Griffin's Carnival Party

We celebrated Griffin's 1st birthday on Saturday with a carnival themed party! It was such a fun afternoon celebrating our sweet little guy. I tried to decorate as much as I could the week before the party so I wasn't running around like a crazy person the day of. I just used a bunch of bright colors with some carnival decorations thrown in. I thought it turned out pretty cute! 
I made the birthday wreath by just wrapping burlap ribbon around a styrofoam wreath. I used the buffet to display all of Griffin's monthly pictures. I love having those pictures! They will stay there for a while! Our food spread was pretty simple: hot dogs & all the fixings, rice krispy treats on a stick, cotton candy, rainbow kettle corn, chips, animal (or petting zoo-ha!) crackers, & cupcakes. 
I made the smash cake this time to save money. Griffin liked his cotton candy flavored icing the best! 
I blame Jen on the chalkboard sign. We're sistas from another mista & she was making a sign for Hank, so naturally, Griff needed one too. It was actually really relaxing--I miss using that creative part of my brain! I made the banners & Griffin's {hated} birthday hat. Basically, I hoard scrapbook paper & make anything I can with it! 
 I actually had some Oriental Trading banners leftover from G's 2nd birthday party & I used them all over! I set up a little photobooth with some carnival-ish props & it was one of my favorite parts! I got some cute pictures of the kids and adults!
The birthday boy himself! Griffy decided that his birthday week was the perfect time to start taking some steps! How cute is his birthday outfit?!
Our family of 4! Still sounds strange to say that. We survived the first year with 2! 

Griffin had so much fun with all of his friends! 
When it came time for Griffin's cake, he didn't disappoint. He dove, literally, right in! But are we surprised? This boy loves to eat! The 3 year olds were quite an audience & were cracking up. Griffin hammed it up big time! He ate icing and by the time he made it to the cake, he was all done. A little sink bath & he was back to the party! 
 Photobooth fun! 
We had a great time celebrating this happy little boy! I still can't believe Griffin is one! 

Party Resources:
Griffin's birthday outfit: Ditsy Daisy Boutique
Cupcake toppers: Trendy Biscuit
Invitations: Aliya Rinaldi Designs
Portion Cups (for cotton candy) & cupcake liners: Sweets & Treats Boutique
Rainbow Kettle Corn: Moose Head Kettle Corn


Griffin is ONE!

My sweet Griff,

I can't believe that a whole year has passed since I met you & held you in my arms for the first time. From the moment I laid eyes on you, I was in love. You made my heart double in size. I remember sitting in our hospital room just an hour after you were born and studying you. Every little inch of you was perfect. I couldn't believe that we had another precious little boy. 

This past year has been a crazy one. I have loved watching you grow, learn new things, & develop a relationship with your big brother. I think that has actually been the highlight of your first year. You & Grayson have such a special bond and I hope you boys are always close. 

You've taught me a few things, too. I now know to never say never (hello, former cosleeping baby) & that nursing can be a great experience!

Griff, you have the sweetest disposition and a contagious smile. You are the happiest baby and people comment on that everywhere we go. Your big baby blues & happy grin can light up any room. I think you know those eyes can also get you whatever you want! Your personality is really starting to come out & you are so much fun. You are so laid back but have learned how to voice your opinion! You are our fearless, strong-willed, adventurous one. You already keep us on our toes! We love you to the moon & back, little boy!
Love, Mama
Griffin, you are ONE today!!
The stats:
Weight: 18.9lbs (3rd percentile, you little peanut!)
Height: 29 inches (25th percentile)
Clothing: some 9 month but mostly 12 month
Diaper: 4
Shoe: 3
Eating: the biggest change over the past month is that you are off formula and bottles completely! We started you on whole milk a few weeks and you did just fine! We slowly dropped the bottles and now you get a sippy cup of milk in the morning and before bed.  You still think meal time is the best time. I haven't really found anything that you refuse to eat. You'll try anything which is so nice! You also think that you need to have everything that anyone around you is eating. You screech and reach out for everyone's food until they share. Right now your favorites are blueberry waffles, watermelon, bananas, grapes, grilled cheese, & animal crackers. You are such a great eater & eat more than your almost 3 year old brother on a regular basis!
Sleeping: Remember when you were a TERRIBLE sleeper? Man, I am so glad we turned that corner. You are a pretty great sleeper now and that makes me very happy. You dropped your morning nap really easily about a month ago. This has made life pretty easy in the mornings! You take a nap from about 1:00-3:30 every afternoon. This month we also did "go to sleep on your own" boot camp. You rocked that too! It took a few days of you crying but you did so much better than we expected! Our new bedtime routine is bath, read 2 books, & lay you down. You go to bed around 7:30 & sleep until about 6:30. You sleep with your monkey lovey & lots of pacis! 
Firsts This Month:
  • You got TWO more teeth this month! You now have 8 teeth; 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom.
  • You are starting to walk! Your balance has improved so much in the past few days and you actually took about 10 steps last night! You walk to Grayson so we use him as your bait:)
  • Not only do you go UP the stairs but you can now get back down. 
  • You are talking SO MUCH MORE. You babble constantly but do have a few words. You say dada, Jack, dog, & see.
Right now you are loving:
  • Music! You love to dance & bob your head when we listen to music. It's so cute! 
  • pushing any of your push toys!
  • riding in your police car cozy coupe & opening and shutting the door.
  • sharing your paci with people. so sweet:) 
  • the dogs, as always. You wait for them by the back door & shout "dog! dog!" when you want them to come inside. 
  • going down the slide! 

Right now you are NOT loving:
  • Mama leaving the room or going anywhere away from you, for that matter. 
  • when G doesn't share his snacks. You get SO mad! 

 Happy FIRST birthday to the sweetest, snuggliest, & cutest little blonde baby boy! We love you, Griffin!


Menu Monday

This week I am going CARB FREE. Just saying that makes me want to cry. I love me some carbs but I need to jump start my body back into weight loss mode! Well, I say carb free...except for Tuesday. That's Griffy's birthday and we will be eating his favorite foods! 

Monday: Grilled chicken with asparagus

Tuesday: Thin crust cheese pizza from Jet's...it is Griffin's favorite! & of course some GiGi's cupcakes:)

Wednesday: Pineapple Pork Kabobs & baked sweet potato (for the boys)

Thursday: Citrus Grilled Chicken, grilled squash and zucchini, & baked potato (for the boys)

Friday: Loaded Quinoa Bowl (told y'all this was my favorite!)

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: leftovers


Five on Friday


1. If you could see my house in its current state, you would think I was a hoarder of carnival-themed birthday supplies. I am ready for this party on Saturday so I can have my house back & stop thinking about the crafts/plans/everything else involved in planning a party these days. 

2.  Ben and I went on a 5th anniversary date last weekend! We did drinks & appetizers at Granite City and then dinner at Germantown Cafe. Yum, yum, yum! I love being able to have adult conversation AND eat my food slowly rather than grab a baby out of a highchair halfway through. Such a treat! 

3. There is a baby boom going on right now & it has almost given me the fever. You know what fever I speak of. The fever that makes you lose your mind, forget about ALL THE LOST SLEEP YOU HAD LESS THAN 5 MONTHS AGO, & actually want to do it all again. The keyword in the first sentence was almost.
4. I got this delicious concoction as a gift from my cousin. I opened it this week and ohmygoodness it was SO GOOD. Like, I kinda want to order a whole case, good.
5. I am so ready for cooler weather & college football season. BUT, the thing I will miss about summer is watching this cute pajama clad boy enjoying a popsicle after his baby brother goes to bed. It is the highlight of his day & I know he feels so big since Griff can't participate. (next year, little buddy) I just love this sweet boy!


Griffin's Birthday Banner - a Signazon review

There was a family in the neighborhood I grew up in that always had the cutest birthday flags for each of their kids. Every year the personalized flags would come out for each kid's birthday week. I thought it was such a neat tradition & it has stuck with me for about 20 years. When Grayson was getting to close to his first birthday, I started looking for something similar. I couldn't find any flags or signs that I thought were cute OR that would be nice enough to use year after year. 

Enter Signazon. This company can make just about any type of sign (magnets, decals, yard signs, etc.) but the personalized banners are what caught my eye! 

Griffin has a birthday coming up & I knew just what I wanted: a big ol' banner that I can hang for him every year! Signazon is great because they have pre-made templates you can use or you can design your own. I chose to make my own & it was SO easy! It literally took 15 minutes from start to finish. You can't beat that!
I got our banner less than a week after I ordered it & I love it so much! It's made of durable vinyl & is 2 feet x 4 feet. You better believe this fun banner will be hanging on our front porch next week!
I am so happy with how this turned out & can't wait to make one for Grayson before his 3rd (what?!?!?) birthday in September!

Disclaimer: I did receive this personalized birthday banner in exchange for a review, but the opinions expressed are all my own. You can also go read other reviews here!


Menu Monday

For the love. Someone hold me accountable for making the food on this menu. We have been doing SO BAD about eating out. Oh well, here's to hoping. 
I'm linking my menu up with one of my favorite internet foodies, Rachel! 

 Monday: Oven Baked Fajitas (these are a staple at our house. Do yourself a favor & try them--SO easy, SO good, & they make great leftovers!)

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Orange Chicken Stir-Fry (from the June 2013 issue of Clean Eating Magazine but the recipe is not listed anywhere on their site. BUT, I found the recipe somewhere else!)

Saturday: Griffin's FIRST BIRTHDAY party!!

Sunday: Out!(Let's face it. I know I'll be lazy and in a post-party coma!)


Last week I had this Loaded Quinoa Bowl on our menu. I ended up eating it for lunch because I couldn't wait for dinner...that's how good it was! I switched out the feta for goat cheese crumbles (my fave) and it was delicious! This was definitely a clean eating success! It's on my lunch menu this week:)


5 on Friday

Everyone else seems to be linking up on Fridays, so I may as well join the party! 

1. I am up to my neck in first birthday planning. I am searching for cotton candy currently & it's harder to locate than one would think! I'm excited to see everything come together but I know I will be a crazy person all next week preparing. I need someone to get my booty in gear!

2. Yesterday was Ben's 29th birthday! It actually happened to be his off day so we had a family date to The Pharmacy for burgers & enjoyed the BEST strawberry cake courtesy of Newk's. He got a set of Ole Miss cornhole boards for his birthday so we'll be spending even more time outside!

3. My baby is growing up so fast. I may be consumed with 1st birthday planning, but I am in total denial that my baby is almost a toddler. I vividly remember this week one year ago. I was soaking up all my time I had left with just Grayson & now I can't imagine life without our smiley little Griff!
4. We are to the point where G gets really annoyed with Griffin because he always takes his toys. Thankfully, we are also at the stage where Grayson wants Griff to "play wif me!"  It's so sweet. I know they will fight more than enough as they get older, but I also know they will be little sidekicks. Built-in best friends. Grayson calls Griffin his "favorite friend." They sure do love each other! 
5. Today is our FIVE year anniversary! 5 years ago was one of the best days of my life & I love walking through life with Ben!


Menu Monday

I'm really going to make more of an effort to make cleaner, healthier foods for my family. We've had a bad summer of eating & that needs to change. A few of this week's meals are new recipes...here's to hoping they are edible! Feel free to share your favorite recipe sites!

Monday: Beef Stir Fry

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Marlboro Man Sandwich (Ben's birthday pick!) and Newk's Strawberry Cake

Friday:  Stuffed Peppers with Corn, Quinoa, & Goat Cheese (this is supposed to be stuffed poblano peppers but I am using bell peppers)

Saturday: hopefully OUT for our 5th anniversary!

Sunday: Panko Crusted Chicken, sauteed zucchini, & baked potato

Go check out Rachel's blog for some great meal ideas! 


The Time I Sent My Toddler to the ER

Tuesday started out as a regular day. The boys and I had a nice day hanging around the house & then we were planning on eating dinner at home. Planning being the keyword. That plan fell through because we ended up in the hospital instead.

It all began when I started cooking dinner. The grill was on, veggies were cut, & chicken was marinating. I went down to our lower cabinet to get our biggest frying pan. As I was turning around with that huge frying pan, G comes barreling through the kitchen at full speed and smacks right into the frying pan. The biggest & heaviest frying pan, mind you.

I immediately yelled "Grayson!" & put down the pan. I moved his hair expecting to see a huge knot on his head. Instead I see that he is covered in blood. I yelled for Ben (thank God he was home) & he came to the rescue. I'm glad he's in the medical field because this mama gets a little frantic. 

My poor boy had a small gash over his eye but it was pouring out blood & was so swollen. Ben took him to the ER & Griffy and I followed with snacks. 
He ended up being there for about 2 hours, got it drained (ew), & then got a stitch to close it up. G was so brave the whole time and was such a trooper. He got 2 suckers & then requested Five Guys at 8:45 for dinner. Boy was hungry! 

He woke up feeling a little sore but otherwise in good spirits! SO, that means a broken arm AND stitches all before the age of 3. whew! 
We now just have a swollen black eye that needs to stay out of water for 7-10 days. I think we can handle that. Hopefully the rest of our summer will be uneventful!


Menu Monday

We are going to Atlanta on Thursday so we have a short menu this week! Also? I am forcing us to eat in every night we're home because we have been going out way too much lately. Does anyone else turn into a lazy cook during the summer?? Here is what we're having this week:

Monday: grilled chicken, sauteed squash, & mashed cauliflower (shhh, don't tell my boys)

Tuesday: grilled steaks & baked sweet potatoes

Wednesday: P.F Chang's knock-off Honey Chicken & fried rice


Patriotic outtakes

I think you have probably realized by now HOW HARD it is to get a great picture of both boys at the same time. Really, it's a comical experience. One that is full of candy bribes. 

We had a very rainy 4th of July but our boys still looked as cute as ever in their red, white, & blue! 

 Apparently the new motto at our house is never sit still. Ever.

and, yes, my almost 3 year old is indeed wearing snow boots in July.