Thursday, April 14, 2011

graduation party planning, 1st edition

i am so not an event planner
& i feel just a tad overwhelmed when it comes to entertaining a large number of folks.
well, planning a graduation party for these two cuties
for a large number of folks
is exactly what i'm knee deep into for the next 5 weeks.
or is it 4?
oh my...
& yes, we are already praying for a sunny, dare i mention breezy, day
because these two have big plans
for a few hundred of their closest friends.
oh my....

on this particular day
day 1 of planning
possibly a few weeks behind
they clearly were not stressed.
neither am i
i promised i'd be a.o.k.
& not stress.
so i'm not stressed.
i am not stressed over the 5,694 things that need to happen 
between now & when she puts that cap and gown on.
not one bit.
& i'm not crying. 
not i.

well, as of today we are moving in the right direction
&  have a list of ideas. a growing list.
i have myself a little grad party folder rolling over on pintrest.
surely that's a big step. right?

so if you have any tips or advice
or even fun images,
bring it!
i'm all ears!!

& lastly i want to share a fabulous & simple recipe with ya'll.
i made this last night for all my girlies
(my meat and potatoes lovin' big guy was gone)
& it was a smashing success!

Spaghetti with asparagus, smoked mozzarella and prosciutto
Giada De Laurentiis

* 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
* 3/4 pound spaghetti
* 4 tablespoons olive oil
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips
* 6 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, diced (about 1 cup)
* 6 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Cook the asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. With a spider or slotted spoon, remove asparagus from boiling water to a bowl of ice water to cool and stop the cooking. When cool, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, and set aside.

Return the water in the pot to a boil, adding additional water if necessary. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add asparagus to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the pasta, and if needed, some of the reserved cooking liquid. Toss to coat. Add the prosciutto, mozzarella and basil, and toss to combine. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.


Cathy Louise said...

You will do amazing my friend!!! What gorgeous girls they are...My little girl has already finished her first term at uni and just about to start term 2...Missing you heaps, wish kirstie and I could come for a visit...c xxx

traci said...

such a fun exciting time for all of you. just don't stress, it will all work out fine. i like that they are having their party together. you cut the work and stress in half and double the fun.

Cheryl said...

My only advice for you would be that in the midst of the organizing, planning, praying for sunshine please remember to take time to look at the beauty around you. This amazing girl, her friends, her sisters, and remind yourself that God is so good.

Amanda said...

go to and search graduation will find loads of inspiration and ideas, there are tons of great party planning blogs is a good place to start...good luck...i am planning charlotte's 6th bday party and i know her grauation will come way sooner than i would like.

Kelli said...

I think you are absolutely heading in the right direction. The party will be lovely. Make sure you have a notebook at all times to right down those passing thoughts. Capture who they are with the decorations. Deep breath...prayer.

Shannon said...

That is a lot of people and I would be going a little crazy also. I am having Easter Sunday and Kayla's 4th bday party the following weekend and that is bad enough. I'm happy to say though that there is no where near 100 people coming! You will do just fine and those kids are going to have such a blast at your home...all because of you!!

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

Cute pictures and love the shop in your previous post as well! What a fabulous shop, I could get lost in there. On a side note, I looked through your blog for an email to contact you. I want to ask permission to feature something of yours in the Fall issue of House of Fifty. Would love to hear from you! Janell

kerrie of sea cottage said...

I'm am so glad I don't have to plan a big party this time. We are just having a small dinner party with an Asian theme. I do 'small' much better. Three years ago though I planned a big Grad Party for my other daughter. Keeping it as simple as you can is best. Serve foods they love. We had a huge punch bowl of lemonade mixed with sprite that was very popular. We served snack foods like mini corn dogs, breadsticks with dipping marinara sauce, meatballs with toothpicks. Lots of twinkle lights are festive to decorate with, but the Big Hit was a daybed that I set up under a canopy on the backyard lawn with damask blankets and lots of toss pillows. The teenagers were smashed on it...they loved it! Best wishes in everything...remember to enjoy every minute!!!!

Elizabeth said...

In the summer of 2008, my sister graduated from high school, I graduated from college, and I got married. Needless to say mom was BUSY. I would suggest something easy for the food, like tacos so you can just keep the meat warm in the crockpot, have chips and salsa and some 7 layers dip, which is always a hit. Also, you can order sheet cake from Costco for really inexpensive and get a nicer smaller one from a bakery or order edible pictures of the girl's faces and have Costco put them on the cake. Another nice thing to have a graduation parties are storyboards of the girl's lives: baby pictures, kindergarten graduation, big events in their life etc. It is also nice to have games for people to play if they want, set up badminton, croquet or bocce or any lawn game you like. I am sure your party will be fab.

Sheri said...

Paige, I'm in your shoes too. We just made out the grad party invite list for Robert and his best friend and we have over 200 people coming. Thankfully both families are in the restaurant business and thankfully boys do not want to be involved. When we ask for their opinion it's, "that's fine", "sure mom", "sounds good". :) Enjoy this time - it seems to be flying by as fast as the senior did.

Anonymous said...

Don't stress Paige! Just look how happy those two sweet girls look. It doesn't have to be perfect. They'll love it no matter what! Very exciting!!

I'm book marking that recipe:) YUM!

Auntie Cake said...

Don't feel stressed or bad about starting planning now. I started planning a grad party in January, and everything, every single thing, that I have been working on, has now been changed due to outside forces. I say, way to be efficient! It will be wonderful!

Christina said...

okay, i SO hope you love me, after i offer my advice.

because i have been a chef for over 20 years, i can honestly say... hire people to do most of the jobs for you. really! if you can find it in your budget, go for it!! you will have such a better time, at your party. only do the things you love... craft decorations, making invites... whatever you enjoy, take the job on. whatever you can outsource, go for it!

no one at your party, will have more fun, because you worked yourself to the bone.

show up at your party, and enjoy the moment.

big hugs!

Kristin said...

I know it is all going to be wonderful.

You have a gift for making things like this beautiful in detail. You just do my friend. So, I know it will be wonderful and all will delight in everything. It is just the way it will be. Poof. I am claiming it as so! So take that!

I hope the time planning is as fun as the images show in laughter and I hope you are right in there smiling too!

I know it is going to be wondeful. It just is and I will put on my prayer list a sunny, beautiful breezy kind of day through night for you all.

Alecia said...

They are having too much fun, I love it!!! :-) The pentrest was adorable...I too got that frame from Ikea...I painted over it with antique white and let some of the black show through...hung it in my nieces's sooo cute! Great idea...I LOVE the idea of the Dr. Seuss book too and having the friends sign it...BRILLIANT! Can't wait to see how it all turns will be AWESOME, I know it!

Jboo said...

No advice from me as I am not skilled at party planning at all. Maybe my coworker Jodee can help -- she LOVES party planning!

Those girls are adorable and am sure it will be so much fun and adorable and teary! That recipe sounds so delish! Have a great weekend -it's almost the weekend, right?


Farmgirl Paints said...

that dish looked so good. my tummy is actually rumbling.

i can't imagine the pressure to make everything special right now. it will all be great. you are such a good momma. that heart will show through no matter what you do.

Tiffini said...

o my..will be trying that recipe and the girls are be young again. We will surround you with prayer;)

Angela said...

The one thing I learned from my daughters party in 2004 was I didn't get to visit with our friends at all!! AT THAT MOMENT, I volunteered to help my other friends that next year when their dear ones graduated. I was the one that stayed in the kitchen, made sure the bowls were full, made sure the trash was taken out, all the dishes were washed--it was just an act of love for them so they could enjoy the time with their loved ones. It was just something that I never thought of and was disappointed that I had been Martha all afternoon when I could have been laughing and sitting with our guests. Just a hint!! I am sure that you will enjoy and yes thankful for the sunny day that we had where the little ones could play outside of our 1700 foot home while the adults visited. We had close to 100 during the time allotted.!!

Daily Tales of Sugar and Spice said...

you know i love party theme. my head will be swirling for you. here's a few quick ones. on the photo booth idea.. seen this at a wedding and was awesome. each person/group could choose from a stack of awesome chalk boards and write advice on it. so your guests could write college advice or real life advice, etc. or, you could have a bunch of hats/costumes for the graduates for 'what are you going to be when you grow up' photos. could get silly and fun. others - just huge christmas lights strung from one point then out to five or six points makes like a fake tent. i did it for my neighborhood christmas party - can share lights. you'll do awesome!

Daily Tales of Sugar and Spice said...

oh - and mason jars hanging all in the trees with candles from clear wires is super fun.

and antique frames of the graduates nailed into your trees would be precious.