Tag Archives: birthday

{TWO Fabulous} Minnie Mouse 2nd Birthday Party

In the blink of an eye… Claire is TWO!

Claire loves Minnie Mouse, so we celebrated her second birthday with a small Minnie Mouse-themed birthday party at our house.

Can I eat one now?

Last year, for her fabulous flamingo first birthday party, we made most of the decorations. This year, I ordered the main things off of Etsy! It was so much less overwhelming, and came out super cute!

The “Happy Birthday” banner came from Etsy, although apparently the store I got it from no longer exists. I love that it has the Disney font, and the colors were perfect.


I also got Claire’s super cute, personalized shirt from Etsy. It came from a different store but matched perfectly with her banner and the cups (I didn’t get a good picture of those) that I ordered.

This party was so much fun to plan. Since we had it at our house (and Claire is only 2…) we wanted to keep it small and invited family and a couple of friends. But that didn’t stop me from having fun with the food!

Pinterest has a ton of great ideas for kids’ birthday parties (like I needed another reason to devote all my time to scrolling through pins), so I found a bunch of ideas and saved them to a Minnie Mouse birthday party board. The food was pretty simple, but it was a hit! {I got the designs for the food place cards off Etsy too!}

Donald's Donut Holes

Donald’s Donut Holes were devoured. I got up at 6:00 that Saturday morning to go to a local donut shop for those.

Goofy's Goldfish

Goofy’s Goldfish were almost all gone. Claire loves gold fish. I got the multi-colored version to make it extra special.

Daisy's Garden Veggies

Daisy’s Garden Veggies were delicious … it was just some carrots, celery, broccoli and cucumbers that I got fresh from Publix. With ranch dressing of course!

Figaro's Fancy Fruit

And Figaro’s Fancy Fruit added some more healthy bites to the spread.

Clubhouse Chicken Nuggets

Clubhouse Chicken Nuggets were clearly craved, as not one was left! The chicken nuggets and fruit came from Chick-fil-a (duh).

Mickey's Mac & Cheese

And, of course, we had to have Mickey’s Mac & Cheese, as that is Claire’s favorite food.

Tickle Me Pink Lemonade

We washed it all down with Tickle Me Pink punch. This was raspberry lemonade from Publix.

Oreos - aka Minnie ears

For those of us with a sweet tooth, we had some oreos. But the star of the show was…

Minnie's Amazing Cupcakes

Minnie’s Amazing Cupcakes! Baked by moi, but decorated with the help of a talented friend.

Claire and everyone had a great time swimming in the pool, eating the yummy food … and opening presents, of course!


Then, it was time to eat cupcakes!

This is fun!

All in all, a great birthday party for a great little girl.



Leave a comment

Filed under Baby, Life in Northwest Florida, parenting


My 28th birthday was filled with good food, flowers, cake — and baby challenges!

Claire decided my birthday was a good day to show me that it’s not about me anymore.

New mom adventures

That morning after Claire finished eating, we were sitting in the rocking chair listening to music. I put her up on my shoulder, and since it was the one time I didn’t put a burp cloth there, she spit up on my shirt. Fast forward a couple of hours and I’m trying to get her ready to go to my grandma’s house. I put her in a 0-3 month size outfit but decided it was too big. So I change her into a newborn size outfit. Meanwhile she’s fussy because she isn’t used to this whole “getting dressed” thing and I’m still getting the hang of the tiny snaps and buttons on baby clothes. As soon as I pick her up, she spits up on her dress (thankfully she missed me this time). So, we suffer through another outfit change before we are finally ready to head out to my grandma’s house.

Thankfully the car calmed her down and she slept for the 30-minute ride. Grandma gave her a bottle, I changed her wet diaper, and then we headed out for my birthday lunch at Logan’s.

Usually Claire falls asleep in the car and sleeps in the restaurant (she stayed asleep for the 40-minute ride and hour-long stay at my uncle’s restaurant the day before). This time, she stayed awake. I knew that was going to be a problem. We sat down and ordered, and then my grandma asked, “what would you do if she started crying?” Claire must have heard us because a few minutes later she started fussing. Not too loud, but enough to make me get her out of her car seat carrier in record time. Did I mention that our food had just arrived?! I calmed her down, gave her a pacifier and put her back in her seat. She stayed awake the rest of the time, but at least she stayed quiet.

When we got back to grandma’s house and I took her out of the car seat, I knew why she had been fussy — she had a dirty diaper. I changed her and gave her back to grandma. A little while later it was time for another bottle. After grandma fed her, I ventured out to Starbucks for coffee to go with my birthday cake.

bday cake 1

When I got back, Grandma had put Claire in her swing and she seemed content. We cut the birthday cake and almost as soon as we sat down and started eating, Claire started getting fussy again. I had a feeling it was gas-related so when she started really wailing, I picked her up. Immediately I could tell she dirtied her diaper again. But this time when I went to change her, there was a much bigger “present” — so much that it leaked out of her diaper and onto her outfit! Cue outfit change #4 for the day.

We stayed at Grandma’s house for a little bit longer until we had to leave to go home and get ready for my birthday dinner. Claire slept again on the ride home. I quickly changed her into a cute dress, and then it was time for David, Claire and I to meet David’s parents and brother at Tucker Duke’s for dinner.

We sat down at our reserved table, and Claire was still sleeping. We order, talk, our food comes and … Claire wakes up ready to eat! We had a bottle ready for her, so she didn’t get to the point of crying. And I did have enough time to get my fill of food before I had to feed her.

After dinner, we went back to our house for more cake. bday cake 2

Claire slept until David’s parents got ready to leave. The rest of the night she was fussy again!

fussy fussyI was able to open my birthday presents — a big floating recliner lounge from my grandma, a Banana Republic gift card from the in-laws, and flowers and a ruby necklace from David! (Ruby is Claire’s birth stone) Around 9:30 we gave her a bottle, and put her to bed.

bday flowers

Through all of that, Claire did give me a birthday present (other than the present in her diaper). She slept until 4:30 am that night! She hasn’t done that since, but it was nice to get some rest after that long day.

1 Comment

Filed under married life

On Turning 27

27 isn’t a milestone birthday. It’s not 30, or 50, or even 25. But it is a milestone for me.

27th Birthday Card
This August (my birth month) marks 10 years since I started my senior year of high school. So much has happened in those 10 years. I moved to two different (and far away cities), but ended up being planted in the same area I grew up in. I earned two degrees. I lost my mom, I gained a husband. I got a dog, and bought a house. I’ve been on three cruises. Traveled to Punta Cana on a vacation I won. Traveled literally across the world to Singapore on a business trip. Stopped dancing. Started dancing again. Started teaching dance at two different studios. Had many internships. Got a “real” job. Got promoted at my first “real” job. Started working from home when we moved back to Florida. Started working for a new company, and got promoted 3 times in two years. Supported my husband as he got his first “lawyer job,” and then got his “dream” job. Became a member of a new church. Got involved in various outreach efforts. Lead a small group at our church. Lost touch with old friends. Met new friends.

I never really had a vision of what I’d be doing this age, but I know I have had and will have lots of great opportunities that were planned out for me even before I was born.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah 29:11

There have been lots of trials, and lots of times when I let my moods and emotions (self-consciousness, jealousy, self-pity) take my focus away from the truth that I am here for a reason. I’m here to support my husband. I’m here for my grandmother. I’m here to impact certain people who come into my live (or whose lives I come into) — whether they are my direct reports or colleagues at work, my dance students, or anyone else. I’m here to take in the hope and peace that only comes from Jesus, and pass on that overflowing love to others.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. — Proverbs 31:30.

I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot — professionally, personally and spiritually in my 27 years. I’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go.

Cheers to another birthday, and another day to shine.

Leave a comment

Filed under married life

Red Velvet Birthday Cake

This weekend was a very special weekend — David’s birthday weekend!

David was able to relax on Friday as he was off for Veteran’s Day. I had to work, but we kicked off the weekend by going to 98 BBQ for dinner (David had requested it forever ago!).

On Saturday morning, we went to Another Broken Egg for breakfast. It is has become our go-to place for birthday breakfast.

After breakfast, we spent the afternoon at home, cleaning and watching the FSU vs. Miami game. We were able to catch most of the game before we had to hit the road to Panama City. We saw a lot of the terrible officiating, but had to listen to the most ridiculous event of the game in the car.

Anyway, we headed to Panama City to attend a David Crowder Band concert (and of course grabbed Chick-fil-A on the way). The concert tickets were technically my one-year anniversary gift to David (to go with the paper tradition and all), but it just happened to fall on David’s birthday. The show was part of The 7 Tour, the band’s last tour together. It was an amazing concert with a lot of energy and fantastic music. Even though DCB has been a favorite for a while, I’m glad we were introduced to Chris August and Gungor at the concert — I’ve already added some of their songs to Spotify.

Bright light at the DCB concert. I'm going to miss them.

Earlier on Saturday, I also baked a red velvet cake — David’s favorite! (One layer of our wedding cake was red velvet.) I used this recipe but only made one big layer and used store bought cream cheese icing.

love the color

I was a little nervous when the instructions said “working quickly…” but it wasn’t too difficult to make.


I enjoyed combining the baking soda and vinegar. 🙂

ready to eat!

I also enjoyed putting the final product in our cake dish, which was a wedding gift.

happy birthday, David!

This little guy’s birthday is next! I have big plans to celebrate. 🙂



Filed under married life, Recipes


Last weekend, I celebrated my 24th birthday (so.weird.). Though 24 isn’t exactly an exciting age, it did mark my first birthday as a married lady! Unfortunately, I was battling a cold over the weekend, so the celebrations were low key but highly enjoyable — but that’s just like I like it!

The weekend was kicked off when David brought home beautiful roses on Friday after work.

roses 🙂

Friday night, we headed to P.F. Chang’s for dinner. We started off with an order of spring rolls (so good). For the main course, I ordered beef with broccoli and David had Kung Pao chicken. For the record, David’s chicken was much better than my beef.

On Saturday morning, we went to one of my absolute favorite places: Another Broken Egg Cafe! There I enjoyed a cold glass of apple juice with a giant (and I mean GIANT) pancake, two eggs and bacon. David had an omelet which came with country potatoes (the best I’ve ever had).

For some reason, I decided that I wanted to cook dinner so on Saturday night one of my close friends, Melody, came over to our new house (finally!).

meatball mixture

I made baked ziti with homemade meatballs, based on this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis, except that I used asiago cheese instead of romano and added in some fresh spinach that I had on hand. I also had fresh fruit and spinach artichoke dip for appetizers. I bought a fresh loaf of French bread at Publix and toasted it (a la Ina Garten) to accompany the dip. Yum!


After dinner, we headed out to 32 Degrees for some birthday fro-yo! I enjoyed a cup of vanilla fro-yo with raspberries, blueberries, walnuts, red gummy bears, Oreos and Butterfinger crumbles.


Sunday was the big day (aka my actual birthday), and we started off the day at Destiny Worship Center. After church, we picked up my grandma and went to Logan’s for lunch. But after lunch was when the real fun began.

happy birthday to me!

Birthday cake! But not just any cake — ice cream cake!


We hung out with my grandma for a bit, and my aunt Jennifer and little cousin Evan stopped by, too. Then we headed back to our house to relax and play with Charlie!


Sunday night, David’s parents took us out to Carrabba’s for dinner — and we got free mini-desserts! These desserts are just the right size — they satisfy the sweet tooth without being too heavy. We didn’t even tell them it was my birthday until after our sever gave them to us. We like to think it was because he was a fellow ‘Nole ;).

We headed back to our house after dinner for more cake! And Charlie was more than ready to play.


who should I play with now?

silly boy

And that was my birthday weekend! Nothing crazy, but like I said, it was perfect for me. 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under married life