It seems like just yesterday Ben and I were two crazy teenagers falling in love.  We started out as dance partners in show choir, flirted for months and months, and eventually we went on a date.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Now here we are in our home with our two unbelievably awesome children, real jobs, so much to be thankful for.  And suddenly, Ben is thirty and in a few more months I’ll be right there with him.  Though he never expects or wants much of a fuss over his birthday, I couldn’t let this milestone pass without at least a small celebration.

The problem was, he’s basically the most low maintenance guy in the world.  No involved theme or ultra-coordinating decor needed – that’s just not his style.  I kept thinking and thinking of his favorite things and which one could provide a central theme until I finally realized that a simple party including many of his favorites was just the right choice.  Even though it is so simple, I thought I’d still go ahead and share it here in case the non-theme theme provides inspiration for any of my readers.

(If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know our love for The Office runs deep.  It only seemed appropriate to have the “It is your birthday.” sign as a backdrop for the party.)

As a funny turn of fate for this foodie, Ben’s favorite foods are very simplistic.  This man loves cereal.  He would gladly eat it for every meal if he could.  I made sure there was some cereal at the party.  To make it even more fun, we had these Cubs hat bowls.  Remember these bowls?  Like they used to have at Baskin Robbins back in the day?  Ben is a huge Cubs fan and wanted one of these his whole childhood, but never got one.  I was able to find them on eBay and he was definitely pumped about it.  Andrew has also been enjoying them ever since the party :)

He also really, really loves chips.  Unfortunately we don’t buy them often, so as a treat I bought lots of chips for the party.  I decided to layer them in this large glass jar that I normally might use for beverages.  Basically the easiest thing ever and a fun way to present chips.

Next to chips and cereal, Ben also really loves sandwiches.  I love serving slider-sized sandwiches at parties because they are easy to make, portable, and always a huge hit.  This time I made Italian, ham and cheese, and pulled pork sandwiches.  Lots and lots, and almost none were left.  I’m pretty convinced you can never make too many sliders for a party.

The menu was very random, meat-centric, and decidedly not well rounded.  The full menu included:
The cereal bar
Potato chip trifle
Bacon lover’s mac and cheese
BLT panzanella
Assorted sliders/sandwiches

In addition to the Cubs, the other sports teams we cheer for include IU and the Colts.  I decided to honor each with a quick batch of sugar cookies decorated with royal icing.  I loved the way these turned out.  People get very excited about cookies with royal icing!

Like about 99% of guys his age, Ben is a big Star Wars fan.  I didn’t have time to make the Star Wars sugar cookies, so instead I made some chocolate cupcakes, popped them onto the left over cupcake tower from Andrew’s recent birthday party, and topped them with these fun Star Wars toppers.  People loved these.  As a bonus, after enjoying the cupcakes, the toppers can be used to act out scenes from the movies.  This may or may not have occurred.

We topped off the food portion of the celebration with a bananas foster birthday cake that I unknowingly topped with 30 trick/sparkler candles.  Ben didn’t get them all out in one breath (or five) but it definitely made for some good laughs.  I’m so thankful for my wonderful, supportive, loving husband.  We’re looking forward to many, many more birthdays together!