I had given up on maintaining this blog, but Mad Men has brought me back. My Mad Men birthday party, that is.
I love themed parties. I love dressing up. Since I was a kid, I've felt like I was born in the wrong era. I drool over '50s and '60s cars. I have an addiction to vintage-style polka dot dresses. I know it's so trendy to embrace the vintage style, especially with the growing popularity of rockabilly, but I was pretty much born this way.
Planning this party was half the fun.
Looking in my closet, two dresses jumped out at me. I ultimately decided against this sailor dress because it was more Peggy Olson at the office, and I was going more for Betty Draper hosting a cocktail party. Peggy has brains, but ice-queen Betty has style.
I would have loved to go all-out with the food, but we had a miniscule budget. We stuck with classic finger foods from the early '60s. Pigs in a blanket was the most hearty appetizer. Deviled eggs, chips and dip, veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, and jello rounded out the menu. I wanted to do fondu, using our awesome fondu set, but the menu was already stretching our budget.
Guests ate on our wedding china -- only the second time it's ever been used! And, of course, we drank from martini glasses and chain smoked. Well, OK, we drank generic 7-Up with maraschino cherries and pineapple chunks, and smoked candy cigarettes from Candy Heaven in Old Sacramento.
I smoked from my Gramma's rhinestone-encrusted cigarette holder, which was so very Breakfast at Tiffany's. I found the cigarette holder when I was packing up Gramma's apartment after she died. It was fitting because not only did Gramma smoke like a chimney during my childhood, but when she got her smokes and lottery tickets at the 7-11 down the street, she let me pick out candy, and I often picked out candy cigarettes.
We played charades with clues relevant to the Mad Men era. In the excitement and laughter of the game, I forgot to take pictures. Everyone failed pretty miserably at this '60s Ad Slogans and Tagline quiz I adapted from Oprah.com, of all places.
Speaking of ads, I decorated with print ads from the era, including some used on the show. I focused on Sterling & Cooper accounts, including Lucky Strike, Heineken, Belle Jolie and Kodak.
Much of the decor in my house already suited the era. I covered up anything that didn't with curtains and sheets. I littered the fireplace mantel with literature from the time and played '60s tunes on our record player.
I used white lace polka dot curtains to turn our Ramones wall into a backdrop for photos.
By the end of the night, we had killed four packs of candy cigarettes and drank way too many mocktails in true Mad Men style.