Tips to Becoming a Top Magician!

If you ever secretly harboured hopes to becoming a magician… Here are some  excellent tips from top illusionists J C Sum & ‘Magic Babe’ Ning on how to become a top magician!

http://razor.tv/site/servlet/segment/main/lifestyle/75840.html

Hahaha! 🙂 This was an interview thing done by RazorTV recently during J C & Ning’s 3 Sides of Magic lecture in Singapore. If you watch part two on RazorTV, i’m actually interviewed in there too!

Anyway, i apologise for the lack of updates. We’ve been crazy busy and had days stretching to end at only 4am for almost a week in a row. I’ve yet to recover! Also… I’ll be in Italy from nxt week all the way up to mid-May! See you guys back then!

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Birthday Cakes in Singapore 2012 – updated

Some time ago, i wrote an article on birthday cakes… The different types of cakes there were then, and what was ‘in-fashion’. I thought it was time to update the article and also give a few referrals!

For ANY birthday party, the birthday cake is always one of the focus (besides the kid himself, of course!). Depending on how you want the party to be remembered, there are always various different cakes for the occasion! Having been to so many different birthday parties, let me just share a few interesting ones that i remember with you… and where you can find them!

1. The photograph-printed birthday cake

The cakes are in this case, custom ordered as the parents had sent in the birthday kid’s photographs to the cake shop. Several shops in SG do offer this, but it is pretty expensive!

I believe Bengawan Solo offered this service for a while, but do not know if they still do!

2. The Cartoon themed cakes

These are the normal cakes that you see with cartoon prints and so on. Kids love these but they sometimes fight over the cartoon figurines on the cakes, so be forewarned!

You can get this at most cake shops in Singapore. Some are printed cakes, some have figurines on them, but these are generally not the 3D ones.

Prima Deli: http://www.primadeli.com/shopatprimadeli/category.asp?CaID=30

3. The 3D Figurine Cake

These cakes never fail to WOW people when they are taken out. Some are in the form of the barbie doll 3D (yes, i have seen one like that before!) while some are in the forms of cars, trains etc. The only thing to note is that these kind of cakes do pose a challenge to however is cutting the cake as they tend to have odder shapes (eg, i have had once when the parent was having a headache trying to divide the cake, because the cake was triangular in shape)

Fantastic and one of the most recommended for 3D Cakes (E-creatives): http://www.ecreative.com.sg/

Also very established and known (Smiling Orchid) : http://www.smilingorchid.com/client/listing.php?categoryid=4&subcategoryid=12&color=

4. Ice Cream Cake

One of the hot favorites of the ice-cream lovers. Perpetually all kids LOVE ice-cream, so they are guaranteed to come back for a second serving. Take note however that young kids are advised not to take too much ice cream cake, and ice cream cakes have to be kept in the freezer up to the point when it has to be cut. Sometimes it takes a fine balance indeed for I have seen parents struggling to cut the ice cream cake as it was frozen too hard too.

Swensons: http://www.swensens.com.sg/order.html

Haagen Dazs: http://www.haagendazs.com.sg/SG_Home/

5. Cup cakes

These used to be less commonly seen, but have gained popularity in recent years. Most of the time, parents prepare a slightly bigger cake for cutting, but give out the cup cakes instead. It used to be that the cup cakes are mostly decorated nicely with smiley face and creative decorations. However, nowadays, most can be customized so it looks really awesome!

It is a good idea to have these if they are a lot of kids since it will be much easier to give out the cake and save the hassle of cutting and dividing the big birthday cake! (Save the birthday cake for family members!)

http://www.cupcakeobsession.com/

http://www.yummyumkins.net/

7. Custom Figure/ Novelty Cakes

These cakes are now the ‘in-fashion’ cakes. For these cakes, customers can request ANYTHING that they like. Send in photos etc, and they will be able to create the cake with custom figures on it! I’ve tried this for my friends birthday myself and got a cake that is in the form of a magicians’ top hat, and all four figurines that look like all of us on the cake!

You have to make the effort to bring photographs and go down to meet the cake chefs personally though, if your cake is super custom!

Bear in mind too, these cakes are usually couture cakes – not so good if you’re looking at not too sweet cakes!

My pick (Metrocakes) : http://metrocakes.com.sg/contact-form.php

8. Traditional Classic Cakes

Usually not the choice for kids! However, classic cakes can be extremely lovely. Some older kids also prefer this if they feel they are ‘adults’ and no longer want kiddy cakes. Can be more atas and very classy. Up-side is that there are a lot of medium priced cakes that are fairly good. Unlike custom cakes, which are generally on the expensive side.

Classic and known place to get the cakes: Bengawan Solo

http://www.bengawansolo.com.sg/Default.aspx

9. Durian Cakes

Durian, for the uninitiated, is the local king of fruits. I personally LOVE durian so i wouldn’t mind having it for my birthday! This is very seldom seen though because i host many parties where the friends and families may not be local. Durian can smell pungent to non-locals who are not familiar with it! But if everyone loves durian, why not go ahead with this!

Emicakes specializes in Durian Cakes: http://www.emicakes.com.sg/

& Others: http://www.angiethechoice.com.sg/shop/item.asp?itemid=51&catid=7

10. Halal Cakes

There aren’t many cake shops certified Halal, although cakes are generally Halal.

Certified Halal – Eatzi Gourmet: http://www.eatzi.com.sg/bakery-online

The list i’ve given is of course, not the full list! There are many many many cake shops in Singapore. And most shops nowadays have expanded to include the many specialty cakes i’ve listed above. My personal favourite cake shops are:

The Patissier: http://www.thepatissier.com/

Metrocakes: http://metrocakes.com.sg/

Well, that’s about it that I can recall from the parties that I have been hosting. Occasionally too, there are some two tiered birthday cakes, but those are rare, only if there are a lot of kids around! Sometimes, it is good to ask your kid for his/her preference for the cake, since it is afterall his/her birthday!

Sometimes it is also good to weigh your options based on budget. While a super customized cake is really nice, if you want to allocate budget for entertainment and food, perhaps a 3D cake or a cartoon character will do? Discuss with your child about it… and it could even be a little financial planning lesson on budgeting!

As long as everyone ends up happy and had fun, all’s good! :D

Cool and Awesome Party Planning Website You can Use too!

Thanks to a parent who was using this particular planning site for her party, I’ve found an awesome website with lots of party information! Most of all, it contains party checklists, and also an EXTREMELY useful tool – e-invites! That’s right! Afterall, in the age of the present, where everything goes much faster with internet and websites, e-invites might just be the way to go!

In fact, Kinetic Gal received the invite too (after being hired for the party! LOL!) and i found it a cool, simple and direct way of sending invitations!

Have a look:

My e-invite to Emmy's hot pink party!

My e-invite to Emmy's hot pink party!

It has an awesome function of collating for you the replies and who’s coming or not! This is really good in helping you to organise the party!

What exactly is the website then? Well here you go: http://www.evite.com/

Hopefully this makes your party organisation a lot easier and makes it all the more a blast to organize! Thanks to Melanie who sent me the e-invite, leading me to this fantastic party-aid site!

Budget – How to Save while Planning for Party!

Here are just 3 simple tips for you from Kinetic Gal myself about how to save while planning for party! As we all know, the economy right now is not doing that well! However, you do not have to burn a huge hole in your pocket for a birthday party. In fact, I have been noticing new trends in the parties which are great ideas for planning parties without busting budget!

1. Plan a birthday party for your kids together – if kids birthday are near. Or share with a friend.

It is not unusual to find kids in the same family sharing almost the same birthdays. In fact, many a times, i have hosted parties for brothers and sisters whose birthdays are just days apart. Recently, i too hosted a party for a father and daughter whose birthday were exactly on the same day! (And the grandpa too, apparently!) Why not then, host the party all together. You save on venue and food costs! Alternatively if your kid’s best friend’s birthday falls near to each other, consider having a party together!

2. Plan a party cum special occasion all together

This too, is similar to point 1! If your kid does not happen to share birthdays/ have birthdays near each other, try to plan so that the birthday is together with a occasion that you normally organize a gathering for already! That makes it easier for you, and keeps things simple!

3. Keep the theme, but DIY and look for a more budget entertainer

Instead of getting a themed party, or getting the party planner to plan the full theme, why not do the theme yourself? I have just hosted a party for 3 year old Zi Ning and she had nice decorations hanging in her house! In fact, the family was very creative, for the princess had princess themed plates strung up and hung on the pillars! They look wonderful and are very cheap to do!

Look at the plates in the background!

Look at the plates in the background!

***

I will be writing soon about another fantastic party planning website that I have just discovered, thanks to a very nice parent! I think the upcoming parties are going to be AWESOME! (There’s quite a few themed parties that i’m going to be hosting come next month!) Woots! In the meantime, it’s TGIF, so have a great fantabulous weekend ahead!

Organising a Birthday Party – Tips on Party Bags in Singapore!

Ever since I’ve started hosting parties, I’ve had many parents asking me where to get party bags for their little angels’ birthday party. Well, being a birthday party host, i have of course done much research myself. There are many kinds of party bags and it really depends on your budget and what you want!
Here are some of the kind of party packs that you can have:
1. Stationary Packs
image044

Strawberry shortcake Party Package

Ben-10! A HUGE favourite!

Ben-10! A HUGE favourite!

Barbie Set - close up

Barbie Set - close up

These are usually the favourites as the children will be able to use them and they come as Ben-10 packaged etc, which are the favourites of the children! Also the children can make use of the stationary in the pack and are thus hot favourites with the parents as well. These packs can range from S$3.50 each to up to S$10 per pack. Depending on your budget and what you like, you can buy these easily from departmental stores like OG and Popular Bookstores.

2. Party packs from Party Supplies store

These party packs are self-packed and you’d have to buy them from the stores yourself. These packs are usually cheaper and include party goodies like little tidbits and little games or bouncy balls. These are hot favourites as well, since children love them and parents get to mix-n-match the items that is wanted inside. 🙂 In Singapore, you can approach any party supplies store to get the party bags (if you buy in bulk, there might be discounts too). Usually the storeowner would be able to recommend what you can get within your budget. You can find the party stores in places like Victoria Wholesale Centre.

3. Party Bags from Online Suppliers

Take a look around on the world of the internet as well! There are also online suppliers who can take care of all the party packs that you need and have them sent to your house whenever there’s a party. These stores usually have a WIDE array of party bags that can cater to your needs!

4. Assemble Your Own Party Bags!

I have also come to know of parents who assemble their own party bags! These parties are usually themed and they love to get party bags accordingly! For example, anyone who is having a magic themed party could have little magic props ordered in from online stores (eg. Magic Boutique) to assemble a nice little party bag gift for the little tods coming for the party!

Well, i hope this helps in the your party planning and have fun organising and planning the party!

Christmas Party Cheatsheet

Just a little Christmas Party Cheatsheet from yours truly to help you with your upcoming christmas party!

7 days before Christmas

Check your entertainer and food provider – there is still time at this point to call up a entertainer provider and look for an entertainer. It is of course, good to double check that the food will be ready on the day.

6 days before Christmas

Call up your friends to RSVP and make sure that you know the number of people attending the party. At this time in point, it should be near enough to the day to know if they are attending the party.

5 days before Christmas

Double check with your decorations provider to ensure that your decorations are to be in place.

4 days before Christmas

Check that you have your prizes and treats.

3 days before Christmas

Ensure the venue is good and ready for the party! 🙂 Call and confirm with your venue provider! Christmas season tends to see a huge spike in bookings so it is best to confirm. Of course, if you’re using your own house, a little packing may then be in due! =p

2 days before Christmas

Set up your Christmas tree (if it hasn’t already been set up!) and do a little run through of the presents stacked below. You definitely do not want anyone to be missing their Christmas present!

1 day before Christmas

Pick up any food and last minute items that needs to be brought to the party venue. Put your candy sticks up finally, if you decide to have them. 🙂 Putting them up by now should be safe – not too early, for they are sweets afterall!

Christmas!

Make sure everything is in place, sit back, relax, wait for your party guests and enjoy the party!

Kinetic Gal’s Wacky and Original Ideas on Having a Pirate Themed Party!

Pirates are recurring characters in many of the children’s fairy tales that we often see. From the famous Captain Hook in Peter Pan, to the lass fairy-tale like Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, we see them all the time. Having a pirate themed occasion is not something rare, so why not have a pirate themed for your kids’ birthday party too?

Decorations

It being a pirates party, there are a few ‘compulsory’ decorations of course! First and foremost, the pirates’ flag! You can either DIY the flag, or buy it off the shelf. Pirate flags can be self made with the simplest of ease. All you have to do is simply to find a skull and bones insignia from the internet and print it out. Get some white cloth and a black flag-sized cloth. Using the printout as a template cut out the white cloth to the skull and bone shape and have it pinned on the black flag! There you have it – a pirate’s flag. Cardboard treasure chest, either self made, or bought make fantastic decorations too. Thick swathing ropes and plain white clothes draped in the appropriate manner can make the venue look like the giant deck of a old ship with sails.

Treats

It being a pirate themed party, there’s no more appropriate treats than the good old chocolate coins! A good old bunch of chocolate coins and candies make great treats. You can have them in skull and bones packing (think bandana in a creative fashion!) or little paper treasure chests. Other ideas include also, the pirate’s eye eyepatches, hook hand, and even pirate hats!

Entertainment

No pirate party is complete ever, without the most-awaited treasure hunt! The hunt can be conducted in your party venue (within the hall/room itself) or within your estate! Instead of the normal written clues, you can use photographs as clues too! Depending on the age of the attending kids, it can be a direct treasure hunt, or one that makes the kids think a lot more. Also, do consider if the kids should be split into groups so that an adult can accompany the kids accordingly. Of course, the treasure should be for the winning kid, and treats along the way can be placed to allow the kids to have more fun in the process.

Balloon sculptures can be a huge source of fun for the kids as well. Since this is a pirate themed party, invite a balloon expert who can make loads of pirates’ sword and parrots for the kids! The balloon swords can be great fun for the kids, since they will be able to have some harmless sword fights! In fact, why not organize a pirate fightout with the balloons. Have the kids wear balloon pirate hats, and arm them each with a pirate balloon sword. The kid who can knock off the balloon hat of his/her opponent wins!

Other entertainment include self-making of the eye-patches and hook hand (think plastic cups and aluminium foil!). The best dressed pirate competition. You can also have some temporary pirate tattoos and stickers for the kids. Also, invite an entertainer who can fit in the theme for the party to jest up the entertainment.

Those are just some wacky ideas of the head from yours truly for the pirates theme party! Till the next time, ho dee dum!!!!!!