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Graduation Party Ice Cream Bar

Dessert bars at parties are probably one of the most exciting things for kids, and each time I've thrown a graduation party I've let my kids take ownership of the the whole dessert she-bang. It's one of the parts of the party that they can scour ideas for, inject their own personality into, and it's fun to create what they envision. 

In the past Sawyer's candy bar was a huge success, and Gunnar chose root beer floats.

 This time Greta opted for an ice cream bar with all the toppings. I found these cute sturdy paper ice cream cups, 8 oz was the size we ordered. They come in a variety of colors and patterns.

We debated on cups or cones and ultimately we bought these cones and stuck the cone inside the cup of ice cream as we handed them to each kid. There was plenty of space for toppings and they could enjoy the cone without having to sacrifice toppings because of space. Win-win.

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For spoons, we went with these cute but sturdy wooden ones, and Greta designed a few patterns with Sharpie and decorated them all. We attached them to the outside of the cups with different patterned washi tape and fanned them out as we stacked them. 

For toppings we went with the following:

We served up vanilla or chocolate ice cream, and a few fruit sorbets and dairy free options that Ben & Jerry's carries now which we discovered that day. I think the ice cream bar was a big hit and most of all my girl had a smile on her face the whole night. 

Food Deserts

*This post was written in partnership with Naked Juice. 

It's summertime, the season of barbecues, pool parties, camping trips, backyard gardens overflowing with veggies, back to school shopping, and grocery baskets filled with fresh fruit. Fresh spinach, nectarines, plums, and berries make their way into almost every meal on our table these days. Smoothies are a great and easy way for every single person in my family to get the needed nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables and enjoy them. We are fortunate to have a small backyard garden and some nights we head out to the garden to grab lettuce, kale or swiss chard, maybe a cucumber is ripe and ready to be enjoyed. On Aaron’s way home from work he might stop by any number of grocery stores to pick up something fresh and delicious, squeezing the avocado for just the perfect amount of ripeness. Am I making you hungry?

The reality for many, however, is very different. It doesn’t look like the easy backyard access to fresh vegetables, or the quick stop at a healthy market on your commute home from work. 

Have you ever heard of the term food desert? It's an urban neighborhood or rural town where there is no access to fresh, affordable, healthy food. And I'm not talking about somewhere none of us have heard of, I'm talking about Los Angeles. My city. According to Good Infographics, in a 30-square mile area of South L.A., there are only 60 grocery stores. That equates to one store for every 22,000 residents! How about we DO SOMETHING about it.

I'm so excited to team up with Naked Juice and Wholesome Wave today and share a campaign called Drink Good.Do Good. They are turning to all of us to help bring awareness to food deserts. But not only to educate us on what a food desert is, we can actually have a positive impact on these communities. There are fantastic videos and information you can find here

How else can we help? All you have to do is take a photo holding a fruit or vegetable, share it on your social media with the hashtag #DrinkGoodDoGood and tag a friend to do the same. For just that one photo you share, Naked Juice is going to donate TEN (10!) lbs of produce to Wholesome Wave. Their goal? 500,000 lbs! I know my readers are passionate about good health and I hope you’ll join me in this program. Click on over to my Instagram to see how just how easy it is. And then maybe just maybe we’ll help other tables look like this. 

Paris Party Menu Ideas

More details! Would you believe me if I told you that planning the party was almost as fun as the party itself? It's kinda true. It's all in the little things and even though my daughter probably won't even appreciate those little things they were so worth it! I will show her pictures one day and tell her, "see how much I loved you?" And then she will go to her therapy appointment, hahaha.

No seriously, there's so many fun ideas you can do with a French themed party. First up was the food table and menu. This chalkboard menu was the handiwork of my BFF, she’s pretty talented. She painted a piece of plywood with chalkboard paint and then used chalk pens like these to create the design and menu, we had French and English on the menu. 

We were going to be feeding both kids and adults, so we needed a good variety, here’s what our menu ended up being:

  • ham & cheese croissants heated in the oven
  • open face turkey sandwiches
  • green beans
  • fruit salad
  • macaron cookies
  • cream puffs
  • chocolate cake
  • french market pink lemonade 

For the fruit salad we served them in little cupcake liners and had pineapple, blackberries, apples and orange slices. 

The food table had these French printables all around the dishes. The girls received mini printables of the same scenes in their favor baskets. 

For more details of the party, you can see the favor baskets here and the photo booth and activities here.