Plan a Funky Graduation Party!

Someone you know is probably graduating soon from something. After all its that time of year again. If you’re lucky its you or someone you love and a party is in order! Why settle for a boring old BBQ when it is easy to spice it up?

First you will need a funky theme, and I have got just the one for you:

Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up!?

Invite guests to dress up as whoever they want to be deep down inside. You will end up with guests dressed as artists, firefighters, seamstresses, spies, beach bums, cowboys, gardeners, and if you’re lucky one will come as a bobsledder for team USA.

Give guests the chance to participate and celebrate the dreams they have. And remind them that they are never too old to do what you want to do!

You will end up with an array of dreams mixing and mingling. Things can get quite imaginative, and you will have fun coming up with just what it is that you were born to be!

Give those dreamers something to do on a warm afternoon. Prepare a garden box, pots, or a spot in the yard, with rich soil and provide a bed of various plants. Set up the scene so guests can come and go as they please, adding new growth to the earth. This is a fun and symbolic activity that will remind your guests of the growth they still have ahead of them. The kids will love it! If you do pots, guests can take home their creation.

Another activity that will be sure to please, is a makeshift graduation ceremony complete with a keynote speaker and a speech from your new graduate. Most of your guests won’t make it to the real ceremony, so give them a down home taste. Make sure the graduate has a hat so he or she can throw it in the air to signal the end of the ceremonies.

Supply corsages for your special guests to wear for the party. Moms, grandparents, fathers, and anyone else noteworthy to the graduate’s life make for great choices.

Food can be anything simple and music for spontaneous dancing is a plus.

Keep it light and simple. Live the dream!

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How the Rich Get Tricked (10 Ways to Avoid the Trap)

The rich are the prime target for commercialism.  You are scouted out and hunted down, and if you are not careful, you can be drained to the last drop. In today’s market the success of products and experiences are not based on quality. They just need cunning people pulling the strings. To money makers, money spenders are the puppets in a comic tragedy.

Don’t be a puppet.  Take control of your own strings, and make your own happiness. To this end I have provided 10 ways in which the rich get tricked, to help you navigate the world around you and live your true life, rather than one that is packaged and maintained by somebody else.

  1. Restaurants priced as $$$$ often have savory, prime cuts paired with delicate desserts.  However sometimes the restaurants that don’t get the acclaim online serve much better food at needless to say a fraction of the cost. Think 5 giant, savory won-tons bought for a buck down the street in Chinatown, NY. Or a belgian waffle at Perkins. Surely you will run into a lot of duds, but its the adventures that make a life interesting. Seek out the hidden diners and discover the best kept secrets in your neighborhood.
  2. Vacations, There’s nothing like walking the halls of Caesar’s Palace like Julius himself. Or padding down the hallway of a luxury cruise liner. However sometimes the best vacations, ones that you don’t have to take a vacation from, are the ones where you spend quality time with your family. Period.Think a tent on the Mississippi River, watching the sun set over the bluffs.
  3. We know that money can’t buy us love, but when we are rich, sometimes we think it can.                                                                                                                               
  4. We get in the habit of looking up, and forget to look down. The sky’s as beautiful as the ground, keep lookin’ around.
  5. Birthday parties for children are big business these days.  In order to have fun, parents rent moon castles and take groups to the mall to speciality glitter stores or make your own stuffed animals.  Sometimes, parties get so big, the innocence of simple childhood delights are lost. Teach your children that it doesn’t take extravagance to have a good time.
  6. The art of keeping it simple can be thrown by the wayside as we get lost in stuff that we buy to make us happy.  No matter how fresh the Ferrari is in your driveway, its luster will fade every day, and it won’t take long before it will become just part of the scenery
  7. There are innumerable treasures to be found at rummage sales and thrift shops.  You can find a pair of never before used Italian leather shoes going for $400 for a measly $3. Thrift stores will give you a wider variety of styles to pick from, when an expensive boutique might offer limited, only modern pickings.
  8. We often think money is required to experience art. The symphony and priceless pieces of art for your home are all great luxuries.  However, art is everywhere and we cannot forget to experience it in all of its forms. Sometimes the best art is laying on the curbside waiting to be taken to the trash.
  9. Notice what you want is not what you need.  Patience is gained by not always giving into instant gratification and patience is something we all need to keep us sane.
  10. And FINALLY…always remember

Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

A Must for Every Meal

Call it what you will-a garnish plate, hors devours, appetizers…but I call it accessories to a successful meal!  Don’t just save it for company, it’s a great accompaniment to any number of diners.

Ideas for accompaniments include:

Olives

Pickles

Hummus

Cheese

Spring rolls

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Green onions

Radishes

Relish

Hot peppers

Party of one? No problem, you can prepare your plate just the way you like it and store as is in the fridge for 3-5 days.

When its time for company, just increase the quantity and spice up the variety.

Remember a dinner doesn’t feel like a dinner without the right accessories, so as a diner, dress your dinner with a dish of ‘dis, and a dash of ‘dat.

Plan a 1950’s Inspired Birthday Party for that Special Fifty Something in Your Life

A woman in her fifties is probably avoiding the mirror, thinking she is getting older and maybe that her good days are behind her. I, a woman nearing her thirties, maybe you think doesn’t know what she is talking about.  But I see the sadness in that woman’s eyes when I tell her she is beautiful, because she is thinking “No, I am turning into an old woman”.  Sure, there is something quite striking about being young.  There is no doubt that the media tells us you must be young to be worth something.  But, we the daughters of our fifty something mothers don’t see the wrinkles forming around your eyes, we see the most beautiful eyes in the world.  We see you smiling with your arms around us when we were nine years old at the ice rink.  We see the youth you think is gone glowing in your heart. We see your soul, ageless and more beautiful than any wrinkle, age spot, crick in the bones could EVER stamp out.  Our bodies are only the shell which we do our best to take care of until we are born into something much bigger than we can imagine.  We are meant to grow older and it is a beautiful thing. They don’t call it the roarin’ twenties for no reason. Now is the time in your life when you can relax and enjoy being wise and patient.

So tell your fifty something mother to turn that frown upside down and celebrate another year with the ones who love her more than she knows.  Some mothers haven’t made it this far, and what their daughters wouldn’t give for one more loving embrace from the ones who made it all happen.

BACKGROUND

The 1950’s were a time in America when parents were making babies like crazy.  Baby Boomers, those born into this era, experienced a unique culture that included rock n roll, peacetime ingenuity, and a reaffirmation of traditional gender roles. The Beat generation was born, Eastern spirituality started to permeate Western thinking, and intuition began to challenge reason.

It is Party Time!

THE PLAN

This plan calls for for 4-7 guests, because keeping it simple is key. It is designed to be an all woman’s party.

Decorations

Cut a string of paper dolls, giving each one an A line dress. Paint an apron on each, here you can get as creative as you want.  The party hosts should dress the same as the paper dolls. Pin this anywhere in the room.  Put your nicest tablecloths out, preferably white.  Add a vase of fresh flowers, carnations are a good idea. Sprinkle buttons on all the tabletops. As for ambiance  Pandora Elvis Presley and you are in the money.

Games

Remember, your party girl was just a tot in the 50’s, so their teenage era was in the 1960’s (And that’s a whole different kinda party). Birthday parties for children in the 1950s include all time favorites like pin the tail on the donkey, hopscotch, jacks, and drop the clothespin into the glass milk jug while kneeling over the back of the chair. Recreate one of these with anything you have around the house.

You might for example have a canvas poster of that elusive William Shakespeare.  Pin it on the wall and draw/cut out hats of different abstract shapes, make a blind fold out of a scarf and voila ‘Pin the Hat on Shakespeare’.  Get as playful as you want, but just choose ONE activity, we are actually adults after all.

Entertainment

If you are really lucky, your party will land at the same time a local theater troupe is putting on Little Shop of Horrors.  If not, viddy it on film.  La Bamba and Dirty Dancing are also great choices. During the movie you can eat your cake and ice cream.

Cake

Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting is  best, but anything will do.  As long as there are candles to blow out and a song sung in your funniest voices, all will be well.  Ice Cream Cake is another good choice and if you are having ice cream, you can’t go wrong with butter pecan.

Food

 Snacks can be anything but make sure its family style. If you can get your hands on some nostalgic candy, go ahead and put that out there too. For your main entree, you will want to pull the chicken recipe off a Corn Flakes box.  Add mashed potatoes and green beans or cooked diced carrots with peas.  Serve on tv dinner trays. Meatloaf is another winner.

Whatever you do, leave out the lima beans.

When the party is over, all is said and done, and its time to fight the traffic once again…

Its back to the grind… 

But remember to always find, a time every day, to say I love you mom, you’re number one.

PS You know what’s really great about this generation, is that as that you can have a nostalgia party every ten years; 1960’s for that sixty something, 70’s for that seventy  something…90’s party for the ninety something, and so on.  Look forward to a post when we plan a 1960’s party someday for our jammin mom! Give em’ the Nixons!