30th Birthday Party :: Bee Picnic

A couple weeks ago my sister Ellie, “The Bee,” turned 30! Yahoo! Instead of a big party, she and her huz opted to go to Vegas just the two of them. My mom, sister-in-law, and one of Ellie’s best friends, Brooke, couldn’t let her get away without some kind of celebration so we were planning on a midweek lunch with the birthday girl at my mom’s house. Little did we know what my mom really had in store for her… and us. A totally cute, surprise Bee Picnic. Since there were only 5 of us, my mom packed individually wrapped sandwiches, salad, and soup into one picnic basket. She set up a low beach table and we sat upon pillows to lunch and gab away.I personally couldn’t get over the sandwich bags. That Crafty Jan sewed muslin sacks and printed the bee graphic she designed on iron-on transfers. So darling! Totally stealing this idea. Or better yet… begging her to make them for a party I throw! Loving the detail on this napkin set up. A teeny bee on a wire was floating above the ribbon, and eco-friendly utensils and the cutest paper straw ever were poking right out. Perfectomundo!Totally adorable water bottles…
… and cute labels for the food.You certainly cannot go wrong with yellow tulips.
Throw in some mimosas and you’ve got yourself a very happy Bee-day girl!And what birthday would be complete without dessert? Loooove that thick candle.My mom even stole my niece right after Ellie arrived and dressed her up in a bee costume! It was such a cute, unexpected and super adorable birthday party. That Crafty Jan needs to have her own blog! Until that happens, I promise to keep showing off her darling parties and pretending like I had something to do with it! Here’s the happy birthday Bee!

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Not My Party :: Argentina Chic

Well Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my dears. While the rest of the world is mentally in Ireland, let’s instead travel south of the equator today.Now how do I get invited to a party like this? The gals at Society Picnic put on such a divine Argentinian party and I really wish I could have been sitting at the gorgeous table, sipping on one of those wine glasses, and watching someone do a tango.Don’t these pictures make you want relax your shoulders and say “aaaaaaaaaaah?” Check out the real Argentinian stamps they used as wine charms. How genius is that?The lights, the flowers, the candles, everything about this is just lovely, lovely, lovely.I’m particularly fond of the beautiful wine bottle bag and how they wrapped those napkins. So need to copy that!This was the invitation. Simple and darling. Love this calm and glamourous theme! I’m off to book some tickets to Buenos Aires now. Ta ta!

30th Birthday Party :: Havana Nights Theme

Last May I turned 30… plus one. I was pregnant with my second son on my 30th (and for me pregnancy = sick as a dog) but I refused to get cheated out of a good fat party. So… a year later I shamelessly threw myself a Havana Nights themed Thirty+One party. Since it was a big one, I just emailed the above invite out to our guests. On the little lion sticker in the upper left hand corner is my actual birth date and initials. Little things that I would notice but probably no one else did.For decor… we used a ton of burlap & muslin (both super cheap!) and draped them on just about everything. (Quick tip: Lowe’s and Home Depot have really cheap burlap in the gardening department.) My mom (yep… expect to hear about her in just about every post!) had collected a ton of cigar boxes over the years for various projects so I hijacked those guys and threw them all over the house. They were perfect vessels for snacks (again – super easy food… but doesn’t it look cute?), flowers, and for stacking everywhere we could. We also threw coffee beans, cigars, and ‘Cafe Cubano’ bags made from left over muslin and iron-on transfers around the tables and mantle.Flowers were orchids from Trader Joe’s. And those big leaves are clipped from my sister’s house.I think the most important part about the food for a big party is that it’s ready before the party starts so that the hosts can actually have fun. We had lots of snack food around… pretzels, banana chips, cinnamon twists, cookies, and pineapple, papaya, and melon on sticks. We put styrofoam in the bottom of that wooden case so that they would stand up. It looked pretty cute!We put wrapped sweet potato fries in parchment paper (thank you Trader Joe’s) and placed them in a long wooden candle holder. And you can’t go to Cuba without eating a Cuban sandwich, right? We made all of these puppies ahead of time and set them out next to a couple panini presses.Yum! We did not have one sandwich left over.But isn’t it more fun to drink a mojito?We set the bar up outside next to our trusty donkey. I ordered a bunch of Cuban flags (big and little ones) from ebay and wanted to hang one outside our house. The problem was that it was Memorial Day and my husband is insanely patriotic so he wouldn’t let me. Better that way, because the flag looked cuter over the bar anyway. What’s up with that shutter? Well, a few weeks before the party, I was on a walk with my mom when we spied 4 of those things on someone’s curb with a sign that said “FREE.” Awesome! We put the other three throughout the house and I think it helped make the house look like a Cuban cantina (although what do I know? I’ve never been to Cuba!)I know Cuba is known for being super colorful, but we made everyone come in white instead. I swear it made everyone look like a Cuban angel! Here was our line up of garb…But how fresh does everyone look in their white and panama hats? I loved it!At the last minute, we hired a percussionist to play along with our iPod. He was awesome and totally set the vibe for the party. He was the perfect addition to our Havana Night!More details from outside…I covered water bottles with different cigar logos.Toward the end of the night, my huz totally surprised me with such a cute cake. He said it took him about 900 times to explain to the baker that he wanted it to say “Happy Birthday Cakes.” I guess it is a bit confusing!It was a great way to turn thirty-one. I certainly can’t wait to turn Thirty Plus Two!