Posts Tagged ‘real parties’

{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 Birthday Party

Friday, October 7th, 2011

I’m so excited to share with you the pictures from Cibella’s party today.

While designing this party, I keep trying to figure out a way to make our backyard a swamp.  Trust me when I say that the idea of flooding the yard did not go over all too well.  In lieu of flooding, we built 3 framed ponds to hold the water and an abundance of water plants including lily pads to create a backdrop to our feature table.

As a result of Hurricane Irene, there were many fallen trees and I was able to find stumps around town to use as seating for the children attending.

I stumbled upon the frog statue on clearance at Home Goods.  A few coats of spray paint gave him a facelift, and he was ready for the party.

Layers of textured linens in chocolate and moss green with tree limbs, moss, and pods arranged down the center of the table helped create to bayou atmosphere.  A lily pad was placed at each setting on top of satin chocolate brown napkins.

I created a sign welcoming the guests to Cibella’s Place which was hung among baskets of ferns.

I created 3 activity stations for the children; Masquerade Masks, Ray’s Firefly Friends puwhich allowed them to make their own firefly craft with glow-in-the-dark tail, and Not to Worry Dolls.  While voodoo and magic are present in bayou areas and New Orleans, I wanted a craft that reflected upon this but was more child-friendly.  It was the hit of the party – I think every guest went home with one!

Our beverages were given fun names like Swamp Water (for the adults), Mama Odie’s Good Potion (raspberry lemonade), and Facilier’s Evil Potion (punch).  We served fried chicken, jambalaya, red beans & rice, chicken & biscuits, string beans, and oven roasted potatoes for dinner.  The guests enjoyed having a taste of the theme’s regional cuisine.

The centerpiece of our dessert table was the stunning cake of chocolate and butterscotch filling created by Elyse of Joy & Cake; she is so easy to work with, and not only do the cakes look stunning, but they taste wonderful, too!

I used a cherry wood desk to hold the multitude of sweets and desserts.  Caramel and chocolate fudge, 3 varieties of chocolate truffles, cinnamon sugar donuts, almond bark, sugar cookies, mudpie, gluten free cupcakes, and of course, beignets!

Wanting to create the elegant bayou feel, I used more tree limbs and moss, adding distressed urns with hanging amaranthus and tree bark wood plaques as trays.  Instead of a fabric backdrop, I opted to use the natural greenery around our koi pond.

Cibella provided 3 different favors to thank her guests for coming to the party.  For her infant cousins, a frog prince or princess plush animal with a storybook, for the adults, homemade pralines wrapped in ribbon with a double layer fancy sticker, and for the children, monogrammed aprons with a prince or princess frog cookie cutter, and a wooden spoon to help mom or dad cook in the kitchen.

Happy Birthday Cibella!

Our Bayou Frog Princess Collection, including favor tags, invitation, door sign, placecards, and cupcake toppers, will be in our store next week!

{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!”

{Featured} on Birthday Girl!

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Our Rootin’ Tootin’ Cowboy Birthday Party is featured today on Birthday Girl. We are so honored and pleased.

Please take a moment to visit Becca’s wonderful blog.  She posts fabulously original birthdays and parties!

{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!

{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!

Belleza e Luce Featured!

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

We have just been blown away by the response to the Jolly Holiday Party!  We are currently in the process of offering this collection for sale, and with a sunny day today, I may actually get to take some photos of our line!  I hope to have the full collection available by the end of next week, but contact us if you would like a sneak peek!

Aubree of The Seaman Family Blog graciously featured our party on her blog today.  If you have never seen her shop, Crew and Cate,  be sure to check it out.  She has such lovely things and I foresee some purchases from her in my future!

Becca at Birthday Girl also featured our event here.  She always features such wonderfully creative parties and events, I am humbled to be amongst them!

Amy of Stem Parties is known for her fabulous parties and especially for her dedication to Operation Shower, an organization that coordinates baby showers for deployed military families.  I was so appreciative when I heard she would be featuring the Mary Poppins party on her blog.

Thank you, ladies for your kind words and for spotlighting Belleza e Luce and our event!

Belleza e Luce featured again …

Friday, October 1st, 2010

… and again!

The response has just been overwhelming to our Jolly Holiday party.  I am so flattered by all the emails and comments I have received.

Shelley from Diving Party Concepts and Christi from P is for Party have both featured the Jolly Holiday party.  Be sure to head on over there, and post a comment on their wonderful blogs.  It is an honor to be featured on these blogs where the creativity and caliber of parties is so high.

Have a wonderful weekend – tomorrow is the Chanel baby shower, so I have been busy in preparation for it!  I cannot wait to share with you all of the details!

Belleza e Luce Featured!

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

We are so honored that Michelle at Maddycakes Muse has featured our Jolly Holiday Party.  Michelle is an extremely talented event planner herself and we are thankful for the kind words and spotlight!

Check out her post and blog here!

Thank  you Michelle!