Victorian Sweet Sixteen

My fifteen year old, who loves Virginia Woolf and Oscar Wilde, has asked for a Victorian sweet sixteen party. She likes to read a lot that airs for sure. I thought it would be fun to put some of the ideas we came up for her Victorian coming out party we came up with down here.

At it we plan to serve English Tea sandwiches, and sweets. The invitation will be shaped like a fan and we are going to invite sixteen girls for an intimate tea.

The format for this party is based on a proper Victorian tea party with lots of angels, fairies and cherubs as themes. If you want this party to have a bit of a dramatic edge you can ask your guests to wear 'Angel's Wings.' It is always interesting to see how creative people can get when it comes to constructing these.

You could ask the girls to wear crowns or tiara. We were thinking big hatsSixteen Invitation as 'Have Tea With The Queen of Sweet Sixteen.' Otherwise you could phrase your Sweet Sixteen invitation like this 'You are invited to My Sweet Sixteen Party. Dress: Big Hats – also Victorian Dresses, White. Gloves.' Another nice touch would be to include a fan in the invitation or you could purchase white fans and hand write the invitation on them.

Also on your Sweet Sixteen invitation you will want to include the Menu, which is modeled after a proper British tea. You will be serving three of the most traditional of British Teas including Earl Grey, Ceylon and Darjeeling.

Victorians were very fond of their herb gardens and many of the recipes here reflect the Victorian fascination with herbs.

Here is our plan for a menu —

Crab Puffs With Herbs
Sage and Cheddar Cheese Wafers
Cheddar and Jam Tea Sandwiches
Lavender Ham Tea Sandwiches
Cucumber Basil Sandwiches
Pear and Stilton Sandwiches
Chicken Salad With Almonds Sandwiches
Egg Salad And Dill Sandwiches
Devonshire Cream
Strawberry Banana Jam
Key Lime Custard Jam
Strawberries in Choclate
Lemon Balm Cake
Orange Mint Cookies
Chocolate Rose Geranium Cake

Using lace tablecloths with pink or floral linens and china can easily infer the stuffy style of the Victorian era. The china can be pure white, but a floral china or silver tea set suits this party perfectly. Drawings of flowers, dragonflies and bees are also symbols of the Victorian era. For each guest, you will need a teacup and saucer, dessert plate, silverware, napkin and placemat (a lace doily would be an elegant touch.)

As this party is going to include a lot of finger foods, we plan to have lots of platters, lazy susans and three tiered platters upon which you will serve your tea sandwiches and little cakes. A serving cart also lends a genteel quality to the scene.

The crowning touch? I am going to make a little crown of roses, daisies and violets for my daughter to wear in her hair!

Buying a Comforter for Winter

Winter's coming so it's time to think about keeping your kids (and you and your partner) cozy. The first thing to do is check to see if the ones from last year are still in good shape. If they are not ripped or losing their fill then they are fine.  

You can sometimes restuff a comforter that is getting flat, especially an expensive one that is filled with duck fluff. Expensive comforter stores specialize in this fine art. 

Sometimes you can't avoid buying a new comforter. Often this is necessary if a dry cleaner can't get things clean. Perhaps the most crucial thing to pay attention to when buying a comforter is the fill type. These filling usually include duck down, duck feather-down, goose feather-down, and goose down. Feather blends are usually less expensive, and less warm, than pure down.  

You should also look for comforters with box stitching which adds durability to the comforter. Look specifically for this stitch pattern if buying for the kids. If buying for your own bed this is not such an issue. The best places to find high quality pure down comforters in the latest popular colors such as sage, crimson and taupe are online.

You can sometimes get linen or comforters with 800 thread counts a lot cheaper than you can ordinarily. When you buy a comforter be sure to look at the thread count.  The higher the number, the fluffier and higher quality the comforter will be. A really high quality comforter with a really high thread count can sell for between $400 to $600.

simple one that is appropriate for the kids can go as low as thirty bucks if you are shopping somewhere like Zellers or Wal-Mart.  JC Penney is also a good place to buy comforters, especially during December and January when they offer up to 50% off on selected stock.  They also have a monogramming service so you can personalize your comforter. 

A monogrammed comforter actually makes a great gift for a teenage girl.  It's a good Sweet Sixteen gift or gift to give if a kid is going away to college. For the ultimate gift indulge in a 100% silk comforter.  This of course is strictly for you and your partner to enjoy. The kids will ruin them. These silk comforters sell for as low as $264 for a full set on auction sites and discount sites online. 

These comforters come in every shade of the rainbow.  Comforters also are sold in a heavier silk called Winter silk that incorporates a cotton shell to give the comforter more heft. If you do decide to buy a silk comforter for your child's bed make sure it is a color or a pattern that will help disguise spills, dirt or stains. In some ways silk is ideal because it is so strong. It is hard for a child to ruin it because it is one of the strongest fabrics in existence. It is also cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Here is a good online store for comforters