My little girl, Mia, first met Mercy Watson in kindergarten. Mia's teacher read the kids the first book in the Mercy Watson series, titled Mercy Watson to the Rescue. It's the charming story of a plucky pig named Mercy who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson on Deckawoo Drive– and who LOVES hot buttered toast.
Of course Mercy gets herself in all sorts of "jams" throughout the six book series by Kate DiCamillo, who also wrote the much loved book The Tale of Despereaux.
The children heard the story in the spring and Mia's birthday isn't until the fall, so we had plenty of time to hunt and gather party supplies. Since Mercy is always in a jam– my Mom and I started collecting gingham-lidded Bonne Maman jam jars… to be used as darling juice glasses later. And, because Mercy Watson LOVES her hot buttered toast, we decided to go with a breakfast for dinner theme… holding Mia's 7 year old birthday celebration in the late afternoon.
Speaking of jars… the adorable mason jar birthday invites were lovingly created by Jamie from Raising Up Rubies. In additon to a stunning blog, Jamie also has a wonderous Etsy shop. When I told Jamie about the party, she created the invitations. To get the kids in a breakfast-for-dinner mood, we asked them to wear their pajamas to the party– which instantly setting the scene for the partygoers.
One delightful challenge (and I mean that) of having a child's birthday party without a mass-marketed theme is being creative. A big box party store wouldn't suffice… there is no line of Mercy Watson party products. So I moseyed around Etsy and found these cute pig noses on a stick, handcrafted by Maro Designs. Giving the little partiers pig noses helped them tap their inner Mercy Watson.
Our little guests were all seven years old and under and we wanted to make everything kid-friendly, including the dining tables. I put the call out to some of the families who were coming to party, asking if we could borrow their kid sized tables and chairs. Before we could say "hot buttered toast" we had fifteen spots for our friends.
What's breakfast (for dinner) without orange juice? My Mom and I saved all our Bonne Maman jam jars for about six months and our thriftiness paid off. We gathered exactly sixteen! Enough for the party and one to spare. My husband drilled holes in the top of the metal lids and we inserted happy red striped straws from Pick Your Plum. A vintage juice pitcher fit right in. The girls felt so festive, sipping fresh OJ from their cute cups. And since their were lids– they're weren't any spills.
Since Miss Mercy is all about the hot buttered toast, I wanted to celebrate toast and kick it up a notch. No ordinary bread would do… so we toasted up some Cinnamon Swirl and a loaf of Cinnamon Raisin to make it extra special. And if you are serving special toast… you need special butter, right?
I whipped up some Chocolate-Vanilla butter and some Pumpkin-Maple Spice Butter for the party. The girls really enjoyed having "fancy" bread and butter, along with little chicken sausages (bacon would have been AWKWARD!) and fresh fruit for their meals.
Of course. we also offered five flavors of jam:
To make it simple, I wrote the flavors on bamboo serving spoons, so there wouldn't be any cross-jam-ination.
It made for a simple and pretty spread. I have to admit, when it comes to parties, I love the details. Following Jamie's lead with the mason jar invites– I personalized the goody bags with a handstamped mason jar tag. A snippet of lace was the finishing touch.
To encourage the young ladies to pen their own adventures, we included small lined notebooks and pens in the gift bags, tied up with jumbo baker's twine. OK I am kidding about the jumbo baker's twine– it's plastic laundry cord from the Dollar Tree… but isn't it cute? Also for the kid's to take home… you can't have a Mercy Watson party without toast cookies.
We left little brown treat sacks out so they could select the PERFECT cookie.
A paper doily made the notebooks even cuter.
And of course the kids had to take home a Mercy Watson pig cookie too!
And for their own future toast parties– the guest each got a small jar of Bonne Manam jam, warpped up in a tiny gingham cloth napkin and secured with a bit of lace. Instead of a tradtional cake or cupcakes, I made Mini Birthday PanCAKES for the birthday girl and her friends. They are a yummy combo of cake batter and pancake mix and I used egg rings to keep the size uniform. Some simple glaze with sprinkles was the finishing touch.
Thanks for joining us at Mia's Mercy Watson Party! I'll be sharing the yummy butter recipes soon.