Last days of Summer...

You know what? This weekend was truly one of the best on record. Wow. It's hard to describe how incredible it felt to be surrounded by so many people we love at a place we love- almost like a wedding, but way more fun! The party started at 7 PM, so I had a chance to snap these before anyone arrived. Here's a look at our evening.  

Sparklers are so pretty- I couldn't resist bringing home a boatload. I put tiny pebbles in a tin and "planted" the sparklers in the rocks, hoping folks would spark them up. My sparkler gauge must be off, though-  I finally ended up handing them out because I bought so many. It's safe to say that the adults definitely enjoyed them more than the kiddos. Three cheers for being a kid again, right? 

I hung the 'Happy Summer' banner in our lilac tree behind the bar/sparkler table.   

I bought a happy birthday banner at the dollar store, took it apart, and just traced the letters onto kraft paper, making up any letters I was missing. Instead of grommets or any hardware like that, I used hot pink thread and a French knot to keep the letters together.

Since the vast majority of revelers were coming from out of town and since our driveway is easy to miss, I made this felt flag to hang at the end of our driveway. It worked perfectly! 

What's a Summer party without globe lights? Really. 

Remember that trick I mentioned where you're supposed to put a marble inside a balloon to make it hang down? Honestly, it didn't really work for me. I'm almost positive they would've stayed down without a marble. They did look nice hanging in the trees at night. 

We set up a screen on our clothesline for the outdoor movie, and our friend brought a projector (thanks, Dan!). The movie we chose? Pee-wee's Big Adventure, of course! It was a crowd pleaser...well, the first time around; it played 5 times before anyone turned it off. Forever etched in my brain: 

Pee-wee: "I wouldn't sell my bike for all the money in the world. Not for 100 billion million TRILLION dollars!"

The kids spent part of the night playing in this tree.

We were expecting a lot of overnight guests, so I put blankets on our other clothesline and told people to grab them if they were cold. 

More blankets on a chair, just in case.  

I found the vintage bowling game at a garage sale a couple of years ago and it seemed like the perfect party to haul it out (it's the thing that looks like a table in the clothesline photo). PRH built a new leg for it the day before the party and it was as good as new! I gathered together a mish mash of old bowling pins and we used a tennis ball instead of a bowling ball.

I like activities at parties and, since craft projects are sort of my thang, I thought it would be great to have a party craft. I cut a stack of twigs the weekend before and set out a bowl of yarn and scissors. God's Eyes! It was a bit too dark out to make anything, but we definitely got our craft on the next morning.

PRH and our friend, Greg, set up the horseshoe pits last weekend (thanks, Greg!). All of the guys seemed to be weirdly drawn to horseshoes- the competition was fierce. I took this photo just before PRH filled them with sand. I'm going to start practicing so I'm really good next year. Won't everyone be so shocked when I ditch it all and travel the world as a horseshoe playing champion?! Um, okay. Sure.

My idea of decorations? Wild flowers and flowers from our garden.

EZ E's idea of decorations? All of his super-heroes in a plastic underwear pack set on the bar. He put them away before anyone arrived...only so no-one would think they were party favors and take them home (very likely, right?). 

The new fire pit functioned so much better than the old one. We built a huge fire and kept nice and warm well into the night. We have a tent, but luckily my brother and cousin lent us extras just in case. They definitely came in handy. You can see EZ E and Kicky playing in the orange tent, which kept them nice and occupied while we set things up.  

The s'mores kits. Aaahhhhh...the s'mores kits. This idea came from Deborah Justine. Did you know that tiny berry baskets are only 6 cents each at Agway?! Awesome. I made 30 baskets, but used miniature candy bars instead of full-sized.  

We gathered twigs from the yard to use as roasting sticks and set out nutella for folks (like me) who like to rock their s'mores that way. Yum!!!

Remember these DIY treat bags that Ez of Creature Comforts made (then I was inspired and made these)? I went with lunch bags, flagging tape, and hand-written labels this time around, and thought I was pretty clever when I packaged popcorn in these right before the party. I didn't feel quite so clever when the time came for everyone to eat said popcorn. Blech! Hello, sog fest. The kids didn't seem to mind borderline-wet popcorn, but most of it ended up in the trash. Next year? Popcorn machine. 

Candy bars from Sam's Club were a complete hit (and they're much cheaper when sold in bulk). The tray would've been full had PRH and I not indulged in candy bars during the days leading up to the party. Who can resist peanut M & M's?  

My lovely cousin, Jolie, took the next two photos (thanks, Joles!). Remember those canning jars that I found in our basement and barn? They were put to very good use this weekend. Word to the wise- use bigger candles so you don't spend the night obsessively swapping tealights (duh, Abbey!). They still looked beautiful, though. 

The fire pit in action. Yes!

Our wonderful Rachael took this photo (thanks, Rach!). See what I mean about those Ball jars and globe lights? 

Our friend, Lisa, took these two (thanks, Lisa!). So pretty!

The party aftermath? Not quite as pretty. Ha! I stood on the roof of our house early the next morning and took this photo. By our standards, it was a good-sized party- about 50 people came, half of whom ended up spending the night. For breakfast the next morning, my mom supplied muffins, danish, and croissants for the whole crew (thanks, Mom!). I made 6 pots of coffee, cooked bacon, and set out orange juice, tea, Tums, and other tried-and-true party party party remedies. As EZ E wisely said, "People get sick when they eat too many candy bars.".     

I kid you not, this is a photo of our kitchen yesterday morning...the sure sign of a really good party. And you know what? It was one of the best nights ever. It's not often that we get to see so many of the people we love in one place. We really are quite lucky. Our friends and family are amazing- and this is a damn fine party house.  


emmel-prutsemieke said...

Wish I was there! So much nice things to do!

Tam@ToLive.ToLove.ToLaugh. said...

Abbey-That looks like a fantastic end of summer party!

amy h said...

Wow! That looks like quite the party -- fun!

Cassie said...

Looks like you guys had a blast!

And I appreciate the comments stating what you would do differently in the future (the popcorn, tealights, etc.) because otherwise I would have made the same mistakes.

Jeanette said...

That looks like a darn fine party! wish I lived closer, maybe I could've been on the invite list! I am a bit envious of someone who can look @ their place and come up with such a wonderful, organized, decorated and FUN party for friends and family!

Anonymous said...

Looks like it was one great party!

Amy said...

How fun and such lovely pictures to document it!!! Sparklers and s'mores are my favorite!!!

Rachael, Pistachio Press said...

Dude, it was amazing!!! And the popcorn dried up when we left it on the stones around the fire pit before eating it :) Such a super awesome time. Already looking forward to next year!

kristin said...

Omigosh what a fun party! Especially love your Tenenbaums-esque pennant at the entrance to your driveway. Perf.

laurie in georgia said...

What fun! And how lucky you are to have such a great party house (and party planning brain, too)! Did your overnight guests camp out? That is awesome! Oh, and I seriously covet that vintage bowling set...

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh....major country living envy!

Aesthetic Outburst... said...

Thanks so much, everyone! It was one of my favorite nights ever (EVER)! I'd say about 1/2 of the overnight guests camped and the other 1/2 grabbed the couch, cots, beds, and air mattress inside the house. We set everything up before the party started (pillows, blankets, etc).

Kristin- the pennant was totally Tenenbaums-inspired. :) That's my favorite movie.

One other thing I didn't mention was that I set out a bowl full of hair ties, deodorant, toothbrushes, ibuprofen, tampons, etc in the bathroom. That came in handy!


Julia at Home on 129 Acres said...

It looks like a great time. All of the little touches that you included made it extra special. This may sound silly, but I love how nicely groomed your lawn is. A nice benefit of country properties is that they make great settings for bringing friends and family together.

my little red suitcase said...

what a fantastic set up for a party, very inspiring! Heather

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