9:45 AM

I hate secrets.

Yes, I do. VERY, very much. Even "good" secrets, like surprise parties. I had the brilliant idea a few months ago to plan a surprise baby shower for my sis. My sis = the person that I talk to THE MOST. She knows pretty much everything that goes on in my life. Why I torture myself in this way, I do not know!!!

Anyway, after getting back from NYC, I went into massive planning mode. This summer, I've had so many things to plan that I had separate folders for each event. The girls that I went to NYC with thought it was kinda funny that I was always opening the "magic folder" to see where we were going or what our options were. :)

Back to the secret baby shower. A few weeks ago, I sent out an invitation to The Sis inviting her to a ladies' tea for the ladies of the church. She hosted one last fall, so this wasn't unusual. She didn't know about the little side-note I put on everyone else's invitations about the real purpose of the tea. Hehe. Sneaky, I know!

It was tough not talking about my plans, and I figured that she probably knew all because she didn't ask more questions. But then again, she is about 1-3 weeks away from bringing a darling baby girl into this world, so I'll give her some slack. :)

I invited two youth girls over to help me Friday night to do all the prep work. Both of them enjoy cooking, baking and otherwise preparing food, so it was a perfect match! They were wonderful!! I definitely couldn't have done it without them. We mixed up recipes, burned our fingers, fought with mini-muffins, got flour everywhere and washed more dishes than I care to remember. I made lists, finished them and made more lists. But I think that's what kept me from being stressed, so it's all good.

Long story short, the Sis made it to the baby shower. She had been suspicious, but was still surprised. Sweet victory!!! It was a wonderful afternoon and I am *so* glad it's over!!

And here is the afternoon tea menu for your viewing pleasure. My comments are in parenthesis.

Tea Sandwiches
Tuna Salad on White (I dislike mayo, so I didn't try these. But they were the most popular)
Ham & Dill on Pumpernickel (I actually liked these ones! Dill from my garden.)

Nasturtium on Rye (Nasturtium is a relative of watercress. Filled with other herbs also from my garden)

Chocolate Chip Teacakes (So classy-looking with their little chocolate garnishes!)
Pecan Mini-Muffins (Tasted like mini pecan pies! Awesome!!)
Orange Tarts
Lemon Bars
Ruby Tea Biscuits

Scones (Basic English scones, but were quite a hit!)
Whipped Butter
Strawberry Jam

Pretty Pastel Pink-and-White Cupcakes
(These were more for looks, than actual consumption. But then again, maybe I say that because I'm not a big fan of cake. They were alot of fun to decorate... at 7 in the morning. Methinks I need some cake decorating stuff!)

Drinks (It was like 90 degrees on Saturday. Hot tea would've been bad news!)
Iced Tea (I don't like iced tea, so the girls made it and I didn't even taste it)
Mint Juleps (like a lemony mint punch. I'll make it again, but cut down on the sugar)

Strawberry Lemonade

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