a summer garden party for dhara.

[As I begin to type, the loveliest summer rain is coming down on the rooftop of me and my household.  And a much needed rain it is.] Oh lordy, did I have the busiest week ever!  At least in a long, long while.  So much I wanted to post about this past week, but couldn’t — Father’s Day, my parent’s 30th anniversary, berry picking at a nearby farm for blueberry lemonade and fruit tarts and a blackberry pie for the garden party (and beets for Dhara’s dinner), sewing 30 feet of colorful bunting (absolutely loved this!), and a fun trip to the well-known Georgetown Cupcake for a couple dozen lovely cupcakes.  All are half written posts saved for a later date.  Hopefully I can catch up with photos and posts later this week.

But the garden party!  Ohhh, the wonderful garden party!  It was a beautiful time.  It really was.  Planning a detailed party is no small feat.  I should have remembered this after planning our wedding a couple years ago.  Dhara’s half birthday turned out splendidly.  It took place in the woods behind our home.  We used our own furniture to create a room of sorts in the woods.  It felt cozy and enclosed as we celebrated in a cove surrounded by trees.

It also turned out to be a beautiful sunny morning with a cool breeze and not an ounce of humidity — our prayers were faithfully answered by a Faithful Father who always knows the desires of our hearts.  (Who would have wanted to sit outside in 100 degree weather like it was the entire week leading up to the party?)  Enough said, here is the summer garden party we had for Dhara’s half [6 month] birthday through an array of photographs…

Greg sitting in the background enjoying his handiwork before the party begins.

Lovely flowers — creamy whites, the palest pinks, lots of greens, and some purple.

Setting up.

Place settings made up of a hodgepodge of whimsical cloth napkins, wooden utensils, vintage-styled paper straws, and potted plants with small handmade flags that had each girlie’s name written across the back.

Greg constructed a couple of these floral stakes with a strong branch, a glass milk bottle, and some twine.  I love them!

I just might make another one of these bunting flags just for the heck of it!  I enjoyed how precise of a project it was.  I used a different fabric piece for each side of each flag.  There is something so homey about using different scraps — kind of like a scrappy quilt.

Let the party begin…

Rachel and Dhara.  Also, seventeen different flavors of Georgetown Cupcakes!  Sooo good!

Hannah, Aparna and Macy.

Sue and Zoey Madison.

Cucumber Mint Cilantro Tea Sandwiches (thanks to Rohini for the tasty recipe!) + Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches.

My sewing supply table topped with red velvet cupcakes in a jar favors with handmade sewn tags and a strawberry cake.

Aparna and Lakshmi.

My sweet Dhara in a vintage white voile dress.  I love my little girl in voile.

Freshly squeezed lemonade made by my husband and freshly brewed sweet tea.

My sister, Rebecca, and Dhara.

My aunt, Rachel, and Dhara.

Sonia and Kristen.

Grandma playing with Dhara.

Carrie and Macy.

Diana and Shreya.

Dhara’s Aunt Beth and Grandma Sandy.

Dhara’s Ammachi having a grand ol’ time.

Darling little Shreya.

Kristen, the little pixie.

To end the afternoon, everyone gathered around the high chair as we gave Dhara a cupcake to do with what she pleased.  We all watched as this little munchkin explored her cupcake, making a fun mess in the process.  She dissected it layer by layer, all the while not knowing that she could eat it until the very end when most of the cupcake was on the ground and she finally stuck her finger in her mouth and tasted the creamy frosting.

I can’t believe she’s 6 months old.  [Sigh.]

Our morning brunch was such a pleasant and fun experience, I can’t wait to do it again next year!  Although I know I can be more organized next time.  I shouldn’t have been sewing bunting the night before the party!  Or only getting two hours of sleep because there were still so many details that I needed perfected.  Or the fact that I forgot to put my sugared blueberries in the “blueberry lemonade!”  : )

Oh well, we still had a beautiful time together chatting and eating lots of tasty food on pretty plates.  [I told Greg that I decided that I never want to have disposable plates, cups, utensils, or napkins in our home, because the real ones are so much more fun to use!]  Our menu consisted of desserts and finger foods.  We had a petite mint green double layered cake, a large strawberry double layered cake topped with fresh strawberries, soft chocolate chip walnut cookies, fruit tarts, my mother-in-law’s delish chocolate fingers, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, Georgetown Cupcakes, basil parmesan chicken meatballs, cucumber mint + cilantro tea sandwiches, ham + cheese tea sandwiches, tuna + potato cutlets, a watermelon + blueberry + blackberry fruit bowl, and oven warmed brie with wheat crackers.

A special thanks to all the mamas and daughters who came out on Saturday to make our garden party a memorable one.  Even though Dhara may not remember a lick of her first summer garden party, she will certainly look back at these captured memories and wish remembered at least one — even if it was just a hazy one.

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  1. had ALOT of fun (minus the 3 hours of sleep, lol)…but overall, everything looked pottery barn, picture-perfect like right out of a magazine! good job sissy! 🙂


  2. SUSAN! its look beautiful!!! gorgeous…i absolutely LOVE the decorations! so cute(:


  3. Happy 6 month birthday Dhara!
    I love the sequence of Dhara attacking the cupcake 🙂


  4. thanks to you and greg (and your familial helpers) for such a nice party for the ladies and the girlies.

    knowing you, i would guess that you are already plotting out the next one. 😉

    blessings to you.



  5. Looks like you ladies had a wonderful time outdoors celebrating Dhara. And I have to say kudos to Greg and whoever else helped move all that furniture outside. No doubt that in of itself was a lot of work.. but great fun and I’m sure Dhara will love looking at the pictures of all this.


  6. it was a great morning and I was glad we pulled it off. Susan sees some things that she missed, but from my perspective, she did a fantastic job turning her creative vision into a reality! She made a dream real! Happy half-Birthday little cupcake!


  7. love it! kudos for all the hard work….nice outdoor ambiance. cupcakes look delectably delicious.


  8. aww, it’s lovely! a summer garden party is such a fun idea and i’m so impressed at how beautifully it all came together. my favorite is the red velvet cupcake jar favors…great job, susan! =)


  9. oh it turned out so beatifully!!


  10. Is Zoe, Sue K. baby? She is gorgeous!


  11. […] I saw these photos come in from Susan last week, I squealed with joy! A garden party for her sweet daughters 1/2 birthday. In the woods- […]


  12. […] 7, 2010 in baby, garden party, summer Oh, for joy!  My Summer Garden Party for Dhara is being featured on The City Cradle!  Check it out! Hello! I'm a twenty-something Indian […]


  13. Lovely! Such a beautiful party. …What a sweet little bundle you have to celebrate with!
    It was great to see her (and you) in person at Summit grove.


  14. Oh, please tell us more about the cupcakes in a jar!


  15. this is truly one of most beautiful and creative b-day celebrations i’ve ever seen. i must know, did you move ALL of that furniture out there for just the picnic? i don’t imagine that it was a simple task! but absolutely worth it all. wonderful job!


    1. thank you so much! and yes, I got my dear husband and brother to move all that furniture outside for the party…it was a lot…but it was worth it because everyone had a blast!


  16. […] Susan – i love love love her sense of style. i am still ANXIOUSLY awaiting her etsy shop to be up and running (hint, hint). check out all of her stuff on her blog, but especially the garden party she threw for her daughter here. […]


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