How to Throw a Serotinel Soiree without Going Bankrupt!

party collage 1
Last photo (fruit) courtesy of Vinod

Since my good friend Vinod was back in town —for a short period of time– we wanted to celebrate this momentous occasion by throwing him a party.  Cyriac tasked me to be the brainchild behind this shindig and even gave me leeway to be super bossy. Nice!

The three of us (as you can see above) wanted to make it as pretentious as possible so Vinod went on and used a highly convoluted word as our party headliner:  Vinod’s Serotinal Soiree.   Serotinal means occurring in late summer and that was precisely the kind of party it was, held in late summer.

Initially, I was going to make the party low-key but, I decided a few days before the party to theme it—and to have a dress code.

Borrowed from a fashion site.
Borrowed from a fashion site.

Everyone had to to dress club ready and not skimp on fashion threads. Party colors were black, red and white; and I wanted everyone to sample high-end wines, gobble decadent appetizers, and play a rousing game of “Cards Against Humanity.”  Some may ask: how do you plan a fancy party under a stringent budget?

Well, it wasn’t too hard since I knew where to get my decorations, food, and ambiance from.

party collage 2
Photos courtesy of Vinod

Vinod and I shopped til we dropped. We traipsed over to the Family Dollar store in Germantown and bought:

  • Red candle sets(see picture above),
  • 1 autumn-colored wreath (to hang outside the door)
  • Pastel colored buckets
  • Multi-colored fish tank stones (see picture above).

Vinod was surprised that places like a Family Dollar store could carry novou-riche decor.  Wait til he visits the dollar store in Northern Bethesda, they have ornate decorations, ad infinitum, for the seemingly low cost of a dollar.

Later on, we searched, high and low, for 5$ white cashmere scarves that we were going to use as table cloths. Buying those scarves meant we were going to have pashmina table clothes—without shelling out massive cash for the real deal.  After Vinod and I found the perfect pashmina, we drove through dense traffic to get to the Dollar store, World Market, and the Trader Joes.

At the dollar store, we bought:

  •  plastic champagne glasses
  • red mug
  • pirouette cookies
  • fake crystal plastic trays, saucers
  • red and black plates
  • 2 white table cloths
  • red candles

After our jaunt down the dollar store, we did more of our hardcore shopping at World Market. It was our top spot for getting worldly wines, divine chocolates and anything else that was snob-friendly. I highly recommend you get a World Market card and sign-up for their deals ahead of time though since that’s where most of the discount lies in.

Our last stop was Trader Joes and I was heavily invested into their frozen food and organic fruit section. Trader Joes has hor d’oeuvres for a low price. We even bought a three layer chocolate ganache cake, belgian chocolate crisps ( for the cake), and macaroons as a surprise dessert for our guests.

Since World Market had 6$ sangria, we wanted to pair it with freshly cut organic peaches and oranges, and we knew Trader Joes had fresh produce at a low rate.

Based on planning, the pictures you see above, and your own imagination, of course the party was a success.

party collage 3In addendum, I bought my entire outfit from Marshall’s! My leather top by Kenar  was  $15, Ninewest pants were $10, and Michael Kors shoes were 50% off. Since celebrities and fashionistas, everywhere, are sporting red lipstick with an all black attire, I ventured into CVS and bought red lipstick and red lip gloss by Rimmel. As great as the color and shine is, it fades after 3 hours so I had to re-apply my 1950’s glam look often.

Anyways, here’s our comprehensive itinerary:

  • Karaoke
  • Wine and Chocolate Tasting
  • Beers around the World Tasting
  • Dance to Jay-Z’s newest hit
  • Cards Against Humanity
  • Sangria Tasting
  • Photo Opps
  • Surprise Euro-centric dessert

The highlight of the night were samosas that Cyriac bought and my guava nectarini soda comprised of guava nectar, pellegrino water, and freshly cut oranges and peaches. Oh yeah, I also decorated part of the deck and named it the Couples Canoodling Corner–for obvious reasons.

Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014
Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014

The day after my party ended, an epoch in American history was made. Miss America was not blond with blue eyes but had dark skin, curves and lush hair just like me. The beauty standard became more realistic and less insular. Nina Davulura, a New York Native, won the Miss America 2014 pageant with grace, confidence and aplomb. Not only is she of Indian descent ( South Indian like me) but she’s also an American (like me) and it made me feel overjoyed for American girls of Indian descent–that they too can be Miss America.

No matter what, there will always be haters. In America, ALOT of people are upset that Miss New York was not blond with blue eyes and in India, alot of people are upset that Nina has dark(beautiful) skin since beauty is solely based on fair skin in that country. Every country has a patch of ignorance that keeps getting stupider as time goes by. There is nothing you can do to fix a hater except live your life with positive energy which is what Nina is doing. Moreover, her rebuttal for all of these ignorant peons is:

“I have to rise above that,” she said. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

Mature, smart, and beautiful. Nina does make a great role model for all Americans, not just Indian Americans like myself.

What are your thoughts on the Miss America pageant? Feel free to comment below!

Introspective Thoughts of the Week

  • Finished Freakonomics and halfway through The Black Swan. The underpinnings behind The Black Swan comes from Freakonomics, however, Black Swan postulates better reasons why economists, journalists, teachers and historians can’t predict the future. No one can.
  • Monosodium Glutamate is in EVERYTHING; It not only causes cancer but it makes you overeat.
  • James Franco is in—EVERYTHING! Why? I give him props for being on The Mindy Project but his appeal is forever lost on me.
  • Why are people wearing lime green running shoes? They are the ugliest things i’ve ever seen. People will go to great lengths just to gain acceptance from complete strangers.
  • McDonalds lets you add thick bacon on any sandwich.  Ah, yes! Trying to carve out Panera’s market share, are we?






  1. MSG, Aspartame and High Fructose Corn Syrup… It is hard to stay away from these harmful ingredients, and it starting to upset me. Organic stores are so expensive but it seems like they are the only way for us to keep our body healthy. Very frustrating. I just heard that Yellow Dye Number 5 is banned from Europe because it is very bad for your body, yet it is allowed in the States…

    1. I had no idea about yellow 5! Yellow 5 is in Mountain dew and all sorts of sodas. What are your thoughts on Farmers markets? A lot of American foods have questionable chemicals that are cancer inducing; I guess it’s best to read labels before you eat! Depending where you live, I know in Maryland we have MOM’s organic and their stuff is affordable to an extent.

      1. Yellow 5 is especially bad for men because it can lead to impotence, but it is also said to be bad for your health in general. I honestly never went to a farmers market, but I just found out there is one every Saturday here in Carbondale, so I will check it out. We have a lot of Amish people living here, so I am sure they are the ones running the market. When I go to the organic store I go for the items on sale. Everything goes on sale eventually, I bought this awesome organic mango spread, it was originally 6.99 I got it for 2.99, and in about ten weeks it goes on sale again. I talked to someone who works there and he explained that system to me. 😀 Yes, we have to educate ourselves to make sure no one kills us hahaha

      2. Not only chemicals found in food is bad (yellow 5) but chemicals found in makeup, lotion, water, and bath products, (anything we use) can easily seep into our skin, and cause mayhem into our bodies.

        Since you are the movie expert (and food), hope you consider doing a review on health-centric food documentaries that are worthwhile to watch.

        So many stores have a sales system, I so want to learn that! The only sales-ish items I ever get are from Marshalls and TJ Maxx! I totally need to branch out and learn more about cutting deals on food items too! I think it’s awesome you know how to shave dollars of high-end foods! That’s very smart 🙂

      3. I was trying to do extreme couponing for a while too, but it is like a full time job and takes a while to understand, plus you need a lot of storage, which I don’t have yet. 😀

        Makeup wise I heard Mac Cosmetics are the best, water… I am still not sure what to buy over here, so I drink filtered tab water, but it doesn’t have any minerals in it. Lotions I use Palmer’s and Nivea, shower products, I need to inform myself now! 😀 Sure, I have watched a few documentaries that are definitely beneficial. Great idea! Will be a future project! Thanks for that suggestion! 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: