Hostess with the Mostest: Pub Inspired Birthday Party

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I love to entertain.  I have never been the life of the party but I love bringing people together to have fun drinks and good food and enjoy a break from every day life.

Therefore, when my husband approached the big 3-0, I wanted to rendezvous all the people he loves into one place to celebrate.  He is not one for having the attention on him so this did take some convincing.  But besides your wedding, when do you get an opportunity to have an event that includes all the important people in your life?

To get started, I needed to find some guy-approved party themes.  This narrowed down the list pretty quickly.  I basically had three choices:  BBQ, beer, or sports.  Since it was too late for Superbowl and too early for baseball, I took to Pinterest to find some inspiration on a classy way to host party that revolved around beer.

That’s when I came across a pub-inspired theme.  With handheld appetizers and a good assortment of adult beverages, it was like bringing the bar to our home.  I added a little rustic touch because, come on, a girl did throw this shindig.

Here are some photos from the soiree:

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Outdoor lights provide so much ambiance.
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Extra brick we had in the garage and a little jute string added just the right amount of rustic feel.
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Personalized mason jars makes each guest feel unique and they make a great parting gift!
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Tomato, basil and mozzarella bites with a balsamic vinaigrette dipping sauce (recipe below).
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For the late night munchies.
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Photos of the birthday boy at each year of his life was used as a garland to decorate tables.  Instead of buying tablecloths, I went to a fabric store and cut fabric to use for the tables and runners.
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A fire and outdoor blankets for keeping warm on those cool coastal evenings.
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BBQing in full effect.
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A party is not complete without cupcakes!
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Kale mix, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seed salad with apple cider vinaigrette (recipe below).
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No caption needed.
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Black bean and corn salsa (recipe below).
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Sliders make hamburgers seem so much cooler.
Recipes:
For the kale salad, I use the bagged Sweet Kale Salad Mix from Costco.  The salad mix has shredded broccoli, shaved brussels sprouts, chopped cabbage, kale, chicory, and a packet of pumpkin seeds with dried cranberries.  It also comes with a dressing but I prefer to use my own:
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
1 cup oil (either canola, olive, or avocado oil, whichever you prefer)
1 cupe apple cider vianger
1/4-1/3 cup Dijon mustard
6 packets of Sweet ‘n Low or sweetener to taste (honey or regular sugar works well here too if you want to avoid artificial sweeteners)
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