In case you’re tuning in late, we’ve been talking at Tea Party Girl about the Sea-Spa Birthday Tea, the theme for the August Tea Party-themed event. Invitations were sent, the budget set and the theme chosen. Be sure to see previous posts for details.

The details are for your benefit. Some people really want the “how-tos” outlined step-by-step, which is why it is written like it is. Feel free to skip down to the disclaimer if you’re a big-picture kind of person.

Completed This Weekend…

Made menu and place cards~I bought some card-stock in the aqua-green family and white vellum paper at the dollar store. I used a fancy font and Microsoft Publisher’s postcard template to make the menu. The text looked like this: (I apologize if it’s difficult to read.)

Carleen’s and Jamie’s

Sea-Spa Birthday Tea

August 4, 2007


Open-faced Cucumber Tea Sandwich

Turkey Salad Sandwich with Dried Blueberries

Dijon Pesto Pinwheels

Traditional English Scones

Blackberry Scones

Lemon Curd

Crème Fraiche’

Champagne Cake-Square

Mini Fruit Tart

Fudge Brownie


Served with Peach Iced and Darjeeling Hot Tea

I am not versed in the paper arts like so many of my talented readers. I just rubber-cemented the vellum paper which I had cut slightly smaller than the card-stock in the center. I punched two holes~one above the ‘C’ in Carleen and one above Jamie’s apostrophe. I threaded a piece of sheer ribbon through the holes and double-knotted it to look like a little bow.

Made the napkin rings~hot gluing shells to dollar-store hair scrunchies. I wanted to use sand dollars because I love them, but Michael’s, the local craft store sold two/$2.49. Didn’t fit in the budget. Between the shells and the scrunchies, the home-made themed napkin rings cost .35cents/each.

Washed all dishes, teacups, etc. after taking them out of storage~I placed them on a spare table and covered them with a clean sheet so they’re ready for table setting later this week.

Delegated the favors, sort-of~One of the guests is starting a spa-related products business. I called her and asked if she had sample-sizes she could sell me. I told her I wanted to only spend $20 maximum, so she won’t make any money, but it gives her a chance to promote her business. She was thrilled I asked.

Decided on the centerpieces~I bought three bags of sea-glass at the dollar store I will use with a few miscellaneous shells like confetti down the center-run of the table. No candles because of the time of day. Will fill two teapots I own (because they’re low and the right theme color) with either hydrangeas or sweet peas because they’re both blooming like crazy where I currently live. I found a lady who will let me walk her acres-large flower garden and fill a large coffee can for seven dollars. Do you know anyone who loves to garden and willingly shares their wealth? Be on the look-out.

Found Jim Galway’s music~otherwise known as Mr. Woodwinds of the Shire and decided his music set the tone I wanted. I imagine the shores of Ireland when I listen to him but aren’t tempted to fall asleep as if I’m receiving a massage.

Found a bakery~It took a half dozen phone calls, but I finally found a bakery I approve of that makes items I can buy large and cut small, a very economical way to make a beautiful and diverse dessert tray. It’s amazing the sizes of the desserts/pastries Americans eat. It’s embarrassing. I found scones as large as my head. Found tons of cupcakes, but no one who would make minis for me. “We don’t have the tins” the baker at Safeway told me.

Asked my husband to make the scones~He said yes ;-)!
Made this week’s to do list


All the above were completed with children needing attention, clean-up from meals, etc. If this is also your life situation, you probably already know how much can get accomplished in short spurts between other responsibilities. Normally, I avoid long to-do lists as much as possible so I have energy to do what I really want to. Like plan a tea party!

I procrastinated on:

  • ironing the linens (my mother’s SO surprised 😉 ).

The tea goes live in six days. Before Thursday night I plan to:

  1. grocery shop.
  2. iron the linens (really!).
  3. make the sandwich fillings.
  4. clean the half-bath.
  5. set the tables.
  6. find some edible flowers for garnish.
  7. pick some grapes at a neighbors for garnish.
  8. buy the pedicure gift certificates and flip-flops and wrap them for the gifts.

The tea party event is a detail-heavy responsibility. And it’s such a joy to see the touches come together and the beauty begin to unfold. It takes time to learn to know what you can handle, let go of perfectionism, and not procrastinate. The older I get, the more I understand how much time things take, and that anything worth doing takes practice, practice, practice. May you be inspired, motivated, AND trained so you feel comfortable practicing hospitality. It is such a gift to be on the receiving end and it blesses your loved ones and strangers alike.