It was all set up, the perfect back drop of greenery from the tropical cover of trees and brightly colored lanterns overhead. The tables spaced in a single file line underneath so that each guest in his seat would feel like a little prince at their royal table. There were a few clouds in the sky, clouds I was hoping would part and give way to rays of sunshine trickling through the lush canvas of green around us. Instead, the clouds grew darker and densely close, like magnets attracting more to themselves until the sky became one giant cover of grey before giving one final blow to our plans. The rain. With heads slightly ducked to spare our face, and eyes, from the water spout turned on above us, we deconstructed the party scene in as little time as we could. "The party is ruined," Aliyah cried as we made our way under the covered patio with strings of wet lanterns twisted in our arms. "Not even close!" I replied, "It just needs a new home." And a new home we gave it. Stringing lanterns from our patio ceiling and re-cutting craft paper to line the tables, placing the last bits of paint and pallets of buttercream frosting on the table just in time. And in the end? It was perfect. The awning of our lanai bringing us closer together to celebrate my growing boy and his big, beautiful heart… and life. As the party began, it marked the end of the rain, but the beginning of smiling mouths full of sugar and canvases becoming the masterpiece of little Picaso hands. It was Brayden's day, his treat filled paint party, and it was good. We served a smorgasbord of sugary delights like rice crispy treat paint brushes, pretzel sticks and marshmallows dipped in colored candy "paint", cupcakes (the most delicious cupcakes ever, more on that later), rainbow cake (that this mama whipped up the night before and was so happy that it actually turned out) and wherever else we could fit sugar in those little bodies. Seriously, these kids needed a week of detox afterwards. As little ones arrived and walked through the maze of balloons that completely filled our living room and spilled out onto the patio, they could choose an apron to wear to "help" cover clothes, though everyone was warned ahead of time that things could get pretty messy. A party of kids plus more paint and brushes than adults present could have equaled a colorful disaster, but surprisingly everyone was so well behaved that there wasn't even one spill. From there we had three stations set up, the treat table stocked with the crazy array of colorful sugars, the painting table set with paint canvasses, a rainbow of paints and brushes and then the cupcake "painting" table with some delicious cupcakes and pallets of creamy frosting and sprinkles. I think my favorite part was watching the focus on their faces as they opened up their creativity and poured it out onto the blank canvases before them. Or maybe my favorite part was when parents let their kids loose on the cupcake table full of delicious chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, pallets of frosting with lots of sprinkles and toppings to boot. Okay, but really, my favorite part was celebrating this spirited little four year old who completely lights up my life.
- Cupcakes and frosting // ℅ Sugardarlings. Tampa Bay area locals, you've got to check them out! The frosting is fabulous, some of the best I've had! And they also recently started hosting their own Cupcake "Painting" parties in their storefront locations, where they'll supply the aprons, cupcakes and supplies and your littles can enjoy their time in sugary bliss… and the best part? No clean up for you!
- Number Four Piñata and aprons // Amazon
- All paper printables designs // ℅ Brown Paper Studios. I used to try and make the printables for our parties myself, but I'm realizing that if someone can do it better than I, and save me time… I'm all for it! This shop does a great job and can cover all party and paper good needs.
- Photography and Styling // Tabitha Blue of Fresh Mommy
Happy four years of life to my own little sugar darling!
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