Movie Night Birthday Bash

The summer after J & I were wed, we bought our first house. Unfortunately for him, we closed right before his 30th birthday. (And no, we’re not the same age. I’m much, much younger. ūüėČ ) ¬†Because we were in boxes, I wasn’t able to pull off the whole turning-30-invite-everyone-you-know-to-throw-a-‘Pinterest-perfect’-party thing. Heck, I’m pretty sure Pinterest wasn’t even invented yet. J turned 35 this year, so what was I to do but run to Pinterest & start brainstorming? I’d like to share our fun movie night with you! With the help of his parents, this was the most fun ‘grown-up’ (kind of) birthday party I’ve ever attended, let alone thrown.

** Disclaimer:
A) You know those people who get every detail right, & it looks perfect when they post to Facebook or Pinterest? I’m not that girl. While I may strive to achieve such lofty goals, I fall short. Please check your judgment at the door, or in this case, the browser.¬†B) No copyright infringement is intended. I had inspiration from things I found online, and I have included those websites at the bottom of this post. **

To get things rolling, I sent out invitations that looked like a vintage movie ticket.


I’m seriously proud of this invite. Using my killer inspiration noted below & my mad Publisher skills, I got these finished & in the mail. Please forgive the tan boxes; I wanted to share it with you but had to first cover up personal information for privacy. The square on the left has his birthday. The rectangle in the upper right has the actual birthday date- abbreviated month, date, year.


Signage on the front door. Opening the door, we walked onto the red carpet. Each star along the way had the name of a party guest. At the end of the carpet was the movie poster, draped until 9:00pm for the start of the movie showing. This drove J nuts! He asked constantly trying to figure out what was going to play later. The chalkboards were from Hobby Lobby. Meanwhile…

photo 2 (2)

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We ate! The snacks included hot dogs with all the fixings, movie theater candy (chocolate covered almonds, hot tamales, junior mints, m&ms, mini peanut butter cups, pretzels, raisinets), cupcakes that looked like little popcorn cups, and nachos. The the movie reel was from Hobby Lobby. The¬†‘Admit One’ ticket stand &¬†director clap board were from Kirkland’s.


The cupcakes rocked! My mother-in-law made red velvet cupcakes (one of J’s favorites), iced them, and then painstakingly topped them with little marshmallows she’d snipped & dusted with edible yellow sparkly powder to look like buttered popcorn. *Her bag of marshmallows was funky. If you every try this, make sure that your marshmallows are dry, loose, fluffy, & fresh.* You MUST see the simple tutorial at the bottom of this post. Very cool.

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¬†Condiment station contains your typical toppings for hot dogs & nachos. The black & white straws at the beverage station are paper, & I found them at Michael’s. The hot dogs, bless their little hearts, look kind of sorry in this picture. However, the idea is pretty awesome. Check out my HOT DOG TUXEDOS post for the how-to, what I would differently next time, & the link to my inspiration. Use our suffering to your advantage by reading my tips!

We ate & played movie trivia games around the house. Here’s the dining room table all dressed up with little awards (from Party City) that we gave away to game winners:


After much whining from the birthday boy, it was time to unveil the poster…


If you’re like me & have never heard of this movie, it’s called Rad. It’s a lame ’80’s movie about a biking contest that J apparently watched over & over as a kid until his little brother ‘accidentally’ taped over the ending. (That’s right, in the ’80’s we watched movies on something called a VHS tape! lol) Because it was J’s birthday, we all suffered through watching this movie, for the first time for most of us. Our yummy popcorn bar eased the pain…


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Most of the popcorn seasonings were Kernel Season’s. We used cheesy jalape√Īo, sour cream & onion, cinnamon sugar, chili lime, ranch, nacho cheddar, & my personal favorite- kettle corn. The shakers were from Dollar Tree. The baskets & frame were purchased from Hobby Lobby.

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The sign in the frame above says “Snatch a bag, Scoop in some popcorn, Spritz on some butter, Sprinkle in seasonings & candy toppings, Shake it all together, Savor & maybe share a little”. (I did not come up with this clever little sign. Please see the popcorn bar inspiration link below. She gets all the credit!)

Here’s a shot of the garage, transformed into the most charming little theater:


There are canned lights shooting up the garage walls, but the tiki torches were the perfect detail. My father-in-law did the techie garage set-up, and it looked amazing!

Finally, when the credits rolled, it was time to say goodbye. These favors were a sweet gesture to send home with our guests:

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I filled small Ball mason jars from Hobby Lobby with popcorn kernels, printed the labels for the top, & my MIL tied a ribbon. Easy peasy! Guests also took home their gold star that lined the red carpet.

This party absolutely couldn’t have been such a smashing hit without the help of my in-laws. I am so blessed to have married into a Godly, hilarious, tight-knit family.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this post, please share!

Here are the links for my inspiration behind this shindig, as promised:

Vintage movie ticket-

“Presenting” welcome sign-¬†

Red carpet (image only)-,1,4,0&wid=486

Table decor (image only)-,

Table decor-

Hot dog tuxedos–¬†

Popcorn cupcakes (scroll down through blog to find)–¬†

Popcorn cupcakes (image only)–¬†

Old fashioned popcorn bar-


Mason jar popcorn favors-



One Year Without Internet :: Not all frisbies & dandelions

One Year Without Internet :: Not all frisbies & dandelions

This article by Paul Miller is an absolute must read. If you told me you were abandoning the internet for a year, (after I stopped laughing…) I would imagine your lifestyle changing dramatically.

My goal … would be to discover what the internet had done to me over the years.

Google has evolved from a noun to a verb. How many pieces of your day are done with an internet/ cellular connection? When’s the last time you used a paper map? How many pieces of your communication are done online vs. face-to-face? Yes, your life would change. But would you?

you don’t need to go on a yearlong internet fast to realize your sister has feelings.

On the news, in the paper, and in our conversations, we hear often of the ‘teenagers today’ having it so much harder than previous generations. I have always disagreed with this statement. The elements they deal with today may be more dangerous, but the pressures are all still the same. We are still horrible to each other, striving desperately to ‘fit in’. Nothing that we do to our peers today is different in perspective value from what we did to our peers in 1954.¬†

There will always be something to distract you, if you indeed wish to be distracted. The internet is our current scapegoat, but what came before it? Nintendo. Atari. Magazines. Cigarettes. Poker. Porn. Pick your crutch. 

When you returned from your virtual vacation, how different would your world be? Would you use the internet in the same ways as before? Will you use it at all? The answer to both questions, is likely a regretful & resounding ‘yes’. Paul’s article brings to light the resonating realization that our lives are forever changed.¬†

When we use a phone or a computer we’re still flesh-and-blood humans, occupying time and space. When we’re frolicking through a field somewhere, our gadgets stowed far away, the internet still impacts our thinking: “Will I tweet about this when I get back?”

www. is part of our permanent vernacular. Use it wisely. There’s a real live human on the other end of your size 12 Times New Roman.