We spend a lot of time celebrating in April. Partay!
April is a busy birthday month for the Evolving Mommy household. In addition to friends with birthdays both my mom and Luke’s mom have April birthdays. And to top it all off Luke is also an April baby.
This year I decided to make April even more busy and a little stressful by adding a surprise party into the mix. You all know by now I love to play hostess. I love to decorate and cook and plan. I love to invite friends or family into my home. It ad been a long time since a threw a surprise party. Probably since college and it had been a long time since I had thrown a birthday party for my wonderful husband. He deserved the extra love a surprise party in your honor can throw your way.
A few weeks in advance I sent out evite invitations to our friends, including a friendly threat to hurt them if they spilled the beans. I’m sure they were not intimidated in the slightest. I’m not very scary. I enlisted the help of a good friend to distract Luke after work the Friday night is party was scheduled for and I set to work on putting together a party.
Here is what I learned. Luke helps me a ton when putting parties together. a ton. He cleans up the kitchen no less than 27 times as a cook and trash it over and over again during preparation for gatherings. He cleans the house, runs errands and wrangles our child. To top it off he keeps me calm. I didn’t realize it until the day of the party but I function better with him on my team which makes throwing a surprise party for him a difficult task.
Luckily the party turned out great! I decided on a sort of international appetizer or tapas type menu and planned the rest from there. I came across a table runner made of different colored sticks woven together. It had a great ethnic feel and I loved the vibrant colors. It became my color pallet for the party.
On a walk with Maddy we came across a bunch of trees who had seen better days. In other words the wind has blown a bunch of small branches from them. Stick littered the ground. Not really having a plan we rounded up a bunch of sticks and put them in the stroller. Later that say while looking at my new table runner inspiration hit me. I ran upstairs and digging through my painting supplies found a blue, green, red, and orange to match some of the colored sticks in the table runner. Then I set to work painting the sticks found during our walk to create a couple center pieces. One for the food table and one for the dessert area.The day of the party I picked up some sunflowers and some large bright yellow flowers of which I do not know the name. The flower and colored stick arrangements were so striking and didn’t cost much so of course I was happy with them.
Because the food was an eclectic mix I pulled out of eclectic mix of salad plates and set them in two stacks, one on each end of the table. The napkins I already owned, which also coincidentally coordinated with the colors on my table runner, were rolled up and stuck in a couple of small metal buckets. After looking around my house I found a couple canning jars to hold the forks. This table was coming together nicely.
After all the basics were in place on the table the food was spread around the remaining space. Let me tell you this table was packed with food and flavors from around the world.
Little bites of deliciousness covered the table top. Pico de gallo and guacamole served in colorful margarita glasses. Thin slices of steak cooked and served on skewers with chimichurri sauce. Greek lamb meatballs and tzatziki sauce. Baked wontons and a spicy soy dipping sauce. Peppadew peppers stuffed with goat cheese. Fresh fruit salad with mango, pineapple and strawberry. My favorite roasted red pepper hummus served with vegetables and pita chips. Tandorri chicken wings. A mix of olives in varying shades of black and green. Bruschetta loaded with tomatoes and basil served with focaccia. A dozen individual bowls of Julia Child’s chocolate mousse and a dozen individual cheesecakes with raspberry sauce and fresh whipped cream rounded out the feast.
I spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing for this party. A lot of time is an understatement really. Every minute was worth it though. Food plays a particular roll in my relationship with my handsome husband. He loves to eat. I love to cook. I shower him with food. He showers me with compliments for my food. Planning a spread full of food I knew he would truly appreciate was the number one goal of this party. Okay number two goal. I guess the number one goal was to surprise him with a house full of friends when he walked in the door that night.
Luke was surprised.
The food was good.
Our friends left our home with full bellies.
Luke fell asleep talking about how much fun he had, how loved he felt and how awesome his night was.
I’d call all the planning, effort and stress a success!