Thursday, November 19, 2020

DIY Mommy : the #AngTwins' THREE-riffic Birthday with Elmo and Friends

I can't believe I have 3 year old twins! It still feels like yesterday when I patiently waited for my scheduled CS day to come and how Paul and I finally welcomed them in this world on that fateful day at 6 in the morning. It's been 3 years of living a purposeful life being called Mama by my intelligent, adorable and very sweet twins J & L. 

For someone who loves to plan everything down to the last detail, 2020 really taught us to be flexible, to be resilient, to accept change and to roll with the punches. As they say, when life throws you lemons... you make delicious lemon squares. Haha! Seriously, the year went by so fast and while it wasn't really a smooth sailing one, it's the year where we got to spend the most time with family. Before the pandemic happened, I worry that I might miss out on their developmental years as I have gone back to working full-time and I often wonder if doing so will make me spend less time with them too. I guess, life has its funny way of making things work and with my current work-from-home-status, I get to dedicate time both for work and of course, for my kids. 

angtwins birthday 3
So, as soon as October rolled in, I got to work on planning for their birthday. Thinking of this year's theme was easy. My twins love Disney and they love Elmo too. They can sing the Elmo Song repeatedly while dancing to the Disney Clubhouse theme song. Paul wanted to go do a Disney theme as he's been pushing for this since last year but while browsing through the decors and props, I felt that a Sesame Street theme would be cuter. 

They're in this age where they can really voice their opinions and so, for this year's birthday theme, we left the decision to them. Needless to say, our little red furry friend Elmo won by a landslide and so Mommy got to work immediately. Putting on my brand manager cap on, I made sure that everything was on theme and within schedule. 

Jacob Liana 3rd Birthday
No family gathering or big birthday party this year though as we are still strictly following all safety protocols so instead of inviting everyone over, we decided to have a simple candle blowing ceremony instead and we sent over lunch platters to everyone in the family. Of course, a simple text message will never suffice so I created an invite and sent to the family to invite them to join us online. Since we wanted to keep it simple, I decided to do the invites myself. What do you think? ;) 

hungry apron hainanese
Food will always play a very important part of our celebration and so I planned ahead for this one. Since I've tried a lot of yummy dishes this year, I decided to share some of our discoveries with our family too. For our immediate family, we ordered our favorite Hainanese Chicken Rice from Hungry Apron. One whole platter is good for approximately 5-6 pax. It's one of the tastiest, closely authentic Hainanese Chicken Rice that I've had in Manila and as I have predicted, the family loved it too. They also offer half sizes for smaller families which is what I sent my cousin K who's also a foodie like me. I love how fragrant the rice is and even the sauce are just like the legit ones in Singapore. 

kusina kakanin sapin sapin
We also got each family a mini bilao of sapin sapin from Kusina Kakanin. We had this a while back and how we decided to include this in our birthday menu was when my mom suddenly craved for Kusina Kakanin's Sapin Sapin and I thought, why not let everyone try it too? My other cousin K told me that she never liked kakanin but she particularly enjoyed the Sapin Sapin that we sent over. Yay! I love how each bite-sized sapin sapin were wrapped in plastic pouches making it so easy to eat. It comes with their signature coconut dip that really gives more life to the already delicious rice cake. Sweet J of Kusina Kakanin has also sent over some Polvoron tubs which are so good! The truth is, I kept an extra tub just for myself heehee..

Lastly, how can we have a birthday celebration without 205 Kitchen's Pork Barbecue. I had this during my birthday and we also shared with the family and they loved it so the barbecue made a repeat performance for the twins' birthday. This was indeed Paul's labor of love as he woke up extra early that day to grill 80 sticks of pork barbecue. Great job, Daddy! 

angtwins birthday 5
Of course, we did not forget the kids. For all their cousins, we have prepared these cute customized Elmo bento boxes from Bento Mommas. It has been a dream of mine to order from Bento Mommas from the time that I chanced upon their Instagram account and saw all their beautiful and adorable creations. I even told K of Bento Mommas that I will surely order from them once my kids start school and they will be having their birthday celebrations with their classmates. Guess, we have to park that school birthday party plan till next year but the bentos shall go on! 

Inside the bento were mini pancakes, chicken nuggets, customized sugar cookie with Cookie Monster's face on it and Elmo bread cut out. The birthday celebrants each had their own box too and guess what they had first -- the cookie, of course! Normally, I'd say no but since it was their special day, well I allowed them to start their lunch with a piece of cookie. 

We had a very busy morning cooking (for Paul), picking up all our orders and packing them into individual bags and sending them all out to our family members located all over Metro Manila. My in laws came to see the twins which I'm thankful for as they helped kept the twins busy for an hour or so while we rush rush rush to ensure that the food gets to everyone in the family right on time. I'm thankful for technology and for delivery apps that made life so much easier. 

angtwins birthday 1
I love birthdays as it gives us the reason to give in to our craving. For our lunch here at home, I ordered from my friend Bambi of Bambi's Gourmet Kitchen. She makes the best Japanese dishes and so we enjoyed our Ebi Tempura, Wagyu Teppanyaki, Japanese Fried Rice, Sushi Cake and my personal request -- Spicy Salmon Salad. 

I carefully picked all these food suppliers with their hygiene as my top priority. I know all of them personally and so, I am assured that they all handled the food well. Given the current situation of the virus, we just have to be extra careful, you know. 

What's a birthday celebration without the cake? This year, we decided to get one big cake for the twins to share. Partly because our fridge is so packed with food that I can't imagine fitting two cake boxes in there anymore. I was browsing through catalogs and price lists of fondant cakes but most were priced beyond our budget so I had to get creative. I asked around and my friend I reminded me about Sweet Home Bakeshop. They're more active and responsive on Facebook and with just a few messages exchanged here and there, I got to reserve our cake which were also chosen by the twins. 

angtwins birthday 2
Our Sesame Street themed cake is 10x10in big and believe it or not, it's priced below Php 2000! What a deal. True, it's not made of fondant which actually makes it more expensive but instead they use boiled icing. For me, the two most important things are -- the design is pretty. Elmo has to look like Elmo and my twins were so happy when they saw their cake. Secondly, a cake has to be delicious. Moist with just the right amount of sweetness. Sweet Home Bakeshop has nailed this and we're really happy and satisfied customers. 

Moving on to the decors, apart from the menu planning, this is my next favorite task. I love shopping for decors and making sure that everything is in theme. We got Elmo balloons, a backdrop just to set the mood, pretty long candles and Elmo shirts for Paul and I. I also bought sticker paper and created gift tags which I attached onto the bento boxes for the cousins and our lunch packs for everyone else in the family. We also had Manang's signature muffins delivered to some of the twins' godparents the next day. 

angtwins birthday 4
Finally, the last touch -- our birthday celebrants. We had these cute Elmo shirts and shorts which we got for them last year and luckily it still fits so that's what they wore all day, on their birthday. 

I never thought that a home quarantine party would also entail a lot of coordination and planning or maybe because I just was being a bit extra. Haha It was an action-packed morning and we even continued the celebration until dinner time with more cakes coming for our celebrations (so much for keeping just one cake in the fridge). 

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That night, before we tucked the twins to bed, they told us that they're really happy and you can really feel their positive energy and vibe. I can't believe I have three year old twins now and I am just so grateful to be able to give them a simple yet fun birthday celebration that I hope they will be reminded of how much the entire family loves them. 

This is my 3rd birthday project done and once again, it was a success! 

Check out my other DIY Mommy birthday posts below:

Tutti-Fruitti First birthday at Vikings Jazz

Jumping in muddy puddles : Second birthday at Sunrice Buckets

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