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Friday, November 14, 2014

A Gluten Free 1920s Themed Party (Murder Mystery!!)

So my birthday was about a month ago, and I've been meaning to get around to sharing some of my party pics and details with you. This was the first year in about 5 years that I had a birthday party and actually celebrated with my friends (since hubby and I have been busy with school and then living in the US).

Since my birthday is so close to Halloween, I decided to go all out this year and have a 1920s - themed murder mystery party! It was fantastic fun. I decorated our apartment (sort of) in the style of a 1920s Orientalist themed speakeasy club and we had a ton of 1920s themed gluten free cocktails.

Of course, if you've ever looked up 1920s food, you'll know most of it was disgusting (think meat jello and lots of mayonnaise type things). So we gave it a healthy, gluten free update, and there was lots of veggie/vegan stuff since a couple of the girls in attendance were vegetarian or lactose intolerant.

So read on and I'll tell you what we ate, and you can check out some pics of my decorations and me doing my hair and makeup!

Sadly, I got so caught in the running of the murder mystery once everyone arrived that I forgot to take pics of the food!! But I'll tell you all about it in a sec.

First, here's how I deco'd the apartment. I wanted to decorate it in the style of some of the more upscale clubs of the 1920s. Many of these were done in a sort of quasi-Oriental fashion. So I borrowed some hanging lamps that my friend Lisa got in Vietnam, and hung them from the ceiling. I also took some pashminas and extra sari fabric and tied them around my cushions and lamps to create mood lighting.

On my laptop I played 1920s music, and found some old black and white films from the 1920s to play throughout the evening. 

The party also gave me a good excuse to hang up some old black and white pictures of my grandmother as a little girl in the 1930s with my great-grandparents.

Then I checked out a ton of videos on YouTube for doing pin curls and 1920s style hair. My hair is quite long and heavy, and I won't hold a curl very well, so I decided to use a curling iron to create the pin curls, then let them sit for a few hours. Then I waved the front a bit and pulled it back in a low ponytail.

Here's me in the process of doing my hair before I do my make up ;) 

Since I was playing the role of a nightclub owner, I wanted to wear something classier than the typical fringed flapper dress. So I actually wore my 1920s -style wedding dress!! Yep, that's my wedding dress you see. I made my dress (and hand sewed all the little pearls on the bodice) two and a half years ago. Thank the gods I can still fit into it ;)

One of these days I'll get around to telling you about my super DIY wedding, I promise. I made my dress, made the bridesmaids dresses, made my wedding cake, and made all the bouquets. Crazy, right? But very satisfying.

Also, those are my great grandmother's pearls I'm wearing (the same great grandmother in the above photos), so it was a pretty authentic outfit, I think.

And here's me once hair and makeup are done. Again, I just youtubed a bunch of different makeup tutorials, and did some smoky eyes and thin, heart-shaped lips.

And as for the food? Well here's what I made, and what some people brought. It was all gluten free and really quite a spread of cocktails and finger foods.

* Stuffed mushroom caps
* Slices of turkey pepperoni sticks
* Cheese plates with crackers
* Mini pumpkin muffins
* Spring rolls
* Chocolate lava brownies
* Salmon dip with sliced veggies

For 1920s style drinks we had Mojitos (in place of Mint Juleps), champagne, beer, and wine.

The murder mystery party package I got was this one through Dinner and a It was quite good (extremely detailed), and everyone had a good time. I won't tell you who ended up dead and who killed them, but let's just say there were at least three murders in my apartment that night, and several killers.

I'm thinking of having a murder mystery again for my birthday next year! And let me just say, everyone looked spectacular, and that I think that men should definitely wear suits and 1920s style outfits more often!

Have you ever had a themed gluten free party? I'd love to hear about it!

This post was shared on the following great link parties: Gluten Free Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday,


  1. You seem to be very creative, you did a lovely job on your wedding dress, I would love to see your bridesmaid dresses. I know this is a gluten free blog but if you are a seamstress and do projects from time to time, I hope you would post all those things you do. I am new to your blog, found it under a post from another blog ( that had a list of 13 Gluten Free blogs available, which was amazing to have them listed like that, to research recipes and people's tricks for working out things with this diet. Anyway, I like your 1920's party idea, it's nice when you have friends that also have diet limitations and understand the diet limits and they can bring appropriate foods. Some people find the gluten factor a challenge or too much of a mystery of where it is in products, so they feel lost and afraid when asked to provide something w/out gluten in it. The shelves at the stores are nicely labeled and I am finding more and more ingredients I can use... I am a vegetarian so I have a smaller product base available to me, can you make some suggestions? I would appreciate any help, or maybe after some perusal I will see how you have your site set-up and be able to find what I need on my own. I mentioned your sewing because I sew, I do bead-work too, so this particular post caught my eye. TTYL

    1. Hi there and thanks for your kind words! I cook mostly vegetarian/vegan stuff, so do peruse my recipes and recent posts for recipes. Without know specifically what you're looking for, it's hard to recommend anything, but I often cook things that are naturally gluten free, rice, quinoa, millet, tofu, etc.

      I do sew (I used to run a dance costume business), and you can see my posts on sewing on my DIY & Waste Not Want Not page here and I recently posted a few free crochet baby patterns here:

      As for my bridesmaids' dresses, I actually made them all infinity dresses out of purple jersey knit. I let them choose the skirt length and how they wrapped the dress. It was super easy, and yet they all looked very classy. I *will* write a post about this one day, I promise!

  2. I'm thinking of having a murder mystery again for my birthday next year!

    1. It can be a lot of fun! It's a good ice-breaker, too, if you have people that don't know each other.


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