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Entertaining

Virgo Season at Home

Hosting an out-of-this-world birthday celebration for two of my closest friends.
Virgo Birthday Group

Last month, two of my dearest friends celebrated another year around the sun.  Jolene and Tracy, women who mean the world to me and have for many years. Entertaining and creating memorable moments for those I love is a passion of mine, and I was thrilled to plan a joint birthday dinner for them –a pair of truly special Virgos through and through.

VENUE – A Celebration at Home

September at home in Scottsdale is beautiful, a time when the edge of the mid-summer heat eases just enough to let you know that change is in the air.  One of my favorite parts about the house is the indoor/outdoor component and versatility of our living space – it can feel sprawling and inviting, or cozy and private, somehow all at once.  It’s built for entertaining others as much as it is ourselves.   

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For my friends and their special night, I wanted personal touches everywhere.  A starry-themed custom image wishing them both a happy birthday was displayed on the television screens in each room where we gathered during the party.  From the cheerful floating orbs that dotted the swimming pool, to the orchids, roses, lilies, and peonies tucked into corners and softening the surfaces throughout the house, I looked to elevate the feeling of celebration and personalization for the birthday girls as much as possible.  Designing the event to progress through the evening, different parts of our home provided lots of opportunities for custom touchpoints.  We host our friends often, and it was important to make sure that the added details throughout were present to amplify the feeling of festivity.

MENU – Where Comfort Meets Curation

Curating a delicious menu was a given, and I love the direction we took! A selection of familiar favorites like prawns, and a perfectly French roasted chicken, complemented by the type of decadent goodies like Wagyu beef, foie gras and truffle-laden sides that signal a celebration is at-hand!

Speaking of, the universal sound of celebration is undoubtedly the pop of a champagne bottle, and it was only the best for the girls – we toasted with a 2009 Vintage Dom Perignon, and then continued on in the evening with a delicious Domaines Ott Rosé from Chateau de Selle in Provence that was carefully chosen to work with each item on the menu.  A signature cocktail always makes for a surprise-and-delight moment at any event, and I decided to serve specialty smoking martinis that got us all on our feet dancing into the night as the evening wore on. For a dusting of dessert before we opened gifts, the real surprises came – we served individual small trays of sweets.  Each beautiful, handmade by the pastry kitchen at SNGC, a treat for the eye as much as our bellies. 

DETAILS & DELIGHTS: Let Them Eat Cake!

For these fabulous Virgos, a cosmic theme was in order.  I chose specialty rock crystals and quartz that served as both creative, chic table cards, and decorative touches.  Oversized cut-out names for the birthday girls denoted each of their special place settings, and our cutlery was anchored by my favorite bee insignia napkin rings. One of the oldest symbols of French royalty, the bee symbolizes prosperity and health, a perfect talisman for Jolene and Tracy as they begin a new year.  

Cake

Finally, we revealed the pièce de resistance! Our birthday stars were each presented a starry, three tier cake, each in their favorite flavor. The smiles on their faces brought everyone in the room so much joy.   

I am a believer in celebrating every moment and filling those moments with the people who we value and cherish the most.  As we get older, so many of us put birthday celebrations aside, but after the year we all just went through, the beginning of another new year for any of us should be a reason for joy and indulging in life’s pleasures.  For me, opening my home and my heart are one-and-the-same, and I’m grateful for any chance to offer some joy (and delicious food!) to those nearest and dearest who also feed my soul with their friendship and love.