children's birthday party, parenting 101, workshops, parenting workshops, photography

I was able to attend Manila Workshops’ First Time Parents: Making Memories and Party Planning, held at the Medela House in Quezon City a few weeks back. This is my second time to participate in a Manila Workshops event as I have attended their Lunches With Love workshop last year {which I have yet to share here, by the way}. The speaker, Michelle Katigbak-Alejandro, editor-in-chief of Metro Weddings, shared loads of tips and chunks of knowledge to first-time and would-be parents about effectively recording the little one’s milestones and capturing precious memories.

The second part of the workshop, on the other hand, was chock-full of tips and wonderful ideas on how to plan and throw a beautiful party for our children, without stressing too much and breaking the bank. It was something I enjoyed attending and I really wish that I was able to attend a similar workshop when I was just a fledgling and struggling new mum.

Part I: Making Memories

children's birthday party, parenting 101, workshops, parenting workshops, photography
Part I: Making Memories with Michele Alejandro

Some of our baby’s milestones include growth milestones {the monthly birthdays, increase in height/weight, and pedia visits}, the developmental milestones {like the first laugh, first smile, first time to sit up and first time to eat solid foods}, social milestones {like the first play date, first time meeting family or their first music class}, and finally the holiday milestones that include their first Christmas, Halloween, Easter and so on. Our little ones accomplish a number of these milestones during their first year of life and it ought to be one of our goals as mums and parents to document each momentous occasion in our children’s lives.

There are several ways in which we can capture our baby’s milestones:

  • Photographs ~ the most common and the easiest way to capture our little ones. Photographs last for a lifetime and more and sure are effective and wonderful ways to remember and capture the moments in our babies’ lives. Nowadays, parents can choose the most convenient way to take their children’s photographs, may that be with professional DSLR, point-and-shoot camera, mobile phone camera or Instax, or what most of us know as Polaroid.
  • Videos ~ these might be a bit tricky to shoot but videos are just as nice to capture our little ones, with sounds and actions, to boot!
  • Recordings ~ is a great alternative especially if your child tends to be distracted by the camera in front of him. Recordings are perfect and discreet way to capture babies’ voice and noises without them being conscious about it.
children's birthday party, parenting 101, workshops, parenting workshops, photography
Recording Milestones with Photo Interviews

Here are a few tips from the workshop on how to take baby photos

  • Turn off your flash
  • Make the photo ops naturally fun
  • Always look for the light
  • Remove the clutter every time you take photos
  • Make sure to capture the details
  • Get the little ones to move, jump, run and play
  • Take tons and tons of shots!

Michelle also shared these fun apps phone photographers can utilize to improve their photos, with their different fun features users can play around to make their photos better: Instagram {one of my current faves!}, Pixlr Express, Afterlight, Overgram, Flipagram, VSCOcam, Instaquote, Labelbox, Typic, Piclab, and Photo Edit.These photo apps make editing, enhancing and sharing the pictures we took a lot easier.

children's birthday party, parenting 101, workshops, parenting workshops, photography
Washi Tapes, craft punches and other stationery + arts + crafts supplies from Bee Happy

The speaker also shared numerous ways on how to capture baby milestones and some of the things she suggested include:

  • Classic Baby Book ~ where you can keep not only photos pertaining to your baby’s milestones, but also notes and other mementos, too.
  • Month-to-Month Photos ~ a great way to capture an infant’s first year, taking the same photo of your baby each month showcases his growth
  • Milestone Cards ~ you can download printables online or design your very own cute cards to photograph your child with, indicating a special milestone in his life
  • Online Baby Journal ~ you can also document your baby’s milestones using online journal or blog. There are also numerous apps you can use to do the same thing, including Kidlee and Keepy
  • Photo Books ~ you can use the photos you took and keep them in photo books to chronicle your little one’s growth and development
  • Photo Interviews ~ you can use a template available online to interview your child and document how he looks at a particular time and include his current preference, too
  • Scrapbooks ~ are probably the most popular way to document our children’s milestones. If  you do not have enough time to spare for scrapbooks, you can always opt for memory boxes where you can store photos upon photos of our little ones, as well as stash cute mementos like their first shoes, first brush, among others

Part II: Party Planning

children's birthday party, parenting 101, workshops, parenting workshops, photography

If you are a parent, party planning will be part and parcel of your duties and responsibilities. Our little ones will be celebrating their birthdays each year, after all, that is why it does pay to stock up on our knowledge regarding party planning and everything in between.

The many things mum has to consider in planning for a party include:

  • Theme ~ is one of the most important thing to do in preparing for a party
  • Guest list
  • Venue
  • Suppliers, if any
  • Invitations ~ they make any occasion extra special
  • Food ~ what’s a good party without great food, right?
  • Decorations ~  make any occasion more festive
  • Goodie Bags ~ are not necessarily a must but it will sure delight guests to bring home something from the party. Ideal loot bag fillers include items that will always be used like pencils, crayons, markers, clay or sketchbooks, and others similar items the kids will love
  • Entertainment ~ this is now a must in any children’s party and parents can choose from a wide array of entertainments, including magicians, balloon twisters, storytellers, or dancers, to liven up their little one’s party.

In party planning, mum must give herself at least 6 weeks to prepare. The speaker shared that you do not really need to go overboard and spend a fortune on your little one’s parties, even the simplest of parties become more special if we put a little love and go the extra mile to make it more unforgettable.

children's birthday party, parenting 101, workshops, parenting workshops, photography
sweet treats from Mama Chows + Dessert In A Jar

There are also a number of party-related suppliers present during the workshop including:

  • Chubby Toes Ceramic Impressions that offer personalized ceramic impressions of your little ones’ toes and fingers
  • Dessert Jars that offers numerous mouth-watering and delectable desserts in beautiful jar containers
  • Mama Chows which also offers yummy treats like Cheese Cupcake, Food for the Gods, and Walnut-Cashew Brownies, and their famous Lactation Cookies. They also offer candy and dessert buffet for parties
  • 87 Events Venue that offers rental services in Quezon City
  • Bee Happy that offers a wide array of crafts, arts and party supplies. They also have beautiful pens and washi tapes. It was too bad they do not have postcards at the time.
  • My Little Party Shop
  • The Buffet International Cuisine
  • Dainty Ashley

Mum’s Two Cents

children's birthday party, parenting 101, workshops, parenting workshops, photography

I must admit that I was not the best mum in terms of documenting the little one’s milestones, although I really tried. I remember with a little tinge of regret in my heart that I was not around in a few of his first year milestones as I was still a full-time working mum at the time. But I am proud that I was able to capture some of his milestones in my old phone and in our old point-and-shoot camera. Even now that Jared is about to turn 5, I make it a point to take photos and document his milestones. And even when I do not have enough time to print and keep an album of the photos I took, I do hope I will come to that one of these days. In the meantime, I chronicle most of his adventures through his blogs and through Instagram.

Our children will only be young for a short period of time that is why we ought to make the most of it and chronicle each and every milestone or development they have. It is a good thing that Manila Workshops came up with this type of workshop to be able to guide first-time parents and soon-to-be parents on how to make the most of their little one’s first few years and how to effectively capture each and everyone of their milestones. Hopefully they can move to a bigger venue next time so that more parents can attend and benefit from this workshop.

For more information, and for first dibs on their latest workshops, keep in touch with Manila Workshops by:

  • following facebook.com/manilaworkshops
  • visiting  their website, www.manilaworkshops.com
  • following twitter.com/manilaworkshops

Written by

mumwrites

is a 30-something work-at-home mum who blogs in between home chores + child-minding. i love coffee, books + reading, collecting lovely postcards, + spending loads of time outdoors with my little man.