I’ve always had a penchant for cards and letters–oh, and balloons.  If you were to spot anything in my room, it would be the boxes of notes and cards collected since middle school.  After college, I managed to discard a handful that held very little meaning.  For me, thoughtfully written words carry greater significance than a party attended by careless souls.  Maybe it’s because I was essentially required to host a “birthday party” for my entire class every year when I attended a private school.  Other than the few close friends who truly celebrated with me–yes, I was only 4–my peers would merely reiterate what my teacher said.  “We appreciate you.  Happy Birthday.”  Subsequently, another birthday celebration with family friends followed.  Mind you, most of them are at least 3 years older than I am and are boys.  I’d only look forward to wearing the princess crown and opening boxes with pink wrapping paper. Even now, I am a strong proponent of the color pink.

This year, I celebrated my birthday with the fambam on the real day for the first time in a while.  It also happened to be on the same day as Mother’s Day, which actually ended up being quite hilarious, as I prepared high tea for brunch and  my family set aside “Princess Christine” time after 1 pm.  What an exchange!

My mom loved the flowers I had customized at our favorite floral boutique–Hanadai–as well as the handcrafted chocolate from France.  Both she and my dad thoroughly enjoyed the homemade tea sandwiches, scones, strawberries and cream, and fragrant tea.  Making them and shopping for the ingredients were quite fun! (My brother had a difficult time keeping up with me at Whole Foods.)  We arranged an array of goodies on the trays: smoked gouda dip on panazella, sliced cucumbers with pesto garlic spread on squaw bread, potato salad on squaw bread, garlic lime grilled shrimp with cilantro and spread on  asiago roll, petit fours, scones.  The homemade clotted cream was surprisingly successful!  What I love about high tea the most, though, is taking out my mom’s fine china.  I already called dibs on inheriting her collection–all handcrafted in England and Germany!

From morning to evening, the day could not have been any more beautiful.

Thank you, friends and family, for making these past 12 months memorable.  You have pampered me with much love that I definitely do not deserve.  Thank you, Mom, for being an inspirational woman and mother.  Here’s a toast to another year of new adventures and memories.  Be excited for tomorrow’s post, “An Afternoon Pick Me Up: Flowers & Books”– dedicated to my sweet, sweet girlfriends Jeanette, Paula, and Amanda.

See you, soon!

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{“CJP” bracelet–Christine, Jeanette, Paula}

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{I see Paris, I see France. Absolutely beautiful card received from my family.}

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{Making invitation cards to send out to my parents and brother for Mother’s Day tea time}

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{Vintage Aynsley Bone China and Rosenthal China}

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{Prepping for high tea brunch in honor of our mother}

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{Customized birthday cake from our favorite Bonjour Pastry}

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