Monday, May 26, 2014

Organization and a Graduation party on the cheap

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a safe and happy 3 day weekend.  Let us not forget that this is not only the start to summer (gosh I hope, our weather here has been crazy, cold, hail and still snow!)BUT Memorial Day is a time for us to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom - their lives.  I hope everyone took a moment at 3pm your local time to think of those who lost their lives in war defending our right to democracy and freedom. 

Now on to the party!

I'm a bad planner, really bad, I'm more a 'fly by the seat of my pants' kind of girl.  Usually I just do things on the spur of the moment and they tend to come out OK but I've learned that planning is essential for real success! For a small party I may not need to plan but for a graduation party I needed to do a bit of planning. 

I had a daughter graduate from college and one from high school in a span of 3 weeks!  YIKES... I know.  We tried to make each graduation special for each girl and had a party at the end to celebrate.  My high school graduate chose the color theme - baby blue/mint and white... NOT her or her sisters school colors! 

I scanned the internet for ideas and if you read last weeks post you'll see I found a few!  This is what I ended up with.

Table decorations -

I saw these pinwheels at the dollar store in the colors my daughter wanted but not quite the right tone.  I bought them anyway, they were too cute and the idea I had to do with them I got really excited. 
The original idea was a vase filled with marbles with flowers stuck in at the top.  My girls didn't want flowers so I thought these would be just as cute.  They loved them. 
I then thought, "how about candy in dollar store jars topped with lollipops or the pinwheels?"  These are the same dollar store vases that I did used for Christmas (with the Epson salt) and the PB knock off for Easter!  These have really come in handy. 

I got plain and peanut M&M's and from Party City I found those blue colored balls that are actually candy.  They taste like malted milk balls.  I got the lollipops there as well.  Party City also had gum balls and many other kinds of candies in all different colors.  The 'kids' loved them! 

I off course also got balloons,

I tied them to chairs, railings and just about anything I could think of.  All at varying heights to show each one off. 
I also got a 'congrats grad' banner and hung it outside. 
Finally I decorated our mailbox. I've done it several times before, stuffing flowers in the box, sticking balloons around it with flowered garland etc.  This time I used a large roll of blue sparkly tulle.  I was originally looking for loose grapevine to wrap around the box but I couldn't find any so I grabbed the tulle in the right blue color.  I also bought some paper lanterns, blue and white and hung them from the back porch and from the mailbox. 

As I said before I was on a shoestring budget and the tulle was on sale for $5.00, the paper lanterns were 3 in a set for $3.00 each.   The most money I spend was on the balloons and the candy - $50.00 in all on that!  Who knew balloons were so expensive!? 
I like to let my guests know what to expect when they drive up.  By decorating your front, not only will guests know it is the right house but they get a glimpse of what is to come. 
Finally was the food.  I had chips and dip and I made some Chex mix as well. 
That is 1 bag of honey Chex mix/1 small bag of peanut and 1 small bag of plain M&M's and 1 can of honey roasted peanuts.  It didn't last long! 
We didn't have fancy food just hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, potato salad, baked beans and salad fixings.  Cake and cookies were brought out at the end. 
Everyone had a great time even though it started raining and storming and even hailing around 8pm and it continued on throughout the night.  The kids were disappointed that we couldn't start the bonfire and have s'more's but with all the rain I doubt the logs would have lit, it rained that hard. 
I hope you can use some of these tips whenever you have a party:
 - make a list of 'things to do' by date - example - Saturday, May 17 - order balloons/Friday, May 23 10 am - pick up balloons
 - make a list of 'things to purchase' along with where to get them by date - example - Saturday, May 17 - Hobby Lobby - get grapevine/paper lanterns and look for flameless candles. 
 - do what you can ahead of time, I made the Chex Mix a few days ahead and just stored it in a plastic container.
You want to plan things out so you aren't scurrying around last minute going crazy trying to set things up
 - I scheduled my decorating... example - 9-9:30 - decorate candy vases/11-11:45 - decorate mailbox/11:45 - pick up cake etc.   
I do find this does keep me on track and sane. 
Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week, I'll be back on Thursday. 
As always you can follow me directly here on the blog every Tuesday and Thursday OR
You can follow me on Facebook -
OR you can follow me on Pintrest....

No comments:

Post a Comment