Parties and Holidays and Holiday Parties

Last week was Spring Break for the kids and it also happened to be my birthday week.

Let me back up to a couple months ago (maybe a month?) when I realized Danny was in the beginning stages of planning a surprise party for me. As sweet and thoughtful as that was, the mere thought of a surprise party for me sent me into panic mode. I shut that down. Quickly.

Instead, I decided to plan my own party. Now, you can haha all you want, but planning parties is my favorite thing in the world and 30 is a big birthday and I figured that if there’s any time to be bossy about your birthday, it’s a milestone birthday. And I count 30 as a milestone.

I didn’t want to plan my party because I was afraid Danny would do a bad job on his own. Not at all. I wanted to plan it because details are my very favorite. I love planning everything from what the food will be served on, to the lighting, to the musical playlist to party favors. I just love it. In a past life, I think maybe I was an event planner in NYC or LA or someplace busy and fun like that.

So I planned my party.

Truth: it was pretty great.


I started Friday with a trip to Costco where we got chicken and beef and tulips. Such a great trio.

Food and decor.

I gathered up all our vintage Pepsi and 7-Up bottles and put the tulips in. They looked so cute.


On Saturday I made the champagne cake with champagne frosting thanks to the book that Lily and Pat got me. I had a little help, too.


(it eventually turned into this):


While I was doing that, Danny finished up the table.

HE FINISHED UP THE TABLE. Wait till you see what he made with some help from Kelly in the shop.

Are you ready?  Look:


It is amazing. It can seat 12-14 people and is pretty to look at. He distressed and stained the boards then added really awesome nails. It looks like something straight out of Restoration Hardware. Ah, I’m so lucky.

Then we set up the tables. I got little clay planters from a store in Moscow (The Storm Cellar) and added $2 flowers to them.


Along with the tulips and some candles, it was perfect.

Then I put together the plates which were actually boxes from Shop Sweet Lulu:

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The drinks? Oh, nothing too special….


We love our cocktails over here.

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The first is a blackberry cocktail, the second a whiskey/sour cocktail. Both = delicious.

We also made shrubs (they are my new favorite) and had beer and wine and mixers.

They were enjoyed.

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And the food was enjoyed, too! Because….tacos.

Okay, in San Francisco, Lily and Pat took us to a place called Milagros that served the most delicious coconut shrimp tacos. While ours weren’t as good as those, they were still pretty good.

And when people plate their food (haley) like they are professionals, it makes it on the blog.


And it also makes it on the blog if you make plates that look like this:30-89

I mean, to each their own.

We made aioli (chipotle and pineapple) and had homemade guacamole, salsa fresca and flavored salts.


And while I think I have pretty spot-on judgement when it comes to food and drink, I happen to be even better at choosing friends and company. Because it was the best time ever.

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I’m convinced I have the best friends in the universe.

And how do I show my friends I love them? Gifts.

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Canned sparkling wine, hanging plant, tiny notebook and Tattly’s. That’s a solid gift. I also threw in some chardonnay blondies I made. Because, ya know, I make boozy desserts.

I have a hard time being mushy in real life, but it’s easy on the internet, so here it goes:

To my friends, thank you. Thank you for being friends with someone who isn’t always easy to take. Who can sometimes be crazy and anxious over ridiculous and annoying things. Who does things like plans her own birthday parties when you try and do something nice like surprise her. Thank you for bringing gifts even though it said “NO GIFTS” on the invite. You’re nice. Thank you for hanging out with us and for making me feel like the luckiest 30 year old in the entire world.

You’re basically the best.

tarachristiansadiejustinhaileyhaleybrookmarkaliciatobesuzannejenbrandonpaullizwhitneyjason you’re the bee’s knees.

And we finished the weekend off with even more celebrating.

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I broke down and was the mom who bought character shoes for her kids.

I say that like it’s the first time. Oh, silly Ruthie, there are character shoes in every freaking room in this house. This is my life.

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Alice might be the most fun at the moment when it comes to celebrating. She’s all in and loves every second.

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The Easter bunny who visits our house is not the most creative. But, I will say, Easter is easiest in a home that is generally cluttered because it’s easy to hide eggs. So, I mean, there’s that.


Eggs on the diffuser. Boom.

Out of all the baskets, of course Francescas was my favorite. Take a look.

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The others? Full of crap. Seriously. With the exception of reading books for Alice and a cool lyre for Jamie, it was mostly just a lot of candy and plastic stuff. Whatever.

And then, an Easter miracle happened. All 8 of us went to church. It may have been crazy and it may have been loud, but we were there.

Then we skedaddled to Grandma and Grandpa’s for an egg hunt with the cousins.

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And champagne with raspberries is certainly a plus, huh?


And while eggs were torn open (money!!!) and cousins played, Miss Franci just took it all in.

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I forget how busy holidays are.

After grandma and grandpa’s, we went to Liz and Pauls which was basically the best time ever.

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Liz and Paul are the type of people who aren’t rattled by anything. Your kids could be running wild in the house, making a giant mess, yelling, being naughty, etc, and they will be calm and smiling. They don’t think twice about grabbing your baby from your arms or helping your kids get food or drinks, and they are the easiest people to just sit and talk with. They are interesting and smart and kind and generous and are pretty incredible parents.

Their kids are just the best.

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Celebrating Easter with them couldn’t have been a happier time!

Mostly because of this (puff cigarette, leather jacket and ray bans??):

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Hope you all had a really fantastic Easter!


2 thoughts on “Parties and Holidays and Holiday Parties

  1. brookannbeutler

    Your party was absolutely perfect, just like you! Everything was on point, right on down to that cake. And the blondies bars, and the drinks, and the… awhhh pure perfection, my friend! xoxo


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