Cheers to 60 Years!

My mom’s 60th birthday was in October and I just knew we had to throw a party to celebrate. My parents have a beautiful backyard that they don’t utilize enough, so I knew I wanted to have it there. At first my Mom wasn’t so keen on the idea – she hates being the center of attention, but she eventually came around. The whole concept of the Cheers to 60 Years party was for her to feel loved and celebrated and that meant being surrounded by the people she loves most in the world. I knew that would mean that her best friend would need to be in attendance, but she lives in Oregon. I got my Dad and brother on board and we began hatching a plan to secretly fly her in for the party. This was the part I was the most nervous about! I was so scared I was going to ruin the surprise. Once we knew that my mom’s best friend could come and we booked her plane ticket, I was sure I was going to slip up and mention it during all of the party planning. When we were talking about sleeping arrangements, there were so many times where I also said, “Well Deb can sleep in the guest room, and I can have the other room” etc. It was SO hard. Even once I picked Deb up from the airport, I told her I was going to call my Mom to let her know we were on her way and Deb reminded me – “Don’t way we! Say I. I am on my way!”

The party was wonderful and beautiful and SO MUCH FUN but the best moment for me, hands down, was the look on my Mom’s face the day before the party when she saw Deb standing in our entryway. She had been getting dressed when I got home, so I called out to her when we walked into the house. I said “Okay, well hurry up! I want you to come see the cake I got!” She said okay and made her way down the hall. I will NEVER forget the look on her face for as long as I live. There were tears and hugs all around. It was the best moment ever.

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Even now, when she talks about the party, she tells me that having Deb there was the “best birthday present I’ve ever gotten”.

My sweet friend Emily from Palinka Shots came along to capture the details and special moments of the party. I’m so thankful for her and talent.

The DIY Marquee cake topper was inspired by this tutorial on SMP Living and the delicious gluten-free cake was from Sweet & Saucy Shop.  My mom can’t have gluten and therefore she doesn’t eat cake often as a lot of the gluten free options just don’t taste good. I called all around Los Angeles to find a gluten free cake and most places only offered one or two options. Sweet & Saucy told me they could make ANY of their cake flavors gluten free – Hooray! My Mom chose a chocolate cake with layers of whipped cream, chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries. It was To. Die. For. Everyone was raving about the cake the whole night.

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North Star Balloons provided some AWESOME balloons that, in my opinion, totally MADE the party. First example:

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We also had a DIY photo booth and balloons spelling out CHEERS were the background.


My mom and her friends had the BEST time dressing up and taking pictures in the photobooth, proving you are NEVER too old to goof off with your friends. Again, some of my favorite shots from the night.

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We spray painted clear vases that I found at Goodwill for .99 cents each, with gold spray paint and used those as centerpieces for the flowers. We also made mini gold “disco balls” to put in the flowers – using vase fillers from Michael s and bamboo skewers. So easy and so effective. (PS – flowers were from Trader Joes the day before!)

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We saw some long party tables on pinterest and knew we wanted to do that for dinner, and severe everything family style. We couldn’t find a long-enough runner, so my Mom picked out some gold and white striped fabric we found online and sewed her own. We loved how it turned out, and it really tied the four tables together.

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We also spray painted plastic picture frames with gold spray paint, and used them to display pictures of my Mom when she was little on the table. No picture was left out – even the naked baby ones!

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We used gold pumpkins as name tag holders and everyone could take theirs home at the end of the night. We used my mom’s favorite vintage china and various candles to help set the mood. Eating under the stars (and backyard party lights!) was amazing.

One of my favorite DIY details from the party was this:

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We took pictures of my mom from throughout her life – as a baby, toddler, college, wedding, etc – and blew them up to be used as photobooth props. We wrote the year the picture was taken on the back and everyone had a blast looking and them and using them throughout the night!


We also hung a disco ball in the backyard, and I’m kicking myself for not thinking to do it sooner. And also, upset that it wasn’t there when I was growing up.

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Oh and I cant forgot the other delish desserts – Gluten free cookies from BatchPleaseCookies. She HAND PAINTS the cookies, and not only are they beautiful and totally custom, they tasted amazing! Everyone got to take one home (except for the three I ate before the party – shhhhh!).



My beautiful Mom had a great time at her party, surrounded by everyone who loves and appreciates her for the kind, thoughtful and loving woman that she is. That’s all I could have ever really asked for. Thanks you so much to everyone who helped make the Cheers to 60 Years celebration every bit as special as it was.




Our flower crowns were by the oh-so-talented Joule Petal and we felt like fairy princesses all night.


I also could not have thrown this party without help from so many friends and family, but especially my amazing friend Melanie. She also brought along Hamlet the Piggy, who was so much fun to have at the party too. I love both of them!

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Photography: Palinka Shots

Cake: Sweet & Saucy Shop

Cookies: Batch Please Cookies

Flower Crowns: Joule Petal

Balloons: North Star Balloons

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