When I committed to running the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon earlier this Spring, I immediately started dreaming of the finish and — to keep my eye on the prize– I suggested we host a party to celebrate the finish and a sunny afternoon with our family and friends. My husband, while not at all eager to run 13.1 miles, had his own secret ambitions of smoking meat. Cookout time!

chevron invitation

My colleagues have taught me that a good invite is always appreciated, so the talented Ann (hostess of numerous Paper Source events) whipped up something fun for this summer party. Somehow, she tied together my love of chevron, the cookout factor and the summer sunshine to create this party invitation. (The 4Bar size was just as fun as the sunshine and chevron design!)

My parents, who are no strangers to my ridiculous athletic endeavors, immediately responded to our invitation as if this event were any of the volleyball tournaments, soccer matches or basketball games they were forced to attended over the last 30+ years. My in-laws also enthusiastically agreed to cheer on myself and their daughter (who I roped into running), but to also oversee my husband’s culinary adventure. They even offered up their skills and cooked us a wonderful pre-race meal.

gift bags

With out-of-town guests this special, I decided to create little welcome bags full of treats, beverages and reading material to have at their hotels. A stranger to “theme” I even went so far as to coordinate these with the rest of the party, using chevron gift bags, baker’s twine and gift tags (made from Sunshine paper)!

Race day comes early, so I went over my table “plan” with my mom the night before.

My excuse for employing her help? I didn’t know how much time there would be for me to set up.

The truth? She’s just so much better at this stuff. (Gasp! But you work at Paper Source?! I know, I know, but my love for our products is really because of her!)

My mom can create accents from anything, rifle through her pantry to make a meal and tie a few bows to make something look like it wasn’t a mistake. She’s was the lady for job, not me.

party decorations

She and my mother-in-law took my random collection of goods and set a table that complimented the theme. They tied in a few rustic elements like a wood crate and canning jars.

ball jar ideas
With the help of some paper straws and baker’s twine, they also made cute drinking glasses for the racers and our birthday boy and girl.

party accents

They wrapped loose leaf tea containers in chevron gift wrap, which were used for forks, knives and spoons. The wrap also came in handy as a way to mark the stations of the table.

custom napkins

I was really excited to put out the custom napkins we ordered. While I was off running through Chicago, my husband stood watch over a Boston Butt… it took all evening, morning and afternoon to prepare this pork treat. I wanted something fun to celebrate his achievement (and his sense of humor) so we created these chevron napkins for the party.

summer party

With a little inspiration from my Paper Source family and some perspiration from my own family, I was successful in morphing from Runner-in-Training that morning to Hostess-in-Training that afternoon. Learning that Run + Sun + Fun = SLEEP!

— Liz

Favorite PS colors: sunshine & slate
Favorite PS product: Chevron Table Wrapping Paper