O-N-E Fiesta!

First and foremost, almost all of these photos were taken by my wonderfully talented mom/AJ's Mimi.  We are so lucky to have her at our disposal; thank you mom!

My sweet baby turned one in March; it seemed like yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital.  It's incredibly cliche but my heart is so full with this little muffin in my life.  She is my daily sidekick and I so look forward to days spent with her.  

The invitations and thank you postcards came from Minted; we just customized a save-the-date invite from a papel picado wedding suite and then used a photo I took for the back (the same as the first photo on this post). 

As you can tell by our outfits we went with a fiesta theme! As Texas ex-pats I thought it was only fitting to bring a bit of our background to the midwest.  We had it at our neighborhood's clubhouse and it worked out to be the perfect venue.  At the entrance I made the below sign with my limited chalkboard skills!

You had to go down a set of stairs to get to our party area so I wanted to dress up the stair rail and give it a bit of definition.  I made fringed garland of sorts with streamers and then just added paper flowers at the top and bottom pillars.

I used the same fringed garland and flowers to make AJ's highchair a bit more festive as well.

AJ's cake was vegan as she still has a dairy sensitivity.  My sister found a recipe for a "crazy cake" online from a friend and as much as I love butter I made her frosting as a traditional American Buttercream (or grease cream as one of my favorite CIA Chef's called it...CIA friends...5 points if you can name that Chef!) with Earth Balance Vegan Butter instead....and it wasn't half bad I must say.

I made the flower centerpieces using paper flowers from La Mariposa in Dallas.  I put them in simple ball jars filled with crepe paper (I have ball jars in a dozen sizes and I use them for pretty much every centerpiece I make; I know that it's overused, but it's easy and cheap!)

The little donkey pinatas were a how-to I found on pinterest (look at my board for AJ's Party and you'll find the link).  I just drew a donkey freeform and went from the photos I saw online; it was easy but a bit time consuming.

The flags and custom maracas came from Vintage Babydoll on Etsy; oh how I love Etsy!!!  They were fantastic to work with; fast and super easy to order.

For the food we kept it simple and had Chipotle cater and then did a side nacho/queso bar, because let's be honest...we are cheese people!

The cake I made for the big people was white cake with white frosting; it sounds a bit simple for a trained pastry chef...and it is...but it is my sister and my childhood favorite so it's a bit of a family tradition.

I am a terrible procrastinator so I didn't start the cake until Friday night before the party on Saturday.  Having all of the family in town and still working on last minute prep meant that my cake was a bit more simple than I had intended it to be.  As a perfectionist the slight lean and uneven piping drive me nuts, but as I was piping this at 4am it really didn't matter any more!

The 1 topper was meant to mimic the 1 pinata and little flowers are gum paste intending to mimic the teresita paper flowers...the very basic variety.  I love making sugar flowers but I just wasn't able to give them the time needed to give them the real detail that I appreciate.  Next year I'll try for better time management!

Behind the cake are three pinatas O N E...my very patient husband helped to construct, paint and decorate these lovelies.

For the favors we had custom maracas (which were a HUGE hit with all of the kids), custom crayons and Spanish coloring books (an attempt to add a bit of learning in with the fun!)  Oh, and Mexican organic lollipops, because the pinatas were empty so we needed some candy somewhere!

Three generations of ladies; my momma, lovely sister, my muffin and me!

I cannot thank my wonderfully talented mom, my patient sister and my creative & handy husband enough for all of their hard work helping me construct decorations and execute my OCD vision for this party.  Also, my sweet in-laws, sister and brother-in-law for helping with set-up and break down and general moving of all things.

Thank you guys!!!!!!




I'm playing catch-up tonight.  We christened our sweet muffin at the end of July last year and here are a few snip-its from that weekend.

We had the dress made from extra material I had left over from my wedding dress (long story).  Erika from Petite Parfait did an INCREDIBLE job on the dress and bonnet; she was wonderful to work with and I cannot thank her enough for all of her hard work making it for us.  It is surely something we will treasure for generations to come. 

Below is Addie Jane's dress next to mine in the box. My mom was afraid of getting the dress dirty since we had it preserved after my wedding. I secretly hope AJ will want to wear it one day, but I'll understand if she want's to do her own thing because she's at least worn my dress once already. 

We were so blessed to have so many family and friends at the ceremony and afterwards at her reception.  My godmother even came in from PA, which meant more to me than I can give words.

The ceremony was lovely; our wonderful Pastor PJ (first photos) who had helped teach our pre-baptism class and we had become friends with in the process actually baptized AJ which was a wonderful surprise to us that morning because we thought it was going to be one of the other pastors at our church.

Par for the course for our family there was of course drama.  At the alter I backed into a candle and lit some of my hair on fire (those of you who know me personally are not surprised by this I'm sure...I'm a bit of a klutz!)  Anyhow, Dan thankfully discreetly extinguished me so that no one else knew what was going on...however...the four of us at the alter couldn't stop giggling about my little pyrotechnic display.

My wonderful mom & father-in-law took most of these photos.  We had Alicia take some too at AJ's 6 month shoot in September but those are all in prints and not digital so I cannot share them here; it's without saying...they are adorable :)

In all we had a wonderful weekend surrounded by family and friends and I thank God every day for blessing us with our sweet muffin. 


Grandma what big eyes you have.....

When deciding on a costume for Addie Jane, Dan told me to keep in mind that it's almost always cold in Chicagoland for Halloween.  In September I found a cute little red bonnet with fleece lining...ergo...Little Red Riding Muffin for Halloween.  

The bonnet and dress are from two small vendors I found online; email me if you want more info, they were both fantastic to work with and I would recommend in a heartbeat.  I made the little apron and basket liner.  I had to dust off my sewing machine because it had been quite awhile since I had tackled anything other than a few loose seams.  I put my high school home economics skills to work! The shoes are Baby Gap and I found the basket at Michaels.  

I'm not going to attempt captions for each of these so I apologize in advance for the sheer number of photos...I couldn't pick just a few....so I give you them all! This blog is mainly for the grandparents anyhow! The first photo is from the fabulous Alicia of Alicia's Photography (which is why it is the best of the lot!), the rest are mine.


 Getting a baby and a dog to sit still for a photo...nearly impossible! Remi is supposed to be the big bad wolf to her little red riding hood, but he refused to be part of our shenanigans!

Below shows my attempt at a little red polka dot liner to the apron (the basket liner is the same red polka dot. I'm a details person; of course the apron and basket had liners!)

I had to include this one because you can barely see it but she's going after our dog Remi's favorite toy in this shot...a very smelly stuffed animal, and it's blurry because I'm trying to snap this super quickly before grabbing it out of her reach!

I wish that these weren't so blurry but she found a dusty mirror on a side wall that I had put there to get out of the way and she had a ball playing with it.

Later we went over to our friends house for the first of many Halloween nights.  Little Miss L was dressed up as a fairy and she looked adorable so I had to snag a few shots of her too!

Dan being goofy and cheesing for the camera; AJ was more interested in what L was doing!

Will you be my friend?

Ooooooooo a wand!

Love from mama; so sweet!

Hope that everyone had a wonderful time dressing up and trick-or-treating!

much love,