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The Fun Has Just Begun!

My baby Shakeel Adly turned 1 on 5 August 2017 and boy did we have a bash at the zoo!

Well, not the real zoo. But it sure felt like it.

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Got to thank Sprinkie Parties for designing the e-invite for me! The initial idea was to print out the invites and mail them out, but based on past experiences where some guests either did not receive the invites on time or at all, I think it would be a better idea to whatsapp them the invite instead. Plus, we got to save some trees!

Let me backtrack a bit- after every birthday party, I told myself that would be the last time – no way would I want to go through the planning, the cleaning up, and the exhaustion which would last for days AGAIN!

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Ah see that face of mine? When I have that face, just do not come near to me. LOL.

There were also many reasons as to why I did not want to throw a party for Shakeel initially and they included:

  1. He will not remember it.
  2. No space in the house for birthday gifts
  3. The party is not really for the birthday boy
  4. He will be cranky and tired during the party
  5. No use for the décor items after party
  6. Coming up with good contents for the goody bags can be quite a challenge
  7. I did not want my mum to volunteer to cook for the party
  8. Crowds overwhelm babies

 

But then again, a baby’s first birthday is always something special for the parents, grandparents, close friends and family.

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Celebrating it is therefore, a must.

Now let’s go back to the reasons why I do not want to throw the party for Shakeel. Just entertain me while I debate with myself for all the points mentioned above. LOL.

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  1.  He will not remember it.

Even though he will not remember it, it is still something nice to do something special to celebrate his first year. Besides, we can always look at the pictures and videos together with him when he is much bigger. Those will serve as memories, which will last a lifetime.

And for the photography, I had none other than Fauzi Anuar from Zee & Marina! Besides being a really good friend, he is also a skilled photographer who is most importantly, super passionate about his trade and what he does best.

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Do not click on picture. It’s not a video lol.

 

Thank you Fauzi for doing this for me and Shakeel! I can never thank you enough but let’s have latte anytime soon? My treat. Sorry I did not take a proper picture of you. Hope the above screenshot of one of the videos I took will suffice. I am not a photographer, after all. LOL.

Fauzi Anuar specializes in the following:

  • Interior
  • Potraiture
  • Food
  • Still Life
  • Travels

 

This guy has bagged several awards too. Proud of you as always!

To enquire more about the services provided by Fauzi Anuar:

Whatsapp: 96560662

Facebook: Zee & Marina

IG: @fauzianuar

Email: zee@zeeandmarina.com

Website: zeeandmarina.com

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  1. No space in the house for birthday gifts:

It does not matter – there will never be space in the house for ANYTHING! So yes , the party must go on.

(A week after the party now and I am still thinking where to store his gifts.)

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  1. The party is not really for the birthday boy

With a little more effort and thinking being put into the planning of the party, the party can also be for the birthday boy to enjoy. And that was what I did for Shakeel’s party!

Instead of the usual magician or party entertainer which might be too overwhelming for the birthday boy, I thought I should have something that Shakeel would be able to enjoy as well.

ZOOMOOV:

The first thing that came to my mind was ZOOMOOV ANIMAL RIDES!

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Shakeel loves his ZOOMOOV rides so much and it would be cool to have them at his first birthday party! So I contacted Grace from ZOOMOOV, had a meetup with her to plan where the rides would take place, and that was basically it! She had everything under control!

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In case you don’t already know, ZOOMOOV provides safari themed animal rides for kids aged between 1 to 12 years old. But adults, you too can ride on them with your kids like this one adult here.

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ZOOMOOV now has party at home packages that includes:

  • Rides
  • Art & Craft Acitvities
  • Storytelling

 

I am so glad I took up the ZOOMOOV Party Package for Shakeel’s party because they kept the kids entertained throughout the party so I really did not have to worry about the entertainment part.

The first hour of the party was basically for the kids to enjoy the ZOOMOOV rides outside the clubhouse.

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We thought it would be a better idea to have the rides outdoor and by the pool so that kids had more space to move around. The party was at level 2 of the clubhouse, by the way! A zoo ranger from ZOOMOOV was there throughout to assist the kids. It was really like going to the zoo! I actually could not contain my happiness when I saw how the birthday boy and his little guests enjoyed the rides throughout the entire hour!

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Just look at this video of my boy enjoying his ZOOMOOV ride!

 

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Since Shakeel is still too young to be taking the ZOOMOOV rides on his own, he had his sisters taking turns to accompany him on the rides!

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The funniest thing that happened was when the security guard approached me and asked whether I was making money out of the animal rides because a resident saw the kids inserting tokens into the animal rides. Firstly, that resident is too free to be poking his nose into every resident’s business every now and then – it’s always him complaining about everything! Secondly, it was not a business that I was conducting but a kid’s party – all the rides were strictly for the invited guests only! The only way to get the animals moving was by inserting the token! Thirdly, the resident must have been so envious and wished he too could ride on the ZOOMOOV animals. Sorry but I would not give you a token even, Uncle.

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Anyway, matter was resolved in just 5 minutes and the security guard in charge apologized to me.

After an hour with ZOOMOOV rides, it was time to go back to the function room to enjoy the aircon and the remaining activities with ZOOMOOV.

So the kids were invited to do craft work related to the theme of the party! ZOOMOOV’s party package comes together with kids tables and stools which are meant for the craft activities. So convenient!

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After the craft activities, the storyteller from ZOOMOOV gathered all the kids to tell them a story related to the party theme as well followed by games!

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Thank you so much ZOOMOOV for making it a reality to have you guys for Shakeel’s 1st Birthday Party!

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If you intend to have ZOOMOOV for your kid’s party, here are more details:

Website: http://zoomoov.com/#aboutus

IG: @ZOOMOOV

FB: ZOOMOOV

I also decided to have a section for Shakeel and his guests to play at. And since Shakeel is only 1, I had to plan something that was age appropriate for him. I do not think it would be a good idea to have henna, face painting or even body tattoo this time round.

I rented a Lakeshore Tot Tunnel Climber.

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Little Tikes Endless Adventures Swing Along Castle

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I could so imagine Shakeel having fun! Unfortunately, when the items arrived, they were not as what they seemed at the website. The Lakeshore Tot Tunnel Climber was in such a pretty bad condition, and covered with hideous bedsheet like material. When I removed the bedsheet cover, what was underneath was even more shocking. The entire vinyl material was covered with tapes. Yes, I am referring to the edges of the playpads, the tunnels and the ramp. We decided to just put the whole thing aside during the party because no way was it safe for babies and toddlers to play with! (The store owner got questioned by me after the party, of course lol.)

Thank goodness the Little Tikes Endless Adventures Swing Along Castle was in an acceptable condition – Shakeel had so much sitting on the swing!

 

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Birthday sneakers by schocs ‘n’ schues 

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Shakeel’s friends like Abam Oumar had fun too!

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Ball Pitt

Another thing that I decided to have for the play section was a ball pitt from D’Fun World of Bouncy

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Again, Shakeel and his friends had so much fun in the ball pitt! Definitely something appropriate for a first birthday party, I think!

And ermmm..the bigger kids had fun too.

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Besides ball pitt which comes in different sizes, depending on the space you have, they also provide rental services for:

  • Bouncy Castles
  • Mascots
  • Popcorn Live Station
  • CandyFloss Live Station

To find out more, you can visit them via:

FB: D’Fun World of Bouncy

Whatsapp: 83234565

Superb service plus prompt delivery! Definitely recommended!

Besides the play area, I thought there should also be a baby food section especially for the birthday boy and his little guests. After all, it was HIS PARTY!

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Anya Meals

And I could not think of a better person to provide the food for the baby section other than Jayina from Anya Meals!

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For starters, Anya Meals provides halal homemade baby food service for your little ones in frozen cubes. Now, this is especially useful for working mummies who do not have the time to prepare or cook baby food for their little ones but do not want to compromise on the nutrients which their babies get on a daily basis.

For Shakeel’s party, Jayina provided me with a list of menu for me to choose from for Shakeel and his little guests.

I chose:

  • Thick & Creamy Potato & Leak Leek Soup
  • Beef Bolognese
  • Cheesy Tomato Pasta

 

Shakeel really loved ALL OF THE FOOD provided by Anya Meals, especially the potato soup!

 

 

And best of all, mummies too can prepare the exact same thing for their little ones using the frozen cubes and stocks from Anya Meals. Follow @anyameals in IG and FB because Jayina shares recipes for the little ones every now and then!

❌NO salt
❌NO sugar
❌NO preservatives
❌NO artificial colouring and flavourings

✔Healthy
✔Fast
✔Convenient

For ALL busy parents/caregivers!

Simply Whatsapp 8458 8000 or DM @anyameals on Instagram to enquire!

IG: @anyameals

FB: https://www.facebook.com/anyameals/

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  1. He will be cranky and tired during the party

I wanted to book the function room at an earlier timing but I could not. Since I could only book the 4.30 pm to 10 pm slot, I decided to plan the party around Shakeel’s naptime. Or rather, I planned Shakeel’s naptime prior to the party. On normal days, he will usually have his nap at 10 am and 3 pm. Since the party would start at 6 pm, we decided to let him have his second nap at about 4 pm instead so that he would be fresh throughout the party.

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The ideal thing to do would be to plan around the naptime of the other little guests as well but I think it is impossible to do so since every baby pretty much has a different nap schedule.

Also, I ensured that the party was not too long as the little ones will get tired out pretty easily.

Party started at 6 pm and ended at 8.30 pm. Not too short, not too long – just perfect.

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  1. No use for the décor items after party

Coming up with the theme for the party was quite a challenge too because while Shakeel was in love with Baby Shark Doo Doo at that point of time, I thought it would be ridiculous and insensitive to request for the guests to dress up as sharks. Not everyone has the shark costume and I wouldn’t want the parents to go shopping for an outfit just to attend the party. I would not want the kids to feel out of place also should they not dress up according to the theme.

So since he liked and still likes elephants, penguins and recently lions too, what other theme could I possibly come up with other than something that was animal related, right?

We then decided on…

LET’S GO TO THE ZOO!

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Safest theme for first birthdays, I reckon. Now, of course I could opt to be different and come out with totally out of the world themes for his first birthday party, but why would I want to do that really? Again, the party was to make Shakeel happy, not to feed my ego.

Sprinkie Parties:

I am really so glad that I have my sis from Sprinkie Parties because she will always ensure that the decor part is settled by her whenever we organise parties for the kids! And the best thing about engaging a party planner is – you do not have to worry about the décor and what to do with the décor items after the party. Seriously, doing your own décor for your kid’s party can be pretty tricky and a waste of money because really, you will have no use for the décor stuff once the party is over.

All I needed to do was to tell Sprinkie Parties what the theme was and she went, “Okay, consider it done.”

I was actually the super anxious one despite knowing that everything would be in place.

My sister actually provided me with a detailed package details for the party so that I knew exactly what I was getting. She knows me too well. So professional right? I think this should be the way when you are doing business, whether you are related or not. If you want to be taken seriously, then show that you take pride in your work. Right?

Sprinkie Parties did not disappoint as expected. I especially love how they pay extra attention to details all the time. Shakeel’s party was no exception

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Thank you for making us feel like we were really animals at the zoo! (Is that a good thing or not hahahahaha!)

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Thank you Mama E and Uncle Bert for this wonderful gift for Shakeel!

So if you are looking for a party planner for your little one’s party, look no further! Sprinkie Parties can customize your party according to whatever theme you wish for.

For enquiries or bookings,

IG: @sprinkieparties

Website: www.sprinkieparties.com

FB: Sprinkie Parties

Email: hello@sprinkieparties.com

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  1. Coming up with good contents for the goody bags can be quite a challenge

The goody bags, I insisted on taking charge because I just love making goody bags for my kids’ birthday from scratch!

Since the theme was Let’s Go To The Zoo, I googled for goody bag ideas before shopping for the materials!

Customised Stickers & Tags

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After Sprinkie Parties came up with the designs for the stickers and thank you tags, I got FromFranWithLove to print them out for me since they are really good at that!

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But should you require someone to help you with the designing of your stickers or tags, you can get FromFranWithLove to do it for you as well! The founder, Hana, is a graphic designer, so you do not have to worry about the designs! Their designs are seriously awesome! The quality of their stickers and printing are really good too!

Besides stickers and tags, they can customize other things as well! I just saw their updates for Teacher’s Day like personalized pouches, EZLink/Flashpay, mason jars, mugs, passport covers and more!

To order or to view their samples, visit them!

IG: @fromfranwithlove

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And I am super fortunate to have so many great brands coming on board for Shakeel’s birthday!

The contributions for Shakeel’s goody bags for instance were just WOW!

  • Rafferty’s Garden Baby Food!

Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine having Rafferty’s Garden Baby Food as one of the contents for Shakeel’s goody bags and also the baby food section!

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I mean, I would occasionally buy Rafferty’s Garden Baby Food at NTUC Fairprice for Shakeel but to have them for all of Shakeel’s little guests? Unbelievable till now!

Shakeel’s favourites have got to be:

So Shakeel’s little guests got to bring home some or all of the following:

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Rafferty’s Garden Baby Food has a wide variety of pint-sized baby food for babies from 6 months of age.

Type of Meal

  1. Just Veggies
  2. Mash
  3. Rusks
  4. Smooth
  5. Yoghurt

You can purchase them exclusively from NTUC Fairprice under the Baby Section!

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  • Peachy Baby Food

I would like to also thank Al-Kurma for contributing Peachy Baby Food for Shakeel’s Goody Bags!

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Peachy Baby Food includes:

  • Peachy Baby Food Multigrain Cookies Mixed Berries With Quinoa And Flaxseed
  • Peachy Baby Food Multigrain Cookies Apple With Quinoa And Flaxseed
  • Peachy Baby Food Multigrain Puffs With Strawberry
  • Peachy Baby Food Multigrain Puffs With Mixed Veggies
  • Baby Puree in various flavours
  • Baby Smoothie in various flavours

To purchase Peachy Food items for your little ones, you can order via:

IG: @alkurmasg

Besides Peachy Baby Food, Al-Kurma also sells:

  • AlKurma juice for expecting & breastfeeding mummies
  • Baby Balm Sets for babies
  • Ronela Essential Oils

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Carman’s Museli Bars & Oat Slices

For the bigger kids, their goody bags contained a box of Carman’s Museli Bars & Oat Slices in Dark Choc, Cranberry & Almond Slices!

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Carman’s Muesli Bars also comes in the following flavours:

  • Dark Choc Cherry & Coconut
  • Dark Choc, Blueberry & Superfood
  • Super Berry
  • Original Fruit Free
  • Classic Fruit & Nut

 

You can purchase Carman’s Muesli Bars exclusively from NTUC Fairprice!

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Country Gold Anzac Biscuits

The bigger kids also got to bring home a big packet of Country Gold Anzac Biscuits!

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Now, my kids and Shakeel love these crunchy golden baked oats, coconut and lashings of golden syrup biscuits! They are even great for dunking!

Country Gold Anzac Biscuits can be purchased from either NTUC Fairprice or Cheers.

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Kidz Paradise:

Every goody bag also contained one travel balm from Kidz Paradise!

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Kidz Paradise specialise in Essential Rubs and Blends Infused by 100% Pure Theraupetic Essential Oils, and have been around since 2009. They have a wide range of rubs for babies, kids and adults. Best of all, their products are HSA Certified!

I have personally tried out their vapour rub on Shakeel, and it worked wonders when he had a very bad flu. KidZ Paradise is definitely a hit with mummies!

Do check them out via:

IG: @kidzparadise

Whatsapp: 90306701

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Nutella Tarts by Pink Sucree

The big adults also got to bring home something – Tella-licious Tarts from Pink Sucree!

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I can just keep eating their nutella tarts because I sincerely feel that they sell the best homemade nutella tarts! This is also the reason why I must make sure I have at least 2 bottles of their nutella tarts for Hari Raya every single year.


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Besides selling the nutella tarts in the normal bottles, Pink Sucree also does customization for events like birthdays and weddings!

Contact or follow them for more details:

IG: @pinksucree

FB: Pink Sucree

Website: www.pinksucree.com

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  1. I did not want my mum to volunteer to cook for the party

Now, this is another issue, which I often experience. My mum #AzizahCanCook, she is always so eager to cook for all of our events, especially if its for her grandchildren. As much as I love her cookings, I do not want her to be so tired during the actual event. I think it is much better for her to just enjoy the party and relax rather.

Then comes another issue, who or which company to engage for the food?

Farah Diana Catering:

I clearly remember having iftar at Farah Diana Restaurant and i also remember how super nice the food was!

So I decided to check with one of the bosses Diana whether she would be available for Shakeel’s birthday party. Thank goodness she gave me a YES and told me to decide on the menu. They are always fully booked, for your information.

After thinking it through, I decided on the following:

  • Nasi Jagung
  • Ayam Masak Merah
  • Sweet & Sour Fish
  • Black Pepper Beef
  • Fried Bee Hoon
  • Mini Pizza
  • Rojak Buah
  • Bubur Chacha

 

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THE MOMENT THEY CAME TO DO THE SET UP FOR THE FOOD, I KNEW THAT I HAD MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE.

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The spread of food looked so good but they tasted even better! They used fresh ingredients for all the dishes! I actually wanted to eat there and then but as you know it, the host of the event will never get to eat or enjoy the food until the event finishes.

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But I saw my parents trying out the dishes. Without even me asking for their feedback, they came to me and my dad said “Cua, super nice the food! The ingredients used are all fresh! Very good!”

My mum could not agree more.

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Even my mother-in-law who is as fussy as my mother when it comes to food agreed that the food was really good, and I saw her going for her second helping, third helping, and maybe fourth too. LOL.

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Their services provided were tiptop. Complete table layout, skirting, warmers, full set of disposable wares & serviettes were provided. They came on time to do the setup, and they came back on time too to collect the catering equipment.

I will give Farah Diana Catering 5 out 5 stars!

If you are looking to engage their services for your event or wedding, here are the details:

FB: Farah Diana Catering & Wedding Services

Contact: 91079792

IG: @farahdianacatering

You can also go and dine in at their restaurant, especially if you love steamboat! The latest addition will be shell-out! I will post more about this after I try it out myself! HEHE.

FARAH DIANA STEAMBOAT & GRILL
285, CHANGI ROAD
MUSLIM OWNED

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Yummy Takoyaki:

And oh, I also had our favourite Yummy Takoyaki Platter sets for the guests to enjoy during the party!

Who have yet to try Yummy Takoyaki? You are missing out in life, you know? There is always a super duper long queue for them wherever they are be it Celebfest, Expo events or even LalooLalang!

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In case you didn’t know, Yummy Takoyaki makes 100% Muslim Owned Homemade Takoyaki!

I think it’s a wonderful idea to have platter sets for events like parties! Mess free, and so convenient!

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Picture Credit: Yummy Takoyaki

You can choose the fillings that you like, and they will be mixed in one platter!

For orders, you will be pleased to know that they provide Delivery Islandwide.

For events like weddings, they have Live Stations!

And for smaller events like birthday parties, you can choose to opt for their platter sets like what I did!

For orders or enquiries,

Whatsapp 93379195 (for fast response)

Otherwise, you can follow them!

IG: @YummyTakoyaki

FB: Yummy Takoyaki

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  1. Crowds overwhelm babies

It’s necessary to keep the invite light although we will always be tempted to invite the entire world! A room too crowded of even familiar faces can overwhelm the birthday boy, what more strangers? Even though Shakeel is generally okay with unfamiliar faces, I do not think his first birthday party is the best time to launch his social career.

Therefore, I decided to keep his birthday party on the intimate side – I invited only those really close to us and those who have babies around the same age as Shakeel.

Shakeel was in a relatively good mood throughout the party. I actually did not expect him to be in such a happy mood during the cake cutting!

Watch the video and you will get what I mean!

 

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The moment everyone started singing the birthday song to him and clapping their hands, Shakeel flashed his biggest smile and looked at every single person in the room, maybe to check if everyone was singing the song for him. I guess he really knew the attention was on him and strangely enough, he loved it!

Birthday Cake: Sweetest Moments

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The birthday cake was from Sweetest Moments!

Such a great idea to have them onboard for Shakeel’s birthday because ALMOST EVERYONE came up to me and said that the cake was extremely nice and not sweet! Even the fondant was not sweet or hard and could be eaten together easily with the cake.

I REALLY LOVED THE CAKE!

So we huffed.

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And we puffed.

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And we huffed again.

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And we puffed again.

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Finally, we blew out the tiny candle.

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You too can order the exact same birthday cake for your little one by clicking HERE . Okay maybe not exactly the same because they changed the lion topping with an elephant since Shakeel loves elephants!

So cute the little ellie!

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Besides the birthday cake, Sweetest Moments also did these customized brownies for Shakeel!

HAHA CAN YOU SEE AT LEAST 11 OF SHAKEEL THE LION?

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And Mini Safari cupcakes

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And these Modern Treats which consisted of:

  • 10 Pastel Cubes
  • 10 Confetti Donuts
  • 10 Peachy Tarts

 

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Thank you Sweetest Moments for making Shakeel’s 1st Birthday Party the sweetest possible!

Actually coming to think about it, Shakeel only started getting cranky at about 8.30 pm to signal to us that party was over and we should stick to our promise. LOL.

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Except for one or two invited guests who did not turn up, the rest of the guests turned up for the party! I am so touched!

You know, my buddy Nura had an event at Saffinah on Shakeel’s birthday and I knew that there was no way she could skip the event as she was the moderator. I did not expect her to come also. Despite me telling her to just attend to her event, I was so touched when her husband and kids turned up for the party for a short while before joining Nura at the event. Thank you so much for that, my Nula! And of course thank you Esman, Nyla, Oumar and Bibik Belacan for your presence! You guys are really precious. <3

And lastly, thank you to all the guests for making time to celebrate Shakeel’s BIG DAY with us. It really meant a lot to us!

Thank you Kakak Sharleez, Kakak Mysha and Kakak Myreen! You are the best sisters to your Adik Shakeel! Thank you for loving him as much as Mummy loves all of you. <3

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Thank you Daddy & Mak for always being there for us!

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Thank you Mak & Bapak for coming and staying throughout the party.

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Thank you Aan, Papa Yan, Shan & Shaista !

(Thank you Aan especially for rushing from your event to be with us for Shakeel’s party before rushing back to your event again. We really appreciate you being the emcee for the party! LOL)

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Thank you Papa Piq for being there!

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Thank you Mama E & Uncle Bert for the setup and your presence!

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Thank you to my helper Lastri for being there & helping me with Shakeel so that I did not go crazy.

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Thank you Aunty Sabby! (#SofianConfirmLayan and #Azizahcancook had to photobomb)

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Thank you Uncle Esman, Nyla & Oumar! Aunty Nura, you were missed!

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Thank you Uncle Fauzi, Aunty Isda,  Isyah & Fasha & Izz Fareez!

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Thank you Aunty Nona, Uncle Hisham & boys!
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Thank you Uncle Nazim & family!

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Thank you Aunty Saliana & family!

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Thank you Aunty Jihan & family!

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Thank you Aunty Anna & family, and Aunty Raihan and family!

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Thank you Aunty Sha & Family!

Hi Uncle Hisham at the back, you like to photobomb also?

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Thank you Kak Sizzling Dyyana and daughters!

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Thank you Myra and family!

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Thank you Aunty Kim & family!

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Thank you

PS: Uncle Ariff (PM) & family, we did not get a photo taken with you guys! But thank you nevertheless for coming. <3

“MUMMY, IT’S OVERRRRRRRRRR..”

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Happy turning 1 once again, my boy! You have no idea of the amount of happiness you have brought into my life. May Allah keep you safe always and bless you with health, happiness and endless joy in life. I love you so very much even words cannot express it enough. <3

To the lovely bunch of people mentioned in this post, thank you for contributing to Shakeel’s party in a way or another. Thank you for making his party possible! I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

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But no more parties after this.

NO MORE.

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