Bendigo Filipino Fiesta 2018

And so this blog was silent for over 10 days. Well, if we have to blame it on something, it will have to be the Filipino Fiesta, which we helped organise and also sponsored.

Serious planning started as early as January of this year. Roles were assigned and defined. Suddenly, the weeks and months passed by oh so quickly and next thing we knew, it was April!

Thankfully, a lot of our supplies arrived in the last two weeks, after being delayed by the Easter break and what-nots. Then came the job of repackaging, pricing, and deciding on the mock set-up.  Plus, there was also the shopping of lollies, biscuits, toys and other inexpensive novelty items for the children’s games.

By Saturday morning, hubby wakes me up around 7am, but I sleepily and jokingly asked if I could just arrive at the fiesta venue much later at 10am. Of course, not. I dragged myself to the venue, with a car loaded with TQB merchandise and children’s game props and prizes.

And tah-dah! Here’s one of the children’s games that I prepared for the fiesta:

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It is called “pabitin”. During the game, kids stand below this, to this sight…

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…and somebody (an adult) holds the other end of the rope and pulls the rope back and forth, so the pabitin goes up and down, teasing the kids, who would jump up and down to try and grab some of the goodies that they could reach.

Here was our stall. We were sharing the marquee with a friend, who’s also selling some bracelets, rings and necklaces, as well as some refreshing drinks.  Those milk crates and white storage boxes served dual purposes – to hold the goods as they were transported, and to hold/elevate the displays at the stall.

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Before it got busy, I was able to take a quick walk around to snap some shots.

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Then, the Santacruzan parade started. Traditionally, in the Philippines, this parade is held in the month of May. But because May is the last month before it’s winter in Australia, we just couldn’t have it in May, because all those pretty gowns don’t quite match with beanies and ugg boots. 🙂

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This was the last decent shot I had taken. After this, a friend of mine from high school arrived, so I had to entertain her. Then customers started coming to the stall. The program started and the games had to be done. Oh well, you can just imagine how busy it became.

But this yummy treat nearby was beckoning me. Luckily, hubby was nearby, so I asked him to buy some of the tempting “ensaymada” (a type of soft Filipino sweet bread) for me. Oooohh! It was delicious! I regretted not buying a dozen of it. (OK, I was too busy to regret during the day, but when the fiesta was over and we were relaxing at home, and there were a couple of these left in our bag, I did regret not buying more.)

So, the fiesta was quite a success, but we are all relieved that it’s finally done and we can relax and get back to our normal lives. Lol!

So now, what do we do for FIG Activity Day?

 

15 Etsy Finds That You Can Wear To The Coachella Festival

It’s almost time for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival again, and if you are going, you need to finalize your festival outfit right now. But even if you are not going to the festival, but just love to dream of going and, perhaps, even have plans of holding a mini Coachella festival thingy with a few friends at your place, you still have to have the proper outfit to get the mood right.

We’ve hopped over to our favourite handmade/vintage online shop, Etsy, to see what options we can find in composing a truly festival look. Here are some of our finds, so far:

Our Ward’s TOFW – Time Out For Women

Here are some snapshots from our ward’s Time Out For Women (TOFW) activity. Since most of us couldn’t make it to the nearest official TOFW event, we decided to have our own in our ward.

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We had a number of inspiring speakers, including a non-LDS lady (friend of one of our RS sisters) who was 90+% blind. If you have a closer look at the photos above, there is a photo of handmade necklaces and bracelets at the bottom centre.  All those necklaces and bracelets were made by her….and they were beautiful! If I recall correctly, she donates the profit to her favourite charity.  She also got us to try and write something in Braille, using the slate and stylus she brought. It was lovely to be able to experience that.

Organising A Car Boot Sale

No, I do not claim to be an expert on organising car boot sales. But, I thought it would be a good idea to share things that we did, things that I should have done, and advices that I received at the car boot sale that we just did last week. So, here we go:

THINGS I DID:

  • Secured a venue for the car boot sale. We had a few options, but went with the easiest venue we could get, which was the parking area at the local indoor market.
  • Prepared a form for listing site reservations and necessary info.  I created a simple one from scratch and included columns for the name of seller, contact details, date booked, fee paid, and notes. Here’s the link to the PDF of the form I made, in case you’d like to use it too. 🙂 car boot booking
  • Announced the event on Facebook, Gumtree, local tourism website, and created A5 flyers (which included a brief info on how to book a site at the car boot sale). Shared the event info on Facebook as often as possible, without being too annoying to your FB friends, that is.
  • Left a bunch of the A5 flyers at the venue and at a local restaurant, and made more for other members of the committee to handout at their work places, etc.
  • Created A6 flyers for the prospective customers. This bunch of flyers didn’t include the info on how to book a site, but only the date, time and venue of the car boot sale.
  • Dropped flyers in letter boxes in the neighborhood.
  • Visited the venue and measured the available area. Then, I grabbed a screenshot of the area from Google maps and used my background in Architecture to create a site plan. Using the plan and the actual measurements we got, we were able to come up with the sizes of the car sites, and the number of car sites available.  We had to do this carefully because we had limited space – we were able to fit 18 4mx6m sites.
  • Composed a list of regulations for the sellers to observe.  This included set up time, pack up time, as well as a few rules for the safety of everybody. (We can’t have car accidents at the sale!) I posted this list on the Facebook event, as well as emailed each seller a copy.  After sending the email, I also sent each seller an SMS to tell them that I have sent them an email (in case they don’t check their emails very regularly).
  • Visited the venue on the day before the car boot sale and marked the corners of each car site with chalk…and hoped it won’t rain overnight! (Thankfully, it didn’t.)
  • Created A4 signs to put on street posts around the area. I made sure the font was large enough to be seen, but I suppose A3 signs would have been a lot better. I looked on Google maps the night before to help me decide where to put the signs. 2 were by a busy highway, another 2 for each of the 2 busy roads leading to the market, and another 1 close to the roundabout, also leading to the venue.

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  • Prepared a number of colourful balloons the night before the sale. I tied 2 balloons a bit above each of the A4 signs. Made sure the balloons were high enough so they didn’t block the sign from view.
  • Loaded the car with pre-loved items the afternoon before. These were donations to the foundation’s site.  Attached prices on the items using a masking tape and marker pen.
  • Got out of the house early to put up the signs. I had hubby drive me around, so he could stay behind the wheel while I got off every now and then to put up a sign and balloons.
  • Turned up at the venue as early as possible and directed sellers to their sites.
  • Added more signs and balloons just outside the venue.
  • When I wasn’t so busy, I did a Facebook Live video, to continue to promote the car boot sale.
  • Collected fees later in the day, when everybody’s settled and not too busy.
  • Packed up after the sale and made sure the venue was free from rubbish.
  • Took down all the signs and balloons, and got hubby to drive me around again to all the places where I had the signs, so I could take them down.

THINGS I SHOULD HAVE DONE:

  • Made more detailed lists of things to do. It was so easy to forget things, with all the business and rush. As a seasoned garage sale organiser, I have always prepared a bunch of used plastic bags, so I could reuse them to pack customers’ purchases, if they needed it. But because I had a lot going on in my mind, I forgot to do this, which was crazy because days before, it was already on my mind as one of the things I needed to do.
  • Brought a hat or a gazebo for the site, and maybe wore a light, long-sleeved top. As a result, my face and arms were sun burnt. Boo!
  • Made the A4 signs bigger, like A3 maybe.
  • Prepared more signs to put up at the car park area. Since we occupied the side and rear parking area to save the front parking area for the customers, the car boot sale was not as visible to the road as we wanted it to be. So, even though we had the signs and balloons by the road, I couldn’t help but wonder if some of the new customers got confused and thought the indoor market was the sale we were referring to. So maybe additional signs might have been useful.
  • Convinced the operators of the sausage sizzle to start much earlier. They didn’t start until maybe half an hour or an hour after the car boot sale started, and I thought if they had started earlier, then they could have sold more to the customers who came earlier and to the sellers who skipped breakfast to be there early.
  • Organised some music playing. I saw some sound speakers at the foundation’s stall and thought that they were going to use that to provide some lively music. But I was wrong, ‘coz it turned out the sound speakers were for sale. Lol!
  • Talked to some seasoned market organisers and ask for some marketing tips, instead of walking around putting flyers in letter boxes. Then my legs and bum wouldn’t have been so sore from all the walking I did.

ADVICES I HAVE RECEIVED:

  • Hand out flyers at the more popular market events in the city weeks before the sale. This would have been the less physically tiring option, compared to the letter box drop I did.
  • Place posters at community boards around the city.
  • Contact local schools and provide them with the info regarding the car boot sale. They have newletters, websites, and such, so they could help spread the word.
  • Put up signs outside the venue on the week leading to the event.
  • Organise more attractions/activities, such as having music played (or buskers), food stalls, entertainment, etc.

Construction Theme Party Ideas

For every kid who wants to be an engineer, architect, builder, construction manager, etc. when he/she grows up, here are some of the coolest ideas for a construction themed party.

FOOD IDEAS:

Homemade-Trail-Mix-Recipe7-1024x682   Chocolate Pudding   Chocolate Donut  paintbrushes   hardhat   cookies  02aba7337c1b7819074c8af184f77000 (1)   wreck.jpg   779745bfa3efe58260573a8db2ae2e6e.jpg

 

CAKE IDEAS:

constcake   constcake2.jpg   constrcake3   cake1   cake1   cake2   cake5   cake6   cake8

DECOR IDEAS:

49729623255d11d352969d4863d9f0f0   104305674a1fc62dfc5651e92d64ed25.jpg  02e0717c16a5e5aa041e42a3afe536c9  dumping   pinata  wpid1774-cardboard-bulldozer  wrecking ball  wrecking ball1  witcheshat  constrtrays  079a696b93bebde4be49cba5451afb42  workarea   280fde6b0c0df3b807a9982c830e0e71  a5a10de54450bbb31a48c982cd395883.jpg  e5872d0cd0cf52ea9ad96214d7944c10.jpg  14b405e9416c4067f1f39315d24f638b.jpg   a37a63600a7bc79cd585e3072e4ee00a  e639460acf58a8f5bfa265da5c300120.jpg

 

Star Wars Themed Birthday Party

When the party is quite close to the 4th of May, one can easily get tempted to celebrate a la “May the 4th be with you”. So for hubby’s latest birthday celebration, Star Wars theme it was. Because the very first Star Wars film came out exactly 40 years ago this month, all the more reason it was to have that theme.

If you get your inspiration from the very first Star Wars film, you will find that you are dealing with a retro-ish kind of futuristic/space-age theme. Nevertheless, we just decided to have fun inserting a bit of Star Wars themed something here and there.

Upon entering the party venue, the guests were greeted with these sign posts. So, which Star Wars place do you want to go?

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This is how the buffet table looked like before the guests arrived. Since it was the last month before winter, we kept the rest of the foods in the kitchen so that they would still be hot when the guests arrive and they’re ready to eat.

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One helpful tip – if you have a number of tried and tested recipes that you can incorporate into the theme, use them! That means lesser stress, because you’re more confident of how to make them and how they would turn out, having made them several times before.

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Sometimes, you can also just tweak the recipe a bit so that the dish would suit the theme. This Bantha Milk Punch, for example, is a tweaked version of the pink fruit salad cooler (beverage) that I have made before. Normally, red and green gelatin chunks are used, but for this party, I used blue gelatin chunks, to make this fancy beverage look more Bantha-milk-ish and Star Wars-ish. Unfortunately, the blue gelatin chunks, tapioca pearls,  and shredded coconut all sank to the bottom (as they normally do anyway), so you don’t really get to behold this lovely beverage in all its glory.

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You don’t even have to come up with all original ideas for your party. Your guests will most certainly forgive you if you pinch a few good ideas from other similarly themed parties shared online, such as the Yoda Soda.

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Many cake makers would surely have that special decorating tip that creates icing that looks like grass or hair (very thick strands, that is). I do have that…except that at the last minute, it decided to not work properly. Boo! A little bamboo toothpick to the rescue! Using a clean toothpick, I tried to recreate the hairy Wookiee look on these Wookiee Cupcakes.

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Hubby made this milk flan, a.k.a Princess Leia Flan. Normally, I wouldn’t serve it in a baking pan. However, since the industrial look of the pan worked well with the theme, I decided to send it straight to the buffet table.

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Thankfully somebody invented the blue food colouring! A few drops of that into the milk panna cotta that I’ve made a number of times and, voila! We got ourselves a nice plate of Bantha Milk Pudding. I just added a bit of chocolate syrup and a couple of Oreos on the top, for contrast.

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Organizing a party can be stressful and if you’re not careful, you can end up with so much to do in so little time. I would have loved a detailed R2D2 cake, but that would have been terribly time consuming. Instead, I opted to create a Galaxy Cake – blue butter cake base with buttercream icing and glazing in various shades of dark blues and purples, with silver sprinkles here and there.

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A funny behind-the-scenes story on this cake – In the early stages of glazing the cake, I didn’t quite achieve the midnight-ish blue that I wanted. So the first batch of glaze that went on the cake was more of a Cookie Monster kind of a blue. Hubby passed by the kitchen table and after I whined how I can’t seem to get the colour right, I jokingly told him, “How about we change the party theme into ‘Sesame Street’ instead of Star Wars?” He looked horrified! Lol!!! Thankfully, I managed to get the colours right in the end.

May the forks be with you…and the spoons and knives as well.

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And because photo props are just so popular in this era of selfies, Facebook, Instagram…and selfies.

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Just before the guests started arriving, I started playing the first Star Wars film DVD, showing it on the lounge TV, on low volume, so it’s more like a background feature.

After much of the eating and chatting, we played a few rounds of the “Storm Trooper Snatching Game”, as I’d like to call it. To play, you will need:

 – A box of styrofoam pellets/packing peanuts (imagine that they are stormtroopers)
– A few big, lightweight bowls
– A pair of chopsticks for each bowl
– A timer (your mobile phone clock timer will do)

 Each player gets a bowl and a pair of chopsticks. Set the timer to 30 seconds. When the timer starts, each player uses only his chopsticks to snatch as many ‘stormtroopers’ as he can, from the box and into his own bowl. No scooping is allowed. At the end of 30 seconds, whoever has the most number of ‘stormtroopers’ in his bowl wins the round.

Tip: If you have time to prepare beforehand, paint each chopstick so that they’d look like lightsabers. I know snatching a ‘stormtrooper’ with a couple of ‘lightsabers’ does not look quite logical, but it’s just an added fun Star Wars detail. 😀

Baby Shower Games

People get excited before their wedding day. But do you know what’s more exciting than that? You’re right! A baby!

When the couple are expecting their first baby, they become quite busy with the preparations for the arrival of the new member of their family. Traditionally, before the cute little one comes out, family and friends throw a baby shower, not just to give gifts for the baby, but more importantly, to join in the pre-birth excitement.

If you are organizing a baby shower for the mother-to-be, it would be a good idea to include a few baby-related games in the party to indulge the baby-related excitement in the air.

Here are some great baby shower party games to consider:

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Don’t Say “Baby!”

This game is quite simple and does not require much preparation except for a bunch of pins. Each guest will get a number of pins (depends on the host) to attach to their clothes. If one says the word “baby”, she loses a pin to the first person who caught her saying the word. The guest with the most number of pins at the end of the party wins the game.

Who Knows Mommy Best

Prepare a list of questions pertaining to the soon-to-be mother. Produce many copies (depending on the no. of participants or guests) and distribute them to the guests. Provide pens and have them write down their answers. After giving them ample time to answer, the host announces the answer of each question and whoever get the highest score wins.

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Draw The Baby

All you need is a blank piece of paper and a pen for each guest. They’ll have to unleash their creativity and draw what they think the baby would look like when he/she comes out. You can ask someone (or perhaps, the mother-to-be) to be the judge and select the art work she likes best.

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How Many Candies Are In The Bottle?

Prepare a large bottle filled with candies. Remember to count the candies as you fill the bottle. At the party, have guests guess how many there are. Whoever guess the closest number gets to take home the bottle of treats.

Guess The Baby Food

Prepare 4-6 containers filled with baby foods. The foods should not be obvious. Label the containers numerically. Give out pens and papers to the participants and have them taste each baby food and write down their guesses on the paper. Whoever has the most number of correct guesses becomes the winner.

 

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Blindfolded Diaper Changing

You will need a number of baby dolls (as close to life size as possible, for best results, and you could perhaps borrow them from friends with young kids), a number of diapers, and same number of blindfolding materials for this game. Game participants will try to change the baby doll’s diaper while blindfolded. Whoever has the most impressive output wins the game.

Toilet Paper Christening Dress

This is a spin on the popular toilet paper wedding dress for bridal shower parties. In this version however, participants get to design a christening gown and dress up a baby doll using toilet paper instead of fabric. This game would go perfectly well with the Blindfolded Diaper Changing game, as you get to use the baby dolls in two separate games.

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Mom or Dad

Prepare a lip figure and a moustache figure. During the game, ask a set of questions that is answerable with “Mom” or “Dad”. The questions describe either the mother or the father of the baby. The participants will answer the question by raising either the “lip” figure (for Mom) or “mustache” figure (for Dad).It’s fun for your family.

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Guess The Baby Photo

Instruct everyone to bring their baby picture and try to guess who’s who. The one who first guesses, correctly, wins. This will be quite amusing because you will see some funny pictures during their infancy or childhood.

Baby Shower Basics

When is the best time to hold a baby shower?

A baby shower can be held any time after confirming that the mother is pregnant. Usually, most mom-to-be’s prefer to hold it during the last trimester of pregnancy. It is said that the party is realistic when the mother has already a big belly during the party.

The most important thing in planning this event is to talk to your guests first. You don’t want them to miss your first baby shower just because they have already a scheduled appointment on that day. So, better consider the availability of the majority or I may say, the most important people you want to see in your baby shower.

Where can you hold a baby shower?

The location should cater the prospective number of guests who will be invited. Ideally, it is held at the mother-to-be’s house. It is quite uncomfortable for a pregnant woman to travel to distant places, so, a home is really a good choice. If it doesn’t fit the number of guests, you may want to hold it a clubhouse in your local community or in the church if permitted. But the best choice is to hold it in your house and just adjust the number of guests depending on how big your house can accommodate.

How do you plan a baby shower?

You may first need to consider the following things before finalizing the program:

  • Select a theme for your party. This will help you decide other elements of the party. Besides, it makes your party alive and exciting.
  • Plan what food or beverages you will serve. This can be made easy if you have a baby shower party theme. Everyone’s going to have fun if you base it on a theme.
  • The most awaited part is the games. Games for a baby shower should be funny and not boring. Having crazy games makes your party more fun.
  • Prepare a small keepsake for all guests. If you’re on a tight budget, just prepare a thank you card for everyone or prizes to the winners during the games.

Who should be invited?

If you’re the one hosting, you probably already have an idea of who to include in your guest list. You can put anyone you wish to attend in the invitation list. However, if your friend is hosting the party, then you need to collaborate with each other before finalizing the celebration. You, surely, don’t want to miss any important person in your party.

Is there a baby shower for a soon-to-be daddy, too?

Traditionally, baby showers are only for women. But, nowadays, baby shower for men are becoming popular. It is really important, though, to think first if the soon-to-be dad really wants a baby shower. Some will appreciate it but there’re some who would feel awkward.

What gifts can be brought to a baby shower?

In giving invitations, you can also put instructions for your guest to bring a gift. Proper gifts would be nappies, newborn clothes and linens or anything that a mother can use for her baby after delivery.

 

Relief Society’s Indoor Garden Party

It had been a busy week, with me baking 40 cupcakes for the Relief Society’s anniversary celebration – an indoor garden party. We had the option of holding it outdoors, but on the week of the party, the weather was not so predictable, so it was decided that we turn it into an indoor garden party instead.  After, we had a nice spacious hall to have it in, and just bring in a couple dozens or so of potted plants and we could be as close to the illusion as possible.

My task was not to decorate, but to produce around 40 pretty cupcakes for the party. Since it was going to be held in the middle of the week, I’m glad I was provided with little pink paper cups and matching toppers, so I could get away with a very basic layer of icing on top of the cupcakes and still have them look pretty. Here they were the night before, without the icing yet….

Thankfully, I got myself these food containers which were perfect for transporting the cupcakes. Otherwise, I might have fallen over the stairs or kerb while juggling these cakes!

 What a sight the indoor garden was! It reminded me of scenes from My Fair Lady… I think the set of Mrs. Higgins’ garden, and Eliza Doolittle being there in her beautiful and delicate pink dress.

 There were some outdoorsy lamps and strings of fairy lights, and these were what provided lighting to the venue. They did not turn on the hall’s ceiling lighting on purpose, so it would look more like an evening party in a real garden, than a party in a hall.  And because I forgot to bring my proper camera, these photos were taken using my phone.

 The other ladies also brought some plates of food, so we had sandwiches, scones, biscuits, fruits, lollies, and other sweets. But where, you may ask were my cupcakes?

Ah, here they are!

Happy anniversary, Relief Society organization! 🙂

Attending A Bridal Fair

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Being a bride-to-be gives you the best reason to go and attend the bridal events in town. Yipee!!! Imagine being with fellow brides-to-be, looking around for various wedding services, getting some special treatment because you’re getting married, gathering a million ideas for your perfect wedding, possibly booking a couple of vendors or so, and all that jazz. That is so exciting indeed!

But wait a minute. Before you rush to your first bridal event, take a moment to prepare so you can get the most from the event and enjoy it too. Here are 18 smart advices on attending a bridal fair:

1. Create an email just for your wedding planning period. This can help you organize things better and avoid unwanted emails on your main email account. After you’re wed and no longer interested in wedding business mails, you can just delete this account.

2. Check if pre-registration is possible. Many times, if you register in advance, you can get a discount on the entrance fee.

3. Prepare sticker labels with your name and contact details on it. Many vendors prepare raffle draws for special prizes, so these prepared labels will save you time in filling out raffle entry forms.

4. Wear your most comfortable foot wear, as you will be on your feet almost the whole day. Wear something that will identify you as the bride (like a shirt with “Bride” printed on it) so vendors will treat you accordingly (a.k.a. special & important).

5. Take your fiancé, your mum, your maid of honor, your sister, or whoever can come with you. They can help you gather ideas, make minor decisions and carry promotional materials handed to you by the vendors.

6. Bring a notebook and some pens (one with a cord that you can hang around your neck would be a smart choice) so you can write down notes. Write down all the information you get from vendors, so you’ll remember the pros and cons of each when it’s time for you to choose one.

7. Bring some cash and a check book or credit card. There will be bridal magazines and books at irresistible discounted prices, so you’ll need cash. And you might find the vendors you really want, you’ll have your check or credit card ready to book them.

8. Check the event’s rules if cameras are allowed, then it would really help if you’d bring one as this would help you recall ideas you liked at the event. Some bridal fairs, however, do not allow picture-taking.

9. Research what services you need before going to the event, so you can focus on these when entertaining vendors. Prepare your list of questions you want to ask to save time in interviewing them.

10. Know your budget well. If it would help you, do bring a small copy of your budget breakdown, so you’ll know what amounts to stick to when you face the vendors. A bridal fair is also a good venue to look for money-saving deals.

11. Bring some bags for carrying all the wedding information materials and samples you may get. However, remember that you don’t have to accept all the information packets handed to you, especially those that you really don’t need. It will just be an additional weight to carry.

12. Arrive early at the fair. Most often, organizers prepare special prizes for the early birds, and many of them are really cool rewards.

13. Don’t be afraid to ask the vendors your questions. In fact, go ahead and ask them everything you want to know about their services. They will be eager to answer you but you are not obligated to buy anything from them.

14. Don’t book the first vendor you meet. There would be plenty of vendors for each type of service at the bridal fair, so compare them well until you are totally convinced in selecting the one.

15. Don’t entertain vendors of items you already have. It would just be a waste of time to talk about details to wedding celebrants if you already have one.

16. In case you do intend to book a couple of vendors that day, reserve enough time in your schedule to discuss matters with them. Read contracts thoroughly, especially the refund policies.

17. Make time to attend the fashion show. Yes, almost every bridal fair would have that. It would be a very good opportunity to see the latest trends and to get ideas for your perfect wedding gown.

18. Have fun and enjoy. You do not have to panic and be overwhelmed with all the supplies available at the fair. If you don’t accomplish everything you want to do, there’s always another bridal event coming to town in a few weeks.