My 26th Birthday Party Plans– A Summer Soiree

{Image via}

With my 26th birthday about two weeks away (ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!) I had to start thinking about the plans. I knew I’d want to have people over to our place because I love being a hostess and I am madly in love with our current rental. Not that our last rental was a hell hole, but we had carpet and Venetian blinds so yeah, it was a hell hole. And also you’d get a noise complaint if you turned the TV on. Like literally if you played the Ellen talk-show too loud, management would be knocking at the door. The neighbors were freaks and the walls were paper thin. At our new place, we’ve had three RAGING parties so far, like BLASTING Drake until 3 am and narry a single neighbor has said a word. Because our walls are not made of computer paper and the neighbors like to rage too. Just kidding there are lots of sweet families and rando loners but they DGAF about people who enjoy listening to music and engaging in the pleasures that life has to offer.

Anyways, we get a hilarious, generic, newsletter from the management each month that is three pages of random yet awkwardly interesting/helpful tidbits about life. Suggestions, quotes, recipes for healthful little snacks, homemade gift ideas for your significant other, inspiring quotes, etc.—just tiny things related to the season, weather, what have you. Like “Did you know daffodils grow better in the kitchen? The oils of the food penetrate the stem and encourage growth. Leave yours on the windowsill of your kitchen for happy daffodils.” {I’m improvising here, none of that was true.} And you’re like “wow, thank you generic renter’s newsletter, I will store that daffodil-fact in my back pocket.” Or like “John Armstrong once said, a man is worth a thousand words. Don’t let your thousand words go waste—write your love a small poem today. They’ll appreciate the effort.” And you’re scratching your head like, why is this awkward newsletter that no-one reads making me want to plant daffodils and write poems to Alex, and have an afternoon snack of pumpkin sautéed with butter and cinnamon? It doesn’t make sense. NO ONE READS THE SEASONAL NEWSLETTER THAT THEY PLACE IN YOUR MAILBOX WITHOUT YOU ASKING. But I do. Cover to cover. I have an awkward obsession with lifestyle facts, no matter the source, and no matter how many other places I’ve heard those same facts. Like if the AARP sends me a postcard with the suggestion of an afternoon snack of apples, peanut butter and chocolate milk, because some amino acid in the chocolate combines with the pectin in the apple and the lipids in the peanut-butter to lower your cholesterol and give you energy, I AM ALL OVER IT. Or if the brochure from your local veterinary hospital is like “Daylight savings time is around the corner– prepare for the loss of sleep by setting your alarm clock ten minutes earlier each day and doing a sun salutation with your dog to awaken your muscles,” I EAT THAT SHIT UP. You either know what I’m talking about or you don’t. I am just a consumer of lifestyle suggestions.

Well guess what friends. YOU NEVER KNOW where inspiration is going to come from, whether it be AARP’s annual postcard who you don’t understand why you get mail from because you are 25 and not retired, or the veterinary hospital who you don’t understand why you get mail from because you don’t have any pets. Because I sat down two nights ago, reading through the February edition of our rental newsletter, and it was all about wintry things. And one of the tidbits was “Spring is still a month away. To fend off winter blues, have a dinner with nostalgic summer favorites. Hot dogs, baked beans, and potato salad. Serve lemonade.”


Then the ideas began swirling in my head.

-A summer party

-With a red checkered table cloth

-With wild flowers in rustic tin cans

-With colorful cups and striped straws

-With hot dogs. And potato salad. And baked beans. And potato chips.

-With caramel corn served in tiny gingham party bags

-With spiked lemonade and iced tea as the alcoholic beverage

-With a retro ice bucket to house the varieties of summery indie ales

-With citrus and cucumber water to sober people up between alcoholic beverages

-With coke floats and brownie sundaes as the dessert!!!!!!!!!!

So I signed into e-vite and sent the following message to the 11 friends that I have. Counting some of their boyfriends and some of my boyfriend’s friends who are now my friends.

Message from Host

We all know that Alina has a severe, crushing case of Seasonal Affected Depression. If it’s not 75 degrees, sunny, and in the state of California, she hates life/wants to die. Therefore….in order to make her the happiest she can be on her 26th birthday, we are going to re-create her favorite season with a summery indoor picnic! {Writing in third person is absurd, this is Alina typing.}

We are talking: hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, coke floats, and brownie sundaes. To drink: spike lemonade, iced tea and punch as well as delicious varieties of beer.

We’ll be screening Wet Hot American Summer {her favorite movie} with a giant projector, like a drive-in movie theater!!!

Decor will include white daisies in tin cans, red checkered tablecloths, and colorful straws.


Please bring your significant others!!


That was the invite. With this graphic:

Some of the ideas I have for the concept are original, but mostly it’s piecing together individual ideas I’ve come across on various of my favorite blogs.

For instance I stumbled upon this adorable and dirt cheap tutorial for colorful polka-dot stamped cups on Oh Happy Day blog just two days before the idea for the summer party came about. I thought how cute those cups would be as part of the summer picnic theme. You simply get plain, white cups and stamp them using a circle stamp and some colorful stamp pads of your choosing. With lemonade and a colorful striped straw? Seeeee you at the party, cups.

Drinks to include pink lemonade, lemonade, and mint julep iced tea.

Images via {1, 2, 3}.

Individual servings of homemade caramel corn, via Cupcakes and Cashmere.

Baked Beans {not sure of the original source…the lidded jars, twine, and mini-spoons are insanely cute details but obviously way too much effort for my own birthday party.}

Potato chips {source unknown}

Potato salad {via}

Beer Bucket with chalkboard menu labeling the different types {via The Knot}

Strawberry and Cucumber Water, individual servings {via}

Or, just plain old dispensers of water with citrus and cucumber {via}

Coke floats {google images, source unknown}

So that’s the plan for the party!

Also, when my boyfriend came home and I told him I’d gotten the idea for a summer birthday party from the rental newsletter that he doesn’t read and saves for me, he thought of the idea of our friend’s projector to show Wet Hot American Summer like a drive-in movie theater!!! Our friend has this like, $2,000 dollar LCD projector that he uses for football games and it’s super compact and portable and all you need is a white wall to project it. WELLLLL we have a perfectly huge, white wall behind our couch (we’d simply take down the photograph we have hanging there), and Wet Hot American summer isn’t only one of my favorite movies, IT’S ABOUT SUMMER.

So that’s happening.

I’m excited. It’s perfect. I can’t wait.

And also the food will be really cheap and easy to make. Cans of baked beans? See ya. Mini franks rolled up in crescent rolls? Easy. Caramel Corn? {I’m OBVIOUSLY BUYING IT AND NOT actually melting the brown sugar and butter and drizzling it over popcorn. #please. Like I have the time for that} #joke. POTATO CHIPS? hahahah hilarious. Coke and ice cream? 10 dollars. Brownies? One box. Wildflowers? 2-dollar bunches from Trader Joes and Harrist Teeter. The tin cans for the flowers? Oh don’t worry about it– WE’LL JUST USE THE BUSH’S BAKED BEAN CANS FOR THE VASES. Cucumber water? Water + 30-cent cucumber.  Itttttt’s a joke how easy and fun this summer party will be. I hope everyone gets schwasted and makes hilarious memories of Alina’s 26th Birthday.


Filed under Life and things, Uncategorized

9 responses to “My 26th Birthday Party Plans– A Summer Soiree

  1. I’m invited right? Cuz I would literally fly across the country for that party!

  2. J

    Oh man! I stumbled across your site two days ago, and I have to say, reading your posts just makes me laugh out loud. I’ve never encountered anyone else who gets as excited about parties/details/life in general as I do. The party looks like so much fun!

  3. my 26th birthday is only 4 weeks away and being in Boston, I’m lucky on the years it doesn’t snow. Who says late winter birthdays can’t enjoy a little sunshine! This is a fabulous idea. I wish I got these little newsletters- inspiration is everywhere :)

  4. There aren’t even words for me to describe how much I love this post. OBSESSED. You have an uncanny way of writing that speaks directly to me, I just get EXACTLY what you mean. I don’t get a seasonal newsletter at my apartment, but I DO get many e-newsletters that I source random inspiration from and know what you are referring to. You rock, keep doing you.

  5. Elizabeth THANKKKKKKKK YOUUU!!!!!!!!! I kind of freaked out when I got this comment because it’s SO just….sweet and like, the best thing that a commenter could ever tell a blog-writer….that the way they write speaks to them as a reader! I AM HONORED! AND FLATTERED AND HAPPY and just, grateful that I am able to do that and that you read my blog and take time to leave me comments. It’s the best feeling so thank you!!! I seriously am so glad! Your comments always leave me so happy. I want to hug you through the internet!!! mwahhhhh!!!
    And yes my life is just one giant compilation of random advice from newsletters hahaha–wouldn’t have it any other way. Glad someone gets it!!! xx

  6. kb

    love this idea! we did one last january just the two of us. in bathingsuits! too far? or JUST FAR ENOUGH? clear eyes. full hearts.

  7. Maura

    So, I just read this and you literally PREDICTED your party to a T. Actually, I take that back cause it was actually even cuter/better than you had imagined (honestly, you need to just drop everything and accept your life calling as a party planner). Most importantly, we all definitely left with “hilarious memories of Alina’s 26th birthday.” So congrats on a job well done and hope you had a great bday! : ) xoxo

    • awwwwwwwww Maura THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOD YOU JUST MADE MY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 SERIOUSLY I’M INTERNET-HUGGING YOU RIGHT NOW. thank you x a million I am so happy and lucky you were there- i love my friends : ) mwahhhhhhhh

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