Happy Sunday, y'all!
I can't believe it was just a week ago that we were all recovering from Marley's Bat Mitzvah, and getting ready for brunch. I didn't know how I was going to get through hosting 20ish people at our house, but it was so easy and fun because I didn't cook anything. All I did was plate everything up really nicely - fruit, salmon, smoked whitefish salad (from Costco - it's so good!), veggies, cream cheese, butter, jelly, fabulous sliced bagels from Authentic Bagels, plate my mom's wonderful coffee cakes, go up to Martha's and get their boxed coffee gallons, pour some orange juice into a pretty pitcher, line up the leftover pellegrino from the day before and voila, brunch was served! It didn't hurt that the weather was gorgeous so we could set up the drinks outside on the deck and people could eat in the backyard. It was fun to catch up with everyone because I really hadn't the day before.
I won't go through all the details of the big day and instead will give you some recommendations for the vendors we used because they are good to know about - the party planning is the hardest part. It's the part that gives you major anxiety. Way back in June, I catered a party at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House. My husband was helping me deliver and when we walked in we were like, oh yeah this is the place for Marley's party. It's beautiful, has an incredible view, it's laid back, has party lights & lanterns that are always strung up along the rafters which are so festive & pretty, and it's very affordable. It's such a fabulous party venue with a fun vibe - I can't recommend it enough - and when your party is over the staff breaks everything down for you like the tables, chairs, tablecloths, etc. We also hired the dj and photo booth vendor - Marcus T - from the June catering delivery at PHNH as well (shout out to Daphne M for hiring me for that catering gig!!!!). We loved Marcus right away, and he did not disappoint - so professional, so easy to work with, had all the music we wanted and his prices cannot be beat. For the price of one service, we got two services - an amazing dj and a photo booth. He's the best! For food, we did a taco bar from La Corneta in the Mission. It was delicious, affordable and everyone loved it. Is it the most fancy or gourmet in all of SF? No, but it's very, very good and very, very affordable and they are very generous with their portions. I didn't eat until the end of the party and even when the food was several hours old, it tasted fresh and delicious so I chowed down two plates of rice & beans & chicken & grilled veggies, guacamole & chips! Here's a hint - order a lot less than you need and you will still have lots of leftovers. One of my family's special birthday places is Fenton's Creamery in Oakland. We all love it so much so we had to hire them for the party, and they were amazing. They bring everything for a sundae bar - their own table, cups, spoons & hats, a freezer for the ice cream to keep it at the perfect temperature and staff to scoop and top your sundaes. We had 5 kinds of ice cream, 5 sauces, lots of fun sprinkle things, two kinds of whipped cream and there were cookies if you wanted. Fenton's was such a hit and for what you get, not expensive - another affordable vendor. People ate multiple sundaes and they never ran out of ice cream. As for the decor, my friend/sister/cousin/angel-sent-from-heaven Chloe did the most incredible job of taking Marley's vision - rainbow ombre glitter unicorns - and turning it into a reality. If you'd like more specific details about the Etsy artists she used, just email me and I can forward you their links. Chloe found someone to make glittery rainbow ombre mason jars for the centerpieces and then she went to the flower mart and created gorgeous flower arrangements with glittery unicorns sticking out of them. She also found garlands to hang all over the venue to continue the theme. She sewed together the most fabulous sequined gold back drop for the photo booth that was beyond. Chloe used to do this kind of thing for a living, and she did us a favor by coming out of party planning retirement to help us out. She says she'll be ready to do it again for Marley's wedding - I hope she means it. My friend Jenny & her daughter Phoebe helped us decorate, and we couldn't have done it without them. They were so good and so serious - such strong work ethics.
I won't go into too many details about the week leading up to the event because it couldn't have been any worse, you guys. The Sunday before Dan was sick in bed and I thought it was just a one day kind of thing. What I didn't know was that he'd end up at the doctor on Tuesday morning with a double eye and double ear infection. What? In 23 years of being together, he's never had that kind of thing happen. I wanted Kaiser to keep him there all week because he was so contagious, but they gave him three kinds of meds and sent him home instead. Oh, and Marley got sick, too. With a fever on Thursday! I was seriously at my limit. I was like, everything is falling apart - everything. But it all came together by Saturday - the veil of sick and horror lifted and magic poured down over us. It was even supposed to rain all weekend, and it didn't. It's a good thing I took that week off because there was no way I could have worked, cared for my ill housemates and put the finishing touches on the party planning. So there you go, it really was one of the best days of my life. This past week I was on the phone with my mom going over it all and she said, let's not stop talking about this, ok? And that's how I feel, too.
Have a great week and let me cook for you.