Sunday, November 30, 2014

Audrey's Belle-inspired Sixth Birthday Party

Audrey decided several months ago that she wanted to be Belle for Halloween and that she wanted a Belle-themed birthday party.  So that's what we did!

She wanted to invite the whole world to her party, but I convinced her to just invite a couple of her girl friends from school and church.  The idea was to just have a simple little party with her friends.  And I tried, I really tried.  I'm just not good at simple parties.


I ended up dividing our house into "rooms" kind of like the Beast's mansion.

We had the library where we opened presents and played a game.

The West Wing, where the Beast's enchanted rose stood and where we made a craft.

And the Dining Room, where the food was served!


We found this letter "A" notebook in the dollar section at Michaels, and I thought it worked perfectly as a guest book.  Audrey greeted all of her friends as they arrived and had them sign their names in the book.

I had a simple coloring craft for the girls to work on when they arrived.  I didn't expect them to spend much time on it, but they really got into their coloring pages.  I ended up hurrying them along so we would have time for the rest of the party festivities.

We played a Belle Bingo game that I bought from Etsy.  I'm sure I could have made a game without spending any money, but sometimes it is easier to just use (and pay for) what someone else has already made!  The Bingo game was fun, and worked well for the different age levels we had in our group (ages 3-6).

And of course we opened presents!  Audrey would probably say that was her favorite part.  =)


In an attempt to keep it simple, I didn't make a big buffet of food, as I might have liked.  In keeping with Belle's French cuisine and the line from the movie, "Marie, the baguettes!" we had baguettes with butter and jam.

I also made the "grey stuff" (from the song Be Our Guest) using this recipe.  Everyone agreed, it was delicious!


For the past few parties, I have paid someone to make the cake.  And that is a really good idea.  There is a part of me that likes trying to make the cake myself.  But it always ends up being a little (okay, A LOT) stressful!  I really need to remember that letting someone else make it is a good idea.

But this year, Audrey wanted a doll cake.  I made a doll cake for her Rapunzel themed fourth birthday party.  So I figured I could do it again with Belle this time.

I really like the look of rose cakes, with big rose swirls covering the whole cake.  I decided to try my hand at using rose swirls to decorate Belle's dress.  It worked fairly well.  Not quite as good as a professional, but I was happy with the result.


I made rose pens for each of the girls to take home as a favor.

We know a lady who makes amazing sugar cookies, so I enlisted her help to make Belle dress cookies to give away as favors as well.

That's about it for our "simple" Belle party.  It was fun!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Halloween always ends up being such a crazy day, as it is also Audrey's birthday.  Plus, it was a school day for Audrey this year.  It is a long day for everyone, but we fit everything in.  We postponed most of Audrey's birthday celebration until her party the next day.

Audrey decided a long time ago that she wanted to be Belle for Halloween, because she had also decided that she wanted to have a Belle birthday party.  She also asked if she could have a Belle dress that went all the way down to the floor.  I started looking for long Belle dresses.  I found a lot of beautiful dresses, but they were expensive!  Until one day, I found one on Zulily for just $12.  Score!  It is definitely a cheap dress, but it went all the way to the floor and had a little hoop in it.  Audrey thought it was perfect!

I had Isla pick out another one of the $12 dresses that were on sale, and she decided to be Snow White.  Easiest Halloween costume year so far for us!

Isla's typical picture scowl.

But Daddy got her to smile for the camera!

It's a tradition to go trick or treating with our friend Cael.

Audrey had a hard time walking in her dress that went all the way to the ground.  She only tripped and fell one time though.

Audrey was a bit shy about going up to the houses to trick or treat.  We found out at the end of the night that she was afraid the houses would have dogs inside them.  The girl is deathly afraid of dogs!  However, she was willing to set aside her fears for the sake of getting candy.

Isla and her broken leg were wheeled around in the stroller all night.  She thought it was great!

It's also a tradition to stop by our friend Lisa's house.

This year Audrey's teacher (the one in the hat) went trick or treating with us.  I thought Audrey would love it, but she seemed shy and nervous all night.  She wasn't quite sure how to act around her teacher outside of school!  We also stopped by her assistant teacher's house (the one in the purple shirt) to go trick or treating.

Trick or treating is a fun tradition for us, and so we keep doing it, even though it would be easier to just skip it and focus on Audrey's birthday instead.    We have also tried to carry on a tradition that my mom used to do when we were kids.  We usually only trick or treated at the houses of people that we knew, and my mom would make treats for us to deliver while we went trick or treating.  I love the idea of giving treats to others at Halloween, so I have been trying to do that ever year with our family.  It's always crazy with Audrey's birthday, but this year I managed to make some caramel apple popcorn to deliver around our neighborhood.  It was yummy.  I was lucky to have some left to give to the neighbors, as I kept eating it myself!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Isla's Broken Leg

Time to play the blogging catch up game, yet again.  I still have a few more posts to write about Disney, but I am going to try to catch up on real life first.

Just over a month ago, Isla broke her leg!  She was just walking on the wood floors in our dining room, and she slipped and fell.  And boom!  Broken leg.  It's just crazy how easily it happened.  I really didn't think it was broken, but she wouldn't put any weight on it, so we took her into the doctor right away.  Sure enough, it was broken.

It was so so horrible watching them put the cast on her.  She was not happy about it. I think she was in a lot of pain, obviously.  But then she also hates going to the doctor and screams when they take her temperature.  Or sometimes just when they look at her.  Getting a cast on was traumatic to say the least.  After the cast, the first few days were ROUGH!  She did not want to move at all.  It was hard to tell how much was pain and how much was fear of pain or fear of the cast.

For a while, she wanted to keep her leg covered with a blanket at all times.  She did not want anyone to see her cast.  She did not even want to see it herself.

We eventually ventured out of the house, but only if she had her fuzzy green blanket with her.  And Doc McStuffins.  A friend gave her the Doc doll when she first broke her leg, and it was her security toy for several weeks.  We couldn't do anything without Doc.

After the first week or so, Isla gradually started to move around more.  By the third week, she was even walking a little bit on her own!

We went back to the doctor last week, and Isla's cast was removed.  She now has a walking boot that comes up to just below her knee.  She can walk around a little more in this boot, but it is still big and tall for her.  So she can only hobble around unsteadily with it on.  The good news about the boot:  She can take it off for bath time!  No more sponge baths!!

She will wear the boot for about three more weeks, and then hopefully she will be all healed up and good to go. I'm ready for my little girl to be able to walk freely by herself again!

One bit of good news in all of this.  Isla is still not potty trained.  It has been a huge source of frustration for us, as she is extremely stubborn and determine not to use the toilet.  However, it turned out to be the best thing ever that she was not potty trained when she broke her leg.  I can't even imagine how annoying it would be to have to carry her to the bathroom and put her on the toilet every time she needed to go.   I never thought I would say this, but I am so glad she is still wearing diapers!  But when her leg is healed...potty training boot camp will begin!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I will be back!

I refuse to give up on this blog, no matter how sporadic my posting may be.

I have so much to write about:  Isla's broken leg, Audrey's 6th birthday, Halloween, Audrey's adjustment to kindergarten, and a few more Disney posts!

I'm headed to Vegas this week with a few friends for the Leading and Loving It Conference.  But when I get back, I am determine to make catching up on the blog a priority.

So...see you soon!