Friday, July 1, 2016

Graduation Party for Two

I have much more to share about my recent trip to
Vancouver, Canada.
However, today I am backing up a bit to talk about a
HUGE day for my family...
with not one, but TWO graduations, in one day!

They say, "The days are long, but the years are short."
It is so true about having children.
In June, my son graduated from high school.
I cannot believe I have a child who is going off to college!

On the exact same day, my youngest daughter graduated from 8th grade.  Fortunately, her ceremony was in the late morning and my son's ceremony was in the afternoon.

My challenge:  I needed to plan one party to celebrate two events.  Furthermore, I need to have everything completely ready to go, because I would be away from home all day (at the ceremonies), and the dinner party would begin immediately following the second ceremony. I was a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing.

For parties at home, I typically do almost all of the cooking.
 This event would be different, because I wouldn't be home to prepare the food.  I ordered the main dish, a large lasagna, from a great Santa Barbara market with a fabulous catering department (Lazy Acres).  In addition, I ordered a cake from another market with an excellent bakery (Vons).  Our local Vons used to have a very basic grocery store bakery.  Then, Vons left and was replaced by an upscale market that quickly went out of business.  When Vons returned, they changed to a "premiere" bakery and it's been pretty spectacular.  Recently, I've purchased a few birthday cakes and they've been both beautiful and delicious.

Early on the morning of the two graduations, I went to pick up the freshly baked cake.  It was ALL wrong!
The woman who had taken the original order didn't even work in the bakery department.  Fortunately, the bakery department manager assured me they would bake and decorate the correct cake immediately and it was ready for me to pick up in the short time between the two graduation ceremonies. 

Family and friends at the party were all very impressed with the finished product.  I rounded out the meal with various side dishes that I prepared (very) early in the morning and had in the fridge ready to be served.

It was a beautiful, but hot, Santa Barbara day.
We had the dinner outside on our backyard porch overlooking the golf course as the sun went down.  For the backyard setting, I went for a very casual style for the party.
Mason jars were used for both beverages and decor.

I purchased some various types of ribbon at the crafts store and used the mason jars to hold floating candles.

The candles, and the fire in the outdoor fire pit, added a great ambience to the party after the sun went down.

I chose to use black and white for the color scheme - classic graduation colors.  Then, I accented with gold.  Normally, I would have used "school colors" - but since the party was for two kids at two different schools, I used gold instead.
I purchased black sheets (queen flat) to use as tablecloths.
This is a trick I use frequently.
Queen sized sheets are longer and wider than many tablecloths, so they cover the table legs.  Also, flat sheets are inexpensive and wash well - so they are great for outdoor parties (which are usually a bit messier).

 I made several floral arrangements that I spread throughout the house and yard.

Helium balloons were added for a festive, casual vibe.

It was SUPER busy, so my photos were taken quickly before the focus was shifted to celebrating the graduates and visiting with family and friends. (I apologize for the quality of the pics.) It was a great day & I am so happy for my children.

Linking up:

The Charm of Home - Home Sweet Home

Rooted in Thyme:  Simple & Sweet Fridays


  1. These cakes are so pretty! LOVE that white, is it a hydrangea? Beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  2. The cakes were pretty - and VERY YUMMY! (Yes, hydrangeas...)

  3. Betcha voted for o'er-the-Hillary and her filthy abortion - mosta Californication voted for her. Didjew know she's withe occult and worships Satan, as John Podesta the Molesta was? I'm just warning you, dear.

    Nevertheless, that's neither here-nor-o'thar. NOW is the time when we should all git behind the Don and stop the fighting. It's all worthless anyway: God Almighty could wipe-out those dissenters or actual brawlers and send them to Hell to rot, yet, God's just seeing who has enough bawls (in the head) to riseabove and worship the Creator, NOT the whorizontal.

    Learn to respect Jesus. Why? 1-outta-1 perishes, dear... then, based on our accomplishments in our finite existence, we'll be placed on the L or R.

    The more you shall honor Me,
    the more I shall bless you.
    -the Infant Jesus of Prague

    trustNjesus, dear,
    and wiseabove to Seventh-Heaven.
    God bless you