2016 is a Leap Year and boy have I taken a leap! My 34th birthday noted the inauguration of many firsts, being dubbed A Celebration of Liberation & Libations. Today, I’m spilling the tea on the significance of this milepost and talking outfit inspiration.
This was the first birthday I’ve celebrated as a single lady in over half a decade. It’s strange, but, I always considered myself a Carrie Bradshaw, maybe all this time I’ve been a Charlotte. Eek. Goodbye Relationship-Reliant old me! My brand new “D-word” status (yes, I still can’t say it out loud) was a topic of proclamation this year… As anyone who has been through that merciless hell can attest to, it’s something worth celebrating. Not like a ho-hum bachelorette of yesteryear, but more of an acknowledgment of survival. The Girl Scouts should offer a badge for it. Hey, I survived a heart wrenching battle of epic proportions and lived to see the light – I think I deserve to toast with the ladies to that!
I LOVE intimate dinner parties; it’s where I feel most at home. So planning my birthday / liberation celebration ignited my creative juices and got me hunting the perfect dinner location. Since my birthday falls on Valentine’s weekend, I always run into the issue of finding a restaurant that doesn’t enforce a prefixed menu. My search ultimately led me to one of my favorite venues in Orange County, nay, the domestic U.S.
Pelican Hill proved the perfect host for a casual and elegant evening with my ladies. After speaking with Megan, manager of Andrea, we decided Pelican Grill would be the right fit for a group of 12, setting us up with a long table against the windows overlooking the golf course and ocean. Appetizers were served as guests arrived. The restaurant created a personalized menu for our party outlining my pre-selected dinner options for the evening and the theme of the night printed in hot pink – how cute is that!?!
Someone smart once said ‘with age comes wisdom.’ Well, with my age comes lack a patience, so when I have to go to the mall, I literally write down what I’m going to buy and what stores I plan to visit. I gave myself one day to find something to wear and decided to start with Forever 21. When I walked out of there with nothing but jewelry, I decided I needed to get serious. Then I tried Macy’s. Nothing. I started to panic. I had already tried on about 50 outfits and wasn’t feeling anything. Next stop, H&M. Now, I must say, and I hope someone from H&M is reading this, please revamp the Costa Mesa location! It’s hard to shop in there with all the racks pushed up together. My years of playing dodge-ball steered me to the right upon entering (barely missing a rack to the eye and almost being trampled by the masses of people coming in and out of there – H&M, can you hear me?). Within five minutes I found this super fun and vibrant yellow skirt, tried it on, bought it, brought it home, and decided I had the perfect top to match.
The evening was exactly what the doctor ordered – good food, good drinks, good friends. A girl can’t ask for anything else. And, as a gesture of love for those that were in attendance my event planner side got creative and made favors. If you know me (or met me at LEAST once) you know that I’m crazy about party favors. I think it’s a fun way to thank you guests, and they’re always well- received. These were a super simple DIY project.
I want to make a special shout out to the ladies who celebrated my birthday with me (and the ones that wanted to be there but were sick or bed bound – I love you guys). This was a very special evening for me and it would not have been possible without your love and support. I love you all like a fat kid loves cake – a lot!