Summer Soiree 2013

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Last year, I threw myself a 40th birthday party. I invited good friends, threw together a communal table, strung a few lights and provided dinner for about 20. It was great. But I thought I could do better. I still had a vision in my head and I was determined to see if I could create that vision to my satisfaction.

Since this summer turned out to be the most stellar one in years – decades, even – I decided that an end-of-summer-party was in order. So this year, I called in some reinforcements. I convinced my friend and smoke-master Jamie to take care of the meat. (Boy did he ever deliver!) And I made the rest of the meal a potluck so that I could focus on decor and atmosphere.

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My husband and I created a 22 foot long table from saw horses and 4×8 sheets of plywood and benches consisted of 2×12 boards on top of stacked cinder blocks. I covered the table with two 9×12 canvas drop cloths which I will use for upholstery projects. I invested in some pretty green wine glasses and rounded edged off-white dinner plates from the Dollar Store. The blue plates are ones that I usually bust out for parties. They’re not my favorite color, but you work with what you’ve got. Finally, I topped the table with a slab of cedar that we had lying around and scrounged the property for weeds and vines to accompany my sad little hydrangeas. I think they turned out great.

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Scott was able to borrow 3 strands of 100′ long patio lights and meticulously hung them in the trees. Patio lights really make it, don’t you think?

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My kids were looking forward to this party almost as much as I was. So Owen contributed by making signs. Unfortunately, people were too busy eating, visiting and Instagramming to make use of the photo booth, but later on it housed a few dancers.

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At final count, we hosted 33 people – 17 kids and 16 adults. I’m not sure who had more fun. The kids have all known each other, for the most part, since birth and so they are quite used to these kinds of get-togethers. One of the spontaneous outcomes of the night was this awesome pyramid (One Direction may have been playing in the background)

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Like most great parties around here, the evening was capped off by an amazing fire in the fire pit complete with reminiscing of parties-gone-by. I am so fortunate to have such a great community of friends who have become family. It’s an honor for me and my husband to be able to create an atmosphere that people can relax and connect in. Our cups are full.

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