Cuz I'm not quite sure where I left mine.
I told my husband last night I was going to start doing Farmhouse Tales since I'm so busy with this party and he said "WHAT!!!!???? You're not going to write about your insane party planning methods?"
At first I was offended but then I realized the man spoke the truth so Farmhouse Tales is gonna go back on the back burner until I really and truly need something to say...
Which isn't right now!
Because perhaps you will find it interesting to learn how sparkler-brained people plan a big event.
My Dad's party is next Friday.
I'm the "event planner" in our family. Why throw a Birthday party when you can throw a "Birthday Experience"? (remind me about that some time...one of the coolest and easiest birthday party ideas ever! See what I said about sparkler brain?) Which means I keep setting the bar higher for myself.
For my Dad's 75th Birthday we had a big carnival in our front yard. There were about 125 people and we had pony rides, carnival games, a party-bouncer thing-y (which my Dad would not get off of) face painting, a balloon artist, cotton candy, snow cones...the whole deal! Our kids dressed up in carny vests and I made these awesome giant carnival tickets for invitations. It was a wonderful, wonderful event and my Dad laughed the whole day walking around with a hot dog and a balloon hat on his head. I think he kept his silly balloon hat on even on the pony rides!
That's a pretty high bar to top. I mean, this was a cool, cool party!
About six months ago some health problems I've had for a long time really flared up and laid me pretty low. I wasn't feeling extremely imaginative and had zero energy and my husband and I talked about Dad turning 80 and then decided it would be a low key party - cake and maybe some music in our great-for-entertaining back yard.
My Dad had other ideas! He casually mentioned several months ago that his brothers and some other people were asking what we were planning for his 80th! Being certain there was some big secret event in the works he kinda/sorta started inviting them.
And I panicked. Because I was not in a creative mood.
But my husband came up with this wonderful idea to have a 50's style of party in an airplane hanger close to our house. He said we'd do catering and it would be easy. And I felt all excited and inspired!
So we checked out the hanger which was amazing, got a list of service providers and thought to ourselves "yup, we're all set!"
But you know that saying about "the best laid plans"? Of course everything went awry.
Because I got sicker.
Too sick to care about a party of any kind. For anyone.
But one morning when I was writing in my blog and blog-hopping like I do every day I ran across an amazing blog with the coolest James Bond childrens birthday party and was super impressed and I thought "A-HA!" I wasn't too sick to realize I needed help so I contacted Lisa, the lady of the blog, with some stupid e-mail asking if she ever did long distance party planning? And she didn't. But she said she was intriqued and would like to give it a try!
So we made a little deal and she started using her non-sparkler, incredibly creative brain to come up with party concepts.
And one of the first ones she came up with was this! Using telegrams for invitations! Brilliant Lisa! Well done!
Then Lisa sent me e-mail after e-mail of ideas for food, decor, cakes, etc. and I took them all to heart.
I asked wonderful Coralie over at Charming Vintage Recipes
for some recipes from the era and armed with her input and Lisa's I talked to the caterer and came up with a heavy hors d'oeuvres menu which would allow people to wander around and look at all the planes with a drink and something yummy in hand. The caterer is going to do about 25% more food then usual to compensate for not serving a full meal and for the fact that our sons are going to be there! Here's what they will be serving.
Miniature Pigs in a Blanket (Cocktail Sausages) – Smokey cheddar cocktail sausages wrapped in pastry and served with mustard
Hawaiian Meatballs – Mini meatballs with sweet and sour and pineapple (served hot)
Finger/Tea Sandwiches – Assortment of finger/tea sandwiches to include: deviled ham with sweet relish; tarragon chicken salad with sour cream; cream cheese and tomato concassé with bacon; and smoked salmon salad with Devonshire cream, capers, lemon and chive garnish
Shrimp Cocktail – Peeled and deveined shrimp served with creamy cocktail horseradish sauce, fresh lemon wedges and cocktail crackers
Pimento and Nippy (Sharp Cheddar) Cheese Pinwheels – Pastry biscuits rolled with grated nippy cheese and pimento, sliced into rounds and baked
Crudité (Vegetable Tray) – Fresh celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and cauliflower served with Thousand Island dressing
Fresh Fruit Tray – Pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries and fresh red and green grapes served with marshmallow dip
Ritz Canapés – Ritz crackers served with nippy cheese and deviled ham spread
Chips and Dips – Plain potato chips served with buttermilk ranch and clam dip
Lisa even contacted bakeries in my area and came up with some really amazing stacked cakes! But because our granddaughters are so determined to have Great Grandpa blow out 80 candles I had to go with a regular sheet cake. The caterer will bring it and it is going to be chocolate mousse cake with some kind of whipped cream (my Dad's favorite) icing! Lisa's cake ideas were cooler BUT I am using her vintage candy idea!
My dining room table is covered (sorry, dead camera battery but I'll share a picture in the next post) with candy...necco wafers, bazooka bubble gum, dots, crows, hershey kisses, butterfinger bars. I am trying to avoid that room at all costs. Whenever I see the box of 24 (ok, ok! 22 now!) Chuckles I can hardly resist. At Lisa's recommendation I also found a bunch of old-fashioned candy jars and gathered every clear glass container I can find to display all the candy in.
And just to be funny I got my Mom's old war rationing books and I am going to Kinko's to make tons of copies to lay all over the table! Sugar rationing coupons on table covered with sugar-y treats just makes me laugh!
I think this is enough for now but after I take Morgan to preschool today I am going to do a walk-through list and write down every single thing I need to do to finish up.
This is a tool I've used before when we are throwing a party and it works great for my sparkler brain.
I make myself go to quiet place with no distractions and I think to myself, "we are getting dressed to go...uh oh...where are my shoes?"
And then I write:
1. Buy black shoes because the ones you thought you were going to wear had the heel chewed off by the dog a long time ago and you never replaced them, idiot!
And then I think, OK, we are at the party and the first person I see is my Dad!
And I think to myself "uh oh, why didn't I get him a red carnation boutonnière?"
So then I write:
2. Order a boutonnière for Dad!
I'm sure by the time I'm done today my list will be a mile long!
But that's the fun of party planning!
Or perhaps it isn't when you are a sparkler brain! Sigh.
PS. Don't be afraid of Alphabe-Thursday just cuz the instructions are so ditzy. Just look at the picture above, sigh, and try it! I think it's going to be wayyyy fun!