Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Easter 2015

Easter with the West kids was fun, sweet, busy and a tad bonkers this year!

We came back from the beach Friday afternoon to beat the traffic and make it home for a few egg hunts on Saturday.

Sadly, we didn't beat the traffic but the kids were awesome on our 6 hour trip home.
This was us on I-65 for almost an hour. Ignore my dusty/polleny dash. Thanks. 

Saturday morning we were up and ready for egg hunting and had a blast at church.

Seriously, Jay and Lizzy "found" a ton of eggs. Two baskets plus two filled bags.

As we left Lizzy started coming down with a virus, so the rest of her day and Easter morning mostly looked like this-

We did due eggs for the first time this year and both kids were amazed. I was amazed that we pulled it off with no cracks, spills or screams!

The Easter bunny came and did his thing- baskets, hidden eggs in the yard, and he even his our dyed eggs in the fridge! Silly wabbit.

We made Resurrection Rolls and bacon eggs and fruit for breakfast.

Jay and I went to church. If course the service was wonderful!

We came home to pick up Dad and Lizzy then off to Dede and Papa's for lunch with Joseph's family.

The kids had fun and got more goodies!

We came home candied up and tuckered out.

Although everything didn't go as planned and Lizzy was a tad under the weather we had a wonderful weekend celebrating our risen Savior!

Peppa Pig Party for Lizzy

We celebrated our favorite gal with a party featuring her favorite puddle-jumping pig!
Peppa Pig!

It seems like I'm only capable of taking party-people candids or party-prepping pics. I don't think I've ever had a party where I successfully did both.

This year, it seems like I managed the party-prepping pics.

We had a blast and celebrated with family and few friends.

It was a perfect day weather-wise and these kids played hard!

Now, if you're in need of some Peppa inspiration--here's what we did!

Patience did these invitations for me and they were outstanding!!
I'm not sure that you can tell from the photos but the cloud and sun on the outer piece were three dimensional as well as Peppa's balloon and 3 on the inside. Check out those lined envelopes!! These turned out so perfect! Thanks for a great job Patience!
Visit her etsy shop here. She can make anything you can dream up!

We kept the food limited to sweets and candy, it is Lizzy's party after all and my girl loves some cake and candy!

"Goldie" fish

Muddy Puddles

These wonderful cookies!

I really think these were the hit of the party! They were as yummy to eat as they were to look at and Audrey with LoveHandels did an AMAZING job. You can follow her on Instagram, that's how we met. Expect to see more of her creations at future West celebrations!

Granny Pig's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these using my all-time-favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I substituted Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips this time and they were delightful!

And of course cake, cupcakes and ice cream!

For the cake, I had lots of ideas.
Here's the deal. I don't have a "cake lady" I love to use here in Birmingham. I also didn't want a generic cake from a bakery with a "Peppa-theme-but-not-actual-Peppa". And since Peppa is WAY popular in the UK and lesser known here I was sort of stuck.

I took matters into my own hands and ordered a chocolate cake from Publix and had them just base ice it in pink. I ordered this Peppa and Candy Cat set, then decorated the top of the cake myself piping grass, adding the figures and these royal icing flowers I found online (I ordered both sizes). It ended up being super east and crazy-cheap. It just required a little planning.

I made cupcakes and decorated them to match the cake and used these cupcake wrappers I ordered from Etsy that matched my preppy pink gingham I'd envisioned and had them printed at Staples. Again, perfect look, super easy, crazy-cheap, just a little planning.

For the rest of the decor I ordered these Peppa Pig balloons from Amazon, this Peppa Pig birthday banner and these round Peppa Pig cupcake circles (I cut these out and attached them to goodie bags for pinata loot).

We had punch, a pinata and presents and all of the kids played and played.

There we have it! I rented the blue linens and made the table runners. (Spoiler alert: expect to see some hot pink gingham at future holidays and parties! I love them!)

Such a fun  pretty pink preppy Peppa Pig party for our favorite gal!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring Break 2015

I don't think its a surprise to anyone that we spent Spring Break at the beach!

We had tons of fun, plenty of sun, awesome sand-digging days all day and kayaked around Wolf Bay and creek.

It was a fun week-just exactly what we needed.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Favorites- Banishing Winter

I'm linking up for Friday Favorites again and saying SEE-YA to old man winter today!
A Little Bit of Everything
Grace and Love Blog

Well, we finally got our snow day in Alabama.

This week has sealed the deal, I am officially finished with winter for the year.

How do I call it quits on winter before the frost ends for the season? Simple. I change my mind...and a few other things.

1. Say hello to my little friend from The Charleston Soap Chef--Beach Music Honey Butter.

I bought this little jar of goodness in the fall at Market Noel in Birmingham and used it a few times then saved it for now. I knew I had a stash of some wintry scented lotion to work through and thought I would save this Beach Music to carry me into springtime.

I am SO glad I did. Its luscious and creamy and so much more indulgent than the lotions and creams you find at the mall. They have lots of fantastic scents, but I am a card carrying summer-kind-of-girl and this is my favorite.

2. We loaded up on some Essie nail colors at Target a few weeks ago and Lizzy and I have been sporting springtime nails ever since. No greige and taupe for us. Just lilac, pinks, white and shimmer. Springtime is everywhere we look!

3. Swimsuit shopping.

Get them now while the selection is good and just envision yourself with a tan while you're trying on some new pieces for summer. Its also a fun reminder to get back on the healthy eating/exercise bandwagon before spring break and summer time. :)

4. Popsicles aren't just for kids.

I've wanted to try this for about a year. I saw it on a blog or Pinterest or somewhere, so I cant take credit for the genius that is this cocktail. It couldn't be easier or more springtime--Prosecco and a Popsicle (I used LeMarca and a Blue Bell Strawberry Fruit Bar. I will be doing this again. Perhaps soon. Springtime sunset not required.

5.Pinning and Meal Planning

I'm finally embracing Pinterest as a place to gather inspiration and attempt to organize my brain. (Feel free to laugh along with me.)

Mainly I pin recipies and things for the kids and stuff like this...
Yes, my pins are reflecting my mental mind-fame lately.

I started trying to pin summer clothes, but then i realized that I really prefer to spend as much time as possible in my swimsuits in the summer so I am not going to kid myself and think I would prefer getting cutesied up from May-September, I really do hope the above is always true. Life life in a bikini. (this is a pin of a billabong ad. The 20 something beach girl in me loves this website. The 35 year old mom in me uses it for inspiration. Those bottoms are teensy!! But, I digress...)

Along with lightening up for spring break (See #3) I'm also thinking about things that are simple to prepare and things I'll be making at the beach this summer. These biscuit-muffins are sure to be included on that list just because they are so easy to make and would be great for the come-and-go breakfast crew. I'm also pinning quite a few this week, so if easy-beachy recipes speak to you, then feel free to follow me on Pinterest. 

6. Get out of town.
We've already started heading south here and there (like last weekend) , so the best way to get rid of winter is get out of town (if you can). the next best thing would be to plan your vacation, figure out how to fill your spring days and summer nights.

7. Swim School
I booked our swim lessons in Nashville a few weeks ago. I have to tell you if you are in Middle Tennessee, or can get to Middle Tennessee (we make the three hour drive every year just for these lessons)--sign your kids up for Swim Lessons with Brendan Sweetman Swimmers

Its worth every dime, every second, every struggle, every stroke to do this for your children and their safety.

Your children will learn to save their own lives, love the water, swim freely, have fun and maybe even become a fantastic swim teacher one day. (Hey I can only speak from my own experience!! :))

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Day

I know our little blast of winter is teensy compared to what my friends and fam in Middle Tennessee have experienced, but I didn't want to not-document just because it's been sort of a non-event.

Anyhow, Monday and Tuesday of this week we had a delayed  start Monday was super fun. Tuesday, wouldn'tcha know I had scheduled simultaneous doctor's appointments for Joseph and I for 10 am and preschool didn't begin until 10:30.

So, I am here to testify that you can survive an hour at the dermatologist with a 4.5 and 2.5 year old. 

Thankfully I had a few items from the target dollar spot stashed for emergencies and (miracle of miracles) my iPad was charged.
They were awesome and it was "peasy-easy" as Lizzy likes to say. 

Everyone was excited because the forecast was for a true snow storm to blow into Birmingham on Wednesday. 

We woke up, started a fun family day at home then Joseph and Jay headed out for some early errands (and to get some type of sled) then we waited. We watched all-day news coverage about the 5, 7, 9 inches of snow all over Alabama. And watched it rain at our house all day. 

We played inside and we're just about to say goodnight to our snow-less snow day when we saw a few flakes at 8 o'clock.  

We piled on a few extra layers over our pjs and made the most of our 20 minutes of snow, tossed some snowballs, played on the treehouse then came in for hot chocolate and bedtime.

It was a lot, LOT, LOT of waiting for a little snow. But when you're little even a little snow is a LOT of fun.

Now we've had our fun, delayed days (one more on Thursday) and are ready to jump into spring!