Archive for June, 2010

{Menu} 4th of July

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

I’m working on my final menu for our 4th of July gathering this Sunday.  A little wrench thrown into the mix is that our oven has broke!  I don’t think we will have a new one here before I need to start baking so it looks like I will be heading over to my sister’s for that.

If you haven’t created your menu yet or are always looking for new recipes to add to your collection, enjoy this menu board!

{Sources: Bratwurst Sandwiches, Jerk Turkey Burger, Tomato-Watermelon Salad, Corn on the Cob, Pork Ribs, Oven Fries, Patriotic Punch, or for the little ones Frosty Fireworks, Baked Beans, Star-Spangled Shortcake, Red, White, and Blue Cake Pops}

What are your July 4th menu plans?

{Free Printable} July 4th Cupcake Toppers

Monday, June 28th, 2010

To celebrate July 4th, I thought I would share with you some patriotic cupcake toppers.

Download here!

Simply print out as many copies you need, use a 2″ circular punch to cut out or scissors if you don’t have a punch and attach with craft clue to lollipop sticks.  You can also use them for napkin rings!

Please send photos of your cupcake toppers in action!  Enjoy!

(Fine Print: for personal use only.  They are not be copied or sold.  Copyright remains with Belleza e Luce)

{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.

{Congrats!} Nichole & Preston

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

This past Saturday, a wonderful client, Nichole and her husband, Preston, renewed their vows.  It was an honor to work with her again and design her fan programs.

Thank you Nichole and I wish you and Preston many more years of happiness!  I cannot wait to see the pictures.

Fan programs are available at Belleza e Luce.

{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.

Wonderful news!

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

After weeks of waiting, my sister finally had her ultrasound yesterday.

It’s a GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!

My daughter is thrilled beyond belief and was jumping up and down shouting, “I was right!”  Luca is happy as well as he remains ‘the little man’ of the family.

A baby girl baby shower it is.  Onto the planning (and the shopping!)

{Giveaway} Alice in Wonderland Winners

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Thanks to everyone who entered the Alice Giveaway contest.  I have the winners!

Congratulations Emily and Julie! 

Send me an email with your mailing address and I will get your movie out in the mail asap!

{Celebrity Weddings} Wedding Cakes

Monday, June 14th, 2010

I am in the mood for cake – devil’s food with chocolate ganache or perhaps red velvet and cream cheese filling … oh well, the closest thing I have to cake on hand are these photos of celebrity wedding cakes. Some elegant, some extravagant, some simple, but I’m sure all delish!

Which is your favorite?


Avril Lavigne and Deryck Whibley’s wedding cake was created by Perfect Endings. It’s a four-tier, half-vanilla, half-chocolate.

Actor Blair Underwood and his bride Desiree got the Cake Studio to create a six-and-a-half-foot Eiffel Tower Wedding Cake for their reception. “There were lights going up the structure, and in the center section was a replica of the couple dressed in their wedding outfits,” says company owner Linda Goldsheft

Kevin and Danielle Jonas‘s cake.  Festivities held at Oheka Castle.

Marcia Cross & Tom Mahoney

Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann:
a 7-foot tower with 6 shimmering tiers of pink and orange, fringed with orange beaded trim, patterned in fondant stripes and flowers with piped vines, accented by a Swarovski Crystal Flower Garden with lilting Butterflies and Dragonflies, and crowned with a custom designed Swarovski Crystal Monogram M & P

Rebecca Romijn & Jerry O’Connell
Instead of the traditional cake, the sweet ending included mini-country apple and red velvet cupcakes

Kaitlin Olson & Rob McElhenney

Roselyn Sánchez & Eric Winter
Sánchez requested her baker’s acclaimed vanilla cake (with layers of cookies and cream filling) instead of her favorite flavor, red velvet.

Tia Mowry & Cory Hardrict

To match her pink rose bouquet, Mowry showcased a four-tier vanilla and red velvet confection decorated with the blooms by Cake Divas

Toni Braxton and Keri Lewis’ wedding cake was designed by Atlanta’s Mark Lotti and was a four-tier creation which looked like a perfect stack of four robin’s-egg-blue Tiffany boxes.

Don’t forget about our Alice in Wonderland BluRay/DVD/Digital CD Giveaway!  Submissions close tomorrow (June 15th) at 11pm Eastern.  Visit here to enter.

{Dance} Cibella’s Recital

Monday, June 7th, 2010

It was a busy weekend around here.  This past Saturday was my daughter’s 1st dance recital.  She was in the first of 3 shows – at 10am.  She had 19 family members in the audience to see her take the stage for the first time.  In all of the public speaking, performing, and sports that I do/have done, I have never been more nervous in my life than I was on Saturday.

This year’s production by Dance Plus was Mary Poppins.  I was very impressed watching the older dancers and of course so proud to see my little girl on stage.  The props and backgrounds were spectacular, and Cibella has asked if she will have that at her ‘Jolly Holiday’ birthday in September (I am working on it!)  Yes, she did have some stage fright, but in just a short year my shy little girl’s personality has blossomed.  I can also see her confidence growing by the day.  I cannot thank her teachers, Miss Joede and Miss Jess enough.  She is already asking when her classes start again – and was thrilled to hear next week for summer session!

My little ballerina princess in her costume.  These were taken on picture day a few weeks ago.

{Party Planner Thursday}

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

In continuing the countdown until I find out if I will have a niece or nephew to spoil come November, I put together my top theme ideas for a baby boy baby shower.  My ideas include French Carnival/Circus, Mod Menagerie, Aqua & Red, Blue Velvet, Vintage Blues, and An Afternoon in Tuscany.   Touch choices as I really like all the ideas.  Which one is your favorite?

{Sources: Cirque du Bebe, Palm Reader, Jones Soda, Champagne, Cake, Tablescape, Velvet Chair, Dessert Display, Sunflowers, Ribbon Chandelier, Blue Tablescape, Crib Bedding}