Last Minute Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

In case you haven’t noticed…Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday! And for those of you just tuning in, that means you only have a few days to come up with something that doesn’t stamp the words “I forgot” on your forehead.

The key to last-minute gift giving is coming up with something that is heartfelt enough to pass as having some thought behind it (i.e. no gift cards). If you’re in a bind trying to figure out a memorable but last minute (shh!) gift for Mother’s Day, give one of these ideas a go.

 

Magazine Subscription If you’re mom is an avid reader− or even just an avid magazine skimmer− she’d really enjoy a subscription to one of her favorites. Nowadays, magazine subscriptions are very affordable and adaptable to various tech devices. And even though the idea is fast and inexpensive, it’s a great way to show mom that you’re in-tune with her interests.

 

 

Donation in Her Name More likely than not, your mom or your family may affiliate with a particular cause or illness, be it pet adoption or autism. Why not commit two good deeds instead of just one by making a charitable donation, while doing it in honor of your mother on her day? This is perhaps one of the most sentimental gifts to give.

 

 

Cooking Class for Two A great gift to give is the gift of quality time. Planning something fun and different that you and your mom can do together is the perfect way to create memories. Who knows, maybe you’ll actually learn a thing or two yourself!

 

 

 

Jewelry Diamonds are a girl’s…you know the rest. It’s hard to go wrong with any kind of bling. The best part is that many places offer sales for Mother’s Day− so chances are, you’ll get a good deal.

 

 

Show Tickets Just like with a cooking class, going to see a show or play is a fun and different way to spend time together. If you’re not sure what show she’d like to see, research the most popular ones…they’re bound to be hits.

 

 

Favorite Things Bag Putting all of mom’s favorite goodies in one bag is an easy way to make her smile. You can choose to go with a theme, like spa/bathroom or nail care, for example. It’s also a great option to just make a list of everything you can think of that she likes− chocolate, DVDs, flip flops− and bag them nicely. Not to mention, the bag acts as a bonus gift!

 

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Post by Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Ideas for Surprising Mom on Mother’s Day

 

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and it’s time to start brainstorming on the perfect gift for mom. Instead of sticking to the norm with flowers, a card and maybe brunch, why not amp up the excitement and surprise mom with an entirely new experience this year?

 

 

Tight on cash? Not to worry. We’ve got wallet-friendly ideas too! Choose from any one of the following creative ideas to surprise mom with this year. The only down side will be topping it next year!

 

 

Scavenger Hunt Scavenger hunts aren’t just for kids. Moms are likely to enjoy them too, especially if there’s a special gift waiting for her at the end. Worried there’s too much planning involved? Think again. The hunt can take place in the house, backyard or both. Simple hints can be written on index cards cut in the shape of hearts to lead her to the point. Be sure to have a camera handy to capture the moment she reaches the gift!

 

 

Cook for Her If money is tight and you’re looking for something original to do for mom, there’s probably no better option than cooking a nice dinner for her at home. If money is really tight, check to see what she has stocked in her kitchen already and decide on a meal. If you’re not exactly a chef, just pick up some frozen chicken breasts, bottled tomato sauce and cheese, and before you know it chicken parm is ready to be served!

 

 

Messages in Balloons Just like the scavenger hunt, messages in balloons may sound childish at first, but this idea will surely be something you’ve never done for mom before. Also for those tight on cash, all you need is a dozen balloons that you can pick up at the dollar store, and some notes you can write on paper. The idea is to put little love messages inside air-filled balloons, and have them ready for when mom walks in the door. Not only will it make for pretty décor, but she’ll enjoy popping each one and reading the caring message inside.

 

 

Create an At-Home Spa If you were to ask most moms what they want for Mother’s Day, they would probably say a relaxing getaway. Why not create that relaxing getaway at home with your own mini spa retreat? Fill the tub with bubbles and fill the room with lit candles. You can even offer mom a massage from you!

 

 

Photo Book or Photo Album This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often this gift idea gets overlooked. It may seem simple for those who are trying to produce a wow-factor for Mother’s Day, but it’s a great opportunity to go through old photos and bring them back to life in a creative way. Worried about the price? Shutterfly is offering up to 40% off their photo books! For the more creative, hands-on types, try putting together a scrapbook.

 

 

Record the Surprise Any kind of a surprise is bound to become quite a happy memory. Our own Jack Bermeo was clever enough to record the moment he told his mother he and his girlfriend were expecting their first child. Watch the touching moment here.

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Post by  Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

The LJ Productions Gang Shares Their Biggest Cliché Proposal Scenarios…And We Want to Hear Yours!

Round three! And the fun continues… We asked the LJ family to share some cliché proposal scenarios. Read on to find out what they had to say. Be sure to share your answers with us here or on our Facebook and Instagram! Let us know who you agree with the most or just share your own stories!

Jorge V. – LJ Productions Manager/MC

“I really hate the cliché holiday proposals. There is no creativity there and most brides-to-be almost come to expect it anytime between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. My proposal was done about 4 hours before we got married. Blame it on Vegas. While my wife and I prepared the paperwork, my friends scoured Las Vegas searching for baby blue tuxedos with ruffles ala The Hangover. And they found them.”

 

Nick S. – LJ Productions DJ/MC

“My favorite cliché proposal is when people propose to their fiancée on Christmas Eve.  It’s so cliché, but in my opinion, proposals should be done in front of family and friends. So what better time to pick than Christmas Eve?  After all, it is the ‘Most Wonderful Time, of the Yearrrr!’”

 

Jack Bermeo – Founder and Owner of LJ Productions

“I am so tired of hearing brides that wake up to a ring on their finger. I mean, be original. Also, I can count on my two hands, your two hands, and my dog’s four paws how many times I’ve heard about the family dog bringing the ring to the bride. Not very original.”

 

Kristen Griffie – LJ Productions Public Relations Coordinator

“Nothing annoys me more than when people get engaged on a holiday, especially Christmas or Valentine’s Day. I feel I would want my own day to celebrate my engagement, not a national holiday. Plus, if it doesn’t work out, you’re stuck with a forever ruined holiday!”

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Post by Izabella De Souza

The LJ Productions Gang Shares Their Biggest Party Pet Peeves…And We Want to Hear Yours!

Round two! A few weeks ago, we asked the LJ family to share their favorite wedding moments from a movie. This week we’re asking for their biggest party pet peeves. Read on to find out what they had to say. Be sure to share your answers with us here or on our Facebook and Instagram! Let us know who you agree with the most or just share your own favorites!

 

Jorge V. – LJ Productions Manager/MC

“My biggest pet peeve at a gig would have to be when a guest walks up to the booth while the dance floor is packed, and asks us to ‘Play something good…you know, something people can dance to.’ Irks me everytime!”

Nick S. – LJ Productions DJ/MC

“My biggest pet peeve is when, at a wedding, that one person comes and tells you what song or genre of music he/she thinks would make the crowd go crazy even though the dance floor is already completely packed. The worst part about it is that not only do they give you their ‘insight’, but they come and tell you ALL NIGHT LONG.  We are DJs for a reason and we are experienced in reading and catering to crowds.  Advice:  Mr. ‘Drunkle’ (drunk uncle), please trust the DJ a little more!”

Kristen Griffie – LJ Productions Public Relations Coordinator

“I hate during cocktail hour or dessert when people ignore the serving spoons or forks and use their fingers! It looks tacky and classless. Plus, it’s unsanitary for the other guests! If they lick them after it’s even worse! A big NO all around for me.”

Jack Bermeo – Founder and Owner of LJ Productions

“I really don’t like working with unprofessional vendors. It can be the videographer, photographer, and at times, even the very staff at the venue. They need to remember that the day is not about them and how frustrated they are. The reason they are there is because a couple wanted to include them for their wedding day and some vendors ought to be more appreciative about that. If they are jaded because they do this every weekend, maybe they should find another line of work.”

Anthony “Boch” Boccino – LJ Productions DJ/MC

“Oh man pet peeves! There are so many! The one that probably kills me the most is waiters or guests walking behind the DJ booth. They trip a wire we look bad. Hate it!”

Crystal V. – Percussionist

“While I enjoy interacting with guests and allowing them to sometimes jam with me on the drums, it is not a free pass to walk passed my instruments and slam your hands or drinks on them!  That’s like going up to a DJ and twisting all of the knobs on his mixer without asking.  Needless to say, I’ve had to replace some expensive cymbals and drum heads.  No Bueno!”

Ryan M. – LJ Productions DJ/MC

“Something that really gets to me when I am working is when people walk up to me and want to talk about my equipment mid-song! I don’t understand why someone would ask that during a set. Just really gets to me. And I don’t want to be rude so I of course always attempt to answer the questions the guest has for me.”

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Post by Izabella De Souza

Tips for Throwing a Kid’s Party

Most people think throwing parties is all fun. The truth is, the people planning the party tend to enjoy it the least because of all the stress that comes with the preparations. That may be why planning a kid’s party can be one of the most all-around enjoyable parties for everyone involved.

Regardless of the age or season, kid’s parties offer the most potential for details like themes, refreshments, entertainment and overall fun. With years of experience behind the LJ Productions team, we’ve put together some helpful tips to keep in mind when finalizing the specifics of your fabulous kid’s party!

Keep Your Audience in Mind Although parents usually attend children’s parties along with their sons and daughters, it’s important to remember who the party is really for− the kids. It’s no secret that the attention span of most kids is short, so keep the party to around 3-4 hours at the very maximum.  The same goes for food and drinks. Kids tend to take a couple of bites out of something and move on to the next thing. So be sure to offer small foods and keep the sugary drinks to a minimum.

 

Themes It’s rare to find a kid party nowadays that is not centered on some sort of theme. That’s because kids love themes and it elevates the excitement factor of the party. Parents shouldn’t be afraid to go beyond decorations. Asking the other kids and parents to come dressed up as a character that pertains to your party’s theme will help to make the party much for fun and memorable. Besides, when else are you going to get throw an underwater or pirate ship themed party?

Entertainment A kid’s party would be nothing without entertainment; however, it’s important to decide what kind of entertainment best fits the party. The safest and most convenient bet is to hire a DJ. Not only do they supply the music for the entire party, but a good DJ will actually play games with the kids. If you’re thinking about hiring additional entertainment, such as a clown, magician or face painter, be sure to schedule them at a specific time that does not conflict with other hired entertainment− like the DJ for example. To get the most out of your money, have the clown or magician do their act at the very beginning or end of the party. This allows you to get the most for your money by having each entertainer perform at separate times, rather than having the DJ stop the music to sit and watch the magic show with everyone else.

Budget As with any other event, it can be tempting to go above and beyond your means to impress yours and your children’s guests. Remember, because of kid’s attention span and habits with snacks, it won’t be necessary to have a long party with excessive amounts of food. Sticking to small, inexpensive treats will save you money. If you’re worried about spending money on decorating, choose a theme that matches what you already have so you don’t have to go out and buy a lot. For example, if you have a pool in your yard, why not go with a beach or tropical themed party? A few tropical flowers and brightly colored table cloths will set the right mood. As for entertainment, if you’re worried about paying for a clown or magician, spend a little more on a DJ that is willing to play games with the kids. All of these tips should make for a successful and inexpensive kid’s party!

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Post by Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

4 Tips for a Successful Graduation Party

With summer around the corner, you may know someone who is planning their graduation party, or that someone may even be you! Graduation parties are celebrations dedicated to all of the hard work you put into your high school or college education. It’s a day that celebrates this pivotal moment in your life, and a day where you enjoy your time with friends and family. The best part? Graduation parties could be anywhere! However, whether it be in your home or in a hall, we’re sure you’d like it to be memorable and fun. Here are some tips to consider when planning your graduation party:

1. Plan Accordingly. Because many of your friends may also be planning graduation parties, plan in advance to make sure that yours doesn’t fall on the same day as one of them. For high school, graduation parties begin around the end of June and go until the end of July. For college, graduation parties may begin at the end of May and could also go until the end of July. An important factor to consider is that weekends tend to get busy for everyone in the summer. Aside from graduation parties, many people go on vacations, attend weddings, baby showers, or spend time with relatives. Why not throw a party during the week? You could possibly get a better deal at a hall, or it could be the only sunny day of the week if you’re throwing it at home! Plan in advance to allow your guests to make sure they’re free that day.

2. Choose a Theme. A great way to make your graduation party memorable is by choosing a theme. Since it’ll be summer and all about you, choose a theme that’s easy to work with and that you love! Certain themes are best used depending on where you’re throwing your party. Why not try a Hawaiian Luau theme if you’re throwing your party at home or outside? If you’re throwing your party at a restaurant or hall, why not go for a Nightclub theme? If you’d like to go for a more simple approach, why not make it a School theme with your school’s banner, colors, and graduation hats as centerpieces? Another theme is to simply use fun, summer colors in your party favors and decorations. Whichever theme you choose, it’s important to choose it early to have your invitations match them.

3. Play Games. Whether you’re graduating from high school or college, playing short, fun games can make your party more enjoyable for the mix of friends, adults, and family members you’ll have there. Pass around trivia questions about you to your guests, and whoever answers the most correctly wins a prize. Make the questions fun and tricky to get your guests thinking. Another game that’s great for guests is to answer a series of questions that involve two truths and one lie about you. Make the incidents funny and interesting, and whoever answers the most correctly could also win a prize.If you’re having your party outside, karaoke could be fun for people of all ages. If you decide to have games at your party, make sure to hand out prizes to the winners to make your guests want to play. A fun idea for a high school graduation party is to have a time capsule there, and have your classmates fill it with something from their high school years to only open up on your 10-year reunion.

4. Food and Drinks. When serving your guests food and drinks, make it as simple as possible. Finger food or food on a stick such as fruit kabobs are the most convenient and easy to eat. If you aren’t having your party at a restaurant or hall, most people aren’t expecting to be served a meal. Why not try out a cotton candy machine or a popcorn machine? Instead of a cake, why not have cupcakes? Having an ice cream bar would be a hit with guests as well; especially if you rent a soft ice cream machine that can be outside without worry of melting desserts. If you’re going to have a theme such as BBQ or Luau, stick to that theme when it comes to the food also. If you are having a high school graduation party, it is best to not serve any alcohol whatsoever. Because it’ll be summer, have plenty of bottles of water. If you’re having a college graduation party, the majority of the people there will be over the age of 21, so it is acceptable to serve alcohol. A fun idea would be to have someone mix drinks behind a bar.However, be thoughtful of the people who do not drink alcohol and have plenty of options for them as well.


No matter where and when you decide to throw your graduation party, it could be a success on any budget. Before planning, make a budget and stick to it. This will allow you to do your research on different prices for things. Write it down, make a checklist, and include all of the bills so you won’t forget. Choose what is most important for you during your party, and spend more on that. Remember, this is your day, and you should celebrate it the way you want to!

 

Post By: Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Everything You Need To Know About First Communion Parties

One of the most sacred celebrations for a family is sacrament of Communion for their child. Although the ceremony if receiving Communion is a traditional one, the celebrations that follow the church events are quickly evolving to become mini-mitzvahs.

 

Much like we’re used to seeing in mitzvah celebrations, communion parties have become a social, not just a religious, right of passage. More than ever, parents are choosing to commemorate this big event in a major way.

 

New Trends No longer a Sunday afternoon for just families, Communion parties often take place on Friday and Saturday nights. Many parents choose to make the party like a Sweet 16, with a DJ and lots of dancing. In many cases, parents enjoy the same music as the kids, so that makes it a great event for everyone attending.

Busy Season, Book Early! It’s crucial to keep in mind that when planning an elaborate Communion celebration, you must book early! Advanced booking, as with any event, guarantees you the date and time you want, along with the venue and vendors you want. Since Communions take place in early spring− a major season for weddings and graduation parties− it makes all the difference in planning (and stressing). Our expert DJ staff estimates that in this high-season for celebrations, there can be up to 20 parties in a 5 mile radius!  So be sure to get the venue and entertainment booked months in advance.

Consider a Photographer Aside from the venue and DJ, many families choose to hire a professional photographer to capture the special moment of their child receiving their First Communion at the church. The photographer most often takes pictures of the child with family and friends after the ceremony. Then it’s on to the party, where the photographer will continue to capture great moments.

Gift Ideas When considering what kinds of gifts to give the child in your life who is receiving their First Communion, it’s clear you can go wrong with a rosary, prayer book, bible, and of course, money or bonds. But don’t be afraid to get creative with other ideas such as personalized picture frame, jewelry or keepsake boxes.

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Post by Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

LJ Productions Presents The Art of Latin Events at the NJDJN Annual DJ Expo

Every year, disc jockeys throughout the tri-state area and beyond, gather at the Crowne Plaza in Edison, NJ, for the New Jersey Disc Jockey Network’s (NJDJN) annual DJ Expo. As long time members of the association, LJ Productions has the honor of presenting a seminar tailored toward the art of hosting Latin events. The seminar will be on Tuesday April 9, 2013. It will be lead by 2 time winner of the DJ Times Magazine’s DJ of the Year Award, and LJ Productions’ founder, Jack Bermeo and his business partner, Jorge Vincentty.

Since his first win in 2011, Bermeo has tirelessly continued to promote the award as well as his passion for the mobile DJ industry. “Although winning the award itself was an unimaginable honor, the last thing I wanted to do was rest on my laurels, and let the award try to do the work for my reputation. I wanted to take the opportunity to spread my vision of the mobile DJ industry and help others (DJs and brides alike) to understand and appreciate the craft of entertaining people, no matter what their background,” says Bermeo.

Bermeo’s commitment to excellence and promotion lead to the development of his 2nd award winning routine at last year’s DJ Expo in Atlantic City. This year, in addition to continuing to promote himself and his company in unique ways (check out LJ Productions work with their High5andHugs campaign), Bermeo’s focus also includes his Latino roots. He has been a guest panelist and speaker at seminars hosted at In The Mix DJ School, located in Belleville, NJ. In The Mix is the first bilingual (English & Spanish) DJ school located in NJ and is working with LJ Productions to create a curriculum based on MCing and the Mobile DJ Industry.

Bermeo’s Latino expertise and background has also earned him a nomination for the Latin MiXX awards held in NYC in July.  “As a Latino (Colombian/Ecuadorean), I know the elements it takes to make a Latin party successful. It’s actually how I broke into the business.”

And what are those elements? Obviously, knowing the right music for the right crowd is a key component to his success and will be a major focus during the Latin Seminar on April 9, but it is also about being daring at events and understanding that the mobile DJ industry is about much more than providing music, it’s about providing ENTERTAINMENT. Many Latin parties have a major focus on the music, but little in the way of interaction. This seminar is geared to help DJ companies outside and within their own markets, by opening them up to more MCing during Latino events and also to feel more comfortable hosting Hispanic Parties, by walking them through the Latino Party culture.

So the question begs to be asked. With all this attention and notoriety, will Jack Bermeo be going for a historic three-peat and try to capture the title of DJ of the Year for a third consecutive year in a row? “I’m still playing with the idea. I really want to jump in at least one more time, and have a great show in mind, but my focus is probably going to be elsewhere.” Bermeo will be expecting his first child in July. “That, to me, will be my legacy.”

 

The LJ Gang Shares Their Favorite Wedding Moments from Movies… and We Want to Hear Yours!

At LJ Productions, we love to hear what our fans and followers have to say. In that spirit we are kicking off Interactive Month here on LJDJsBlog.com! For the next few weeks, we decided to ask some fun and entertaining questions related to weddings and other events produced by LJ.

First up, we asked some members of the LJ Productions community to share their favorite wedding scenes from a movie and tell us why they love it so much. Read on to find out what they had to say. Be sure to share your answers with us here or on our Facebook and Instagram! Let us know who you agree with the most or just share your own favorites!

Crystal V. – Percussionist

“My favorite movie that involves a wedding is Bridesmaids.  This movie is absolutely hysterical and I lose it every time I watch the engagement party scene.  Annie, the maid of honor, battles it out with Helen, Lillian’s ‘best friend’, during their dueling speeches.”

Jorge V. – LJ Productions Manager/MC

“I would have to say that my favorite movie scene of a wedding was in The Wedding Singer. Right after Adam Sandler’s character gets stood up at the altar, he has to perform at a wedding and is absolutely miserable during the performance. He even threatens to strangle the bride’s father with his microphone wire! There have been times when we as entertainers, go through personal dilemmas and just have to smile through the performance, but we feel exactly like that wedding singer.”

Jan M. – LJ Productions DJ

“My favorite wedding scene in a movie is in Wedding Crashers when Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are talking about “stage 5 clingers”.  I think it’s funny because a lot of people are possessive when they first meet someone. And sometimes they turn out to be a total crazy-pants!”

Nick S. – LJ Productions DJ/MC

“My favorite wedding scene is from the movie Night at the Roxbury.  Doug Butabi (played by Chris Kattan), holds up a boom box in the middle of his brother Steve’s wedding, playing their favorite song, “What is Love?” by Haddaway.  This was an inspirational reminder that Steve (played by Will Ferrell), should never marry and if anyone is going to spend the rest of their lives with him, it would be Doug himself! So funny and completely “gangsta” at the same time!”

Jack Bermeo – Founder and Owner of LJ Productions

“I love the scene where Vince Vaughn’s character in Wedding Crashers, in an effort to try and impress a lady at a wedding, makes balloon animals for a bunch of kids. One of the kids demands a bicycle. His response after the kid starts yelling at him is, ‘I’m gonna make you a bicycle, but I don’t want to.’ The kid’s response is, ‘Shut up and make me a bicycle you clown!’ Hilarious!”

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Post by Izabella De Souza

The Ins and Outs of Sweet 16 Celebrations

Sweet 16 celebrations can be one of the most important moments in a girl’s life. As a right of passage in adolescence, a sweet 16 party can be an opportunity to show friends and family that they are no longer just a young girl, but are ready to be taken seriously as a young woman.

 

In the past several years, thanks to shows like “My Super Sweet 16” on MTV, sweet 16 parties have become hugely elaborate events. Many girls want their sweet 16 parties to be the talk of the school, which is why the biggest celebrations tend to take place from early September to January-allowing for months of ooh’s and ah’s amongst friends.

 

What about the girls who celebrate birthdays from the end of the school year and through summer? This is the time when many other life milestones happen for people of all ages. Christenings, communions, graduations, weddings, anniversaries and other birthdays can block many weekends and keep guests from being able to attend a sweet 16 party. With summer being in season, some parents give the option of a vacation instead of a party. This helps avoid potential scheduling issues. Some parents may even offer to pay for a couple of the birthday girl’s friends to join her on vacation. For girls who do choose to celebrate their summer sweet 16s, pool parties or neon paint black light parties are great options.

Whether a sweet 16 takes place during the school year or in the summer, there are certain themes that seem to stick out as the most popular. Some of these themes include A Night in Paris, A Night Under the Stars, Masquerade, Club Sweet 16, Pretty in Pink, Red Carpet Theme, Cirque de Soliei, and Winter Wonderland. To make these themes that much better, enhancement options such as special lighting, photo booths, custom furniture design and placement, and additional entertainment should be considered. See more about sweet 16 themes and enhancement options here.

It’s also important to remember that creativity doesn’t have to be expensive. Cost effective options can still produce a wow factor. Customized banners and centerpieces add a special touch for a great price and they’re easy to center around the theme you have in mind.

No matter the theme or party, the most important thing is to celebrate the milestone of a sweet 16 by making the young woman in your life feel special.

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Post by Izabella De Souza

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