A very happy birthday spread (plus a giveaway!!)

The giveaway winner has been announced!
Scroll to the bottom of this post to find out if it’s YOU!!

Another birthday has come and gone…But that doesn’t mean the celebration is over yet. John is making his 26th special day last as looooooooooong as possible by classifying a birthday dinner tonight with my parents as the official end (his birthday was all the way back on Monday, as you may have picked up here). Beyond the stretched ending, he lucked out with my extra day off last Friday, when I had ample time to throw together a special birthday spread – Yes, that means his birthday celebration has lasted roughly five days, lucky dog.

But back to Friday…I had a blast coming up with a fun and tasty menu of finger foods (recipes found here), all set off by a table full of festive pattern, a done-it-myself “Happy birthday” plate and colorful accessories. But the pièce de résistance is our brand new banner…

NOTHING screams a celebration like that massive, colorful, layered banner. I am so in love with it. It came to us from BannersOnTheCheap.com, a fun site full of customizable loot (feel free to check out their other sites, featuring car magnets and cheap signs). In considering the decor for our home-bound party, I thought something big and bold like this would be just the ticket. My hope was that we could store it and take it out each year on our birthdays, making it a new Waller family tradition. That hope was easily confirmed when I pulled the banner from the packaging after it showed up at our front door. The vinyl is super thick and heavy, complete with heavy-duty grommets for easy hang-ability. Three $2.00 brass hooks in the ceiling later and our new banner was ready to share the good news.

But no party is complete without the tasty goods. My Giada-inspired recipes came out delicious and were a big hit with the birthday boy. The warmed tomato basil dip with fresh Parmesan shavings, served alongside homemade chips was REALLY simple to throw together. Definitely going to keep this recipe in mind for our next get together.

I think the turkey and spinach taquitos took the prize for “Biggest Hit” in the end though. Crispy, meaty, cheesy and healthy (there’s a LOT of spinach in those things!), John and I ate them for dinner that night and the next. We couldn’t help ourselves! The recipe has already been lovingly filed away for multiple future references.

One extra addition was quite sentimental…After our wedding, as is tradition, we froze the remainder of our wedding cake or in our case, DELICIOUS mini cupcakes (read more on those here and here). I admit that I was a little concerned that they wouldn’t be quite as tasty after months in the freezer, but they were absolutely divine! As soft and fluffy as they were back in April. What happened to the original, flag-topped pastries that I had planned to put out? Yeah, those were gobbled up within days of bringing them home from the supermarket. But treating ourselves to a little piece of edible wedding bliss was the perfect solution.

Now for the second new tradition that we kicked off this year. If you follow me on Instagram (DreamGreenDIY), you may have seen a couple of sneak peeks of our new “Happy Birthday” plate. For our friend Beth’s birthday back in August, we set aside a Saturday to play around at our local paint-your-own-pottery studio (All Fired Up, for locals). We had so much fun tapping into our artistic sides, as evidenced below by our larger-than-life smiles.

For my piece, I decided to create a “Happy Birthday” plate that John and I could use on our respective special days each year. Inspired by geometric patterns like this one, I surrounded the rim with interlocking triangles and freehanded a curvy sentiment in the center.

Truth be told, the colors didn’t turn out QUITE as I had envisioned them thanks to vague post-firing tiles of the glaze at the shop, but I think it’s that imperfect quality that makes it special and clearly hand-made. I’m so excited to be creating traditions for our newly formed family, this being one of my favorites.

A pot of flowers, a handmade wood slice from my dad and a big pitcher of lemon-enfused water and the mini party was finished and ready for digging in.

But let’s sidle back over to that banner…I am infatuated with the overlapping colors and letters. It was actually MUCH larger than I expected it to be when I ordered it – A happy surprise.

Why am I going on and on about said decor? Besides the fact that I adore it, I am now in the happiest of positions to offer you your OWN banner of choice!

The lovely folks over at BannersOnTheCheap.com are offering you – my fine, creative, happy readers – your very own banner! There are two options if you win the giveaway: (1) You can snag a replica of our big beautiful “Happy Birthday” banner, or (2) you can opt for a $40 gift card to pick your own. I can’t wait to see what you decide to do.

Here are the details:

To enter:
Leave a comment on this post telling me YOUR favorite way to celebrate a birthday, may it be a festive party spread at home, an all-out trip to Vegas or a quiet dinner out with your special someone. (Don’t forget to include an email address in the form so I can contact you!)

Bonus entry:
For extra chances to win the prize, follow Dream Green DIY on Facebook and/or Twitter and leave a comment for each here letting me know that you did. (it’s a win-win since you’ll be able to keep up with my daily updates once you’re a follower – But of course, there’s NO pressure to do so. You don’t need to do this in order to win the prize)

You have until Wednesday, September 12 at 11:59 p.m. to enter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, September 14th – Don’t forget to check back to see if you’ve won.

Nitty gritty:
Prize ships only within the U.S.A. (sorry international readers!!!!). The winner will be selected using random.org.

Good luck!

For the low-down on my giveaway policy, click here!!

GIVEAWAY UPDATE: Congratulations to Suzanna for taking the cake, so to speak, on this giveaway!!

Suzanna, I will be emailing you shortly with details on your custom banner. Thanks to everyone for your participation and I really enjoyed hearing all about your birthday traditions. You guys are SO CREATIVE!!

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