Oh, how I love me a theme party! I have one every year for my birthday and it always fills me with such joy. I mean what could be more fun than dressing up like someone – or something – else, being surrounded by friends, sipping champagne, eating delicious eats, polishing off some cake and dancing until the sun comes up? I’ll tell ya – not much. Previous birthday party themes of mine have included Dallas (the 80s show), 80s, 70s, Toddlers & Tiaras and more.
But this year’s had to have been my favorite thus far! I decided last year at my birthday that the theme would be “Come As You Were…or Wish You Were In High School.” So when I was home in Dallas in October, I broke out my Episcopal School of Dallas private school uniform (the skirt still fit! Yay!) and my cheerleading uniform (the top didn’t fit because I grabbed my JV uniform my mistake – oops!) and decided it was ON!
One of my best friends – and my former roomie and uber-talented BeautyFrosting graphic designer – Vanessa York of Shindig Shoppe designed the adorable invite drawing on the colors of my home, varsity lettering and, of course, pom-poms.
Next, my dear hairstylist & friend, Robby LaRiviere, whipped my hair up into some pretty darned precious pigtails, I picked up some saddle shoes at Shelly’s Dance (my FAVE for costumes & alterations in LA!!!) and I donned Outfit #1. Oh, honey, you KNOW there was gonna be a wardrobe change!
Outfit #1: My Episcopal School of Dallas uniform from 1996:
And with glasses, of course!
My Episcopal School of Dallas Cheerleading Uniform from 1993 (GO EAGLES!!!) – I grabbed by JV – and not my Varsity uniform – by mistake so Shelly’s had to let out the chest a bit. I was 15 when I last wore this one!
I love that my birthday is so close to Christmas because I can decorate my house for Christmas and let it serve as deco for my birthday party. With my Studio Mucci custom tassel garlands, Shabby Chic decorations, pastel lights and vintage finds from Uptown Country Home that I’ve bought over the years, I love creating a Whimsical Winter Wonderland. Add some wintry pink & blue balloons and my high school yearbooks and you’ve got a party!
I remember that Queer Eye For The Straight Guy said it best once. “The right cocktails keep your guests socially lubricated.” When you’re mixing together over 50 of your closest friends – some who know one another but many who don’t – you want to keep the cocktails flowing. I decided to keep it simple by supplying a wine bar. Lucky for me, One Hope Wine and Hope at Home were eager to help.
With a signature cocktail, BeautyFrosting’s Spiced Rum Apple Cider Mimosa (catch the recipe this Thursday on BF on Thirsty Thursday), Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Pinot Noir 2011, Chardonnay 2012, Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and their new California Brut Sparkling Wine (All wines are $18.99), my guests were totally socially lubricated. Everyone raved about my wine selection from One Hope – and my bartender & party hostess, Kristin – but the California Brut Sparkling Wine was the first to go! People were literally asking me how they could get some One Hope of their own!
But my favorite thing about One Hope - besides the way it tastes – is the charity component that makes them who they are. With every bottle of One Hope wine sold, an impact is made as 50% of the proceeds goes to a variety of good causes including: AIDS, Alzheimers, Autism, Breast Cancer, Childhood Hunger, Veterans and more. I’ll be featuring One Hope every Thursday for the next 6 Thirsty Thursdays so you’ll see lots more of them – and the love I have for everything that they’re about!
Well, we know I’m a foodie and I love to bake but, um, sometimes I can go overkill when it comes to my parties. For this one, I relied on a few of my party faves – such as Southern Shrimp Ball, Bandito Black Bean dip, L’il Smokies, Texas Ranch House Queso, Red Velvet Dip and Pistachio Thumbprint and Eggnog Thumbprint Cookies that are always a hit. And then I hit up Whole Foods for a veggie tray and Trader Joe’s for cheese, charcuterie and crackers.
And then there was the cake…Oh my…
Hansen’s Cakes was responsible for this deliciousness. Marble cake with butterchip filling and buttercream frosting. I’m still dreaming of it but had to give all leftovers away!
As a photographer’s daughter – and a blogger, of course – photos are super important to me. So I asked my friends, Takahiro Watanabe Photography and Guerrero Photography to help me out for the evening.
The DIY Photobooth with Takahiro that I literally just put outside against a stucco wall was a hit. That’s gonna have to be a whole other post because EVERYONE can do this and it was sooooo much fun!
Here are just a few of the 267 photos from the Photobooth. For more, check out the entire album of fun (complete with my house pics, food pics and more) at: Dawn’s Birthday 2013: Come As You Were…or Wish You Were in High School on Facebook (yep, I made it public for your perusal & enjoyment).
Another group shot by Guerrero Photography:
Thank you to all of my friends who came, drank, ate, danced til 4 am, showered me with gifts & love and took pics with me all night long! It was a magical night I will always remember!
BF Asks: How did you celebrate your birthday this year?
Blowout & Pigtails by: Robby LaRiviere
Tassel Garlands by: Studio Mucci
Party Set-up Assistant: Sarah of TaskRabbit
Bartender/Guest Hostess: Kristin of TaskRabbit
Cake: Hansen’s Cakes
Wardrobe Alterations & Shoes: Shelly’s Dance Supply