Sunday, May 15, 2016

Jack Daniels "Aged to Perfection" 40th Birthday Party

For Steve's 40th birthday, I knew I wanted to do a surprise party, but knew that I didn't want it to be at home. So a couple of years ago (yes I am an OCD over-planner), I started planning a surprise birthday trip/party in the mountains.  The weekend after Steve's birthday our beloved Gamecocks were playing in Knoxville & the Broncos were playing in Indy, so I knew that was the perfect weekend for a road trip. Because I had to make any decorations on the DL & pack them, I didn't plan on a lot of elaborate things for this one. I managed to pull off the surprise with one set of friends showing up in the mountains & surprising Steve & while they went golfing, getting the party together at a mountain cabin & surprising him with it & some other friends. We all made some slips here & there about the upcoming trip/party, but it helps that Steve & I have been together for over a decade & I think he only partially hears what I say anyway. : ) Both the Gamecocks & Broncos lost, so that sucked, but the party & weekend in the mountains with friends was still amazing. So on to a little more about the party...
Steve loves Old Fashioneds & Jack Daniels/Gentleman Jack, so that's where I got the idea from. I started hoarding & hiding the empty liquor bottles out of the recycling to use as d├ęcor a while back. Our trash men probably appreciate that. Ha. Other than that & some mini-bottles (talk about pulling double duty), the only other decorations were the flowers & the backboard. The backboard is actually the back of the sign from Steve's Beer & Bacon birthday party. I painted the back of it with chalkboard paint & have used it for game nights & also a Super Bowl party two years back that I have yet to post about. Whoops. Anyway...I used my Cricut to cut out the letters. It wasn't a perfect match to the Jack Daniels font, but it was the best I could do. The design around Old No 40 brand was a huge pain because nothing was similar, so I basically had to cut out a bunch of weird shapes & just glue them over each other. But all things considered, the sign wasn't too much work & I think turned out pretty cute.
I used some black roses I had saved from Halloween & stuck in some empty liquor bottles to add a little something to the sides of the sign. Super easy.
The cake was another amazing creation by my uber talented friend Ally, whose talents have been covered on this blog with her bee cake at the "What Will It Bee?" gender reveal party.  The cake was amazing. She did a whiskey barrel with Steve's name on it & the Old No. 40. It was perfect & really delicious.
As for food, we had Jack Daniels pulled pork, pulled chicken & beef brisket. This was a super easy decision after seeing that Walmart had these. You just warm them up & they are surprisingly amazing. I served the meat, along with rolls, cheese & Jack Daniels sauces you can get from Target or probably any grocery store. We had baked beans, mac & cheese, & coleslaw as sides. Since we were staying at a cabin & I couldn't really pack a lot of dishes to bring up there without Steve getting suspicious, I had to get creative. The mini-bottles had come in cardboard sleeves. I cut the sleeves up & sat them in front of the baked beans & coleslaw so they could stay in their containers they came in, but still go with the party theme.
 We also had some parfaits, along with the cake, for dessert.

 Most of our friends brought liquor for Steve for his birthday since true friends know what's up for a 40th birthday. Ha. But I also had this Old Fashioned station set up as well. I used a cute sign that I had seen on Pinterest, all the ingredients & then some Jack Daniels nuts that I got at World Market. Steve was a big fan.

It was a great party & an even better weekend relaxing with friends & watching some football. On to the next... : )