hc’s quarantine birthday

another celebration On the books while sheltered in place.

i was concerned on how we were going to celebrate hc’s birthday, with us being quarantined and no place to go to celebrate, let alone shopping for decorative supplies to create some sort of festive environment. i couldn’t order a cake from the place i wanted to be delivered and i wasn’t heading out to get it. i couldn’t order balloons from the party shop because they were closed. i couldn’t get a yard sign company to come out to decorate the front of our house because everyone else was doing it and they were booked until may. i couldn’t order anything on amazon to arrive on time because they were prioritizing necessary shipments first.

so, here i was…scrambling to figure things out as his birth date came closer and closer. i finally somewhat hashed it out in my head and some things just fell into place! i texted the hub’s bestie’s wife, carrie, and asked her if her husband, dave, could help me gather everyone for a zoom birthday drink call with hc. dave was more than happy to help! he group texted everyone and we all coordinated a time and i set up a meeting slot for all the boys to jump on to surprise hc!

that day, i homeschooled the babes but had a ‘shorter’ day although learning is non stop, right?! we then had a home economics class – we baked vanilla cupcakes from scratch. that wasn’t my intent, as i was positive i had cupcake mix in the cabinet but after a thorough search, i did not. the girls helped me with gathering the ingredients and decorating! oh my, they had so much fun creating works of art! i dragged out my box of vintage cake toppers and the girls went to town topping off each cupcake with all sorts of odd figurines. hahaha!

after the baking, we decorated the house! we hung happy birthday banners, paper tassels, pulled out party hats and the girls helped me create the paper sign to hang outside! once the inside was decorated, the balloon garland we ordered arrived! yayyyy! it was gorgeous! it came from float416…an independent shop in la grange! kristina is so talented and i absolutely love her work! she created the most beautiful balloon garland and dropped it off for us. we were so grateful!

now the outside decorating i did myself. i hung the balloon garland from the top of the front post to the bottom and hung the happy birthday sign across the front walk to our bay window. oh it looked so pretty!

once everything was set, the girls called dada upstairs to surprise him! i then started dinner, chicken parmesan with pasta, and afterwards, cleaned everything up and got ready to surprise him with the zoom call. i had to pull the iPad away from olive but filled her in on the secret. what a mistake! she tried to whisper but she was.so.loud! gosh, she almost blew it! i logged in and within a few minutes, i had 5 people on the call {we were expecting 8 or 9 people to join} but i felt that was enough and i couldn’t wait to surprise him! he was still sitting at the dining room table when we walked over and gave him the iPad and yelled surprise! happy birthday!

he was so pleasantly surprised! he was on the call for awhile. we had a family call lined up afterwards and he was having such a great time, he was late getting on the family call! in-between, he came upstairs and the girls sang happy birthday to him, ate their cupcakes and went to bed while hc joined the call with his family again.

hc’s birthday turned out wonderful! he was super happy and loved it all. i’m so happy with the limited resources, i was able to pull off a decent quarantined birthday! yay!

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[decorated the house a bit for hc’s birthday!]

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[ellie ate all the cupcakes she decorated. LOL]

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[i have to post all the pics…they’re too cute!]

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[i c a n n o t LOL]

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[here’s olive eating oreo crumbs with a spoon.]

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[dyyyyyying. i pulled out my vintage box of cake toppers and we had the most RANDOM items chosen. the girls did 100% of the decorating {and eating LOL} and that is why you see a bride and groom topper. olive loved it when she saw it in the box!]

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xoxo

olive’s birthday

olive’s birthday fell on the day before thanksgiving this year. every year, it rotates around the holiday. when she was born, it was actually the day before thanksgiving. she was born way, way early on wednesday morning and we spent thanksgiving at prentice hospital. the one thing i can say about that was, the food was actually pretty darn good!

we were still reeling from her fabulous birthday party the saturday prior and i wanted to make sure her actual birthday was special!

i decorated the kitchen and made her a mer-fabulous breakfast! i was super bummed because i knew we had a can of whipped cream in our fridge but little did i know that it was e m p t y. suuuuuper bummed! it was was my ‘glue’ for the sprinkles i was going to put on her waffles! no matter, i got creative as usual.

olive looooooved her breakfast! she kept saying it was the best breakfast she ever had. well, thanks baby girl…you’re the sweetest!

after breakfast, we went to target so she could pick out her birthday present! she was so excited and we had so much fun running around our favorite store. after an hour or so, we headed back home so she could open up her treasures. all afternoon, we just hung out and she played with her sister while i did stuff around the house.

once hc arrived home, we had dinner, and celebrated her birthday with cake and candles! her day was low key but oh so fun. we loved lounging around and i was having the best time with my S I X year old. whhhhhhaaaa? or wahhhhhhhh!

happy birthday my sweet olive. we love you to infinity and beyond!

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[waffles, sprinkles, seashells, and mermaid tail!]

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[deconstructing the masterpiece]

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[enjoying her breakfast]

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[my sweet six year old]

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xoxo

mermaid fete

per usual, i asked olive what theme she desired for her birthday fete and she declared she wanted a mermaid party! alrighty girlfran!

well, with olive now being in kindergarten…i knew i was going to throw her first friends party and the question was where?? i had stumbled upon the cuuuuuuutest play space called waterlemon several months back and fell in love. the space, aesthetically, is a dream.

nina, the owner, connected with me and we just hit it off! she is bubbly, sweet, smart, and passionate with everything that she does! i knew waterlemon was the place to host olive’s party!!!! it is a beautiful space, the shop is the cutest, and the play area is perfection!

a few weeks leading up to the event, nina and i exchanged one million emails and she was so freakin’ amazing with allllllllll my questions and concerns. she was prompt, patient, and oh so helpful! i was so thankful for her support…it was the first time i was throwing a party outside of our home and the controlling, type A me, who fretted over all the details, was feeling so confident with nina’s guidance.

i diy’d, i detailed, i went a bit overboard with all the decor {naturally} but as i have said in the past…i love it and hate it at the same time but in the end…i love it just a wee bit more.

the day had arrived and we were ready. we hauled all our supplies the day prior and then brought over all the perishables and any supplies we had forgotten the day of. i walked in and was warmly greeted by nina and went to work. let me tell you…paul and nina hustle! they cleaned, they organized, they set up, and they helped me with anything i needed help with. i was so grateful!

one detail i never overlook are flowers. i love flowers. flowers complete any party i throw and i was beyond excited that nina purchases and arranges flowers herself! we collaborated on what i envisioned and she came through! the flowers turned out gorgeous!!!

everyone buzzed around like busy bees. paul, nina, my hubby, and my sister were so wonderful. i was so thankful for my sister, thuy, who assisted me throughout the event. if i didn’t have her help…i would have been a mess and bless her heart for dealing with my high strung, anxiety ridden nature pre-party!

well, we did it…we set the party up just in time and the guests started to arrive. immediately, the girls all meshed and started playing while some parents dropped off and some parents stayed.

the party was a beautiful success! the girls loved the play area and kept themselves entertained the entire time. for a moment, before the party took place, i thought about having the girls do a craft or something fun outside of the play area but nina reassured me that the time flew by and the kids love playing in the space and that was all that was needed. she was right!

they played, and after 45 minutes, they ate, then they played again, then we sang happy birthday and had cake, and then the party was about to end. whaaaaaaaaa?!

we had a great time with the parents that stayed {thanks mike, elias, valerie, kiersten, elisa, and kristin for sticking around!}. 4 o’clock rolled around so fast and i was a bit sad that the party was ending!

hosting a party at waterlemon is easy because paul and nina make it so!!! you party, you leave, and they clean up! not only are they so sweet and thoughtful…their goal is to make it as seamless as possible for those who want to entertain there!

olive and her friends had a GREAT time together {check out the pics!} and i was so happy we chose waterlemon as our party space.

happy birthday my sweet girl…our love for you is immeasurable. the day you were born, my life changed dramatically and i thank God everyday that my journey is this ~ to be a mom…to be your mom {and ellie’s}. thank you for being such an amazing daughter and i wish you endless years of joy, laughter, and love.

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[her mermaid party invitation suite]

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[olive’s bespoke mermaid dress by annie casale…it just came out of the box, so pardon the wrinkled appearance!]

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[the sea inspired tablescape]

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[i love fine-tuning the details! shell dessert plates with iridescent plates]

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[dessert table]

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[i had so much fun decorating the cake!]

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[my whole heart]

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[mer cookies, scale 6 sign, and gorgeous flowers by nina]

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[lucy, olive, me and ellie]

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[coral]

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[such a gorgeous dress]

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[me and valerie]

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[food table]

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[crabby croissant]

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[sweet luisa]

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[sea water]

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[bubbly and wine for the adults]

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[the crew!]

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[the crabby croissant hanging out in the sand and seaweed]

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[madison and isabel being silly!]

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[ready for cake!]

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[happy birthday to you!]

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[make a wish!]

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[the sweetest sisters]

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[party favors included two bath bombs, rock candy stick, mermaid cookies, mermaid tail bookmark, tattoos, and a mermaid tail soap]

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xoxo

a sunny day out

on ellie’s actual birthday, my sister kim took the back half of the day off of work to meet us for a lunch outing to celebrate miss ellie.

we met them at table at crate, a new restaurant inside crate and barrel. actually, the only restaurant  inside any crate and barrel. it had opened seven days prior, so we were super excited to try it.

i was excited there was no wait as we waited for kim and the boys to arrive. we were seated inside, as they do not have seating for more than a party of four alfresco. our server was super sweet and nice, the kids were well behaved, and the food was delicious. we absolutely enjoyed all the dishes we ordered!

my most favorite dishes were actually the waffle fries with aioli and the shishito peppers. the peppers were made with a soy balsamic and dusted in chili flakes. not too spicy or hot and perfectly balanced in flavors for lovely savory bites. the waffles fries came with a couple of dipping sauces and all of them were tasty and delicious. i mean, who doesn’t like to dip?!

they don’t have a washroom in the restaurant…they only have the ones they have always had, upstairs in the furniture section. so, ellie needing to go to the bathroom several times during our sit down meal was quite the trek! we were back and forth, back and forth, back and forth – up the escalator and down {most of them were false alarms} but i am so proud of her for doing such a great job at remembering to go when she needs to! my potty trained champ!

after our meal, we decided to walk the mall {it was so beautiful out} and go wherever the kids wanted to go. we stopped at a few stores, bought a few trinkets, and called it a day. i also happen to run into my friend kim and her friend amy! that was a lovely surprise! they were there shopping at the mall and we were able to chat a bit before i left to go home with the girls!

once home, we settled in, relaxed and waited for hc to get home. we had a very chill evening, lit a candle on a cake and sang happy birthday to our dear ellie. the smitten, joyous, slightly embarrassed expression on her face while we were singing is priceless. the whole day was very relaxing…just what i wanted for us all.

my dear ellie…you are the best. celebrating you and your uniqueness makes our hearts so full. thank you for being you. we love you so much my dear girl.

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[her birthday morning]

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[my silly girls waiting for their cousin]

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[goofing around]

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[this girl..growing up so fast]

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[every restaurant should have crayangles]

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[these shishito peppers were deliciousssssss]

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[popcorn chicken bites]

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[cavatelli ~ double smoked bacon, tomato sauce, basil]

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[hey, hi, hello]

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[my girls]

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[my feisty babe]

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[love these kiddos]

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[he’s so darn sweet to her]

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xoxo

young, wild, and three!

ellie’s birthday party planning started out slow and a bit clueless. i wasn’t sure what i wanted to do so i looked at some birthday invites and saw the theme – young, wild, and three and that perfectly described ellie!!!

then came pinterest and the creative juices started flowing. once that starts, i can’t seem to stop and one idea trumps another and another and that’s when it gets dangerous up in my noggin’. i then start searching for decorations and if i can’t find it, i will make it!

hc and i spent the week preparing for the party. he took care of the yard, the tables, chairs, and helped me with setting up some of the decor where i needed more than two hands; he helped with the food, and some other odds and ends. i spent the week stopping at party stores, grocery stores, clothing stores, cleaning the house, crafting all the diy decor, and slowly setting up each area. i did most of my decorating on friday, the day before the party, and completed the finishing touches on saturday morning. i definitely wanted our morning {the day of the fête} to be more low key, low stress, and calm before all the guests arrived mid afternoon.

the last thing i did was decorate the cake! i was excited to have my vision come to life! my oldest sister, kim, did the fabulous floral arrangements. she’s sooooo talented!!!! each vase turned out absolutely amazing and gorgeous! she picked out the most perfect items to create our jungle themed look {i only showed her an inspiration pic and she killed it in interpretation!}! i asked her for leftover flowers for ellie’s cake and it was like she read my mind on what i wanted to do…she brought over the most perfect flowers and leaves for the cake! exactly what i wanted!

i made an onion dip and cheese plate for our guests as appetizers and we ordered food from a local joint. everything was turning out just right. the guests arrived in a timely fashion, the food arrived as expected, and the rest of the afternoon was awesome.

after we ate, we brought ellie outside to show her the birthday present gramma and papa bought her! it was a unicorn water play table! i also got her/them a rainbow sprinkler. the girls then changed into swimsuits and played outside in the water for a bit.

after a stint in the hot outdoors, i gathered everyone back in to sing happy birthday to ellie! i tried getting her back into her themed dress but that was an utter failure {honestly…i just didn’t push it}. LOL so she wore her unicorn swimsuit for her big candle blow out!

i served up cake, ice cream, and macarons and soon afterwards, our guests started to trickle out. it was the most perfect timing, though. once i brought everyone inside for cake, the sky opened and started POURING. so, while everyone finished up with dessert and the rain finally let up, it was a sign to go!

hc and i did our thing. we cleaned up like pro’s while the babes bathed and afterwards, ellie {and olive} opened up all her gifts! oh my goodness. it was such a wonderrrrrrrrrFULL day. like so good. the decor turned out so damn fun, the food was so good, our guests were the best and we couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon to celebrate our baby ellie.

sweet girl, you are amazing. you are funny. you are silly. you are strong. you are sweet. you are loving. you are sassy. you are beautiful. you are everything good and everything you want to be! we love you so much that descriptive words insult the feeling that is so big within our hearts.

happy birthday precious babe. we love you to infinity and beyond.

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[how sweet is she??]

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[hat by little blue olive]

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[oh olive]

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[i said, “smile ellie!”]

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[favors: glassine bag of candies, tattoos, and organic play dough – in a zebra print, of course! – housed in a brown paper bag, stamped, and i calligraphy the kid’s names]

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[all the favor goodies]

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[play dough from ellie and piper co}

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[our sweet family]

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[the bar table! plastic garland banner from glamfete]

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[drink menu]

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[my kind of town…]

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[party straws and stirrers]

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[floral arrangements by the great and talented kim]

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[i hand stamped the zebra onto the napkins]

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[hc’s side]

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[lynne and barbara]

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[animal masks for our guests]

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[hand drawn, hand cut leaves, calligraphy by crazy me place cards. hc spray painted the animals and glued each card to them]

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[table setting for our guests]

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[i couldn’t get over the stunning arrangements by my sister. she does a phenomenal job every time!]

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[the wood looking plates are biodegradable and are made out of palm leaves!]

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[dessert bar]

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[favor bags]

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[it’s never a party without french macarons!]

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[cake decorated by yours truly with left over flowers my sister left me!]

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[i couldn’t pick just one pic to post of us!]

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[cheese plate i hastily threw together last minute!!!]

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[mom and dad or also known as rimma and ba]

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[hand written menu. i tore apart a paper bag and hand wrote/calligraphy the food we were serving]

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[dan and agata]

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[me and thuy]

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[silly cousins]

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[sista sista]

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]so excited over gramma and papa’s birthday present to ellie!]

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[what a big girl]

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[very hesitant to go under the rainbow sprinkler…she eventually put her hand in it. that was it! LOL]

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[bennett braving the cold water!]

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[olive acting cool…like, guy…it’s not cold…]

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[my sweet little baby]

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[birthday cake!]

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[look at her face!]

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[make a wish]

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[having her cake and eating it too]

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[silly kids]

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[grandma and her grandkids]

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[silly girls]

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xoxo

pump it up

birthday parties, birthday parties!

we were invited to our neighbor’s grandson’s birthday party. it was at a place called pump it up. i had never heard of it and i truly had no idea what kind of place it was for kids. LOL. once we arrived and walked into the first room, i was like, “ohhhhhhhhhh” a lot of bouncy houses. alright.

we chatted with our neighbor mary and her kids. hc and i found a game where you throw the football into the hole {football bags. hahaha!} and i smoked him. yeahhhhhhh, i got more hole in ones than him. booyah!!

we did our best to get ellie to want to go on one of the bouncy’s but we were failing miserably. fiiiinally though, we sparked an interest in one of the bouncy’s and ellie was enjoying herself although she wouldn’t go further than the ‘stairs’.

olive was gone. she was soooo into the bouncy houses and we hardly ever saw her! hahaha! she’s so good with acclimating into new environments. well, then there was ellie – she cried and screamed and was unhappy in every room we went into. once she liked one bouncy house, it was time to move to another room. we started all over again to get her comfortable with a new bouncy house. then it was time to move onto another room and that girl threw a fit. she screamed and cried every time!

well, the final room was the party room, they were serving juice drinks and cake. they had picnic style benches and olive and ellie were trying to figure out where to sit. i directed them to an area and olive climbed up and ellie followed suit. as she settled her tush onto the bench, she lost her balance and fell straight back onto her back flat on the floor. oh my goodness. that just added onto how irritable she was that afternoon. she started shrieking. like SHRIEKING. i picked her up and ran out into the hallway to calm her down. oh, poor babe was having the worst {yet best time} ever!

once she calmed down, she sipped her juice drink and ate her cake. she was a happy camper. we mingled a bit more with the family as the guests trickled out. after the group had dwindled, hc and i decided to leave and the girls said their goodbyes. it was a great place to throw a party – quick, convenient, and easy clean up! she had such a great time with everyone!

we’re so fortunate to have become such great friends with our neighbors and their kids. we’re so lucky to be surrounded by such good people! thanks kristin and chris for inviting us to brett’s party! we had such a wonderful time!

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[always skeptical]

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[doing some incredibles 2 moves]

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[she was having so much fun]

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[on the first bouncy, she wouldn’t go up any further than this point]

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[she was constantly bothered and upset…LOL]

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[she was having a blast]

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[she cried and vied for this pink mobile and when she finally got a chance to ride it, she was on it for 5 seconds. wtf]

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[trying to appease the babe]

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[finally, finally realizing that these bouncy houses are fun!]

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[it was so cute. i couldn’t see her go down the slide but within a few seconds, her head popped up at the bottom! hahaha!]

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[there she goes!]

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[there goes olive!]

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[they were having sooooo much together!]

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[oh ellie. she was having a meltdown before this picture and olive was trying to console her]

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[the birthday boy and his sister]

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[incredibles baby jack jack]

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xoxo

papa’s birthday ’19

we traveled up north to meet rich’s dad and famille to celebrate his birthday!

he picked a place called beelow’s. this would be the second time i’ve eaten there and the second year in a row we’ve gone there to celebrate dick’s birthday there. i, unfortunately, have had two subpar experiences with their food! now, everyone else loves this restaurant and has had a great experience with their food! the service is typically fantastic, which makes all the difference but i think i’m cursed to have not so great encounters with my main dishes!

when we went last year, i ordered the scallops. i looooooove scallops! when my entree arrived, it tasted like it was doused in salt! oh it was tooo salty! i ate one scallop and didn’t finish the rest. i could not eat it or the greens it was sitting on. my whole entree was lost. i was so disappointed! then this year, i decided against sea food and went for a tasty burger. i ordered the fried onion and blue cheese burger with truffle fries! i was excited to eat! i dug into my burger and it was very good! i loved the fries as well. as i was eating my burger, i noticed a piece of black hair on it. i was like, what? how did my hair get in there?? i was wearing a ponytail and i thought it was odd, since my hair really doesn’t fall out in that style. i went to grab the hair off my burger and it was ENTWINED in the meat. ohmergawd. barf. i just about died.

i immediately stopped eating my food. i couldn’t believe it!!!!! i was disappointed and i was once again, hungry! hc looooved his meal, which was great ’cause he didn’t have the best experience last year either. so, at least this time around, one of us had a good meal!

our evening was super chill and as usual, always wonderful when you get to spend it with family! despite my meal{s], it was so good to hang out with the fam. the girls always love seeing their sister, grace, and they absolutely love seeing their papa and gramma! auntie missy is always killing it with the selfie game…she’s queen of selfies and olive and ellie love taking them with her!

it doesn’t matter where or what we do to celebrate papa’s birthday, we just love being with him and gramma! happy birthday sweet papa!

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[isn’t she so sweet?]

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[she’s so silly and sassy]

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[selfie! no filter, no editing, sometimes i look young and other pics i look old AF]

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[the birthday papa and his granddaughter]

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[rich and jane]

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[missy, brian, rich, and jane]

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[daniel, grace, and aunt wendy]

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[gramma and olive]

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xoxo

birthday snowstorm

hbd to my sister thuy!

my sister kim planned a birthday dinner for thuy but an incoming snowstorm {an expected 8 inches of snow in some areas} derailed our plans for the city and we also ended up switching days too. the snowstorm was suppose to start on friday evening and go super strong throughout the night and into saturday morning, so we changed our dinner plans to friday evening instead. we diverted our eatery of choice to a local restaurant called cadence.

our reservations were later that evening but the snow didn’t start until 10-11pm; the weather folks predicted the snow to start around 3pm, then 6pm, then 9pm…hahaha! so, we were in a good place from a driving perspective.

i’ve never been to this restaurant and the decor was pretty cool – a modern woodsy feel and the our server was super friendly and prompt. we ordered drinks right away and perused the menu on suggestions to help guide us on what we were going to order. we got a bunch of yummy shared appetizers and i ordered the salmon which was soooooo good! i throughly enjoyed everything we ate!

what was so fun too, was that throughout our dinner, random employees at the restaurant would come up to thuy and wish her a happy birthday! that was so cute and nice! what a great way to make someone who’s celebrating an occasion feel special! they even brought out a polaroid camera and snapped a group picture of us and printed a few copies for the gals! i loved that!

i had brought a cake with a topper and sparkler candles to surprise thuy! i told our waitress that if she couldn’t light the sparklers, i brought regular candles instead. after our entrees, she brought out the cake with the sparkler candles lit!! it was so fun to see and experience!

the snow started to come down furiously and the ground and cars were becoming blanketed in white. we wrapped up our delicious dinner and headed on our merry way in the beautiful snowstorm.

it was a fun, warm, wonderful evening celebrating thuy! cheers to many more wonderful birthday celebrations sis!

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[a fun night for me and hc]

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[this was really, really good]

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[birthday shots courtesy of the restaurant]

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[birthday girl]

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[happy 21st birthday!]

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[a signed card from the staff and polaroid pic!]

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xoxo

olive’s birthday

olive’s birthday fell on tuesday of this year.

we started the morning with a happy birthday song with a big gold 5 balloon in her room. she woke up smiling – goal! hc made her a birthday breakfast and afterwards, she chose her outfit of the day. a gold sequined dress {courtesy of miss tashina}, lavender tights, gold converse, and a gold flecked caplet. the most perfect outfit ever for a birthday.

i took her to school and excitedly dropped her off for the day. there, she was star of the day, natch. she led the class. she got to wear a birthday crown and mama made stupid treats for the class. as in, i brushed lettered her name onto the brown paper bags, put stickers on them, olive filled each bag with coloring books, activity book, chocolates, candy canes, and more stickers! i really hoped the kids enjoyed them!

hc chose to stay home for her big 5 birthday! we were excited to have him home. about 20 minutes before her class ended, hc, ellie, and i hopped into the car to go pick olive up and take her out to brunch! to my dismay…in which i understand, hc wanted to go pick her up. i know i am always picking her up but this was her birthday! so, i reluctantly let hc do the honors and be the person she saw when she got out of class. we then drove to a local brunch restaurant and enjoyed our time together, celebrating miss olive!

later that day, we just snuggled, relaxed, and then later on, after dinner, we sang happy birthday to miss olive with a vanilla bean cake!

happy birthday beautiful girl. we wish you all the love, happiness, and fortune in life!

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[she chose this fancy little outfit for her birthday at school and yeah, that pose? trouble]

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[dada took the day off to celebrate olive’s birthday]

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[my budding artist]

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[she’s oh so sweet and sassy!]

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[olive was upset we made her wear her caplet outside because it was cold. look at the pouty face. [mama: *eyeroll] ellie is happy though!]

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[she loves to color and draw every day]

xoxo

happy 5th birthday my dear olive!

wow…i can’t believe it’s been five years since this beautiful girl has joined us. it’s surreal. my life changed when she was born. of course it did. but what i mean is…life had meaning. life had purpose. life was fulfilling with her in my world.

in your younger years, you wander. you wonder. you live life self centered. as a mother…you realize that this {having children} is what life is about. my heart is so full and the love that i experience every day is like no other. i feel so incredibly blessed to have her as my child and so fortunate to be able to do this. to raise kind humans and do my damndest to raise someone who can make a difference in this sometimes dark world.

sooooooo, olive’s birthday party turned into a surprise party because i went off of something she said a few months ago. she had watched something on her iPad and said to me, “i want a surprise party!”. i said, “how am i suppose to throw you a surprise party while you’re in the house?” she says, “i’ll just go in my room and when i come out, everyone can say ‘surprise!'” bahahahahahaha! ohmergawd…i LOVE her!!!

so, last minute, i told her guests that it was going to be a surprise party! it worked out perfectly! hc dropped the girls off at my sister, thuy’s place, in the morning. hc and i hustled and decorated the house for the party, readied the apps, and the guests started to flow in. about 15 minutes after the party started, my sister shows up with olive and ellie.

i was so excited. i couldn’t wait to see her reaction! i heard her say to thuy why were there all these cars at our house. ha! she walked in and everyone yelled ‘surprise!’. her facial expression was priceless! i was in heaven seeing her so elated! afterwards, she greeted all her guests and made her way around.

olive chose her brown horse theme. she talked about it for months. months!!! it was the first time she chose her theme, so i was in a bit of a pickle because i have always been the one concocting her themes. now that she is independent and opinionated, she expressed exactly what she wanted for her 5th birthday party and i had to go with it. i was a bit stumped but in the end, i figured it out and we had the most wonderful horse themed party!

side note: i went to party city to get some horse themed balloons. uhhhhhh, i didn’t know they carried NOTHING horse related. whaaaaaaaa?! so, as the young male teenager was ringing me up, i asked him if that was a poop emoji balloon on the wall. he said yes. so i said to him, “i will get that balloon. i can’t believe you guys don’t have anything horse themed for my daughter’s birthday party. i’ll get the poop emoji balloon because i think it’s horse’s shit that you don’t have anything else i can get.” yup. i said that to him. he found it funny too.

well, i hope you enjoy the pics! we had such wonderful time celebrating our baby girl turning 5! happy birthday olive. we are so utterly blessed to have you in our lives. thank you for being you. we love you to infinity and beyond!

via tandeminlove.com[mini horses with mini crowns]

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[the balloon that stood out. she loves hello kitty!]

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[my story about the poop emoji balloon above. tassels by glamfete]

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[flowers by my sister kim]

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[daniel and auntie missy]

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[stop horsing around!]

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[terry, dan, and agata]

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[calligraphy place cards]

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[bandana’s for our guests]

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[banded flatware inclusive of the party theme]

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[easy cups for kids or adults!]

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[horse favor bags]

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[a party staple]

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[i love our fireplace]

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[i heard her asking about all the cars in the driveway…]

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[i love her facial expression when she saw everyone and mine!]

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[i love this]

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[she’s oh so sweet]

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[y’all…i love her so much!]

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[greeting her guests]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[cousins]

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[with ba]

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[grace, annabelle, and edwin]

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[gramma and olive]

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[backdrop by glamfete. she’s such a princess!]

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[oh how i love her so]

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[i can’t post enough pics of her]

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[this is sooooooo ellie and olive]

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[olive showing off her beautiful unicorn painting]

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[here comes the cake]

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[happy birthday day to you!]

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[make a wish!]

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[she’s so silly! her cousin bennett gathered all the horses around olive]

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xoxo