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FORTY

Jill-Smith-forty-musclesTwo weeks ago, I turned 40. And we thought forty trips around the sun deserved a party. But the idea of going clubbing or getting super fancy didn’t resonate with me, so we almost abandoned the idea of a party entirely in exchange for a little family celebration or a weekend away. That’s when the light bulb went off in my head. I want a kid’s party. Um, but with no kids. We would only invite adults.Jill-Smith-forty-holding-handsJill-Smith-forty-friendsThe only exception was that we did have our own kids here for the beginning of the party. I really wanted to celebrate with them and have them get to see our friends (and a lot of their friends’ parents) but after dinner, they went to my parent’s house for a sleepover ending their night with popcorn and a movie which was great because they were pooped.Jill-Smith-forty-laurieJill-Smith-forty-with-woochieThere are a few reasons why throwing a kids’ party was perfect. Together my husband and I have thrown 9 kid parties in our backyard. We’ve got it down. And we’ve been to a zillion kid parties, so we get to see all the fun but almost never get to hit a piñata or bounce in the bouncy house ourselves. I kinda wanted a turn.Jill-Smith-forty-invitationPlanning the details of this party was great fun. I hand-lettered an invitation that totally made me giggle.Jill-Smith-forty-inflatablesWe rented an inflatable slip and slide and a gigantic 75’ water obstacle course with a climbing wall, tunnels and a slide. I must have run that thing 97 times. It had 2 lanes, so we could race relays or just run next to a good friend and laugh the whole way.Jill-Smith-forty-two-slideJill-Smith-forty-one-slideWe filled up kiddie pools and ordered 1,000 water balloons. Years ago, we found a company that will deliver pre-filled water balloons to your doorstep and my fingers have been thanking me ever since.

We sprinkled our yard with all our fun toys like Spike Ball, a slack line, hoola hoops and pink polka dotted beach balls. Good friends brought more great games like Corn Hole and Beersbee. Some friends just opted for our good old-fashioned swing set.Jill-Smith-forty-foodThe Eatsie Boys food truck served up dishes with great names like “What the Falafel” (house-made fried chickpea patties, peace in the middle east salad and roasted garlic) and “Shazam” (grilled chicken breast, arugula, feta, tomato, avocado puree, tarragon mayo, chimichurri, ciabatta tzatziki sauce on a challah wheat bun) as well as trays and trays of smoked jalapeño and harissa hummus served on fried naan. The food was amazing.Jill-Smith-forty-drinksFor drinks, we filled galvanized steel buckets of ice with a variety of craft beer and wine. And we offered one signature cocktail, “A Pile of Pink”, from Bad News Bar which they kegged for us. I picked it because it was pink, but the bonus was it tasted delicious too. Dry gin, grapefruit, lime, acid phosphate, Herbsaint, Peychaud’s Bitters and soda. We garnished the glasses with grapefruit, lime and mint. And those glasses? They are plastic and I found them at Crate and Barrel. We can’t have breakable glasses at a kid’s party!Jill-Smith-forty-baby-photosJill-Smith-forty-chalkOutside of baby photos of me everywhere and fabric flags that my mom and I made, there was really no décor. We kept it simple with colorful napkins from IKEA and Bamboo plates and silverware. We did need some extra seating, so we opted to rent 6 wooden tables, which were really gorgeous. Instead of renting chairs, we found that we could purchase these from IKEA for less expense. And they will be nice to have for our next (real) kid party coming up before we know it.

Wooch surprised me with a cake from Acadian Bakers and a piñata that he said looked like me. Ha! I’m forty and a luau lady. Best day ever.Jill-Smith-forty-old-schoolJill-Smith-forty-jumpLastly, we are strong believers that the people make the party. Our group of friends was up for absolutely anything. They truly brought the fun out of the party. It turns out I wasn’t the only one who wanted a turn at being a kid again—a good reminder that age is just a number and growing up is optional.Jill-Smith-forty-cakeMuch went into this kid party that required adult preparation, so I am beyond grateful for my husband and all his hard work. Even my parents, who always threw great parties for me when I really was a kid, were hauling ice and stacking napkins like the pros they are. Thanks, Mom and Dad! And for all the loved ones that couldn’t be at the party but called, texted or emailed me on my special day, trust me when I say that I felt the love and hugs just as much.

Food by The Eatsie Boys.
Signature cocktail by Bad News Bar.
Cake by Acadian Bakers.
Water balloons from Filled Water Balloons.
Plastic wine glasses from Crate and Barrel.
Inflatables by Sky High Party Rentals.
Table rental from Darryl & Co.

Photography by Rebecca Sanabria who I just love being friends with. Thank you sweet friend for coming to celebrate with us.

Andrew - Ah, this is fantastic! You and Wooch have really made a beautiful family and it looks like you guys have a great life and great friends. Looking beautiful as always – 40 ain’t phasing you!

Send me a note sometime and lets catch up.

-Andrew

Rebecca Kahlden - Awesome party!!! I threw myself a huge 40th party as well.1975 themed with a taco truck, kegs of beer, games, fancy drinks but with kids since I don’t have any. It was the best birthday EVER. I had so much fun and felt like a kid too. Happy belated birthday, good to see you are doing well and welcome to the Fabulous Forties!!!!
Rebecca

Alyssa - This is so cool Jill! I love love love it! What a way to bring more PLAY! to the party!

Jen Quinn - Best “kid party” I’ve EVER been to! Never grow up, Jill-Jill!❤️

all things birthday » Jill Smith - […] year, one of my favorites is the party flag bunting. We’ve hung them for every single party (and my 40th birthday party too). In 2009, I convinced my mom to help me make 85 million yards of them. I only know because she […]

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