Face Painting as a Fundraiser

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.

Fund Raiser TIPS:

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:

  • DO NOT use acrylic or tempura paints to face paint with. Even though it may say non-toxic it is not wise or safe for use on the facial area and could cause a reaction. PLEASE only use products that are made just for face painting. There are so many wonderful face painting makeup products, that there is no reason to be using acrylics. I use Snazaroo & Paradise face paints which is one of the most popular brand of face paints on the market. You can purchase Snaz products at their website (they have a discount for non-profit orgs) or from Silly Farm which is where I get most of my FP supplies. The best brushes to try are a Round #5 and #3 that you can buy at Michaels or Silly Farm. I like the Loew-Cornell brand, they have a yellow handle or the American Painter they have a metallic mauve handle.
  • Search online or Google the most popular face paint designs. It does not have to be complete, full face designs but you can do a mask, one eye or half face. Cheek art can actually take longer to paint than a quick butterfly, mask or muzzle.
  • Check out step-by-step how to's face paint designs on You Tube . Silly Farm also has videos to watch of popular designs.
  • No matter the results or outcome of your design, children really don't care, they just absolutely LOVE having paint on their face!
  • But if you don't want to attempt the whole face painting thing, just hire a face painter - it will be worth it for your fund raiser! If you are in the Orange County area and need a face painter, go to ColorfulFaceArt.com and we would love to provide you with face painting services!


Freakin' Faces of Halloween

I've been practicing face painting on my kids and the neighbor kids.

Have a Happy Halloween!

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Pumpkin Carving Party

Yesterday we had our annual block Pumpkin Carving Party. This is a party that I've coordinated since we all moved here six years ago - wow, time has flown by! I tried to find photos from the first couple of years, but unfortunately that was back when I didn't take many photos. Now I'm bummed.

To view all the photos from this event click here.

Photos from the past:

2003 (pre-third child days)




This party is a highlight of my year. I guess because it kinda officially kicks off the holidays. Next thing you know it is Thanksgiving, then Christmas.

I wasn't even sure we were going to be able to go forward with the party due to the So Cal fires which made the air quality here in Orange County unbearable. Kids were home from school on Thurs. & Friday. But Saturday, thank goodness came some drizzling and a breeze which brought back our beautiful weather and were able to come outside again.

How To:

If you would like to plan a Pumpkin Carving Party here are some party tips:
  • Send out an Evite to your friends, family or neighbors letting them know the date and time. We also have a Chili Cook-Off and have a couple of pots of chili, hot dogs, pizza, salad and desserts. You can set-up in Evite which food assignments you need for your potluck. Also assign someone to bring paper goods such as napkins, bowls, plates, plasticware.
  • Everyone is BYOBeverages and a snack to share during the carving time.
  • Everyone needs to bring their table, chairs, table cover or newspapers, pumpkin carving tools, garbage bags, hand or diaper wipes, tea light candle and of course, their pumpkins. And their camera!
  • Ask everyone to wear colors such as black, orange or Halloween theme T-shirts.
  • We've done activities such as Halloween tattoos, crafts from Oriental Trading, cookie decorating, bounce the eyeball game etc. I was going to try to do face painting this year, but time got away.
  • For a yummy "Screamcicle" drink, last year I filled a large pickle jar with a quart of softened vanilla ice cream and a 2liter bottle of orange soda (or was it two bottles?). Stir until the ice cream is mixed. Yummy!
  • Gotta have music! To set the party atmosphere, play Halloween CD's. One of my favorite ones is Kid's Halloween Costume Party CD.
  • For the past two years, (this is in lieu of an apple dunking game), I've done a donut eating contest which has become a huge hit with the kids. Simply tie a small rope across two poles or trees. Cut curly ribbon to hang from the rope. Then tie on powdered "Ghostly Donuts" to the ribbon thru the hole, at different heights. The kids have to have their hands behind their backs to eat the donut. It is sooooo funny! They love it!

  • Then at the end of the party, we line up the carved pumpkins and had out small labels that I've printed on Avery 8167 size, that say Most Unique, Most Scary, Most Funny, Most Creative and everyone can put their stickers on the pumpkins as sort of a contest. Everyone wins!

It's a great party.....


Isabelle's First Birthday 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:

Click here to view photos from this event.

Here is the recipe for the play dough:

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.


Happy Birthday Pamina!

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 Friday

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....


Happy Birthday Mariela!

Over the weekend I did a birthday party for Mariela who is my good friend. When we started planning her party about a month ago, she gave me a budget to work with for the decor. But then her dear husband secretly "slipped" me some more funds so I could go all out for her. She loves pink -like myself- which made it easy to do. However, since there were going to be gentlemen friends there, I toned it down just a wee bit and the flowers were more mauve in color than pink. But the guys don't seem to mind - I don't even think they notice!

I put together the floral arrangements, the tables (we used what tables we own - 54" rounds and 6' banquets), the poles with the willow with cymbidium orchids, hanging crystals and candles, the candy table (remember the glass vases post?) etc. I didn't get pictures of it, but I also provided pink fleece blankets for the ladies shoulders and laps. They were a big hit. Also in the corner of the backyard, I set-up one of those portable round patio fire things and the guys were hanging out around the fire, smoking cigars and drinking port. It was THE BEST port wine I have ever had!

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.

Come back in a couple days and I will have a link for the photo gallery. I will also post "a day in the life of an event planner" which is kinda silly....
UPDATE: Click here to view photos from the party.


Taking care of business (cards)

I was running out of business cards - they are so four years ago, and designed some new cards. My old cards were not reflective of me at all. At them time I had them "professional" and safe, they were black and gold with a photo. *yawn* borrrrringggg.

Now that I am -ahem- older and don't give a hoot, I decided to design cards that were more me and my fave colors. I made four differnt cards and one postcard. Here they are:

For weddings:
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For children's parties:

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For social events/tea parties
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For showers:
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Tie One On

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!

One of my staff with their tie.

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!


Nothin' but net

This net is a great idea if you are having a wedding - it can be used for a huppa or for a sweetheart table, or for just an intimate dinner area in your backyard!

Children also love to be enveloped by a "canopy" (I was having a tough time keeping my kids out of it when setting this up!) and this could also be big enough to fit a lager table for approx. 12 children for their birthday party. I also purchased one in hot pink for a girl's party or bacholerette party. You can find them from this eBay seller, they are simply bed canopies and come in different colors and sizes. For this purpose I got the queen/king size.

Then to do-it-yourself, you will need four 8' pipe, cross bars and bases (you can rent pipe & base from party rental company or make your own out of PVC pipe and market umbrella bases). The corners of the net already have a metal ring so all you have to do is secure them to the poles.

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.)


Talented photographers!

I adore Michael and Emi, photographers of Evoke Photography. Here is a link to view some images of Danika & James' wedding on their blog, that we did together at the beginning of the summer. I think they got some amazing images, and I love the one of them near the fountain.

Thanks Michael & Emi!


Does this make my GLASS look big?

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.


Wedding ceremony and thimbles

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.


With this ring, I thee Red...

The bride, Leslie, loves RED. She wanted bold and red for the reception! I thought the area looked great with all the drape. It's amazing how draping can cover a multitude of sins - the interior of the room is a church sanctuary.

To view all the photos,
click here.


Elevator Man & 37 (Erika's Bridal Shower)

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.


A Special Day Princess Tea Party for Regina

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.

To view all the photos from this very special event click here.


A Tea Party Fit for a Princess

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.

To view all the photos visit my gallery. Professional images will be available in a few weeks.

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!


Even at a Season Finale Baseball Party....

.....I have to make a (cup)cake riser.

I am the Team Mom for my son's team.

To view all the cute photos from our baseball party,
click here.


Fountain of Couth

Perusing my Lillian Vernon catalog the other day, I came across this cool fountain sprayer thingy for just $40 bucks. I just thought it would be cool for a pool-side event, reception or reahearsal dinner. The hotels have them, now you can too!

(I know couth means manners, but it was all I could think of for the title...)


Get your own mini me for a cake topper

So darn cute!

Go to
Nicole W Clark or to her etsy shop to check them out!


Our Easter 2007

I bought this dress at a thrift store when I was still pregnant with her. I loved the delicate pink and green flowers in the pattern, and especially the collar. Back then I thought This is going to hang in her closet FOREVER before she will get to wear it someday.

Well, that day was today. And all day I had an almost sad, melancholy mood and I knew it was because I can't believe she is already big enough to wear a dress I got almost three years ago. Can I get a remote like the one Adam Sandler had in Click and just put my life on Pause for a while?

Here is the tea table I threw together. I wasn't planning on doing a tea, but since dearest hubby was glued to watching The Masters golf all afternoon and me and kids were on our own, I decided to have them help me have an Easter tea. I put a link to view all the detailed photos and menu at the end.

My tee shirt and jeans kinda gal.....
New tights.....already torn.
New shoes.....already scuffed.

I actually have caught number two son's cold and feel very yucky right now, so I won't type out our entire day's activities or the tea party details. If you would like to view the photos from our Easter and the tea party, click here. If you click on Start Slideshow, it will have music and comments on the top left side. Thanks for visiting.

I need to get another kleenex and blow my nose.