Welcome to Cougartown

Birthday, Christmas prep, more Christmas prep, FINAL Christmas prep, Christmas, post-Christmas decompress—and, uh, throw in a few hundred thousand calories for good measure—and here I am.

Currently I'm holed up in my home office with The Dingo and my space heater, taking a breather before I think about gearing up for New Year's Eve, New Year's Day... and, GOD HELP US, Saturday's arrival of a card-carrying, hormone-raging, could-I-care-any-less-or-piss-you-off-any-more-today-Mom TEENAGER. (Wipe that smile off your face and pray for me.)

And, since I'm too anal-retentive to do anything out of order, there can be no posts about our lovely Christmas holiday until I dish about one of the most fantastic things I've ever done for myself: My 40th birthday bash at Salt Lake City's swanky Hotel Monaco, complete with cocktails, cupcakes, frosting "shots," 25 of the most amazing chicks I know... and one lone Cougar, shaking her moneymaker (clad in $178 jeans) on top of a piano to Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar on Me.

Before anyone strokes out or calls my bishop, said Cougar remained FULLY and MODESTLY CLOTHED, did not attempt any hyper-gyrating... and no animals were harmed during the performance.

And no, we will NOT be cueing up the video of that performance here, or anywhere... right Candie? :)

All right, all right... without further delay, here's a run-down of the extravaganza:


I made nametags for every girl; I wrote something special about each girl as well, not only as an ice-breaker among those who didn't know one another, but also as a small gesture of affection for each of these amazing women I am privileged to call my friends!

I guess it's the writer in me, but I had some other little placards around for kicks and giggles... along with naming every cupcake and frosting shot (which I'll explain more in a bit), I made one that explained my choice of party favor (above), and another poking fun at the persnickety postage problems I had with the invitations (below).

Here's a shot of the side table with the nametags, along with a collection of cheeky napkins that I loved... my favorite said: "Enough with the DAMN juice boxes, Mommy needs a COCKTAIL." I think that sums it up quite nicely, don't you?

The view from my fabulous 15th-floor suite at the Hotel Monaco... seriously, can it get any better than this? (BTW, the answer is NO, NO IT CANNOT.) It was hard not to get distracted by the view while we were hustling and bustling to get ready for the evening...

The food and beverage tables, all ready for the guests to arrive. Ta-da!

My sisters, Christine and Candie, worked their little fannies off to make sure everything was perfect... they're the hottest domestic goddesses you'll ever meet! Christine is also a super-talented photographer, and she took all the photos you're seeing (except this one)... and YES, it's utterly exhausting to try and keep up with such overacheiving kinfolk.

Speaking of hot domestic goddesses, here's the one who made all my confectionary dreams come true that night: Confectionista Alison Bent prepared a collection of cupcakes and frosting shots fit for a 40-year-old princess and all her princess friends! Love ya girl!

So, I have to include photos of Alison's sweet creations! I gave each cupcake flavor a girl's name, because it seemed like a cute idea... and, you know, I didn't have enough to do. :) Here are some of the luscious "ladies" who made an appearance:
Summer (strawberry)

Scarlett (vanilla/cranberry)

Coco (self-explanatory, right?)

Wendy (peanut butter & marshmallow)

Clementine (vanilla/orange)

Violet (purple velvet)

As if the cupcakes themselves aren't gorgeous enough...
even the cupcake liners make a fashion statement!

The frosting shots had names as well...

Patti (peppermint)

Ella (nutella)

Rita (raspberry margarita)

I didn't want to upstage the decadent cuppies, so I kept the cocktails simple:

1969 La Grande Dame Champagne mocktail,
featuring flutes with white chocolate-dipped, gold-sugared rims

Zebra Martinis: Gold-sugared rims, hand-piped chocolate zebra pattern inside the glasses...
and ice cold milk to wash down all the cupcakes!

What a fun mocktail bar!

And then, of course, if you were the designated driver that evening... :)

Yes, the suite was SWEET, and the menu was even sweeter... but for me, the very best part about the entire evening was having almost all of my very favorite women in the same room at the same time. I couldn't have asked for a better gift! I cherish each one of these ladies for the light they bring to my life, and the fact that they would make time during the holiday season to celebrate with me... well, I was walking on SUNSHINE! I was literally beaming for DAYS and DAYS after this night, and these pictures should help explain why:

This is what happens when Mormon girls have WAY too much sugar and sparkling white grape juice spiked with... GINGER ALE.

So, here I am with two of my BFF's, Camme and Emily... there's a bit of backstory behind this photo (that's a whole different post), but what you REALLY need to see is the photo snapped right before we're standing here, looking pretty for our picture:

What can I say... when you're as old as we are, you've gotta make some... uh, adjustments... before you get your picture taken.

I don't know what it was about that ottoman... let's just say it prompted some suggestive behavior that's better left to the imagination. Liz seems to be the one in question in this particular photo... but I have 37 shots of Emily on that ottoman, and I can't post A. SINGLE. ONE. because this is, more or less, a family show.
(Just kidding, Em... mostly.)

I have only one explanation for this:
All the Single Ladies by Beyonce.

Me, Nikki G and Sandra... we're fixin' to shake our groove thang...

And off we go to Funkytown!

Sandra was doing her fantastic Domo-Morigato-Mister-Roboto off camera, and Nicole and I were still shakin' our moneymakers with Beyonce. No matter where Nicole is, if the place is rockin' she can't resist bustin' a move. Love your guts, "SexyBack" Gratzinger!

Um, Christine? Did you swap your "mocktail" for something a bit stronger?
And why didn't you share??

So, it was time to take the plunge and do some shots, and the girls let me have first crack. Emily's all: "KHo, ease up on that suction and DO NOT eat the cup!!"

Dude, I'm just gonna say it... freebasing frosting is FRIGGIN' AWESOME!!!

Ok, it's a little indulgent (conceited? delusional?) to post this photo... but I have to give some play to THE JEANS I bought for the party that night. They were fabulously spendy, and fabulous PERIOD... and quite frankly, the junk in my trunk will probably never look this good ever again, so why not? Plus, Christine will be thrilled that I used this photo, since she took about 12 pictures of my ars that night... hope you're happy sis!


The gang's all here... look at all these gorgeous girls! Am I lucky or what?

"Staci and Rachel, my sister just won't stop taking pictures... look, there she is again! Do you think I should get a restraining order on her?"

Chittter-chatter with the chicks...

Just can't get enough of my girls...


Friends 4Life: Nicole, Sandra, Lesley
My BFF's from the 'hood, also affectionately known as The Drama Club:
Kristi, Kristin, Camme, Liz & Emily

My sisters! Christine, Candie, Kristen & Deanna

My other sisters, from the Relief Society (basically all my girlfriends from my ward/neighborhood): Kristi, Heidi, Camme, Staci, Rachel, Lori, Emily, Liz, Kristin

Oh look, more super fun girlfriends! Kristi T., Sheridan, and Alison

So... my parting shot has to be this one:
Christine, thank you SO MUCH for capturing the joy and elation I felt that evening! I was truly giddy, and SO grateful that so many of my dearest friends were able to help me celebrate an important milestone in my life... one that I welcome with open arms because, to be honest, I've never been happier in my life than I am right now.
40 really is fabulous, and I'm thrilled to be the newest resident of Cougartown!


Tennille said...

Looks like I missed quite the party! Glad it was so much fun--happy birthday, again!

Nicole said...

Love this post! That was such a fun party. I say we do it again... all we need is an ottoman and beyonce!