Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Paisley Turns ONE!

Last week a very special little girl turned one!
Ms. Paisley Jayne Petersen...

Paisley was born last January 23rd of 2011.

She is my adorable, sweet, cuddly, and gorgeous niece!
Since her Mommy is my younger sister and nanny to my babes... I get to see Paisley a ton!
- and it is such a blessing!

Sometimes, well most times, you can catch me saying something like "Paisley, come to Momma." or "Paisley, Momma's coming." It is just second nature to act and be like her Mom!
I guess it just means our bond is really strong. :)

So last week when she turned a whole year old I was over the moon excited to be apart of such a special event!
And if you know our family it is no secret that we love to throw over the top, super gorgeous, themed birthday parties!
... like this one, this one, or this one!!!

So when my sister Jes set out to accomplish a
Paisley's Pretty in Pink Birthday Party I knew she would do a fantastic job... and she did!

Take for example, when we walked into the door. All the little kids were greeted with a flower clip for the girls or a clip on tie for the boys...

All handmade by Jes!

Then when you turned the corner you were surrounded by pink, pink, and more pink!
Pink banners, pink decorations, pink flowers, and my personal favorite...
the ceiling full of pink Pom Poms!

From the dinner buffet...
lined with soups and sandwiches...

To the dessert buffet...
of cotton candy, cheesecake, brownie bites, and cake balls...

Everything was perfectly planned out to add that unique and personal touch!

I can say first hand that the birthday girl had a wonderful party and really enjoyed her cake... well at least the frosting!

So way to go Jes!
The party was beautiful!

And Ms. Paisley,
Well I can't believe you're already ONE!
This last year of watching you grow and change has been such a blessing to me.
You are sweet and talkative and perfect!
I have loved every second of having you in my life.

I can't wait to see you grow and become the little girl God has destined for you to be.

Chat later,


Want more Paisley?!
Check out this post where we got to find out if Paisley was going to be a boy or a girl!
Or this post from the day Paisley was born!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy...

Sunday Family Game Night...
Headbanz with the babes!

... And sharing a delicious Elvis Presley Sundae with my honey!
(The Elvis Presley Sundae: Vanilla icecream, Chocolate Syrup, Peanut Butter, and Banana's)

I absolutely love Sundays!... well sundae's too... but you know what I mean! Haha.
There is something to be said about starting your day off with church and ending it with a much need, loud, wild, and laughable game night!

... oh and the other thing that makes me happy...
My Birthday is This Week!


Hope you all had a great weekend.

Chat later,


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chocolate Vanilla Strawberry Shortcake

In my last post, I mentioned that me and the babes had baked a cake!
It was my sister Justine's Birthday, and her, along with some other family was coming over to get together and have dessert to celebrate!

Since the get together was a little impromptu I scrounged through the pantry to see what I could throw together.
After taking an inventory of what I had I remembered seeing a similar idea on Pinterest... so I set out to come up with something that would work!

This cake is just like strawberry shortcake.
It's got the yummy white cake with whipped cream and strawberries but it's been kicked up a notch with the added bonus of moist chocolate cake and rich chocolate ganache!

Here's what we came up with....

First I didn't have 2 boxes of cake the same... so I took 2 different boxed cake mixes...
1 chocolate and 1 vanilla.
You can fancy them up a bit by adding stuff to the batter if you'd like!
ie: almond or vanilla extract, cinnamon & sugar, whatev.

After you've baked the cakes and let them cool, just slice them in half like so...

Once you have four "pieces" or layers of cake... you are just going to start layering them with the following ingredients...
Cake, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Ganache, then Diced Strawberries!
Now just repeat and continue with each layer!

Once you are all done layering your cake (notice I only have 3 layers instead of 4... my son trashed the second chocolate layer!)
.... just finish off the top the same way you were layering it!

This cake was crazy easy to make!
The birthday girl loved it...

And after cutting into it.... so did everyone else!

So, next time your are stretched for time... give this cake a try!
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised that you did!

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Chat later,


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy...

.... baking a cake...

... while my babes help and sing along to Taylor Swift!

(yeah those are socks on Tucker's hands! - silly kid.)

...And enjoying a cup of hot coco while I write this blog and my youngest babe naps!

What's making you happy today?!

Chat later,


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tucker Says...

I have often done posts titled "Greta Says..." and documented some of the funny, cute or embarressing things Greta has said... but now that Tuck is such a big boy, he has some cute things to say too!

Like yesterday morning...

Every Tuesday my sister Jessica comes over to watch the babes.
And Tuesday is play date day at their cousin and bff Joanna's house, so when Jes gets to our house the babes know they will be leaving shortly to head to Joanna's!

I was getting my work bag ready, grabbing my cup of coffee and flinging on my coat while Tuck was in the Kitchen sticking close to Jes.
He had already had cinnamon raisin toast and a bowl of golden grahams for breakfast but for some reason felt like he needed a bit more.

All dressed in jeans and a striped shirt and his hair slicked like he likes it...
he casually strolls over to Jes and I over hear him say...

"I think I need a granola bar before I hit the road."

Oh man do I love that kid!

He is such a pain sometimes but so darn cute!
So today... I'll tell myself that it totally makes up for that!

He is a cutie!

Hope you all are having a great Wednesday!
Looks like we best get ready for some snow!

Chat later,


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Greta's Tangled Birthday Party!

Like I said in yesterday's post our little Ms. G just turned four!

And when asked what she wanted the "theme" (I love themes!) of her fourth Birthday Party to be, she of course said....
The movie Tangled is huge at our house!
It was when it came out on DVD last year and has been ever since!
Take Christmas this year for example... about 50% of Greta's gifts had something to do with Tangled!
All of the dolls, Flynn Rider, the horse, pj's, purses, and lip gloss!
You name it, if it's Tangled or Rapunzel themed... we now have it!

And as much as I hate "character" type clothing, shoes, etc.... I know that things like that... over the top things like that, make Greta oh-so-happy!

Now if you other Mom's are like me then you too go a little crazy for your kids birthdays!
I love parties and party planning so my babes birthdays are the perfect avenue to let all my creative passions and ideas explode!
(or maybe I'm just a little bit like my Dad Terry... he's a party planning diva! lol)

So.... when Greta told her Momma she wanted a Rapunzel party... a extravagant Rapunzel party is what she got!

Here are some of the fun details so that you too can create a super fun Tangled party for your little girl... if she's into that of course! ;)

 We started with making little things like that fun banner on the buffet!
That sun design is what you see in quite a few parts of the movie... so we made a couple!
One for the kitchen, living room, etc.
They were super easy to make and can be found here.

Then I wanted lots and lots of lanterns!
If you remember in the movie the lanterns is what Rapunzel was trying to go see...

So we borrowed some from my sister Jes and hung them all over the ceiling!
 It was stunning!

We had a few odds and ends blue lanterns from my Dad so we paired them with this fun Flynn Rider poster!
You can find the poster here and how to play the game "Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn" here.

Besides the banner and fun purple balloons every where... we had the whole soundtrack from the movie playing on my ipad for all the guests and little girls to enjoy! We also had the movie playing downstairs and coloring sheets for the girls to color while they waited to eat!
Oh, and I forgot to mention that on the invites we told all the little girls that they could come dressed up as their favorite princess!
(and I also had a box of dress up stuff for those that wanted at the party)

 Not pictured is a really fun 20 foot long yellow braid that we made for the party!
It resembles Rapunzel's hair and turned out super cute! We hung it all around the living room as just another eye catching piece for the girls!
You can see what I am talking about here.

When it came time for food we didn't do the whole buffet super "themey" - we just had too many people!
But I did want to add some fun little touches that kept it "Tangled!"

Like these adorable jello love boats!
- for when Rapunzel and Flynn set off their first lantern together in the boat -

And then we set out a frying pan (remember the pan?) full of apples for Maximus the horse!
And I actually saw some little hands snacking on these apples as they ran around and played!

When it came time for the cake my hubby and I made the doughnut tower to set as the focal point in the middle of the buffet...
Basics of the doughnut tower: 1 dozen cake doughnuts stacked on my paper towel holder thingy... then 1 giant muffin bought at the bakery and an upside down waffle cone that was dipped in purple almond bark.
Then we just added the little Rapunzel braid and finished it off with lots of fake flowers bought at the dollar store!

Beside the doughnut tower we had a cupcake tower on each side full of flower cupcakes!
I had planned on making these myself but ran out of time and energy... so I just ordered cupcakes from the local bakery that were iced in green to look like grass!
Then we added a fake flower on top to make it look like the meadow around Rapunzel's tower!
The whole display turned out so stinkin' cute!

F.Y.I though... green frosting and little kids makes for some funny and messy memories!
Exhibit A: Princess Jojo... :)
And that's about it gals!

Another fun and super cute party under my belt!
I'd have to say, I actually had a really fun time planning this party and throwing it all together!
It all turned out so cute and I know Greta had a GREAT time... and that's all that matters I guess!

*A big thanks to My Dad, Chad, Wayne, Momma, my sisters, and James!
I couldn't have pulled off that party if it wasn't for you guys!
Every event has to have a team full of little elves running around to make something that big come together... and I am so thankful to have all of you as my little elves! haha. - really I do appreciate it.

Hope you all got some fun ideas for your next party!

As for us... well, we are done planning parties for a little bit.
Right now, we are just gonna enjoy life with our four year old!

Chat later,


Monday, January 9, 2012

Folks... We Have a FOUR year old!

I can hardly believe it, but it's true... Greta is now FOUR years old!
Our sweet, sassy, adorable, independent little girl has been in our life for four whole years!
I ask myself this every year on both of my babes birth days...
"How the heck did time fly by that fast?!"

In one sense I can barely remember my life before Greta, my life before becoming a Mom...
but in the same breath I vividly remember the day of Greta's birth like it was last week, maybe last month at most?!
I remember feeling nervous and scared and vulnerable.
I remember thinking what if I don't live through this delivery!
(Seriously... you Mom's know what I am talking about... your first delivery is terrifying!)
Or what if I don't know how to be a Mom... what if I mess up... or worse yet... what if I mess her up?!?!
I was so scared of what this little baby girl was going to mean for me and my life.

... but, oddly enough... four years later I can look back at all those fears and admit that not one of those emotions hold a candle to how wonderful my life is now that I have my Greta.
Her ear to ear smile can change my mood.
Her "bear hugs" warm my heart.
Her doing her best and conquering her fears at dance class makes me proud
Hearing her sing Taylor Swift makes me stop and smile every time.
And listening to her fumble through a prayer to Jesus at bedtime lets me know I am right where I need to be.
... right here, being Greta's Mom.

I'd be the first to admit that being a Mom is no easy task but it is when milestones like this roll around I can definitely say... I wouldn't change it for the world!


Now, like usual, we like to make big deals about birthdays at our house...
so the day before Greta's birthday this year she got to go to Chuck E Cheese with all of her cousins from Missouri!
Pizza, prizes, games, and fun... that was a perfect day for Greta!
And boy does she love that mouse!
And later that night we carried on the tradition that we did last year for Greta's Birthday and took a couple pictures of Greta on her last day of being three...
All of the cousins from Missouri were in town for Christmas and Greta's Birthday so she got to have a big slumber party in her room!
She loved it! - and so did her brother!
 Daddy and his little girl on the last day she was three...
And just like that, that was it... teeth brushed, pj's on, all set and ready for bed!

Come morning we would say good bye to our three year old and she would be four...

That next morning when Greta woke up to our traditional Birthday signs we couldn't help but be silly and make a big deal about her turning four!
We kept saying things like "Wow Dad, look at Greta... doesn't she look different?... Yep, she looks like a four year old!"

And that is what she is now... FOUR years old!
We are so happy and thankful she is all ours!

So Ms. Greta....

We love you!
Mommy and Daddy can not believe how fast you are growing up!
You are smart and funny... sweet and pretty... kind and outgoing... all things we could have only wished our little girl would become!
You are going to make a wonderful young lady some day soon...
and when that day comes, may you always remember how much you are loved.
I could never say it enough...
but we are so thankful and blessed to have you as our daughter!

We love you Greta J.
May this next year as a four year old be one of your best and most exciting yet!

Mom and Dad

Oh, and check out last year's Birthday post for Greta here!
Or the year that she turned two here!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

So, another Christmas is down and a New Year is upon us!
I can't believe 2011 is done and over with!
If you're like me... 2012 sounds weird and will take a bit to get used to!

Well, if you know my family, or I guess have followed this blog for awhile... you know that the 2 week period surrounding Christmas and right after is a whirlwind of events!
We have not one, not two, but FIVE Christmas' to throw or attend and right smack in the Christmas storm our first baby, Greta, was born... so every year we throw in a birthday as well!

And this year the whirlwind was no different then any other year, it was a chaotically, blessed Christmas...

 Christmas Eve Morning starts with a brunch at my Mom's house...
 It's my favorite morning of the year!
We head over to Mom's and all get together for a morning of breakfast, Christmas music, and presents.
And now that some of us have started to have babes of our own our Christmas Eve Morning is growing...
And with a big family like mine comes a big Christmas...  
and an even bigger clean up...
But Momma was right... Nothin' beats a big family!
And I am blessed to say I have one of the best in the world!

Christmas Eve Night we head over to the Cooper's and have our huge Cooper Family Christmas which is always fun.
Then Christmas Morning we get to have our own little family Christmas with just me, Loren, and the babes...

 Oh, and the puppies...
They both love Christmas Morning just as much as we do!

And later on in the week, we always have Appleberry Christmas with my husbands family from Missouri...
Loren loves spending time with his family...
 And the babes can never seem to get enough of their cousins!

Can you see what I mean about a chaotically, blessed Christmas?!
So much Christmas and so little time.

But regardless, this was a wonderful Christmas and 2011 was a wonderful year!
I hope that you and your family can say the same as we start a new year.

Happy 2012 Everyone!

Chat later,

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