Allie’s Winter One-derland

It’s been a couple of weeks since Allie’s first birthday party…but, I only just took the decorations down. So, I thought I might as well share a few photos of our baby girl’s big day!

Since Allie has a February birthday, I decided to go with a Winter One-derland theme. As soon as B heard about the theme, she asked me every day if it was “time for Allie’s wintery party?” That kid loves a good celebration!

I found an adorable invitation on Etsy, and set to work pulling together some pink and gold decor, which was a mix of DIY elements and repurposed Christmas decorations.

Some “in-progress” shots from the party prep

Chester was especially excited to spend an evening punching out a million little snowflakes for the garland, as seen above. And, since I hadn’t done anything remotely creative in forever, it felt good to pull out the glue gun again.

Everything all together, over the fireplace

A’s monthly photos and some of my after Christmas Target/Pier One finds

And, then, because the universe is hilarious, it was 73 degrees and sunny on the day of the festivities. I suppose this was fortunate, because I forgot to get tights to go with Allie’s tutu and onesie ensemble. At least her little legs weren’t cold!

For the food, we ordered hoagies and sides from Primos, but I did make some snowflake shaped sugar cookies and setup a hot chocolate bar with a variety of toppings. This slow cooker hot chocolate is my new favorite, mostly because the longer it sits, the thicker it becomes!

The centerpiece of the buffet was this amazing cake from Sweetbox Bakery. We had this cake for B’s second birthday and it’s now our go-to special occasion dessert. The cake itself is light and fluffy, and the icing is a combination of marscapone, cream cheese and, I assume, crack.

Allie was in a serious mood on the day of the party, due in part to some teething difficulties (which have yet to result in an additional teeth making their appearance). She didn’t let that get in the way of enjoying the sweets!

Slightly confused by the “Happy Birthday” serenade

I was especially excited that the party would provide an excuse to entertain in our new home. We would have never been able to fit 20 plus people in our old house. And, as a result, most of our family gatherings have either been at my mom’s or in the case of all of B’s birthdays, at an outside venue. I’m looking forward to filling our home with family and friends for years to come!

And, finally, what would a post about a first birthday be without sharing a few photos of Alice’s cake smash session with the talented April Ziegler

Not as pretty as our Sweetbox Cake, but I made it myself!

She was hesitant at first, and seemed unsure if she could touch the cake, let alone eat it…

But, I put a little icing on my finger and she quickly got the hang of it!

She certainly did not have the same tearful reaction that her sister did!

Allie loved this birthday crown, and I was so surprised that she kept it on for her photo shoot AND party!

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar

One of the first signs that the holiday season was upon us when I was growing up was the appearance of the Christmas countdown calendar in our kitchen. It was this one, from Avon. When I saw it hanging in B’s playroom at my mom’s house on Thanksgiving, it brought back memories of the yearly fight between my brother and me, in regards to who would get to move the mouse first.

This year, I decided to start the Christmas countdown tradition by making a calendar for B. It doesn’t look like the fancy ones that are currently cluttering my Pinterest feed, but it’s fun and whimsical and B’s eyes lit up when she saw it. I’m glad she’s still at an age where she is easy to impress.

calendar 5

I covered paper tags with card stock, wrote each activity on the back of them, cut the numbers out of glittery paper and displayed them on the chicken wire frame from her first birthday party. Since she is still a little too young for some of the traditional holiday festivities like baking cookies and ice skating, I purchased few little trinkets for her to unwrap (a hair bow and socks, books, jingle bells, to name a few) and alternated them with toddler-friendly activities, like watching Christmas movies and driving around to look at Christmas lights.

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I think it should make for a fun December (which starts tomorrow! What?!)