Thursday, October 27, 2011

terrific two's!

Oh my! Are we having fun these days! Two year olds are very picky people. Good thing they are just so irresistibly cute!

Sometimes, even the simplest things turn out to be not so simple. Such as smiling for a family photo.

After we successfully made it to church with 2 tots in tow, Jeremy and I, well, really just me, wanted a picture to document the special day. It took just a few tries. :)

It also takes a steady photographer to get a good picture. ;)

Sitting still and smiling for 30 seconds for a picture is just too hard for a two year old.

And she's done!

Finally, after we bribed her with (gasp) CHOCOLATE! We got a nice, pretty family picture.

They also like to do silly things, such as wear sunglasses in the car, when it's dark outside.

And they can create a great big mess when mommy is changing baby sisters diaper!

Sometimes they like to climb in mommy and daddy's bed in the middle of the night. And then wiggle themselves completely sideways...

This picture was taken at 2am. :)

But a big smile like this makes it all worth it!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

birthdays galore!

Jeremy's birthday was the Friday before Gracie was born. I made a special dinner just for us, I even pulled out the fine china. At the last minute Ella Claire ended up joining us. :) So much for a romantic dinner at home, but still very special, and fun memories were made.

On the menu: filet mignon, baked potatoes, and salad.

Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of our food, but I used a marinade on the filet's that my family has been using for a long time. It makes the best steaks ever; melt in your mouth steaks. If you need a good marinade or plan on having steaks anytime soon, give this marinade a try.

1/2 cup worcestershire sauce
1 stick melted butter
juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 minced garlic cloves

*melt butter and add all other ingredients. pour over steaks in a ziplock bag. marinate over night. grill until like doneness.

For dessert, we had chocolate molten cake. I took a chance and just randomly chose a recipe online (it was recommended by the pioneer woman, so I wasn't too worried), and it definitely turned out a winner. I didn' know what a breeze these would be to make either.  You can literally throw them together in no time at all.

Okay, I know this next picture is not that pretty, but I wanted to show the inside of the cake and how perfectly they bake. Just like you would find in a restaurant; nice and firm on the outside and ooey gooey on the inside.

So even though this post is almost 1 month late, Happy Birthday, Jeremy! I love you with all my heart!

Ella Claire turned 2 on October 6th which was the Thursday before the wedding and 2 1/2 weeks after Gracie was born. I didn't plan a big party for her and planned to have one towards the end of October. However, I did want to make the day special for her. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she said, "birthday hat, birthday balloons, and CAKE!" I so wish I had videoed her saying this because the way she said it was too cute! If I get a chance in the near future, I'll try to post it. Anyway, I figured if she wasn't having a party, then I could definitely handle a birthday hat, balloons and a cake.

Earlier in the week we went to party city (that's a whole other story, just fyi, don't take your baby to party city during halloween. Sweet, innocent eyes will see too much. Honestly, it was too much for my eyes.) Anyway, we ran with our eyes covered to the birthday theme aisle and picked out some fun minnie balloons and minnie party supplies.

I planned to pick up the balloons on Thursday, make her a small birthday cake and have pizza for dinner; just the 4 of us, since the wedding was just 2 days away. Steph ended up spending the night (and the rest of the week) because of my parents having house guests for the wedding. Andrew came over to help with rehearsal dinner favors that Steph and I were working on, and Brian, Jess, Jon Jon and Su Su (J's parents) just happened to stop by to see the birthday girl. So, we ended up having quite a few people join our party. It was so fun and i'm so glad everyone was able to join us, wish the rest of our families could have stopped by too! :)

This is the look I sometimes get from my big, strong willed, independent and determined 2 year old. :) The terrific two's are just TERRIFIC, and all my friends tell me 3 is even more fun! oh my!

Our family photo. We haven't quite figured out how to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time yet.

This next picture of EC turns my heart into a puddle. She is a very serious girl and I just love this great big smile on her face! It's pure delight.

Steph laughed at my DIY in 5 minutes, minnie mouse birthday hat. They didn't have any minnie hats at party city. So I bought and cover a princess one in pink and white polka dotted fabric that I already had at home and put a black fluff on top. Looks minnie enough for me, and EC loved it!

Ella Claire got lots of phone calls on her big day and she was loving that!

Can't believe this little girl is two! Life with her is so much fun and she truly is a blessing! Happy Birthday, Ella Claire! I love you to the moon and back!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

she wore an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini

The week before Gracie arrived, my sisters and I hosted a lingerie shower for our future sister, Jessica. We had a blast and think it turned out too cute!

I'm hoping the insane amount of pictures I am planning to upload doesn't slow down the blog...we'll see!

So a few months ago, Kim came up with such a cute theme for the shower....yellow polka dot bikini! Perfect, not only because we had never seen this theme used before, but yellow was one of Jess' wedding colors. We (Kim, Steph and myself) all got together and started planning.

We started with invitations.

We found a great shop on etsy that we loved. Tori from SweetBeeDesigns was amazing to work with. We told her exactly what we had in mind and what we wanted our invite to say and she immediately set up a custom listing and had a proof back to us in no time! She was willing to send as many proofs as we needed to be 100% content. I'm not kidding when I tell you she was super fast. She also custom made our toppers...

food labels...

and water bottle labels.

I didn't print out the water bottle labels until the Friday night before the party (not smart!) and came across some trouble getting them lined up with my blank water bottle labels. I emailed Tori and she literally had the problem fixed in a matter of minutes. It had something to do with her using a PC and me using a mac. I was really impressed that she responded so quickly on a Friday night. Another reason why I will use her again and would recommend her to any of you if you have a party or shower, and need some cute invites or party printables.

So, here are our invites ready to be sent out in the mail...

I added a cute bikini to the return address labels from the PDF file I purchased.

Front door sign...

We decided to have a dessert bar along with our dinner.

Steph and I made this doilie banner to hang above all of our sweets. :)

Here are some of our desserts....

Paula Deen's lemon blossoms

Petit fours

lemon squares and lemon cookies...lots of lemon!

chocolate covered pretzels

thumbprint cookies

white chocolate fountain with marshmallows, rice krispy treats, brownie bites, and fruit skewers

...and the only thing on our dessert bar that we can't take credit for baking ourselves (we just added the doilie wrappers), were these amazing cupcakes from Twist. They were cream cheese pound cake and I'll say it again...they were AMAZING! And how cute are those fondant toppers? There were three different designs and in my last minute haste, I didn't get a picture of the other two, polka dots and a "D" for Jess' soon to be new last name. :)

For dinner we had chicken parmesan and chicken alfredo from a local Italian restaurant and a homemade salad.

We made Jess a birdcage blusher veil. :)

We had paper straws and made personalized name flags so we could all keep up with our drinks.

Playing a fun game to the tune of "itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini"

I hope no one is offended by this next picture... Everyone was asked to bring an extra pair of panties that suited their personality. Jess had to guess who brought each pair. I have seen this game played so many times and I have never seen anyone get as many right as she did. She probably guessed 95% correct...CRAZY!

Do you see the garland on the back of that chair? We hand made fabric ruffled garland and had it hanging in a few different places throughout my house. It's so girly and so fun! My sewing machine and I became best buds and spent a few really late nights/extremely early mornings together making sure that the garland got finished. :) If you sew regularly then I'm sure this would be no problem for you, but it literally took me forever! It was worth it though and we will definitely be using it again at other parties. So, I'm sure you'll see it again on the ol' blog. :) Toot here.

Jess, got to open some pretty packages...

Don't worry, I'm not sharing what was inside those pretty packages.

Group shot with some of our ruffled garland in the background.

Our traditional bikini cookies and a water bottle for the road...

Unfortunately, our cookies didn't turn out as pretty as we prefer. Sometimes royal icing can be a royal pain! :)

Sisters are the best!!!!

A little Dr. Pepper to get us through clean up....  :)

Jess was too kind and bought us all hostess gifts...

HeartArt by Kathy it!!

Jess, we had a blast planning this shower especially for you! We are so excited to have you as our sister! Love you!
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