What is more exciting than graduation? A grad party! Even more so, planning for the grad party! Woo! My brother graduated from university this spring and we finally celebrated such an accomplishment this month. Besides that, it was quite the enjoyable hassle preparing for this day!
For my graduation party, we made and gave away mini-chocolate brains, brain stress balls with my name and major on it, and glass brain coasters as party favors (I graduated with a neuroscience major with a psychology and biology minor). For my brother’s graduation party, my mother and I wanted to do something a bit different. He graduated with a major in exercise science and pre-health professions and instead of giving out chocolates as party favors, we decided to make homemade moose munch 😛 which turned out quite delicious. Below are the simple steps we used to make the homemade moose munch:
- Here is the link where I found the recipe I used for the homemade caramel corn: Homemade Caramel Corn and just so you are aware, we tripled the recipe
- I recommend NOT using salted butter since it is salty enough unless that is what you prefer
- I also used Mexican Vanilla since it is my personal favorite
- After the step above and letting the popcorn cool, go back and do a second coat of caramel on all of the popcorn and re-bake it
- Using milk chocolate candy melts, generously drizzle the melted chocolate over half of the caramel corn
- Be sure to rotate the popcorn so the surface is easily coated
- Stick the chocolate coated caramel corn in the fridge for 5-7minutes for it to harden
- Remove from fridge and break apart using hands or spoon
- Mix the chocolate coated caramel corn with the regular caramel corn in a big bowl
- Place in containers to store or give away
OPTIONAL: Lightly coat peanuts (or your choice of nut) in the left over caramel and bake for a few minutes before adding to mixture.
After the caramel corn was packaged and finished we all quickly ate lunch, cleaned up, and went to the venue to prepare the decorations! We ended up using weight stress balls with his graduation information as party favors as well as the moose munch and getting real hops from a local farmer for the greenery. The hops was placed in the center of the table around the center piece as the remaining hops was draped over the entrance! The hops vine was huge, so we had quite a lot left over which made for wonderful door decor. As the center piece on the tables, we placed a silver stand holding pictures of my brother at graduation with the hops surrounding it, and three tea candles on top of a square table mirror. Surrounding the mirror were the weight stress balls and popcorn party favors as seen below. Also, I blurred out the text on the stress balls and attempted to blur out the names that were signed on the record for privacy.
I never liked the idea of having to sign a book for someones graduation because the chances of that book being open again is slim to none. So, we decided to have people sign a record instead! That way, if my brother wants to display it he can and it doubles a conversation starter. I also ended up writing in chalk marker “Please leave your record here” which I liked since it was punny. I also wrote “Welcome & thank you for celebrating with us” for the entry sign, but ended up messing up by making the ampersand too big… but I didn’t want to re-do it since it would be a mess to clean up and I was working on a time crunch! In the end, I thought it came out pretty well 🙂
Also, for the cards, we propped open a brief case my mom found at a thrift store, strung twine across the top with small bows on the corners, and used tiny clothes pins to clip on little photos of my brother. Beside that, literally, stood a large blown up picture of my brother in his cap and gown in front of an iconic building on his campus with his arms up in the air to say, “I did it!” We of course had many balloons and a banner as well.
NOTE: I blurred out/erased the faces of my brother and other people in the photos for their privacy. I’m sure that my brother would not care if his face was displayed, but I just wanted to be safe. 🙂
Anyway, congrats on your big achievement lil brother! I am so very proud of you and I know your future will hold greatness, love, and happiness!