And I was right.
Happy Birfday Ryan!
Yesterday I had the opportunity to do face painting for C.H.O.C.'S (Children's Hospital of Orange County) Holiday Party for their neuro patients and families.
I wasn't sure if my friend Regina would show up since she is in chemo treatment, but sure enough - the trooper that she is, was there! I was so excited to look up from painting someones face to see her mom and Regina standing there in line!
For those of you who read my blog may recall of Regina's Princess Tea Party that I did for her this past summer.
I don't know where to begin. What a whirlwind it has been the past two - no few - weeks.
There was Thanksgiving. Then my son's 9th birthday party last Friday which was supposed to be a "camping" theme and I had a real camp site reserved and everything. But then the forecast predicted rain so I had to change everything within a couple days. So we ended up having pizza at a Round Table then took them all to see Fred Clause at the theater across the street. And it did rain, so I'm glad we were able to make Plan B happen. But I have never had to deal with 14 nine year old boys all at once. WHEW! I was exhausted. Even though I'm a professional party planner I like to do planning and design. You know. Fluff. NOT be an activities director....
And then yesterday was it. The photo shoot for Tea Time Magazine. I can't really divulge any details, and honestly and am too pooped from it all and am recovering. But I must give some credit, some cyber hugs and show my peeps how grateful and sincere I am for pulling it all off (in about a week's notice).
First off, I'd like to thank....hey wait a minute. This feels like I should be holding a golden teapot or something, like I won an Oscar.
Ok, I'm serious now. I really appreciate Mari Robeson from Mari Robeson Home for creating a beautiful, perfect, and ever-so-darling custom hand painted banner. We became acquaintances from blogging, and she had offered to make one for me a while back just out of the generosity of her big heart. When I found out about the photo shoot I thought it would be such a unique idea to have one in our set-up. So when I found out we had a quick deadline, I emailed her if she could do it. Poor thing stayed up really uber late to get it done and shipped to me in time! I was so excited to see it delivered on my porch! And when I opened it, I was so inspired by her color choices that I ended up adding a color to my table scape (which Amanda -see below- told me to have in the first place, but I balked). Which meant the NIGHT BEFORE the photo shoot I was high-tailing it up to Joann's to buy fabric to make a runner and get that color ribbon. Crazy. So thank you Mari, from the bottom of my tea lovin' heart for making such a work of art for me!
I have to thank my friend and florist, Amanda of Fantasy Floral Designs. She put up with all my annoying calls for wanting her input. She's the ying to my yang. She likes to do things a little *off* - a little askew, where I am so matchy-matchy and *safe*. So we meet in the middle and have created some very cool events. Thanks Amanda for creating gorgeous florals and adding your fab midas touch to the shoot!
She said she would forward the link by tonight, so I am anxiously awaiting to view the photos taken by my friend and professional photographer, Stephanie Warner. We spoke earlier today, and she said some of the shots were just *insert heavenly choir sound* awwwwwwwhhhhh! So thank you Steph for providing your professional services, for helping with unloading the mountain of stuff out of the van and for helping me feel at ease during the actual shoot. Your encouraging words "lemmee see that sparkle in your eyes" while shooting was comforting (especially during such an out-of-body experience). I can't WAIT to see the images!
Thank you to Dayna, she is the representative and coordinator at Occasions at Laguna Village where we did the shoot. Even though she injured her foot and had a foot brace on, she was still schlepping up and down the stairs bringing the food down. And then she helped out with some of the piddly stuff that needed to be done, when I felt pulled in a hundred directions and having her help out was such a relief. Thank you so much Dayna for your help and patience. I'm sorry we went over the time limit and you couldn't be in the shoot! sad face :(
I want to thank my mother and daughter "models" Kathy & Maggie (and baby Jake) for coming down and providing us with their beautiful smiles and sense of humor as we played pretend tea party. Because the setting-up and styling took a lot longer than anticipated, they had to wait around which is no small feat when you have a baby to attend to, on-site. But they were most gracious and since Kathy is originally from the South, she wouldn't of complained. At least not out loud.....wink. Thank you ladies for your time, and for rearranging your schedules at the last minute to make yourselves available for me!
There is no way, NO WAY I could have made it without Rebecca. Our friendship is kinda odd, because in a way she is my direct competition since she stared her own tea party business a few months ago. But we have gotten close and have such a camaraderie. In a heartbeat she offered to come down and help me out. Man, she was a work horse! And she was there when I was barking out requests for this and that. And because she is a perfectionist herself, she understood my pickiness and all. So I have no idea how I would have been able to get it all done had I not had her there helping out. Shudder to think. So thank you so much Becs for being there - physically, emotionally and encouraging me all the while.
Well, someone has to watch the rugrats while mommy is running around crazy doing a photo shoot. So a huge thanks to my mom and dad for staying with my kids and taking care of them while I fulfill a dream. A sorry to my children who only heard for the past 10 days "No, mom is busy, I can't". Thank you for understanding and letting me get things done. And lastly, to my dear hubby. For helping me find stuff. For moving stuff. For trying to be comforting when I broke the saucer and had the melt down. For accepting drive-thru food for dinner. A lot. And a thank you in advance for having to enter in all the receipts in Quicken and tying to make sense of all this business stuff from my self-diagnosed ADD.
So again thank you so much to everyone for bringing your talents and/or support to this project which means so me.
Here is a snippet, as I can't show any photos yet! The feature will be in the March/April issue (fingers crossed). Can't wait to hear what the editors decide to use!
Last night I was able to provide face painting for my daughter's preschool fundraiser.
They had a Fall Carnival & Silent Auction (it was belated due to the So Cal fires and the date got pushed back), so myself and Rebecca, my fellow face painting and party planner friend came to help out. We had a great time and I think we were able to contribute to the fundraising efforts as the room was filled the entire time with children and parents who were waiting in line. Click here to view a few photos I took of the "quick design" faces I painted.
I have really been enjoying face painting more and more, it's very addictive and rewarding. Check out the site I made just for face painting: Colorful Face Painting.com
Fund Raiser TIP:
I highly recommend face painting as a fund raiser for your school or other event. Not only does it give the event an element of partyness (is that a word?...well it is now) with kids and adults walking around with color on their faces, but it is also a form of entertainment.
Don't feel like you have to be a Picasso in order to face paint. If you decide to give it a try, here are some tips:
Thank you to Special Events Magazine for showcasing the Mary Poppins Birthday Tea Party
that we (I) produced. Click on the link to view the online version article. It is quite an honor to be featured in such a respected industry trade publication. I haven't received my copy yet, but will post when it arrives.
To view the slideshow photo gallery of the Mary Poppins event click here.
To view all the photos from this party click here.
Photos from the past:2003 (pre-third child days)
It's a great party.....
It was a lot of fun planning Isabelle's First Birthday Party. I've done First Birthday Parties before....my own kids.
The mom wanted a party that was cute and elegant. So to come up with new ideas for this party was a fun challenge. What I mean by challenge is how to make a cute, "elegant" party for wee little ones - mostly two years and under. Snacks for little hands were provided, and sippy cups were at each setting. I fluffed up the Birthday Girl's high chair with pink organza and marabou trim around the tray. Initially, I wanted to have a lady come out and do child's hand impressions in clay, but it would have gotten rather pricey. So I came up with the idea to have them have painted hand and foot on canvas boards as an activity and take home favor. It was so much fun painting their chubby little hands and feet! Then I sprayed it with a paint sealer.
The take home goodie bags consisted of a custom photo cookie that I did the photo graphic and had made by Schmerty's Gourmet Cookies. They are wonderful at this bakery and very quick with shipping! Then I made "The Best Homemade Play Dough" in pink and green colors presented in a jar with a personalized label and a copy of the play dough recipe.
I decided to use my new thrift find that I painted, add a foam ball covered in silk flowers and ribbon. I think it was either a votive holder or my friend thinks it is a wine bottle holder. Then made paper cones from 12x12" scrapbook paper.
Here is the before and after of my cone holder:
Click here to view my photos from this event. The client had their professional photographer there, as they did a family portrait before the party. It was such a pleasure to see Melinda Kim in action and I can't wait to get the images of the party that she took - they looked amazing from what I could see in her view screen! Will post the photos later when I get them.
Here is the recipe for the play dough, the cream of tartar is what makes this one the most like the real thing:
The Best (and Baby Safe) Homemade Play Dough Recipe
4 cups flour
4 cups water
1 cup salt
1/2 cup cream of tartar (approx. a 2.5 oz. size)
4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Variation: Add one package of unsweetened powdered Kool-Aid while mixing. This will give it a nice smell and will add a slight color to it.
Mix all ingredients in a large sauce pan. Heat and stir over low to medium heat, use a whisk to get out flour lumps. Continue to stir – consistency will first look like cake batter, then lumpy then clumpy. Stir until it becomes dough, completely formed and no longer sticky. Allow to cool slightly, knead a little bit to form a big ball before storing in an air tight container or zippy bag.
I was contacted just a few days ago to put together a Birthday Dinner Party, so I procured the caterer, rentals, linens, music entertainment and the flowers. Pamina loves pink and orange, so I made the floral design in those colors. Since the dinner and dessert was to be outside, even though there were heaters, I brought orange fleece blankets for warmth and cuddling.
Click here to view the photos.
My friend Kelly is a fellow wedding and event planner in Florida (we've never met, just know each from an industry "members only" message board). ANYHOO, this girl is a nut. A couple of weeks ago she created a montage of what kind of day she had as a wedding planner. This is her montage:
You can read about the details on the post on her blog. Stuff about creating a new DVD cover for a client, getting a tour of a gorgeous new venue, loving her Starbucks, shopping for a client, updating menus and budgets yadda, yadda. She looks so glam - hair styled and sporting Nicole Richie sunglasses. So "J-Lo". So wedding planner-ish.
And then there's MY kind of day as an event planner. Here's my montage:
(To view up close click on the montage. Hopefully I don't have any chin hairs showing.)
Left to RIGHT, Top to Bottom:
1. Went to the flower market to get flowers for Mariela's Birthday Party.
2. This is what greeted me at the entrance. I love gerber daisy's. They are just. Happy.
3. She's my intern. Don't mention anything about her height, she's a little self-conscience about it.
4. Stopped at McDee's before going to the flower market. So there Starbucks. Don't see a drive-thru at your place! Now I will have money left over to buy that McGriddle, and not spend it all on a Venti.
5. Yup. That's me. In my usual state of glamourousness - a baseball hat and no makeup. Didn't take a shower either, cuz flowers don't care.
6. I'm glad to see my lil' intern is very Green, and drives her electric car to work.
7. I wonder if David Tutera has ever had a power lunch at Funtown Hot Dogs?
8. All the flowers I purchased unloaded and in buckets on my front porch. Some one's gotta be the white trash on our street....
It was a great day.
Seriously, it was fun. I took Raina with me and we had a great time, she really likes to help me. And the flower market is literally across the freeway from Lego Land, and we have passes. So we went for a couple of hours which was also a lot of fun since we usually have "the boys" - dad and two brothers there, and they don't like to go on the kiddie rides. And it is so worth going there just for the Granny Fries. Omigawd. They are the best. They fry diced green apples, coated in sugary cinnamon, accompanied with a vanilla cream to dip them in. HEAVEN.
But I had to drive home like a maniac to pick up my son from school in time. Of course I hit traffic on the freeway. Took some side streets, hit every flippin' red light. When I got there to the school, they had him waiting in the office. The office ladies already know I'm NOT one of the totally-have-it-together-moms like all the rest of 'em.
But that's okay. They didn't get to see really happy gerbers....
Shown is the set-up during the daytime, then photos of it during the nighttime with the candles glowing. It was so difficult to capture how purty it was with the candles......the photos don't do it justice.
This is why I haven't been posting or commenting on y'all's blogs much. It's the last couple of weeks of summer, and want to take advantage of living five minutes from the beach before school starts.
When school starts and I don't have to be Activities Director anymore, I'll have a bunch of things to post about!
I have to order some red bow ties for a birthday party I am doing on Saturday, and thought I would share the info of Solid Color Neckties. I used to buy from them when they were just on eBay, but now they have a great website. I like to have all my staff/servers wearing ties when we do tea parties or other events, and will try to match the color of the event. For $3.75 each you can go all out! Okay, so they aren't silk Italian ties, but they are great quality and look so cool!
Here are some other ideas on how you can "tie one on":
~ Is there a wedding in your future? The ties are great gifts for all the groomsmen and the fathers of the wedding party too. They can even do little boys ties to match (so cute!). They also have women's scarves to match.
~If you are going to be hosting a dinner or cocktail party at your home and will be having catering or bartender staff - get them matching ties to "tie in" the colors of your theme.
~ Or if you are hosting a bridal or baby shower dress up the hubbies or other fellas to be the "servers" and have them wear ties to match the shower colors. Don't want men folk around the shower? Pay some teen gals to come assist and do the same. Just have them wear black pants, white collar button shirt and then provide a tie. But have hubby pre-tie it for them, then they can just slip it around their collar and tighten.
~Useful for prom, to have the fella's tie match her prom dress.
~ Cool idea for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. As soon as an invited young gentleman has RSVP'd to attend the Bar or Bat Mitzvah, mail him off a tie in the event color and include a note from the guest of honor saying something like "Green Tie Required."
You get the idea....
If you have any other ideas on how to "tie one on", feel free to leave a comment!
12 Georgian Eggshell Homer Laughlin Cake Plates (for my tea parties).
.....and Antique Ledger Paper.
I wish Heather the best of luck and much success with her endeavors!
If you can attach a cross bar over and across the top, you can hang a chandelier or I call them "candle-iers" in the center of the canopy by putting a heavy gauge wire or zippy cable tie through the canopy net holes and attach onto the cross bar. Then use a sturdy ribbon (one with wired edges will work) to secure the chandelier to the wire or zippy tie. This is so you don't rip the net. You could also use paper lanterns or tissue paper pom-poms to hang from the top. Go wild!
(To view a close-up of the faux cupcakes I made, click here.)
The other day I was at Marshalls (cuz we all know about my shopping/hoarding issues - that's a whole seperate blog) and came across these beauties. So I bought 'em all. They'll be perfect for a candy table or to use as centerpiece vases.
Ever since I had my first really good Chai tea about a month ago, I have been addicted.
Bad. Like drinking about four cups a day bad.
So now I am on search for the best-tasting Chai tea. At least what the local markets can offer until I get my shipment of loose leaf Spiced Chai tea from my wholesale tea importer to try theirs.
The ones from grocery stores and Trader Joes aren't too bad. Even beats Starbucks. A whole box of tea with 20 teabags is cheaper than one Venti. After trying all the above brands (I like it hot), I have to say that I prefer the Bigelow brand as far as taste and spiciness goes. The Trader Joes' pre-sweetened mix is a lot easier - there is no brewing and it already has the dry milk/sugar mixed in the powder - just put in hot water and stir. But it is higher in calories. And I have a little bit of lactose intolerance, so I usually make mine with vanilla soy and sugar or Splenda.
My least favorite was the Stash brand. Just had too much of a "bite" to it, almost metallic taste.
So if any of you are Chai lovers what brand do you like?
Posted by The ParTea Planner at 6:51 PM
So after being pathetically late in making Heather of Bluhm Studios her tiara for Holly Doodle Designs Tiara Swap, I finally got it off to her! You can view all the fab-u tiaras the group made at Flickr, here.
The photos are not my best since I can't access my PS, as my main computer had a hard drive crash this morning. I am very afraid, because my beloved Photoshop is on that computer...cute techy-geek hubby will have to check it out tonight....crossing my fingers he can fix it.
Here is the tiara I received from Heather. The colors are absolutely perfect, and I adore the vintage bling and pom-poms! The "R" could be for either my name or my event planning company Romanza Events. Perfecto!
And here is the tiara I made for Heather. She likes vintage buttons, and glitter. But she LOVES birds, so I thought this lil' cutie birdie could oversee her work as she creates so many wonderful things that she does for so many people. She even has her own tiny tiara! She is dressed and ready for a tea party...
The materials are: raised wallpaper on the bottom portion with glitter highlighting the raised scrolls, silk flowers with rhinestones centers along the bottom edge, tinsel ribbon on edges, vintage music sheets cut into hearts & edged with glitter, a party cup cut in half for the bird's nest filled with feathers, vintage buttons I got from a gal at etsy, a rhinestone spray and pink tulle at the top. The bird's "tiara" is made from a tinsel pipe cleaner.
It is much sparkly in person, and I hope Heather likes it. I have been so insecure at trying my hand for the first time in these crafty ephemera projects/swaps since these ladies are hard-core talented at it!
Thank you Holly for hosting such a unique and fun swap!
The tip of my finger is still numb.
On Saturday I conducted a ceremony only. Very sweet couple and so were their friends and family.
The set-up was very simple, and they had everything under control. So to be useful, I offered to help them with pinning on the corsages and boutonnières. About 19 of them.
I have put on a few hundred corsages and boutonnières in my career, with speed and accuracy and absolutely NO PIN showing. Yes, I pride myself in fixing the one who has a "bout" totally askew and pin sticking out from a fellow buddy who attempted to pin it on him, or a grandmother who's corsage is limping to the side because there was nothing to anchor it to on her flimsy georgette fabric dress.
But these were silk flowers. They were pretty cymbidium orchid silk flowers fashioned into corsages and bouts. Translate: very hard, thick plastic "stems". So I am pushing, and pushing and pushing pins into these suckers with as much grace as I could muster considering the hardness of the stem. I seriously could have used a thimble.
The tip of my right index finger was pretty sore after all that, and seriously - it is still numb on the tip!
It was a fairly warm, muggy (for OC) July day, and I thought this was a clever idea the bride did for fans. The ceremony program was printed on the outside of a folded two page program, then the wooden stick was glued to the inside. So this version may be a lot less expensive than having ceremony fans printed.
Here is how you can D.I.Y. your own fan programs:
Purchase program card stock, either printed from the dealer, or blank and print at home. Another option, print and then fold a piece of 8.5" x 11" card stock in half. Use a bone folder or a ruler to press the edge down.
Purchase the wooden sticks, which need to be longer and bigger than traditional tongue depressors.
Place double-stick tape to the program edges, hot glue gun the sticks to the inside and press. Add a ribbon in your color(s).
This idea can also be used for menu cards if you are having a daytime outdoor event or meal.
I helped with a bridal shower last weekend (just trying to get caught up from last week). I did the floral and linen decor for a caterer that I work with occasionally. Totally a very last-minute gig, not my best floral work with such short notice, but the host specifically wanted gerbera daisies. And then she put out photos of the Guest of Honor, so we had to elevate the centerpieces so you could see them. That's the thing with event planning - have to be flexible and resourceful.
The shower cake had a heart on it with "Elevator Man & 37" piped on the frosting. The host of the bridal shower told me the story of how they met less than a year ago. At the time, the bride-to-be was working in a hi-rise in downtown L.A. and the groom-to-be is an elevator engineer who was working on the hi-rise's elevators. They noticed each other as she would come and go from her office on the 37th floor, but never spoke. So whenever she would enter the building, his buddies would radio to him that "37" is in the building and he would position himself to be in the area to see her. And she was referring to him as "Elevator Man" to her friends at work, since they did not know each other's names. After a while she kind of gave up, thinking maybe he must be married since he was not saying anything to her....
Finally, as she went into the elevator one day he followed her in. They finally talked! After work that day, they met over coffee. The rest, they say is history.
I thought it was a really cute story, could be a Lifetime movie or something.....
To view all the photos of this event, visit my gallery.
Yesterday I had the honor of donating my services for a tea party, for a very special girl, Regina. The Fox Family (their daughter goes to school with Regina) contacted me last week so that they may graciously give a gift certificate to her to enjoy this tea party before she begins chemotherapy today. You can read Regina's story and her fight with brain cancer on her mom's blog.
Yesterday I set-up a tea table, catered and served a tea party for a little girl turning three. I was sourced by a children's party production company to provide tea services for this event. They provided the Princess appearance, the dress-up and the entertainment. This was a last-minute booking, so we had to scramble to make it happen, and we did.
We had a great time. And the birthday girl was the cutest lil' thing I have ever seen, so full of personality! During the storybook time she kept jiggling her head so she could feel her clip-on earrings dangle. She was just adorable.
I have to say my "Strawberry Creamy-Dreamy" sandwiches were a hit with the girls! I had fun making them, and not only were they cute but very yummy too. Unfortunately I didn't have time to take a good shot of it, so I just cropped this from another pic. I don't think I will make the Mini Mac 'n Cheese bites again they were too much work and didn't turn out the way I made them in the past.
Also, the Client was so hospitable because as we were setting up the party, she brought us teacups full of Chai tea, sweetened and with milk. I literally gulped mine it was so delicious. I had never had Chai taste so good! I kept asking the other girls if they wanted theirs, so I could finish it off! I'm still thinking about that cuppa and would love more!! Starbucks cannot compare to what she made!
Today I am really tired and need to catch up on everything I am supposed to be doing!
Happy 4th of July and I hope you had a fun and memorable holiday!