Gatsby dinner party recap, part un

Monday night, my friends and I threw a big Gatsby/Roaring 20s themed dinner party. We had a blast! We girls shopped all day and then cooked dinner–even in our fancy dresses! Actually not that fancy, most of them are from Goodwill. Figures.

We mostly stuck to food that was significant to the novel–Daisy’s Mint Juleps, mashed potatoes + string beans, lemon cake. But the boys wanted steak, so we also had kebabs.

We set up in the lower level of my backyard. Later we realized we set up under our satellite dish. Classy, right?

Then we ate!

We danced to some 1920’s swing…

We played croquet….

We attempted to play badminton…

We took lots of pictures (more to come)…

(Excuse my friend’s face on the far left…)

When I woke up Monday, it said 40% chance of rain from 3pm till midnight. We also had an extremely limited budget. But thankfully, neither of those ended up being a problem! We used as much stuff as we could find in our own houses (or in those of the old ladies we know) to save money and ended up spending less that $50 on food! Most of our dresses are from Goodwill and accessories were ours or our grandmothers. It didn’t rain, other than a brief smattering before dinner. Overall, it was a smashing success!

Have you ever hosting a dinner party? What are your tips to make a party a success?

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Catching My Eye 10.

Would you make me very very happy and take my survey? I promise, it’s super short, 9 questions. And most of the questions are multiple choice, a few you have to fill in a word. I will love you forever! 

Today has been so long guys. Now that I’m done nannying (summer job), I have like zero motivation to get up in the mornings. Today I didn’t get up until 10:45–how pathetic is that? Getting up late just makes me feel miserable all day. And then we had work acquaintances come by for the afternoon and I get really anxious and grumpy when I have to socialize with strangers for that long so I retreated to my bedroom for a nap until work. So it’s been a bit of a blah day.  I have officially uploaded my Gatsby dinner party pictures though! So I super double cross-my-heart promise they’ll be up tomorrow!

The best of the interwebs:

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♥The fact that this place (Lake Lucerne, Switzerland) is actually a real place. Gahhh I wanna go there.

The first quote I fell in love with as a youngster. Thank you, sweet home Alabama.

♥Old but oh-so-cute. –Sweet Home Alabama

♥Anabela from Fieldguided makes friendship bracelets in the color palettes of favorite photos. Who even thinks of that?? Anyways, they’re super cool.

♥Make an iPhone tripod out of a toy dinosaur. Um yes please?? Can someone please get crafty and make this for me?

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♥This amazing portfolio of photos by Kevin Russ.

♥This year I hosted a Great Gatsby themed dinner party. Next year, I’m planning on hosting a shark week premiere party! Here are 31 Must-Haves and tips to make it epic.

♥Want to travel for free? Think about a volunteer tour.

♥Maybe someday iPhones will have autogrammar in addition to autocorrect.

♥You might have missed: July in Favorites The Good and Bad of Living in Alaska [guest post] ♥ How a History Major Became a Biology Rockstar [guest post] Sponsor CMS in August.

What have you been loving this week? Which of these links did you think was the coolest?

How a History Major Became a Biology Rockstar! [guest post]

Hello everyone! So today is my first ever guest post in the entire universe, how awesome is that? I was pretty indecisive when I thought about what to write for Allie and all of you wonderful readers, but I FINALLY decided! Today we are going to chat about:

The Life of a Cell and How it Paid my Bills

Like all good stories this one hails back to my undergraduate days when I was working my way through my bachelors degree and living off of top ramen. Yummy! ;) I was in my Sophomore year at the community college I was attending and had some grand plans to transfer to a 4- year university within the year, but in order to do so I had to knock out some science courses.

Boy, was I NERVOUS! I was a history major and so anything math or science related tended to give me hives, but I knew it would be better to attempt the class where I was rather than at a larger school.  So like any good student I enrolled in Biology 101 and waited for the fallout, except that there wasn’t any.

Not a one.

Somehow, something clicked in my brain, and biology and I got along famously! So much so that I even contemplated switching my major to biology, because no matter what I was absolutely fascinated with everything I learned. I knew something was up when I got my hands on a copy of The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, because let me tell you, I couldn’t put it down! The Lives of a Cell is a collection of 29 essays written by Lewis Thomas and from the first of it I was hooked. Reading Lewis’ thoughts on the mitochondria, or a how a cell comprised of “ecosystems more complex than Jamaica Bay”(Lewis, 4) was like magic to me.

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My bio-love was the real deal, yo.

Fast-forward a year and I’m at a big’ Ol University by the name of Kansas State University (I love you, Bill Snyder) and I have bills to pay. Going to school out-of-state is always pricey EVEN with an academic scholarship, which I had. I was working at a grocery store and trying to snag another job when the opportunity to work as a peer tutor AND learning assistant for the university came up. Biology, it seemed was a subject that many people had trouble with, so I grabbed both opportunities and never looked back.

Five days a week I moved between working for the athletic department and the university teaching biology to anyone who needed the help. To say that I enjoyed my time as a biology tutor is an understatement because I freaking LOVED it. Biology explains how things live and why things are how they are. I love understanding the world and what makes it work so naturally biology excites me. For a little over 2 years I tutored biology and I was definitely in demand for my skills by students/faculty who even requested me by name.

I had become a biology rock star!

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Me trying to bear hug a massive redwood during a camping trip in the Redwoods National Forest.

A passionate teacher is an effective teacher and teaching biology even strengthened my ability to teach history. So thank you, Biology, for feeding me, paying the light bill, and putting gas in my car. Oh, you little powerhouse mitochondria and semi-permeable cell walls, I could go on forever about how cool you are or how important you are for life. I really wouldn’t have been able to make ends meet or get my degree without my teaching gigs and I’ll be forever grateful for what my knowledge of biology afforded me both physically and mentally.

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At my graduation with my then-fiancée, now husband. Thanks, biology!

 

Was there ever a subject that totally pumped you up and made you ready to take on the world? Were you ever able to use the knowledge you gained in the classroom to better your life outside of it? I know that when I make use of my classroom education I always feel like the school loans are totally worth it, don’t you?

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Wow, thanks for sharing that Crystal! Isn’t she great, guys? Catch up with her more here: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Weekly Wishes #9

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Hey all. Today, I’m linking up with The Nectar Collective for Weekly Wishes. The Weekly Wishes is where we all can share our posts about goals, challenges, and wishes for the week! Last week, I had quite a few goals! Here’s how I did.

  • Get through my Bloglovin’ feed? Ah no. But I did make significant progress! I’m just barely under two hundred!
  • Get a new sponsor?? Nope, not this week. I do have a super awesome guest post coming up from Crystal at The Happy Type and I’m so excited to share! If you ever want to guest post/sponsor CMS, check out the sponsor page.
  • Brainstorm topics for the first week of school posts? Yessirree sure did! Get excited!
  • Make progress on school reading and college apps? Yep! I started my apps and am just waiting to hear back from my counselor before I finish!

I’m finding that my goals are just too vague so it’s hard to really make progress. So I’m making a goal to make my goals more concrete (yes, my goals involve goal-making).

Now, for this week’s wishes:

  • Keep on truckin’ through my Bloglovin’ feed! I’d like in <100 ideally. Work on it a little bit everyday!
  • Try to comment more on blogs! Make at least one thoughtful comment everyday–more is great!
  • Plan two posts and write out one for the first week of school.
  • Go home!! By this time next week, I’ll be home in Charlotte! I get to see the boy eeeeeeeeee.

Now head on over to The Nectar Collective and join the Weekly Wish link up.

What were your wishes this week? If you have a blog, tweet me, or comment to motivate me and help me reach my wishes!

July in Favorites

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Things I love about me + why that’s not arrogant
5 more things I’m not ashamed of (but probably should be)
Three Must-Read Memoirs
Where’d You Go, Bernadette [book review]
Marie Curie, karate chopping stereotypes.
Funky Mood? Not for Long.
The Good and Bad of Living in Alaska [guest post]

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Beautiful Boy by David Sheff.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye. Not done with this one, so that might be cheating but it’s great so far!

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Amanda makes super cute geometric jean shorts with a bleach pen and raspberry-rosemary sorbet. FancyHands shows a really doable way to live richly and avoid regret. Melyssa shares the experience of getting and dealing with her first negative commenter. Sarah introduces me to Jes the Militant Baker. I found Emily’s pretty and natural blog, Growing Wild Ginger. Mary shares her thoughts on the Trayvon Martin case. Kelsey shares some super duper cute patterned things! Crystal works out at home.

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I Want You to Want Me / Cheap Trick
Somartider / Gyllentider
Thrift Shop [electro-swing cover] / Postmodern Jukebox/Macklemore
I Would Walk 500 Miles / The Proclaimers
Jackie Wilson Said / Van Morrison
Hey Willy / Shannon and the Clams
Guaranteed / Eddie Vedder

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What were your favorite things this month?

Gatsby Dinner Party Inspiration

Well hey there folks. So my friends and I are planning a Great Gatsby themed dinner party to take place on my lawn on Monday night. Here’s some of the things that are inspiring us!

Except for the super tall table decorations, this is great!

Nation Prohibition Act | Great Gatsby Party Ideas - put hand-painted sign underneath this?

Great Gatsby Dinner Party | Paper and Pi

The great gatsby - dinner menu and fonts from the book and movie

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Gatsby Party at Wolffer!

“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”

Have you ever hosted a themed dinner party? Have you read/seen the Great Gatsby? What did you think?