We’re celebrating my birthday weekend (only one more shopping day everybody!) in Palm Springs with some of my pals. For my birthday dinner I asked my friends to bring a talent to perform for a talent show. People are either super into it or a little terrified. I’ve never done tap dancing before but I decided to take tap dance lessons for my performance. I’ve been practicing like crazy and getting my costume ready. See a peek at my costume below. I found it at a vintage store, it wasn’t for sale but I begged the owner to sell it to me and he did. I’ll report back later how it goes. Have you ever had your friends perform at a party? One of my friends is going to recite Cowboy Poetry he has memorized.
I always joke that the better the party I throw, the worse I look when I show up. I’ve gotten better at getting ready way in advance so I don’t look like I just ran a marathon but we do have a little routine we go through before the party starts. I usually make sure the house is pretty clean the day before but right before the guests begin showing up I will do a “walk through.” Basically, I pretend I am a guest in my own home. I try to think about what would make people more comfortable and then go around sprucing things up. Here are my three basic steps:
Photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day
One of my goals for the new year is to throw more dinner parties. The goal is actually more specific, I want to throw 52 dinner parties. I’m not actually holding myself to a weekly goal but I want to do 4-5 a month. I’m not planning on all of them being big and fancy, I read this article about this woman who does a weekly casual dinner with her friends. I found it completely inspiring. I have two main motivations for this goal. The first is, we finally have a dining room. I spent the last decade of my life without a real dining room and now we have a nice big one! I still feel really inexperienced cooking for lots of people and I want to get really good. I want to be a professional-dinner-party-thrower. The second motivation is I always meet people and think “we should have them over.” But then I never make time to actually make it happen. If I have some dates set on the calendar I think it will be more motivation to spend time with friends, make new ones and make our community bigger and stronger.
The pictures below are from my Instagram. I hosted a “Serial” Dinner Party last week. I asked my friends on Facebook who wanted to come and discuss the Serial Podcast and the next thing I knew I had 14 people coming over to my house! It was a really fun evening. For dinner we had parsnip soup, spicy meatballs, lemon pasta, salad, roasted carrots and chocolate cake. I foraged some olive branches to decorate the table and used my pretty Mud Australia dishes and West Elm gold silverware. We had a great time and I’ve been trying to keep notes about what worked and what didn’t so I learn and get better each party. I would love to learn what your tricks are for dinner parties? Please leave tips in the comments below!
photos by @ohhappyday
Do Not Open is a envelope project by designer and letterer Erik Marinovich. I’m fascinated and delighted by this project where anybody can purchase an envelope (ahem, piece of art) with a custom design. It also makes me inspired to to send more “fun” mail this year. Look how beautiful they are! See more and commission your own right here.