Ok, so this isn’t exactly a travel-related post, more like a how-to party guide. However, I did travel to Singapore to celebrate my nephew’s first birthday there so technically it counts.
My sister Lorie wanted to throw an “old school” party for my nephew Eli’s first birthday last year. Since she was based in Singapore at the time and didn’t have much time to buy props, we decided to go D-I-Y. We settled on Mario as the main theme for the details.
Lorie opted not to buy a readymade Mario costume but assembled Eli’s costume herself. She says each piece had to be hunted for and put together with little touches here and there to achieve the complete look. She bought denim overalls from Zara, cut out yellow buttons from cardboard and got a “hard-to-find” red hat from eBay (she just stuck a cardboard “M” on it which kept falling off). She also got Eli brand new brown shoes and a long red shirt from eBay which she said were more affordable.
I found this site where you can download papercraft patterns for printing and assembling yourself. The brick and question mark blocks are adorable and made perfect containers for the candy!
I just printed them out on board paper before leaving and we filled them up with our favorite 80′s candies (chocnut, hawflakes, orange swits, stay fresh, jelly ace, butterballs and small packs of boy bawang, etc.) which I bought from grocery stores in Manila and brought to Singapore for the party.
I saw a lot of plastic Mario, Luigi and Bowser action figures in Greenhills, but they were a bit on the expensive side. Some cheaper knock-off stuffed toys were the wrong color (Luigi in red, Mario in green, etc.). However, I couldn’t help buying a few toys I came across during random trips to the mall:
- a small 1up mushroom toy that’s meant to be kept inside a car or stuck on a window from Daiso (less than P100)
- a “Goomba” hat from Comic Alley (they also have Mushroom ones) (P200)
- a red mushroom hammer that would laugh when you hit it on the floor (this was so noisy in my suitcase) from a gift shop in Ali Mall (P200)
- a brick/question mark pillow (a bit expensive but I got it on sale for around P800) from a hobby store in Virra Mall, Greenhills. It makes the sound of coins and the 1up sound when you hit it.
I also printed out some graphics of cartoons like Pacman, Thundercats, Zelda and Smurfs on sticker paper, which we stuck onto plastic cups.
We prepared a game of ‘Name that Tune’ of music from 80′s video games and cartoons (using MIDI files) which we weren’t able to play. Lorie also wanted me to buy a “PolyStation” (the revamped version of the Family Computer) and bring it there along with all our cartridges (which are still functional after all these years!). Though that would have been a fun party activity as well, I decided against it because it would be too much of a hassle to carry all that gear. We did some pictorials at Normanton Park as well.
Lorie served normal party food like baked chicken, pasta, potato salad, etc. The birthday cake was also a normal chocolate ice cream cake which we decorated with Mario-themed keychains (Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstoal and Toad – the muhroom guy) which I found in Saizen store for about P50 each (the key chain part was taken out so they looked like cake toppers.)
As a centerpiece, we assembled a plate of Mario mushroom appetizers, which a lot of guests said were too cute to eat. For those who’ve asked me how this was made, here’s the recipe. All you need are quail’s eggs, cherry tomatoes, a very thin slice of cheese, an olive for eyes, toothpicks and lots of patience.
- Boil quail’s eggs and peel them as your mushroom base (you might have to slice off a bit to make them more stable)
- Slice cherry tomatoes in half and put 1/2 on top the quail’s eggs; secure with toothpick
- Cut tiny tiny circles of thin cheese using any suitable mold you can find (ex. unscrew an old spring ballpoint pen and use the lower end (you can use a toothpick in the smaller end to poke out the cheese if it sticks to the mold)
- Stick the cheese bits to the tomato part (they usually stick if you dab them a bit with water)
- Cut tiny rectangles to serve as eyes; use a knife to make small indentations in the quail’s eggs and insert the pieces of bits of olive
Ta-dah! Mario mushrooms!
The recipe was mainly adapted from Anna the Red’s guide (which also uses hotdogs for a base and seaweed for eyes). Another variation uses radishes. Too bad we didn’t have time to make the Pacman cookies. Check the links out:
- Edible Super Mario Mushrooms
- How to Make Mario Mushrooms
- How to Make a Radish Mushroom
- Pacman Cookies
Eli is now a year and a half old and we’re already gearing up for his Dr. Seuss-themed birthday party when he turns two :p (Green eggs and ham coming up!)
(All photos by me except for close up of Mario mushroom appetizer by Issa Mauricio)