Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Hour with Friends - My Birthday Picnic in the Park

Today's my birthday.  I'm 31 years old.  Aside from the fact that my ankles are slowly eating my feet due to the start of my last trimester, I've had a great birthday week.  This past weekend I hosted a little Sunday afternoon happy hour in Brooklyn Bridge Park for a few of my girlfriends (and their family posses). 

You know it's not a party in my book until someone burns themselves on a glue gun, so I just had to DIY a few things, including a picnic blanket, which my husband volunteered to take for a test run. 

I also made personalized caddies for each of the gals, since I'm a firm believer in party favors.  Don't worry, you know I don't make anything without sharing instructions.  Except, that is, for making babies.  And this failed art project from a while back.  Here are some closeups on the caddies. 

I filled each one with individual bags of cookies, a lovely paper cup (since drinking in the park is technically verboten.  Don't tell my mom, okay?) and napkin, and then due to the strong winds (which really did quite the number on my bangs, too) I threw a beer in each one to keep them from blowing away.

Not to be left out, each little one also got a personalized caddy filled with bubbles, chalk, a juice box, an applesauce squeezie and a bag of nut-free, egg-free "trail mix" made of graham crackers, dried bananas, cheerios and raisins.  And a balloon.  Duh. Oh, and all those goodies still weren't enough to hold down the caddies, so I put a beer in each of the kids' caddies, too.  All-star parent over here. 

(Next week I'll share the instructions for the adult caddies, the kid caddies, the cute personalized buttons and the picnic blanket.  Happy birthday to you!  But back to the party.)

Although they were calling for temps in the high 80's, the overcast skies kept things quite comfortable, so we brought along a few outdoor-friendly snacks, including my favorite cheese tray accoutrement - truffle honey.  Served with a hard cheese like pecorino, truffle honey is exactly what it sounds like - honey laced with a little truffle oil to taste.  It rocks your world, seriously.

Even with a list, I still managed to leave the house without the guacamole.  I almost cried.  Yes, that's how much I love guacamole.  Knowing that my forgetfulness meant that I had an extra large container of guacamole all to myself almost made me a little less sad, except that I strongly feel that guacamole, like wine, shouldn't be enjoyed alone.  They both taste better with great company.

I think I heard a tortilla chip cry.  Then the duckling ate him.

That's my duckling's sweet friend Harper.  They are 12 days apart.  Poor Harper puked all over her pants in the cab ride over (trust me, I can totally relate - those guys drive like maniacs).  Do you know what else she puked all over?  Her mom's pants, so off to the closest store my poor friend Tiff went to re-outfit herself and her little one.  Luckily she found replacements for both of them, but getting puked on is never fun.  Fortunately it seemed like and isolated occurence, and Harper perked back up after a while.  Tiff's adorable parents joined us, too, and they all brought us the most incredible picnic basket.  I've never seen anything like it...that Tiff is one heck of a gift giver.  And a crafter, too.  Last Easter she made the duckling bunny finger puppets.  Adorable.

Speaking of crafts, Meghan was the crafting dark horse of the day, showing up with a homemade lei. 

And here's me making my "don't-make-my-giant-pregnancy-boobs-look-too-big-in-the-picture" face. And my this-wind-is-making-my-bangs-weird face.  Double ew.

Between the open space for running and the food, the kids kept themselves busy. 

Here I though Hadley and I were best friends, but I think she's just been using me to get closer to my man.  I feel so used.  

Everyone seemed to be pretty happy to just hang out.  Everyone, that is, except Emma.

I'd be grumpy, too, if everyone around me was eating and drinking and all I had was a bottle. 

In fact, I think Emma paid off Hadley at one point to be her fill-in.  See this photo below?  That's Beth, but that's not Beth's baby sitting in front of us, it's Hadley.  That Emma's a sneaky one. 

Another sneaky one?  The duckling.  What an appetite that kid has.

The boys were sent out on a pizza errand.  Only later did I learn what took them so long. 

They sprung for a glass of white wine at the bar.  Guess who was with them?  Emma.  Told you she was trouble. 

John won the "Best Picnic Hat" award. 

With bedtimes around the corner, we took one quick girls shot and all packed up for home

I love this picture of Jess and Weeb because they're both making the exact same purse with their mouths as Jess put Weeb's shoes on to go home.

My little guy even helped pack up as the day's shadows got long.

What a great way to spend the day.  Allow me thirty seconds of sap since I'm pregnant and hormonal - few things bring me greater joy than spending time with people I love.  I love these ladies, I love their kids and I love their husbands (wait, no, not like that).  And of course any time I get to spend with my own growing family just makes me bubble over with joy.  There are lots of people I love, from old friends to new ones to my cherished family, but sadly not all of them are close enough for a Sunday afternoon picnic.  A girl can dream, though.    No matter what way you slice it, I'm one lucky broad, and that's not wine or guacamole talking. 


  1. 1. This looks amazing and is totally what I'd want to do with my birthday if it wasn't in December.

    2. Yes, truffle honey is in fact one of the greatest substances on earth.

    3. I will buy you the biggest present ever and cook or bake you a dish of your choice if you would invite me to a party with your friend "Tiff." I swear I'd act totally cool and nonchalant, but on the inside I'd be kvelling.

    1. Hilarious. You could always throw a half birthday - I'm totally okay with that. And yes, truffle honey is a thing of the gods. And ps you crack me up!

  2. Just wanted to say that I really like the way you write --you're so funny!

    And happy birthday!

    1. Thank you twice over!!! So glad you enjoy it....that makes my day!

  3. Are you friends with Tiffany Amber Thiessen? Because she's in your second photo.

    1. Yes. She's a love and a kick-ass mom. I heart her big time.


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