Put on your silliest sunglasses and craziest hat ‘cuz it’s…
Easter is always a day when I take time to reflect and remember the many blessings I’ve received in my life. The hubs and our families always top my list followed by dear friends whom we consider family. This year I’m so excited to add the Piggy Bank Parties Crew, our fans and fellow party chicks to my list of blessings. Y’all have blessed my life in countless ways this year and I look forward to sharing each day with you on Facebook, Twitter and Oink!
Today, I’m sharing a lil’ celebration we had in honor of one of my nearest and dearest friends, Miss Kelly. Kelly and I have known each other for almost 18 years. We’ve been through thick and thin together over the years including my courtship with J. She was the originator of “Team Driver” and is a huge supporter of Piggy Bank Parties. Kelly understands our crazy work schedule and is ready at a moments notice when we actually have time to grab a quick bite to eat. I think Kelly must have sensed I was writing this post about her today because she delivered a basket full of groceries to our doorstep yesterday! Her thoughtfulness and care for us is one of the biggest blessings in my life.
Kelly, J and I have a special birth date bond. We were respectively born on 6/6, 12/12 and 8/8. It’s hard to forget each other’s birthdays since they are so easy to remember! Every year for Kelly’s birthday, we’d pick a new and unique restaurant in Chicago to take her to followed by a fun activity like an architectural boat tour along the Chicago River or a carriage ride down Michigan Avenue. This past year was different though because Kelly had recently moved to the city so taking her there didn’t seem quite as exciting as previous years.
Of course, June is wedding season for us so planning a big party with our crazy schedule wasn’t a possibility. The celebration needed to be something we could plan and execute in less than 24 hours but would show Kelly how extremely special she was to us. What’s the best thing to do on a June afternoon? Go on a picnic at the beach!
Kelly loves elephants. The day before her birthday picnic I decided to design a mini collection exclusively for her! I used a baby elephant illustration—whom I affectionately call Elly, the Elephant—that J had drawn a few years back. I embellished the banner with paper flowers and attached it to ribbon. The décor was placed in a reclosable bag with a stiff piece of cardboard to keep it clean and prevent it from being bent during transport to the picnic site. Our portable picnic table was covered with a real tablecloth to make it a lil’ more special and the banner was attached on site with straight pins.
A collapsible dessert tower embellished with ribbon and a paper flower was the perfect way to display all of the food since we had limited table space. We picked up grilled and fried chicken from our local grocer and placed it on the bottom tier. A mix of fresh berries and homemade coleslaw were placed in serving sized reusable plasticware and placed on the middle tiers. Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies filled with homemade buttercream topped the tower. Deviled eggs purchased from the grocer’s deli completed the menu but in the future…I will always make homemade deviled eggs. Fortunately, the rest of the menu made up for them!
Kelly’s present and the utensils were embellished with the same ribbon used to decorate the dessert tower. Simple little touches like these make even a small celebration look seamless and intentional.
Fresh strawberry lemonade and ice water were served and kept cold in portable drink dispensers with built-in ice packs. The dispensers are great for picnics and easy to clean with a quick hand wash. I snagged these from an end-of-season clearance the previous year at our local pharmacy for $3.00 each. Normally we place them at the end of a table for outdoor parties. Since I used a cloth table covering for this soirée, I displayed them on upside-down clear plastic bowls and added dollar store dishes underneath the spouts to catch any drips.
It wasn’t the warmest day at the beach, but we had fun talking and watching the sailboats on Lake Michigan. It was a great way to celebrate Miss Kelly’s birthday and honor our dear friend!
Thank you, Miss Kelly, for blessing my life with your friendship, love and support!
I hope you’re inspired to create a unique celebration for someone who blesses your life! Happy Easter!