Oh where do i begin? If there’s one thing I really enjoy doing, it’s throwing and organzing parties for my kids! Probably because growing up, my mom used to always do the same! Brings back a lot of happy memories.
More than just sharing this special moment, I’d like to also help you out incase this whole party planning scene is all new to you! (especially if you’re a first time parent.. or if you simply need ideas for your child’s celebration.)
In all honesty, I do get a lot of inspiration on Pinterest, and generally just typing on google search! Haha Aren’t we all guilty though?! So, might as well just help the community through this post as well.
First things first, pick a theme. Remember this isn’t your birthday- but your kids! You can start by choosing their favorite toy, book or anything that makes them happy. You can get creative and not jusy stick to cartoon characters. See Maxen’s birthday party last year- it was Dr. Seuss Cat in The Hat themed- one of his fave books at that time.
This year, it was totally different.
Maxen just loves motorcycles! Whether it’s the ones we see on the streets, his own “vroom vroom” as he calls it or even hot wheels! Like he tries to ride on it even if it’s as small as his finger! So i thought, this would make him really happy! And so the theme, #MotorMaxen2 came about.
Of course I could not do this on my own, especially if i want a certain standard and not just balloons and cut outs! Haha.
Portia of @Gpthestoryteller has always been my go to gal since I met her about 4 years ago at a friends wedding. Yup, she does weddings too! From there, she styled my baby shower when I was pregnant with Maxen, and then on to his first birthday party and even Tyler’s 8th at home!
I love working with her because we agree on so many things instantly- she never demands her ideas and merely suggests. (I know a lot of you might be hesitant because you would like your opinion to matter especially as a client) .. Basically I tell her my “grand” idea and from there she makes it come to life- even beyond what I expect! And because of that, I just can’t see myself working with anyone else on occassions like these.
The details are just so on point- (my daughter might just cringe at me saying that- but whatever!) but it is!! Portia and her team create and build most of their props from scratch! I get impressed all the time!
Like these life size bikes and centerpieces! Amazing.
This cake table set up was also her doing! Love how it all came together!
And the cake? Well Joey from @sugarcraftMNL makes really gorgeous 3D cakes! She was the same one that made Maxen’s Dr. Seuss cake last year.
So proud of Maxen, because he finally blew the candles on his own! Look at him go!
Maxen had poked the cake already at this time.
Also, I find that at parties kids just want to play and not be bothered. So i opt for “no host, no program” sort of parties and just provide things the kids could get busy with both young and old!
Inflatables have always been a staple because again, put yourself in your kids shoes- all that sugar and energy must be channeled somewhere right? So i have constantly been working with @adaswonderlandpartyneeds. I make sure to book two inflatables, because you can’t have the big kids jump with the little ones- just to avoid accidents.
A little bit of trivia, when Rose and her husband started this inflatable business, i was their very first customer for Tyler’s birthday at home. They only had one inflatable then and they weren’t even sure if their business would work.. but I knew it would! And look at them now!
They’ve got sooo many to choose from. And the kids never want to leave!
Apart from that, they’ve also expanded their business to lights and sounds as well! (Which we also used at Maxen’s birthday this time.. i needed music to keep playing to set the mood for everything.. and no i didn’t play LOUD annoying party music.. it was all a mix of chill and upbeat hits! )
Well except for the time that I called in BARNEY & ELMO! I know it had absolutely no connection to the theme, but Maxen just loves them! I knew this would make him really happy!
So i called @cosplayperformers ~ they’ve been my go to for mascots eversince! I discovered them when i celebrated my 30th birthday with some kids from Muntinlupa.
I was looking for a mascot supplier and I found them on IG. I was really happy about the looks and quality of their mascots. So i’ve become quite loyal to them.
And i’m glad i did because all the kids went crazy over them!!! And so did the parents.. as you can see! That’s one ninong… and here’s ninang.
This time, since I didn’t book a country club- i had to choose my own caterer as we rented out an empty space, and events place called Espacio Events Place in BF resort. I needed the space and setting for my theme!
An air conditioned room plus a garden to setup my inflatables and race track! It really is a hidden gem if you live in the South.
Espacio just opened about a month ago- so it was really something new. I know it was a bit out of the way for everyone, but getting there made everything worth it! I would highly recommend it especially if you want a something else other than a ballroom. You can check out @espacioeventsplace on Instagram.
Now the kids had all their activities set, but what about the hungry parents?! I mean I have to admit, I always look forward to the buffet and food carts at every kiddie party i attend! So i make sure I spoil the adults rotten!
You may be wondering how to choose what food carts to book. At parties we always want something fast, easy to eat, refreshing, something salty, sweet.. and basically, comfort food!
When you combine those together, it just all works out perfectly!
Sharing my top food carts this year.
First was a lemonade stand @drops.lemon on Instagram. My kids and I love a freshly squeezed glass of lemonade- aside from it being so healthy- it is so refreshing and the perfect beverage for a kids party or any occasion. This will always, ALWAYS be a hit!
Up next is Spud Buds @spudbudsph on Instagram. This was actually a special request of Tyler! Really delicious, freshly cut potato fries topped with bacon bits which are honestly so difficult to stop eating!
Then of course, the dessert segment.. Jungle Joy @Junglejoyph on Instagram. It’s shaved ice with bananas, leche flan and milk! A great alternative to halo halo in my opinion. Less complicated and both the kids and adults love it!!! I had a little too much.
Puffles @pufflesph on Instagram was a hit at Maxen’s first birthday so it was a must again this time. He just loves it!
Waffles, ice cream and all the scrumptious toppings you can imagine! It’s up to you to decide how you wanna eat it. Enjoyed their new variant that had sago pearls with it. Oh gosh, making me crave for it as I type.
And one of my personal faves (biased of course!) is @heysugardough! This was the first time we launched our party booth! My kids product- soft, chewy, soft batch chocolate chip cookies served a la mode.
Then we also had these Japanese treats called @takobarmnl . It was a meal in itself and just so good! I think we finished everything before the party ended! Haha
And lastly, what’s a party without cotton candy? I am definitely guilty of ordering a stick or 2 at every party! @fluffedph was what we chose! It’s got so many delicious flavors to choose from. Yes, including Mape Bacon!
If you’re looking for something unique to serve, this is it.
It’s so easy to book them! Just send a message on instagram and I guarantee they’ll get back to you right away. They’ve all been such an ease to work with.
And so I mentioned all the activities we prepared to handle the intense sugar rush! Haha. But I also made sure to always prepare activities for the little girls mostly- and the younger ones!
Cookie and cupcake decorating are always a hit! I had @theparty_project over for Maxen’s 1st.. and some of the kids did not leave the table.
So I figured, i must have them again this year! The trick to a successful party is to always keep the kids busy!
Party project also prepared a lego table, which is initially how I discovered them on Instagram 2 years ago.. It really is one simple, yet creative way to keep the kids preoccupied.
Oh I also added these little mechanical rides just coz they were cute and I couldn’t find little motrobikes for rent! Haha pretty good don’t you think?
Now for the little details that go a long way..One of my favorite things to do, as I mentioned before is preparing and curating all the loot bags!
Aside from the memories, it’s the only thing that guests get to take home.. so might as well make it impressive and useful at the same time.
I remember how I used to always get excited about goody bags growing up- and when my kids go to parties we’d always open it up together to see what’s inside.
So what i do is- I usually think of 5 small but favorite things Of my child and go from there!
So in the goody bag this year, I included Maxen’s favorite apple juice- Honest kids.. some of his favorite snacks, washable Crayola markers and wipes which I got from Ogalala in Shangrila, Notebooks, and of course Hot Wheels Motorbikes for the boys and then I bought littlest Pet Shop items for the girls.
To top it all off, I added a personalized jar or @madeincandy treats so that even the parents could enjoy.
I always make sure the goody bags are full and fun – and something I personally would appreciate if we were the receivers!
I never want anything to go to waste- so I suggested to Portia not to use kiddie tables and chairs anymore – I said i’d just order bean bags made that the kids could take them home as well! It’s something Maxen really loves .. both Tyler and Max use them to make forts- to even sit and play and jump over. It’s so useful and I know it could go a long way.
I had them customized by @insta_mug. Their printing quality has always been so good plus the canvas material they used was exactly what I had requested.
So all the kids got to take home a goody bag + a bean bag! So if there’s one thing I really set aside budget for- it’s that. It matters so much to me! But then again, that’s just me. Haha!
I intended on shooting the videos myself but I had barely any time to take on my phone- just enough for IG stories!
It’s a good thing I got in touch with @ducksanddrakesph just 2 weeks before! Our schedules met and they made this awesome video. You can watch snippets of his party HERE. They’re sooo good- now I can’t imagine doing another party without them! Haha.
And of course the photos, which mean so much to me too! I remember booking my first photographer for my wedding- and I didn’t mind paying the price because until now It’s something we always look back to. Just as these milestones are so precious- I cannot miss out and have bad photos!
So I booked Zeus by @lifebyohana for this. He was also the same one who covered Maxen’s dedication and Noelle’s 13th birthday.
I always loved the treatment of his photos- very natural and in the moment.
Nothing too staged and stiff. I would totally recommend them for your kids next birthday!
And I think that’s it for now!!!
So happy to finally be able to share this on my blog. Hope this helps!
And if there are any questions as always, leave a message here or on Instagram @mikaelamartinez xx
Man, this all wouldn’t have been possible without such an amazing team! So thank YOU guys so much- again, to Portia and her team- for spending extra time to setup the day before just to get this all done!
You made Maxen’s motorcycle dreams come true! 🙂
Maxen’s personalized t-shirt: @qprintsph