“Belle” Patti & Stella the Greek!
The “Belles” of the Ball!
The minute I heard that the new Beauty and the Beast movie was coming out, I knew I had to plan something special! You can’t let an opportunity for something this exciting just slip on by, without making “an event” of it, now can you? After all, it had been about 3 weeks since the release of “50 Shades Darker” and we had a fantastic time doing THAT up right at my friend Stella K’s home, so we were DEFINITELY due for a bit of fun with this one! The idea was quickly hatched for a “Belle Ball” tea and movie day!
Me Dressed Up as Belle
I planned an afternoon tea. My dining table seats 10 comfortably, 12 if you squeeze. So, I figured I’d invite 14, and end up with 10 or 12. Great planning, except a few girlfriends asked if they could bring a friend, and I’m never one to leave someone out of the fun……. So we ended up with 14 in the end! You should have seen me scrambling to figure out how to add 2 more places to my dining table. But, remember the old saying about creative minds, and all that! With Stella’s help, we figured out that one of my end tables was just about the right height. That, and a few pieces of cardboard, and a piece of plywood from Home Depot, and Viola’- a table for 14 we now had! I just didn’t want to split my friends into 2 groups, so although we were a bit smooshed, by God, it worked!
The table, extended as far as possible!
What Does a “Belle” Wear?
I instructed the ladies to wear their ball gowns, tiaras, or whatever apparel THEY felt was right for Beauty and the Beast. Then I went about finding myself a gown worthy of Belle herself! I ordered the prettiest “Belle” costume I could find, then worked on making it prettier. It arrived with some weird pink ribbon rosebuds on it. Belle doesn’t have pink ribbon rosebuds, for God’s sake! So, off they came, then I added yellow roses, strands of pearls, tulle netting, more roses, more pearls, a hoop slip, gloves a tiara, and dammit I may be the oldest living “Belle” on the face of the earth, but it turned out pretty darned well!
I decided to go with an Easter theme for my table, since I already had Easter decorations out at my house. I found the cutest darned “bunny” plates in pink and blue at the 99 cent store……… so pastels and bunnies it was!
The ladies arrived, and let me tell you, it’s not every Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 that your friends show up in ball gowns, mother-of-the-bride gowns, tiaras, prom dresses and such! What fun it was!
3 of my “Fabulous After 50” Girlfriends!
If I do pat myself on the back, my tea was an amazing success, and the food was awesome. I’ll share some recipes later. The first I’ll share will be my “signature” martini I made for the day. I called it a “Emerald Tiara” and it was enjoyed by all who partook! (Keep your eyes peeled for the recipe! I’ll be posting it soon!)
I had happened upon an estate sale with some beautiful teacups, teapots and other tea items. They became my party favors. I let each woman draw a number to pick out which gift they would like.
Party Favors for the Belle Ball Tea
Making New Friends – Getting to Know You!
We had placecards, so that the lovely ladies ended up sitting next to someone they didn’t know well, and would have the opportunity to make a new friend. I SO hate it when you are at a party and only get to talk to the person on each side of you! I like a little “table conversation” which everyone takes part in. I asked each lady around the table to tell us something about themselves that no one might know, and they had to share how they ended up at our Beauty & the Beast party. My friend Stella and I like to mix up our little parties, and invite new people whenever we can, so that it doesn’t get old and worn out! This was a great example of that! Lots of new faces, and ALL so dolled up!
The “Belle Ball” ladies, just before the movie
After tea, the ladies got their movie bags I had made for them, which included a bit of “Naked Popcorn” and candy, and off to the movies we went! We LOVED the movie! And let me tell you, the little girls at the movie LOVED that we were all so dressed up!
My favorite part of the movie expedition was one little girl, probably about 6 who came up to me in the lobby and said, “I think you are beautiful. Maybe you could sell crowns like yours out front, so that little girls could each have one. Then, you could go to birthday parties and make every little girl SO happy.” So, there you have it! I have a new career in the wings, if need be! And this proves, you are NEVER too old to play dress up! It is so much fun to put on another persona for a few hours! Don’t worry about what people will say when you step out of “the norm!” We had positive feedback from everyone around us, and we all felt like a “queen for a day!”