October 29, 2007

A Royal Birthday

It's official! My mom will soon turn another year older! I plan on entertaining at my apartment as we have a small family that is easy to cram into an equally small setting. I'm toying with some ideas for her party. She likes early French and Italian design, florals, navy and gold. Unlike yours truly, she wants nothing to do with the hues of fall. So I started with the Crane & Co. invitation and worked from there.

I already have a deep navy tablecloth so I plan on using that since it goes with the theme. I also plan on using the lovely paper napkins I used on Mother's Day. They are imprinted with a lovely floral pattern and feel so luxurious. Instead of the periwinkle ribbons tying the napkins, I'll opt for a nice navy velvet ribbon (and get a few extra yards for some of my sewing projects). Small swatches of lace will make for nice table accents, especially topped with navy blue place cards marked with golden calligraphy. Some Vera Wang plates would really make everything look elegant (and call for an upgrade to cloth napkins) so I will have to opt for some lovely bone ikea dishes. I like the idea of the fleur de lis runner but I'm not sure if it would jive with the lace. I think it would have to be one or the other - too much would just look tacky and messy. I'd love to give her that amazing Italian fireplace gate for her birthday, but she has already made it very clear what she wants for her birthday. Perhaps it will still be around for Christmas?

This is all still VERY flexible. I don't want it to look too much like the Mother's Day celebration because that takes away from the specialness of each occasion. I may opt for a white tablecloth instead and switch out my round table for a long, rectangular table. My runner would switch to a solid navy blue. I'd lose the fleur de lis entirely but use the lace embroidery on the runner. The vase in center would have to be gold and perhaps the ribbons would be gold as well. Hrm. Maybe I need to make an entirely new mood board now! That is what is so great about creating these inspiration boards - as you walk through the process you make changes here and changes there until the end result is perfection!

[Bottom Left Clockwise: goat cheese ravioli from JoHunter's flickr stream, tilapia with fresh herbs & grilled eggplant - Martha Stewart.]

Of course, the next question is "What should I serve? " Tilapia is easy and something my mom loves. She's also a big fan of eggplant. I would love to try my hand at making some goat cheese ravioli (only with walnuts and herbs instead of as pictured) but I worry that it won't be impressive enough. I'll probably consult my # go-to cookbook "The Joy of Cooking". I have yet to meet a recipe I didn't like and their basic formulas leave a lot of room for experimentation and adjustments (something I am known to do). For dessert, my mom likes a specific kind of cake from a specific bakery so I'll leave that one to the professionals.

So here's a peak into my personal planning process. I'll keep everyone up to date on final product selections and take pictures of the event in progress! Let me know if you have any other suggestions or post pictures or stories of parties you've hosted for a loved one.