How to Plan a Tea Party

I love a good tea party! Having a strong connection to the U.K. has made me appreciate the fun of a tea party with my friends. This year I opted out of a typical birthday dinner and planned a tea party for my closest friends. While planning and preparing a tea party seems like a lot of work, it’s actually quite easy.

  1. Set a date and time (I recommend 2-3pm after everyone has lunch)
  2. Plan the menu
    1. Sweets
      1. Chateau Blanc Authentic French Macarons (42 ct.) from Sam’s Club
        1. Costco has them too! They are frozen so you can pick them up ahead of time. Macarons are expensive but these were so reasonable! 42 macarons can easily cost $100 on average. I paid about $20 for the pack and they were delicious.
      2. Mini Cheese Cakes from Trader Joes
        1. TJ’s has a great variety of frozen sweets to choose for the tea party. I picked up mini cheesecake squares the week before and stored them in the freezer.
      3. Cake
        1. I usually keep most foods at a tea party in “fun” sizes except for one, the cake. For my birthday tea party, I had a homemade funfetti cake with strawberry filling and homemade icing. Not only was it beautiful to look at, it was delicious too! (Shout out to Mom for helping me with the icing and sprinkles)
    2. Savory
      1.  Sandwiches
        1. Cheese with Cucumber on Wheat Bread
        2. Cream Cheese with Cucumber on White Bread
          1. I always cut the skin off the cucumbers and dab the slices with paper towel so the sandwiches aren’t soggy. I prepare them about an hour before the tea party so they are fresh! Cut into triangle halves or quarters.
          2. You can always make jam sandwiches or lox sandwiches. Any variation can work as long as they are simple, delicious, and bite size.
      2. Mini Chana Samosas
        1. Where East meets West… I love these samosas. They are so delicious and I can probably eat a whole packet in one sitting. You can find them at any Indian grocery store in the frozen section. Making fresh samosas is time-consuming so these are always a great alternative. Fry them right before you guests arrive so they are hot!
      3. Deviled Eggs
        1. Again easy to make in the morning before your tea party and its hard to go wrong with them!
    3. Tea
      1. Can’t mess this up… Boil water to put in your tea-pot and use black tea bags (I like Typhoo or Tetley brands). Keep milk and sugar separate.
    4. Apple Cider/Lemonade
      1. A good host provides a little bit of everything! For those who didn’t want to drink tea or were done with tea, I provided apple cider in cute champagne glasses.
  3. Presentation
    1. Tea Set
      1. If you don’t have a tea set, you can find inexpensive ones at the thrift store or department store. I used my Mom’s wedding set for my birthday. It had matching tea cups, saucers, plates, teapot, sugar bowl, creamer, and napkin rings. Theres a recent trend of having mismatched tea sets which is absolutely adorable if you can pull it off! I kept to the traditional matching set.
    2. Cake Stands/Trays
      1. As you can see from the pictures above I had a variety of cake stands and trays to present the food on. Having different shapes and heights adds dimension to the table. For small cakes and bites, I put them in cupcake liners for presentation and easy handling.
  4. Decor
    1. Table Runner or Table Cloth
      1. I used a gold table runner for my tea party ,as you can see above, but a tablecloth will do too! It’s amazing how a simple piece of cloth can really bring a table together
    2. Vases/Flowers
      1. In the pictures above, there are two different flower arrangements and uses. In one tea party, I use a summer arrangement with fresh lavender in a large vase and smaller vases. In the other tea party, I have roses and palm fronds in the vases and use fresh rose petals as decoration for the food.
    3. Candles
      1. As you can see, I used candles in one of the tea parties to match the roses. The look we had for that party was more romantic. They are optional but definitely can change the vibe of a tea party.

I hope my tips and suggestions for an easy tea party are helpful! I had so much fun at my tea party and didn’t have any stress beforehand due to the planning and use of ready-made and easy foods.

Enjoy!

xoxo, Kaval

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Fall Fashion – Must Haves

I love fall! The weather is finally perfect – it’s not too hot and not too cold. What I love about fall is that I can have a warm cup of tea in the morning and an iced coffee in the afternoon. Clearly, I’m very excited that I can finally wear my weather appropriate clothes. I’ve put together a list of “Must Haves” to survive fall and look cute at the same time.

Fall Must Haves:

  • Camel Colored Wool Coat: The color of these coats makes them very versatile. I can throw it over a casual dress or pair it with professional attire. My coat (pictured above) is wool with a shell lining so it keeps me warm but I won’t overheat in it.
  • Quilted, Down Vest: These vests are great by themselves or for layering. There have been times where I’ve worn it with a long sleeve sweater or under my coat for extra warmth. I love Lilly Pulitzer’s vest because they have a fun pop of color on the inside. Another plus is that they are lightweight and pack into the inside pocket (perfect for traveling).
  • Flannel: I prefer a classic looking flannel (red) to other colors. They are a staple for fall fashion! You can dress them up and dress them down. In the pictures above, I paired the flannel with a velvet skirt, boots, and a statement necklace for a dinner. Today, I’m wearing the same flannel with jeans and moccasins for class.
  • Statement Knee High Socks: Since its boot season, you will need boot socks anyway. What I love about statement socks is that they complete your outfit. Most people don’t realize that boot socks always peak over the top of your boots so why not have ones that actually match your outfit?
  • Knee High Boots: Boots are always a great investment. You can wear them with almost any outfit and for any season. I swear by Clarks boots because they are so comfortable and such great quality. I’ve had my Clarks for about a year and wear them at least 2-3 times a week. They’re still in great condition!
  • Knit Headwrap: No one likes cold ears! These headwraps keep my ears so warm without over heating me or giving me hat hair. Forever21 has reasonably priced wraps so I would recommend picking up a couple of colors that you can switch between outfits. Once it gets a little chillier in the morning, I will definitely be rocking these.
  • Blanket Scarfs: Blanket scarfs are very chic for fall. The great thing about these scarves are that you can wear them in at least 20 ways! Imagine how much use you can get out of one scarf. On top of that, there are so many colors in the scarf that you can match them with nearly anything in your closet. Why wouldn’t you buy one of these?

These are just a few fall must haves for the season! Feel free to share what else you think is perfect for fall!

xoxo, Kaval

L.A. Murals – Colette Miller (Angel Wings) and Retna [Fun Murals in LA]

This summer I decided to explore L.A. I had heard about the gorgeous murals scattered throughout the city so my best friend and I decided to see a couple.

The first mural, “Angel Wings” by Colette Miller is located at 8401 W. 3rd St. (at S. Orlando Avenue), Beverly Grove. They are painted on the side of St. Regis Wine & Liquor. It was very easy to find! What I love about these wings are the colors Miller used – evoking a fairytale feeling for me. The wings are part of the Global Angel Wings Project, reminding us that we are all angels of this earth. Many more wings are located all over the world! A simple tag search on Instagram for “angel wings” will help you find all the other locations. My goal is to see as many of the wings as I can. They have such a beautiful message! Check out @colettemillerwings on Instagram!

The second mural, by Retna (Marquis Lewis), is located at 8826 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. The mural is right next to Craig’s Restaurant. This mural was amazing to look it. You can’t see from the picture, but the black paint has glitter in it! I was mesmerized looking at the mural (hence why I’m not looking at the camera). Like the wings, Retna’s murals can be found everywhere. According to LAist, this is what Lewis had to say about the meaning of the murals: “There’s a verbal element. It could be a poem, it could be just stuff that I’m thinking about, for me it’s just a very meditative process; I’m just having a conversation with myself. Sometimes I allow the music to influence what I’m writing. A lot of them are names my mom would call me when I was growing up, and some are things I’m talking about, friends who have passed away—they’re interactions with what’s going on with people who I just meet, or a conversation I just had. I hear a word or a phrase or a dialogue, and then that becomes my response. They all say something”. Amazing! I can’t wait to see more of Retna’s murals. Check out @ironeyeretna on Instagram!

There are so many more murals to see in L.A.! I can’t wait to share some more with you!

xoxo, Kaval

Mehndi (Henna) Hack – Flash Tattoos!

I don’t know about you, but I’m not so great with doing my mehndi for special occasions. A straight line becomes a wiggly line and a heart suddenly becomes a blob. The struggle is real.  

Last year I started seeing gold and silver temporary tattoos in almost every store. They become more popular as music festivals passed by. Soon enough, these flash tattoos were all the rage. I took advantage of their popularity and started buying them in bulk as soon as I saw them on sale.

Flash tattoos come on sheets with various metallic designs. Most people use them for arm bands and wrist bands. However, I started cutting tattoo into shapes that fit the typical “look”of mehndi (see picture above).

The great things about these tattoos are that they are quick to apply, catch everyone’s attention, and there is minimal room for messing up. I wore them last year for Eid and more recently for a friend’s wedding. All the aunties were making comments and all the girls started showing up with them at the next occasion.

I definitely recommend them as a fashion and beauty statement. In the future, I am hoping to mix traditional with modern in using both the flash tattoos and mehndi to create an awesome fusion.

xoxo, Kaval