November 25, 2014

Georgia Kate's first birthday party!

We celebrated Georgia Kate's first birthday this past Saturday. Surrounded by family and friends, it was exactly what I had hoped it would be. The house was decorated in pink, the food was plentiful and I think that everyone really enjoyed the party.

I decided to run with the theme of a "love muffin," aka my nickname for Georgia Kate. The party was a brunch celebration, with all sorts of little finger foods. We served assorted donut holes, pumpkin mini muffins, banana bread mini muffins, a breakfast casserole, mini quiches, sausage balls, fruit salad and pink pop-tarts, for the kids. :) I had a Keurig with various coffees and teas along with an assortment of juice in the kitchen. I'll share the pics of the party "stuff" today, and come back tomorrow with pictures of the guests and the birthday girl.

 (After looking at the terrible quality of my party photos I told John, 
"I really need to learn how to use our camera!")
 Georgia Kate's homemade smash cake.
Baker, I can do. Cake decorator, I am not!

Come back tomorrow for some more (fuzzy and blurry and sometimes dark)
photos of Georgia Kate's first birthday brunch! :)

November 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Georgia Kate!

Today our darling girl turns ONE! I can't believe we've been lucky enough to have her for a whole year already. It has, without a doubt, been the fastest year of my life. And the most memorable. And the most sleep-deprived. And the sweetest, by far.

 Georgia Kate is silly, sweet and spunky. When Luke snatches a toy, she can scream just as loud (or louder!) than his worst fit. When we make a silly face, she scrunches her nose and closes her eyes with her own silly reply. And in the dark of our bedroom, every night after nursing but before I lay her in the crib, Georgia Kate leans in to rest her head on my shoulder and melts into my chest. She is everything I imagined my daughter would be and more.

 Showing off her greatest skill, hand clapping!
Sister LOVES to clap hands and gives us a round of applause after we say grace every night at dinner. :)
Oh sweet Georgia Kate, I have so many big dreams for your life. I hope that you get to be a mama one day. I hope you can have a sweet baby girl and experience this precious, unbreakable bond that you and I share. But above all of my dreams, I pray that you'll never know a day without Jesus. I pray that He will protect you with health and safety, that He will guide your Daddy and I to parent you with grace and mercy, and that He will lead you to know the precious name of Jesus. You are such a gift and you've filled a hole in my heart that nobody else could fill. I love you Georgia Kate, my darling love muffin!

November 20, 2014

Christmas wishing

We all know I'm slightly narcissistic when it comes to wish lists. I have no problem making personal wish lists and sharing them with the world via my blog. (Now please don't think I'm walking around dropping hints to my family members every time we're together. That is NOT my style.)

But the blog IS a fun way to pretend that we will find a handful of cash in our winter coats and John will decide to spend it all on my Christmas wish list. :) And this year? There's no vaccums. Nothing that benefits the house or the cleaning closet or the rest of the family. Nope, this years wish list is straight up for M -  E - ME.

ONE: New kicks  This stay-at-home mama works best in sneakers. Flats are cute and all, but they don't cut it when you're chasing a wild toddler and simultaneously feeding a screaming baby in the Target parking lot. in the rain. with a cart with a crazy wheel. These New Balance 574 sneakers are cute without looking like a running shoe.

TWO: Lisa Leonard Stacking Rings  I just love Lisa Leonard's jewelry. Pretty much anything on her website in pewter or sterling silver is a winner in my book. These stacking rings with my babies names would be a sweet addition to my jewelry box.

THREE: The Barrington St. Anne Tote  Roomy, a classic design and four season friendly. The ultimate mom bag in my opinion. You can personalize these in any colors and designs that you want (the black and brown herribone? LOVE IT!) AND they have a monogram option. WINNER.

FOUR: Target's ovesized Zara-copycat scarf  Because everyone else is wearing this print this season, so why shouldn't I? No but really, I love that this scarf is oversized (aka WARM) and the colors make it really versatile. Yes please!

FIVE: A monogrammed pullover  In pink, to match those new kicks above. :) Along with jeans and comfy sneaks, this is my ideal mom outfit.

Now it's time to dream along with me!
What's on your ultimate wish list?

November 17, 2014

Make it Monday

I've been in such a breakfast rut recently. I'm tired of oatmeal, I don't do eggs, breakfast bars never fill me up and I have no self-control when it comes to cereal. (no really, I eat like five serving sizes at a time!) Today I'm sharing a tasty recipe that may just become a new breakfast staple around here.

The pin originates from Power Hungry's blog. You can find the original recipe here. The recipe below is the recipe as sourced from Power Hungry's post with my changes noted in italics.

Flax-based Breakfast Cookies
2/3 cup flaxseed meal (aka ground flaxseed)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (or whatever nut butter you prefer)
1/3 cup honey/agave nectar/maple syrup/other liquid sweetener (I used honey)
1/3 cup plain almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I actually used 1 Tablespoon of a cinnamon sugar mixture)
2/3 cup raisins (I only had golden raisins so that's what went into my muffins)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray. 
(I didn't have any nonstick spray in the house so I just melted a tablespoon of butter and slathered each cup with the melted butter.)

 2. In a large bowl combine the flaxseed meal, peanut butter, honey, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. After these are combined, fold in your raisins.
(I looked at my muffin batter and thought "no way will this make 12 muffins." Because I like to add my own ingredients, I added a 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats to the mixture before transferring it to the muffin cups.)

3. Evenly divide the batter into your prepared muffin cups.

 4. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden brown and muffins appear dry.
(My oven took a full 30 minutes. I know it doesn't look much different, but if you look closely at the photo below you can see those golden brown edges.) 

5. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for five minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

 A few notes:
*These were really tasty warm! I suggest popping them into the microwave for 10-15 seconds before you eat them each morning.

*The muffin batter is very thick. If you just dallop the dough into the muffin tins and don't use a spoon/spatula to even out the tops, you'll get wonky looking muffins like I have here. I like to call the one below "the beanbag chair." Appearance doesn't make a difference to me, but next time I'll probably smooth out the muffins before I bake them so they look a little prettier.

November 14, 2014

Luke's 3rd Birthday

After sharing about how we budget for birthdays, I suddenly realized that I never shared the pictures from Luke's third birthday! Our sweet, spunky boy turned three on July 31st. To celebrate, we invited Luke's best buddies, his cousins and his beloved Nana to our local swim club for a pool party. I'll let the pictures do the talking!
 It cracked me up how most of the kids wanted to hang in the baby pool!
 Meet cousin Paige, aka Luke's hero. 
There's nobody he gets more excited for than his Paigey.
 Cousins Claire and Wyatt were brave and took to the water slides right away!
 Mrs Theresa, Cara, Mrs Erin and Ellie
These are some of Luke's very first friends and we are so thankful for each one of them!
Even though this was a pool party, I did stick to a Thomas the Train theme. 
I kept things easy and did pre-made Thomas invites, paper products and decor. 
This party required absolutely NO crafting and took approximately 15 minutes to set up. 
And I think I enjoyed this year's birthday party the most of any year thus far!
 Party favors were reusable Thomas cups filled with Thomas temporary tattoos, mini bubble wands, Thomas fruit snacks and Thomas whistles. (Everything was purchased at Party City!)  
 Dollar Tree banners and balloons make perfect pool party decor.
 The food was simple: pb&j and pimento cheese samis (cut with a train cookie cutter!)
and various kid-friendly snacks, each in it's own individual train car.
The train cars were reusable mini loaf pans with oreo "wheels."
Simple and easy!
Luke's love language is juice boxes.
This boy was in high heaven with an endless supply of boxed fruit juice!
 Make a wish!
 Luke wasn't the only one excited about cupcakes!
 Happy 3rd Birthday Luke!
You are such a sweet-natured soul and I am so blessed to be your mama!