Category Archives: party

My Girl. She’s 4.

In case you missed it {not sure how you could have}…Rylee turned four years old last Friday.

I took the day off to hang out with her. Not something I’ve ever done, and not something I’ll get in the habit of, but we had a good time.

First on her agenda was to watch “all of the cartoons”…which really meant, not leaving after the “first George” like we do on typical days.

Next up was breakfast. A pancake, a scrambled egg and some yogurt.

For lunch, we headed to a local park and had a PB&J picnic lunch. And the entire park to ourselves.

Upon leaving the park, homegirl thought it’d be super fun to throw a HUGE tantrum…complete with “get your hands off of me!“… “I don’t like you” and… “you’re mean“, followed by… “I want Daddy“.

{for the record? I’ve never been happier we had the park to ourselves!}

Said huge tantrum? Followed by an epic almost 4 hour nap. So…yea…

That evening we kept it simple and had family over for lemon cupcakes {per Ry’s request} & ice cream.

Someone got a little embarrassed during the happy birthday song…

All in all though? Great Day.

And seriously? My baby is four.


P.S. I’m never sure how family and/or friends feel about having photos of them end up on my blog, so I don’t typically post them, but I just love-love-love this one so much, I couldn’t resist. These are Rylee’s “extra grandparents” and mine & Andy’s “extra parents”. They’re the best. And clearly Rylee thinks so too.

Recipe: Really awesome dip that has no official name

If you’re in the market for a new BBQ/pot-luck/football game friendly crowd-pleasing appetizer you have come to the right place! My mother in law is pretty much famous for this Mexican Dip and is pretty much shunned if she doesn’t bring two pans of it to the annual 4th of July Bash we attend every year. It’s that good. She shared the recipe with me a few years ago, and ever since Andy and I have been taking it to pretty much any BBQ we attend!
Now, before I go sharing this recipe, you have to promise me one thing…just because you have this little piece of awesome, you still have to invite us over for BBQ’s. Deal? Seriously…not joking. Andy wanted me to make sure and point this out. Ok?
Ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way…
Officially, we have no idea what the name of it is.
Unofficially, we call it “Mom’s Mexican Dip”.
Seriously…try it. You will love it. And you will thank me.
1- 28 oz Can Refried Beans (or 2 regular size cans. Whatev.)
1 lb Ground Beef
1 Pack Taco Seasoning
1- 7 oz Green Taco Sauce (or ½ the 14 oz jar if you’re like us)
16 oz Sour Cream
Cheese, shredded
Olives, sliced
Brown ground beef, and prepare as instructed on taco seasoning packet. While the meat is cooking, spread beans in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. In a medium bowl, mix together sour cream and taco sauce. Once meat is ready, spread evenly over the top of the beans. After that, spread the sour cream mix. Then top GENEROUSLY with cheese. Seriously…error on the side of A LOT. Sprinkle with sliced olives. Cover with aluminum foil (remember to spray the foil w/ non-stick spray!). Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy. BOOM.
Ok it’s your turn…what’s your favorite go-to dish for BBQs?

Uff Da! Rocks my socks! Again.

It’s no secret how much I love Emily and her awesome creations over at Uff Da Designs. Rylee loves her Uff Da goodies too! If you don’t believe me, just go here, here and here.

I think she should offer a headband punch card or something…buy 5 get 1 free or something. Because I’d be on my way to getting a free one. {Let’s keep that one between you and I and leave Andy out of it, mmkay?}

Anyway, a couple months back Emily put it out there that she had an idea for a new product and if anyone had a birthday coming up she’d like to send a product in exchange for some pictures. Um, DUH!

And so ladies and gentlemen, we have the Felt Banner…

I am kind of in love. The colors went with the theme perfectly! It was fun and festive. It is very well made, like everything Emily does, (duh!). And the best part? It’s totally going up in Ry’s room now…Two for one!

She’ll have them available in her shop soon.


I may have had her make me a matching headband just for the party…Shhh…

And for the record, doing a little review had nothing to do with the reason Emily originally sent us the banner. My thoughts are all my own, I just love her and her little felt creations that much!

Sweet and Simple 3rd Birthday!

When I first started thinking about Rylee’s birthday party there was the great debate of is she old enough to throw her a “friends” party? I had this whole big Dora themed, DIY adventure party planned complete with star catching. Alas, we decided to wait at least another year before we do the two party thing.

So I stuck with a semi-Dora theme…think stars and a lot of pink and orange. And since my kid is CRAZY and doesn’t like cake, I opted to go for an ice cream sundae bar and cake balls. Success.

The afternoon was filled with family, friends, love and laughter.

Again, I saw…success.

1. Home made cake balls. Recipe founds HERE. I used Wilton’s vanilla flavored candy melts instead of chocolate. The picks I made with colored toothpicks, Dora stickers from the dollar store and scrapbook paper. The “cake stand” I threw together with a couple of platters and a vase stuffed with leftover pink, orange and yellow paper scraps that I had. 2. Some sundae toppings! 3. Close up of some cake balls. Even went for some star shaped sprinkles! 4. Ry’s uh, cake? I found these star shaped candles at the store on a whim. HAD to have them!

1. Homemade birthday banner. Which I may have saved from last year. 2. Fruit Kabobs. Because duh, I bet Dora loves pineapple. 3. Some favors: I used the leftover candy melt and made some star shaped candy. Put them in some green favor bags I had left over from Christmas and tied them off with some pink ribbon. Stuck them in a fish bowl on top of more leftover fun colored paper scraps. Which I might have forgot to give anyone which is why they are sitting on my kitchen island. Whoops. 4. A pretty orange and pink bunting sent just for Ry’s party courtesy of the lovely Miss Emily over at UffDa Designs. (more on this later!) 5. STARS! Made them with orange, yellow and pink scrapbook paper and stencils I had on hand. Strung them up with pink and orange ribbons. 6. Raspberry lemonade to help quench some thirst. Plus it’s yellow and pink. 7. Food. Just kept it simple with some veggies and chips and salsa. Again, I bet Dora loves salsa and guacamole. 

1. Ry enjoying her birthday sundae and people making their own sundaes! 2. Rylee not so sure about everyone singing her happy birthday. 3. Connor’s a fan of the cake balls.

1. Ry and Kian testing the awesome-ness of her new bubbles. 2. Papa showing Ry how to cast her new fishing pole! 3. “Here kids, get together and say cheese!” Yea right. 4. Connor’s so cool he doesn’t need pants to ride a horse. 5. Mama & Ry self portriat. 6. Ry showing Tussin Tonner how to use the bubbles. 7. Family pic! And, if you didn’t notice, I totally may have had Emily at UffDa make me a poppy headband to coordinate with the party. Maybe.


That is how my weekend can be summarized.

This weekend was the fastest, longest weekend in the history of weekends. If that makes any sense at all.
It all came to a head Thursday when I realized everything we were trying to take on.
Grocery shopping. 3rd birthday party prep. Ry’s 3 year photos. Showing our rental to about 11 different interested parties. Dishes. Tons and tons of dishes. The actual birthday party. Remembering to feed and bathe my child.
On top of all that, Rylee woke up Thursday with a nasty little cough (she still has it!). And it was supposed to rain all weekend. 
I ended up and rescheduled Ry’s photo shoot. Which I was sad about but it was the smartest thing to do.
I was up late and up early all weekend and this morning? Today I’m feeling it and I have the venti iced coffee to prove it.
All in all, the weekend turned out great. Thanks, in a huge part, to my brother who came to my rescue to help with the party prep and toddler wrangling! The house showing was a success. We have some great applicants, now we just need to do our homework before we offer it to anyone. The party was all in all a success. And I somehow even remembered to bathe Rylee on Saturday night. 
This week will be busy as well, but I promise I will post Ry’s party. I also have a cute video of Ry singing Happy Birthday to Andy and another of her “reading” a book to her Cousin Connor. And I was even thinking about doing a series on the renovations we’re doing on the upstairs of the rental house. Interesting? Yes? No?
For now, I will leave you with this…
That’s it for now. I’m going to go fill up my coffee cup. If anyone would like to join me in a strongly worded letter writing campaign to instate nap time in the work place, let me know. Because I am really, really considering it.
How was your weekend?