Our daughter Emma turned two on December first and we threw her a small party at my in laws’ home last weekend.
With a new baby in the mix, Kayo and I knew that we’d have our hands full and our pockets on the low around this time, but we really wanted Emma to have her own special celebration with family and friends so we started planning and preparing early, way before I gave birth. We decided on a simple, easy and inexpensive theme which also turned out to be lots of fun – a donut party! It’s also something we were sure Emma would enjoy.
As usual, I did all the party decor myself, with a little help from the girls. It’s not very easy for me to take off and go places these days with a newborn and all, so I’m very happy to find all the materials I needed lying around the house! A lot of them are leftovers from past craft projects and some are decor pieces I had saved from previous parties. For instance, I made donuts out of used cardboard boxes and scraps of paper from the buntings I made for Summer’s first birthday three years ago! I created a garland of these candy sprinkled donuts along with some paper fringe.
I also reused empty juice bottles which I’ve accumulated over the past year to serve drinks (Thanks to Juice Hut! ). I just made little donut pendants out of foam sheets and attached them to the bottles to keep in theme.
I wanted the decor to be pretty but I also wanted the guests to have fun with them, so I made donut masks out of more cardboard, foam sheets and sticks. My girls enjoyed goofing around with these!
Another fun treat for the guests were these little pink donut tattoos customized for me by Kim Tiamlee, a crafty friend who runs an online jewelry and temporary tattoo shop called Pulseras by Kim. I loved them and it was so much fun to see our guests, even Emma’s great grandma Didit, wearing them!
For the children, I made a piñata shaped like a donut, of course! Emma couldn’t shatter it herself but her cousins were more than pleased to lend a hand.
Aside from the fresh flowers, the only decor pieces I had to spend for were postcard sized donut themed art prints which I had designed. I placed them in double sided photo frames together with some of my favorite photos of Emma and placed them on the tables as centrepieces. Aren’t they just cute? Good thing I had extra pieces printed because some guests asked for copies to take home!
Now the “donut” birthday cake. It was a delicious rum cake which we bought in Uno Restaurant. To make it look like a donut, Kayo topped it with white icing and pink candy sprinkles. Then, I added a number two cake topper using some pink cardboard and a pair of cute yellow birthday candles.
The easiest part were probably the donuts. We ordered them a few days before party day and chose colorful, candy sprinkled ones for the kids and the more plain flavors for the adults. We picked them up from the store in the morning and right before the guests arrived, arranged them in stacks and small piles on the buffet table. Instead of food labels, I made cute little paper flags which I stuck on the donut piles. I loved how happy the food table looked once everything was set! Wouldn’t you agree?
Aside from the sweets, we also served chicken empanadas and tuna rolls. Kayo hand poured coffee for the grown ups, using a V60 drip in, which paired well with the donuts.
I was happy to see many of Emma’s cousins and friends enjoying themselves at the party. We set up an area in the garden where they could run and play freely. It was, after all, a children’s party. But just as much, it was really nice to see the grown ups enjoy themselves, as they sipped their coffee and exchange in lively conversation.
Emma, most importantly, was also very pleased. She had been excited about her party for weeks and so seeing it all come together — the donuts, the decor, the cake, all her playmates, the piñata, the presents — though a little overwhelming, made her very happy. So naturally, Papa and Mommy are very happy too!
Putting together this party was inexpensive but it did take a lot of tedious arts and crafts sessions for me to make it look really pretty. It did help a lot that we started preparing early. Also, the small details really do matter so it pays to put careful attention to them.
We are so thankful to all who came and made Emma’s birthday extra fun and extra special. Thank you for showering our little girl with lots of love and wonderful presents!
List of suppliers:
Party decor, piñata – Yours truly, Nica Cosio
Rum cake – Uno Restaurant, Tomas Morato
Donuts – Dunkin Donuts
Chicken Empanadas and Tuna Rolls – Red Ribbon
Temporary Donut Tattoos – Pulseras by Kim
Specialty Coffee – #ykw Handcrafted Coffee Roasters Manila
Photos by Kayo Cosio, Nica Cosio and Peppy Salita