Monday, July 10, 2017

Dad's 70th party

Sooo, blogging while I was on vacation did not happen. With both sets of family in the same city, we really didn't have any down time at all. I know I shouldn't be hard on myself. It's a hobby, and everyone understands that real life happens. But, I hate leaving you guys hanging without warning, so I apologize for the inadvertent radio silence!!

All that out of the way, we are back! We were gone Sunday to Sunday, and I will definitely share all the details about what we did and what I wore over the next few days, but I wanted to fast forward to the end of the vacation first when we had a 70th birthday party for my dad! I loved wearing this dress so much!

Outfit details--- Sunnies: Ray Ban | Earrings: Kendra Scott "Addie"Dress: Express (limited sizes) (other lace dress options here and here) | Bracelet: Kendra Scott "Candice"Shoes: Valentino "Rockstud" ---

Let's go ahead and talk about this dress first before we go into the details about the party. I bought it during the Memorial Day sales, so unfortunately, sizes are pretty limited at this point. I still posted the exact link in case you get lucky and see it in stores, or if they happen to stock additional sizes. I always size up when things are fitted through the bodice like this - so I'm wearing a size 6 for reference. I'm 5'-2" and the length was comfortable on me, though I would be wary if you are any taller than me as it could turn into a pretty short mini dress!

The party was held at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Orange County. My sister and I planned it for about 100 (!!) guests. Dinner was outside in a courtyard space and then there were additional tables inside surrounding the dance floor where the DJ was. We decided to go with outside catering because my dad really wanted Chinese food. (This was definitely higher end Chinese food, not your typical greasy spoon hole-in-the-wall that you're used to.) We had appetizers and open bar service for the first hour of the party, with family style dinner served closer to 7pm. My dad made it clear that he wanted family style vs. a buffet or single entrees. 

We started with Crab & Asparagus soup followed by House Special Shrimp and Spinach with Garlic Sauce. The main courses were Salt and Pepper Lobster, French Style Beef Steak, and Shrimp Fried Rice. We had fruit and THREE cakes for dessert because my mom's birthday falls the day after my dad's and my brother in law's birthday is on the 11th. Needless to say, no one left hungry!

We had friends and family send videos and old photos of my dad so that we could show a video presentation after dinner. He was so surprised by this! Oh! Speaking of surprises! My brother and sister-in-law recently had a baby (Memorial Day weekend to be exact!) My brother didn't think he was going to make it, but ended up booking his flight super last minute. He literally flew in from San Antonio Saturday morning and flew out at 8am Sunday morning! It was a whirlwind for sure, but my dad's reaction was priceless! 

We weren't sure how he was going to make his entry, especially since the party started outdoors. We had him hiding out in my cousin's hotel room until my sister and I could confirm my dad's arrival and whereabouts at the party! We distracted him from turning around and seeing my brother walk into the courtyard by having him pose for group photos. What he didn't realize was that my brother came up and stood behind him for one of those photos. My dad had no idea he was in a photo with my brother until we handed him the phone so he could see for himself! You can watch his reaction in this quick video here! It makes me happy cry just re-telling the story. So happy we were able to surprise my dad!

After the video presentation and cakes, it was time to dance! We had a couple of ballroom dance instructors there to instruct the crowd on the dance floor. In addition to your typical "line" dances (Electric Slide, Cupid Shuffle, The Wobble, Cha Cha Slide, etc.) they taught us moves to Uptown Funk, Blurred Lines, among others, and I was so not good at this.  Dancing is definitely not in my skill set! Especially after bourbon! Ha! But it was still a lot of fun to burn calories and have my own little dance party!

The party went all the way to midnight and my parents were troopers and were the last to leave. My dad made a little speech prior to dinner saying that the party really wasn't for him, it was for all of the attendees since we all shaped his life and made him who he is today. We had people fly in from Texas, Florida, and the midwest, and he even knew the DJ since he was 5 years old because they used to be neighbors. How cool is that? It was touching to watch the video and see the outpouring of love for my dad. Proud to be his daughter!

And that is it! Such a fun way to end our week in California! Again, more to come about the rest of the trip! Until then - have a great Monday!


Linking up with Rachelle
Linkup Button
Hosted by:

Whether it's fashion, lifestyle, fitness, food, or DIY, share your latest musings with the Hello Monday Linkup! We just ask that you link back to the hosts within your exact blog post and throw a follow our way on Bloglovin or Instagram. Thanks for linking up!


  1. That is such a pretty dress! And perfectly paired with those shoes.Have a great week xx

  2. Aww, a belated happy birthday to your dad, what a special event you were able to organise for him! I love the cute dress you wore too. Sound like you had an amazing time, don't feel bad about leaving the blog, like you said life happens and family is always more important.

    Thank you for the link up!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  3. Adore this dress on you, looking stunning! Jacqui

  4. I could tell the party was a success and you look amazing in that dress.


  5. Love the dress and the party sounds perfect!

  6. I adore this chic dress Carylee! I love the color and lace details. Sounds like it was an amazing party for your dad.


  7. Awww! What a wonderful tribute to your dad! He sounds like a very special man to have so many people come together to honor him!

    More to Mrs. E

  8. Your outfit is terrific Carylee! Happy Birthday to your dad!

  9. I am loving this dress, but that video is priceless! Such a special moment and how awesome that you were able to catch it on video!


  10. Wow! What an amazing birthday party. I love hearing your story, especially how your brother surprised your dad. So sweet. Such a pretty dress too!

  11. Oh, Carylee---what an amazing party for your dad!! I bet he'll treasure the memories forever!!

  12. The party looked SO fun! And your dress was just gorgeous! Thanks for letting us follow along on Insta/Snap! It was very entertaining! :)
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  13. So impressed you planned such a big party from a distance! You look AMAZING! I just love this dress on you. Party looks like it was a success. No worries about not blogging while gone. I'm glad you got to enjoy family.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  14. A perfect summer party dress! You look so lovely and happy birthday to your dad! Peace!

  15. Sounds like you put on a wonderful party for your dad's 70th!
    This dress is beautiful and looks amazing on you!

    xx, Elise

  16. Beautiful dress! Sounds like the birthday celebration was a huge success.

  17. Happy Birthday to your dad. Your dress is beautiful and you look fab!

    I took it easy on blogging last week as well. Off days don't have to be blogging and social media days.

  18. Such a sweet story with your dad and brother! Thanks for sharing! (And your dress is lovely.)


  19. That's a really nice thing that your dad said in his speech about all the people who have shaped his life. He sounds like quite the man. Glad you were able to surprise him.
    I hope you have a great week.

  20. Sounds like a wonderful birthday celebration! Love your gorgeous dress!

  21. His party sounds so found and I love your dress!

  22. Hi Carylee,
    Congratulations to your dad! 70 is huge! I am glad he had a great time. I love your dress and your sandals. You look gorgeous.

    Thank you for organizing your link up, I joined.
    P.S. I am organizing a link up as well. Feel free to join and share your latest post.

  23. OOh. Your dress is simply gorgeous. Pretty find!

  24. This dress looks amazing on you! How wonderful of you and your sister to plan a big birthday bash for your dad- I'm sure you made him so happy!


    I hope you are having a great week so far!


  25. This dress is stunning! I love that it looks like a self portrait look alike! At least I think that's the brand? But why does Express do this?! They make something incredible and don't re-stock. I checked and only one size is left :( Well you look beautiful in it though!

  26. This dress is stunning - love the colour on you! Also that was such a sweet clip with your dad and brother ❤️