Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cyan’s Winter Wonderland 13th Birthday Party


My only daughter turned 13 last week.  It’s amazing to me and yet about time in coming.  She is not the typical 13 year old at all.  She is a special girl who acts more mature than me sometimes and who is a HUGE help to me in all ways.  She is my little social butterfly, loving and fitting in with all people, and I wanted to find a way to truly honor her during her special celebration.  This year, when asked what kind of theme she wanted, she told me that she would like to have a winter party in summer.  So we got out the Christmas décor and started planning a party! 

It all started out with giant pinecones, burlap and Christmas balls.


Even though she wanted a winter wonderland, my weather app said it was supposed to be 92* on the day of the party so I set about translating traditional winter fare into a summer feast!  She especially requested hot cocoa, so I made each of her guests a hot-chocolate pudding mugs with mini-marshmallows on top!


I searched for Italian Coffee mugs at thrift shops in the weeks before the party and set them on a mirror I also found at a thrift shop that doubled as a beautiful party tray!  (It now hangs in my entry way.  At $10, It was a score!)  I added the marshmallows when the pudding was still hot so they melted a tiny bit on top, which added to the ‘hot cocoa’ feel of the whole thing.  Just before serving I stuck a chocolate hazelnut wafer cookie into each pudding cup.


I had used a red table cloth and a burlap runner down the center.


And the table was garnished with Queen Anne’s Lace, which you can not find in winter, but looks like snowballs when put into a bouquet and, bonus, they were free!  (They grow everywhere around here!)


The backdrop was tons of paper snowflakes cut out and put on the dining room window.  They were beautiful, but in the bright sunshine, they were a little hard to photograph.


We used pinecones and Insta-snow for fluffy white stuff around the centerpieces and it added beautiful that touch of wintery flare.


The dinner started off with typical party platter food, fruit, cheese, and crackers all put on silver tiered trays (from my wedding 15 years ago!) which gave them a very beautiful and elegant look running down the center of the table.


The main course was hot tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken skewers.  Some of my daughter’s favorite winter foods!


Insert baby photobomb:


The cake table was my favorite space at this party.  I used a frame I have and added all pictures of Cyan growing up to give it an immediate celebratory flare with Cyan at the center of the party.


The cake table was decorated with red table cloth, burlap runner, twigs (from Pier 1 imports), cardinals (from Michael’s Crafts), birch straws and napkins (from Amazon Prime), and Christmas décor (from mine and my neighbors stash of decorations).  It was so beautiful that I think I kept it up for a week!  (Minus the food of course) 



The cake was red velvet with cream cheese frosting, decorated with fresh raspberries… which was an awesome combination!  I may actually do this again!


After dinner was, of course, time for cake and gifts.



She had a little trouble blowing out her red flamed birthday candles…..


Silly girl!

After that, I packed everyone up in the vans and headed to the ice skating rink.  I had gotten tickets on a Groupon so they were all 1/2 off!  It was the perfect end to our Winter Wonderland afternoon. 




Each girl went home with a hand-poured peppermint, beeswax candle in a red and white stripe.


It was a lovely day and a wonderful way to celebrate this amazing girl!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Meet our newest baby

This is the last addition to the Rose household that we are planning for a good long while.  Don wanted a dog and Ember wanted a friend.  We were set up for dogs in a really good way and so I said yes.  I was thinking this fall, but this little guy just fell into our lap and I fell in love.  I am sure you can see why.  He is a black German Shepherd. 


The naming conversation went like this:

Don: “If I picked him, I get to name him right?”

Me: “Sure, as long as you don’t name him something dumb, like Boba Fett.”

Don: *long pause* “You’re right!  A pure black Shepherd… his name is Vader!”

Me: “NO!” *smirk*

Don: “Put it to the masses… I bet I get at least 50% vote.”

And so I did.  And everyone on Facebook and text LOVED the name.  So his name is Vader. 


And it fits… if Vader was made out of puppy fur and cuteness.


We are all in love.


Completely and absolutely.  Even Ember loves him to pieces…



which made me doubly glad we got a pup when we did.  They adore each other.  In fact, Ember looks a little like Vader’s mama:


All in all, we are one big happy family and training is already going well.  It’s amazing how the trickle-down effect also works with dogs.  Have one smart, well-trained dog and she will train the new one.  It’s been a great puppy experience!


Couldn’t you just squeeze him???

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