megan’s 31st: a wine tasting surprise

I threw a party this weekend.

That’s probably why you thought I fell off the face of the earth.

I assure you, the world is not flat.  Therefore, I’m still here.

But I didn’t quite have time for anything other than planning for this very special surprise party.

See, my SIL turned 30 last year.

A fact that was greatly overlooked by the fact that she was marrying my brother two weeks later.

It’s kind of hard to plan more than a cupcake with a lonely candle in it when there’s a huge celebration going down in a mere 14 days.

So we nixed it, and brought it to life this year instead.


She thought we were going out to dinner.

Silly girl.

We gathered all her friends and instructed everyone to bring a bottle of wine to share.


Which I might add is very budget friendly for the host.



I kept the decor simple.  A natural, silver color scheme with touches of plum.  White pillars, mercury accents and wine corks were scattered across the room.



The menu included eight different kinds of cheeses complete with descriptions and pairing suggestions.

Three different chocolates.

Berries, pears and apples.

Homemade pasta.  Spinach salad with cranberries, walnuts and feta.

And of course, wine.


[excuse the yellowish tone of some of these photos, our dining room light glows like the sun and makes photography a headache]


I even got all pinterest-saavy.  And made these chalkboard bottomed wine glasses so there wouldn’t be any mix-ups during the night.  They worked beautifully – a great idea for any party with lots of people.  I’m thinking that I might try this on some Old Fashioned glasses for the future.


[Tutorial coming tomorrow!]


And took a page out of Martha Stewart’s book and created this mural of photos in the shape of a ’31’.



Just in case she forgot how old she is 🙂


And my favorite little detail?

The favors.

Yes, I know that giving favors out at a small surprise party may seem odd.   But I wanted to thank everyone who made the trip to make Megan’s birthday a night to remember.

I tossed around the idea of mini-bottles of wine, openers and glass tags.

But landed on something even simpler.



These pieces of oak were actually used in the wine-making process.  They are placed in barrels of wine for years in order to infuse toasty, oak flavors into the brew.

Afterwards, they are dried and packaged for another use.



Just soak a few pieces of oak in water, wrap in a tinfoil packet and place next to your meat on the grill.  The packet will smoke and infuse your meat with oak and wine flavors.

A perfect little token for a wine party.


Happy Birthday Megan – we love you lots! xo

  1. What a wonderful party! I love this idea and the wine glasses with chalk board paint-love it! What would we do without Pinterest?!

  2. my birthday is in june, you should probably start planning now.

    all joking aside, what a freaking wonderful party you threw!

  3. Ummm, you ARE Martha Stewart. Get out of here with those adorably creative favors! New to your blog, and love it 🙂 (found ya from Freckled Italian)


  4. What a fabulous party!! I love everything about it from the wine & cheese (I just did an wine and cheese post yesterday :]) to the invitation! So cute!! & Lovely photos!!

  5. This is so sweet! Your decorations are beautiful! And I actually really love the idea you had for the favors.

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