Maybe you know this already, but planning a party (a surprise party, nonetheless) is a lot of work. And I mean A LOT of work!! I've planned parties before- we host parties and events at the stores regularly throughout the year- but there's something about planning a party for a personal cause that is nothing like planning parties at the store!

I guess I should tell you why I was planning a party in the first place. As most of you know, my mother was involved in an accident on her farm last December. She spent 6 nerve-racking weeks at The MED where she went into cardiac arrest, underwent 2 major surgeries, received more than 26 pints of blood, and then finally came home. It was a stressful, eye-opening experience to say the least. After all of that I knew that 2012 was going to be our  year (it had to be!!), and I knew I had to celebrate her upcoming 60th birthday in a big way. Not only was she here to actually celebrate her 60th birthday with us, she had made an surprisingly quick recovery and was pretty much back to her workaholic self. (Hmm...maybe that's where I get it from?!)

The ChefMom's favorite chef (and son of our good friend) came to cater the entire night. I can't even describe how delicious everything was! Not one of the 50 people there left hungry!

Drink ListBrent and my dad may have gotten a bit carried away with the drink selections :)

Pulling a surprise on my mom is not easy, especially when you see and talk to her everyday. My dad, my husband Brent, and countless others came together to help me pull it off  and I'm happy to say she never suspected a thing, even when we flew her best friend in from California for the big weekend!

Centerpieces The centerpieces turned out beautiful! The colored lanterns are from Bella Vita and Holliday Flowers in Germantown filled them with florals.

Party Favor DisplayThe party favors for the night. Having a big display of the plants really added a lot of life and color to my living room- the main gathering place for everyone who attended.

Sunroom Eating Area

Outside TablesI set up small conversation areas throughout the main living space and back patio. Even though everyone walked around and mingled, it was nice to have areas to sit and chat here and there. Holliday's even left me some loose cut flowers so I could add them around the house as needed. They were perfect for the mason jars.

Despite all of the work involved, I had such a great time selecting the color scheme. I wanted something bright and funky to match mom's personality. And given the darkness and gloom we had just been through, it seemed only fitting. This was more a "celebration of life" than it was a 60th birthday party, so I stayed away from traditional 60th birthday themes and decor. The only truly birthday themed accessory I used was her birthday hat- a burlap party had with a big "60" monogrammed in the center. She's not usually one to enjoy silly props and lots of attention, but she gladly pranced around in her hat all night! It was so fun to see!!

Mom, Dad, and IThe guest of honor! Dad and I were lucky enough to get a quick shot with mom. She was a popular lady chatting and laughing all night long!!

Next time you have the chance to do something fun and out of the ordinary for someone you love- do it!! It's lots of work but totally worth it. You never know when (or if) the chance will come again.

If I could offer you one piece of advice though...don't wait until the last minute to get your butt in gear!!

- Stephanie

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Jun 18 2012

Dish Out the Savings

15% Off Casafina Dinnerware

Take the time now to get your tabletop collection in tip top shape before the busy (and not to mention expensive!) back to school and holiday seasons start up!

We'll help you out and give you 15% off your entire Casafina purchase, including special orders. Any pattern, any piece, 15% off. Online orders use discount code CASA at checkout.

Start Shopping Casafina

Offer is valid Tuesday, June 19- Saturday, June 23, 2012. Cannot be combined with any other offer, including free shipping.

- The Girls at Bella Vita

Posted by Stephanie Singley | Permalink

Jun 13 2012

The Little Things

Sometimes it's the little things that make life worth living. A little smile, a bite of chocolate... so many of the smallest details can add so much to the routine of every day. Perhaps one of the most rewarding of these things is the ability to organize all of the little things in your life, and in your home. The days of plastic canisters are over, though. Welcome to a world where presentation is everything-- even for the minor details.

Our glass jar trios make the perfect rustic catch-all for everything from party utensils to bathroom necessities. It's the perfect way to bring a touch of easy style to even the smallest items in your world, and we love the rustic look that the vintage jars bring to any space. In the spirit of making your life as easy as possible, we've compiled a few of our favorite ways to use these little guys, making the most of their abilities to keep you organized and put together.

Fresh flowers

Flower Display

For a simple touch of style, try displaying a small bundle of fresh flowers in each of the three jars. You'll love the delicate beauty that they add to your space, and the way that they instantly brighten a room. We love the idea of combining combinations of brightly colored blooms for the summer season!

Cutlery Display

For all of your outdoor entertaining, you'll need a classy way to present the often forgotten eating accessories. Why not keep the dinnerware organized by separating forks, spoons and knives into each glass jar? What a simple way to keep things stylish and put together-- right down to the smallest details!

Toiletry Necessities

There's no need to crowd the countertop with unattractive storage containers. Keep your bathroom utensils in check by placing toothbrushes, q-tips and cotton balls in each of the rustic glass jars. Not only will you have easy access to your most necessary objects, but they'll look great as a rustic decorative accent. We think this would be a great place for storing makeup brushes, too.

Just because the living's easy during summertime does not mean it's appropriate to slack when it comes to the little things in life. Keep the smallest details in check stylishly, and you'll have even more time to relax!

-The Girls at Bella Vita

Shop glass jar trios on our website.

Related posts:

Throw and Go

Precious Metal

DIY-Spring Centerpiece

Posted by Stephanie Singley | Permalink


Hi, my name is Stephanie. Like you, I love all things beautiful. The word. The life. The way it makes your soul feel warm and cozy. So curl up with the Girls at Bella Vita as we share our lives with you- our families and friends, our inspirations and ideas, our homes and nests- quite simply, our take on creating a beautiful life.
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