Monday, October 31, 2011

{Addy's Cake Boss Birthday Party}


Addison loves 'Cake Boss' (on TLC).  We have the DVR set for all the new shows on Monday nights.  It's always been funny to me that she loves it so much at age 6 (and now age 7!!) She's begging to watch it all the time (and I've had to censor a few of the shows recently that are veering from family-friendly....darn).  But, we thought it was the perfect theme for her 7th birthday party. 

The party took over my life for the better part of 2 weeks, but it was so much fun!!  I learned a lot of new things along the way.  I love it when I get to do fun crafty projects.  A party forces me to do that when I normally can't find the time.  And one again, Pinterest offered a slew of ideas. 


Loved how this display turned out!  I made the burlap banner and sewed on fabric that I ran through my printer to create the letters (using freezer paper...google it...that stuff is amazing!).
The cake plates I made for $2 each.  I bought a plate and ice cream sundae dish from the dollar store. Spray painted each white and glued together using E-6000 glue. 
And the cake....man, oh man, that was a lot of cake!  This was my first time covering cakes in fondant.  Wow. It's harder than it looks on tv!  I baked the cakes ahead of time, wrapped in plastic wrap and stuck them in the freezer until I was ready to frost.  I put on a thin layer of butter cream and then covered with fondant. I had two kinds.  My friend Mindy gave me two buckets of the pre-made stuff (THANK YOU!....that was a life savor!).  And then I made one big batch of marshmallow fondant.  Both were pretty easy to work with once I got them rolled out, but it seriously was an ab workout. 

I did the birthday cake in square to change it up a bit.  And found these cute wires at the craft store.  I actually think I could make a really cute fondant cake now after learning from my mistakes, but it turned out cute for the party. 
 The other major project was these aprons.  I love how they turned out! I found the plain white aprons at Joann's and then sewed the ruffles on (thanks to my mom's tutorial on how to gather the fabric).  The cupcake was another thing I ran through my printer and then used a heat bond to iron it on.  They were a little bit timing consuming since I have never sewed anything in my life!  But if you don't look too closely, they turned out pretty cute! I totally have the sewing bug now.  I have been borrowing my MILs extra sewing machine, but I must get one for myself ASAP.  After the aprons I sewed a table cloth and napkins for the party too. 

Addy couldn't wait for the party to get started once she got home from school.



Still feeling like the 'new' girl in the area, her party consisted of girls from all over: one cousin, one friend from church, one neighbor, one friend from dance, one friend from school, and one family friend = 7 girls total with the birthday girl.  I don't think one of the girls knew another girl at the party, but they all knew Addy (one girl missing below who arrived after the picture).  Despite not knowing each other, they had a great time together and were such a cute bunch!

First up was the craft in the dining room.  I got to re-use that felt garland I made for Ry's party.  Love it.  We made a little cake topper to go on the cakes and cupcake wrapper flowers. 

And then we had a little 'Cake Boss Training' in the kitchen.


Then they were ready to decorate their cakes! 

They had a blast decorating, piping, sprinkling, rolling and cutting out fondant shapes...all while snacking from the 'Bakery Shop'  (I didn't bake a thing...all store bought.  I was baked-out from all the cakes!) Thanks to my sister and my husband for the hands-on help that was really needed with fondant, icing bags, etc.  Couldn't have done it without them! 

We opened up presents and ate the birthday cake right at the decorating table because there was no pulling these girls away from their cakes! 



All the girls with their finished cakes!  The cakes, cake plates, and aprons served as the party favors.  The girls were so excited to take their cakes home to their families!
 I only wish I would have stretched it out to 2 hours instead of an hour and a half. It just wasn't quite long enough. It was a wonderful afternoon and a joy to plan. I asked her what her favorite part was and she said "EVERYTHING!".  That makes it all worth it!  Her actual birthday wasn't until a week later...so it's been birthday mania around here (along with Halloween and all the festivities).  So happy with how it all turned out.  And I have a few months to recover before Carson's birthday in January! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

{Pumpkin Patch Outing 2011}

It wouldn't be fall without a trip to the pumpkin patch.  I think this is 7 years in a row we have gone to Spooner Farms down in Orting.  I love a good tradition.  But, I seriously cannot believe it has been an entire year since last time.  A move + a baby has made time just fly by this past year. 

The kids were over the moon when we decided on a whim to head out on a Friday after school the second week of October. Usually we are trying to cram it in the week before Halloween...along with Addy's birthday, school harvest parties....so I really wanted to go earlier and also on a week day to avoid the massive Saturday crowds. It worked out perfectly. Warm-ish weather, happy kids, no crowds. 

I usually carry the baby, but I passed off the job to Trev so I could take pictures.  Next year he'll have to balance Miles in the wheel barrow too.

Duck races are always a hit.



The light was fading fast since it was late afternoon, so we got these shots just after arriving and then I tried to ease up on all the photos the rest of the time. 
Love the fall colors...it makes for such pretty pictures.  Not to mention cute kids. 

This was the 'Flynn Rider smolder' look I got upon request. Man, he's a cute kid.

And this girlie will always pose for the camera. Those dimples!

How can you not love this face?....even if it was the only 2 seconds he held still for a shot the entire evening.  He is my relentless picture avoider.

Such a sweet smile from the littlest one.




Trev is a master at the corn maze, as usual.






Trevor told Carson he could pick out any pumpkin that he could lift into the wheelbarrow. 


He was done with his boots after an hour, hence the bare feet. 



I was disappointed that I didn't pass off the camera to get in one single shot!  I am usually pretty good about getting in front of the camera to document my presence no matter how much baby spit-up I have on my clothes. But it just didn't happen this time. 

We left with 100 pounds of pumpkins, caramel corn, and caramel apples.  Delish all around. 

The pumpkins are still on my porch waiting to be carved. I guess that will need to be crammed in right before Halloween.  Always plenty going on this time of year.  ...Enough to make me happily stressed!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

{Soccer Trip #3: UW}

The final game on our trifecta of trips to see Erin play was close to home at the University of Washington.  After a whirlwind trip to Pullman, we had a one day break for my own kids to play two soccer games on Saturday, and then on Sunday we headed up with the fam to UW campus.  It was pouring buckets as we left, and I was slightly panicked about leaving our big golf umbrellas back home by mistake.  But by the time we made it to Seattle the clouds had burned off revealing a beautiful, sunny afternoon.  After peeling off our layers, and putting on our sunglasses, we were ready for the game!










The whole group!  Another great cheering section!  And another tough loss, but they bounced back and beat #18 Oregon State last week in OT, by a game winning header goal by none other than, Erin.  Sah-weet.


I believe at least one of my parents have traveled and attended every single game she has played in during her 5 years at the University of Utah.  Only the newborn grand-babies kept my mom from a few games.  Major fans and supporters, I tell you what. My Dad is even a member of the Crimson Club.  Yah. Seriously.  And we all have enough Utah red gear to keep cheering for years to come. 


Erin, thanks for being such an awesome Aunt to all my littles.  They love their Aunt Erin to pieces!!

The season continues for a few more weeks, and we are cheering her on from afar.  Good luck Ern! 
Love this sweet pic from the Daily Utah Chronicle.  See the article here too. 


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

{Road trip to Pullman, WA}

I've been to Pullman, WA four times now.  Once in high school to visit WSU.  And 3 times in the last 5 years to see Erin play.  We can actually navigate a bit in the cute college town.  This time we were there for less than 24 hours.  We left Seattle on Thursday night and rolled in about midnight.   Unfortunately my Mom and Dad got stuck in Denver due to weather, so they couldn't meet us until Friday afternoon.  My sister and her baby flew into Spokane Thursday night and got a hotel as she waited for my parents to arrive the next day.  Anyhow, we all made it to the game despite their travel hiccups. 

Finley and Miles at the hotel before the game.  Man, seriously cute.


I actually got a few shots of her during the game this time. 


 I have to say WSU players and fans, in general, were kind of mean.  Especially the fans.  They had a group of guys that stood behind our goal and were heckling our goalie big time.  Not much sportsmanship here.  Do you think this player below is going for the ball?
 Grandma and Addy
 We weren't prepared for the cold...so we huddled up tight!

 The team lost a hard-fought match.  Always tough playing on the road. We headed back to Seattle after the game so we could be home for our  own kids' soccer games on Saturday morning.  It was a lot of driving, but I'm so glad we went!!

 3 of the 4 sisters (We missed you Milly!)



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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion pictures...it is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

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