Mari’s Birthday Celebration!


I’ve been so excited to share this post, because I think I discovered the formula for the perfect introvert’s party.  Or rather, just any intimate, no-fuss gathering.  My dear friend Mari (pronounced Mah-di) is visiting from Brazil. Mari hopes to obtain a student visa, but until that happens, the time we have with her is short & sweet.  We decided to have a small gathering in celebration of her birthday and her presence in the US.

     The timing of the party was a little off (father’s day weekend) & there were several friends who could not make it.  Nevertheless, it was a special time to be with her & catch up with the close friends who were there.

Here’s how I planned it: 

  • We scouted out a pavilion at a park that had several picnic tables & grills. The location was also free – YAY!
  • I made a Facebook event with the details & this cover photo:


  • I asked everyone to bring their own meat to grill & one side.  Solomon & I handled paperware + utensils, (minimal) decorations, several small sides & I baked a carrot cake (better homes & gardens).

food-wise, we ended up withbrats, hot dogs, hamburgers, 2 salads, tortilla chips, hummus, regular chips, potatoes, watermelon, cookies, lemon squares, carrot cake. super easy, all good.


  • Decorations: I didn’t want to go overboard 1). because it was at a park, & 2). I knew Mari wouldn’t want to draw too much attention to herself.  But I still wanted everything to look cohesive & nice.  Because Mari loves gold, I bought gold striped plates, gold & teal napkins, & a teal tablecloth.  Sol & I blew up a pack of gold balloons & managed to secure them to the fence behind our tables. For some unknown reason I failed at getting a picture of the food table, but you can see them in these photos.
cut out cardboard, spread mod podge over it, pour glitter until covered. spray with finisher. bam!
  • These gold-glittered letters were supposed to be a garland, but I didn’t have enough time to finish that part…oops!  We just laid them on the fence beside the balloons. They turned out way better than expected, considering they were just cut out of cardboard with glitter poured over mod-podge.  I did spray them with an acrylic finishing spray so very little glitter dusted off even though it was outside. Who doesn’t love an excuse to use gold glitter?
Me & Mari celebrating her birthday!

Then we just hung out.  We ate food, exchanged gifts, & taught Mari how to play baseball (apparently they don’t have it in Brazil!?).  Our friends brought some games to keep their kids entertained.  The kids made my dog a very happy pup by taking turns walking him all night.



These friends are like family to us. Mari’s desire for the party was not that it would be exclusive of other individuals, but rather a chance to catch up with those she may not have had the chance to during her trip thus far. She felt that an especially large party would not lend itself well to this.

my husband (Solomon), myself, Mari, & Kayla
We gathered until the sun began to set over the lake.

I’m sure you have had simple gatherings like this before, but I have never hosted one by myself.  It was so easy & special.  While I love the look of some of the perfect, fancy parties that are all over Pinterest, they are just not always practical or fit for every occasion.  The aim of this party was simple:  to gather, and to bless our friend.  And I hope that we did that!

3 thoughts on “Mari’s Birthday Celebration!

  1. Oh my, so very beautiful! I loved every minute of it! Thank you so much, dear friend! I appreciate so much all that you put into making that night so special. You definitely blessed me! XOXO


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