S: So Liam's first birthday bash finally happened this past weekend. We had such a great time! Before Liam was born, thanks to his aunty Sona, we all called him BaNnanna. Get it? Banana combined with my last name Nnanna.....I'm actually cracking up at how corny it is, but I love the name! Since then we would incorporate bananas, monkeys and other animals into his outfits, cards, room design, books… just about everything. So when it was time to plan his party, an outdoor-safari-king-of-the-jungle type theme was the clear winner.
D: Oh gosh, we were so excited. 😂 We gladly created a #LiamsWildOne Pinterest board which manifested into a few weeks of incessant pinning.
S: We're obsessed with Pinterest. It can help you plan anything. It even has recipes! Who would have thought?
D: Well.. I actually knew that. Lol but from color schemes to cake designs, photo booth props and animal shaped watermelons – Pinterest really has a way of sucking you in and making you feel like you can accomplish anything...
S: And everything. Until reality slaps you in the face. 😳
We were planning the party in Nigeria. And not even in Lagos, a city we're both a lot more familiar with, but in Abuja. I didn't even know where to start from. We decided to buy a few things off Amazon.com and find a way to bring the items back home. We had a few DIY (do-it-yourself) projects and took advantage of the plethora of legit carpenters to make a tent that was closer to what we envisioned.
To a large extent, the getting stuff to Abuja part worked *cough cough*
D: Sigh. I’ll just say it - just because I know you want to. Even though I carefully and diligently packed and brought back all the Amazon items back to Lagos from the US, after a few weeks in Lagos I don't know how it happened, but I sort of might have maaaybe left one of the bags in Lagos? 🙈
S: Deinte, it wasn't a bag, it was a suitcase of stuff!
D: Ok fine, it was a suitcase. It actually wasn't funny at all. But to my defense though, I just blame Lagos. I was low key stressed. But that’s a story for another day.
S: Thankfully, my darling friend, Rahila, came to our rescue and brought some of the "forgotten" items with her to Abuja (shout out to Rahila, who came all the way from Liberia vis a vis Lagos with her wonderful fiancé!). But I really just couldn't believe Dein.
D: Ok, ok. Moving on… we made a few arrangements with vendors in Abuja and decided to make a few things ourselves to add a personal touch.
Our biggest DIY (do it yourself) projects were the “Face in the hole” and “Jeep” photo stands.
S: We got the wooden frames made and then went on a mission around Abuja to find arts and crafts supplies. The most useful place we found was a store in Emab Shopping Plaza called AB Art World. It's more like an Art Corner though. Smh! But it had all the basics - Paint, brushes, colored paper, glue, glitter and some other random stuff. So we loaded up the car, got home and got to work.
Dami was SO helpful and was with us all weekend, we miss her already!
D: If we were to do all of it over we'd probably paint instead of cutting and pasting sheets - especially to get the animal shapes.
S: Painting is way easier and would have taken far less time but paint at that store was expensive considering that we wanted very basic paint and not acrylic paint or anything more fancy. Both projects took about 5 hours to complete (almost double the time we anticipated lol)
D: With the frames, we then created a mini photo station area between two trees in the backyard. We printed and mounted some photos of Liam at different stages of his life and pegged them to a fishing line that hung from both trees. We kept a little table in between for the rest of the hand held props. The older kids especially loved it and kept pulling people to take pictures of them.