My grandma was born on Monday, September 2, 1929. She is literally my favorite person on this earth, and I have so many fond memories shared with her. I remember spending the night at her old farmhouse alone but waking up with my cousins, who had arrived in the night, her and my grandpa traveling two hours to celebrate my 10th birthday with me, her coming to my senior vocal recital when I was in college and giving me a sweet Willowtree figurine called “Happiness.” It was the perfect gift!
I remember being so excited for our annual family reunion where we rented out an entire church camp just for us. We wore our t-shirts that we had made each year for the event, did awesome crafts, played hilarious games, and had a family chapel service. All that began because she and my grandpa wanted all of their children and grandchildren to be together, in one place, for just a few days out of the year. It was called Camp Sadsack and it stood for Simpson’s Annual Dogpatch Symposium and Collection of Kinfolk.
My grandma is a card shark – she was always virtually unbeatable. She still gets together with her friends once a week and plays! It’d blow me away how fast and easy she could complete a crossword puzzle. Those things are HAAARRRRD! How on earth does someone know all that stuff? Maybe someone who’s been around for awhile and who pays attention to the world around her? I have yet to finish one by myself.
Nowadays, she enjoys spending time with her daughters who take turns visiting and taking care of her. She loves to sit on her front porch and drink a cup of coffee. Probably her #1 favorite thing in the world is Downton Abbey. I visited her a few weeks ago, and that’s all we watched while we were there – fine by me! We watched the whole first season and some of the second. It’s SO good, people!
This month, my grandma turned 87 years old! My sweet cousin Cindy had the ingenious idea to throw her a party – a birthday TEA party. Many of the girls in the whole family couldn’t make it, so it was a small group, but we had a blast! From beginning to end, grandma was the star of the party and we were all glad to be there and celebrate her amazing life with her!
So, if you are preparing a special tea party for someone, here are some tips to get your party planning underway!
(1) Decide on a party favor.
My sister’s favorite dessert right now is mug cakes. Not sure what a mug cake is? Simple. You just dump some ingredients into a coffee mug, zap it in the microwave, and bada bing bada boom! You’ve got a yummy cake right in your mug! There are loads of recipes on Pinterest. Here are a few. This inspired her to create a tea cup mug cake.
However, while in the “lab,” she discovered that tea cups (or at least the good ones) shouldn’t be microwaved, so she improvised. The final result, in the above photo, was a delicious pineapple cupcake (grandma’s fave) with a yummy whipped topping, adorned with Wilton sugar rose buds and a little blue bird (also grandma’s fave). This was our dessert, which we also got to take home. Don’t you just LOVE the cup and saucer. You can find them HERE.
(2) Send out a too-cute invitation.
My cousin made our tea party invitations and they were adorable! The idea was inspired by THIS crafty lady. You can make them yourself or you can order from her. Easy peasy!
(3) Wear pretty hats.
I wasn’t so sure wearing party hats and gloves was gonna be OK, but it turns out, wearing costumes is STILL fun as an adult – especially when everyone is doing it! The birthday girl went with a bold red, and the rest of us had a great time choosing from our hostess’s collection. My hat coordinated with my outfit pretty well, but I never did find a pair of gloves that would fit my gigantor hands!
(4) Have your party at a B&B.
A local woman and her husband have been fixing up a home and hope to open in the near future as a two-bedroom, two bath bed and breakfast in Albia, IA. They hadn’t quite finished, but they allowed us to have our tea party there. It was a wonderful setting and there was just enough space for us to enjoy our tea, delicious food, and have a special activity (see #6 below).
(5) Decide on a delicious menu.
Food served at a tea party is usually small enough to handle with your fingers and tiny enough to eat in one or two bites. However, you don’t necessarily HAVE to follow the rules. The delicacies my cousin created were perfectly yummy – everyone was raving about them afterwards. Displayed above on my aunt’s Wilton 3-tier cupcake stand are the cucumber sandwiches which were to. die. for!
We also enjoyed blueberry lemon scones, apple roses, and chicken salad. Now, normally, I wouldn’t touch chicken salad with a ten foot pole, but since I was adulting that day, I decided to not be rude and try everything that was served. Oh. my. goodness. What is wrong with me? How have I missed such a treat? I don’t think there exists a chicken salad recipe as exquisite as this one. Nope, no way. I HAD to know how this was made, because my husband has to experience the joy I experienced when I ate this little piece of heaven at my Grandma’s tea party!
I BEGGED my cousin to give me the recipes so I could share them with y’all. You can print each one by just clicking the corresponding photo. Enjoy! You won’t be disappointed. Promise!
(6) Make sure to include an awesome activity.
We were very fortunate that the owner of the B&B used to own a jewelry store, and she actually had a closet FULL of beads in the house. After foods and gifts, we moved into the living room where she had tables and work stations set up so we could each make our own bracelet. This was a lot of fun, and we all got to take home an additional party favor. I made mine with metallic beads and my kids’ birthstones. See if you can guess which one is mine!
Now go out and plan your own tea party and enjoy all the memories you’ll cherish forever!