every year, my favorite ladies and i get together for an annual girls weekend. we choose a different city (typically chicago, nyc, boston or DC) and gather for a few days of food, wine and girl talk.
last year we delayed the weekend which usually happens over presidents day because i had just given birth (no big deal) but we still made it happen during the summer.
this year we’re back on track and that means girls weekend beings TOMORROW in new york city! this is our 7th annual - we haven’t missed a year yet.
i feel equal parts excited-anxious. excited because, girls weekend obviously. but this is my first time overnight away from the munchkin.
she’ll be fine, of course. she’ll be with her grandmas and her dad. maybe i’m the one who won’t be fine? the girls have promised to distract me with adult beverages and i am 100% on board with that plan.
now if only the weather will cooperate…
Annabelle’s First Birthday Party: MUSIC!
I’ve mentioned how much this kid loves music and dancing, and it is no joke. She will dance any and every time she hears music. Of course while brainstorming a theme for her first birthday, music was the obvious choice!
As you can see, I went a little nuts with the DIY and decor. Actually with the whole thing. But it was fun! And since everyone asks, yes I would do it again. :)
We had the party in the upstair’s party room in Jason’s grandfather’s highrise building. It’s a big open room that has a kitchen, so it’s perfect for large gatherings. It was from 12-3pm on a Sunday (between her naps) and we had just about 50 people.
I had Lauren Haddox Designs create a personalized party package of printables, which included an invitation, pennant banner, favor tags, napkin rings, water bottle wraps, menu cards, door signs and 2, 3, 5 and 8 inch circles. I printed them all on cardstock and cut them out.
I took photos on the 6th of every month, so I made a monthly Photo Banner, similar to this.
I followed this tutorial for the Tulle Pom Poms (hanging from the ceiling over the dessert table).
The streamer wall is great for creating a big look on a low budget - just tape streamers near the ceiling, twist, then tape near the floor. Repeat.
For table centerpieces, I bought white flowers from the grocery store and put the printed circles on a craft stick. Voila - cheap and easy!
The made the Chalkboard Birthday Sign just by looking at examples on pinterest. I bought a black foamcore board and a set of metallic markers. I used pencil to outline first! I love how it turned out.
My mom and I made all the food, excluding her fantastic cake. We served:
Our cake was made by our friend Natalie who own Sweet Fairy Desserts. It was a 2-tier orange almond pound cake alternated with chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. We also served funfetti cookies, chocolate chip cookies and brownies.
Since the party was from 12-3pm, we had some beer, an champagne punch and raspberry lemonade for the kids, as well as water and sodas.
We had about 8 or 9 kids there, so I made favors for the littles. They included a neon maraca, mini cymbal, swizzle stick rock candy, pop rocks and these star-shaped kids sunglasses. I also put out more maracas and adult sized sunglasses on all the tables.
Because we had quite a few crawlers and toddlers attend, I brought a few blankets from home and some of Annabelle’s toys to create a play area for the kiddos. I’m so glad I did - it was great to have place to keep them entertained.
In lieu of gifts, we collected toys, instruments and art supplies to donate to Lurie Children’s Hospital. We collected so much! We are so grateful to our friends and family who contributed.
Ok, full disclosure, it was a lot of work - but it was also a lot of fun! Our kiddo is never one to shy away from attention, so she loved having all her favorite people gather to celebrate her special day.
yesterday we gathered with friends to watch an embarrassing display of football and some mediocre commercials and eat lots and lots of dip.
I was charged with bringing dessert so I said I’d bring cookies. I decided to take it a step further and the results were pretty mind-blowingly delicious.
Funfetti Cookie Dough Dip
The butter MUST be soft and room temperature! So before you start, make sure of that. In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in vanilla and salt. Add flour, mix to combine. Keep mixer on low, add in milk slowly, just a bit at a time, until the dough reaches the consistency you like. I preferred mine to be firm like cookie dough but not too stiff that it wasn’t dippable. Remove from mixer, add in sprinkles. Chill until ready to serve.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
The butter and cream cheese MUST be at room temp, otherwise you’ll get a chunky buttery cream cheese gloopy mess. Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth and combined. Add in vanilla and salt. Add the sugars and then the flour, mix to combine. Slowly add in milk until it has a dippable consistency - you may not need it all. Remove from mixer, add in chocolate chips. Chill until ready to serve.
I served both dips with Nilla wafers, animal crackers, strawberries, pretzels and chocolate teddy grahams. I think I preferred the pretzels, but I like that sweet/salty combo. The options are endless!
Now would it be inappropriate to eat the leftovers for breakfast?