Tea Party Birthday Party

For her fifth birthday, Sydney wanted a tea party birthday party. Believe it or not, even as our third daughter, I had never hosted a tea party birthday party! So I immediately checked my favorite creative source, Pinterest. It was easy to find hundreds of fabulous, beautiful ideas. Gorgeous, time-intensive, expensive ideas.

But it’s possible to have a fun, memorable birthday party without breaking the bank or using up every minute of the month prior to the big event. After all, I have three other children to take care of at the same time.

So here’s what we came up with, the good, the bad, and the melted.

(Disclaimer: I couldn’t have done it without Audrey and Georgia’s help!)

When Sydney’s friends arrived, they came to the kitchen (aka the activity room). They made beautiful tissue paper flowers with the help of Georgia, while taking turns having their fingernails painted by Audrey. Once all the girls had arrived and completed both beginning activities, we started the main craft activity.

I had purchased several sets of paint your own tea sets, and I gave each child a white teacup and saucer to paint. The little girls really took their time doing this, and the teacups turned out adorable. Not really like the pictures on the box, but still adorable. We left the cups on the kitchen table to dry, and Audrey and Georgia took the girls out to the living room to read them a story (Tea for Ruby) while Rich and I got lunch on the table.

Lunch, or the tea party itself, was tea or lemonade, tea sandwiches (cucumber & cream cheese, PB&J, ham & cheese, cream cheese on cinnamon swirl bread), fruit kabobs, mini hot dogs, tiny teapot-shaped sugar cookies, mini chocolate cupcakes, and a big strawberry shortcake cake.

The girls liked the fruit kabobs and the mini hot dogs best. Go figure. I was impressed that several of the girls tried all of the tea sandwiches. I thought they were good…But none of the girls went home hungry.

Sydney’s cake was supposed to be a big, beautiful strawberry shortcake. But apparently you can’t make such a cake ahead of time. About twenty minutes before the girls started showing up, I decided to assemble the cake. I lovingly arranged the homemade, from-scratch layers on my cake stand. I layered sliced strawberries and sweetened whipped cream in the middle, then artfully squirted more whipped cream all over the top and sides of the cake.

It was stunning.

I reached for the camera to take a picture, and I heard Rich saying, “Ummmm, the strawberries are sliding off.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” I said, “I’ll just squirt some more whipped cream and they will…”

And then I looked at my masterpiece.

Um.

Ten minutes later, all that was left of my precious cake were two n@ked cake layers with some tasty strawberries in between. I’m not exaggerating. All the rest of the whipped cream had melted all. over. my. stovetop.

So when it was time to sing, I stuck candles in the mini-cupcakes:

And then sliced up that delicious cake and served it anyway.

After all that, the rest of the party was easy. Sydney opened her presents and the girls were picked up. We spent the rest of the afternoon trying to find room in the fridge for fifty zillion uneaten tea sandwiches and scrubbing melted whipped cream off the stove.

Sydney was perfectly happy with her birthday tea party. She even loved her cake! Well, she loved eating it at least.

Have you ever had a cake mishap? Please tell me!

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