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Monday, August 29, 2011

Bright and bold or girly and soft?

Ro and Ree are having a ball deciding what their upcoming Chinese birthday party should look like. Only trouble is, they flip-flop back and forth. I know the imaginary visualization stuff doesn’t cut it for my girls (or for me), so last night after they went to bed I grabbed a few things we had around the house (and a glass of wine) and quickly made each half of the dining room table look like the parties they’re describing.

Ahhhhh, that’s better. Now we can see what we’re working with here.DSC_7803-EditLRedit

The first theme is bright and fun – let’s call it Colorful Chinese Celebration. It features bold red, shiny gold, vivid purple, and some fun decorations we found in Chinatown this weekend. The red silk table runner has purple designs throughout (it’s hard to see in the pic) and the gold shiny paper will be new although this stuff pictured is leftover from Christmas, so don’t look too closely or you’ll see holly leaves, heh heh:

The second theme has a softer feel – let’s call it Pretty Plum Blossom. This one has bunches of plum blossoms (which will be in vases but are just sitting on the paper for this pic because I was getting sleepy), muted gold paper with white and pink blossoms, and dark pink, light pink, and red accents. The pink pieces of material are our pillowcases (hey they were the right colors!) and the various red Chinese items are things we just have around the house:DSC_7720LR (I made all of the pics clickable to the bigger versions)

This was fun to do! After seeing these sorta-real-life examples, Ro likes Colorful Chinese Celebration and Ree likes Pretty Plum Blossom. Hmm, I like them both. And there, my friends, is the crux of the “problem” -- if I had a clear favorite, I’d just pick and be done with it. In any case, our dining room sure does look festive like this, and it will be interesting to see what we end up with. Ro and Ree are so agreeable that they really will be happy with anything.

Well, maybe I’ll mosey on into the dining room and make a decision. Or maybe not... In the meantime, I’m curious, what’s your fave?


  1. I like the second. I think you could incorporate some non-Chinese, more modern elements into it and it would work too, which could be fun. I love pink and red together too. The first is more "themey" (although also lots of fun), but since you ask, I say number two :-)

  2. I like Pretty Plum Blossom although both are very cute!

  3. Pretty Plum Blossom reminds me of Mulan. Just love the color palate of that one.

  4. Anonymous8/29/2011

    I'll be the minority here (WAYYY minority) but i say two girls, two themes.

    split the budget in half, decorate the main party room one way and another space the other way.

    Seriously. If they were a year apart you'd have to have two parties for them routinely, correct?

    Yeah, i'll go hide under the table now. bp

  5. I would vote for the Chinese Celebration with bold colors. It says "fun kid birthday party" more than the Plum blossom (which says more "adult" to me. But you know the girls best, I'm sure they will have a great time and I can't wait to see the party pics!

  6. Definintely love the Pretty Plum Blossom theme the best!!! Although, both are great.

    I am thinking this might be a fun theme for my girlie next summer.....

    Could you get pink paper lanters (the big round 15" kind) to go with the theme? We have about 20 red ones that we string in a few rooms of our house for Autumn Moon Festival and Chinese New Year each year, and our daughter goes crazy when they are up because she loves them so much. (We use fishing line to sting them)

  7. Anonymous8/29/2011

    I prefer Pretty Plum Blossom - especially since the girls project Chinese Celebration so frequently in their apparel.
    Both choices are lovely!

    (To the first anon: if they were a year apart, they could have one party.)

  8. Anonymous8/29/2011

    Tough choice as they both are awesome! Love 'em, great job putting it together. If I had to choose I think I'd go with the 1st one. Can't go wrong either way.

  9. Anonymous8/29/2011

    Last comment from Aunt Jane :-)

  10. Anonymous8/29/2011

    oh com'on second anon, if they weren't twins they'd each have a party on their birthday!



  11. Anonymous8/29/2011

    I agree with the 1st anonymous, but I would integrate the colors. All the colors compliment one another and would be lovely together. They reflect the girls.

  12. I personally love the first but the second is really more along the Mulan theme.

  13. I really love them both, and as much as I love purple, I think I like the pink version better. But then again, the purple version is more "kid". You are so smart to pick a palette. I strayed from mine on Under the Sea, and it was chaos. I stuck cold to it for the Butterfly party, and it was awesome.

  14. Oh M3 - I'd definitely do both themes - if you have a buffet station, use one of them - same for a crafting area. I'd do however many tables you are going to have in alternates. They are both spectacular and I'd theme Ro's and Ree's dresses to the theme they prefer (see the fabric at Pearl River). How fun!

  15. Anonymous8/29/2011

    I like the colorful one better. The Plum looks like it would be good for an "older" birthday.

    Happy planning!,

  16. Anonymous8/29/2011

    i agree with anonyomous both themes/ two girls

    i'll crawl under a table too :)


  17. I agree that Pretty Plum Blossom theme says Mulan to me more than the bolder colors. I think it might look better with the Mulan "costumes" I am sure they will be wearing. You could go with both themes but since they are so agreeable I would just choose one. I wouldn't think it was so much the cost of doing both, but the work you would have to put into two different color schemes, plus you don't have a lot of time to make personal touches in two color schemes, I think it might just get to be too much. In my humble opinion. I will agree both are great and I am sure whatever you come up with will be awesome.

  18. I also wanted to add you asked for opinions and you got them so many people have responded in less than 3 hours.

  19. I asked the girls and really thought they would go for the top photo. Foiled again, they both like the plum blossom, me too.

  20. Anonymous8/29/2011

    I like the Colorful Chinese Celebration better, it seems more cheerful and less subdued to me, which sounds perfect for a 6th birthday party! :) How're the girls liking 1st grade?? -Emily

  21. Anonymous8/29/2011

    i like the 2nd the best, but i always tend to pick pinks and softer colors for anything i do

  22. Use it all - everything you bought, everything you have around the house, plus whatever else you need. This is not the age for moderation.

  23. Anonymous8/29/2011

    As a twin with a sister exactly a year older, I suggest one theme while honoring the cake/frosting/
    ice cream/food choices of each girl.

    As adults, we now most enjoy celebrating together with each one of us preparing the favorite cake and main dish of one of the others.

    Second Anon.

  24. I vote for both, there's no reason the two color pallets couldn't be combined!

  25. Why not just combine it all together? It's all really pretty and then everyone is happy!

    Cute theme and can't wait to see the end production.

    Sue : )

  26. I think that regardless which colors you go with it's going to be fabulous! I get the feeling that you are really enjoying the party planning ...:o)

  27. Anonymous8/30/2011

    Well, Anon II, since you insist on playing comment poker (where one upping the anty is the goal) here's my final lob;

    I'm a nobody, really, just a long time (mid 2005) follower who happens to b a birth mom of a 30 year old adoptee (male) who has recommended this blog to numerous other birth moms (silent followers) who read this blog for the vicarious thrill of watching two little girls growing up in the lap of love; something we all hoped and prayed that our babies would get.

    Some did. Some, not so much. this blog is very healing to those of us who follow it.

    I don't really care how she does the party, it will be a smashing success and i will go through the rehash, replete w/pics, smiling.

    I've followed long enough to know that when M asks for input she really means it and has repeatedly pulled something out of the hat that she read on her blog many moons prior and now the opportunity/time was right.

    have a good day, Ms. one of twin and an older sister. bp

  28. Anonymous8/30/2011

    They are both very pretty, but I like the first one best, the colorful chinese celebration.

    LEt us know what you decide!


  29. I've always been partial to cherry/plum blossoms, so I am drawn to the second one. I'm sure there must be a way to combine both themes??

  30. okay... totally love them both... ;o)

    Your theme is China/Mulan... all you're really looking at is color scheme which seems to have a lot of overlap and I'd have to say that I agree with the one anon person that suggested doing both.

    Obviously, it's ultimately up to you but since both girls do have a birthday and it is a party for both of them, I guess I should admit to being slightly oblivious as to why both of their choices can't be used. they do go together so well, I can easily see a dining room sharing both... but someone else said it too ... one color scheme in the dining room and one at the crafting area.

    your main colors are red and gold, it wouldn't be too hard to just split pink and purple since they are so complimentary already.

    fine fine... others that have been here the whole time will probably insist that there be only one suggestion made ... so I say the first one, the purple is really showcased well by the red and gold. (I was in Texas when you were in Washington... I laughed when I finally saw your post about Great Wolf, that's not far from me and I'm glad you got to experience something from my state and had fun!)

  31. Anonymous8/30/2011

    Why can't you do both? You could make it so it goes from bold and bright to pink and soft. Consider it this way, as you pan the room the values go from dark to light or the other way around. It'll add "movement" and create energy and both girls get what they want. The purple into pink can work, they're essentially analogous colors so it should be an easy, smooth transition when you start to add elements of the lighter color into the darker ones.

    Just a thought.

  32. Anonymous8/30/2011

    Think of how Ro & Ree dress on a daily basis. "Layer" the two. I think it will all work well together in the end, just like their outfits!

  33. Love them both but I am partial to bright and bold. My 7 year old loves red and associates it with China and I've always been a big fan of red. I know it will be a fabulous party whatever colors the girls choose!

  34. I got completely distracted by the argument between Anon 1 and Anon 2 in the comments hahahaha Come on now ladies: we're talking about party theme.. let's all play nice.

  35. Anonymous8/30/2011

    i thought i WAS playing nice!

    ok, then, i'm sorry.

    funny, isn't it. two grown women snipping at each other over a party neither one will attend!

    i amuse myself sometimes. both themes are wonderful.

    anon one.

  36. Anonymous8/30/2011

    As someone who knows the girls, I'm going to go with bright and bold! I think it's more of a reflection of who they are.

    Both are absolutely fantastic, though.


  37. Anonymous8/30/2011

    Oh, and I am NEITHER one of the previous Anons!


  38. I'd say incorporate the two. mix it all together and see what comes out. Judging by previous blog post your girls will figure out what fits and what doesn't. Let them go wild! ;)

  39. Any more room under that table?? I say both!! Different stations/Different style. LOVE THAT!!

  40. Anonymous8/30/2011

    I like the bright one.

    And Anon1, "growing up in the lap of love", that's beautiful. (And so true.) That would be a great title for a book, story, or poem.


  41. Anonymous8/30/2011

    I am a recent lurker who is Chinese American and whose profession leads her to spend a lot of time in China. I think both colors/styles are complimentary and would choose both of them. Why make one daughter feel her preferences are more important than the other's? Also, I mean this as an objective statement and not a criticism, but neither are really "Chinese" in terms of what China is today. Red is a festive color in China, and you will see it during times of celebration--weddings, Lunar New Year, etc. Other things, however, are more traditional and not necessarily indicative of how people celebrate in China/Taiwan/Hong Kong today. Therefore, you shouldn't feel beholden to any particular scheme but go with what your girls like. And by the way, a fun game that you could play is a chopstick challenge where partygoers see who can use chopsticks to pick up the most "things" (cotton balls, peanuts, etc.) within a given time frame. Best of luck!


  42. Oh, I say blend them all together and just call it a Chinese theme! Its all good :)

  43. Both are really cute. I like the soft one Pretty Plum Blossoms. Good luck!

  44. The second one looks a little more Japanese than Chinese but I love them both! The combination of both should look very pretty.

  45. My vote goes to the Colorful Chinese Celebration. Could you just add a few plum blossoms to the mix to appease both girls?

  46. Wow thats a hard choice!

  47. I agree with Anon CG. I like them both and think they could be incorporated well. But I'm no interior decorator, I'm a food blogger. ;-)
    A very Happy Birthday to your beautiful girls, Ro and Ree!

  48. Anonymous8/31/2011


  49. I think they are both great. I couldn't choose either but then I can't decide what to have for lunch. You certainly ate talented. I could use you around my house. Life would be better. Good luck in making up your mind.

  50. How about different themes in different rooms? I did this for one of my daughter's parties and it turned out kinda cool. I'm sure it will be awesome whatever you decide!

  51. Another vote for the colourful theme! ;o) Both are beautiful but the first one gets my vote.

    PS - Hannah told me tonight she wants to go back to Disney and this time she wants Auntie M and Uncle TD there with her! Sweet!!