Thursday, April 13, 2017

Madeline's First Birthday Party

It is hard to believe it has been nearly two months since we celebrated Madeline's first birthday. It was such a special day for our girl with lots of friends and family in town visiting and celebrating the occasion. Aunt Kate and Uncle Chris even flew in from San Francisco to celebrate. 
I started planning Madeline's birthday party months and months before. You can see this post for my inspiration and I purchased a lot of the decor second-hand on our local mom's resale group. This let me go all-out on pink and gold decor without it breaking the bank.
Corey, my mother in law, sister in law, her fiancĂ©, and I ordered a pizza and decorated that Thursday night before the party. We enjoyed some family time on Friday, Madeline's actual birthday, and took her to a fun breakfast out and to ride in her new Cozy Coupe. I had my house cleaner come on Saturday morning. In retrospect, I would probably have her come Sunday morning after the party next time.

I ordered Madeline's cake and cupcakes from Publix at the recommendation of several moms in our neighborhood. They did a perfect job with decorating it to match the photo I brought in from Pinterest and everyone thought the cupcakes were moist and delicious. They were also so reasonably priced. I will definitely use Publix again for cake orders.
I used my Cricut to make Madeline's cake topper and the little cupcake toppers. The ones of her in a party hat were my favorite project and they were such a big hit.

She, of course, loved the cake as well and had such a fun time digging in and clapping her hands at how delicious she thought it was.

For appetizers, I served homemade guacamole (recipe from the old school days of this blog), salsa, a veggie tray, pigs in a blanket, and my mom brought a cheese and relish tray. I also set out cheerios and puffs in these cute cups for Madeline's littlest guests. 
We decorated with framed pictures of Madeline's first year all around the house. We used the champagne frames from our wedding that have been sitting in storage ever since. We also set up a fun little photo booth. The props were hand me downs from another mom. 

I found Madeline's dress at Janie and Jack and loved the cute, pleated look. I didn't want to do something first birthday specific so she could wear it again. I did get her this tiny birthday hat and I loved it. $7 well spent, if you ask me. 

Probably my favorite decoration was the monthly photo banner. Getting those pictures was a labor of love after eight months but I am so glad I have them. I mean, just look at home much she changed! More first birthday photoshoot pictures here and newborn photos and birth story here

Corey cooked barbecue on the Big Green Egg all night and I made cole slaw and macaroni and cheese. Corey's mom brought baked beans and my mom brought her famous potato salad and deviled eggs so this provided a full meal for all our guests but wasn't too much work since it was well divided up.
Madeline had a great time playing with all of her friends and eating all the food. She and her little friends enjoyed playing in the water table and sliding on the toddler slide, which we set up inside for the party. 

The party lived up to all of my Pinterest dreams but I will definitely look forward to doing something smaller next year! Haha! Cleaning up was a little exhausting but I passed the decorations along to a fitness coaching client of mine to use for her daughter's birthday next month so I am happy they will continue to get use. 

For favors, we used these cute little bags from Target's dollar aisle with bubbles from Dollar Tree inside for her tiny friends to take home.

The celebrations continued on to Sunday when she opened her gifts and played with all her new toys. It was a great way to celebrate her first year and we sure are thankful for this precious girl. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday morning. This is Spring Break for our local school district so we are looking forward to a slower-paced week around here since I have this week off of tutoring and Madeline's music class.   I'm definitely not hating that. 

Corey was out of town for a friend's bachelor party this weekend so I took advantage and went out for  girls' night on Friday. I wore my favorite lace top that for some reason Corey hates but I just love, love, love. I met a few girlfriends at Foxcroft Wine Company and we enjoyed a light dinner, a couple glasses of wine, and several hours of catching up.

Then, on Saturday, I got my workout in (22 Minute Hard Corps) and got showered and dressed to take Madeline to meet a friend for an Easter festival. She did not participate in the egg hunt because I was terrified she would be trampled but she enjoyed a nice picnic lunch outside, some strawberry ice cream, and friend time.

On Saturday evening she enjoyed her last bottle. I am not sad to put the million Dr. Brown's pieces away for good but I am a little sad that she is growing up so fast. I have really loved giving her her bottle every night. We slowly switched to sippy cups starting around 10 months but I hung on to this bedtime bottle. This girl loves her ba-ba so I was really worried about the transition affecting her sleep or it breaking her heart when she didn't get her bottle last night. Well, it didn't phase her at all. It was absolutely harder on me.

After she went to bed on Saturday, I tested out these two products. I've never used the R+F tanner before but I had had my nails done with this polish several times. I loved them both. I've tested out a lot of new beauty products lately so I'll share a round-up soon.

Corey arrived home early Sunday morning. Then, we headed to a local nursery to pick out some flowers for our front porch. Madeline and I got the ferns at Lowe's on Friday. When we came home, he played with Madeline and put her down for her nap while Riley and I removed the dead mums from the planters (yep, they were still there) and replaced them with pretty spring plants. I am loving this little spring refresh to our porch. 

Anyone feel like this? Last month's free Crockpot + Clean Eating challenge was such a huge success. This month I am offering a 14 day free ab challenge - just in time for summer and swimsuit season. It will focus on nutrition and daily core exercises. Let me know in the comments if you are interested in joining - just make sure the reply feature is on or you leave an email address.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Last Week's Workouts (+ a recipe)

Corey and I have officially booked our vacation to St. John to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. I am super excited because we haven't been on a "big" trip since our honeymoon. We do weekend get aways and go to the beach and we've been back up north to visit family but nothing really elaborate.

Let's revisit that Hawaiian honeymoon for a moment in case you are new here.

We spent five days on Oahu, most of it on the North Shore and a day in Waikiki so we could see Pearl Harbor. Then, we spend five days in Maui. It was my absolute favorite vacation and I was in the best shape of my life.

We are going on this year's trip in May instead of August, when our actual anniversary occurs, because we want to catch the best weather. That gives me just six short weeks to finish re-defining my abs and lose my last five pounds. I've already bought some new swim suits so I am pretty determined to meet this goal. No mom suits allowed on this trip.

Similar tank here, here, and here

Here are last week's workouts:

Monday: Barre Legs + 10 minute hardcore from Beachbody on Demand
Tuesday: Cize for cardio
Wednesday: Upper Fix Extreme + 10 minute abs
Thursday: Dirty 30 (21 Day Fix)
Friday: Walk with Madeline. I missed my regular workout time due to my mammogram appointment. Fun times, there.
Saturday: PiYo upper and lower body
Sunday: Country Heat for cardio

21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix ExtremeCize, Country Heat, or get them all bundled together (and on sale this month) with Beachbody on Demand

This is one of the recipes that I shared in my Clean Eating + Crockpot Cooking challenge and we all enjoyed it, even Madeline.

Zesty zucchini chicken

1.5-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 T Italian seasoning
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce (no sugar added)
½ cup whole wheat penne
1 cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker, except for the pasta and cheese. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours (or high for 3-4 hours) or until chicken is cooked through. In the last 20-30 minutes, add in pasta and cook until al dente. Plate your chicken and immediately top with 1/4 cup cheese.