Zoe Alyce's Wonderland Tea Party

Last year after 35 kindergartners and the brain cake, I SWORE I would start to pull back on the birthday parties. I get too obsessed! I spend too much! Jason threatens to leave me! And then there is the age old thought of "why bother since the kids would be happy with 3 friends and cake..."But I like this stuff. And while two hours before the party it may not seem like any fun, whatsoever, for anyone involved - I love to throw a good party.

This one was down sized. I only invited 10 of Zoe's little girl friends over for an afternoon tea party. I felt HORRIBLE excluding MY friends with boys, but inviting the world is what gets me in trouble, so I apologized to my moms-of-boys friends and just invited girls (and a couple of older brothers for Lucas' sake). I ordered the invites through one of my favorite invitation designers, TomKat Studio, and then (if you can believe this) kinda put the party out of my mind. Until last week. When I promptly freaked out.

I had planned on using real china all along. I threw my good friends a tea party baby shower a few years ago and was excited to be able to use it all again. I had it in my head that I wanted to get a tiered serving dish, so I stopped by Home Goods and was blown away when I found actual Alice in Wonderland serving plates, cups, trivets, and a 2 tiered serving dish. I called my mom and my friend Maria from inside the store actually squealing over my find. But then my mind started racing... what else could I do to really make the party special?



Since I know that at this point most kids have been on a 7-day sugar high, I was going to stay away from doing a dessert/candy table. But I couldn't help myself. Beautiful Cupcake Love cupcakes, gum balls and candy buttons make every party happier. And with the edition of a Princess Cake from Sweet Lady Jane in LA (my mom's idea), the table pretty much set itself. 

While I'm sure the kids liked the dessert table the best (note the tiny holes in the frosting from tiny fingers sneaking a tiny taste) my favorite things are the details. The tables, the mantle, paper lanterns... the items that give it a true Wonderland feel.

Being that this was the first party in the new house, it was hard figuring out what what to put where. Since temperatures were in the 90's this past week, I had planned on an outdoor event. When the wind starting gusting around noon and the temperature dropped 15 degrees, I quickly make the executive decision to move the party inside... confusing us even more. Where do I put the bar for the moms? How do I set-up the tables? Where ARE those tablecloths?!



Having had a {crazy} boy first, I'm used to "boy parties." Running around, things getting knocked over, no hope of an organized craft or plan. But little girls are different. They will sit there and delight in drinking tea (Candy Cane non-caffinated from Trader Joe's) or sparkling lemonade out of proper china. They all dressed up in party or princess dresses and sat and drank their tea and ate their cookies with perfect manners. Thanks to Christina for a gift certificate that she couldn't use, we had Martha from Pinky's Big Top do face painting and balloon animals... she was wonderful and the kids LOVED it. 


While, yes, one can argue that I do my elaborate parties more for me than for the kid, I don't really see it that way. While Zoe may not remember the "drink me" tags or the little heart shaped topiaries, she will always have a special memory of her Wonderland tea party. And to me, that's what birthday parties are all about; Creating a perfect memory.

Happy 3rd birthday to my little pickle princess!