Ella turned 8 this past weekend. While I still imagine that she is small enough to carry around in a Baby Bjorn, I have to accept the fact that she is growing quickly. Faster than I could have ever imagined. We planned her party together... An Alice in Wonderland Tea Party. She was quite specific about who she wanted there, what we should eat and drink and what the party games were to be. It was quite an event, even for us. Not a single person RSVP ed "no". It was so much fun, albeit exhausting! All that matters is that my beautiful daughter had a good time, surrounded by the people that she loves the most. The party was supposed to end at 5:00pm but most people stayed until 6:30!!!
Welcome to the party! I purchased this printable sign from Cherry Pink Prints, off of Etsy. It seemed like the perfect way to greet our guests.
A couple of days before the party, we decided to paint the roses red! We purchased these inexpensive white roses from the 99 Cent Store. And then we had a blast spraying them with red paint. After they dried, the kids adorned our bushes with freshly painted roses.
What would a tea party be without hats? The mini hats were ready-made and purchased for $4 each at a vendor in the garment district in downtown Los Angeles. We got the larger top hats from a party supply store and jazzed them up with ribbons and flowers.
Zig-Zag prints are all over the place right now and I am completely taken with the trend. My mother came to town just in time to help me sew these beautiful table cloths. The red tablecloths and chairs were from a party rental house. The tablecloths that she made were used as an overlay. The teacups and saucers were different styles, but all white. Most of my serving ware is white and I accented my collection with a few more that I purchased at Home Goods. Bargain basement glamour!
This table seated 22. We used 3, 8'x30" rectangular tables pushed together. Again, the customized zig-zag fabric was used as an overlay. The lanterns created a focal point.
Ella loves to drink tea. She is absolutely obsessed will all kinds of teas and that was the inspiration for her party. Here she is, enjoying a bit of a quiet moment with her cousin. It was a hot day so we had ice cubes on hand.
The spread. Scones, sandwiches, mini tarts and candy.
As we were planning this party, Ella was very specific about what the color scheme was to be. Red. Grey. Black. A little white and a tiny bit of blue. The color of Alice's dress in the classic Disney animated film. This table had chocolate mousse hearts, tea pot shaped sugar cookies, pink lemonade cake pops and raspberry gum drops.
The crew. Ella chose to wear a blue dress, just like the color of Alice's dress.
Women in my family have a disease. We tend to over-feed our guests. My mom, whipped up 5 different kinds of mini sandwiches. She and Ella also put together the fruit kabobs, right before the party. The cups were filled with lemon mousse and topped with white chocolate curls.
It was a beautiful day.
Cupcake #1: Cherry Chip with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. The cards were an Etsy printable from Katarina Art.
Cupcake #2: My favorite cupcake recipe... White cake with cream cheese frosting. I purchased the cupcake liners from Sur la Table. The white chocolate curls came from Surfas.
Cupcake #3: These were our "painting the roses red cupcakes." Maybe better in theory. They ended up looking like something fun from the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. No matter, the kids gobbled these up and they disappeared faster than I could say, "Cheshire Cat!" They were also Cherry Chip with Vanilla Buttercream.
Sometimes I get a little overly ambitious, as was the case with these paper flowers. I made about 10 of them and grew tired of the project and moved onto something else. Alice seemed to like them, though!
Lemon Tarts. The shells were ready-made and purchased at Surfas. I piped in a bit of lemon curd into the base and then covered that up with lemon mousse. The raspberry finished it all off.
Party revelers. Enjoying the sweet life.
Originally, this clock was meant to be used as a decoration. Until my son decided to turn it into an accessory. At the beginning of the party, Milo wore bunny ears and the clock and ran around saying, "I'm late! I'm late! I'm late for an important date!" Nobody asked him to do this, but he was happy to play the part.
Pinning the grin on the Cheshire Cat. Truth be told, I ordered a game off of Etsy a month ago that never arrived. The night before the party, my husband whipped up his own version of the game. It was a lot of fun. For prizes, we gave out some fabulous tea coasters that my Mother-in-Law sent to us. The children really seemed to love this.
The party favor. The bag said, "Take Me". Inside, there were three small gifts for our guests to enjoy. "Read Me": a copy of the classic Lewis Carroll version of "Alice in Wonderland". "Drink Me": a bag of one of Ella's favorite teas and, "Eat Me": a flower shaped sugar cookie.
This was the surprise hit of the party. The kids received these "Drink Me" bottles as they entered. I will not say what we put inside the bottles (strawberry lemonade) but I will say that it magically transformed the mini party goers into wild things. Kids were ping-ponging all over the place! Up and down the stairs. They held onto their bottles for dear life. And happily refilled them, again and again, at the punch bowl.