Well, I know that several people out there are
"dying" of anticipation to see M's birthday party
after I posted about her Sweet Sixteen Shoot and the planning of it all.
And now that the holidays are over I'm ready to share the rest!
The decor of the party matched the theme of her photos that I took.
Everything was to have a vintage fashion feel:
Floral, mason jars, wooden boxes, lipstick, etc.
I began by lining the walls with photos of M's life.
Memories that captured her personality
and reminded us of so many silly and happy times.
Among the photos I added in a hashtag frame
so that her friends would be reminded to share any fun party photos they took
for her to enjoy!
So easy and such a fun way to gather memories from an event!
I designed all of the framed chalkboard signs using lovely free graphics from
and gorgeous free wreath graphics from
When the guests arrived they were able to step into a photo booth.
Their invitations had told them that they were welcome
to wear flower crowns or suspenders.
I was delighted at how many of them did!
For the back drop of the photo booth,
I simply used a peach table cloth that I owned
and glued dollar store flowers to fishing line that I hung above.
The effect was just what I wanted!
I also created photo booth props using
I took photos on my DSLR and then also took two polaroids of each guest
using my Instax Mini 8 camera
for a special purpose.
After each guest finished at the photo booth
they rounded the corner to the welcome table.
Here was where the two polaroids came into play.
Each guest signed their name on one polaroid and clipped it to a pallet box
for M to keep as a memory of her friends.
The other was put into a jar for me to put into their favor cups
to take home at the conclusion of the festivities.
There was also a white wooden letter M and a golden sharpie.
Each guest wrote a word that they thought described Mathea on the letter
as a keepsake for her.
I thought it would be a fun way for M to look back
and remember herself at sixteen.
There was also a wooden box for cards and gifts on the welcome table.
Once guests began to clip up their polaroids,
the pallet box for them looked so neat!
After the welcome table,
dinner was served and the food was AMAZING!
Our mom made tiny sliders,
pig in blankets,
and grilled cheese sandwiches (for the vegetarians)
all from scratch!
I'm STILL dreaming about those sliders...
All of the toppings were laid out
as well as tea cups with condiments in them.
We also served cups with french fries,
and fruit infused water in mason jars.
The way everything was presented made it super easy for the kids
to just grab whatever they wanted in a buffet style.
The portion sizes of the french fries was just right
and they looked very trendy in the dessert cups.
We planned out all of the food so that everything was hot at the right time
and nothing got soggy or cold.
I'd say that that in and of itself is cause for a victory dance!
Svea walked around asking everyone for food with her giant pleading stares
and probably ate more than most of the kids did.
She's just too cute to say no to sometimes.
After dinner, the games began.
They guests were divided into teams and for the first game
they had to match the definitions of vintage clothing items to their real names
(things like Knickerbockers, corset, boater, etc).
A lot of them were really difficult,
but the team with the most correct got a point and then on to the next game!
The second game was the most funny.
Everyone had to put on lipstick
and a blindfold to kiss either a photo of Audrey Hepburn or Elvis.
Our dad actually put on lipstick and did it
and WON the poster of Audrey by getting it directly on her lips!
(He wasn't on a team though so the second closest team got the point for that game.)
The third game was "Name that Fashion Icon."
I had a poster with faces of some of the most influential fashion icons of all time
(Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Carey Grant, Clint Eastwood, Coco Chanel, etc)
and each team had to name the one that was randomly selected for them.
Mathea didn't know Carey Grant and we all wondered if our mom would disown her right there.
Carey Grant is our mom's favorite!
Carey Grant is our mom's favorite!
The last game was also one that filled the room with laughter.
Each team had one boy on it so I had brown paper bags,
each with one make up item in it
(eyelash glue, compact mirror, mascara, eye liner, etc).
The boy had to reach in and describe how the item felt to the girls on his team.
They would have to help him give a final guess on what make up item it was
and they would get a point if they were right.
The team that won the most overall games got prize bags
with my hand stitched embroidery hoops inside
(all fashion themed hoops - except one that had a Harkins voucher should the boy want that instead).
After the games everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to Mathea
and we cut into the five layer masterpiece that I had created for her
(at three AM that morning).
(at three AM that morning).
M wanted a "naked" cake
where the frosting on the sides is thin enough to show the layers of cake
so I did my best and I was quite proud of the results.
I did a little arrangement on top with flowers and strawberries that really brought it together.
The flowers displayed on the food table throughout the night,
were by a wonderful local florist called The Tulip Tree.
They also did M's flower crown and all of the flowers came out
exactly as I had envisioned!
They were the centerpiece of the decor and
I can't thank them enough!
Our Scottsdale Kneaders was wonderful enough to sponsor the party as well,
adding their delicious mini raspberry pastries to the dessert table!
I am not kidding when I say that if I was only allowed to eat one thing
for the rest of my life...
IT WOULD BE KNEADERS RASPBERRY PASTRIES!
Not only were they adorable with the decor,
but I really cannot explain in words to you just how yummy they were.
You can drool over the pictures for now until you can make it to your closest Kneaders.
Thank you Scottsdale Kneaders!!!
After dessert, the kids all piled into the backyard where we had a fire pit set up
(Thank you Terri!)
and a projector and screen
(Thank you Layton family and Lydia!)
and a huge wooden cart
(Thank you Grandpa!)
covered in goodies for them.
In front of the projector screen were the twenty pillows that I had sewn
in fabrics to match the party theme
for the guests to lay on while they watched the movie "How to Marry a Millionaire."
I'd say it is certainly one of Marilyn's best films.
The classy humor in it is just fantastic.
I also sewed a special pillow as a birthday gift for M
She loved it
so I must've done ok.
The food cart had sodas,
a popcorn bar with options of what to add to the popcorn,
and supplies to make s'mores over the fire pit.
Sidenote: I wish I could hug whoever invented rectangle marshmallows for s'mores.
Also, our Grandpa built that adorable tiered s'mores display!
Isn't he the coolest?!
It all turned out wonderfully and the kids all snuggled in and stuffed themselves on the treats.
As the movie ended and guests trickled out,
they each got to take a favor mug
with their polaroid from earlier in the party,
lipstick and perfume samples for the ladies,
cologne samples for the gentlemen,
and hot cocoa mix for everyone to enjoy in their mug later.
I am so happy with how miraculously smoothly everything turned out
and so grateful to everyone who lent me things for the evening.
I can't believe how many things I designed, crafted, and made with my hands
to bring my vision to life
of a party that would accurately represent my baby sister.
Mostly I am grateful for the chance to celebrate her.
Sixteen years ago I was pacing up and down the hospital hall
anxiously waiting to get to to go in and hold her for the first time.
One of the nurses gave me a sticker that said,
"I am a big sister,"
and I thought my little heart would burst.
There is no love in the world that is quite the same
as the love a big sister has for her younger siblings.
M is full of love, creativity, sass, wisdom, and class.
I am so so grateful for her.
Happy Birthday M.
I hope you loved every minute of it.