Avery’s Donut Birthday Party

Saturday we celebrated Avery’s 4th birthday with family and friends. This year when I asked him what theme he wanted for his party, I was expecting some Disney character or sports theme like he requested in the past. So, when Avery shouted,  “I want a Donut Birthday Party!!”, I was excited and confused but not that surprised either. I know that makes no sense, right? It wasn’t what I expected him to choose since it was sort of out of the box, but the kid LOVES donuts and I have to admit, I was thinking to myself, “this could be fun for me to plan!” We had the party at 11am and I got away with providing just donuts, fruit, milk & coffee as opposed to the entire spread of food and cake/cupcakes like his first 3 parties. As much as I like doing the food part I have to say it was SO AWESOME not having to come up with a meal and do food prep for 35 people! We ordered 7 dozen donuts from Festival Foods and let Taste of Scandinavia do all the work! Well…other than those few donuts that I added blue drizzle to 😉 Here is details of the party in photos. Enjoy! photo 1

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I had my very creative friend, Jenny Bettendorf, design this awesome poster for the party! I gave her some ideas of what I wanted and she ran with it. I could not be more pleased with it!

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We were also able to find Gluten Free donuts for Uncle John & Aunt Dena at Festival Foods!

We were also able to find Gluten Free donuts for Uncle John & Aunt Dena at Festival Foods!

look at the size of those apple fritters!

look at the size of those apple fritters!

The only good thing about having a winter birthday is we were able to keep the milk cold in the snow outside our patio door.

The only good thing about having a winter birthday is we were able to keep the milk cold in the snow outside our patio door.

donut shop coffee

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I could not believe that Avery and his girlfriend from daycare, Kendal, picked the apple fritters. They must have thought bigger is better.

I could not believe that Avery and his “girlfriend” from daycare, Kendal, picked the apple fritters. They must have thought bigger is better.

I ordered some plain cake donuts for the kids to decorate themselves as well. Here is Avery's hot mess.

I ordered some plain cake donuts for the kids to decorate themselves as well. Here is Avery’s hot mess.

Donut Craft!

Donut Craft!

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donut paty 14

party favor table

party favor table

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These cardboard donuts cost me nothing to make! I was able to use an old box and some paint I already owned.

These cardboard donuts cost me nothing to make! I was able to use an old box and some paint I already owned.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

 
Here’s the card I created using Pic Monkey

Mom and Avery had a little fun at home the other day taking pictures for a Valentine card to mail out to immediate family. On a side note, I should have marked my calendar the one time that Avery muttered the words, “I love you more than donuts”…I mean that’s pretty questionable 🙂 Here’s to love and donuts! XOXO

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Here's the card I created using Pic Monkey

Here’s the card I created using Pic Monkey

 

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes

pancake photoI know some people think it’s a crime to eat breakfast for dinner, but not in our house! Especially when you have a somewhat picky 3 year old that would eat pancakes for every meal if we let him.  Some days I just don’t plan ahead what we are going to have for dinner (OK, a lot of days) and so I get off work and pick up the phone to call my husband and ask the sometimes dreaded question: “So, what should we have for dinner?”, to which I usually get, “I don’t care, whatever you want”. Luckily, today I actually didn’t have to make an executive decision! It was like music to my ears when I heard, “Avery wants to make pancakes”. Oh goody gumdrops…something EASY! Because let’s face it, it’s Monday, my sweatpants are calling my name and I kind of feel like this:

not cookingI decided that pumpkin pancakes were happening. My shopping basket consisted of a can of pumpkin, fresh fruit & some fresh sausage links. BAM!

My dream of not cooking today didn’t 100% come true, but Avery insisted on helping make the batter, and the hubby was the pancake flipper.

              Easy Pumpkin Pancakes:

  • 2 cups dry boxed pancake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • powdered sugar for dusting on top (optional)

1. Preheat griddle to medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

step 1

2.  Blend dry pancake mix and water in a large bowl.

step 23.  Add pumpkin and spices, mixing until thoroughly blended.

step 34.  Pour onto griddle to desired size.  When the mix begins to bubble on top, you will know it’s time to flip and continue cooking until both sides are golden brown.

step 4photo 2ENJOY!

Avery in the leaves

Yesterday I took some pictures with my phone of Avery in my parent’s backyard.  It’s been a tradition every fall and we kept it going this year, Avery’s FOURTH fall!  A majority of the leaves have now fallen off the trees and the blanket of autumn colors is stunning! I LOVE their backyard this time of year.  The pictures would be a lot more “professional” and perhaps the bite marks on Avery’s chin (rolling my eyes) would be photo shopped off if our family photographer, Shannon Peckels, had taken them. However, the leaves were on the ground and it was spur of the moment. Maybe sometime my hubby will buy me a real camera. 😉 fall 1 fall 2 fall 3 fall 4 fall 5 fall 7 fall 8 fall 9 fall 10

Love this one :)

Love this one 🙂

We like to take pictures in Grandma & Grandpa’s yard every fall. Here is a peek of his very 1st fall in 2010…

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Autumn decor

Our weekend off was rainy and cold so we spend our time indoors. Kind of a bummer, but we enjoyed time with family on Friday evening and brought Avery to the movies on Saturday.  We will have to reschedule our trip to the apple orchard for a non-rainy day! Being stuck inside allowed for some autumn decorating and craft projects. I love to have fall scented candles lit in the house this time of year. There’s something about the smell of pumpkin spice!

Last night I helped Avery do a craft. It was a win win situation because he had fun fingerprinting with different colors and I got a new seasonal canvas!

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autographed on back by the artist ;)

autographed on back by the artist 😉

Here are some other random signs of autumn in our home:photo 2 fall 2fall 7fall 5I'm loving the new patterned burlap fabrics available these days!

 
I’m loving the new patterned burlap fabrics available these days!

Woodland Animal Birthday

Trust me, its pure coincidence that two different friends had daughters turn 1 within a few weeks of each other and asked me to do the treats for their party.  And if it that were not a coincidence enough, I could tell you that they live on the same street. You might remember seeing Gretchen’s Fishy party.  This time was Evelyn’s Woodland animal party. Did I tell you they are both adorable and I love both of their names? Well I do. So there.

Moving on to the photos:

As you can see I used all sorts of debris from M&M’s to Oreos, to pretzels, to mini vanilla wafers, to licorice ribbons to chocolate chips. Note: When you use things like pretzels or vanilla wafers on cupcakes or cake, the moisture from the frosting makes them soggy after about a day. My advice: GET OVER IT, IT’S FOR LOOKS. 🙂 Anyways, I could have done more animals but I stuck to 4: Fox, Bear, Owl, Deer…or is it a Moose.  Evie’s favorite is the Fox.

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I found this frosting technique on Pinterest. Here is a tutorial from a great blog.

Making Memories

If you’re like me you have some sort of memories that come to mind when you think of your Grandparents that are unique to your relationship with them. Something special you did together, some where you went, a certain game you always played, a favorite meal or dessert. For me it’s playing Sequence, Grandma’s Roast Beef, going to the “frozen yogurt place”, watching the Cubs, the smell of Christmas ham, sleepovers, M&M’s from Grandpa, the word “nifty”, Montgomery Wards, eating cherry pie at midnight…you get the drift. I can go on for days.

Anyways, the point I’m trying to make here, is these things are priceless. I would rather have the memories that I made with my 4 Grandparents, than all the money in the world. I feel tremendously blessed that my son, Avery, has already at the age of 3 1/2 started to form these kind of repetitive memories with each one of his Grandparents. Fishing & claw machine winnings with Papa Mike , Playing bongo drum, the “belly belly belly” game & the Copper Dome Restaurant with Grammy Sue, going to the St. Paul Farmer’s Market & trail walks with Grandma & Grandpa just to name a few.

Ever since Avery was a newborn infant my Mom has taken him on walks when I’m at work. She teaches him about birds, insects, flowers and all things nature. It’s more than just a walk, it’s developed into a “treasure hunt” and he even sometimes brings something to collect things on the trail. He went from riding in the stroller all bundled up with his “binky” to today’s walk on which he rode his bike.

My Mom goes on a long trail walk every day & Avery and I asked to join her today because my husband had two softball games. Shortly after we started walking my Dad called to ask where we were on the trail. He had driven over to where we park to see if my Mom’s car was there and saw both of our cars.  So, he huffed & puffed to catch up with us, which wasn’t too hard because Avery kept stalling to collect “treasures”.

It was a beautiful evening and there were little hints of fall popping up everywhere! I’m still shocked that Avery road his bike the whole FOUR MILES other than the last 1/4 mile or so that Grandpa carried Avery and I carried the bike. I’m convinced he would have kept riding longer except it had gotten dark and riding you bike in the dark woods doesn’t appeal to this scared-of-the-dark 3 yr. old.

My hope is that Avery never gets too old or too cool to go on trail walks with Grandma & Grandpa 🙂

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Zach & Caitie’s peach-of-a-wedding

Yesterday evening was Zach & Caitie’s wedding & the reception was at Tartan Park Golf Course. It was so gorgeous that I had to beat the guests to the club house and sneak some pictures of décor and the beautiful color pallet of Coral, Peach, Silver and Charcoal before everyone started arriving.

I was honored to help Caitie out by making her cupcakes, cake, and of course lugging along my infamous ever-morphing cupcake stand. (Shout out to my Mom for helping with the set-up and take-down of that beast.) The massive cupcake stand was originally built by my Dad for my best friend’s wedding back in 2010, but since then I have had some opportunities to use it & re-decorate it for weddings of friends or family a couple times a year. Other than that, its a big dust collector in my parents’ garage!

I’ll admit I was pretty nervous about the cake because I’m no cake decorator and I consider myself to be better at cupcakes than cake but Caitie is pretty laid back and gave me free reign with the cake as long as I incorporated her wedding colors. I’ve always liked the “rose cake” you see on Pinterest all the time and the technique is pretty easy so I did that with an artificial flower & some ribbon. Here are some pictures of the awesome color pallet:

coral flowerspopcorn bartartancoral 4wedding cupcakes 2wedding cupcakes 1

I took this photo at my house, so excuse the blue. It was not one of the wedding colors ;)

I took this photo at my house, so excuse the blue. It was not one of the wedding colors 😉