If there’s anything that makes my heart pitter-patter, it’s a good theme party. (Besides you, dear husband.)
And it’s been far too long since I’ve thrown one.
The reason you haven’t heard from me in the last week is I was busy planning a Lumberjack Party to celebrate Moose’s birthday with friends. TIIIIMBER!!!!
Today I’ll share decorations and I’ll follow-up with a post on the Lumberjack Dinner Party menu.
This was the largest sit-down dinner party we’ve had in this house so far – our new record to beat is 11 people at our dining room table.
For a general theme I was shooting for woodsy, rugged fun!
Every good party centers around food. So the dining room was the first place I started.
Instead of a formal, fancy centerpiece, I created a meandering trail of center “items”.
Some of those things included: Ikea Lanterns + pinecones, my Coffee Can Centerpiece with Rhody leaves, green wine bottles with red berries (Michael’s), white candlesticks and birch tree tealight holders (from my Mom – borrowing is a beautiful thing).
I laid down 2 yards of green buffalo plaid flannel from Joann Fabrics as a runner.
For the place settings I used woven chargers (Pier 1) with my yellow everyday dishes and red napkins.
The adorable mason jar glasses were favors from my cousin’s wedding. The heart is made from chalkboard paper! I added some adorable red striped straws that I bought from Amazon a while ago.
You know I love a good before and after photo:
The sideboard in the dining room was where the “Toppings Bar” was located:
The Nearly No-Sew Autumn Bunting has been hanging there since the fall, and the “runner” was made of plaid wrapping paper from the Dollar Store.
I added some natural colored raffia (to look like wood shavings) and pinecones.
I should just write my Mom’s name all over this post. The hilariously appropriate “Got Moose?” napkins were also a gift from her! She found them at Marshall’s.
She was a key part of this party theme coming together!
Of course the graphic designer inside of me couldn’t help myself.
I made labels for all the toppings and desserts and stuck them with toothpicks.
I have this thing where I can’t bring myself to buy store-bought desserts.
I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t do it.
Usually this is a good thing – I don’t buy them so I don’t eat them.
But it was somebody’s birthday recently
And, of course, our oven chose to die. And I mean croak. 20-minutes-later-the-frozen-pizza-is-still-frozen kind of dead.
To eliminate confusion: this is not an after photo. Just re-using photos here people!
The oven breaking was unfortunate for a few reasons:
It was actually kind of new and the only working appliance that came with the house
We were hoping to sell it on Craigslist and make a few pennies
We weren’t planning on buying a new oven right now.
Such is life. Certainly such is the renovating life.
Anyways, back to the topic of cake. Specifically, birthday cake.
I “pinned” this recipe from Taste of Home ages ago for Moose’s b-day and bummed when I thought I couldn’t make it anymore. (There are bits of chocolate cake in one of the trifle layers – hence the oven problem.)
Welp, I have officially made “microwaved cake”. It wasn’t bad. Not great, but not bad.
We are now in search-mode for our next oven. But, like most of our projects, we are presented with a bevy of issues we inherited with the house.
I am pretty sure they built this entire kitchen around the stove.
Seriously. The oven fits quite snugly between the window molding and the cabinets.
More importantly, we are extremely constricted in our stove options due to the height we need the oven door handle to be. It has to be tall enough for the drawer to open underneath it. If we decide to go with the double oven or a warming drawer that has a handle we also need the handle to be relatively flat, so the cabinet door can open easily.
Also, if we end up choosing a gas stove (which we both prefer to cook with) we will need to run a gas line across our basement – adding cost to our project.
Ideally, we’ll end up with something like this:
(The Sprite sign is random, but one can only justify spending a minimal amount of time photoshopping their own kitchen photos.)
We will build an endcap on the left-hand of the stove and maybe some funky non-flammable and easily wipeable artwork.
Due to our handle restrictions, right now we are leaning towards the fancy double stoves (and no! not just because they are swoon-worthy to a baker like me!), because the top handle are more likely to give us the height clearance we need.
Until then, I’m not baking a single thing. : )
And before I forget – a note on switching from a wall-mounted microwave to a hood:
So far I love it. Our microwave was mounted really low, so it’s nice being about to see into the pots on the back burner. While we eventually will put a small microwave in our pantry, the old clunker is downstairs on the basement workbench.
I’ve discovered the main reasons I use the microwave are to reheat my coffee and melt butter. Now I’m just trying to drink my coffee faster, and a little less butter never hurt anybody!
What kind of stove do you have? Any recommendations?
I wrote short stories as a kid. I didn’t want to be a princess. I didn’t want to be a ballerina, or a marine biologist or a movie star. I wanted to write and illustrate books. In kindergarten we had to draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up. I drew a lady holding a book with the word “authir” next to it.
(Although, a year later, according to the first grade yearbook, I had changed my mind and wanted to become a Mary Kay.)
I was the Features Editor of my high school newspaper and the Editor-in-Chief of my college newspaper. I have a degree in writing. My first job was at a magazine. And, as you may know, I read like a fiend. The concept of Word is inescapable to me.
After I graduated from college, I followed my passion for graphic design and that is where my professional life has taken me.
A little over a year ago I ran into an old newspaper friend at the library (the social scene for logophiles).
“What are you writing these days?” he asked. Surprised at myself, I had to tell him I was writing nothing. In fact, I couldn’t remember writing anything notable in the two years since my senior thesis paper.
He shook his head. “That’s not good,” he said, “You have to keep with your writing.” I agreed.
That night I went home and started Withywindle. Something I never really intended to do, but I can’t journal consistently. I’ll journal every day for three months and then I won’t pick it up again for a year.
I published my first post on my 25th birthday. Since then I’ve been so blessed with support, encouragement and readers. If you are reading this – thank you!
Now if only it were socially acceptable for me to dress like this on my birthday….
One of my best friends, Abs, celebrated her Princess Birthday recently (Princess birthday = turning the number of years as the day you were born, ex: 24 years old on the 24th.) Neither of us believe you’re ever too old for birthday parties, so we celebrated.
1. “Tiara” cake – Funfetti with caramel frosting
2. Royal Jewels candy
3. “Scepter” wands – Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
4. Polka Dot Dessert plates (from my Mom, Dot)
5. “Fairy Cocoamother”
6. “Who’s the fairest one of all?”
7. “Enchanted” Fudge
8. Golden Spun Ribbon
9. These marshmallows were DELICIOUS!
My darling sister-in-law sent me a stupendous surprise gift for my birthday today! I was sitting at my desk at work, and someone is walking towards me with a rather large foam box covered in stickers that say “dry ice”. Naturally, working in the medical industry, I ask think “organs??”.
Fortunately, and to my delight, I open the box up to the prettiest box of cupcakes I have ever seen in my LIFE!
It turns out they are from Crumbs Bake Shop in NYC. And they are marvelous. (Also, they shipped very well!)
I can’t wait to eat one! She got me the Chocolate Blackout Cupcake, Cosmo Cupcake, Pumpkin Cupcake, Cookie and Cream Cupcake, Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake and the Red Velvet Cupcake.