Lyla's Fourth Birthday


This weekend our little Lyla Beans turned FOUR YEARS OLD. Time out! I cannot believe I have a four year old, where did the time go? I know that's so cliche to say, but seriously, it feels like it was just yesterday that I was holding a tiny human against my chest for the first time and now, I'm chasing after a super fast, outgoing, beautiful little girl-- and by chase, I mean trying to keep up, girl goes non-stop and she's fast too. This year was an extra special birthday for a few reasons: her daddy was able to be here (no deployment), it's her last year before starting kindergarten, and could possibly be one of the last times she celebrates her birthday with close family (our big move). Mix celebrating milestones with flipping through baby pictures and you get a recipe for tears, it never fails. Oh man, I am already dreading her first day of kindergarten. I cannot believe how much she has grown this last year, her personality is shining and brightening every space she enters. I am so grateful to be this little girl's Mommy. 
Lyla has been obsessing over all things magical, as well as any and everything to do with princesses, so when we asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday, she told us she wanted a magical princess party. Since she didn't have a party for the last two years in a row, I felt the  absolute need to fulfill her wish--to the best of my ability during 100+ weather at least.
These Princess wands were berry-licious and a hit at the party, they were gone just as fast as I brought them out. Most of our part supplies came from Target but since stock varies from store to store, I was curious if I could find the party supplies elsewhere for you guys and I did-- All hail Amazon!
The gift bags were a last minute DIY project, took maybe 20 minutes for me to do twelve bags, I didn't spend much time on calligraphy this time around because...I'm gunna be real here, I was pooped from back to back store/out of town trips. If I were to have planned this DIY I probably would've gone with aesthetically appealing craft taped opposed to the typical Scotch tape.
The original plan was for Lyla and her guests to be dressed up in Princess dresses, but I quickly realized what a horrible idea that would've been, especially in this heat, plus all the kids were going swimming and it would've just been a hassle. However, if you don't have a pool and the weather isn't as hot at as it is here, having all the girls run around in their dresses would be darling. I was happy we  went with summer clothing instead-- how cute is this dress? 
Ever since we watched Beauty And The Beast with Lyla she has been asking for a dress just like Belle's yellow one. I decided against a plastic tiara for her Belle dress, simply because they always end up getting stepped on the same week. You can see the one I opted for, here.
Here we have a family favorite, homemade triple chocolate cake. Store bought cakes aren't something we fancy around here. Lyla doesn't care for them and if she's anything like me, its because store bought cakes always seem to come with a headache-- anyone know why? Apart from cake, watching Lyla play with her Daddy on her birthday had to be my favorite part. 

Father's Day Gift Ideas





This time last year, we were getting ready to send Alan off on deployment, so most of his gifts revolved around what he was going to need on the ship (sleeping bag and other stuff he would need on the ship)-- so glad that's not happening this year! For a fun spin on these gifts, you can throw in something like a fishing license, tickets to a concert, or  a hotel reservation. If none of these tickle your fancy, you can stick to pancakes, peppered bacon, and coffee -- a much appreciated morning in our home. Have fun celebrating the guys in your lives! 

What are your plans for Father's Day, any gift ideas? I would love to know how you celebrate! 


5 Recipes To Try This Summer




Hey friends! Hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend. While most of you were out BBQing and what not, our family was busy packing. I feel like every summer we move or have some sort of drastic life change --probably because that's been the case since '12. Any who, this summer is no different, we're on the move again. I'm hoping this will be our last move for a few years at least. I caught myself daydreaming of backyard parties, ice cream on the deck, road trips, tan lines ( the whole summer shebang), but if we're being honest, food was the number one thing I was thinking about. I figured since I often get asked for recipes, I would make a list of recipes I plan on trying this summer, like this Lemon Baked Chicken, which was mouthwatering. Although, if I had to change one thing about it, I would skip broiling and lightly brown the chicken first. Here's a handful of recipes I plan on trying




Breakfast sundaes for the little one and I. 

Grilled peaches ft vanilla ice cream could be a new family favorite.  

I'm a sucker for this Cilantro Lime Chicken topped with avocado salsa (guac?)

I can see myself ending my days with a Malibu Sunset. I also love that you can easily make this a virgin drink by using coconut water instead of rum.