Saturday, March 29, 2014

Family Friday {Bunny Photo Session}

A few weeks back we decked out the littles in Spring attire (despite the frigid temps) and spent some quality time with our new fluffy friends Rosemary and Cilantro.  I am in love with all things bunny so combining my cuties with these two cotton tails just makes for perfection.

Thanks goes out to our uber talented photographer who captured these images…I can not wait for our family portrait session this summer. For now though, I am enjoying having these lovely images on display around the house.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Family Friday {Belle's 8th Birthday}

On the 15th of this month we rounded out our birthday marathon with the celebration of our beautiful Belle's 8th year. We abandoned the traditional m&m pancakes in favor of strawberry smoothies and number 8 donut kabobs.

On tradition we did stick to was unwrapping presents after breakfast. From Mommy & Daddy Belle received a clay model kit, Harry Potter book, and her first jcrew necklace, which has been deemed the most gorgeous piece of jewelry ever (second to mommy's engagement ring--ha).

The boys each purchased and selected a gift for their big sis. Hair bows from Little M and a new puzzle from Peanut.

After gifts, Belle and I sat down a crafted quite the menagerie of clay critters. If you are looking for a fabulous gift for the 8+ crowd I can not say enough good things about this air dry clay set that I scored for $10 at Costco!

Our third and final, birthday trip to Busy Bee produced a birthday cake of royal proportions for our little princess. This cake is a throwback to years ago and exactly why we love this bakery that hasn't changed a smidgen since it first opened many moons ago.  

While the Boys napped, Hubby, Belle & I enjoyed a quite lunch together of her selection: Panera Mac'n Cheese. We reminisced about the days when we were just a little family of 3 while making a few more clay creations.

Finally 3:30 rolled around and Belle, Peanut & I were off to the clay studio to meet up with her besties for a party pottery session. The most patient sculptor, Mr. Jerry gave the littles a tour of the studio before instructing them on the basics of working with clay. For the next 2 hours, the studio was a buzz with giggles, grins and goofballs as these budding artists created and underglazed mugs, bowls, animals and ornaments of all shapes and sizes.

Afterwards we loaded up the littles and returned home for a pizza party and free play. Belle selected the party decorations and we went with a loose theme of pink, purple & teal.

The table runners are geometric wrapping paper from the dollar section at target. For centerpieces I split a bouquet of pink, purple & white blooms from Trader Joe's into three vases and adorned each with a Happy Birthday pennant. Atop the pink plates (which alternated light and dark pink) was a glittered mini clothespin which held a handwritten place card. Lastly, glass jars with blue polka dotted straws and pink flags rounded out the placesetting.

At the dessert buffet, along with cake guests enjoyed kettle corn, Busy Bees famous sprinkle cookies in Belle's favorite shades of yellow & pink, macaroons, and an ice cream sundae station. The Happy Birthday sign again came from lovely Tarjay!

We managed to wrangle up all the party guests to sing Happy Birthday and the shot below is the only "family" shot we got as these little girls were off and running most of the night. 

After a few of Belle's guests departed, things slowed down a bit and we all settled in the family room to watch Belle's 8 year photo slideshow (one of the littles' favorite parts of their birthdays is watching photos of themselves over the past year set to music...this year Belle's song was Let It Go from Frozen) and opening gifts.

Thanks Bestie B for grabbing this quick shot of me with my baby girl
A special thanks to Big YiaYia & Big Papou, YiaYia Terry & Papou Yianni, YiaYia & Bopi  & Besties H & B for joining us during all the craziness.

Happiest of Birthdays to our darling first baby, our only princess and truly an amazing young lady. We are so incredibly proud of you and are full of excitement for all the wonderful things life has in store for you!

And with that we close the chapter on our littles' birthday celebrations for 2014!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Family Fridays {Peanut's 5th Birthday}

On Saturday, March 8th we celebrated Peanut's fifth birthday. I try to keep the decorations and day's events unique to each little, but it can be challenging when the birthdays fall within a week of one another.  Thankfully Peanut loved the festive "partyscape" he found when he awoke.
Peanut beelined it straight for the pile of presents and his new gumball machine. Santa brought Belle a gumball machine 2 Christmases ago and Peanut has eagerly awaited a machine of his own.

The birthday boy requested M&M pancakes shaped like the letter "J" and number "5".  
 Somehow we've created a new tradition of opening birthday gifts after breakfast and Peanut happily dove into his gifts: a new electric motor boat, shark tooth rainbow loom, Avengers yo-yo & the complete collection of Thomas the Train.

Peanut spent some time with Hubby working on his new boat. We also stopped in at Busy Bee for another birthday cake, before heading off to lunch at Red Robin. Peanut tried his hand a few times at the arcade games and enjoyed a birthday sundae. Sadly he declared his grill cheese "gross and not as good as mommy's" so the ice cream also filled in for lunch. 

Back home, we prepared for another family birthday dinner. Peanut requested Little Ceasar's pizza. Since that pretty much tastes like rubber cheese on cardboard, I also made a homemade marinara, pasta and salad (entertaining during lent isn't the fanciest). The birthday boy was happy so that is what counts.

After dinner we feasted on a dessert buffet compiled by Peanut: chocolate cake, ice cream sundaes, sprinkle cookies and fudge cover oreos. Never a shortage of sweets around here.

The evening came to a close with presents and a lively session of Wipe Out on the xBox. This little boy is the sunshine of our family, always full of joy with smiles to spare. It was a pleasure showering him with extra love on his big day.

Peanut was even able to stretch the birthday celebration a bit longer with a school party the following Monday. Little M, Hubby, & I headed into class to nosh on birthday cake oreos (quite delish if you haven't had them yet) and superhero gummies with Peanut and his buddies. I read Peanut's favorite boat book at story time and Peanut received a birthday certificate. It is very bittersweet to know this is the last year we'll be able to celebrate his birthday at school. 

Happy 5th birthday my big boy! We love you so very much!!!