This is a sponsored post in partnership with Universal Pictures. All opinions are my own.
Unless you live on the moon, you have probably seen the amazing new trailer for Fifty Shades Darker, which is coming to theaters just in time for Valentine’s Day on February 10th! Based on the worldwide bestselling book by E L James, the film expands on the events set in motion in 2015’s blockbuster film.
The new installment involves a wounded Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) trying to entice a cautious Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) back into his life. But she demands a new arrangement before she’ll give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.
Sounds exciting, right?? Check out the trailer and tell me you’re not at least a little curious!
In anticipation of the film, I was asked if I wanted to gather up the girlfriends and have a Fifty Shades Darker Girls’ Night Party, and you’d better believe I JUMPED at the chance! To put on the best party possible, I was sent a whole load of swag to gift my girlfriends. Our amazing gift bags included a copy of the book, a sexy cut off sweatshirt, chapstick, makeup bag and masquerade mask!
I packaged everything up into individual gift bags for each guest, which was SUCH a cool addition to our party!
I kept to a black, white and red theme when choosing decor. Any accents were in silver, as I thought it would work better than gold. I tried to create a feeling of intimacy while playing off the themes of the book. I created a beautiful centerpiece by grabbing a load of glass stones in various shades of grey (see what I did there??) and filling a glass vase halfway with them. I then used a large pillar candle set in the middle.
Dotted along the table were small silver votive candles, and I used some black taper candles in silver candlestick holders on either side of the centerpiece. The tablecloth was a black plastic one I found for cheap at Michael’s, and I found some black and silver chargers on sale, as well, which worked as fun place settings!
As a subtle nod to the books and film, I found an old rope and trailed it across the table, letting it loop and fall as it would. I love the effect it added! I also had a four vase set that I filled with individual red roses for a pop of color.
On each place, I set out a swag bag to make it easier for the guests to take their gifts home.
One of the amazing things I was sent was a delicious Fifty Shades of Grey wine! I didn’t even know they made this, but it was an amazing addition to the party, and the guests all agreed that it was way better than the name would suggest! One even went so far as to call it Fifty Shades of Great!
The wine paired exceptionally well with the “Bruised Bottom Cupcakes” I made for the party. These cupcakes are so delicious. Red velvet cake baked with a chocolate chip cheesecake filling and a cherry on the bottom.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 C sugar
1/8 tsp salt
8 oz mini chocolate chips
1 package red velvet cake mix (and associated ingredients)
For the filling, first use a beater or mixer to combine the cream cheese, egg, sugar and salt. Then, add in the chocolate chips and stir. Set this mixture aside.
Next, prepare the red velvet cake mix as per package instructions.
Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners (I used some Valentine’s Day heart-themed liners) and place a single bing cherry in the bottom. You could also use maraschino cherries, but I love the tang of the bing. This is the “bruise” of the “bruised bottom” cupcakes.
Now, use a 1/4 C measuring cup to fill the cupcake liners halfway with red velvet cake mix. Pour it right over the cherries.
Once the liners are all full, add a good tablespoon of the cheesecake mixture right on top.
Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for around 15 – 20 minutes. This will make 24 cupcakes, though I chose to make 12 regular size cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely and then decorate however you wish!
When mine were cooked, I used some premade frosting to pipe on half black and half white frosting, and I used some candy roses and white candy pearls to finish.
The cupcakes were a big hit, and I love that I was able to stick to the black, white and red theme!
And while we loved the Fifty Shades of Grey wine, I also find it’s a good idea to create a party-themed cocktail that guests can try. It’s a great way of trying new tastes, and this was no exception. I created this “Worship At Your Beet” cocktail in homage to one of my favorite lines in Fifty Shades Darker: “I don’t know whether to worship at your feet or spank the living sh– out of you.” It was a perfect name in the end, as the girls all felt similarly confused by my cocktail! It was weirdly delicious, but hard to figure out why!
To make your own, you’ll need:
Strawberry Hard Lemonade (use normal strawberry lemonade if you want a mocktail)
Beet & Passionfruit Juice
In a tall glass, add one bing cherry. Pour over about an inch of Strawberry Hard Lemonade. Add two inches of beet juice, a couple dashes of orange bitters, a slug of grenadine and then fill the rest of the way with more hard strawberry lemonade!
If you’re the sort who doesn’t like beets (that’s me, too!), I promise you that this is still worth a try. While there is a mild beet-y flavor, it is mostly tuned out by the other flavors. It’s hard to say why it works, but I promise you it does!
One of my favorite parts of our party was the “Photo Booth” I set up. I was sent an amazing silver fringe backdrop, and I went and bought some fun themed-props to go with it. I set up a little table next to the backdrop, and I even added my adorable pink chair and a large candle to go next to it.
It was so much fun getting photos taken and posing in front of the background!
Many of my gal pals are too shy to have their photos on the blog, but were definitely some hilarious photos. Imagine the rope from the table and several fun-loving gals tying each other up, and you might understand when our motto of the evening was, “What happens at the Fifty Shades Darker party STAYS at the Fifty Shades Darker party!”
All in all, this little get together served to make us all that much more excited about the film. I’m so excited to see it, and I hope you are, too! Remember that you can buy tickets NOW on Fandango now to see it opening weekend (February 10th)!