isla’s first birthday

I love birthdays. It’s the only day you get to celebrate the pure existence of a person. This birthday was especially significant since it was my little Isla’s first. It also marks the anniversary of our little family becoming three.

So without further ado, here are tons of photos and details of the celebration I put together for our little lady.

I went with a glitter/sparkle theme and used the colors mint, pale pink, peach and gold to pull it off. I made most of the decorations myself and baked (with the help of my mom) all of the tasty treats.

Here is a link to my Pinterest board that I made to collect inspiration.

The invitations had sparkly bows on the front and fun, playful sparkly polka dots on back. I made each of the bows, but I promise, I didn’t individually sparkle the polka dots, I bought that paper and cut it to fit the back of the invites.

I served a dessert buffet, mostly full of cake, but there were also glitter almond sandwich cookies, peppermint patties and vanilla meringues. The large mint colored cake and the small peach cake was Smitten Kitchen’s Golden Butter Cake. The medium sized peach cake was Champagne Glitter Cake inspired by Appolinas.

I decorated the cakes with buttercream frosting, sanding sugars and disco dust. Unfortunately these photos don’t really do the cakes justice, they really did sparkle.

I found this sparkler candle from a little shop in Ballard way back in November and knew it would be perfect for this little fete.

Guests sipped on pink lemonade, a sparkling cocktail made with champagne, grapefruit juice and grenadine and small cartons of organic milk. And there were also paper straws in complimentary party colors.

I covered our kitchen table (BJ finished it just in time) in white butcher paper and lined homemade party hats down the center. I had crayons on hand for guests to draw while they were hanging out.

Inspired by Confetti System, I made tassel garland from crepe paper, mylar and rope trim. I hand cut confetti from the scraps left over from the tassel garland which I scattered down the table and around the desserts. All of the desserts were displayed on my jadeite cake stands which sat on top of a pink striped tablecloth.

I also made a Fancy Frill Balloon using crepe paper, tinsel and a gigantic 36″ round balloon. If huge balloons don’t make you happy, I’m not sure what will.

We had so much fun celebrating our little girl. The weather was perfect and we had a full house of people who we’re so thankful to call our friends. Isla rocked the celebration despite the fact that she only had one nap.

Believe it or not, this is the best group photo we got of (most of) the kiddos.

PS: thanks to my parents for all of their help. There’s no way, I could have pulled off all of this without their help. And to my husband, because, obviously. Thanks, also, to dear Megan who came all the way up from Seattle just to celebrate little I. She was also our official photographer. 🙂

PPS: Isla’s little dress was custom made by my talented mother. I don’t have a great photo of the whole thing, but it has the cutest cap sleeves and bubble hem. Thanks, Mom!

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best day

4 years ago today.

1 year ago today.

April 12th is by far the best day of my life.

Love you two.

grandma phyllis’s cinnamon rolls

Remember these delicious sweet rolls? Remember how a few of you asked for the recipe about a month ago? Well, since I know you Midwesterners are getting huge snow storm this weekend, I thought I would share this recipe as it’s the perfect thing to bake when you’re stuck inside your house all day. You can’t rush sweet rolls so make sure you have plenty of time to dedicate to these delicious breakfast-y treats.

My Grandma Phyllis makes these rolls almost every time we are at her house. It seems that she always has a pan of fresh rolls and if she doesn’t, it’s guaranteed that she has some in the freezer just waiting for us to come and visit. Before I moved back to Washington I asked her if she would teach me how to make her famous sweet rolls. I’m still no expert, but at least I learned from one.

This recipe makes two 9 x 13 pans of rolls, which is a lot of rolls, but it can be easily halved.

So here goes, I apologize for the long directions, but I think they’re helpful, especially if you’re a bread making novice.

Grandma Phyllis’s Sweet Roll Dough:

1/2 cup warm water (I would say about 115 degrees)

2 packages dry yeast (not rapid rise)

1-1/2 cup lukewarm milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup butter

7 to 7-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Directions:

  • Scald milk in glass measuring cup.
  • Dissolve yeast in water and let it stand.
  • While milk is cooling, add sugar, salt and butter to your mixer’s bowl. The mixer should be fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add milk after it is cooled (it doesn’t have to be all the way cool, just not steaming hot). Add eggs and 1-2 cups flour to beat in.
  • Add yeast mixture to mixing bowl when the mixture is lukewarm.
  • Add flour one cup at a time. You can use your stand mixer for another couple cups of flour, but then stir in flour until too stiff to stir.
  • Turn onto floured board or countertop and knead in the rest of the flour. Amount of flour varies, so go by how dough feels, usually not more than 7 cups, sometimes 6-1/2. The dough should be softer than for regular bread.
  • When dough is right consistency and smooth from kneading, place in a large, clean, greased or oiled bowl. Cover with towel or lid. Let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about an hour and a half.
  • Turn out onto floured board or countertop (again) and knead until approximately the original size and no large bubbles remain. Put back in the bowl and let rise until double (again).
  • Knead down again. Shape into any sweet rolls you’d like…

Here are your sweet roll options:

Classic Cinnamon Rolls (this is the amount for one pan of cinnamon rolls, remember the recipe above will make 2 pans)

2 Tbsp softened butter

1/2 cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp. cinnamon

  • Set oven to 350 degrees.
  • Roll dough with rolling pin into 15″ x 9″ oblong. Get out your ruler and measure it, because that’s what Grandma Phyllis would do. Plus, your rolls will be much more uniform if you measure it out instead of eyeballing.
  • Spread the dough with the softened butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Make sure to get the butter and cinnamon/sugar all the way to the edges of the dough.
  • Roll up the dough tightly, the wide side should be parallel to you. Seal by pinching the edge to the dough. Stretch dough as you work to get it as even as possible- you don’t want one side to be thicker than the other.
  • Cut long roll into 1″ thick slices. Place in greased 9 x 13 pan. Don’t forget to grease the sides. You should have 4 rows of 3 rolls per row. (The ones I made that are pictured above are smaller than they should be because I didn’t measure my dough.) The rolls won’t be touching just yet.
  • Cover and let rise until double.  They will typically rise a bit faster this time.
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. They should be light to medium brown when done.
  • When done place baking rack or platter over baking pan and invert, turning rolls out onto baking rack or platter. If you’re using a rack it helps to put wax paper or parchment paper over the rack so it isn’t so messy. You can bake these and then frost them with powdered sugar frosting.

Caramel Rolls (these are the ones my Grandma always makes)

1/3 to 1/2 cup butter (depending on how much caramel you like)

1/2 to 2/3 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. light colored corn syrup or 1 Tbsp cream

1/2 cup chopped pecan halves (optional)

  • Follow instructions for the cinnamon rolls above but do not place them in the baking pan.
  • Grease the sides of your 9 x 13 pan. Melt the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup/cream in the pan. Make sure to mix these ingredients well as they’re melting to form a caramel. Then sprinkle with nuts, if using.
  • Place the cut roll dough over the caramel mixture and let rise until double.
  • Bake as directed above- 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Invert immediately on baking rack or platter. Make sure to leave the pan upside down for about 30-60 seconds so all of the caramel-y goodness drips out of the pan onto the rolls.

I realize there are a lot of steps, so I hope it all makes sense. They don’t take as much time as you think, it’s a lot of “hurry up and wait.” Yeast breads are a little tricky to make, but they are so delicious when they’re finished, that they’re worth every bit of it. Let me know if you have any questions or if something is unclear.

And definitely let me know if you end up making these sweet rolls, I’d love to hear how they turn out!

And because they’re a lack of photos in this post, I’ll leave you with this photo of the little one practicing her claps on Valentine’s Day.

Steppin’ out Saturday: party on

Sometimes I still can’t believe I have a kid and husband of my own. I still feel like I’m 22, except better, I suppose. Anyway, this weekend was one of those weekends where I was reminded exactly how old I’m getting (in a good way). Our Friday and Saturday night plans consisted of birthday parties…for toddlers?! How did that happen?

On Friday night we celebrated Bec’s daughter’s 3rd Birthday with an ice cream party. It was so fun to see all of the little ones running around hopped up on sugar. Bec did a great job decorating, it looked so cute in there. And she made these delicious cookie dough balls (egg free), for anyone who loves cookie dough ice cream you’d understand how excited I was. I must get the recipe. And here’s a shout out to Steve for the cake.

These two love each other. Isla always watches what Nora’s doing in amazement.

BJ built the top for our kitchen table last week (did you know he was building us a kitchen table?). He spent the weekend sanding it and then it’s off to be painted and stained. I’m so excited to have a larger table. I see many more dinner parties in our future.

I found some cute new kicks for Isla at Value Village. They were only $.99 and with a little cleaning from a Magic Eraser they look brand new. They kind of remind me of the Bensimon shoes, so I thought I’d snag them, they’ll be fun for Spring.

We hit up Katheryn’s first birthday party (her mom and dad are in our small group) on Saturday night. There was a small ball pit which all the kids loved, but Isla hated, I mean hated. So, no ball pits at her birthday party.

I thought I’d link up with Steppin’ Out Saturday this week as I was pretty stoked about my $12 colored denim purchase and I remembered to take a quick photo. My top half looks a lot bigger than my bottom half. Must be the angle! 🙂

{top} H&M {jeans} Target {Shoes} Target

There was also a run, some jeans shopping (the new Gap colored jeans are absolutely adorable), and a very crabby kiddo by the time Sunday night came around. Hope you enjoy the randomness from my weekend!

our weekend:

Hi guys! How was your weekend? I’m a little late posting this week. Little I is getting her first tooth so she was a little fussy yesterday, poor girl.

Friday night we had a date night. It’s been a long time since we’ve been out just the two of us. The great thing about our little babysitting co-op is it starts at 5:00, so we can always hit up a happy hour. $15 bottle of wine and cheese plate, yes please.

I always hem and haw over my runs on Saturday morning. I don’t know why, I really love to run and I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I am finished. This Saturday was no different. Just as I was getting dressed, it started to rain/hail, but BJ didn’t let me talk myself out of getting out there and running, and I’m so glad. It was glorious.

We spent the afternoon looking at finishes for our kitchen, still working on making some final choices. (I know, get on with it already!) BJ kicked off his brewing season on Saturday night with a pale ale. Fresh brew at our house in about a week!

This little one worked on feeding herself, but mostly made a mess.

We took a little trip to Ikea on Sunday. The main thing we wanted to get was a high chair for the little one so she doesn’t have to sit on our (tiny) table in the Bumbo anymore. We were successful in getting the high chair, which she loves, but now we realized we need a dog.

Not going to happen…the dog that is.

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

 

 

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