This is Thirty
photo (above) by scott simon
The planning, prep, and execution of my thirtieth birthday party / blog launch was nothing short of an accurate representation of my thirty year old life. For starters, let's revisit picking a date. With a group of girlfriends either in their thirties, or approaching it, our schedules are packed with weddings, work, travel, and for some of us, kids. It's the time where we are figuring ourselves out as women, and making life changing decisions as far as career and family. Big, important decisions that fill up a calendar and leave a tiny opening to celebrate little old me on a Sunday night, the day after another close friend's wedding. Thirty is a big one, and with the way the past couple of years have gone, I wanted to throw a party for all of my friends and family to celebrate life, and to say thank you for being there with me through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Because I am the queen of juggling too many things at once, I naturally decided to throw a party the first weekend of my 8hr- a- day yoga teacher training, with weddings both the Friday and Saturday nights of the same weekend. Here's how I juggled it all.
I went party supplies shopping at Target, and did a wine run at Trader Joe's earlier in the week. Cold beverages went right into the fridge. I used AH-HA Party Designs for my cocktail napkins, tassels, photo backdrops, and table confetti (so cute!). I had my eye on a dress posted by a local bridal shop, Wedding Belles' Instagram. Luckily, the owner, Amy, is a pilates client, and I even bought my own wedding dress at her shop. She used her magic wand to get me the dress I wanted in time for the party. She had one in just my size, in a beautiful blush pink that worked perfectly with my decor and blog logo.
On the first night of my yoga training, the Friday before my party, my babysitter (fairy godmother?) released the decorations from their packaging, and got to work decorating. She even cleaned some of my wine glasses to be ready for the event. $Big Tip$ No - I will not give you her name, you can not have her, she's mine! Saturday rolls around, and I go to my training while my husband stays home with the baby. I leave early to get ready for my friend's wedding. No party prep Saturday.
It's now Sunday, the day of the party! I head off early to yoga training, again leaving dad home with baby. I'm supposed to end at 6 and throw a party at 7. Ha! My mom passes by the house in the middle of the day and helps pick up a bit, even ripping out dead plants that look atrocious on my back patio. Thanks, mom! Chris drops off the baby at my studio, where he stays with me for the next 5 hours of yoga training so Chris can study for the bar exam at home. Luckily, we wrap up the training early, and I'm home by 5:30ish. Chris tube feeds the baby so I can get to work on some decorations. The caterer arrives shortly there-after. We're both working our magic to be ready in a short hour. At this point, I have not yet even showered! Where's a magic wand when you need one?
Here's where things get exciting. I run upstairs to take a shower. I don't have time to wash my hair, or shave all of my legs, so I shave the bottom half of my legs (since that's all that will be seen) and rely on my dirty roots to keep my party hair frizz-free. Having been a performer, I can be in full glam makeup in 10minutes. I've got my routine, and I could do it in my sleep. A little bit of hairspray and a quick brush of my frizz free (dirty) mane, and I'm ready to go. A spritz of my sophisticated Jo Malone Tuberose Angelica perfume - that I would have hated in my twenties - finishes off my birthday look. Ta-da!
I head back downstairs to wrap up decor, with ten minutes until guests should start arriving. I recruit my mom and the first few early birds to help me hang sequin tablecloths and floral lights for a photo booth backdrop, and my pretty white and rose gold tassels over the fireplace. (Yes, I made my friends help decorate the party I threw for them. I'm the worst, and they are the best.) Meanwhile, the caterer has turned my kitchen island into an exquisite piece of food art.
For my birthday present, my mother in law gifted me with a heavenly cheese and charcuterie spread, courtesy of Patti Constantin - the go-to-caterer for our family shin-digs. Upon a bed of impressive banana leaves, stood a mountain of salty and creamy cheeses and cured meats adorned with nuts, olives, fruits, and vegetables. Crowned with a vase of pink peonies, this centerpiece was literally the star of the entire show.
I light a couple of my favorite candles, Japanese Quince, and the house fills with their pleasant aroma. My party playlist includes Frank Sinatra, Django Reinhardt, Dinah Washington, and Etta James -a few of my favorites! Liquid offerings include a variety of red wines, white wines, rosé, peach Bellini, Prosecco, and sparkling waters. I don't think anyone budged from that cheese display all night except for the singing of Happy Birthday and an impromptu mini concert with my bandmate, Mark, and husband, Chris. My son was awake the whole time - I guess he didn't want to miss a thing! In the midst of partying, we had to tube feed him, so I prepped his food and medicine, splashing some on my party dress. I'm a spotted, dirty haired, half- of-my-legs shaved, tipsy mess, but I couldn't be happier. I'm surrounded by people I love, and indulging in some of life's greatest pleasures - cheese, wine, and cake. My home is filled with laughter, good music, and good people, and that's all I could ever ask for. If this is thirty, I'm quite alright with that.