In August, I turned 30. I’ve known a lot of people who had/have a problem with this milestone. I am not one of those. I do feel the passage of time, and I do examine my dreams and aspirations, revise my goals, and question my decisions, but I’ve been doing that for years and will never stop, so turning another year older, even 30, wasn’t something I was too freaked out about. Instead, I decided to use my 30th birthday as an excuse to throw a themed costume party. An Alice in Wonderland/Mad Hatter Tea Party, to be exact.
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is one of my all-time favorite children’s classics. The other is Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Oh, I also like Louisa May Alcott’s Little Men and and Eight Cousins and Gene Stratton Porter’s A Girl of the Limberlost and Her Father’s Daughter, along with countless others, but those two hold special places in my heart because of their mix of the real and the fantastic. I love what a source of creative inspiration those two particular books are for art mediums of all kinds. I love how they blend the lines between daydreams and every day life. I love how wise and silly they are. And I like to think that I’m trying to shape my own life to reflect what I love about those two books in particular. So, for this year’s party, it was Alice. Maybe at a future date, it will be Peter.
A not-so-hidden fact about me (if you know me IRL) is that I love planning parties. A friend and I recently planned another good friend’s baby shower (Woodland Creature theme), I’ve hosted countless themed dinner parties over the years, and someday I hope to start a yearly Midsummer Night’s Dream party (once I’ve settled somewhere). Planning my own 30th birthday party began as all those others did – with a Pinterest board.
Luckily for me, I also have talented family and friends, so though we had limited time (about 3 days) in which to pull this off, with the help of my parents and my BFF, we were able to host a party where we made most of the food, all of the decorations, and entertained 20-30 people over the course of an afternoon. My mother painted the gorgeous Cheshire Cats on the cornhole boards, while my BFF made the signs directing people to the house. My father created the flower arrangements, the decorations, put the signs together, and dug holes in dirt and gravel to place them along the roadway. I live on a long, curving, forested country road, and so we had three of these signs along the way at points where people tend to get lost.
Those flamingos are a gift to myself that keeps on giving, btw, as I’ve already used them to prank friends twice since the party.
Enjoy the party photos, and a HUGE thank you to all of my friends and family who made the day so special!