Monday, November 03, 2008

Princess Emily's Birthday Tea

Emily's fourth birthday was yesterday and we celebrated all weekend! She invited four little friends over on Saturday morning for a royal tea party!

The invitations were rolled like scrolls:

Oh, she was so excited and I had fun making everything girly and pretty! Where to begin?

Here are my little princesses waiting for their guests to arrive wearing their beautiful crowns:

Here are the royal guests with lovely crowns:
(Emma, we're sorry you didn't want to be in the picture!)
First, we painted fingernails - that's me - painting all 60 little nails! It was fun!
While nails were drying - we read The Princess & The Kiss:

Next we moved to the table and they did little Princess activity books while I got the tea food out. I had gotten these little princess things on the Valentine clearance!

Time for the tea party!
There were lots of great suggestions in the comments here - and I was able to use some of your ideas! Thanks! Here's what I served:

Heart shaped PB&J or Honey sandwiches
(forgot to get a close up - but you can see them on the table!)

Heart cinnamon cranberry scones with jam and mock devonshire cream (I tinted the cream pink, but thought this version was a bit too sweet):

Fruit wands:

Cheese & Crackers: again, forgot a picture! I used small cookie cutters to shape the cheese and bought a box of Sociable crackers since they are in fun shapes!

Pretzel wands:

Strawberry Lemonade "Tea" & shaped ice cubes (these were a hit!):
Birthday Cake
Our table cloth was a sheet from Goodwill - I've used it before and it seemed to fit the occasion!
Canning jars with pink M&M's and a tea light on top were adorned with a fabric bow and a few pink roses from our yard added to the pink and tea party theme!

Daddy picked out the balloons from the local Dollar store and they were loved by all!

The centerpiece was an idea I first saw here:
I've had this bookmarked for a while! Then, my Mom gave me the Hallmark issue this was featured in - I really wanted to make it for Emily's birthday!

First because of the Cinderella theme! Also, because her birthday is in the fall and this was a good way to tie the season in! However, I did not want to spend a lot on fresh pumpkins and use this once and pitch it! So, I did foam pumpkins! I know my hardware isn't quite as charming, however - antique drawer pulls, belt buckles and lamp turns aren't just laying around my house!

My friend Grace helped me with this project when she was here a few weeks ago! We found the windows at the Dollar Tree - two small frames for $1! With a little glitter and some sparkly tulle in the panes - they turned out rather nice! A broken belt buckle was found at our local Goodwill and worked great for the door - I had the pearl doorknob button in my button jar. I also had the buttons that are the centers of the wheels which are small foam pumpkins we found at Wal-Mart. They were not cute - but the right size!

I wrapped the dowel scraps from this project with ribbon and they made the axles between the wheels. The best part is that I was inspired one day walking into Michael's to put a small candle light (electric) down inside and let this become the ladies nightlight! Now, it has a use and will be worth the time and effort of making it!

Here it is in the daylight:

and, as a nightlight:

The tea cups were painted by David's Aunt Dorothy! Each guest got to take her tea cup home! You can see them on the table above and here is a set she made just for Emily to keep:
And, she made this little tea set for Emily to keep:
Cake - there is a story about this cake. Emily saw this cake at the local grocery store one day and it was $49.99! Oh my, I love that little girl, but I cannot pay that much for a cake! The thought went through my mind that I wondered if they would just sell me the plastic pieces, but I was too afraid to ask.

I came home and scoured the internet only to find that the cheapest I could get it including shipping was $21. Still not good enough in my opinion. That night - I saw the same cake on my friend Kimberlee's blog and she had made the cake! (Hers looked very professional by the way!) She told me her bakery sold her the pieces for $10 so I decided to ask and sure enough got the same answer!

I decided we could do $10 - I did not buy anything else special to make this cake - just used my own 8 inch square pans to make this and I didn't even try to make the frosting pretty. I did have some trouble with the turrets of the castle - as you can see on one corner - but regardless, Emily was THRILLED with her cake.

I also made a castle for the ladies to play in out of a washer box that I got free from our local Lowe's. I cut it to open up in one long line and then cut a door and hear shaped windows. After that, I hot glued points and stabilized them with sticks that were also glued on. Two cans of pink spray paint and a pink castle was born. It's not very sturdy - but they have had tons of fun with it!

David helping me set it up:

Rachel inside - she had an absolute ball with this:

You can see it in the background here!

After dinner, the girls played in there a lot! They made it a little house and the hearth was their bed, they had a stool and some books - it was so cute!

I don't know why I've never thought of this before - but, my aunt sent me a package of these cute thank you notes. I had Emily write her name on the "From" line. Then, I went ahead and addressed them all BEFORE she opened her gifts. As she opened gifts, I was able to just fill in the gift line. No more lost gift lists - I hope I remember this at Christmas and next birthdays!
Sunday evening, we had a family dinner, gift opening and more cake! Here is the little man amongst all the girliness:


petrii said...

Oh what fun!!!!! You did such a good job. I loved that centerpiece and the cake and the castle and the GREAT ideas ~~

Happy Birthday Emily!!!!!

Have a Blessed week, Dawn

Christi said...

What a terrific birthday party - sounds like lots of fun!

Shelby said...

Love the little birthday party pics. You did a great job with the decorating. Looks like so much fun. Look forward to your new little venture with selling of your creations.

Jessica said...

Great job on all of the little details (I especially like the pink M&Ms, pretzel wands, and ice cubes).

Judy said...

That looked like so much fun!! : )

Rebecca said...

Wow! What a sweet time. I love the idea about the thank you notes. I can't really believe it's been four years...but then again, I can - lots has happened in both of our lives in the past four years....

Happy Birthday Sweet Emily!

gemma said...

When I was young, back in the dark ages, our birthday parties were always at the birthday girl or boy's house. Your celebration brings me back to those days and I am sure that this type of party will linger forever in the memory banks of those girls...long after the Ring Ling Brothers' circus celebrations I hear my friends grandchildren are attending. I still remember a sort of tea that my mother prepared for my 8th birthday. The ice cream was in the shape of flowers...she had some molds that she used. I'm 65 and still remember that one.

Love your posts and thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas and those beautiful children.

Melissa said...

Monica, you did a great job planning all of the little details! Everything turned out beautiful, especially the pumpkin carriage. I knew you would do a good job with the supplies you had!

Grace said...

Oh Monica!!!!! It turned out absolutely adorable!! I so wish I had your brain to come come up with and remember all these great details. I was so excited to see the Cinderella carriage. It was so fun to make. I am glad everything went well and am glad to see you decided to keep the castle box. :)

Wendi said...

That cake is beautiful! I would not have noticed the corner if you hadn't pointed it out. I am sure that Princess Emily and friends were thrilled with the party.

Happy Birthday Emily!

*carrie* said...


Everything looks wonderful. Those pretzel rods were a fun little touch. And I can't believe the cake--wow! I would never even attempt such a thing. =)

We love you, Emily!

Susan P. said...

Seeing all the pictures of the party makes me want to be four again:) What fun!!!!!!!!

Tami said...

What a great party. It looks like the girls had a great time. I love the cake. It reminds me of a carousel cake I had when I was 4.

Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home said...

I have my own little girly girl at home and she would LOVE a party like this! Happy birthday to Emily!
Monica you did a GREAT job, way to go Mama!

Joy said...

What a great hostess you are and how lucky your girls are to have such a creative mama! It looks like so much fun- I'm sure the girls had a blast!

Rachel said...

You are amazing!! How did you find the time to prepare for all of that? How long did it take you?

Wow! I am SO impressed.

-Rachel @ Surviving The Stores

the voice of melody said...

What a special birthday for a special Princess! Everything looks AMAZING!

I don't have a girl but I do tea parties in my tearoom at home for "grown-up little girls" and I can tell how much love went into everything you did. It sure looks like she and her friends had so much fun! Thanks for sharing.

Many sweet blessings!

RT said...

I love it, Monica! What a fun, girly, magical birthday for Emily!!

Sara said...

Monica, your love for your family is so evident in this post - the time you took with all the details for Emily's party is so inspiring. I don't have children (yet, I hope) but you are an encouragement to me and to many others who read this, I'm sure!

Amy said...

You throw the coolest parties EVER. I am bookmarking these ideas for Emily's birthday. I really am loving your cake and centerpiece. What great ideas!

...they call me mommy... said...

Beautiful! I did a birthday party this past summer for my 5 year old which was similar! You had some pretty special extras that I will have to remember! I especially love the pumpkin centerpiece and m&m's with candles! NEAT! Thanks for sharing!

Michele said...

What a fantastic party! Just fun! I love the carriage and the cake! I would have never thought to ask to buy just the pieces.
One thing I have learned about imperfect cakes, the first solar system cake I made my then 3 year old (He loves the solar system and I have since made 2 more of them) was far from perfect. When my son saw it though he LOVED it. I realized then that as long as my kids like it that is really all that matters! You have such fun ideas, Monica.

Katy said...

What an absolutely fantastic birthday party!!! Monica, i love the care and effort you put into making these times special for your kids! I love your creativity and patience! What wonderful memories to cherish! :)

Mother of Many said...

So beautiful. You are amazing. And, I tagged you. It's my first time to do it. I'm sure I'm doing it wrong, but here you go. Interested to hear what you have to say.

Christy@MercyEveryMorning said...

Wow. The whole party looks amazing, but especially the centerpiece and the cake. :)

Jenn said...

What a wonderful party! I especially love the carriage!

Charree said...

It looks like the party was a great success. You did such a wonderful job, especially down to the little details. Have a blessed day!


Jenn said...

Wow, that was something!!! Great job and what wonderful memories those pics will make =) That is great how the cake worked out!

Anonymous said...

I love the centerpiece and that it is a nightlight! And the castle you made for her:-)) I remember when my grandma wrapped a big box in Strawberry Shortcake wrapping paper and cut a window in it for me. I was 4 and it was the best thing ever since I was a S.S. fanatic!:-) I can imagine that's how Emily felt on her b-day.

A Frugal Friend said...

I loved that same picture of "Cinderellas' coach" in the Hallmark magazine. I am so glad you tried might give me the courage to give it a try. Great party!

joysmallpack said...

Monica, I love birthday parties at home! :) I'm so glad Emily had such a special and delightful party to celebrate turning 4! Your pumpkin coach centerpiece is wonderful!!! How fun to have had your eye on it, and then to accomplish it, and then to even make it multi-useful! :) Yay for the store that said "yes" to you on the cake pieces! I asked recently about purchasing just the Cinderella doll figurine that went in a princess doll cake my little girl saw at our grocery store, and they said no. argh! :) Enjoy the memories both you & Emily share of her special celebration!

Rambling Girl said...

Wow what a great party Emily had. You really made her feel just like a princess. Love the castle and cake...heck just loved all of the decor and food.

Happy Belated Birthday Emily!

Kimberlee said...

Your cake turned out great!!! And I love the centerpiece! It is just precious!

You have been tagged!!! Take a look at my blog to see what it is all about!

thehomespunheart said...

Rachel -

It's really hard to say how long it took me to do all of this since I did it in pieces over the last couple of months and weeks.

For example, I made the crowns a while ago and they were just stashed in my closet. The castle out of a box was made quite a bit ago also and then stored in the shed - I spray painted it during nap time last week.

As far as the food - I worked on it all of nap time on Friday and then after bed time and stayed up until about midnight - which is very late for me! :)

The pumpkin coach was made when my friend Grace was here - I just kind of work on things here and there and then put them away until I'm ready for the big reveal!


Heather said...

What a sweet party! I love all the details and the pumpkin coach is amazing! I'm so glad it turned out well for you.

Lisar said...

WOW is all I can say Monica.....what fabulous ideas....and I think I might come to your house for my next birthday LOL (I am 45) many wonderful ideas....God has trully blessed you with creativity and a spirit of hospitality...Lisa

Mrs. Jo said...

Thanks for this post! My little girl will be 4 in Feb. and she somehow got it into her head that she wants a "castle birthday" like this after she saw a princess/castle balloon at the grocery store.
Now I have lots of inspiration for her party!
This Sat. I'm doing a "Racecar" birthday for my 2 year old boy. I can't wait to see what you end up doing for Samuel in future years so you can inspire me with ideas for my own two tiny boys.

Tara said...

My sister and I were just discussing your blog over the phone.. lol We live on opposite sides of the country yet we read the same things. Anyhow.. we were joking because you make us feel like lazy moms lol And we mean that in a good way!! You should receive the Mom Award of the Year! I am so impressed with your planning and creativity. You seem to focus on your kids and family, makes me realize how selfish I can be at times. Keep up the posts.. they are a great inspiration and a very sweet peek into your family's life!(Maybe I will try a little harder at my daughters birthday next month lol )

Saver Queen said...

You are incredibly talented!

supermommy said...

Wow! That was one AWESOME party! I love the centerpiece you made and the cake, beautiful!

Ginger said...

Glad everyone had a ball, including your little man. Speaking of S., he looks so DIFFERENT in older. He looks like a...well...little man!

mom said...

What a fun and special party for Princess Emily -- thanks for posting these photos! :) Happy, happy birthday, sweet Emily! Love, Grammie

char said...

I just wanted to tell you that Talley came home and said that Emily got a cake from BILO! I thought what a testimony to what is really important... it isn't really the size or the perfection but the idea that enchants these guys! And frankly everything that you did was WAY more special than anything that was prefab! Love you! The girls had a great time! char

Shabbee Chick said...

Perfectly PRECIOUS!