Sunday, February 28, 2010

Curious Grant Turns One!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Although it was raining this Saturday, Jami & James' wedding went without a hitch and can't wait to reveal the pictures with you soon.

Now with Grant's 1st birthday party.. planned in two weeks.
The concept for the party was to create a fun and casual party atmosphere for our guests. We decided to have it at a photo studio where kids and their parents had the opportunity to take family pictures while celebrating Grant’s first year in life. Having a photobooth at parties is HUGE these days and when I visited Olive Studio the idea of hosting Grant’s birthday here came to life. It was the perfect space for 30-40 of my closest friends. Now as parents, we realize we don’t get too many opportunities to take family pictures with our kids. With a majority of my friends being moms I wanted to seize this opportunity and wanted to have them enjoy an afternoon taking tons of pictures with their kids. Olive Studio offers a lot of different backdrops and props, it is a very neat and CLEAN place. I know that a lot Korean moms are planning extravagant and traditional “dohl” parties but I wanted to stay away from the tradition of having a guest list of 100-200 people. Basically I didn’t want to plan another wedding reception!
When my husband and I started planning the party we decided that we wanted to give all of the gifts and proceeds to “Giving Children Hope.” With this is mind we wanted to keep things simple (well, this was my intention at first, but things got a little out of control with all the DIY projects I decided to do last minute) and BUDGET FRIENDLY. It really wasn’t until 2 weeks before the party that I started renting items and picking things up from here and there. I found a lot of great things on the clearance racks and at Michaels. The studio already had a lot of cute props and furniture so we just re-arranged it a bit and created a casual outdoor party atmosphere under the tree with picnic blankets & throw pillows. We also brought in some of our own furniture as well.
Things I borrowed:
-The lanterns that were hung from the tree were borrowed from my sister.
-Party trays & plates for the dessert bar and the red wagon where we placed our drinks were borrowed from Kristine.
-Kayla, kindly provided the cookie lollipops with mini cupcakes.
-All floral arrangements & wheat grass box were also kindly provided by Jina from T.H.E flower.

The DIY projects which I pulled off at the last minute! I swear, I don't think I'll ever do them again.
- Pinwheels on the grass to welcome the guests
- 'Curious Grant Turns One' flag banner
- Cookie Stands (borrowed Styrofoam from Kayla) and hot glued the paper
- Dessert Bar circle garlands (inspired by this project here)
- Birthday party hats
- Small flag banner


Gosh..I know he's my son, but he's so adorable! :)
now onto some details...
Shopping Details & Resources:
-Cocktail napkins were purchased at For Your Party
-All adorable signs, cupcake toppers, favor tags were purchased from Heather from Chickabug (I love love her work and I was so thrilled when I found her on Etsy! but I somehow misplaced some of the dessert tags & customized dol ja bi tags she made and couldn't find it anywhere!!! I usually double and triple check my set up items and I still have no idea where they went!)
-Red & White stripe straws were purchased from Etsy and just printed out "Happy Birthday" sign and taped it on the straws
-Dessert bar plates, the popcorn bags and sparkling sodas were purchased at Cost Plus- World Market (I LOVE this store).
-Red blankets were purchased at Ikea for under 5 dollars each and the yellow throw pillows were purchased at Cost Plus for 10 dollars each.
- Curious grant books & lunch box were purchased at a local bookstore in Irvine.
6 ft table for the dessert bar & the blue runner were rented from KiKi Events
Color coordinated jelly beans were purchased at Sweet Factory & other filler candies were purchased from Smart & Final
The garlands were pulled together the night before the party & Angela helped me finish it on the day of. :) I actually made a garland mobile and hung it next to Grant's crib because I didn't want to throw them away after the party.
Milk shooters with chocolate cookies on top
I'm hooked with the sparkling sodas from Cost Plus! They're so good!
Party hats I also pulled together at the very last minute.
pop quiz made by my hubby & the tacos were from Adolfo Tacos. We also had Costco pizzas for the grown ups, cut fruits (mango, strawberries & green grapes) were skewered and small cut sandwiches were prepared for the kids.


Pinwheels were also pulled together at the very last minute. I don't know why I keep doing this to myself.. haha
Almost $900 sent along to Giving Children Hope's We've Got Your Back program.
Thank you everybody for helping out~!


Grant's playmates!

dol-jabi time! You place array of objects and whatever my son picks speaks into what he could be. When he was doing this, he got freaked out because of all the attention he was getting!
it looks like he grabbed the book, but he passed these items and came to me instead. -__-
my better half.. cannot be where I am today without his wisdom & guidance. Although we annoy the heck out of each other and argue over the same things, I can't imagine my life without him. Our love is a work in progress but at the end of the day, we both know we're perfect for one another. :) Love you honey!

My MIL- She stayed with us for almost 5 months and left to Korea last week. Although we had some rough spots here and there, I am still very grateful that she came to watch the baby. One important lesson I learned: It's always better to keep a safe distance. :)


Lastly, what is a birthday without a cake? He was so happy when we sang the birthday song all together. To my birthday have brought us so much joy than we could ever begin to tell you. You are our little teacher and our inspiration. We will always love you more than we have years to count...
LOVE, mommy & daddy

-Don from Don& David photography. He contacted me a few weeks before the party and he generously offered to take the pictures for us. These photos truly far exceeded my expectations and I cannot thank you enough. You captured them so beautifully and I'm sure my in laws will be talking about these photos for a very LONG time. :)

-Jina from T.H.E flower for generously providing all the small centerpieces & the wheat grass.
- Kayla & Kristine for their mental & emotional support throughout my first year as a mom.
-Katie Lee of Bella Destinee, my dear Elisa & Angela for coming early to set up all the props. Angela took some of these detail shots too!
- My dear hubby who stayed up all night to put together a video of Grant's milestone.


hotblogger said...

awesome stuff.
love your work.
grant is good looking.

bobby is ... balding.

jyang said...

you are an awesome mom who threw an awesome party for grant! i wish i had access to some of those vendors. bay area is so limited! my next baby will have a more intimate but still smashing party!

Esther said...

hahaha jae!
i'm gonna tell bobby!what can you do, it comes with the package. i love him for who he is! :)

connieMchung said...

wow. this is one way to throw a first birthday! love all the colors!

Anonymous said...

wow.. all the details are great!
great job esther! -Min

Janice said...

wow it looks like it was such a fun party! i love the idea of giving all the gifts to "giving children hope."

p.s. you're son is so adorable :)

Unknown said...

I have to tell you, you completely renewed my passion to throw my daughters birthday party, I was in sort of a slump but as soon as I saw your pictures on I was in love. I also love your website, you are an awesome photographer. I might just have to look you up next time I am in Cali.

Esther said...

Hello Nani, Thank you so much for your sweet compliments and I'm so honored that you're now inspired to throw your daughter's birthday party. I know, throwing kids parties are a lot of work!!
FYI,I'm not a photographer. :) Don from Dan&David's Style Photography took these awesome photos for me. :)

Unknown said...

really? He did a very good job! I have a question. Did you make those party hats? and if so how did you do it? would you point me in the right direction for a tutorial? or maybe you would be willing to give me the details? oh and the pom poms!! I can't find them anywhere at michaels did you make them?

Wedding/Event Planner said...

Best DOL party ever!!!!

Can't wait for second one...haha =)

Adriana said...

This party was awesome, I especially love the paper lanterns. You did such a great job!

Heather - Chickabug said...

I am in awe! Esther, you amaze me! : )

Heather : )

Sarah said...

your son is so lucky to have this awesome party! i've been shopping around for diy decor for my daughter's dohl...and your party is inspiring me! one question--i have been looking for straws just like those w/different stripe colors...can you point me in the right direction? i couldnt' find them on etsy. thank you in advance for your help to a fellow mom!

Sarah said...

i tried to leave a comment earlier. i found your blog through little seouls! your party for grant was fantastic & he is a lucky little boy! i have been searching for striped straws w/no avail & couldn't find them on etsy. do you mind divulging the info on the straws?

fab_gab said...

Wow, this was such an inspirational and personal post. As a fellow event planner, I loved all the thoughtful details. Everything looked great. Good job!!

I'll keep an eye out for your blog's new entries. You can check out my style blog too at!

Kath said...

I love these ideas. I am having a curious george party for my baby boy who is turning one, what good ideas and inspiration.


Esther said...

Thanks guys for ur sweet comments!! Can't believe he's already two! Time flies~