Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Year, Old FRIENDS

Watching episodes of Friends on television always makes me laugh.  I just love the silly conversations and the quirky friendships on that show.  For my first monthly dinner of 2017 I decided to make Friends my theme.  It was an "New Year, Old FRIENDS" theme, but this would be a great theme for a birthday party, wedding, name it!

Invite:  I designed my invite with the purple door and gold frame from the show.  I utilized the same font as the show with the signature dots in between the letters.  The font is called Gabriel Weiss' Friends Font and you can download it here.

Entry:  I attempted to create the same purple door and frame on my front door.  I bought a lavender tablecloth and wrapped it around my door.  I created the frame with bright yellow poster board and markers.  I incorporated Joey Tribbiani's famous pick up line "How you doin'?" which I cut out using my Cricut machine.

Decor:  Since the Central Perk coffee shop is such a prominent setting in the Friends episodes, I wanted to try to incorporate it into the decor of the party. I also incorporated famous lines/symbols from the characters throughout.

I looked online and called around the various craft stores, but I couldn't find a huge coffee cup in my price range.  I randomly stopped at Ross two days before the party and found this one (and for only $5!)  I painted it black and printed the Central Perk logo onto printable vinyl that I then cut out and attached to the front of the mug. I filled the mug with a foam piece and then a layer of coffee beans on the top.

I made some photo props to represent some of the most famous episodes/lines from Friends that I stuck into my centerpiece coffee mug.  I also borrowed the complete season of DVDs from a friend to use as decor on my table.

I made my plates and napkins representative of the Friends door.  I cut the napkins like the yellow frame making sure to leave the folded side of the napkin uncut at parts so it would stay together.  On top of each napkin I added a mini KitKat bar with the famous Ross quote, "We were on a Break!"

For place cards, I superimposed my guest's face onto the face of a Friends character in a popular scene from the show.  I purposely did not do a "perfect" match because I thought that made it even funnier.  These are just a few of the examples.

As part of each place setting, I added a roll of Mentos along with the Joey's quote about being a "Mento" (mentor) for young kids.

A look at the entire place setting.

I set up a side table with drinks and an appetizer.

I made this sign out of foam board and card stock using my Cricut to cut the letters.

Instead of wine glasses, I decided to use coffee cups.  I bought mugs from the dollar store, and printed the Central Perk logo on vinyl.  I cut out the logo and adhered it to the coffee mug.  If you use waterproof Mod Podge, it will stay through washings. For wine charms, I made tags of the characters on Friends.  I even included characters like "Princess Consuela Banana Hammock" and "Miss Chanandler Bong" which gave my guests a fun laugh!

The wine labels I created on PhotoShop.

Menu:  Again, I tried to incorporate different scenes/well-known lines from Friends into my menu.  I started with a cheese and crackers appetizer. 

I bought a cow cookie cutter from the local cake shop for my cheese.  "Moo cows" as my 3-year old called them.  This was Joey's "moo point" a.k.a moot point.

I served lobster bisque with a bread stick cut to be a lobster.  This goes with the episode where Ross compares his connection to Rachel to lobsters that mate for life.  The bisque was good, and I received many compliments from the guests.  The lobster cookie cutter I bought at the same cake shop as the cow one.  I made the breadsticks out of pita bread that I then spread melted butter and Italian seasonings on. I baked them in a 375 oven for a little over 5 minutes.  Aren't they cute?

For the main dish, I made a shepherd's pie, and then layered it in a trifle bowl to represent Rachel's English Trifle.  In the episode, the pages of Rachel's recipe book stick together so her trifle is half meat/main dish and half dessert!  Even though Joey loves it in the episode, I decided to keep mine as just the shepherd's pie.

For dessert, I made a super-easy Coffee Cheesecake.  I knew I wanted to do some type of coffee-related dessert to pull in Central Perk again, but then I remembered the cheesecake episode of Friends where Rachel and Chandler love the cheesecake so much they eat it off the floor after accidentally dropping it.  Sometimes coffee-flavored items are too overpowering for me, but this Kraft recipe was delicious.  Just the right touch of coffee flavor.

Favor:  I decided to make personalized notepads for my take-home gift.  I designed the layout on Photoshop with the dimensions of 4.25 x 5.5 so that I could fit 4 on an 8.5x11 paper.  I printed out the copies, cut them using my paper cutter so they were all the exact same size, added a heavy piece of card stock to the back, and then glued the top together with Elmer's glue to make a spine. Make sure you use a vice of some sort to hold all the papers together tightly when you glue them, and leave it until the glue has completely dried.  I left mine overnight just in case.

My notepads were 50 pages each (every page has this design), and I thought that was the perfect amount of pages.

Next to the notepads, I had this sign.  It tied in my reason for giving a NOTEpad, but also let my girls know I'm Glad We're Friends.

Just love spending one dinner a month with these ladies.  Sickness and life's commitments prevented all 10 of us from being able to make it to this particular dinner, but the 7 of us FRIENDS who made it sure had a nice time.  Thanks for being "there for me" ladies!