picTORIal: Mad Hattie’s Tea Party


As you all know, my sweet little Hattie Cat recently turned 1 (I honestly have no idea how that happened so fast). We LOVE birthdays here in the McDermott house and we love parties… Anyone remember Stella’s tea party? Or Liam’s Ghost Buster’s themed party?  I believe that love is in the details and I just love myself some details…

With that in mind, I thought long and hard about what to do for Miss Hattie’s first birthday. We decided to throw a tea party (because as you know, Hattie loves to copy her big sister Stella), but this was no ordinary tea party. It was Mad Hattie’s tea party! We decided to go with an Alice in Wonderland theme, and throw a fun and crazy tea party for our very own Mad Hattie.

Despite the damp weather, the party was a hit. The food was delicious, the costumes were spot on, and Hattie had an amazing time. The best part? Our little birthday girl took her FIRST steps (which we got on camera! Videos coming soon…)!

Here is my picTORIal of Mad Hattie’s Tea Party!


We transformed our front yard into Wonderland…




Dean made these giant misshaped cards using bosse wood, paint, his saw, and painter’s tape… perfect for Alice and Wonderland theme!


Here are Dean’s finished card and Mad Hatter’s hat he made. Love a man that can BUILD + CRAFT!


These miscellaneous frames that have been collected from yard sales and flea markets we transformed into…


These brightly colored frames that we hung with fishing wire from our tree. All it took was some hi-shine bright colored spray paint!


Found these large antique playing cards online…


Punched holes in them and hung them from this tree, along with adding all antique furniture from my store InvenTORI to create a lounge area.


We found these colored bottles online that we filled with Nerds candy and cut out little chalkboard tags that we labeled “Eat Me”


Some little vignettes and details we created…




It’s all about the details…




Of course we had crafting! The kids could decorate handmade rabbit ears…


Or tiny Mad Hatter hats…


A colorful kid and adult beverage station


Had these labels made on Etsy and then put them on Jones sodas…


Anyone up for a life size game of chess? Made from fabric and plastic playing pieces.


Amazing sweets as usual by Jenny Cookies


Stella helped Jenny decorate the table with sweet treats

We rented all of the gorgeous cake plates from Minted and Vintage.  They were all so beautiful, and were the perfect way for us to display all of our sweets









Our table


Love this shot with Mitzi in background




We hung paper lanterns from tree to tree above the long Mad Tea Party table






We are all about tradition, and a party in our family wouldn’t be complete without a Hansen’s Cakes cake!


Dean spent all morning in the kitchen making tea party appropriate food for the occasion. I was his sous chef


Dean made these incredible puff pastry cups filled with homemade tuna salad with apple and manchego cheese


Before they went into the oven…


He also made BBQ meatballs, which were a hit at the party. Hattie loves when he makes meatballs! #HattieApproved


Dean and I prepping the tea party food. Don’t worry, no food went to waste. Dean made a savory bread pudding using all of the leftover sandwich crusts.


All of Dean’s amazing food was displayed on cake plates and antique silver platters


We put all of the bite-sized tea party snacks on this gorgeous vintage table


Here’s the whole spread.  Even the chicken drumsticks had tags that said “Eat Me’ attached to them. Super cute!


Introducing the birthday girl herself… Mad Hattie!! This adorable dress was made by Mya Papaya Boutique on Etsy


Mad Hatter Liam




Miss Stella as Alice, picking out her accessories


Finn’s costume (Get it? The bottle labeled “Drink Me” that Alice drank…)


Here’s a rare pic… Me taking a pic of my good friend Elizabeth Messina photographing Hattie, that’s right, standing all by herself for the first time! Go Hattie!


Mitzi joined in as the White Rabbit


This is where my crafting goddess Stella, aka Alice, spent most of the day


My birthday girl has crafting in her genes too!




Dean getting into character


A little sugar never hurt anyone!


A Wonderland family pic… (Left to right)
Mitzi: The White Rabbit
Liam: Mini Mad Hatter
Mama: Queen of Hearts
Finn: Drink Me bottle
Dean: Papa Hatter
Hattie: Mad Hattie
Stella: Alice

All wearing super cute and comfy retro Crocs that Crocs was so generous to outfit us and all our guests in!!



And here’s our fam with our special guests, Mad Hatter & Alice characters!  They were so sweet and  amazing and did super fun activities and face painting with the kids.  The characters were from Beverly Hills Princess and were great! All of the kids (and adults) loved them. Also, anyone recognize the White Queen? It’s none other than… Patsy!
Loved these characters!
Character Alice working her face painting magic on Stella Alice
Here’s Hattie posing for a pic with all the goodies from the goody bags that all of her guests took home! Including Net Nanny. Familiar? We need to protect our kids earlier and earlier from online dangers. Net Nanny protects Internet devices from porn, predators, and bullies. Go to netnanny.com/products and use promo code: TORI and get 20% off



Here’s the moment right before Hattie let go and took her very first steps ever by herself… And we got it on video (coming soon!)


Birthday girl with Daddy, right after she took her first steps!


The big moment!! Make a wish Hattie…

Bye guys! Thanks for coming!

The party turned out exactly as I had imagined it, and the whole family and all of our guests had the best time. We took a bunch of home videos so that we wouldn’t forget a moment, which I’ll be posting soon!

Make sure to come back tomorrow because I’ll be giving away one of the gift bags that all of our guests took home! It was stocked full of everything a busy momista needs, so don’t miss the giveaway!

How did you celebrate your little one’s first birthday?


  • Lola Carmel

    I AM SO FREAKING JEALOUS of this party right now! Can you adopt me? Genius!

  • Sally Birckhead

    Oh my goodness, I absolutely love this Alice in Wonderland themed party! Hattie made such a cute “Mad Hattie”! Love the outfit – isn’t Etsy the best?

    You are so creative, and these parties will serve as such wonderful memories for your children when they are grown :)

  • Desiree Brooks

    That party looked like it was the best party EVER!!!! OMG….Tori you are a creative genius and your whole family is ADORABLE! :-)

  • madeleine alaouze

    OMG hilarious and some really great ideas! my lO just turned one too and we did a safarish theme but not to the extent that you went! great ideas! thanks tori! is hattie walking already??

    check out my blog

  • Jordan Yaworski

    You never disappoint! :) This has got to be one of my favorite parties you’ve ever thrown. What great parents!

  • Mandy Klasen

    I think this might be your best party yet! The costumes are AMAZING and can the kids get any cuter!

  • Agnieszka

    To jest niesamowite.Pomysły,stroje,wykonanie,aranż i zaangażowanie całej rodziny. Chapeau bas Tori.

  • Krissy Nelson

    Love! Liam is too adorable! You have such a beautiful family!!!

  • melissa Jones-atson

    OMG LOVE IT TORI, Great Job:) Especially love the costumes.
    Your an amazing party planner and Momma, WTG xoxo

  • Sharon Kruschen

    Loved everything! Great job T and fam!!!

  • Lita Lamberga

    Nice! Beautiful party and family!

  • Annie Little

    Tori, I do not know how you keep it all together and do so well beautifully!!! New Baby, 1st birthday, 2 older children, school work, wife. You should be so proud. You are an awesome mother and your family is very lucky to have you.

    God Bless

    Annie Little

  • Andre

    Tori every Birthday Party you made is so unique, I can not wait for your next book Kids Birthay Parties you are so good and with Dean you too make a great team love you so much girl.
    After I got your book CelebraTori I learn a lot so I made my Baby First Birthay Party was Bumble Bee it turned very cute a love it and of course was a lot of work but I enjoyed it.

  • Kat Hartwell

    tori amazing pictures and amazing theme of Hattie’s party.. again you rock!! Blessed with 4 beautiful children and one stepson Jack, you n dean are my idols… Keep it up!!.. Will you return for another season???? Certainly hope so!

  • Tracey Charles

    Wow! What a terrific picTORIal! Fun party for Hattie and all the kids! You know you’re going to have to come out with a “Part 2″ of your celebraTORI book, don’t you?? :)

  • Darren Martin

    Gorgeous pics, gorgeous party! Bravo Ms. Spellign, bravo! Love that you and Dean did a lot of the work yourselves to cut down on costs and that you guys are real hands-on parents. Kudos on the amazing job!

  • Nicole LeGrand

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE watching you on Tori and Dean create, craft, and decorate amazing events and parties but this might be my fave! I am obsessed with the vintage furniture and everyone looked so cute! My daughter Maely’s first birthday is January 12th and I although I haven’t figured out the theme yet – it will include a lot of mama-made loving details!

  • Marcie Geark

    All I can say is WOW! You did such an amazing job! You and Dean are such great role models, I admire you guys so much!! My 4 children and I did the Alice in Wonderland theme for Halloween and It was super fun too! I was the Queen of Hearts, My 12 year old Daughter was Cheshire Cat, My 6 year old son was the Mad Hatter, My 3 year old son was the White Rabbit and my 2 year old was Alice. Hopefully this picture will work so you can see it :)





  • Rita Sunderland

    What a day and what a beautiful kids party :) Looks like mom and dad had they fun at the kitchen! Love photos and again thank you for taking time and posting them! Everything in details I can come and go through those photos again and again ! :)


  • Margy Alkemade

    Oh my goodness I have just laughed (and cried) whilst I poured over all the gorgeous pics. Thank you SO SO SO MUCH for sharing Hatties special day with us. You are amazing parents and have a beautiful family. I am your biggest fan x x x

  • Mandy Wenzel

    I have to say “I’m thinking the was the best so far”!

  • Kiara Ramirez

    I have been waiting for these pictures!! I love seeing what you come up with. It looks like it was an amazing birthday. I love seeing Patsy, she looks great by the way and your mom too, what a beautiful picture. Love, love your family. Thank you for sharing such a big part of your family life with us.

  • emibean

    The party looks amazing! But, to me, the nicest part is that you and your mom are spending time together!

  • Dee

    Tori and Dean, I love this!!! What a great job with the decor, cakes, and outfits. Looks like so much fun. I hope that ya’ll are doing well. A big hello from Texas!!!!!!

  • AlwaysDevilish

    WOW WOW WOW and OMG WOW!!!…Could you guys be anymore amazing???

  • April Tyson

    You are a party planning goddess! I think this is my favorite party of yours so far. I am in the middle of planning my little man’s first birthday party and I have chosen Dr. Seuss! Any ideas that you could send my way would be extremely appreciated! Take care and God Bless!

  • Haley Prather

    wow…just wow. i don’t even know what to say. that is beyond words amazing.

  • Jeanne Tutt

    holy cow! you are so awesome at theme party planning! y’all are awesome with your creativity, artsy side, etc. I’m floored! your kids are so lucky to have you ask their parents! Can I be adopted?? :)

  • Danette

    What a GREAT party. Love all pics! The kids look so cute. I’m sure everyone had a blast! Thank you for share with all of us!

  • Liz

    Ahhhhmazing! As expected though! Thanks for sharing. I adore you & your family! My little man turned one in June & momma went all out. I had picked the then while he was still in my womb!!! Ou last name bailey so did Barnum & bailey circus. I went with vintage circus style. All red & turquoise with polka dots, stripes & chevron. I started planning & making everything when he was 6 mths! It turned out amazing!!! On a side note we just bought a new home & keep telling my hubby I just want you to come help me decorate! Hehe. At least I’ll be making a trip up to your store soon for some decorations!!!! Take care of that purty lil family of yours!

  • Kimmy

    Awesome!! LOVE IT!! :) So nice Dean, like my husband, LOVES to cook. :) I wish I was that creative for birthday party planning!!

  • MamaPaws

    Its looks like everyone had a great time. Love the card idea and everyone looks super cute. love love love Finns outfit! so creative! glad to see Patsy is doing well and still involved in the family.

  • MOLL

    Wow. That is probably the most beautiful and well though party I have ever seen! I would love to throw a party like that I have ever bit of creativity but not the cash for it!! One day I can promise you that. Great and amazing job tori!

  • Karen Michul

    I am speechless looking at these pictures and the amount of effort it took to pull this one off! Simply amazing and I am so jealous I wasn’t there. :) I was the Queen of Hearts for Halloween (zombiefied for a local Thriller parade) and I love to see that Johnny Depp’s Alice in Wonderland is so popular! Great costumes, great props, great food and you had family and friends there to share it with you. So special Tori. I’d love to have a party just like this one day and I am an adult! LOL Happy 1st Birthday to Hattie! She will love looking at these pictures later and Stella and Liam will never forget it!

  • Jackie C

    My God Tori this party looks spectacular!! Your kids are so lucky :) I really need to pick up your book and learn how to throw super chic parties. My husbands 40th is coming up and my best friend is having her first baby I need to get on it!!

  • Kristie Amatucci

    What an amazing party! Everything looked so vibrant and amazingly perfect! Good job mama

  • MamaPaws

    i love Mitzi’s costume. too cute!

  • Lemon Meringue

    First of all: what a STUNNING view you have from your garden! I was out of breath when I saw the picture of the massive chessgame: what a beautiful place in the world you live in. Speaking of that supersized chessgame: obsessed! And speaking of obsessed: the clocks! And the rest of the pics, it’s a bit overwhelming actually. I really don’t know what to say else then it’s all very, very inspiring.
    Glad to see you got to use that big vintage table you brought from Texas again, that table alone is a very good excuse for throwing teaparties. The pics of you and Dean prepping in the kitchen is also very recognizable, love to see you two doing that. Picture of proud daddy Dean and Hattie: priceless. And last but not least: you all looked gorgeous, but Hattie, as a true birthday girl, looked the best (and the tutu looks very DIY-able). Thanks for this insight in your life, I think I will vote for you when it comes to being the president of Party Planning Land.

  • CHARMandHAPPY Carmen Tellez

    Sheesh, I don’t think you missed a single detail in setting up this Mad Hatter Alice in Wonderland party. I sometimes forget that decorations is not all about balloon art. Makes me feel like talking a class at Home depot to custom create props to offer to my clients. Not! But I was quite impressed. Gotta know the truth! Were the details all your ideas or did you cheat? Either way, doesn’t matter, the final results show for one heck of a party. Kudos & 2 thumbs up to you.

    Carmen Tellez
    Los Angles, CA

  • Heather McRae

    We had a 1 is just ducky theme!!! My daughters birthday is july 1st so the theme went well with a outside party! We had 2 pools set up! bubble station!Sprinkler! And the goody bags had a ducky and also a ducky shaped crayon that i made!!! and other things!

  • desi

    What a beautiful party! Little Hattie was of course, adorable. I celebrated my little boy’s first birthday by getting pizza and a big cake with one on it and just letting him dig right in and get as dirty as possible.

  • RoseMarie Massaro

    We did a Queen of Hearts party for my girls’ 5th birthday–we love looking through the photos! It was so much fun! I dressed up as the Queen of Hearts as well! http://homeconfetti.blogspot.com/search?q=queen+of+hearts

  • Erin

    The party looks so fun My sons first birthday was football themed and my daughter is 5 months old I am still thinking about her party.

  • Myeleah

    Will you guys adopt m e?????????? What a magical day you created for H attie and the whole family! Picture perfect. Thanks for sharing this most specdial day!! Congrats to Hattie on her first steps.

  • Jennifer Jack

    Thank you for always posting such wonderful pictures. Your parties inspire me when it comes to throwing my kids parties. Will you be posting recipes from the party? The tuna puff pastry and meatballs look amazing, not to mention the chicken wings. :o) Did you make the crafts for the kids? I don’t know why I am asking questions, not like Tori has time to answer, ha ha. Great party as always and thanks for sharing your families special moments with us!!

  • JuJu


  • MOmmyof2<3

    You are amazing Tori! Wish i had the dough for these types of parties!