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Casual and Boujee!

When you have vivacious friends and family like mine, theme, decor and activities are important! Thankfully, I have a creative family who can whip up a thing or two when throwing your very first cousins & close friends Valentine's Day theme party!

Title Theme: "Cousins, Couples & Close Friends! - Celebrating love & Laughter 02/17/2017" (cheesy. I know and I like it!)

Decor colors: Reds, pinks, white & gold

Decor layout: A floral backdrop and props, An outdoor dinner table with a white cloth cover and a white and pink stripe runner. Gold charger plates, candle holders. Old childhood photo spread throughout the table and walls for a trip down memory lane!

Activities: Escape room and .... (depending on how many shots we take!)

Where to start. Coordination is key and always consider everyone's circumstances! When throwing a part of 25 or more start with these 3 important things:

  1. Finances. When you have an idea of what you want to have as a theme, it's important to have an idea of what your family and friends are willing to spend. We spent between $65-$85/person. This may include alcoholic beverages. Some spent more than others.

  2. Scheduling. Picking a date takes time, especially for those who work on weekends and evenings. Provide a date at least 3-4 months ahead.

  3. Location. Use your resources! I have family members that live 2 hours away from each other. Since, one of my cousins has a much large entertainment home. Instead of renting an airbnb, we chose her spot for cost savings! This meant choosing a closer escape room near her home. For the escape room make sure everyone arrives 15 minute before there start time. But of course we had people who were late. They wouldn't be family if they weren't! And yes, my team made it out of the room on time! Because that is what winners do!

Setting up the escape room groups was the hardest part of coordinating. If you've done one before you know that there are several things to think about: time intervals, the number of people per room and who will be on each team. Obviously, I made sure my team got the best time and room! Sorry not sorry other team!

After the win we headed to our second location. The entertainment house!

Start with snacks and/or appetizers. Although I wish I had a better photo, a deliciously prepared charcuterie plate, made by our host, Kathy, was coupled with different choices of wine to follow it. Fancy!

Of course, get the "bad" snacks too for later and throughout the night. We need those salty snacks to go with our beer and liquor!

Surprisingly, a caterer wasn't hard to find on short notice. A few people bailed last minute. Some weren't willing to meet our needs. Eventually, I got one that was amazing! We had a professional cook and servers! Yes, we're bougie!

We started with a delicious spring salad topped with a raspberry vingarette dressing. Then, we had a choice of salmon or steak for our main course. Lastly, we ended the night with a chocolate mousse cake for dessert.

We started with a delicious spring salad topped with a raspberry vingarette dressing. Then, we had a choice of salmon or steak for our main course. Lastly, we ended the night with a chocolate mousse cake for dessert.

Some wine and shots to follow...

After a lovely dinner of reminiscing about old photos placed throughout the table, the real shenanigans began.

A beautifully decorated backdrop, table and props, created by my cousin Amber, was set up in the entertainment room for a photoshoot! Check out her Instagram - Craftitup

F.F.G. - iykyk

Although preparing events can get quite tough to organize. It was most definitely worth it!

To be honest, it doesn't really matter what theme, decor or activities you prepare or who is hosting on what day. You will always have the best time of your life as long as alcohol is involved. I'm kidding!

2020, has been an eye opening year for me and I am sure for a lot of other people. I learned a lot about the value of time and relationships. Nowadays, it's a blessing to be around the people you care about that are still alive and well. Life is short. I know it's cliche but it's true. Spend that extra hundred dollars on the big party you've been wanting to have, take another night off to sleepover because there might not be a next time.

"Nothing last forever! I think that it's the easiest lesson we learn the hardest way."

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