Ready. Set. Party at Home.

It looks like 2021 will be a year of testing our patience. The pandemic is still raging and everyone is at home.

People are dying for connection, for moments to live, for laughter and love, and getting out in the world.

Covid restrictions have pretty much shut down any type of gathering, so milestones like birthdays can feel anticlimactic these days. So how do we make a loved one feel special? It’s been an ongoing dilemma for almost a year.

I have been in a book club for about 10 years. There are 8 of us, and we read a book every couple months and get together to discuss it. When it’s a book club member’s birthday, we celebrate at a meeting. Lately that’s been on Zoom, (probably like you’re doing,) but after so many of them, those are getting old.

Last week a member of our book club had a birthday and we were determined to pamper her. (She’s one of those amazing people who is constantly doing things for others, but never asks for anything for herself.).

Our idea was to give her a fancy dinner at home that she could enjoy without lifting a finger.  Oh, and we wanted it to be a total surprise.  To make our plan work, we enlisted the help of her family and reserved an evening when they were all available and could keep our guest of honor busy while we created the scene. 

Make Someone Feel Special at Home

This is what we did:

I picked up dinner from one of her favorite restaurants.

Another book club friend created gorgeous flower arrangements to adorn the table.

A third ordered a beautiful birthday cake from Susie Cakes and made these adorable edible decorations that looked like tiny books and had sweet messages written on the “covers.” 

Knowing she loves music and her new turn-table record player, we ordered a record of one of her favorite bands.

We hired a local company to make the room look beautiful.

We had all the individual elements of a fabulous family birthday dinner, but we wanted to elevate the whole thing to a level that surpassed the everyday and made it a memorable occasion. 

It just so happens that we have another friend who started a business that is all about elevating the everyday and making special occasions sparkle.  Her business, Ready. Set. Party., was born out of the pandemic and the realization that many of us were struggling to break out of the rut of monotonous days spent in our homes. 

Not only were our lives lacking sparkle, most days we were lucky to just get dressed and eat a microwave dinner at the counter!  Birthdays and anniversaries were passing with the barest of celebrations. 

Enter Ready. Set. Party.

Owners of Ready, Set, Party: Paula Davis, Haruko Froeb, and Lisa Thompson

The business is shared between 3 busy local moms who all have a background in corporate event planning and a love of creating beauty and bringing joy.  Their motto is More Sparkle, Less Stress.  They offer party planning and set-up as well as custom and curated party boxes. 

These long-time friends and their new business were the perfect choice for making our birthday plan complete.  They swept in, wearing face masks and gloves, and within 45 minutes had created a stunning tabletop complete with linen, crystal, fine china and lots of candlelight.

Sparkle achieved.  We were ready for the birthday girl’s arrival.

Her reaction was exactly what we had hoped for.  Yes, there were tears.  But they were joyful.  Her gift was a birthday evening during which she could relax, enjoy her family, eat a delicious meal and dine in style, knowing she is greatly loved and appreciated. 

Do you have someone in your life that you want to celebrate?  Consider doing something special like this. You can create a beautiful table setting on your own. Or if you’re local to Manhattan Beach, California but don’t have the time or know-how, I’m sure Ready. Set. Party. would love to help.

This came together quickly and seamlessly! And we couldn’t have done a better job to make our friend happy on her birthday. Cheers to creating more special moments in 2021. Life is short. Joy is the name of the game this year… even while we’re stuck at home!

Enjoy this video to see how the surprise unfolded. Beautiful! Now, go create your own special occasion! 


Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak.