Thursday, December 09, 2010

Hey Cupcake

I'm pretty sure everyone, including me, was sick to death of the haircut picture, so here's a chocolate cupcake instead:

First ya poke at it.

Then ya try it.

Then ya ask for more.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


What a difference a little old haircut makes. He looks so old compared to the Halloween photos.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Ever since he was introduced to Blues Clues, Amery has been obsessed with checking the mail. Anytime we drive by a mailbox he waves and cheerfully calls, "Hi mailblox!" When we pull into the neighborhood and he catches site of our cluster mailboxes, he starts asking over and over again, "Check a mail, mama? Check a mail?" It was only fitting to dress him as a mailman this year.

Mailmen wear Converse, right?

We tried to get a quick shot with the hat. FAIL.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Without giving too much away

I think we're going to have some really awesome photos for our Christmas cards this year.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yep, he's a Texan.

Photographic evidence from Monday's impromtu dinner at one of our favorite local Tex-Mex restaurants:

Going in for the dip.

Careful to get a nice big scoop of the jalapeno seeds.

Down the hatch.

And if you haven't been to La Morada, you're missing out.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Amery's Airplane Themed 2nd Birthday Party

We had a great time putting together Amery's 2nd birthday party this year! We had an even better time throwing the party for Amery and all of our family and friends. I thought I'd put together a post of pictures from the big day, as well as some info about the theme, invitations, food, and favors. I found a lot of inspiration on various blogs and websites, so hopefully this will inspire others.

That's our little (big!) man on his big day.

The Theme
He's really into planes, trains, and automobiles of every size, shape, and color right now, so I knew I wanted a theme along those lines. I was lucky enough to win a contest for some gorgeous birthday invitations from Spearmint Baby that definitely would have been outside our budget otherwise. The train theme seemed much more common, so I settled on airplanes.

This image really doesn't do them justice. They are printed on really nice, heavy paper with rounded corners (optional at no extra charge). I highly recommend Papeterie Baby if you've got a healthy invitation budget.

The Food
We kept it simple this time around. The menu included: pesto pasta salad, fruit salad, hummus with pitas and veggies, crackers and cheese, lemonade, sodas, and cake.

The cake was from HEB and was delicious. It was vanilla cake with fresh strawberry filling and covered in their elite icing (think whipped cream goodness). The candle holders were a great little purchase - only $3.50 for four of them at All in One Bakeshop in Austin. I have seen them in many places online for a similar price if you don't live in Austin. I love how the writing on the cake ended up looking like cloud writing.

The Decor

This fabulous banner was made by my sweet friend, Kimberly, of 3 Monkeys Designs. Not only is she super talented, she does all of this while taking care of a 2-year-old and twin 1-year-olds. You can check out her Etsy store here.

I love extending the theme into unexpected places. These DIY napkin rings were so simple and cheap! A color printer, an inexpensive pack of plain cardstock, and this template pasted into Word and you've got yourself some cute napkin rings with whatever theme you've chosen.

I chose to focus more of the budget on favors rather than go overboard with decor around the house. We had some leftover gliders from the favor bags that we put together and hung above the dining room table with fishing line so they would look like they were flying.

We hung these DIY clouds made from quilting batting along side the planes. I can't take credit for this idea. I was inspired by a post on Ohdeeoh, which is a ridiculously awesome site for creative and inexpensive ideas for kids if you haven't been there already.

The Favors
I love giving out party favors. If I could , I would have favors sitting around just for when people come to visit my house. Even if there's no party happening. It's so fun to hand someone a little thank-you gift on the way out the door that makes them feel, well, thanked.

Each had a DIY reusable luggage tag on the outside that also served as the name tag for each child. The tags are very easy. I picked up some inexpensive badge holders from an office supply store. The back side of each tag is a rectangle cut from some airplane-themed scrapbook paper I purchased at Tuesday Morning for $1.00. I printed the front side on cardstock at home with lines for name, address, and phone. I decided not to carry the name logo through to the luggage tag since the kids would likely use them for years to come as they travel.

I wasn't exactly sure what kind of bag I wanted for the favors other than I wanted it to be cheap. Enter Dollar Tree. I think I got a package of 50 pages for a buck. Bonus points that they were made out of mostly recycled paper. I finished them off with a DIY bag topper that matched the theme of the favors inside. Bag toppers are my new favorite craft. Seriously, you can make ANY packaging look good with a rectangle a smidge wider than the bag itself, and double the size you want it to end up in the folded direction. I drew a rectangle in Word, figured out the middle point where it would be folded, made sure the design fit below that line, and then you just print, cut, fold, and staple.

I would like to point out that the bags unintentionally came out looking like airsick bags from a plane seatback by the time I was done with them. That's either witty or gross depending on your sense of humor.

Each bag contained a balsa wood glider, a snack-sized Ziploc bag filled with Honey Nut Cheerios snack mix, a pair of children's aviator sunglasses, and a few coloring pages with outlines of different airplanes I printed myself. If you click on the photo you can see the bag toppers a bit closer up.

When I started thinking about favors, I was focused on one particular item - balsa wood gliders. There's something nostalgic and simple about them. I searched high and low for inexpensive gliders online. I found plastic versions, foam versions, and wood versions that were well over $2.50 each. I really wanted to stick to less than a dollar per glider in order to stretch the budget. Thank goodness for a great group of ladies I know from a local mom's board. The fabulous Gloria found me some plain wood gliders for a great price here.

I was originally trying to find plastic pilot wings to give to each child, but it turns out these things are nearly impossible to find since 9/11. I get that. In the process I came across the sunglasses. A million Google searches for "kids pilot sunglasses" later, I found the cheapest price here after comparing the cost of the item plus shipping at a dozen other sites.

The snack mix is my new addiction, and since it is relatively healthy I figured it would make a good little snack to send home with the kids. I printed the "Keep Busy Book" coloring pages from this website.

We set the favors up on our fold-out buffet with a sign that read "Amery Airlines Baggage Claim." The little red and white airplanes were part of another Dollar Tree find. You can get lots of cute little decorations like this in the teacher/classroom area of the store. I think there were about 5 each of the red planes, white planes, and some boat shapes in the package.

Here are a bunch more great pictures taken that day by a dear friend whom we can't thank enough. She knows who she is.

Picture collage on the food table.

Blowing out the candles.

He's either: a) freaked out that a bunch of people just sang to him at the top of their lungs, b) concerned that the cake is so far away, or c) a little of both.

Ah-ma and Ah-pa (Grandma and Grandpa) visited from Minnesota!

Cousin cuteness.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

We spent Labor Day Weekend housesitting for Grammy and Grampy. It was a lot of fun. We did pretty much whatever we wanted, when we wanted. We had our own schedule and it went a little like this:

We picked up rocks...

...and threw them into Lake Travis.

We played at the playground...

...for a long, long time.

Amery took his first boat ride on Lake Travis. He wasn't crazy about all the bumps, but he did love swimming in the lake and playing in the mud at the "beach."

When we weren't playing outside in the beautiful (non-100-degree) weather, we watched way too much TV and ate Lucky Charms.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mustache Party

On Saturday we attended our friend Danny's 35th birthday party. Everyone had to wear a mustache, either real or fake. Fun times.

Mario and Luigi.

Groucho Marx (with nacho cheese face thrown in).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

10 on Tuesday

I still can't find the camera battery charger. I either left it in Colorado or lost it around the house somewhere. I hate leaving the blog bare for so long, so I put together my first ever "10 on Tuesday." This was hard. I can't believe some of my blogging friends do this every week.

1. On Saturday morning, we participated in what may have been the Guinness record for the most people frosting a cupcake at once at Cupcake Smackdown 2.0. We needed 1,000 and it didn't seem like that many were there, but the line was pretty long so maybe we made it.

2. While attempting to pay for groceries this past weekend, I discovered my debit card was cutoff due to suspicious activity on the card. It turns out my card number was stolen and some people charged about $400 in Georgia. With the help of Jon's detective work and salesman's persistence, he was finally able to convince the local law enforcement agencies to go to the stores and get the surveillance tapes of the criminals. Hopefully they will be caught, since it sounds like they had other people's numbers as well.

3. Amery's 2nd birthday is coming up, and I decided to go with an airplane theme (see two posts ago). Whenever we talk to him about his birthday party (or anyone's birthday party, or Tommy whose birthday party we went to a month ago) he says "mmmmm, cake, mmmm" over and over.

4. I finished making these DIY napkin rings and wrapping the plasticware for the party:

Here's the template for the napkin rings. I pasted it into Word and added the clip art and text myself.

5. My next DIY project is to make bag toppers, like these, but airplane themed of course.

6. It's really hard not to keep talking about airplanes and birthdays in this list, but I shall refrain.

7. Two new phrases that we hear a lot from the baby boy lately: "Go Dude!" learned from mama yelling at stupid drivers in the car, and "Aw man!" said when he accidentally or un-accidentally knocks over a stack of toys.

8. I lied, there is a third phrase we hear a lot. He loves to sing, "We will, we will rock you!" As loud as possible with an overhead fist pump. He gets annoyed if you sing along without the fist pump. I really really need to get this on video.

9. Jon, Amery, and I are all invited to a birthday party for our friend Danny on Saturday. We are all supposed to have a mustache, either real or fake, to attend. Should be interesting getting an almost 2-year-old to keep a fake mustache on for longer than 10 seconds.

10. Here are some silly pictures (from my cellphone camera) of how we entertain ourselves.

We sit in boxes meant for books (don't freak, Jon was ducking down behind him).

We like to be carried around in the boxes too.

We cool off in the yard.

Let's hear it for the clearance rack at Walgreens. Who knew $4.99 could buy so much fun.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I have an excuse

For the lack of blogging. I can't find the charger for our camera battery. It's my mission to find it this weekend, so hopefully there will be new pictures of the man up soon.

Monday, August 09, 2010

I'm a Winner!

Sweeeet! I just won 30 custom birthday invitations from Papeterie Baby. I entered a contest on and was the randomly-chosen winner. Papeterie Baby has a ton of other cute designs - you should check em out.

Now for the tough decision: airplanes...

...or trains?

One quick pic from this morning. Amery's new thing is he wants to sit at the dining room table without his booster chair:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Slide

My co-worker, Laura, gave us this great Little Tikes slide for free! I have a feeling this item will give us hours of toddler entertainment. Thanks Laura!

This is before he figured out how to walk down the slide. Now that's all he wants to do, even if it results in a faceplant to the grass.


Friday, July 09, 2010

What does bath time bliss cost?

Approximately $33.46 at Babies R Us. Bath time lately has been an absolute nightmare. It used to be that we had to pry him from the tub and make a ritual of happily chanting, "Bye-bye water!" over and over until he would get out. Apparently this technique backfired on us as soon as he decided he hated bath time. As soon as we would get him into the bathroom with the tub filled up, bubbles bubbling, favorite toys floating, he would start screaming, "Bye-bye water! Bye-bye water!" while he tried to escape between the removal of each item of clothing.

I figured I would go out this weekend and pick up a few new bath toys to entice him. Then I arrived at daycare after work. Whatever they had for lunch today was plastered into his hair and crusted behind his ear. The daycare ladies apologized, saying they cleaned him up as best they could but he threw a fit. Yep, been there ladies. So we took an immediate detour to BRU on our way home.

About 15 minutes and $33.46 later we walked out with the following recipe for success:

Sassy Count 'n Spell Bath Appliques (good call, Nina!) - $5.99

Sassy Catch 'n Release Net - $2.49 (reg $4.99 but the Sassy bath stuff was BOGO 50% off)

He loves to scoop up the floating toys. Every time it floated away from him he yelled "coop! coop!" until he got it back.

Elmo Tub Mat - $13.99

This was mom's idea. She thought maybe he felt unstable or like he was slipping around too much in the tub. It doesn't stick that great to our cheap 1980's plastic tub, but after he sat on it for a while it stayed in place. He loves to find Elmo under the water.

Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Corner Cubby -$10.99

Ok, I admit, this is for me. I'm an organizational freak, and I hate when the bath toys don't dry all the way. We have the Boon Frog Pod already and it's filled with toys that I'm not ready to part with yet, so I picked up this handy thing to hold the new letters and numbers. I love that the bottom is mesh and hangs over the corner of the tub so everything dries.

Oh, I guess I should elaborate on the outcome. He hopped right in as soon as he saw Elmo and the new letters and numbers waiting for him in the tub. Minimal complaints were heard during hair washing, and he happily got into his PJs post-bath. Right now he's watching Toy Story...hence the reason I have time to blog. :)