Posted by: Alycia Nichols | August 14, 2012

Blue & White 30th Birthday

No, silly…not my 30th birthday! We just hosted our 3rd and final child’s 30th birthday party this past Sunday. I’m putting this photo first because seeing 3 of them through to 30 deserves a celebratory drink…or two…or three! :-)
(All photos by Sheri L. Grant. Click any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

The guest of honor requested Chinese food for her party, so cool….Asian cuisine and decor it is! As guests arrived they were invited to enjoy a virgin Mai Tai (with “fuel” provided on the side for those of us who like it leaded!!! ;-)) A mix of pineapple & orange juices splashed with cherry limeade made up the Mai Tais, and I threaded orange slices and maraschino cherries onto fun bamboo skewers from World Market to dress them up and add flavor. These beautiful cobalt blue champagne flutes from Dollar Tree were a perfect companion to our blue & white theme throughout. (Shopping at Dollar Tree and Deal$ – owned by the same parent company – is a smart way to really stretch your tablescaping dollars!) Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” plates are a decorative addition to the foyer table along with mums floating in Pier 1 white ceramic bowls.

One by one, the guests began to arrive. (My stepdaughter/the guest of honor, Robyn, is the one wearing the white sleeveless blouse.)

Because we have such a tiny dining room, we turned the family room into a casual chic Chinese restaurant in blue and white for the evening. I used white outdoor bistro chairs here, but if you can splurge on a bamboo Chiavari or Chippendale chair or even a wicker or seagrass chair…that would be beyond fabulous!!! Let your budget dictate what you use. Bamboo chairs are SO on my wish list!!!

After draping two 6-ft. oblong tables with white full-length linens to create a sumptuously long 12-foot Tuscan-style table, I created place settings using square rattan chargers from Tuesday Morning. I had my sister running all over Minnesota (the closest state to Missouri where there were more of them!) looking for enough of these for 12. Thanks, Barf! Fun monstera leaf placemats from Z Gallerie added depth and color. White square plates from the B. Smith collection (Bed Bath & Beyond) and beautiful rice bowls with a cutout for chopsticks from Old Time Pottery finish off the place setting. We kept the rice bowls on the plates as decor until just before guests were seated for dinner, at which time we moved them to the center of the table and placed the chopsticks alongside the flatware.

I never know who prefers what, so I included both Cambridge dark faux bamboo flatware (Home Goods and One King’s Lane) and stainless steel chopsticks I picked up from an Asian market in Overland Park, KS. The blue & white ceramic chopstick rests came from that same market for a very reasonable price. I bought the beautiful mother of pearl mosaic napkin rings at Old Time Pottery, but I have also seen them at Z Gallerie.

Cobalt blue goblets from Dollar Tree used for orange spice tea match the champagne flutes used for Mai Tais upon the guests’ arrival.

This large blue & white ceramic ginger jar from Home Goods served as the anchor for the extended centerpiece which also included two smaller ginger jars. All were set atop lacquered rosewood stands from Old Time Pottery to give them more prominence on the table.

To lend height, color, texture, and drama to the table, I used clear gooseneck fluted vases to hold oversized monstera leaves from Hobby Lobby that mimicked the placemats. By all means, if you have access to real monstera leaves, go for it with gusto!!! Fan palms or banana leaves would also look really cool!

I wanted the table to have an exotic Far East feel about it, so I added these cool white parrots from Z Gallerie to the mix. (To see another post with these parrots, click HERE for “Caribbean Queen”.) They looked right at home perched in the “shade” of the monstera leaves and pinkish mums.

My original idea was to hang white paper lanterns throughout the room, but the persistent pain of not one but two torn rotator cuffs put the brakes on that in a hurry. All that overhead work would have done me in for sure! So I opted to hang a few in the window (with hubby’s help!) and display more on top of the big, bulky television armoire. If you can’t move it out, decorate it!

It hit 95 degrees this day, so no one opted for hot tea after dinner. A good hostess is always prepared, though! The teapot is from Pier 1, and the little teacups are from World Market. I bought the trio of graduated size bamboo trays from a wholesaler years ago. They were stacked like this in storage, and I thought they would look cool (as well as add height) if I kept them that way.

Robyn’s favorite is chicken fried rice, so that had to be front and center on the buffet table set up in the dining room.

Appetizers included spring rolls, crab rangoon and lettuce wraps.

Another appetizer was skewered chunks of fresh pineapple and strawberries from Costco set on white miso spoons from Pier 1 and drizzled with honey. The spoons are displayed on bamboo trays purchased at Old Time Pottery.

Surely you do not think for a New York minute that I actually cooked all of this food? Ha! I leave Chinese food to the die-hard professionals who know their way around a wok! Oriental Express in Kansas City, MO, has some of the best Chinese food around, and the service always comes with a great smile from beautiful Jie (I hope I spelled that right!). Cooked to perfection every time for a very reasonable price, it’s worth the 25-minute drive from our house! Many, many thanks to everyone there for providing such a wonderful meal!!! (Full disclosure: The spring rolls and lettuce wraps were a last-minute addition from Costco.)

Oriental Express on Urbanspoon

The back buffet was simply decorated with another ginger jar on a rosewood stand flanked by two (faux) bonsai trees (TJ Maxx) and bowls (Hobby Lobby) of fresh floating mums.

After dinner, Ramon presented Robyn with her beautiful (and delicious!!!) cake from Patrick Snuffer Cakes (816-452-7590). He free-handed a cherry blossom branch in icing to go along with our Asian theme. (Do you see how Ramon is holding that cake…making it sag in the middle??? I’m going to have to give the little Mr. a good talkin’ to! :-))

After dinner and dessert, we played a fun (and slightly naughty!) fortune cookie game called “In Bed.” One of my silly former colleagues introduced me to this game about 20 years ago. Each person opens their cookie and reads their fortune aloud ending it with the words “in bed.” Try it sometime….as you can see from the expression on the guests’ faces, it’s hilarious!!!!!!!! :-) (Poor Mike was sweatin’ bullets reading that in front of my husband and me!)

The birthday girl and her beau, Mike, looking like the cats that ate the canary. They have a LOT of teeth, don’t they? The teeth just go on for miles, and miles, and miles, and miles….!!! :-)
Happy 30th Birthday, Robyn!!!

More Asian-inspired tablescapes on this blog:
Mandarin Bling
Year of the Rabbit
Peaceful Peonies
Copper Zen
Mikasa ‘Daylight’ Giveaway
Mum’s the Word
Zen Garden

More posts using paper lanterns:
Under a Paper Moon
Easter Brunch

More posts on this site using cobalt blue:
Daffodillyicious
Peony Power
Surf & Turf Dinner
Brilliant Italian
Summer Blues & Greens

I am joining Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT. Join me, won’t you?


Responses

  1. You always amaze me with your special touches! I laughed hearing about running all around to get enough chargers – been there!!! Happy Birthday to the lovely Robyn. I LOVE her cherry blossom cake – read my latest post and you will see why!!!

  2. You did it again girl, this is lovely. Our youngest of five turns 30 next Thursday and I’m getting back to my Creole roots and making a trough of gumbo. Still hammering out the decor. If I could get a couple of chiavaris for any occasion I would be a very happy camper. Sending best wishes for many more happy birthday’s to Robyn!

  3. Alycia!! I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again you are awesome! The pictures in this post are simply beautiful! I had the chance to enjoy Robyn’s 30th birthday party and all of that fabulous Asian decor in person and had the best time.

  4. Wow Alycia! You are the best hostess! That looks so wonderful! I love the blue and white as the accent…great idea! I can’t believe the beautiful buffet of food you set out too! Man if I lived close by I’d be sneaking around at your house slipping in the back door and joining your parties!! Looks like Robyn was taken care of very well! I really love the cherry blossom cake that turned out wonderful! I’m jealous!! I want to be 30 again and have someone spoil me like this!! Dang!! A++++++++

  5. Gorgeous smiles!!

    I have not had a Mai Tai in years. Should add it to our list. For some reason, we are having “cocktails” more here at the lake, than we do at home. It seems so decadent…and fun.

    Beautiful table, as always Alycia and the food looks delish!

  6. Love the use of the blue & white, and the bonsais! Such a pretty cherry blossom cake!! You know you’ve done well when you see gorgeous smiles like those! :) A lovely Chinese theme tablescape Alycia.

  7. Alycia…may I be a part of your family so you can throw me a grand birthday party???!!!….What a lucky girl to have such a fabulous birthday dinner presented by you and your hubby….the table is awesome as usual…I love the square chargers!…You did not miss a beat with the detail…You can tell that everyone had such a great time…and yes, teach Ramon how to carry that cake!!!…Have a wonderful day Alycia!! This tablescape was a showstopper!

  8. I loved seeing you and your family. What a wonderful table and birthday party. Glad you got to enjoy the part you do so well and left the cooking to others so you could enjoy the party too. Happy 30th to your daughter. You know how to give a party. Great details for a pretty table.

  9. If you have gotten three kids to thirty, honey, you can have all the drinks you want, no counting!!!

    This party is my kind of deal — where somebody else does the cooking. The guest of honor is lucky to have you!

    I love all the Asian details, and now you know that I will be looking at some of these stores for a few of these little touches.

  10. Mmmm…love Mai Tai’s. Everything is perfect. love the cobalt blue glasses. I have them in a different style. You can’t beat the dollar store. The menu is wonderful, and to think you didn’t have to cook. It looks like everyone really enjoyed themselves. I am sure they feel so special sitting at your lovely dinner parties. The bonsai is so Asian…..Love your choices. Happy Birthday to your lovely daughter. Did you see my clogging video? I have three posts up lately…. Fair performance, Skillet corn cakes and watermelon salad. Enjoy your week.

  11. Neat idea for the party. I’ll have to remember that one.
    Everything looks fabulous and delicious!

    - The Tablescaper

  12. First of all your family is so beautiful, beginning with you! Such good looking people and your are right, the smiles do go on forever. What a wonderful celebration you created and I know she appreciated all the love you put into the details. Blue and white is one of my favorite combinations. I love how you repurpose rooms to suit you and it always looks so good. So sorry you are dealing with shoulder pain, rotator cuff can be so aggravating. Hope you are back to your fiesty self, climbing and hanging soon! Dianne

  13. Hi Alycia, Your family is beautiful. Robyn is adorable. I love your game and I do bet Mike felt funny reading the fortune. Everything looks wonderful as usual. I would like to have been there with all the fun. Happy Birthday Robyn. Hugs, Ginger

  14. What are you talking about…not your 30th birthday….I personally just celebrated the 10th anniversary of my 30th birthday…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

    What a fun celebration! She is beautiful. Hope she had a fabulous birthday! Your table is beautiful as always and I love that Ralph Lauren pattern…it is on my every growing “want list” That cake is beautiful, and yes…even before you said it I was thinking “put a hand under that cake or it is gonna break in two!!!”

    Have a great week!

  15. For starters, Robyn is gorgeous! Good work! I really like the strong hit of whites with just the perfect balance of blues for your Chinese tablescape. I also adore Chinese food, but I’m allergic to it. Four trips to the hospital later, Sweet Mister threatened me if I ever ate it again. I miss it to this day. Thanks for inviting us for peak. Cherry Kay

  16. OMGosh Alycia! I love the blue and white color scheme you chose.Love the ginger jars on the rosewood stands, too It’s all so cool and refreshing and the food is making me really hungry.I’m loving everything you did from the decor to the fun fortune cookie game…gotta remember that one. Your step daughter is gorgeous. Belated Happy Birthday to her..

  17. Belated happy birthday, Robyn! Your Asian party looks fabulous, Alycia. The centerpieces are pretty cool and I love the mix of plates and dishes. Looks like everybody had a lot of fun, I can see from the happy faces…Christine

  18. Alycia~ You’re the Hostess with the Mostest! I know your family members are thrilled when you throw a party in their honor! I love your table lined up with the fireplace in your family room~ so festive for entertaining! Bamboo chairs are on my wish list too. Your buffet looks wonderful and great take out makes for less stress! Happy Birthday wishes to the birthday girl with the beautiful smile :)

  19. Lovely Birthday celebration. We just celebrated our youngest 21st birthday this past weekend! Where does the time fly to???

  20. Oh it does look like fun!!! You are the best what a fun birthday party….

    Cynthia

  21. Hi darling, what a beautiful family you have. Happy Happy Birthday to your youngest…girl you look 30 so glad you cleared that up for us.. Your table and meal is out of this world. Love the blue and white touches, you know me with blue and white.. I’ve got to get to a Homegoods at some point..:-(
    hugs ~lynne~

  22. Three through thirty! That is an accomplishment. Happy Birthday to Robyn.
    Beautiful celebration. I know your family loves to be entertained in your home. It’s lovely and you are definitely the hostess with great style!

  23. You throw the best parties, Alycia! Robyn is one lucky girl. Thanks for sharing all the pics, too. You always send me to the moon with your stunning centerpieces. Those giant leaves are PERFECT. They’re so big that guest can actually see under them. I’m going to remember that one.

  24. Wow, my friend, I thought it was YOU!!! You look great too sweetie..please! Wow, my daughters are 31 and 32 already, no one under 30 any more around here. Your party looks fabulous and your table is exquisite, I love oriental dishes and details. Love the centerpiece blue and white ginger jar and how you raised it and the banana leaves is genious in the gooseneck vase..perfect!! Your dear daughter is a lucky gal to have you as mama!! My friend Alycia, you are an inspiration to me and a teacher too!! Great menu and celebration, which couldn’t be any less in your house darling. Have a rested weekend, please. Happy birthday to the “baby” of the family.
    Love,
    FABBY

  25. “LOVE,LOVE,LOVE THIS”! Happy Happy Birthday to the Beautiful Birthday Girl!!! My youngest son was 30 on Groundhogs Day… The STAR of this WONDERFUL WONDERFUL post is “YOU my Dear”!!! I LOVE that first picture of you! Wow what a fantastic party. She Must have LOVED IT!
    Thank you for inviting us in…I LOVE Chinese food!!!
    Big Hugs to you,
    Donna

  26. aaawwh this is fabulous Alycia.. Your table totally rocks. I love all the blue and white. I wish I had more of that in my repertoire. I play that game too.. much to the chagrin of husband and sons.. ha ha on them. I love the tall leaves that add so much drama to the table. Ssssh, my baby (male, 30) wants some oriental dishes.. not food but real dishes.. so guess what this momma is gonna do? yep, you betcha. Going tomorrow. What a lovely party for a beautiful young lady! The food is amazing. I hope you catered some of it.. the cake is perfect.. Wish her a belated a happy birthday from me.. xo marlis

  27. Fabulousness Alycia! Love the Asian theme, use of caterer (that’s always a good idea!), everyone sitting a one long gorgeous table, and blue and white. What great finds at dollar tree! Cobalt flutes add such a pop of color to the entrance, and then to the table. Cake with cherry blossoms softens the whole “I’m turning 30! Yikes.” Beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing! Your pictures are always inspiring and your narratives so informative. Happy Week. ~CJ

  28. Lovely! I love the height you have with the leaves, and they don’t block the view of the person across the table. You inspire me.

  29. Oh, I love visiting with you and this is no exception. I don’t know how I will stick to the plan for dinner because all I want now is Chinese food. I love how you have everyone sitting together by putting your tables together. I only can do this outside and it is my favorite way to gather us all. It is a shock to the system when they turn 30, isn’t it? Love the white and blue color combination. It is always so fresh feeling. Smiling about the cake picture. It looks like it made it safe to the table, despite the bending. What a beautiful couple! Looks like they have a lot to smile about.

  30. You are so talented and creative. Love following your posts!

  31. The Mai Tai’s look great!! so do you!! Never would have guessed you have three girls over thirty, everyone must mistake you for lone of the sisters!! Your daughter is beautiful. Oh, and so is your table! Almost forgot what I was looking at because everyone was enjoying themselves so much! Very Nice!!!

  32. If I could choose someone to give me a party I’d choose you!! Fabulous!

  33. Beautiful! Robyn looks so happy and thoroughly enjoying herself! The table looks amazing, as usual. Well done!

  34. Your are the party planner! This was a great oriental themed party and the table was fabulous. I love the blue and white and the tall vases are beautiful. Food and Fun and obviously all had a grand time. Great Birthday Party!

    Thanks, Pam

  35. Oh Alycia, could I be your odd ball cousin with blonde hair so you could throw such a fabulous party for me? You are such a perfect hostess and mother. You’re the best to host such parties for your family and friends. Love, love the blue and white pieces. I have just fallen in love with blue and white. Just redid my bedroom with those colors and painted lamps to match (a post sometime). I am going to Home Goods looking for the ginger jars.

  36. Laughing at the fortune cookie game!
    I really love everything you’ve done here. I have decided that I would really love to come to one of your parties! I would much rather cater out and spend time on a perfectly dressed table like you did than waste my time in the kitchen. It’s all just wonderful.

    And ouch at TWO torn rotater cuffs. OUCH.

  37. Good morning dear Lady A,
    Been awhile I missed visiting you but, this wet summer makes me insane not with the weather but as well as my work §:-)

    Oh… It feels like home, YeeeY!!! Yummmy. HOpe I could come and sit with you and the celebrant.

    What a beautiful party and it looks so Asian.

    Great job done (once again)…Happy blessed Sunday.

    Hugs from the D´BOX,
    /Chie

  38. Wow Alycia, you’ve done it again as one of blogland’s best hostesses! I love the blue and white, and what a grand buffet. Looks like Robyn had a super birthday celebration! xxoo Debbie

  39. Bravo! You did a wonderful job carrying out the theme, right down to the bamboo mats under the chaffing dishes!
    Love the blossoms on the cake, pretty!
    Those trays are neat!
    Too bad we don’t live close, I have 12 of those sq chargers, and I make a mean fried rice and steak and broccoli!
    LOL on the game!
    You should have linked up, many pay no attention to the theme. :)

  40. What fun! I enjoyed it all…..even not being right there. Everything is, as always, done to perfection! Love all your wonderful ideas, I bet everyone in your family LOVES having a very special birthday with you as the hostess….just one delight after another.

  41. [...] on this site using cobalt blue: “Daffodillyicious“ “Peony Power“ “Blue & White 30th Birthday“ “Summer Blues & [...]

  42. [...] on this site using cobalt blue: “Peony Power“ “Brilliant Italian“ “Blue & White 30th Birthday“ “Summer Blues & Greens“ “Surf & Turf [...]

  43. [...] Blue & White 30th Birthday [...]

  44. [...] square rattan chargers from Tuesday Morning last year. She shipped them here just in time for my stepdaughter’s birthday dinner party. The faux bamboo flatware was a great buy at JC Penney [...]

  45. [...] a lofty pair of white parrots from Z Gallerie are added to the mix. The parrots (previously used HERE) bring more white into the centerpiece as well as adding height and an exquisite textural [...]

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