Birthday picnic

This past weekend I had a small birthday celebration. About two month ahead of time I had decided that I wanted something simple, outdoorsy, and colorful! So hanging out in the park it was! I found this perfect park about 30 minutes from downtown. A little far for the people on the other side of town, but they showed up nonetheless (I am blessed for the friends I have)! The park has awesome pavilions that you can reserve, but half of them are first-come-first-serve. We drove to the park a couple of weeks before my actual birthday to check out the grounds. I picked out a pavilion next to the lake, which was first-come-first-serve and could not be reserved. Dmitry and I were planning on waking up early to drive to the park to grab that exact pavilion. But as reality sets in, and because of a late night planning the night before, I woke up an hour later than planned (notice I said “I”, not “we”). We still got to the park pretty early (around 10 am), but all the pavilions were already taken. Apparently everyone had the same idea as us, send one person in early to grab the spot, and wait for the rest of the party. But I still consider ourselves pretty lucky because we were able to grab a smaller shelter with four table, which actually ended up being the perfect size for our party.

I started collecting the items about a month before my birthday, like these red striped straws I found at Michael’s.

Birthday Picnic 2

And these glass beverage dispensers that were on sale at Kroger.

Birthday Picnic 3

Then for the Memorial Day I received a catalog from Crate & Barrel, which copied almost exactly what my birthday party looked like in my head (how did they know?)

Crate & Barrel Summer Picnic.

Although I was a little mad they tapped into my brain without my permission, it was really helpful to have a visual representation of what I had in mind.

This is what it looked like once everything was set-up. Much of the stuff was actually found at the dollar store, which is great for an outdoor picnic away from home (you can just toss everything away and not worry about washing it).

Birthday Picnic 4

The drinks are not fully mixed in the photo below yet because I was waiting for everyone to arrive to make them fresh. In the photo above the drinks are mixed. Also on the photo above, notice a little dome with blue base. It was a birthday present that day from my best friend. It was perfect timing since I forgot a bowl for the pretzel buns and the little net that goes over the top kept the flies and other bugs away from it! They sell these at WorldMarket, so I think I might get more!

For drinks I made a “White Peach Mojito” and a “Virgin Blackberry Fizz”.

Peach Mojito:

Lemonade, white rum, white peaches, crushed mint.

Virgin Blackberry Fizz:

Lemonade, club soda, blackberries, mint.

I might have gotten a little too excited with the mint and used too much, I recommend using a little bit and then setting some on a side so people can add more if they wish.

Birthday Picnic

Oh yeah, there was also food. We made chicken and beef kebabs, which I marinated the night before.

For the chicken:

Premixed chicken garlic and herbs seasoning, lemon juice, olive oil, and more minced garlic.

For the beef:

I kept it simple with Kefir, salt, pepper, and cut onions.

The boys took care of grilling during the picnic.

Birthday Picnic 5

We also threw some beans in a slow cooker. We still have a lot and a lot of beans! Want to come over for a bean dinner?

Birthday Picnic 7

And these adorable picnic baskets I found at WalMart (I purchased them in sets of four with lining already included).

Birthday Picnic 8

And I just realized that I did not get a picture of the desert, which was a Caramel Tres Leches cake from Costco and was a big hit (maybe that’s why I don’t have a photo of it, it went fast)!

Although it was a warm Texas summer day, it was awesome to get outside and hang out with amazing and fun people. Aside from sweating, I hope everyone had a good time, and we can have more picnic parties in the future!


  1. by Love Z on June 16, 2014  10:11 am Reply

    Happy birthday, Iryna! Looks like yummy fun!

  2. by Carolyn on June 16, 2014  3:24 pm Reply

    Wow! It looks like so much fun. Sorry I couldn't be there :( very pretty!

  3. by Katya on June 18, 2014  4:29 pm Reply

    My mouth is watering thinking of the food! The drinks were extra good :D

    • by Iryna on June 18, 2014  4:32 pm Reply

      Food (and drinks) outdoors always taste better for some reason!

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