Celebrating 1 Year!

Our baby girls turned 1 this past weekend! ONE! I can’t believe it. It’s so true what they say, “the days are long but the years are short.” And this past year just went way too quickly. To celebrate our baby girls we had a small party at home with a pink and purple theme of course! I LOVE to color coordinate our girls – its just helped over the past year in telling them apart, especially for other people. I’m also hoping it helps them know what belongs to each girl so they have some sense of things belonging to each of them and that they don’t have to share absolutely everything! So Sloane’s color is pink and Maisie’s is purple. A friend of mine with twins calls them their birth colors. She did something similar with her twins. And I love it!

So on to the party details.. Here we go!

The Photo Shoot


We took one of our office chairs out in the woods behind our house and I took some pics of the girls while KH entertained them and made them smile for me. We used these for the invitation as well as decor at the party.

The Invitation

I was so glad to find one to match our pink and purple theme! Thanks Shutterfly!

The Outfits


I found the design on Etsy but them ordered them through a local contact who was able to make them for me. The tutus came from Amazon. $6.50 each and LOTS of colors to choose from! Can’t beat it!

The Decorations 


I really took advantage of Amazon this year. From high chair decor to streamers to pom poms and banners, balloons, candles, straws and paper products, it all came from Amazon!  Free 2 day shipping made decorating this year a blast! (And really quick and simple)

The Food


I decided to try and change things up and not do all of my typical “go to” party foods. The caprese sticks and sausage dip are the same but I also added in cheese cubes with pearl toothpicks, a fruit tray from Publix, pink and purple m&ms from Party City, pink (cherry cola) popcorn, purple (grape) popcorn, white (white chocolate candy corn) popcorn and chicago style popcorn all from Heavenly Gourmet Popcorn. Lollipops from Party City were the party favor and pictures were used for decoration. I am missing the main dish in the pic which leads me to these . . .

Ham and Swiss Cheese Slides


Heavenly. That’s all you need to know. I barely got one before they were all devoured. A definite repeat. Make them!



Publix came through with beautiful smash cakes as well as a larger pink and purple cake for everyone else. I love how the ombre roses came out! My fav! *Note smash cakes are usually free from Publix when you order a birthday cake there. However when you customize it there is a price associated with it. Based on how these turned out though it was well worth it. I LOVED the girls cakes. (And yes they are both crying.. oh well! Glad they look cute at least!)

Family Pic


A full day but we made it and Sloane and Maisie had an incredible celebration! Big thanks to my besties, Jesslyn and Emily, for helping us decorate and make all the party food. And another big thanks to my mom for taking all the pics so I could play hostess and then just enjoy all the fun as well. And last but night least, of course a HUGE thanks to KH for being the best teammate and husband I could ever ask for. You always make party planning a blast! Love you!


Toys for Under 1

Most of my blog posts are the result of friends asking me questions about my experience. Having 3 under 3 doesn’t make me an expert but it does mean that babies and toddlers are on the top of my mind ALL THE TIME. I love our 3 and I love talking baby. Probably because its something I can get excited about and feel like I know at least a little something about. So this post is in honor of a dear friend who has a baby boy a couple months younger than our girls and was looking for some toy recommendations for babies under 1. While we try to stay minimalists in the toy area (we try- I didn’t say we are successful) we certainly have our share of toys around the house.  These stick out as some of our favorites that all of our kids have used and enjoyed.

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LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table

This is actually a great toy around 9 months when babies are starting to try to pull up and stand. Jude didn’t start walking until he was about 13/14 months so this toy was still great in the early 1 year old days for him to stand and play and push buttons.


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Another great toy for the early stages of walking as you can adjust the wheels to have more or less resistance. The girls also sit in front of this toy and can push and play with the buttons. Jude is 2 and will still grab this occasionally and push it around.


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Baby Einstein Walker

We actually got this toy for Jude when he turned 1. He liked it for about a week and then quickly realized he could move around a lot more not “constrained” in this walker. He then went to pushing it around instead of riding it which kind of defeated the purpose. Our girls are now 8 months old and one of them is in this at least once a day. They love it and they can move around in it really well pushing on the floor with their feet. It is perfect for their age and will be used a lot until they start walking.


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Evenflo ExerSaucer

When one baby is in the walker, the other is in the exersaucer! This has been a family favorite for all of our kids. There is lots to look at and play with. It has lights and sounds and is great for jumping as well. You can even take it apart when they get older and change the shape to make a “table” that they can stand at and still play with. While exersaucers do take up space – having one has become a necessity.

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Rattles, shakers and other miscellaneous toys

I still have no idea how we accumulated all of these little random rattles and stuffed shakers.. but we did. From soft toys that make noise to harder toys that light up to balls with shakers inside and little dolls with rubber hands and feet that act as teethers- all of these random little toys seem to mysteriously appear all over our home but at this age they are actually perfect for our girls to play with. When your baby is too small to sit up or is just learning to sit up but can’t move around yet, having some small teether toys that they can learn to hold and pass from hand to hand and chew on is actually pretty important. It helps them learn and gives them something to do at this stage. So while these toys might add to the clutter they are a helpful addition for this short time frame.


Jude Turns Two!

Over the weekend we had a birthday party for our favorite TWO year old! I can’t believe he is two already! The days are long but the years are short.. really short! Here’s a recap of everything we did to celebrate our birthday boy!

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  1. The Outfit 

You can’t have a birthday party without the perfect outfit. 🙂 I wanted to get something for Jude beyond the normal birthday shirt with a number on it. I found this cool shirt through VazzieTees on Etsy. It comes in a variety of color combinations. It was perfect for the big day.


2. The Invitations 

We invited all of the kids from Jude’s class to his party. 8 kids and their siblings! That’s a lot of pre-schoolers 🙂 We sent an evite this year instead of paper invitations which worked perfectly for the amount of people. We decided to suggest no gifts since we have plenty of toys for our boy already and kept the party to 2 hours. It was the perfect amount of time.

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3. The Decor

We aren’t big into themes so for Jude’s party we opted for Elmo and Sesame Street plates and cups and napkins but then went for general blue, red and yellow colors for the remaining decor. I also printed a picture of Jude from every month of the last year from his 1st birthday to his 2nd and made a banner for over the fireplace. The triangle banner was actually a purchase from GroopDealz about 2 years ago. We had some balloons around the house and then one Elmo balloon that sang “Happy Birthday” as well.

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4. The Food

What party would be complete without a tasty spread. Our goal after last year was KEEP IT EASY. We ordered a nugget tray from Chick-fil-A, a fruit tray from Publix, we made pigs in blankets, a sausage and cheese dip for chips and a caramel toffee dip for apples. We also set out individual bags of goldfish from Costco as well as applesauce pouches. There were also several coolers setup with drinks for all ages. To finish it all off we of course went for an Elmo cake from Publix.

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5. The Favors

What two year old doesn’t love chalk? I debated what to do for favors (if anything) but then found these boxes of chalk at Wal-Mart for $.97. They were a big hit with all the kids and perfect for a fun giveaway.


6. The Fun 

What do you do to entertain about 10 two year olds? Get a bounce house and throw some balls in there! We were fortunate that a friend actually offered us her bounce house for a very discounted price weeks before Jude’s party. We jumped at the opportunity and purchased some additional bounce house balls on Amazon as well. We also had corn hole for the adults and a couple of little tykes cars and a tunnel as well. Between this and all the food (not to mention our playroom inside that the kids seemed to find!) there was plenty to do for everyone.


7. The Result

I think its safe to say we all had a great time- especially our sweet boy! It was the perfect day to celebrate Jude turning 2!

Gift Ideas for 1 year old Boys

We are headed to my friend Haleigh’s son’s 1st birthday party today! For the first time buying a gift for a child’s birthday party wasn’t an overwhelming task. For years as friends had birthday parties for their kids I was constantly faced with, “What is the world do I buy a “X” year old boy/girl that he/she will absolutely love?!” I was clueless. Now that we have a 1 year old boy (and am around other 1 year old as well) I finally have a grasp on what boys, at least, love to play with at this age and hope this helps out anyone else who might need a tip or toe on what to get a little one..

Gift ideas for 1 year old boys:

  • Fisher Price Little People playsets
  • Trucks/cars that he can push around- big chunky ones that are easy for him to crawl or walk and push as opposed to little cars
  • Balls
  • Board books
  • Water table
  • Little Tikes car
  • Swim suits and personalized and/or matching beach towels (more for the parents – but my bestie got our little guy this for his 1st and I absolutely love it)
  • If they are still learning to walk then anything they can stand and push to walk with like this.

Happy Shopping!


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Planning a 1st Birthday Party

Our little man just turned one and here is a list of all of our food and decor for the main event!

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  • Pigs in a blanket
  • Veggie Tray
  • Apples with toffee dip
  • Sausage and cheese dip (recipe coming soon!)
  • Caprese sticks (fresh mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil)
  • Sugar cookies with blue icing
  • Cake (If you order from Publix for a 1st birthday you’ll get a smash cake for free!)
  • Basil Lemonade
  • Sweet Tea


  • We got most of our party decor from BirthdayExpress.com. Plates, napkins, streamers, balloons and even a banner were all from this 1st birthday theme. It makes party planning simple for those who are on a budget or have limited time and just want a one stop shop.
  • I created a banner with all of Jude’s monthly pictures by printing my Instagram pictures through Social Print Studio. I like using them because the pictures are printed matte and on a very thick paper. I hung them on twine using paper clips and then added a colored fabric banner underneath. Instant mantel decor!

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