Authentically thirteen – our 1st teen party

Isabelle, our daughter, (aka the vegan whisperer) turned 13 last Sunday. That’s a pretty big deal for daughter, and mother!  Was it time to organise that first dance party? Yikes!

I wanted to do my part to make Isabelle’s party wonderful, so I offered her what I could. From an out-of-town movie (we have no cinema here), even the proverbial dance party, to a home-based formal dinner (mom & dad poised as quiet chefs and servers), or handing it over to our talented chef and friend Brett, at VegTable to treat party goes to the real deal.

Yet as diverse as these ideas were, Isabelle had her sights set on celebrating her big day outdoors at Peace of Eden, as her sister Lillian had recently done. When Jen suggested a lunch picnic in the forest we all knew that Isabelle had found her party magic!

Picnic in the forest

Isabelle knew how to make her celebrations authentic to her gentle and caring nature. By choosing to do things her way, she knew that inviting a small group of friends, to engage in the creative activities of art, music and nature would make for everyone’s day a beautiful one.

ArtcollageThe party kicked off with an art workshop, run by local artist Christine Andrews. Each girl drew, painted and decorated two small pictures, using 3D objects like mosaics and buttons. Sticking to an art theme of musical notes and whimsical birds, a large collage was formed, which we’ll frame.


In spite of the weather forecast predicting heavy rains, Jen and Howard so kindly pressed on with Isabelle’s outdoor party plans of music and the magical forest picnic. Howard, Jen’s husband is a talented musician who walked the girls into the forest, laden with a variety of percussion instruments, for an informal pre-lunch jamming session!  Music was made, and the rain stayed away!

Jen’s all-vegan main dish suggestions were so diverse that I had to share them with you!

  1. Lasagna or Cannelloni – with roasted butternut & caramelised red onion – made individually in take away foil containers
  2. Spanakopita (Greek phyllo parcels) – spinach, sun-dried tomato and basil pesto with chunky ricotta style cheese
  3. Pizza Squares – with mushrooms, olives, asparagus and Rosa tomatoes and 2 types of cheeses
  4. Mexican Wraps – Aduki beans, red peppers and onion marmalade with guacamole and cashew cream cheese
    BreadSaladForest picnicIsabelle chose her favourites; lasagna, with a big bowls of potato salad and another of green salad, with sides of garlic and herb focaccia breads and hummus. A delicious triple-layered birthday cake and artfully decorated cupcakes topped it all off.

Thanks to Justine Edwards, for so skilfully capturing this all on camera! (only the art pics were courtesy of my iPhone)  Thank you to everyone for sharing in Isabelle’s fun and authentically thirteen celebrations!

9 thoughts on “Authentically thirteen – our 1st teen party

  1. I’m so fortunate to have been able to enjoy the day with you. It was incredibly special, and the girls all so lovely!

  2. It looks like Mom arranged a really memorable day for Isabelle. So much thought and care went into it – what a good mother you are Wumpity! Love to you Isabelle.

  3. This is so wonderful Lyn! Thanks for the awesome write ups. Any chance we could publish some of the professional pics on our website / FB page? Jess x (Jen & Howard’s daughter)

    1. Hi Jes, lovely to find you here. You certainly can use the pics, as long as you credit Justine Edwards and use the pics with her logo. I’ll be sending you some more. ( just not to feature any faces of Isabelle’s friends, as I think parents should be given the choice.)

  4. Happy belated birthday to Isabelle! This beautiful post describing her very special day made my morning 🙂 I wish her a very happy, healthy and FUN 13th year of life!

  5. What a lovely and inspiring way to celebrate being thirteen! Just a quick question – was the food entirely vegan? Just checking so we can share on. X

    1. Hello Anna, so lovely to find you here. Yes, most certainly 100% plant-based. The cheeses are all nut or soya based, down to the cake decor and coloring (love the beetroot used for the pink in her cakes) We feel to blessed to have Jen cater this way, so compassionately. In fact Jen, from Peace of Eden, is off to London for 3-months to work as head ‘fill-in’ chef in a restaurant there. So her skills can only get broader!

      Thank you for sharing!!!

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