Best Birthday Ever? Could Social Distancing Actually Bring Us Closer Together?

Best Birthday Ever?

671A3D10-B815-4909-A98B-3AAC7DEE7FD2

Could this social distancing actually bring us closer together? This post will include a few ideas on how to celebrate with friends and family during these crazy times; but more than that, I think it demonstrates how we are changing the way we interact with each other and our rediscovery of the importance of being kind to each other and to ourselves.

I’m not going to lie, the prospect of spending my 50th birthday by myself in my apartment, by myself, seemed a bit dismal and depressing. But what I hadn’t considered is how creative and thoughtful my friends and family would be. Could all this extra time apart help bring us closer?

The pace of our daily lives has slowed to a, sometimes painful, crawl; our routines and our interactions with each other have been completely flipped upside down. One of the side effects is that we are having to connect with each other in different ways; maybe even better ways?

Here are some great ideas if any of your people have birthdays or celebrations during this social distancing time. But you really don’t have to wait for a special occasion to make someone feel special and loved…just saying.

Card Campaign

The week before my birthday I started getting birthday cards in the mail, a lot of cards! I had forgotten how nice it is to open your mailbox and see brightly colored  envelopes; some even took the time to make me a card, seriously, how freaking thoughtful is that?

The keyword here is thoughtful; I feel like we are all being more mindful of the effects that our small gestures of kindness are having on others.
The thought of my friends taking the time and effort to go out of their homes to buy me  a birthday card; or getting their glue sticks out to make me a card; or digging through their storage to find a Halloween Card in order to customize it for me, because they know that I love Halloween, tugs at my heartstrings and has made me feel so special.

This card campaign as also helped to spread out this warm and fuzzy feeling; they are still coming in. I think we should bring snail mail back!! Are you thinking about someone? Instead of shooting them a quick text, send them a note or card.

Parking Lot Parade Party

5C0FC098-CB30-40F6-80DE-6065F149EDFF

The morning of my birthday, I was puttering around my apartment, thankfully I was dressed with my lipstick on, ready to take on the day when I heard some honking coming from outside my window; when I looked out I saw 15ish cars with hot pink balloons parading down my street. 

I was so touched, and yes, I cried, just a little. The theme of this post is love; my friends and family took the time to do something nice for someone else; I was so fortunate to be the recipient of all of their love.  Had I had a party, my friends would have showed up to help me celebrate; but the thought that they coordinated meeting in a parking lot close to my place; where they decorated their cars with pink balloons and signs was extra special. As they made their way to my place, cars they passed pulled over and let them pass. This was so much more memorable than any regular party; the only shitty part is that I couldn’t hug anyone. Lots of hugs for everyone when this is over!

Feeling la Love!

When challenged with strict social restrictions, we are having to find new ways to stay connected and to show our love for one another.

I was invited to a super cozy lunch for two in a friend’s garage that included a 12 foot long table, perfect for social distancing. We sat there without any distractions, no checking our phones, we didn’t have anywhere else to be. We ate leftovers, laughed and listened to Van Morrison.

If you are feeling disconnected, put your best face covering on and go sit in your friends driveway! Thinking of someone? Send them a card or drop off a plate of cookies; simple, inexpensive acts of kindness are appreciated more than ever.

A few friends and I have started weekly zoom calls, my friend Kenda made the observation that she couldn’t remember the last time we were all in town at the same time and able to celebrate a birthday all together. Four out of the six of us travel for work and planning events has always been a scheduling nightmare.

I am noticing that we all seem more present when we spend time together now, even if just via video. Josette mentioned that when things get back to “normal” she is going to try to let go of a lot of the things that stressed her out and all the things she thought she “needed” to do. Our lives are much simpler now and it’s kind of nice?

We then decided that we should all make side ponytails as an homage to our 80’s roots; speaking of roots, some of us are starting to sport some pretty gray roots!! lol

ED360755-F8AF-4256-9F51-363517D9F0DC

261C270C-76D9-43D2-85BD-D6181A8EBF98
Feeling the love at a distance with Dawn! ❤️

Thank you for reading! In these crazy times be generous with your kindness and attention; if you love someone, tell them! If you see that someone is struggling a bit, reach out and be kind; it doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated.

And finally if you have any extra love to share, subscribe to my blog below, just scroll down a bit. Or you can follow me on Facebook or Insta at oui-liette

Stay safe and be kind!

muah!

Liette

Behind the scenes

For any new readers, behind he scenes are just extra fun facts and bonus pics.

I brought up the banners and balloons from my birthday parade and set them up in my dining room, see the pic below. Notice the frames picture on the right; that’s my cousin Brigitte. She added her picture in with the group gift that she and my two other cousins gave me. She also edited their birthday messages in the group card. Her behavior perfectly demonstrates our families sense of humor; and explains a bit of my unique weirdness. ❤️

I am blessed to come from a family and friends who love to laugh and have fun!

3E76B14E-ED25-4BEB-978A-804EE2EED08B

I didn’t have a big 50th birthday party planned, I know it’s shocking! But I did have a girls trip to Palms Spring planned for the weekend after my birthday. I had planned a theme for our après party, party; the theme was/will be: Let them eat cake!! One may think that a Marie Antoinette theme would be difficult to pull off? One would be wrong, lol

This tulle skirt and rock n roll t-shirt was/will be my party outfit. I was feeling a bit disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to wear it anytime soon; so I decided to put it on and wear it around my apartment last week; it made me feel fancy and festive, so here it is, someone needs to see it!

D048BA36-C462-4D33-85BD-21687EF4F143

My awesome photographer Jack!

5B9C2FF0-3981-4432-A633-9E2A498F52DD

I also wanted to share this painting that my sister in-law made for me; I absolutely love it! The picture doesn’t do the colors justice.

A1627C93-7591-4BBA-8449-F99CBCC9DD7D

Had anyone told me six months ago, or even two months ago, that I’d be super excited to get face masks as gifts for my 50th birthday, I wouldn’t have believed them. This jazzy one was hand made by my cousin Nicole, it’s reversible and freakishly comfortable.

89F523B2-7043-4FC7-8CC8-00CD8E3A0F99

 

Hoppy Birthday!!

Hoppy Birthday! – How to throw  bunny themed party.

This post will show you how to throw a fun Bunny themed party, you’re welcome; for a young child or a late forty something grown woman…whatever.

A1AD5159-656C-47B8-872F-FE3110D7FC22

I understand that as we get older some may not want to make a big deal about their birthdays and some may not want a party; but I am not some people, lol.

(My last post generated a lot of new subscribers, thank you and welcome. Full disclosure, this a full on fluff piece, but it doesn’t have an underlying deeper meaning, so keep reading).

I throw parties and events for a living and for most of those events, sadly, I don’t have full and complete free reign; and it turns out that I love full and complete free reign! Lol. So when it’s my birthday I want a party and I want to plan it myself!!

I am not talking about a huge party, I prefer small intimate gatherings, but there needs to be a theme, formal invitations, some sort of decorations, a cake and swag bags for my guests to take home, like when we were kids.

Last year I had a co-party with my friend Claudia who’s birthday is the day after mine. We went to a fancy hotel’s tea room and had a tea party with tiny  yummy sandwiches and sweets with 20 of our friends. It was so much fun even though I don’t actually like tea! Lol

D0ECFD52-32EF-4E4A-8A6C-71E5242EF363

For our swag bags last year, we had antique china cups filled with colorful macaroons with a thank you note. The thank you note matched the invitation, naturally.

2B7729C0-0CC8-4920-9BE0-B158A22BF200

BTW a tea party theme is great for wedding showers  and baby showers too. Feel free to steal any of these ideas. If you want more tea party ideas, here is my tea party post. It was called Girls Gone Wild, but no girls actually went wild in the post, lol: https://oui-liette.org/2018/08/02/girls-gone-wild/

FD67C221-0A98-45DB-84F4-7025C7B343F3

That was last year; this year my birthday falls on Easter Sunday. I took this as a sign that it should be a bunny theme.

Full disclosure, I am a corny person; dorky puns are my jam, as you will see below.

B57DC0D9-BFC5-4819-82BF-40FC22BEE752

I usually find a cool image that speaks to me and build my theme around it. Last year I found the picture of the three ladies pouring tea with fabulous flowers in their hair.

This year I fell in love with this bunny; his face and his butt!

32BD5BEE-3D51-485A-AD4E-2D860C5261B8

My best friend, who is an amazing hostess, offered to host my birthday dinner. Not wanting to impose too much, I offered to buy my own cake. She loves baking and quickly turned my offer down. She asked if I had any requests, I told her it needed to be chocolate and have eggs or bunnies on it. And to be bratty, I sent her elaborate cake pictures leading up to the big night for “inspiration”. We have been friends for over 30 years, so she knows my bratty ways and didn’t reply to any of my texts, which made me send her more, just because I thought it was funny. I was trying to break her and make her reply with a, knock it off, but her will and resolve are strong, lol.

2D1042C2-9D52-4360-B9C2-38F8FA10166B

She is a designer and has a beautiful home, I am very fortunate to have her as my bff!! For anyone in the Moncton area looking for a designer with impeccable taste, contact me and I will hook you up with her.

 

Her table setting is a perfect example that a little goes a long way. She had all white dinnerware with pale blue linen napkins and a white tulip centerpiece. I love her vintage water glasses, they added a bit of sparkle. And in keeping with my Easter theme, I sprinkled colorful chocolate eggs.

E24AEEDD-E39C-40EF-A246-9C61F4191C36
Our hostess and bff Guylaine (pronounced guy as in gee…oh never mind, lol)

No birthday of mine would be complete without a headband, lol. I brought bunny ears for my party guests, why? Why not!

I celebrated my birthday last year in Las Vegas with my beautiful and amazing new friends. This year I was lucky enough to celebrate with my childhood friends in Canada.

32BFE67B-640D-47A2-80AF-826B4C94CA3A

I feel that the red head on the right would want me to explain her wearing a hat at a party. She was having some eye issues and couldn’t wear any makeup, she thought a hat would be a good camouflage, lol. We stuck a set of big ears on her and called her Elmer Fudd, lol. She is normally the glamest one at the party.

AF89288B-35E0-43A7-99C9-CF0D7F76A970

For dinner we had gourmet pizzas, ordered in from our fav restaurant. Ordering in is a great way to free up the hostess so she can have fun and not be stuck in the kitchen all night.

689F4533-058A-4A00-AB70-A9F288208AC6
Turns out a few drinks helps with your creativity. Stacey and I thought our mirror image pic was brilliant last night. Mmm… I still think it’s cute this morning, lol.

I am happy to report that my cake did not disappoint! It was chocolaty and delicious!! And it had mini eggs on it.

DCEA3265-0478-4C19-8190-D8067B7033DD

Only 4 candles to avoid a fire hazard, lol. The cake was made from scratch with love, it was soooo good!

7543CD4A-BAFC-48CB-8C3B-1ABFF448408E

I want to thank all my bunnies for helping me celebrate in style! People say, you only turn 40, 30, 50… once; we’ll guess what? You only turn, 41, 37, 49…once too! My point is every year is a milestone and for those who are freaked out by getting older, the alternative is even more freaky.

Each year we are blessed to celebrate another notch in our belts, some people don’t get the chance to grow old. We need to be mindful of that and embrace the opportunities that another year will bring.

I hope this post inspires you to celebrate your birthday and your friends. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should be fun.

698B066C-9494-4A8C-B24B-E3FF277E291B

I had a basket full of colorful eggs at the front door for guests as they left; full disclosure the two first bunnies to leave the party didn’t get their eggs, because I was a little too busy having fun and temporarily forget about them.

8B6462AA-206D-4769-8FFC-AFF449F2120D

In my eggs were two small chicks, a lip balm, who doesn’t need another lip balm and a thank  you note. I think it’s a nice small gesture, I am going to follow up with a thank you text as they chipped in to buy me a fabulous gift, which wasn’t necessary, but greatly appreciated!!

0BD4AF5D-6040-4746-85F2-C34269AFB4A4

Fun was had by all, thanks to my Crazy, Sexy, Cool Chicks!! Omg, that would be a cool theme for a party!! Maybe next year?

C713A1EA-1DE6-476E-820E-777C4B858BA7

I wish you all a Hoppy, corny, meaningful Easter!!

muah!

Liette

(for more pics of my adventures, check up my Instagram page: oui-liette)

 

Girls Gone Wild!

Girls Gone Wild! 

The title for this post was going to be: Girls Just Wanna Have Tea, but decided that Girls Gone Wild would get more attention, lol.

Helpful hints on how to throw the perfect tea party! 

As we age, our birthdays become less important, it’s just another day really, right? If you are a mom, this feeling may be exasperated? You spend hundreds of dollars on your kid’s birthdays, when yours comes around, it’s easy to give into that feeling that it’s just another day…right?

Well this year, I decided that it isn’t just another day; I wanted to celebrate my birthday in style. I plan events for a living, I put so much time and energy into planning beautiful events for others; am I not worth the time and effort of a nice party? I decided that am absolutely worth it!

Here are a few tips on how to throw yourself the easiest and best birthday party ever!

Theme

I am not going to lie, I love a themed party. While I was attending an event at a hotel, I noticed that they had a fancy tea room. Mmm… fancy little finger foods and feather fascinators; I decided then and there that a tea part with my best girlfriends would be the perfect theme!

Invitation

Your invitation sets the mood of your party, it’s the first glimpse that your guests will get to what kind of party to expect. There are so many different templates out there online. Feel free to send e-vites; I prefer printed invitations with colorful envelops and a customized message to each guest.

I found this image and fell in love with it. It was exactly what I wanted my party to represent!!

IMG_5859 (2)

Location

Here is a helpful hint from a party planner; you don’t always have to host your party, or our children’s party, at your house! It adds so much stress and work, the cleaning, the shopping, the cooking…it’s a lot! And since this was my party, I wanted something easy. I wanted to just show up and then leave and have someone else clean up.

I reserved two tables at the Mandarin Orient Hotel Tea Room on Las Vegas Blvd. My friend Claudia’s birthday is the day after mine, so we decided to celebrate together. She would host her friends at her table and I would host mine at my table. I am pretty sure my table was more fun! 🙂

Party Favors

I think sending guests home with a thoughtful party favor is a very nice touch. And if you attach a thank you note, you won’t have to send a thank you card afterwards. And yes, I do think if people come to your party and give you a gift, you need to formally thank them.

Select something that goes with your theme, since I was having a tea party, I decided that I would give out tea cups. I went to a thrift store and found old china cups, they were $0.99 each! I loved that they were all different shapes and colors.

IMG_6373

 

I bought these colorful macaroons from the same bakery that did our cake, oh wait till you see the cake! Pink, yellow and orange were a perfect color scheme for our favors! I placed them in the tea cups, wrapped them in cellophane with the thank you card and voila! The perfect tea party favor!!

IMG_7048

The hardest part of putting these party favors together was resisting the urge to “test” the Macaroons. I would suggest getting a few extras, just in case you accidentally “crack” any… and then have to eat them.

IMG_6887

My thank you tags matched the invitations; I perforated them and attached them with a ribbon. I think, they turned out beautifully and were super easy!

IMG_6906

The Party!

IMG_7077

My co-hostess and I, ready to greet our guests with our fancy fascinators. Not that it was a competition, but my fascinator was clearly bigger than hers, bigger is better right? If you can’t wear a big bouquet of beautiful feathers on your head on your birthday in Las Vegas, I am not sure where else you could! Life is short, go for it!

IMG_0141

I was responsible for the party favors, Claudia was responsible for the flowers. Find a friend and split the work, you don’t have to do everything yourself. She picked up a few bouquets from Trader Joe’s.

IMG_7529

She arranged the flowers in mason jars, they added a special touch to our garden tea party. Most restaurants will let you bring in your own flowers and decorations, just let them know ahead of time.

74B84FB1-0C0A-4CCE-8792-59AB9BD05735

The dishware and food at the Mandarin were beautiful and delicious! This was my very first tea party, turns out I don’t actually like tea, but loved all the trimmings! This theme would also be perfect for a baby shower, any reason to get together with your girlfriends. Most cities have tea rooms, google it. If you do want to host a tea party at your house, it’s easy to make bite size sandwiches, go to your favorite bakery and have them create an assortment of sweats for you!

EDAD5211-B55C-4901-A7E0-902239492F5B

The best part of the party, was spending the afternoon with friends! I must say, I have an amazing group of ladies!

The cake!

No party would be complete without a birthday cake. We brought in our own, yes, most restaurants will let you do that as well. Our custom cake was from Drago Sisters Bakery on Rainbow St in Las Vegas. It had a lemon and strawberry layer with with a butter cream frosting and it was divine!

334C4211-9465-489E-8CA4-BD673B456D87

 

IMG_7133

As we pondered on what to wish for before blowing out our candles, I was thankful for my fancy tea party with great food and even better friends!

What I hope that you take from this post is that you don’t have to make everything from scratch, you don’t have to host at your house and you can ask a friend to help! The goal of every party is to enjoy the time spent with your loved ones. Please make certain you are present and in the moment!

Thanks for reading, hit like if you like, share and subscribe if you are so inclined!

Muah!

Liette