The Random Writings of Rachel: "Around the World" Open House

"Around the World" Open House

No big deal, I just had 100 people at my house this weekend. LITERALLY. I counted.

Here's the story. Apparently due to my "party girl" reputation, my cousin asked me to host her high school graduation open house a few months ago. When she asked, I had a sudden attack of boring adulthood and did not instantly jump at the opportunity. However, I quickly got back to my normal party-loving self and accepted the challenge.

We came up with a theme that I like to call "Fly Away"/"Around the World", in honor of the graduate's plans to take a gap year and live overseas before starting her college career. (Is anyone getting jealous yet?)

Of course, this was a party on a budget, and I was determined to accomplish this party without buying anything new in the way of party gear (whereas, in the past, I would have used a party as an excuse to add something to my collection of useful items for a hostess of large get-togethers). All decorations were made out of stuff we already had on hand: an atlas that was falling apart, old road maps of the county, Angel's flag collection, scrapbook paper from my stash, toothpicks, Malaysian decor that I've had for as long as I can remember...


 Can you see, although it's blurry, the tablecloth was a bunch of maps taped together?




The menu was chosen primarily considering how easy would it be to make the food in humongous quantities. Tacos were the obvious choice. Cupcakes aren't necessarily easy to make in large quantities (when was the last time you baked 132 cupcakes in one day?) but they had the cute factor in their favor.




A last-minute addition to the party entertainment that went over very well was henna tattoos. When we were setting up the evening before, I came across my stash of tubes of henna which I won't be able to use up by myself before we move, so I decided I could offer henna temporary tattoos to whoever at the party wanted them. I didn't think they would be so popular, but I spent quite a bit of time at the party drawing patterns on the wrists or ankles of guests of all ages--from little girls to grandmothers, henna was quite popular. This was a bit of a risky move, as henna, the stuff that stains your skin, also stains just about anything, but thanks to lots of warnings there were no major stain tragedies. I didn't get any photos of this in action, or of my patterns for others, but this is the henna I was sporting for the day:



This was indeed an affair which required lots of family teamwork. Creative planning by me. Cooking, cleaning, and set up by Angel and I and my siblings along with Shannon and her family. Chairs and tables donated by uncles and grandparents. Isaac documented the party as official party photographer and also took her senior pictures.


Happy Graduation, Shannon!

28 comments:

  1. That sounds like a lovely party and the henna was a great touch. I think it's amazing what people can pull out to decorate and entertain with once they dig to the back of their closets, ask others, and just get creative. Her gap year sounds fantastic!

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  2. Haha work that party girl reputation! :P It looks like you all had so much fun and I LOVE the henna- i really want to get some soon! :)

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  3. Such an awesome party! And I am TOTALLY jealous of her gap year!!!!

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  4. You do throw the best parties! I can see why she wanted you to host it:) I love those cupcakes with the paper airplanes on them. Genius idea! What a fun and special event:)

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  5. Graduation season is so fun! You get to see people transition into a new chapter of their lives. I love the cute paper airplanes on the cupcakes!

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  6. What an amazing party idea! And it was so nice of you to host it for your cousin.

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  7. This sounds like so much fun! So are your siblings in the US right now? I thought they were back in Malaysia.

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  8. So fun! I love throwing parties!

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  9. What a cute theme! So many creative ideas! I especially love the tablecloth made out of maps!

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  10. What a great party -- congrats to your cousin! xoxo

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  11. Love the idea of using maps as the tablecloth!

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  12. Graduation season is upon us! My brothers graduate in a few weeks. Great job on the party! Everything looks great! I have to ask though...what are those two dishes below the apples? They both look so good!

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  13. Oooh how fun, the food looks yummy!

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  14. What great pictures! It sounds like y'all had a lot of fun. I have a friend who has traveled to Greece on mission trips in the last couple of years. She had to practice henna before going, and I can still remember seeing her artwork on her arm when she was coming into work on those days. :) I've been catching up on your last few post. I imagine you are swamped with all of your packing! I can not wait to see what adventures are in store for the both of you. :)

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  15. What a genius planned party, I wish I had been there. I adore the paper airplanes on the cupcakes. Good work Rachel!

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  16. Wow.. you are a machine! So much effort put forth and it looks like it all came together really nicely. I like the paper airplanes on the cupcakes. I can't believe you took this on with everything else you have going on in your lives right now. Good on you!

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  17. You are a great hostess, the theme worked amazingly well, it looks great! Congrats to your cousin on her graduation :)


    Away From Blue

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  18. Moving has it's advantages as things do become less precious - like using up henna that you might otherwise want to save for future use, or road maps which would otherwise be quite useful! Sounds like a great party!

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  19. A sudden attack of boring adulthood HAH! Your party looks fab and I love the idea of taping a bunch of maps together for a tablecloth :) your cousin is adorable as well, I love her curly hair!

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  20. Congratulations to your cousin Shannon! That is her first great step now on to some fun around the world! Does she have a travel plan yet? You're an awesome cousin to have hosted such a large gathering haha :) Happy Hump Day Rachel! -Iva

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  21. Wow, congrats to the cousin! This does look fun but sheesh, I am not good with big crowds so I'd have been a little freaked out!

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  22. So nice. But I wouldn't like 100 people in my house. I'd probably freak.

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  23. what a fun and touching post - so kind of you to help with the party, and how resourceful that you didn't buy anything? it looks like a good time, and i'm sure your cousin will remember how much fun she had while she's traveling :)

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  24. You are quite the party planner there missy! Well done!

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  25. oooh, I've always wanted a henna tattoo! I definitely would have been in line. :)

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  26. How cool of you and how brave...I think 100 people would have freaked me out!! Ha!
    Debbie
    www.fashionfairydust.blogspot.com

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  27. Oh my goodness! Sounds like you're off the hook for hosting duties for at least a year! :)

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