Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Second Birthday, Stella!

By Liv

Stella's birthday isn't actually until July 20th, but since we left Oxford on July 17th, I decided we should host a birthday gathering before leaving England, so we could celebrate with all of our new friends.

And what's more appropriate for a little girl living in the romantic English town of Oxford than a proper Mad Hatter's high tea birthday party? Especially since Stella enjoys having her very own high tea at home every single day.

As I have mentioned about 39 times in my previous posts, I have made some amazing friends during our time in Oxford. I have met people who I know we will be friends with forever. Some of those friends came to the rescue on Stella's big day and helped me to put together a fantastic gathering. We had over 20 people join us to celebrate and we served a completely gluten/egg/dairy free menu that was delectable and delicious:

• Tea Sandwiches •
Chopped olive & cucumber
Wafer-thin turkey & hummus
Almond butter & strawberry jam

• Fruit •
Strawberry, banana, grape and peach fruit skewers

• Treats •
Ginger cookies
Brownie bites
Chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate cookie sandwiches filled with vanilla frosting
Shortcake fingers

• To drink •
A selection of fruit and black teas

The decorations were perfect, the food was delicious, the weather was delightful and the company was wonderful. We couldn't have asked for a better day to celebrate our daughter's 2nd birthday.

 My helping hands: Vini, Thanzeem, Yuvi, Neelima, Lakshmi and Mahdieh.

 Taste-testing every single flavor...

 The ever handsome, Jamal.

 Gluten free and still delicious!

 Ellie Claire sporting her Mad Hatter Hat.

 The Royal Tea party and the birthday girl at the head of the table :)

 Stella sat in her chair at the table for almost 2 hours, sipping tea and eating cookies!

 Anas & Thanzeem :)

 The Gareys: looking fabulous as usual!

 Enjoying some tea and treats.

 Neelima loves Stella.

 The whole group.

 Rahul is one of Stella's favorite new friends. 

 Stella loves Anas and Thanzeem.

 Vasu & Neelima are always so happy to see her, too!

 Stella loves Laka and Ash!

 Mahdieh did most of the decorating and did a fantastic job. Stella says, "Thank you!"

 Anas trying to convince Stella that he's cooler than Rahul :)

 These girls love the bambina soooo much!

How many tea sets does a girl need? In Stella's case, the answer is three. This is just one of them :)

Summertime happenings in Oxford

By Liv

A few things have happened since the last time I blogged (sorry!). Nick has been busy with school and turning in some finals to the exam school. The morning of one of his exams, Stella took it upon herself to "color" his exam paper, just minutes before he was to leave to turn it in... oops!

Punting along the Thames is one of my favorite pastimes in Oxford. I spent a lovely afternoon with some of my favorite people - punting, laughing and sharing some snacks. I will miss these moments but I'm glad that I have photos and memories to last a lifetime!

 Punting group: Me, Lakshmi, Amy & Thanzeem.

 Pretty Vinni & Pretty Thanzeem.

Green Templeton College hosted a family event that had all kinds of entertainment for young kids. When we entered the college grounds, we were greeted by living statues. Stella wasn't so sure of them...

Jamal was trying really hard to get Stella to hold his hand...

Neighbors and friends.

Our neighbor, Ellie Claire, had her 5th birthday party. The theme was a princess party, so Stella wore a cute dress and tried to play along with the bigger kids. It was really adorable to see her try to fit in :)

The Birthday girl's little brother, Archer.

Watching the party from a distance.