Thursday, June 27, 2013

Maxie and Lyla’s Party: Outside party peeps

Turns out, every little cowgirl and cowboy enjoys a good turn in the bounce house-slash-water slide.





The littler cowboys and cowgirls had their own pool.  That cutie-patootie in the front is Gentry, Sam’s almost-one-year-old little boy.


The big cowgirls and cowboys preferred to stay dry.



However, we did take a ride on the horse.


And so did Gentry.


Olivia enjoyed three or four cupcakes out on the steps.

Here she is waiting for Shannon to come back with her first treat.


Enjoying her cupcake the way most kids do: frosting first.


In between asking for cupcakes, Olivia ventured out into the yard to see what the other kids were up to.  How precious is she in her checkered skirt and boots?


I had a to snap some pics of the McHusband and Olivia sitting on the steps.  Aren’t they cute?



We’ll head inside to those barn doors next.  Hopefully I’ll have those for you tomorrow, but I don’t want to make any promises.  I think I’m going to be baking up a batch of cookies tonight so I don’t know how much time and energy I’ll have left for blogging.  Priorities, you know?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Maxie and Lyla’s Party: Blowing out the candles

Happy birthday to you


Happy birthday to you


Happy birthday, Maxie and Lyla


Happy birthday to you!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Maxie and Lyla’s Party: Setting the scene

Maxie turned two at the end of May and Lyla turned five this past Friday.  That month in between their two birthdays is a busy one for Bri so a combo birthday party – one big blowout – is the way to go.

Ready for your tour of the party?  Let’s start at the front door.




Just inside the front door was where everyone was expected to have their Polaroid picture taken for the photo guestbook.


I’ve got some fun pictures of the McHusband and Nate to share with you in front of that spot, but you’ll have to wait until the people post for those.

Looking into the den, you can see the pony balloons and in the distance, you can see the favor table with the cowboy silhouette.



Let’s wander into the kitchen before we head outside.


I made strawberry cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and browned butter brownies.



Bri had a S’mores Pops station set up and it was a hit!  I for one ate far more than my fair share of marshmallows covered in chocolate then dipped in graham cracker crumbs.


All right, let’s go into the backyard.  Bri and Shannon made the storefronts.





Each kid took home a “horse.”



It’s not exactly thematically correct, but a combination bounce house-water slide blow-up thing sure is a lot of fun!


I’ll be back with people pics soon!

Monday, June 24, 2013


The McHusband and I went to Charlotte for Lyla and Maxie’s birthday party this weekend.  As most of you know, if I travel over the weekend, I take the following Monday off from work.  I never get sick so these Mondays off are my personal days, my mental health days.  At least they’re planned so my boss and coworkers expect me to be gone and after 12 years of Mondays off, it’s sort of a running joke around the office.  I’ll try to use my time off to get a couple of party posts ready to go for the week. 

In the meantime, I wanted to give you a hint as to this year’s theme.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Birthday wishes

Not only is it the first day of summer, but it’s also Lyla’s AND Terry’s birthdays.  A lot to celebrate today, huh?

So happy birthday to Lyla and happy birthday to Terry!!!  Hope you both have wonderful days!

And that’s all I’ve got for you today besides the usual – TGIF!!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

{Recipe Recap} Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I think Heather would’ve chosen JUST the frosting as her birthday dessert, but she conceded to letting me put it on a simple yellow cake.


I did lots of research – which means I Googled “best yellow cake” a few times – and ended up choosing Ina Garten’s Coconut Cupcake recipe.  The I left out the coconut and made a cake instead of cupcakes.  The irony is the one flavor that Heather detests is coconut.  I think that was partly why I ended up choosing this recipe in particular.


The frosting is one I’ve made several times before and it’s always delicious whether it’s on brownies or some other treat.


I had extra frosting, and I debated putting it in a container and giving it to Heather but then I figured, Why should she be the only one enjoying all that deliciousness?  So I chilled the frosting and rolled most of it into balls and stuck then on top of the cake.


I like how this frosting sets with a little bit of crunch to it.  No, it’s not the prettiest for frosting a cake, but it more than made up for its looks with how good it tastes.


When I got home from dinner on Monday, I snapped a few pictures of the inside of the cake.  I thought this cake had a perfect texture.


It was dense-ish but not heavy like a pound cake.  It wasn’t all light and fluffy with big crumbs so that it was prone to drying out.


I used about half a teaspoon of almond in the cake and while it wasn’t an almond cake, you could taste the flavor.  I didn’t mind it at all, but I would like to make the recipe again with just vanilla so I can get a pure yellow cake and judge the recipe based on that.

Now I just need someone to ask for a yellow cake (hint, hint).


Here’s a quick pic of one of the birthday girls with the most, uh, interactive card she received.



I’ll end with this photo of my oh-so-helpful assistant.


{Cake adapted from this recipe}

{Frosting recipe}

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Henry eats a cupcake

We girls got together on Monday for dinner to celebrate Heather’s and Vanessa’s birthdays.  I made a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for Heather and mini chocolate cupcakes with a simple but delicious vanilla buttercream for Vanessa.  I try to always have enough treats that the girls can take at least one thing home for their hubbies.  Now that half the group has kids, it’s always nice when there’s enough for the whole family to enjoy.  Speaking of…






Sara, that is one cute kid you got there!  I think this post could’ve been titled “The Many Faces of Henry.”  His expression is different in every picture.  Doesn’t he look a little like the cat who ate the canary in the first picture?

Happy Hump Day!