Archive for May, 2010

{Party Planner Thursday} Friday Edition!

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I have some exciting and wonderful news to share with you!  I am going to be an aunt!

My little sister (little by only age as she about 2 inches taller than me!), and only sibling, is pregnant with her first child who is due to make his/her appearance sometime around November 5.  My sister and her husband shared the good news with the family at Easter, but waited until more recently to share with extended family and friends.  As you can only imagine, my mind is exploding with so many ideas for a BABY SHOWER!

Since I still have 19 more days until I know whether to concentrate my ideas on blue or pink, I thought I would share the top shower themes/motifs I am thinking about over the next three Party Planner Thursdays.  This week I am concentrating on gender neutral and themes that I like for either a baby girl or boy.

In my brainstorming, I am trying to keep in mind that the shower will most probably take place at the end of September or early October.  In New Jersey, the weather can be warm and gorgeous or already chilly.  I cannot depend on good weather and the use of the great outdoors.  I also have not begun to search for a party venue as of yet.

{Sources: Urban Chic, Sweet Surprise, 50’s Retro, Bebe Bistro, Toile, All White}

Of these 6 ideas, I think the Sweet Surprise will be nixed quite quickly as my sister isn’t a huge candy and sweets girl.  My top 2 picks from this group is the Urban Chic and Bebe Bistro ideas.

Are you planning a party and need ideas?  Contact me with your theme for a feature in Party Planer Thursday!

{Inspiration} Memorial Day

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

I consider myself a fairly patriotic person.  Seeing the flag raised when Team USA wins a medal brings upon a wealth of emotions and pride.  I have taught my children to respect the flag, and thank a soldier when we see them.  I live a block away from an army base which sadly will be closing in just a year or so.  I have stood on  roads to wave flags and welcome the troops home as their busses return to the base.  I have friends who have proudly served their country in Afghanistan and Iraq, and one who served proudly but gave his life.  It is a sacrifice that I hold to those in the military with the utmost respect; one that I am not strong or brave enough to do myself.

Just like most of you, we will be having a Memorial Day party this weekend.  It will also be a celebration for my grandfather, or Dee Dad, as we lovingly call him.  His birthday was this past Sunday but due to a medical procedure we are celebrating this weekend.

Dee Dad is also a veteran, who served in the Army Air Corps during World War II.  Dee Dad (along with my father, another veteran) taught me about patriotism.  Growing up, the army base used to have a huge Armed Forces Day celebration.  It was a tradition that Dee Dad would take my sister and I every year.  The first part of the day was spent learning about the military – climbing tanks, watching helicopter demonstrations, the cannon salutes, speaking with those in the service, etc.  The second half was the rides.  You know what I remember most fondly?  The learning.

So by now you are wondering where the inspiration is, right?  OK, enough babbling.  My inspiration for this year is a casual outdoor gathering with gentle nods to vintage and the World War II era.

{Sources: Sunflower tablescape; Country Living banner; Lantern; Vintage Bowling Pins;

Miniature pies; Rosie Poster; Old-fashioned soda; Table Runner; Paper Lanterns;

Tablescape; Fabric Patriotic Bunting; Sliders; Kissing on VJ Day Poster}

Decor and Tablescape

I have chosen a color palette of ruby red, blueberry blue, white, and hints of sunflower yellow.  Rather than a full tablecloth, I’m thinking of using a runner.  I need to head to the fabric store and see what I can find – perhaps a red or blue check or stripe pattern.  The dollar store is a great place to find cloth napkins (kitchen towels) inexpensively.  Home Goods is another place for great finds, too!  I am going to create a ribbon belt around each napkin and place them on top of the salad and dinner plates.  Since I do not have any outdoor plates (other than paper or plastic), I will also be scouting out some melamine dishes.  Of course, there are some great paper and plastic designed dishes out there too for easy cleanups so feel free to take advantage of that!  White lanterns, pitchers filled with yellow flowers and votives of citronella to keep the pests away line the table runner.   I would love to hang a fabric bunting like the one pictured above by SpringChick across our deck  with paper lanterns scattered about for evening light.  Finally add a few flags!  Keep it simple and casual.


I’m serving 2 light appetizers including corn tortilla chips in red, white, and blue with fresh homemade salsa and a spinach and feta dip with crudite.  In a nod to nostalgia, I plan on picking up some of the old fashioned soda bottles and place them in a white galvanized bucket of ice.  Fresh squeezed lemonade, water with cucumber, and iced tea will also be available.

For dinner, it is all about the grill!  I’m whipping up barbecue sauce from scratch for the chicken, making homemade mini slider cheeseburgers, hot dogs (Dee Dad’s favorite!), and my Mom Mom’s hot dog chili.  Side dishes include roasted potato wedges, a freshly tossed garden salad, and cornbread with homemade butter.

Finally, dessert will consist of miniature apple pies with vanilla ice cream for those who prefer it ala mode and cookies and cream frozen pie.


Fun group lawn games!  Bocce Ball, Croquet, or maybe try lawn bowling with a vintage bowling set from thesundaytimesmarket.

However you choose to spend your summer kick off weekend, take a moment to thank those in the service and those who gave their lives for our freedom.

{Real Parties} Cibella’s Make it Pink, no Blue Sleeping Beauty Birthday

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Eight months after Cibella’s party, I am finally posting her party pictures.  I was seriously considering waiting until September in anticipation of her next party, but I decided to share now!

My daughter loves all things Aurora.  She is hands-down her favorite princess, so much so that the castle in Disney World does not belong to Cinderella, but Aurora (sorry, Cindy!).  The beautiful horse with the golden bow on Cinderella’s carousel is also Aurora’s.  Needless to say, there was no question what the theme of her 3rd birthday party would be!

When I began planning her party, I grabbed a fresh notebook to jot all my ideas down, as I do for every event, and realized that the family has many more boys than girls so I needed to create activities that would appeal to both without the boys cringing at the fact that they were attending a princess party.

Without further adieu …

The kids would be able to make a craft – either a princess crown or coach frame to decorate or a knights’ frame.  Here is all the supplies as I was setting up.  I was able to get the knight’s craft on clearance at AC Moore!

Aurora’s friends, Fauna, Flora, and Merryweather were able to fly over for the festivities!

There were 2 main activities I planned in addition to the craft station.  For the boys, they would be transformed into knights complete with sword and shield and set out to slay the dragon!

Upon being knighted, the boys were thrilled to practice their jousting techniques.

My son, Luca, getting some expert tips from his uncle.

A very good sport, who volunteered to be the dragon.

For the girls, I created a pretty in pink princess transformation beauty area.  Each girl received a pink tutu to wear and keep.  They were then able to select necklaces, rings, and bracelets, have their nails painted and put on child-friendly make-up.  Each was given their own lipgloss to keep and place in a pink satin purse.  In the final area, they could choose from a selection of boas and were crowned an official princess with a tiara.

Even the littlest princess needs a tiara!

The birthday girl

Each child was given a royal goblet to drink from.

Long story behind the cake.  I have always made my children’s cakes for each of their parties, and I had a fabulous idea for this cake in particular.  I made the crown 2 weeks ahead of the party out of gumpaste, and a spare in case of breakage.  The crown turned out great, the problem was the cake.  The night before the party I was decorating it and it was almost complete when I dropped it on the kitchen floor.  Yes, you read that right!  Dropped.  Smashed.  Garbage!  The only backup cake I could get at such short notice was from the supermarket the morning of the party.  My daughter’s request was for a chocolate cake – this was the only chocolate sheet cake available.  See how the pink and blue flowers match the pink and blue changing of Sleeping Beauty’s gown in the movie and is a play on Briar Rose (ok, well not really – it was pure luck but my daughter bought the idea and I’m sticking to it!)

Everyone was given a fairy cookie wand as a favor with a tiara shaped thank  you tag.

The female tween crowd also received this package of bath and beauty supplies with frog prince bath gel, glass slipper bath fizzes, and a loofah sponge.

By the end of the day, my birthday girl was wiped out!  My sister captured this on her phone.

My Sleeping Beauty

{Real Parties} Enchanted Garden Fairy Tea Party

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Kinnaly at Kreative Kiddie Events gave me permission to showcase her absolutely stunning garden fairy tea party over a month ago, but with the changing blogs, I chose to wait until the kickoff to feature this gorgeous party!  WOW is all I can say!  Thank you Kinnaly for letting me share this with my readers!


For my daughter’s 6th birthday celebration last summer, I created an Enchanted Garden Fairy Tea Party for her and eleven of her closest little fairy friends. We were blessed with the most gorgeous Southern California weather, which made it perfect for me to set up her party amidst the gardens in our backyard. Everything turned out beautifully and I couldn’t have been more happier with the outcome…my little sweetheart had the most enchanting time ever!

Here is a look at some of the party details…

The adorable invitation I designed for her. Brianna was thrilled that she was able to help pin the flowers on the invitations before they were delivered to her guests.

A cute little signage I picked up on my way out of HomeGoods one day. I was able to customize it and it looked adorable on our lawn!

My beautiful birthday girl wearing a custom tutu dress I designed and created for her.

Brianna’s favorite color is pink, so I incorporated that color into the linens as well as the entire tablescape decor. I added pink feathered boas to the satin chair sashes to give it a little whimsical touch.

A close-up of the table decor. An assortment of silk gerber daisies, tulips and roses were combined with fairy statues, butterflies and birdies to create an enchanted garden setting. I also included an iron bird cage in the center of the table to add to the whimsy feel. A pink paper parasol was the perfect addition to complete the look!

Definitely the sweetest spot of the party =)

A garden birthday cake made with love for my little sweetheart! I decided at the last minute to try out my cake baking skills…to my delight, the cake turned out adorable! I was inspired by the scroll design on the cupcake stand…

My garden fairy cupcakes were a hit with Brianna’s little fairy friends!

Chocolate dipped butterfly cookies sprinkled with fairy dust.

Pink fairy tutus, fairy wings and floral halos greeted each of the guests as they arrived to the party.

My birthday girl enjoying tea time with her fairy friends…

A custom menu for my little fairy guests.

Fairy Fruit Sticks

The little fairies had the most enchanting time working in the “Secret Garden” to create their very own beautiful fairy flowers…

{Exciting News} New Blog, New Look …

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

… New Website almost complete!

It’s been a busy few months around here!  Belleza e Luce‘s website is almost complete and will be launching a grand opening in the very near future (so be sure to keep your eye out for some specials!).  We have revamped our logo and colors, and are adding more completed lines!  I’ve also had the pleasure of working on a number of custom projects for clients that I cannot wait to share with you all.

Pardon the dust, just a tad while longer.  It is sure to be worth the wait!