Party DIY: Bloom, baby, bloom

We may not have the four seasons in our country but for me, Spring came in the form of a baby shower in honor of such gracious parents-to-be, Colleen and Gary Viray.


Catalina Gabrielle, the precious baby that the couple is expecting in a month, deserves only the prettiest details for her first-ever social celebration. Coordinating with Mommy Colleen was very easy. She was clear on wanting pink but was open to ideas on the execution of a dainty and feminine party theme.


What can be more girly than flowers? Flowers in various shades of soft pink! For this party, I made door monograms with faux flowers (that can easily be removed so the letters can be re-used and styled according to need), custom stationery with water-colored flowers for the tables, and water-colored sign-up canvasses for guests.


My good friend Carlo Valderrama helped me mount the photo lounge with a floral frame and birdcages, a medley of flower garlands and paper lanterns for ceiling décor, and the simplest but most chic flower fringe backdrop shared for use of With A Flourish’s dessert buffet. Carlo is my angel. He has assisted me in most of my styling gigs and because he gets my design aesthetic, work is faster and more fun!




Putting together party accessories and landscapes for family and dear friends’ special moments gives me so much joy. Thinking about the smallest details and making sure that the hosts get to take home party memorabilias to remind them of the special day is one that I do not mind poring over. It is such a blessing, too, that the families I have styled parties for are very considerate and extended helping hands. Their commendations and words of praise are truly encouraging. Who knows, I might just really consider this as an income generating endeavor.



Baby Catalina Gabrielle, may you grow up to be exactly as your name suggests and more. I pray that your life will be an expression of God’s messages for all those who surround you. We’re very excited to meet you, Tali!

Photos by Carlo Valderrama, Colleen Carlos-Viray, and Gary Viray

Dessert buffet table set-up by With a flourish by Sarah Bautista-Abano


Party DIY: The Promise of Metamorphosis

What excites me most about crafting for parties and events is the challenge of coming up with something fresh —something that’s not completely ripped off from Pinterest and Tumblr but come up with end products that are totally social-media-post-worthy. I think about themes and motifs for days and choreograph the dance of found objects and art materials in my head and later on with my hands.

For Elijah’s first birthday, Lala had the brilliant idea of having “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” as the party theme. I was familiar with the story and had done movement exercises for it for my beginners’ ballet classes. Transposing the famous story into visual and tactile magic was something I could not pass up.

Lala and I met several times to discuss the most feasible and economical way of DIY-ing the décor for Elijah’s party. Hiring a party stylist can cost an arm and a leg these days. Using good old art materials and basic skills can save you a LOT of money.


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We used materials that are readily available in the market such as Japanese paper, crepe paper, straw string, barbecue sticks, Styrofoam, and yarn. We made tissue paper pompoms, crepe paper table skirts, and yarn pompom caterpillars. The caterpillars were such a hit that guests took home all those that were on display.

We livened up the desserts station with balloons, colored art paper, fuzzy wire, real plants and fake foliage that I had lying around the house. It’s also wise to buy sweet snacks from the grocery and set them up instead of hiring a supplier for desserts buffet. This way you’re sure of what you’re serving your guests and also have better control of your budget.

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Thank you, Lala, for allowing me to do happy craft projects for Elijah’s first birthday party. To see/make things shift in shape and in purpose and become another kind of beautiful gives me an ultimate high. I am excited for you and your own very hungry caterpillar ELIJAH and am observing in joy as you both morph into your best selves yet.

Photos by Deneb Villanueva

Behind the scene photos by Issa and Lala