BACK TO SCHOOL BASH (for grown-ups) | Blog Post |
September 9, 2013
It’s September, and that will forever mean Back-to-School time to me (despite the fact that have not been enrolled in a school for a looooong time now, and I don’t have children, either!)
September is 10 times more “new year” than even January: I get sad about summer ending, I go on a diet and make a bunch of resolutions, and, this year, I even felt compelled to host a “Back to School Bash”—an adult version, of course! It’s a simple theme to pull off, it definitely helps soften the “back to reality” blow, and you have three more weeks in September to try it. So, read on and get to party planning!
The invitation: I love Paperless Post for last-minute shin-digs, because they have the cutest options that feel almost as good as receiving a paper invitation in the mail. They had the perfect look-and-feel I was going for with this composition book:
The food: I hired a caterer to help me execute bite-sized adult versions of kid food, to keep in the theme. But I promise you could duplicate any of these items on your own (see my friend Lulu’s fabulous cookbook for more ideas!) – I was just too lazy to do so, and wanted to be able to sit back and enjoy my party!
The delicious menu included:
Caramelized French Onion Dip w/ Potato Chips
Gourmet Chex Mix and Goldfish (Bar Snacks)
Truffled Mac & Cheese Bites
Mini Beer Batter Corny Dogs w/ Honey Grain Mustard*
Celery/Carrot Sticks w/ Ranch Dressing served in Dixie Cups
Mini Pizza Rolls (made with Buratta Cheese and linguica sausage)
Open-faced Peanut Butter & Caramelized Banana Mini Sandwiches
Potato Skins w/ Tomato, Scallion, Bacon & Bleu Cheese Dressing
Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispy Squares
*The biggest hit by far! Everyone loves a Corny Dog!
…and Cherry Bomb Punch (vodka-spiked) Here’s a pic of Don, the caterer, giving it a last-minute stir:
The décor: I took myself on a field trip to a teacher supply store called Lakeshore Learning, which was a bonanza! I looked for the most bang-for-my-buck, in packages of wooden blocks in primary colors, a ream of manilla cursive practice paper to tape together as a table runner, bulletin board borders that I could tape to my table edge, and visually old-school supplies that would appeal to grown-up kids from the ‘70s and ‘80s, like yellow “Number 2” pencils, colored pipe cleaners, and 12-inch ruler sticks. I also picked up some Red Vines and Now & Laters – for edible décor.
My two focal points for design were my dining room table, where I made this demented centerpiece out of apples (for the teacher!), the pencils, and some pinwheels:
…and my Back-to-School-themed mantelscape, of course:
Guests were welcomed with this sign of instruction to "Please make a nametag, and give yourself a gold star!" And they really followed instructions!
Two friends even arrived in uniform (a.k.a. costume), which really made it really fun for everyone else (especially Annie-dog, who is shown here jumping up to greet them!)
All told, 'BACK TO SCHOOL' really does mean 'BACK TO COOL.'
And that is very good-looking.