pretty, happy, funny, real...

So this week's addition is once again centered around Miss Courtney's graduation celebration. I know you're tired of hearing about it. I promise last time...maybe...**wink**wink**

While we are still paying off hospital bills from Miss Courtney's stay in the PICU over Easter, I knew that whatever type of celebration we had needed to be done on a very tight budget. So DIY projects + good friends = a fabulous party filled with color. It was a joy filled four hours surrounded by those who have been Courtney's biggest and loudest cheerleaders over the years.

I did something different for this party. I put my camera away and just stayed in the moment. So everything I share here today was taken the day before as I set up the space. Our dear friends DQ and Christine offered to host the gathering at their home since it was bigger and could fit everyone in case of rain. I will be forever indebted to them for generosity.


Lots of hands on deck for the creation of the party decorations. I have found that this can be one of the most expensive parts of party planning besides the food. So I spent an afternoon on Pinterest for inspiration and came up with the banner idea. 

Most of the ones I found online were made of fabric which I thought would take too much time. Besides I am the only one of those helping with the party decorations that sews and I knew I would drive myself nuts trying to get it all done in time. I began to dig through my paper stash and came up with the orange, fuchsia and yellow color theme. Bright happy colors like my Courtney's personality.

I had stickers and LOTS of ribbon and glue so we set up an assembly line and got to it. I must say I could not be more pleased with the results. There were flowers in one room and little flags in the others.

Once the hearth was done we moved into the dining room. This time the banners were made of 4x6 triangles once again held together with yellow ribbon. I used polka dots and stripes in all different colors and scale. It really popped against the white table linen's and the bold paper plates.

It just made me smile. You have to smile when you're celebrating Miss Courtney!


The other thing that helped keep costs down is that we made ALL the desserts. Rather my baking team made all the cupcakes and cookies. There were vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing as well as several dozen sugar cookies with yellow, hot pink and orange sprinkles. They make me so happy just looking at them. They tasted quite delish as well.

Let me introduce you to my baking team. Check out the smiles on their faces. They were so happy to help make Miss Courtney's day special. I love these three as if they were my own.

Noah has a future as a Master Chef. This boy can bake and he is EIGHT! Don't you love his smile. His job was to place the cookie on the sheet and sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle then make sure they didn't burn in the oven. He took his job seriously and you can see the fabulous results above. Thank you Noah!!

Here is Miss Hannah taking a break form the 75 cupcakes she made and finishing up one of the banners. This young lady can out bake me and oh what a servant's heart she has. She is confident in the kitchen and I can't wait to see where the future takes her. We are connected for life me and Miss Hannah. I had the privilege to be her Confirmation sponsor. We're spiritually bound for life...yea me!! I definitely got the better end of that deal.

Finally we have Miss Victoria. Look at her joy. She is all about helping and she outdid herself last week. She rolled the cookies and helped trace the triangles for the banners. She is such a lovely young lady so filled with grace and is always laughing. This one will be a Mama of many one day, God willing. Oh what a joy it will be to watch unfold.

The final "happy" for today was the flowers. We used Gerber daisies for the dessert table and around the house. But for the main table we had a florist put together a centerpiece for us. This was the single most expensive part of the day but it was worth every penny. What an impact the flowers had on the main serving table. I love the bright bold colors and have decided that orange roses are my new favorite flowers. Stunning!


Need a little of glue...we did...and we had PLENTY. Gotta love homeschooling preparedness...My girl Christine is da bomb!!


Decorating is exhausting work and Miss Lilo was the first to fold. Here she is in the kitchen snoozing away. I can't wait for her to come visit in August for a whole week. I am not sure we will be able to give her back.

This is the only photo I took on the day of the party. The dessert table of course. Specialty m&m's, cupcakes and sugar cookies along with chocolate pretzel treats. It was the most popular stop for all my nieces and nephews (mine as well...hee...hee...)

So there you have it. One graduation party for one special girl. It went off without a hitch and I could not have been more pleased. Thanks to Christine, Marques, Nicholas, Hannah, Victoria, Noah, Kathy V, Caroline V, Cathy C, my mother, my sister Marianne, Mimi and Pap for all your contributions to the day. We could not have done it without you!!

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

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