Monday, October 25, 2010

avery's pinkalicious party

Avery loves the book Pinkalicious.
We've read it approximately 853 times now - so seemed fitting to celebrate her 4th birthday with a Pinkalicious theme.

For me, maintaining the authenticity of the story was way more important than covering everything in pink.  
Keeping that in mind, the most important element of the party - aside from the pink cupcakes - was Avery's outfit.

To make the shirt, I took one of her old button-down blouses and removed the collar. Then I dyed it pink, sewed lace on the top and sleeves, and added a tiny pink bow. I found her skirt at Target and her wings at Walmart. Her crown and wand were from Oriental Trading Co. I bought some sweet little sparkle shoes to finish the look. 

I am beyond blessed to know a super-talented cupcake maker/wedding cake baker in town.
I sent her the picture of the cupcakes in the story, and this is what she came up with...

They tasted as good as they looked!
If you live in my town and want to use her, let me know - I'll be glad to pass on her name!

Since we're currently living with my Mother-in-Law while we serach for our new home, we decided to have Avery's party outdoors in her backyard. The weather was warm, but nice and sunny.

The beautiful thing about outdoor parties is that you can get away with doing way less decorating. A fact that is super important when you've managed to get in waaaay over your head and make dolls for your party guests.

I made a garland out of paper doileys for the cake table (super, super easy), and a fabric bunting from some awesome Tanya Whelan fabric I bought on etsy.

For the table decorations, I put cabbage roses in vases and placed little bottles filled with green jellybeans (the cure for Pinkatitis!)

Every guest at the party received a wand (from Oriental Trading - I embellished them with ribbon) and their own crown (also from Oriental Trading).

The kiddos had pink lemonade, strawberries, and watermelon for their snack.

And then sat on a blanket while I read Pinkalicious.

After the story, we played Pin the Cherry on the Cupcake.

I looked everywhere for a cute pre-made Pin the Cherry on the Cupcake game, but had no luck.
SO - I decided to make the cupcake myself out of fabric...
I'm just going to go ahead and say that making that game may have been the thing that seriously pushed me over the edge.
Between that and the 13 dolls that I made, I'm pretty sure that I knocked off at least 3 years of my life expectancy.

Ahhh... lesson learned...

Next up: catching butterflies with butterfly nets...

until they got too frustrated and just used their hands!
Then cupcake time.

After cupcakes, Avery opened her presents.

Before leaving for home, the little girls selected their own Pinkalicious doll to take home with them.

I've gotta say - I was happy to see them leave...

But this picture makes it totally worth it all...

All photos (with the exception of the cover of the Pinkalicious book) by my beautiful, talented friend Sonya Balentine. She just started her own photography business. Check her out. She's awesome. And wonderful. And awesome.

Monday, October 4, 2010


We have a house in another state.
I like to pretend that it's my Vacation house.
Only it's not. It's totally not.
It's our house.
That we still own.
3 1/2 years after we moved out.

We have some really great renters in our house, but we decided that it was probably time to drive on up to Ohio to meet up with them and check out the condition of the house.

So - we headed out for the excruciatingly long drive last Thursday after preschool.
 All I have to say is, "Thank you God for portable DVD players."
And Diego.
The drive was totally we expected. But at least nobody puked. Before this trip, we were at 2-0 with the puking-in-the-car-business. This trip makes the score 2-1... so, goody for that!

Based on my previous adventures in the puke-mobile, I thought I'd offer a word or two of traveling advice: 
Always, always, always travel with a large towel in the car.
And be ready to grab a pair of spare clothes at a moment's notice.
And a bra.
And it's a good idea to have a couple of trash bags on hand.
And try not to be in the middle of a meal at CRACKER BARREL when your kid gets sick.
Because that really stinks.

We made it - finally - and spent the next day doing a few of the things we loved about the city where Avery was born.

We went to visit the sweet, sweet school where I taught 1st grade for a few years to say "hello" to friends. Afterward, we went shopping in our favorite outdoor mall.

Avery requested a photo by the fountain. Where she posed. Of course.

The next day, we headed out to the COUNTRY LIVING FAIR.

Don't think I didn't plan this trip around it.
Because I totally did.
 Look at these cute little guys....
 Avery and Charlie loved them.
The weather was amazing and the vendors were so great.

I've decided that I have to go again next year...but not to the one in Ohio. Because the drive is murder.
The Fair, however, was awesome.

Of course, I saw a million things I would have loved to purchase, but the checkbook (and the fact that we're on track to call this guy next month and tell him that we're DEBT FREE) kept me from owning most of them.

I did get to buy a few little things though, and had a really great time looking around.

 After the Fair, we took the kiddos to our favorite ice cream store in Columbus...

It did not disappoint.
So yummy.

That night, we met with our Renters - who are totally fantastic.
I was so nervous to see our house again.
I worried that it wouldn't look the same... worried that I would be flooded with memories of happy times...worried that I would feel sad that we can't live in it.
But everything was great.
Our house looked amazing... the Renters love living there... they have a sweet, happy family...the house is full of love...
I couldn't have been more pleased...or more grateful.

Our meeting reminded me of God's promise from His Word that He will supply all of our needs.
He always does.
He always will.
He is so good to us.

The next day, we went to our favorite breakfast place in Columbus.
It was pretty packed, so David and I had to work our buns off to keep Avery and Charlie occupied while we waited for our breakfast.

Crayons help, but never really hold them off for more than 3.5 minutes.
Usually, singing and being silly will buy us some time -
It typically costs me my pride and the little bit of coolness that I have left, but it works. 

Avery chose the pancakes with whipped cream on top.
With the emphasis on the whipped cream.
 Then we decided to bust out the "building blocks".
Thankfully, the food came just before the major meltdowns commenced.

Avery got her whipped cream...and LOTS of it.

All was right with the world.
Until Charlie started throwing his pancakes.
Eating out with kids is never quite as fun as you think it will be, is it?

We did some more shopping before heading home on Monday morning.

On the way home, Avery helped David clean the windows.
 She did a pretty good job.
If the whole preschool thing doesn't work out for her, she'd definitely have a back-up gig.

 We took a break for dinner at Loveless Cafe in Nashville.
I love that place.
If you're ever in Nashville, you have to go there.

 Avery and Charlie really loved the gift shop.
And the guitar shaped fly swatters.

Can you tell that daddy plays guitar?

It took us 11 hours to get back home from Columbus.
For the record: It's NOT an 11 hour drive.
I've never been so happy to get out of the car.
But nobody puked... so I'd say the trip was a huge success.
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