Browsing Tag

real-life party


Yuri’s Night in Montreal

hoop danse with yuri's night banner

hoop danse

Two weeks ago I attended the fifth edition of Yuri’s Night in Montreal. This is a party to commemorate the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. The party was organized by my artist friend Bettina Forget. I must say that she raised the bar this year. The theme was spaceport. We had to fill an online visa information form to be admitted to the party. She made out fun questions.

spaceport travellers information

As we entered the party room, we were greeted with a travellers information screen. I estimated that she made about 20 different slides. Bettina went as far as associating planet names with sci-fi series using their specific stardate. That was cool!


yuri's night costumes

Guests are encouraged to wear costumes at a Yuri’s night party. Bettina even brought some costume accessories, wigs, boa scarves that people can borrow for the night. Doing this encourages more people to dress for the occasion. Aluminum foil was very popular as a last minute material. I saw many imaginative uses of aluminium that night.

yuri's night

I dressed as a stylish space traveller. I wore a yellow and beige dress that reminded me of the fashion used by space TV shows in the 1960s, a blue wig, my stylish sci-fi inspired Anemone handbag that I wore as a backpack and a scrolling LED name badge to display a space political message on my belt. Sadly, we did not took a photo of my outfit. But you can see the style of my hair.


hoop danse with yuri's night banner

Bettina used acrylic paint and a projector to make a large banner with Yuri’s Night logo. This way, she can reuse it every year. The banner is used as a photo booth. It provided a nice backdrop for the lively performance of Hoop Danse. The girls gave us a good show.

The shadow wall was a cool activity. Bettina Our host Michealson covered a big sheet with blacklight paint. You could stand in front of the canvas and turn on the black lights towards the canvas for 5 to 10 seconds. Turn off the light and move. You will see your shadow. You can also use a laser pointer to draw on the canvas. They  He posted an instruction sheet that explained how to proceed (see above, next to my picture).

Yuri’s Night was a wonderful party. I can’t wait for the 2013 edition.

+ photos by Kim Vallee


My Son’s First Birthday Jungle Party (Part 2): The Food, the Cakes and the Party Favors

1st birthday snack food :: jungle theme

Click here to read part 1 of my son’s jungle theme birthday party.

1st birthday jungle themed snack table

I do not think that kids party are about food. For one thing, kids birthday parties are often scheduled in the middle of the afternoon and set to end before supper time. This is why I chose to serve healthy snacks for my son’s first birthday party. I went for food that the kids and their parents would equally enjoy.

1st birthday snack food :: jungle party

I also want to devise a menu that shared my party color palette. After contemplating several options, I opted for a fast and easy to make crowd-pleasing menu. I served crudités with a succulent dip, caprese salad on skewers, old cheddar grilled cheese, and as a testimony to my son’s play habit at the time, a tower of marbled cheese cubes.

Two DIY Decorating Projects for my Savoury & Sweet Table

The first project can hardly be called a project since it took two minutes from start to finish. But the raised platters is an important design element of my table. I made the raised platters by simply taping PAPAJA plant pots from IKEA to my collection of Thomas Paul Sea Life melamine plates. Double-sided tape works perfectly for this type of job. Make sure to check that the base of the pots is straight and that the plates sits well on them. I paired the dishes with some IKEA melamine bowls that I bought 2 summers ago — sadly for you, the bowls are no longer available. I was not lying when I told you that I used many items that I already owned for this party.

paint dripped utensils

My main DIY project are the paint-dipped utensils. I did it before dinner the night before. Although it works out, I should have started earlier. I will share what I learned by paint-dipping wood utensils in a future post. For now, let’s talk about two Montreal-based bakers that did an incredible job.

The Cake and Cupcakes

zack 1st birthday cake :: jungle theme

It was important to me to have the right cake for the occasion. I am glad that I bought the cakes at Les Glaceurs. I did not consider Les Glaceurs a contender until I saw the jungle animal cupcakes they did for a kids birthday party. Their style fits with mine. But I also want a cake, not just cupcakes. I inquired and they showed me their portfolio of nicely decorated 6 inches round, 3-layer cakes. I was sold!

The design of my son’s first birthday cake was a collaborative effort. I sent a photo of my party hats to their cake decorator in order for them to match the colors. I told her that I want an elephant on the top and circles on the side. I let them do their magic for the rest. I like the green grass at the bottom of the cake. The character of his first cake turned out to be cheerfully modern and playful, which was exactly what I was looking for. I also want to point out that working with Les Glaceurs was a breeze.

jungle theme cake and cupcakes

I imagined that it would be easier for my son to eat a cupcake. So I ordered one with a giraffe. Plus, I ordered vanilla cupcakes for the kids. It turned out that many moms ask for a cupcake instead of a piece of a cake. I bought cupcake toppers but I did not used them. At the end, I felt that it would have deter the attention from the cakes. I found another good reason to have a supply of cupcakes when a family had to leave before we blow the candle. They went home with two cupcakes for the kids.

The Party Favors

1st birthday crocodile cookie favors

A week before my son’s birthday party I received an email from Isabelle Quinn, the founder and head chef at Sweet Isabelle. I had planned to make goodies bag for the kids. Instead, I took this opportunity and asked her if she would supply me with her cute animal lollipop cookies. Isabelle said yes! I received (for free) an assortment of crocodile, monkey and elephant cookies that the kids were pleased to take home. They all love it!

Isabelle delivered it to me with a batch of mini cupcakes the night before. I got an extra cookie in order to taste it. Sweet Isabelle’s cupcakes are simply delicious. They were the first cake that my son ever ate — I wanted him to have a test run before the big day. Sweet Isabelle’s vanilla shortbread lollipop cookies are as delicious as they look.  The animal collection is always growing. I counted 37 animals at the moment.

If you live in Montreal, take note that she organize cookie decorating party at her shop. Isabelle told me that I should wait until my son is at least 3 years old to plan one.

+ Cake and cupcakes: Les Glaceurs
+ Animal cookies on a stick: Sweet Isabelle



Rock Star Birthday Party from Modern Moments

kids birthday party music theme table

kids birthday party music theme table

Have your kids had their fill of pirate, princess and superhero parties? Set the stage for a party that rocks their world with a unique yet uncomplicated theme: music.

Jessica of Modern Moments Custom Designs did just that when she created her son Jackson’s fourth birthday party. With a truly electric colour scheme of teal, hot pink, black and white, and graphic shapes and patterns, every detail captured the rock ‘n roll vibe.

kids birthday party music theme invitation cd

It started with an invitation that mimicked album liner notes starring Jackson himself, tucked inside an envelope complete with a CD of rock star tunes. Never mind being a kid: can you imagine receiving such a fun invitation as an adult? How could you say no!

kids birthday party music theme

Of course, every great party revolves around food. At the heart of the party was an amazing dessert table and candy buffet all centred around a guitar-shaped birthday cake. Empty paint cans purchased from the hardware store offered up music-themed candy (Pop Rocks, anyone?) to fill paper swag bags. To create confetti on the table, Jessica made custom guitar picks using a craft punch and photos of Jackson – a thoughtful touch and cool party souvenir.

kids birthday party drinks beverages

Even the beverages weren’t overlooked. Soda bottles with flavours in the party colours were labelled with Jackson’s rock star photo.

kids birthday party music theme loot bag

Of course, no birthday party would be complete without a loot bag. This one surely didn’t disappoint guests with all the essentials budding rock stars could need: styling shades, glow sticks and (temporary) tattoos.

birthday party music theme loot bag

Not only does this party make a statement about the guest of honour, it’s a theme that works for boys and girls of many ages. For more details on this party, including sources and how tos, don’t miss the two-part post on Modern Moments.

But you have to wonder: what could possibly be in store for Jackson’s fifth birthday?

+ Rock Star Birthday Party on Modern Moments
+ Modern Moments Custom Designs on Etsy
+ All photos from Modern Moments


A Sublime Cowboy Party for a Little Boy Second Birthday

country western 2nd birthday party

country western 2nd birthday party

Chrissy, the mom of a boy who turned two years old, did an amazing job planning his cowboy theme birthday party. She created a total experience with toy ponies, bindle sticks, BBQ, bales of hay, plaid tablecloths and cowboy hats for girls and boys.

She clearly organized a big feast for the kids and their parents. You will find clues on how to recreate a similar country western birthday party for your little boy at Hostess with the Mostess.

+ photos: Super Kimagery
+ via Hostess with the Mostess


Little Drummer Girl for a 1st Birthday Party

little drummer girl cake topper and marshmallow pops by blue cupcake

Who can resist such an adorable cupcake tower topper like this drum cake? Not me. Music instruments, like drums, are an excellent theme for a toddler birthday party because parents can find plenty of ways to decorate and to build activities around the theme.

Cupcake Tower and a Sweet Table

drum cupcakes by blue cupcake

I spot that real life party from the talented cupcake studio Blue Cupcake located in Los Angeles. Visit her site to see more pictures of the sweet table where they served dipped marshmallow pops, cake balls, rice treat pops, french macarons and candies.

+ Blue Cupcake


Sailing Theme for a Little Boy Birthday

sailing party theme :: fishing rods of goldfish crackers and saltwater taffy filled boats

sailing party theme :: fishing rods of goldfish crackers and saltwater taffy filled boats

Mary wrote to me about the cute sailing theme party that she did for the birthday of her toddler son. With several simple craft projects, she was able to design everything from scratch. She did not stop with the room decor, her food packaging plays a part of her theme. Have a look at her little fishing rods of goldfish crackers and the saltwater taffy filled sailboats for the adults.

sailor outfits :: personalized hats and t-shirts

All the kids received a personalized sailor outfit that they wore during the party. Some kids further decorated their sailor hat with stickers. Dressing up the kids make the photo booth session more memorable.

sailing party pennants

Besides hanging a fabric and felt pennant under the porch (or inside her home), she installed cut paper sailboats under the sun umbrella.

sailboats on the sea cupcakes

A fun and inexpensive idea was the paper waves that Mary attached to the kitchen counter. You could use that idea on a buffet table. The waves complement her sailboats on the sea cupcakes.

Bravo Mary! You successfully created a beautiful sailing birthday theme.


A Mermaid Birthday Party for a 4 Years Old

mermaid birthday party games and cupcake toppers

mermaid birthday party games and cupcake toppers

Sherry Willis wrote to me about the nice Mermaid Birthday party she hosted for her 4-year old daughter. She did a great job designing cute cupcake and cake toppers, fun games to occupy the kids and imagining the party decor.

mermaid birthday party theme for a 4 years old

I like the idea of decorating an homemade Bean Bean Bag Toss game. It’s a simple idea that adds a personal touch to the party. Another fun activity was the fishing game. She custom made everything. Each guest has a bucket with a name tag to put in their catch of the day.

mermaid birthday cake

With a little work and creativity, it is not that hard nor expensive to tailor a kids birthday theme. To give you a head start, you can stop by Sherry’s etsy shop. She sells banners, cake toppers, birthday hats, favor tags and invites. Have a look at her Circus party favor tags. The Mermaid theme should be available in a near future.

+ More details about this party at Party Pops
+ Party Pops shop on etsy


Lemonade and Sunshine Birthday Theme for Little Girls

ice cream in mason jar served at the lemonade and sunshine party

lemonade and sunshine birthday party table

If you are looking for inspirations for a shabby chic party theme or a vintage tea party in a garden, look at what this mom did for the combined birthday party of her two daughters. Jess of Pen and Paper Flowers put a lot of efforts in preparing the event. She shared many details in a series of posts about her Lemonade and Sunshine party. Jess should be proud!

ice cream in mason jar served at the lemonade and sunshine party

The ice cream scoop in a Mason jar looks so appetizing. The flavors were lemon sugar cookie ice cream & strawberry/lemon swirled italian ice. An old bird bath was transformed in a nice ice bucket.

party vignette for the lemonade and sunshine birthday theme

Do not be shy to create multiple vignettes. They contribute to the ambiance. If you cannot find enough vintage milk bottles, you can recycle the bottles of Starbucks Frappuccino. The 9.5 oz. bottles are perfect to serve individual drink. The 13.7 oz. bottle can be use to serve water. I also keep empty bottles of water bottles in a cabinet.

+ Photos: Pen and Paper Flowers


Party Decor Tips from Real-Life Parties

decorate your stands for the dessert table

decorate your stands for the dessert table

Many readers got in touch lately about the party they did. You can feel Amy Atlas inspirations in every one of their dessert table. I decided to illustrate event design tips that are worth stealing from their party photos. I selected two kids birthdays and one bridal shower.

Pool Party for a  5 years old

Maureen of Anders Ruff Custom Designs did a pool party for the 5th birthday of her son. Make it easy to coordinate everything by selecting a palette widely available in store. Green and blue are hot this summer. And both represent the hues of ocean water. This was a great choice. Maureen uses the blue for boys and the green for girls.

dessert table and lunch served in a sand pail

She used toys as lunch containers. She put the lunch bag into a sand pail personalized with the name of each kid. This is a good idea also if some of your lunch bags are for kids with dietary constraints. A pail made it easy for the kids to carry their lunch and after they have a toy to play with.

make it easy to coordinate everything by selecting a palette widely available in store

She designed the banner, the party circles and all the labels. She sells those on Etsy. One thing that elevates her dessert table is the fact that she wrapped the boxes / stands. A mix of gift wrapping papers and ribbons is all you need to make an impact. You can read of the details and see more photos on her blog.

More Ideas

be original with how you serve your food

Be original with how you serve the food. For a green and white bridal shower, Mandy of Everyday Obsession tied the spoon to the tumbler glass. It feels special and it is practical.

one favor tag design per popcorn flavor

Add variety with your labels. Kristina at Modern Frills has one favor tag design done for each flavor of her popcorn take-home bags. It’s Kim from TomKat Studio who designed the party invitations, cupcake toppers, and labels.

+ Custom Matching Party Logos for cupcake toppers, address labels, favor tags, stickers by Anders Ruff $7.50 USD
+ Custom Happy Birthday Banner Design by  Anders Ruff $15


3 Must-Have Details for your Next Milestone Party

wonderful props at a eunice and daniel's wedding

wonderful props at a eunice and daniel\'s wedding

Weddings become more and more amazing every year. That formal event seems more fun than in the past. Couples these days want a memorable wedding that fits within their personality. For these reasons, they are always an incredible source of inspirations for any big party.

You probably have seen the wedding of the creative director of Hello!Lucky, Eunice with Daniel. It is featured on The Spring 2010 edition of Martha Stewart weddings and many on the blogosphere have praised it this month. This remarkable wedding illustrates so well key components that can make any party one that your guests will remember for many years.

1. Set the Tone with Stages, Props and Custom Signage

custom signage contributes to a party decor

If you wish to make a statement, you need to invest in out of the ordinary party decor elements. They use the service of Because We Can to build a portable flat-pack grand stage, various signs, and fun props. Look for local people with a background in theater set, or even an excellent store window designer. They know how to create make believe props and stages.

And do not underestimate the power of custom signage. It does not give directions to your guests. It look should reinforce your party theme.

2. Parades and Costumes

party activity: get props for a festive parade

The idea of a parade to bring the guests from point A to point B is a great and fun idea. It sends the message that it is time to celebrate. People of all ages love parades. Anyone with an artistic flair coupled with some building experience can made their own version of hand-painted silhouettes, if you have time on your hand. At a kid party, the kid can decorate their own silhouettes. When selecting the materials, make sure the silhouettes once attached to the stick will still be lightweight.

3. Attention to the Comfort of Your Guests

details to assure the comfort of your guests

Assuring the well-being of your guests is the number #1 rule of entertaining. Every party has their high and low moments. Make sure that your guests always find something to do. It is not just about paying attention to food and drinks. It is also making sure that nobody is too hot, or too cold. It is about self-servicing snacks all day long, just in case someone is really hungry. All these little details translate into fun and happiness for your guests.

The last point applies to everyday entertaining. If those are planned ahead, the host and hostess will be free to enjoy the company of their guests. It does not always work that way in real life. But as long as you aim for more work before and less work during the party, you should be OK.

+ Eunice and Daniel feature on Martha Stewart Weddings
+ Portable stands, props and signage by Because We Can
+ Behind the scenes coverage on the blog of Hello!Lucky
+ Get the vendor list on Hello!Lucky
+ via 100 Layer Cake


Pinwheels & Pom Poms Baby Shower

pinwheels baby shower theme on hostess with the mostess with diy pinwheel tutorial on style me prett

pinwheels baby shower theme on hostess with the mostess with diy pinwheel tutorial on style me prett

I missed this well-put together, cheerful real-life baby shower designed by three women. It was featured on Hostess with the Mostess a few days before Christmas. Pinwheels are easy to make. They fit well within a baby shower theme or a kids’ birthday party. Pay attention to how they packaged the pinwheel invitations. When you invite a smaller group, you can take the time to create an invitation that will really stand out.

+ DIY pinwheel tutorial on Style Me Pretty
+ More photos on Hostess with the Mostess