Friends, I wish I could tell you where last week went. I got into whirlwind party planning mode and could. not. stop. As I explained earlier last week, this past Saturday we celebrated my mom’s birthday at my house. I was clearly reminded that there’s nothing like having a party at your house to get your butt in gear.
In addition to coordinating all the party details (food, decor, etc.). I managed to repaint a few of my kitchen cabinets (and reorganize them), completely clean out my guest-room-turned-junk room, paint the wall above my fireplace in my other guest room, fill about a dozen empty frames, touch up white woodwork throughout the rest of the house, sort through clothes, and about a million other things. In typical “Michael fashion,” I lost sleep, stressed myself out, and managed to spend more money than any human should spend in a week. However, the party was a huge success. The decor was beautiful, the food was delicious, and most importantly, my mom was pleased.
As I look back, this was definitely one of those moments when I should have realized that you can do anything, but not everything. This was especially true when I thought I’d be able to photograph the event while cooking and hosting. Oops! However, before the guests arrived, I did manage to snap some pictures to show you today. There are also a few tutorials and recipes I hope to share over the next couple weeks, so stay tuned for those.
But for now, let’s party.
As I mentioned, the party was at my house, so the location should look familiar.
I decided to go with a pink, orange, purple, and gold color scheme. I always like to have a color scheme when planning. It helps with so many of the other decisions, from picking the invitations to the flowers to the decor.
I got tons of flowers for the party. Most of them came from a company called The Bouqs. You can check them out here. In my small town, I don’t have access to a wide selection of beautiful blooms so this company was my savior! Their selection is awesome, the flowers are shipped quickly, and they are stunning (even in the dead of winter in Central PA). I dressed them up in various containers like these white pitchers as well as my purple and gold-dipped mason jars.
I wanted to DIY some of the decorations. With a tassel fringe garland being a popular DIY these day, I opted for that. I figured it would be a great way to tie in the color scheme. These are easy to make, but they are a bit time consuming. Give me a little time and I’ll get a tutorial up on the blog.
UPDATE: Get DIY Tassel Garland Tutorial HERE.
To bring in some bling, I tucked in gold fringe in a few locations around the house. Just enough sparkle without being too tacky. I found the fringe at a party store.
One of the biggest decorations, though, was these gold “60” balloons I picked up via Urban Outfitters. I had two sets; one in the dining room and one in the living room. They added great drama and sparkle.
In the dining room, I wanted a fun drink area. Since this was a luncheon, I thought a Mimosa Bar would be perfect! I bought bottles of Prosecco and various fruit juices (orange, grapefruit, cranberry, and pineapple) plus some fresh fruit and berries and arranged it all on a table. People could create their own cocktail, which they seemed to enjoy. I even picked up some sparkling grape juice for the kids. They loved their “champagne.”
The food is the thing I didn’t have much of a chance to photograph. Trying to get it ready for hungry guests and photograph everything was not happening. I wasn’t able to pop out my tripod and ask folks to wait while I snapped shots for my blog. Ha! Anyway, I served up a red chili and a white one. Both were very well received, but people raved about the white chili. I’ll get that recipe on IBC soon. You’re going to love it.
UPDATE: Get my White Chicken Chili Recipe HERE!
To go along with that, I had a meat, cheese, and bread bar. Guests could make cheese and crackers or sandwiches. I had a variety of mustards and other spreads, olives, crackers, cheese, meat, etc. You get it.
To complement the soup, there were local “famous” rolls with honey butter and a vegetable quinoa salad. A great combination and enough to feed an army.
Oh, and I also kicked the party off with some roasted parmesan shrimp. Seriously friends, these are killer and so easy to make. Again, recipe coming soon.
UPDATE: Get the Roasted Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Recipe HERE!
Finally, I decided to bake the cake for the party – an ombre petal one inspired by this tutorial. Other than taking a really long time, it wasn’t overly complicated and, despite not being a “cake decorator,” I was pleased with how it turned out. It looked almost professional and tasted amazingly delicious. If you want to recreate this, definitely check out this tutorial.
I’m all about the details, so I topped the cake off with these tall, skinny gold celebration candles. Aren’t they awesome. They created a “wow” moment for both the birthday girl and everyone else.
And that about wraps things up! Again, I wish I could have snapped a few more pictures, but I think you probably get the drift. It was a truly wonderful celebration for one of my favorite people.
Happy Birthday, Mom!