Gretchen turns 3!

Last week we celebrated Gretchen’s third birthday.  Timehop likes to remind me every day how tiny she was this time three years ago!  Also how hot it is, summer 2012 was brutal.  This summer is a different kind of brutal with all the rain.

As much as I love hosting parties we decided not to do a big party this year and took Gretchen to Omaha for a weekend of fun back in May.  We did have a Daniel Tiger birthday party with family, including 5 of her cousins that were in town at the time.  She was SO excited for her Daniel Tiger party and everywhere I took her on her birthday she asked if it was her party (sorry kid, party is not at Scheels).  My friend Renata designed the custom Daniel Tiger decor.  Check out her shop on etsy!


I ran out of time to make the Texas sheet cake I’d planned on so I picked up this chocolate cake from 3 Women and an Oven and it was delicious!


Discussing the big plans they have now that they are both 3 years old.


posing with the cousins

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needed help blowing out her candles this year, although she did try!


the balloons we picked up at the store were a huge hit, as was the wrench we tied them to in order to keep them from floating away!


2nd Birthday Party- Red, White, and Two!

OMG yes I know my daughter will be 3 in less than a month but better late than never, right?!

Since Gretchen’s birthday is right after the 4th of July I thought this theme would be perfect.  With so many toddler friends we wanted to invite we knew there was noooooooo way we could host the party at our house. We decided to do the party at Deanna Rose Farmstead, one of Gretchen’s favorite places.  We got there early to set up and when her friends arrived we encouraged them to go explore and play for about an hour and then come back for food and mini pies (Trader Joes FTW!)  Deanna Rose gives the birthday kid a cowboy hat, t-shirt, and then each of the guests gets a ticket good for a pony ride, hayride, or mining.  It does not have to be used the day of the party.  One of the great things about the party corrals at Deanna Rose is that it’s in an extremely shaded part of the park, so even though it was a hot July day, the shade and a breeze kept us mostly cool.  We had a great time and hopefully our guests did too!

invitation design by misspokadot on etsy 


For food we got sandwich trays from Mr. Goodcents and then had veggies, cheese and crackers, and watermelon to go with it.  I cut the watermelon and cheese into star shapes using a mini cookie cutter. For dessert I had star shaped brownies and sugar cookies made by Smart Cookies Bakery.  In lieu of cake or cupcakes we served mini pies from Trader Joes.  They are in the freezer section and come in cherry, blueberry, and peach.  Super yummy!

The red, white, and blue serving platters and decor were from Michaels.  Balloons from my friend Adriane’s shop in Shawnee, FUN Party and Wedding Shop.  

For favors I bought some blue and red striped bags at Michaels and filled them with stickers, custom cookies, fruit snacks, and red, white, and blue sunglasses from the Target $1 spot.

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Gretchen’s dress is from hazelbeebaby but sadly she has closed up shop 😦

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Our corral was right next to this big goat’s pen and he got a bath during the party.  He wanted to come join the partyThe kids loved it!

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I think the sunglasses were a hit!

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Gretchen’s 1st Birthday Party

First birthday parties are definitely more for the parents than for the kids.  I had a ton of fun planning and executing this party.  It was a great way to celebrate surviving the first year of parenthood!  Originally I was planning on some kind of whale themed party since I love whales, but then I ran across some inspiration photos on pinterest that made me change everything.  You can see my planning board on pinterest here.  Behold, Gretchen’s pink lemonade party!

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source list:

‘happy birthday banner’, cake topper, cupcake toppers: pinwheel lane on etsy

invitation design: LemonadeDesignStudio on etsy

coordinating pennet banner: Rugrat Design on etsy

stickers/envelope seals (not pictured but here’s the link): Chickabug on etsy

balloons: fun party in Shawnee, KS

poufs and chevron straws: SimplyNesting on etsy

lanterns: clearance from Target

paper plates, napkins, utensils: Target

mason jar lids and pink & yellow dotted cups: LolaLovesAParty on etsy

cupcake wrappers: amazon “dress my cupcake”

food label tags: GiggleBees on etsy

utensil basket: hobby lobby

highchair: craigslist find and a couple of coats of pink spray paint!

24 inch wooden 1 and G: zulily, painted by my sister

mini lemonade stand: wooden crate purchased at Joanns, assembled by my dad and painted by my sister

birthday outfit: Carters

lemonade play set: BeginAgain toys 

guest book: Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink

cupcakes and smash cake: dolce baking company in Prairie Village, KS

cupcake stand and yellow chevron tray: Crate and Barrel

Recent Etsy love!

I’ve been bookmarking some cute stuff on Etsy recently, a pretty random assortment

Keep Calm Pug with Scaled Background - 7x9 Print

what a good motto to live by, lol!  from etsy seller AfricanGrey

who also designed this super cute greeting card I might get for Tyler for our anniversary, he loves otters

Playful Otter Greeting Card

and another good motto to live by from Etsy seller hijirik

Live What You Love Letterpress Print in Seaform Green

I would like to DIY one of these in a different color to put on my potting bench, from etsy seller gardensigns

GROW painted wooden garden sign

these from seller flowerjunky are also cute!


and I saw this on the front page of etsy the other day and I just think it is so so cute!  from bubbletime

Handmade Plush  Microbe Neon Orange and Gray Fluffcrobe

Puggy Christmas

So my favorite Etsy seller is probably maustudio, she makes the cutest little designs and I cannot resist the little pug, Ball-Z.  As you know I framed a set of the Christmas cards last year to put on display, and I have the magnets on my fridge.  Last year I bought a bunch of the Christmas cards on clearance for this year, perfect to send out in light of the second pug we are bringing home soon!  Black pug lovers do not be sad, T-Tea the black pug also adorns many of her products!  Her stuff is also not pug exclusive, she features several other dog breeds, including chihuahuas, chows, min pins, and bostons.  I swear she keeps making more and more Ball-Z products because she KNOWS I can’t resist at this point!  I am however showing some restraint, I do not own the mint tins or the necklace
Here is what may be coming to a mailbox near you…if we are Christmas card buddies 😉 
Ball-Z in the Snow Greeting Cards
Ball-Z Greeting Cards
Ball-Z stickers
and I couldn’t resist the address labels…
50 Personalize Holiday Address Labels - Pug Santa
I know…I have a problem!
I also snagged a pack of the ball-z gift tags for some of my gifts. 
Ball-Z Puggy Gift Tag

My Christmas Resolution

I have resolved to buy no new Christmas decor this year…except for this beautiful stocking that will hang from our bookshelf and be filled with treats for my spoiled pug, who is allergic to leaves and very gassy and wakes me up at 4am to pee because it was too cold the night before for him to do his business at a reasonable hour.