Back at the beginning of the summer I had the opportunity to host a big birthday bash. It was a joint birthday party for my sister, Helen who would be turning 70 and my daughter, Amy Kikita who was going to be 29.
Because we entertain so often, we have tons of dishes and silverware and vases and cups and tablecloths and all the sorts of things to be found when entertaining is a high priority. When we decide to host a party, I assess my inventory, pull out my sketchbook and let the ideas flow.
I start by making the folowing lists:
And then I start gathering ideas. By the way, this is why God invented Pinterest. I'm on there and you are welcome to follow me, but that's not important right now.
So there I was scouring Pinterest and getting inspiration and I noticed certain things that happen to be trending right now: 1) flags and 2) chalkboards. I got to the point where pretty much all I could think of was how I might incorporate flags and a chalkboard into the decorating. (You're mocking me, aren't you?) My daughter, Amy Kikita suggested that she might like black and white for a color scheme. I deferred to her because, well, it was her party, after all. Plus she suggested black. And you know what's black?
I made the decision not to sew. Mostly from a lazy standpoint because I didn't feel like hauling out my sewing machine (don't judge me). So I designed some patterned flags in Photoshop and printed them out on a color printer and attached them to twine and when I say "I," I mean Eric.
My husband is a pretty smart guy and he did the math and figured out how many flags we would need to cover all the surfaces I pointed out. He did the tedious work of measuring and attaching hundreds of flags to the twine and also hung them all through the house. And because my home is pretty colorful, I decided to use red as the accent color.
Which then gave me the theme: Black and White and Red All Over. (I thought it was kind of genius, but that's not important right now, either.)
Now that I had a theme to work with, the decorating was pretty simple. Black and white tablecloths, flags hung everywhere, and red roses on the tables. Simple, fun, and a little elegant, too. Win!
What's also black, you may ask? A Giant Chalkboard, that's what.
Lucy is taking theater production classes in college and knows how to build stuff.
Me: "Can you create a giant chalkboard?"
Lucy: "Yes, ma'am." *Mom does happy dance*
(No, I was not exploiting her. I just figured she could use the practice. Shut up.)
Here's Lucy building walls with her power tools and giving Jon commands while my mom presides over the entire business.
So Lucy (with Jonathan's help) built a giant wall which she then primed and painted with chalkboard paint.
Ta-da! GIANT CHALKBOARD!
It was a pretty impressive set up, if I do say so myself. And now we had a GIANT CHALKBOARD! It made me crazy-happy.
When the guests arrived we had them go out to the GIANT CHALKBOARD for photos, which looked something like this...
How much fun is this, people??
We were sad that Adam couldn't be here because he lives so far away, but we included him anyway. ;-)
We fed our guests Cuban style Fricasé de Pollo. You can find that recipe here. And yes, that's a giant tray of maduros. (For the win.)
There was a ton of food, festive decorations, everyone was happy, and a good time was had by all.
Did I mention that we now owned a GIANT CHALKBOARD? 8 feet by 8 feet of Awesome.
What else could we possibly use it for? For me, the question was really, "What can't we use it for?"
*the mind reels*
Yay! Improv night!
And engagement party!
I am seriously in love with my GIANT CHALKBOARD.
And the flags? The beautiful black-and-white-and-red-all-over flags? Well, I left them up, too, for a few weeks because, well, I could. And they just made our everyday life pretty festive.
I love that my husband has just learned to roll with it. After 20 years he knows better than to argue about these things.
Because GIANT CHALKBOARD + decorative flags = a happy wife. Happy wife = Happy life.
I told you he was smart.