Under The Sea Baby Shower 11*12*2011

I created this “Under the Sea” baby shower theme for a very special momma – my cousin Natalie!  She wanted a big affair – 70 people, including kids and men – so it had to be anything but ordinary!

Wishing Tree

This shower was originally scheduled – and styled – for outdoors in a pretty, terraced backyard.  But a week before the shower was to take place, we found out that our Southern California sun wasn’t going to behave.  Instead of having a beautiful relaxing sun-soaked November day, we’d have soaking of a different sort.  Rain.  Buckets of rain.

I can’t lie – it was a bit of a shocker, since no one counted on rain during what was supposed to be a very dry November in San Diego.  What was worse was that the home where we’d planned to hold the shower couldn’t accommodate 70 people indoors.  So, thanks to a very generous coworker, we moved on to Plan B: the gourmet kitchen and bar areas of a private clubhouse (the rest of which was already rented out that day for a bridal shower!).

Luckily it was an absolutely gorgeous venue, and luckily even the rain didn’t keep away the throngs of guests.  We showered this Mama in style!

We created some really fun touches, from GORGEOUS sea urchin vases custom made by the insanely creative Desiree of Penny Blooms to cascading bubble chandeliers made from clear glass ornaments provided by the mom-to-be to a wishing tree made from driftwood.

Sea urchin vases by Penny Blooms!

Sea Urchin vases custom made by Penny Blooms

Bubble Chandelier

Driftwood Wishing Tree

Driftwood Wishing Tree

Driftwood Wishing Tree

Natalie and Tony decided that they didn’t want to know the gender of their unborn baby, so we threw a completely gender-neutral party (complete with coloring pages asking if the kids in attendance thought the baby was a Stella – girl – or Brayden – boy, and a single game asking adults in attendance to fill in their guesses for birth stats and gender).  I have to admit, it was kind of tough staying firmly in the “cute and gender neutral” category, but it was helpful that Natalie chose such an adorable “Under the Sea” theme, inspired by a set of scrapbooking stickers she found when she found out she was first pregnant!

I created a set of printed pieces including an invitation featuring original artwork (inspired by the stickers) an original poem by Practically Perfect Poetry, Prose, and Proofreading – I just love how much personality there was in that sweet little turtle!

Invitation featuring original artwork by Events by Elisa and and original poetry by Practically Perfect Poetry, Prose, and Proofreading

Food tags by Events by Elisa

Sweet Table Tags by Events by Elisa

Custom Thank You cards by Events by Elisa

Then of course there was my personal favorite feature of the party – a huge ocean-themed sweets buffet featuring a gorgeous “wave” backdrop of fabric that my amazing assistant found at Joann’s Fabric, hand-assembled clamshell cookies (made by me!), a sculpted sandcastle cake by Hey There, Cupcake!, and the most adorable sea creature cake pops by Calculated Whisk!  The “sand” was actually brown sugar, and the rocks and shells were candy – and every kid there (and some of the adults) loved that they could eat every bit they wanted!  Plus brown sugar was inexpensive, non-toxic, and looked and smelled amazing!

Sweet Table by Events by Elisa, featuring Hey There, Cupcake and Calculated Whisk

Clamshell cookies, assembled by Events by Elisa

Sweet Table by Events by Elisa, with brown sugar "sand"

Gummy fish and Godiva Gems on the Under the Sea Sweets Table created by Events by Elisa

Turtle cake pops by Calculated Whisk!

Gorgeous sand castle cake by Hey There, Cupcake!

A sand castle made of cake, by Hey There, Cupcake!

I can’t help but throw in one extra shot of those cookies…  I just love them so much!

One more shot of

And of course I’m happy to report that Natalie gave birth to Baby Boy Brayden last month and he’s beautiful!

Natalie’s Under the Sea Baby Shower 11*12*2011 Party Details:

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Miss Maya’s Dia de Los Muertos Birthday Fiesta!

Last October, I got a phone call from my friend Jacquelyn, asking for help planning her daughter Maya’s first birthday party.  She wanted something really special and unique – a Dia de Los Muertos celebration!

Maya came into this world six weeks early.  It’s my theory that she was just way too excited to finally meet her parents and couldn’t stand waiting any longer to do so.  I mean, with incredibly awesome parents like these, I don’t know if I’d have waited around either!

It was, understandably, scary for Maya’s family and everyone who loved them, back in November of 2010.  But now, it was time for a fiesta – a celebration of life honoring this beautiful big-eyed rosy-cheeked smarty pants!

She looks a little worried here, but I think she just wanted to get back to the party!

Jacquelyn sent me artwork she liked (purchased off Veer) and I laid out an invitation fit for a fiesta, along with food tags for the dinner and cupcakes!

Invitation lay out by Events by Elisa, featuring artwork from Veer.com

 

I created these gorgeous giant tissue paper marigolds with the help of my incredible assistant Rachael, and Maya’s mom loved them so much that she kept them to hang from Maya’s bedroom ceiling!  Of course I couldn’t have hung them without the help of my “other” assistant, my amazing husband Ryan!  If you like them, you can buy a custom set in my Etsy shop, here!

Tissue flowers by Events by Elisa, available in Elisa's Etsy Shop

Tissue flowers by Events by Elisa, available in Elisa's Etsy Shop

Tissue flowers by Events by Elisa, available in Elisa's Etsy Shop

Something I try to do whenever I’m shopping for a social event is to look everywhere, all the time.  Whenever I’m out and about, shopping for groceries or office supplies or the like, I have a constant list of things I’d like to find in the back of my mind.  I usually find the best – and best value – decorations for social events and inspiration shoots this way!  This party was no exception – I found the lollipops on clearance at Target and the fabulous fabric used for the table runners on sale at Joann’s fabric.  Actually, I should say that my assistant Rachael and my sister Jessica (who were shopping with me) found the fabric.  I just decided we had to have it, and I was right!

It pays to have social event decor on the brain!  I looooove this table runner!

Of course this amazing cupcake display would not nearly have been as beautiful without the artistry of Stevi from Hey There, Cupcake!, who created all the cupcakes you see, as well as the sugar skull smash cake in the center (yes, that’s a cake!!!!).

Cupcakes by Hey There, Cupcake, with custom tags created by Events by Elisa from artwork purchased at Veer.com

Yes, this is a cake, by Hey There, Cupcake!

Maya had never eaten sugar before, so she wasn’t quite sure what to do with her cake, but everyone else enjoyed these gorgeous treats!  She also loved opening her presents –  so she could play with the tissue paper and bags! 🙂

Her mommy thought of every detail – down to the bib she wore for her cake smash.  🙂  This family photo makes me so happy too – aren’t they beautiful?

Maya's adorable Dia De Los Muertos bib, and her family!

Thank you Jacquelyn, Dave, and Maya for letting me be a part of your fiesta!!!  I loved helping to make your day memorable and beautiful!!!!

Maya’s Dia de Los Muertos First Birthday Fiesta 11*13*2012 Details: