister. 

Looking fun -- Babies learn by watching. Take your baby outside and hold them where they can see things moving - streamers, trees, washing on the line.

Aeroplanes -- Let your baby follow things with their eyes - move your face, a rattle, or a coloured toy in front of them. Play aeroplanes with your hands - fly through the air and land on your baby's tummy!

3 - 6 months

Singing -- Sing and help your baby do action songs: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Incy Wincy Spider, Put a Spot Over Here, Round and Round the Garden etc.

Exploring and touching -- Give your baby safe objects from around the house to explore the shapes and textures - plastic things from the kitchen, pots and pans, sponges, paper, empty tins with lids, velvet, fur, lace, towelling, cardboard, fine sandpaper etc.

Make a book -- Make a 'feely book' by gluing textured objects onto squares of cardboard - punch two holes in the side of each square and make them into a book by securing with string or shower curtain rings - easy to take out with you!

Listening fun -- Use rice, pasta or a bell to fill a plastic container - make sure the container is well sealed. Shake to your baby's side or behind baby and see if they can find it.

Looking and Movement -- Lay your baby down on a rug. Hold a toy to your baby's side and fly it over their head and land on the other side so your baby can follow the toy with their eyes.

6 - 9 months

Shakers for baby to hold -- Fill and tightly seal small (no smaller than a 35mm film canister), light-weight containers with rice for your baby to hold and shake.

Milk Carton Blocks -- Use milk cartons to make blocks for your baby. Draw or stick pictures of objects such as animals on the sides. Talk to your baby about the pictures as they play with the blocks.

Where's Teddy? -- Hide a toy in one room of the house and carry your baby from room to room saying 'Where's teddy' and telling them what rooms you are looking in.

Roll the ball -- Roll a soft, brightly coloured ball to your baby and teach them how to stop it and push it back to you.

Using feet -- Hang rattles or similar noise-making toys where your baby can kick them, or put socks with securely attached bells ob your baby's feet so they make noise when they move their feet.

Noise and Movement -- Fill empty plastic bottles that will roll with small / colourful / noisy things eg. bells, scrunched coloured paper, small stones. Secure lids tightly.

9 - 12 months

Music from the kitchen -- Make fun instruments from up-turned pots and pans with wooden spoons, or two saucepan lids for cymbals. Use your instruments to explore different concepts such as loud and soft, fast and slow.

Water fun -- A great summer activity! Fill a low, wide container with a few centimetres of water and place it on the ground. Float small objects such as flowers or corks in the water and let your baby reach and splash. Always supervise children when playing with water.

Toys overboard! -- Using elastic, tie small soft toys to the top of your baby's high-chair. Show them how you drop the toys and pull them back up again.

Reading fun -- Sit your baby on your lap and read stories with simple action words and pictures. Stories with repetitive phrases are fun, like 'Run, run, as fast as you can, you can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread man!'.

Hide and Seek -- Show your baby a toy, then hide it under a towel or small blanket and help them find it.

Outside fun -- Take your baby into the back yard or to the park. Let your baby feel different surfaces, let them sit and crawl on the grass, feel stones and leaves with supervision - some objects can look like a tasty treat!

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