Wednesday, June 27, 2012

15 MONTHS


Remember how I did this at Anika's Birthday Party? All the photos of her growing?
Well, I wanted to show you the photos close up, even though you have most likely seen them before if you have been around here for a while.
I just cant believe how FAST IT goes by!!!
IT makes me want another baby, STAT. I miss my baby. I love my toddler, but I miss my baby in a big way.



Yes, I took photos of photos! haha Lame. Aww, I actually KNEW the day I met her that she was gong to be a spit fire and active. I mean, hello- the day she was born, she was active.





I AM including these 2 other 3 MONTH photos because LOOK AT HER!  THE SIGNS WERE THERE!



I should have been more consistent with the lion- the side it was on and the way it sat. OOPS.  6 Months is when she was crawling.


 Standing and taking Steps
 At 9, REALLY walking!





"Ya, IM over this Lion. Get out"

Oh man, well my last update at 14 Months, she was saying 40 or so words. She says new words every week now.  This past week Watch (loves her Poppa's Watch) and WHAT?! are new.
She loves saying ALl done and all better still. She says all done when she is bored with something and her Poppa thinks thats a hoot. Her Nana and Poppa visting from NZ think Anika is a VERY busy little girl. They said she is "Full On"
I guess Andrew and I are used to it, but yup- Busy little bee.  She is a great helper too. She picks up trash for me that she finds on the floor and I tell her to go get me things or put things away for me. She understands A LOT of what we say, so we need to be careful. She likes to mimic us A LOT!   

My mom (Nona-not to be confused with Nana) made us Matching Aprons!!

SHe hit me on the head with the stainless steel measuring cup! She is doing the hitting thing right now. ugh, trying to nip that in the butt!


I went on a friend's jet ski this weekend when we were out on BIL's boat.  Anika does ok on the boat...for about 2 hours, and then she is done :)


Monday, June 25, 2012

Our Little Artist :)

There are often photos I will not Post on Facebook...BUT, I will post them here!
This is one of those photos!
Anika LOVES her doodle things. She has a small one and this bigger one.
She used the circle magnet to draw a pretty picture for daddy and mommy :)
SHe was a VERY proud artist.
ENJOY! :)
As always, I have so much to share, but so little time! We had a great weekend. The in laws are still with us.  We went to a Fabulous birthday party (Will post pics later) and out on BIL's boat.  Went to dinner at a place in my town that was SOOO bad. ALL the good places had a LONG wait on Saturday night (Welcome to summer around here), so we settled and oh gosh! haha. It was comical at least.  Sunday we took Nana and Poppa to one of our favorite brunch places.
We also HAVE A NEW SITTER FOR ANIKA! She will start later this summer.  The visit this time went VERY well!!    We feel so good about it.
Later Friends ;)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dr. Seuss 1.25 Birthday Party!


We have been planning this party for a long time, but it has been fun!  Andrew and I have spent some wild Saturday nights crafting while Anika slept. Ya know, we cant go out and rage it like we used to, so we find things to keep us busy while the baby sleeps :)
I also had a lot of time to get these things done. This type of thing is fun to me, but as long as Im not rushed and I have time :)
Yes, Anika turned 1 back at the end of March. BUT, all 3 of us have winter birthdays, and I LOVE the spring and summer. I love outdoor parties. Heck, Andrew and I got married outside.  I also wanted to have the party at the beach house. My gram has a birthday in January and she used to throw herself parties in the summer, so I took a page out of her book :) AND, my in laws are here from NZ, so It was Awesome to have them here for it!
Before we knew Guzzi (Anika) was a girl, Andrew had mentioned decorating the baby's room like Dr. Seuss (bright colors). One of his favorite children's books is The Lorax, and he loves the bright colors of Dr. Seuss.  I can attest to that- his house in NZ had VERY bright colored walls.  When we found out Guzzi was a girl, I Just wanted to go girly in her room- and as you know, we did!! We both still LOVE her room. We spend a lot of time in there playing with Anika. It is still SO perfect to us...Bright, sunny, functional, comfortable and fun. 
After seeing Ashley post Cooper's FIRST BIRTHDAY Party, I JUST KNEW that would be Anika's 1st Birthday party theme- She DID it so well and it was MUCH cuter than I ever imagined Dr. Seuss could be! Also, worth mentioning, Ashley is my blog friend who HAND painted Anika's letters that hang in her room- the letters match her room PERFECTLY and every time I look up at the letters, I smile...thinking of Ashley and Cooper.  It still melts my heart that someone I have never met in real life did something so special for us, just because.  I hope Ashley doesn't think Im a stalker though, just because IM mildly obsessed with her crafy ideas! ha.
Anyway, SO, this party was NOT inspired by Pinterest- it was inspired by Ashley's party and Andrew's original nursery desires! ha. Dont get me wrong, a few things came from Pinterest though. Ill tell you which things.

Lets start with the Invitation.  I used one of Anika's photos from her Photo shoot.  Then, Kristen from  LLP made the Print for Me,  and emailed it to me as a JPG.  I had some printed at Shutterfly.com and they came out great. I just ordered 5x7 prints.  I also had some printed at walmart and they did a pretty crappy job with the colors, bUT Walmart gave me free 5x7 envelopes...which were hard to find otherwise. Walmart.Com DID BETTER than walmart in the store, so keep that in mind.
I sealed the envelopes with Dr. Seuss stickers.

The PARTY Photos are KINDA out of order, but Ill try to explain it all. I know when I was looking at blogs for party ideas, I hated how people didn't tell me HOW they made or did things, so I will TRY MY BEST, but if anyone who reads this wants to know how I did something, PLEASE ask :)
WARNING- LOTS of pictures ahead. I contemplated not posting so many, but whatever, you can skip if you want....I want some of my friends who live too far away to feel like they were there :)
My friend T wrote "Happy 1st (.25) Birthday" in her guest book, so hence the name of the post. YES, she is 1.25. hahah

The Jello Aquarium. Saw this on Martha stewart on line, I think through pinterest.   I made this a month ago to test it out and it was SOO dark. PS. I HATE JELLO so I never actually taste tested it! ha. The inspiration photo was so light colored.  Andrew googled how to lighten up the "water" and it said to add clear gelatin packets to the blue Jello (Jello only has one blue flavor and its dark blue).  I added the 4 packs of clear gelatin it said, but it was STILL so dark! I had a hell of a time with this.  When I finally decided to just go with the dark blue,  I COULDNT find the Swedish Fish I had bought! So, the jello completely hardened that night and I bought more fish the next day. I was supposed to stick the fish in before it completely hardened.  I stuck them into the jello with a skewer. That was Friday. On Saturday, the fish had kind of lost color and "melted" after sitting in the jello all night...so this didn't come out as I planned! haha  I added the "poles" to try to make it look better.

Here are pics of my decorations. I put Dr. Seuss books on the shelf. The photos above hanging on the wall are nothing related to the party :)
Already there.
There is a fish in the vase. I had fish in some of my wedding center pieces and I always had pet fish in HS and college. ..simple gold or beta fish.  There were 6 fish throughout the party and they went home with kids who wanted them- and whose parents said they could have them :)  Anika kept one too. She calls it FEESH. She will also call the salmon FEESH when I buy it at the grocery store, so she knows it alive and dead. haha. I brought down a few toys for the younger kids who would be there.
Ashley Used paper lanterns on a chandelier. The ceilings in the beach house are HIGH. I tied some to the windows, but I still had a lot left, so we put them in the fire place, since we obviously wouldn't be using that :) The basket on the right has beach toys and towels. I Put a few sunscreens in the bathroom for people. The photo above doesn't have flowers yet in the vases.
I have posted this before because we made it a while ago.  My dad used some scrap wood and cut the blocks. Andrew painted the blocks and I printed Dr. Seuss Font letters, traced them on scrap book paper, cut them out, and used modge podge to put them on the blocks. I downloaded the font for free on line. Then I added some bows, pom poms, and fluff :)  I got the fluff that you see on the vases and the blocks at Hobby Lobby.



Kristen also made the cupcake toppers and the food tags/tents.



The back of the food tents.


I got the colored utensils and wrapped them in napkins. Actually, Andrew helped me do this one night. We did them in a couple evenings while we talked or watched tv. No big deal.  I got the ribbon at Jo-Ann fabrics cheap to tie them up.
That round dish behind has a fish in it. I ran out of vases and picked up one too many gold fish :)

Close up of utensils. Only a few had bells- I had them left over from another craft and figured, why not! ha

There was not a lot of wall space (too many windows) so I ended up putting this banner on the window behind a food table. This wasn't ideal because it was hard to see the photos with the sun behind them.
The photos started at Birth, 2 weeks, then 1 month up to 12 months of Anika with her Lion. You guys have seen all the photos on here :)


The Favors were Organic soaps- Green Eggs and Fish. THe green eggs has faded though- so the center was very LIGHT Green.



The Guest book was a copy of The Lorax.

The Fruit kabobs as Truffala Trees (The Lorax) came from Pinterest.  The thing they are stuck into took some trial and error. We used a block of wood on the bottom for weight and then used floral foam and then wrapped in fabric. BUT, when I tested the skewers in it, dust from the floral foam came out. Andrew and I googled it, and sure enough floral foam is toxic, so we ditched that idea!! We unwrapped it all and I got plain Styrofoam and put that on the wood instead. THEN, re-wrapped in fabric we had :)  This worked perfectly. I made color photo copies of a page from The Lorax for the signs. My inlaws assembled all the fruit kabobs and we filled this block up 3 or 4 times!
The Cat in The Hat jello and cream jars came from Pinterest.  My mom had the small mason jars so it was super cheap and easy to make them.
People asked if I dyed the gold fish IN THE Jars. NO. I bought the big box of Colored Gold fish..and then one night while watching garbage TV, I separated them :) 

I got the popcorn bags at a local party store and had 3 different kinds of popcorn. I couldn't believe the popcorn went fast!
I made the Happy Birthday  Banner a while ago.  I cut the cloth and the letters (Also Dr. Seuss Font). I started out using iron on transfer paper to put the letters on the fabric squares, but ditched that and used fabric glue for the last ones. My mom helped me sew (ok, she Did all the sewing) the squares so they were not jagged :)  I wish I got a photo with the plastic lids off. I did buy the sandwiches from a local caterer. I didn't get a picture, but most of the sandwiches were CUT in the shape of a fish!  SUPER cool. I am bummed I didn't get a photo of that.   The other sandwiches were in rolls and were curry chicken salad. 
The same caterer made the Seussical sushi- it was veggie sushi.

I always make these caprese skewers,  ever since I first saw them on 3Peanuts YEARS ago.
We called the Veggie platter Truffala Garden :)  The dips were put in bell peppers with the tops cut off. There was hummus, bean dip and ranch.
Green eggs. I didnt want to use food coloring so I used spinach to make them green.  THe cheese board I wrote on with chalk. I have a bunch of these boards (they were wedding gifts).  I had forgotten to bring the Brie down so that was added last minute :)  Buffalo chicken dip went in the hot pan and then mini quiches.  I thought I had WAYYY too much food, as I often do. But, OH NO. The party started at noon and the food was gone a couple hours later. I couldn't believe it! This is the first party I have ever hosted that we ran out of food. I mean, everyone got to eat, but I know people would have gone back for more after a few hours and after being outside at the beach.

I put a Dr. Seuss game and books on the coffee table because I knew there would be a lot of young kids there  who would be able to reach things :)  So, no fish on that table! ha. I didnt get a pic of the tables set up to eat at, but they had the flowers and the fish on them.




I took a close up after because I forgot at the party :)

I made Peach Sangria and ice tea. Then there were Lots of other non alcoholic choices and beer and wine. The beer one was on the floor :)  There is a full kitchen at the beach house so I kept a lot in the fridge and brought it out as needed or when I though the buckets were getting low.

Before people arrived. My FIL took a million pics. I'm sure his are better than mine but he takes them in raw images- very large files so it takes a long time to convert them. IM not patient :)

I used prefold diapers for the day and used this diaper as a cover,, so I could use it all day and just change the prefolds on Anika).



The tutu and bow were made by Danielle ! Both so cute. Thanks so much Danielle!!  It ordered the shirt from Etsy.
I wish the light wasn't weird in this. Anika is wearing a bracelet my friend Wittney sent her! Anika loved it.


Ani and her cousin.

I just cut out paper triangles from the paper left over from the photo banner I made and put them on a high chair. There were a lot of chairs on on the deck out the door above and the door below. A lot of people ate their lunch out on the deck.

Fooze ball. ? is that how you spell that? haha


The entry
I put little windmills. Earlier in the day I had an oopsy here. I might leave my bloopers for this party for another post :)
I made the little wreath one night while watching the first season of One Tree hill. haha.  I just used cheap yarn and wrapped it around a Styrofoam circle I got at Jo anns.  Then added a flower clip of Anika's to it.





Anika was laughing at her daddy. Andrew didn't dress to match us- lame! haha, I didn't tell him to by the way.



This involves another blooper, but it is a small cake for my FIL because he turned 70 this year and we missed his party.



I loved these striped straws!

PS. most of the beer was old- like from past parties and such but since Andrew doesnt drink anymore, we had a basement full of beer already!

The blue and red rock candy were a big hit with the kids! haha.  Im sure the parents loved that. 
The cupcakes were regular box cake and sugar frosting. Anika's cake however was the same as before:
Banana-Applesauce Cake
 2 cups org whole wheat flour,  1 tbsp wheat germ, 1 tsp baking soda, 6 medium, ripe bananas – mashed, 1 cup organic applesauce, 1/4 to 1/2 cup almond milk (can use any kind). In a bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the applesauce with the mashed bananas and milk. Pour the applesauce mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a greased pan and bake at 325 F for around 1 1/2 hours. (until cake tester comes out clean).

The icing was coconut flour, almond milk, a little maple syrup from my dad's tree, coconut oil.
I put blueberries on top and she LOVED the blueberries. ha



Someone brought this car...she always uses one at other parties we go to. WE could not get her out of it!!




Some friends just hung out on the grass with their babes.

Some laid out on the beach and the older kids played in the water.

ME and my Baby!





I like how long my hair looks here! lol.

Standing with all her friends :) haha



SWEETEST Family. My friend L stayed after and helped us clean up!! Her daughter is just the happiest wee thing and always so full of life! I love how she bounces!




The Proud Parents :)

One of my childless friends. Her and her husband are really cool. They came up from Boston (Many friends came up from MA).  She is usually a beach bum but I never saw her get in her swim suit and show off her 6 pack! ha


More kidless friends, above. I tried to make it fun for the families/kids and the ones without.



My grandparents on dad's side.  Haha, look at Papa looking at Anika and vice versa.


My grandparents on my mum's side.
I DIDNT even get a pic of Anika with my mom and dad :(( My dad was in a festive shirt though which was funny. ha.  I don't think I got any with my MIL and FIL either :(


I wanted to take a photo of all the babies, but ehh, some had left...one wasn't there yet.  ANd, many didn't want to! hahaha The baby lying down is only 3 months old :)


We only opened a few presents.



She actually loved the cards! ha


No idea why this is in here...hahah, go with it.


(L wrapped so well...but I got distracted and only wrote down ONE of the presents...there were 2, so L, IM SO SORRY-I will be asking you!)   The gifts got picked up for me and things got shuffled, and IM OCD about Thank you notes and knowing .
 My mom and my inlaws were A HUGE help with set up and clean up!! I am very lucky to have them!
She said "hot" when Andrew lit the candle so she stayed away from it, luckily.


 Clapping for herself.





She got this water table and we set it up.


And this watering can so she tested it out at home.



My very sweet friend Natalie sent Anika this darling bathing suit in the mail. It arrived Friday afternoon along with a photo of Channing Tatum (for mommy!).  Natalie has a ginger boy like I have a little ginger girl! ha

The party was so much fun and the weather was great! And, in case you are like 20 other people and want to know if I will do somethign this big every year, the answer is NO!
I have wanted to have a party outside on the lake for a long time- even pre Anika! haha. I LOVE this time of year.  I also love planning parties but I always have to work with others-and I loved being in control for this one :) I got to do what I Wanted to do...and of course Andrew was invloved, but he loved all my ideas.