I’ve been wanting to host a sophisticated tea party with my youngest daughter for a while now. Our usual gatherings tend to be impromptu affairs, featuring whatever cookies are within reach, a variety of teas, and some lemonade. This time, however, I wanted to elevate the experience and make it a truly special occasion. As homeschoolers, tea parties have a special place in our hearts, especially for my youngest daughter who absolutely adores them. Her spontaneous requests for tea parties are a frequent occurrence, and she eagerly arranges a table for her dolls and stuffed animals, using every tea cup and coffee mug in our collection. Despite the ensuing stack of dishes, I happily indulge her whims and join in the festive fun.

We take great pleasure in immersing ourselves in The Brambly Hedge series of books, drawing a wealth of creative inspiration from its enchanting tales. Imagining life in a world like that of Brambly Hedge has become a cherished tradition for us. Our recent reading of the Spring Story has sparked ideas for numerous upcoming tea parties and imaginative activities. Despite being a grown adult, the allure of tales featuring mice and other mischievous critters is still captivating to me. In fact, my fascination with children’s books extends to collecting them for my own enjoyment. I often lead my daughters into my whimsical daydreams, envisioning a life in a quaint fairy cottage surrounded by English gardens and a delightful array of animals. Dreams like these, however fanciful, add a touch of magic to our everyday lives.

I’m eager to learn about your favorite children’s stories, so please share them with me! In the meantime, here’s the recipe for the vanilla cake and buttercream frosting I used. I opted for two 9-inch pans and adjusted the baking time accordingly. For the miniature version, I used a biscuit cutter to create two smaller cakes. I generously spread a layer of buttercream on one cake, sandwiching the other on top. Afterward, I adorned the entire miniature cake with frosting and added a burst of freshness with some berries. Bon appétit!

- Teresa, Mother of 4

"Holly is the
Martha Stewart of
homeschool."

- Marie, Mother of 4

"Holly knows how to capture the essence of beauty in even the darkest of places."

- Anne, Mother of 2

"I recommend Holly to all of the mothers who dare to use creativity as their voice in this world."