Saturday, October 18, 2014

Goodbye Tension, Hello Pension!

My Aunt Christine retired in September after a long career in Madison. My sister and I decided to throw a little shindig in her honor to celebrate the next chapter of her life. It was just family, so not a big blow out to plan, but that didn't stop us from getting a little Pinspiration for decorations and activities. 

We created a secret board on Pinterest that we could both contribute to, and pretty quickly had our plan in place. My sister took care of all of the food planning, which left me with the decor. I didn't go overboard, especially since this was just a casual late lunch in the 'burbs, but it was fun sifting through ideas outside of co-workers throwing the party.

First off, I used my Cricut machine and some scrapbook paper to create a banner that read "A Sweet Ending to a Long Career" for over the buffet (where the desserts would be placed). I played around with the settings until I had large enough letters and circles and used glue dots to secure the letters to the backgrounds. White yarn was used to attach the banner together, and in retrospect I could have done a cleaner job trimming up the ends! 
To separate the words, I found two cupcake images in my Cricut shapes and cut out a few. I realized afterwards that I could have also just created more space between the words, but it didn't occur to me until I had the whole thing together! 
Speaking of desserts, I used this party as an excuse to make Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Love this recipe, written about here. I have to say, this was my best batch yet for how flat the cake parts came out - I think it was because I used a little less pumpkin than usual. Typically my pies turn out to be ball-shaped and don't sit flat very easy, even with a whoopie pie pan, but these were near perfection.
I loved the card I found on Pinterest that read, Goodbye Tension, Hello Pension. Rather than print it out as it was, I used the Cricut again to create the 8x10 and threw it in a white frame.
For a table centerpiece, I filled a lazy susan-style tray with broken sunglasses, smashed USB stick, an old cell phone and a dead iPod, among other sad items. I'll admit that I hit up the dollar store to buy the sunglasses, a wind up toy and a stapler with the sole intention to bust them up. Along with a photo of Aunt Christine was a sign declaring what all of these items have in common: We Don't Work! My old flip phone was an instant hit with the 5 year old niece, Ella, who promptly grabbed it from the tray to make some very important calls.
Finally, Christine's Bucket List gave us all a chance to write in our ideas for how she should be spending her time now that she has more of it. I made a sign out of scrapbook paper and various travel/vacation/activity stickers or chip board pictures I had on hand. 
Christine read the submissions out loud after dinner. The ideas ranged from small ideas like going to the zoo (Ella's idea) to philosophies like Eleanor Roosevelt's "Do One Thing Every Day that Scares You." 
What sorts of things are you looking forward to taking on when you retire? Me? More travel and then even more travel.

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