We recently celebrated my mom's 55th birthday. When I started talking to my dad about my mom's upcoming birthday, we immediately decided that we were up to the challenge of orchestrating a surprise luncheon. I started thinking of something that would stay true to who my mom was. I came up with a nautical/southern theme. My mother has always had a love for the water. She was also born & raised in the south. As a tribute to her 55 years, I had everyone write down their favorite memory shared with my mother. I know how fast get-togethers can fly by. This way, she can really sit down & relish her special day. When I think Southern, I think sweet tea! We served iced Arnold Palmers, diet sweet tea & sparkling water. All the drinks were served in mason jars & garnished with these paper straws I have been dying to use at a party. Both found at www.amazon.com . For the favors, I bagged up some homemade peanut butter fudge. I packaged the fudge in brown paper bags. I made the labels with some paper doilies & a favor label printed from www.weddingchicks.com . Since it was a hot Florida summer day, I felt it was a MUST to hand out fans for everyone to cool themselves off with! I printed the fans, along with everything else at www.weddingchicks.com . On the tables, I laid burlap table runners, with place mats at each table setting monogrammed with a D. I put a bag of barbecue chips at each seat, because, I mean who wants to dig into a chip bowl? Plus it was super cute for everyone to have their own personal bag! I made burlap rosettes to frame the welcome sign, reading : Grab an Iced Tea & Let's Sail Away! Welcome to Debbie's 55th Birthday Celebration. For lunch we served fried popcorn chicken, barbecue baked beans, baked macaroni and cheese & yeast rolls. Everything was served on bamboo plates purchased at www.amazon.com . Linen napkins were rolled around bamboo flatware & tied with twine. I made 2 table runners with old photos & double sided tape & adhered them to brown butchers paper. My mom is the typical sentimental mom & I knew all these old photos would really tug on her heartstrings(I have to admit, they tugged on mine too). Typically when I do any party, I try to keep a budget of $500 for 30-40 people (Tricky, I know!). My big splurge for this party was the bamboo plates, bamboo flatware, fabric for the linen napkins & mason jars. My order at amazon for the small dinner plates, dessert plates, forks, knives, paper straws & mason jars came to $110. I spent $50 at Joann's Fabric for all the fabric, including burlap for the table runners. I felt I could justify this splurge since I was using recycled beer bottles, taco sauce bottles & even tomato cans for vases. I also used in season flowers for all the arrangements. I must say that I think the splurge was well worth it. I can't even count how many times people came up to me saying how cool the bamboo looked. Everyone wanted to know where I had purchased them! Win!! :) For dessert, we served mini blueberry pies, chocolate chip cookie bars & yellow cupcakes with butter cream frosting. I made each cake plate using E600 glue with a dollar store candle stick & plate! I purchased yellow linen napkins that I just LOVE at www.target.com . While I was setting up the morning of the party (with the help of some loved ones), my dad took my mom out on their boat. I took a picture while we were all hiding in the corner, as they came in to dock.