christmas dinner party box

party box insider

Get the insider scoop on our Christmas Dinner Party Box, available in the Shop now!

When I was growing up holiday dinners were a big thing at my grandmothers house. We had ornate Christmas displays, colourful Easter decorations, and frivolous little Halloween creatures. My grandmother’s tables are probably responsible for my party planning obsessions, actually. So it’s only fitting that following her lead, we were talking about how people entertain during the holidays. Christmas (and Thanksgiving for that matter, although some people have different traditions for the latter) is one of the primary holidays were people celebrate with family dinners. And dinner parties can seem hard to decorate. You don’t have the same “food table” that you usually have at other parties, and guests aren’t expecting much more in the way of decor other than a tree or so (or so, lol my childhood).

Luckily, no occasion (and I mean NO occasion, you should see my table right now) is celebrated without some little touch somewhere, so decorating for the seemingly-everyday is super fun for us! Creating the Christmas Dinner Party Box was a way to give people the gift of a simpler holiday. Think of what you could do with the time you’d save worrying over a centrepiece or all those dishes (that’s right, we found cute DISPOSABLE dishware for this one, my aunt’s genius trick) or how to give your guests little holiday tokens without breaking the bank?

We’ve got you covered.

holiday dinner party box table set up holiday dinner party box side viewAfter all, planning a party during the holidays can be stressful, and with all that pressure to throw Pinterest-worthy dinners, it can seem impossible! Our goal is to make your holidays seamless.

Think of the tag line as : “Make your table the belle of the Instagram-ball without lifting that manicured finger.”

We want to give you all the tools you need to host the ultimate Christmas dinner party, with the least amount of work. It’s a party delivered to your doorstep!

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What you get:

– 6 chargers (3 red, 3 green)
– 6 red premium plastic dinner plates
– 6 paper appetizer/dessert plates
– 12 paper straws
– 12 cocktail stirrers
– 6 ornament wine tags
– centrepiece (2 large red trees, 2 small gold trees and 2 holiday wreaths)
– 1 gold table runner
– 1 black tablecloth
– 6 snowflake placemats
– 6 ornament place card holders
– 6 custom place cards
– 1 customized invitation (available printed or digital, perfect for last minute, get the invite today and the box delivered just before your party!)
– 1 paper dot bunting
– 6 pre-wrapped (in gold boxes) mini “grow your own” spruce tree favours
– 24 gold foil cupcake liners
– 24 ornament cupcake toppers
– plus a special surprise from The Party Girl!

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We thought of a lot of little details that can make life a little easier on the average hostess (down to individually wrapped mini spruce trees for your guests) so not everything is pictured here. But we’ve got tons more, so leave us a comment if you want to see what else you get with this Party Box!

We’re here to make sure that the only thing you need to worry about this holiday season is when to bring out the bubbly. Order your Christmas Dinner party box today!

introducing: the party box

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We may have hinted at a big announcement a little while ago, but we’ve been crazy busy getting our first boxes out just in time for the first official party of fall: Halloween! We are SO excited to say that we’ve launched two Party Boxes in our Shop this week, and we’re offering them ON SALE for 50% OFF (actually my favourite words ever) as a special launch deal. To make it even sweeter, we’re giving you a sneak peek to see what each Party Box looks like all set up, AND give you some behind the scenes posts for the rest of the month!

There are a lot of ways to celebrate Halloween, but the most common are adult costume parties with fun drinks, gory puns (my specialty) and some solid scare tactics AND kid friendly parties that appeal to the inner ghoul in all your littles without giving them nightmares (ask my mom how many Halloween parties I ruined with horrible dreams about brains for dinner, I’m the worst). So we wanted to give people the option for either, a grown up party or a little fun pre-Trick or Treat time dinner for the kids.

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Included in the adultParty Box:

– 12 tall “Vampire Blood” glasses
– 12 cocktail “Poison No. 9” glasses
– 24 black and white straws
– 12 black paper dinner plates
– 24 gray cocktail napkins
– 12 vampire fang napkin holders
– 12 blank table tent cards (available blank or customized, please contact us directly about customizing your box)
– 6 “Family Portraits” for backdrop
– 1 black mesh hanging for backdrop
– 1 black “Lace Spiderweb” tablecloth
– 2 “Skull & Bones” candlesticks
– 12 “Skeleton Hand” favour bags w/ black ribbons
– 24 cupcake liners
– 24 “Spider Leg” food picks
– 5 wine bottle “Potion Labels”
– 6 “Arachnid” cupcake holders
– 1 plastic “Lab Rat”
– 1 “Witch’s Cauldron”
– 1 “Black Raven”
– 1 “Spider Chandelier”
– 1 invitation (available customized with your details and can be printed or emailed as a PDF)
– plus recipe and project cards to help you plan your Halloween menu!

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halloween party box adult cocktail glasses

The best part is that not only can we give you a party delivered right to your door, but we can customize it with you too, so add little details (say if you want menus or signage) or adjust the quantity for your guest list. So not only do you get the party, but you get the party planner too!

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Included in the kid-friendly Party Box:

– 12 “Jack O Lantern” cups with straws
– 12 tall “Ghostly Images” glasses
– 24 black and orange straws
– 12 black paper dinner plates
– 24 cartoon napkins
– 12 vampire fang napkin holders
– 12 blank table tent cards (available blank or customized, please contact us directly about customizing your box)
– orange “Something Batty” backdrop
– 1 black “Lace Spiderweb” tablecloth
– 2 “Skull & Bones” candlesticks
– 12 “Spider’s Web” favour bags (come pre-prepared with 1 pencil, 1 eraser, 1 stamp, 1 lollypop, 1 sticker page, 1 spiky bouncey ball, 1 bubble container, and 1 spider ring, all Halloween themed)
– 12 “Eyeball” and “Rat” gummies in canvas bags
– 24 cupcake liners
– 24 “Spider Leg” food picks
– 5 bottle “Potion Labels”
– 1 “Haunted Mansion” cupcake stand
– 1 plastic “Lab Rat”
– 1 “Witch’s Cauldron”
– 1 “Black Raven”
– 1 orange, yellow and black tissue garland with skull accent
– 1 invitation (available customized with your details and can be printed or emailed as a PDF)
– plus, again, recipe and project cards to help you with menu planning!

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The best part is we’re going to share how we made some of the goodies you’ve seen in this sneak peak, so not only do you get a detailed look but you get some inside information on how to make these Halloween snacks!

Check back with us often, we’ll be adding more Party Box themes as we go. AND, we’re offering a completely customized option as well, so if you have a party idea in mind we can build a box specifically for you! It’s the best of both worlds.

What do you think? Can you think of a time you could have benefited from having a Pinterest-worthy party in a box show up at your door?

woodland cake stand

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A few weeks ago I was walking Tucker outside and noticed some men with chainsaws cutting down this gorgeous old tree in front of our building. Like any normal person, I dragged my poor innocent golden retriever towards the chainsaws and charmed the maintenance workers into giving me my choice of some of the branches. You may be asking why. Well, once upon a time Fernanda found this pretty wood slice that I decided would be perfect for a cake stand to show off woodland themed cupcakes (my new obsession). But of course weeks went by and we couldn’t (by we I mean me. It was me. I’m picky.) find a base that would work. And I despaired of ever having a cake stand, until the chainsaws.

So, with some help from Tuck, who was committed to dragging the branch indoors for me, I lugged a big branch about three feet tall into our apartment…and hid it in the bathtub (because okay, bugs, right?). I let it dry out for a couple days. After finding some spray-can sealant in the storage room (I want to tell you what it was called but I threw the can out afterward. I know it was like a spray-paint glue) I sprayed the hell out of it in case there were bugs. But I got lucky and it was fine.

We used a mitre saw (I don’t know what that means, I just asked what it was called) to cut the branch down to a normal cake stand size. While we were at it I asked my dad (operating the saw) to cut some extra slices for coasters. Two birds, right?

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Then I just used this wood glue to attach the base. I let it adhere for 24 hours with a heavy book on it, but that was likely overkill. It actually bonded incredibly well – it’s so strong!

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This barely counts as a diy, but I wanted to share just to show you how easy it is to make your own cake stand, with zero money and sharp blades! You’re welcome 🙂

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hooked catering launch party

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I’m so excited to be back online! We’re still getting used to our new design, and how CRAZY IN LOVE we are with it. It’s super cute, and all the new changes have us so excited about the future of The Party Girl! We are so grateful for the overwhelming support we got on our old site, and we hope many of you made the move with us to thepartygirl.ca!

In case you didn’t notice (or see Ashley obsessing over it last week) we have some brand new tabs up there that mean big things for us – and hopefully you guys! Check out the Party Box tab to learn more about the project coming your way, and soon the Shop tab will be full of parties to make your life a little bit easier!

Now for the fun stuff. We were so excited to be invited to the launch party/pop up for Hooked Catering on July 19 at artisan coffee roastery Propeller Coffee Co. in Toronto. Hooked is the product of Toronto based George Brown College student Jessica Lagman. While Jessica’s passion for food led her to found the catering company, her love of storytelling is the true vision behind Hooked‘s sure to be successful rise in the Toronto food industry.

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The Party Girl team rolled up Saturday night excited for a night of creative storytelling through interactive stations and delicious food and cocktails. And we weren’t disappointed! We were immediately charmed by the venue, nestled in artsy warehouse and factory-rich Bloordale Village. Pretty loft lighting and gorgeous wide open spaces set the perfect scene for the pop up party, which not only launched Hooked‘s brand new menu, but also featured booths from artists, photographers, event industry professionals, and some guest djs! I loved the handmade jewellery by Hypatia and Dissian. Their creations were so stunning and unique, I was tempted to buy some for myself! 

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vendor artist

Jessica did an amazing job of creating a fun and interactive experience! We loved browsing the different booths, but the best part was the incredible food Hooked provided. Pulling from Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Polynesian, and modern comfort food for influence, the menu featured mouth watering dishes like lobster rolls, salmon tataki, mushroom pate, and coconut crab cakes (hungry yet?).

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hooked food

As you know we’re huge supporters of food stations, so we were obsessed with delicious options at the rice bowl bar (I couldn’t get over the Kimchi Musubi, I’m still thinking about it), anguished over decisions at the waffle station (caramelized banana or nutella, HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY CHOOSE?!) and argued about the appropriate way to make shaved ice (with tapioca obviously, or shredded coconut, or ube, oh god…).

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We were so impressed by the beer bottles, donated by Collective Arts Brewery.They’re dedicated to bringing together the cultural influences of music, film and the arts with the talents of craft brewmasters. Each bottle features limited edition works of art while the inside is full of well crafted beers. Super cool, and really refreshing idea!

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Overall the event was fabulous! I went home completely full and so excited to write this post! I absolutely recommend trying Hooked Catering next time you are thinking of running an event. Just ask for Jessica and let her handle the rest, you won’t be disappointed!

 

behind the scenes with the party girl

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Hi Party Girls! While Lauren’s Frozen party wasn’t the biggest we’ve worked on, it was one of the most diy-oriented on a super tight time schedule (we had about a week to plan, shop, and craft the whole thing), and that meant a lot of chaos. We thought it would be fun to dedicate today’s post to sharing some of the behind the scenes at The Party Girl, to see what it’s like to be us, and not just the styled, post-party edited photo version.

So get prepared, it’s about to get messy!

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First of all, our work station is never neat. Here are 7 things the are critical to party planning last minute:

  1. I admit, I have a super short attention span. That means it’s hard for me to make intricate snowman cookies and melted chocolate snowflake cupcake toppers with my undivided attention. I’d like to say I watched Frozen for ambiance, but actually I had a Veronica Mars marathon. Worth it.
  2. Icing containers. I found these guys at the dollar store and it was the best $2 I ever spent. It comes in the most handy when I’m flooding cookies in only a few different colours. Once the designs start to get more intricate it’s a bit of a pain to constantly wash them out and replace. For snowmen though, it was bliss.
  3. Lysol wipes. For those times I drop icing or dough on the floor/counter/sink/Macbook/dog.
  4. Water. The kitchen is windowless. It gets hot. I go through litres at a time.
  5. Hair ties. See above for the kitchen environment.
  6. Alcohol. Don’t judge.
  7. A Wilton rotating cake stand. I can’t even describe how handy this is for icing a cake. Or even cupcakes. Amazing.

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Of course making the Olaf ice cream treats meant some magic with chocolate candy melts. We made buttons on the inside of the glass dessert cups (found at Ikea for like $2/4!) and then I drew twig arms on wax paper. I was in a rush/it was crazy hot (I made these the day of the party) so I stored them in the freezer.image 12

When you’re icing a Disney princess dress, you realize pretty quick that as pretty as it looks, that hair gets in the way. We had to use elastics to keep everything out of the way (it was fun shoving these in the fridge overnight let me tell you) while we iced. I took the elastics out before serving so they looked perfect on the table.

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Another pro tip, if you’re shoving a Barbie, particularly one that makes music, in something wet and edible, like a cake, wrap the crap out of the lower half. Nobody will see it and it will save you a major clean up after. I did this with both dolls and we were able to yank them out and dress them (I stored their clothes in a Ziplock and shoved it in my purse) and give them to Lauren to play with while someone else was serving cake, which was perfect. IMAGE 10

These little guys were actually super easy, despite the three different kinds of sprinkles and gravity defying melted chocolate topper. We used left over icing from one of the dresses and used pretty sprinkles to create a wintry look. The snowflake toppers were drawn on wax paper and popped in the freezer for 10 minutes, so each one was different.

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You’ll just note the time here. To be fair we were limited on time, because we had some cake baking catastrophes and I worked until 5 so we got a late start. Still, it made for a stressful evening.

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The snow cone station was one of the first things we made. It wasn’t edible, so we didn’t have to worry as much about making it “fresh”. We found the stand at Ikea for about $12.99, and it’s all cardboard so it just slides together. It comes with some bold green and white stripes though, so I wanted to cover that. First we bought spray paint, but that was a nightmare. I bought a sparkly silver one (don’t ever do that) and a blue one. The sparkles were a joke, they covered nothing, and the blue can broke halfway through and had barely covered anything anyways.

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We had dragged it outside to the woods by our apartment because you obvs can’t spray paint indoors. When that failed we had to drag it all back in and store it until we picked up some house paint. I nixed the silver idea here and decided to go with a teal colour. I had to do like 3 coats, which made the cardboard suffer a bit but it was still good. I had a bit of an audience that added some extra stress.

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You’ll note a few scattered toys in the picture above. I got a little desperate keeping the animals away from the wet paint. I basically had to watch the paint dry just to keep the pets away.

How To Make Snowman Glasses

  1. Use a glue gun to attach pom poms to outside of glass.
  2. Hold the glass still as the glue dries so gravity doesn’t screw you.
  3. Cut a rectangle out of orange felt and fringe the edges. Use a dab of glue at the back and two small dabs to adhere the ends of the scarf in a “X” shape.
  4. Pop in a colourful paper straw. Print out snowman top hats and glue to the end of a stir stick. Slide the stir stick into each straw.

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How To Make Themed Cutlery

This one isn’t even really a “how to” but more of a “buy wooden cutlery” and use washi tape to make it match your theme. I used blue polka dots and silver glitter tape (yes that’s a real thing) to match the rest of the dessert table decor.
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So that’s that Party Girls! Sometimes it’s more fun to see the behind the scenes details than it is the actual party, right? I love behind the scenes, it’s like my most favourite kind of blog post. 

Have a great day!

 

a “frozen” fourth

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Good morning Party Girls! We had a super fun weekend celebrating my (Ashley’s) youngest sister’s fourth birthday. Like every other four year old in the world, Lauren insisted on having a Frozen themed birthday party. The Party Girl jumped on board for designing a dessert table for the family bbq party, and threw in some extra surprises just for kicks. Check out how we celebrated Lo’s fourth birthday!

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First, you will note that the child in this picture is not four. That’s because I couldn’t tear my six year old sister Jordan away from the Snow Cone Station we built. It was crazy hot last weekend, so a day spent by the pool was only made better by some shaved ice. I don’t know what it is about kids and ice chips with pure sugar poured on them (turns out we forgot to dilute the syrup, sorry parents) but that station was a hit the whole day. J made a solid bar tender too, whipping up snow cone recipes like a pro. Sorry the picture sucks, it was almost impossible to get a crowd free version of this photo!

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No Frozen party is complete without some Olaf ice cream treats. We had a ton of fun making “snowmen” with ice cream scoops, and the little Olaf face cookies were some left over party treats we thought would make them more fun!

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The best part was seeing Lo’s face when we brought the cakes in. I made two, one chocolate and one vanilla, because a) Jordan, the strangest six year old ever, hates chocolate and it always seem sad to see her not eat cake and b) how could you choose between Anna and Elsa? It’s impossible. It is the Sophie’s Choice of children’s parties. Lauren was in awe the whole time, and when she found out they were cakes she actually gasped. Adorable.

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Even though two cakes seemed like a lot of dessert, it’s actually more of a vertical masterpiece than a giant cake, so I made some back up cupcakes with melted chocolate snowflake toppers. The cupcakes looked a little worse for wear because we dropped them. We’re the creative minds, not the delivery team okay?

The snowflake cookies were sort of a last minute fun idea to make colourful cookies with the left over dough. I sprinkled them with some glitter paste but its hard to see here.

We ended up with a ton of food left over. We fed the neighbours in my dad’s court.

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We have a group of kids from different ages at our family parties, so loop bags have gotten harder each year. You can’t really find age appropriate goody bag stuff without making someone jealous (did you know 12 year olds still like zoo stickers? Because I didn’t, and miscalculated that one for sure). So for this party I decided to get literal with the building a snowman theme (also my sisters have drilled the song in my head, to the point where over the two days it took me to write on 8 gift bags, I sang the “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” song over and over and over and I think I had nightmares). I made little Olaf edible puzzles the kids could “build” and then eat as snacks. Most of the kids (probably on sugar highs from the snow cone overdose) ended up taking them to school the next day. I got rave reviews from the parents of strangers my sisters impressed at the lunch table.

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All in all it was a pretty great success! We have some more party details that didn’t make it into our dessert table shots that we thought we’d share as DIY projects in case you want to try your own Frozen party. The best part of the whole thing was having a winter party in June meant feeling really refreshed. There’s something really indulgent about eating snow cones in a pool floaty, you know?

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Of course the other best party was seeing this special little girl celebrate her fourth birthday after a difficult and stressful year. One day we’ll share more about this brave little fighter, but for now we’ll leave you with this sweet photo of Lo playing with her (musical, haha dad) Anna Barbie.

 

 

 

celebrate: mx party

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Well good morning Party Girls! We are in the middle of planning a pretty amazing (if we do say so ourselves) birthday party for a special little girl this weekend, and trust us when we say we are functioning on very little sleep. This is where we’d insert hashtag partyplannerproblems, but we’re too classy for hashtags in blogs 😉

ANYWAYS, before we get to sharing all those fun details next week, we had another party on our sleeves. This one is an oldie but a goodie. Last summer Meal Exchange, a non-profit organization committed to changing food systems on university/college campuses and communities across Canada, celebrated a big year with three major milestones, marking the anniversary of their creation, the first National Student Food Summit, and their time as a registered charity. To celebrate, I (Ashley) got to help them plan an anniversary party, and it was SO MUCH FUN!

We wanted to take a break from our hectic crafting for the weekend and share some fun photos of a past event. Plus, it makes us nostalgic for summer, which is perfect on this cloudy rainy Toronto day.

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First of all, how amazing is this venue? We were super fortunate to partner with the Centre for Social Innovation in the Annex and host the party here. It was the perfect industrial [okay super hipster] vibe for a university student driven, local food movement loving group of people.

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The balloon raffle is a sweet personal favourite of mine, because I love the idea of little surprises in balloons. Basically we had about 25 helium balloons with numbers inside, and for $10 guests could buy a balloon, pop it (it was violent and amazing and perfect), and they’d win whatever prize corresponded with that number. It got pretty intense. As a charity event our budget was pretty slim (as in non existent) so we were able to get a bunch of amazing sponsors donate super cool prizes.

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We also partnered with some amazing local artisans from Etsy who donated locally sourced and handmade products for our goody bags. We had gluten free/nut free snacks, handmade soaps, cool Meal Exchange swag, and more, it was adorable.

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Okay, now I’m starving. The only thing about planning an event for a bunch of socially conscious food-movement activists is the menu. We were super lucky to team up with a catering company that had a lot of experience with vegetarian/gluten free/allergen safe menu planning, so we had a lot of really delicious options. And it gave me an excuse to have those little food labels made. I am a sucker for food labels.

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A major part of the event programming was taking the opportunity to thank all the members and volunteers. There was a little award ceremony to recognize some outstanding people who work hard to promote sustainable food practices and Meal Exchange, which was a such a fun and special way to honour the night and celebrate the anniversary aspect.

For me, spending my summer working with these amazing people, laughing and cramped into a tiny office in a gorgeous old building downtown with no air conditioning and full of art and birds (yup, there was a floor bird sanctuary) and designers and weird caves (okay, coolest place ever right?) was so inspiring. The event took place on the Saturday evening of three day student conference, where we woke up at 5am and went to bed at 1am. I didn’t sleep for over 24 hours before party day. It was amazing.

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This is the amazing office building I got to work out of. How inspiring is all that greenery? There’s even a rooftop garden. That is the magic of 401 Richmond.

So how about that? All in all it was a super fun party. I tried to include the links below for the vendors, but if I forgot anybody I’m so sorry. Make sure you stay tuned for this weekend’s party craziness, and have an amazing day!

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#internsolutions (BROKE THE HASHTAG RULE!)

Vendors:

Balloons – Ballontrix

Catering – Delightfully Yours 

Venue – CSI Annex

Want to see more photos? Head here 🙂