Looking for a new way to celebrate Motherís Day this year? Read on and find out some ideas to make Motherís Day a magical celebration


Mothers and daughters can celebrate in style with easy crafts, tasty treats and hilarious games that keep the conversation and laughter flowing.

PARTY DECORATIONS
Spring Garland

This festive tissue paper bunting adds some springtime colour to your party. To speed up the paper cutting, first make a half-oval template (our ovals are about seven inches wide) from a piece of stiff paper or cardboard. Next, stack four or five sheets of tissue paper in various colours and fold the stack in half lengthwise.

Starting at one end of the tissue paper, lay the flat edge of the template along the fold and trace it with a pencil. Fit as many half-ovals along the fold as you can, then cut them out. To make the bunting, open a tissue paper oval and apply glue stick in the center crease and around the edges. Lay one end of a long length of ribbon into the crease. Fold the oval over it and smooth the paper closed. Add more ovals, spaced an inch or two apart, until you reach the desired length.

Napkin Cuffs
Soft and colourful, these napkin rings can be whipped up in minutes. For each, use pinking shears to cut a roughly 2- by 4-inch fabric rectangle. Wrap the fabric around a napkin and secure the overlapping ends with a flower-headed brad

PARTY CRAFTS
High-Tea Hat
These wrapping paper hats are always a perfect fit: they’re made right on your guests’ heads!

To make a hat, press and smooth two (30-inch) squares of wrapping paper, unprinted sides together, over the crown of a partygoer’s head. Have her hold the paper in place while you wrap coloured tape once or twice – not too tightly – around the widest part of her head. Remove the hat and trim the brim so it’s about five inches wide. Fold up about a half-inch of the brim and secure it with invisible tape to form a hem. If desired, fold up and tape a section of the brim at the front.

A Flower For Your Cap
Add some floral flair to your new hat with a tissue paper bloom. For each flower, cut out several circles of tissue paper in two different sizes and colours and stack them.
Cut a 1-inch circle out of card stock and use a craft knife or wooden skewer to poke two small holes near the center. Poke a 3-inch length of pipe cleaner through the center of the tissue paper circles and through one hole in the card stock circle. Thread a pony bead onto the pipe cleaner, then bend and push the end through the second hole in the card stock and back through the paper stack. Twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together. Crinkle the tissue paper petals, then tape the flower to your hat by its stem.

Folded Fans
A fan is as apropos at a tea party as white gloves and raised pinkies. Our version is a breeze to make.

Widthwise, accordion-fold a 6- by 12-inch piece of paper. Each fold should be about one inch wide. Fold the accordion strip in half to mark the center, and staple it at the crease. Glue a craft stick on either side of the staple, as shown at right. Join the top edges of the accordion with invisible tape to form a semicircle. Bring the craft sticks together, sandwiching the paper between them, and secure them with an elastic band. When the glue is dry, open the fan into a circle and wrap the elastic band around the handles.

GAMES
She Loves It, She Loves It Not
A bouquet of flowers can do more than brighten a room: used in this activity, they can spark some intriguing conversations. One player holds a daisy (or another flower with lots of petals) and plucks off one petal as she names something that her mother or daughter loves. The next player shares something her mother or daughter loves – not. The flower continues around the table, with mothers talking about their mothers and daughters, and daughters talking about their moms, until the flower runs out of petals.

Two Truths, One Lie
This get-to-know-you game is a fantastic way to learn more about your loved ones. Guests take turns sharing three things about themselves, two of which are true, and one of which is a lie. (For example: “I rode an elephant when I was four; I once met Regis Philbin; and I can touch my toe to my forehead.”) Everyone else in the group votes on which one they think is the lie, then the player reveals the truth.

Mrs. Mumbles
To win this game, you need to be able to talk without showing your teeth. That means no laughing – or even smiling – while other players are trying to crack you up. To get started, one person curls her lips tightly over her teeth, turns to the person to her right, and says, “Excuse me, is Mrs. Mumbles home?” The person must reply, in the same tooth-hiding manner, with, “I don’t know, let me ask my neighbour …” She then turns to the person to her right and asks, “Excuse me, is Mrs. Mumbles home?” The question and the answer are passed around the table, as everyone tries hard not to giggle. If you show your pearly whites, you’re out of the game.

RECIPES
Pastel Petits Fours
Dainty and sophisticated, these cakes are a real showstopper. And since they’re made from store-bought pound cake, they’re surprisingly easy to prepare. You can decorate the tops with sprinkles, coloured sugar, or candy flowers.

Ingredients:
1 (16-ounce) pound cake
9 cups powdered sugar
Light corn syrup
1 cup Water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Liquid food colouring

Decorations, such as sprinkles, coloured sugar, and candy flowers

1 Cut the entire cake into 1-inch-thick slices. Then use 1-inch-wide cookie cutters or a knife to cut round, square, and diamond shapes from each slice. Place the cake pieces on a wire rack set on a waxed paper–lined cookie sheet.

2 In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, cup water, and vanilla and almond extracts until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes. As the icing cools, it may start to stiffen; if so, stir in a spoonful of water to keep the icing smooth and flowing. Divide the icing equally between two or three small bowls. Stir food colouring, a drop at a time, into each bowl until the icing is the desired shade.

3 Working with one piece of cake at a time, spoon on the icing to cover it completely, then add sprinkles, coloured sugar, or a candy flower before the icing sets. Let the cakes stand, uncovered, until the icing is dry, about 30 minutes. Store them in an airtight container for up to three days. Makes about 30 cakes.
SOURCE: Adapted from “Pink Princess Tea Parties” by Barbara Beery (Gibbs Smith, $14.99).

Tea Sandwiches
Any sandwich can be a tea sandwich, as long as it’s sliced into neat, nearly bite-size pieces. For extra fanciness, use a cookie cutter to punch out shapes from your sandwich bread.

Though you can use almost any sandwich recipe for a tea sandwich, here are some of our favorites to get you started:
• Spread wheat bread with honey-walnut cream cheese (made by combining 1 package of softened cream cheese with \ cup of chopped walnuts and 2 tablespoons of honey). Top with sliced pears and a second slice of bread.
• Cover white bread with herbed cream cheese, tomato slices and minced black olives.
• Top thin slices of baguette with Nutella and sliced bananas.
• Fill mini pita breads with hummus and slices of cucumber and tomato.
• Sandwich sliced turkey and provolone between two pieces of wheat bread spread with basil pesto

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