31 July, 2006

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

I must say, you all are intriguing me with all your fun questions and projects! I just love when you email me your project and party questions! Which is why, when Heather emailed me to say that she had a friend, Ann, whose husband was coming home soon after serving in Iraq for the past year and half, and wanted to throw him a surprise welcome home party but needed some help with the party planning, I was all too eager to help. Enter monogram momma! After all, he’s been rolling in dirt trenches and dodging bullets and fighting for our right to monogram so by God he deserves one heck of a party as far as I’m concerned! Now, let me just say, when I begin my party planning, I always sit down and brainstorm, as if I’m writing an old prep school essay. I just write anything and everything that comes to my mind regarding the party recipient and my theme. So I asked Ann important questions such as What are your husband’s hobbies? Favorite place to vacation? Favorite sport? What American thing has he missed the most while being over there? Etc. etc. you get the idea. So when Ann got back to me she said he loves VA Tech football, but his buddies were already planning a big VA Tech themed tailgating party so that was out. And other than that, all she said was that the soldiers call Iraq the “sandbox” and he loves Hooters Wings. Well, say whatever you will about Hooters, but I say if he has been fighting our war for almost 2 years that man deserves some Hooters Wings if that’s what he’s been missing. So, here’s what I came up with. First of all, I love that they call Iraq the “sandbox” and decided to take my cue from there, so I suggested a huge sign that says “Welcome Home from the Sandbox!” or even "From one sandbox to another! Welcome Home!" And then I suggested laying down a huge plastic tarp and dumping tons and tons of sand over the tarp to make a Sandbox (not that hard, people, really). I also suggested throwing in some beach balls and beach chairs for seating in the sandbox area. If children were going to be present, then she should pick up a few little trinkets and hide them really well in the “sandbox” and when the kids start getting restless, have them look for the hidden treasures in the sand. Next, Ann was concerned with the food so I suggested she keep it simple and just do what he likes. So that led me to a nice big ice cream bar, hooters girls walking around with trays of wings, and a keg. I know what you are thinking and for all my monogramming friends out there, go grab a paper bag and just take deep breaths. I realize this is not usually my style, but it’s funny and fun and just what the soldier ordered so that is what will make it a success! To set up the ice cream bar, I suggested a long table, totally covered in linens (please, for the sake of monogram momma, cover the table legs) and even some patriotic bunting. Then I suggested calling a local ice creamery and purchasing the huge buckets of ice cream that the ice cream shops receive. To keep them cold, I also suggested doing a few custom monogrammed or theme related painted galvanized tin buckets. And how cute would all the toppings look in various sizes of plastic sand pails and shovels that she can easily pick up at the dollar store? I would even suggest putting a few mounds of sand right on the table itself and stick the buckets in there too to give another dimension and different height levels. You see, I am all about adding different levels and dimensions to my food table when entertaining. You will rarely see me just throw the food out on the table with a centerpiece because it looks so much more eye pleasing and interesting if you raise things up off the table a bit. But enough about that. In addition to the ice cream bar, I also suggested other galvanized tins on the bar to house some fun Popsicles like the ever popular red, white, and blue “Bomb Pop.” Remember paying 25 cents to the ice cream man for that delicious summer time treat? Naturally she will be needing loads of ice to keep it all cool and for a really fun effect I suggested dry ice in conjunction with regular ice. Again, something to add interest to the ice cream bar. Now, Ann was also very concerned about what drink and you all know I really believe in one signature alcoholic drink for a party. And in this case, the best bet is beer. So against my better judgment, I suggested getting a keg (due to the large number of people attending) and putting it in a hand painted galvanized trash can to match her other galvanized tins housing the other drinks and on the ice cream bar, because I think it’s the perfect addition to the party theme. But the piece de resistance, is the party favor idea! So I hooked her up with the link to Shindigz where they will do custom imprinting on plastic stadium cup tumblers and suggested printing something fun on the such as “Lars leaves the Sandbox” with the date on it. How fabulous would those look stacked up in a triangle on the drink table (again, adding dimension), and then the guests can use them during the party and also take them home for a party favor. Aren’t you loving that! Oh, I should mention, for any of you wanting custom imprinted plastic stadium cups, that Shindigz does not have a 200 minimum order like most companies so I highly recommend checking them out (ahem, that means you, Ms. Grapefruit and Grosgrain). Now, let’s talk about Hooters Girls. I don’t know exactly if their girls are for hire to serve at a party, but I suggested to Ann that she should call them and tell them her story that her husband loves Hooters and has been in Iraq for almost 2 years yadda yadda yadda, and see if she can get 1 or 2 girls to come serve the wings. If not, then I suggested that she herself dress up as a Hooters girl After all, I’m sure her husband would love that even more! So there you have it. I think with all these elements together, the party will come off super cute and exactly what he would want, but yet, more than he is expecting, without costing an arm and a leg. Just remember, presentation is SO SO important. To me, it really tells my guests that I took the time and cared enough to go just that one step further to make everything look extra appealing. So whether you love this idea or hate it, just remember that if you’re throwing a party for someone else, you have to plan it with that person’s likes and dislikes in mind, not your own. Grab a wing, tap the keg, and have a seat in the sandbox and enjoy the party!

10 Comments:

SLC said...

Just my opinion, but he might not want to see any more sand for quite a long time. After being in Iraq, I doubt he is going to want anything that reminds him of being there. I like themes, but be careful.

A said...

Is Hooters really appropriate when this guys wife is involved? I know he's been away and all but it seems a little odd to me. I guess it's because I am a prudish northerner! Have his wife dress up in a Hooters outfit at home.

Monogram Momma said...

usually, I too am the most conservative and prudish of any given group, but it seems this is what he really likes and has missed while away so in this case, I think it's perfectly fine.

Preppy Kiki said...

Everything sounds fun, but the sand theme did pop into my mind as a bit much. I have to side with slc on this one. Monogram Momma you did a great job putting the guest of honor in the spot light. Bravo. As for hooter servers; from what I read, he likes hooters wings, not the employees of hooters. Maybe I understood wrong. He just likes the wings, and then wings could be the main finger food. The hooter part could be dissolved.

Alyson said...

I think that the party sounds like a great idea!! I would think that the wife would have given MM enough info to plan a party to please her husband! I also think that since he has been gone for 2 years, the bigger the party the better!!!!!

ADP said...

I think that it is a great idea to use what the husband likes. Who cares that Hooters is a little cheesy or whatever! It is what he likes and I agree that is how a great party is planned, with the guest of honor's thoughts in mind.

I have been to countless showers and parties that were totally the hostess's taste not the actual guest of honor, that always made me sad for them.

I think this party sounds fantastic!

Law said...

Monogram Momma, I wish I had adequate words to thank you for all of your help! You have done an unbelievable job assisting me with the planning for this very special occasion. I will send pictures from the event in a couple of weeks. Lars will love it, and that is what makes me the happiest. Thanks again for everything! You are fabulous.

PreppyandProud said...

Interesting.

Ashley said...

I love all the ideas!!

Anonymous said...

a sand party and Hooters girls might trivalize his hard work in Iraq.