So my beautiful girl turned 8 in July. On break-up day. And since we were off on our hols the very next day, we deferred her party to the end of that first week back at school – light at the end of the tunnel and all that!
So this weekend, in a garden in the English countryside, Kayafest 2014 came… got messy… and went!
Keen to keep the vibe of the summer alive and well and inspired by our stay at Camp Bestival in August, we decided to go with a Festival theme and centre the whole thing around a thing of beauty I’ve coveted from afar for AGES… A Bell Tent.
Except, errrr… we don’t own a Bell Tent! #error
Not letting the facts get in the way of a cunning plan, I managed to borrow a tent and a few bits from the peeps at Garden Glamping including the most GORGEOUS set of tables and stunning chandelier. The company have everything you could need for a bit of outdoor fun in a bell tent. Extra bedroom in the garden? Gazebo for a party? Garden lounge? Play area for the kids? And now – FESTIVAL PARTY!
SUPER easy to put up – possibly the easiest tent I’ve (we’ve) ever put up. Ever! And we didn’t even come close to “conscious uncoupling”! Good times!
I then ordered some bits online to pimp it out a bit more, including some gorgeous Lei Lantern Garlands which ended up being a complete bargain and one of the hits of the party!
At Camp Bestival this year I made a flower garland for myself which I was very proud of and cleverly got the number of Sarah, who helped me, so I could order supplies for all the kids to make one. The garlands they made were gorgeous and made something cool for them to take home. It was also a nice chill-out thing for them to do before the full-blown party kicked into action.
I always think you should play to your strengths as a mum. So pimping the party? TOTALLY my thing and if you’d stood still in my garden for more than 2 minutes you’d have found yourself having flowers hung from your arms! Kaya loved helping with the set up too and I managed to incorporate quite a bit of her artwork. I also made use of what we already had – like the dream-catchers from the kids bedrooms and a mosaic Peace sign I’d got for her bedroom. She picked flowers from the garden to put in cans for the table and was excited about setting up as the party itself! Sweet girl!
I bought supermarket cups which I thought looked really cute, and yes, having pored over many a cook-book for inspiration, I resigned myself to the fact that baking isn’t one of my strengths and got this beauty for £8 from a supermarket! Good times! (I know, I didn’t make my kids birthday cake but I DID want the kids to eat it! Don’t tell the Mum Police!). To be honest, last year I slaved over the cake and nobody ate it so, honestly, I thought quitting while I was ahead was the best policy!
The party was brilliant and loved by everyone to the extent that KAYAFEST 2015 has already been confirmed! Next time, everyone is sleeping over and, since the karaoke went down so well, I’m gonna make part of the garden a “stage” and getting everyone to do a song or a dance – so THEY’RE the headliners and I can put THEIR names on the Kayafest lanyards!
Also loving the fact that a Festival party is perfect for a variety of ages – and perfect for both sexes. You might even get mum points for throwing one for teenagers?! Although, don’t bank on it!! I might be getting carried away with the festival spirit!
Something about the tent and general vibe made the kids totally relax and I loved watching them run around the place in varying arrays of disarray and fancy dress.
I spent Saturday evening post-party
glugging sipping on merlot and rocking back and forth in a darkened room and then slept under the stars in my own garden, snuggled up with my kids. Pretty magical. It’s been quite a week for us with Akira starting school, so it was great for everyone to have a celebratory weekend.
So yes, I’m even more into the Bell Tent idea than I was before. After just one weekend I’m strangely attached to this one and will be sad to see it go. I already told Trey that, when we get one, I’m TOTALLY giving it a name, although I’m now guessing that wasn’t the cleverest move for someone convincing their OH to get a tent!
And I’ll leave you with this gorgeous “after” pic I took once everyone had left. What’s a party without a random suit of armour and leopard tail – right?!