Many of my friends are turning 30 this year. Birthdays are a HUGE deal among my friends. I happen to come from (I use “come from” on purpose) a group of friends who grew up in households that make birthdays an amazing time of the year. SO, when my first dear friend was turning 30 I wanted to do something special. Now, this friend has lived in a variety of places in his life, he is a fan of the arts (especially the theater), he is a HUGE giver and enjoys the nicer (sometimes pricier) things in life – WHAT DO YOU GET FOR THIS TYPE OF INDIVIDUAL?!

First, my husband and I are fans of all types of beers (more to come on that topic in later posts) and we recently took soon-to-be-30-year-old-friend (let’s call him Jose) beer tasting with us. Our goal of THAT beer tasting trip was Sour Beers.  Jose LOVED them…he was an olive and onion sandwich eating 5 year old so it should have come as no surprise that he would take a liking to one of our favorite, more unique, types of beer. But I digress…I decided to purchase a few hard to find sours*and pair them with personalized British Pint glasses from Things Remembered. BUT I needed something more!

SO, I thought I’d “bring the fun” by purchasing 30 colorful balloons and attach quotes from each of his dear friends on cardstock. With the help of Facebook, I was able to connect with his friends from the East Coast, Los Angeles, our hometown and his parents and gather their “favorite things about Jose.” WELL, the responses were incredible – the first email I received made me cry. So, balloons that would eventually lose air and land in the garbage were simply not going to cut it so…I WENT TO PINTEREST.

After attending a party where a poster was created using words that describe my grandmother-in-law I decided I wanted to create a typography poster. Go ahead, type “typography poster” into your Pinterest, LOOK AT ALL OF THE IDEAS!!!

So, this is what I did –

STEP 1: I found an AH-MAZE-ING Instagram photo of Jose on his Facebook page

STEP 2: Found a great matted frame at ROSS

STEP 3: Fit the photo to a PowerPoint slide (with enough of a border so the 8×10 matte would show enough of the photo). Then played with the “CONTRAST and BRIGHTNESS” of the photo to push it into the background.

STEP 4: Cut and paste the quotes, messages, love letters and sayings from his friends into a TEXT box “on top” of the photo and played with the fonts…I blew up iconic “Jose” words and made them different fonts so they would stand out (I received SO many responses, some very long, so the words were VERY small (size 10), but it still looked GREAT).

STEP 5: I printed the file on photo paper at home and framed it…added a bow and viola!


There were tears, hugs, TONS of laughs and discussion of the quotes throughout Jose’s 30th birthday bash…and days later, I still received texts and Facebook messages of thanks. It was a PROJECT, but it was SOOO worth it.

*My all time favorite sours can all be found at the Russian River Brewing Co. – Supplication and Consecration can be found in specialty beer stores…sometimes:


2 thoughts on “The BIG 3-0 – GIFT IDEAS!

    • Thank you Lax Cat Creations! I had a great time creating it as well. In fact, in a way it made me appreciate my friend even more, especially how he finds the time to make MANY people feel so incredible. Thanks for reading!

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