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!