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‘Bella BOO! Party Productions’ caters to parents who want to give their child the party of their dreams but simply don’t have the time to do so. As a mother myself, I know how hard it is to make time for everything; between dressing, feeding and classes there is hardly any time left to fit in planning the upcoming birthday… or birthdays for that matter! Between searching for suppliers, getting quotes, setting a theme and so much more there is hardly any time to take a breath! That is where ‘Bella BOO! Party Productions’ come in! I will do everything from helping choose the theme, collecting quotes and setting up! How much help you want is totally up to you! If it is quote sourcing you need I can do it! If you want help with the decorations I can do that too! And if you want help with the whole day, I am with you the whole way!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Year of the Dragon (2012) Baby Shower ideas

For all those 'Mothers-to-be' who are giving birth this year, the year of the Dragon, this could be the perfect Baby Shower theme for you!

My Amazing cousin, Rachael Walker, did an amazing commissioned painting for our new baby boy Arthur - based on him being a 'Year of the Dragon' Baby! Her artworks are a treasured addition to any family and I am more than happy to email her details to anyone who would like her to do a commissioned piece for your special angel too. These paintings also make for the perfect Baby Shower Gift! Here is the one she did for our baby boy Arthur - a source of Pure Inspiration for my son's 1st Birthday in 10months time!!! (thinking way ahead here, lol)

The AMAZING commissioned artwork my AMAZING Cousin, Racheal Walker, did for my new bub; Arthur John Lukowski! A piece that will become a family heirloom for generations to come and the perfect gift for a little baby boy 'Dragon' xoxo I am using this painting to theme his first birthday... in ten months time!!! 

If you don't have an amazing painting to theme your party around the next best thing is the cake!
I think cake is always a great start to set the theme at any party - they are literally the edible artwork centrepiece! For a 'Year of the Dragon Baby Shower' the only way to go would be with an amazing 'Dragon Cake'! Here are a couple I found on the web - some really cute cake artistry involved in these!

A perfect centrepiece for a little boy dragon baby shower!
created by http://www.flickr.com/photos/fatisdreamcakes/4273264029/

A perfect centrepiece for a little girl dragon baby shower!
created by http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracys_cakes/5145606688/

Once you have your cake design the next trick is the invitation - cute dragon invitations are very hard to find... so I would recommend, if you have time, making them yourself or have someone do them for you. You can jump on Getty Images for some cute Dragon Pictures that you can purchase for as cheap as $10! I did a google image search providing lots of images for inspiration! I knocked up a couple of quick invites. The blue dragon would look really cute printed on light metallic pearl card-stock, with three little crystal stickers in the lower right hand corner and a baby blue or baby pink ribbon in the upper left hand corner. And the red dragon would look fantastic printed on a subtle cold metallic card-stock with a thick shiny red ribbon looped in the upper left hand corner; basically turning the invitation into a beautiful large swing tag - simple and effective!

Because the 'Year of the Dragon' is based on Chinese Zodiac it would be really fun to do a setting with an Asian Flair to it. Some blue noodle boxes to serve food in would look great! 

Super cute! Set of 4 for $4.95 @ www.letscelebrateparties.com.au
You could compliment these noodle boxes with personalised stickers on the side of the box. Lot's of party companies are doing this now; Pink Frosting being one of them! Check it out at www.pinkfrosting.com.au

Cute, fun chopstick's to accompany your Baby Dragon Affair!
$4.95 a pair at urbanbaby.com.au 

Something we all enjoy when we go to a fabulous chinese restaurant are the Fortune Cookies! What could be a more perfect than the edible accompaniment to a dragon themed baby shower! 

You can order beautiful, personalised fortune cookies or...

Make your own paper fortune cookies yourself - FOR FREE
at http://idoityourself.com.au/shop/freebies/78-paper-fortune-cookies-free-download.html
This allows you to make your own personalised messages - sweet, funny or totally outrageous! 
The perfect decoration for a 'Year of the Dragon Baby Shower' - Lanterns of course!!!
These 8 paper lanterns are from thebabyshowershop.com.au for $13.95.
To finish off the look - some shabby chic blue vases or glass bottles with red Orchids or Red Cherry Blossoms in them! You can buy beautiful artificial red orchids from many places, including www.koch.com.au for $13.93 a stem or buy 3 for $11.94 a stem!

I hope this has given you some great ideas for your next baby shower - for 2012 of course! As it is exclusively for the Little Baby Dragon's out there! xoxo  

Thursday, 28 June 2012

*Start-Up SPECIAL*

As this is a new business I would love to offer the first 3 people who book 'Bella BOO! Party Productions' for their next party my services for FREE*!!! All I ask is that once the party has been a success (as I'm sure it will be!), that you will leave feedback on this page and also allow me to use some of the photos from the party for my portfolio. I can't wait to get this party started!!!

Jacqueline Penelope xoxo

*Please note my services in project managing the party i.e. sourcing quotes, planning theme, ordering catering, cake and so on are free but not the cost of the actual products themselves.

Baby Shower for Bub number 2 xoxo

9 weeks ago tomorrow I gave birth to my second beautiful child, Arthur John Lukowski xoxo 
I know this is not a kids party, however I enjoy planning everything... I am a self confessed planning maniac so really on top of kids parties I am more than happy to plan baby showers, hen's parties or even weddings - I planned my amazing wedding in Thailand all from my computer in Brisbane and the day could not have been more perfect!
The baby shower was hosted at 35 weeks pregnant and little Arthur arrived three weeks later xoxo 
For this baby shower I was inspired by a beautiful book I bought for Bella called 'If Kisses were Colours' by Alison Jay. It is the most beautiful book about a mother's love for her child written for children and illustrated so beautifully. The picture of a baby in a crib with a rainbow above made me want to cry (must have been those pregnancy hormones ;) So I decided this would set the tone for the day. As always I used the wonderful ladies at Mio Cupcakes & Cakes and again was not disappointed! I sent them a picture of the invitations I had created around the theme and they created the cake from that - it could not have been more perfect. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed planning the day and the day itself of course :) 

The invitations I created for the Baby Shower
were printed on simple light metallic card for a little bit of magic xo
My Beautiful Cake inspired by Alison Jay's Book 'If Kisses were Colours' and created by Mio Cupcakes & Cakes xo

Windmills with lolly pops and beautiful cupcakes = ingredients for the perfect Baby Shower. 

A little touch of Fairy Tale magic with this Little Frog Prince xo 

Blue and Turquoise Pom Poms and old fashion paper chains 

These were Martha Stewart brand Pom Poms that you have to assemble yourself. 

Fresh scones, cream, strawberry conserve and fresh strawberries for a lovely morning tea affair. 

The day was a laid back morning tea style affair with no crazy games except for 'Stroller Derby' which is basically a baby trivia game. The rest of the time was spent just having time with all the important women in my life including my amazing two year old daughter, Bella xoxo The day was simply perfect!

Party Stats:
Guests: 15
Duration: 2 hours
Total Cost: $300 

Bella's 2nd Birthday Toy Story Bonanza!

Well, by 13 months old, 'In the Night Garden' was out the door and 'Tinkerbell' became the most loved character in the house... that was until 22 months old and our daughter discovered 'Toy Story'!!! Poor Tinkerbell was shooed out the door and Jessie the Cowgirl and Buzz Light year were ushered in with gusto!!! I was horrified at this last minute change as I had been planning the perfect Tinkerbell Birthday Party for months! All bets were off now... but with a quick Google image search I found plenty of Toy Story party inspiration from around the world! I now had two months to rework the whole birthday theme and this is what I came up with:

Bella's 2nd Birthday Toy Story Extravaganza! 

First of all I made the invitation's, this was so much fun! It took me a while to put a sample together I liked but in the end I created the perfect invitation for the theme. 
*Photo to come (I have to make another one as I forgot to take a photo of one for the blog! Opps! A small oversight!) 

The invitations really helped me establish a look for the party so next was the cake - again I used the amazing ladies at Mio Cupcake & Cakes! This time I booked them well in advance and together we finally came up with a final design... although I changed my mind at least half a dozen times!!! 
In the end, the cake that was to be the centrepiece of the dessert table was a Jessie the Cowgirl Cake!
 Originally I had thought more along the lines of a generic Toy Story cake but my girl loves Jessie so a Jessie Cake it was and the result was pure perfection! What do you think?

Bella's Jessie the Cowgirl Birthday cake created by Mio Cupcakes & Cakes

A modern day dessert table would not be complete without delicious Orio Cake Pops!
Created by Mio Cupcakes & Cakes 

Mini Windmills in the haystack's were a colourful addition! 

Mini Cowboy hat's were super cute and looked great on the kids! 
Chocolate Fountain time again!!!
This time with Strawberry and Marshmellow Kebabs  for dipping!
The kids who came were all 1 and 2 year old's
so instead of games I had activities such as pony sticks to run around on - this was the pony stop! 
The Dessert Table  

Sheriff Badges for all to play dress-ups with!

Like Bella's 1st Birthday Party I wanted to offer a savoury option again but did not want to take away from the dessert table so I created a savoury themed table with Buzz Light Year as the Hero. It looked great but the food never made it to the table because the guests kept eating it as the platters walked through - but at least it made for a great drink stand, lol! 

Alien Party Hats and Paper Eskimo Party Plates all tied into the theme perfectly! 
The colour scheme was brilliant! It was really easy to source different items in these colours and tie the theme altogether. 
I didn't want to make the theme all pre-printed Toy Story product as I think it can make a party look tacky so I used limited key pieces like the balloon feature to highlight the Toy Story theme; everything else was simply tied into the theme by colour. 
I created the little food signage myself as a cute addition. 
Buzz Light Year Savoury Food Table (which ended up being an overdecorated drinks table!)
The food that never made it to the table included 'Slinky Dogs' aka. Cheerios in dinner rolls, Mr Pie Heads aka. mini meat pies and Rex Rolls aka. mini sausage rolls.

As well as pony sticks we had a bubble machine ($10 from Big W, worked perfectly!)
the kids loved them!

I created an Etch-A-Sketch from cardboard bought from the newsagent and
made Toy Story Props i.e speech bubbles, Mr Potato Head features and
Buzz Light Year Helmet for people to 'Photo Booth' with at the party -
everyone loved it! Made for some memorable photos!
Birthday Girl with Grandpa... or should I say Mr Potato Head!
Alien and Mr Potato Head aka. Mummy and Daddy
Buzz Light Year, Lips and Alien
It rained on the day of the party so the cowgirl photo set-up could not go ahead,
but I didn't want it to go to waste so the day after the party I set it up anyway and got so brilliant photo's of the birthday girl xoxo
They were a hoot!

Party Stats:
Cost (for everything) $650
Guests: 25
Duration: 2hours... but everyone was having so much fun it went on for about 4hours!!!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Bella Boo's 1st Birthday Bash

My Daughter's 1st Birthday Party was the most fabulous fun, especially the planning side of it!
First of all I had to plan a theme - at that time, my daughter was obsessed with 'In the Night Garden'.
So I planned on having the 'garden' side of this in her party as I didn't want to over-commercialise the theme. I spliced in some pretty pink dots and we had the party look established!
Pink & Pretty!     
BUT I did learn a lot of lessons from planning this party too! I wanted helium balloons floating everywhere around the room with pretty pink curling ribbon hanging down from them - kind of creating a floating jungle effect, however, I left it to our local florist to do on the morning of the party... and she never turned up! 
Lesson 1. always hire a helium tank so you can do it yourself! 
Then I had ordered the most amazing faux grass table cloth to really give the garden them some real punch... but I left it outside the night before the party and it rained... it was so wet the next day, we couldn't use it! Thankfully I had a cheap pink plastic back-up... but it didn't look anything like it would have with the grass tablecloth - it also meant I had to tone back the decoration to be more simplistic so it  didn't clash with the pink tablecloth - however it did make the cupcakes stand out much more! 
Lesson 2 - set-up the decorations and table setting the night before so you know nothing is missing. 

The Cake!
In my quote sourcing I discovered the most amazing cupcake and cake artists! Two sister's who run Mio Cupcake & Cakes! Their portfolio is amazing and I knew they were the people I wanted to make my daughter's cake. However, due to their amazing creations they book out well in advance so I had to sacrifice getting a cutting cake made on top due to me not booking ahead! 
Lesson 3 - Start planning things like cake and catering a month in advance! 
But cutting cake aside, the cupcake's were a masterpiece all on their own! 
Mio Cupcakes & Cakes 

Mio Cupcakes & Cakes

The Chocolate Fountain
If the cake wasn't sweet enough - we also had a chocolate fountain!!! I ended up buying my own as it was much cheaper than hiring and we have used it several times since! The chocolate fountain was a hit with all the guests, especially the birthday girl! We put fruit, marshmellow's and sponge in little ice-cream cups for people to dunk in the fountain - it looked fantastic and tasted even better! 
The yummy fruit, marshmellow's and sponge - ready to be smothered in yummy swiss chocolate!
The very popular chocolate fountain! 
The food
It was a 10am party so it was really a morning tea/ brunch affair. But we knew not everyone wanted such a big sugar hit so early in the morning so I arranged a bulk order of sausage rolls and spinach and fetta triangles from our local bakery for the savoury lovers - this was a fabulously tasty and fuss free option for food. My only regret was I didn't have a pretty platter to put them on and they looked a little 'ordinary' on the beautiful party table - especially alongside the amazing cake. 
Lesson 4 - Always make sure you have something to serve the food on that matches in with the theme - white is great because you can put it with almost any theme.  The other great option is disposable serving plates which come in so many beautiful styles now and you don't have to worry about washing up afterwards! 

All in all... a few hiccups aside, the party was a wonderful success! 
There were no other little people at the party, so instead of games I arranged for family photo's with the birthday girl and sent these off to all the guests afterwards via email which everyone really enjoyed!
A casual and relaxed affair that our little girl enjoyed every moment of! 

Birthday Girl fast asleep after a perfect party! xoxo
Party Stats:
Cost (of everything) - $350
Number of guests -  20
Duration - 2 hours