Archives for category: birthday

So it’s been a few years since I have written on the blog (or accessed the dashboard to do so….holy moly it looks intimidating) but it’s time for my triumphant return. First, let’s take a look back on some things that have happened since my disappearance, shall we?

  1. A huge reason why I stepped away in the first place was a little guy I was growing. Remember that birthday party I didn’t have the heart to do much for? It was because I was so.sick all the time. Funny how I went as a house for Halloween that year…I was perhaps hiding a bit of a bump behind it all 😉  After the first few weeks of the pregnancy, things did improve dramatically. Baby Heath arrived in June 2014. He’s a little firecracker now of course.img_1698
  2. While pregnant with Heath, we of course took on the kitchen renovation. And by pregnant, I mean 9 months along. I had called and asked for some shelving to organize the kitchen a little in a nesting rage…and that night the husband starting knocking out  walls. Anyway, it turned out gorgeous.
  3. We’ve done plenty of other house projects too, including both kids rooms, front door, and backyard. Maybe I’ll write about them one day. Probably not.

    4. I’ve still been cooking and sewing and schooling nonstop throughout it all.

    5. And we have done a few ridiculous birthday parties…12238248_10107734921237651_4402035916461737501_o6. As well as epic Halloween costumes…

    The biggest news of all though is what is yet to come, and the reason for my return to the blogisphere. We are embarking on the next huge chapter of our lives–a move to IRELAND! What?!? So in an effort to document that journey, I am back!



I still vividly remember planning Dexter’s 3rd birthday party.  At the time, he was obsessed with pirates so picking a theme was so easy.  Even his second birthday was easy since the only word he said at the time was BALL and was absolutely in love with all things round….to the point where it was sometimes challenging to walk into Target because he desperately wanted to play with the concrete balls out front (and got so upset when I wouldn’t pick it up for him…).  And we know from his 4th birthday that he practically planned the thing himself.

Now Charlotte….second birthday, she gave me no help.  Third birthday, more of the same.  I asked what she wanted, she said something like “I’m 2!” for an answer, so I was on my own again.  I guess she’s just easygoing, and as long as there are balloons and friends she could care less about the details?  I should enjoy that a little I suppose.


Her ‘Singing’ Face

She does like ponies though (she often sleeps with a little beanie baby horse, and loves the vintage My Little Ponies at the gym….she’s a little creeped out by the new style ones that look like deer on acid…), so I decided to go with a farm theme.  Really, I was trying to go with whatever theme would be easiest to pull off with little planning and prep….rustic fits the bill.  You see, Charlotte was born on November 4th.  We have a habit of going all out for Halloween, so that is a busy time, and then I host Thanksgiving (and we often take the opportunity surrounding Thanksgiving to finish up big house projects).  Fall is a hard time to plan a birthday party….especially since I went with having it TWO DAYS after Halloween (and yes, I am just now getting around to posting it).  Poor girl….I imagine as she gets older the theme will be “Let’s put our costumes back on and have leftover Halloween candy” for about 10 years.  The things you don’t think about when getting pregnant….


Like every other party we’ve had, there’s lots of kiddos from babies to their 7-9 year old cousins, so all activities need to be a little disorganized and appeal to lots of ages.  We came up with Milk Bottle Toss, Lasso the Cow, Sticker Barn Scenes, horseshoes, and a Barn themed Photo Booth.  All the kiddos could choose from cowboy hats or animal hats to wear, and there were bandannas as well.  Speaking of outfits, I had a really cute denim dress for her to wear but she picked the dress I made her instead.

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For food, I made pulled pork sandwiches (it’s nice to get food done the day before and just reheat in the crockpot the day of).  I made some mac and cheese (also made the day before and baked the day of) and homemade applesauce to accompany it (the applesauce was actually ‘pie apples’ I canned a year ago…I was planning to make cinnamon apples but they were a little softer than I expected they’d be….but that’s okay because the applesauce was super yummy).  Some hummus and ranch dip (greek yogurt dill dip, actually) with fresh veggies and pretzel sticks rounded out the menu, with ‘hay bale’ rice krispie treats, ‘cow pie’ cookies (break and bake…I’m such a cheater), and store bought cupcakes (from a local cupcake shop).  Dexter was mad that two parties in a row there was no cake.  He is pretty angry that I keep thinking cupcakes are an acceptable alternative to birthday cake.

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Decor…I just picked up some quilting cotton in cow print and red gingham, and some burlap.  I used it to cover the tables (along with brown paper) and made one of those popular fringe banners.  I bought a pennant banner and balloons, and some hay bales to go in front of the photo backdrop.

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Favor bags had squeezy animal balls, farm animal tattoos, wiki stick farm animal craft, and farm animal sticker faces.  All of the ‘stuff’ for the party was purchased from Amazon….turns out they have a lot of the same things that Oriental Trading does, except you can use Amazon Prime.  Bonus.


Built in Farm Decor for the background! Chase the chickens was another fun game amongst the older children


Well there you have it.  I phoned it in a little and DIY’ed next to nothing for this party. I think the birthday girl still had a blast though, and that’s the important thing 🙂

Our little bug turned three a couple weeks ago and since she LOVES the pool so much we threw her a Luau for her birthday!

aloha picture

We set up a little table near the front door with the little flower hair clips and we also had some cute grass skirts for our guests as they came in. The dollar store had the skirts and it was fun to see the kiddos (and mamas) running around in their skirts!

drinks table

For the drinks, we borrowed a friend’s soda stream and added some organic lemonade to the spritzy water.  Morgan also made some yummy mixed drink concoction with coconut cream.  It was tastey!  And to set the ambiance, we my little bro, found a fun Hawaiian station on Pandora.

craft table

The craft table was a hit too.

kids crafting

We had two crafts set up: 1) make a paper flower lei (thanks Pinterest!) and 2) create a totem pole mask. Next time, I might make something a little more interactive.

craft with abuelita smile

My mama had fun creating a lei with my little bug too.


Morgan outdid himself with his carnitas tacos and thanks to all the guests who brought some amazing side dishes! And a super thanks to Nana Starr for making a yummy upside down pineapple birthday cake.

cake and morgan

We also had chocolate cupcakes, not from scratch, but the King Arthur gluten free chocolate cake mix is seriously the yummiest mix ever! And we topped them off with a whipped coconut frosting – to. die. for!  In fact, we had some extra and put it on the side for the other cake too. Nom Nom!

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I really enjoyed the photo backdrop too.  This was another Pinterest winning idea. We had tons of help setting everything up and it came out great!

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It was so nice to have our family and dear friends with us to celebrate my little bug monkey chipmunk (I think that’s her animal of choice today) as she turned three (eek!). And I can’t wait to see what other fun parties we have in our future.

Have you thrown any parties recently?

I made Starr Lily a birthday dress when she turned 1 and was hoping to make it a tradition, but last year I dropped the ball and well, maybe now it’s an “every-other-year” tradition, ha!

I had originally planned on making this dress, but when I went to buy some fabric I just couldn’t find something that fit the luau theme.  (That of course didn’t stop me from buying some fabric anyways.) I was about to use a cute floral print, when it hit me that Morgan has about 10 Hawaiian shirts that he rarely wears.  I rampaged through his closet and found just the one I wanted to cut up.


I love the palm trees and the little bits of red throughout. But this fabric was a bit thick and now I didn’t have enough to make the original dress so I sort-of followed the Ice cream social dress tutorial from Craftiness is not Optional instead.

I chopped off the top portion with plans to make something coordinating for Stone.


And because I wanted to make sure the dress was long enough, I added a 3 inch piece of muslin to the top portion.  DSC_9114

I’ve sewn a few items by now and this is the first casing for elastic I’ve done.  Crazy, right? Crazy easy, is what it was.  I used the elastic to make a casing and then stuffed it through!


I thought the tutorial had straps that were too wide so I used wide bias tape instead.  Unfortunately, I lost track of our camera and don’t have pictures, but I just sewed them in.


The hubs gave me the idea to make them meet in the back and I think they look adorable!


I love the buttons too.  It still looks like it was dad’s shirt, but now it’s an adorable birthday dress!  My 3 year old little model let me put her dress on for these pictures, but the day of her party she insisted on wearing a purple t-shirt underneath! I’m glad she likes it though, even if it doesn’t have a coordinating shirt. And just look at how cute she is?!


I could just kiss and hug on her all the time! My sweet little babe is three and time is going by oh so quickly.


Do you make your kid’s birthday outfits?

These last couple of weeks have been jam packed full of fun! Starr Lily turned three (eek!) last weekend, we went to Pennsylvania for our friend’s wedding this weekend, and our family was able to visit us too.  I’ve been meaning to post these little party favors I had ready for Starr Lil’s party, but well, I’ve been having too much fun, ha ha!


Aren’t they cute! They were easy-peasy to make too! I went to the dollar store and got a bunch of flowers.  Then I enlisted my mom’s help and busted out the old glue gun. I pulled of the flowers from the stems, like so,



And while my mama cut out a ton of little felt circles, I cut two slits in each one and slid the hair clip through.



Once we got the assembly line going, it went by pretty quickly! I love just chatting with my mama while working on something too.  It reminds me of being little and cooking or cleaning while mom shared stories from when she was little. I keep telling her she needs to write them down!

Back to the party favors, mom glued felt circles onto the flowers (and nearly glued her fingertips shut too),


and then I glued the clip part on to that.


We let them dry overnight and that was it!


Starr Lil’s likes to wear them! (And they keep her bangs out of her eyes too.)


I’ll share more about her party soon and her cute little dress too! What party favors do you like to give at parties?

In just a few short weeks, my little girl will be turning three! It’s hard to believe that this tiny little peanut,


has grown into this adorable, talkative, inquisitive little toddler.


So much cuteness! I just want to squeeze and kiss her all the time, but now she sees me coming and screams “no mama!” and runs away laughing at me.  Yep, I’ve become that mom, haha.

August always seems to creep up on me, but this year I’m getting started early on the party preparations! We’re hosting a Luau and here’s your first sneak peak into the party decor!


I saw it on pinterest and had an old wreath laying around, so we put this bad boy together in a few minutes! Want to see how incredibly easy it was?

First, I ordered 144 mini umbrellas from Amazon, for $5.83. (Oh, we just became amazon prime members and love the fast and free delivery!)

Then I tracked down my old wreath – yeah, the one that made my front door look sad and gloomy before.


I pried off those pine cones and as much glue as I could and was left with this:


I started placing the mini umbrellas on the wreath and seriously the longest part was taking off the little rubber bands holding them closed.


Just place them where they look nice and that’s it!


First decoration done, yay!


Feels good to start crossing things off my party list. Can’t wait to show you what else I have planned. When do you start planning for your kids’ parties?