Yesterday I celebrated my golden birthday - 29 on the 29th. Those who know me in real life know I am absolutely obsessed with my birthday. Like, if I could make my birthday an international holiday and force everyone to observe it, I would.
I normally start thinking about my birthday on January 1st each year. New year, new chance to plan a party! This year I tried to be more restrained and got all my creative party juices flowing in June.
Since my birthday this year was going to fall on a Sunday, I knew there was only one choice. What is the best thing about Sunday?
What could be better than regular Sunday brunch? Boozy birthday brunch.
And just like that, the idea for the golden birthday celebration was born.
I knew I wanted to have the brunch at my house. Since I was forgoing a fancy venue, I knew the party itself had to be spectacular. That's when I decided to call my friend and jack of all trades, Dustin.
Dustin and I met two years ago at Persona Boston where he is the head of marketing. We hit it off immediately and have been supporting each other's professional endeavors ever since. In addition to his role at Persona, Dustin also teaches cooking, baking and entertaining classes at the Boston Center for Adult Education, he's the owner of Bad Boy Bake Shop, a fabulous interior decorator and one hell of a party planner.
Together we concocted a plan for the most outrageous boozy birthday brunch on the planet. Dustin gave me a homework assignment, which was to create a Pinterest board with all my party hopes and dreams. You may remember the pinboard, I shared it here a few weeks ago. Once that was out of the way, we worked together on a menu (both food and drink) and he got right to work piecing it all together.
On birthday morning Dustin and his sister, Marshelle, arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed at 8:00am to get started. They wouldn't let me help with a single thing.
By 10:45am, my house was completely transformed.
When guests arrived they first thing they saw was a pair of 40 inch tall gold balloons. The big 2-9. Literally!
Dustin took over my entry way with a golden table runner, candles, flowers and an extra dose of glitz.
As you moved into the living room, my coffee table got the same star treatment.
My very most favorite thing in the entire house was the fireplace mantle. Dustin covered the entire mantle top with gold wine bottles. A few bottles served as candle holders for elegant white candle sticks that flickered throughout the whole party.
In the center of the mantle was a framed picture from my college girlfriends. While I was in the shower that morning they managed to run to CVS and print a picture of all of us from the night before! Am I a lucky girl or what?
The food spread was staged in the dining room. Above the table hung a sign that said, "Time to drink champagne and dance on the table." I first saw this sign on Pinterest and Dustin offered to recreate it for me. I thought he was joking, but sure enough he made an exact replica that will now hang on my wall forever.
Seriously, I am never taking it down.
On the dining room table were more bedazzled candles.
Beside the food spread were individually wrapped place settings, each one tied with hot pink ribbon.
The menu was expansive. Guests started with two types of frittata muffins - Mediterranean (sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, kale, spinach, onion and roasted peppers) and Southwestern (bacon, red peppers, cheddar cheese, onions and jalapeños).
Dustin labeled every single food item with a card. Each card was hand written and included the name of the dish, the ingredients and a little comment in the corner to indicate its variety, "Meat!" or "Veg!" or "Alcohol!" Yes, they all had exclamation points.
Though I didn't get a photo of it, there was a hash brown casserole that was one of the best things I've ever eaten. It was so gooey and cheesy. I wanted to swim in it.
There were also a spinach pasta with pesto alfredo and an autumn salad with spinach, artichokes, blueberries, walnuts and goat cheese.
Dustin also made four kinds of Poptarts. Yes, made them. There was nutella, peanut butter, raspberry and apple butter.
The peanut butter tarts had glittery purple frosting! Does he know me or what?
In the kitchen was the bar. The star of the bar area was the make your own bloody Mary bar. There was plain vodka and bacon vodka, tomato juice mixture (plain and "zesty" which had horseradish, Tobasco and celery salt) and a huge selection of toppings.
Each glass was pre-topped with a piece of celery.
If you needed to mix your custom drink, there were pink and white birthday straws garnished with a gold flag (another item from Pinterest I loved and Dustin created).
In addition to the bloody Marys, there were also pitchers of peach bellinis, ice tea and lemonade.
The party atmosphere even made it to the bathroom, where Dustin turned my bathroom from drab to fab. It felt like a spa!
Each new person who walked through my front door was completely floored by Dustin's magic - the balloons, the glitzy decor, the drinks and the never ending supply of incredible food.
I couldn't have asked for a more perfect birthday celebration. I honestly don't know how I am ever going to top this.
Dustin, thank you for making me the happiest birthday girl in the world.