July 26, 2020

ARWEN & ARYA’S 1st Birthday Party | Game Of Thrones X Lord Of The Rings

Aaaaaaarggghhhhh I’m freaking out!!!
Arwen and Arya turned 1! One. Year. Old. Out of the blue. 😱
I haven't even gotten the chance to blog about my wedding, birth story, life with twins (and everything else in between) and yet, they decided to sprout 🌱 just like that.
Arwen dressed as Arwen Undomiel from Lord Of The Rings | Arya dressed as Arya Stark from Game Of Thrones | Myself dressed as Galadriel from Lord Of The Rings | Ant dressed as... himself -_-

I apologize in advance if the timing of this post is not quite right. As I'm typing this (25 July 2020), the world is still struggling because of the COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic, and there is no known cure or vaccine for it yet. A lot of people and businesses (ours as well) have been affected quite badly, and overall, 2020 has been a very weird year for us all.

Most of us, I believe, are also trying our best to stay alert and avoiding any kind of activities that might cause the virus to spread, e.g. traveling, meetings, or any kind of gatherings, including a birthday party like this (which was held on 16 February 2020 ~ the first confirmed case in Indonesia was on 2 March 2020).
Feeling this meme 100%... swap the cat with two babies dangling around and voila, it's me!

As for myself, I'm eating clean, taking my vitamins daily, trying to stay positive (quick reminder: stress could reduce our immune system!) and of course, I'm staying home most of the time with the kids, so I figured, heyyy, isn't this the perfect time to blog? Right here right now. Kinda miss blogging like this, though!

By all means, I hope when you're reading this, you're doing okay (and your family and friends as well), and if somehow you're not, I hope this post could at least lighten up your day and make you feel like you're part of Arwen and Arya's party. πŸ€—

So, without further ado, I welcome you to:
Arwen and Arya's
1st Name Day
Welcome, M'Lady! M'Lord!

Let me take you to our first destination, THE decor. 🎊
Is it just me, or do you also think this is really, REALLY COOL!!?
And how cute are those mini Iron Thrones!!!?!??!!?!?? πŸ˜±πŸ’˜πŸ’˜πŸ’˜

I was so psyched the moment I saw this 3D backdrop because:
1. It's SO BIG, like, it's 3x3m y'all!
2. It's even better than the initial design
3. It's totally the way I want it:
A combination of Lord Of The Rings (where I got the name Arwen from) AND Game Of Thrones (where I got the name Arya from), but still with kiddy touch, because it's babies' birthday party, afterall. πŸ˜‚ I've browsed around for GOT and LOTR party inspirations, but most of them are dark, very serious, and some of them are even gory! 😱🩸 As expected, though, especially from Game Of Thrones (referring to beheaded Ned's Cake Pops and more).
So, after I reluctantly told Febby from TuttiFruttiParty about all those tricky details I wanted in the party, and presented her with these images I've found on Pinterest, Google and Instagram:
I wanttt those Arya & Arwen Funko Pops!!!
...She said she could do it, yay!!! And she has really outdone it, I must say! πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
Let's just say it's the CUTEST version of #GOTxLOTR party theme!

Next, we have the CAKE! πŸŽ‚
I started by sketching out the idea of how I wanted the cake to look like, took it to Photoshop, blending some images I found online so I could explain it better to the cake decorator:

Anddd, tadah!
I love that it looks really similar to my design, BUT, to be honest, the color didn't turn out like this. I had to purposely photoshop this picture of the cake, so the color can at least... look the way I want it to be, right here on the blog. The real color of the cake - you can see it later as you scroll down - was too neon-ish (especially the green and blue), and the base was red-black(?), not grassy green like how I wanted it to be. πŸ™ƒ
Pardon the OCD side of me. πŸ™ I'm very particular about color, so... 😭
Like when Febby sent me a preview of the decor:
I was SHOCKED because the color of the tree was REALLY DARK, unlike the initial design we agreed upon. But what truly impressed me was, she didn't shrug 🀷‍♀️ and let it be the way it was, because it was freaking 2 hours before the time of the party, right? Instead, she FIXED IT and boy, I was so grateful that here I am basically blogging about her hahaha. Anyway, if not for the color, I was actually pretty satisfied with how the cake looks! It's cute, right? It's from Cakenoir.Art, by the way. πŸŽ‚

Now, it's time for...... the FOOD!
Loveee this dessert table, so much details befitting the theme, also by TuttiFruttiParty!

This is the food inspo I sent them:
Aren't we lucky to be living in Pinterest era?

And they came up with THESE!

Hobbit Cookies! πŸͺ Red Wedding Cupcakes! 🧁
Sadly, I didn't get to try any of those because I was busy during the party, and some of the leftovers were taken home by my mom and most of them were given away to my family. πŸ₯Ί I'm sure they taste just fine, though!

In case you're wondering, those appetizers πŸ‘† are:
- Elf's 'Lembas Bread' (sandwich wrapped in leaf) πŸ₯ͺ
- 'Theon's Favorite Toy' (chopped sausages with bbq sauce 🀣) 🌭 and
- 'Gandalf Magic Mushroom' (deep friend champignon mushrooms with tartar sauce) πŸ„.

Moving on to the main course!
Mordor Lava Pasta (spaghetti bolognese) 🍝, Kings Landing Chicken Feast (marinated fried chicken) πŸ—, Wildling Beef (sous vide beef cuts) πŸ–, White Walker Rice (butter rice) 🍚 all provided by SRSLY Coffee. They really sell the beef and the chicken menu, tho, and they taste amazeballs. πŸ€€πŸ‘ They were crowd's favorite too!

Anddddd... My favorite Iced Honey Latte was presented as 'Elvish Honey Latte Elixir' πŸ˜»πŸ―πŸ’«
Die hard fans might notice that the house sigils (the symbols) next to the food and beverages' names are kind of mixed up. I know, I know, no Starks have ever set foot on Mordor, let alone try its famous Lava Pasta. But maybe... Mordor is west of Westeros? I guess we should wait until Arya (Stark) got back from her latest journey, huh? πŸ˜‰

But seriously though, In my defense, I planned for this party in less than 2 weeks, so some details were bound to be missed. πŸ˜‚ Initially, I wanted to celebrate at home, you know, something just like this (which we did, on D-Day, 14 February 2020):

But then I thought, "Ah, screw it, it's the girls' FIRST BIRTHDAY, for goodness sake! Put on some effort!!"
Hence... This impromptu yet pretty satisfying party! Mainly thankful to TuttiFruttiParty for being able to create the whole party ambience in such short notice WHILE complying with my complicated request(s), brava!!!

Now of course...

The one, I mean, the TWO we have all been waiting for........

Drum roll, please....... πŸ₯
M'Lord, M'Lady, may I present you...
Princess Arya and Princess Arwen~~~~~πŸ₯°πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ’–πŸ’–

SRSLY??? I couldn't stand the cutenesssss OMG 😍😍😍😍😍😍
Princess Arya was held by Mamma Galadriel, and Princess Arwen was held by Mima (my mom). πŸ₯°

Ok, now let's talk about Arwen and Arya's cute medieval dresses, shall we?
So, for a #GOTxLOTR party, of course the girls have to dress up as their counterparts in the movies, yes? In this case, Arwen as ~Arwen Undomiel~ from Lord Of The Rings, and Arya as ~Arya Stark~ from Game Of Thrones. But the thing is, Arya's costumes are all too boyish, and Arwen's too girly, so this was a challenge for me as well!

First thing I did was deciding what type of costume I want the girls to wear? A dress / a set of top and pants / a jumpsuit / etc.? I've decided on a DRESS. So again I consulted my best friend Pinterest, and found this cute medieval baby dress on the left:
I mixed it with each Arya Stark and Arwen Undomiel's style in Photoshop, and *poof* we got those two dresses on the right!

Sent the design to Lisa from Bentencesa, and she finished both dresses in just. two. days. πŸ™€πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ 
...And look how adorable they are. 😍🀧😍
Totally befitting the theme while looking super cute and dolly, and the materials are comfortable as well. I specifically requested cotton for the inner layer so the girls would feel comfy wearing it, and it WAS as comfy as it can be. Thanks a lot, Lisa! You and your team are super helpful and talented! πŸ€—

The party started with this video (which I made the night before the party, which reduced my sleeping hour to... merely 3 hours πŸ™ƒ), projected on SRSLY Coffee's wall:
The video basically shows the characters behind the girls' names, and the *good virtues* that each Arwen Undomiel and Arya Stark has, which of course, I'm also hoping that Arwen and Arya would possess as well, later when they're older. πŸ₯° You can click the video πŸ‘† and watch it on Instagram!

Next, we proceeded to pray, blow the candles and cut the cake πŸ₯³πŸŽ‚
Finally Ant is wearing his Legolas costume!

After that, guests could mingle, eat and drink to their heart's content!
1st pic: My Gen Z cousins πŸ‘»
2nd pic: Arya's deciding on how strong she wants her coffee to be πŸ€”
3rd pic: Arwen (not) trying her best to do a high five with Patrick πŸ˜‚

During the partay, Arya was literally mingling around:
Arya: "That's right, I don't mind making friends (although technically, they're my family)"

"...As long as the gifts and angpaos are rollin, Aunties and Uncles! 🀩"
Justttt kidding, Aya! You're such a brave girl! πŸ˜‚πŸ‘πŸ˜

Meanwhile, Arwen prefers the comfort of (more) familiar presence πŸ₯°
Arwen with Mima, Thaima (my grandma), and Ciu Sen!

Awkwardly posing with my in laws πŸ™‚:
Oh gosh, now I remember how hideous that Legolas wig is. πŸ‘ΉπŸ˜‚ No wonder Ant was feeling really hesitant to wear it! 🀣🀣🀣 We rented our costumes from Gading Kostum, by the way:
Look how nice the wig (Legolas') was supposed to look 🧝‍♂️🀣 I wonder what kind of hardship has happened to that poor wig before it landed on Ant's head... 🀧 My costume did not include the wig, by the way. I bought my wig here, and the elf ears here. πŸ˜„

While my and Ant's costumes are from Lord Of The Rings, Elle and Yansen represented Game Of Thrones!
Yansen dressing as Jon Snow, Elle as Daenerys Targaryen πŸ‰

Julius and Angie went GOT as well with their wolf (Stark) hats 🐺😍
Should've dressed my grandma as Olenna Tyrell and my mum as Margaery Tyrell... πŸ˜›

Somehow, Mima decided to have a sudden 'teapai' session(?) by giving Arwen and Arya these cutesy pink angpaos (money bags), that would later be carried around by the girls, but mostly Arya. πŸ˜‚
...Like this:
Aya aya waeeeee πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­πŸ˜‚
Oh, if you're wondering why Ant's making that hand gesture, it's 1 for age 1, by the way! ☝️πŸ˜‚

Somehow, Arya and Arwen's relationship reminds me of Elle and I πŸ˜‚
As you can see here πŸ‘† I was kinda 'overpowering' Elle, like how Arya treats Arwen on daily basis 🀣 Not to mention that Arya really REALLY looks like mini me, and Arwen somehow looks like ie El? How come?? πŸ˜‚
πŸ‘­ My forever twinzie πŸ‘­

Happiest Mima loving her twin granddaughters πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

Aquarians in my life casually hanging out together:
Ahh right, 5 months ago they still couldn't walk that well, and yet they were so eager to run here and there, so we had to hold them like how Mima and ie Len did here! πŸ˜‚ Now, at 17 months old, they're practically olympic gymnast babies. πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ€Έ‍♀️πŸƒ‍♀️πŸ’¨

Initially, we wanted to invite friends as well, but because our family alone were a total of 70+ people, and SRSLY Coffee could only seat up to 80 people (it's plenty of seats, actually, but still, if we wanted to invite ALL our friends, combined with their partners and kids, there wouldn't be enough space), so we had to let it be a family-only party this time. πŸ˜‚πŸ™
P.S. Huge thanks to Tiny Miracles Photography for helping us taking these memorable shots during this party! They also took these beautiful newborn photographs of Arwen and Arya, just before the girls went bald 🀣:
Awww, look how smol they were πŸ₯ΊπŸ’ž

Guests would bring home this cute canvas goodie bag filled with DELMORO Dark Chocolate inside:
..which is THE premium choco powder used at SRSLY Coffee for their yummy chocolate drinks, AND it's also what we use for our non-profit charity project Cokelat Peduli! πŸ«πŸ’™

Now, I know that not many people read blogs anymore (especially a long ass post like this πŸ˜‚), so if you've been reading til this part, I just wanna say THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! πŸ₯Ί As a token of gratitude, I want to create a little Giveaway for you guys ~e-guests of Arwen and Arya's 1st Name Day~ and 3 winners each will get this goodie bag from Arya and Arwen! πŸ₯³ How to join? Simply:
1. Follow me @jessyamada and Arwen & Arya @jessbebes if you haven't already? ^^
2. Leave a comment here on the blog + on my IG post: ANYTHING you want to tell Arwen and Arya πŸ₯°
3. I will pick 3 winners randomly on Sunday, 9 August 2020 and announce it on IG!

All in all, I think the party was FUN!
Costume change for the princesses~
The girls enjoyed it for the most part, they cried a bit when they were sleepy, but that's normal. ☺️ The guests seemed happy as well, and for some of them, it even became sort of a family reunion haha.

Happy 1st Name Day, Arwen and Arya!
Mamma loves you girls toooooooo much! πŸ₯°πŸ€—πŸ˜˜

Thanks again for reading and see you guys on my next post! 

Jess Yamada

April 06, 2020

Hwaiting, Pejuang Kanker Cilik! #ChildCancerAwareness

I've been working on this personal project for almost a month now.
It could've been faster, but with my bad time management skill plus two babies, less-than-a-month is a pretty good achievement for me.

"So, what is it you've been working on?"
In short, I was working on a campaign in which I tried to:
πŸŽ— Raise awareness about Child Cancer
πŸŽ— Do something nice for these #PejuangKankerCilik a.k.a. children with cancer

Problem is...
At first, I knew... probably nothing about child cancer.
Call me ignorant but it's the truth.
I even tried to withdraw from this campaign. 

In daily life, sometimes I'd bump into random stories or informations about child cancer, and I *deliberately* avoided them because I was too scared to imagine that such a harsh reality could happen to a child, let alone reading some facts about it.
I was afraid that if I could imagine it, it could REALLY happen.

But it DOES happen.

It is happening RIGHT NOW in Indonesia and around the world, and approximately 300,000 children aged 0 to 19 years old are diagnosed with cancer each year. πŸ˜­πŸ’”

The good news is:
πŸ’– Between 30-50% of cancers are preventable by healthy
lifestyle choices such as avoidance of tobacco
πŸ’– When identified early, cancer is more likely to respond to
effective treatment and result in a greater probability 
of survival, less suffering, and often less expensive 
and less intensive treatment
πŸ’– Cure is possible for more than 80% of children with cancer
πŸ’– Even with late stage cancer, the suffering of patients
should be relieved with good Palliative Care
Source: WHO

Knowing that there is still HOPE, I set my fear aside and decided to join this campaign anyway. πŸ™

When talking about child cancer,
As parents, of course we all hope and pray that only the best things would happen to our kids. But sometimes, shit happens. And knowing that early detection could make a HUGE difference for children with cancer, I feel it's important that we should at least KNOW the basic things about childhood cancer, which I'm about to lay out here in this blog post.

Myths & Facts
First, get to know the myths and facts surrounding cancer in children:
Source: @ccfsingapore @kitabisacom

Now, the most important thing in this post:
Awareness & Early Detection
Source: @p2ptmkemenkesRI
Get to know these possible signs and symptoms of cancer in children:
Continued, unexplained weight loss
Headaches, often with early morning vomiting
Increased swelling or persistent pain in the bones, joints, back, or legs
Lump or mass, especially in the abdomen, neck, chest, pelvis, or armpits
Development of excessive bruising, bleeding, or rash
Constant, frequent, or persistent infections
A whitish color behind the pupil
Nausea that persists or vomiting without nausea
Constant tiredness or noticeable paleness
Eye or vision changes that occur suddenly and persist
Recurring or persistent fevers of unknown origin
Source: cancer.net

If you recognize any of the unusual signs or symptoms above, DON'T WAIT.
Please talk to the family doctor or immediately take your kid to one of these places listed below.

Where To Diagnose Cancer in Children
Source: @p2ptmkemenkesRI
Here in Indonesia, you can try reaching out to these places, whichever is nearest to your location:
Bidan Desa (local doula) / Posyandu (Pos Layanan Terpadu) / Puskesmas (Pusat Kesehatan Masyarakat) / Rumah Sakit (hospital).

That being said, let's move on to this concerning fact, which is very relatable here in Indonesia:
In high-income countries more than 80% of children with cancer are cured,
but in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) only about 20% are cured.
Source: WHO

"So, what can I do for these kids?"
...you might ask.

Well, aside from donating money to a trusted foundation, you can also try doing a form of Palliative Care (as I've mentioned above, and), which I did.

I asked my followers on Instagram to say something encouraging, something thoughtful for children with cancer, by writing a comment on this post:
...and I told them I will present their messages to these precious 32 Pejuang Kanker Cilik who are being taken care of by Yayasan Pita Kuning.

 Did you know, that assistance, prayer, and words of encouragement can help alleviate the suffering of patients? Moral support like this is an important part of Palliative Care method, which can help improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with terminal illness (such as cancer), so that they can feel better and hopefully, get better and have an increased life expectancy. ☺️πŸ™πŸ’“

In total, including mine, I've compiled 10 encouraging messages (THANK YOU, kind-hearted people πŸ₯°).

Then I thought,
HOW can I present these meaningful messages to these kids, in a beautiful and personal way? πŸ€”
Printing them all together was the idea, but even if I put the 10 messages in a frame, and gave 1 frame to each kid, it wouldn't feel very personal, I thought to myself. And besides, if I were those kids, would I want to hang a frame filled with messages (no matter how meaningful) from strangers? Hmm, maybe yes, maybe no.

BUT. Maybe...
If I put these messages in an EMPTY NOTEBOOK, which they could actually use in their daily life,
and, AND, if those notebooks each have their own name, maybe that would be the best way! 😻
So happy when I found these beautiful notebooks online.
Not only the quality is nice, they also have such positive words on the cover, just perfect for the kids!

I just had to print the kids' names on a transparent sticker, and voila!
A bespoke gift for Saqila and Raffa. ❤️

As for the beautiful encouragement messages itself...
I used different handwritten font types for each of the messages so it would feel more personal, despite the fact that they were printed, since I couldn't possibly rewrite all the messages 32 times. πŸ˜­πŸ™

I put 3 messages on the second page, 4 messages in the middle of the book, and 3 messages on the second last page. Also, adding the stickers was my favorite part!!! 😍

Reading all these messages put a smile on my face.
Some of them made me cry, too. :')

I truly hope the kids would cherish and make use of these books,
and during a hard day, they could open one of these pages,
read the thoughtful messages and get encouraged,
or at least they'd feel they are loved. ☺️πŸ’–

Some behind the scenes during the making of this project!

My personal assistant: Arwen and Ant! πŸ˜‚πŸ₯°
Thank you so much for reading and see you guys on my next post! 

Jess Yamada