Great Ideas

#Eureka - Backyard Coachella Party

Idea

My friend Staci and I love to throw theme parties for our friends. She lives in Omaha so when I moved away we decided to make sure we still threw parties every few months as a reason to get together.  This past weekend we planned a Coachella themed event that we threw in her backyard. For those of you who are not familiar with Coachella, it is a music and arts festival in California. The event is known for its fashion where anything goes; it has a very hippie, carefree vibe. 

Backyard Coachella

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Decor  

For the decor we had lots of feathers, flowers, and arrows. The table featured a dream catcher that Staci made. She accented it with feathers dipped in gold glitter glue. I made a garland of paper feathers and arrows that I cut out from a wrapping paper and sewed together. We ordered some floral cups, a table runner, and feather napkins from H&M (see here) and had lots of flowers. All of our parties feature a photo op area and for this party we put together a small tent with fun pillows from Staci's house. To top it off Staci painted a wooden sign with the party name and stuck some flowers in a pair of her boots!

Activities

We had lots of things to do at Backyard Coachella including: 

  • Temporary Tattoo Station - We had my favorite temporary tattoos Tattify for our guests to apply. We also had some Flash Sliver and Gold Tattoos that were a huge hit. They are high quality temporary tattoos that last 4-6 days, have great sophisticated designs, and a fun metallic sheen. 
  • Friendship Bracelet Making - I printed out instructions for various types of friendship bracelets and put lots of fun colors of threads to make them.
  • Root Beer Float Station 
  • Cigar Bar - This included Staci's vintage match collection and cigars Bennet and I brought back from the Dominican Republic. 
  • Huge KerPlunk Game - Staci made this! 
  • Bean Bag Toss - Any good outdoor event has one. 
  • Yard Yahztee Game - We had huge Yahzette dice and scorecards. 
  • Life Size Jenga Game - Always a hit at any party. 
  • Hookah - Bennett found this day of for cheap, it added to the theme. 
  • Hula Hoops & Bubbles 
  • Wristbands - We ordered wristbands that they give out at music venues for our guests to make them feel like they were at a real music event. 
  • Music - We had music playing and one of our friends performed a few of his amazing raps as our headliner. Best part of the night!
  • Pizza- Everyone put in some money so we could order pizza : ) 
  • Sparklers & Chinese Lanterns 

Action Shots 

As always, I wish I would have taken more photos to be able to capture the event better. But I had so much fun catching up with my favorite people and got distracted so I did not get as many photos as I would have liked. I think we may need to hire a photographer for our next bash! But here are a few iPhone moments I managed to catch. 


That's My Jam - Coursera

I am finally at a point where I am thinking about what I will do after graduation. As strange as it sounds, when graduation comes there will be a piece of me that is empty. It will be the first time that I will not be in school. Sure I have had summer breaks here and there without classes but I have always had big projects, internships, or research  looming over my head that I worked on. I have been going to college for the last 10 years since I graduated high school in 2004. This will be my fourth college degree. When I think about it, it is a little insane (mostly because of how much that costs).

Because I know I will miss classes, I have actually looked into enrolling in some community college classes for web design. But it seems ridiculous to continue to pay for any classes with the amount of student debt Bennett and I have accumulated.

Enter Coursera. . .

I had heard about Coursera when it first launched in 2012 but didn't think to look into since I had enough classes on my plate at the time. It is one of those things that has come up in conversation with a few friends lately and I decided to try it out.  Coursera is a for profit organization that was started by two Stanford professors. It offers online classes for free from one of the 100 something academic institutions it partners with. You can also pay to take some classes for college credit or to earn a certificate. The classes have video lectures, multiple choice tests, and discussion boards. Some writing assessments also have a peer grading system. If you take the class for free you can choose to participate as little or as much as you want.

I am currently taking a class called "Whats Your Big Idea?" from Buck Goldstein and Holden Thorp by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill & Washington University in St. Louis.  It is about a systematic process to develop an idea and how to be an entrepreneur. It started a few weeks ago but you can join in now and catch up if you are interested as I know a few of my readers may be.  Here is a link to the description of the course.  I also signed up for a creative problem solving class that starts soon. Here is the link to the description of that course.  Intro videos to these courses are below, I would love for others to take it so we can discuss together. Check it out!

Intro Video to What's Your Big Idea class

Intro video to Creative Problem Solving class

Monday Musing

I started my dissertation data collection last week and have been reading through transcripts of the interviews. I talked to individuals about their creative process and how a leader can influence that process. In one of my favorite interviews, I asked the interviewee how he generates an idea. This was the answer:

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This quote made me think about the ways that I can try to be an interesting person and be in interesting situations to better generate ideas. I used to keep an idea book to document all of the ideas I came up with but recently started keeping track of my ideas on various apps. I miss my idea book so I decided to start one up again. Below is my new idea book; I am so excited to fill it with my brilliance : )

 This week my data collection continues, I will be heading to Chicago Thursday evening and then to Kansas City  this weekend to interview, wish me luck!

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