Saturday night was my church's Mardi Gras party. It's one of our big fundraising events and it is a lot of fun since there's dinner, drinks, music, and a silent auction as well. People donate items or services to the auction and you never know just what you may find from year to year. Two years ago I took home a basket of kitchen type items, including candles placemats, which I still use today. Last year it was a fondue set, which I have been bad about using, but that may change shortly in the future.
This year, especially after getting TB excited about going to Mardi Gras with me, we both worked on building baskets of items for the silent auction. We decided to create baskets of items where people could give themselves an at-home spa day, the thought being that since the economy is down and folks don't want to spend the dough on going to the spa, they still want to be able to pamper themselves. So running with that idea, we started looking at items and throwing ideas back and forth, and ultimately we came up with two baskets, one for a couple, and the other for a "single" person. I put single in quotes because it was designed for one person, not for someone who is single.
Ultimately the baskets we came up with turned out very nicely. For the couple, there were two towels, a manicure kit, a facial mask, cucumber mint candles in holders, port wine, two wine glasses, Godiva chocolates, and massage oil. The single basket got one towel, one wine glass, the manicure kit, a sea salt and eucalyptus body scrub, a sugar cookie candle with a marble holder, a slightly smaller box of Godiva chocolates, body lotion, and a bottle of port wine as well. One could definitely spoil themselves for the day with this stuff.
In the afternoon, TB and I went down to the church to help decorate and set up for the party, and we brought along a friend of his, BB to help as well since he had the weekend off. Setup was fairly easy since there were other folks there as well, plus a few of them had wanted to meet TB anyway. I helped get some decorations up, got the stereo hooked up for music, and then helped finish blowing up balloons for the tables before all was said and done. TB and I then headed home to change into our costumes for the festivities in the evenings.
In true Mardi Gras fashion, we both had masks for the event. TB had a green man mask that he wore along with a shirt that matched in a similar pattern. I wore the dragon shirt my parents gave me along with a tiger mask. They definitely were noticed at the party :-) We all mingled for a while before having dinner. Dinner consisted of a buffet of bruschetta, jambalaya, fried fish, stuffed mushrooms, and salad, along with soda and wine for drinks. For dessert there was bread pudding with rum sauce.
After dinner we mingled out in the hall and bid on items for the silent auction. I shamelessly promoted our baskets in between looking over and making a few bids on some things I wanted. As tables started closing out, that's when things got exciting for a few items that people were hovering over. A bidding war started for the cider, a week vacation at a house in Maine, some jewelry, and the couples spa basket. It was fun to watch and see just what people went crazy over. When the night was over, I walked away with a beaded nametag necklace, a bin of Super Nintendo games, and a basket which had the theme of the stained glass at the National Cathedral. TB walked away with a homemade prayer shawl for his aunt.
Besides the auction, there was the mingling as well, especially to see some of the folks I had not seen in a while. Everyone seemed to like TB, which was a plus as well considering that some he had met before from attending service, but others were meeting him for the first time. He and BB hit if off well with one of our members to where there's talk of getting together for a wine party or even a game night with a few of the other church folk as well. I'd say they like him ;-)
Finally the festivities were done, we all stayed to help clean up before going home. Now to just plot for next year's silent auction, we have ideas already *evil laughter*