Posts Tagged ‘cake’

{Real Parties} Classy & Fabulous Chanel Inspired Baby Shower

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

“A girl must be two things: classy and fabulous.”  The famous words of Coco Chanel!

I created a color palette of black, white, and light pink – everything from plates, menus, the cake, and centerpieces.

The event took place at the lovely Branches in their waterfall garden, and were fortunate to have a beautifully sunny and warm October day!  It was so warm in fact that only half hour into the party, we needed to bring in large umbrellas for shading to provide comfort and some heat relief to the guests.

Guests entered the garden to find a table with escort cards designed to resemble Chanel perfume bottle labels.

Custom designed bookplates with an area for guests to write a personal message sat on a bistro table with the latest ultrasound photo of Faith.  I was completely amazed that with 71 guests attending the shower, Faith did not receive one duplicate book for her library!

An area was created to display the hors d’oeuvres consisting of fruit, vegetables and crudite, and antipasta including fresh mozzarella, eggplant, artichoke hearts, and roasted peppers.

The tables were draped in black satin pintuck linens with pink pinktuck napkins.  We choose a pocket-fold for the napkins to display the layered menus.  Empty bottles with Chanel-inspired perfume labels displayed the table number.

The centerpieces were crafted using Sweet Akito roses to form a lovely pink ball atop a black urn.  In lieu of traditional favors, my mother and I decided to make a contribution to the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at Monmouth Medical Center, the hospital where Faith will be born.  At each placesetting, a small card informing guests of our decision was attached to a March of Dimes awareness bracelet.  It was touching to hear how many of our guests appreciated this gesture.

I requested that the guests bring their gifts wrapped in black and white, and was so pleased to see that most of them did.  Some guests even got especially creative with their wrapping.

Guests were also asked to dress in black and white – with pearls encouraged!  It was a request, but I also knew my guest list where most of our family and friends wear black at weddings, etc. so this was not something too out of the ordinary or drastic of a request.


The exquisite chocolate cake with mousse filling was made by Elyse of By Little Hands, the same fabulous woman who created Cibella’s Jolly Holiday cake.  I sent her the inspiration board I created for the shower, and left it in her hands!  It was delicious!  She will also be creating the cake for Luca’s upcoming party with a flavor I am super excited about (I am going to leave that surprise, for now!)

The shower was a wonderful success and loved by everyone, but most importantly my sister.  At the start of the shower, I toasted the soon-to-be mom, wishing her well, a healthy daughter, and of course, a quick delivery!  Faith is scheduled to make her official appearance soon, and I cannot wait to meet her!  Welcome to motherhood, Melissa – I know you are going to be a wonderful mommy!

Contact Belleza e Luce to design your upcoming event!

{Real Parties} Jolly Holiday Birthday

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

We certainly had a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious party for Cibella’s 4th birthday!  I cannot believe the party was almost 2 weeks ago already.  I don’t think I have completely gotten all of the Mary Poppins tunes out of my head yet!

The day started off cloudy, cool, and rainy!  Where oh where was the high 70 degree weather and sunshine the weatherman had forecasted?  Thankfully, by mid morning the sun was peaking out and the air was warming up.

Guests were greeted at the walkway to the backyard with Mary’s black umbrella and outing hat along with Bert’s chimney brush and hat.  A poster sign featuring silhouettes of Mary, Bert and the London chimney skyline takes a quote from the movie providing instructions on how to enter the party by jumping into the chalk drawing.


White umbrellas suspended from above, the children’s dining, and a wood structure of the chimney skylines were the focal points in the yard.

Activities for the children included Build a Penguin, where guests were invited to stuff their own penguin

Let’s Go Fly a Kite where they could decorate a kite to bring home

Mrs. Brill’s Baking Day where they decorated sugar cookies with various colored icings and toppings

Pearly’s Band Instruments

Bert’s Chalk Drawings where adults and children alike enjoyed drawing on the patio by the pool.

Games included Pin the Bowtie on the Penguin, Tuppence Toss, created in the fashion of a boardwalk-style penny toss, and the Spoonful of Sugar Relay Race where the children raced to fill a tea cup full of sugar using soup spoons.

Suspended across the pool were a collection of kites that swayed in the breeze.

My daughter’s one request for this party was to be dressed in Mary’s white Jolly Holiday dress.  I was fortunate to have found Lora of Beneath the Willow who not only made a beautiful Mary dress, but also the coat and tie for Bert’s outfit.  Unfortunately, my son wanted to go bow-tie-less so I will need to get a complete outfit photo of him in the near future!

I wanted to create an elegant tablescape for the children’s dining table.  I used children’s sized white ballroom chairs, white linen tablecloth with a lavender pintuck table runner down the center.  I had an eclectic array of crystal and silver bowls used for the centerpieces of pink roses and purple kale in addition to a silver tea set.  Lavender satin napkins with rose napkin rings were placed at each seat.  Mary and Bert placecards indicated where each child was to sit.  Boys found a skimmer hat at their placesetting where girls found white gloves and straw brimmed hats at theirs.


Beverages included cucumber infused water, lemonade, raspberry ice, and rum punch, for the adults only, of course!

Cute straw tags featuring Bert, Mary, a penguin, carousel horse, and sayings such as ‘Jolly Holiday’ and ‘Chim Cher-ee’ adorned the gray striped paper straws from Hey Yo Yo.

I used the same images to create napkin rings as well.

I created the dessert tablescape using the same chalk drawing image based on a the Jolly Holiday scene from Mary Poppins.  While in past years, I have made the birthday cakes for my children, I will never have to again!  Elyse of By Little Hands created a beautiful two-tiered cake with kites, butterflies, and penguins.  Not only did it look beautiful, the taste was to die for!  I’ve never had anyone ask for seconds of cake before, but this cake went in seconds!  (I did manage to steal 2 extra slices to enjoy on Sunday, however!)

To complement the cake, I made a batch of vanilla cupcakes since the cake was chocolate. Jen of TheLilDetails created wonderful 1.5″ tall fondant penguins complete with bowties to adorn some of them.

The tablescape also included various confections and baked goods in shades of pink and white.  Candy and caramel apples tied with pink and white striped ribbon and spoonfuls of sugar provided the finishing touch to the table.

I purchased hand blended tea from Teaman in 6 varieties and placed them in tea tins wrapped in ribbons and finished off with ornate-framed labels.

Since I was providing an abundant table of sweets, I opted not to include candy in the children’s favor boxes and stuck with items that had ties to the movie.  Each child received chalk to ‘Jump into their chalk drawings,’ a ceramic piggy bank they can decorate at home with 2 pennies inside to ‘Save their Tuppence,’ and an eyelet wrapped bag of bird seed to ‘Feed the Birds.’

It was certainly a Jolly Holiday, indeed!


Contact Belleza e Luce today to plan your child’s birthday or special event!

{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.

{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?

Enjoy!

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.