Saturday, May 31, 2014

Let There Be Light

Remember the story of the creation? "Let there be light!" was what our Creator said on the first day... and then there was light. 

In our modern world, lights have played a major role in our day to day activities. We use them to light up our streets in the dark of night, to brighten up a room or highlight a display, to add up to the ambience of say a restaurant. We especially pay attention to lights during the holiday seasons because they add up to the festivities. The brighter and more sparkly the lights from are, the better! Seeing bright and twinkly lights always draw up attention and makes you feel the wonder and beauty of it all. But of course there is more to Christmas than just lights.

Did you know that Christmas lights started in Germany? Upper class German homes in 18th century used candles to decorate the Christmas tree. Then people started using candle holders as part of the decorations and also glass balls to put the candles in. Years passed and electricity was then discovered and the light bulb was invented. From then on, it evolved into the Christmas lights that we so enjoy today: they come in many different colors, dancing in rhythmn with the Christmas carols that come in the package. Also, in the olden days, people used fire, oil lamps, wax candles to lighten up the night and bring warmth in the cold days. I remember touring the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany and saw the high chandeliers which needed to be lighted up every single night with hundreds of wax candles. Imagine the labor that comes with lighting a candle chandelier, which needed to be repeatedly done once the candles melt down.

But thankfully, artificial lighting technology evolved through the years. Aren't you just glad you are born in this generation of LED lights?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Little Girl's Frozen-Themed Birthday Party Part 2

A birthday party will not be complete without the games. Kids and kids at heart always look forward to an activity-filled party so it is important that you prepared some activities that the kids will enjoy. At the end of the day, our objective will be to let the kids go home happy and say that there never was a dull moment. 

We just had some typical birthday party activities and modified some of them to fit the theme.

"It's Snowing Candies" Pinyata:

This is just hand-crafted since there are no Frozen-themed pinyatas available at the local suppliers. What my sister did was paste together cardboard paper to form the body of Olaf and then she covered it with white cartolina. They then cut out Olaf's hands, hair, buttons, carrot nose, mouth, eyes and eyebrows using the rest of the rubber sheets and colored cartolinas. At the bottom, she made a flap and tied white plastic ribbons that the kids can pull. We filled it with sweets and other goodies for everyone to enjoy!

Pin the Carrot on Olaf:

For this game, I just had Olaf printed on a tarpaulin, minus the nose of course, and mounted it on a flat surface. Then I cut out carrot figures proportional to the size of Olaf on the tarpaulin and pasted double-sided tape on each carrot. We then asked the kids to line up and had each take their turns "pinning" the carrot on Olaf blindfolded. It was really a fun game that the kids enjoyed they wanted to "pin" again. So just make sure you have enough carrot noses at hand.

The Frozen Dance:

This is just your traditional stop dance game where each kid should "freeze" when the music stops. We modified it a bit when the number of kids went down to 3 so we can determine the best "frozen" dancer. Instead of freezing when the music stops, they should dance instead and freeze when the music plays again. Who do you think won this game?  

You can add more games if you still have more time... and prizes too. :D

Birthday Gift Ideas

My daughter just celebrated her birthday. Next in line in the family who will turn a year older will be and then my husband. Hubby and the little girl surprised me with a tablet last Christmas so I guess it is time for me and the little girl to do the surprising for the husband's day. He has lots of interests lately, mostly involving the great outdoors. He enjoys swimming, rock climbing, hiking and snowboarding. He spends a lot of time outdoors as it allows him to let off steam and clear his mind after a hard week at work. Whenever he is out, he has the tendency to be engrossed in the moment he sometimes forgets about the time.

Perhaps a sports watch will help him to keep track of the time. I've began looking into all sorts of sports watches, including the TAG Heuer FORMULA 1, which I think really looks nice. It is not so bold looking but at the same time very sporty. This will just suit his personality. Having a watch will help him manage his time better and will help him to plan on his steps.

He could also use some gadgets that I think will be very helpful when he out. A GPS tracker to help him navigate his way in the mountains, a power bank to keep his smartphone running, and some backpacking gears. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

My Little Girl's Frozen-Themed Birthday Party Part 1

My precious little Princess is finally six. She celebrated her birthday last Friday, February 28th and I can say that she really enjoyed it. After all, she was dressed up like Elsa, the beautiful and nice snow queen from the Frozen movie. After seeing the movie for the first time here in the Philippines, she immediately told me that she wants a Frozen party. So a Frozen party it was!

I only had barely a month to plan for this party for her and I am lucky because I've got two creative sisters and equally creative and crafty cousins who readily volunteered to help me out. It wasn't a breeze planning for this party since we were limited to what's locally available. After all, in a tropical country like the Philippines, who would even think to supply winter-inpired materials except during Christmas? But we managed to do it! I can't thank these wonderful girls enough!  

The star of the day before her birthday cake and cupcakes.
She chose the dress from the many images we found on Pinterest. It was a tutu dress which my cousin made for her. I bought the tulle, organza cloth and the ornamented ribbon from a local department store here and my cousin did the rest. Underneath, she wore a tube dress (which unfortunately was pink since there was nothing else available at the department store when we bought it) to prevent her from itching. 

Playing a game of Frozen Dance to break the ice.
For the party hats, we went for the Sven antlers for the boys and tiaras for the girls. The pattern for the Sven antlers we got from My Sister's Suitcase blog. The tiara was also cute and I initially wanted to make it too! But it was difficult to get the rubber sheets (or craft foam) and we only found the brown ones with glitter on them so we only managed to make the antlers. Luckily, we found the plastic tiara at a local party supplier for only Php 3.00 each so it was really a good buy! 

Wacky pose: the birthday girl with her cousins. 

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