Wednesday, September 28, 2011

let's catch up.

glitter toms. yes. i'm a walking disco ball. 
so i've been m.i.a. for a while. last week was in.sane. kyle and i worked really hard to plan a pretty awesome party for my birthday/fall's arrival/a reason to watch a movie outside. it turned out pretty awesome. just check out the invite.

kyle j. dyer design :)

we originally got the idea for the party from here on design*sponge. so awesome and fun. so after a few months of talking about planning it and a few weeks of actually planning, it turned into my birthday party. yippee!

of course, i ended up taking on a lot/too much stuff, and maybeeee felt a little stressed on the day of the party. but with the help of my family, kyle, and friends, it happened and it was beautiful.

stuff kyle and i did ourselves:
felt leaf garlands for the tent
an outdoor movie screen
fresh popcorn
popcorn spices with shakers and labels
food labels
invitation design
my cake
cake topper
chili - regular and vegetarian
bourbon mint ice cream
cherry apple whiskey sour popsicles
spiced apple cider

so yeah -- pretty awesome/busy. i made the felt garland in one tuesday night before (i'll post more details later if anyone is interested), during and after glee and the new girl. as i sat cutting out leaf shaped felt, this happened...

random mustache time
casey+mustache and my felt garland

i'm almost embarrassed at how long we looked for appropriate tape in order to attach these to our faces for instagram. yeah. funsies. i originally made the leaf garland one big string, but then decided to make shorter, uneven strips hanging down around the tent. as i was hanging it up, kyle and my dad did this.

kyle & dad building the movie screen 

there was actually a moment i thought "this isn't really going to happen and these people who think they are coming to an outdoor movie party are sadly mistaken and the party will be semi-ruined." but one minute i was cutting extra leaves for the tent, and the next kyle is telling me to go listen to see if the sound is loud enough for the movie. it actually happened. and it was amazing. people driving up to the house to see a huge movie screen outside were impressed, i think, and i kinda hope people driving by could see and thought "man, i want to go to that party!" 

outdoor movie playing "big" and birthday smooches under the tent
lovely tent with lights and leaves. this is where most of us sat to eat

my cake turned out pretty great, too. at one point, the recipe went seriously awry, probably because i randomly found it online and it may or may not have been legit, but i was able to turn it around. it had to do with the middle layer of blackberry frosting, which i'll explain later, but i worked it out. thank god. and the sparkly gold K i made for the topper looked lovely with my 23 candles and only cost about 2 bucks to make.

hello :) that's my cake and my topper i made myself. glitterrrr

the popcorn idea also came from the design*sponge post. i designed and printed the labels for the shakers i found for 97 cents for a 2 pack. we made the same spice combinations as the people in the post, but since there were no measurements for each, i just taste tested along the way.

spicy — cayenne + paprika + salt
salty — salt + pepper
savory — rosemary + salt
sweet — cinnamon + sugar + salt

all of the spices were great, and since there was a lot leftover, i'll be using them a lot with some fresh popcorn for a nighttime snack for a while.

trying out the popcorn and spices before the party. oh, and four bottles of wine from friends.
labels and spices i made for the popcorn

kyle wanted to try out my new kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment with this bourbon mint ice cream from gq. i tried out a vanilla recipe with fresh raspberries and chocolate chips first a few weeks ago (i'll post some details later), and it worked pretty well, so we knew we could move on to bigger and better things. this recipe has a lot of mint -- all the leaves from my mint plant plus some store bought -- and 1/4 cup of bourbon. and it tastes like gum. i love it, but if you don't want your ice cream tasting on the same level as toothpaste, maybe don't go for this one.

beginning and end of the bourbon mint ice cream.
chocolate and blackberry cake + ice cream.

my friends and family really came through with the gifts this year! i loved all my gifts. i got everything from sparkly shoes to pumpkin butter straight from amish country. everything was perfect for me and everyone really got me things they knew i would love and use -- specifically my milk bottle measuring cups from my sister. she found them at anthropologie and they are gorgeous and stack together to make a milk bottle. genius, people. genius.

my favorite gift. thanks, sister. :)

the day after my party, kyle and i drove to knoxville for a job interview. worked out pretty perfectly for my birthday -- potential job plus birthday getaway!

tennessee. :) and enjoying my new ring, polish and book in the car.
eating at tomato head pizza in knoxville on my birthday.
muffin + latte for breakfast. delish fried green tomatoes for lunch.
lavendar cheesecake for dessert. lemon + sugar crepe for a snack.
pumpkin stew starter for pork roast and a little owl vase from knoxville.
awesome prints from yee haw + some fun jcrew and m.a.c. purchases.
we had a lot of fun driving and just getting away for a couple days, plus the interview went well, so we'll see. could knoxville be our new place of residence?!

i have several other photos from my party and such on my actual camera, but alas, i can't find the cord to upload them. when that little things turns up, i'll update with more/better pics. 

in the next few days, i hope to update on my cooking adventures, more details about my baking, my extreme love for grace bonney's new design*sponge book, how i'm obsessed with "brothers & sisters" even though it's already cancelled and other nonsense in my day to day.

i know i don't have many followers, but what do you guys like to read about most??? nails, cooking, fashion, something else? any thoughts? just wondering.


ps. brooke just gave me my gift but it's not pictured -- sephora shadows and nail polish! love! thanks, lady. :)


  1. i'm so so happy your birthday was a smash! i so wish i could have been there. it sounds like tons of fun, and it looks like it was beautiful, too (as if i would expect any less). can't wait to hear about the job in knoxville! and to see more photos...speaking on photos, if you're asking what i like best about your blog posts, they are the posts that include photos and talk about the little things in your day/life. i like that posts like this one make me feel like i am sharing your daily things with you even though we are far apart. the others are great, too, especially when you discuss DIY adventures and teach me something. i wish i was such a talented photographer/designer/writer/blogger : ) you are amazing my dear! <3

  2. sweet sarah :)))) thank you so much -- for the kind words, input and overall support. i'll definitely post more info to keep you updated. and i hope i inspire everyone else as much as i seem to inspire you. :) <3 youuuuu