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Thursday, February 15, 2018

LEGO Ninjago Themed 5th Birthday Party

For Parker's 5th birthday we did a full venue buyout of PlayWerx and transformed the space into Parker's Mojo Dojo! The birthday boy had a blast running, climbing and playing with all his friends. I won't lie, this party was a lot of work and required many hours of watching Ninjago and Pinterest browsing but seeing how happy P was made it all worth it. Living in the moment and getting caught up in conversations with friends and family was awesome but it resulted in us barely taking any photos of the party.  Note to self: next time hire a photographer. Leave me a comment if you have any questions about the party! I've also linked all my party resources at the end of this post.  

My sister Tania created a series of custom signs for the party. It pays to have talented sibs! We created a custom minifig of Parker on the LEGO site and she worked her magic to make it look like he was transforming into a ninja.

[Happy birthday, Parker!]

PlayWerx has two smaller party rooms and we posted the sign below as a call to action for the kids to use their creativity and build. We ordered bricks in bulk from eBay and combined them with bricks from Parker's stash to have enough for the party.

If your kid is anything like mine and watches waaaaaay too many videos on YouTube, you know that sour candy challenges are the cool thing to do. I put together a serpentine (because Ninjago) sour candy challenge in the 2nd small party room that consisted of Smoke Bombs, Warheads, sour snakes, and Toxic Waste. I bought green bowls from Party City and displayed them to look like the Great Devourer. Watching all the kids pucker up from the sour candy was so funny! 

Wouldn't it be cool if I had some photos of the "Tea House" we set up for the party? Oh well. You will just have to read about it. To recreate Sensei Wu's tea house, I ordered 5 gallons of assorted teas from GuilTea Cravings, a local boba tea shop. Ordering by the gallon is not something they currently offer but I asked nicely and the owner Hue was kind enough to work with me. The tea station was a BIG hit and there was not a drop left by the end of the party. 

Parker was very involved with planning the party but the one thing we were able to surprise him with was a face painter. We found Krys on Yelp and she was great to work with. Her work was very detailed and she had an efficient way of keeping track of the kids so they didn't have to wait in a big line to get painted. Check out how detailed Parker's Lloyd is! 

The kids were relatively self-contained in the play structure for most of the party but we did get them all out for cake cutting. Parker is not a big fan cake so we ordered a two-tiered ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. We made the little minifig candle holders and threw on some fondant ninja stars and Parker's name to make it look more Ninjago. Not my best work but it's not too shabby. We made the cake decorations the morning of the party and my little sister kept saying she is an expert because she's been watching British Bake Off.  

Thank you to my husband for supporting and helping me execute all my crazy ideas. Thank you to our family and friends that helped with crafting and set up. Thank you to the staff at PlayWerx for helping me run a seamless event. It takes a village every time we throw a birthday party which is why we only do it every other year. Hopefully when he turns 7, the theme will be "a trip to Cabo". Want to see photos of past parties? Colorful first birthday. Wild Kratt's 3rd Birthday

** I AM NOT PREGNANT** but I have to share this little story from the party. We ordered custom fortune cookies with messages that said "Thank you for coming to my party, Ninja!" and a couple of other messages along the same lines. Well it turns out the fortune cookie company mixed up some of the cookies from our order with someone else's birth announcement cookies. I was driving home from the party when I started getting "Congrats!" texts messages from friends. I was like congrats for what? A good party? You're welcome! Our friends sent us pics of the message below and I just about died. This is literally the most terrible and yet hilarious thing that could have happened. What a way to end the night. 

Venue: PlayWerx
Invitations: Party People Designs
Catering: QT Pot, Bale French Sandwiches & my mother-in-law
Birthday shirt: KynzKlothes
Boba Tea: GuilTea Cravings
Signs: custom designed by Tania
Inspo: Pinterest

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Happy 5th Birthday, Parker!

Dear Parker,

I remember the day you were born. We had been prepared for your arrival for months and were so excited to finally meeting you.  Dad and I snapped this photo together on the drive to the hospital. It's the last photo we took before you changed our lives forever.

[Look at our faces. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.] 

Being your mom has brought me more joy than you could ever imagine. Nothing makes me happier than to see you develop into the sassy, funny and cool kid that you are. Your random compliments turn me to mush, your jokes are fire and the love you unabashedly show everyone you meet gives me hope for the future.  You are my fave, Kid. Happy 5th birthday! Your Ninjago party is going to be so lit.


Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 is Going to be a Good Year

Before we dive into my 2018 resolutions, let's do a quick recap of how I did in 2017.

2017 Resolutions Recap
1. Be able to do 5 pull ups.
HAHAHAHA this definitely didn't happen but I'll try again in 2018.
2. Read 30 books.
Let's talk about how close I was to accomplishing this. I was MIA on social media for the last 2 weeks of the year because I was so busy trying to reach this goal. By midnight, I had read 29.5 books and then woke up at 6 AM  New Years Day to finish the last 100 pages. So. Freaking. Close. If you would like to see what's on my reading list for 2018, you can find me on GoodReads
3. Explore 3 new cities.
Nashville, Honolulu and Maui. 
4. Post twice a month.
I failed again at this and promise to be better-ish in 2018! 
5. Learn how to use a curling iron.
Technically I did not learn how to use a curling iron but I did learn how to curl my hair with a curling wand. I'm going to call this one a win!

2018 Resolutions
1. Read 25 books.
2. Get rid of my cystic acne and acne scars. This is a tough one but I am a woman on a mission!
3. Lose 25 pounds and overall be healthier.
4. 10,000 steps a day.
5. Work on professional growth.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Hey, Santa!

For the first time ever we had a cooperative kid that wanted to take pictures with Santa. Little man is not so little anymore and this year his interested in jolly old St. Nick is at an all time high. 

Questions I've been asked:
How does Santa fit down the chimney?
Is his belly so big because all he eats is cookies and milk?
Why is he married?
How tall are Santa's elves? Are they taller than me?
Is he watching me right now? 
Where is Santa's house? Can we get there on the freeway?

Parker is quite the curious and chatty little monkey.

santa, santa photos, christmas

It was important for us to find a good Santa that would answer all his questions so we decided to have photos taken with Santa at Seaport Village. We arrived early but there was already a line so Parker and I visited the candy shop and walked along the water looking for crabs while Tuan waited in line for about 30 minutes. Our visit with Santa was pleasant and Eileen was able to capture some good photos of our family. However, I have to note that only 3 of the 7 photos we were given were actually in focus which was very disappointing. For $50, I expect all the photos to be in focus but what is Christmas without some hiccups.

santa, santa photos, christmas

santa, santa photos, christmas

I'm been an absolute trash blogger lately and I apologize. I wish everyone a happy holiday and even happier new year!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Fall Fun at the Julian Mining Co.

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion
[These stylish kids are dressed head to toe in Joy+Love's Fall/Winter collection.]

When you think of San Diego, the first thing that comes to mind are our beautiful beaches but if you venture just one hour east, you will find a little town called Julian nestled in the Cuyamaca Mountains. After gold was discovered nearby in the 1870s, the town of Julian became a boom town of aspiring gold rush miners. Julian is now best known for its apple orchards, delicious pies, historic buildings, cozy B&Bs and lush landscape of oaks and pines. For SoCal moms craving a more authentic fall experience, Julian is the perfect place to see the leaves change color, take in the cool mountain air and wear your favorite fall boots and sweaters while taking in some old-fashioned entertainment. Parker and his cousins loved sluicing for gems, exploring the antique farm equipment, snacking on crispy Julian apples and working on their carpentry skills at the Julian Mining Company located a mile from Main Street.

Julian Mining Company
4444 CA-78
Julian, CA 92036

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion
[This Appaman cardigan is my favorites from the boys collection.]

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion
[We collected some really great stones including quartz and amethyst. They're lined up on Parker's window sill now.]

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion
[The woodworking station has a bunch of build options including different size gem boxes and bird houses. After you finish building your project, there is an option to paint them.]

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion
[Hannah banana.]

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion
[Nora and Audrey are growing up so fast. They are in that awkward teeth phase right now.]

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion

julian mining company, julian california, san diego, fall fashion

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

10th Annual Chu Family Pumpkin Carving Contest

It's hard to believe that we have been hosting our annual Chu Family Pumpkin Carving Contest (now known as CFPCC) for 10 years now. Every year we switch it up with a new theme/rules to make carving a little more challenging. This year we cut the carving down to 1 hour to really challenge all the participants (we usually carve for 2-4 hours). Almost everyone carved this year including my dad. The kids are really getting into it now that they are older and we can trust them with sharp objects. Pumpkin carving is one of my absolute favorite family traditions and I can't wait to to dethrone Tania in 2018! Scroll down to see the winners of this year's contest. Happy Halloween from our family to yours!

[What's that, Tim Gunn?]

2017 Winners

Adult Category
[1st place - Tania's Oogie Boogie]

[2nd place - Noah's Scary Clown]

[3rd place - My Pennywise]

Kids Category

[2nd place - Parker's crab]

[3rd place - Andrew's Dracula]

Pumpkins that didn't make the cut (pun intended).