Despite popular opinion that Leo babies looove being the center of attention (an accurate statement 90% of the time), most Leos grew up celebrating birthdays by themselves while all of the other families were on vacation before school went back into session. Because I’m particularly lucky, I’m also an only child and a frequent-mover who in all honesty, could count the tea party I celebrated as a 4-year-old with all of my pre-school gal pals as one of my most well attended soirees before my adult life.
But as all great coming-of-age stories go, I’ve learned that the best things are 100% worth waiting for - this past year, I celebrated my birthday with 11 friends who have truly become my family. My birthday dinner also cameoed as a dress rehearsal for the first Side Yard Supper, a supper club that I am launching to connect people with interesting spaces and people around the city. If you are interested in attending a Side Yard Supper in the future, please add your email at the bottom of this post!
I wanted to keep the meal prep easy on myself - I’ve been travelling often for work recently, and so I only had Friday evening to gather materials and Saturday to prepare the dishes. My friends Emma and Kim were a huge help in bringing the vision to life, but I learned the hard way how important it is to have everything ready to go for the moment that your guests arrive! Next time, I’ll pick items that I can prep in advance. Pro Tip: I kept a spreadsheet with all of the ingredients and recipes listed on the same page - this was a great way to ensure I had everything I needed at a glance, and also allowed me to multitask more effectively. Click here to see my spreadsheet!
We dined in my neighbor Karen’s yard - Karen owns a beautiful, historic home in Capitol Hill and her yard is lined with hydrangeas. I had met Karen only once before, but knew that her home would be the perfect setting for the dinner. It is difficult to find private, intimate outdoor spaces in DC that also allow alcohol! I am so grateful that when I did go tap on Karen’s door to show her my mood board for the dinner, she trusted my vision enough to let it come alive for a night.
The evening was so incredibly special to me as well as to all of the attendees. As someone who is not a huge fan of going out in the traditional birthday sense, a slow and intimate evening spent sharing bottles of wine and conversation without feeling rushed was a strategy I will gladly take again in the years to come. I loved taking the time to celebrate the women who have impacted my heart over the past year - one of my favorite details on the table was using envelopes instead of placecards, and inside of each envelope, I wrote each attendee a short note about what their friendship meant to me.
Special shoutout to my friend Sarah, who took all of these beautiful photos, as well as Raquel, who allowed me to borrow the table and chairs for the night. You are both lovely friends and I am so grateful for you and your creativity.
Peach Balsamic Spritz | Bruschetta
Chilled Tomato and Stone Fruit Soup | Blistered Green Beans | Roasted Carrots with Avocado and Mint | Roasted Chicken (bought at Whole Foods) | Cucumber Mint Salad | Homemade Bread | Roasted Potatoes
Funfetti Cake from Buttercream Bakeshop