A glimpse into the life of a real family - ours.
We're busy. Sometimes crazy busy. Occasionally, life gets chaotic.
But we love each other deeply. God is first in our lives, and then each other. There is laughter and love and beauty in this home we share.
And as I journey this somewhat chaotic life with the family I love, there are moments when I have to sit back, take a sip of my coffee with extra cream, and smile as I realize something very valuable...I am content.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Madi's 7th Birthday Cupcake Celebration!
Madi decided months ago that she wanted to have a cupcake birthday party when she turned seven. That girl loves a good party, and loves baking cupcakes...so we had the best time planning this one!
We kept the guest list small - just four little friends - and my mom started collecting aprons and chefs hats with her Hobby Lobby coupons. She had them monogrammed, then she and my sister-in-law embellished them for each little guest. They turned out to be absolutely precious!
To make the flower embellishments, they used graduated cookie cutters to trace and cut different sized flowers out of fabric, then hand stitched them together. The one on the top was attached by a small hair clip, so the girls can wear it in their hair later if they would like.
The one on the pocket was safety pinned on, and a touch of tulle added extra flair.
The aprons were a welcoming touch and hung on my apron rack, looking cheerful and inviting as the little bakers arrived!
I used three different sized cupcake wrappers, cupcake buttons, and hot glue to make paper flowers.
Then pinned each flower to the chefs hats! These were also just darling, especially on the girls!
When Madi first mentioned the idea of a cupcake party, my mom saw an idea to make a garland out of cupcake wrappers. At Christmas, she stuffed my stocking with cupcake wrappers to be used when the party rolled around! I used a shoelace type string (on sale for $1 in the ribbon section of Hobby Lobby) and we simply put holes in the center of the wrappers and some small doilies (also from Hobby Lobby). I strung the cupcake wrappers and doilies to make the most cheerful garland I have ever seen! We all just loved it! Surrounded by paper lanterns, it turned our kitchen into a dreamy area for our chefs to create.
I set out some sanding sugars and decorative icing on a tray.
Then set up a decorating station for each guest! Madi really wanted each girl to have a giant cupcake to decorate. My sister-in-law helped out so much and baked them for me as I was caring for a very sick Trevor! They were made from a Funfetti cake mix. I gave each girl their own can of frosting, but with a last minute idea took off the wrapper and wrapped each can with chalkboard paper marked with a chalk monogram. We found the pink spatulas for 40% off at Hobby Lobby.
A little tulle tied to each chair added some sparkle.
I set out a few other festive decorations that went with our theme.
And our kitchen was transformed into a cupcake wonderland and workspace!
For food I served the girls turkey sandwiches cut with a cupcake shaped cookie cutter that Madi's teacher (who shares her love of cupcakes) had sweetly given her.
I placed cupcake wrappers in a clear plastic punch cups and filled them with grapes.
I also mixed a little sugar with some grapes and froze them - I saw this recipe online as "spa grapes" and they were absolutely delicious. Both the girls and moms went crazy over them!
Apple slices, caramel dip, and Cheez-Its completed our fare!
When deciding what to serve the girls to drink, I settled on miniature cans of Sprite. Sprite is rare treat for Madi so I figured she would enjoy it. Well, she opened the refrigerator the night before the party, saw those cans, and exclaimed, "Sprite??!! This is going to be the best party ever!!" I had to laugh. Never mind the garland that took forever to make, or the handmade embellishments we had all worked so hard on.
We had Sprite. This party was going to be amazing. :)
For dessert I made cupcakes, of course!!
The cupcake candle we found at Hobby Lobby (where else?) was an unexpected, fun find!
The girls were receiving the aprons, chef hats, and spatulas as favors. We also found cute little cupcake necklaces for 40% off at Hobby Lobby for them. Then a wonderful lady in our church called me one day from Michael's saying she had run into a bunch of cute cupcake trinkets on major clearance and would we mind if she picked them up for us. So we had more unexpected treats for our guests! What a find and such a blessing - thank you Miss Debbie!!
Madi helped me assemble the gift bags.
And we set them next to a pillow from Justice that my mom found on super clearance weeks ago. It plays Happy Birthday and came with a marker so everyone could sign it. Along with the Sprite, this was also the best thing about the party in Madi's eyes!! It really was a great find. I remember signing pillowcases at a sleepover when I was little and thinking it was amazing, so I understood Madi's enthusiasm.
As the girls arrived they did a foam cupcake craft, ate their meal, and signed the cupcake pillow.
Then it was time to decorate some cupcakes! The girls were sweet as could be in their aprons and hats, and really got into the decorating, taking time to add their own special touches. We all enjoyed watching them having such fun together in the kitchen.
The end results were beautiful!
We hung the aprons and hats back up...
Then I straightened up the kitchen and got the cupcakes ready for serving.
Meanwhile, the girls enjoyed some American Girl time.
And the moms had a few minutes to visit.
Then Madi opened her fun presents.
And it was time to blow out her cupcake candle!
We all enjoyed eating the cupcakes, then Madi gave out the gift bags to her guests. The girls all put on their necklaces right away, and loved all the little trinkets!
At last we said goodbye to our guests, sat down, and Madi said (and I quote)...
"All riiight, that was fun, now let's start planning next year's party!!"
I am telling you. She is a party looking for a place to happen.
Though the party was over, the next morning the kitchen looked so magical as the morning sunlight streamed through the windows that I had to take a few photos...
And I reflected on another special celebration of a very special little girl.