theme party

Super hero scavenger hunt

Super hero themed party ideas Ngoc NguyenSome of you may remember the super hero party I threw last year for the bf’s birthday. It was a huge success so I had a few friends request that I throw another one. The best thing about already setting a precedence is that no one complained this year about my strict costumes mandatory rule. Instead, they all realized that the more outrageous the costume, the cooler everyone else thought you were. I was so pumped that people went all out on their costumes this year!

To spice things up a little bit, I kicked off the party with a photo scavenger hunt. I made a fun list of things to do, and gave everyone 1 hour to complete as many of the listed items as possible. Although some people were unsure about running around the city in their costumes, by the end of it, everyone had a blast, and now they have all these great photos to show for it. Feel free to download my list for your own party!

Super hero themed photo scavenger hunt ideas

Benefits of a photo scavenger hunt

  1. Great way for people to get to know each other. I made teams at random which forced people to work together with others that they might not normally talk to
  2. Everyone has a competitive edge. And a hunt is a great way to bring that out in people.
  3. Great photos! I’m all for photos and giving people a list to do gives them a reason to be silly in pictures.
  4. It’s fun being a kid. We don’t give enough credit to just doing fun, silly, PG13 kind of activities.

Tips tricks and lessons learned from the scavenger hunt:

  • Give a wide range of tasks in varying difficulties
  • Teams of 4 worked really well – the teams are small enough to easily coordinate and work together, while being big enough that people know that you’re part of a group you’re not a random crazy person walking around the streets in a costume.
  • I gave everyone an hour to complete the list and 2 teams finished all 26 tasks. Next time I’d add probably put at least 30 things on the list with some really hard ones
  • Remember to print off the list beforehand. I was rushed the day of and couldn’t get to a printer in time. Luckily, everyone has smart phones now a days so I just posted it online and had everything download the list to their phones.
  • Picking a hashtag lets everyone post to the same social media channels so they can see how their competition is doing. We used #HeroHunt for ours.
  • If you plan ahead and are tech savy, you can collect everyone’s photos and play a slideshow of all the pictures during the party

Some pictures from the hunt!

Super heroes themed scavenger hunt

scavenger hunt - fireman carry a stranger

Super Heroes doing a scavenger hunt

Super heroes jumping

Super heroes themed photo scavenger hunt

earth worm jim costume

super hero battle in toronto

he man and wonder woman

It’s not every day that you get to party with Sailor Moon and Wonder Woman!

female super hero costume

Or how about Super Dave and Asbestos lady?Super dave costume

And of course the whole crew from Kick-ass decided to join! Kick-ass in toronto costume ideas

Did I mention that I live in Gothum City? 

dark knight and bane costumes

Thanks to Heather from Shameless Vanilla for making these awesome cupcakes!

super hero cupcakes

DIY Despicable me minion cake

With Despicable me 2 coming out this July, I know many kids (and adults) will be hoping for a cute despicable me minion cake for their birthdays. My aunts and I had made a minion cake last year (for my uncle.. he very loudly made it clear that he wouldn’t settle for anything less). Unfortunately, I didn’t really think to document the process that well so here are a few iphone pics that I thought to take during the 10 hour process.

Here are a few photos and DIY tips if you want to make your own Despicable Me minion cake!

You will need to bake more than one round cake that you will use to layer to give the minion some height.

cake for dispicable me minionLayer cakes for despicable me minionThen you’ll have to carve the cake to give it a rounder smoother more minion-esqe shape to it. We used a lid to help guide us and ensure that it stayed round. It will be easier to cut if you let the cake cool. If you cut while it’s warm, it’s more likely to crumble.

shaping the cake

Once you’ve shaped your cakes, you can start the fun part – DECORATING!

When colouring fondant, use a paste or a powder. The liquid food colouring will completely throw off the consistency of your fondant and it will be very difficult to get the bright vibrant colours needed for the minion.

While my aunt covered the cakes with fondant, I started working on the little details like his little hairs and eyes. Make sure you dust your surface with icing sugar to make it easier to remove the fondant after you roll it. Other wise it will stick and all your efforts to roll it out will be in vain. We couldn’t find cookie cutters that were the perfect size so we used drinking glasses instead.
despicable me minion eyes
IMG_1346
We used a tooth pick to add the little details like the stitching in the overalls and buttons.
despicable me minion cake
Use a little bit of water to ‘glue’ all the pieces together.putting eyes on the minion cakedespicable me cake
despicable me cake
That little tongue is just too cute! despicable me cake
1:15am and we’re finally finished! despicable me 2 Minion Cake Ngoc Nguyen makes a despicable me Minion Cake

Bye bye little guy! You were delicious!

despicable me Minion Cake

A night in Bollywood

There ain’t no party like a Bollywood party!

There’s nothing I love more than a good old fashioned theme party!  So I was ecstatic when Yashy from BabyandLife.com asked me photograph her baby girl’s birthday party. The party was beautifully decorated and amazingly executed. I picked up a few tips that might help you set the mood if you’re ever interested in throwing your very own Bollywood party.

 

1. Decorating. Find as much fabric as you can. Think bed sheets, pashmina scarves, curtains, throws, etc. Then start draping EVERYTHING! Yashy had everything from the tables, benches, chairs, pillers, and cushions draped in colourful fabrics which set a very cozy and festive atmosphere that suited the theme to perfection. You can also collect a bunch of cushions and lay them down in a corner or area to create a make shift “lounge”.

decorate room at a bollywood party

2. Saris. Lehenga. Dupattas. I learned a lot of new words in my quest to find the perfect outfit. Encouraging guests to borrow or find pieces in their wardrobes that suit the theme really helped pull everything together. For those who live in Toronto, little India on east Gerrard and Coxwell had an abundance of clothing shops. I walked into one and mentioned that I was going to a party and wanted to spend as little as possible. I was advised that a sari, although beautiful and elegant, would be very difficult to pin properly, and would restrict my ability to walk/run. Since I had to be ready and mobile to snap photos, I opted for this forest green 4 piece outfit for $29 (which also included minor alterations!). If you stay minimal on the embellishments, and opt for non-silk fabrics, there are many options for under $50.

3. Party favours/accessories – Head to the dollar store, or any Indian clothing/fabric/accessory store and pick up some bangles  bindis, and stickers. Bangles can be found fairly inexpensively and having a stack of them around your wrist really makes you want to dance and make those bangles jingle.

4. Music. Every party can benefit from a great playlist. I’m not knowledgeable on what songs are popular but I’m sure a quick Google search can help you put together a great medley of songs to help get your guests dancing. Who knows… maybe Songza will put together a “it’s saturday afternoon and I want my guests to shake like they are in bollywood” playlist soon.

 

5. FOOD FOOD FOOD. Often my parties will just have a few appetizers but since many of the children had early bedtimes, Yashy generously provided dinner. The food was  from Famous Indian Cuisine on Gerrard St in Toronto and it was AMAZING. Their lamb rogan josh may be one of the best pieces of meat I’ve ever put into my mouth.

7. And lastly. Don’t forget to relax and enjoy your party! I know a lot of times, I’m so worried about all the guests and making sure everyone is having a good time that I forget to just enjoy it myself.