A Beachy Birthday Cake

For Noah's third birthday this year I decided to make his birthday cake. I have always admired the way my Nana always made her children's birthday cakes- and they were always super cute and creative. I found my inspiration cake (because there's no way I would have come up with this myself) in a Parent's magazine. It was in a Luau party guide- perfect since we were having his birthday party at the Splash Pad. Here's how it turned out. It's obviously not perfect, but I was happy with it!

And, here's how I made it:
1. Make a cake! I used a box mix, duh! Separate the batter into two round cake pans and a small oven safe bowl (for the island). Let cakes cool completely before icing.
2. For the icing, again I used store bought icing because it made my life that much easier. Tint about 2/3 of the icing aqua blue, and the rest divide and tint into colors of your choice (for the swimsuits on the bears and the piping on the huts).
3. Once the cakes are cool, ice the first layer, then put the second one on top and ice that one. For the island you can ice with white icing or tint it to match the brown sugar. Sprinkle the iced island generously with brown sugar to look like sand. Note* The instructions said to use crushed shortbread cookies, but I forgot to buy those, so I improvised and used brown sugar.
4. Place the island on top of the cake and use remaining blue icing to make "waves" on the edge of the island. This helps blend the island in with the rest of the cake.
5. Decorate the cake! You can use colorful icing to put little swimsuits on the teddy grahams. For the huts, stick starburst candies together in the shape of a hut, and for the roof, use mini shreaded wheat cereal and finish with piped icing. Use peach rings for floats, swedish fish for fish, round peppermints for a beach ball, and jelly beans and nerds for the under water rocks along the bottom of the cake. I used green twizzlers and cut them into the shape of sea plants for the bottom of the cake as well.

This is a really fun cake to make with your kids. Noah had a blast helping me make it/eating all the candy while helping me make it. The only downside to it is you're left with all that extra candy...


Three Years Old

Today my little boy turns three years old. Wow. On the anniversary of his birth I think back to the day that my whole world changed and I became a mommy.

I am so thankful to God for you, my sweet Noah. You are such a blessing, and I pray every day that your life will be filled with good things, that you will love God and serve Him, and that you will grow into a strong, upright, kind, gentle, encouraging, loving person. Mommy and Daddy love you with all our hearts.


At the Lake

We had a wonderful time at the lake relaxing, boating, swimming, skiing, tubing, kayaking, playing games, singing songs, and catching up with family. The kiddos did great traveling- two plane rides to get there plus four hours of driving. Be on the look out for a future post about tips for traveling with two children under the age of three.
I always have so much fun with this side of my family. They are so full of energy, life, and creativity.

There's always fun to be had at the Lake!


Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

Recently, I have read two different fav blogs of mine, here and here, that did a post on wrapping gifts...with wrapping paper not gift bags. I'm taking it as a sign that I need to throw out my large stash of gift bags that I have accumulated over that last few years. I don't know why I saved basically every single gift bag that I received- and there are many between wedding showers, baby showers, and birthdays. The thing is, I've gotten lazy, but I plan to change! I plan to take back the days that I used to love wrapping gifts and take pride in the end result. When I was younger, at Christmas time my family designated me the official "gift wrapper."

I've always loved opening a wrapped gift much more than just reaching into a gift bag. There's something extra special about a "brown paper package tied up with string." It's just plain fun. There's a sense of mystery and excitement and appreciation to the giver when opening a wrapped gift. So, today I am vowing that I will do my best to present gifts in a wrapped fashion or, at least, not in a silly 'ole gift bag. Goodwill better watch out, because their about to get a large donation of old gift bags!

Enjoy a few pictures of some pretty packages:


Sweet Dreams

Awhile back I promised that I would post pictures of our new place we call home. This is where my family sleeps: