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!!


49 thoughts on “A very happy birthday spread (plus a giveaway!!)

  1. Tara

    A great dinner out with family and friends is always a fun way to celebrate, although I would say I would never turn down the chance for a weekend away! Love the banner and love your blog!

  2. Alex Landar

    I figured international readers dun get the giftaway, but it’s fine~ I still wanted to share how my friends and I celebrate our birthdays. Every year, the other two will plan for the birthday gal and arrange a theme + venue + activities + meal. We tend to let the birthday gal have about 1 week to 3 days of preparation (depends on how much time we guessed she needs to get her wardrobe done) by sending her the invitation to the birthday gal before her birthday. And of course in between, we will be doing decorations, checking out venues, and meal options and also making or purchasing and wrapping our own gifts to the birthday gal. Every year three times, only 3 people, we go somewhere new or old and enjoy ourselves.

  3. Tonya Toutge

    While I can’t spend every birthday this way, my favorite way to spend a birthday is to take a trip. I turned 30 atop the (then) tallest building in the world…the Sears Tower in Chicago. And I turned 40 at the top of the Empire State Building. No word yet on where I will turn 50, but I think it should be somewhere International don’t you? I’m taking suggestions!

    ps – I would live to win a banner for the teenage hangout room we are finishing this month in our basement. My girls would have fun designing one with the yet-to-be-decided name of their teen lair! 🙂

  4. Suzanna

    My favorite way to celebrate birthdays is dinner with family and friends (usually at someone’s home – no need to spend extra $$ by going out!) It’s the people who make the day special….

    Also, I’m a twitter and fb follower 🙂


  5. Katie

    So cute! (And your food looks delish, btw. I too love Giada.) My fave way to celebrate is also with food — a nice dinner out with my husband, followed by presents of course. 🙂

  6. Jessica Willis

    That banner is super amazing! 🙂

    For our birthdays, we normally have a week long celebration believe it or not! Birthdays normally fall during school, and since my mom is a teacher, it gives you a chance for some small gifts throughout the week with a celebration on the weekend.

    One tradition is the “morning present” from my parents. On your birthday morning, no matter what anyone’s schedule is, everyone gathers for a morning breakfast and a small, usually practical (socks, undies, soap, etc….) gift from my parents to kick things off.

    My family also has “birthday buddies” (there are 6 kids, and we were paired up with a sibling with a birthday as close to half a year away from our own—it worked out well actually: my bday is in July, and my birthday buddy’s is in January…) and so not only do you receive a week long celebration on your own birthday, but you get a gift on your birthday buddy’s as well! It’s super fun, and the birthday buddy’s gift is normally some sort of inside joke or something silly–just a little something fun so you don’t have to wait a whole ‘nother year to get a present 🙂

  7. Caitlin

    My favorite way to celebrate birthdays is getting food to go from my favorite restaurant and having a good old picnic! I love the laid back and simple take on dining out 🙂

  8. Rebecca T.

    Love spending birthdays eating dinner out with the hubby and getting dessert of course! I would use the banner at my son’s first birthday party!
    rebatink at gmail dot com

  9. Liz Orzechowski

    My favorite birthday tradition is our yearly ladies on ly trip to Peddler’s Village at the end of September for my birthday! Delicious lunch and lots of shopping with my Mom, Grandmom, and Aunt. I look forward to it all year long!

  10. Margaret

    Our family birthday tradition is breakfast in bed. We ask the birthday person for their breakfast menu the night before their big day. Their breakfast arrives on a bed tray with a candle and their first gift of the day. We all sing happy birthday and hence we begin the day of celebration.

  11. Camara

    my parents ALWAYS played the Beatles’ “Birthday” first thing in the morning. I have many fond memories of coming downstairs for breakfast with that song blasting through the house. my boyfriend and i have continued the tradition.

  12. Camara

    and followed you on twitter 🙂

    both my birthday and my boyfriend’s birthday are coming up this fall, so a banner would be so festive!

  13. Rachelle Bryant

    I have a very close and large family. My favorite way to spend my(or any one’s bday) is with my large, crazy family. We have all these great traditions-calling to sing “Happy Birthday” on the phone, getting a “bday” balloon, finding the perfect present, or my grandmother writing your age that many times on the bday card(ie-my last card had twenty-nine 29s). Even when we all aren’t in the same city or state, we find ways to skype and chat. It’s fantastic.

  14. jhoanna

    We started making birthday hats last year and have decided that it’s our new birthday tradition. I think I’m going to add a birthday banner tradition too.

  15. Ahren

    i just had a new little girl 10 weeks ago, so I am even more excited about birthdays than ever before. I think a banner would be a great birthday tradition around here! We love celebrating each other 🙂

    and I follow you on Facebook now too!


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