little ladies who lunch for a good cause

March 12, 2011 |  Category:   favorite posts life outings

Where *are* we? I may have asked myself the same question a few times. Ok, full disclosure (and you know how I feel about sponsorships, ads on blogs, tie-ins with corporate entities, etc.etc. Why yes, I am a bore), but the girls and I were invited to a “Chari-Tea” party with Kelly Ripa on Thursday, sponsored by Electrolux to kick off their campaign to raise awareness and support for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. You don’t have to buy anything and you don’t even have to donate any money. All you have to do to participate is visit , pick an outfit for a virtual tea party and Electrolux will donate $1 on your behalf for every visit. Look, I can get behind that. I can get behind raising awareness for ovarian cancer and these washer and dryers weren’t the focus of the event at all. The kids hanging with Kelly Ripa were. I appreciated that because I can only admire these machines from afar. Let me tell you, after seeing them in person these aren’t city washing machines. They are huge. If I had these in my apartment, I’d use them as extra closet space because these things really need their own room. Even if you did have the space in the city (lucky you), I’d bet that these would still look ridiculously big in your apartment. These are for the ‘burbs only. Claudine didn’t even know what to make of them when she looked up and saw them towering over her, all imposing, silver and shiny. “What are these?”, she asked. I told her that they were washing machines and she was all like, huh? “But they don’t look like our washing machine in the closet”. Precisely.

So another disclosure. We totally got picked up in a car that was paid for by Electrolux. When I found that they were providing transportation to and from the event, I was all, “oh, nuh uh, that’s not necessary. We live in Brooklyn and we can take the N train – we don’t need to get picked up by no car”. But then, you know…the day came, it was all arranged for and yeah, it was pouring rain that day so it beat walking to the train station and sitting on the N train for 45 minutes. Plus the girls felt all fancy and I wore heels! Not Kelly Ripa caliber heels, but heels! I pulled the girls out of school for the day and they were so excited to be going to a hotel, and not just any hotel, but the Plaza Hotel.

We arrived and the girls ran around the red carpet out front under the heated lamps (no, silly, not for us. The red carpet is always there) and we went inside. The girls ogled at all the flowers in the lobby and they kept saying, “wow. This place is soooo fancy”. Sheesh, it’s like they were visiting from the small, quaint town of Breukelen and seeing the city sights for the very first time. When we made our way to the Eloise Shop downstairs, we were greeted by Ashley who gave each of the girls a hanger with an outfit picked especially for them, complete with sparkly shoes, and a shopping bag with their names marked in pink tags. The girls got dressed and put on kid-sized panty hose for the first time. Mia said she liked the way it made her legs feel all tingly and cool when she walked (bwahaha). I guess the girls weren’t used to the sheerness of the white panyhose because they kept lifting their skirts to look at their underwear through the hose. Greaaaat. Especially since there were a lot of cameramen and corporate suits from Electrolux standing around. I kept having to tell the girls to keep their legs together and not to scratch their butts. At last, Kelly Ripa arrived and made a short speech (she actually choked up a little at the sight of all the little girls since her daughter is a little older), and then helped the girls accessorize and get their faces painted with flowers.

I don’t get star struck by celebrities at all, but Kelly was really attentative and absolutely lovely with the girls. She sat down at each table and chatted with each tea party group. I couldn’t hear what my girls and Kelly were talking about, but judging from the look on Mia’s face, she was totally charmed by her.

Oh, and you know, I totally tried to get the scoop from Mia.

Me: “so….what did you talk about with the lady in the white dress?”
Mia: “oh, you know…stuff. I don’t remember, really”.
Me: “Do you know she’s famous? She’s on TV”.
Mia (instantly brightens up and cracks a huge smile): “really?!” (Oh, I’m totally going to point out the big Kelly Ripa cardboard cutout at the TD Bank a few blocks from our house the next time we walk that way).
Me: “yeah. So, you can’t remember anything you guys talked about?”
Mia: “well, she said we had really long eyelashes, that she liked our eyelashes.”
Me: “really? She said that?”
Mia: “yeah. Then she told us that hers were fake”.


We left in a car with hat boxes of girly gifts, the outfits and the sparkly shoes. I’m glad I accepted the invitation to the tea party. The girls had the best time and have been recreating their entire afternoon ever since.

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  • christelle March 12, 2011 at 3:07 am

    love it !
    just a modern fairy tale!
    les plus jolies petites filles 🙂

  • Lara March 12, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Like like like like!

  • JenLeigh Lim March 12, 2011 at 4:38 am

    They were really lovely!! Whenever I read about your girls or saw their photos, I have the urge to have my own children. I adore them. Really great job for you and Mark and thank you for sharing!

  • angie March 12, 2011 at 6:24 am

    I think the true stars are those girls of yours…fantastic! Love the photos!

  • Wendy March 12, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Lucky girls! The party looks adorable 🙂

  • cindy March 12, 2011 at 7:44 am

    That’s so awesome. A tea party like that had to be a little girl’s dream come true!

  • Caddy March 12, 2011 at 7:52 am

    The photos are ADORABLE!! What a lovely day. It seems like the type of day a little girl will remember forever. 😀

  • Renita March 12, 2011 at 9:24 am

    What a wonderful experience for your girls! The colors, the mood … those sparkly shoes

  • phoenix March 12, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Love the photos! It looks like a little girl’s dream of a tea party come true!

  • SY March 12, 2011 at 10:59 am

    What a sweet event…as a PR rep, I’m in awe of the creativity of this event. Glad you all had a great time — and do I spy Joslyn’s daughter in one of the pictures? BTW, love Mia’s hair in a ponytail!

  • diamondkelt March 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

    too cool ^_^ I’m a sucker for tea parties and I’m really glad they enjoyed themselves. I laughed pretty good at Mrs. Ripa telling Mia her eyelashes were fake, lol.

  • Annie From Seattle March 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Bwahahaha. I’m totally a Kelly Ripa fan now. Fake eyelashes. Awesome. PS Don’t be a chump! ALWAYS *gleefully* take the free car!

  • Annie From Seattle March 12, 2011 at 11:02 am

    PS maybe the name of the new cookie should be The Electrolux? It’s big, right?

  • donnaB March 12, 2011 at 11:45 am

    what a wonderful fabulous day! Your girls will remember this for a long time and how fun that they received a “wardrobe” for the day.
    ps. I have the washer/dryer and they are FABULOUS and yes; I live in a country house 🙂

  • JUDY March 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Love your blog! I agree, the girls are too cute. Those outfits are pretty fabulous. Btw, the link doesn’t work. I just typed it in to get to it. I think it’s because the comma got included.

  • Erin March 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Ooh, I love it! What a wonderfully girly time!

  • kate March 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Man, that sounds like fun. They’ll totally remember that when they’re older and have such a great story. Also, this sounds stalkerish of me, but is that Joslyn Taylor’s daughter next to your girls? From Simple Lovely? Yeah I’m a weirdo that I recognized her daughter right away.

  • serena March 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    really funny!
    i follow your blog from italy, it’s special

  • Jenna March 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    @SY @kate, yes, that is Joslyn’s daughter! Her girls and mine are the same age and the older ones hit it off instantly.Glad I had the chance to meet Joslyn. Only wished we had more time to hang.

  • Susan March 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Oh my goodness I LOVED reading this, and that would have been my dream as a little girl!! Well, ok…it’s still my dream NOW!

  • Alison March 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE the fact that I have two little boys, but looking at these pics……..sometimes I wish I could have two little girls, just for a day.

  • Anna @ D16 March 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    You already know I love these photos (SO MUCH), so I won’t go on about that again, but…the washing machines. I have something similar in my basement here at the house (I don’t even know what brand they are…maybe Electrolux, I don’t remember, it was whatever they had at Sears 5 years ago!), and we even have the huge drawer-stands that go underneath so you don’t have to bend at all to load/unload. It’s totally ridiculous. They’re HUGE. But I love them.

  • jen a March 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    SO, SO, SO good jenna – it looks so beautiful and amazing, and gorgeous, and lovely – and oh! so wonderful! xoox

  • julie March 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    jenna. love, love, love the last picture with her little pinky up in the air. what a fun event for the girls 🙂 im on the same page with you when it comes to celebrities, but i’ve met kelly ripa as well, and she is so down to earth with a big heart!

  • sarah March 12, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    jenna, what great pictures of the girls. I love the over-all girlyness of the entire event. what an amazing experience for them. The picture of Claudine when she’s checking out her outfit in the mirror is beyond perfect. Oh, and what great opportunity to play around with the new camera 😉

  • eleanor March 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Lovely. I’ve lived in Brooklyn my entire life and I still think the Plaza is really fancy when I go there!

  • sarahwl March 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    hilarious about how they were checking out their panties through the sheer hose! sounds like something my cousin and i would have done at that age— in fact we did flash our panties over and over again from the back row of my grandpa’s poetry reading one night. we were SO bored, what else was there to do?? 🙂

  • tamera jane March 12, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I am actually HYPERVENTILATING over this. I just went to tea at the plaza the other day and all I could think was that I want tiny girls to bring!!! So sweet, so cute, and I WANT PINK CAKES TOOOOOO.

    That first photo is just tooooo much.

  • amanda March 12, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    LOVE the pinkies.

  • Jasmine March 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Ahhhh, these pictures are lovely! Kind of reminded me of a place I had brunch at in New York… Alice’s Tea Cup. Not so much the setting/decor but the food. There were little girls wearing fairy wings sipping on cups of tea and nibbling on cute little sandwiches. it was just too adorable!

  • Nancy Cavillones March 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    This is so adorable! And behalf of my girls, I am totally jealous!!

  • lesley March 13, 2011 at 12:23 am

    that is too much. i love it!
    perfect description from Mia of the pantyhose, so cute.
    great pics, jenna. looks like they had a blast.

  • Kayla @ Exquisite Banana March 13, 2011 at 12:51 am

    This is amazing. Mia and Claudine are so lucky. Those little pinkie fingers….just too much!

  • jon @ sweetgiraffe March 13, 2011 at 5:18 am

    What a fabulous time you girls had!! And great photos too 😉

  • Barbie (Birds of a Lovely Feather) March 13, 2011 at 11:43 am

    So lovely and adorable! Your girls are precious. And those shoes are just adorable!

  • Jeanie H March 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    This totally made my day! Fabulous.

    I love Mia’s hair up in a ponytail. She just looks super elegant and graceful, like a young Audrey Hepburn. But what I love most is how fancy the girls look and then you remind them not to scratch their butts. Love that! Couldn’t stop laughing when I read that. They are such sweet girls.

  • Clara March 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Wow, what an incredible opportunity! Good for you for pulling them out of school, looks like they had an absolute blast.

  • Jhope March 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    So sweet. To me the first photo looks very much like a painting-Renoir maybe.

  • lilcg March 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    this is like all of my eloise fantasies come to life! it looks like such a wonderful day.

  • Jennelle March 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    How cool! I love how sophisticated they look in these photos- from Claudine’s pose in the first photo to Mia drinking from the tea cup with an extended pinky.

  • Rachel March 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    These pictures are adorable! I would have loved to go to a little tea party like this when I was a little girl! It so great that your girls enjoyed themselves.

  • mau March 14, 2011 at 5:59 am

    mia looks great with her hair pulled back! and claudine is as adorable as always. they looked like two princesses.

  • Sarah March 14, 2011 at 11:50 am

    what a delightful & festive occasion for your daughters! love the eyelash conversation too!

  • Nina March 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    This is the first time I’ve commented though I’ve been reading for awhile. Just had to say that the girls look LOVELY and that these pictures pretty much capture all my uber-girly childhood dreams (well, without Kelly Ripa, but she’s lovely too!). So pretty!

  • Kate March 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I agree about the photos, they are awesome. That top photo is perfect. What a day for your girls, they will definitely remember it forever. My mom used to call me in ‘sick’ to school about once a year and we’d drive down to Chicago to have an uber-girly day just the two of us to go shopping and eat out. I still remember it – I’m sure your girls will too!

  • Erilyn March 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    This party is so cute!! how fun! I was like omg thats kelly!

  • Laura March 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I loved watching the story unfold with the pictures.

  • jodi March 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    wow. that sounds like the most amazing day for all three of you! the pictures are so fun.

  • cvjn March 15, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Ha! I saw Joslyn’s daughter as well, and I felt weird at first and then it occured to me that I might spend too much time reading blogs!

    Anyway, I have girls the same ages as yours and Joslyn’s, and I love to read about your lives because I feel we have so much in common.

    As always, thanks so much for sharing.

  • nope March 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    why is it that you never mention things before they happen? Such as an event or a chance for something….seems kinda selfish that you keep everything to yourself until after it happens.

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