How to navigate a Grad Party

Aah. Graduation. Those who are graduating are holding grad parties so that their relatives can come, be proud of them, and give them money for suffering through at least four years of school, and so that their friends can come party one last time at school and get sentimental about things before going off to party all summer then face the real world (if they don’t have summer jobs that is). But the million dollar question is: how do you navigate a graduation party? This will be a quick and blunt post about how to get in and get out of house parties without looking like the most awkward person there is.

Hosting:

For those who are hosting, you are expected to have senior photos, baby photos, and the best of your poorly taken photos of fun times with your friends. You must have a cake with your face on it, a place for people to write their favorite memories of you, two different places to mingle (so that your friends and family never meet each other), a place for gifts/cards, and enough food to sustain all of the people you invited for the 3-4 hours that your open house will be running.

Invitations: If you’re going to go the nine yards and spend a bunch of money getting the nice invitations with your picture, your name, etc., send those to your relatives. If you have any left over, you can give them to your best friends or teachers- whomever is really special to you. The rest can be invited through Facebook. It’s cheaper, and you have a better clue of who is attending. No one RSVPs to paper invites anymore, but if all you have to do is click a button on the bookface that you’re either coming or not coming, you’re more likely to get an accurate guestimate of your party #. You should keep track of who you sent physical invitations to, because these are the people who are likely to give you gifts. You need to write a Thank You note to anyone who got you a gift. That’s how gifts work.

Decorations: Let’s be honest here. You’re going to be spending a lot of money on your open house whether you like it or not, and you’re going to pray that you break even with what your Grandma and favorite Uncle Fred put in your grad card- so let’s make it as cheap as possible without having it LOOK cheap. How do you do that? The Dollar Store. You can groan or laugh all you want, but I’m not kidding. If you dig deep enough and are willing to go the extra mile to spruce up some cheap stuff, your dollar store buys can turn out amazing. If you’re looking for a cheesy themed grad party, great! Buy the luau stuff! If you’re looking for a more trendy grad party, you can buy the plain banners, tablecloths, etc., and add some imagination (a sparkly center piece, accent balloons, candles, paint champagne glasses and fill them with candy, GET CREATIVE). Pictures. Pictures are a must. I have never gone to a grad party that doesn’t have pictures, and I’ve gone to a lot of grad parties. Pictures, if you want physical copies, should be bought in bulk and are cheapest online though WinkFlash or Snapfish. You could also have a slideshow on a TV or computer- just make sure that the picture shrine is in a more wide open space so that people aren’t crowding one area and causing people to form human roadblocks. Large crowds of people who are blocking people coming to and from food, or another room are annoying and can easily cause spills that suck to clean up.

  • The shrine is an important element of your party. Here is where people will put their cards they bought for you (in a box that you decorated (large cardboard ones with lids are good because they’re cute, and it keeps things clean. People are more likely to put your card in a safe space if it is clearly labeled, and less likely to hand it to you if it’s in a box with a lid)), and drop their gifts off (leave space under the shrine for this), and admire your achievements. This is where you will display any scholarships you might have won, hang any pictures (if not digitized), where your yearbooks are, and where you have yet another cute box/jar for people to write cutesy things about you.

Don’t forget to get creative with the theme, or the time of the event. One of my friends had a brunch grad party, another had a pool themed party, etc. So mess around with the time of day and the type of decorations you want to use! There are a lot of great DIY ideas on Pinterest. You also don’t want your grad party at the same time as everyone else’s, so having it at an unusual time will bring in more of your friends.

Food: You want finger food. Don’t make people come in for a 4 course meal. Have a buffet, buy in bulk, and make it yourself. Sams is the party grocery store of America. Here is where you can buy chips, candy, and other assorted party foods. For my graduation party my parents got frozen meatballs from Sams, marinated them the night before, cooked them, and served them with cute toothpicks. We bought and cut the fruit ourselves and put them in our own party bowls making it fresher, taste less like cardboard, and we had some left over because there was so much.

Crowd Control: Many people will be coming to your party, and most of these people are going to want to spend time with you. They are HERE for YOU anyways (and maybe food). Make sure to greet anyone who comes in the door, even if it’s not RIGHT as they walk in the door. Don’t spend 2 of your 3 hours glued to your SO’s side or watching your own picture slide show, it’s rude to the people who came to see and celebrate you. Also know that there will be a wide variety of people in attendance. Your great grandma who is older than dirt, your grandparents who are a little too proud of you, Aunts and Uncles from both sides who are only there because of a familial obligation that brought their kids (ages 5, 10, and 13) because they’re old enough to be left alone, but only for 20 minutes at a time, and let’s not forget your friends. Now, you don’t want any of these people in the same room together, and you especially don’t want them SPEAKING to each other, so the best thing to do is have a bunch of space and distract with food. Your family will be in front of the TV watching your baby pictures roll by, speaking amongst themselves, and trying to keep their kids in line. Your friends will want somewhere to loudly reminisce the thing that happened two weeks ago like it was 3 years ago, and your cousins are going to want to terrorize. These groups will naturally separate into their own habitats, but by keeping the shrine away from the TV and food, you keep your friends away from your family and the road blockage to a minimum. A set up that  I prefer to use is shrine visible when you walk into the house, pictures in a side room, food in a wide open space, and have a lot of room outdoors for people to disperse. (That was long winded, I know, but you had to get the point.)

Getting People to LEAVE: By the time your designated party time is over, you’re exhausted. But there’s still people around. The best way to get rid of them is to start cleaning up. Once the host is cleaning up, the message is usually clear: GET OUT. If they aren’t gone by the time you’ve finished cleaning up, and they aren’t helping either- kick them out. They’re a crap friend and you’ll probably never see them again anyway (or make up something about taking a nap, having plans- anything to say ‘I have to go, so you have to leave’ without actually saying ‘Get out of my house I hate you’).

Attending:

So you’ve been invited to a grad party. GREAT. Are you expected to bring anything? What do you wear? When is the best time to go? What are open houses like? What if I don’t even like the guy? What if my best friend invited me, but I can’t go?!

What to give: Never more than $20, and even then, they should be your BEST FRIEND EVER. Your friends don’t expect you to break the bank, and giving too extravagantly can make them uncomfortable if they cannot reciprocate. You are allowed to make a heartfelt card, or some really lame joke and throw in some coins for their future laundry endeavors. (EX: taping $1 of quarters to a card with the words ‘Don’t spend it all in one place!’ or ‘For your laundry cuz you stank’ or even ‘I’m broke, you’re broke, but now you can afford one load of laundry.’) Those are all trademarked btw. You have to pay to use those.

What to wear: Nothing that makes you standout more than the host. This is THEIR graduation party and they are the center of attention. Don’t upstage, but don’t show up in sweats. Don’t neglect, but respect. (i.e.: don’t neglect your own personal hygiene, but be respectful and don’t outshine the host in their own house).

When to leave: You don’t want to overstay your welcome at a grad party that you just attended out of politeness. If your at the party of a good friend and you want to stay a long time because you know everyone and you’re having a good time? Great! But if it’s someone you’re more acquaintances with and you’re not sure when to leave, here are a few good guidelines:

  • Meet and greet the host
    • This doesn’t have to be your MISSION. It does not have to be the FIRST thing you do. But why did you go, if you’re not even going to say hi to the person who’s graduating? Be polite, don’t butt in if they are talking to someone, and if you do end up hovering for a while and you have to leave, find a polite pause in their conversation and say something along the lines of ‘Thank you so much for inviting me _________, I’ve had such a great time and it was so good to see you! I have to leave now, but I just wanted to stop in and say ‘Hi’ and ‘Congratulations on graduating”
  • Stop by ‘The Table’
    • Most everyone that is graduating will have a table that has pictures, memories, a place for gifts, somewhere to write a nice note, and any of their awards/scholarships they got at the award ceremony that you had to sit through last week. If there’s somewhere to write a note, you should write a memory or inside joke that you might have shared with that person, even if it was from 3 years ago and they might not remember the joke. If they think you’re weird, well, you’re going away and won’t see them again, and if they don’t, then they’ll think it’s sweet that you remembered that obscure reference. If you can’t think of anything, THEN AND ONLY THEN should you write *insert generic congrats on graduating here*.
  • Eat the food
    • You went through all the trouble and awkwardness of getting through the front door and greeting people that never talked to you in school but now are greeting you like you were acquaintances all year. You deserve to treat yourself, and it will keep you from having to make awkward conversation with people.
  • Greet friends
    • Not acquaintances. That gets awkward fast. If they’re acquaintances, say hi and bye. If there’s no one there at ALL to talk to, make a new friend? Say hello to the house animals? But close friends are usually the best way to feel the least awkward.
  • Leave
    • If you have stayed at least 20 minutes, you’re good. Maybe an hour if they’re a close friend and you have more than one grad party to go to. There’s no need to stay longer. If the host is free, let them know you’re leaving, if not, just leave. Unless you waited to talk to the host until last, you’re free. Obviously no one is trying to kick you out of the house, but never stay longer than the time designated on the card, and don’t hold up the host. They should have time to talk to everyone and if you’re Chatty Cathy and talk their ear off for an hour, they will be unable to greet all of their guests. That being said, don’t feel like you’re in a rush to get out of there- just know that there usually isn’t much space because the host has invited all of their friends and family.

Hope this has been helpful!

Enjoy your graduation and Congrats to those of you who are graduating! ❤

RayeDeSol

The Purge

Hello friends, family, and others!

I have a wonderful new cousin who is super into this ‘cleansing’ thing- you know, where you eat the healthy food that comes in the mail that looks like a brick and tastes like dust? HOWEVER!! As I have never actually TRIED any of it, I can’t say that it’s horrible. The whole ‘don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it’ mentality and all. Back to my cousin (in-law? just cousin? who knows. I like her enough- but hate that she lives in Florida… she should have to suffer in Illinois with me. We’ll just call her Emily. She’s great. <ily Emily>) who lives in Florida (not jealous) who sent me some samples of the health foods and face masks. She is a sales rep for this company called Arbonne Essentials and asked me to try some of her stuff. In all honesty, I love trying new things but I’m a VERY picky eater (heads up), so you have the privilege of testing out these new samples with me! Here’s a pic of all the super cool stuff I get to try: 20170515_100654(I assure you that these looked newer BEFORE I left them in my backpack for a week, and please excuse the poor quality of my pics. I have shaky hands.)

Now, because I’m trying these at work and not at home- because I never remember to do anything when I get to my apartment at the end of the day- I won’t be trying the face mask. I might make another post for it, or I might update this one later (at the bottom or something)

The Chocolate Bar:

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Looks like chocolate, smells like chocolate, tastes like a s’mores bar, and has the consistency of a granola bar (go figure). Leaves my mouth feeling dry because of the consistency, but no fear! That’s what I have the tea and the fizzy drink thing for. Way better than what I was expecting (which was dirt… because it’s supposed to be healthy). Final thoughts: would eat again, but not in the same quantities that I down chocolate bars when I’m on my period.

The Tea:

Choosing the right mug is always the hardest part of drinking hot beverages because there are always so many good mugs to pick from.

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Now, I’m not a religious tea drinker by any means, nor do I like coffee. I stray from caffeine as much as possible, and I’m really glad that this tea is caffeine free. In fact, my preferred hot beverage of choice is hot chocolate (if anyone has hot chocolate recipes for me to try I will willingly do so) tea just… isn’t my cup  of tea? Any who, when I first tried it I did not let it steep enough so it tasted like watered down dead leaf juice with maybe some mint? But as a former Starbucks Barista *hair flipgiphy* I know that steeping it longer will bring out the flavor or something. So I am currently waiting for it to steep as I find more gifs to put into this post.

So it’s been steeping a while and it still tastes like dead leaf juice, but with a really nice smell- so for those of you who like tea that doesn’t have a strong flavor, I’d say that this is a great tea for you. It’s really light with a bit of mint flavor, and it smells nice. But for those of you who like stronger flavored tea, this makes a really good air freshener or something to play with at work to make you feel more sophisticated.

Keep in mind, however, that this is a cleansing tea so the purpose is to clean and not fit MY specific standards of good tea and that even if it’s not my favorite cup of tea ever (I’ve had worse), you might LOVE it 🙂 so don’t knock it ’till you try it!

Energy Fizz Stick:

I kid you not, that is what it says on the package. I can’t make this stuff up. Now, after further investigation (and by that, I mean I texted Emily and said ‘wtf is this?’), you’re supposed to put this in a water bottle and shake it- but I don’t have one of those, so we’re gonna put it in a glass, stir it, and hope for the best.

It turns out that I cannot open things that are perforated so I must now go get some scissors.

Right off the bat this reminds me of those orange tablets you drop into water and drink when you’re sick. I don’t know if any of you know what I’m talking about, but I know that my Grandma ALWAYS has them at her place and whenever I tell her I’m feeling a bit under the weather she makes me drink a glass of the fizzy orange juice stuff. Only this is pomegranate flavored. I’ve never tried pomegranates so this will be an interesting test run!

It smells like Capri-Sun pouches, is kinda fizzy when you drink it, and tastes like fizzy fruit punch.

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All in all I would like to thank the amazing Emily for letting me try her products. I’ve had so much fun with this and getting to try new things. I can’t wait to try the face stuff when I get home!!! But I want to let you know that I am still the blogger that you know and love, and treated myself to a bag of M&M cookies for all of my hard work.

See you all soon and I hope you’re enjoying the weather!

RayeDeSol

 

Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

WARNING: I WILL GIVE YOU WARNING IF I AM ABOUT TO GIVE A SPOILER!!!! Make sure to read the warning headers. Some might consider it a spoiler, some might not- but I’m not taking chances.

Now, I HATE people who spoil movies for me. I don’t like watching more than one trailer for a movie because I’m afraid that they will give away the whole movie in one trailer (or that all of the funny parts of the movie will all be in one trailer- it’s happened before. I was upset). But let me tell you that GotG2 was SO GOOD.

I was originally a little nervous about seeing this movie because the last movie I saw in theaters was Beauty and the Beast with Nat in Florida on our Spring Break trip and I threw up afterwards because I got motion sick from all of the spinning. And not even just the ballroom scene- the whole damned movie felt like it was filmed on a roller coaster. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the movie! it was a good movie! I just- with all the spinning- and food doesn’t taste good twice- it was a less than magical experience.

Anyways, back to the GotG2. Mom took me to see it on Saturday (and might have taken Leah to see it again on Sunday), and we both agreed that it was an amazing movie.

 

WARNING: I talk about how I feel about the character arches and misspell names

 

 

My Dad had listened to the radio earlier that day and was repeating what the talk-show hosts had said about what they had thought about Guardians of the Galaxy 2. One had said that the whole movie was about Groot, and I could not disagree more. I thought that everyone had their own thing and got pretty equal screen time.

Peter had his daddy issues, Gomorra had the feelings for Peter, Drax had the thing with Mantis lady, and Rocket had the thing about friendship and stuff (yes, I know how vague that was but I don’t really want to spoil it, and those who have seen the movie know what I’m talking about).

 

WARNING: Only kind of a spoiler and is in no way important to the plot line whatsoever.

 

 

 

THEY PUT A ZUNE IN THE MOVIE!!!!!!!!!! I don’t think any of you understand how excited I got when I was watching the movie and I saw that they mentioned the Zune and how popular it was on Earth which only made me laugh really hard because besides me, I’ve only known two other people to know what a Zune is (my cousin Jay (think he goes by James now?) and my friend Eliza- who got ecstatic when she found out I had a Zune because we were able to play games and stuff together). The Zune is an MP3 player that Microsoft made to compete with the Ipod. Obviously it didn’t do as well because not very many people know what it is, and the software for it is out of date and Zunes are no longer in production. I am aware that it was a drag on the Zune, but I laughed when I Googled ‘Zune’ later after the movie and saw how widely searched it was because of its reference in GotG2.

High School Musical 1

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Hullo frands. It is that time of the year again where I have to begin planning the next three months of my life, a.k.a, summer. As much as I would absolutely LOVE to sit around and do nothing, I am an ‘adult’ now which means I have to go to work if I want to be able to afford anything fun or necessary in my life. (I’m sorry guys, I regret putting the gif in- it’s really distracting, but it makes the post more fun? I should have put it in last or something).

Summer is a great time for college and high school kids to find a job to be able to pay for anything they might want to do during the school year, or any trips they might want to pursue during the summer or breaks- in theory. I myself am currently saving up to go to concerts (Def Leppard, Queen, Fall Out Boy- you know, the usual), however motivation is hard to come by. I’m almost done with finals, I don’t have any more homework, the days are getting longer, the weather is nicer- I WANT TO SIT ON A BEACH ALL DAY AND READ FOR PLEASURE!!! And I’m sure many of you are thinking similar thoughts.

-Reality Check- ( This is where s*** gets serious)

This is only the beginning. You have to be able to afford things, and if you are anything like me, and impulse control is an issue, then you need to sit down and buckle up because working is in your future. But you’re in luck because I’ll be right there beside you, bitching loudly the whole way.

I have come to the conclusion that should I want to go out with my friends, eat out at a restaurant every once in a while, have food in my apartment, gas in my car, travel, I need moolah. Cold hard cash. Dollares in my account, and that doesn’t come from sitting on my ass all day every day, wishing I had a summer body without working for it *sighs wistfully*.

This summer, I have decided, will be a summer of hardcore- parkour, let’s get down to business to defeat the huns kind of summer. This doesn’t mean all work no play, but it does mean buckling down and getting stuff done. I have already enrolled in two summer online classes, I have one job (my job from the school year), and I am looking to get a second that would function as more of a night job that would beef up my savings account for the upcoming year. I won’t be moving back home this summer because the lease on my apartment is a year long and I can’t afford to pay for something that I am not making use of, however this also means that I will still be buying all my own food, and not saving as much as I would be if my lease were shorter (but you can’t have your cake and eat it too. There are benefits to this though- my own Wi-Fi, most of my neighbors move out in a week to go back to their homes abroad, and I’m 4 blocks away from my current job).

I know that if I want to achieve something that I will have to work hard for it. For me that means graduating on time, gaining new and diverse experiences to be able to apply to my life (and put on my resume), as well as being financially stable when I leave college. To achieve my goal that means picking up extra classes over summers and breaks, studying abroad at least once, and working enough to not have to worry about how I am going to afford basic necessities. Something that I have challenged myself with this year was to make enough money to cover my living cost. My parents gave me enough money to cover my apartment, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could be responsible, find a good job that would pay the rent, and maybe have leftover money for food so that I would not have to dip into the money my parents gave me, and I could invest that in something. That did not happen this semester, but it is a goal I am striving to achieve in future semesters.

Now I realize that I am very fortunate in what I currently have and where I am in life, and that when I graduate I won’t immediately move into my very own 4 story house in the Bahamas, but having a plan is something that is important to me, and something I value. It makes me feel more secure in my future. Obviously, however, this is not everyone’s take on life and I know and respect this. You do you, Imma do me.

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On to lighter topics! Sorry I veered off track there for a bit- ANY HOW! My summer plans that I am trying to save for include, but are not limited to (note: the following information is subject to change):

  • Concerts
    • Queen
    • Def Leppard
    • Lalapalooza
  • Traveling
    • Summer Family vacation (I want a bunch of souvenirs)
    • Broadway show
  • Festivals and other miscellaneous adventures that pop up

I originally planned to go on a trip for the Harry Potter Day festivals on the 30th of July, but I’ll most likely be in Colorado on vacation with my family at that time (no complaints!) so I’ve rescheduled that for next years adventures. I know the list isn’t a long one, but again, I still have 2 sessions of summer school and work so I can’t take THAT much time off. Let me know if you have any suggestions of things to add to my list! I’m always looking for new experiences (even if they’re small things)!!!

Hope you all are enjoying the weather: let me know if you have any summer plans that you’re excited about! 😀

RayeDeSol