Monday, March 11, 2019

Afternoon Tea at Home

We had afternoon Tea in England, and loved it so much, that we were so excited to do it here at home. There were a few things that are different about Tea in England, compared to the US. 

 A Tea is actually a meal. Actual tea that you drink, is only part of it. In a traditional English Tea, each person gets their own tea stand, that houses their entire meal. It’s all about the presentation, and sitting with good company, having a memorable time.

The meal is composed of three S’s. Bottom - Savory, Middle - Scones, Top - Sweets. 

Savory on the bottom - tea sandwiches. We did cucumber with cream cheese and freshly cut dill. These are always served open face. We also did ham, cheese and butter.  Other traditional tea sandwiches are smoked salmon and egg salad sandwiches. Don’t forget to cut off the crust! 

Scones in the middle. Every true English tea will have English scones, clotted cream, and strawberry jam. The scones are like biscuits, but better. You can find recipes online. My friend brought these for me from England. You can’t get clotted cream in America, because they don’t sell what you need to make it here. We made this knock off version, which is pretty close. It’s made of 1/2 cup heavy whipped cream, 8oz mascarpone cheese, and a table spoon of powdered sugar, whipped together. It’s slightly sweet, with an amazing texture. It’s like a cross between butter and cream, and slightly sweet and light. Put the clotted cream and jam in their own small containers. Do this the day before. 

Sweets on top. The sweets are anything small. This level will always have a macaroon, and mini pastries or tarts. These small cakes are called Petits Fours, pronounced like, “petifours.” My friend brought these straight from England. You can find the exact same thing on Amazon or anything mini in the bakery will do. I also saw on Pinterest that you can cut a cake that is short down, and cover with melted white chocolate or icing. 

Afternoon Tea is all about presentation!

When we were in England, they brought each of us our own teapot of water. Here, we used a teapot that we got from Walmart. It heats the water in 4 minutes. Much easier, and less to store. My awesome friend also brought us the teacup sets from England. What would I do without her? If you don’t have a friend who lives in England ;) I have seen beautiful sets at Homegoods. You can find them in many stores, including second hand.

We did strictly herbal tea for this party,  no caffeine. We used loose tea and teabags. I got beautiful strainers online. 

The favor bag was really sweet. It was a package of a tea bag, a teaspoon, honey sticks and mini honey dipper.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a Happy & Creative Day!


Fascinator DIY

For the QUEEN BEE TEA, we also made fascinators.  They made these at the beginning of the party, so they could wear them during afternoon tea. It was so fun to see the different styles and personalities come out as they created their fascinators.

I had a table of supplies all ready for the girls when they arrived.

Our guests got right to work, and laughed the whole time!

They were all so creative!

To make a fascinator, use a disposable plastic lid as a base, and hot glue to attach everything. Wrap felt around the lid, and then top with flowers, ribbon tulle, butterflies, birds, and whatever you can think of is great! Our favorite was to add Russian tulle, also called birdcage tulle or millinery tulle. This is the tulle that hangs over they eye on a real fascinator. Regular thick skirt lining tulle works too!

The girls were so creative!

They worked on their fascinators for two hours!

Be sure and glue felt to the bottom, and then cut out a felt circle. Glue it to the bottom so that you can slide a headband in and have it be held in place by the felt circle. Decide where you wan tot wear it on you head, and have fun! The girls liked wearing their fascinators to the side.

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a Happy & Creative Day!


Queen Bee Tea Party

This summer when we visited England, we had Afternoon Tea It was so much fun, and we were looking forward to doing it back at home. A Queen Bee Tea Birthday Party was the perfect excuse!

The backdrop was made with popsicle sticks glued together in a honeycomb shape, and then decorated with this clipart kit I created, and sell in my Etsy shop, Risa Design

The backdrop came together easily. If you are going to do this, glue the popsicle sticks together first, and then cut out the floral elements. Layer them and create depth with cotton balls. Hot glue to the honeycomb popsicle sticks. Be sure and fold the bees wings up and legs down, and put a cotton ball under them to get them to stand out. 

It's the perfect backdrop!

Pretty from every angle!

The Etsy pack comes with signs for multiple party themes.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


Friday, August 3, 2018


We decided to have a Cousin Camp, now that the cousins are getting older. There are six little boys between the ages of 4 and 7 on my side of the family. We thought Bigfoot would be the perfect theme! It was so much fun! It was more like a Bigfoot Party, but that's just how we wanted it! We figured out what worked best for us, and I complied a cousin camp tip list. Hopefully it will help you if you are planning your first cousin camp!



Help, is key with these kinds of activities. It's way too much work for one person to do it alone.

Talk to grandparents, and adult family members and make sure they are willing to help, and happy to have the kids involved.


Take into consideration the ages and interests of all the cousins involved.

We decided on Bigfoot because we have so many little boys in the family, and thought they were at the perfect age for Bigfoot fun!

If you have a big age difference with your cousins, you may consider having two camps, a cousin camp for younger kids, and an activity for the older kids on a different day. We have three older cousins, and none of them were interested in coming, so they just came to parts of the Cousin Camp.

Gear your activities to the ages involved.


Decide who will be in charge of games, activities and food.

Make an outline of activities and put them in the order that works best for the time you have allotted for Cousin Camp.

My mom, sister-in-laws and I did this, and it really helped us as we prepared and it helped us stay focused on the day of cousin camp.

Each of us were in charge of 3-5 activities. I have a brother who couldn't make it, but his kids came, and we asked him to pick up food for Cousin Camp lunch. He dropped it off to me the night before. It worked out great!

We staggered out outdoor and indoor activities, so no one got too hot. We would do an active outdoor activity, followed by a craft or calm game.


You can have it in a home or at a park, or another venue. You can get creative. You might not even have it in a home, and go somewhere together as a group. That's up to you!

I offered to host, because one of the activities involved going outside to look for signs of Bigfoot, and I have a field behind my house, that was perfect for the hunt.


There may be some disagreements, crying, or kids that need a break. That's okay. Schedule breaks, and some time for the kids to just run around, if you think you'll need it. We did, and it was nice to get a break for the mom's too, haha.

I hope this helps, and wish you luck planning your own cousin camp. Ours was such a success that we plan to have it every summer, and possibly more often. We are already talking themes. At the end of the day, one cousin said it was, "the best day of his life," another said it was, "better than Christmas," and another said it was, "the most fun thing he had ever done!"

Be sure and check back for details of the fun, food, crafts, games and activities.

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


Friday, March 16, 2018

Floral Wall Decals, and Master Bedroom Facelift

Our master bedroom makeover has me all sorts of happy! It was the last room in our house to be decorated. I love the look of the vinyl flowers adorning the freshly painted walls. 

The decals are from @urbanwalls. They add a freshness you can't find with another product. 

They are the perfect balance of masculine and feminine.

This is the before. This pic is 5 years old, and nothing much had changed. We moved in to our home 10 years ago, and used the same bedding from our old house. Our curtains never fit the windows, and we always had light streaming in. Our old bedding was finally threadbare, and it was time for a change! I loved the purple, and had it in our master for nearly fifteen years, but I was ready to move on! 

First thing I did was to paint the wall.

The paint is called Chimney, and its from Home Depot.

Painting the wall made a nice difference, but I wanted to bring in a little more contrast and drama.

I got these awesome floral decals from, Urban Walls. They come in sheets. You cut loosely around each flower to separate them.

After you cut the Urban Walls Decals out, you hang them with painters tape on the wall where you want them to go. You can play around with them until you find the desired position, then you peel away the back, and stick them to the wall. You press down with a credit card, and make sure the flower is sticking to the wall, before pulling the top layer off the wall.

This was my first pic at night, after I finished. The entire project only took about four hours, start to finish. I loved how simple they were to apply and how they create such a great impact!

They are so fresh and bright, that it makes me happy every time I walk in my room.

I had priced out nice wallpaper, and it would have cost me over $1000 to do just that one wall, and would have ben a nightmare to hang. 

These decals were sooo easy to hang, that anyone could do it!

Here are a few more of the finished product photos. 

It has been quite a shock to go from a plain color on the wall all these years, to this, but I really love the way it turned out! 

I think I'll change out the bedding a bit next fall and winter, and maybe do a darker bedskirt, and some dark pillows.

I am so happy to have the pretty pink and the flowers, going into spring and summer.

*I received product from Urban Walls at a very discounted rate, but opinions are my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Viking Party!

For six years I have begged my boys to have a Viking theme birthday party, and my youngest finally agreed this year. I was so very excited! I wanted this party to be big and fun! I wanted the kids to feel like they were in another place when they came to the party, so I started with my decorations. I got viking clipart, and blew it up. I stood it up using dowels and 4x4's, and straws taped to the back. I cut a longship out of cardboard, and drew in the details with a pencil, before finishing them off with a sharpie.

Here is pic of all the decor all together. I shared the Viking Party on Studio 5, a few days before the party.

Before the Viking party, and Studio 5, I set it up in my home, so I could send photos to the show. The actual Viking party set up was a little different, and day of the party was crazy. I'm glad I got pics in advance, so I can share some of the more pretty pics. That's why a few of the things I am sharing will look like they are in different places.  Also, we had a friend party on Saturday, and a cousin party on Sunday, because we have so many cousins around his age that live close, and we would have had over 20 kids at one party if we did it all at the same time. So, like I say, the pics and lighting might all be a little different, but the party activities were the same.

My husband lead the party, dressed as a Viking, and he did such a great job!  The kids had to do a series of activities to earn their Viking gear, and become Dragon trainers. 

The first thing they did was warm ups. They earned their Viking helmets after doing the warm-ups, which included choosing a Viking name, jumping jacks, grunts, etc.

Hunky then presented them with their helmets.

The next thing they had to do was to earn their sword. The swords were made using 5 gallon paint stirrers from Home Depot, and tongue depressor size sticks (1 package was $.99). I sanded and painted the paint stirrers, and then glued the tongue depressors to each side, making it into a sword! Easy peasy, and so fun! They held up great!

They earned their swords by jumping through a ring of fire! I made this using a giant hoop, and by gluing tissue paper, cellophane, and glittery packaging strands to the hoop. It's a pvc hoop I got at the DI. You could use a regular hula hoop.

To say they loved this, was an understatement. We learned quickly that we needed to remind them to take their socks off before jumping. We had the soundtrack to, "How to Train Your Dragon," playing in the background.

Then they earned their shields. I made these shields using 18' pizza rounds I got from Gygi, for $.59 each. I painted them, and put a duct tape handle on the back. They held up very well, and the kids LOVED them!

I hooked a few to the Vining longship for display during the party.

The kids had to throw a shield into the ring of fire before they got to pick out their own shields. They loved it!

After earning their gear, they had a little war chant.

And battled for a few minutes.

After the battle, they became master longship builders! They each got a boat kit. 

I got these from 
These darling boats are only $.69 each!!! They are a fantastic deal!

They are the most darling little foam boats that really float! The kids sat on the floor and put their kits together.

These boats come as boats, not as Viking longships. I got a craft store foam sheet for around $1.50, and cut out mini heads and tails for each ship. After the kids finished building their boat, they came to me, and I hot glued the head and tail on each one.

I mean look at that detail, and the cute swirls on the back of the longship!

They then got to race their longships, rain gutter regatta style, in flower box liners, from Home Depot. They were around $3 each, and I covered the drains with duct tape, because one of them leaked a bit. They worked so well, and the kids LOVED this too! We put the liner boxes on our coffee table. It was the perfect height. I was sure to put a towel under the table.

The next thing they got to do was play dragon egg golf! I had my print shop print these clipart caves big, on 12x18 sheets of paper. I cut them out, and backed them with clear cups, and they got to hit the, "dragon eggs," with dollar store golf club, into the caves, before earning their dragon. Okay, that was the idea, but we ran out of time, and the birthday boy passed out the dragons instead of golfing for them, but here is the idea, from the previous set up.

Can we just talk about these cute baby dragons for a minute? They are from 
and are only  $24.84/dozen, which was $2 and a couple pennies each! They are a great deal, and the perfect size baby dragon, for any young dragon trainer.

Like I say, the birthday boy passed them out to each of his friends, and he liked being involved in this way. The young Vikings were so excited to have their baby dragons, and each got the color they chose.

After they received their baby dragon, they each received a Dragon Owners Guide, because of course, you must know how to care for your dragon! I tell you, this was so fun to read with the kids. It was created by Anj Snow, whom I have never met in person, but we are Instagram friends, and I absolutely adore her!

You can find the link for her darling booklet in her 
It's a 6 page booklet that is funny and darling. She is so talented. 

After we finished reading all about how to take care of the dragons, we opened gifts. This little Viking LOVED it! We were still opening gifts when a few moms arrived. We were cutting it close. They just loved everything so much that they spent more time on each activity than I had expected.

I don't serve food at kids parties, for various reasons, including food allergies, picky kids and messes. We did have cake and ice cream at the family party. The ice-cream was, "dragon eggs." 

I scooped balls of ice-cream, and rolled them in sprinkles, then put them in the freezer until the day of the party. The cousins and adults LOVED them! I think I will for sure do that again some time!

There parties were super successful, and my husband was the best Viking Master I have ever met!

I can't wait to start thinking about next year's party!

If you didn't get to see me on Studio 5, sharing this party, here's the link!

This post contains links to vendors who generously contributed items for the party, as well as Studio 5, who promoted the party. This post does not  contain affiliate links.

Have a Happy and Creative Day!

Thanks for stopping by.


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