Monday, July 30, 2012

Birthday Party 28

One week ago I turned 28 (who knew the song by Sleeping at Last called Page28 would almost be prophetic?). This new year of my life marks the beginning of something new and awesome and a new season is ahead.
I want to start something new on this blog also. As I am planning many events and little and big parties and weddings here and there I want to start sharing these events and let you take part in it and see what I did, how it turned out and where my creativity went so to say. And as the birthday party this year was quite the bash I cannot think of any better way to start this Event section than with my party.

The most important thing for me was to bring my closest and best friends together around one table. Share a meal. Share conversations and grow closer in friendship. I love Kinfolk Magazine and their manifesto and their attempt at things so a lot of inspiration came from there. I mostly use pinterest to safe my ideas and inspiration. Pinterest has really helped a lot in keeping me inspired and not lose the things I see and love and I keep going back to my boards to get inspired.

I like it when events have a central theme and something to follow. It makes everything fit together and connects the dots.
Also I am not the person to do big puffy flowers and tons of cutsie colors and such. I like things to look effortless and as natural as possible. I like to use things I already have or make things instead of buying them.
It all started with some really basic invitations I designed and handed out to my closest friends. They really set the tone for everything else that was to come and people were already anticipating all of it!
For me personally invitations are one of the most important things when it comes to a party, wedding, event because they are the first thing your guest will see. It will set the tone and atmosphere and really the quality for the whole event!
After the invitations were handed out there were 3 important areas to take care of: 1) Food, 2) Decorations and 3) favors.

As I had planned it to be a garden party in my parent's backyard it was clear that everything would be focused around grilling some meat, along with having salads, cheese, bread and grilled veggies. My dad is the big "grill master" and sure loves making food for people so that was a big plus.
When it comes to decorations I didn't want to overdue it so I just used some mason jars as candle holders and bought two bigger succulents. That was basically all I had for decorations.

I really did put some effort into making the favors because I really wanted to bless my friends and give them something with meaning and something on the way for their summer/year/season of life. So I printed out the end of a Mark Twain quote in the same design as the invitations. I hand wrote all the tags with my pen and ink.
As an entree and appetizers everybody got homemade lemonade in cute little juice bottles with their name printed on. I bought the bottles on ebay and printed the name tags in the same design as the invitations. The recipe for the lemonade was from here and everybody loved it. With that I served nachos with guacamole because I always make guacamole. It is one of my favorite things!
Also for the first time I made my own focaccia bread (recipe taken from here) and it was sooo good.

I spent the whole afternoon preparing, baking, squeezing lemons, setting things up and all I could think of were my friends and how much they will enjoy it and be together and how we will have the perfect night together. I had of course put together a playlist with really great music like Mumford & Sons, Andrew Belle, The Novel Ideas, Josh Garrels and many other great musicians.
And then it started, music playing, lemonade ready and everything set up. And my friends came and ate and we laughed and took pictures and hugged and talked.
The whole time the sky looked like this I loved it more than having the perfect sky. Of course we were constantly thinking about rain and wondering when the storm would come but it didn't really affect us and only rained for 10 minutes. Everybody just lifted the tables and we cuddled up under the covered patio.
As the sun had set we made a fire, ate dessert, made s'mores and looked at the fire. My friend got out his guitar and we shared the perfect summer night.
I honestly loved every second of that party and because I had planned well in advance I was able to enjoy it and spend time with my friends rather than running around trying to get it all done then.
Yes I did put a lot of effort and planning into the party but truthfully in all the preparation I was so excited to see my friend's faces. I was so excited to honor them.
That is what planning events for me is. Creating an atmosphere where people come and feel home, feel welcomed and can relax. It is planning those moments which they will always remember and I really hope I achieved that this past Saturday.



PS: You can follow my pinterest to see what inspires me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer, Tailgaiting, The Windy City and an American Wedding

I know I know I know it has been forever and I have not shared anything from my recent travels to Chicago to attend my friend's wedding.
Truthfully at first I tried to still savor the moments and experiences had and right after that I fell completely back into daily life and with my soon to be new job (more on that soon!) there was just no time.
Nonetheless I really do want to share my adventures with you. The time in Chicago definitely was a time-out for me. A time where I unplugged from all social networks and email. It was exactly what I had needed to clear my mind and be open for new inspiration and and reaffirmation when it comes to my calling and the things in life I think I am supposed to do.

When it comes to traveling in the States I had only been to California and Colorado so far, but never the Midwest. And I feel it has been the most American experience I have ever had.
Or let's say it this way: Going to the Brewers - Arizona Baseball game preceded by 4 hours of tailgating was probably the most American experience I have ever had in my entire life. There was barbecue on a parking place, Hamburgers, Country music, corn hole playing, fireworks and cheerleading. Basically anything us Europeans associate with America because it is what we see in the movies. I loved being there and experiencing it especially because I got to see a glimpse of culture and people and the way life is done in other parts of this globe.
Honestly I did not have a shimmer of an idea of how Baseball is played but I knew what a home run was and I new there was fireworks with a home run so I just kept on screaming, "Fireworks, fireworks, fireworks". I probably looked and sounded like the weird European girl but it was fun!

The weekend in Milwaukee was followed by me being a complete tourist, walking block after block and taking pictures in Chicago.
Can you find me? I really walked around like a tourist with my map and Lonely Planet travel guide. But I enjoyed it and loved taking pictures. The architecture of the city was really impressive and I thought very well thought through. Also the city doesn't feel that big being the 3rd largest city in the States.
I often enjoy exploring cities like that by myself mostly because I get to go in my own pace taking it all in.
My travel guide also had some really good recommendations for food and after having walked for hours in the burning heat I went to a place called Elate and declared it pure research for my new job. I absolutely loved the place and yes lunch was a little unhealthy, it was still amazing and the perfect break followed by going up the John Hancock building and more walking.
But after that I kind of was done being a tourist and wanted to see some other things. So I decided to take the bus to Wicker Park and explore the local shops and galleries there and then take the "L"-Train back.
On the train I think I was reminded of every single action movie I have ever seen where the explosions were in the train, the fighting scenes on the train and I felt quite interesting hoping nothing would happen. Ha, I guess I'm just good at imagining things.
I was in the city three times and yet for me going to other places it's often not really about the place but about the people you meet and the adventures you are in with these people because you can look at a building, take pictures, read about the history and not really understand because if these words are not filled with the life of people and the laughter and the conversations all of it is meaningless. But with it the place is awakened to life and you really start understanding not only the people but the place and the history of it all.
That is why I am so thankful for experiencing exactly that. People. For making new friends and getting another perspective of things. That is what made this trip really special and memorable and that is also what made it hard to leave in the end.
And so the last days of my visit where filled with spending time with new friends. I stayed with an amazing couple throughout this whole visit and I believe God strategically put me there to learn and be inspired and mostly encouraged to keep on walking, to stay focused and to be reassured of my gifts and talents. He gave me an outlook into something that could be and remembered me of my heart's desires.
The wedding was beautifully set in a garden/park and I love seeing how two people become one before the Lord.
I am absolutely grateful for having had this time set aside to breathe and just be. I am so happy I chose to go to the States this year and it was definitely the perfect timing to be there.
There are so many memories I took home with me and I am ready now for the next season in my life.



PS: On the way back to the airport we listened to the Mumford and Sons album which is why it is my Current Soundtrack. It is a reminder of that time there.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


This is more or less a teaser of what's to come. I had a fantastic time on my travels and you know how it is when you come back. It just takes some time to settle back in, arrive at home and process all the things seen, experienced and done.
But I promise there will be pictures and tales about tailgating, Baseball, Fireworks, the Windy City, meeting new people and american weddings.
So... stay tuned.



pictures taken with instagram @ramonasebald


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