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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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In the door ways I hung up tassel garland.

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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.

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The Bathroom:

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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2) Separate each color into their own piles.

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

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4) Fold in half again until you  form a square

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5) Unfold and cut on the creases you just made

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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.

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7) Fold like an accordion.

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8) Place a staple in the middle

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Take a pair sharp scissors and cut on the lines.

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

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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)

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