Apr 11, 2011

Surprise Party!!!

My friends Donad and Ivan threw a surprise birthday party for our friend Tammy on Friday.  This blog post  will not be a how to, because I had little to do with the how of this party.  Rather, I was a guest and therefor had the objective ability to document a party in action, which I will now share with you.

Surprise parties have always been for me a scary undertaking, which I why I've never thrown one.  Who do I invite?  How do we keep the surprise?  How do we get the person to the location?  What do we do once all parties are gathered?  Here's what I found out about a surprise party.  If you're not concerned with the result and just take the actions to put it together, many many people will feel the love and have a good time. As well, we're all adults and able to keep a surprise a surprise. 

Here's the invite Ivan sent to everyone via text.  How easy is that?  Thank you to the Tech Gods.  

I've got my party look on!  Make up, check.  Peacock feather, check.  And unnecessary amount of jewelry, check.  Fun color, check.  Babysitter, thank you Gary!
Here's me walking to my car.  Please note, I'm happy... I just feel awkward smiling for photos I take of myself. 

I get to the location: Gitta's home!  She's a stylist and so when I arrive, I head upstairs to see what she's got on.  I've got a girl crush on her and you will soon see why.  She's hot, sexy, ballsy, and a sweetheart. I mean look at what she's wearing. 

And look at those legs! 

Every girl needs an outfit.  One of the hosts, Shelli, was going to wear jeans but Gitta wouldn't hear of it.  Gasp!  Thankfully Gitta is a stylist and has a wardrobe unmatched. I snapped a few shots of her closet.  This is only 1/5 of it.    

Gitta dressed her in RED!  Red heels, Red bold dress, Red lips.  Here they are finishing her makeup.
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And here's a shot of the makeup application area.  As you can see... nothing fancy is needed.  Just a bed. 

Moving forward...Shelly needs a dewy finish to her look.  A vitamin E capsule fixes the problem, unless it's all dried up.  Thankfully, there are alternatives you can use to add that layer of dew to finish your look.  Here we use good old face cream.  Other tricks that work are: 1. a spritz of water
2. A dab of vaseline
3. any other kind of oil: olive, coconut, avocado, massage... just don't use vegetable. 

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Final touches for Shelli as Gitta curls the ends of her ponytail. 

Ok. Shelli is ready.  Here Gitta is gives us a tip on removing lint from a black outfit quickly.  Use water and a cloth in a pinch. 
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And now, last minute touches to Gitta's outfit and an interesting story behind the shrug she's wearing.  It's really sick.  Gorgeous.  From Phoebe Price's student collection. She now designs for Stella McCartney. 

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A sip of wine and we're ready to get this party started! 

Downstairs Ivan and Donald are finishing up the preparations for the feast.  Ivan is a bonafide foodie and usually chooses one dish per guest so there's pleanty of food to go around.  He also brings with him tupperware containers from the 99 cent store so everyone can fill up on leftovers. 

Tammy loves Sushi so he's put together a platter of some of her favorite rolls. 
Asparagus drizzled with olive oil and horseradish. 
Steamed brussel sprouts sprinkled with sea salt. 
Winter squash slices.  Potatoes chopped and seasoned with a bit of olive oil and sea salt.  And portobello mushrooms roasted, which will later be place in a balsamic and soy marinade.

Here's are some steaks Ivan stuffed with goat cheese and herbs. 

On the top rack (difficult to see) we have chicken topped with avocado slices and onions.  And on the bottom is a salmon with herbs and lemons baking in a lemon caper sauce. 
...and here are two more side dishes.  Potatoes with caramelized ginger and red peppers roasted in coconut oil.

Not pictured: A salad with blueberries, avocado, oranges, nuts and an entire garden's worth of vegetables all dressed with a sesame oil dressing. 


Donald is used to this amount of food at a party.  Mind you we have 10 guests coming and 12 dishes and that's not including appetizers!

Let's get this party started!!!!!   Here comes the big surprise!!!! 

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Friends hanging in the kitchen. 

More friends! 
Dinner conversation.  

Tammy adores animals.  Here's her with Eli and T!  and that's me admiring her... 
Ivan and Shelli goofing in the kitchen

Balloons!  Donald hung them from the ceiling and it looked gorgeous!  There must have been about 50 of them.  A few gel filters over the bulbs and we had red lights.  Very moody. 
More Baloons! 

More hanging out with everyone in the kitchen.  Everyone usually ends up in the kitchen. Ever notice that?  I think yes, we all know where the real party happens. 

And now for the explosive birthday cake!

Tammy blows out the candles and makes a wish. 

And here Tammy is.  End of the night.  T is wrapped up under her shirt.  She is happy and has been thoroughly celebrated.  Happy Birthday Dear Tammy.  If we could give you more, we would.  Hope you like the gifts!

And so you can see.  A birthday party takes only a few friends, a few secrets, a few helpful hands and a lot of love.   The details are all up to the people involved.  Here's what I learned.  I'm terrified of parties.  I feel socially awkward.  Over the years, I've developed social skills to compensate for this fear.  Even at an intimate party setting.  Like this birthday party I just shared with you, I feel uncomfortable until, and here's the biggest social tip I can offer, I find a way to be of service. 

Here's a few ways to be of service in a party setting: 
1. Offer to set up
2. Offer to clean up (the best conversations seem to happen over a sink of dirty dishes)
3. Ask questions and keep them current i.e. what car did you drive today?  Do you like it?  Would you buy it again?  It's really simple to get a conversation going just by being interested in someone else
4. Clear the table after dinner
5. Take photos of everyone
6. Try to sing the loudest when the birthday song starts
7. Offer to escort people outside to take a cigarette break or makeup touch up
8. Keep the glasses filled
9. Let the honored guest know how much you care about them by telling them
10. Ask people to tell you a childhood story

What do you do to feel at ease at a party?  Do you have any great party adventure stories to share?

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