07 October 2016

A PJ Masks Birthday Party at Popeye's, Karama

We had originally planned for Sophie to have her 4th birthday at school. A simple one with a cake, cupcakes, and lootbags like her sister…nothing too fancy, just something to celebrate her special day. But because of the school’s rules, we opted to give her a party elsewhere instead.

And since it was almost last minute when we had to change our plans, naturally, all the popular fast food restaurants that had party halls were already booked for the date we were eyeing. It’s a good thing when I called Popeye’s in Karama, they were available on the date and time we wanted, so Hubby and I rushed over after work and paid Dhs200 as deposit to book them.

Months before, Sophie had already told us what theme she wanted for her birthday. However, up until we had booked the venue, I was still hoping she would choose Frozen because supplies were everywhere and she liked Elsa and Anna as well. Unfortunately, she couldn’t be swayed, no matter how many times I tried to tell her that there weren’t any PJ Masks stuff available in Dubai. So once again, I rolled up my sleeves and searched the internet for images of Catboy, Owlette and Gekko and printed these out on colored paper and cardstock.
The cake was the first thing we had to think about. Aside from the design, we needed to look for a supplier because our favorite wasn’t accepting orders anymore. After sending queries to several cake-makers, I saw that a friend had posted images of her son’s recent birthday on Facebook (which also happened to be PJ Masks themed) and raving about the cake made by her sister.  Long story short, we ordered the cake from sis Ling Ling at a very affordable price and she delivered.  Honestly, I found the fondant used for the characters a bit too thick, the silhouette of the buildings had lots of bumps and waves, and was placed too near the front.  But in fairness, the vanilla-chocolate cake with chocolate ganache was really moist and delicious! Some guests even asked for seconds!
As much as Sophie wanted an Owlette costume, we didn’t give in. It just wasn’t practical to order online, and there was no way we could make one for her. Instead, we asked EI Creatives to print images of PJ Masks on shirts so that our family was part of the theme…and lucky for us they ended up giving these to us as gifts! Yaaay!
Thank you, Edmund & Irene!
Following my favorite recipe, I made carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting the night before the party, adorning these with cupcake toppers that I made.
Aside from the cake and cupcakes, we didn't have any other dessert.  To make up for it, we opted to have a small table of sweet treats instead: Kit Kat, Choko-Choko, candy-covered chocolates, wafer sticks, surprise eggs, jelly, and caramel popcorn.  Trying to incorporate the theme as much as we could, Hubby made a silhouette of buildings and stuck this on the wall with pictures of the 3 main characters, I wrapped the chocolate bars and small water bottles with PJ Masks wrappers, and we pasted images on the cups for the popcorn and sweets.
Since we figured the kids would be getting high from all the sugar that night, we decided to not give them goody bags of sweets.  Instead, we gave them pouches (luckily we found them in the PJ Masks colors) each filled with a small notebook, pencils, eraser, stickers, an intelligence cube puzzle, and oat and wheat bars (so they can have something healthy)...and we labelled each with laminated tags.
Finally, to serve as the guestbook, I printed a picture of Sophie on paper, framed it, and the guests wrote short messages for the celebrant.
Oh, we also ordered the special spaghetti and lumpia from Bawabat Al Nahda so the guests wouldn't have to eat only Popeyes chicken that night.  
And that's pretty much everything we did.  

The staff of Popeyes took care of the rest: venue and basic decors, food and drinks (fried chicken, roasted chicken, nuggets, fries and softdrinks), hosting, parlor games and prizes, and video coverage.
Days before, we had informed them that we wanted the kids meals to be served with juice; but at the party, they just served softdrinks.  Unfortunately, I only realized this when the last guests had left so there was nothing that could be done.  And when I asked why the mascot didn't make an appearance, they said the costume was still being repaired.  Oh well.  

Anyway, I'm just thankful that generally, things went ok that day. And of course, seeing Sophie's happy face was more than enough to tell me that she enjoyed her 4th birthday party.
For Sophie's 1st birthday, you can read about it here and here.
For Sophie's 3rd birthday, you can read about it here.

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