Mom’s 60th Birthday Celebration

My beautiful mamasita turned 60 on the 14th. She is the first one out of her high school girlfriends to turn 60 so I wanted to throw her a big bash with all of the ladies. I also included some of the women in our family.

If you know me, you know when I take on a project, I don’t leave a single thing out. I love all of the little details and some you may not notice, but I totally do. I am a little OCD too.

Color Theme:

For the color theme I chose black, silver, gold, and white. Everything at the party stemmed from those colors. I felt like it gave the party a touch of elegance.

The Invite:

I chose to use evite to send out my invite to everyone. This made it much easier for keeping track of the guests and the emailing option was great! You can find the template I used here.  I kept it small and just invited her girlfriends and women of the family. We had roughly 16 people come.

The Location:

Since I have a small apartment, we used my mom’s house for the party. This was great because she didn’t have to drive anywhere afterwards. Plus her house is a great space for the amount of people we had and I didn’t have an added cost of renting a venue.

The Entryway:

I created a flashback poster for the doorway. I googled pop culture in January 1956 and couldn’t believe how many websites there were. These were just a few of the things I found. I then went on Pinterest and looked up chalkboard fonts. I downloaded them to my computer and it was so easy to make the sign. I went to the $1 store and bought an 8 x 10 black frame and added a votive candle. It was a great way to have the party begin before the guests even walked into the house.

IMG_3787  d13737c0-66b0-43e4-80dd-b7da8b1c90dd

The Bar Area:

The entrance leads you right into the bar area so it needed to be done up right!

On the fireplace I strung tissue paper garland that I made, as well as photo garland. For the photo garland I used twine and baby clothespins I found at Michael’s. They were the in silver and gold, perfect for the party’s color theme. I had a coupon for them which made them really cheap. I then went through my mom’s old photos and asked her brothers to send some as well. I mixed in some more recent photos I had on Facebook.

IMG_3855

On the accent table in the seating area I made the gift table. I placed a white table cloth over the table and found a image on Pinterest saying “You are so loved” in gold. I printed that out and put it in a 4 x 6 frame. I put some other photos in frames I already had on hand. A small vase of baby’s breath and 2 votive candles completed the decor.

IMG_3851

Now onto the most important part, the bar itself! My mom has a beautiful bar and is a great focal point of the room. I made tissue paper poms in gold, black, silver, and white and hung them above the bar. I then added a vase of baby’s breath, an image I found on Pinterest that said, “She had a cocktail in her hand and confetti in her hair”, along with a photo of her and my brother and 2 votive candles. On either side were the makings for a perfect cocktail.

IMG_3853 IMG_3854

The Living Room:

At first I was not planning on using the living room but decided to have appetizers and drinks there first. I set up extra chairs and bar stools around the room. On the coffee table I had the appetizers, cheese plate (Thank you Janice), Philly Cheese steak rolls, veggies and dip, and veggie birds nests from Trader Joe’s. I found black and white paisley paper plates and napkins at the dollar store. In the middle of the table was a vase of baby’s breath and votive candles. We also had girls night party music on in the background.

IMG_3856

In the door ways I hung up tassel garland.

7d6c0e48-5a69-43e4-9971-901b13b21e86

My mom still had some of her holiday items up, so that saved me some money. I chose not to buy balloons. It would have looked too busy. Thank you, mom!

I set up a memory table in the living room. I had a vase of baby’s breath, a photo frame, votive candles, and another frame with a sign that said, “A good friend knows all of your stories, a best friend helped you write them. Please share your favorite stories of Mary.” I found a black and silver edge box at Michael’s in their 80% off section. I found index cards without lines and wrote the word memories in gold on the bottom of each card. I bought black, silver and gold markers for the guests to write their favorite memories of her with. We then read the memories throughout the night.

IMG_3857

The Bathroom:

Very simple- I placed a mason jar of baby’s breath and a votive candle.

IMG_3821

The Dining Room:

I ended up having 16 people for dinner so my mom’s table wasn’t big enough to hold everyone. I borrowed 2 folding tables from my aunt and uncle. They raised to the height of my moms table, which was great! I covered both tables with black paper tablecloths I found at Party City. In the center was a vase of fresh white flowers, votive candles and ceramic gold and white bowl filled with everyone’s favorite M&M’s. I then moved the bar stools from the living room back to the dining room for dinner.

IMG_3858

On one of the buffet tables I set up a dessert station. On either side was a small vase of baby’s breath, votive candle and a frame. One frame said “A party without cake, is just a meeting” (Julia Child) and the other said “Treat Yo Self”. Both images I found on Pinterest. In the middle of the table was the main dessert, carrot cake from this amazing bakery here in Rochester, NY- Cheesy Eddies. Their carrot and cheese cakes are beyond amazing. Thank you to my lovely Aunt Theresa for contributing this to the party. We placed the cake on a gold charger for extra style. I then created a gold 60 for the top. I bought a wooden 6 and 0 from Michael’s and I painted them gold. While the paint was still wet, I sprinkled edible gold sparkles (just in case some fell into the cake, I didn’t want anyone to get sick). I also bought a dowel rod and had my boyfriend cut them into 5″ pieces. I glued them to the back of the 6 and 0 and let 2 inches hang below. That made it easy for sticking into the cake. I sprinkled some gold star confetti for extra bling as well. We also had vanilla ice cream, cannolis and eclairs (thank you Aunt Betsy). I used the same black and white plates and napkins that I used for the appetizers.

IMG_3860

On the other buffet table I set up the favor table.  The first favor was a notepad almost the size of a mouse pad that I had found in the $1 bin at Target. I found wrapping paper in my colors at Michael’s. I wrapped each one up individually and tied them with ribbon/bakers twine in the party inspiration colors. I placed them in a silver wire basket.

IMG_3859IMG_3774    IMG_3793

The other favor I have to give major props to my best friend Michelle for. I had this idea to give everyone a sugar cookie with a 60 written on top. She went above and beyond and made 110 sugar cookies. We spent several hours frosting each cookie in white and then topped with silver and gold sprinkles. Each guest received 3 cookies. I bought clear treat bags and color inspiration ribbon to tie each bag. I placed the cookie packs in a silver wire basket.

In the middle of the table with a frame that said “We hope you had fun, please take one”, and 2 votive candles.

The Kitchen:

My mom has a very nice island in her kitchen that makes a great buffet table! I covered it in a black table cloth and a lantern my mom already had. I bought white plastic plates and bowls, as well as fancy white disposable napkins. This made for such an easy clean up! I then used mason jars with black labels left over from a bridal shower I helped plan. I placed plastic spoons, knives, and forks into each one and wrote on the black label. I topped it off with the same gold ribbon I used for the cookie bags.

IMG_3866

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Meal:

My mom loves wedge salads so I knew I had to have a wedge salad bar. I cut up heads of iceberg into 6 pieces, and had a white serving dish with 3 sections that included halved cherry tomatoes, red onions, and crispy bacon. I found a carafe in Target bargain bin that was black and white stripped. I used that for the blue cheese dressing.

Now that winter has officially hit Western NY, I wanted to have comfort food as the meal. Something that warms your soul. Growing up our favorite winter meal was chicken and biscuits. I thought that was perfect! I threw the chicken, veggies, spices, and broth in the crock pot the night before, that way I could do the final step in the morning. In the morning I removed the chicken from the crock pot and shredded. I then added chicken, veggies, broth to a stock pot and added the flour, milk and potatoes and cooked until it thickened up. I then transferred everything back to the crock pot and set to warm. This made for easy serving at the buffet.

Recipe adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef

I had every intention of making homemade biscuits but fell short on time. I made easy drop biscuits and they were delicious!

The Entertainment:

Between sharing memories, girl talk, and the party radio station, we played games. I am addicted to Catch Phrase now. Best game ever!

Outcome and additional photos:

All and all it was an incredible night. She knew she was having a party and who was coming, but she did not know the amount of work I was putting into it. I am so glad I was able to do this for her. She totally deserves it! She does so much for our family and friends. She is such an incredible woman and I am beyond blessed to have her as my mom. Happy 60th, Mom! I love you and hope you had a great time!

IMG_3841.JPG IMG_3865

IMG_3868 IMG_3862

IMG_3863 IMG_3861

IMG_3864

 

 

Monday Creativity: Tissue Paper Flowers

Two weeks ago I was put in charge to plan our annual summer picnic at work. I love planning a party so I needless to say I was so excited. Each employee was bringing something to pass so I didn’t need to worry about food or drink. I still wanted the decor to be bright and vibrant, almost luau-ish with still trying to say very cheap. Lol.

I decided to make small tissue paper flower for each table as a “runner”. However my OCD “ness”  would not all me to have the same color flower as table cloth. It got very interesting in  my studio apartment. I actually made a chart for each table and the order the flowers should be in.  My co-workers had a field day with that! 🙂 All in good fun.

unnamed (21)

Here are your steps:

  1. Head over to your favorite $1 store and pick up some tissue paper. I ended up making close to 60 flowers so I used 3 packs of tissue paper.

unnamed (8)

2) Separate each color into their own piles.

3) Take one color and fold it in half ( you can do multiple sheets here)

unnamed (9)

4) Fold in half again until you  form a square

unnamed (10)

5) Unfold and cut on the creases you just made

unnamed (11)

6) Take 6 cut sheets and stack them on top of each other. I cut all of my tissue paper first before I started to assemble. You can do whatever you desire.

unnamed (12)

7) Fold like an accordion.

unnamed (13)

8) Place a staple in the middle

unnamed (15)

9) Now to cute the ends. You can either cut the ends into a V, Upside down U, or you can fray the edges

unnamed (16) unnamed (17) unnamed (20)

10) Work from the inside out and poof out each piece of tissue paper. Be very careful though. Tissue paper will rip if you are too rough.

unnamed (18) unnamed (19)

 

I had some poms left over so I decided to make a very last minute wreath out of cardboard.

I took a plate and traced around it.

unnamed (22)

Then took a ramekin and placed that in the middle and traced that.

unnamed (23)

Take a pair sharp scissors and cut on the lines.

Take your poms and either staple tape or glue to the cardboard.

unnamed (24)

It was definitely a lot of work doing 60 flowers but I managed to get them all done in one day and everyone loved them at our summer picnic. They paired really nicely with the lei’s on the tables as well. (another $1 store find)

unnamed (25)

unnamed (29)

 

 

 

 

unnamed (26)

unnamed (27)

unnamed (28)

unnamed (30)

unnamed (31)

Seeds of Friendship – Party Favor

Last week I celebrated my 33rd birthday and was very blessed to be able to celebrate it all week with the people who mean so much to me. My friend Janice threw a delicious little birthday dinner party for our gal clan. When we celebrate our birthday’s, a little favor is always given. I wanted to team up with Janice in the favor department. She gave a little wooden bird and I made seed packets for each person. They went together perfectly

.IMG_2821

What You’ll Need:

Wooden Popsicle sticks (any size will do)

Washi Tape  (I found in the $1 bin at Target)

Seed Packets (Home Depot, Target, Walmart, any garden store)

Small treat bags (I found in the clearance section at JoAnn’s)

Gift Tags, or make your own (I found in the $1 bin at Target)

Sharpie

Ribbon (if needed)

Hole Punch

What To Do:

First wrap washi tape at one end of the Popsicle stick. It adds a little color and style to your flower pot or box.

IMG_2811 IMG_2812

Write the name of your flowers at the other end of the stick

IMG_2815

For the tag, I found mine at Target. I cut off the to/from part and wrote on the design “Seeds of Friendship”. I love these tags as they came with a little twine to attach to the bag. If your tags do not, punch a hole and add a little ribbon or rope.

IMG_2813 IMG_2814

Now it is time to put everything together.

IMG_2816

Place the seeds and stick inside of your treat bag. Fold over the flap and punch a hole. Take your tag and tie through the hole.

IMG_2817

Voila! A cheap and easy favor your guests will enjoy. They will think of you and the party every time they look at your flowers.

Friends Theme Party

friends

friends-cast-image

I don’t know about you, but my all time favorite TV to this day is still Friends. When I was a young college student living on my own and couldn’t afford cable, I would watch my Friends DVD’s over and over again get to the point where I could repeat the next line or even tell you what they were wearing. I know, I have issues! Haha. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Well when I heard Friends was coming to Netflix, my life became complete again. It had been several years since I had sat down and watch the entire series. I decided to do just that and accomplished the task in just 15 short days. I would watch it while I got ready for work in the morning, while I was cooking for clients, during my lunch hour, before bed. I was surprised on how on I still was. I still knew the next lines, outfit verification was at about 50%, and I still laughed and cried as if it was the first time I had ever seen it. Oh and during every theme song, I still clap four times.

So hearing that this was coming to Netflix, I decided to throw a little theme party for my friends and I. Of course, I only included those who were obsessed with Friends just like me. I didn’t want others to get bored while we watch episode after episode, or when I brought out the trivia game, or when I had props out that corresponded to each episode. We will get to all of that shortly.

I decided to make this party a slumber party, because hey, you’re never to old to have a sleepover with your girlfriends and I knew wine would be included so I wanted everyone to be safe.

Here is the invite I emailed to everyone. I made the back ground titles of episodes.

Friends Invite - Michelle

I spent two weeks planning this party out. It helped watching the entire series for ideas and also Google/Pinterest provided great ideas as well. I live in a small apartment and wanted to be able to reference episodes in each room. As my guests arrived I had street signs outside of my apartment door. These signs referenced the corner where Monica, Rachel, Chandler, and Joey lived. We learned their address was 495 Grove Street in season 4- The One with The Invitation. I also created a coffee filter wreath for the door.

IMG_1048      IMG_1049 (1)

Then in the entry way I had an article from Entertainment Weekly on a “how-to” binge watch Friends, a NYC taxi cab that corresponded to The One with Phoebe’s Father in Season 2, a wall of famous quotes from the cast, and of course the signature yellow frame that sat around the peep hole!
 IMG_1021 
IMG_1019 IMG_1022
In my dressing area I had dice, coins, and a deck of cars that referenced The One in Vegas- Season 5 and I replaced a personal photo with a cast photo.
IMG_1031 (1)
In the bathroom I had “fancy” soap that Monica told Richard’s Son he could use at Thanksgiving in Season 3 and a toy Porsche for The One with Joey’s Porsche in Season 6.
IMG_1032  IMG_1033
In my living/bedroom area I did many things. On my nightstand I bought candy conversation hearts and made hearts that said “Chan & Jan 4 Ever” as shown in The One with The Candy Hearts- Season 1.
IMG_1054
My bookcase held The One with The Apothecary Table-  Season 6, The One with The  Ball – Season 5, The One with The Sharks – Season 9, and The One at The Beach- Season 3. I also added more photos of the cast into frames I already had.
IMG_1042IMG_1043 IMG_1044 IMG_1046
On my coffee table/ottoman I had a bowl of Dove Dark Chocolate for The One with All The Candy – Season 7 and 61 Things You Didn’t Know About Friends that I found on Buzz Feed.
IMG_1035 IMG_1050
On the shelving above my TV I had a stuffed monkey for The One With The Monkey- Season 1, a chick and a duck for The One With a Chick and a Duck – Season 3, a Rooster and a index card with a lighting rod referencing the trivia game that cost the girls their apartment in The One with The Embryos in Season 4. By the way, The One with The Embryos is probably my favorite episode!
IMG_1039 IMG_1036
IMG_1037 IMG_1053
I asked my guests to choose 10 of the of their favorite episodes prior to the date of the event. I created a episode guide with our favorites and posted it next to the TV to make for easy for searching Netflix. I thought we would have had a lot of the same favorites but that wasn’t the case. We were able to get through 13 out of the 25 episodes we had chosen. I guess that just means we will have to have another night. 🙂
      IMG_1047
Now you can’t have a party without favors. I bought each person some fuzzy socks, put in a pack of the conversation hearts, face mask corresponding to when the guys used a face mask on their t-zone in The One with The Cheap Wedding Dress in Season 7, and lottery tickets for The One with The Lotto in Season 9.
 IMG_1030  IMG_1028  IMG_1060
In the kitchen I set up “Central Perk”  and a buffet for dinner an dessert. I wrote Central Perk on a chalkboard and set up a coffee station with to-go coffee cups with the Central Perk logo. I found the Eight O’Clock coffee that was used in the Pop-Up shop in NYC, and had my friend bring her coffee maker.
On the buffet I chose a purple table cloth that went with the wall color in Monica’s apartment. I brought out my DVD’s and used them as tiers for candles that referenced The One with The Blackout in Season 1. I had my friend Julie bring hummus and veggies that went with when Phoebe got the hummus in the episode The One Where No One Was Ready – Season 3. For dinner I made zucchini lasagna (The One with All The Lasagnas – Season 1) and Paleo Caesar Salad (recipe can be found in my archives.)
IMG_1056
For dessert I made Vegan Mini Cheesecakes for The One with All of The Cheesecakes – Season 7 and Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies for The One With Phoebe’s Cookies also Season 7.
IMG_1057
(Recipe for vegan cheesecakes can be found at http://minimalistbaker.com/7-ingredient-vegan-cheesecakes/#more-7424
and the chocolate chip cookie recipe can be found in my archives.)
For breakfast, I went to a great bakery here in Rochester and bought some croissants (plain and chocolate) and some organic jam for The One with The Jam- Season 3. Then bought almond milk yogurt, frozen berries, and Lara Bar Granola so they could make their own breakfast parfaits/trifles. (The One where Ross Got High- Season 6)
In between episodes and during breakfast we played a trivia game. I came up with 4 trivia questions for each season. I took blue poster board and made season and point bubbles. I cut index cards in half and and wrote the question on the back and printed the friends logo on labels for the front of them. This was a great way to break up the party. The questions and answers I created will be posted at the end of this blog, just in case you want to test your own Friends knowledge,
IMG_1072 (1)  IMG_1071
We also did a “How You Doin” Dubsmash performance and we created a dance to the theme song. I will spare you and not post those. LOL So, I think the party was an overall success. It was great to just sit back and relax with my girlfriends. The last few weeks have been so busy for us so we all deserved this night.
IMG_1069

 Trivia Questions

Season 1

  • How many claps are in the theme song?
    1. 4
  • Why does Chandler hat Thanksgiving?
    1. His dad announced he was gay and was leaving
  • How did Ross and Rachel figure out where the monkey was?
    1. They were on the street when they say a man delivering a box of bananas
  • Whose pizza did Monica, Rachel and Phoebe get by mistake?
    1. George Stephanopoulos

Season 2

  • How did they kill off Joey’s character on Days of Our Lives
    1. He fell down an elevator shaft
  • In the prom video, what did Ross offer to do?
    1. Take Rachel to prom when her date didn’t show up
  • What did Ross buy for Joey before he moved back in with Chandler?
    1. The big white dog
  • What did Monica and Rachel dress Ben in to cover up the bump on his head?
    1. Rain day Bear. Raincoat and Hat

Season 3

  • What did they make the giant poking device out of?
    1. Chopsticks
  • Rachel asks Ross what his fantasy is. Name that Fantasy…
    1. Princess Leia in the gold bikini
  • What bed was delivered to Monica by mistake?
    1. Race Car bed
  • In season 3 we learn the hand gesture Ross made-up to give the finger without having to give it.
    1. Fists together

Season 4

  • Who peed on Monica when she got stung by the jellyfish?
    1. Chandler
  • What happened to the engagement ring for Emily?
    1. The duck ate it
  • In the lighting round, what question did Monica and Rachel get wrong that cost them the apt?
    1. What is Chandler Bing’s job
  • What does Joey help Mr. Treager with to save Monica & Rachel’s apartment?
    1. Ballroom dancing

Season 5

  • Monica and Chandler wanted to kiss at midnight on New Years Eve. Joey helped make that happen. Who did Ross kiss? Who did Joey kiss?
    1. Ross & Phoebe
    2. Joey & Rachel
  • What were the names of Phoebe’s triplets
    1. Chandler, Frank Jr Jr, Leslie
  • What is the special ingredient Monica puts in Ross’s Thanksgiving sandwich? And what is it called?
    1. Gravy soaked bread
    2. Moist Maker
  • Why does Phoebe hate PBS?
    1. She wrote Sesame Street after her mom died and they never wrote back.

Season 6

  • What happens to Joey after he loses his insurance?
    1. Hernia
  • Who performed their dance routine they created when they were younger on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve?
    1. Monica and Ross
  • Where did Rachel tell Phoebe she bought the Apothecary table from? Where did she actually get it from?
    1. Flea Market
    2. Pottery Barn
  • Ross dates a former student, Elizabeth and Rachel ends up dating her father. What celebrity played her father?
    1. Bruce Willis

Season 7

  • Who was caught taking a nap together?
    1. Joey & Ross
  • Who stole Monica’s thunder? How?
    1. Rachel by making out Ross in the hallway
  • In the truth about London, Phoebe spills the beans that Monica really wanted to sleep with someone else instead of Chandler. Who was that person?
    1. Joey
  • What does Ross dress up as to teach Ben about Hanukkah?
    1. The Holiday Armadillo

Season 8

  • Who did Rachel share a hospital room with?
    1. Janice
  • What is in Monica’s secret closet?
    1. A mess- junk
  • What was the rumor Ross and Will started in High School about Rachel?
    1. She was half and half
  • In the episode “The One with Monica’s Boots”, Phoebe wanted to meet a famous singer. Who was that singer?
    1. Sting

Season 9

  • What animal does Monica think turns Chandler on?
    1. Sharks
  • Who actor played Rachel and Ross’s male nanny?
    1. Freddie Prince Jr
  • Why did they go to Barbados?
    1. Ross’s Paleontology Conference
  • Why did Phoebe and Mike break up?
    1. He didn’t want to get married

 Season 10

  • Where was Phoebe’s wedding held?
    1. Out on the street in the snow
  • What happens when Rachel’s sister babysits Emma?
    1. She pierces her ears
  • What news do Monica and Chandler get during the late thanksgiving?
    1. They were chosen to adopt a child
  • What did Phoebe change her name to? And Mike?
    1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock
    2. Crap Bag