Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Party in the Jungle!'s party time again in our house! 

And, like I've said before, I'm in wayyy too deep with the parties to turn back now. Finny is literally planning for next year's party already. Oh my. What have I created?? Party animals?! hehe...pun intended!

Well, this time around, Finny really badly wanted a "Juuuungle Pawty", so jungle party it was :). I actually had a lot of fun getting ready for this one! It's super easy to find jungle "stuff" because it's a fairly common theme. If you have lots of cash to spend, then there are some amazing realistic life sized jungle animal props (no...I didn't splurge on those, but stuck to the super cheap "stick on the wall cartoon" variety). I mostly used green plastic table cloths, poster board leaves (that I cut out) and tissue paper. I twisted/glued some craft paper "vines" and hot-glued poster board leaves to them. I ordered a cheap plastic jungle mural from amazon and, as cheesy as it was, it really transformed the room. Add a few random sprigs of greenery/plants and it was a jungle in here! Seriously. It really feels very jungle-like. 

I found some cute balloon animals that we filled up with helium and the kids walked them around on leashes :) It was so cute seeing them each go home with a big animal under their arm :). 

I had a lot of fun making/decorating the cake! I used a Wilton grass tip to make the fuzzy looking grass, as well as some fondant leaves and vines. I just added some of Finn's plastic animals for an easy topper. I used the Kinnikinnicks Gluten free cake mix (substituted milk instead of the water and added a squirt of mayonnaise to make it extra moist). This was my first time using this mix, and it was excellent! It doesn't even taste/feel like a gluten free cake! I used both the white and chocolate mixes, and followed this tutorial to make "zebra" stripes inside the cake :). it didn't turn out super clear and very zebra-like, but it was yummy none the less!

The food was really simple and I tried to keep it all in individual portions since it's cold/flu season and I figured it might keep any germs from spreading :). 

The invitation was made using PicMonkey and I just glued it to some card stock, then added a couple of moveable leaves over top (not in the picture).

Our sweet little Finny boy! I can't believe he's 4 already. It really seems like no time since we were having this party when he turned one!

He's my snuggly, loving, wonderful little full of love and hugs :) And he tells me that he loves me at least 10 times every day. Love this little guy so much!

All that party planning/decorating was worth it to see how excited he was with his very own jungle!

Thanks to everyone who came to party in the jungle with us!! Finny was so happy to see all his little buddies coming in the door! We had so much fun :)


Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Family Photos

I've been wanting to have family photos done for ages, and I am so, so glad we finally had them done!

I couldn't be happier. 

They are even better than I could have imagined, and I feel so good just knowing that we will always have these to look back on. I'm a seriously out-of-control sentimentalist. No...really....I really really am. I get sentimental/nostalgic about everything. I absolutely LOVE looking at old photos and remembering just how I felt at that moment. 

If you've been thinking about having family photos taken, but just haven't gotten around to doing it....GO! Do it now! It's worth every penny. I honestly think it's something that we will never regret investing in.  

Having said that, I think you have to have the right photographer. One who understands your vision, or one who you at least mesh well with :) We found that in Ali of Bella Photography. She seemed to know exactly what we wanted, and captured our family so perfectly. She was amazing with our boys, and knew just what to do to make them laugh and smile naturally. That is no small task. Seriously. All Finny wanted to do was show us his best "all teeth" cheshire cat grin. 

Thank you, Ali!! You are so good at what you do!

I love these boys :)

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