A Birthday Dinner Party

My friend was visiting from Cambodia last week and we had a little impromptu birthday dinner party for her at home.  Unusually for me, it was a bit of a last minute scramble to pull together a festive table, but I managed to create something fun (nothing like a challenge).

I had these empty Bulleit bottles sitting in my party cupboard, so I filled them with pretty pink roses and scattered them down the table.  Then I found these old school ribbon streamers in my party box, which I added to my table centrepiece too. I finished off the table with my Kitchen Papers placemats (bought from The Super Cool) and a couple of beautiful Bumble beeswax tapers.

To add a little more festivity to the dining room, I created a little wall feature out of the streamers too.  I made this delicious chicken tagine with cous cous and served an amazing birthday cake from Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio.  It was an intimate and lovely celebration.

Image above: A festive dinner table

Image above: My go-to table placemats by Kitchen Papers. 

Image above: Old school ribbon streamers.

Image above: Roses and candelight on my festive dinner table.

Thanks for popping by,

Ten Tips for Planning a Hens Party

Planning a hens or bachelorette party (for my US friends) can be lots of fun.  It’s like any party you plan and host.  You should have an idea of the theme, budget, venue, date and guests to invite.  You can then slowly build up from here with invitations, party decorations, party favours and entertainment etc.  I’ve put together some quick tips on how to create a fun and inviting hens party for your bride-to-be. Check them out.

My Top 10 Tips for Planning a Fun Hens Party

  1. Talk to the bride-to-be about what sort of occasion she’d prefer and the list of friends and family she would like to invite.
  2. Get your initial ideas from the bride-to-be and then go off and plan the day/weekend without her.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed then ask one or two friends to help you out.
  3. Talk to all of the ladies on the guest list.  Find out if they have any fun ideas to contribute or perhaps they may have a funny story or experience that could be shared.
  4. Talk to the groom about the party. He may recommend a few fun ideas for the night.
  5. Be conscious of the expense of your celebration.  Weddings can be expensive affairs and the hens party is usually one of the many wedding activities planned.
  6. Now that you have the party planning basics covered (theme, venue, date, etc.)  you should start organising – pronto!  The earlier you start planning, the more prepared you’ll be for the party.
  7. Send out invitations ASAP, so people can work around their social calendars and wedding travel plans.  Email invitations (eInvites) are quite popular and convenient. Why not create an eInvite via Paperless Post or the Red Stamp app?  Paperless Post has many beautiful invitations. You can also manage your RSVPs online – which is convenient.  The Red Stamp app lets you send invites via your smart phone.
  8. As the party host, you should ensure that all of your guests feel comfortable and included.  Perhaps save your rowdy hens games until after Aunt Mildred has left.  No offence to Aunt Mildred, she may be up for a bit of cheeky fun, but best find this out beforehand.
  9. Get creative with your party favours. DIY favours can be inexpensive and fun e.g., fill personalised bottles with your favourite cocktail or bubble bath, print your own hens party bags or hand out recovery kits filled with water, aspirin, mints etc.
  10. Thank everyone for coming and joining in the celebration whether it’s with a party favour, thank you card or note.  Again, you might find thank you cards sent via email to be most convenient.

I hope that’s helped you plan your hens party and that you have an awesome celebration with your bride-to-be.

Ciao for now,

Cocktail Hour: Floral Ice Cubes

I found a pack of beautiful edible flowers at my local markets on the weekend.  My first thought was to use them as a dessert garnish, but then I remembered seeing a photograph of these beautiful flowers frozen in ice cubes. So I decided to make a tray of them for my cocktail hour series.  They look really pretty don’t you think?

 

Tip: My only word of advice is to use small edible flowers or split large ones so there’s plenty of area for the water to freeze into ice.

Till we meet again…

DIY Bachelorette Party Bag

I’m about to attend a destination bachelorette weekend in the States next month.   I’ve put my hand up to help out with some of the arrangements as the bridal party are all very busy with wedding plans.  I’ve been working on these cute little DIY bachelorette party bags.  The bride-to-be is quite sporty and loves the outdoors (skiing and cycling), so I think these bags will be to her liking.  I’m going to fill them with some fun (party mask, sparklers, tattoos etc,), and practical items (water bottle, aspirin, mints etc.).

The bags are very easy to make.  I purchased the cotton bags from Blank Clothing.  After visiting my favourite online marketplace, Etsy, I bought the little bicycle image from this designer here.  I’m going to print this design straight onto these iron on transfers – et voila!

A few quick tips when you use iron on transfers.

  • Make sure you choose the correct type of transfer.  There’s a wide range out there.  The Epson transfers are especially for ink jet printing on cotton material.
  • Make sure your iron is dry.
  • Place something firm underneath your cotton bag to form a hard surface.  This will keep the material smooth.
  • If you find the transfer sticking, let it cool a little before you start to peel it away the wax paper.

Now all I need to do is fill them with a few practical and fun, cheeky products for the big party.

Oh and here’s a sneaky peak at some mason jars that I am having personalised for the bachelorette party too.  I can’t wait to see what they look like when I get to California.

 

The mason jar glasses are designed by this fabulous team in California.

 

Ciao for now

Madame Bonbon: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, friend!  I hope you enjoyed a wonderful festive season wherever you are in the world.

In case you didn’t know, I have been on an extended blogger vacation for a few months.  I have now returned to blogger world after an incredibly refreshing and busy break.  My world has been full of home designs (we’re renovating our little city apartment), corporate events, weddings, parties, oh and quick trip to the UK over the festive season (sigh). I’ve created a few fun events and now I want to share my little projects with you.

In the meantime, here are a few shots from my life over the past few months.

 
Image above:  We had a magical Christmas in the UK. We also stopped over
in Dubai for the weekend. What an amazing city to visit. We’ll be back.

 

 
Image above: A few party craft projects that I am going to share with you later.
 
 
Image above: I made a few new delicious cocktails over the break.
 
 
Image: Valentine’s Day party crafts from a fun Valentine’s Day party
that I decorated recently.

 

Thanks for popping by mon amie,

Bathroom Update Chez Bonbon

I’m officially on blog vacation but I have so much to share!  First up is our recent ensuite bathroom renovation. We gutted our entire ensuite bathroom and redesigned a more modern and fresh space. I had a lot of fun designing the space and choosing all of the  fancy appliances and features.  We hired Pepper Constructions to then come and fit it out – which they did wonderfully.  I thought I’d bravely share our BEFORE + AFTER shots.

Image above:  I bought these amazing tiles from Jatana Interiors (near Byron Bay, NSW) and designed the space around them.  They are fabulous aren’t they?

Image above: For five weeks I trailed through lighting stores, bathroom stores and hardware stores like a trooper ;-)

Image above: The BEFORE shot – urgh! Your typical late 90s city apartment bathroom.

Image above: Et Voila! (Click on the image for a closer look.)

I wanted the bathroom to feel organically modern with lots of bouncing light, green plants, pure white wall tiles and a fabulous feature floor tile.  For the accessories; we chose a floating vanity, mirror cabinet, modern wall lights, heated flooring, heated towel rail, double shower heads, recess, overheight toilet and starfire glass for the shower walls.  I just love it all!  Here are some of the vendors who we used for the reno.

Builders: Pepper Constructions

Bathroom Accessories: Reece  Moonee Ponds (ask for Renee)

Tiles: Jatana Interiors (yes, they ship their tiles around the country)

Kyoto Wall lights: ECC Lighting & Furniture

Phew! So the ensuite is done and next up is the kitchen renovation. I’ll share a few photos of the new look once it’s all done.  In the meantime, I better get going as I have a Halloween party to plan!  Eeek!

Thanks for popping by.

 

Madame Bonbon is on Blog Vacation!

 

3 Tips for Decorating Your Party Room

I am constantly asked for ideas to dress up party tables at home or in restaurants. If you’re not going with a theme and simply want to add some stylish party decor to your space, then here are my three simple tips for decorating your party room.

1. Add colour to you room for an instant festive touch.

Balloons –  You don’t have to fill the ceiling with coloured balloons (though this is fun), instead add a few giant (90cm) balloons to the party room. Get creative with your ribbons and attach thick silk ribbon to each balloons.

Bunting - You can make your own DIY bunting with scrapbook paper or fabric. If you’re challenged for time and talent ;-) then pop online and pick up a stylish bunting from stores like Good Will Bunting [Etsy] or from one of the stores on Australia’s version of Etsy -Madeit.com.au.

Flowers –  You don’t need to be a florist to set a table with a few beautiful jars or bottles filled with fresh, in-season flowers. Or you could fill a vase with fresh herbs and greens.  Check out the image below of a living centrepiece. Take a large glass bowl and line the base with a little florist foam. Fill it with fresh fruit, herbs, leaves and succulents to create a unique centrepiece. I love it!

Image via A Place for Twigs – Geronimo Balloons company

Image via Ruffled 

Image via Pinterest: Fabulous living centrepieces in glass bowls.

2. Personalise your party tables

A fun way to personalise your birthday party tables is to add memorable photos.  Place a few photographs inside glass jars, tall vases or bottles. It’s a unique way to honour the birthday girl or boy.

Image via Style me Pretty

Image via Country Living

3. Lights, Camera, Action!

Lighting is often overlooked in a party room, but it often sets the ambience for the whole party.  A dimmer is the perfect option for a party room.  If you find yourself with harsh overhead lighting, turn the light off and opt for candles and tealights in glass jars around the room. You’ll create a much more intimate atmosphere.

Image via Remain Simple 

Image via design*sponge

Good luck with your party decorating and let me know if you need any inspiration or more tips.  You can email me at enquiries[at]madamebonbon[dot]com[dot]au.

 

Ciao ciao!

 

Madame Bonbon’s Garden Party – Final

This is the final post of our fun garden party held at Gardens House in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.  I had so much fun planning this event and I’m not ashamed to say that I started this project about eight months ago.  I put a lot of thought into every detail and at times needed to source products from specialised people. The event was a huge success and I know that Monsieur Bonbon and I will always think of Gardens House and our friends whenever we walk by this beautiful part of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.

So here are the final party details.

Images above: I had a birthday cake created by my favourite cake designer, Fiona at Too Cute Cakes. It was a rich chocolate mud cake layered with fresh strawberries.  The cake topper was custom made and the beautiful beeswax candles were made especially for me by Bumble. Rather than serve the cake at lunch, I arranged to have the cake cut and placed into small boxes for our guests to take home.  

Image above: I love sparklers at all of my parties and so I placed a bundle wrapped in tags that read, “When the cake lights up, you know what to do”.  Just a bit of fun really.  

Image above: We themed the party favours in the botanical theme with these handy notebooks and pencils by Field Notes. The favours were wrapped in kraft envelopes and a belly band of Rifle Paper Co wrapping paper.

Image above: Tea light covers of Gardens House.  I simply edited an image of Gardens House in Lightroom and them printed them on plain paper. 

Image above: Pesonalised cocktail napkins handstamped [by my wonderful maman]. I had the stamp custom made with the image of Gardens House.

Image above: I created these cute cocktail stirrers for the party. 

So there you have it, the rest of my garden party details. I hope you’ve enjoyed a sneaky peak into the event.  Here are the supplier details in case you are interested in any of the products.

Supplier contacts (online + Melbourne, Australia)

Two-tiered ruffle birthday cake: by Fiona at Too Cute Cakes 
Menus:printed on botanical prints via Etsy store – EarlyBirdSale
Paper rose place cards: via Etsy store based in UK – Elinor Rose Vintage Stationery
Terrariums: hired via Bosky
Flower arrangements: via Jaclyn Roma
Party favours: Field Notes pads and pencils via Notemaker
Venue: Gardens House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne (Event Mgr: Lauren Wilson)
Georgian House Stamp: by Etsy store based in USA – Brown Pidgeon
Beeswax Birthday Candles: a gift from Bumble Bee candles (thank you so much, Mel + Mark)
Chin Chin cocktail stirrers: online store based in USA – For Your Party
Cake topper: Etsy online store base in USA – First Snow

If you’re interested in creating your own garden party, take a look at my Pinterest board for inspiring ideas.  I’d love to hear all about your party plans.  You can email me at meegan[at]madamebonbon[dot]com[dot]au.

Tips on creating your garden party.

At home…

  1. You don’t need a fancy guest house to host the party. If you have a lovely garden why not host the party in your own backyard. Choose your space carefully when laying out positions for your food tables, drinks (bar), bathroom access etc.
  2. Have a wet weather contingency plan, especially if the forecast shows the possibility of rain.
  3. Styling your party is easy – go with a botanical or floral theme and source all of your decor according to the theme.  Try to work your party details and space within your garden highlights.
  4. Decide on the type of catering you want to offer guests. Hire a caterer to take the stress of cooking for the masses or go for stylish buffet.
  5. Build a self service bar and provide a signature cocktail to begin the party. Serve wine and champagne from large silver buckets. You can hire bar tops from party hire companies for around $150 or build your own using crates or even an old dresser.
  6. Create a zone for fun garden games like bocce, croquet and horseshoes etc.

At a venue…

If you’re hosting your garden party at a venue here are some options to keep in mind.

  1. When confirming your menu with the venue think about offering shared plates for entrees and wandering desserts.  Not only may this prove cost effective, but you’ll allow your guests to mingle more during the party.
  2. To save on costs, you could offer a cake or sweets table and serve these as dessert; again allowing guests to walk to the buffet and either mingle or sit down.
  3. Check on music restrictions if you are hiring musicians.  Also, check whether they have a sound system that you could plug in your iPhone or iPod.
  4. When planning the seating plan, make sure you mix your introvert and  your extravert personalities to balance up the table conversation.
  5. If you’re hosting the party outdoors, provide for your guests comfort.  In cooler months offer basket full of blankets or wraps.  In warmer months offer hand fans or flip flops/thongs and insect repellent.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my very special garden party.  Next up on the event calendar is a 1920s Prohibition Party, an iPad App launch and a Princess Tea Party.  No rest for the wicked ;-)

Until we meet again…

Madame Bonbon’s Garden Party – Part 2

So continuing on from my first article on our birthday garden party, I’ve posted a few more images from the day. (Click HERE to visit the first post of this series.)

After arrival cocktails on the front lawn, guests moved to the private dining room of Gardens House for a semi-formal luncheon, where a delicious three-course menu was prepared by Peter Rowland Catering.  Our entree was a tasting plate of Spanish tapas.  The main course was a choice of chicken or beef and we were served a wandering dessert to complete the meal.  [I quite like the idea of a wandering dessert even for a semi/formal dinner.  It allows guests to mingle and enjoy a variety of desserts. Quite simply, after the main course is cleared, guests can get up from their seat and move around or outside the dining room. Waiting staff then wander about offering trays of delicious dessert bites. We had five desserts to choose from and they were all moreish.]

The menus were created by me.  I purchased a set of 1980s botanical 9″ x 12″ book plate flower prints [by Pierre Redoute (1759-1840) whose patron was Empress Josephine of France]. I personalised the catering menu and had this printed on the back of the botanical prints by my local printers. I loved the result.

Image above: Le Menu

We invited our friends and their families to come celebrate with us at Gardens House.  We catered for the children in a downstairs dining and lounge room and they were expertly entertained by two childcare teachers from my daughter’s daycare centre.  The teachers are qualified professional childcarers and well known to my daughter (Mlle Belle) and some of her friends.

As soon as the guests arrived the children were off with the teachers playing games on the front lawn. They later came inside to have their own lunch (party) in the downstairs dining room.  Parents were able to easily run downstairs to check on the children however, this wasn’t really needed.  According to Mlle Belle, the children had a wonderful party!  She especially enjoyed the DIY ice cream sundae dessert. [Ice cream was served and the children decorated their sundaes with their favourite topping and sweets]. The parents were able to relax and as you will see from the photos below, mingle and stroll around the house and gardens at their leisure.

Images above: The kids only party room.

Image above: Looking down at the back lawn of Gardens House, situated in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.

Image above: A wonky view of the back verandah of Gardens House.

Image above: Our very talented one-man band.

Image above: Our friends, Grant and Tammy improvised a special birthday blues song for M. Bonbon and me – spoilt!

I have a few more photos of the amazing birthday cake and themed party favours and I’ll include a detailed suppliers listing for my Melbourne readers.

Note: Most of the photos in this post were captured by guests at our party.  I used the “WeddingParty” app so guests could capture the party on their smartphones and upload to the app for us to later share and reminisce.  I loved the app. It’s so easy to use and beautifully designed.  You should check it out – it’s free.  I’ll write more about it soon. I have suggested to the creators at Wedding Party App that a party app would be wonderful for birthdays, farewell parties, baby showers, anniversaries etc, too.;-)

Thanks for popping by,

 

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