Category Archives: Event Planning

18th Birthday – Wizards and Pumpkins

We had so much fun doing the decorations for this 18th birthday party. Check out what we did!
Birthday Notes

Party Type: 18th birthday
Date: October 21st
Time: 4 – 9 pm
Location: Newark, NJ
Theme: Fall and Harry Potter inspired – Witch’s Lair
Invitation:  Cauldron with green contents + fog
Decorations: Black, Gray, and Orange
Food: Pizza, wings, salad (buffet) + Ginger ale
Ideas: Hot Chocolate Bar + Chocolate spoons + fog machine
Guests: Teens + family members, a few small kids. Estimating 45 people
Budget: under $500 (for decorations)
Activity: Pumpkin decorating, wand making
Favors: from activities


8 tables : 6 for guests, 2 for activities



This is the birthday girl’s table. We bought our own table cloth to throw over the black one.













Pumpkin decorating




Wizard Wands







GIFTS (+cake)



Onesie Appliques for a Twin Baby Shower

We decided to do this great activity for a recent twin baby shower this past weekend. It turned out to be a huge hit! The idea was to revamp white hand me down onesies, but we also bought some new ones just in case we ran out.


We supplied our guests with various fabric options backed with Pellon Wonder-Under, thanks to my favorite store ever; Rock Paper Scissors. We also printed out an array of applique patterns. You can check out our Pinterest board for ideas.

Fabric Options

Check out all of the fun designs that our guests created.

First Birthday – Superman Themed Picnic Celebration

(Found this in my drafts. I’m not sure why I never posted it)

It’s a major accomplishment for a first time parent to get through their first year! And sometimes no matter what your attitude is about birthday parties for one year olds, when you become a parent you still feel the need to acknowledge this specific milestone in some way.

For this event, we decided to go small, but still incorporate some of those keys features that make any party fun and memorable. Since all parties are so much more interesting with a theme, we went the Superman route! It actually worked out pretty well considering Man of Steel debuts soon.

Superman Symbol Invitation front/back

Superman Symbol Invitation

As with all of our events, the challenge is to be as cost effective as possible and remain equally creative in the execution. I decided to supply a to do list of things one should consider when planning an event.

Birthday Notes

Party Type: 1yr old birthday
Date: June 8th
Time: 12pm
Location: Brookdale Park in Bloomfield, NJ
Theme: Superman Picnic
Invitation: Superman Symbol using all red, blue, and yellow
Decorations: Balloons; red, blue, and yellow, bubbles
Food: Chicken blt salad sandwich, veggie pasta salad, fruit, veggie chips, bundle, lemonade, water, pear pops
Ideas: Food served in brown paper bags
Guests: Adults and kids of all ages. Estimating 30 people
Budget: under $500
Activity: Bubbles, we’re in a park so there is a play area, bought sidewalk chalk, and beach kit
Favors: superman bandages or stickers

























Behind the Scenes: Planning our Latest Event

I want to take some time to go behind the scenes and walk you through what kind of resources we use when planning our events. I think it is very important for potential clients to understand the ins and outs of how Design Inspirations operates in order to understand why we are a great selection when planning your next event. We always work within our clients’ budget and strive to produce the ultimate experience without going over budget.

Growing a design business has proven to be a bit of a struggle over the pass years. Especially considering all of the websites and television shows that are out there these days. Everyone thinks they’re a designer and they’re always so afraid to enlist help from a professional thinking it’s not within their budget. Hopefully, over time, I can convince you otherwise. Design Inspirations provides many services at various stages of your planning in order to work with our clients’ budget as well as help people realize seeking professional assistance can be helpful. Honestly, it’s very hard to execute an event properly if you are the designer/planner, host/hostess, and even the guest of honor all wrapped in to one. Why not have someone take that pressure off of you so that you can really enjoy your event and your guests.

I had so much fun with this most recent event, because it was an event for me which gave me the opportunity to express my design skills and really show what we’re all about. If you aren’t familiar with some of Design Inspirations events, you can check out some pics from previous events.

From invitations to honeymoons, we plan it ALL!

Planning a Baby Shower

Whale Themed Baby Shower

Baby Balloon Bash

So, in discussing our most recent event, Why have a Baby Shower, when you can have a “Mommy Shower!”, I really wanted to do a run down of how we executed a lot of our designs. At Design Inspirations, it’s very important that we utilize as many resources possible to ensure that we stay on budget and sometimes that may require that we are more hands on in order to achieve the ideal vision.

Let’s start with the invitation, did you know we custom design invitations from scratch? We find that the invitation really sets the mood for your upcoming event. It helps set the mood for your guests. And in some cases, our custom invitations can be less expensive than purchasing mass produced invitations. Our clients usually appreciate that extra added touch.

This particular invitation was designed to look like a doily to reference the upcoming tea party. We actually went through a few ideas before coming to this solution. I enlisted the minds of the ladies at Rock, Paper, Scissors to help me brainstorm this design, and of course, all supplies needed were purchased there. [If you’ve never been there, you really need to check this place out. The staff is wonderful and oh so helpful!] I truly love the way this invitation turned out and would love to replicate it for another event in different colors and other possible adjustments. I think it would be a great idea for a wedding invitation or a little girl’s birthday party.

Then we get into decorations. Sometimes the key to decorating is dependent on the space you are working with. We happened to find this great market in East Hanover, David Alan, that worked perfectly as our tea party backdrop. [Important tip: when selecting a venue, make sure you ask as many questions as possible to ensure that they can accommodate your needs. It’s more important to have a space that fits your needs rather than you have to adjust your vision to fit the space.] Luckily, having our tea party at David Alan fit right into our vision as we really only wanted to serve a light spread of sandwiches and they were perfect for that. Having to bring in our own food would have made things more complicated and in fact cost more. They have so many packages that they can fit almost any budget.

If you go back a few of our blog posts, you will see that a lot of our decorations were handmade by yours truly. We used an assortment of paper lanterns that were bought in white and actually painted ourselves to coordinate with our color scheme. The white flower pom poms were actually bought by my sister who found these Martha Stewart pom-pom kits for a bargain. [Of course, I know how to make these myself, and I must admit it’s a lot easier as a DIY, than buying the kit. But, it’s not a bad option for beginners. I truly enjoyed watching my family members struggle in figuring out how to assemble them.]

Now if you do follow our blog posts, you will note that we had planned on using some custom doily designs that we had made. Unfortunately, those were not used during this event as we could not find the right space for them, however, I did make a cute Mommy Shower banner and we were able to incorporate that one. [Gotta love the coincidence of that yellow door. I wish I could say that was planned, but it’s just a happy accident.]

A few other decorations included a floral centerpiece arranged by my mother using teapots as bases. We actually just went to Whole Foods and picked some fresh cut flowers in the ideal color scheme we wanted. Of course there was a little bickering, but we managed to get through 4 arrangements the day before the event. Making your own arrangements is really not a bad idea, but if you need a hand, we have awesome resources. The little tea cup candle was another DIY project that we executed. Of course, I did cheat a bit by having a local shop do the candle fill part. The rest of the decor at the tables were plastic decorative tableware and carved wooden fans that my lovely sister picked up for me at Pearl River.

When it comes to the food, I think it’s always best to sample the food at the place you’re planning on using. If they don’t have a way to accommodate you, then I would rethink using that space. [Of course, I’m not saying all venues should just offer up free meals, but depending on the circumstance accommodations can be made.] David Alan luckily has a great selection and their food was absolutely delicious! Before turning over a deposit, my mother and I decide to have lunch there first and really enjoyed ourselves.

And then there’s our dessert table. We have to layout to you our selection of desserts and how exciting it was to put together this spread. [Notice our lovely doily runner.] Let’s start with the cakes; those Black & White mini loaves, Ginger Pear mini bundts, and Banana Bread mini loaves are all a courtesy of Cake Seduction. [You know Cake Seduction, that other company that I dabble in 😉] The chocolate brownie cookies were from Sweet Element and I have to tell they were such a hit, especially the coconutty ones. Then, we had these hand decorated sugar cookies from A. Sweet Indulgence decorated all pretty as little doilies. And, of course, some Lorna Doone’s cause who doesn’t love them with tea!

Let’s discuss our little tea area. We provided our guests with three different tea options courtesy of InsaniTea. There was White Tea, Bingo Blueberry, and Cinnamon Sibu. We also had an Iced Green tea that I made with honey, mint, and lime. [Made using InsaniTea’s Sencha green tea.] Along with tea, this table also displayed a Blackberry Crumble pound cake from Cake Seduction as well. Cake Seduction and InsaniTea also had a hand in the construction of our favors also displayed at this table.

Our favors consisted of a Black & White bundle from Cake Seduction. And from InsaniTea, we supplied a sampling of 2 teaspoons of Jasmine with Flowers in a cute little tin where I made custom labels for. The favor boxes also added a cute tea strainer from Pier 1 Imports. Look how cute these brown boxes are with our cute addition of custom paper ribbons and a stamped “Thank You”. All this so our guests could enjoy a cup of tea at home.

As I said before, I truly enjoyed putting this event together and really can’t wait to do more. I hope you received some inspiration of your own, especially if it entails contacting us for your next event. Look out for later post where I go into more detail about why we called this a “Mommy Shower” as opposed to a baby shower and introduce you to my Mommy to Mommy book.

Why have a Baby Shower, when you can have a “Mommy Shower!”

So many baby showers focus on the upcoming baby and the excitement that everyone has for the little one. But, why not take this last opportunity to celebrate the mommy-to-be before it’s no longer about her. Sure the gifts are still for the baby and the topics can still be baby related. But, I absolutely love the idea of spending a few hours focusing on the mom and preparing her for what to expect.

For this event, we decided to do a low key tea party for “Ladies Only”. The whole experience was meant for mommies to share their advice and experiences to help the new mommy prepare.

“Mommy Shower” Tea Party (coming soon)

Check out a little preview of what we have in store for our upcoming tea party this month.



Our doily inspired tea party is on its way at the end of this month and we just can’t wait to share the end result with you! Almost everything you see has been handmade by DI. Of course our tea pot centerpiece will definitely be adorned with fresh flowers the day of the event. And as you may be wondering, our doily coasters didn’t work out so well, so this time around, we decided to make banners instead. We’ll also add some more how-to’s on some of our other creations.


Stay tuned!

Birthday Balloon Bash

Recently I helped plan my niece’s third birthday party with my sister. The outcome was one of the best kids birthday party I’ve ever been to. I would like to say that I did my job as the planner helping to add structure to the event. But, also it is important to note that the service that we at Design Inspirations provide is actually execution.

Our planning comes easy when all we need to do is bring your ideas to life. Yes, we make suggestions and can help steer you in the right direction during those confusing times. But, it’s very important to know that we don’t pressure our clients to go with our ideas if they don’t feel comfortable.

The Inspiration

My sister came to me with the idea of a balloon themed birthday party, which seems pretty basic for a three year old considering all of the options there are out there. But, you just can’t argue with a simple plan when that’s what the birthday girl loves. And believe me she was all over those balloons the day of.

The Invitation

So, after some research and brainstorming, we decided on these fun and simple invitations. It’s very important to know that we work with our clients on the wording and font so possibilities are endless.


We came up with a fun and creative activity to keep the kids busy and interested throughout the three hour span. It was my sister’s idea to provide an assortment of games/activities that the kids could run around and do; from hula hoop, to bowling, to a little play castle, and pin the tail on the donkey. I also came up with the idea of providing reusable place mats that they could color and then take home, clean, and reuse. Those went over very well with the parents and the kids really enjoyed the selection of activities they had to choose from. We even threw in some dancing here and there with a mixture of age appropriate music along with a few popular songs for the adults.





The Cake

While we did try to go the professional route for the cake, there’s nothing like attempting to put your own stamp on something here and there. Now I must admit this isn’t a service we offer to our clients, but we are more than able to recommend a vendor as well as help in the design process. But, how could I turn down helping my one and only big sister given that I do own a cake company. 😉

The idea was her’s, the cake was store bought, and the cake pops were done by yours truly made to mimic balloons of course. Those cake pops were such a huge hit, but please don’t go contacting Cake Seduction for them as they were a one time thing just for this special occasion.

The Favors

Another perfect example of how we execute our client’s ideas; The premise was to offer a surprise candy table that would be unveiled at the end of the party. We had the kids do an arts and crafts “competition” where the kids were instructed to decorate their favor bags and the best bag would win. In the end, they all won! How else could that end at a three year old birthday party?

The candy table not only consisted of an assortment of candy but other fun prizes that the kids and big kids enjoyed. A few parents managed to take home their own favor bags as well.

[This table was destroyed in the end which is just the way we like it.]

If you’re looking to plan your next event, contact us for some fun and exciting ideas. We love turning your inspirations into affordable designs!