The most perfect tea party ever

When I was pregnant with Emily I had all these day dreams about the things we would do together.  And I had a vision of her 5th birthday party.  And it was perfect, in my day dream and in real life.  How do I know?  Tonight, tucking her into bed, one day after her birthday party, Emily said to me, completely unprompted, “Mommy, can I have another tea party next year?  I loved that so much.”

Emily and I did everything ourselves.  From hunting down recipes (AK!  forgot to beg the mother in law to make meringues!), to making and hanging decorations, to the invitation.  Ok, well, I did the invitation because I had a certain style in mind, but Emily helped with everything else!  She and I spent hours on pinterest checking out every tea party from wedding showers to mad hatter parties, deciding just how we wanted her party to be.  Doing this with her was so much fun!  She is now an expert party planner and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with for a second birthday party this June.

the invitations

She and I really started prepping for this party months and months ago, scouring every good will and thrift store I could find for tea cups.  They all had to be different (although in the end I had one duplicate) and they all had to have saucers, and 2 had to be “boy” tea cups.  The green saucer in the picture is there just because my cousin and I loved it when we saw it and at something like 49 cents, worth the splurge.  The most I spent on any one cup/saucer combo was $2 and they all took 2 baths in the dishwasher before the party.  The kids really enjoyed drinking out of them and checking out each others cups.

A sampling of our tea cups. Emily assigned one to each friend and kept the one in the top left corner for herself.

Emily and I also spent a lot of time on the decorations.  We decided that we needed tissue paper pompoms, which were fun to make and look so cute!  I took these pictures before we hung the final 2…  Eventually these will move to the basement.

After 10 we stopped but these are 8 of our fabulous tissue paper pom poms

Food!  The most important part of the party is the food! I have puzzle piece sandwich cutters, so I made puzzle piece tea sandwiches.  The sunflower butter sandwiches were so popular that D had to make a few more batches during the party.  The cream cheese and strawberry jelly sandwiches were a huge hit too.  The cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches were not.

So all ready to go, here are some pictures of the table, all nice and neat, pre kids.  Emily chose a Cinderella tablecloth I already had (rejecting Tinkerbell which we used last year and plain white).  She assigned tea cups/saucers, chairs and placements to each child.  Her seat (which by the way, she helped me redo) is at the top of the table, complete with balloons, of course.

The table from the door view.

The view from Emily’s seat

Emily made each place-card herself

I love the way the tea cups look on the blue tablecloth so much!

And even though we had the kids decorate their own cupcakes, we had one cupcake all decorated and ready for singing and candles.

Once the kids arrived, we started with playing and the kids thoroughly enjoyed the living room and sun room.

The girls built a fort, but sadly, Spencer decimated it quickly.

The tea party itself, in full swing

Emily loved it!

Singing happy birthday to Emily, and yes, I teared up, and more so when she took my hand.

Got all the candles in one shot!

After the tea party and cupcakes the kids formed a congo line. My favorite part was the collisions.

Last year was the first (and only) year that we had Emily’s party outside of the house and frankly, I prefer parties in the house.  Yes, it is more work, more cleaning, more organizing, but I think they are much more fun.  Next year, I am thinking of a breakfast pajama pancake party.

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