Disney Day 6

It was so sad to wake up on the sixth day of our trip and know it was a our very last day in Disney. We tried to pack as much as we could the night before so we could enjoy as much time as we could in the park.

I had to get some shots of the park from our hotel room on the last day.


The Grand Floridan hotel was also a beautiful view from our hotel room. I would love to have enough time to check it out on a future trip.


On our way into the park I noticed this posted above the entrance and I have no idea why I never noticed previously.


It was very crowded in the park and we didn’t have a lot of time to spend, but we managed to ride a few different things; one of which was the Peter Pan ride. It was an insanely long wait and in retrospect it was not even remotely worth the wait, but I felt like we needed to see it before we left. At least there were lots of things to look at while waiting in line. It took you all through the Darling household and had some very cool special effects as you saw TinkerBell flying all around.




By the time we got off the ride, we only had enough time to get Elin a quick lunch and head back to our hotel to catch the Magical Express bus from our hotel to the airport.

Check out the chocolate mouth. She had just devoured a chocolate chip cookie.


We arrived at the airport and Elin immediately spotted a Snow White statute and wanted to get a picture with it. She must have really regretted not getting a picture of her at Cinderella’s Royal Table.


Once on the plane, Elin got strapped in along with pink doggy, Gus, and Jaq and she enjoyed Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes until she fell asleep until just before the plane landed.


Elin was excited for her friend Kelsey’s birthday party the very next day! The party was at our local Gymboree and had a Frozen theme. This picture cracks me up because Elin was very focused on the birthday girl blowing out her candles.


Notice the room has completely cleared out but these two were s-l-o-w-l-y enjoying their cake. Catching up with a friend post-trip should not be rushed.




Such happy girls! Friends from birth to three years old.

Doggie Arrival Day Party

Every year we celebrate the day our dogs came to live with us since we don’t officially know their birthdays.  Every year they get a treat and gifts and doted on for being fabulous.  This year I thought it would be fun for Elin to get involved and excited for their arrival day party.  We started talking about their arrival day and what that means.  We invited over Nana, Papa and their dog Daisy.


The night before we made cupcakes for the humans. Elin enjoyed being a part of the process and pouring in ingredients.


I found this cake mix at Target and thought it looked festive and interesting to try.


I think they turned out pretty close to the picture.  Here are a few of our creations.


These adorable mini ghost cupcakes were bought specifically at a dog barkery in town.


On their arrival day we celebrated after we got home from work.  Elin got out her favorite party book to read to get into the spirit.


The dogs got down to business and quickly devoured their cupcakes.


Then it was time to try out our cupcakes. Elin donned her party hat and enjoyed the cupcakes we made. She was a huge fan of the sprinkles.


I also found these adorable party hats for the dogs  at the pet barkery and luckily they were a perfect fit!


Elin has a special bond with Fifi.  She loves to sit with her and pet her and Fifi is extra gentle with her.  I was so glad to capture this picture of them together.


We finally coaxed Angel to get into the shot as well.


We love our dogs to pieces and even thought it’s just silly and fun to celebrate their arrival day every year, I think it’s very important to celebrate them and what wonderful gifts they are.  They truly are such good dogs that are always good and sweet. They deserve this much and more every day of their lives.

Kara’s Party Ideas Feature

I am so excited that Elin’s second birthday party was featured on Kara’s Party ideas! I would love for you to take a look at their post!

Here is a link to Elin’s first birthday party post.


Fun Features

This week has been busy with exiting happenings.  I was excited to see Elin’s birthday party featured on Jo Studio’s facebook page.  Jo Studio did all the party printables for Elin’s birthday and we could not have been happier. I would love for you to check out her facebook page!

PicMonkey Collage

Then I was also happily surprised with the news that Kara’s Party Ideas plans on featuring Elin’s birthday party pictures and details.  I will be sure to post a link when it’s posted in a few weeks.

125x125 KarasPartyIdeas Button

I feel incredibly honored to be featured on both of these fabulous sites!

Tea Party – Part 2

Elin was so exited when she woke up and found out it was the day of her birthday party! She kept saying, “Birth de party” and “two” over and over. She was so excited and wound up that she would not take a nap!  The party was at 2pm. In order to get a good nap in before hand, it would have been an early one for her. Therefore, right before the party was about to start, she started acting sleepy and testy, but when she saw her tea set all set up and her guests started arriving, she perked right up.

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

I was so excited for her to see her big gift this year which was a pink kitchen set. She loved it and has been enjoying it! I love this picture of her on her tip-toes checking out the stove.

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

This tea set was a birthday gift she got on her actual birthday. You can never have too many tea sets! She was so cute getting tea ready before anyone got to the party.

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin was excited to see her best gal pal, Kelsey. They are about 2 weeks apart in age and it’s so fun to see them grow up together.

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin was amazed by her teapot cake! I have to admit it was quite the cake! I think the look on her face says it all! I had a special cupcake made for to eat and I was thrilled when she ate a decent amount of the icing! It was definitely a step up from last year when she refused to try her cake!

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday


Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin received so many lovely presents for her birthday. One extra special gift was a baby doll. She loves her new doll and all the little accessories that go with the doll. We have yet to name the baby so we just call her dolly for now.

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin’s cousins, Max and Ethan were good sports going along with the tea party theme even though it’s not their bag.

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

I love this hug captured! Even though no words were exchanged at the time I imagine that Elin was thanking Kelsey for her lovely gifts and Kelsey was wishing her a happy birthday and many more years of friendship.

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

I also love these shots of Elin’s and her cousins.  Ethan is 9 and Max is 5.

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin's Tea Party Birthday

Elin’s Second Birthday Tea Party

Elin’s second birthday party was just 1.5 weeks ago and I am excited to share pictures and details. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how everything turned out. I have many photos so I will share the details here and then follow up with a post of the birthday girl at the party!

Elin has enjoyed playing with her tea sets so much this past year that I thought a tea party-themed birthday party would be just perfect for her! The theme turned out to be a little harder than I imagined to find elements that weren’t too “vintage tea” but yet not too modern. My first hurdle was to find the invitations and party prints. After hours and hours of searching I found Jo Studio and I found all the elements I was looking for in the party prints, right down to the exact pink, blue, and green color hues I was searching for.




Can we just talk about the gorgeous flowers?!?! In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined anything more beautiful! My florist, Rosemari is so talented. I gave her some inspiration photos and talked about my favorite flowers and she blew me away. She gets me and my vision and I just love her–enough said.



Nothing says tea party without some lovely small desserts. I found a lovely bakery that was up for the challenge of making a tea pot on the cake and specialized in french macarons. Again, I was totally blown away at what a fantastic job the baker did at matching my vision and color scheme.









Since this was a tea party theme for a child, I opted not not have tea but instead had sparkling pink lemonade, sparkling french berry lemonade, and water. They were delicious! The glass bottles also gave it a lovely vintage feel. I was able to also find some plastic milk bottle sippy cups for the younger children at the party.





I loved the look of these paper fans as a fun backdrop and I initially toyed with the idea of getting crafty and attempting to make these myself, but then I thought better of the idea and decided to leave this up to the professionals. Boy was that a good idea! I had such a positive experience working with Jennifer from The Papier Studio. The paper was thick and of a nice high quality. They gave the room great texture and dimension.


Last year I was thrilled to find paper plates from Hallmark that you could personalize with a photo. They were so adorable and I was so sad to see that Hallmark discontinued their party supplies on their online shop. After browsing I found something similar from Shindigz. I love the extra special touch that these plates add.


Elin loves balloons and I found these lovely and unique balloons on one of my blogger friend’s blog and Etsy shop. I love the cleanness of the clear balloon and the fun confetti in the beautiful coordinating pastel colors inside!






I had a hard time finding tea pots or tea cups that matched my theme.  I was ecstatic when I found this unfinished tea pot and pedestal at Michaels. My dad spray painted it pink and then painted the ruffle and knob white. I think it turned out gorgeous! I plan to keep this in Elin’s playroom as a decoration and a keepsake from her second birthday party.







Elin’s second birthday was a success and I was so blessed to have been able to enjoy planning and executing her party.

I will be posting part 2 later this week.


Vendor List

Photography: Alicia Monahan: Monahan Photography

Party Printables: Jo Studio

Cake/Desserts: Confectioneiress

Florist: Rosemari Herbert: McNamara Florist

Confetti Balloons: Meg-Made Shop

Bow: Chic Bella Bowtique

Paper Straws/Gumball Tubes: Lola Loves a Party

Paper Fans: The Papier Studio

Glass Milk Bottles: Amazon.com

Favor Boxes: Amazon.com

Personalized Photo Plates: Shindigz


Elin is Two

This past Friday I was so excited to take the day off and spend it with Elin for her second birthday! The weather was dreary and rainy but we still had a lovely time.

When she woke up I went into her room to sing “Happy Birthday” to her and got her ready. I could tell she was so excited and ready for an exciting day. She hasn’t cared much for sunglasses yet but that particular morning was a turning point and  she was so excited to wear “glasglas”.  She played all morning wearing them and checking herself out in the mirror in them.



We went out to eat and Elin loved trying everything on our plates. We then headed to the zoo and butterfly gardens. It was periodically raining so we would run from one exhibit to the other. At the zoo, Elin got to see her  favorite zoo animal, the penguins!! Their cuteness did not disappoint.


We then viewed the butterfly exhibit and were lucky enough to get there in time to watch them release some fully grown butterflies for the first time! They offered to let Elin hold them, but she did not want to and instead wanted to only watch.



Then it was time to go home and have a little cake and presents. She kept saying, “party” over and over again! Little did she know that Sunday was going to be her party day! All in all, I think she had a great day. It seemed like it had only been a month or two from her last birthday! I can still remember that day perfectly!






Letter to Elin on her Second Birthday


Dearest Elin,

I cannot believe the day has come but it has and now, Elin, you are two! You went from a tiny 6lb 14oz newborn to a toddler in the blink of an eye.  Your arrival to where you are today has happened so fast, yet it’s hard to remember my life without you in it.


You continue to amaze me every day with all that you have learned and you continue to pick up so much knowledge each and every day. You have the most gorgeous smile and the sweetest sounding laugh. You love to talk  and run through all your current favorites like numbers, letters, parts of the face, animals, and animal sounds. You love your sweet dogs, Fifi and Angel and you love it when they sit next to you for cuddles. You love dancing and moving around especially if it’s outdoors!


You started Gymboree class this year and it has been so much fun to watch you grow and evolve in class. You have adapted so well to the changing of the classes and you are always in such happy spirits when we are there.

Your favorite foods are still: Mac and cheese, chicken, strawberries, green beans, peas, cheese, teddy grams, goldfish crackers, applesauce pouches, and yogurt pouches. You still eat pretty healthy and only recently have been more adventurous with sweets. You love to drink milk and water.


This past year has seen many major milestones such as walking and talking in sentences. Of course the sweetest words of all were spoken when you said, “I love you, mama”.

Elin, you are mommy’s dear special girl and I love you more than you will ever know. Please always remember one thing…that mommy loves you.


Elin’s First Birthday Party

I have been busy trying to plan Elin’s second birthday party. I unfortunately haven’t decided what the theme will be, but I am hoping to figure that out soon and really get to planning. After I posted a picture from Elin’s first birthday party on my Five for Friday post, I got a few emails asking for more details and pictures. I have lots of pictures, so I am only going to post the basic detail pictures for party inspiration.

Elin’s birthday is on May 16th, so we had her party on that following Sunday. The weather was beautiful and sunny. When I started planning, I had no theme in mind but just wanted the party to be pink and feature the number one. The first main element I picked out was the printable theme. After searching through Etsy, I found the Chickabug shop and picked the “Pretty in Pink” collection. From there, I just tried to match the pink colors. Along the way, I found some awesome vendors and had a wonderful experience with each and every one of them.

Elin had a lovely day and I hope she has a wonderful second birthday in 2.5 months! Here are some detail photos from Elin’s first birthday.

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com


Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com


Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com

Elin's First Birthday www.simplejoysblog.com


Vendor Credits:
“Pretty in Pink” water bottle labels and party printables – Chickabug
Photographer – Alicia Monahan from Monahan Photography
Cake – Piece of Cake
Dipped marshmallows – Homemade
Florist – Rosemari Herbert, McNamara Florist
Candy – Candy Warehouse
Cookies – Sugar Dreams Cakes and Things
Picture plates –  Hallmark (no longer available)
Elin’s hat and bib – Dainty Couture
Elin’s birthday outfit – Mudpie
Bow – Chic Bella Bowtique
Fabric Banner – Stichin’netka