Yes, it’s Wednesday and my birthday was almost a week ago, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t post a few photos of the celebration.
This girl helped me out so much over the weekend!
The ladies table…why are we on the floor?!
The guys are so serious about their food!
This picture made me laugh out loud. I got a hilarious apron that says “Clean all the things?” and I was doing my best Hyperbole and a Half Face.
The piñata was a last minute purchase that I worried might be perceived as lame by the mid – late twenties crowd. it turns out that all you need to make adults love pinatas is an array of weapons with which to hit it. I was sure after it was broken, I’d be left with loads of candy, as I was relatively nostalgic with my candy purchases. But no, people still love the tiny boxes of nerds and the sticks of Laffy Taffy as much as they did when we were kids.
Angie was the winner that finally knocked it down!
On Sunday, we headed out to Golden Gate park to celebrate with my family, who generously traveled to us. It was my sister’s birthday in late July, and my brother in law’s birthday in a few days, so it was a multi birthday celebration!
Although the sun didn’t peek through the clouds once, we had a great time eating, playing frisbee and soccer, and chatting. I know I’ve said it before, but I always treasure the times when my entire family can get together.
Between organizing and hosting Saturday night, Sunday, and an event last night (which I’ll post about soon), there was a lot of prep work to be done. Here are my tips on how to stay sane and throw a great party:
Stick to the basics: When you’re having a lot of people over, keeping dishes simple and recognizable means most people will probably like it. I like to experiment when I invite a few people over, that way if it’s terrible, we only have a few extra meals to make.
Make it customizable: The “bar” theme for the party meant a salad bar, a baked potato bar, and an ice cream bar. Everyone could choose their toppings so no one had to eat around anything they didn’t like.
Keep it simple: On Saturday night, the only thing that had to cook were the potatoes – and those just needed a scrub, and oil bath, some pokes and a foil wrap and into the oven they went. It was great to not have to worry about tracking the time of a bunch of components.
Enlist help when you need it: Jessie, Miro, and Alex made the prep work go much faster – and made it more fun!
Prep ahead if you can: I could have done a lot of the chopping the night before the party, but I went to bed early so I could wake up and run 14 miles instead. But for last night’s fundraiser, I pre-made crackers and cooked a bunch of beans so I could just process away to make the dips.
Don’t sweat the small stuff: For Sunday, I made the family Tempeh/Lettuce/Tomato/Avocado sandwiches, and I burned the bread for three of them. We scraped off the burned bits (okay, Jessie did that for me) and they tasted delicious.
I threw 3 parties in 4 days, and didn’t collapse from exhaustion or stress – so I hope these tips can help you too!
What are your favorite dinner party tips? Would you have a piñata at your birthday?