Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tea for Two - Part Two

We celebrated Mila turning two at our house last Saturday afternoon.  It was bitterly cold outside, so I made sure to make things nice and cozy inside with a fire and of course, an endless supply of tea to drink.  But nothing could have warmed our hearts more than the birthday girl did.  Usually a pretty good mix of sugar and spice, Mila was nothing but sweet all afternoon, smiling for pictures, kissing baby Harper on the forehead, reading books with Papa Merle, and excitedly opening up her pretty packages and loving everything she discovered inside.  I absolutely love the second birthday because they have no expectations quite yet, and their reactions are 100 percent real and genuine.  She seemed so excited all day, and didn't quite know what to do with the extra attention she was receiving.  What a doll she was, and as you can see, there is no shortage of pictures as I attempted to record every inch of this sweet day.

I loved Mila's birthday outfit.  I found this dusty pink tulle skirt at Old Navy at the end of summer and it's been burning a hole in Mila's closet ever since.  I paired it with a simple (but glittery) two shirt from Olive Loves Apple, and some matching cream and gold glittery tights.  I loved the way her little sleeves puffed, how her skirt was longer than I expected it to be, and how it bunched up in all the right places as she sat on the floor by her presents.    

And guess who found her own pink tulle skirt on a quick trip to Target one afternoon.  It was on a rack just staring at me and I just couldn't walk by.  Mila loved that we had matching skirts and I made sure to get lots of twirling in with her before our guests arrived. 

Decorations were so much fun.  I painted these little wooden letters from Hobby Lobby and sticky tacked them to this eight-pane window from my girlfriend, Julie.  This served as a perfect backdrop to get me started and then I just filled the area with lots of pretties and frillies!

After scoring this huge tea set from our local second hand store, I knew I wanted to set up a tea party on our table.  I used my favorite lace tablecloth, and added a blue mason jar and some babies breath for a little shabby chic.  I didn't know if anyone would use the dishes, but this ended up being one of my favorite parts of the day.  While we ate, my dad and brothers congregated around the fine china, guessing macaroon flavors, and later, all the ladies wound up around the table, choosing a tea bag and making good use out of the tea cups. 

Since Mila already has so many pretty things that complimented my party theme, I decided to use them to make a little tea party stage for her to sit by and open her presents.  We already had everything in the picture, except the banner, garland, and great big balloon that will make frequent appearances on this blog as I wrap up Mila's birthday posts. 

I spent many hours working on these banners, stenciling hearts, cutting gobs of imperfect fabric strips, and tying them one by one (by one) to long pieces of twine as I watched American Idol at night.  I just love how the garland turned out, especially with the white lights strung in between the fabric pieces.  I definitely plan to incorporate these in Mila's room, weaving them through a headboard or handing above a window.  

All supplies from Hobby Lobby or Joann's.

I decided against party favors, games, or really anything besides food and presents, but did set up a little tea station for people to make a cup at their leisure.  Following the whole "for two" theme, I paired up two tea bags into little brown sacks and folded it up like an oversized tea bag.  Then, with a little washi tape, I secured labels that the flavor. 

I always love planning the food and the cake for each birthday celebration and this year was no exception.  Hy-Vee did a wonderful job on this double layer rosette cake with raspberry filling. 

I made Ina Garten's lemon curd and filled little phyllo shells with that and topped each with a raspberry.  I tried Trader Joe's frozen macarons, and dipped strawberries in chocolate.  I also served my favorite grape and cashew chicken salad on mini croissants, a tricolor pasta salad my mom prepared, and for the kids, heart-shaped peanut butter and jellies, grapes, and Little Debbie snack cakes.   

And now for several pictures from our special day...

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