Celebrate: Dad’s 65th Surprise Birthday

11505671855_2cca233457_oBy Tiffany Young

In September, we threw my dad a surprise birthday party for his 65th year. It was a lot of fun helping plan and getting everything together, even though it was tricky and took a lot of work.

We decided to celebrate 2 weeks ahead of time, since my brother and I both had long weekends for Labor Day. I thought for sure my dad suspected something, since 1) my mom wasn’t home when I got there, 2) my mom and I went “shopping” at 7 a.m. the day of the party because I needed “work clothes” and we sent him to the movies with my brother ALONE.

My mom and I made the guitar cake, which turned out well, but we both thought it could have been better if we’d have more time. I had her buy some strawberries for us to throw around the top and sides to spruce it up. The cake turned out delicious!

We also had some good appetizers, which my cousin and aunt ended up helping with since they showed up a little early and we still had so much left to do.


Favorites included pinwheels; watermelon, feta and mint with balsamic vinaigrette; Caprese salad and cheese and crackers.


Neighbors, old friends and a few relatives came and drank wine, ate food and enjoyed each others’ company.


Looking back at the pictures reminds me just how precious every birthday really is, as one of the neighbors who is in the pictures has passed away since then, just about a week ago unexpectedly.

That being said, I wish everyone a happy holiday and to remember to enjoy those you love right now in the moment, because you never know what will happen. I know it’s cliche, but it’s true. Hug (or spoon) someone you love today! Happy holidays!

Gaining 5 pounds in a weekend

Every time I visit my hometown of Texarkana I gain five pounds. I blame it on my mom’s cooking! Or maybe it’s that we watch a lot of TV AND my mom’s cooking. Either way, it happens. Last weekend, I went home to see my parents, since my dad had a hernia operation (which went really well).

My mom made homemade spaghetti filled with veggies, peach pie and quesadillas. Yum Yum!

Like I’ve mentioned before, she is a pastry chef instructor, so the lattice work was all done expertly at home—I’ll have to make a video of it the next time I go home to show everyone how easy she makes it look!

Anyway, I just wanted to show off some of the meals we ate and how cute her kitchen staples are, with chalkboard labels.

Have a great weekend!