Ain't No Party Like A Last Minute Party

We never actually planned to have a party to celebrate my birthday, but then walking home from work last week, Sean convinced me that we should. "Eh," I said. "Well, maybe just something laid-back."

Turns out, however, that when it comes to parties, I cannot do laid-back. Some primal part of my brain hard-wired by Martha Stewart stomps in and takes control and the next thing you know I'm making cupcake toppers because hey, cupcake toppers are fun. I went from "nah, I don't want to do anything" to "ooh, an excuse to make those tissue pompoms!" so fast it would make your head spin. Honestly, I think it's a disease: a delicious, crafty, Type A disease. And the prescription for it is written in calligraphy on scrapbook paper with rounded edges.

The setup of our party was simple. We would drink only champagne. We would eat only cheese. We would invite a very small group of friends, and we would all suit up because Sean and I have been watching seasons one through four of How I Met Your Mother over the last few weeks and have both developed platonic crushes on Barney Stinson (actually, mine's not platonic, but sshhhhh.) You might not know this but in San Francisco you hardly ever get an excuse to dress fancy, so I figured that we should. I also figured that we should record the moment for posterity with a series of hilarious prom-style photographs since it would probably be another year or so before we'd all be seeing each other in lipstick and ties again. Might as well keep the memory sweet. 

The party was a lot of fun, due in part to the One Bottle of Champagne Per Party Guest ratio, but also because it wasn't even that stressful to set up. We bought a bunch of delicious cheeses and some bits and pieces to go with them---fig jam, marcona almonds, mango chutney, hard salami, apples, honey, pears, a baguette and three million crackers---and I found a Cheese Tasting Kit I'd been given at last year's Broad Summit, which came complete with sweet little labels to write on and even an information card for each cheese (because I don't know about you, but I like my cheese with a side of information.)

We made vanilla cupcakes from the Magnolia's recipe (though I totally faked my way through my own buttercream icing, since the reviews said the official one was too sweet), and that tiny part of me that misses all the wedding crafting threw together the cupcake toppers, tissue pompoms, and napkins tied up with twine, which was really sort of gilding the lily, but hey, why have a normal napkin if you can have a napkin tied up with twine, you know? I mean, that is doing it up right.

It seems silly now that I was so reluctant to celebrate my birthday, and I'm so glad we had this party, even if one of the cupcake toppers did accidentally go up in flames when Sean was lighting the candles. But that just means that 30 is going to be on fire, right? (Or does it mean it'll go up in smoke? Hmm, I prefer the first one.)

PS: I wrote this on Sunday, which means you are probably reading it on my Monday, which is my actual birthday, which means I have taken the day off work, which means I am probably shopping and eating chocolate croissants and getting a massage right now as we speak. There's a whole set of party pictures here, in case you're interested, although I'm afraid I can no longer look at them because of all that cheese. Yes. I have eaten too much cheese. After cheese at the party and then leftover cheese the next day, I have officially reached my cheese saturation point. Never thought it could happen, trust me. Check the sky for pigs.

1
Locusts and Wild Honey
Feb 07, 2010

Wait, wha?? People said the icing is too sweet? Oh, honey. They're on crack.

You see, the Magnolia cupcake is by nature a little bland. The icing is a little sweet. And when those components combine, it creates magic! In your mouth!

Best. birthday party. ever.

Enjoy your day, my dear. You deserve it.

2
Stacey
Feb 07, 2010

Happy Birthday Holly!!! Enjoying celebrating your day!

3
Caty
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!Hope you are havin a wonderful day filled with lots of love and presents! ;-D

4
Connie
Feb 08, 2010

Do you deliberately only have very attractive friends or is it just a coincidence?

Very happy #30 Holly. I personally think the early to mid 30s are the best years of a woman's life. It's the magical period of time when you're finally grown up but you're not yet "old." Have a lovely year, mazel tov

5
Drew
Feb 08, 2010

Happy birthday. There's nothing like a day off, so here's hoping you have a great one.

6
Janie
Feb 08, 2010

Happy birthday! Yay for 30 :)

7
Janie
Feb 08, 2010

Happy birthday! Yay for 30 :)

8
Kavita
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday. Have a great one.

9
em
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday! x

10
Nicki
Feb 08, 2010

Oh, Happy Birthday!

Trust me, no worries. You're like a fine wine. You will only get better with age.

And I love your simple little parties. You slay me. Really. And inspire me. (Okay, I mostly just want to be you...)

Enjoy that massage. (I now have massage envy...pun intended.)

11
april
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday! Today is my son's 2-year birthday, and even though we celebrated it on saturday I wish I had taken today off with him anyhow. Enjoy your day!

12
Sarah
Feb 08, 2010

...wishing you a very, very happy birthday. I've loved nearly every minute of my 30s. (I'm 8 years in. I speak from experience!)

all the best -s

13
Amanda Jean Inez
Feb 08, 2010

Happy birthday! I hope you are having a wonderful day!

14
Lizzie
Feb 08, 2010

Wow, going from no party to THAT - amazing. And the way you set everything out, it's like you had it all planned. I know you wanted a party really ;)

15
Raven
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday! Your party looks fab!

16
Sutswana
Feb 08, 2010

Holly, you rock, and your 30s will be great.
And I love that you are in touch with the severity of your type A habits. Why deny? What a dull world this would be w/o the whimsical finishing touches everywhere.

17
Marcheline
Feb 08, 2010

Check the sky for pigs? Don't you mean the massage table? *snort* hee hee! Cracking myself up ovah heah. Glad you had a good party, hope you have a happy birthday!

P.S. YAY SAINTS!!!

18
Sarah
Feb 08, 2010

Happy birthday! The party looks wonderful. I'm so admiring (*cough* jealous?) of your craftiness when it comes to events like these!

19
Melanie
Feb 08, 2010

Happy birthday!

20
Jenn
Feb 08, 2010

Happy 30th, Holly! 30 is the BEST!

21
Ris
Feb 08, 2010

Too much cheese? I did not know such a thing was possible. Regardless, happy happy birthday!

22
Michelle
Feb 08, 2010

Happy 30th Birthday Holly! I hope that you have a wonderful day of shopping, croissant eating, and relaxing!

23
Home Sweet Sarah
Feb 08, 2010

Happy birthday TODAY! Your party looked wonderful!

P.S. One-bottle-per-person is routinely my rule for parties, as well. Glad to see I'm not alone.

24
Camels & Chocolate
Feb 08, 2010

Honey, NO ONE throws a party like you. Don't even go comparing yourself to Martha; you are leagues above her!

Also, no such thing as too-sweet icing, I agree with Alison. Just ask Moose and me, who both made it home with an icing-less cupcake...oops!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

25
Monica
Feb 08, 2010

Feliz Cumpleaños Chica! My your 30's be as spectacular as your 20's!

And excuse me to much cheese? There never is TOO much cheese.

And I agree the frosting is way to sweet.

26
Kate/Ben
Feb 08, 2010

oh, yay! I'm so glad I'm not the only one in America that refuses to work on her birthday!! People always give me crazy looks when I tell them, "oh, yeah, of course I won't be in on Thursday. It's my birthday."
Have a sublime one.
-K

27
HIp Hip Gin Gin
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday Holly!! Your party looked fantastic, hope you are having a fun day off today!

28
Amy --- Just A Titch
Feb 08, 2010

Is this disease catching? Because that party was absolutely adorable...I wish I was so talented.

Happy 30th, Holly! Here's to an amazing year!

29
marisol
Feb 08, 2010

Happy birthday! Sounds like you celebrated it in style.

30
abbersnail
Feb 08, 2010

Happy happy happy birthday! This looks like the idea party. I hope you have a lovely day (and that SF chooses NOT to rain on you today...)

31
Maggie
Feb 08, 2010

My birthday is today too! And I had a little wine + hors party sat night, but your creativity definitely surpasses my abilities! But, happy 30th...I'm a couple years behind you :)

32
Alexis
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday! The setup looked so nice.

33
kage
Feb 08, 2010

Gotta love the flaming cupcake topper pic! Ohhhh life!

34
Jennie
Feb 08, 2010

Happy birthday, Holly! If you INSIST (and I'm pretty sure you do), I'll sip some champagne in your honor tonight.

35
Jennifer
Feb 08, 2010

Happy 30th Martha!
Great job on the lil' details for the party. At least you didn't drive yourself crazy finding turquoise envelopes, right?

I've got 10 days to go until my own 30th and you seem to be doing okay, so I guess it can't be too bad. If the only damage is a cheese hangover that is...

36
simon
Feb 08, 2010

Had such a nice time! Was pleased to be in nice clothing without tiny drooling whining nugget of baby-flesh holding onto legs or going boneless on floor. Oh the joys of traveling without the porta-crib (baby jail). I only wish we could have gotten there on time.

Happy birthday again, and thanks for having us.

PS - I'll find that picture and send it to you, but only because you ASKED.

37
Carolyn
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday, Miss Holly! It sounds like you had a great start to the celebration, and I hope you're having a lovely day!

and btw, the Magnolia cupcakes are my default vanilla cupcake, and the batter is so delicious and thick and I love scooping it into the cupcake tins. I have a chocolate frosting recipe that is delicious and SO much easier than the Magnolia one if you ever want it, because if there's anything more delicious than vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting, well...I don't know what it is. (except, perhaps, that Humboldt Fog cheese, which I also recently purchased for a small dinner party. I wanted to propose to it and marry it and take it away on a honeymoon, I loved it so much. in the end, I stuck with my husband. Who is pretty cool, actually.)

38
Susan
Feb 08, 2010

Happy birthday, Holly! Hope that when it's my turn in a few months I do up 30 as fabulously as you did!

39
soul-fusion
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday!!
I have only hit my cheese saturation point once and that was after a 3 (maybe 4?!?) course lunch consisting of all sorts of lovely cheese at Artisnal in NYC. So, so delicious but I had to step away from cheese for quite some time. Like a week.

40
Halley
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday! You will love your 30's!

41
ali
Feb 08, 2010

those cheese label things? BRILLIANT OH MY GOD.

Happy Birthday!!!

42
Jen
Feb 08, 2010

Happy 30th Birthday Holly! I hope this wonderful new decade brings as much fun and adventure as the last one did... can't wait to read about them! :)

43
Alecia
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday! Your 30s will be fabulous!

I love your blog! Truly it is tied with one other as my absolute favorite! I can't wait to read about how 30 treats you.

Cheers!

44
Stephanie
Feb 08, 2010

Cheers to you, Holly! Hope 30 is one bonfire after another! Almost as if it were nothing but bonfires, you know. Har har. Okay, enough silly jokes. Truly, hope you had a great day!

45
kat
Feb 08, 2010

happy birthday! your party looks lovely! so lovely. can i hire you for planning all of my future parties and wedding please? :)

also i love the skirt. do share the deets!

46
dani
Feb 08, 2010

Happy Birthday, Holly! You are an inspiration. Some day I will plan a party and steal all of your ideas. But, of course, I'll give you credit.

47
Meredith Hefner
Feb 09, 2010

Happy birthday!

Now I want cheese...

48
Meredith Hefner
Feb 09, 2010

Happy birthday!

Now I want cheese...

49
Sensibly Sassy
Feb 09, 2010

I know I am a little late on this but happy birthday to you!! Here's to a 30th year that is on FIYAH!

50
Summeranne
Feb 09, 2010

Your blog has become one that I read regularly! I have left something for you on my blog! Happy Birthday!

51
Stacey
Feb 10, 2010

Happy birthday a bit late! And I think you're right - the wedding craftiness never really goes away, does it? !!!

52
Kate
Feb 13, 2010

Happy much-belated birthday! Your party sounds and looks like it was absolutely fantastic. What better way to celebrate a milestone?

53
Kaylyn
Dec 16, 2011

Heck yeah this is exalcty what I needed.

54
junjuuyfzmm
Dec 17, 2011

2TYziE ecfgihghtela

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