It is a truth universally acknowledged that… 
…. some of the best parties are birthday parties!

At the end of August we celebrated our oldest daughter’s 14th birthday with a Jane Austen themed birthday, focusing on the birthday girl’s two favorite Austen books: Pride & Prejudice and Emma!

This brand new high schooler of ours decided to join the local high school’s soccer team and ended up having daily doubles every day the week of her birthday – Run like Mr. Collins just proposed! 😉

In between her first practice and her second I took her to town for a birthday coffee and to stop at the store for some party food. While she was at her second practice we all worked together quickly at home to bake a cake, decorate, and pull together some party appetizers for a movie night. We started with the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice and then watched Hallmark’s modern day spin off Unleashing Mr. Darcy. Even with very little preparation ahead of time it all came together!

.: Pride & Prejudice Inspired Birthday Banner :. 
The night before the birthday party I was up late with the baby, as usual, and ended up making a last minute birthday banner. You can download and print my document here if you’d like to use it too. 

During her morning soccer practice I cut it out and hung it up. Everything takes at least ten times longer than it did before this cute little baby arrived, but the party decorations came together!
Rose Teapot • Letter Board
While I baked the cake our 12 year old helped decorate and update the letter board.
.: Emma Inspired Birthday Cake :.

My bundt pans have saved me so many times lately when I don’t have the time or energy to be very creative but still want to pull together something special… 
For this birthday I used my Nordic Ware Cathedral Cake Bundt Pan and placed it on top of 2 – 9″ Round Cakes, decorating it with fresh flowers, some frosting, powdered sugar sprinkles, and grapes. 
It was inspired by this cake from the BBC version of Emma. What do you think? 
.: Pride & Prejudice Movie Night Party Appetizers :. 
Longbourn Layered Dip
The Ladies of Longbourn are diverse in their character. 
Some are lighter in substance while others are more complex, 
just like the layers of this dip.
Mr. Collins Cheese-ball
While its namesake is cheesy you may find this savory treat a little more sensible. Served with crackers.
Lady Catherine Kabobs
Her ladyship has been known to pierce through sweetness much like bamboo skewers pierced through fruit and cake.

Pemberley Salad
Almost as delightful as the grounds at Pemberley are the greens of Pemberley, especially when paired with pasta, chicken, and a creamy balsamic dressing.

Darcy’s Decadence
A warm, rich, and chocolatey dessert fit for a man of good fortune.
Served with ice cream and caramel sauce.

Lydia’s Lemony Libation
A sparkling lemonade and white wine punch.
Like Lydia it’s sweet but a little tart.

(Update: We made our punch with lemonade concentrate, 7-up, and vanilla ice cream. No wine included!)
.: Party Time :. 
“I love you most ardently” 💕 
#littlemissausten #prideandprejudice #allreadyforhersistersparty #hurryhomedaddy
I ordered the onsies here. Isn’t it perfect?! 
Here’s the link for our favorite heart swaddle and Baby Lit Board Book too. 
I love how our seven year old is always on her tip toes! 
I often don’t even notice until I look at the picture later…
I love having teens!
.: Birthday Gifts:.

I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library… 
The birthday girls gifts were basically a mix of (much needed) clothing and books:
American Eagle Flannel Shirts • Nike Fleece Skirt (like her sisters) 
Jean Skirt • Pride & Prejudice Graphic T-Shirt • Twist Gray Knit Infinity Scarf
White Lace Dress (for her upcoming Confirmation) and Green Dress from Macy’s
Jane Austen Doll Dress (I won it in a giveaway a couple years ago!)
Pride & Prejudice Notebook • Just Bloom Planner
Marrying Mr. Darcy Card Game (I want to get her the Emma Extension for Christmas!) 
Some of her gifts doubled as party decorations, including her new set of Jane Austen books. I’ve had quite a few of the Austen themed gifts stashed in my closet for years waiting for one of the girls to have a Pride & Prejudice Birthday. So glad to finally pull them out! 
I love that all my girls still love to play with paper dolls. This Pride & Prejudice set is the newest addition to their collection. 
This loving big brother is the reason I was able to finish the birthday cake and be able to take any pictures of the party! He is one of the few people she allows to hold her when she’s upset. 
.: Fourteen Candles :.

Completely, and perfectly, and incandescently happy…

Happy Birthday! 


  1. jbc2789

    Beautiful party! I'm going to have to pull out my Jane Austen books and read them again!

    2017-09-20 02:50:45

  2. Karen H

    "While she was at her second practice we all worked together quickly at home to bake a cake, decorate, and pull together some party appetizers for a movie night". This is NOT pulled together! No, no, no! This level of celebration comes under the heading of 'elegant, clever, delectable, ingenious, charming, and divine'! Eight children and a very precious, high maintenance baby??….you are a wonder!

    2017-09-20 02:54:42

  3. Kelly

    A dream birthday party – wish I could have come! 🙂 Birthday blessings!

    2017-09-20 03:00:21

  4. Debbie

    This is truly a most Lovely Birthday Party for your Sweet Daughter Jessica. Oh my all of the special details and such a creative menu…and her Birthday Cake is just Beautiful with the fresh flowers and fruit. I love the tall candles! Her birthday presents are so thoughtfully chosen. A perfect Birthday Party for your young Lady. Thank you for taking the time to share these wonderful photos with your ultra busy schedule homeschooling and mothering to your dear children.

    2017-09-20 03:13:05

  5. Cathy

    Beautiful; your parties are always amazing! But I have to ask, did you kids really drink punch with white wine in it?

    2017-09-20 04:54:33

  6. Jessica Gordon

    Haha! Oops! As I was copying over our menu from the labels we made, I forgot to add a note to that one. I made the punch with lemonade concentrate, 7-up, and vanilla ice cream. No wine included!

    2017-09-20 05:01:37

  7. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you! I need to too! My daughter is reading Pride & Prejudice for her literature class right now and I think I'm going to try as well. It's been a long time!

    2017-09-20 05:03:22

  8. Cathy

    That sounds delicious! My family would love it for sure.

    2017-09-20 05:07:46

  9. Kristi

    Jessica, you really are a wonderful mother. Your children are so blessed by you and you by those treasures of children. You have been a true inspiration to our family. My older daughter is about six months younger than yours and enjoys getting to know your Twinkle Toes through this blog. May I ask you where you purchase her clothing. Especially that denim skirt you gave her for her birthday? We are having such a time trying to find cute modest clothing for our young teen and yours always looks so finely dressed. God Bless you and happy very belated birthday to your Twinkle Toes!

    2017-09-20 06:04:59

  10. Rosalie

    Beautiful Party and Theme…Love the Cake and all the trimmings…the gifts were so thoughtful and precious new baby is growing so fast…God Bless to all and thanks for sharing ♥

    2017-09-20 11:49:04

  11. Kristen

    You always do a fantastic job with your children's birthdays!!!! As a devout Catholic and Jane Austen fan VERY well done! We would love to send your girls some of our nail polish for Saint Therese's feast day coming up!!! Any colors you want!

    2017-09-20 12:57:35

  12. Kim

    Absolutely beautiful! The cake is lovely…what a great idea! I would love to have your Pemberly Salad receipe…please! Thank you for sharing the banner and everything else!! Happy Birthday!

    2017-09-20 14:25:56

  13. Jennifer

    Beautiful as always!! I thought that dress looked familiar! God bless!

    2017-09-20 15:11:58

  14. Jennifer

    This is perfect timing! I have not wanted my 7 year old to grow anymore but now I know there are more fun things ahead. Thank you! What a great party!!

    2017-09-20 16:01:02

  15. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Kristi! They really are a blessing. ♥ It has been really hard to find clothes for her this past couple years. Thankfully we had a collection of cute skirts and golf shorts from her aunts and a friend that I had saved for about ten years that she's been wearing! She is just starting to fit into women's clothing and that is where I now look for her new clothes. The denim skirt she got for her birthday was from Macy's – women's size 2. You can see it here along with the link, but it looks like the smaller sizes have sold out:

    2017-09-20 16:31:11

  16. Marion

    What a lovely themed birthday party. The cake looks delicious. You always do a wonderful birthday for your children's birthdays. Thank You for sharing. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY to the birthday girl. God Bless Marion

    2017-09-21 00:12:56

  17. Marilyn

    What a lovely birthday party. I love the way you always make everything special for all occasions and special days. The Jane Austen theme is a great idea. Thank you for sharing. Wishing Twinkle Toes a year of happiness and blessings. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY Twinkle Toes. Marilyn

    2017-09-21 00:18:11

  18. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Kristen! My girls would love that!

    2017-09-21 05:06:14

  19. Sarah

    Happy birthday, Twinkle Toes!! <3 I hope you had a wonderful day. That looks like an absolutely splendid party! I've loved her birthday party themes for the last few years. I love AoGG, WCTH, and P&P as well. 🙂 The cake looks amazing and very much like the one in the movie. Many blessings to you and your family!

    2017-09-21 05:25:46

  20. Amy Ford

    What a lovely party! Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. If you have time check out the Victoria Bliss Magazine British Issue for September 2017 (I picked mine up at the grocery store). There is a wonderful article on the Jane Austen Festival celebrating the two-hundredth anniversary of her death. Both you and your daughter might enjoy it. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us! God bless:)

    2017-09-21 18:14:35

  21. Kristen

    Yay!!! I am so excited to send our polish out to you!!! Check out our website and just email me what colors you would like and where we should send them to. We will get them right out so you have them in time for Saint Therese's Feast Day. Our Fall colors just arrived this afternoon and we are adding a few more pink colors that aren't on the website yet but I can send you pictures if you would like. I am definitely including our 2017 Christmas color Saint Nicholas because I know your family celebrates Saint Nicholas Day!

    2017-09-21 22:53:49

  22. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks for the suggestion! I'll have to see if I can find a copy!

    2017-09-25 15:34:24

  23. cutiechen

    What a lovely party!

    2017-09-28 05:58:33

  24. Guest

    Happy birthday!!! If anyone is feeling inspired to read any of her great novels many are offered for free on Amazon Kindle! Enjoy and God bless!

    2017-10-05 23:31:20

  25. Kathleen

    My daughters went to a costume party like this a few years ago and they had so much fun that they threw one for themselves this year for their 15th and 17th birthdays. When looking for regency era busts, we came upon your page. Thank you so much for offering the banner as a download! We printed it and strung it up. It looked great! We added streamers in black and pink playing off the color scheme of the birthday banner.

    2017-11-30 19:03:44

  26. Erin

    My oldest just read Pride and Prejudice and LOVED it so much, so we are going to do a P&P theme for her 13th birthday next month! Did you make the little food labels in a document? If so and you have a chance to share them, I'd love to use them! Such fun gift ideas too; I added some to my daughter's wish list so hopefully relatives who buy her things will see them and maybe want to go right along with the theme!

    2018-02-18 02:52:36

  27. Sherri

    This party is simply wonderful! My five daughters and I are huge Jane Austen fans; I'm going to use some of your gift ideas for them. My oldest, Shelley, sang in the first ever Jane Austen opera, Mansfield Park, in September for the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, singing the role of bad girl Mary Crawford. It was at a beautiful country house in England's Hampshire County called the Grange, actually not too far from Jane Austen's home in Chawton. I wish I could have been there to see her sing. Here is an article about the opera:…. And this is a link to see pictures of the Grange:…. Wouldn't it be fun if it were performed in the US?

    2017-11-24 06:59:38


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Prayer of Mothers

Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

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Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-18, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

A Little About Me

Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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