Wednesday, June 25, 2014

a little fete

a couple weekends ago, i had the privilege of celebrating my best friend's birthday. holly has held that title for 13 years now. i only remember one line from her maid of honor speech at my wedding: when she said, "she was there when i met my husband, and i was there when she met her husband..." and that's how it is. we do life together. highs and lows and donuts every single week.

i know that deep down holly appreciates fancy stuff (when she notices it), but she's not even on pinterest. (i know)! her dream birthday would probably be strawberry picking and hiking in the wilds of michigan. how we're friends i still don't know...all i see in that scenario is sweat and bugs. ew. blessedly, we don't live near strawberries or hiking, so i was free to plan a girls' night out (i knew not to push it with a full-blown party) to celebrate.

our mutual friend stephanie and i got together to plan it as a surprise. and since fancy is as high on steph's list as it is on mine, we had a blast planning together. she's also one of the most talented diy-ers and the very most talented baker i know, so her mad skillz elevated the fete to a-whole-nother level.

even though it was small, it absolutely had to be color-coordinated, and since steph and i divied up the tasks at our respective houses, we came up with this party mood board (mood board. i hate that phrase.) to make sure we stayed within bounds.

i was in charge of invitations, placecards, favors and flowers. steph was in charge of the cake, the topper, and the individual cupcakes. i decided pretty quickly to ditch favors and funnel the money toward a gift card for holly. because who needs that junk anyway? hi, i'm a slacker.

the invitations were from paperless post (love them!) and went to a small group of girlfriends and family. the restaurant we chose was cooper's hawk winery, and they could not have been more accommodating. they let us drop off table decorations early, set us up with the best table in the house (i didn't even ask!) and our waiter was just the sweetest thing ever. he even pretended he thought we were 10 years younger. major bonus points.

steph is way more thoughtful than i am, so she made little scavenger hunt cards for holly to open throughout the day leading up to the surprise, made sure the cake was chocolate (holly's favorite), and suggested planning around holly's favorite color. well, holly's favorite color is blue...and since there aren't blue flowers, we went with purple. it's the thought that counts though. and if it had been me everything would have been straight pink. always pink. so plurality in friendships is a good thing.

we had candles lit and a long island iced tea waiting when the birthday girl arrived. in pictures it kind of looks like a lot (and i'm using a lot of words...i need to stop being so long winded! i can't help it!) but it truly was a very simple little event, and so easy to put together. other than going to four stores to hunt down peonies, this kind of party would be easy peasy to replicate.

ya just need flowers, candles and a cake. add some good friends, some drinks and a fat-cheeked baby and you've got yourself a party.

to dress up a simple cake, buy a strip of lace from hobby lobby, wrap it around the cake and pin it in the back. then add a pretty topper and some flowers from your garden. make sure they match the mood board.

steph's cupcake toppers are gold glitter card stock. she used an exacto knife to cut out the number. 

the placecards are just folded construction paper from miller pads and paper with gold sharpie marker. i used my signature calligraphy move of scribbling a name real fast and then going back over the downstrokes to make them look fat. i'm still working on my calligraphy skills. 

steph's little 2-month-old man got to crash the party. did you notice him photoboming up top? he gets that from his dad

i'm proud to report we only set one leaf on fire during dinner.

the votives were an easy diy. they sell gold foil paper with a sticky backing in 12 x 12 sheets at hobby lobby. i used a hole puncher to cut circles out of it, then stuck the circles in a confetti pattern on the candle glasses. the votives are from wal-mart. a 12-pack is about $5.

on two of them i wrote "fiesta" and "fete" with a gold paint pen. i may have mentioned i'm still working on my calligraphy skills.

all good parties should end with chocolate cake in my opinion. this one had lavendar icing. truly, i need to work on steph to get some of her cake recipes on this blog. (you can see another one she did here). if only she weren't so busy having cute babies.

i know holly thinks we threw this party as an excuse to put it on the blog (and i love that she's totally cool with that), but it's not true. she deserved to be celebrated, because she's the most wonderful friend i could ask for, and because every girl should have flowers on her birthday. i love you, bestie. you look good in those bunny ears.


  1. Laura, that is so pretty! You did an awesome job. She is lucky to have you as a friend:)

    1. thanks so much grace!! yeah, i tell her that all the time. hahahaha....


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