A Pink Birthday Party

Our biggest girl turned three! 

For weeks leading up to her birthday, the only thing she asked us for a pink birthday party – so we delivered 😉 We started the morning with a pink breakfast – strawberry banana smoothies, cinnamon rolls (with pink icing for the birthday girl), fruit, bacon and eggs. Her presents were wrapped in pink paper – one of which was a pink bathing suit to wear to her party at the beach. 

We met friends at the beach and enjoyed each other’s company, pizza and birthday cake. (and the unexpectedly cool weather was very much enjoyed by this heavily pregnant mama)

Simple was the name of the game this year. No Pinterest-worthy crafts were made. I used artificial flowers on our breakfast table. The cinnamon rolls came from a can. We had pizza delivered to the beach. We ordered her cake from Safeway. I brought Lyla with me to Party City to buy her party favors and I let her choose the cheesiest pink & purple leis and plastic birthday crown.

She was happy, we were happy, it was a great day all around. 

 

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Cake and Ice Cream Party

It’s hard to believe that Lyla is turning two this week. Time is moving way too fast – but you know that. What you might not know is that we celebrated over the weekend.

We kept things simple and invited a bunch of Lyla’s little friends over for some cake and ice cream and then sent them all into a bounce house in the backyard. Basically, we loaded them up with sugar and let them burn it off. It was perfect!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JamboreePartyBox?campaign_label=shipping_notification&utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=shipping_notification_123169_5863616611_0&utm_medium=email&utm_content=&email_sent=1461003843&euid=hQV7q2tTHcIN1lzaHR9_G0qUMF1n&eaid=6199535349&x_eaid=f7b2135e19Second birthday cakecake and ice cream partycake and ice cream partyDSC_1749DSC_1772DSC_1811DSC_1821cake and ice cream partyDSC_1894DSC_1801

I picked up the tablecloth, cake stand and Lyla’s cute little leggings from Target. I ordered her balloons from Etsy and my super talented friend, Charron, made the cake topper. I would have liked to make all of the decorations but, really, aintnobodygottimeforthat. I did, however, make some fun ice cream cone garland. #DIYerforlife

It’s so fun to see Lyla building relationships with other children. She has such a sweet group of friends (and their parents rock too). We had a ton of fun and are so thankful for everyone who came to celebrate our two year old with us. 

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Christmas PJ Tradition

Happy Wednesday, folks. The topic of the home for the holidays bloghop today is traditions and I can’t wait to read all about yours, so make sure to add your link below! 

A few years ago, my cousin, Addie, Alex and I decided to start the Christmas PJ tradition for our family. Each year, we all get a new pair of comfy jammies to wear while opening our Christmas presents all day. After presents and breakfast, we head outside to grab a quick shot of the people we are spending our Christmas morning with. 

Christmas 2012 Christmas 2013 Christmas 2014

I love looking back at these photos and seeing how much our family has changed/grown. It’s hard to believe that this year we have another little baby to add to the photo. Who’s going to hold Rocco?! 

I’m currently on the hunt for our PJs for this year and am having a hard time deciding if I want to go with classic matchy-matchy family jammies or something ridiculous. I also really want to find a good deal since we are now shopping for four. Any suggestions?! 

 

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Introducing: Home for the Holidays Bloghop

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Of course, I’m looking forward to stuffing my face eating an embarrassing amount of food but what I’m really excited for is that it means we can finally start talking about Christmas around here!

I know, it’s my blog so technically I could have been bombarding you with Christmas posts already but I know that not everyone is as Christmas obsessed as I am so I have been holding off. 

There is a ton I want to share with you about this, the most magical time of the year, and to kick things off I’ll be participating in a home for the holidays blog hop next week. We will be blogging about different aspects of the holiday everyday and hope you will join us! Check out the details below. 

 
HFTHbloghop

Make plans now to join the festive blog party each day from November 30th – December 4th!

With the holidays just around the corner, we want to share our favorite Traditions, Gifts, Decor, Food & more and we want to know YOURS! Join your hosts Neely, Branson, Lauren, Julia and Natasha the first week of December as we link up and step into your home for the holidays! 
 
The days for this blog party will be themed… link up as many posts as you like each day, as long as they fit the theme for the day! 
  • Monday – Gifts 
  • Tuesday – Recipes/Crafts 
  • Wednesday – Traditions/Activities
  • Thursday – Decor
  • Friday – Free for All! (Link up any holiday-related post, or make up for any of the days you missed!)
Make sure to link up with us every day and use the hashtag #HFTHbloghop to share photos and posts on social media. We will be retweeting and reposting your posts throughout the week… and on through the holidays! We will also pin our favorites to the Home for the Holidays Pinterest board! Come join the fun – find some new blogs and get your blog out there while spreading cheer throughout the blogosphere! 
 
It would be lovely if you would follow each of your hosts in some way! Feel free to give a shout out when you do so we can follow you as well!
 
 
 
 
Natasha @ Natasha Byrd
 
Julia @ The Quiet Grove 
 
 
Click to tweet and help us spread the word! 
 
Tweet: Join the #HTFHbloghop and spread holiday cheer throughout the blogosphere! http://bit.ly/1j84im9 @neelykins @bransonmerrill @talkofthetrains
 
Grab a button!  
 
Home for the Holidays Blog Hop
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DIY Thanksgiving Wreath

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HappyThanksGathering #CollectiveBias

THANKSGIVINGPREP

I love Thanksgiving. The food, the traditions, the nostalgia – all of it. It’s the perfect kick-off to the busy holiday season and something that I look forward to every year.

Since getting married four years ago, I have been telling my husband that I can’t wait to host Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, between not having a big enough space and our traveling to see other family, I haven’t had my chance yet.

This year, I will be much too pregnant to travel off-island and we have a home large enough to host family and friends so it looks like I’m finally getting my chance!

To say that I am excited is an understatement but I’m trying hard not to go overboard with the planning and preparation.

My main goal when doing any kind of hosting is comfort. No matter how great your kitchen and decorating skills are, your guests will eventually forget what you served them to eat, but they will always remember how you made them feel. That’s why creating an authentically warm, relaxing, and comfortable environment is key.

I feel most at peace in my own home when things are tidied up. I know that my guests will feed off of my energy, so I will be spending some time sprucing up the main living areas of our home before the big day to make sure that I am able to relax.  The last time I was at Walmart, I picked up a few of my clean-house essentials: Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Cleaning Gel, Scrubbing Bubbles® Disinfectant Bathroom Cleaner and Windex® Original Glass Wipes. (Bonus: there is an awesome rebate going on right now which saves you $5 on your holiday photos)

PRODUCTS

Clorox-in-store

Cleaning up the house, especially when you have a meal to plan/cook is a big job but with the right cleaning products and some holiday tunes turned up nice and loud it’s a big, fun job.

brother-cleaning

^My brother kindly demonstrating how easy and fun cleaning the bathroom with the Windex® Original Glass Wipes is. Isn’t he the best?

After the house is clean, and before I get to cooking, I’ll make sure that our house is decorated festively for the occasion with some traditional items and a special Thanksgiving wreath.

FULL

We all know to expect the “what are you thankful for” activity at the Thanksgiving dinner table but none of us likes to be put on the spot, right? I know I don’t. I think this is especially true when sitting around the table with strangers or a new group of people. (think your first Thanksgiving with your significant other’s family or maybe a group of your parent’s colleagues) but also applies to those dining with family and loved ones that they see all of the time.

Even though I have SO much to be thankful for, and love spending time reflecting on them, my naturally introverted self sometimes cringes at situations like these. To combat that awkwardness, and to make sure that all of my guests feel comfortable this Thanksgiving, I created this wreath that we will incorporate during dinner time.

close-up-wreath

The wreath is already hanging above our piano. Underneath, I have a box with pre-cut “thanks” circles and some pieces of leather cord. The idea is that from now until Thanksgiving, anyone who comes into my house can write down what they are thankful for and tie it onto the wreath. Guests who are here only for the day will have their opportunity to write down what they are thankful for while they are mingling and waiting for our meal.

THANKSGIVING-WREATH

During dinner, I will remove all of the circles from the wreath, divide them equally amongst our guests and we will take turns reading off what we are all thankful for. Of course, anybody can share more if they are so inclined but I believe that by having this anonymous way of sharing what we are thankful for will ensure that all of my guests feel comfortable, welcomed and pressure-free.

Sounds great, right? If you want to make a Thanksgiving wreath of your own, please feel free to download this free printable which gives you twelve “thanks” circles per page. Once you have the circles printed and cut out, punch a single hole into the top of the circle, cut some string and lay those items out with some pens.

I have so much to be thankful for this year – our wreath is going to be pretty full by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. I’m looking forward to it! That and, of course, the food. You can find more #HappyThanksgathering inspiration here. 

 

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