eloise {fifth birthday party}

This past weekend Eloise turned FIVE and we threw her a party. When I asked her what party theme she wanted, she immediately said “Rainbows and Unicorns!” And it turns out, every other little girl’s birthday party we have gone to this year has had that same exact theme. Ha!

{The invitation from my go-to Paperless Post. Eloise got to pick it out this year completely on her own!}

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eloise {last day of pre-k}

{Eloise has been wanting to wear this Minnie Mouse dress to school every single day, but since it was mine as a kid (so it’s vintage, ha!) and I don’t want it to be destroyed, I didn’t want her to wear it until a school day where I knew she wouldn’t be outside in the dirt or painting. She was absolutely delighted that I let her wear it on her very last day!}

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daphne {second birthday party!}

Just this past weekend we took the morning to celebrate our sweet Daphne turning TWO!

Unlike parties in the past, I purposefully kept this party (very) small. I really wanted it to be about Daphne, so we invited two (close) family friends (who have a younger sibling Daphne’s age) and family. Usually we end up with a house-full of people which is SO fun, but we often don’t get to see and actually chat with our guests. We also kept the food scene super low-key (a few snacks and cupcakes) which meant we all enjoyed the party!

Invitations from Paperless Post which you know is my favorite since I love all of the designs. Plus the guest tracking is amazing.

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daphne {first birthday party!}

To start, I wanted to give updates on Daphne’s stats since she went to her wellness check-up last week.

Daphne’s check-up went so well and she was happy and interactive with the doctor. She is generally pretty social and friendly, but sometimes gets stranger danger, so we never know. I really don’t like to try to get the kids to “perform” for other people, but it is always nice when your kids actually show their doctor things they can do (rather than just hearing us say that she is doing those things). Her doctor was happy with her growth (she is right at the top of the growth curve!) and impressed that she was walking so well. All-in-all a great check-up! Continue reading

our trip to Mexico {2017}

We just got back from Mexico (in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday) and I wanted to share some photos since I know you all have been waiting (haha)! I posted some of these during the week on my Instagram stories (this is my favorite social media guys!) as well as Instagram and Facebook posts, but since there were more photos to share, I thought I would do a blog post as well. {So I apologize for the repetition.}

As some of you may know, we headed down to Cancun last week to celebrate Aaron’s cousin’s wedding. Since we decided early on to take the kids (Daphne was pretty much a have-to since I didn’t want to spend a week in Mexico pumping!) we decided to make it a family vacation and stay an entire week. Plus, it was a great excuse to get the girls passports (oh my gosh, passport photos for babies and toddlers, it’s the best)! The wedding was at an all-inclusive resort which wouldn’t have probably been our first choice for vacation (I am much more inclined to rent an Airbnb house) but it was great for the kids. Plus, the rest of the wedding party, including all of Aaron’s family that had made the trip were at the resort, so it was sort of a no-brainer. We stayed at the Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun. It felt a lot like the Sandals resort we stayed in in St. Lucia for our honeymoon, but super family friendly.

We had a really good time and it was great to get away, just the four of us. Since we left last Tuesday, we had a day or two of just us before family started arriving for the big event. And it was great to see family too. Eloise was in heaven playing with all of her cousins!

The only real complaint that we had (#firstworldproblems) was that it was so, so hot and humid. It was about mid-80s temperature wise but with 85% humidity. That means the “real feel” temperature was around 100 degrees. I know, hard to complain about being on vacation in Mexico, but we were not prepared for that kind of heat! Luckily our room had A/C and we got an occasional ocean breeze.

Okay, enough chatting, I know you just want to see pictures! I didn’t take a ton of pictures since I was enjoying being unplugged (which just doesn’t happen much at home).

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{This is what traveling with both of the girls looked like. Not pictured: husband who was carrying a backpack, duffel bag (we love this one from Lo & Sons for travel!), and the diaper bag. Also not pictured: two car seats, two big suitcases.}

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{Hello LA! Early morning layover.}

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{We got Eloise a little digital camera for the trip and she was OBSESSED! She took about 100 pictures before we landed in Mexico… and many of the floor. Also, she loves her headphones which we only let her use when we are traveling.}

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{Hello Mexico! Perks of having a window seat, right?}

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{The beach. It was so beautiful!}

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{Eloise and I spent our first morning out on the beach while Aaron stayed with Daphne in the room for her nap.}

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{CHEESE! And so much sunscreen. My suit is old from TopShop and Eloise’s is from June and January for those who were asking.}

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{Daphne girl joined us at the beach after nap time.}

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{She LOVES the sand and just wanted to make sandcastles (and then destroy them) and bury our feet.}

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{We welcomed family since we were the first ones to arrive. Michael (Aaron’s cousin) and his wife Rachel with the girls.}

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{Love this Daphne girl. Even though moments before this happened she bit me. While she was nursing. It was not a great moment.}

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{Guys, sisters are the best! Maggi, the bride, gave the girls these adorable jammies.}

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{Poolside.}

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{Even though there were cabanas at the beach, they were pretty small once you got chaise lounge chairs under them. And we were all dying for shade! So I was happy to have brought this little pop-up tent for Daphne. And it was awesome to keep her from eating sand.}

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{We got her a new set of sand toys since the bucket we brought with us broke in the suitcase. It came in a little backpack which she wanted to take with us everywhere.}

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{This was perfect. And then the baby started moving towards the sand. But for a minute there, it was actually really relaxing!}

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{Eloise was a little nervous about the ocean but would go in if Aaron carried her.}

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{More sandcastles. And when Papa is around he goes to the water and gets the good, wet sand!}

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{We were so happy to see Kait! She was amazing with the girls who loved her so much. She’s technically not a cousin, but a cousin of a cousin, but that is just semantics!}

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{Ah, that smile!}

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{Eloise was not sure about this, but she wanted to be there since that is what her cousins were doing!}

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{Another morning at the pool and it was much too hot for Daphne to nap.}

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{Eloise was so brave and swam out with her Uncle David, Aaron’s brother.}

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{It took a lot of bouncing and rocking, but I finally got Daph to nap that morning.}

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{The wedding set-up. It was insanely hot, but so beautiful!}

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{Wedding selfie. Love this guy. And Baby D was not at all happy. She calmed down before the ceremony started though, thank goodness!}

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{The tables were gorgeous. I wish I could have greenery and flowers on my dining table all the time.}

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{And after the wedding was done, the kids played on the beach. And Eloise deconstructed the wedding flowers…}

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{For Mr. and Mrs. Czerpak!}

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{We only got a few photos of the four of us and even though the girls weren’t looking at the camera or smiling, I love this photo of our little family. And bless my husband who endured wearing a suit during the wedding ceremony because I asked him to. It was probably 100 degrees on the beach that afternoon, but I love him in a suit!}

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{Cutting the cake. The cake topper says “finally” since they dated for 7 years!}

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{Sami, the flower girl (she LOVED Daphne and Eloise) and Uncle Papi (Uncle Mike) who was the father of the bride. Our wedding favors were these colorful maracas and the girls were both obsessed.}

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{A dance party after dinner. It was so fun!}

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{Eloise with the bride.}

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{Eloise, Kendra, Daphne, and me. It was so hot but such a fun time!}

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{After dancing, we re-grouped and went back to the room to get the girls ready for bed. We gave her a bedtime bottle, stuck these earphones on her, and she was out for the rest of the night!}

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{Nap at the beach!}

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{And more time to play in the sand. All of the family had cabanas right next to each other so it was fun to see everyone, but still be able to hang in the shade.}

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{This is her “What Mama?” face when I say “Say cheese, Eloise!”}

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{Hydrating before pool time.}

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{And she’s off!}

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{Oh those cheeks and those lips sweet Daphne girl!}

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{A post-nap swim for Daphne. She LOVED the pool! Her rashguard/sunshirt is an old Crewcuts and her swim diaper is an old Honest Co.}

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{And Eloise insisted on getting back in the pool with Uncle Ben.}

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{The beach just outside our room.}

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{On our last night we hung out with family after dinner and Eloise was loving spending time with her cousin Jack. She was a blur the entire night!}

{And Daphne crawling (and almost getting squished by Eloise!) in case you missed it on my Instagram stories.}

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{Waiting to get on the plane. Eloise loves airports and seeing all of the planes.}

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{And Daphne loves sticking her fingers in other people’s mouths… we are working on that. And moments later, she was out and slept until we were on the plane.}

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{Adios Mexico! See you next time!}

A fun family trip and makes me so excited to continue our family adventures, hopefully, all around the world with these girls!

And happy wedding day to Maggi and Greg!

M

Also, for those who were asking, my dress is J. Crew that I picked up at the end of the summer (so it’s no longer available). As soon as we booked our trip I started searching for a dress since I knew it would be tricky to find something I liked that was also nursing friendly. Luckily, this dress was so perfect!

 

eloise’s third birthday party!

Months ago I asked Eloise what she wanted to do for her birthday, and she told me she wanted to have a party with her friends and have a purple dinosaur cake. {She was very insistent on having a “purple dinosaur cake” and would say that’s what she wanted for her birthday if you asked her. I recently caught a part of a Daniel Tiger episode where there were make-believe dinosaurs, and one was purple, which is probably where she got the dinosaur idea from!}

I didn’t really put two + two together, but when I started mentioning “purple dinosaurs” to people, everyone immediately was like “Barney?” To which I wanted to stay as far away from Barney as possible! So I started looking on Etsy for a shop that could make a cute “purple dinosaur” invitation and I found this little shop that personalized the invite for Eloise!

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I love using Paperless Post because it has a great event tracker for keeping track of RSVPs, but in the past I had always used one of the invitation designs that was offered on the site. I discovered though that they offer an “upload your own” invitation that allows you to upload your own design (or one that you buy like I did) which was perfect!

Generally I take on way too much for parties (um, imagine that!) and then end up scrambling the few days leading up to the party which isn’t very fun (and is super stressful). And I also always end up with WAY too much food (you’d think I would learn after all of these years how much food we actually need). So this time, I made sure I kept things super simple (because, two children = no free time) on both the décor and the food. Food-wise, I didn’t make anything except for the cake and Rice Krispy treats (which are the easiest thing ever to make!) and it was all stuff I picked up and took out of a box or bag, and set out on the table. And décor-wise, I picked up (purple) flowers, a banner, and some balloons, but focused on one craft: party hats. I used my tried-and-true party hat (including mini ones this time since there are so many younger siblings in the mix now) and added purple “dinosaur scales” to them.

I did make Eloise’s purple cake. It was purple frosting with purple dinosaur candles. Sadly, there aren’t any close-ups of the dinosaur candles, but I spray painted plastic dinosaurs purple and candle holders gold (we are early indoctrinating this girl to be a UW fan!), had Aaron drill into the backs of them, and then put them together (like this) with purple candles as a finishing touch. I usually bake a cake for birthday parties, but this time it was a bit different because I did a “test cake” the week before to make sure the recipe was good (or that I could make it well). It was a buttermilk cake (I didn’t do the fruit compote or cream) with whipped frosting, and it was yummy!

And onto the pictures! {Thank you SO much JESS for taking these!}

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For those that have asked, the girls are both wearing one of our favorite brands June & January, Eloise in the play dress and Daphne in the play romper (both in violet).

And here are links to Eloise’s first and second birthdays!

Happy Third Birthday Eloise!

M

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