Friday, February 24, 2012

Tales from a Tea Party.....

Doily garland
(idea from Pinterest)

Once upon a dreamed of having a little girl to do girly stuff with.  Dresses, ribbons and bows, manicures, lip gloss, shopping, shoes (we can't forget shoes!).  Part of that fantasy was to have a tea party with her and all her little girlfriends.
When I was little my Great Aunt Ruthie treated me like an adult and included me all things adult-like.  Some of my fondest childhood memories are going to a dinner party at her house.  No kid tables!  I was sitting with all the adults being served all the same adult food and drink.  (Yep, even the drink part, which I didn't drink because I thought it was super bad tasting, but I thought I might be the coolest kid on the planet.)  I remember my mom having a conversation with me early on.  She explained to me that her and my Dad hung around with people whose children were much older than me and my sister.  So in order for my parents to stay in this crowd we needed to stay on our game.  And I think we benefited greatly from this.
I got to experience a fancy table.
I got to attend some grown up parties.
And I was always included in the planning, set-up, decorating and clean up.
Special touches that I thought of or suggested actually got implemented!
And that's what I want my children to experience.  Now, let's get real people.  This tea party was a once in a blue moon sort of activity.  I'm not pulling my fine China out for pizza on Friday night.  (but that is a good idea!)  I'm just saying that I learned from the best (my mom) to make the simple day in and day out ~living of life~ things special when you can.  It's all we've got.  HERE.  TODAY.  NOW.  Why wait for a holiday or birthday?  Those days are so overrated and this Christmas kicked me in the arse big time.  I wasn't present and I certainly didn't enjoy it.  So doing this tea party was just because I wanted to.  Something to brighten the long gray days of February.  I did it from the heart, not concerned about the time, work or effort.  And let me tell you, when you live your life from that space, miracles can happen.  
Lauren picked the napkins....
I was delighted to find treasures in my drawers and cupboards to pull out just for this day.
Like this little teapot for flowers that I got at Goodwill for 99 cents.
The plate is from my Grandmother's china.
The pear teapot you see is from a dear friend of ours who lives in  California.  We met Tia in Costa Rica before hubs and I were even married. Tia and her and her husband recently adopted a baby girl.  Their hearts are full and life feels more complete with Miss Mila.  Each time I pulled a treasure out that might work for the tea party table I was reminded of all these connections.  Things are just things but people connections are what make life worth living.  The candle sticks are a wedding gift from Sweden and the tea light holders are from Great Aunt Ruth.  Treasures that Lauren and Evan will hold dear someday.  
The round tea light holder is from our first trip to Sweden to the Kosta Boda glass factory.
The lace runner is from Belgium.  (gift from Great Aunt Ruthie to my mom, who gave it to me)
We eat with our eyes first right?!
Lauren and Evan made the fruit skewers.
I did a demo skewer and they did the rest!
Evan lost interest after making only one, which was good.  
The blackberries were very juicy!
Trader Joe's Chocolate Love cake.....(ridiculously good)
Originally $6.99 but the day after Valentine's Day it was half price!  
That's how I roll!  

I used my trifle dish as a cake dome.
My mom's friend makes these amazing utensils wrapped in glass beads. 
 I use my cake knife any chance I get!

I used my grandmother's footed dish as the favor keeper. 
Each girl got a big lip gloss when she left.
My goal was to use what I had and not buy new things.  Some ribbon and leftover flowers from Lauren's Valentine box added a little touch to the light fixture in the dining room.  It's amazing how little you really need to buy to throw together a great party.
I learned how to make those paper flowers (I added button centers) on the Nate Berkus show.  They are all over Pinterest. The ones made on Pinterest were made using brown paper lunch bags.
And here is the party girl ready for friends to arrive!
She was delighted to wear a "fancy" pink dress that I got for $4 at the Thrift Village.  She's been begging me to wear it to school.
She looked far too old.
Sampling the treats!
Taste tested!
Too much makeup!  But still super cute!
Table for the grown-ups....
The whole crew....
I decided Lauren is going to be as tall as my sister (who is 6'1"!)
Now, she does have heels on, but still!
Tall is good!  (you can, if needed, carry an extra 5+ pounds around and nobody would notice!)
Bad photo, but Evan Reed and his buddy Evanson posed for a shot! Evan kept telling me all week that he was going to have a pirate party and that pirates like tea!  My friend Ashley dressed her son Evanson up as a pirate!  And, speaking of Ashley, she showed up with her grandmother's gloves and fur hat on!  She wore a leopard print silk dress and fur wrap!  It was so awesome!  However, the hostess cannot be held accountable for photos NOT taken of parties!  

When the girls walked into the dining room for the first time I heard one of them whisper, "It's so fancy."  Yep.  That's exactly what I was going for.  The adults served all the kids plate by plate, teacup by teacup (pink lemonade) and some sort of miracle occurred, wherein the kids retreated to the play room while the adults ate an entire lunch of home made roasted red pepper soup with feta crumbles and sourdough bread, IN PEACE.  Perfect peace with very few child interruptions.  I never believed for one second that this would happen!  

One of the mom's (Katie) went to the basement to check on the girls and came up to report that "they were all in some sort of Barbie acid haze."  "I've never seen anything like this before!"  Before everyone arrived I was trying to find an easy listening radio station for background music and could only find a classical music station. Katie said "the classical music is drugging them out!"  

I also made Pioneer Woman's Pots de creme a l'Orange.  A very easy recipe that needs to be put in very small containers because it is so rich.  (I did use dark chocolate vs. the semi-sweet PW uses).  The adults enjoyed a very fancy (easy!) rich desert.

And because I was interrupted a GAZILLION times while trying to write this post, screamed a GAZILLION times and because I flipped the channels for the little beasts and A Diary of a Wimpy Kid was just ending, I leave you with this quote from the movie.  (Which I happen to think kind of sums up life!!!)

Patty Ferrell:  "Here's your yearbook.  You're not in it that much!  Maybe try to get out there next year?"
Angie Steadman:  "You know what Patti? One day middle school will become high school and high school and after that it just become life.  All those things you think are important now won't be anymore."
Patty Ferrell:  "You wish."

Fancy tea parties on a Friday are really special.  But it's just life.  Some days are finger sandwiches with friends and some days are chicken nuggets and fries.  You gotta roll with it.

1 comment:

  1. Tricia, YOU are an awesome mom. That is all. Awesome. Love you! XOXOX