Simple End of the Semester Party

summer party

So…I had a ton of group projects this semester.

Now, I don’t love group projects, but as a Communications-Advertising major with a Retail and Consumer Science minor…there’s a lot of them. Yup.

It’s funny because I feel like God knew what he was doing when he gave me all these group projects. Being at a new school, I didn’t really know anyone. I knew *of* people who went to my school that I’d previously known in high school, but I’ve maybe seen someone I know on campus….3 times all year? So yeah, needless to say, I wanted to make some new friends. And a group project in my Retail and Consumer Science class turned out to be the answer to my prayers!

Ya’ll have probably seen Karla on my Instagram story…she’s a fellow blogger! (Here’s her blog.) I heard her mention that she had a blog when we had to do introductions the first day of class, so I was like, “Ok, when we get into groups, I’m going to try to get in her group.” ?

So I signed up for Team 4 when we were asked to pick a team only the second week of class since I saw Karla had signed up for it (this was online on Blackboard) and just crossed my fingers that nice, hard working individuals were the next to join the group.

summer party

summer party

(From left to right: Becky, Me, Alicia, and Karla….sorry for taking the polaroids after you left, Vanessa ?)

That’s how I met Alicia and Desrae! (Desrae couldn’t make it, but was there in spirit!)  Two sweet, fun, hard working ladies.

Theennnnn through the class I met Becky and Vanessa who were on another team. I always sat by them during exams, and we bonded over how hard memorizing formulas were for Exam 2.

So that’s my HDCS 3303 gang!

I wanted to have people over to the Bishjano Farmhouse for a dinner party, and I also wanted to celebrate this class being over. It was one of the more challenging classes I’ve taken. All semester long, we worked on multiple facets of a case study with a major upscale discount-retailer (rhymes with “Larget”) and we also had to learn material on our own for exams since most of the class times were dedicated to either preparing a retailer assessment report, compiling a SWOT analysis, or working on the final presentation for our case studies.

I decided to have the gang over and throw together a little “Make Your Own Pizza” party. (Karla’s idea!) And why not document it on the blog, so you could try it for yourself!

Food 

When you’re having company over, the food is a tough decision. Nowadays, everyone eats completely differently. (And I honestly love that ??)  Some people (like my girl Karla) are vegan, some have peanut allergies, some are paleo (waddup), and some are extremely picky. Pizza is a safe option, and by doing a Make-Your-Own activity, everyone can have their pizza the way they want.

summer party

For example, Karla, as I mentioned is vegan and I’m dairy free, so ours had no cheese and plenty of veggies! (DELISH.)

Then you have classic girls like Vanessa who love a nice, fresh, cheesy pizza! Hers turned out so beautiful, and she brought some basil along with her which made for the perfect topping.

summer party

I’ve been trying to eat clean, paleo, grain-free foods and I’ve been dairy-free for a couple years now, so I picked up these cassava flour and chia seed tortillas from Whole Foods. The rest of the pizzas we just made on whole wheat personal pizza crusts that I found at Kroger.

summer party

summer party

summer party

If you lay out your toppings all cute, it makes for good decor. It was easy for everyone to dress your pizzas, and you can easily ask your guests to bring whatever toppings they would like.

Side items

summer party

summer party

The good thing is – everything goes with pizza. Chips. Veggies. Salad. Fruit. Fruit Salad. You get me. Karla threw together a simple salad because it sounded like something everyone could enjoy. With a salad kid, some cherry tomatoes, a bit of avocado, and some clementines for a fresh, summery vibe – it was perfect!

I also had some popcorn in the cabinet that I wanted to get rid of, and that was great for people to much on while we waited for the oven to heat up for the pizzas.

Dessert

Dessert is crucial. I knew even though we’d be having pizza, we’d need dessert. Because pizza makes you crave dessert…it’s just science. Since they were such a hit last week, I decided to whip up some more vegan/GF muffins. This time, I didn’t do a cacao base….just GF flour and then added the vegan chocolate chips!

summer party

Recipe: here

*for GF version, sub gluten-free all purpose flour (this is the one I use)

*for vegan, use Enjoy Life vegan, soy-free, nut-free mini chocolate chips

*also, I don’t have Apple Cider Vinegar, so I just use lemon juice from a fresh lemon! 

I’m gonna be honest, I went a little crazy on dessert. What if someone doesn’t feel like a muffin? What if they want something lighter and fruity since we are celebrating summer after all? I realized I had these popsicle molds (cost me a buck at Walmart) and that I’d never used them, so I figured my “Retail is Over Party” was the perfect time.

summer party

I blended about 9 small strawberries and half a banana in my Vitamix with 1/2 cup of almond milk. That’s it! (You could use orange juice, water with some lime squeezed in it, or any other non-dairy milk to make yours.) I just poured that mixture into the molds and let them freeze. They were a hit ??

Music

I love to make playlists for every occasion. Every time I visit a new city, I make a new playlist. Every plane ride. Every season. Every dinner party. (For real.) So naturally, I made one for this occasion! I kept it to music that everyone knows and loves: Adele, Coldplay, throwback Natasha Beningfield…you know the drill. I used my Amazon Echo as a speaker and it was nice background music. (The main soundtrack was us rehashing every detail of the semester….awkward presentations and all!)

Decorations

summer party

(blurry, but you get the idea)

So I knew I wanted something on the wall, so that everyone could take cute photos, but I didn’t want to spend any money since I was going to be putting in a few dollars to get the food. I already had watercolor paper, watercolors, and paint brushes, so I went ahead and made this banner!

I also made little labels for our food as you could see by the other photos.

summer party

…..And then I just wanted to keep painting, so I made “nametags” for our glasses!

Drinks

summer party

 

We did La Croix in wine glasses because we’re *fancy* like that! And this was my first time to try mango La Croix…definitely my new favorite!

summer party

summer party

With everyone bringing a little something, this was a $10 party, but worth a million bucks. I enjoyed spending time with my friends outside of class, and it was such a cause for celebration.

I’m officially done with my junior year of college (aside from two online exams I need to take this week) and I am jumping for joy! Thank you for following along this year. It was by far the most challenging year ever, but also the most rewarding and life changing.

Have some pizza to celebrate the semester!

X,

Cristina

  • Amy

    How fun! I threw a similar end of the semester party last year with some of my friends from my marketing capstone class and it was so fun! Such a great way to celebrate the end of the semester!

    xoxo,

    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  • Karla Acosta

    Couldn’t have asked for a better group! Love ya! xx