Monday, March 10, 2014

Plan Something: Jason's Big 3-0

Jason's 30th birthday was this past weekend.  If you remember from last year, we haven't done much to celebrate birthdays for the past several years.  I made an exception for his 29th and his 30th, because I figured they needed to be celebrated appropriately.

I spent the last 8 months (seriously I started the week after I finished the bar) planning his 30th extravaganza.  I knew I wanted to go all out.  It took a little while to figure out where I wanted to do it, but once I learned that Rahr Brewery has private party rentals, I knew that was the way to go.

When I was designing the invitations I wanted them to be something unusual and fun.  I initially contemplated mailing out beer bottles, a la this party I found on Hostess with the Mostess, but ended up deciding the hassle of shipping wasn't worth the effort.  Finally I stumbled on the idea of using coasters as the invitations and attaching them to cards with the additional information.    I ordered enough for all of the invitations and then a couple dozen extra so that I could give them to Jason at the party.

Full post on the invitations coming soon.

Next up I had to decide on party favors for all of the attendees.  I knew that Rahr would give everyone a pint glass to take home as part of the party, but I wanted to give everyone something from Jason and myself.  Koozies are always a good gift in Texas, but I wanted everyone to be able to use the koozies during the party.  This in turn led to the great pint glass kookie search fest.  It took me forever to find someone who could custom print pint glass koozies and who produced quality products.  But I finally stumbled across Logo It an Austin based company that was SO great to work with.  The koozies turned out exactly like I hoped and they arrived early.  I do not hesitate to recommend Jim and his company and will definitely use them again in the future.

After those details were nailed down I had to decided on food and decorations.  We kept the decorations fairly simple; we were in a brewery after all.  But I made a couple of things to spruce up the food tables.

Jason gave me a copy of the Smoke cookbook that I have been wanting since we ate at Tim Byres's restaurant, Smoke.  (If you are in Dallas you MUST eat there.)  The cookbook is filled with tons of BBQ and sides and I knew a couple recipes were a must.  First of all, I made a batch of his bread and butter pickles.  I don't really like bread and butter pickles, but these are fantastic!  They were so delicious paired with the slightly fatty pork shoulder.  I also made a BBQ sauce from the cookbook and highly recommend it as well.  Other foods included sausage balls, potato salad, PJ's Polish Gold homemade sausage (amazing), soapilla cheesecake and various chips and dips.  I farmed out the cupcakes to Sprinkles (ain't nobody got time for baking) and picked Bourbon Vanilla Bacon and Bailey's Irish Cream cupcakes.  They were amazing and I didn't have to touch a single cupcake tin, which made them all the better.

Lastly music.  There is a great story behind the musician, Michael Prysock.  Last summer he was scheduled to play a show at Klyde Warren Park as part of their summer concert series.  I wanted to go so I played Jason a couple of song intros to see if he would be interested.  Jason was.  big. time.  Since then he's been trying to remember Michael's name and all the while I've been secretly emailing him since August.  Sneaky sneaky.  Jason randomly was talking to his sister about Michael the day of his party about how much he wanted to figure out who he was.  And then lo and behold, who's playing when Jason arrives at the party.  When I asked Jason what his favorite part of the day was he instantly replied, the live music.  So a HUGE thank you to Michael for playing for us.

I want to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped me plan, prepare, cook, distract Jason, and attend his party.  He was so incredibly happy and I am ever so grateful to everyone who helped bring him into his 30's in style.