Birthday Celebration: Dessert and Drinks

“Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me,” – what a radiant truth spoken by Holly Golightly herself, Audrey Hepburn! And of course, when I began to plan my husband’s birthday party, I knew we had to have a bit of indulgence with chocolate cupcakes. I simply adored hosting an intimate celebration with close friends for my husband’s special day, and am thrilled to share the details with you dear readers. Whether you’re coordinating a soiree for your significant other or best friend, here’s everything you need to know to plan a fabulous drinks and dessert fete. Enjoy!

DESSERT
My husband loves chocolate, so I whipped up a batch of Barefoot Contessa double chocolate fudge cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting, and my goodness were they sinful! Rich with sweet cocoa powder and smooth buttermilk, these divine cupcakes really took the cake! Dear friends also brought the most incredible Barefoot Contessa chocolate brownies, and after dusting them with powdered sugar, we piled them high upon a three-tiered dessert tray. 
*Tip 1: To jazz up these bite size treats, I ordered navy, white, and lime green paper wraps and flags from Ooh La La Paperie. Easy as pie to assemble, the wraps and flags transformed the cupcakes into precious little showpieces. 

*Tip 2: Prepare your cupcakes (brownies, or other sweet treats) 4-5 hours in advance of your party, as you need plenty of time to bake, cool, frost, and assemble. Not mention tidy of up the kitchen!

DRINKS
We ensured the bar was stocked for this party! When entertaining guests, one must have plenty of succulent thirst-quenching drink options – be it cocktails, champagne, beer, or even sparkling water. Check out my post on how to properly prepare your bar so it’s party-ready. 
*Tip 1: A fun and easy way to spice up an ordinary drink, I purchased lime green and white chevron straws and presented them in a silver glass. 

*Tip 2: Slice lemons and limes and display them in little ramekins or on a tray. Also, pick up plenty of ice for those guests who wish to enjoy a cool cocktail. 

FLOWERS 
It’s no secret that I have a blossoming passion for flowers, and so I was chomping at the bit to create gorgeous arrangements for my husband’s party. I stayed with the color theme of blue, white, and lime green, and used hydrangeas for luscious volume, roses for classic elegance, and bells of Ireland to add statuesque height and texture. Here’s how to create five arrangements with five types of flowers:

*Arrangement 1 (tall arrangement on table): First, trim the stems of all the flowers, remove the leaves, and use a tall vase. Place three blue hydrangea stems in a tall vase, criss-crossing the stems to create an anchor for the arrangement; place two so they are spilling over the edge, with the third resting on top of them. Next, add in the light green hydrangeas – one in the middle of the three blue hydrangeas, and then the remaining two on either side of the top blue hydrangea. Finally, gather all of the bells of Ireland, and place them in a cluster behind the hydrangeas to add height to the arrangement. To add some extra greenery, you can insert the clipped hydrangea leaves around the rim of the vase. 
*Arrangement 2 & 3 (tight low arrangements on library table and in bar): Use a square vase with either oasis, or stones to conceal the stems and secure the flowers. Trim the hydrangeas (one blue, one white, one green) and remove the leaves. Place the hydrangeas in the vase, creating a triangle shape – they are very full, so they should spill over the edge. Next, place white roses (5-7) in the middle and fill in the empty space. To add some extra greenery, you can insert the clipped hydrangea leaves around the rim of the vase. 

*Arrangement 4 (medium sized arrangement on coffee table): Use a medium sized vase, and first trim the stems and remove the leaves. Next, place the hydrangeas in the vase, creating a triangle shape – they are very full, so they should spill over the edge. Next, place white roses (10-12) down the middle of the arrangement or wherever you see open space. To add some extra greenery, you can insert the clipped hydrangea leaves around the rim of the vase. 

*Arrangement 5 (bud vase): Utilizing the remaining white roses, trim the stems and place them in a bud vase. It’s a simple yet classic arrangement, perfect for the powder room. 
DECOR
In terms of decor, I used a crisply pressed navy table cloth to give the dinning room table a polished look, ordered custom navy and white napkins in honor of the birthday boy, and also picked up navy and lime green plates as well as some extra lime green and white napkins. Flickering hurricane and votive candles throughout the house and music in the background set the scene to perfection.

*Tip 1: While your delectable birthday treats bake, busy yourself by setting up the party decor. That way, you have ample time to get organized and arrange your gorgeous celebratory setting before your guests arrive. Also, try and keep the décor a surprise from the guest of honor, so they can see the finished product (before everyone arrives of course) and be wowed by your hostess-with-the-mostess talents!

*Tip 2: If you plan on ordering any custom napkins or cups, order them at least 1-2 weeks in advance so you don’t have to fret about extra shipping costs or delays.

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