13 Pictures From Makenzie's Elegant 13th Birthday Party

I love getting to help my friends celebrate life events, so when my friend's daughter Makenzie asked if I might be willing to help with her 13th birthday party, of course I jumped at the chance!

Not as high as Makenzie jumps, mind you.  ;-)  She's an amazing Irish step dancer who has qualified and gone to the World Championships twice now.  Before her 13th birthday.

 She dances with my daughters at the Bracken School of Irish Dance, and is such a sweet, generous, kind, smart, dedicated young woman.  I love her, my girls love her, I love her family.  So YES I wanted to help her create her 13th birthday celebration!

Makenzie (obviously) loves Irish dancing, and wanted to include touches of that in the celebration, but she was bringing together a diverse group of friends from school and dance, so she didn't want any one theme to dominate.

Makenzie asked for a kind of rustic-chic vibe in pinks and yellows, and wanted some Irish dancing elements incorporated, but otherwise just let me be fun and creative.

Fresh flowers added the perfect easy, elegant touches throughout the party.  Simple arrangements in mason jars were perfect for our theme.  I love this mason jar beverage dispenser from Target.  

I found the larger dispenser (the one with the water) at Sam's Club last month.  They went quickly!  I went back a week later to buy a second, and got the very last box.  I hope they'll carry them again, because they're magnificent!  Nice, heavy, sturdy glass.  Great design.  And it comes with a galvanized stand that can be turned over and used as an ice bucket, too.  I'm going to get a lot of use out of these!  What a deal for only $25.

Irish dancing soft shoes and poodle socks adorned some of the sugar cookies, as did some trinity knots.  I did a perfectly awful job on those trinity knots, though, which is why they're hidden under the soft shoe cookies.  ;-)

Don't you love it when you have an idea for something and it actually turns out something like what you envisioned?  That's what happened with these daisy cookies.  I had this vision of a cookie where the decorations weren't constrained by the dimensions of the cookie itself, and this is what happened.  I'll have all the details in a tutorial later this week.  You won't believe how easy it is!

Some elegant brush embroidery cookies were an easy addition to the spread of sweets.

Simple gumpaste flowers turned these plain meringues into something truly special.

A big, sparkly trinity knot (that thankfully turned out better than my cookies) and simple streamers and ribbons made an easy, elegant backdrop for the food and drinks.

The girls danced, ate, and sat down on a mountain of pillows to enjoy an outdoor movie on a beautiful summer night.  It was the perfect blend of childhood fun and a transition toward adulthood.  Happy 13th birthday, Makenzie!

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