The not so surprising party.

The not so surprising party.

The not so surprising party…

As an only child, birthdays in my family have always been a huge deal. April is basically my birthday month, why limit your celebrations to just a day?

However, the hubs, youngest of five, was never really much of a birthday/celebration kind of guy but he’s come a long way. 

This year, he kept insisting that I keep his birthday a low-key, low budget ordeal.  But he was turning 35 – how could I not do something? And so I thought long and hard until I came up with the perfect plan, something that would celebrate him but would still fall into his low-key/low-budget rules. 

I planned an intimate surprise dinner party with some of our closest friends.  However, when you’re living with someone it’s hard to keep a surprise, especially when he knows you’re up to something.  

Honestly, surprising someone you live with, with a party at home is really tough… so I was able to keep the surprise until day of until he found the balloons… In the end, he was pleasantly surprised that some of his dearest friends made it & in my eyes, that’s all that matters. Happy Birthday Meri Jaan.

Planning any event big or small especially for the first time can be a little overwhelming. I wanted to have a nice evening but didn’t want to stress myself out over the details. Here’s the nitty gritty of planning a low-key party:

Once you’ve decided on a budget, date, and guest list –

Send out invites – I used an evite template and texted it to all our friends.  Wanted to have somewhat of a theme – so I chose Karaoke since he very recently got one as a Christmas present. Not all occasions call for this and that’s okay, but I like adding my own creative touch.

Food – usually requires the most amount of work and preparation but I also wanted to enjoy the evening so I chose to cater his favorite food.  Luckily his favorite food is Halal Guys. (if someone at Halal Guys is reading this post – please hire him as your Brand Ambassador)

I also picked up some dips with chips and created a cheeseboard.

Also picked up some crowd pleasing drinks. 

Ordered a cake from our local baker and picked up some classic Indian desserts to add some options.

Tabla Cake

Décor – The only décor I opted for was a balloon banner and some hanging tassels as well as some high quality paper plates, utensils, and napkins.

Prepping – I used a couple hours cleaning up our place and decorating our dining area where we’d set up food/drink stations.  Quickly dusted and vacuumed, and wiped down the powder room. 

Cleaning up –As the party comes to a close, start cleaning up the table and putting away the food.  We had WAY too many left overs and so I used the foil trays that the food was delivered in to make to-go boxes for everyone. And tupperwar-ed the rest for ourselves.  Luckily everything was in foil trays so there was minimal dish washing required. #smallwins
It was a long day, so I saved the rest for the next morning.  After eating breakfast (aka left over cake), I cleaned up the kitchen, loaded up and ran the dishwasher, wiped down the countertops, oven and stovetop.  Swept and mopped.  Moved onto the party spaces- picked up all the remaining trash, wiped down tables and vacuumed.  Put the dining table and chairs back, and the place settings as well.   Dimmed the lights, lit some candles and used the remainder of the day to have a relaxing evening. 

Hope this post helps you plan and streamline your next party with a low stress mindset.  It’s always been my dream job to be the Desi Martha Stewart & maybe she would advise against using foil trays but ain’t nobody got time for that. Leave some of your best party prep/clean-up hacks in the comments below! I’m working on my next couple of posts –sharing some of my favorite winter recipes and how to host the perfect, Classy Desi Dawat – no foil trays this time – I Promise!

If any of this was helpful to you – tag me in your next party post!

Happy rest of the week lovies. 

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30th Birthday -OOTD

I said goodbye to an entire decade a couple of weeks ago.  And although I didn’t wake up a different person I somehow know things are going to be forever different.  This past decade brought so much pain but an equal amount of joy.  And the raw truth is that life is a never-ending balancing act of these two parallels. Not to say that this decade may not bring with it some testing times, here’s hoping that I’m slightly better at handling them.

The initial plan was to do three separate OOTD posts for my birthday since I’ve had a few different celebrations and since life has just been so hectic this month, I’m combining all three for your viewing pleasure.  I’m going to try not to ramble on this post but grab your preferred choice of drink and get comfy loves it’s going to be a long one.

Birthday Day 1: (Dinner with the Hubs)

The initially planned birthday outfit was a gorgeous red midi dress with my Louboutin pumps that were an amazing present from my fam. ❤ but it was WAY too cold and windy to even bother. The 17 year old girl inside me wanted to wear the comfiest sweats and hoodie but I’m not about that life anymore. I threw on a pair of dark wash skinny jeans with a bright red silk top I found on sale at Nordstrom Rack.  The top had fine little gold stud details on the shoulders that went perfectly with the gorgeous studs on the back of my heels.

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At my wedding my amazing makeup artist was sweet enough to gift me with the perfect red she had used on my wedding day, Ruby Woo by Mac.  It’s been a staple red in my makeup collection since!

Birthday Day 2: (Brunch with my parents)

If you don’t already know this, I co-own a business with my hot mamma.  We design and sell bespoke designer Indian clothing. Owning this creative business has me on a whole new high and the need for 7 more closets in my house because I find myself designing more and more outfits for  myself but really no-where to where them to…  I decided to be my usual extra self and rock this dress inspired by Sabyasachi and Deepika Padukone with the perfect white jutti’s & silver jhumkis.  Shop @KouturebyKiran for all your designer desi needs. {Separate post on my obsession with Sabyasachi and Deepika Padukone coming soon!}

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Inspired by this beauty!

Birthday Day 3: (High tea with my bff)

Alveena and I met in college and have no clue when we became inseparable. Over the years, we’ve grown up a ton but never let go of the tradition of celebrating our birthdays together.  We’ve done a fair share of high-tea afternoons at all the cute mom&pop shops but this year we knew we had to do something just as extra as us!  The plaza has always been on our list of places to eat/visit and we’re so glad we finally did it.  Way back when we initially made this plan, the thought of a cute spring dress was perfect but traveling through the city on public transportation in heels or a dress in the windy weather was not a thought neither of us was going to entertain.  #laughing at ourselves for when we were young twenty somethings and would bear foot pain/frostbite to rock a cute outfit –haha- what were we thinking but we’re old and mature now, please  let me hold your coffee as you laugh.

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I picked up this white shift dress from a cute boutique in Italy back in October and finally had the opportunity to wear it and styled it with all of my all-time classy pieces. There no other way to dress for The Plaza and its sophisticated ambience. I pulled out my fresh-water Hyderabadi pearls, Go ahead, tell me something classier that pearls?  I recently picked up this gorgeous Halogen blazer I found at Nordstrom Rack.  I am such a nordie girl.  As much as I wanted to rock my new white Louboutin pumps, there was no way it was gonna happen; so I opted for my favorite pair of black Louboutin flats instead.  As well as one of my favorite bags, this white Tory Burch cross body.  I mean anything white ends up being my favorite but it always just sits so well with a casual or fancy outfit. The last accessory I grabbed on my way out was my mustard yellow Gucci scarf, also another favorite, I probably wear this statement piece at least a couple times a week.  It was a chilly day and the perfect accent color for my classy and fancy, black and white outfit.

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I love rocking a great lip color, here I’m wearing, Anastasia Beverly Hills -Catnip.

I always get questions and compliments about my lip color and have realized that lipstick details should be included in all my OOTD posts going forward because they tie your whole look together.  I’ve been super obsessed with lip stains, Huda Beauty and Anastasia Beverly Hills being my absolute favorite. And I’m not a huge makeup fanatic, the basic “no-make up make-up” look is my jam but lipsticks were something I’d watch my mom wear and glam her up instantly.. they have a special place in my life because now my mamma and I lipstick shop together. #sephoravib

This year has been a stressful year with losing loved ones and a hectic life schedule that doesn’t seem to want a break but it was important to me and my loved ones to celebrate this day even if it wasn’t as extravagant as we wanted.  It’s not about what you do – it’s about who you’re with and the love you share.

For the last few years I’ve been investing in myself most of which consists of reading inspirational/self-help books and indulging in quite a bit of self-care/me time.  One of my recent favorites is, Year of Yes.   The desire for change in my lifestyle and outlook on life has come from within, with age I believe.  It’s basically the need for the life I’ve created around me to keep up with the yearn inside me.   And so every morning I wake up and I chose myself.

Hope this year is our year! | Stay blessed and happy my lovies.