its Tea Time!

before you read this post, please read yesterday’s post. its important to me that you know where i’m coming from!!

okay…i’m about to spew out a whole lot of photos, that i hope captured our day well enough to communicate to you the details of the day and the beauty of these sweet little princesses!

(click on pictures to enlarge and see details)

it all began with this idea for an invitation. i created this invite using bella’s profile (check out here for more info on that). it was my first attempt at some graphic design (if you can even call it that!), which learning more about (along with photography) is one of my goal’s this year. my sister in law walked me through it, and, although simple, i love how it turned out. so this silhouette pretty much became the running theme for the party, since i could just print everything at home to use as decor, saving me $$$. so you’ll see this image used all throughout the party!
in all honesty, one of the reason i chose to do a tea party was simply because “tea” rhymes with “three” and i thought it sounded cool on the invite!! :)
i wanted the day to be special for the girls, but especially for my girl…for her to feel cherished and adored…a chance to feel like a princess. but one thing i often think about since having a little girl is putting too much emphasis on the whole princess and beauty thing…although i really think its so fun and can be a healthy part of being a little girl. so i really wanted to try to communicate to bella that she is, in fact, very much of a princess…but only because she is a daughter of the true King…and therefore that makes her royalty! now of course, what can a 3 year old really understand?? but…what i do know is that this day was for making memories, and i want her to have the memory and knowledge, even if its looking at pictures years from now, that the most important thing is that she is loved and delighted in by her Heavenly King…and that she really is a princess because of the way God loves her and because of what Jesus has done for her. so, although it may seem cheesy to some, it was important for me to make that a priority in this party, and to pray blessings on the hearts of my precious princess and her sweet little friends.

i wanted them to enjoy being “big girl princesses” in a healthy, God honoring way…which included a big table set with special tea cups and a dress up area to adorn themselves.
i bought the tea cups and saucers at Good Will.
i made the tissue balls (i’ll post a tutorial later this week if you are interested in seeing it! let me know…)
the placecards were attached to pink rock candy/tea stirrers that my parents found at Cracker Barrel.
i sewed the napkins from some fun fabric i found at Joann’s.
the hot pink tablecloth is actually a twin sheet that i bought at Good Will for $1.99.
i made the pink runner by cutting a strip of pink fabric (from my scrap fabric pile) with pinking shears to give it a fun edge.
i hung up all of bella’s dress up clothes that we’ve collected over the years on a rolling rack that i borrowed from a friend, and covered the bottom with an extra pink fitted sheet to display all the shoes. (bella put on one dress for the whole party, but wore every pair of shoes at one time or another! my girl LOVES shoes!!)
the signs above the rack read, “Adorn yourself, for you are true princess, the daughter of the King” & “The Lord your God…will take great delight in you…He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17″
i put all of bella’s play jewelry in buckets so the girls could bejewel themselves.
i bought the pink tiaras at the Dollar Store. they each had a Disney princess charm in the heart that i took out and replaced with each girls’ initial.
i framed the verse again, as another reminder of what a being a true princess really means.
Pink Strawberry Marshmallows
White Chocolate covered Strawberries with pink chocolate drizzle
Strawberry Malt Balls
Raspberry Tarts
Petite Fors
Iced Sugar Cookie Flower Wands
Ruffle Cupcakes: the cake itself is the Magnolia Bakery recipe (thanks to gretchen and molly for introducing me to them!!) and the icing is the magnolia bakery buttercream icing recipe, but i added a bar of cream cheese to it for some extra yummy goodness.
(i’m happy to post whatever recipes you’d like. just leave a comment and let me know!)

i made the cupcake toppers by using that same graphic from the invitation, printing it on cardstock, cutting it out with my scalloped scissors, attaching it to a lollipop stick, and hot glueing a pink bow to the stick.

on the menu for the princesses:
Mini whole wheat pitas with herbed cream cheese and sliced turkey
Flower shaped biscuits with ham and cheese
Flower shaped PB&J
they had the option of drinking pink lemonade, strawberry milk, or “bella water” as the bug called it…all of which we pretended was tea!
i used that same graphic, printed it onto computer paper, cut into strips, and taped to mini water bottles:

on the menu for the adults:

Tarragon Chicken Salad on Croissants (the best chicken salad recipe EVER!! i’ll share someday!)
Fruit Kabobs
Mini Blueberry Muffins
Cranberry Scones
(so sad that i forgot to take a pic of the full adult food spread, but oh well!)

each little princess went home with a special, handmade hair clip:
(i had the barrettes and used leftover felt from my felt playhouse project here…so didn’t cost me a penny!)
i attached them to a card that read, “God chose you…as his cherished, personal treasure.” Deuteronomy 14:2
and each mommy got to take home a shaker filled with sugar and cinnamon (sugar and spice!):
my plan was to read this sweet story to the girls while they ate their cupcakes. its one of our favorite stories, about a little girl named Gigi, who throws a royal tea party so that she can tell her best friend Frances that she is God’s little princess too! but with 3 year olds, that lasted all of 3 seconds! oh well… (fyi…i found this book at Good Will too, about a year ago. if you’re willing to take the time to look for treasures, you never know what you might find! it has become a very special story to us!)

i used some pillows from Bella’s old nursery on the couch to keep with the color scheme:

and what’s a tea party without a pretty tea pot?? i’m pretty sure this was a Good Will find too…doesn’t it look anthropologie-esque??
many of bella’s very special people attended, including her sweet teacher from her church program, Miss Sue:
and Jordan, who is going to be a very beautiful bride in about 6 weeks…and who is providing Bella with her very first flower girl debut!!
and Abby…who Bella is convinced is her best friend, even though she is 7 years older. she is the daughter of our dear dear friends, Aric and Gretchen, and they really are like family to us! she was a GREAT sport for Bella, sitting sweetly at the table with all the 3 year olds, right next to birthday girl. in this picture, Bella is telling Abby that she is turning 3!
here are some snapshots of the little princesses:
and the following are just some fun detail shots of the day. enjoy!
bella singing “Happy Birthday” to herself, along with everyone else!

bella insisted on drinking her “tea” by using her spoon to slurp it, like soup!

it was a blessed day, for sure! and it warms my heart to see my Bug so adored and cherished. that day was a picture of love…and reminded me that this party, my labor of love to celebrate her, is only a smidgen of the way God loves that little princess!!

and because of His Great love for His princesses (and princes)….John 3:16 (in The Message) says:
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

see!!! there truly will be a happily ever after,

ps: i had to include this last picture. the boys (daddy, canaan, the 2 grandpas, and uncle pete) came to the party for the first 20 minutes after the boy’s t-ball game to see the princesses, before heading out to watch some march maddness. but i was able to capture the little stinker in action as he was posting this on his door (the sign reads, “no prinsus {princesses} allowed)….i’m still getting a good laugh out of that one!!