My mom has taught me a lot of things, but the most important is that the best excuse to clean your house is to invite people over. Another one is to make sure to invite someone to stay with you when you host a party so they can be your slave. My poor grandmother has had to do it way more than me, but we still love to commiserate together about my mom taking advantage of us.
So as a hilarious prank – slash good opportunity for my parents to see the California friends who they know from back in the day as well as meet some of our new pals – I decided to throw an afternoon backyard bbq for the Saturday that they were here. The party was also a half-assed surprise birthday party for my mother, a nod to the time she invited all her girlfriends over and told them it was for Dolo’s birthday even though it was technically my mom’s birthday and Dolo’s is four months later. (My mom’s birthday was only two weeks prior so I win.)
We lucked out with the best weather. We cooked the perfect amount of food. Tons of friends from different pockets of our life showed up and got to know each other. It was wonderful. Franklin, as you can imagine, was in heaven.
In addition to our own buddies, my mom’s roommate from when she lived in LA 25 years ago came with her husband and son. Although they have been Facebook friends for years and exchanged Christmas cards for decades, they hadn’t seen each other since their wild and crazy days when they’d go to the Playboy Mansion parties together. (Um, yeah.) Her roommate was Miss Texas the year before she moved out to LA, but was originally from Chicago where she knew Hef. Even after all this time, she and her family still go to the New Years Eve Party at the Mansion every year. Crazy. (I asked her son how that was. He said the Girls Next Door were nice. Aww I miss them!)
Anyway, it was a wonderful, wonderful (exhausting) day. And somehow, we mustered up the energy that night to go see our friends Mandla and Claire perform with their band The Ugly Sweaters. (If you like good music, you should check them out!)
Here are a few photos!
With an elementary school friend who also moved here from New York (reminiscing about our love for the city but intolerable hatred for winter)
My mom bought this nautical (“ugly”) sweater for Spiros. Perfect minus the fact it was 75 degrees.
The first guests to arrive, including another childhood friend K, her husband, and our rock star friends!
Our menu included homemade basil green onion sliders on mini Hawaiian sweet rolls, Greek potato salad, Smitten Kitchen broccoli slaw, tzatziki, homemade chocolate cupcakes with orange cream cheese icing, fruit salad, and grilled veggie skewers. Thanks to my helpers in the kitchen, it all got made! (And after my “professional” event planning experience, seemed to be easier to pull off than before. Hooray.)