A Mary Poppins Birthday Tea Party

This was a special birthday party for Lauren, a four year old little girl. Generally, I don't plan children's parties, but when the mother contacted me via email from their home in London requesting assistance because she wanted to have a Mary Poppins theme party at their home here in OC - instantly I had creative visions and agreed to plan the event.

Since Mary Poppins was during the Edwardian era, that is the inspiration I took ideas from - so I hired a professional silhouette cutter, a Barber shop quartet, set-up a ice cream parlour to make it feel like a Farrell's. The "domesticates" (the ladies who served the tea and food) were dressed in ruffled aprons and mop hats, and the vendors were donned in striped vests, skim hats and sleeve garters.

There was a special appearance made by Bert and of course, Mary Poppins. As she arrived, the quartet was singing "It's a Jolly Holiday with Mary". After she was introduced to our little guest of honor, she presented her a sparkly tiara on a satin pink pillow and a birthday girl sash (items that I provided to give to Lauren).

In the front courtyard the guests enjoyed stuffing and dressing teddy bears (the original teddy bear was introduced in 1908 during this era), some decorated a kite craft, a balloon twister fashioned carousel horses that the children had tied around their waists, a face painter created little works of art on their faces and hands, and the silhouette cutter was lightning quick with his scissors.

Then the guests were invited to the back yard to lovely tables set and ready for tea! The two children's tables had centerpieces made of carousel horses that I had made from a nice lady who creates all sizes of stuffed carousel horses. They were made into the same colors of the horses in the movie. But I had them sitting on mirrored turntables, so they were all rotating 'round and 'round (the pictures of them don't do justice!). Hanging from the patio cover were lace parasols (like the one Mary had in the Jolly Holiday sequence) that I ordered, and they were so cute with the ribbon flowing in the wind.

After enjoying the tea menu, the guests were invited to return to the front courtyard and were greeted with a "sweet shoppe" full of candies. Bert & Mary assisted with a couple of games I thought up - one was a tea bag toss, and the other was a spoonful of sugar relay game where the children had to fill up large teacups with sugar.

For the event finale, the guest of honor was presented with a beautiful cake fashioned as a merry-go-round accompanied with cupcakes made by Wonderland Bakery. The guests were given party bags filled with take home gifts consisting of Mary Poppins dolls, a Mary Poppins double-decker bus, a candy tin shaped like the bank where Mr. Banks worked, the Mary Poppins CD of music, and the Mary Poppins DVD movie.

Professional photos were taken by Kathleen Clark of KCP Studios.

Floral arrangements were provided by Fantasy Floral Designs.

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Love Knows - Sherry's Bridal Shower

I was contacted by Amy, who wanted to plan an impromptu bridal shower tea party for her friend, but we didn't have much time. Sherry, the bride-to-be was getting married in three weeks!

The lucky couple had a whole six week engagement. They had met in a singles church group function, fell in love and knew that they both had found "the one".

This love story hits close to my heart, as the same thing happened to me and my husband. We met at church, and from our first date to our wedding date was nine months - we had a three month engagement. Twelve years later we still can't believe how fast our courtship was, but it's still stronger than ever!

So I felt very privileged to be a party of Sherry's shower, and you could feel the love amongst her friends and family during the special event. While Sherry finished opening the gifts, the groom-to-be arrived towards the end of the event and while waiting he hung out in the kitchen with me and the servers, and I enjoyed talking with him and hearing their love story.

I created the floral centerpieces for the guest tables and the buffet arrangement.

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All In The Family - Maggie's Baby Shower

This baby shower tea party was such an honor to design, plan and coordinate. I had coordinated the wedding of Katy & Justin, back in 2005 at the Surf and Sand and the mother of the bride - Kathy - fell in love with me. For this special occasion, Kathy contacted me to assist her with planning a baby shower for her other daughter, Maggie the mom-to-be, expecting a baby boy.

Kathy has a darling cottage in our quaint beach town of San Clemente. They wanted the event colors to be robin's egg blue, sage green and chocolate brown. I took inspiration from the client's home decor which was filled with antiques, tapestries and other shabby-chic items. So for the table overlays, I cut fabric off the bolt in patterns of tapestries and jacquards.

I created all the floral centerpieces for the guest tables and for the buffet.

It is just beyond special for me to be a part of my client's special events, to see families celebrate the joys of life. First with Katy's wedding then with Maggie's baby shower. That's what makes this profession so rewarding for me!

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Flora's Bridal Shower Tea Party

This bridal shower tea party in honor of Flora, the bride-to-be, and it was a really fun and colorful event. It was hosted by Dacy (her sister) in her backyard. I loved the colors of orange and raspberry for the decor. I was lucky enough to find orange roses for the buffet table! The bridesmaids made the centerpieces and put the paper lanterns inside the market umbrellas.

Scout -the host's Golden Retriever- looked very pretty in her ribbon necklace, and was very gracious in greeting each of the guests (I have a huge affinity for Goldens, we used to have two of them and I miss them!) So I fell in love with Scout!

The guests were offered mimosas or champagne upon arrival in cute pink & orange glasses, and then invited to the back yard were the tea tables were set. The buffet menu consisted of finger tea sandwiches of almond chicken salad, smoked salmon & cream cheese, sliced turkey & cranberry spread and cucumber, watercress & cream cheese. The scones were cream flavor and cranberry flavor accompanied with lemon curd, chantilly cream and fruit preserves. The decadent sweets were fruit tartlets, ├ęclairs, brownie ganache bars and pecan bars. The tea flavors were Cream Earl Grey and decaf Springberry. The bridesmaids brought cute frosted cupcakes topped with pink sugar sprinkles.

After a couple of shower games and the bride-to-be opening gifts, the host handed out for take home favors. They were darling bath products tied in strips of calico fabric made into ribbon with a tag that read "from flora's shower to yours. thank you for coming to our tea party!". I LOVE stuff like that! And she also gave out silk tea sachets that read on the cool pyramid shaped box FLORA - what a coincidence. Tea parties are the coolest type of party for bridal showers, but that's my opinion!

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