Anyone who has been a friend of this blog for a while knows my BFF, Denise, and the passion we share for throwing fun parties!  Between the two of us, we have 7 kids, and we’ve thrown more parties for them (and others!) than we can count through the years.  We’ve already done 3 of our kids’ graduation parties, and this year was her 2nd son’s turn to graduate!  So, in her fabulous creative style, she pulled off a super-cool celebration, worthy of Pierson’s cool self.

I thought you all would love to see a few shots from the party in case you want to Pin them away for your own future gathering.  (Plus, I’ll point out a few party techniques that Denise uses to step up her party game a notch or two.)

My favorite part of her recent grad party, which was a hit with everyone, was the soda bar Denise set up for the guests.


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With Coke and Sprite in cute dispensers, we could serve ourselves and even add a splash of flavored Starbucks syrup for a customized concoction!  I loved this idea!  You can find dispensers similar to this here.  And here’s a tip for serving soda in dispensers–remember it can go flat in a short time period, so wait until just before guests arrive to pour in the soda, and remember to keep the lids on dispensers tightly fitted.




The syrups were a huge hit with the kids, and these full-size bottles are available for purchase online here, as well as at some Starbucks locations, depending on the management at your local store.



And what’s cuter than a big jar of cherries?? Perfect for adding a pop of color, and the perfect addition to a vanilla Coke!


As you can see from the soda bar, some of Denise’s favorite elements for a party are string lights, twinkle lights, and lighted arrows!  These are perfect for adding to a table, hanging over a chalkboard, or whatever!  I’ll provide a list of some sources for these at the bottom of this post.



Another of Denise’s and my signature party favorites are pennants and banners.  These mini white pennants are some that she made by gluing folded white triangles on string, and it can be used and re-used for all kinds of occasions!


And then, of course, there are signs, letterboards, and chalkboards-all of which are great investments to use for all kinds of different events!  I love how Denise used her letterboard to give instructions for the walking tacos we ate at the party!  (A great menu idea as well!)



The dessert table was just as much a treat for the eyes as for the tastebuds!  We both love the classic black and white, as you can see from the wall of her sunroom and throughout the decor.  (You may recognize the table cover as the Eivor throw everyone loves from IKEA.)  We also have been known to use, scarves, sheets, wrapping paper, and remnants of fabric to cover tables as well!





This party was a hit, not only with the handsome graduate, but with all the guests!  Click here in case you missed the how-to for Pierson’s grad cap made of money.



And there’s just one more thing… Not only have Denise and I been party-planning buddies and mom-friends who have raised our kids together,  we’ve literally been life-long friends, and I’m pretty sure we coined the term BFF way back in the 70’s.   I met her when I was 3 years old, and we’ve always lived here in East Tennessee, except for when we were in college together in Florida.  And though I never dreamed we’d live apart, in just a couple weeks, Denise and her family are moving to Texas.  My happiness for them and their new adventure God is leading them to is the only thing that is keeping me from being totally devastated.  And I’m counting on those of you there in Texas to take good care of them!  Of course I’ll be visiting there as often as I can, but it’s hard to turn the page on this chapter of our lives.  That’s all I have the heart to say about it right now, but there will be more to come on this in the future, I’m sure.  I don’t really have time for tears at the moment, as I have a big bittersweet going away party to plan!

And as for recommendations of some of our favorite party supplies you might like, you’ll find sources for those below!  (affiliate links) Good luck and have fun with your own party planning!

Beverage Dispenser and Stand

Lighted Marquee Arrow

String Lights

Wired Tiny Lights

Felt Letter Board

Large Chalkboard