This was my first real birthday party to throw since having our fourth child, and can I just say? I am over my head. This time of year is always tough for parties. We have to squeeze them in between Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, vacations, and school work. (What is up with all the homework due this time of year?? Not just a book report here and there, but huge, time-intensive projects requiring planning, specialized art supplies, and an engineering degree?!) And having a toddler and infant on top of everything else...well, I am just...beyond.
Thank goodness for the internet. I love this blog by Ashley and Jamin, The Handmade Home. They have great taste, and share all the behind-the-scenes details it required to complete their projects. I fell in love with her 5-year-old's watercolor party last year, so I borrowed their "tips and tricks" almost 100 percent.
The food was basic. We like to have parties in the mid-afternoon, so only snacks are required. I filled up some glass containers with solid-colored treats: cheese puffs, peppermint marshmallows, solid green sixlets, baby carrots, and strawberries.
Each guest got her own set of paints and paper to use. We bought two pads of real watercolor paper, and just divided it up for the party. Each kid got about 3 sheets.
Donnie took on the role of art instructor. I love this about him. He's always willing to jump in and ham it up for company. The girls ate it up. (So did their moms.)
The cake was chocolate buttermilk with white chocolate icing from The Cake Mix Doctor's cookbook. I mixed up a few different pastel colors and carefully swirled them into the cake. It looked like it was watercolored, too! The sprinkles on top are clear sugar sprinkles. They look like sparkly glitter, and they add a yummy crunch.
I literally threw this party together in a matter of days. I found those missmatched candles in the kitchen drawer. The plates, napkins, and forks were left over from past parties. I don't think there was a single original-to-me idea used in this entire party, but you know what?
She loved it.
Her friends showed up, painted their masterpieces, and giggled at Emma's crazy dad.
Her family told her stories about when she was little, and she ended the day with her heart full of love.
I love this kid! She is cheerful and generous, empathetic, creative, charitable and gracious. I can't wait to see who she becomes, and I'm so honored to be allowed to watch her through the process. Happy birthday, Sweet One!