Friday, December 19, 2014

Age 2 (24 Months)

This will be a short one, since I have already posted on the particulars of Zoe's birthday.

I am super behind on updating. Between Zoe's birthday and the holiday's, I have been running
around like a crazy person trying to get everything done. My sister moves in less than a month, so I have been trying to soak up every last moment with her. Z will be so disappointed to not get to play with her cousins all the time!

We did get our first snow fall right after my last post in early November. Z wasn't as crazy about it as I thought she would be. She thought it was pretty from inside the warmth of the house, but didn't much care for trudging around in it!

So Thanksgiving was fun this year, and kicked our season off with a bang. We loved spending time with everyone. We did make it out for a few black friday deals, even though they started ridiculously early this year. I got a new phone, which was super exciting for me, since I have had the same one for awhile now! We also got a large portion of our Christmas shopping to wrap it all!

Thanksgiving melted right into Zoe's birthday and Andrew and I's anniversary. It was a super fun weekend. Andrew and I managed to make it to a nice dinner to celebrate, and Z had a blast spending time with everyone at her birthday. My aunt even made it for the festivities from Tulsa, which was great! Z made out like a bandit, and it's alarming how quickly we are running out of space for all her things. When I look at her overflowing playroom, it makes me want to sell everything and move into one of those "mini houses" I see on that TV show! LOL! In all honesty, however, we are super thankful and blessed!

So here is what is new:

Favorite Thing to Do: We have been doing an advent calendar this year with Z. She LOVES checking it every morning, along with looking for "Elfa's" (our Elf on a Shelf) new location!
Favorite Food: She requested sushi on her birthday, but they were closed, so we ended up at the Melting Pot instead! She loved all the fruit that came with dessert!
New This Month:  She can count to 20, loves building "cave's" (forts) out of blankets, can identify most of the letters and their sounds, and likes little babies (real and pretend).
Growth: We had our 24 month check up recently and she finally grew! She grew 2 inches since her last check-up, putting her in the 55th percentile on height, and her weight went up a bit, putting her at the 25th percentile!
Sleep: She usually sleeps through the night, but has had a cough for a week or two that wakes her up!
Speaking: She never stops talking...Other than "stop it!" and "no, no, no, no," (her favorites), one of her new phrases is "oooh, my!"
Movement: A little wild child... She got a mini trampoline for her birthday/christmas that she LOVES. She'll go jump on it and wear herself out, which is awesome!
Behavior: She moves up to a new room at school in Jan, which is a good thing, because she gets handsy with the little one's. She needs to be in a room where she can get a dose of her own medicine!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Zoe Lou-Who Turn's Two!

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas"- One of my favorites when it comes to Christmas tradition. I was on the hunt for a fun, unique birthday party theme when I attended a "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" Christmas party last year. A "Zoe Lou-Who Turn's Two" / Cindy Lou-Who / Grinch theme seemed to fit the bill nicely. Here are some pictures and descriptions of what I did:


First things, first...the invitation to the party! I made these from scrapbook paper, glue, and ribbon. The instructions for building this style of invitation can be found on Pinterest, here.
They were made to look like little Christmas gifts with the main color scheme- pink, red, and green. I pulled the little Cindy Lou-Who and Grinch into photoshop, making them solid pink, then borrowed a cute poem from this pin, making a few changes to make it work. They were printed on vellum from Microsoft Word, glued together with hot glue, and tied with ribbon.


When it came to the party food, I knew I wanted to do a full meal, but I was worried about everyone being able to move around with a typical, buffet-style arrangement. I instead opted for dishes that were pre-portioned and easy to balance on a lap if need-be.

Here is what was served:
Who-Feast Menu
Roast Beast
(Roast Beef Sandwiches)
Who Hash
(Oven Fries)
Grinch Greens
(Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus)
Yot in a Pot
(Macaroni and Cheese cups)
Beezlenut Splash
(White-Chocolate Peppermint Mouse)
(Birthday Cake)

Then I also added some cupcakes to this for the kiddo's. Scroll to the bottom for specifics on food/recipes. 

I made the menu's using the kraft paper luggage tags you can find at most craft stores, and some pink vellum. I tied them with some white and red string. I placed this menu in with each silverware set. I folded the napkins using this tutorial. It allowed for the cutlery to be an easy grab, along with a spot for the menu's. I placed these in a large silver bowl next to the plates at the end of the table as pictured. 

P.S. the cutlery and plates ARE plastic and disposable. I get them from Dollar Tree, and I LOVE them! They are durable and pretty...and best of all...disposable!


Easily my favorite part- making everything look "pretty." I wanted everything to somewhat coordinate with the color scheme. It's a nice bonus that everything gets to stay up through Christmas ;-).

"Room Decorations": (Pictured) For the walls, I made four strands of ornament garland in coordinating colors (Pink, Green and Blue). They are super duper simple to make. You can find a tutorial here. I hung those on the wall behind the table. I took the extra ornaments and hung them on individual ribbon from the chandelier that hangs over our dining table. I also wrapped a few of the pictures that already hang in our dining room like little christmas gifts, and hung them in their usual spot. It helped tie everything together! (Not Pictured)...I also used some Christmas wrapping paper to make presents on the wall- I just cut them into big squares, taped them to the wall and taped on a bow! I also used some washi tape in pink, green, and red to make some snowflakes on the walls, as described here.

"Table Top Decor": I had one main table with all the food, a dessert table, a kids table, and drinks on the counter. It really cut down on movement around the room. I tied all these together by putting wrapping paper down on the table-top. It had an added bonus of
protecting the surface and cut down on cleaning! I used little sparkly beads from the floral section of my local craft store in different glass vases to add some sparkle. I also bought some mini ornaments to spread on the table. I wanted all of the food to be labeled, so I glued together pink and red candy canes and cut cards from green sparkly paper. I printed oval labels with each food item. 


"Roast Beast": I made some artisan sandwiches. I made a few different variations, and used the scrapbook paper strips to help guests differentiate between them. I wrapped them in parchment paper and scrapbook strips and affixed them with a toothpick. The best part of doing these were that they could be made/prepped ahead of time and kept refrigerated until the party!
The ingredients- roast beef, ham, bacon, ciabatta bread, regular and chipotle mayo, cheddar and swiss deli cheese, artisan lettuces (including arugula), red onion, and tomato

"Who-Hash": It is said in the book that the Grinch even takes the last can of Who-Hash, so I figured cans would be a must! I got the idea here. It took me a few weeks and some help from family, but I
finally collected and cleaned enough empty food cans for this little project. I just printed a who-hash label on construction paper from word (I even downloaded a free Grinch font), and hot glued it to a clean can. I then put parchment paper into the can before filling it with the Oven fries.
Ingredients: I use the Alexia brand of red potato frozen oven fries that are fabulous. They can be found at walmart, and are so easy, you'll wonder why you ever peeled potatoes. I added some ketchup in mustard in little glass dishes on the table, but you don't need them. These are delish on their own!

"Grinch Greens": I love asparagus. I love bacon. Put them together, and you have a winner. The concept of having them wrapped and bundled helped with portion control, and made them a bit more portable. I would suggest ensuring they all face the same direction so the "chewy" ends of the asparagus are all on the same end.
Ingredients: I pretty much followed this recipe.

"Yot in a Pot": Or should I say, "pots"? I wanted macaroni and cheese, because it is my two-year-old's favorite, and placing the individual servings into cupcake cups seemed like a genius way to make it portable. I got the idea here. I used a tiered stand to place them on, which helped with accessibility and presentation.
Ingredients: I use a fancy kraft version, found here. It's sold at most grocery stores.

"Beezlenut Splash": Ah, the drink table. I was happy with how pretty it turned out. The cups are plastic (from dollar tree) but the downside is that they hold a fairly small amount of liquid. They 
are great for champaign or just a bit of punch, but just not practical for meal/beverage service. I also used some adorable paper straws. The punch was placed in a glass beverage dispenser, and green for the Grinch.
Ingredients: Hawaiian Green Berry Punch, Sprite, and Lime Sherbet

"Who Pudding:" I was proud of this. I found this recipe on Pinterest for a White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse, and loved the sound of it...yum! BUT I'm not a from-scratch kinda gal...who has time?? I came up with an awesome alternative of my own creation, all placed in little, individual dessert shots. I got the dessert shot glasses in bundles of 3 from dollar tree, tied them with ribbon with a tiny, silver plastic dessert spoon. It was perfect, and a new family favorite!
Ingredients: 2 Hershey's White Chocolate Instant pudding mixes made as directed, stir in 1 8oz container of Cool Whip just before serving, and top with andes peppermint crunch baking chips.

"Diffenderdoofer": I found this amazing idea, which basically claims that the Grinch "even stole the icing right off of the cake."
Well that's just perfect, because then I didn't have to decorate a cake. I made the cake "naked style," with minimum icing between the layers, then just added a little sign explaining what the Grinch did. I made the cake toper from glitter tape, sticker letters, string, and paper straws.
Ingredients: Betty Crocker strawberry cake mix made as directed, red frosting.

"Cupcakes": I made these, because I wanted to be sure my daughter got enough icing to lick ;-). I used some of the cake mix I used for the cake. I topped her individual cupcake with an adorable gold #2 sparkler I found at a local store named "Plenty."
Ingredients: Betty Crocker strawberry cake mix and aerosol frosting in pink and red (because it's soooo much easier to decorate a cupcake with). I also threw on a few silver sprinkles for fun.


It was important to me that Z LOOKED like Cindy-Lou Who. I put her in a puffy, red silk dress with a pink fleece coat with white fur trim. She also had pink, red, and green tights. I made her two headbands. One was made with a tea cup ornament (like the movie Cindy-Lou Who) and pink feathers, but it was super heavy so she didn't like to wear it for long. I also made her a traditional headband with the Who antennae and ribbon bows, which I made with pipe cleaners!

And...that's pretty much it! I was excited and pleased with how it all turned out!!!