Monday, March 14, 2011

Of Flea Markets and Bubble Baths

Last Friday, I tagged along with friends G and H when they leased a stall at the Dubai Flea Market in Uptown Mirdif. They sold some used stuff such as clothes, shoes, belts, hats, toys and other baby items. I, on the other hand, sold some chocolate crinkles and butterscotch bites baked by my hubby. I also showcased a couple of nappy cakes and gave out cards for those who wish to order. Flea market is not exactly the place to go to when selling this kind of stuff because the buyers would think the price is too steep (and they did!). I wasn’t actually expecting to sell anything – I just joined ‘cos it seems fun and I had nothing better to do on a Friday afternoon.

market sellers

Meanwhile, hubby’s butterscotch bites were a hit!  They were a crowd pleaser, just as I expected. A few boxes were left of the chocolate crinkles, which didn’t go to waste since the little boy and the big boy ate them for snacks yesterday.

I was pooped after the flea market stint because it was a bit hot that afternoon. I think the lovely winter weather has stretched itself too much that it could no longer hit end of March at least. Just thinking about the summer weather here is already giving me the shudders!

Saturday was spent with my two boys at home. We had a grand time bumming around doing absolutely nothing. Oh, oh, it was pure bliss, haha! Since we had a lot of time in our hands to just dilly dally, I gave the wee one his very first bubble bath. I made use of his tub which thank goodness still fits him. For the bath, I used the California Baby Bubble Bath in lavender for that relaxing feel. I also gave him 2 rubber duckies for him to play with.

He was disoriented when I soaked him in the tub filled with bubbles. It was so strange to him he gave me that panic-stricken look. He warmed up to it shortly after we started blowing bubbles at him and taking a few snapshots.

To cap off our lazy day, we went to the nearest Caribou Coffee shop where hubby and I got our strawberry banana smoothie fix that I was actually craving for days now.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The New Ride

After careful thought and consideration, the husband and I decided to finally put the Quinny Buzz stroller to rest for the next baby (although I am not preggy yet, just to set the record straight) and get a new one for our little boy’s current use. We’re concerned he might end up wrecking the stroller because he is so active now, even when seated. Since we invested on a pricey but super stable stroller, which thank goodness came as a gift, we thought it’s best to maximize its use 'til the next baby.

So last weekend, off we went to Babyshop to get him a new Quinny Zapp during their weekend bonanza sale. We were extremely happy with this purchase because we were able to use our Mashreqbank WOW points and we only threw in a couple hundred dirhams to buy the item. Quite a steal, right?

One thing we liked about the Zapp is that it is sturdier compared to most umbrollers. We were contemplating on getting a Maclaren Quest or Triumph because it is much more compact but considering Dade’s fussiness in the stroller, we decided against it. Hubby was very pleased at how the Zapp folds compared to the Buzz. We now have more than enough space at the back of our car. whoppee!! traveling will be a lot more easier for us. It’s also quite easy to maneuver – I can even use just one hand. The new Zapp models no longer have the carry bag, but it does have the shopping basket now, which is more important for us.

pensive look

Above is a recent snapshot of the little boy in his new rebel red ride taken last Saturday in front of Ikea. We were then waiting for his Ninang B who promised to get him a table and chair set as a super advanced birthday pressie. He looks impatient here, I know but as soon as Ninang B arrived, he was back to his sweet, pa-cute self.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Liven Up The Candle

Apart from my interest in making diaper cakes, I also decorate candles for occasions such as Christening. I like turning ordinary looking candles into the special looking ones because for me, they are a significant symbol of commitment by the godparents to become second parents to their godchild.

The first one I made was for my goddaughter, Zoei Armay. Her motif was pink & brown.  I also decorated the basket, which I bought from a flower shop in Karama.

lovely pink and brown combo

The next batch of candles I decorated was for Hannah. Her motif was the popular pink & brown combination, as well. They also incorporated polka dots in the invite so I decided to get some satin flowers with white polka dot prints. Luckily, I got them at a steal price from my suki in Satwa.

another pink & brown set

The latest batch of candles I spruced up was for my goddaughter, Amara Andrea. I was challenged by the motif of fuchsia pink and orange, but I'm so glad i was able to scour some nice materials. Glad the candles looked elegant-looking afterwards.

bright, summery colors

Funny that even my friend from the US also inquired about shipping the candles from here all the way to Seattle.  I am so flattered!

Dade's 1st birthday party (Dubai) supplier ratings

party, party!

We decided to give our little Dade another party in Dubai for our friends and relatives here, albeit low-key. It was a typical Mc Donald’s birthday party, but was made extra special because of people who love our little boy so much.

The party was sponsored by my Dad who wasn’t able to make it to Dade’s 1st birthday in Manila so we only spent a minimal amount that went for party favors and cake (and my blowdry, hahaha!). Everything went smoothly as planned, and we couldn’t ask for any better party for our little rascal.

So here goes our supplier ratings.  For all the Dubai readers of my blog, I hope this post helps in your kiddie party planning.

birthday notice

Venue & Food:  Mc Donald’s Jumeirah Beach Branch (the branch with the Drive-Thru, located right next to Commercial Bank of Dubai)
Dirham power:  Quite reasonable. You just have to pay AED 100 to reserve the date and time of the party, and pay the cost for all the food consumed towards the end of the party
Inclusions:  invitations, party hats, place mats, balloons, party host, mascot, Mc Donald’s prizes for games and lootbags
Rating: 5*** (highly recommended)

party hats
family photo with Hamburglar

What I liked about McDonald’s is the fact that it is super convenient. All we needed to do was show up and bring the cake and the birthday boy! Balloons were all over the place, and the banner, albeit generic, was put up already. What a breeze!

We ordered Big Tasty and McRoyale Meals for the adults and Kiddie Meals for the 
kids. Guests were made to choose which meal they like between the two. For dessert, we had apple pie and chocolate and caramel sundae. I made sure the meals were upsized so everyone would enjoy big fries and drinks.

party games with Joy

Our host, Joy, was lovely to work with. A few days before the event, we met up with her at the branch to discuss what we wanted to do with the party. I told her about the balloon burst and the pillars that we were to bring for additional decors. She was very accommodating, and she understood what I wanted. Come party day, she delivered properly, and I was so happy she didn’t sound like the other hosts in other fastfood parties I’ve been to here in Dubai. She spoke English well so that helped a lot with our other non-Filipino speaking friends.

The crew also had this orderly way of making sure the guests are tagged with the right meal they ordered. Everyone had a sticker on their clothing to get their correct meal. Joy also ensured the kids get the nicer give-aways for the kids – not just the usual “happy meal” prizes. I wish I was able to bring home one of those cute rulers but alas, the kids beat me to it.

Cake:  SugarBox


Tel No:  +971 6 566 0901
Dirham power:  AED 500 + AED 60 delivery fee
Rating:  5*** (so highly recommended)

adorable Sesame Street cake

It has always been a huge dilemma finding a decent cake here in Dubai. Thank goodness my friend and kumare, Mabe referred this quaint pastry shop in Al Qasba, Sharjah, which is just minutes away from our place. A week and a half before the party, we went there to place our order, give the picture of the cake design we want, hand over the Sesame Street toppers that my cousin S bought from the US, and choose the cake flavor. My only concern was that they didn’t ask us for any downpayment, and I had no receipt or invoice whatsoever of the order I placed.  So I had to call and send emails to the shop in order to have a proof that I did make an order. The last thing I want for my little boy’s party is a missing birthday cake!

On the day of the party, I received a call from the owner of the shop. Her Highness, a Sheikha from the Emirate of Sharjah, had called to assure me that the cake is all done and looked perfect, and advised me that it will be delivered to Mc Donald’s at the agreed time. Now that is customer service!

We picked out the red velvet flavor, and I am so glad we did! We served the cake
during the party, and everyone loved it!  It was luscious and not too sweet. The cream cheese filling was just right.

And because it was a hit, I ordered two more cakes from them for my friends' two boys' birthday party the next month. not only do they bake great-tasting cakes, but they also make cakes according to the design you want.

Photographers:  Dade’s Ninang Beth & Ninong Armil who are both photographers by profession
Dirham power:  free – labor of love

ratings:  5*** (super duper highly recommended)

with Ninang Beth

with Ninong Armil & his family

Dadelicious is super lucky to have photographer godparents! We didn’t have to hire photographers, which saved us a lot. Everything was done all for the love of their godson. My colleague even teased me that all we needed was a red carpet because there were so many flashes coming from all directions, haha! Most importantly, we cannot be happier with the photographs – all super nice! 

Videographer:  Studio K – owned by Dade’s Ninong Kelvin who is a “filmmaker” by profession
Dirham power:  free – labor of love
Rating:  5*** (super duper highly recommended)

party hall

Dade’s party was like a high-profile event because not only did he have two professional photographers clicking their cameras the entire time but it also had two videographers with one operating a jib crane filming the celebration. Dinaig ang wedding namin! (his party beat our wedding!) Big savings, as well because we didn’t have to shell out even a single dirham to pay for the video coverage. I’m sure you can tell how pleased we are of this :)
to see the video teaser, click here.

Balloon pillars:  my kumare, Hazel (please PM me for her contact number)

Email address:
Dirham power:  free – labor of love
Rating:  5*** (so highly recommended)

busy with her new passion -- balloon art

What can I say, I have good “wasta” (connection or network) in Dubai, haha! So for Dade’s party, I also had free balloon pillars by his cake and give-aways stand, and did not spend anything, too, as it came as a gift. Hazel & her hubby quickly made the pillars in time for the party, and I was super pleased that the colors perfectly matched the theme of the party. She even let me choose the mylar balloons for the toppers. Sweet!

Balloon burst:  Party Centre
Dirham power:  AED 60
Inclusions:  1 big transparent balloon with 17 small balloons, inclusive of decorated stick with prick to burst the balloon
Rating:  5 (highly recommended, based on my experience) 

happy colors
holding on to the balloon burst stick
Party Centre is the best place to go for of your balloon and party needs here in Dubai. But since my friend has already volunteered to create a pair of balloon pillars for Dade, we only needed to order the balloon burst for the party.

Prizes and give-aways: Diviland
Dirham power: really cheap – sorry, toxic to convert from Peso to Dirham
Rating: 5*** (so highly recommended)

prizes and giveaways all the way from Divi

We brought some of the stuff that were left from the party in Manila to Dubai to give them as give-aways & prizes for the party. Good thing we did because we saved a lot of money and headache from trying to source Sesame Street-themed stuff here. Even Dragon Mart, the Dubai version of Divisoria, does not carry any Sesame Street item at all.

Some of the stuff we brought here are the personalized bubbles with Sesame Street theme and Dade’s name, plush toys, wallets, coin purses, pencils, lunch bags, stickers, stationery set, soft balls and straw cups.

Cake toppers, lootbags, plates and table napkins: bought from Target in US
Dirham power: I’ve lost all the receipts, but I am very sure it’s cheaper than when bought from Party Centre.
Rating: 5***

cake table

I am so glad my cousin bought these stuff from the US. the cake toppers saved us a lot because I didn’t have to ask the cake maker to create 3D toppers that would’ve probably cost me an arm and a leg here. The plates, table napkins and lootbags matched one another so that was a plus for me. the plates were used to serve the cake so imagine my delight that we didn’t have to serve it in an ordinary paper plate.


So there you have it, my supplier ratings for Dade’s birthday party in Dubai. Hope this somehow helps my Dubai readers in case they want to throw a kiddie party for their little ones. Toodles everyone!