Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Annual Cousins' Birthday Party

As I have mentioned before, we now have eight grandchildren: two are 8, two are 6, one is 5, two are 4 and one is 7 weeks.  Every summer I hold a Cousins' Birthday Party.  We celebrate all the cousins' birthdays on this day.  That way throughout the year, families will not have to fret about driving any distances to a party or complicate already VERY busy schedules of soccer games, piano lessons, tutoring, dance  recitals, sleepovers or other child-oriented activities so that cousins can get to celebrate with each other! Generally, I serve lunch and have cupcakes with candles to insure everyone has a candle to make a wish on.  There are balloons and crepe paper streamers, noisemakers and birthday hats.  There is a craft table, and some kind of water-oriented activity: a large wading pool, a slip-n-slide, or sprinkler. And, of course, I rent a jumpy house.  Everyone gets a present from Gramma and Pops, and then each person gets a gift from one cousin (names are pulled randomly prior to the party).  In the past, it's been a chaotic day full of laughter and fun and hopefully, one that becomes part of their childhood memories of coming to Gramma and Pops' home.  I decided for Cuisine Kathleen's Whimsical Summer Tablescape challenge, I would plan out a tablescape for this summer's Cousins' Birthday Party.  It will probably be in July when schedules permit. But, I thought I would share with you what the table will look like.  Of course, at the actual party there will be 7 place settings and the baby will be in the high chair!  Here it is:

I started with a plastic tablecloth because our dining room table needs some protection with this little group of fingers!

Then I added woven straw placemats that I found at Pier One.  I was surprised at how well they mirror the colors of the dishes and flatware!  Just meant to be, I guess.

Next, I used "chargers" (actually dinner plates) of different colors that are reflected in the melamine plates I'll be using for serving lunch.  I used a yellow plate, an orange plate, a purple plate and a green plate.  The extra layer also serves to protect the table from spills!

I added a different colored napkin to each setting to keep the dishes separated. One is bright yellow; one is light yellow; one is bright orange and one is a red orange.

The main plates are melamine ones that I found at my grocery store.  I thought the whimsical prints of ice cream fit the bill perfectly for a summer children's party.

The table setting is completed with mix-n-match flatware to add to the color of the table, Sesame Street plastic cups and sunglasses that will serve as favors for each person at the party!

My centerpiece consists of a bucketful of Play Dough and Play Dough "cookie cutters".  It's colorful, and just a little tease of what activities are to follow after lunch!  Two bottles of bubbles and two sprays of stars complete the centerpiece vignette!

The menu will be hamburger sliders, chips, cut carrot and celery sticks and fresh fruit salad.  I placed bowls and platters on the table, but they're now empty since this tablescape is just a practice run.  I've also taken out my cupcake holder from Williams-Sonoma that will be filled with pudding-filled cupcakes (lemon and chocolate), covered in confectioner's sugar.  I love this party every year, even if it takes me a few days to get over it when it's done.  Nothing can ever replace the sights and sounds of this special day when all the kids are together and I am moving non-stop from the beginning until the end---with a huge smile and a heart full of love!!

My cupcake holder:

A yellow plate:

A purple plate:

An orange plate:

A green plate:

The table, once again:

I'll be linking up to Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish Challenge at  www.cuisinekathleen.com,
Christine's Table It! at www.rustic-refined.com and Susan's Tablescape Thursday at www.betweennapsontheporch.net.  Please be sure to visit these blogs and see all the wonderful posts!!
Thank you, ladies, for hosting and giving us a place to have so much fun with our plates and such.

I love to read your comments, and will do my best to reply to you.  Your kind encouragement and suggestions are always appreciated.    Rosie