Monday, December 10, 2018

My 40th Birthday/Christmas Dinner

 The BIG 4-0 😳. Actually, turning 40 isn't such a huge deal to me. Although I am very grateful to God that He has given me another year on this beautiful earth, I'm not all "boohoo" about being 40 years old or getting older in general. I guess because I can still function and have overall good health. Maybe I'll be singing a different tune when I'm so old I can't bend over to pull up my "Depends" adult diapers 😣 It's a good thing I have my offspring to take care of that for me in the future...

Anyway! So I had a 40th birthday dinner! YAY! I don't remember the last time I had a celebration for my birthday. I tend to shy away from the birthday boy spotlight and actually prefer celebrating my wife's birthday since the center of attention is not on me, LOL. But, since this year my birthday was a milestone I decided to put together an intimate dinner with the family. I was envisioning a quiet, candlelit get-together in my home with all my favorite home-cooked meals. Fortunately my parents, my wife and even my mother-in-law got together to make those birthday wishes come true and cooked everything for my dinner party. On the menu was Mexican pozole soup to start; followed by the main dish which was Chile Relleno and Enchiladas; and last but not least, my absolute favorite mexican dessert: Arroz con Leche.

All that amazing food was served fireside in the middle of my living room. I moved some of my living room furniture upstairs to make room to seat 14 (the perks of opened-floor plans). Having everyone dine in the living room created such a cozy atmosphere and it was exactly what I was envisioning.

I didn't go "all out" with my tablescape and opted instead for simple and inexpensive ways to make the table look festive because really, once you get all those people sitting at the table, all the decor seems to just disappear anyway! I figured that the living room created enough ambiance to get away with a more simple table. As long as there's candlelight and a decent tablecloth, you're good!

Since my birthday falls during the holiday season, I have to be very mindful as to how much I spend. That means that my shopping trips to find items for the tablescape consisted of trips to Dollar Tree, Party City and my own garage. Fortunately I was able to find everything I needed! The frosted votive holders, and the "cut crystal" style wine glasses (which I am so crazy about) were a buck from Dollar Tree. Those two items gave such a nice sparkle to the table. The foam snowflakes were 50 cents for the small ones and a dollar for the large ones so that was a major bargain too. I found those at Party City along with the white charger plates which were 12.99 for a pack of 10. Actually they aren't charger plates. They're white plastic plates but they're definitely big enough to be a charger plate if you ask me! The bottle brush trees were from last year's Christmas decor but I remember them being about 10 bucks for a pack of trees over at Hobby Lobby. The banquet tables were borrowed from my parents so that was free πŸ™Œ. The table cloths and chairs were rented through Eastlake Living Party Rentals. I've rented party items from there before and I love them because their prices are very reasonable, their stuff is always clean and they are local and overall have very good customer service. For my Chula Vista peeps, I definitely recommend you check them out for your next party needs.

For only spending a few bucks per table setting, I think the tablescape came out looking beautiful! The only thing that I kinda wish that I would have done was to have cloth napkins. I thought I was going to have enough cloth napkins in my stash of linens but a lot of them were either stained or didn't match. I reeeally didn't feel like going out to the store to not only purchase, but look for 14 new cloth napkins then come home and wash them...and then press them...and then find a place to store them... so I just used large green paper napkins that I already had LOL. Is that a decor faux pas? Yeah -actually it kind of is! Did my dinner guests care? I don't think they did! The food still tasted amazing, the laughter and conversations kept rolling in, the wine bottles kept pouring, the fire kept keeping us warm... all was fantastic! Just goes to show that you don't have to sweat the small things AND you don't have to spend a fortune to have a great time and to entertain your guests. All people need is good food, good drinks and good conversation πŸ’“

My home, my belly and my heart was full that day. It was the perfect birthday.