Friday, March 30, 2012

Totally Radical 80's-Inspired Birthday Party!

I have been meaning to share these photos for (literally) months now.

My sister-in-law, Emily, asked me to design a party for her husband's 30th birthday based on an 80's theme.   It was a complete honor - especially since Emily is a known photographer and has been featured quite a few times for her skill and talent. I was pumped for these photos before the party was even set up! It's was quite the journey, since first researching ideas and coming up with ways to execute it all. The preparation was fun, especially scoring some sweet finds at my favorite thrift store and just about every Goodwill I could find. I was so fortunate to have help from so many people (see credits below!).. There's no way I could have done it alone. I think it's because I choose the DIY route every single time. Definitely more work, but I'd like to think it's worth the quality and time and detail I try to put in, especially for being on a budget! Setup was pretty crazy.. good crazy. The event was held at The Chatterbox in St. Paul, a totally retro hangout/restaurant with loads of vintage board games and old video game systems. The servers and other customers walking by would keep peeking into the party room and stop with their mouths open - I am pretty sure it's mostly because there was SO much decor in that small party room - including 3 different garlands, a photo booth, trivia game, buffet tables, seated tables with centerpieces, big-screen Nintendo and a crazy amount of vintage 80's props. I had a pretty rad 80's playlist going.. full of just about every good 80's hit I could find. Everyone seemed to have a really fun time!

I just about died when I found out the party was going to be featured on one of my favorite party sites - Hostess with the Mostess! Check it out HERE

Feast your eyes on these totally awesome party photos, dudes!

The invites were pretty fun! They resembled an old video game cartridge and were made by Emily's friend, Dena Swenson. 
Party favors - full of the birthday guy's favorite retro candies, including Pop Rocks, Nerds, Razzles, Pixie Stix, Laffy Taffy, Gobbstoppers and suckers

Food by The Chatterbox - delicious!

Retro fabrics + slinkies + cassette tape

Trolls + A-tracks
One of the party activities - Aaron Trivia! 

One of my favorite garlands I've made for a party.. Pac-man! 

Made this cassette garland out of about 100 tapes I found at various Goodwills. Took a little extra detail to spray paint them, especially since most of the labels were still shining through. They were really heavy to hang as well. 
Gaudy neons + Zubaz-inspired prints

Photo Booth set up with one of Emily's camera's and a remote. It worked so well!

Chatterbox set up a huge screen and Nintendo for guests to play - huge hit!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Sweet & Cozy Birthday Party

My mom and two sisters have always had the joy to celebrate their birthdays together, since they are all January babies. Of course I had to throw a little lunch & dessert party! Although this winter hasn't exactly been "bad", I was totally inspired by a cute paper print I found and decided to go with a Sweet + Cozy Birthday Party. 

Lunch was pretty simple - Pizza, salad, veggies with cheeses & crackers. The little, white cups I used for the veggies are actually little "dessert wine glasses" I found at Marshall's a while back. I can't get enough of the white! The cupcake liner poms were from a fun little project my friend Jody and I made for an Anthropologie-inspired bridal shower. I love every chance I get to re-use those pretties! 


To go along with the cute + cozy theme, dress code included a requirement to wear a scarf. Maybe a little cheesy, yeah, but I had about 30 to choose from and everyone had a fun time with it! 

The birthday girls!

And then for dessert! 

While planning the party, I was really excited to pull colors and inspiration from the paper I found. I used lots of white and cream, plus aqua, mint, coral, terracotta, grey and some patterned black and white. 






I have been in love with yarn poms for the longest time and especially after our friends threw us an amazing farewell party and decorated the room with tons of poms, I never realized how easy they are to make! There are a few ways to do it... I know there are lots of pom-pom makers - wooden and plastic, using a FORK - but I went old school and used my fingers. I think it took me about 4 lazy hours to make all the poms for this party. By lazy, I mean 4 very distracted hours filled with movie-watching and music-listening as I wound, tied and trimmed. Not bad! I loved combining them with my clear, vintage glass vases, pearls, twine balls, mini tree stumps and doilies. 



Back in December, I asked my sister, Vanessa, to knit me some extra long skinny strands that could be used as garland for our Christmas dinner party. I just about died when she showed me four 30-foot strands she made. I was to stinkin' excited to be able to use them again.. what's more appropriate for a cozy-inspired party than knitted strands of yarn?!


A few of the patterns and paper prints I used. Love the polka dots and stripes! I punched each flag with two of my favorite Martha Stewart punches




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