Sunday, October 26, 2014

P365 TE Day 299

Beach Bar on Ipanema Beach



Travel Bite: The Girl from Ipanema is what famous Songs are made of. If you go to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, make sure you get a chance to visit the beach on a sunny day, or you won't see any girls in Dental Floss Thong Bikinis. Just sit on a relaxing beach bar like this one, as the Caipirinhas keep coming.

Bonus Tip: 
Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and fruit, most commonly lime. 

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date Photo Taken: October 2011

P365 TE Points for today: 2 out of 3 (for now)
P365 TE Points from Audience Interaction as of October 23: 258
P365 TE Running Points: 818 out of 840 (as of posting)

You can read the background of Project 365 Travel Edition here.  
Feel free to come back everyday. just saying...

Sofia's 700th Birthday Party at Hotel Transylvania

We started planning for Sofia's 7th birthday party last May (yes, that's a good 5 months ago), because my sister was craving for the really good Lechon Kawali from 168 (you can read my post on that here) and since my annual quota of planned trips to 168 is only once a year to buy Sofia's giveaways and party paraphernalia, we needed to have a theme already.

We had quite a long discussion on whether or not we wanted to go for a Frozen party, or a rainbow loom party, but since we were planning so far ahead, there was no way to tell if those themes will still be the cool thing in October, so I agreed when Sofia suggested a Hotel Transylvania theme.

It made sense for us to giveaway Halloween pails filled with goodies, as the kids would be able to use it when they go trick or treating this year. Since we already decided to hold the party in McDonald's we just needed to plan for the small things that make a difference.
This is the super yummy Lechon Macau that triggered Sofia's Party planning.
We've had most of the Party Giveaways and Prizes ready since May.
Of course, shopaholic me couldn't help but add stuff along the way.
I've been eyeing a Mavis costume from Amazon for so when an office friend
went to the states, I asked her if she could bring it in. They misrepresented the
size, so the dress turned out too small, but we were able to get it altered
into a skirt.
Another party idea that came in handy was to use the Grip a Prize mini
arcade toy that Sofia bought in Korea last February. This was such a hit!

A few months before the party, we finalized the guest list so we could order our invites.

We made Party Invites in the form of Hotel Room Key Cards - which actually work as personalized luggage tags.
I just used my new printer at home to print out all our party requirements.
I was so happy with the way the bag tags came out. 
We packaged it with the invite printed to look like a Hotel Transylvania scroll.
Bagtag Supplier
If you need a bag tag supplier, you can get in touch with Johann (Aventura Publishing) at +639178260607. I loved working with him because he was so easy to talk to.

Since little kids have loot bags, we also prepared giveaways for the adults.
We labeled our own Ghost Poop, Witches Warts and Pumpkin Seeds tic tacs.
FREE HALLOWEEN TICTAC LABELS Printable for the Philippine-sized tictacs
I found the templates online, but they were made for the US sized tic tacs which are slightly bigger. You can download the tic tac templates adjusted to the locally available tic tacs in the Philippines here.


We were so prepared, the only thing we needed to do the day before
was assemble the loot bags, and get Mavis' nails painted.
Sofia was so excited for her birthday, she stayed up until close to midnight
so she could open her gifts.
I gave her the 150 count Crayola crayon tower and a starter charm bracelet
that we made together. Unfortunately, the Crayola packaging is really bad,
and I ordered the crayons from the US, so 6 of them did not make it whole.
Good thing I found a 96 count Crayola set, so we now have 90 spares!

Sofia had her birthday party on the day of her birthday itself. We decided to do it at the McDonald's branch where Sofia joins the Kiddie Crew program - so there were a lot of familiar faces and we got really good service. I only had to drop by twice before the party, once months in advance to reserve, and again a few days before to finalize my pre-ordered food and leave the Halloween-themed party decorations that they helped us put up.

Super excited little girl, on our way to the party.

Thank you so much to the early-birds who arrived early to help us set up.
The Sylings
Favorite thin Ninong Tim who flew in from Singapore for only 1 day,
just so he could attend Sofia's party.
Thank you so much for coming home Ninong Tim!!!
Ninang Ria who made the place so much scarier than it was.
Thanks for lending us the zombies, tombstones and chopped body parts! 
Event Planner
My cousin, Ria, is a professional event planner. If you need something planned, message me on how to get in touch with her.


When the guests started arriving everything was sort of a blur.
Sofia invited 7 of her closest friends from school and most of them were
able to come.
The Grip-A-Prize was the surprise hit of the party. We just left it in a corner,
and the kids just kept lining up to play.
The family was fully represented.
Sofia's grandparents were really excited to arrive
in full costume!
Mark and Lukey, who both look in character.
My siblings found the most hidden table and claimed it as their
anti-social hideout.
Pretty soon, all the anti-social cousins joined them!
The Unilever early birds.
With Lia, Jillie my unofficial inaanak, and Jack (hidden) my official inaanak.
Thanks so much for your input on the posh menu, Clint!
Karl, no need to raise your hand before you speak! Hahaha.

My kids at work really know how to make a dramatic entrance!
Your costumes are so nice, Jackie and I look out of place.
Sofia thinks that these guys are also her office mates. 
Team Alvarez, the Reyes Bugoys in full costume and Nina with the face
of Arn and the personality of Carms! Hahaha.
Cliquish friends with Col, Lo and John.
Viele with scary Auntie Tiana, Vianna with the scary hand,
and cliquish without Cha, Ashi and Man.
Jem, Tim, Ivan and the super cute Goryo.
Thank you for the shoes to complete Mavis' costume.
Sofia's red shoes (visible under the table) were from Gregory.

The good thing about holding your party in McDonald's is they take charge of hosting the party, and facilitating all the games which allowed me to socialize.
I think my dad won the bring me a dancing lolo game!
His costume fits right in with the Reyes bugoys!
We asked the kids to come as a monster, so we awarded the one with
the best costume based on the applause of the guests.
Cutie-pie little vampire Javi was the clear winner!

After the games, and after the food was served, it was time for the Unlimited Bubble Show, which was my Gammy Angeli's gift to Sofia.
The highlight of the show was when he made
bubbles big enough to fit Sofia...
...and friends inside. So the guests could take turns to get their picture
taken inside the bubble.
Next time, si Miguel nalang kukunin ko!
Thank you so much Gammy Angeli!
Everyone really enjoyed the bubble show.

After the bubble show, the special guest came to visit.
Grimace with the birthday girl
Then it was time to blow the cake.
Then we asked the kids to line up to get their loot bags.
Thank you very much for all your help Ate Jamie,
and the other McDonald's crew!
This little girl really enjoyed her 700th birthday party.
Our last order for the day, was completing our Thank you Cards.

Sofia really, really had a great time celebrating her 7th birthday. Thank you very much to everyone who greeted her, attended her party, and sent gifts! 

Planning this party was fun, and much less stressful than normal - thanks to McDonald's but qhen she turns 18... I am really going to convince her to go an a trip instead (and take me along!).  just saying.