Today is a wonderful day in the Respler family. My niece, Sara, is getting married later this afternoon to Lawrence Rosenblum. It is a wonderful opportunity for the family to celebrate, especially because Sara is surrounded by so many female cousins. We love to party and this celebration will be one to remember.
Over the past few years, I have been trying to accumulate less “stuff” and instead, build more memories. So, instead of getting another gift for Sara, Leah and I decided to go all out and host a memorable shower for Sara.
There was delicious food and drink, great camaraderie and even some dancing. The shower began with a wonderful theme. You see, Sara is the ghostwriter of ModestZara, an account dedicated to posting tznius (modest) finds at Zara. Sara wears Zara, breathes Zara and embodies Zara’s classic and timeless style.
Leah scoured the house to find anything that could be used for the theme. We found mannequins of all sizes, a shoe music box, rolls of kraft paper and lots of assorted bags and boxes. I picked up some miniature tote bags and black and kraft paper goods at the local dollar stores.
I printed some Zara-inspired signs using bar codes and a Zara-inspired font.
I thought up a clearance candy station and one of Sara’s friends organized a hot cocoa station replete with marshmallows, whipped cream and all types of cocoa and milk. I created a menu and a to-go station near the front door. I lined my granite countertops with kraft paper and brought up my dairy chafers.
Leah kept insisting that we get dozens of Zara bags from our local Zara store so that the guests would understand the theme. I thought that with everything we had designed, the Zara-reference was more than apparent.
But, Leah insisted. She said that it would be great to put these bags on the buffets and the dining room table. It would be great to put unwrapped gifts into these bags and that it was extremely important.
I did what any mother would do. I called Zara and pleaded my case for the free bags.
I explained the Modest Zara connection. I explained how Sara represents Zara’s classic style. I emphasized that Sara captures a modest Zara population on social media. I waited on hold. I spoke to the manager.
And, I was told Zara does not give out any bags without a purchase.
So, I told Leah that I had valiantly tried to get free Zara bags, but that I had failed.
And, Leah did what any self-respecting daughter would do. She took matters into her own hands.
I don’t exactly know how it happened. But, later that week, Leah came home with a big smile and dozens of Zara shopping bags in all shapes and sizes.
And, I set to work cooking and assembling. Davida made her awesome cupcakes. She tinted the frosting a kraft-brown color and frosted those cupcakes. She then piped a thin S onto a chocolate fudge cookie to embellish the cupcakes.
I created my shoe and pocketbook station using a shoe-themed music box and handbags fashioned from cookies, frosting, and sour sticks. For each pocketbook, I took two half-moon Tirosh cookies and put them together using frosting. I placed a sour stick handle between the cookies. I embellished the fronts of these pocketbooks with assorted sprinkles and edible gems.
My niece, Orit, made a delicious Caesar Salad and one of Sara’s friends made an incredible Greek Salad. I prepared orange soup. One of Sara’s friends made Penne Vodka. I prepared lasagna and quiche. and Leah prepared cabbage salad and a fast-moving smartphone game. My niece, Michal, and her daughters prepared warm brownies.
We ate and we drank. We laughed and we danced. And, no one overlooked the Zara theme because we had plenty of Zara bags for decor.