October 20, 2014

First time for everything: How we do a 50's party

I envy the people who can move into a new house and plop their stuff down and call it "home." Unfortunately, I feel the need personalize a space before it really feels comfortable. People have been asking us if we feel "settled" yet, and the answer is "no." But we're working on it, slowly making the new place ours.

But, since we bought this house for the space, we decided the space needed to be used, whether we felt settled in it, or not. We currently have multiple paint colors in multiple swatches all over the house (gotta see the paint in different lights, you know!), boxes and piles in some of the rooms, a couple of half-painted projects and a serious lack of curtains (thank goodness most of the windows had blinds!). It's clearly going to take us a significant amount of time to get everything the way we want it, so instead of wasting all that time, we've adopted a "come-on-in-to-our-work-in-progress" mentality.

Having the extra space in this home has given us the chance to do something we've never been able to do before: entertain a large group of people!

Maybe not that exciting for some, but we are thrilled! I mentioned in this post that I feel like we've really lost the art of building real relationships, taking time for people and living way too much of our lives online. Online is easier, it's safer. But it's not as real. You can't see facial expressions, hear a quiver in a friends voice or see joy in someone's eyes. Yes, it takes a little time and effort. But it's so much better!

We have some great friends, but busy lives still make it difficult to get together so we need to make a purposeful effort. And I've had some amazing vintage dishes that have just been begging to be put to use. So we decided a dinner party was in order!

Everyone who knows me knows I'm crazy about all things 50's. I love the music, love the clothes, love the color palettes, love, love the patterns and graphics, and even the culture of that era. Clearly, I had to do a 50's party. But not the "rock-n-roll" type, definitely the "classic family life" type.

That is my authentic Fransiscan Starburst dinnerware. I'm in love with it. A little. (I mean, as much as you should really care about dinnerware...)

I don't have any matching glassware, but luckily have a friend with a similar affinity for all things vintage so she graciously let me borrow hers.

Yes, if you come to my 50's party, I will make you wear vintage cat-eye glasses.

Several years ago I snagged some Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens magazines from the 50's and 60's at a garage sale for 25 cents each. They are so much fun to look at! Things have changed so much since then. There are no Facebook or Twitter icons to be found, but on the bottom of every ad is a little cut-out coupon that you can fill out and "mail in for more information."

Some of them are so politically incorrect it's almost unbelievable!

We laughed hysterically about this ad, titled "Why you need a kitchen extension phone." Reasons included things like: "so you won't burn dinner while you're talking on the phone outside the kitchen" and "so you can answer important calls and still stir your soup!"

Not everything has changed - Reynolds wrap is pretty much the same!

Menu items included my Grandmother's fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade dinner rolls, corn casserole, and of course, a Jello mold.

Clearly I'm out of practice with Jello molds. But despite it's looks, it actually tasted pretty decent.
My grandma informed me that shredded carrots and pineapple in the Jello was very authentic 50's, so we had to do it. We finished with homemade vanilla ice cream and fresh apple pie, so we made up for it.

We also had some vintage "inspired" sodas. I only chose ones made with REAL sugar, since of course no one used high fructose corn syrup back then.

It was a fun time. We managed to have 8 adults and 9 kids in our house without it feeling crowded at all!

Best of all, we got to spend an evening with great friends, just enjoying a meal and each other's company.

Jello, anyone? ;)


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