Archive for ‘DIY: Do It Yourself’

December 8, 2011

Baby It’s Cold Outside: Warm Up Hot Cocoa Party

Nothing says wintertime fun like hot chocolate! Steaming cocoa fragrant with chocolate and half melted marshmallows is a favorite with children and adults. Why not use this simple treat as an opportunity for holiday socializing? A hot chocolate party is an inexpensive way to host an informal party and share in the joy of the season. Are you newly engaged? Why not have a hot cocoa engagement party, what a warm and cozy way to celebrate with your friends and family.

Table Decor & Cocoa Toppings

Set up a table, with festive cloth and décor for your hot cocoa station and snack bar. You can fill the table with platters of sweet treats to dip into your cocoa. We love the idea of making marshmallows a bit fancy; why not dip them into sprinkles that sparkle? Your guests will be sure to love making their own personalized hot cocoa. Use bowls to offer an array of different toppings or mix-ins to the cocoa.


It is as simple as that! Don’t forget to make your holiday play list and invite your guests. We suggest something as easy as or make it a Facebook event for your friends to RSVP to.

Happy Holidays,

La Vita Bella Events.

October 30, 2011

Our Halloween Cocktail at La Vita Bella Events

Sinister Cider
Serving: Makes 1 cocktail
• Fine black sanding sugar
• 1 lady apple, chopped
• 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
• 1 ounce maple syrup
• 1 ounce apple cider
• 2 ounces vodka
• Ice
• Club soda
• 1 thin crosswise slice lady apple, for garnish
1. Moisten the rim of a martini glass with water. Place sanding sugar in a saucer and dip rim of glass in sanding sugar to coat; set aside.
2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together apple cubes and lime wedges. Add syrup, cider, and vodka; fill with ice. Cover and shake until well combined. Strain into prepared martini glass; top with club soda. Garnish with apple slice and serve.











Credit : The Martha Stewart Show, October 2009

April 16, 2011

Spice Up Your Wedding Favors

As the heat rises, we have summer weddings on our minds, and we are so excited to share our latest inspiration: spicy wedding favors!

We came up with a few sizzling ideas that summer wedding guests are sure to enjoy, and because most of these are DIY projects that brides can make ahead of time, they are also major money saving ideas. Worried about the projects being time consuming? Elicit the help of your bridesmaids and make it a fun “night in” a few weeks before the big day!

Curry paste

Looking for an ethnic twist to the idea of a spicy wedding favor?

Grab your mortar and pestle and get to grinding! Simple Thai curry recipes require very few ingredients and can be whipped up in an afternoon. Attach a recipe to the jar of paste (we love this butternut squash and red curry recipe!) to help guests put their new gift to use.

Chili chocolate

Salted caramels and chili chocolates are currently all the rage in the world of chocolatiers: jump on this trend by giving them to your guests as a thank you. Search online for your local artisan chocolate shop; or better yet, stop into their store for a tasting!

Jalapeno jam

Strawberries come into season around June: put them to good use by creating this delicious jalapeno and strawberry jam. The sweetness of the strawberries works well in contrast with the spicy jalapenos, creating a unique favor your guests are sure to rave about.

Once Wed- Photo credit Steven Myers

Not a fan of super spicy things? Limit the number of jalapenos in the recipe for a jam with a little less kick (or add a few more jalapenos if you’re really brave!). There are also many stores that carry spicy jams that will make a perfect favor for your guests if you do not have the time to make your own.

 Pepper seeds or baby pepper plants

Giving guests packets of flower seeds has grown in popularity over the last few years.

Giving guests packets of flower seeds has grown in popularity over the last few years. We suggest a spin on this popular gift: give guests a packet of spicy pepper seeds instead of the typical flower seeds, or give a small seedlings that they can take home to plant. Guests will think of you and your wedding in the late summer when their peppers begin to ripen!


Try making your own salsa (which is SO simple to do!) and buy basic jars to seal them in. Finish off the treats with a personalized label: there are plenty of kits on the market (and free downloads on the internet), or you can create your own using a program on Martha Stewart’s website. We like this simple canned salsa recipe from Pick Your Own: they even break down the cost of canning ($0.95 per jar—including the cost of the jar itself—if you grow your own tomatoes, and slightly more if you purchase them. Not bad!)

Spice rub

Another fun and incredibly simple spicy wedding favor is an all-purpose spice rub.

Martha Stewart

A simple recipe of salt, brown sugar, paprika, oregano and thyme make a delicious addition to any grilled chicken or vegetables, and making the favor is a snap: simply combine the ingredients and store in a tin or small spice jar, and finish it off with a DIY label.

Spicy BBQ sauce

From The Stone Soup

Guests will most certainly enjoy a bottle of homemade barbecue sauce: for brides who have not made it before, believe it or not, the majority of recipes call for a few very simple ingredients: ketchup, chilies, brown sugar, paprika and onions. We love this recipe from The Stone Soup: unlike many other BBQ sauce recipes, she also teaches you how to sterilize your jars so that the sauce will last for months, and has an instructional video on the process.

For the Saucy Couple!

Spicy pickles

Emerils Pickles

Pickles are the perfect topping for burgers grilled at upcoming summer barbecues (and a delicious treat on their own!). Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for spicy pickles on the Food Network has received rave reviews from amateur cooks.

As we have said before, the wedding favor is a chance to thank your guests for their love, their support as friends or family, and their dedication to the two of you as a married couple. In essence, it is a chance to say “thank you” to some very important people, for some very important reasons! But just because the symbolism of the wedding favor is serious does not mean that wedding favors cannot be fun. We encourage our brides to find a gift that is creative, reflective of the couple, and above all, something that the guests will actually use. Have fun spicing up your wedding with our suggestions!

April 11, 2011

Repurposing Items: DIY Vintage Green Projects

We love the idea of incorporating rustic and vintage looks into a wedding: a touch of “something old” here or there adds a lot of charm to your big day… and if the project is refurbishing gently used items, then costs will certainly stay down! We came up with a few fun, inventive projects to inspire our future brides.

Antique tea cups and saucers as table settings and wedding favors

A fun, quirky idea for a table setting is to use old, mismatched teacups and saucers. We love the idea of a table set with these beautiful pieces, which can be picked up for a few dollars at any antique store. They can also be used as a party favor for each guest by pouring wax into each tea cup as a unique candle gift.

Boutonnieres from old books

Image from Van Horn Visuals Photography

Instead of the traditional boutonniere with cut flowers, use paper from old books (you can pick one up at a thrift store for pennies!), making the project both cost-saving and eco-friendly.

Burlap and lace ring bearer pillow

Grace Antiques at Etsy

Any old pillow can be recovered with burlap and then finished off with lace for this fun, country-inspired ring bearer pillow. It is a perfect touch for a summer wedding with a country feel! Not a crafty bride? Grace Art and Antiques from sells beautiful ring bearer pillows made from burlap and lace.

Mason jars

Image Courtesy of Moureen Lunn

Mason jars add a touch of home and comfort to any event, and can be purchased very cheap. Fill them with fresh stems or tea lights, then hang them from eaves or sprinkle them throughout the wedding and reception sites for little country touches here and there. After the wedding, use the jars for canning homemade treats, or stock up on them in your kitchen and channel your inner Southerner with some sweet tea!

Lanterns By Treasure Again


Instead of a table runner, use moss to decorate your tables for a romantic feel. Purchase the moss yourself and then sell it to a party store after your big event, or save it for future soirees that channel the feelings of romance and the outdoors. We love this one from Bragging Bags on Etsy.

Bragging Bags from Etsy

Moss can also be used as an alternative for the traditional ring bearer pillow, incorporated into boutonnieres, corsages and bouquets, or as centerpieces or wedding favors, like with this fun DIY project from Project Wedding.

From Poject Wedding

Old bottles: painted for a fresh touch of color

From Dianne Zweig "The Kitchy Collector"

Style Me Pretty-Sedona Bride Photographers

Collect old bottles from flea markets and thrift stores to use as table décor: a simple stem in each is an adorable addition to any table.

Photo By Carly Taylor

For added color, mix 1 cup of water with 4 cups of paint and dip the bottom of the bottles into the mixture: after they dry, use a wet cloth to remove paint and make designs in the bottles (since you added water to the paint, it will come right off with a wet cloth).

Potted plants as decorations and parting gifts

Who says you always have to use cut flowers for your wedding decor? Wine barrels that are cut in half make great planters: set one on either side of your archway for an eco-friendly ceremony decoration and fill them with flowers and ivy.

Use potted plants to decorate the aisles and the tables as well: guests can take them home as favors and enjoy their beauty throughout the year!

Image courtesy of

We hope that these ideas inspire our brides to add some creative, homemade touches to their weddings. Best of luck and congratulations to each of our couples who are planning their upcoming spring and summer nuptials!