We Have a Graduate on the Horizon...

I cannot believe our baby girl is graduating from elementary school. It's like the end of an era. No more primary school for our household and it's a little devastating and exciting all at once. Graduations are a big deal in our home and each kid knows that we celebrate several graduations with parties. There is the preschool graduation party, elementary school graduation, and we aren't there yet, but high school graduation. We skip middle school because it would be back to back parties with the way my kids are spread out in grades. And mama's gotta have a break some years!

In anticipation for Greta's big graduation on the horizon, the most adorable invitation company reached out to me to work on an exciting project. I had never heard of this invitation company before, and you know I love to share great finds with all of you, so I felt it my duty to investigate. Planning a party honestly is half the fun. And invites set the stage for the whole event. Basic Invite has the most adorable photo graduation invitations I have seen so far. Take a look at a few of the ones I am considering:

In anticipation of Greta graduating I did a sweet photo shoot recently to capture this time in her life. As I was looking for photos to include on her school yearbook page I realized I didn't have any recent ones that weren't taken on an iPhone! So we decided to fix that and I just love how they turned out. 

I also absolutely love the idea of a personalized graduation announcement. Back when my kids were born, paper announcements had fallen out of popularity and now I think everyone just uses social media to share their big news of pregnancies, birth, marriage, and graduations. But I sent out real announcements and I thought the whole experience of gathering addresses and names, carefully selecting the card stock and the design, and mailing off each announcement to those we love was just the best. And I still love the idea, I can't believe I didn't think about sending graduation announcements to those who live far and wouldn't be able to attend any ceremony or party. I am taking note of these adorable ones. And look at all the cute details you can include, how great would it be to also share where they may be attending middle school?!

I decided to show you how easy it is to play around with their website and grabbed a screenshot of a cute announcement as an example. This one took about 4 minutes once I chose the photo. I just loaded the picture and played around with the text location and size, changed some of the colors of the font, and voila! There are so many options, 180 color choices. But I know too many choices can be overwhelming too, so personally I love that they had text size, color and font already preloaded into the announcement so you can get a feel for what you like. I also could have added more details to the announcement below like city, state, the next school she's going to, and lots more. And the preview is instant, no waiting! They also have over 40 different envelope color choices so you can skip the whole boring plain white standard envelopes, and can I blow your mind for a second? The envelopes are peel and seal! No more dry mouth addressing these babies. 

Another thing that I love about Basic Invite is that you can order a sample of your announcement or invite. Back when I ordered birth announcements for this cute graduate girl I remember my heart racing as I clicked the order button for 150 announcements without ever feeling and seeing it in real life. You don't have to do that anymore! 

Are you a Basic Invite convert? Have I been under a rock and you all know about this invitation and announcement company already?! Where have I been?

The next time you're planning a party, don't even get me started on their bridal shower invites(!), pop by Basic Invite and see just how easy and customizable their options are compared to what you've used before. You can thank me later :)

*This post is in partnership with Basic Invite however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Anniversary Celebrations & Food Trucks

This year has been a year of anniversaries! Big ones! Aaron and I celebrated our 15th in May, my grandparents celebrated 65 in July, we celebrated friends' 20th, and we had a belated 15th celebration (technically 16th) for my sister and brother in law because it was a year in the making. Finally some fun photos to share of the evening. 

The request had been placed for dancing, so that's just what we did. My mom and my sister's good friend helped me put together a fun night of food and dancing in September. We converted our backyard by renting a dance floor, high cocktail tables, and we had a food truck in the front yard where we had salad and gourmet pizzas to order. Dessert was from Nothing Bundt Cakes, again, so delicious. The food truck was such a fantastic and different spin to the night. The food was fabulous and everyone loved it, not to mention I loved not cooking haha.


Graduation Themed Candy Dessert Bar


Are you celebrating a graduate this summer? I had so much fun putting together this graduation/school themed candy bar for Sawyer. We do graduations big in this house since we don't celebrate holidays or birthdays. We do preschool, elementary and will do high school for each of them. With three kids two grades apart, I get a year break in between elementary school grad parties and then they know the next one will be high school. I have to skip middle school or else I'd be throwing a 100 person grad party every year for 3 solid years because of how the grades work out. When we did Gunnar's two years ago we started a little tradition that I think each kid loves. We have a taco cart, photo booth, dance floor and dancing. And then I add little details to make them each unique. Gunnar had root beer floats, Sawyer got this candy bar and we also did a slideshow of photos of Sawyer from the last almost 11 years. Who knows what Greta will have! Update: Greta chose an ice cream sundae bar with all the fixings!

Sawyer is gluten free and dairy free which limits our dessert options significantly. I didn't want to be tied to personally dishing out dessert either, I wanted to enjoy him on this night and dance dance dance. So it was self serve with little baggies next to the goodies. My sister and brother in law got these adorable signs and chalkboard markers and helped with some of the treats, and the rest I just picked up at my local Party City and on Amazon. I'll share my sources below (affiliate links included). But here's all the photos with the different candy options. The only thing Sawyer couldn't eat was the Kool Kats (Kit Kat bars). I came up with creative, school themed names for each candy, and then the glowsticks were a bonus and a MUST if you have a nighttime outdoor party!


Here's the rundown of what we used:

And there you have the entire candy bar! Be sure to use different heights and sizes of clear vases and containers, I even used a few cupcake stands for the ring pops. Make sure you have tongs for items like the gummy worms, and a spoon if you do a bowl of jelly beans.