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Brilliant Bash: Vibrant Bat Mitzvah July 5, 2011

And we’re back!

Well, the move from Toronto to St. John’s is still in progress, but I’m finally settled in enough to start the blog up again.  And this is a lovely event to help me kick off the summer party season.

Event planner Angela Zaltsman and event stylist (owner of Hazlitt Vintage Rentals) Selena Hazlitt sent along the details of this fabulous bat mitzvah that took place just a few weeks ago in Toronto.  This event is stylish, creative and inviting – what more could you ask for?

Welcome to the party!


Vibrant Table Settings

Gorgeous Spring Flowers

Candy Bar

Sweet Sweets

Pretty Pink Cupcakes

Stylish Refreshments (Straws from Brilliant Bash)

Marley’s family wanted to host her Bat Mitzvah somewhere unique and memorable, so they selected their very own backyard.  Inspired by Martha Stewart’s creativity, the team designed a fun, chic outdoor luncheon for 140 friends and family. 

A few notes from Angela and Selena on the bash:

A custom-built barn board directional sign greeted guests and welcomed them into the home. Hot pink and white balloons filled the front yard.

Touches of vintage decor set the relaxed, casual tone.   Clear vintage canning jars were used for the flower arrangements of Festivus Maximus peony blooms and table numbers.  More than 85 jars were over-flowing with peony blooms scattered throughout the tables. 

Place cards were attached to small jars of homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam for guest favours.  The jam, from a local farm, was homemade and fabulous.  The place cards were displayed on a pine harvest table stacked with wood soda crates and wicker picnic baskets. 

Guests were treated to signature drinks of lemonade from the “ol’ fashioned lemonade stand.”  The lemonade stand featured a custom sign with Marley’s name on it, a soda case for serving drinks and galvanized tubs for holding ice and wine.

White tents with white floors and linens looked crisp while gorgeous magenta table cloths brought the tent to life.  Marley’s Aunt Paula and mother pulled together a fabulous array of candy that was presented to guests.  There were line-ups to fill their magenta polka dot bags with goodies! 

All in all, the party was the talk of the neighbourhood!

Bash Location-  Backyard of Family Home in Toronto
Bash Planner – A to Z Event Management
Caterer- Encore
Decor Sources- Hazlitt Vintage Rental, Balloon Boutique and Brilliant Bash
Flower Sources – Lilium
Photographer – Hudson Taylor
Videographer – Redstone
Rentals – AdvancedExclusive  and Around The Table
Cupcakes – Short and Sweet
Entertainment – Mysterion
DJ – Magen Boys Entertainment
Gardens and Planters – Josh Martin


Brilliant Bash: Game Night February 6, 2011

Last night, we hosted a Game Night for a small group of friends.  I had so much fun planning this one, as I didn’t get too crazy with the details.  For decor inspiration, I looked to one of my favourite entertaining books, InStyle Parties, which has a great section on game nights.

Game Night!

Stack 'o' Games

Cozy Times

The colour scheme was red, black and white, with a black and white polka dot motif throughout (inspired by dice).  My husband’s grandmother gave us a beautiful vase from Pottery Barn for our wedding that has a small vase within the vase, which allowed me to jazz up the flowers while incorporating the party theme.  I placed dice and domino tiles inside the outer vase, while flowers and water were inside the inner vase.  Strategic placing of Scrabble tiles, playing cards, poker chips, and black and white polka dot cupcake wrappers helped to pull the theme together throughout the room, without creating too much work.

Poker Pedestal

Fun & Prizes

We wanted a casual, laid-back atmosphere, so I didn’t go so far as to include any hot items on the menu.  Most of the food was purchased from a grocery store, with the exception of the gluten-free domino brownies that I baked and decorated.  I also decorated the chocolate-stuffed shortbreads with red cookie icing in order to tie in the game theme.

Tasty Delights

Queen of Candies

Treat Tower

Cookie Close-up

Chips & Dips

Doughnut Tower

Poker Chips & Polka Dots

From the Top


Domino Brownies


More Brownie Action


Cheese Please


Even the vases are in on the game action


Treat Table

My husband created a cocktail menu with a die next to each beverage listing.  Guests rolled the die to determine which cocktail he would create next.  Very cute idea.  He also mixed a hot drink of apple cider and Pimm’s Winter, garnished with a dried apple slice.  As a non-alcoholic alternative, we offered milk in cute little milk jugs with black and white polka dot straws.  Yum!


Polka Dot Milk

Fun Times!

Game Night was not a lot of work to design, but was so much fun to plan and participate in.  It’s also seasonally appropriate, as the weather in Toronto is brutally cold and snowy right now, so it’s a great time to cozy up by the fire and enjoy a few cocktails and boardgames with friends.  Hot toddy, anyone?

Photos by Brilliant Bash

Return to Brilliant Bash or visit the boutique.


The Latest: Fancy Paper Straws November 7, 2010

Fancy straws seem to be sweeping the entertaining world at a surprising pace.  What is making patterned paper straws gain popularity so quickly?  It may be their low cost for high impact, their propensity for colour coordination, their eco-friendly attributes, or their fun, retro vibe – or all of the above.

A fun way to serve milk

Fun and Vibrant

I haven’t yet seen these biodegradable, compostable lovelies featured at an event here in Toronto (aside from my summer picnic party this year), but hope they will gain favour with Canadian event planners and stylish hosts and hostesses soon.  The U.S. and Australia are at the forefront of all of the hottest entertaining trends, including the paper straw phenomenon.  Even the usually trendy U.K. is far behind these two countries when it comes to party decor and refreshments.

A snapshot from my picnic party

While I used mason jars at my picnic party, the most common format in which to see these fancy paper straws is in miniature milk jugs.  So cute but so hard to find.  I’m planning to host a Milk & Cookies Bash just before the holidays, and could not find these cute glass bottles anywhere.  A friend from Home Confetti (a blog that focuses on entertaining at home) suggested that I purchase bottled frappuccinos from Starbucks.  This turned out to be a fabulous suggestion and the bottles are adorable!  Have a look…

Pretty Little Glass Jug via Starbucks

And this past summer, Project Wedding featured a wedding that had a fabulous old-fashioned soda bar, complete with retro stripey straws.  Love it.

Old-Fashioned Soda Bar

As with any trend, the paper straws began with one signature look and then moved on to many more iterations.  They began with red stripes, then quickly moved on to include other colours, and are now even featuring polka dots.  I hear that other patterns, such as hearts and stars, will be available in the New Year.  Can’t wait!

Pink Polka - A Variation on the Trend

Striking Black Polka Dot Straws

If you are in Canada or the U.S., you can find stripey and polka dot straws in the Brilliant Bash online boutique.  If you’re in Australia, you can find the stripey straws at Jack and Lulu.  Sip it up!

Photos Courtesy of Bridal Survival, Mon Tresor, Brilliant Bash, and Project Wedding.

Return to Brilliant Bash or visit the boutique.