Ashlyn | Birthday | everly | Party

The Girls’ 2nd Tutu Birthday Party!

By on March 30, 2016

Since the girls are still young I really wanted to do a party for them together. They share everything and honestly doing two parties I feel like can be a bit much when they all have the same friends and family members and they are literally like twins at this age. Same size clothes, same toys, same room, pretty much on the same level learning wise. The age gap has pretty much closed so why not just do it till they want them separate? 

 
 So of course since there is 2 of them turning 2 I had to do a TuTu theme party. My best friend Kat did all the desserts because she is truly amazing and we kept it fairly simple. 

We set up our bounce house outside.
Had a dress up station.
And a piñata, which I will never do again, at least not the ones where you hit it. I was traumatized. 
And of course had the girls favorite character come, Elsa! Ashlyn was in Heaven! Everly was scared of her so she didn’t go near her. This is when we realized she isn’t into characters at all. Well, she likes them from a far but up close is a no go. 




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Ace | Birthday | Party | party planning

Ace’s Super Hero Birthday Party

By on July 30, 2015

This year I decided I wanted to keep Ace’s party easy.  He has been talking about having an Avengers party for forever so we knew the theme would be Super Heroes. 


Since his birthday is in the Summer we always plan an indoor party because every year (except this year of course) it has rained on his party day. It is also disgustingly hot and humid here so no one enjoys outdoor parties unless they are water related in the Summer. 

I finally decided a movie theme would be perfect. Ace has really gotten into going to the movies so we borrowed my friends projector and popcorn maker for an authentic movie night! 

Basket: Similar

Branden Mcgyver’d up a screen on the wall where our TV usually sits and we threw a bunch of pillows and blankets on the floor to make it extra cozy. I bought these chairs and my friend passed down her daughter’s to my girls so we had extra seating with those as well. 

Chalk Sign / Popcorn Maker

I wanted to keep food simple too so I made Buffalo Chicken Dip, ordered pizza and made up a Popcorn bar. I just bought a bunch of candies from the grocery store so the kids could throw them in their bags of popcorn. They loved it! 

I ordered cupcakes from the grocery store as well. I asked them to spray two colors on each cupcake; purple and green for the Hulk, red and yellow for Iron Man and of course Red, White and Blue for Captain America. I used puffy stickers I got at Walmart as the toppers. I just taped them to toothpicks. Super easy. 

For favors I bought a bunch of Super Hero capes when we were doing Everly’s party. They were a huge hit. My girls are more obsessed with these than Ace. They are incredibly cute running around in them. 
I also had goodie bags with Avengers ritz, gummies and rice crispy treats. 

Overall we had a blast hanging out with friends on a Friday night and loved celebrating this sweet boy! 
And I had to get this picture of Ace and my cousin Brian. They have an awesome bond. The first one is from Ace’s 2nd birthday and obviously the second one is his 4th. 


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Birthday | everly | First Birthday | Party

Everly’s Cinderella First Birthday Party

By on April 1, 2015

Last week was Ace’s Spring Break and Everly’s first birthday. To say we were busy is an understatement. Get ready for picture overload. 
Friday my best friend Kat, her Mom and her girls came down to stay with us and help with Everly’s party prep. I wanted to do a dessert theme party so Kat made all these cute desserts. We did a Cinderella theme so everything was girly and princess-y. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect party for her. 

I decided that instead of goody bags I wanted to give the kids crowns, tutus, wands, shields and princess beach balls. I figured it was more fun for them to dress up and play pretend then have a bunch of junky toys that their parents will just throw away when they get home (I am totally guilty of this). 

We also had a Cinderella come to entertain the children. I had the hardest time finding a company that had really nice looking princesses for a good price and fun activities for the party. The majority just had really poor looking princesses but when I saw Princess Party Productions site I was floored with how gorgeous the costumes and princesses were! No straggly hair and skimpy dresses (yes, there were Elsa’s with skimpy dresses out there). They also offered simple face painting for no extra charge. Since we had a bunch of 3 year olds they were so excited and didn’t care it was crazy face painting options. My favorite was the butterfly.
After she did face painting she read the story of Cinderella, my kids love books so this was a must, then she sang a couple songs. After that it was time to do cake so she stuck around and sang Happy Birthday to Everly. She was very sweet to all the children and made sure to take pictures with anyone who wanted to. And can we talk about her voice?! I was blown away. 
After Cinderella left we tried to have Everly do her smash cake. She had taken a good nap so when she started crying I was surprised. Then my sister noticed Everly was getting her first tooth!! There was a big white bump and sure enough a tooth popped through the next day or two. Poor girl. We gave her some pain medicine and she was happy after that. All the kids played in the backyard and the adults just hung out. It was a pretty laid back party. 
After everyone had left we decided to try Everly’s smash cake and she went to town!!! It was seriously so funny watching her eat it. She would try to pick the whole cake up, not to shove it in her mouth mind you, she just wanted to pick it up. After she was done she started walking around the backyard and saw our neighbors in the pool a couple houses down and started “talking” to them. I don’t know what it was about that moment but it was just so funny to me. She just has the silliest personality. 
Party Details
Cake & Treats made by my best friend Kat and her Mom
Crown on cake made by my sister
Everly’s headband: Similar
Everly’s crown: Love Crush Bowtique
Party Favors Wands & Crowns: Oriental Trading
Ashlyn’s yellow tutu: sold out, similar in pink
Ashlyn’s Snow White Vogue Tank homemade by my friends mother in law
Ashlyn’s Headband: Similar
Everly’s outfit: Homemade by Kat
Cute blue skirts here and here
Pink & Blue Skirt on Dress Form: Zulily, similar here
Dress Form: Similar here and here
My Bippidi Boppidi Boo top: Lauren Conrad
Happily Everly After sign made by Kat
“E” made by me
Birdcage around “E” borrowed from my sister
Check out my Cinderella Birthday Pinterest board where I got most of the decoration ideas.

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Ashlyn | Party | party planning

Ashlyn’s First Birthday To Do List

By on September 12, 2014
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Wickedly Cute Body Suit / Cat Ears Headband Similar


It is just over a month till Ashlyn’s first birthday and I have quite a lot of planning to do.
First birthdays are such a big event in my mind. It is a celebration of so many firsts and the day this beautiful little person came into our lives. I think the first birthday is more for the parents but hey, it was a lot of work for us! 
I am doing a Monster Mash/Halloween theme for her first birthday. Since her birthday is so close to Halloween I thought it would be super fun to have all the kids dress up in their costumes. 
I know we will have a lot of Elsa and Anna’s coming this year too, ha!
I am thinking of dressing Ashlyn and Everly as a cat and mouse. Ace will get to pick his costume so I am not sure what he will be yet.
I happened to look back on my post on Ace’s first birthday to do list and man I feel like I had my life together so much more than. I mean, lets face it, I did. Having one child is way easier than three! 
So here is what I can think of that I need to get done for now. 

  • Take Pictures
    • Smash Cake
    • Birthday Pictures
  • Make or Order Cupcakes
  • Make or Order Smash Cake
  • Make invitation list
  • Make invitations
  • Order birthday outfit
  • Organize games & activities 
  • Order or Make Food
  • Set up Decorations
I am sure there is more that will need to be done but hopefully this will keep me on track.

Did you do a big birthday party for your little ones first birthday or a smaller low key one? 


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life | Party

Paris Theme Baby Shower

By on August 5, 2014

This past Sunday was my sister’s baby shower.  She had mentioned having a Paris theme to her daughter, Valentina’s, nursery and I was so excited. It was the perfect theme for a baby shower as well!
I, of course, eyed Pinterest for any and all Paris theme parties, showers and decor.  I knew I wanted to make it a super girly shower because out of the two of us she has always been the griller one. She lives for pink!
Just to give you an idea, this was her cake for her 30th birthday party.
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So back to the shower. Here is my set up for when people walk in. I got the tutu from Zulily and the dress form and large Paris picture from Hobby Lobby. The little pink ballet shoes were a gift for my girls from my cousin and the Paris box is from Michael’s. It matched the picture perfectly.
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I had mine and Ashley’s baby clothes lined up by the front door. I failed here because I didn’t have enough clothes pins to hold them all so this was my sad little solution, ha!


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The favors I forgot to set out, epic fail! I made chocolate covered oreos and saw them as I was putting things away in the fridge. Yeah, total waste of time but at least they were pretty!
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Ashley’s friend Alexis made this adorable diaper bouquet.  This was the diaper raffle table. If you ever throw someone a shower always do a raffle. This helps them load up on diapers and it’s an easy “game”.
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This was the food table. Alexis made the Valentina banner and set up the lanterns. The Paris canvas Branden and I found at Home Goods and the Eiffel tower is from Hobby Lobby. Pink Lanterns are from Party City. 
Food included croissants to make sandwiches (turkey, ham & cheese), fruit (grapes, blueberries, strawberries), crackers (I forgot to put the brie cheese out to go with it, aye!), waldorf salad, quiches, and I think that was everything.
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Beautiful diaper cake was made by Alexis. This girl has major talent!
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Another one of Alexis’ creations.
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I got this little Guess Valentina’s Statistics poster at Party City. I wanted to make a cute little calendar and frame it but with me being in the hospital it was not happening. This was easier and it had a blank spot where we got to guess if Valentina will have back hair or not! Weird? You bet but it wouldn’t be mine and Ashley’s weird sense of humor if it wasn’t up there.
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Ace | Birthday | DIY | life | Party

Ace’s 2nd Birthday Party

By on July 29, 2013
I know, I know, I am so late on posting Ace’s Birthday Party details but things have been quite crazy around here.
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Ace’s Pirate outfit from Zulily
First of all we did a Jake and the Neverland Pirates theme. Ace loves Cubby on Jake so we knew it was the perfect theme.
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Ace’s cake done by the Amazing Barbara
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Cake table before the cake arrived
I hunted down every Jake party idea on Pinterest and went to work. We had some cute party games that were perfect for a wide range of ages. We had toddlers to 12 year olds so it worked out really well.
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A couple days before my friend Erin and I went to town on making all the goodie bags, she was a lifesaver when it came to cute ideas on how to cut them and make them look like loot bags. We just used brown paper bags and pirate stickers and frayed the edges for the toddler’s bags and did zig zag cuts on the bags for the bigger kids.
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I used ribbons for the bandanas, eye patches from Target, stamps from a Disney store and Michaels
When the kids walked in they got to become a pirate with red, blue or pink ribbons to tie around their head, an eye patch and a “tattoo” which was stamps. Bran also made telescopes from these cardboard poles that were in the packaging for our patio furniture. He just taped the edges and painted them gold.
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First game we had the kids play was Feed Tic Toc Croc. I got a one of those 3 sided poster boards and just drew Croc on there then cut a hole where his mouth was and used some bean bags from a game from Ace’s Carnival theme party last year. The kids loved it.
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After that we did a Dig for Treasure game. This was a game I thought only the little kids would really like but I was wrong.
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First I filled a bucket half way with rice and then added some prizes I got from Party City. I covered those with rice, then added more toys and continued to do this till it was full and all the toys were covered. I made sure the kids could see parts of some of the prizes, added a big shovel and it was complete.
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We ended up covering the floor with a black garbage bag and let the little kids go first, well all the toddlers basically just played in the rice and didn’t even care about the toys so we let them bigger kids take turns grabbing 3 toys each while the little kids played in the rice. Everyone was happy and we could have let the littles do this for hours and they would have been happy.
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Since it was super rainy out we didn’t get to do all the outside things we wanted to do till the very end of the party so it ended up being kind of a hot mess with bubbles going everywhere and kids slipping but eventually we were able to set up the bounce house and get the kids energy out.
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Overall Ace had a lot of fun and so did his little friends. It was a fun theme and we loved being able to be creative with it.
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Football recipes | Party | Recipe | Super Bowl Recipes

Easy Salsa Taco Dip

By on May 17, 2013
taco dip photo ScreenShot2013-05-11at14730PM_zps72835bed.png
When my sister had her house warming party I offered to make my Mom’s Salsa Taco Dip. It is pretty much the easiest thing you can make ever and it is delicious!

taco dip photo ScreenShot2013-05-11at14820PM_zps0ce025b4.png
taco dip photo ScreenShot2013-05-11at15200PM_zps9709af70.png
taco dip photo ScreenShot2013-05-12at122111PM_zpsef6e10de.png

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 16 oz jar mild salsa
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded fine
  • 1 large tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 cup shredded mexican mix cheese
  •  sliced black olives
Make It
  • Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, salsa and taco seasoning together in a bowl.
  • Next cover bottom of a glass container with the mix
  • Layer lettuce on top of mix 
  • Top lettuce with tomatoes
  • Load up on the shredded cheese
  • Add black olives to top and done! 
What is your go to dish you bring to a party?


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Crafty | DIY | guest posting | Party

Crafty Activities for Kids’ Parties

By on April 13, 2013

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One of the primary challenge that comes with hosting any kids’ birthday party is keeping all of those little ones busy until it’s time for their own parents to take them home. Between the excitement and the sugar contained in a typical birthday party just keeping up can be more than a parent can do. Games will wear them out, but choosing craft activities will give them an opportunity to be creative while they play, and may even leave them with a great souvenir to take home with them.

 photo 3407019537_c79b5663f1_z_zpse86965a4.jpgPuppets
Wendy Piersall
Finger puppets are great fun and each child can take home their own set! Use pipe cleaners or fabrics, and don’t forget the classic brown-paper-bag-puppets we all made when we were kids. For longer parties or sleep over celebrations, you could also have them decorate a cardboard puppet stage and come up with a show to put on before the end of the night. Flex that visual creativity AND their storytelling skills, while building a little story-time into the evening to mark the time to bring it to an end.

Mural
Manish Bansal
A mural is an excellent activity for kids, and something that your child can keep and decorate their room with to remind them of the great party you threw for them, and of all the friends who wanted to come and celebrate him or her. This is probably an activity best planned for outdoors or in the garage, but with the careful use of a tarp or a series of newspapers, it can be accomplished inside pretty safely. Remember to make sure that each child is getting a chance to participate and a space to work in, whether or not they’re the most artistic of the group.

T-Shirts
Artaxerxes
Decorating T-shirts is lots of fun, and each kid will have a specially made item to take home! Use crayons or grease pencils for younger kids to reduce the mess, but for an older group consider setting up outside for tie-dye. It’s really a very simple process, requiring only die and rubber bands, and anyone can do it. All you do is twist up a part of the blank T-shirt and put the rubber band around it, then dunk it into the color you want. Trial and error will lead them to the best combinations of colors and the patterns they prefer, so having a few blank shirts for each child is a good idea.

Kaleidoscopes
It’s all about color
This does require a few more elements than most of the craft ideas proposed above, but your party guests will be blown away when you teach them to use mirrors and paper to make a homemade kaleidoscope! Let the kids cut up the colorful paper and decorate the outsides of their tubes, then learn about refracting light when it comes time to put together the mirror and enjoy the beautiful colors. Each one will be entirely unique, and the kids will love taking home the kaleidoscope they made themselves.
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Ceramics
Working with clay is a great activity for kids as it gives them an opportunity to really get their hands dirty while being creative and productive, but it can seem impossible to accomplish at home, since a proper kiln should heat up to nearly 2000 degrees. However, there are some great no-fire or air-dry clays on the market. Ceramics made with these items won’t be waterproof or oven-safe, but they will be handmade and great for decoration or storing things like keys and change.

Author Info: Jenny Franklin is a mom, a party planner, and a freelance writer. She currently writes for PartyPail, girls’ birthday party supplier.


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Ace | Birthday | Etsy Shop | First Birthday | Party

First Birthday Details

By on July 18, 2012

Ace’s invite, details have been edited

Ace’s birthday was amaze-balls! We had the best time. It took A LOT of work but it turned out to be such a fun day. We are truly blessed to have such amazing family that helped us make the day perfect for our little guy.
Cake, Cupcakes and Treats, oh my!

Loved his cake!

The party was a blast and made so much easier by my wonderful family. My brother-in-law, sister-in-laws, cousins, sister, parents, mother-in-law and church kids all made the day go smoothly. I couldn’t have had such an awesome party for my son’s birthday without them.

Invitations by: Perfectly Inviting
Birthday Onsie by: Stitch to my Lu
Cupcakes by my mother-in-law
Carnival Games from Party City
Cake Table Decor from Target

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Baby Shower | Party | TTC

Happy Monday!

By on November 8, 2010

It’s Monday again. The weekend went by to fast. I ended up being sick with tonsilitis most of it too.

Friday Branden and I went to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, so good!

Saturday was my cousin’s baby shower, which was fun but also really hard. Everyone asked me when we would be having a baby. If they only knew how hard we are trying! My cousin’s baby’s name is going to be Colton. I love that name! My sister and I spent Friday night making a diaper cake. It turned out pretty good and my cousin loved it. I was really proud of us. We also went to Target before that and I realized we probably shouldn’t be allowed in stores together because we turn into little kids. We hit all the buttons on toys that make noise, dress up in weird things. It was a lot of fun though.
Then on Sunday I went to the Minute Clinic again and I have tonsilitis. So now I am going to the ENT doctor on Thursday after my OBGYN appt.

On a way to awesome note…WE PAID OFF BRAN”S CAR!

Ash and me with Colton’s presents

We kick butt at baby shower games

Cousins!

My Mom’s side of the family

Ginger Bread Martini 
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