Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sweet 15 Rustic Birthday Party Highlights


A quinceañero is one of the most important celebrations for fifteen-year-old Latina girls. It represents the rite of passage of a young girl to womanhood. For Latinas from Puerto Rico like us, this is an old and revered tradition that is constantly evolving. Aesthetically, the quinceañera resembles a wedding. It is an extravagant event that encompasses many aspects of a marriage ceremony: the family, the dress, the dance, the cake, the gifts, the fancy venue, and lets not forget the glorious food.


It's no secret that quinceañeros are often as costly as a wedding and many families use this opportunity to flaunt their wealth and social status. Planning a quinceañero or "Sweet 15" can be stressful especially when you want to follow the tradition but since we are anything but traditional we took a different route. When planning for this event we made a list of all the things we dislike like about quinceañeros and one thing was crystal clear, we didn't want the big puffy dress, or the overly formal ceremony. We wanted a birthday for a modern quinceanera, something the kids would actually enjoy. Kids these days hate formality so keeping it casual was crucial. 


We drove around Duluth, Lawrenceville and Suwanee and checked out a few venues but we were quickly discouraged when we saw all the “extra” fees we needed to pay (on top of the basic rental fee). So after a lot of disappointments, and almost calling the whole thing off... I decided to give it another try and use Yelp to help me find an affordable venue.


The biggest challenge was finding a place that was pretty, affordable and private. At this point I was pulling my hairs out, I had no idea how in the world I could pull this off with such a limited budget. I mean, I searched everywhere, what I'm missing??? And then it happened, I stumbled across Rustic Couch, a quirky, super cute gourmet cafe and restaurant eatery lounge in Duluth. They had a 20 person capacity private room that comes with a huge table, and a big comfy sofa. All they ask is a minimum food purchase (I believe it was $150) in exchange for the use of room. I was sold, I didn't have to cook or hire a caterer, nor did I needed to bring munchies since we were ordering food for everyone. It was settled, we were going to have a sweet 15 in a coffee shop! How untraditional! 


Let me tell you about Rustic Couch, this place is so stinking adorable and the food is really good. if you are a foodie you will love this place. Besides their oh so yummy salted caramel lattes and shut the front door fried Oreos, they offer a huge variety of bubble tees. If you want to eat light they offer a variety of small bites like crispy (bun) banh bao, fired calamari, tempura chicken tenders, spicy crawfish dip and potstickers among other things.


Now if you are really hungry you can order big bites like a banh mi burger, bulgogi cheesesteak, pho chili dog, blackened tilapia sandwich and a variety of Asian inspired tacos like blackened shrimp, bulgogi, and tempura fish.


The kids absolutely loved spending time here, they ate, they laugh, they ordered coffee (you know teens and coffee...) and had a marvelous time. I had several moms approached me and asked me how did I find the place. They all live in the area and never heard of it before. When I told them I found it on Yelp and that the room was free and I was only paying for the food,  jaws dropped to the floor.  


For the birthday cake we normally buy one at Publix but I wanted something special for my quinceañera so we ordered a naked cake with alternate layers of white chocolate whipped cream and raspberry mouse from Anna of  Aroma Desserts. I found her on Instagram through a hashtag! She is a very talented baker and was able to reproduce the cake we wanted to the tee. She lives in Gwinnett so if you have a birthday coming up I highly recommend her. You can see all her creations on her Instagram page.


Now the dress. You can't really appreciate it on the pictures but it was super chic. We bought it at Love Culture at The Perimeter Mall. This place has an H&M vibe but is more oriented to an audience that's not afraid to wear a dress. They have sooo many dresses to choose from and all of them are less than $40 dollars. This our favorite store to buy dresses for events. You can get most of them online, so if you don't have a store in your area, do not panic.

After our late lunch it was time to allow the kids to be be, well kids! My daughter is a competitive shooter so we ended going to Laser Quest in Satellite Blvd to play Laser Tag. Again, very untraditional but fun. We were able to stay on budget and came home quite tired but happy. The quinceañero was accomplished. We survived!  


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