Archive for the ‘Boy’ Category

{Real Parties} It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Superhero Birthday!

Friday, January 31st, 2014

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To continue the countdown to my birthday, I wanted to share with you my son’s 5th birthday celebration.  This party took place on the eve of Superstorm Sandy.  In the days prior to the event, in addition to all the last-minute party prepping, we were busy getting supplies and making storm preparations as well.

The morning of the party, the outer bands of Sandy were already present; heavy bursts of rain and climbing winds made transporting the props and decor a challenge.  We also had a tight time constraint to allow our guests to travel home safely (or to hotels if they had been evacuated) and make any last minute storm preparations.

As Luca’s guests arrived, everyone was invited to transform into a superhero.  Each child receive a mask and cape we crafted from felt (Bonus! No sew!)

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luca superhero-75The superhero transformations took place in a telephone booth, of course!

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I served quick and easy foods, such as veggies & dip, pizza, and sub sandwiches.

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I had a few structured games planned, but the boys were primarily concerned in defending the planet from the wrath of the evil imaginary villains, and had a fabulous time in their role-playing.  The mention of, “Cake!” miraculously placed the villains into a frozen fortress so the little superheroes in training could take a well-deserved sugar break!

A faux brick wall backdrop with the Incredible Hulk’s hands “punching” through was the main focal point of the room.  This just might be my favorite children’s backdrop I’ve created yet!

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The cake was incredible, as usual and created by the ever-talented Elyse of Joy & Cake.

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Another piece of customized decor we created was a painting of a city skyline complete with a superhero callout – Luca’s initial ‘L’.

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I found the reusable superhero totes and other themed goodies at Michael’s in the $1 bin back in August.  I bought more than I needed to be sure I had enough.  Sure enough, when the party rolled around, no tote bags and other themed goodies could be found!

For the adults, Michael’s also had magnetic superhero notepads.  They were a huge hit!  Who doesn’t need a notepad for jotting down messages or grocery lists?  We placed a cute sign next to notepads to encourage the adults to take one home.

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It was a “super” fun party, and I think my little superhero had a fabulous time!

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Hosting your own superhero party? Visit Belleza e Luce or contact me for details on purchasing our superhero designs and decor!

Enjoy the weekend!

Danielle Belleza e Luce

Start your Engines Collection

Monday, January 9th, 2012

I am so pleased to announce that our Start your Engines Race Car Collection is complete and available for sale in the shop.

The collection includes pit pass lanyard invitation, cupcake toppers, favor tags & stickers, speed dough labels, trophy labels, water bottle labels, food signs, mini banner, and door sign.

{Real Parties} Rootin’ Tootin’ Birthday Roundup

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

It seems like forever ago that I was working on Luca’s vintage cowboy birthday.  Perhaps it is because I have already begun working on his next one (yes, it is true!).

As do so many preschool-aged boys, my son loves Toy Story.  He is especially fond of Woody.  When he asked for a cowboy party, I used the fictitious Woody’s Roundup television show and Disney World’s Frontierland as a source of inspiration.

With his birthday at the end of October, the weather here in New Jersey can be unpredictable and sometimes quite cold.  Despite my wishes and hopes to have weather typical of early October – sunny and warm while in the sun with just a hint of a chill to the air – luck was not on my side.  Because there were a number of older guests and some very tiny ones attending, I moved the party inside for their comfort.

We spent nearly a week designing backdrops of old west buildings: a saloon, jail, bank, and hotel.

Mutli-colored bandanas were strung across the the room on twine.

For weeks leading up to the party, I scoured flea markets looking for decor – large barrels, lanterns, jugs, and milk canisters were just a few of my finds!  It was actually quite fun, and I am looking forward to heading back out to scour more treasures for some upcoming parties.

Hay bales with flannel blankets were used as seating for the guests and burlap covered the tables with delicate yellow flowers in cans, lanterns, and jugs creating the tablescape.


Every child found a cowboy hat, bandana, and sheriff’s badge at their seat upon arrival.  They also received a stick horse which they used in the “Camptown Race” and also to chase the bandit (my children’s uncle) and send him to jail.

Additional activities included panning for gems, pin the pickax on the gold mine, and dancing to the western tunes of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Sons of the Pioneers.

Grub included a typical cowboy’s feast of hot dogs, chilli, fried chicken, baked beans, barbecue ribs, trail mix, and pulled pork served on tin plates (aluminum pie plates).   Guests were able to wet their whistle with choices of sangria, iced tea, and sasparilla.

I created a ‘Wanted’ posted of Luca who was found guilty of the crime of getting older.

For the dessert table, I wanted to create the feel of a general store.  We offered old-fashioned candies and sweets including gold nugget gum, taffy, licorice (aptly named cowboy lassos), root beer barrels, butterscotch sticks, and cow tails.  Additional goodies included individual apple cobblers served in mason jars, cookies and of course cake created by the extremely talented Elyse of By Little Hands.

We finished off the desserts with a S’mores bar which was unquestionably the hit of the party with the adults!

Before the guests saddled up on their horses to head home, they received favors of barbecue sauce and the children, muslin sacks filled with old-fashioned toys.

It was indeed a Roarin’, Rootin’ Tootin’ Down Home Good Time!

Contact Belleza e Luce to plan your next party!

Rootin’ Tootin’ Birthday Invitations

Monday, October 18th, 2010

I had so much creating Luca’s invitations!  I was inspired by the famous cowboy baby shower invitations at HWTM as well as these creative bachelor party invitations from Adventures in Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone.  I have been dying to create an invitation with wood, but didn’t know when the perfect event would come along.  Originally, Luca wanted a train birthday but decided over the summer he wanted a western roundup!  The perfect event came along and the invitations were born!


{Inspiration Board} Vintage Rootin’ Tootin’ Roundup

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

With a little over 2 weeks until my son’s 3rd birthday, we are in full party mode for a western hoedown!  I’m taking a chance and hoping to have his party in our backyard as a cowboy party just needs to be outside.  (Keep your fingers crossed for me that the weather stays mild for just another few weeks!)  I do, however, have a backup plan in case of rain or extreme cold weather (making sure your guests are comfortable is a top priority when planning any event).

Here is my inspiration for Luca’s Cowboy Rootin’ Tootin’ Roundup.

{Image Credits: sunflowers; square dance; atmosphere; s’mores; snack cones; stick horses; napkin; beverages; washboard; ribs; saw horses; gem mining; buffet; apple cider; western attire; tablescape – unknown, please contact us if you are/know the source so I can give proper credit; stamps; muslin bag; cowboy boots image}

Cars Party Feature!

Monday, July 12th, 2010

I am so honored that Kate Landers of Kate Landers Events and Stylish Children’s Parties has featured our Car’s Birthday Party.  I find her work inspiring and it is wonderful to hear such kind words about the party from her.

Read the entire feature here.


Then please stop by her other blog for more beautiful party inspirations and take a look at her magazine feature!


Thank you Kate for the party feature!

{Real Parties} Luca’s Radiator Springs Car Themed Birthday

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Before I begin, I thought I would mention that this is a photo overload post!

Luca’s 2nd birthday party was back in November and I have just today finished editing the photos.  Not something I am proud of, but a little indication of how many photos I take and how far behind I am in processing them all.

As Luca neared two, he became obsessed with cars and Disney’s Cars, especially Lightening McQueen!  The party theme was obvious for him.  His party was held in the gymnasium of our Church since the New Jersey weather is usually too cold for an outdoor party in November.  I also like to give the kids plenty of space to run around which means they stay occupied.

I designed his invitations to look like Pit Passes complete with lanyard.  I included one pit pass in each envelope per child, and they were encourage to wear them to the party.


I covered the walls of the gymnasium with a Radiator Springs scene setter and strung checkered flag pennant across the room to create the perfect atmosphere.  It took Luca’s father, my dad, and I 2 hours to hang all the pieces and we finished at 1am the night before the party.  It’s funny how quickly all of the decor gets disassembled though.

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When the girls and boys arrived, they went to the Courthouse to get their official Radiator Springs Driver’s License, complete with tire print (fingerprint).


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Next, they went to Lizzie’s Curio Shop where they designed their own foam fingers that there parents would use later at the Grand Prix Race to cheer them on.

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I created cut outs of some of the main characters and placed them around the room.

At Tow Maters, the children were given hooks with a magnet on the bottom and went fishing for auto parts, gasoline tanks, and mufflers.

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Another activity was ‘Fix the Road’  I cut black foam board into various shaped pieces and the children worked together to help Lightening McQueen fix the broken road.

Ramone’s Body Shop offered car-themed tattoos and a car painting activity.  I placed various colored paint with a racecar in each tub at the table.  They children took the car and rolled it on the paper that was placed in a shirt box to prevent mess and spillage.

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Fillmore’s featured various themed beverages includes Fillmore’s own organic fuel (water), Rusteze bumper ointment (Pepsi & Diet Pepsi), and Champions Champagne (sparkling apple cider).

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Guests went to Flo’s for all their food.  Sally’s Cozy Cones featured snacks such as peanuts, chex mix, and popcorn.

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Another activity table featured traffic cones and a road drawn on white butcher paper with cars for the kids to drive around.  There was also wooden cars to colors.

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I purchased a pop up tent in the shape of Mac the Truck.  The kids loved it!  At one point, I think all 13 of them were trying to squeeze in.

Each guest table was covered with a checkered black and white design and a strip of black butcher paper for a raceway.  I ran out of time and never drew in the white street lines when someone pointed out that a raceway doesn’t have street lines (okay, that’s the story I’m sticking too!)

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Sarge’s Surplus housed all the guest party favors.
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The adult guests received a candy filled gas pump dispenser. I created a Dinoco gas logo sticker to cover the generic one the pumps came with.
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The children each received a burlap colored racing flag bag filled with treats including Cars fruit snacks, a wooden race car, coloring book and crayons, Speed Dough (Play Dough), car bracelet, bouncy ball, lip gloss (for the girls), and an oil can water squirter.  They were also encouraged to take home some of the many cars that were all over the tables.

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The main event was the Grand Prix Race.  My amazing dad created cars for the kids to race.  They were the hit of the party!
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You can see pieces of the ‘Fix the Road’ game here
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Even the smallest guest took a test drive!
At the end of the race, each child received a trophy.

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For dessert, I baked a German chocolate cake in the shape of the number 2, and turned it into a racetrack.  I also made cupcakes in red velvet, carrot cake, and devils food flavors.

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Every birthday party in the family has my Mom Mom’s (grandmother) famous Italian cookies.  This year, she passed the recipe on to me.  Big shoes to fill, but there were only a few left so I think they were a hit!

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Shortly after blowing out his candles, Luca fell asleep sitting up eating icing.  Poor little guy – I think he had fun though!

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Click here for additional photos.

{New} Designs Available

Monday, June 21st, 2010

I’m so excited to share with you some new designs that are available now at Belleza e Luce!  They will soon be added to the website in time for our official grand opening – just a few more finishing touches and we’ll be ready to go!

Favor Tags and Cupcake Toppers to coordinate with our Frog Princess Invitations

Our new Down on the Farm Line – more items to come soon!

Introducing our Pink Princess Line

This coordinates beautifully with our Pretty in Pink Crown birthday banner.

Hosting a hoedown for that cowboy or cowgirl of yours?  Then our Rootin’ Tootin’ Line is for you!  A Belleza e Luce first – build your own invitation by personalizing it with a choice of different colors, design images, and fonts!

For a casual summer party, our paper lantern invitation is the perfect choice.

For additional details and photos, please visit our shop.

Real Parties: Handy Manny 1st Birthday

Thursday, December 10th, 2009
When my little guy was about to turn 1, I was originally planning a Hundred Acre Wood Pooh themed party.  All that changed when he became fascinated with Handy Manny.  This grew even more as my dad would let him help him out around the house.  I knew I needed to change themes – and fast!
First I created the invitations to resemble Handy Manny’s shop sign.

 

and since I couldn’t decide which one I liked better, I designed a second version as well!
Since Luca’s birthday is the end of October, the weather here can be cold or oddly warm.  As much as I would love to be able to plan the weather, I cannot, so the party was held in the gym at the school of our church.  This turned out to be a great idea (I hosted his second birthday there 3 weeks ago).  There was plenty of room for all the kids to run around and play!
One of the first projects I created were the tablecloths.  I purchased paper dropcloths and paint brushes from Home Depot, and Crayola paint.  I laid the cloths out on the grass in the yard and with my daughter’s help we splattered paint over all the drop cloths.  This was a messy and fun activity!  If you decide to do this, have an area preferably indoors where the cloths can be laid out to dry overnight.  One drop cloth made 2 tablecloths.
Here is the children’s craft table with playdough, Handy Manny and tools coloring pages and crayons were added to the table after this was taken.
When my dad heard the theme for the party, he immediately went to work on the centerpieces – red toolboxes just like Handy Manny’s!  Each toolbox had Mega Blocks and plastic toys to encourage building – both children and adults got in on the fun!  Each child was able to take a tool box home at the end of the party.  I have Luca’s displayed in his room – it goes with his Cars themed bedroom great too!
I used yellow Caution tape to block off areas that the kids could not play near.  On the walls my dad and I traced the characters with a projector and painted them.  Also on the walls were pictures of blueprints (how to build a birdhouse, a toolbox, etc) just like in Manny’s shop.

Chips, pretzels and other snacks were placed in orange paint trays
The children ranged in age from 1 year to 4 years, so I didn’t have any real structure to the party or games, per say.  I had music from children’s artists playing (Dan Zane, Imagination Movers, Choo Choo Soul, etc) which encouraged dancing and running.  Other activities for the children included this hopscotch puzzle mat
a giant bowling set
When each child arrived they received a hard hat to wear for the party.
I made a pull string pinata to resemble the tape measure, Stretch.  I prefer pull string pinatas so no one gets whacked in the head and the kids all feel like they opened the pinata together.
Inside were plastic tools and plastic character figures purchased from the Disney Store.
Here is the birthday boy by his cakes and cupcakes that I made.  The large red thing was my failed attempt of making a tool box.  I started working on the cake too late in the week and really didn’t think it through.  This year’s cake was great!
As you can see, Luca enjoyed his cake!
For the favors, I set up Mr. Lopart’s Candy Shop.  Guests were invited to fill up their take-out boxes with as many goodies as they wanted.  I purchased the candy in bulk from Candy Warehouse and choose novelty and old-fashioned candies.  My older cousins, aunts and uncles especially liked the walk down memory lane as they picked out their favorite childhood treats.
The take out boxes had favor tags shaped like hammers attached to them
The tags for the kids had their names on them.
Because Halloween was only the night prior, I had additional children’s favors which included playdough, safety goggles, a hammer, stickers, and room for their pinata goodies – non candy option.
The party was a success and I had a fabulous time building it!
Hammer Tags can by found in my shop