Monday, July 20, 2009

Man’s Day/Night Out

What kind of a gift would a man really enjoy receiving? I figure time out for just doing guy things. So that’s what I gave my husband and a bunch of his buddies on Saturday—golf in the morning and poker that night in honor of my husband’s birthday which is actually today.

After stealthy covert ops for the last couple of weeks, I actually managed to surprise him with all this. Surreptitious planning is hard to do when the honoree lives with you.

Surprise Golf Outing

Getting my husband to the golf course without his knowing where we were going was fairly easy with a bit of convoluted subterfuge on my part. Hiding the golf clubs and goodie bags were more problematic, but I managed.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The invitation sent out along with directions to the golf course attached on the back with a golf tee.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Each player’s goodie bag (seen in the photo held by my husband): a homemade blueberry muffin (I was baking at 5 a.m.), carton of Goldfish crackers, and the following....

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

… a golf ball sleeve made out of cardstock using an idea from Vale Designs. I used her template to trace out the boxes on heavy-weight cardstock. Coolers with ice and bottled water were loaded on the carts (with the golf club’s permission)—survival tools for Arizona’s heat. After their game, Jim (one of my husband's golf buddies) kindly treated the group to lunch which bought me some more prep time for the poker event.

Surprise Poker Night

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The front and back of the poker party invitation I made using cardstock and then laminating. The end result looks like a real playing card, just oversized (each is 4½-by-6½ inches).

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Cardstock sleeves held the invitation. On the outside is a poker chip label I made identifying the guest.

My oblivious husband played on his computer upstairs while I started “his” dinner: grilled rib-eye steaks, baked potatoes, giant Portobello mushrooms with onions, salad, and lobsters. The guys showed up promptly at 6—surprise! Let’s eat.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

I had the guys eat outside by the pool, so I could get the poker stuff ready. Until they came inside, my husband still didn’t know about the poker game. Here’s my recipe for the Portobello mushrooms, I just made it up on the fly, so to speak:

Portobello Mushrooms and Onions

Pre-heat oven to 350°

  • 6 whole Portobello mushrooms, rinsed and gently patted dry with a towel.
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thin
  • 6 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • Olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic
In a sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the sliced onions, and the garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent and just about to get golden brown in color.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush the foil with olive oil and then do the same with each side of the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms gill-side up on the baking sheet.

Top each mushroom with the onion mixture. Bake at 350° for approximately 20 minutes.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

The cake I made while everyone was on the golf course in the morning came out of hiding after dinner before I escaped for the evening. It was meant to look like two stacked poker chips but merely looked strange. Ah well, it was delicious. The filling between the two layers is a mixture of blueberries (my husband’s favorite) and whipped cream.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Guys don’t care about things like take-home favor bags, but my final offering was left by the front door for each of them when leaving at the end of the night. I used glassine bags with a card thank-you label I made, and sealed with a paper poker chip personalized with each player’s name.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Inside is a laminated cheat sheet made using a free printable poker hand rankings from here and a dice poker game bought at the game store at Park Mall.

It’s amazing that all the guys involved, their wives, and I managed to keep all the preparations and arrangements secret from my husband. My husband was thrilled with his day and that’s what it’s all about.


Kristie said...

What a lovely birthday celebration you created. Send Dub my happy b-day wishes, please.

It's my dad's b-day this week; he'll be 60. Maybe you don't have to tell Dub that part... ;o)

Storybook Woods said...

Oh my gosh June, you must be the world best wife. Happy birthday to your hubby. I see we share the same day xoxox Clarice

Connie said...

Your creativity never ceases to amaze me - and I'm your sister! And I think the cake looked great - despite your opinion. I'm so glad all your hard work made the Dubhunney happy. I knooow you had fun!

greetingarts said...

Oh, June, it's all wonderful! The world would be a much better place if everyone had someone in their lives like you. Happy Birthday, Dub, and I think the cake looks very much like two stacked poker chips.

sassypriscilla said...

Holy smokes, June. I want to be married to you. You are so thoughtful! You are the epitome of creativity! What a great gift.

Lorrie said...

What a wonderful birthday surprise for your husband. I love the way you took the time and effort to do something that HE would enjoy - what a great wife!


fotoshooter43 said...

You are amazing!!! Are you coming here next May 22 to help me with my hubby's 50th? This is fantastic! The only plan I have set is making a movie of pictures through the years I have of him, and of course dinner with friends. Perhaps if it is OK, I may copy a bit of the poker party planning and add that to the day.
Happy Birthday Dub!!

Heidi said...

Living with you must be an absolute adventure, June! Dub done good when he found you.

brandee227 said...

You go girl!!!! What a great bond you two have! Awesome party awesome planning and awesome ideas!

JanM said...

June~I have never seen so much creativity come from one person in my life. What a gift!

FinnyKnits said...

I can just feel the love there, Junie - such a sweet, creative and clever tribute to your hubs on his birthday.

And now I will ask you to please not tell Bubba all that you've done for Dub given I can't promise anything nearly so well-executed and amazing.

Incredible! said...

Aww, this is sooo sweet! So many fabulous ideas in this post!

Shauna said...

I love everything you did for DubHunny! I bet he had a wonderful birthday!! Please tell him we say hello and Happy Birthday from all of us - we love and miss him lots!

The VA Hunts

Alison Gibbs said...

What a wonderful birthday gift.

DIane Schuller said...

Oh June you are brilliant ... and talented, and sneaky :), and just downright an amazing wife! What a great day of surprises. I'm so impressed with all the details and all the home-created items you put together. Happy Birthday to Dub!

nicolette said...

I told you before, you don’t stop to amaze me! You created a wonderful birthday celebration for your husband! All those hand-made gifts and food....! W.O.W.!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

A belated happy 61 st birthday to Dub! It looks like you gave him a very memorable birthday, June! I loved all the ideas and all your clear instructions. My husband's idea of a fun outing would be a rock concert..he never grew!

Hugs, Pat

Jane said...

You are so clever and creative! I'm sure your husband must've really enjoyed his birthday celebration!
Jane - Jacksonville

shenry said...

Man-oh-man... you are the hostess with the mostest. You've really upped the ante (poker reference) for birthday parties. Seriously, I will be expecting a intricate and well-planned event for my bday next year.

Robyn said...

This is great! Did you use a template for the invites? Or how did you make it? Thanks for your time! Great job!! =)

Junie Moon said...

Robyn, send me an email and I'll send you the template I made for the invitation. Your comment doesn't leave a reply email address for me.

Venci said...

Hi June

I was browsing to find envelopes for my son's B'day party and found your idea very interesting, if you could tell me how / where to get those envelopes I would really appreciate your help, thank you


Neha Al said...

this brilliant just downright an amazing wife.. With a great day of surprises to share Happy Birthday wishes to Dub..