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Friday, May 16, 2014

A Mother's Day Tea Party

I'm an adult.
So giving my mom a construction paper card or something with my handprint on it is not appreciated as much anymore. Not even on Mother's Day. And I was trying to figure out what in the world to get my mom. She gets lots of flowers from her husband. And she doesn't need anymore 'stuff'. In fact she is currently in a season of life where she is trying to down-size the amount of 'stuff' in her house and life. So I decided it would be much better to give my mom an 'experience' instead of another 'stuff'. I decided to throw a tea party.
It was the right choice. A tea party with some of our best girlfriends was exactly what we all needed in our life and yet had previously been unaware of.
Here are the details:

I tried to keep things simple and elegant... this was a tea party, not a luncheon. So I reigned myself in and tried not to go overboard on the food. I am finding simplicity is valuable in many areas of my life... including entertaining. Less definitely can mean more... but that's a topic for another day. I found these lovely Strawberry Meringue Roses and they were not only pretty on my pink table, but a sweet crispy complement along side our tea. Perfect.
Also used this photo as inspiration to make tea cookies using this cream cheese sugar cookie recipe, then dipped them in dark chocolate. They were pretty heavenly. :) The tags on the 'teabags' served as place cards, with each guest's initials. There were also dark chocolate dipped strawberries... because... yum.
I served two kinds of tea, a White Ayurvedic Chai blend and an Herbal Citrus Lavender Sage, both from Teavana. Both lovely and delicious! Tea was served from a teapot that belonged to my grandma, and another that I found at a thrift store. I spent a few weeks collecting tea cups from thrift stores, yard sales, and HomeGoods. As well as borrowing from mine and my mother's (which was my grandmother's) china set. I had seven unique and beautiful teacups to set a beautifully eclectic table for tea.

As for the guest list, I invited 6 ladies, all of them mothers and good friends of both my Mom and I. I sent out formal invites about a week in advance. They were very simple, white with a pink rose (the rose was a picture I took two years ago on Memorial day touring a rose garden with my mom! So I had fond 'Mama Memories' even in the detail of designing a simple invite. I don't know if my Mama even knew that... I should tell her.) And the invite set the tone for the rest of the 'decor' which I kept very simple... white linens, white china, pink flowers. Oh... and some pearls and a cow.
I don't have a sugar bowl and creamer in my china set, but I do have a white sugar bowl, and this little white cow. My mom told me I couldn't put a cow on the table for formal tea, but I thought he was quirky and fun... I dressed him up with a little ribbon, and thought he looked quite dashing for formal tea. :) Everyone else agreed... or kept their opinions to themselves. One of the two!

The day before the party I ran by walmart and grabbed $30 worth of lousy bouquets. You know the kind they have smashed in mass into bins that are stupid cheap and not very appealing? But all you have to work with if you are on a small budget like me... 2 dozen roses and a dozen tulips. I came home and snipped boxwood, hosta leaves, and purple salvia from my landscaping... and put together tiny little bouquets for teacups for a centerpiece, and a corsage for each lady at the party.
The corsages were an extra fun touch-- and a special surprise that especially the older ladies enjoyed-- it was very nostalgic. (Why are corsages for mothers a thing of nostalgia? We need to bring that back! Lets all make a pact to dress up for our moms for mother's day, and get her a corsage, yes?) Most of the ladies held onto the corsage and wore it to church the next day as well... which is kind of what I was hoping would happen!
It turned out to be a simple, beautiful, relaxed morning of chatting with ladies, sipping tea, and feeling fancy! (And, you know, taking a million pictures of ourselves doing so!) Which is just what a mom needs, am I right? It was a great "experience" gift for my mama, and judging from the response... one that will hopefully become an annual event!
Happy Mother's Day, Mama. I hope you enjoyed your tea party and felt relaxed, loved, and celebrated! I love you so very much!
And Happy (late) Mother's day to each of you reading this! It is a day to celebrate Mamas, Moms to be, step moms, mother figures, want to be moms, foster moms, God-mothers, grandmas, aunts, daughters, new mamas, empty nest mamas, fill-in moms, dog moms, and anyone who has ever had a mom. Love to each of you on this special day of counting your blessings!