Tag Archives: party

26 — The Party

Hi, friends!

So, I turned 26 on Sunday. Yes, twenty-six. TWENTY. SIX.

When did I get so old?!?!

Whatever. I’m not thinking about it. Instead, I’m basking in the glorious pictures that resulted from my party on Saturday night. Wanna see? Good. Because that’s the post I have for you today. A picture post! Hooray!

And of a cocktail party, no less. Everyone had to look pretty — and they did.

(Don’t worry, I’ll be back with recipes soon enough).

Those are my lovely friends Amy and Claire. You’ve seen then both before.

Below, we have take number one…

… and take number two with my friends Caitlin (great name, right?) and a different Amy.

Lauren, who has been on the blog a thousand times…

Isn’t she gorg? And BTW, that hot dress I’m wearing? It’s hers. I love that girl.

That’s Spencer. Isn’t he a cutie? Don’t worry, you’ll see him again .

Hey! You know her! Hi, Katherine! How HOT is she?!

Two of my favorite ladies:

Combo friends pic:

Plus another Claire. Don’t you love her bow?

And Mark! Want some boy eye candy? Check it!

You’re welcome.

Spencer even “ruined” (okay, improved) a picture Claire and I tried to take together.

It’s okay, we still got one in.

<3.

P.S. — You’ll see the AWESOME gift she gave me tomorrow. 🙂

All co-workers! Catherine, Kaitlyn (another great name), and Jacky. Pretty girls!

Two of my favorite boys:

That’s Ben and Cliff. Ben’s single, ladies. Cliff isn’t (sorry).

I love that picture.

Didn’t everyone look beautiful? I’m so glad I had a cocktail party.

Oh, and there was cake!!!

My friend Laura made these delicious cupcakes.

And, in one of the absolute best surprises of my whole birthday, MARK GOT MY FAVORITE BIRTHDAY CAKE RECIPE FROM MY MOM!!!

Words cannot express how happy this made me. (That’s why I needed the caps, bold and italic.) I wish I had my reaction on camera when I found that out.

Mark executed it perfectly.

P.E.R.F.E.C.T.L.Y.

I know for sure because I had a little piece last, too, and it was just as good as I remembered. Love you, Mark. And I love you, Mom! Thanks for coordinating that!

Thank you to everyone who came to my party!

Back tomorrow with a recap of the actual birthday. 🙂

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HalloWeekend

Happy Halloween, everyone!

I had a crazy weekend of celebrating Halloween. Much crazier than it should have been while I was still recovering. Not all good crazy, either. But a lot of it was good!

I started my Friday night at Halloween party #1 of the weekend. This party was thrown by Mark’s friends Marcy and Emma, whom I met that night.

Here are a couple of adorable/ scandalous pictures of Mark with his friends:

The party was lots of fun — complete with a chalkboard paint-covered coffee table.

I loved that.

I also loved Mark’s costume. He was “World Peas.”

He is so clever. He made that costume himself!

I had to leave that party early because I had another party to get to, right down the street. Little did I know just how far away I was.

Why? Oh, because my car battery had died. No big deal.

Mark jump-started it for me while I sat helplessly in my car because hobbling on crutches didn’t go well with jump-starting it myself (not to mention that I had no idea what to do). I then had to drive my car around for over an hour while, admittedly, I kind of bawled my eyes out.

It wasn’t my finest moment.

Anyway, be proud of me. I dried my eyes and still managed to make an appearance at the second party.

Ignore the fact that the makeup had sort of smeared by then.

I made it to this party partially because I wanted to see a bunch of my friends in their Flintstones costumes.

Totally cute!

I didn’t last long at that party, but that’s mostly because it had already been so, so late by the time I’d gotten there. I didn’t get home until 2:00AM, which is pretty late for this old-lady-on-the-inside.

I got in my car on Saturday afternoon to bring it to the mechanic so I could get my battery tested, only to find that my car had died AGAIN. No, I’m not kidding. By some ridiculous stroke of luck, though, it actually turned on on my sixth try and I brought it straight to the mechanic.

So, you know, that’s how my Saturday afternoon went.

Happily, I pepped up enough to go out on Saturday night. Mark and I had had big plans to hit all three of the parties to which we had been invited that night, but when reality set in, we realized that my knee could not handle parking and walking to three different parties.

So, we just chose the one where we knew the most people.

But first, we had to get ready. My costume on this night was pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself. I went as Katniss from (duh) the Hunger Games.

I didn’t purposefully make that “I think I’m a model” face, FYI. I actually didn’t know Mark was taking it yet and was waiting for him to tell me he was about to. And then this ended up being the only non-blurry one. I felt the need to tell you this for the purpose of saving my dignity.

Anyway.

Mark made everything! He made my bow, arrows, the case for the arrows…

… and even my very own Mockingjay pin:

Is he freaking amazing, or what?

Here we are together that night:

He repeated his costume because it was too damn good not to.

Here are a few of our other friends in costume:

My bow and arrows were very popular that night.

And I was good! I stayed seated for a lot of the night.

It’s super awkward to be seated while everyone else is standing at a party, but it was worth it to save me from unnecessary pain.

On Sunday, Mark and I went to a pumpkin patch, for which Mark had purchased LivingSocial deals for both of us.

It was… well, it was a dump. See for yourself:

Not quite the way it was advertised.

Not to mention the fact that the deals Mark got were for “admission” to the pumpkin patch, when there was no actual charge to get in. Needless to say, Mark called and let LivingSocial know what was up. Fortunately, they have pretty good customer service and gave Mark his money back to spend on other LivingSocial deals.

Other that that, too, Mark and I were still able to make the most out of the experience by taking silly pictures.

It was nice to spend the weekend with Mark, who managed to make it a lot of fun despite how badly it could have gone (with my car, etc.). How many times can I thank my lucky stars for him?

What was/ is your Halloween costume? How did you celebrate this weekend/ how are you celebrating tonight?

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I’m On A Boat!

Hi guys! How was everyone’s Labor Day Weekend? Anyone do anything fun?

I, for one, attended a birthday party on a boat.

Naturally, it ended like this.

But, um, allow me to back up.

These lovely ladies, Dianne and Christin, were celebrating their nearly shared (a day apart) 30th birthdays.

They wanted to do something epic to celebrate, so they got us all on what was essentially a booze cruise with a sit-down dinner.

You can’t really tell in the pictures since it was dark, but the views were lovely and sparkly.

When we sat down, we were greeted with salads and “endless” champagne and wine.

I say “endless” because they only brought a few bottles of champagne on board (poor planning for a group like us!) and the wine… well, the wine was endless for a reason. That reason was that it was terrible and hard to get down. Oh well.

We also had a dinner of chicken, prime rib, green beans and cheesy potatoes.

The food was pretty “meh,” but the wonderful part of dinner was the company, obviously.

As soon as dinner was over, we went upstairs to the deck for the dance party portion of the evening.

Naturally, we also took advantage of the amazing views…

And took a few pictures…

By the way, do you remember Mamito, my old roommate? She’s visiting from the UK! It’s so good to see her.

And, in reuniting with each other, we may have gone a little, um, overboard (hahahahaha boat humor).

I’ll never let go, Mamito. I’ll never let go.

Who can call that movie? It had really better be all of you or I’m going to be embarrassed on your behalfs. Behalves? Good lord, I have no idea.

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Surprise!

I threw my friend Robyn a surprise party this weekend. It was a ton of fun, even if it didn’t end up really being a surprise. Believe it or not, after THREE WEEKS of planning, it was ruined for her on the day beforehand. Ridiculous. Still, it was a blast!

I spent most of Saturday getting the elements of the party together. The party had three themes: Robyn (duh), games, and “Would You Still Be My Friend if I Wore This?” That third part will explain the outfits you’ll see in the pictures below.

When it came to the “Robyn” part of the theme, that meant making cupcakes in her favorite flavors (lemon and cheesecake) and making sure the party was filled with things that she loves — like her favorite music (which was playing in the background), her favorite movies (which were supposed to be playing in the background, but I kind of forgot to do it), silly themes (thus the clothing), and games (thus… the games theme).

So, part of what I did on Saturday was to make the cupcakes: Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Cheesecake Frosting. What a mouthful.

Unfortunately, I was far too rushed to really take any pictures of the cupcakes (blogger fail!). They were, however, delicious (if I do say so myself). For the cupcakes themselves, I used this recipe from Baking Bites. I highly recommend it. They were perfect. Oh, and my only substitution is that I used vanilla almond milk instead of regular milk — simply because it’s what I had. I used Trader Joe’s Lemon Curd. So good. I could not have made it better homemade.

And, for the frosting, I just made it up.

Lemon Cheesecake Frosting

makes more than enough for 2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 blocks 8-oz cream cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or more or less, depending on what consistency you want)

Directions

Pretty simple. Cream butter, sugar and lemon zest together. Add lemon juice and powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Cream until smooth.

The best picture I took:

Yea… sorry about that.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning and buying things for the games we’d be playing.

Anyway, the party was more interesting. The costumes were fantastic.

I love my friends because they actually dressed up.

Game #1 of the night: The Saltine Challenge. This is where you try to eat six Saltines in one minute — a nearly impossible feat.

There were no winners, though Robyn came close.

The next challenge: Chubby Bunny. This is where you have to fit as many marshmallows in your mouth while still being able to say “Chubby Bunny.” This one was kind of hilarious.

The winner:

I don’t know the exact number of marshmallows he ended up fitting in his mouth (so close to a TWSS, yet so far…), but it was in the teens. Ridiculous.

The rest of the party involved other games, like flip cup (duh) and that game we played at the potluck last week (though I explained it wrong and it ended up being a huge flop). Also, I lost flip cup again. Badly. I don’t want to talk about it.

And there was, of course, the requisite singing of “Happy Birthday!”

By the way, that is literally the only picture of me/ my outfit of the night. Whoops!

It was such a fun party full of some of my favorite people and I hope Robyn had fun and felt loved.  Happy birthday, Robyn!!!

Have you ever thrown a surprise party or had one thrown for you?

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Potluck Dinner

This past Saturday, Mark and I threw a little potluck for some of my grad school friends. Life gets so crazy after everyone leaves school and gets jobs and such, so I realized that if I wanted to see everyone, I was going to have to bring people to me. Thus — a potluck. Food works every time.

I should probably apologize in advance. I was terrible at taking pictures at this party. In my defense, however, Mark and I were pretty frazzled with cooking and I feel like I spent the first half of the party without really even talking to anyone! There was just a lot of food prep work to be done, even though we’d done so much before the party began.

I figured out far too late that I could have done more in advance and just kept the food warm in the oven instead of trying to serve it fresh. Oh, well… a lesson learned for next time, right?

Anyway, Mark and I definitely were not ready when the party actually was supposed to begin. We figured it wouldn’t be a big deal, since nobody ever shows up to parties on time anyway, right?

Wrong! Well, we were right about almost everyone. Jeff, however, showed up RIGHT on time.

No big deal. I just forced Jeff to hang out with me while I put makeup on — necessary, since onions had just made my makeup run all over my face.

And that’s after I’d wiped most of it off. I looked really scary before that. Kind of like a crazy person.

Anyway, after Jeff chatted with me through a closed door (sorry, Jeff) as I changed into more party-appropriate attire and freshened up, Mark and I were finally ready to actually be hosts.

And host we did! We decided to try to put on a very “couple-y” front as our guests arrived.

We only did it once, though… and then we forgot. Or, really, we got distracted. 🙂

The next guest to arrive was Brian, who brought some of his hoppy, delicious home brew!

Other offerings…

Gazpacho shots from John and Vera:

Spinach & Artichoke Dip with pita chips from Ben and Andrew:

Cheese & crackers from Mark:

Meatless meatloaf (and unpictured but amazing vegan gravy) by Brian:

Peanut butter bars (these were ridiculously mouth-watering and addictive) from Jenni & Brian (different Brian):

And finally, a delectable triple-berry pie by Mark:

The main dish (by me) went sort of unpictured (whoops) that night, but there’s this blurry action shot…

That would be Farmer’s Market Pasta… I’ll be doing a whole post about it soon, with much better pictures. 🙂

Most of the party took place out in the garage.

Out there, we played an awesome new game that Jenni introduced us to, which is essentially a combination of the best elements of Taboo and Charades (two of my favorite games!).

I think I have a new favorite party game.

And, speaking of favorites, I’ll leave you with my favorite picture of the night.

You’re welcome, ladies. You’re welcome.

What did you do this weekend?

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A 30th Birthday Celebration

No, not mine. And if any of you thought for a moment that I was 30, I sort of hate you. Well, not really. I could never hate my readers. But… I wouldn’t be very happy with you.

This weekend, my friend Josh celebrated his 30th birthday, which was put together by our friend Robyn. She was amazing — she pulled so many Josh-centric items together to create a truly Josh-themed party.

Before I get to the party, though, let me tell you about what led up to it! During the day on Saturday, Robyn and I put together a few of the elements.

First, we made Caramel Apple Cake (two of them, actually) — one of the most complicated things I have ever made in my life! There were so many steps and parts to it.

Chopping apples… making the caramel topping…

Making the batter, which came together in three different parts (but smelled SO GOOD in the oven)…

… Even if we did forget to turn on the oven for the first half of the cooking time. Whoops.

Unfortunately, I sort of failed as a food blogger and never took any pictures of the finished cakes other than these pictures in the dark bar.

Fortunately, The Food Network took care of that for me.

(source)

Obviously, ours looked exactly like that. 😉

And that wasn’t all! Robyn also had the genius idea of making “ginger” mustaches  for people to pose with at the party.

This involved melting candy melts and carefully filling the mustache molds Robyn had ordered.


Though we ran into a little trouble with the size of the sticks (TWSS) and the resulting breakage (it’s totally a word) of more than a few of them (we figured it out eventually), they were a rousing success. Check it out!

And the fun doesn’t stop there.

For the party, Robyn rented out a section of a cool new bar in Hollywood called the Next Door Lounge, which meant we had waitresses and a whole section with seating and snacks just for us. Oh, and not only that, but Robyn asked them to make us a signature drink in theme. So, we got the “Carrot Top,” which involved rum, pinapple juice, orange juice, and other things I can’t remember.

Last but not least, Robyn ordered a life-sized cut-out and put Josh’s face on it.


Yes, really. Naturally, everyone had a lot of (often inappropriate) fun with that.

Please note that I kept it classy.

Anyway, it was a pretty fantastic party, thrown by someone pretty fantastic and thrown for someone pretty fantastic.

Hooray!

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The F’s of My Fourth of July

So, July 4th was kind of a blast. And it was all in F‘s, just like the Fourth!

Mark and I hosted a party, which was co-hosted by our lovely friend Robyn, at our apartment.

It was about as all-American as you can get. Grilling, football, frisbee, burgers, hot dogs, beer and fireworks were all included. Oh, and a baby and a dog. I mean, come on. Perfect.

We held the party mainly in our garage, which was actually a lot more successful than I thought it would be. The garage opened on one end into sunshine and an area for everyone to play games, and on the other end there was a door into the air conditioned apartment and kitchen. It made me think that we can definitely have more parties.

I have about a thousand pictures here, so I’m just going to break them into categories. Enjoy!

The Food

Mark and I provided a veggie & hummus platter, a cheese & cracker plate, fruit salad and watermelon, along with drinks (below). Everyone else brought tons of stuff — meat & veggies to grill, chips, dips, more watermelon, desserts, salads, etc, etc, etc! Lots of individual things went unpictured, but I’ll show you what I’ve got.

(Yes, we used our washer and dryer as tables. What,  you don’t do that?)


That’s not even half of it. I just didn’t capture a lot.

Oh, and can we please take a second for how completely packed our fridge was?

Again, that’s now even all of it! Sheesh.

Big thanks to Eric for being our grill-master again. He’s also the guy that made the pies! And a big thanks to Robyn for providing the grill!

The Firewater

(Okay, that was forced — but it was the only one! Alternative title: The Fruity Drinks.)

Aside from about ten different kinds of beer, there was Sangria! Both red & white varieties, courtesy of moi.

The Friends

Me & Mark:

Are we festive, or what?

Mark with our very first guest, Brian:

Mark (again!) with Becky (who was an actress in my thesis film in grad school!):

Mark is such a photo-hog.

Laura, Chris, Jen and Charlie (the dog!):

Jen, me and Laura:

I love that almost everyone dressed up in red, white & blue.

Me & Laura:

Laura, Chris, Jen and Matt:

(Man, Laura’s a photo-hog, too!)

Mark & Laura (photo-hogs unite!):

Josh & Dan (finally, some new people):

Me, Becky & Brian (all people who worked on my thesis film!):

Matt, Jen and Charlie (This was the closest I could get to a good family picture. Charlie likes to move.)

And finally, Marc, me and Josh:

There were a bunch of other people, but I stopped taking constant pictures at one point. Here’s an almost-complete group shot:

That’s Eric, Laura, Robyn, Briana, Jen, Matt (in the dark), Josh, Dan, Jenny, and Marc.

Missing: Lindsey, Eric (different Eric), baby Boston, Becky, Brian, Mark and me. I think that’s it. Oh well, you’ll see almost everyone in other pictures.

The Fun — Football, Frisbee, Flipcup & Fireworks

Football…

(What? They’re totally playing football. See?)

(Looks like Robyn won.)

Frisbee…


Flipcup…

Okay, so… No pictures of that, and it’s not because I’m a sore loser about not winning.

It’s not that at all.

And there were, of course, Fireworks!

Pretty perfect Fourth, don’t you think? 🙂

What did you do for Independence Day?

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