My sister Diana and I joined forces last month and threw our mom a surprise 50th birthday party.
My mom is always the one throwing parties for everyone else…and she had never had a party for herself.
I was in charge of the decorations, and my sister handled all of the food and drink.
I love breaking up parties that way…makes it so much easier when you can focus on one element.
My mom and I could NOT have more different styles if we tried.
My mom loves anything with glitter, sequins and bedazzled rhinestone blingyness. If you can get all three in one item, it’s the perfect trifecta of sparkle for her. So this party was WAY out of my comfort zone. I’ve thrown a lot of parties and I have a lot of “party stuff”, but in this case, NONE of it would work. All of the mason jars, milk glass, burlap, twine, and bunting I have in my arsenal would be lost on my mom. It’s just not her thing.
When I was planning my wedding, I remember having this conversation with her:
“I see so many pretty things for your wedding, but then I think ‘No, Jeannett won’t like that…so I have to look for the most boring, plain thing and I know that’s what you’ll like.”
“Funny because when I shop for you I think ‘What’s the most glitterific, gaudy, over the top thing here?'”
Plus, my mom’s favorite color is purple.
Which just so happens to be the color I hate the most.
Oy vey. I had my work cut out for me on this one.
I tried to set the tone for the party with the invitations.
Purple, black, white, and silver.
I’m really bummed because these pictures really don’t do the party justice.
We (and by “we” I mean Andy) strung hundreds of white lights from the ceiling in a swag from the center of the room all around to the walls.
It looked really cool even if it didn’t photograph well.
I made table runners out of purple satin and black lace.
I never thought I would ever say those words.
We borrowed the tall vases and used fresh flowers wherever possible.
Remnants of lace attached to simple glass vases and fake jewels added the necessary bling factor.
Normally I don’t like to use paper plates, but the guest list was a little too long to justify having to wash dishes, so I made the best of it and bought cute silver plates with a lace pattern (at Walmart of all places!) and tied more lace onto the napkins to make it look fancy-esque.
The party was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so I was able to shop the Christmas sections for silver and purple glittered gear. Had this party been in the middle of summer I would have been in serious trouble.
I had hoped for more purple-y flowers, but Costco (my flower go-to) had a puny selection outside of the orange/reds for the holiday. I’m really glad I had the purple picks to give the centerpieces more color.
Only the best for my mom.
Between all the white lights, and the dozens of candles burning, we didn’t need to turn on any other lights.
It was fancy.
We tried to “hide” as much of my grandma’s furniture behind decorations.
(And see? I was able to sneak some bunting in there! I mean, I had to use glittery ribbon and silver paper, but I did it!)
Either my mom’s a really good actress or we legitimately surprised her.
We kept her away by asking her to babysit my kids for the day…and we didn’t leave her with any carseats. Which basically meant she was trapped at home.
Mean? Sure. But it got the job done.
As a perfect illustration, I would like to point out that we had told my mom that we were taking her out to dinner for her birthday to Olive Garden.
This is what she shows up in: it’s hard to tell in the picture but that shirt is full sequins…her cardigan has little crystals on it…she has not one, but TWO big blingy bracelets on, a blinged out necklace, and giant diamante hoop earrings. Even her nails have a coat of glitter on them.
To go to Olive Garden.
We sang happy birthday over a cupcake.
I probably should have made one bigger cake because this was a little on the dorky side.
My sister plays the clarinet in the local Portuguese band and had some of them come by to surprise my mom with her very own live band serenade. They played some old Portuguese standbys, the ever popular Chicken Dance Song, and Happy Birthday.
It was really cool.
Happy Birthay (a month ago) MOM!