Bridgette’s Birthday Bashes

Bridgette is at the age where she has an opinion on pretty much everything. She makes suggestions on what to eat for dinner, where to go on weekends, and what mommy should wear to work.

So, when it came to her birthday party this year, she knew exactly what she wanted.

A Mulan cake and a Fashion Show

I swore I would keep it low key this year, as I just didn’t have the capacity to plan the details after our long Asia trip. I placed my cake order early with my talented friend, Joanne, the master chef behind A Beautiful Kitchen and then the rest of the planning went on the back burner. Two weeks later, when Joanne emailed me a picture of the fondant-sculpted Mulan that she made for Bridgette’s cake, I thought to myself…

I can’t let this awesome cake be by its lonesome self at Bridgette’s party! 

Shortly after, I began finding myself taking small breaks from work to browse the internet for Asian-inspired decor to go with the Mulan theme. The more I got into it, the fancier the details became, until I realized I just didn’t have enough time to do it all. I had to forego a lot of my ideas to keep things “relatively” simple. I did, however, decide to make it a 2-part party. The first would be held in the morning, with just a few of Bridgette’s closest girlfriends, at SnipIts in Palo Alto, where they would get dolled up for a fashion show. The second part would be held at our home, with more of Bridgette’s friends, to the Mulan-inspired theme that she asked for.

Before I dive into the details of the parties, let me just preface it by noting how utterly disappointed we were with SnipIts in Palo Alto. The pictures that I will share here may show a wonderful experience, but it definitely was way below our expectations. Their customer service was beyond horrible. I wrote a very length and negative review for them on Yelp, which was unfortunately filtered in just 2 days. Way to go with your business ethics, Yelp! For those that are interested, you can still read my review by going to SnipIt Palo Alto’s Yelp page here, then scrolling down to the Pages buttons and clicking on the “Filtered” reviews in gray.

Okay, back to the first part of Bridgette’s party! The girls got their hair done at the salon, applied a little makeup, and had a quick mani before they changed into a dress of their choice for the fashion show…

Finally, she’s ready for her red carpet moment…

Walking next to the red carpet as gracefully and lady-like as she could…

After the fashion show, we went back to our house for the second part of Bridgette’s party. The minute I got home, I focused on finishing the last bit of set up for the party, and when I saw Bridgette again, she had already morphed into Mulan, “a China princess”, as she likes to say it.

 

When it came time to cut the cake, a few of the parents were ambitious enough to try to coral all the kids together. Two words to describe that brief moment:

Pure chaos

Still, it was a laugh-till-your-stomach-hurts kind of chaos, and one of those beautiful moments that you hope to hold onto just a bit longer…

This seemed to be the best shot, taken by our friend Balkee 🙂

There's my girl, making her minute-long birthday wish!
Friends help friends blow out birthday candles

We were extremely proud of Bridgette for standing behind our “charity in lieu of gift” campaign this year. We had explained to her early on that she is a blessed child with more than enough food, clothes, and toys. Yet, there are many less fortunate children out there who may be battling with illnesses, or simply do not have the resource to fulfill very basic needs. We don’t know if Bridgette truly understood our message, but she showed a lot of concern and empathy towards the less fortunate, and agreed to a “no gift” party so that our friends and families could donate the money instead. Since that conversation, Bridgette never brought up the topic of gifts again, even after the party. We sincerely thank our friends who donated to St. Jude on Bridgette’s behalf. And for the few who did buy Bridgette a gift, she loved and appreciated all of them. Thank you!

Bridgette’s actual birthday fell on President’s Day this year, and we allowed her to plan the day out as she wished. First, she picked out her own outfit for the day, and carefully dressed and accessorized herself. Then, she asked Alan and I to have lunch with her at Lobster Shack, where she ordered her favorite mac and cheese AND grilled cheese sandwich. Then, she invited Por Por over to help her bake her own birthday cake!

Bridgette's favorite part--decorating the cake!

For dinner that evening, she asked to go to Amici’s, and ordered her favorite Hawaiian pizza!

Left: Bridgette and her favorite pizza | Right: Bridgette's adorable cousin Ivan

Following dinner, we all went back to our house to cut the cake of course! 🙂

Bridgette's masterpiece, with special "China princesses" cake toppers hand made by Por Por 🙂

Happy Birthday Bridggy!

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