Today, I’d like to welcome Ciara of Lost at Midnight Reviews to the Paris Month festivities! Like Meaghan from my Monday’s guest post review, Ciara is also one of the fabulous Ottawa Bloggettes that we’ve all become friends with and I’m excited to have her share their Paris-themed book club party for Paris Month this year! I love seeing all the pics and reading all about how it turned out. The food looked delicious!
My name is Ciara and I run the blog Lost at Midnight Reviews. Outside of blogging, I’m also a bookseller for Chapters and happen to run their teen book club. This March was our two year anniversary (lol wut, how has it been two years?!) and we chose Anna and the French Kiss as our book to read! And with that, our party theme was created: Paris.
We started planning the party in January. Yup, that’s right, two months to plan the party. My co-workers Jen, Elissa, and I brainstormed for days, sent lots of lots of Facebook messages, and made plenty of trips to the craft store in preparation for this party. I even managed to snag a beret from my friend! (And it was actually from Paris!) I was nervous as anything to put it on, and was obsessing about every little thing. Planning parties is not really my strong suit, and I wanted to make sure everything went according to plan. Finally, the day arrived and I really think all our hard work paid off!
The day of the party, Jen and I arrived at work about an hour and half early with a car full of stuff. Like FULL of stuff. We had help carrying it all in (because otherwise it would’ve taken us probably half hour) and set up shop in the back room of my Chapters location. Elissa was already there and we got to work moving the tables around. Even though I knew what we were going for, I didn’t expect it to end up so pretty! We kept the color scheme pink, black, and white (for the redesigned cover of Anna and the French Kiss!). We set up the room with pink and white table cloths, black and white hanging lanterns, and mason jars with flowers. We also bought little chalkboard signs for the food to look like a Parisian market!
Speaking of the food, there was a LOT of it. Jen, the lovely baker she is, made éclairs, crème brulee, peanut butter cups, peanut butter squares, and much more. There were also two kinds of cupcakes, a candy bar, Eiffel tower cookies, poodle cookies, the list just goes on and on! I think everyone was stuffed to the brim and on a massive sugar high by the end of the night.
All the girls showed up extra early, which was both great and, uh, not good (cause we were NOT ready). We had them all stand around the edges as we scrambled to get all the plates and food set up. Then we made them wait longer as we took pictures of all our hard work! (Seriously, I wanted evidence of how pretty it all looked) Finally, everyone got to sit down and were treated with a lovely surprise: books!
We were so lucky this year. The lovely Jackie from Random House sent us a massive box of ARCs, enough that every girl that came got one. And, with the edition of ARCs from Harper Collins, and Penguin, we even had enough to have prizes! We wrapped them up in white and pink wrapping paper and string, and little name tags for each person. We also made Paris bookmarks for everyone in different shades of pink. Jen surprised us all and made little beret and mustache photo props for everyone too! They were just delightful.
With all the preparation (and my seriously hectic life outside of party planning!) I didn’t have a ton of questions prepared for our discussion of Anna. But, it was okay because we had a lot of girls passionate about the book (for and against!) to keep the conversation going. Personally, I am solidly on Team Anna. I reread it for the discussion and loved it even more the second time! We talked about the romance, the gorgeous Parisian setting, and how much we all feel like travelling after reading this book. I’m dying to go to Paris even more now, and I didn’t think that was possible.
After lots of talking, lots of eating, and lots of laughing, we settled in to play a game of YA Jeopardy! Now, if anyone was at the Frenzy Presents event last summer, you’ll know us Ottawa Bloggers can get pretty competitive! Emilie and Jess made the quiz, so I was lucky enough to get to participate! We had questions on book boyfriends and book club members (including one on me being a Courtney Summers fangirl, shocking absolutely no one), books-turned-movies and more. The group I was in ended up winning and we got our selection of the prize books! After that, we finished up and set about doing the job of cleaning up the mess we made (it was quite messy) and packing everything back up.
Overall, our Paris-themed party was a definite success! Lots of work but all worth it in the end. Now I just need to get myself to the actual Paris!