Kate's Minnie Mouse Birthday Party!

Kate's 3rd birthday party was last Saturday, on her actual birthday!

Here she is proudly displaying one of my cupcake toppers that I made.
She was excited to be "THREE"!
And, even more excited about the flowers that Daddy got her for her birthday!
For her birthday breakfast, she requested "Mickey Mouse" pancakes.
(I made them using Trader Joe's pumpkin pancake mix. SO good!)
It rained ALL week, but on Saturday morning we woke up to blue skies.
And, it was so cold that there was even snow on top of the foothills/mountain.
(I took this photo from my driveway, with my 75-300 lens)

After breakfast, it was time to get ready for Kate's 3rd Birthday Party!

The theme that Kate chose was "Mickey & Minne Mouse"
(Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has been her favorite TV show for the last year)

Here is the invitation that I made:
{Invite can be found in my Etsy shop}

Since she has a January birthday & the weather in California can be rainy (like it was this week....Hello Stormwatch 2010), I decided to have her party at an indoor bounce house place!

The party place had a huge bounce house,
a "Tot Town" (see below) with a ball pit:
There was also a climbing wall for some of the older kids (and some of the parents even climbed it!)
Air hockey time for the boys:
Elijah, Tyler & Kieran.

After an hour and a half of playing, it was time to get ready to go into the party room!
Here is the party room (before everyone was let in)
The plates & napkins Kate picked out:
Her Minnie balloon:
(Kate LOVES balloons)
Lunch is served! (pizza)
Lots of kids & lots of fun!
After pizza, it was time for cake!
Here is the AWESOME cake my mother in law made:
Seriously, she is the cake master!
(Click HERE and HERE to see other cakes she has made for me)
Kate blowing out the candles:
Make a wish!
{Thanks Becky for the picture}

Here are the favors that I gave out:
My friend Heather made the cookies & I made the favor tags!
The party was a ton of fun & after a very wet & rainy week, it was a great way for all the kids to get out all their pent up & excess energy!

After the party, we headed home for naps & then to get ready for the family dinner party we were having later on that afternoon!
After Claire went down for her nap, we let Kate open up some presents that she got.
I told our friends "NO PRESENTS!" - Kate's birthday is a month after Christmas & she is really spoiled by both sets of grandparents, so she truly doesn't need anything.
But, I kept getting emails from friends asking what they could get Kate. I kept telling them "Nothing!"
But, the about a week before the party, I got an idea!
I emailed our friends reminding them "No Presents for Kate" but I told them if they felt the need to get a present, they could bring a small check written out to the American Red Cross or Compassion International for Haiti Earthquake Relief.
Our friends are SO generous & we collected almost $200 for Haiti Earthquake Relief!
Thank you!!!
Funny Story: After I emailed our friends asking them to give to Haiti instead of getting Kate a present, I told Kate that there were kids in Haiti who lost their homes & all of their toys in the Earthquake. I told her that she wasn't going to get as many presents this year because her friends were going to give some of her presents to the kids in Haiti who needed things more than she did.
Kate's response? "Can we give those kids Claire's presents instead?"
I want to point out Kate's "3" t-shirt.
I made it!
This shirt is attempt #2...attempt #1 was a FAIL.
I have A LOT to learn about sewing!
While Kate & Claire were napping, I got things ready for Party #2 (the family party)
My biggest project for this was this cupcake tower!
I was SO happy on how it turned out!
It was a plain cupcake holder & I added ribbon to each tier.
I made 2 different kinds of cupcakes, Funfetti & of course THESE which are my go-to.
A new little project I worked on was making the cupcake toppers!
I made about 8 different designs for the cupcake toppers & I was really happy with how they turned out!
Seriously, I LOVE cupcakes!
I might start designing cupcake toppers & favor tags and add them to my ETSY shop.
(But, if I do, that wouldn't be until later this Spring or Summer )
I could eat cupcakes everyday! Yum!
When Kate woke up from her nap, I told her I had a surprise for her downstairs & then I showed her the cupcake tower. She kept thanking me for her cupcakes all evening.
"I love my cupcakes Mommy" She melts my heart!
Later on that evening, both sides of our families came over for dinner (I made a double batch of my green chicken enchiladas & Mexican rice)
We also had the cupcakes for dessert!
Happy 3rd Birthday, Kate!
Thank you to all our family & friends who helped us celebrate Kate's 3rd birthday!

Click to see:
Kate's 1st Birthday Cupcake Party
Kate's 2nd Birthday Carnival Party


Flashback Friday: Kate's Cupcake 1st Birthday Party

Back in August I decided to start doing Flashback Friday on my blog to document things that happened before I had a blog. I didn't start the blog until Kate was 18 months old & I was 8 months pregnant with Claire. Because I started this blog as a scrapbook for my girls (but it has turned into much more!) I want to incorporate things from Kate's first 18 months!
In honor of Kate's 3rd birthday (tomorrow!), here is a flashback of her 1st birthday party!
Here is the invitation that I made:
This was the very first invite that I ever made! I never would have guessed that 2 years later I would have started a side business making them!

The theme was cupcakes, mostly inspired by this cute outfit I got her at Gymboree:
The day of her party was rough. I was 7 weeks pregnant with Claire & the morning sickness (all day sickness) was full force. I was throwing up 2-3 times a day & the morning of her party I could barely function. Luckily, we were having the party at my parents house (our house couldn't fit everyone, there were about 50 people there). And, no one knew I was pregnant except for my parents & sisters. We hadn't even told Kevin's side of the family yet, so I had to "fake" smile the entire party & try my hardest not to throw up.

Our little family before the party
(please excuse how AWFUL I look. I felt like I had been hit by a car)
Here is a picture of the food:
(Thankfully my mom & sisters helped make most of the food)
The drinks:
The favor table:
Close up of the favor table:
Close up of the favors I made, they were cookies shaped as cupcakes:
The cake & cupcake table:
Close up of Kate's smash cake that my mother in law made:
Close up of the amazing Cupcake Cake that I found the day before the party at a specialty grocery store in town:
Everyone said it was really good, it was white cake with raspberry layers.
I didn't have any because I knew it would come right back up...
Kate greeting her guests as they arrived:
We had this slide show of Kate's first year playing during the party:

Singing to the birthday girl:
Kate enjoying her cake. She didn't get messy at all.
She was very dainty about eating her cake.
(Claire on the other hand got very messy when she ate her birthday cake)
I totally dropped the ball on taking lots of pictures during her party and documenting all the friends & family that were there to celebrate her. I was so focused on "not throwing up" that I didn't get pictures of all her guests. And, we forgot to video tape her eating her cake. Oops.

Opening Presents:
Me & my birthday girl:
Kate had a fun first birthday party!
It feels like we just celebrated her 1st birthday...
I can't believe she is going to be THREE tomorrow!

If you want to see the post about her 2nd Birthday Party, click HERE!
Tomorrow is her 3rd Birthday & Party, stay tuned for that post!


Warm Blue Cheese & Bacon Dip

This is my "go-to" appetizer recipe.
Whenever we go to a party or an event, I sign up to bring an appetizer & this is what I bring!
I made it for Julie's birthday & she renamed it "Blue Cheese Crack".
I think that is a fitting name for it. You can't just eat one bite of it.
I LOVE it. I crave it. I never get sick of it!

Don't let the blue cheese scare you. It doesn't have a strong blue cheese flavor.
I HATE blue cheese salad dressing, but LOVE this dip. Go figure!

Here is what you need:
7 slices bacon, crumbled
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c half & half (or whole milk)
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
1 t garlic powder
2 T fresh green onions, chopped
3 T smoked almonds, chopped

Cook bacon in large skillet OR use the pre cooked bacon that you microwave!
Once bacon is cooked, remove from pan & let cool.
Let it cool, then chop up the bacon.
In a bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
Add half & half (or milk) & mix.
Stir in crumbled bacon, blue cheese, garlic powder & green onions.
Stir until combined.
Transfer to a 2 cup oven proof serving dish.
Cover with foil & Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

After it has cooled, sprinkle with chopped almonds.
Serve with slices of fuji apples and/or a sliced french bread baguette.
Seriously. This dip is amazing.
All your friends will love you for making it!
And, you should love me for posting it!


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