California Dreaming Party
A dear friend of mine moved this summer, so we threw her family a California Dreaming Party to say goodbye. A bunch of us teamed together and by each chipping in, it was a super easy party to throw. The California theme was actually Jenny’s idea and it was perfect. After making so many memories here, they will definitely be dreaming of California for the rest of their lives. Besides a great goodbye party, it would also be great for everything from sweet sixteen, birthday parties, baby showers, and bridal showers.
California Dreaming Party Decorations
The best part about the California theme is that everyone has something beach or California related at home. After texting back and forth we were able to easily pull together sea shells, palm fronds, fun props, and this super cute pink flamingo below. And then my friend Krystyle pitched in her sign art skills and put together this super cute chalkboard sign. I stink at handwriting, so I appreciated her talents!
I stuck all the sea shells in vintage Mason jars because everything is cute in a Mason jar. And my daughter’s light marquee was a fun way to bring in the California Dreaming theme.
You can also get a California state flag and prop some surfboards against a wall. If you are ambitious, you can even build your own balloon palm tree like we did for our Moana Birthday Party.
California Vintage Postcard Garland
My favorite decoration of all though was this vintage postcard garland. Jenny loves old, meaningful things and I knew that these old postcards would be perfect. At first I was going to find a bunch of images online and print them out, but then I learned that you can find tons of old postcards on eBay for a great price. I was able to buy about a hundred for only $20. Some of them even had old messages on the back.
I hung them using twine and small clothespins. And with a hundred postcards, we had plenty to decorate the whole house!
After, I let Jenny and her family pick out postcards that were meaningful for them to keep. They love to spend time outdoors and visit state and national parks, so I loved that a lot of the postcards were vintage park postcards of places that they have visited.
California Dreaming Party Food
Krystyle made some really cute beach-themed cupcakes based off meatloafandmelodrama.com’s recipe.
And Brianne made some sand dollar snickerdoodles.
Sandy Fruit Kabobs
One of the best things about California is all the fresh fruit! If you haven’t had an orange in California, then you have never truly tasted an orange. To add to the beach theme I decided to stick these fruit kabobs in “sand.” But nobody likes sand on their food, so I opted for brown sugar! I didn’t mean for the kabobs to be dipped in it, but some of the sugar did get on them and it was pretty yummy! Below you can see the brown sugar down at the bottom.
My friend’s daughter Jessica helped me put the kabobs together and stick them in for me right before the party. But I did a little bit of prep by wedging some floral foam in the bottom of a bowl.
I then cut a foam plate to size and wedged it in on top of the foam. I wanted things to be tight so that they wouldn’t budge.
Then I added a layer of brown sugar and Jessica was able to poke the kabobs through the brown sugar and into the foam below. It kept everything in place and we were able to refill it with more kabobs as people ate them.
California Photo Booth
I think a goodbye party is the perfect time for a photo booth. It was a fun way for friends to take photos together one last time. I bought some summer photo props from Amazon, but we were also able to find lots of fun stuff around the house. The backdrop is actually a beach tablecloth we hung from the wall. It is the same backdrop we used for Ladybug’s Moana party.
Unique Guest Book Idea – Wood State Signing
We were going to do a guest book, but those always end up in a box. So I decided to have people sign a wood cut out of California instead. I bought the wood cut out and then stained it. By the end of the night, it was full of signatures and will look super cute hanging on the wall of Jenny’s new home or propped up on a bookshelf.