I’m excited to introduce you to a new guest mom blogger!! Meet Donna Collins the party queen!

Donna is a mom of three from southern California and owns a party planning business called Party Wishes. Donna is a lot like me and cannot let a day go by without doing something creative. We both agree that blogging has given us even more of an outlet to be creative. I’m very happy she’s agreed to share her ideas with us. You will be blown away by her fun parties!!

Donna caught my eye with a Chinese Tea party she threw for her daughter’s 8th birthday. Instead of sending boring old invites, she gave each guest a dress along with cute personalized notes asking them to wear it to the party. How cute is this??

Have fun reading about Donna’s party. I would have LOVED this when I was little! Her daughter is one lucky girl. Wait until you see the cake and decorations!!! Oh my….

For Sheridan’s 8th birthday, we celebrated by having a Chinese Tea Party. I made a pagoda out of bamboo in the living room to hang the pink paper lanterns and fabric swags.

I used my 100 year old Haviland china and wrapped the napkins with red Midori ribbon and beaded panda ornaments.

The guests wore the pink Mandarin dresses I passed out to them on Wednesday. They looked so cute! They even wore their hair back in buns. When they arrived, the girls practiced picking up grapes with chopsticks.

“Tea” time consisted of egg rolls, raspberry lemonade, PB&J, Fluffernutters, turkey roll-ups, chocolate dipped strawberries, grapes and veggies with dill dip.

The girls loved stuffing their own panda bears. They each made a wish on a wishing star for their own bear and then made a wish for Sheridan and put it in her bear.

I even had little kimonos for the bears to wear. The girls were taught how to make origami bunny rabbits.
The party favors were fortune cookies dipped in colored chocolate with sprinkles.

Custom fortunes were inside…

When Sheridan opened her presents, each gift-giver got to sit next to her while she opened their gift. It makes the girls feel special. I asked one guest what her favorite part of the party was and she said “opening presents”.

The cake was a two tiered Devil’s Food cake with home made ganache. I made a double batch and whipped the first batch for filling and a crumb coat and left the second batch to drizzle over the rest. I chopped a total of 4 lbs. of bittersweet Belgium chocolate and used 1/2 gallon of heavy cream for it. The girls said it tasted like fudge.

The cake was inspired by a Martha Stewart wedding cake. I even bought the sugar cherry blossoms from Wendy Kromer, the same ones that are on the Martha cake. Martha used fondant but I found kids don’t usually like it. This is the Martha cake…
I love the rhinestone monogram on the top of the cake!
Sheridan and her guests had a fabulous time. All the many hours of planning paid off BIG time…it’s so nice to see my daughter having such a good time with her friends.

Thanks for sharing Donna. You really out did yourself! Can’t wait to see what other ideas you come up with next!


For more great party ideas go to my new party page.

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  2. I wish I could click “like” on your reply to the comment above. As the mother of four adopted children who were born in China, I wasn’t offended by the party at all. Any of my girls would have thought this party was grand fun!! My son, not so much. But, we’ll give him a break, right?? 😉

  3. Jenny..
    This by far is the mosr superb idea I have seen… I love the creativity and eye for detail and all your efforts for your daughter’s birthday.
    What I am sad about is how people can take the time to make a childs party so negative.
    I am Hispanic and I along with others, I’m sure have thrown “Mexican Fiestas” of their own ..should I be offeneded if not done “POLITICALLY” correct?? It’s a child’s party for God’s sake…why correct someone who wants to share in any kind of celebration, no matter what ethnicity it is .. I would be PROUD to say that my Ethnic background was a basis for a party!


    Keep up the great work and the GREAT ideas!!!

  4. @Carol, Hi Carol! It truly is sad that you were offended by a CHILD’s BIRTHDAY PARTY! How have we come to be sooo self involved that a cutesy party with the decorations that are sold here, in the US, in shops that call themselves “oriental” and/or “Chinese” marts, with the types of food that so-called “Chinese” restaurants serve, and china (or should I not use that word for plates!) as old as our children’s great-grandparents could offend anyone?

    I am currently planning my daughter’s 10th birthday party and the theme is all Asian or Oriental! I am having fortune cookies, sweet BBQ ribs, pad Thai, and a gianormous sushi boat! My hubby will make the mommies some leeche or pomegranate martinis with floating orchids, and we will have a big gong, just for the fun of banging it. I am quite sure we are going to have so much fun!

    I think we need to enjoy the little time we have to celebrate, whatever the occasion is with what ever decorations we choose. And the more we mix it up the better! I live in Miami and the there are lots and lots of people from everywhere and we blend
    at the highest speed a blender can go! And I LOVE it!

    Smile, laugh, and drink Champagne,

  5. I found the ideas in the party really creative and amazed at the efforts made by Donna for her daughter. It shows how much she really loves her daughter and really do want to broaden her horizon for other cultures.

    But I do want to touch on the subject about stereotyping.

    This may not be the place to talk about racial issues and stereotyping different cultures, but I couldn’t help but feel that this needs to be addressed. I am an American born Chinese and I found this to be offensive. I can not speak for all Asians and Asians should not be put on a spot light to represent all who are Asian.

    But having a Chinese Theme party would mean that you incorporated all things would be considered Chinese. Kimonos are Japanese. Fortune Cookies were made in the United States and aren’t authentically Chinese although Chinese restaurants use them. The font used is not Chinese. Chinese don’t usually have tea under pogodas nor use latterns.

    I think when we do themes like this, it’s very important to not blend cultures together or put cultures in a box.

    I know that Donna may not have intentionally to be offending anybody and she simply wanted to give her daughter the greatest 8th birthday possible.

    But I know that the greatest gift we can do for our children is to not pass on stereotypes, but to expand our understanding for cultures we are not familiar with in a way where its not objectifying others. I truly believe we are all capable of learning and changing and hope that we can build that bridge together to meet one another as humans.

    I would encourage others to continue to examine our own perceptions of one another… no matter which race we are.

  6. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I love it. I was just thinking of something unique and creative and yours clearly was both. It was tastefully done and was more thoughtful than most parties my daughter has had or been to. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful idea and I’m glad your daughter and friends had such a nice time!

  7. I think you did a fantastic job. Being Asian, I didn’t find anything offensive at all. We are doing a similar party for my daughter in April. It will be a mix of Chinese, Japanese, and probably some Texas themes and foods. We will have faux sushi rolls. I would love to do kimono’s and do a full Japanese theme, but those cost much more than the Chinese dresses. Sorry that some people had to be so negative.

  8. What a great party! I am very curious what the per person cost for this party was. My only concern (I wasn’t offended, just disappointed that the food wasn’t more ethnic) was that this party lends itself to the thinking that you have to spend a lot of money in order to have a great party. Even if in your mind you didn’t spend a lot of money, moms these days have REALLY limited party budgets. Could you do something like this under $200-$300? (everything included?)

  9. i’m sorry you had negative replies. if anything, i think this party teaches kids about other cultures. love it!
    In fact i’m going to plan one out for my little girl. would you be willing to share were i can get those pink dresses?

  10. I’m sorry you got negative comments on this. I think it was a great idea. What a wonderful way to learn about another culture and to celebrate at the same time.

  11. I’ve received some negative responses to this party by Donna Collins. It’s interesting how nobody leaves their email to respond back. I will leave the one by June above so you get the gist of the responses and why I am addressing this.

    I for one love Chinese culture; food, art, etc and didn’t find this party at all offensive, nor did my Asian friends who saw it. Of course you can’t please everyone. Here is Donna’s response. Thanks- Amy


    My daughter picked the theme for her birthday because she was turning 8 which is a very lucky number in Chinese culture. She and I were both born the year of the Dragon and Sheridan LOVES dragons! Her favorite food is egg rolls so that is what we served. This was a very thoughtful party and not made to be a stereotype of a certain people.

    I have always loved learning about different cultures and try to share as much of that love as I can with my children. My favorite class in college was Chinese Art History and I have nothing but respect for the Chinese people and their culture, I am a Brownie Girl Scout leader and a few weeks ago, I shared with them customs of the Chinese New Year.

    This party was not to be offensive but to celebrate our love of the Chinese culture. I’m sorry if some people have taken offense to my daughter’s birthday celebration.


  12. Now that’s a party! I host stuff ‘n fluff workshops, mostly at childcare centers but this party looked fabulous. She went all out, the dresses were adorable.

    BTW I mentioned you in my post today with a link back.

    BlissDom ’09 here we come!

    MommaDJane’s last blog post..BlissDom Here I Come!

  13. Oh my word ~ that’s unbelieveable Donna! What a wonderful party planner you are. 🙂 My very most favorite part had to be the dress that was given to each little girl. They must have been ecstatic.

    theArthurClan’s last blog post..No Thank You.

  14. What an amazing idea! So unbelievably creative and so cool to have that kind of a themed party, complete with building your own bear, in your home!

    If my daughter were still little, this would definitely be something I would have loved to have done!

    Dot O’s last blog post..My Goodness, I Think Have A Problem!

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