September 23, 2013

family fall days

Please forgive me.  I just can't help myself.   I am so obsessed with these photos of Ella in her little red wagon.  This is fall for me!  (This could also be the cutest Diet Coke ad.)


September 16, 2013

Ella's Elephant Themed First Birthday

We had a wonderful day celebrating our sweet, little Ella.  The rain may have kept us inside but it didn't dampen the fun.  I am so grateful and feel so blessed that so many family and friends came out to celebrate with us.  Here is a sneak at the party for those who couldn't be there.

Shout out to my AMAZING sister and mom for making the elephant cookies.  My mom has the best sugar cookie recipe and my sister has mad decorating skills.  I am obsessed with them.  
I also ate like 10 (not lying).

Since this was my first experience planning a kids party I kind of panicked about how to entertain the little ones who are still too young for games.  I came up with a coloring station and kiddie toy corner.  I used an editing program to de-color (that would be the official word) the elephant pics used to decorate the party to continue the theme.  It would be so cute to collect the masterpieces and put it in an album for Ella.  For the toy corner I just grabbed a blanket, basket and some simple (non-noisy) toys the kids could play with.  This was a hit and it was so entraining to watch them play together.  Best part was the moms were able to sit on the nearby couches and actually chat and enjoy the party a bit.  I would just like to note the dads were in the opposite corner watching football. 

And of course, it wouldn't be a birthday party without some cake smashing fun.  

My sister made the adorable birthday sign out of a kitchen cabinet.  She also made the sign that was placed at that front door in the first picture.  I will share more about that in another post but can we just note how she got all the creative and artistic talent in the family.  That's not true - my brother is an amazing photographer.  The adorable cake was made by Brandon's cousin, Jessalyn.  
I'm obsessed with it!

Unfortunately, there was no real "cake-smashing," instead it was more finger-lickin' fun.  We had to actually grab chunks of the cake in demonstration.

Cousin Louisa (who also just turned 1) helped teach us how it is done.  She got in there and just stuck her fist right in.  It was so cute to watch how differently they responded.

The cake-smash safety zone was made from several plastic table cloths from the dollar store taped to the wall and floor.  It was such an easy clean-up.  Especially since we just stuck the baby toddler in the sink for a fun bath.

We cleaned up just in time to say goodbye and thank you to our guests before heading home for dinner and bed.  We just barely made it through dinner.

because I love them so much, here are Ella's party invitations.
I made them on Microsoft Office.  They are so easy.  I will never buy invites or cards again.

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