Classy & Trashy Birthday Party

For the party-hostess who can’t decide on a theme and wants her guests to be comfortable in getting down however it is most comfortable for him or her, might I suggest the Classy & Trashy Party.  In this case, it was a birthday party. For moi.  Last year. And man, did we have fun!

Drinks, The Cornerstone Of A Good Party

“I drink to make other people more interesting.” ~  Ernest Hemingway.

Perhaps we could take it a step further and add that drinking also can make oneself more interesting or reduce inhibitions to the point of making a limbo contest seem like a good idea.  Oh yeah, that happened.

While I’m certainly not advocating drinking to excess, this was a special occasion and I wanted the libations to flow jiggle freely. And what says “trashy” like jello shots? Dress them up with chalkboard signs and fun names.  The signs were purchased on Jane.com but can likely also be found at a craft store.

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IMG_3257For those classy drinkers, also consider creating white and red sangrias with fresh fruit like kiwis, peaches, apples, oranges, lemons and limes. These glass jars were found at Wal-Mart which continues our trend of trashy-meets-classy.

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Booze. Let’s call it what it is.

IMG_3270Hey, it’s the birthday cake. Birthday cake shots.

IMG_3258For those who don’t want to drink alcohol, don’t chide them. Instead, keep your guests hydrated with some infused water. Infused with limes, lemons, oranges. Or try cucumber and lemon.  As an aside, I’m very pleased with my guests who all had a designated driver to ensure they got home safe.

Food, Delicious aperitifs and grub

IMG_3261Sweet treats for a sweet group of folks.  Classy and trashy really came to play here with an elaborate trifle bowl with pound cake, cream and strawberries (a classy dessert) and individually wrapped cakes and goodies you could find at a gas station.  Sweet is in tastebud of the eater.

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Savory dishes are usually things like a cheese plate with grapes, or little caprese bites , grilled zucchini with mint chutney roll ups, or it could also mean Easy Cheese. There’s  no judgement at a Classy & Trashy Party.

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Decorations – The Difference Between A Get Together & A Party

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Having little decorative details can set the mood of your party from a casual get together.  I was lucky to find my chalice (mason jar on a stick) and the adorable blue pig at Goodwill. They were both spray painted teal blue to match the color scheme.  Inside the other mason jars were plastic utensils (that looked like pretty decent silverware!), and straws with paper mustaches. The chevron fabric was a steal from Fabric.com at $7/yard. IMG_3265

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Something about fresh popcorn makes you happy. Makes me happy. This is just a regular fixture in my household and I wanted guests to enjoy some hot buttery goodness. The talking fish was also a Goodwill find and I wish it would find it’s way out of my house. Unfortunately, hubbs and I have found a new game of hiding this sensor-tripped fish behind doors, inside closets … etc. so as to startle the other person.
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Photo booth! Oh man, each party should have one of these and they are not hard to make. Get your fabric and using twine, as we have, suspend it from the wall.  Then you can either make props, as I did with construction paper or purchase some at a dollar store.

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Don’t forget to encourage your guests to dress to their level of comfort or interest.

The Aftermath or Clean Up

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It’s the day after and my head is throbbing.  Unfortunately the last thing you want to do is clean up the mess from such an epic party.  After drinking some water try to look at the aftermath as a sign of how good of a time everyone had, how much they enjoyed the sweets and savory treats and the drinks.

IMG_3289This is also a great time to procrastinate the clean up as the dishes aren’t going anywhere and dress the pups in all the props and take some great photos in the photo booth.

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My Relationship With My Dog

So, before you say anything, I did write as I said I would but I am just now blogging it. Enjoy!

Writing Prompt 2: A picture is more than a blank page. (Disagree!) Pick a photo from your photo album (in your phone) and meditate on how it makes you feel.

Our Relationship With Our Dogs

Zander My Siberian Husky

This is my boy, Zander. A Siberian Husky. One blue eye, one brown. This dog, as everyone knows, is my dog. My boy.

Penny, Our First Pup

Growing up we had Penny. Or was it that Penny had us; choose us. Pretty sure that dogs choose their owners and their pack, not the other way around. She certainly choose my father. A tangent:

My brother was maybe four of five years old and he had asked my mother for some “monies.” She gave him a jar of pennies. He took the pennies and bee-lined it to the quad that separated our townhouses to the park. But sitting in the quad was a man we’d not seen before in our neighborhood and his cardboard box. My brother met the stranger, with complete confidence of his actions, and put three pennies on the man’s thigh. He counted them: One. Two. Three. He then scooped down in to the cardboard box and picked up, incidentally, three-day old collie-boxer puppies. Three monies. Three dogs. It was simple math, really. Not sure if he thanked the man or just turned on his heel and headed home.

That’s where I came in. He still does this now, but my brother doesn’t ring the door bell once. Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding! I open the door to find him with three pups in his arms. I, being an older sister and a first born, think the worst. I’m sure I scowled him and took the dogs from him and returned them to the man in the quad. But we found him laughing; tears streaming down his cheeks.

The afternoon was spent with the, we learned, the brother of our neighbor and, more importantly, his unexpected puppies. I didn’t anticipate that we would get a dog that day and I recall mentally preparing myself that it wouldn’t happen. Dad got home from work and he scooped up one brown and white dog with an almost lightening bolt down her back. Her eyes were closed. Then she started to suckle on his shirt.

He was done. We named her, of course, Penny.

When Penny passed we were heartbroken. Non-dog owners couldn’t understand. I was convinced that we needed another dog and we rescued Holly.

Holly, Our Rebound Dog Or …?

Holly Our Whippet Greyhound Mutt

Look at that picture for a minute and tell me we didn’t need another dog. Could Holly replace Penny? No. But we needed a dog. And Holly, as quirky and unique as she is, needed us.

While Holly’s story may not be as adorable’s as Penny’s homecoming, her personality is all her own: How she scolds my father if he does not share his wasabi peas — and I’m talking actual growls and grumbles — how she jumps in to my parent’s bed when their is lightning and how she found a litermate with my brother. If he’s running around, which I know he still does, she’s chasing ’em.

Now I tell you that Holly is my mom’s dog. They have a connection and the family knows it now. Before it was always the question of when I would be taking “my” dog to Arizona.

Zander, My Boy

Nice roundabout but that brings us back to the first photo and the questions that sprung forth when I stare at it. Does Zander have eyes for me? Do dogs feel a kindred connection with humans? Their owners?

I’ve read arguments on both sides — about dogs that have protected their owners for no immediate gain on their part, dogs that mourn their owners when they pass but I also understand that dogs are biologically-wired to be our “best friend” so we’ll care and feed for them.

But when I look at this photo I should note that there is no food in my hand. His head is resting on Saskia’s tail and his eyes are looking straight at me — his own brown eye; his one blue eye. Its not a look of curiosity — they know too well my aptitude to stick my phone and its camera in their snouts.

Maybe its just contentment and he is saying “I see you.” And by I see you, I acknowledge your presence in my life. And maybe that’s as close to “I love you” as I’ll get. And I’ll take it.

I smother him enough for the both of us. And besides, I don’t think he minds as he knows a treat isn’t far behind.