My oldest daughter is now in college.  Her sweet sixteen birthday party was years ago, but I have been wanting to share it on my blog just for the memories, ya know?  I love to document things I do here as a record for posterity.  After all, that is how this little blog began!  But I also like to blog about events before I forget every detail.  And every once in a while I get questions and it’s nice to have a blog post to refer someone to.  But the real reason this party has been on the brain, is because my second daughter is about to turn 16!  They grow up in the blink of an eye, I tell you!  She keeps referring to things we did at Lindsey’s party and I keep referring to pictures, so it’s got me all nostalgic.  So as I plan 16th birthday #2, I’m reminiscing about party #1 and how fast the time has gone…

Lindsey wanted a Kate Spade inspired party, with lots of black and white stripes, and lots of pinks and golds.  She wanted an evening “dinner” and movie party in the backyard, so that’s what we as a family pulled together for her.  Of course the first place I go for help is my sister Kathryn.  Even though she is 4 hours away, we usually ask before we visit each other, “Is there anything you need me to bring you?”  We are constantly borrowing and repurposing each other’s things.  She had some great gold vases that I borrowed for the tables, and with a few costco flowers, they looked pretty nice!  She also borrowed these striped table runners from a friend (score) and sent them my way.  I threw these large gold sequin confettis on the table and a few tea-light candles and it was looking good!  Instead of placemats, I used some homemade wood chargers.  I just cut up some 12″ wide pine from home depot and painted it pink!  The plates and glasses were from IKEA, and I got both black and white.

The “low to the ground” tables were a simi-homemade special from my handy husband and my other handy friend, IKEA!  I had see lots of tables made from crates, but I wanted something solid and nice.  I saw these tabletops from IKEA and instead of buying the table legs that actually go with it, My husband made shorter table legs out of some out of 2x2 wood.  The table surface was nice and clean and wipable, but the teens were able to sit on the ground and eat like my daughter wanted.  🙂  For reference, the name of the tabletop is LINNMON and the dimensions are 59x29x12′.  Here is the link to get those tabletops at IKEA.  They had pre-drilled holes where we attached our own table legs.  The tabletops were about the same price as renting a table, tablecloth and chairs would be!

The blankets they sat on were also from IKEA!  I could have thrown out our old blankets but I was feeling a little OCD about everything being pink, white and black.  After the party, my sister was able to use the tables and then lent them out to her friend!  We just unscrewed the legs for travel, stacked the tabletops and legs in the back of her suburban and then these babies went to a few other parties down where she lived.  Glad they got some good use!  My favorite was once it got a little bit dark, as they were having cake, the tea light candles were lit and it looked so charming!

For dinner, we did two different choices of pasta.  A baked ziti with Italian Sausage and Fettucini Alfredo with chicken as an option.  With those two things, each kid was able to find something they would eat.  They each had a little menu at their place setting.  After they filled it out, my little helpers (her little sister and friend) would bring the menus to my husband and I.  We plated the food and the little helpers served and filled drinks.  I can’t believe how little she looks in these pictures and that it’s already her turn for a 16th birthday party!  She was such a great helper, I wish her sister was home to return the favor!

For dessert, I had a few different options.  I was about to get rid of this old entertainment unit, when I realized I could use it to display desserts for the party!  We set the cake, macarons, candy, rice krispy treats, cream puffs, and all the presents too on this bad boy.  After the party, it went to the dump.    Of course we served the cake too after we sang to the birthday girl.

It started to get dark, just as we finished dinner so we went to the other side of the back yard to spread out blankets and watch a movie.  My husband made the projector screen like a champ!  I had also made 33 pillows, one for each guest.  I wanted everyone to have something to keep them comfortable.  I bought the inserts, again from IKEA and make a simple pillowcase.  Each guest was welcome to take one home.

And of course, because I am me, they each left with a cookie as a favor!  This was almost 4 years ago and I can see my skills have improved a little since then!

Our backyard was just the right size for this quaint little dinner and a movie party.  My younger daughter wants the same idea for hers, but different theme and different colors.  Now I’m off to plan that party!