Friday, January 31, 2014

Mom's 50th Birthday Bash- Gold and Silver Glitter Gala

In my entire lifetime, my mom has never had a birthday party! When I was in college I got the idea to plan her a 40th birthday. My dad made me tell her (I wanted it to be a surprise), so I designed an invitation and mailed it to her. She adamantly refused a party! So I was thrilled when she was actually ok with us throwing her a 50th party! My dad asked me to help with invitations and "whatever else" I could do (code for: Tell me how much $$ you need, and do it all ;-).

Once we picked a date and location (my house), I began planning and scheming. I had three weeks to pull it all together, and literally did something every day. Gold and Silver Glitter was our theme.

It ended up being the best party ever! It was classy, elegant, and fun! My mom had a blast, and it looked like the guests enjoyed themselves too.

Aubri and I testing out the photo booth the day before. Separate photo booth post coming soon!
 It was amazing what $2 worth of tissue paper (thank you Christmas clearance!), a bottle of Modge Podge and a jar of glitter can do!

The first thing guests saw when they entered the front door was the candy bar. I loved the candy bar, but it was definitely the costliest touch. Gold candy is expensive!

 We invited over 60 guests, so we knew we needed to have seating (and dancing!) outside. We didn't know what the weather would be like, and nights are almost always chilly here, so we rented a 20x20 tent. It was really reasonable because we (I mean my dad and husband) opted to put it up ourselves.
 Simple centerpieces of glitterized wine bottles, mason jars, and votive candles.  I already had all of it (except the flowers!). As I collected wine bottles (I didn't drink them all I promise!) I painted them with a mixture of half modge podge glue and half Martha Stewart fine glitter.
 I wanted to make use of my entire downstairs. Our front playroom often gets overlooked during parties, so I set up the photo booth in there so guests had to venture that way. We took out all the toys, and set up a gold fringe backdrop.
In our living room/dining area we cleared out some of the furniture to make it more open. 
The fireplace mantle looked really pretty lit up at night!
We took our dining room table out and replaced it with a card table to hold the ice cold drinks. 
Along the dining room wall we set up the main food table. Our friend Bridgett helped me arrange it all and loaned me all her chaffing and serving dishes!
 We hired a caterer to prepare the hot hordeouvers , but we did the fruit, veggies, cheeses, etc. One of my favorite little projects were the cheese picks. I used a strip of glitter wrapping paper glued to a toothpick, and a chalkboard sticker to label them (believe it or not chocolate cheddar was tasty!).
Central Coast wines were in abundance. Between my mom and my collections, and a few thrift store trips, we had enough wine glasses for everyone. I used  NYE clearance chip board letters and glued them to gold ribbon.
Aged to perfection sign. I downloaded some fun fonts and framed it in a gold frame I already had. You can also see the birthday girl's special wine glass.
The dessert table was a hit! I had my dad take down a chandelier from their house and hang it temporarily at mine (it's still hanging because I like it so much! I'll give it back someday ;-)  This picture drives me CRAZY because right before the party I crawled under the table to plug the light in. While doing so I accidentally pushed the fabric away from the wall and I didn't notice!!! The blue wall drives me nuts. Luckily I noticed before cake time, but not while I was taking the pictures.

I visited 3 bakeries trying to find the right cake. My kids loved this because every stop they got a treat so they would sit while I tried to get ideas and prices. Gina's piece of Cake was the winner! They were so helpful helping me find the design I wanted. Even though they charged me wedding cake prices, it was still a bit cheaper than any other place. And it was delicious! Spice cake and apple filling on the top, and white cake and fresh strawberries on the bottom.

Cupcakes (from Gina's as well). mini cheesecakes, shortbread cookies (mom's favorite) and cream puffs finished it off.
View from the kitchen. To the left is the wine bar and backyard, to the right is the way to the candy bar and photo booth.
My mom offered to make her amazing shrimp and crab ceviche. I didn't want the birthday girl to have to do anything, but I'm so glad I let her. I think it was the favorite food we had! We found some cute 5 oz cups and lined the rim with lemon juice and pico de gallo spice. The looked so cute on the tier servers!

My little brother somehow has a flock of flamingos. He spray painted them gold for me and we line both sides of the walkway with them for a fun and silly party greeting.

Tired of party details? How about some of the fun??

We opted for an adult only party. My kids got to hang out because they are my mom's only grandkids, and they know what they are allowed to do at our house! We love kids, but it changes the entire dynamics of a party (as well as the level of destruction my house would have undergone).  My little dancing machines had a blast though!

Dancing with Grammy

You can see the photo booth backdrop in the front room. 
Mom didn't stop dancing very much, so I had a hard time getting a good picture of her! She looked beautiful in her gold sparkly dress!

The dancing was a blast!

Birthday lady!

Parents dancing
My mom told me the next day that the only thing she didn't love about her party was that it was over! Success!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween 2013

Halloween is always a holiday I have mixed feelings about. I hate the origins of the day and how it is associated with spooky evil things, but since having kids it is SO MUCH FUN! This year was a great day and I feel like we fit so much in.

First thing in the morning was trick or treating at the Child Welfare office to see Dad and Grammy. Jose was waiting for them with donuts. Ezra quickly started gobbling his up, but I couldn't believe Aubri declined. I asked her a few minutes later why she didn't want a donut. She said, "I want to eat candy later and I don't want you to say I can't have anymore sweets." I was so proud of her!

Next the kids went to Nana and Papa's house while I attended the church staff meeting. My mom doesn't work on Thursdays, but she wanted to attend her work Superhero lunch party. The kids got to tag along with Super Nana!

After their morning fun, it was nap time and off to Arroyo Grande Village for trick or treating! We have  made the Village a yearly tradition. The street shuts down for a few hours, and all the businesses hand out candy. We have a blast seeing families from church and even friends from high school. It gets crowded, and is a little slow moving, but we don't mind!

With so many dress up clothes, our kids were able to have a couple of costume changes. They were Team Velazquez (football player and cheerleader).

All the kids were excited to see this group of ladies from the hair salon.
 We met up with some friends and had a blast together!

Our friend, Sarah Ortega (blog link on the right) took the next two photos of our kids. I love them! She is such a gifted photographer!
 After the village we all drove to our Pastor's house. One stop trick or treating! Every room in their house has candy, and the kids had fun filling their treat bags with their favorites.
Our night really could have ended there, and we considered heading home, but instead stopped by Grammy's house for more fun! Silvia had invited all the family over, and we got there in time to see some of our little cousins. 

 Halloween only comes once a year, so we made one more last minute plan! We trick or treated around the neighborhood with Aubri's best friend. It was already after 8pm, and the streets were pretty quiet (I mean aside from our screaming kids ;-). I wonder what people thought opening up their door for the "late crowd" and finding  1,2,and 3 year olds!
 Of course we had to come inside and check out our loot!

 I can't believe how much we fit in one day. It was so great to be able to connect with close friends, and see our kids have a blast!