Posts Tagged ‘party’

{Real Parties} Happy Haunts Birthday Spooktacular

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Yes, I know Halloween is over, but I cannot wait an entire year to share with you the Happy Haunts Birthday Spooktacular I threw on Saturday for my son’s 4th birthday.

For those in the northeast, you can recall how horrible the weather was – sleet, ice, rain, snow, and wind!  While we were fortunate to not have the brunt of the storm, the uncooperative weather made it difficult for transporting all of the props and party elements to our venue.

A few weeks prior, guests were invited to our happy haunts party.

Guests entered the party through a graveyard filled with handmade tombstones.  In a nod to Luca’s request for a party based on the Disney attraction, Haunted Mansion, our tombstones feature the same amusing epitaphs.

I used velvet and lace layers to add texture to the tables, tarnished silver candleabras (my awesome flea market find) with cobwebbing and small bust statues as centerpieces.  Additional guest tables also featured vintage photos of eerie people, dimensional glittered haunted houses, and bust statues.

A coffin filled with reindeer moss, a glittered skeleton held the child’s placecards which sat upon an eggplant satin napkin and silver charger.

Activities included painting pumpkins, donut-on-a-string game, and wrap a mummy game.

Guests were asked to be wary of Hitchhiking Ghosts

Guests were also able to listen to a Madame fortune teller chant her seance spells from her crystal ball among bottles of elixirs and potions.

Food and drinks were given Halloween and Spookishly (yes, I just made up a new word!) appropriate names including Bat Wings (Buffalo Chicken Wings), Halloweenies, Monster Mashed Potato Bar, Earth Worms (Pasta Salad), Spellbinders (an adult cocktail), and Vampire Blood (kid friendly fruit punch served in a cauldron).

The dessert table featured an eggplant backdrop with black damask demon motif painted onto it drapped with creepy tea-stained cheesecloth.  The chocolate and butterscotch tiered cake was designed by Elyse of Joy & Cake.

Sweets consisted of gluten free cupcakes with chocolate bats, caramel apples, black & white swirl lollipops, meringues, and chocolate bark.

At the favor display, guests were thanked and asked to hurry back to see us again.

Adults selected a mummy wrapped candy bar, the older children were given 2 classic horror novels, such as Frankenstein, tied with black glittered ribbon and adorned with a tag. The young children received a Magic 8 ball, assorted sweet treats, glow stick, and stickers.

Happy  Birthday Luca!

{Real Parties} Cibella’s Elegant Bayou Party Invitations

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

When Cibella informed me that she wanted a “pretty swamp”  theme for her birthday party, I must admit that I was a bit perplexed.  How was I going to make a swamp girlie and pretty?  Finally, it hit me!  I used inspiration from Princess and the Frog; the artwork portraying the bayou was incredibly beautiful!

While the focus of the party, as you will see in my next post, did not focus on the princess aspect, I used a silhouette of a girl kissing a frog with dragonflies surrounding the party details.

I used the lyrics to Down in New Orleans for the opening lines of the invitation:

The evening star is shining bright
So make a wish and hold on tight
There’s magic in the air tonight
And anything can happen…

My daughter requested the use of greens and purples, so I choose an avocado green paper and contrasted it with the use of lavender and plum details.

I  decorated the backside of the invitation with a triple layered seal featuring my daughter’s initial and a dainty crown

Since she couldn’t choose which envelope she preferred, we opted to send half of the invitations in avocado and the other in lavender.  I was fortunate that the USPS had Mark Twain stamps featuring a riverboat which lended to the bayou theme.


Stay tuned for all of the wonderful party details as we party down on the bayou!

{Real Parties} 60th Birthday Par-Tee!

Thursday, August 25th, 2011


We’ve been celebrating milestone birthdays around here left and right at Belleza e Luce.  I’m so happy to share this one with you today because it was styled for my Dad, who turned 60 at the end of July.  My Dad was never one to celebrate or acknowledge his birthday – loves to celebrate anyone else’s, but not his, so much so that we couldn’t even say, “Happy Birthday,” to him.  However, something happened in this last year and when he started talking about wanting a party, my mother and I just about fainted!

The party theme was obvious – he loves anything golf, and I knew we needed to keep it low-key, fun, and the emphasis not so much on his age, but on gathering with friends and family.

I created a simple invitation with an actual golf tee inserted into the paper; a green and navy argyle patterned bellywrap covers the party details until the big reveal exposing who the party was for (a huge surprise to family and friends!).  The mailing label features the argyle pattern and silhouette of a golfer in navy.

This summer, I have been 0-2 in hosting parties outdoors, being rained out twice.  Would I strike out?  Thankfully, my prayers and sun dances were answered!  We had a beautifully sunny and warm day with no threat of any inclement weather.

I used golf tees, golf balls, and wheatgrass everywhere in the decor.  I also created 8×10 signs that were placed around the yard with golf sayings (e.g Fore!, Par-Tee, Bogie, etc.), quotes from Caddyshack and from famous golfers.

As guests arrived they were asked to guess the number of golf tees in the bowl with a chance to win the coveted “Par-Tee Tournament Trophy.”  The closest guess was 744 with the actual number being 729 (as his birthday is July 29th – clever, huh?)

We had a a 9 hole mini golf course brought in, which provided endless fun for the younger guests and a cut-throat competition amongst the golf-fanatic adults.

We served Arnold Palmers (non-alcoholic) and pitchers of Water Hazards (rennamed Blue Hawaii cocktails), in addition to other refreshments at the 19th Hole.

In addition to the mini golf course, the kids enjoyed splashing in the pool and decorating foam visors with stickers, markers, and glitter.

Since my Dad has always enjoyed the movie, Caddyshack, it was only fitting that the famous gopher make an appearance.  He popped up at the dessert table which displayed Donut Hole-in-Ones (munchkins) in golf ball baskets, Water Hazards (blue raspberry jello), Sand Traps (Rice Krispie treats), Chocolate Chip Shot Cookies, and the amazing, delicious tiered cake featuring greens, water hazards, and golf flags by Joy&Cake.  Did I mentioned how yummy it was?  I created the wheatgrass stand that the cake was displayed on.

Old golf bags and clubs of my Dad’s were placed on the side of the table as well as around the yard.

It was too hot for these guys to make an appearance while the sun was out, so they were placed on the dessert table as the sun was setting.

They are now happily living in my cousin’s pond.

Guests went home with a package of golf balls and customized golf tees that read, “Gary’s 60th Par-Tee.”

The party was a hole-in-one!  (Yes, pun intended!)


{Real Parties} Vintage Baseball Birthday Party

Monday, August 15th, 2011

This past June we had the wonderful priveledge and honor to design a vintage Yankee’s inspired baseball party for my grandfather’s 85th birthday.  Did I mention it was a surprise party for him and also my grandmother, too!  Talk about keeping secrets!!!

My grandfather (Dee Dad, as we call him) is a lifelong NY Yankees fan; when he talks about great moments in baseball, he would always recall the old-timers and good ol’ days of the simpler life, when people would get dressed in their Sunday best to go to the ballgame.  With that, I decided to create a party with nods to the olden days of baseball.

The invitation was designed in navy pinstripe with a silhouette of a batter knocking one out of the park.  Some old-fashioned font styles completed the simple but festive design.  I added the batter’s image to the envelopes as well; pretty envelopes are so much more fun and exciting to open, afterall!

With the invitations mailed out, I began to work on all the party details.  Of course, I had these wonderful visions of the party being held outdoors on our porch overlooking the pool with navy and white pom poms hanging from above.  Cue weather: 1 hour before the party, the skies grew dark and the heavens opened to a downpour!  Onto Plan B: indoors  with a few friends helping me move the centerpieces into the living and family rooms.  (If you remember, my Popsicle Party was a washout as well – I really need to figure out a way to control the weather on party days!)

Peanuts, old baseballs, bats, and mitts were used throughout the decor.

I scored a box of 50 old baseballs and a bat at the flea market for only $7.  I created miniature pennants featuring the man of the hour’s initials in his own logo, his number, and some fun baseball phrases (‘Hey Batter Batter’, ‘Swing!’, and ‘Homerun’ to name a few).  As guests arrived, they were asked to sign their autograph on a new baseball bat I purchased.  The bat full of well wishes now sits proudly in my grandfather’s office at home.

The guest of honor finally arrived, and the surprise was a wonderful success!  At that moment, I was able to relax.  (I think surprise parties are the most stressful to pull off.)

Guests were encouraged to test their Yankee knowledge at one of 2 quizzes while enjoying traditional ballgame fare of hot dogs, sausage sandwiches, burgers and more.

Dee Dad’s great-grandkids dressed in matching jerseys in honor of the occasion (even the daughter of a diehard NY Mets fan!)

The 7th inning stretch consisted of a cake that was prepared by the very talented Elyse of Joy & Cake (& By Little Hands); my aunt would not believe that the baseballs were edible – until the kids dug into them!

Peanuts, popcorn, and pretzels – staple food of ballgames, were all available for guests to help themselves.  For me, no trip to a game is complete without an ice cream sundae in one of those helmet cups!  Imagine my delight, when I found the official Yankee cups online and in stock!!!!

Guests traveled back to their homefield with individual boxes of Cracker Jacks and a tag that read, “Ed’s 85th Grandslam,” tied with navy striped baker’s twine.

The party was a homerun, and Dee Dad was able to celebrate with his entire family and friends; in his words, “the best gift of all!”

{Real Parties} Popsicle Party

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Yes, I’m back!  A much too long of an absence, but we have been quite busy at Belleza e Luce.  There are some new things coming up in the next few weeks which I am super excited about!

With summer in full swing, I wanted to share with you a party my children had for a few of their friends.  It was a glorified playdate, really, to celebrate the beginning of summer and the end of the school year.  Unfortunately for us, the weather was not too cooperative so swimming was out of the question.  We ultimately had to move the party indoors due to some heavy rains, but I was able to get some photos before the last minute party relocation.

My daughter requested bright colored invitations with stripes.  With a vintage carnival-like poster in my head, I created a palette of fuschia, aqua, yellow, creamsicle, and lime green.  The colors worked together beautifully!  I enjoyed creating this sophisticated, yet playful invitation and it would be equally fitting for an adult get-together as well!

Their group of friends were first invited to lunch a lunch of turkey and cheese sandwiches, grapes, and carrots sticks, which I served in lime and yellow bags.

In my effort to keep things simple for the party, I purchased 3 bouquets of daisies from the local supermarket and placed them in bowls of colored jello.  Simple andeasy centerpiece, much to the delight of the party guests who thought it was colored water!

Following lunch, they created some beautiful sand art.

The rain stopped long enough for the children to be able to throw water balloons into targets, at trees, and bushes.

I used acrylic frames found at the craft store to hold crushed ice and laid the popsicles on top.  Preparing this ahead of time, saved time later when the kids were extra excited over dessert.

Cibella and Luca gave each of their friends a small beach bucket filled with a large lollipop, pinwheel, bottle of bubbles, and some sidewalk chalk.

A favor sticker simply stated, “Happy  Summer!”

The Popsicle Party invitations and favor stickers are now available in my shop!  Water bottle labels, bubble labels, large stickers, banner, and cupcake toppers will be available soon!


{Inspiration} Mardi Gras Dinner Party

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Even if you are unable to attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans, that should not prevent you from having your own Fat Tuesday celebration!  Below is some inspiration for a fun Mardi Gras celebration in your home.


{Credits: Bouquet; Coins; Invitation; Beads; Beignets; Jambalaya; Mask; Wreath}


Laissez les bon temps rouler!

{Real Parties} Easter Egg Hunt

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The snow has FINALLY melted from the last bit of grass at my house and with the milder temperatures, dare I say that spring may be on its way?  The wind gusts certainly are roaring like a lion on this 1st day of March, and I am anxiously waiting for the spring weather to arrive.

If any of my readers know my children, you know that they have their next 5 birthday party themes already chosen (must be an occupational hazard resulting from mom being an event planner!)  So it should come as no surprise that we are already planning our Annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Stay tuned for a sneak peak of invitations and an inspiration board later this month!

I thought I would share last year’s egg hunt, in light of this coming-soon-spring-weather (can you tell I really am ready for spring?).

I created boxed invitations featured a faux grass liner which the invitation sat upon.  Since the egg hunt had a small guest list, most of the invitations were hand delivered and sealed with pretty purple ribbon and a label.  The few that needed to be mailed required a wraparound mailing label as the USPS Postal Service would have frowned upon the ribbon.

The weather was beautiful, much to my delight!  I set up a long children’s sized table complete with children’s sized white ballroom chairs.  For the 2 weeks approaching the party, I was growing trays and egg cups filled with wheat grass which I used on the table.  I kept the party simple with a craft and bean bag toss game while we waited for everyone to arrive.

Then it was onto the hunt!  Each child was given a basket and were on the search for the eggs the Easter bunny left for them.  There were over 150 eggs for 12 children to find and sure enough in July my children would still find one here or there!

Afterwards, the children played egg on a spoon.  I found painted wooden eggs so there was no worry of breaking eggs and making messes.  This age group was 2 – 4 1/2 years in age, so an older age range of children would be able to handle real eggs to make it more challenging for them.  For this group is was the perfect game of concentration, fine and gross motor skills.

I choose not to serve lunch as the party started after 1 o’clock and instead, opted for fruit, vegetables and dips, and an assortment of sweets featuring Bakerella‘s chick cake pops, birds’ nest cupcakes, and dirt served in a (lined) gardening pot.

In addition to the treats they collected during the egg hunt, every child was given a felt bag with seeds and a small pot to grow their own vegetable plant or flower.

Belleza e Luce has  some openings for Easter Egg Parties in April still available if you have not already scheduled yours.  Contact us today!

{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!

{Inspiration} Valentine’s Day

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

With the holiday season officially over, I thought I would jump right into 2011 with an inspiration board designed for a children’s Valentine’s party.

I tend to keep Valentine parties on the simpler side, focusing on friendship, crafts, and activities, and keep a color palette of red, pink, and white.  I based this inspiration board on our new printable Valentine Hearts invitation, now available in our Etsy shop.

{sources: bonbons, garland, table runner, centerpiece, chairback decor, pistachio wreath, cookies, invitation, tic tac toe, candy sundae, cupcake toppers, legwarmers, friendship bracelet}

Tips for hosting a Children’s Valentine’s Party:

  • Two to 2 1/2 hours is plenty of time for the party.
  • If the party will be held on a weekday, schedule it for immediately following school, so it will be over before dinner-time and not too late that homework cannot be completed.
  • Decorate with felt hearts strung together with baker’s twine.  Create various length strands to hang from ceilings, chandeliers, and drape across windows or mantels.
  • Invest in a good quality white cloth tablecloth.  You can easily change the look for different occasions by adding table runners, chargers, or placemats.
  • If your party will include crafts, place butcher paper over your tablecloth and remove when done so your space is neat and clean for enjoying sweets and treats.
  • Always offer a healthy treat in addition to the fun cupcakes, cakes, and confections.  Fruit with a yogurt dip is a wonderful choice.
  • Rather than sending your little guests home with more sugary treats, a friendship bracelet created by your child will certainly be more meaningful to their friends and appreciated by their parents!

Contact Belleza e Luce today for customized Inspiration Boards for your next event or to schedule a Valentine’s Party for your child!

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!