Saturday, November 8, 2014

My "Goodbye Roaring 20's" 30th Birthday Party

Last month, I turned the big 3-0... wahhhhh. When planning for my 30th birthday, I knew I wanted to go all out, and because of that, my budget for the party was definitely a lot more than I would normally ever spend on a party.  I have always wanted to host a roaring 20's party and my 30th birthday was the perfect occasion. Here is the breakdown of the details from the party:

I absolutely loved the invitation for my party as it set the theme perfectly for what was to come.
This layout design was purchased from Etsy.

The party was hosted at a clubhouse which was pretty bare, so I brought in a lot of decorations to bring in the 20's flare which meant a lot of feathers, fringe, glitter, gold and black. 

The bar was decorated with a lot of fringe. You can find the gold fringe curtain here.

The same gold fringe curtain was used as the photo backdrop for the party. Since it was mandatory for everyone in attendance to dress up in the 20's Gatsby theme, this backdrop was definitely necessary to get some great photo ops. 

For the centerpieces on the lounge tables, I knew I wanted something dramatic with height. I've seen these feather centerpieces at various events and thought they would be perfect for my party. I purchased the 24" tall Eiffel tower vase at a local event store for $6/ea. For the feathers, I scoured Ebay for weeks to get the best deal on bulk ostrich feathers. Luckily, I was able to get 100 of them for $50, which was a steal. Here is a video tutorial I used on creating these centerpieces (I did not include the lights).

 There were also casino tables which took care of some of the decorating of the space. I think it is important to have some sort of activity to keep the party flowing and the poker, blackjack and roulette table definitely kept guests occupied. 

Here is a view of the inside space

For the catering, I didn't want to drive myself crazy by doing it all myself so I used a caterer for some of the desserts as well as the tray passed appetizers. 

I believe the cake is always the centerpiece of any party and my cake was definitely the center of attention. Rooney Girl Bake Shop, a local bakery, created my cake and I absolutely LOVED it!
It went perfectly with the theme and colors of the party AND it was delicious! 

Some of the desserts I personally made for the party were chocolate covered Oreos with chocolate feather accents, tuxedo strawberries and cannoli bites (recipe here) which were all pretty inexpensive to make. The fruit tarts and pizzelle cookies were purchased from Whole Foods.

Since I hired a caterer to serve tray passed appetizers, I wanted to provide some additional displayed appetizers to keep people full throughout the party. I kept the displayed appetizers simple: a cheese and cracker plate (a must at all my parties), hummus and pita chips/bread, antipasto skewers (recipe here), a veggie plate as well as chips and spinach dip.

Below are a couple of the tray passed appetizers that were served by a local catering company:

Tomato and Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Tarts
BBQ Hawaiian Meatballs
Coconut Shrimp

As a surprise, I brought in a great magician, Jack Velour, to entertain my guests throughout the night. It was great entertainment and all my guests were fascinated with his tricks and sleight of hand. 

Here are some additional photos from the night:

Saying goodbye to my 20's and turning 30 was pretty difficult realization, but I honestly have nothing to complain about. God has blessed me with SOOO much! 
So here is to turning 30 and entering a new decade! Cheers!

a BIG thank you to Burnt Castle Photography for the amazing photos!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Travel Themed Baby Shower

When my dear friends Stephanie and Jordan shared that they were expecting, I immediately volunteered to host their shower. Stephanie and I brainstormed on possible themes for their shower and used a Pinterest board to share ideas. Eventually, we came up with a travel theme for their baby boy's shower. We all were beyond thrilled at how everything turned as it was exactly what we had envisioned. 

Stephanie and Jordan decided to have a co-ed baby shower with 70 people. With such a large headcount, it was definitely a challenge to keep decorations, activities and food on a tight budget. I am excited to share with you how we were able to keep this shower on budget even with a large number of attendees. The shower was hosted at a community center.

The welcome or "Ticketing" table

            Instead of a guest book, the parents-to-be had guest sign their globe book which they will be                                                                                              displaying in the baby room.

To go along with the travel theme, we used a lot of travel maps which we were able to get for FREE at AAA. We used these maps for all the garlands and signage which were all created by hand.                        
(Price is Right game station. Gifts that were given prior to the shower were used as items for the game.)

This garland was created by using a heart shaped punch out and sewing the cut outs to create one long garland. Here is a video tutorial we used to string the garland using a sewing machine (we did not double up on the punch out as seen in the video).

 For the table centerpieces, we used postcards (32 of them for $6 here) from different destinations and taped them onto wooden skewers which we pushed into wooden boxes ($2/ea from a local design warehouse) with styrofoam.  

 To dress up this side of the room, we used these cloud balloons ($5 for 6 balloons) which I absolutely loved and thought they worked perfectly with the theme! 

We also hung baby onesies with the word "baby" translated in different languages which were ironed on the onesies using transfer paper which you can find here

For the decorations for the dessert table, we assembled tissue paper pom poms (how to video here) to resemble clouds and then hung foam airplanes (found here) using fishing line. I printed the sticker banner which is an image from the shower invitation at a local printer. The globes and suitcases were borrowed from friends and family.

Food and Drinks

For catering, we used a local taco cart man to serve lunch. To bring in the travel theme with the food, we had friends and family create international appetizers.
 Caprese skewers from Italy, Kimbap from Korea and Lumpia from the Philippines.

For desserts, we outsourced to local bakeries to create the globe cake pops and mini bundt cakes. There was no way I was going to try and bake these. The cupcake tower was lined with the maps to bring out the travel theme.

Baby due date polling (decorated the board with international currency)

Don't Say "Baby" Clothespin Game

The "Baggage Claim" area was where the favors were displayed. Each guest went home with a bag full of international candy. (World Market is a great place to find these international sweets).

Sunday, June 29, 2014

"Kate Spade" Inspired Bridal Shower

I was so honored when one of my dear friends asked me to be a bridesmaid for her wedding. When it came for us bridesmaids to choose a theme for her Southern Californian bridal shower, we unanimously decided on a Kate Spade theme as Val (the bride to be) loves and owns several Kate Spade accessories. We hosted the shower at a restaurant in San Diego who also took care of catering brunch.

For the shower, I was in charge of set up and decorations. For the tablescape, I wanted a lot of bright colors and different patterns to go along with the Kate Spade theme. I rented hot pink table runners ($4 ea) and linen napkins ($0.70 ea) from a local party rental company. To create a subtle polka dot pattern on the white table linen, I dispersed punched out black circles.   

For the place settings, I used my gold chargers which I have used multiple times for several events (definitely got my money's worth). To create the napkin bow, I used this video tutorial as a guide but played around with the napkin to create the look I wanted. Instead of using a ribbon to seal the bow, I cut up striped scrapbook paper and secured it with tape.

These floral centerpieces were created using flower bouquets from Trader Joes, wet oasis (that green foam stuff to hold the flowers together) and plastic gold vases from a local event supply warehouse (which I got for only $2 ea).

Menu designed to match the theme!

For the dessert table, the banner was created by Party City for $15 and I made the tissue paper pom poms to bring in bright colors. We had simple desserts: cupcakes, truffles, M & Ms, and European cookies/biscuits and served them on festive dishes.

These candy dishes are great for displaying M & Ms.

The bride to be + her bridesmaids! All the bridesmaids and guests wore little black dresses and we had the bride-to-be wear pink.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Finding Neverland Themed Party

A couple weeks ago, I hosted a dinner party for one of my dear friend's birthday. At her request, the party was a Neverland theme with an outdoor romantic style picnic. We centered the party around lots of candles, flowers/moss and lots of good eats and drinks.

I absolutely loved how this party turned out! 
Here are some snapshots and details on the set up of Grace's Neverland Dinner Party.

The setting for the party was held at an outdoor patio. The birthday girl requested to have a romantic outdoor dinner party that was reminiscent of a forest.

Appetizer and Drink Table:
Since dinner was going to be a full meal, we went light on the appetizers with a cheese and cracker display as well as burrata cheese and pesto crostini. For drinks, we served an array of drinks such as blood orange soda, champagne and pink lemonade.

Place Setting:
To add an elegant touch to the theme, we created Neverland themed place cards and menus accented with gold chargers ($8 for 6 chargers from Bed Bath and Beyond).

To bring in the nature feel, I bunched together moss to use as a table runner (*Note-moss has a very strong earthy smell). You can easily find large packages of moss at Michaels for about $4. I also added several mason jars filled with colorful flowers as well as several lit votive candles among the moss. 

The birthday girl with her dessert table of all her favorite sweets: coconut cream pie, linzer cookies, macarons, cheese and caramel popcorn, salted caramels, fruit tarts and of course cake!

In the night, the setting looked very romantic and intimate especially with all the lit candles.