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My Mom is amazing. I know everyone typically thinks their mom is the best mom and so on, but for me, I could not have asked for a better Mom. No other woman would do, and no other woman could ever replace her in my life.
My childhood was a magical one and I have my Mom to thank for that. We were by no means spoiled, and we lived on a middle-class budget, but by some miracle my Mom always managed to make holidays special. On Easter we’d have elaborate baskets filled to the brim with candy and treats. On Christmas, the tree runneth over with wrapped presents from Mom and Dad tied with big, shiny bows. Our Santa gifts have never been wrapped; instead, my Mom and Dad set them up in different parts of the living room so we can instantly identify what our gift is from afar. It’s that attention to detail that my Mom has that always makes the setups so pretty and perfect. Cookbooks displayed just so, or Barbies lined up like soldiers, ready for me to dress-up.
Of course, life hasn’t always been idyllic. When I was in the sixth grade, a classmate threatened to hurt me at school. I told the teacher, who told the principal, who told authorities, and the student was removed from the school. My Mom fought for my rights, believing in my tangible fear of the situation and stood up for me when I was scared. She took me to counseling but also provided a sounding board for when I needed to talk, or had a nightmare in the middle of the night. She’s even let me sleep next to her when a particular Are You Afraid of the Dark vampire mailman episode gave me the heebie jeebies, without diminishing my fear.
And throughout my teenage years and adulthood, as I battle one mental illness after another, my Mom has stood by my side, unwavering in her fierce loyalty and undying support. She’s pushed me in the right direction when I couldn’t see, she’s mended my heart when a long-time boyfriend cheated on me. She’s distracted my pain with shopping trips, and she’s offered practical advice when I needed a hand. She’s keen at sensing when something’s wrong – a mother’s instinct, no doubt – and her meticulousness helps set things right again with just the right words or a perfectly timed, heartfelt hug.
It’s in those moments that I begin to truly appreciate what an amazing, kind, caring, thoughtful, giving woman she is. Sacrificing her time to listen to me ramble, lending her ears to hold some of my deepest secrets, and proffering those strong, protective hugs only Moms can give. It’s in those precise moments, like when she tells me she’s proud of me, slips an ‘I Love You’ into the conversation, or pats me on the head and says I’m a ‘good girl’ – that I really, truly feel her unconditional love for me. And its in the moments when I repeat the ‘I Love You’, welcome her hug with an equally-strong one of my own, and force myself to be the best person and daughter I can be that I hope she sees my unconditional love for her.
I’m partnering with American Greetings for this particular post, and when I was asked to do a Mother’s Day-inspired party plan, I immediately thought of this idea. My sweet, lovable Mom LOVES strawberries, and I knew I could make a beautiful berry-inspired party with just a few key decorations and party foods. (And, of course, a really heartfelt, tug-at-those-heartstrings American Greetings card). This party couldn’t be simpler to whip up, and that’s a good thing seeing as it looks as if you spent all day making everything and because you have more time to mingle with guests and hang out with your Mom 🙂
So first things first: the theme! The ‘I Love You Berry Much’ theme will work for any Mom anywhere… not just for berry lovers! I chose this theme for several reasons: 1) because my Mom loves strawberries, and 2) because it’s the perfect spring-time theme for a party. What’s more springy than fresh berries, fresh flowers, and a light pastel-colored party?
And can we please talk about this No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse!?
This mousse couldn’t be more delicious or simpler to make, which is just an added bonus since it’s SO SCRUMPTIOUS! It starts with cream cheese, sugar and vanilla which you whip together until creamy, then simply fold in a tub of thawed Cool Whip for a dreamy, airy texture that’s out of this world. Layer with strawberries (or another fresh berry – this would be particularly delicious with raspberries too!) and voila! Done and done.
This Strawberry Lemonade is only two simple ingredients: prepared lemonade and strawberry simple syrup. You can make your own simple syrup at home by boiling water, strawberries and sugar together, then straining it, or you can buy a prepared version like Torani. This would be so delicious with blackberries and blackberry syrup, or raspberries with raspberry syrup, too!
And if you’re feeling frisky, maybe spike it with some vodka. Or maybe not. #butyoutotallyshould
And you can’t do a berry-themed party without chocolate covered strawberries! They’re the ultimate strawberry treat and are so easy to make! Dunk a bunch of cleaned and dried strawberries into melted chocolate, allow to harden, and consume. It’s that easy and the kids will love decorating the strawberries with assorted nuts and sprinkles!
I also made chocolate-dipped berry Oreos for a fun chocolaty treat. My Mom loves her Oreos, so I knew this was a must! Simple flower-shaped candies on top keep with the floral, fresh theme and make them look pretty, although sprinkles or chopped, freeze-dried strawberries would be lovely, too.
And you can’t do a Mother’s Day Party without flowers! I picked these up at Walmart (along with all of my other supplies) because Walmart has a wonderful American Greetings-inspired Mother’s Day section, complete with the whole line-up of American Greetings-brand cards, trinkets, wrapping materials and more, all fit to be a one-stop-shop for Mom’s Day. I found these flowers nearby and loved that they would go with my color scheme of pink (my mom’s favorite color!) and the natural aspect of the fresh floral and berry theme.
I decorated the tablescape with some American Greetings cards without their envelopes. I figured this makes them more personal and uses the cards as decoration for your tablescape – double duty! Plus, they have such a great assortment of cards for Mother’s Day, from sweet to sentimental, funny to straightforward. I, of course, am a huge sap and tend to veer on the sentimental side of things 🙂
And of course, you can’t do Mother’s Day without a gift! This ‘Ultimate Mom Basket’ is perfect for my Mom and I found all of it in the American Greetings One-Stop-Shop which is so convenient! I picked up a cute “World’s Greatest Mom” mug for her since she loves coffee, the stuffed animal dog to remind her of her furry friends at home while she’s away, a journal because she loves making lists and writing things down, an owl jewelry holder since she loves her earrings (she has the biggest collection I’ve ever seen and this is perfect for housing studs) and a cute flower-pot decoration for her to put on her desk at work.
All I did was buy a small basket/bin, line it with a pretty dishtowel (though tissue paper works too, but I loved the gingham dish towel for this theme!) and place everything inside. Easy peasy! And? The whole basket (including the card, bin, and the candy I filled inside of the mug!) is under $25. I’m telling you – that one-stop-shop is a really awesome!
Now, I hope you didn’t forget about that Cheesecake Mousse, because I sure didn’t! Here’s the recipe 🙂
- 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
- Fresh strawberries, roughly diced
- In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed. Beat for about 2 minutes or until creamy and blended.
- Fold in the Cool Whip completely until the mixture has doubled in size and is fluffy. Spoon into a piping bag attached with a large open circle tip (or simply snip off the corner of the bag).
- Fill the bottom of a small plastic cup with strawberries and pipe some cheesecake mousse on top; about 1-2 Tablespoons worth. Add more strawberries, then pipe on another Tablespoon or so of mousse. Finish with remaining cups.
- Serve immediately.
My Mom loved this party so much! It was curated with her in mind but it can work for any special woman in your life! It’s sweet, easy and totally memorable as being one of her favorite parties thus far!
Be sure to check out Walmart’s American Greetings one-stop-shop for all things Mother’s Day! You can check them out online HERE and find Mother’s Day inspiration HERE, using the hashtag #BestMomsDayEver!
Have a berry sweet day!