DIY Mommy : A Look Back at the #AngTwins' First Birthday at Vikings Jazz

I never thought that I'd be the type of mom who loves throwing parties for my little ones. Sure I love to plan but I never thought I'd actually enjoy going through the whole process of thinking of a theme, planning the decor, the food and even the cake. I guess, motherhood can really change you and for me, it has made me a more creative and resourceful mom.

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Since my twins have just celebrated their 2nd birthday. I thought of doing a throwback and sharing with you how we celebrated their first birthday. As you know, first birthdays are a BIG thing here in our country. It's normally when the parents would really allot a bigger amount of budget and would go through the trouble of securing a venue months or even a year in advance. I don't blame them, after all, a baby turns 1 only once (haha) and well it's also a good way to celebrate 12 full months of sleepless nights parenthood. What more for us as we celebrated 12 full months of surviving twin parenting! Hooray, indeed. 

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the twins with their beautiful Ninang D!
Well, even before the twins were born, Paul and I agreed that we will postpone that grand clubhouse party till the twins are more "conscious" of their surroundings. We've attended way too many children's parties in our lives to notice that more often than not, the year old celebrant is asleep for most parts of his or her grand celebration. For us, that would be such a waste because while the other guests are truly having the time of their lives, the birthday celebrant has drifted off to lalaland. Also, we are very particular with the food. For us, a good party should have the yummiest food. 

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So, when my sister Pan and brother-in-law E suggested that we consider Vikings, Paul and I looked at each other and said "why not?!" A buffet is the best solution in ensuring that all your guests will go home satisfied and happy. We don't even have to worry about making sure we have enough dishes or those with dietary restrictions will still have a good meal. Vikings is also one of our personal favorite buffet restaurants so upon hearing their suggestion, we immediately thought that it was a good idea. 

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The next step was to choose the venue. Vikings has more than 10 branches in the metro and the immediate choice was actually to go for Vikings Niu at Podium or the one in Megamall simply because it's the closest to us. However, Pan mentioned that we should check out Vikings Jazz in Makati because they have the most spacious function rooms and it's not super far making it still accessible for most of our guests. We got all three main function rooms which could seat 120-150 guests. They actually have an enclosed room too which I regret not getting as it would have made our space less cramped if some of our big groups of friends can have their private space in that enclosed room. Of course, I initially thought, I want everyone to be seated near each other and for everyone to know what's happening in the party but it was indeed a tight squeeze for all our guests that day. 

Now, the theme. I had several options which I made Paul decide which one to go for. There was the very common Mickey and Minnie since they're boy-girl twins. Then I thought of Noah's Ark because all animals come in pairs. Haha! Witty, right? ;) My 3rd ideas was Tutti-fruitti which was a play of word with the number TWO (because..well there's two of them) so it's TWO-tti fruitti. Paul loved it and I'm super happy as I was also secreting rooting  for the 3rd option mainly because I have envisioned the party to be really colorful. We ran the idea with Paul's sister, Achi J and my sister Pan and they both loved it too. 

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Little Rain and Beanie in fruitty dresses together with superhero Seb!
We made it even more exciting and asked our little guests to come in their favorite fruity attire to get the chance to win a prize. We even have two special prizes for our adult guests who came in accordance to the theme too! 

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As for the decors, I really didn't want to spend so much on this and since Vikings has such beautiful function rooms, so I opted to just go with fruit balloons which Achi J got for me at Divisoria. I then decided to have a tarpaulin made as the backdrop since I have to add some color to the white wall. The only drawback of doing DIY decor is the time spent cramming before the party as we had to quickly blow up those balloons and hang them up on the wall before the guests arrived. We also didn't bother to put table centerpieces as we know that the tables will be filled with plates of food. We just wanted to make our guests feel really comfortable. 

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Now, on to the cake. This is where I spent the most time on and perhaps one of the more expensive elements of the party apart from the venue, of course. I really wanted to give my twins a beautiful and delicious cake so this one was a non-negotiable factor for me. I found Bakery by DKC on Instagram and after chatting with her and throwing some ideas back and forth, I knew I found the perfect baker who can turn my TWO-tti Fruitti dream cake to reality. I really wanted the cake to be super colorful, filled with fondant fruits and cute characters and even the font used to spell out the names of my babies was done perfectly. I was so happy and honestly, if I can keep the cake forever on display, I would. It was definitely a sweet dream come true. 

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Since we know that our guests will be busy eating and visiting the buffet spread, I decided to do away with the games and usual party program as we didn't want to bother them too much. Instead, since we invited our family and closest, bestest friends, we just wanted everyone to have the chance to mingle, catch up and to enjoy the food. Also, Paul and I just kept going around chatting with everyone. However, I just had to get one supplier to entertain the little ones -- a talented balloon artist! This idea came about when we attended a birthday party and my little J was just so fascinated with the balloon car that was made for him. I realized how much he loves balloons and since it was his birthday, then we're giving him all the balloons that we want. This was a hit as most of the little boys got balloon swords, balloon hats and balloon motorbikes while the girls got balloon mermaids, balloon Minnie Mouse and more. Unfortunately though, I won't recommend this particular artist despite being very talented, he wasn't the most pleasant supplier that we got and at some point, he started hiding from the kids and was found to be complaining that he's tired even when the deal was for him to do balloon arts for 3 hours so you would think that he'd be ready for the job. *sigh*

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Apart from the balloon arts, I also created my own video for the twins. It was specially created by yours truly which showed photos of them from the time they were born up until days before the party. I felt so emotional making the video because I can't believe that my once NICU twins have grown and developed so much. We truly came a long long way. ♥  I just asked Vikings to provide me with a projector and here I was presenting the video to our guests. As you can see, all the kids decided to gather in front of the screen and they enjoyed watching it. After the video has ended, they all pleaded for us to play it again. It was so hilarious! Of course, we complied. This was how casual and spontaneous the party was. 

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Despite months of planning, I found myself cramming days before the party when I realized that I wasn't able to prepare giveaways for the kids! Ack! It was a good thing Achi J and my brother-in-law, Ahia J, suggested that we check out Landers as they saw these boxes of Lifesaver gummies available. Paul and I made a mad dash to Landers and quickly spotted boxes of these colorful fruity-flavored candies. Imagine us quickly hoarding boxes after boxes of these candies for the twins' party. Some shoppers were giving us this weird look. Indeed, our giveaway was a hit as not only the kids loved it but the adults too! Lifesaver, after all, is such a nostalgic brand for every 90s kid. Just for that extra touch, I posted a short thank you sticker onto the box from the celebrants. 

When it comes to documenting this special occasion, it was an easy decision to go for the talented Irvin Kenneby Lee. He was also the one who capture the photos during the baptismal of the twins and we loved how he and his partner got to nailed the nicest photos showing the most candid, genuine moments of this special milestone plus they're very professional to deal with too. Irvin has been our family's favorite having captured also the baptismal and first birthday of my niece A. 

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Here's one of my favorite photos during the party showing all 4 set of twins who were born in the same hospital and within a few weeks apart from one another. I really love my fellow twin parents as they've provided us with so much support and strength for the past two years. The one to my right with the boy twins is actually my uncle! So cool that our family gained two sets of twins on the same year.

It has been a year since this party and yet, Paul and I couldn't stop reminiscing and raving about it. Everything just fell into place and while we didn't had to spend so much, we got the full support and help from friends and family to make the twins' 1st birthday a success. The function rooms were packed to the brim and we even had my Angkong present with us then. Someday, I can't wait to show the twins all these photos for them to have a glimpse of their first birthday too.

My DIY career didn't end there. In my next post, I'll share with you what we did for their second birthday! 

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