Sunday, March 31, 2013

Twinkle Twinkle my little two year old

Avery loves the song "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". When I say she loves it, I mean she LOVES it! We sing Twinkle Twinkle every night and multiple times a day. She typically requests it by emphatically saying "Tinkle Tinkle" in a sing song voice - it's super precious. Naturally, because she loves the song so very much I decided we'd base her party around that song/theme. Finding ideas for a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Baby Shower: super easy but a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Birthday Party: not so much. Anyhow, let's start off with her actual birthday morning: applesauce muffins and a little "Happy Birthday Dear Avery" sung by Kennedy and I:

She knew just what to do and blew her candles out in one try!
Thankfully Nana and Pawpaw were able to join us the day prior to her party and boy were my girls glad to see them! Please ignore the boxes which are STILL unpacked in the background!
Party Time - let the picture tour of party paraphernalia begin! 
Party Favors: Peppermint Sparkly Play Dough and star cutters - found the recipe (which was super easy by the way) here. We made the yellow Lemon scented - I mean really: the possibilities are endless.

I love Target's party section because you can always find cute but cheap little things like these star wands: perfect for our theme!
 Some of our star decorations:

This was my first time venturing into any sort of craft/game/activity at a birthday party and it went pretty well - a little painting/mod podge station - the kids seemed to really enjoy it. 

I completely forgot to take pictures once the food was set out but it was pretty low key - just appetizers: spinach dip, hummus, fruit dip, some pigs n blankets and cocktail weenies. Simple but yummy and popular with the kiddos. 

OK, so each year I make my kiddo's cakes - it's just something I TRULY enjoy doing. I will admit - I like a bit of a culinary challenge in the cake baking and decorating department. What can I say: it used to be soccer cleats and a really intense game or a really hard and long run and now I enjoy a wicked intense craft and or insane recipe: things change! I first saw this cake on a blog I stumbled upon when doing Twinkle Twinkle research, but the main source is here. The icing (although hard to make) was incredibly delicious. I used fresh strawberry puree to add color and flavor and it was just out of this world yummy. The cake was her classic vanilla butter cake on her site and it was good, but I doubt I'd make it again. Now, the icing technique (ruffling) was a bit challenging but I found this video tutorial super helpful and made all the difference.  

 So pretty - the cake was a BIG hit!
Now, onto the party happenings!
One of Avery's favorite people - Becca.
Everyone ate first and then it was time to let the crafting begin - I took tons of pictures of the kids doing their canvases and their little expressions were so awesome. You can just tell that each one of them really enjoyed painting and creating their own MaSTARpiece!

I love how individual these are and how cute they turned out: 

It was so nice to have my bestie in town for the partay - she was a HUGE help in getting it together because she stayed with us the week prior: thanks Chels!
The Englars
After craft it was present opening time. Avery sat in her little chair and opened gifts and all the guests were so good - they just watched her open gifts and didn't get all in her way (not the case at some little kid parties...just keepin' it real).
Pretty sure these boots were one of her favorite gifts - she wanted them on instantly and then....
she ran around the room showing them to everyone. Good job Aunt Catina and Aunt Melissa!
Likely favorite gift numero dos - the plush Mickey doll. She's obsessed with Mickey though I'm not sure why/how because we do not get the Disney channel so her exposure has been minimal at best. She is still carrying him around and sleeping with him every night.
Time for cake!

Cousin love - Grey and Maggie
Grey did not get to partake in cake eating, but he did get some yummy pears.
My attempt to get a family framer was pretty much an epic fail because Avery was melting down after a birthday party that followed no nap. Greyson had barfed all over his outfit and was headed to pajamaville so he's rockin' his Gerber onesie. I was like "whatever, this is life and we're taking the picture so y'all smile!" Avery was not going to budge (she's her Momma's stubborn daughter) so this was as good as it got:
I tried to give Avery the Mom know, the one that says "you better straighten it up so I don't have to act a fool in front of all of these people".
Avery basically didn't give a what about my Mom Face, which led me to another face I fear I often make: the "oh well, I give up we gave it a good try face - Greyson seems put out with her antics too...we basically have twin expressions". with three I wouldn't trade it for all the perfect pictures in the world!
 All in all I'd say the party was a success. I owe lots of my ideas to this blogger. Is it not too funny that her daughters name, the one she did the Twinkle party for, is Avery too - small world! I tried to put my own spin on her things and also create some of my own, but her party ideas got my crafty wheels turning. Before I know it, it will be Grey's first birthday party planning time: oh my!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Some fun pics!

Before I launch into Avery's birthday post, I figured I'd throw in some cute pictures I took in the days leading up to her party. Speaking of Avery, she is a riot! I know I say all the time that she keeps us laughing and she does, but aside from being funny she is also a hand full. In a split second I can walk into another room and when I return find something like this:
This is her baby doll pack-n-play, which is apparently strong enough to hold her as well.
It's looks like these that keep her cute little fanny out of trouble:
I'm tellin' y'all - she is a trip and a half. You like her outfit - stripe on stripe with a tutu on top!?
As if my birthday festivities didn't leave me feeling loved enough, Chelsea came in shortly after and was even here for Avery's birthday party. She brough me a really cool plaque that you hang your race metals on, like this:
Chelsea and I have a very funny dynamic - we are both super sarcastic and love a good laugh so after I opened it, I was all "I'm going to need 2 or 3 of these if ALL my medals are going to be hung up. Ha! Unfortunately the reality is this: I now run a few times a month (if I'm lucky) because it just doesn't feel like it used to before 3 kids. I do, however, still work out and am proud of the races I have completed so it'll be nice to look at that board every now and then and think about my glory days :). I think this is so cool too because honestly my medals have lived wrapped in paper towels in a shoebox (truth!). I remember watching an interview with Michael Phelps before the recent Olympics and he was saying his medals were all balled up in an old cosmetic case of his Mom's and I was like "hmmm...I get that". Well - not anymore and Michael Phelps (cause I'm sure you're reading) ahem - you too can get one of these boards if you have an awesome friend like Chelsea in your life.
Despite being BFF's with Kennedy, Greyson clearly knows that Chelsea has the MOJO - look at that sweet little stare of adoration:

Oh these girls and their playtime - they are so creative and they have so much fun:
I'm so thankful that they love playing together like they do - I hope it stays that way forever.
This last picture is one we snapped after a family greenway walk. Sometimes you've just got to document the cuteness of an outfit and this was one such time: