3rd & 30th birthday tea party

In December, A.J. turns 3 and I turn the big 3-0. Wanting to do something special for my 30th, I “asked” A.J. if she would share her birthday party with me… Now, she’s quite a sharing girl, but I also knew she didn’t really understand what that meant so I took advantage to have a shared birthday party.

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In October, my parents came over for a fun tea party “photo shoot” in our front yard. I turned to Pinterest to gather any and all ideas for a tea party. For me, a good party has good food! As always, I have these grand intentions of having everything prepared, cooked and on the table for when people arrive. One of these days, I aim to be sipping coffee peacefully on my couch when the first guest shows up. Instead, time often gets away from me and I always seem to be a hectic mess running around the kitchen… I couldn’t have done it all without those early friends and family helping me out once they arrived.

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My parents found these tiny tea cups at a thrift store a couple of weeks ago. When Mark and I got married, we registered for and received beautiful china that came with tea cups and saucers. We rarely use them, usually opting for much larger mugs for our coffee! Planning for this party, I was hesitant to use our tea cups in case they got broken, but I figured I would much rather use them, enjoy them and risk breaking them than have them always sit in our china hutch gathering dust. It was so nice to be able to use them yesterday (and none got broken too!).

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The last two birthday parties for A.J., there were mainly adults or small children in attendance, so I didn’t plan for any activities beyond eating and talking. This year, there were many more children, so we filled a piñata and also made fascinators out of supplies we got from the dollar store.

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In advance of the party, I cut stiff felt into squares, cut two narrow slits, and slipped the felt onto headbands. I provided a collection of tule, feathers, fake flowers and sparkly Christmas decor and let the kids pick whatever they wanted to decorate their fascinators. I used a hot glue gun to attach it all to the felt. The kids loved them – boys and girls!

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Benjamin bear, the model!

I was happy with the recipes I found on Pinterest! I went through a lot of sweet scones recipes before deciding to stick with the basic. I used this recipe for the scones and this recipe for mock Devonshire cream. I went a little overboard with how many I made… I didn’t want to run out, and instead I’ll be eating scones for days.

My mom made my favourite dessert, vanilla squares (or Napoleon). Upon searching Google, I see that it is a French pastry, but it’s quite common in Dutch circles around here. I love sweets and desserts, and I think this is my favourite. Then I made a brownie oreo triffle, which was good but a little too sweet for me (coming from me, that says a lot!).

I had grand plans to make my own quiche! And then when I was doing groceries the day before the party, I saw quiche for a very reasonable price and decided to save myself the time. I think it was the best decision I could have made…

For tea sandwiches, I stuck to good ol’ pb&j and then got a little fancier with turkey cranberry sandwiches and goat cheese, honey and fruit crostinis.

Mark convinced me to make deviled eggs; I had never made them before and was surprised at how easy they were. I should have made more because they went quickly, and Mark – who specifically asked for these – didn’t even get any by the time he finally ate.

Wanting to stick to the “tea” theme with drinks, I made an iced tea punch and an iced tea sangria. I had never made sangria before and was a little intimidated; I didn’t want to mess up a drink the adults were sure to like! How did I never know how easy (and fool proof!) sangria is?! Knowing how easy it is, I’m tempted to make it every weekend – party or no party!

Considering that so many adults are in attendance, I wanted to provide a favour for everyone. I used this “recipe” to make a “bath tea bag” recipe. After the party yesterday, my feet were so tired I had a nice soak with a couple of bags.

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A.J. is always so lovingly spoiled by our friends and family! This year, we asked people to consider donating to Restorations in honour of our birthdays. I sit on the board of directors for this charity (we are working to open a long term home for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation), and it was so special to us to see loved ones contributing to a cause so near and dear to my heart! With some donations provided at the party, we have raised over $500 (the goal was $333 to stick with the three theme…). You can check out our fundraising efforts here until A.J.’s birthday (December 13).

Considering that A.J. will be starting school next fall, I figure that next year’s birthday party will be one with just her friends. I considered this party my last “hurrah” for giving her a big party with all our friends and family. Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated with us!

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