I am quite a reserved person when it comes to spending money, some might call it “cheap” but I like to use the word “ conscious”, so I am always looking for ways to have nice celebrations but spending as little money as possible.
It is my mom´s 70th birthday and she just moved from Venezuela to Lisbon, I wanted to make a special celebration for her but she really has just a few friends and members of the family here to celebrate it with her.
Not wanting this date to be just a simple birthday because you only turn 70 once, and thinking on a nice celebration on a budget, I decided to go just with a simple afternoon tea style party. First I went to a very nice local party store with very original items for birthday celebrations to decide on the theme and color for the party, and my creativity went on with it!
I spent some money on the plates and decorations for the cake, so everything else had to be a really low budget. Here are some ideas in order to keep your budget in check!
- 1.)Using neutral colors as a base give you the advantage of using items from home, like a white tablecloth or cristal plates to serve some miniatures, that way you can use what you already have at home from your daily dishes to your old and simple doilies without having to spend too much. Make the defining piece on the table a set of flowers or just the cake, or have a different detail that makes this party special like some pictures of the birthday girl/boy or a special card for everyone to sign.
The colors I chose were soft pink, white and gold, so the only pop of different color was some touch of light green and yellow.
- Another great idea is to have an afternoon tea like party, it is great because of the schedule, people have lunch ( or not) before coming to your party, that way they won´t eat much and everyone leaves early before dinner, so you will end up with a 2-3 hour party and not be spending too much money on food.
Buy some items already made and prepare the simple ones. I bought the macaroons and “èclaires” already made and quite fresh, just a few of them to give a touch of color and glamour to the table, and made a bunch of cookies; simple vanilla and pink ones that look like I had a lot of food on the plate. Also, some little meringue bites already made from your local supermarket are a nice way to decorate a plate of sweets.
For the savory food, a big plate of some cold meats and different cheeses combine with bread and crackers are a nice way to decorate and delight your guests. Believe me, I just bought one package of each and I hade leftovers, even with 20+ guests.
Here are some of the recipes I used for these Party, some very simple ones and of course some Jelly Art Flower Gelatines in order to give some extra glamour to the table.
Onion soup cream with crackers:
1 package of cream cheese
1 package of onion soup
Baby Carrots or small cracker.
Just mix together the cream cheese with half of the onion soup package, do it early before the party, that way it will have more flavor at the time of serving it. Serve with small crackers or baby carrots for dipping.
For the Jelly Art, I used the coconut clear gelatine recipe that I posted before, in future posts I´ll make some videos and tutorials on how to create these flower effect…or you can check out my workshops if you are in Portugal!
Finally …the centerpiece of the party, a Strawberry Cake with cream cheese filling and rice paper flowers.
So my Mom had her very nice 70th birthday celebration without expending too much but with a touch of love and glamour!
Check out future posts for these recipes!
Love / Beijinhos