On my 31st birthday, reflecting on the past year - what is there to say that hasn't been said? It was emotionally draining both personally & professionally. I'm sure so many can relate to the deep burn I feel to just time-travel back to the end of 2019, where the world was seemingly simpler.
Around this time last year, I was planning a New Year's Eve celebration for my 30th birthday, full of excitement for the year ahead & officially entering 'the best decade' club. While the next year didn't hold all I had hoped for, I'm so thankful that I took the opportunity to celebrate in style because it was the last real celebration before everything changed.
The More You Know
My birthday falls on December 21st, so I thought it would be nice to share a few interesting facts about this most special day that could be useful in your next trivia night. December 21st is the winter solstice, which means it's the shortest day of the year. In my older age, I've spun this positively into thinking I get the longest night to party. Plus, it's all uphill from there - longer days are ahead!
The winter solstice is celebrated across the world as the rebirth of the sun. One of the most interesting festivals, Yalda Night, takes place in Iranian culture & dates back to the Persians from ancient years. It is a gathering of family & friends at the home of the eldest, a night of eating, drinking & reciting poetry. Fruits & nuts are traditionally eaten, with special significance given to red fruits, like rhubarb, pomegranates & watermelons. The red in the fruit symbolizes the crimson hues of a new dawn & glow of life. I kept this in mind as I started designing my celebration!
Born to Party
So, basically, what I'm realizing is that I was destined to be a party planner, right? My birthday is celebrated worldwide & I get the longest night of the year - what else could I do but plan a dual birthday & New Year's Eve party?! Little did we know, we were toasting to a 2020 that would turn out to be an absolute nightmare (like literally will be in history books as the worst year ever), but we were blissfully naïve.
So, I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane where we could gather, breathe the same air & eat from a communal buffalo dip (gasp!). This was my last big hoorah before the quarantine, but what was yours? It's not just me who waxes nostalgic, right?!
Location is everything for any party!
This amazing private loft is located in Saint Louis, near midtown. I loved the industrial look, exposed brick & view of downtown. Another of my favorite details? The beer pong table - complete with custom ping-pong balls.
As guests arrived, they were greeted by a Christmas tree with hanging custom vintage motel key tags.
The gold key attached is a bottle opener, which came in handy for the signature cocktail experience.
I loved the custom artwork designed by
Beth Barr of Sincerely, Everest.
Grab a Drink
I love the concept of an interactive signature cocktail. The key bottle openers allowed the guests to open a Fever-Tree Ginger Beer topper for their muddled Strawberry Rhubarb Moscow Mule. The rhubarb bitters (a must have on your bar cart!) is the best addition to any cocktail. Maybe I'm biased, though - rhubarb is my favorite of the root vegetables!
La Croix - my tried & true, my ride or die - had to make an appearance! This was a perfect set-up for those attending who weren't indulging in the bar or expecting. I included a variety of fruits & syrups to make sure these were still festive! Oh, and for the La Croix haters, I framed a few hilarious quotes - beat them to the punch!
The dessert area was a hit! The dessert selections included macarons from The Tipsy Goat; a funfetti birthday cake from Milk Bar in NYC (a must-visit every time I'm in the city!); and, my favorite candies - Sour Patch Kids (watermelon, included!), along with pink & red Starburst (which we all know are the only good flavors!).
For additional décor, I kept things simple since the loft had so many great details in the furniture, styling & lighting. I utilized the dining table as a place for the guests to deck themselves out with traditional New Year's Eve swag.
The streamer flick-sticks made for a perfect midnight celebration!
I brought in a few cocktail tables with black linens to match the stationery details like these gold-foil coasters & custom cocktail napkins.
As I was designing the party, I knew that I needed an Emo Lounge - it's the thing
I had been dreaming about since I was a just a little emo kid!
The back bedroom of the loft was transformed into a room full of 'all black everything' - streamers, balloons, and signage. I brought all of my past concert memorabilia to place around the room - including tickets, drumsticks, posters & more. 'Emo Is Not Dead' & hundreds of other sticker designs served as take-home favors for the guests.
And the best part?!
The playlist in the lounge was exclusively for the emo kid at heart!
Want to listen? Check out my curated Spotify playlist from the party below.
Man - I miss parties! Don't you?! Can't wait until we can get back to this. I hope you had fun coming down memory lane with me! As I ring in my 31st birthday today, I'm grateful for all my friends & family who've helped me get through the last 365. Here's to that 32nd birthday party, huh?