Celebration of Life

A couple weeks ago, a dear parent at my school passed away after a tough struggle with cancer.  She was very involved in school and bettering our community.  Her family decided to have an intimate Celebration of Life for her in their backyard.  I had the opportunity to attend and help with the decor and desserts.  I tried to make everything worthy of our beloved friend and what she represented.  She had always wanted to entertain and have a party in her backyard, but never had the chance to, and I wanted to make sure this celebration would be everything she would have wanted.

Here is what a corner of my house looked like in preparation:

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I called it the Amazon Bakery.  🙂

Complete with crazy thorns:

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Here are a few pictures of some of the finished flower arrangements  (the pics aren’t great because I was in a rush and just took a few shots quickly with my phone):

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We shipped plumerias over night from Hawaii because they were her favorite flowers.   We floated plumeria and gardenias in their pool (not pictured), along with floating candles of various sizes.  We also placed the loose blossoms around the refreshment tables.

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We hung orchids from the pergola and wrapped some of the columns with vines, orchids, and bougainvillea.  We used a stapler(!) to create a garland of orchids on the top beam.   We also strung white lights from the pergola so there was a beautiful glow when the sun started to set.

Here are some of the finished mini cupcakes:

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These are mini lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting.

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These are Ultimate Chocolate (AKA Chocolate Lover’s) mini cupcakes with gold sprinkles.

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These are guava chiffon cupcakes.  I had so much batter left over that I made these regular sized cupcakes, but they weren’t so tasty.  The minis were definitely better.  The guava buttercream was not cooperating with me and I had to redo it 3 times.  Even the third time wasn’t super satisfactory for me, but I was running out of time so I had to stick with it.  😦

As you can see, I was also experimenting with different frosting techniques for each flavor.

Although it was a sad situation, I’m glad we were able to come together with other friends to celebrate the life of a very significant person.  Her presence among us is deeply missed.

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2 thoughts on “Celebration of Life

  1. That is so so sad. 😦 And especially since my good friend died of cancer when her kids were 6 and 3 so I know what it was like for them to try to be brave and keep going. I’m so sad that she didn’t get her lovely party in her backyard until after she wasn’t even around to enjoy it. How are her kids doing?

    But so glad and so not surprised that you gave it your all to make it as beautiful as you could for her. Love love the flower arrangements. And we need a replenishment of the chocolate cupcakes. 🙂

  2. Diana, what a labor of love for your friend. The flowers arrangements and cupcakes are lovely. What a beautiful way to honor your friend and remember her.

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