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Geocaching is so damn cool. It's basically a never-ending word wide treasure hunt! You sign up at the website, type in your city, find a geocache you want to look for and then put it's co-ordinates into your GPS device! The main rule is that when you take something, you must leave something. Simple as that! I think it would be such a unique way to give someone their birthday gift. Put it in the geocache the night before, and then take your friend out hunting for it. You'll have to play dumb a bit as you already know where it is! When they do find it and there's a wrapped gift addressed to them in there....who wouldn't squeal with delight!?
I love cocktails, drinking them and mixing them. Everybody loves an excuse to dress up fancy and pretend they're Holly Golightly for the evening. You could even get yourself one of those fabulous cigarette holders to really fit the part! The cocktails create a fun activity where everybody can participate, learn something new and get pissed all at once! All you really need is a shaker, stirrer (also known as a fancy spoon to us poor folk) and a muddler if you want to make mojitos. Make sure you have lots of ice and lemons, limes and cherries for garnishes. You can decide on a few cocktails ahead of time and ask each guest to bring a kind of booze that goes in it so you don't spend a fortune on a bunch of weird liqueurs you'll never drink again. Tip: Long Island Iced Tea is so easy to make and a good way to use up leftover booze! Take equal parts gin, vodka, rum, tequila, triple sec and lemon juice and shake it over ice. Pour on top of cola and you've got yourself a party. Be careful, though. They creep up on you! For some ideas and recipes try this cocktail blog.
Theme Your Costume Party
Yes, everyone and their dog has had a costume party but I don't care, I think they're wonderful and I will never, ever get tired of dressing up! Instead of the usual "wear a costume" invite, think of something a bit more unique to the birthday person. My friend, Jeff, loves Madonna so much and she is just ripe with dress up opportunities, so we all went as different incarnations of Madonna. He really appreciated the gesture, although none of us wore the infamous cone bra! For another friends birthday, we held a cowboys and indians party and decorated the whole house like a saloon. We found these amazing plastic wall covers at a party supply store, complete with "windows" that look out onto the desert. We even bought bows and arrows and cap guns so we could have a proper western showdown. It was absoloutely hilarious and everybody had an amazing time.
Have a Tea Party
You can wear frou frou dresses and put too much blush on your cheeks. Make amazing cupcakes and jam and croissants. Drink red wine out of your teacup instead of Earl Grey. We may not be kids, and we may not like to admit it, but everybody likes to play pretend. I can't quite explain why, but there is something so satisfying about drinking out of a nice cup. I'm sure when you make your morning coffee there's a favorite mug you always grab. Well, tea parties give you that same feeling. Like you're drinking or eating something really, really special. Get everybody to bake something and bring it or theme it Mad Hatter if you want and see how damn crazy everyone gets!
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Wine and Cheese Tasting
Before you start thinking that a wine tasting sounds all pretentious and stuffy let me just say that every wine tasting I've ever participated in ended with everybody absolutely wasted. Not that I'm encouraging that, but it certainly doesn't have to be boring and I firmly believe that spitoons are optional. Pairing wine and cheese is easier than you would think and the combinations can be heavenly! My favorites are champagne and chevre to get you started, both are nice light flavors that won't linger on your palette. If you're not a fan of the fizz, Sauvignon Blanc works as well. Follow it with some Rioja or Cabernet Sauvignon paired with a sharp aged cheddar. Try the wine alone, then the cheese, so when you try them together you really appreciate they way they compliment each other. Finish off with the strong flavors of stilton paired with port. I used to hate stilton, I thought it smelled and tasted like dirty socks but somehow it's grown on me and I enjoy the nasty stench of it now! You can even go one step further and add fruit to the mix as well. This is a very comprehensive guide of about every cheese in the world, it seems, and what wine to pair with it. Experiment! Try foods you've never eaten before and broaden your horizons a bit, you won't regret it!