Turning 25 was a big deal to me, and I definitely celebrated it as such. I had a blast planning the party, although I felt like two months was too much time, and I drove myself a little crazy coming up with ideas and spending all my monies on Amazon (in Prime we trust!). So when my 26th was getting closer, besides having a total panic attack about the actual number, I found myself at a loss for what to do. Nothing could top my 25th, and I didn’t want to either, but I do believe in celebrating birthdays and that every year we get on earth should be acknowledged and appreciated (regardless of whatever quarter-life crisis may be coming along with it…)
Because I was born on the 26th, this would actually be my one and only golden birthday. A golden birthday is when the age you’re turning coincides with the date of your birth. This was my main reason for definitely not letting my day go under the table (even though it fell on a Monday, so that wasn’t helping much). Within my thinking process, I remembered that my mom’s birthday (which is 4 days after mine) was a big one as well… the big SIX-OH. If I spell it out she won’t get mad I put her out there, right? Right…
So I did some research to see if there was any symbolism around turning SIXTY, and turns out I have to thank our friends in China for giving it one! According to the site Synonym, “The Chinese people believe that when a person reaches the age of 60, he or she has completed a full cycle of life, which calls for a grand celebration. The history of the 60th birthday is based on Chinese astrology. Twelve animals symbolize astrological signs. The Chinese calendar is based on 12 signs and the five natural elements: metal, fire, water, earth and wood. This results in a 60-year cycle. Following the 60th birthday, the person begins a new life.” This resonated a lot with me, and I knew my mom would appreciate it as well. My mom (unlike me) is not crazy about celebrating birthdays, so I knew that in order to get her on board with celebrating her big day, I’d have to sell it to her as a double birthday. It worked like a charm 😉
It’s worth mentioning, for my 25th, I had a job and a couple of months to plan and spread my expenses… But for this golden party, I’d quit my job a good 6 months before, and I had waited until about two weeks before to put it all together, which meant, I was on a very serious budget and would have to get very creative with very little. Also, sometimes it’s awkward trying to figure out what type of party certain celebrations are… This wasn’t a music/dance party deal… It wasn’t a dinner either. I’d have to provide food obviously but I wanted it to be casual yet as cute as possible. So this is what came out of it:
- Photo Booth Props: I mean, these are a given. I tried to get creative with the occasion, so I threw in some cute/punny quotes like “25 + Shipping & Handling,” and “Aging like wine.”
- Backdrop: I’ve seen this backdrop on Pinterest 1,000 times before, and I’d been wanting to recreate it. I’m not sure how other people do it, but I just whipped out my 527 glue, cut the strips and braided away… It came out just fine 🙂
- Cake Table: I love the fact that plastic linens are just $2, but I wanted to add a little spunk to the table, and I had purchased some pretty white and gold glitter card stock when it was on sale (I knew I’d use it, just didn’t know how. HA! Thank you past Kathy for thinking ahead…) So I taped them together and used them as a table runner. I really like how that turned out, and it gave the table a little class and sass.
- Golden Birthday and SIXTIETH Birthday Explanations: not everyone knows about the golden birthday thing and I also wanted to cheer my mom up with the “new cycle of life” stuff, so I printed out a mini essay on what both our days meant and used them as decor. My mom LOVED the explanation for hers, and everyone else was jealous when they realized they missed their golden birthdays because most happened when they were kids lol.
- The cake: even though I had no idea what I was going to do for my mom’s birthday, I had decided on the cake since February. My mom is one picky human, and I wanted to get her something that she hadn’t tried but hopefully would like. One of my best friends is Brazilian, and she introduced me to Brigadeiros… If you haven’t tried them, get up, run to your car, do not pass go, do not collect $200, and go straight to any Brazilian pastry shop and buy an assorted box of this magical truffle style dessert. My friend had made my mom a batch of pistachio brigadeiros a few months back, and she inhaled them in one sitting. So I went to THE best brigadeiro cake maker in South Florida, Made With Love Brigadeiros, and asked the lovely owner, Larissa for a pistachio brigadeiro cake with lady fingers and plain brigadeiro filling (it’s condensed milk heaven). No one at the party had had this kind of cake before, and EVERYONE was asking me for the contact information once they tried it. It was DELICIOUS!
- The food: like I said, this wasn’t a formal dinner but feeding people is a must. I wanted something simple, not too expensive… and I thought Arroz Imperial would do the trick, since it includes the carbs and protein in one serving. Since I live in SoFla, you can find a place that makes it in every corner, and I went with Romeu’s Cuban Restaurant. It was SO GOOD. Everyone loved it, it was quick and easy to serve, filling, and it kind of matched the theme with its rich gold color and baked cheese top. Accompanied by a Caesar salad and some bread rolls, we were set!
- The drinks: I kept it super simple and budget friendly: Jose Cuervo pre-mixed Margaritas. $13 at BJ’s. The end.
That’s pretty much it! It was a nice, cozy, intimate gathering, I managed to pull it together in two weeks and everything looked cute and themed. My mom was happy and we had the most delicious cake on earth. Couldn’t have asked for more!