Monday, February 29, 2016

Frozen 4th Birthday Party

I loved how this party turned out! It seemed more sophisticated than just posting Elsa everywhere in the house. A lot more snowflake/frozen with a hint of Elsa!

Thanks to Nealon Design for the adorable invites.  I just loved the sequin looking front and the font was very frozen-esque! Not to mention the ribbon to close it! Adorable.
This cake gets a huge portion of this blog. It was amazing and the pictures don't do it justice. Thanks to Sweet Tree's Cottage Bakery for outdoing yourself on this one.

That castle was pure sugar! And sure enough the birthday girl took a good bite out of it!
Loved loved loved the table setting. Thanks to my Mom for sewing the table skirt.
The tissue paper flowers are by Martha Stewart and were picked up at Michaels Craft Stores. The link will take you to the same ones on Amazon.
The sticks were bought even though I tried to have my husband DIY them for me. I didn't buy enough spray paint and by the time he started, they were bought from a local store so here's a link to something similar .
I loved the height and texture they gave to the party
Here's a big pullback of the table. We used fishing line to hang the poms and lanterns from the ceiling.

I always like to make the kids banner. Even if it'd be easier to buy from Etsy. I enjoy making them with the Cricut
Need color somewhere? Just add bows!

Little DIY milk cartons are perfect for having guests bring home a variety of candy at the end of the party.

Candy in mason jars is a must for every party!
I always buy matching colored candy from Party City

The cake pops were a huge hit and were gone so fast! I'll have to make sure to get them for the next party! These were also made by Sweet Tree's Cottage Bakery. Someone even said and I quote, "these are better than starbucks!"
 Loved how she snuck Olaf into this number 4!

 Seriously! The details on these cookies are crazy awesome. Also by Sweet Tree's Cottage Bakery. What can't she do?

 Snowflake wands and be found here
 Sprispals made a custom necklace and headband for Ava which she just loved!

Instead of favor bags, we used these mini lunch pals from Party City.
My talented cousin drew me an Olaf on poster board and my talented Mom put the poster together. So thankful my family loves a good party just as much as I do!!

 Photo booth goodies!
Got my family to try them out!  
 Such good sports Faasse Family! We joked this should be their Christmas card!!
And here's the birthday girl, although she wouldn't even let you call her Ava, it's Elsa!
 ummm that look though!
 I remember when I bought her that Olaf from Toys R 'us. It was bigger than she was!
And my cousin Kate wore her Olaf costume just for Ava! I think she was pretty happy about that!

It was such a beautiful party and so much fun! I haven't taken down the decorations hanging over the dining table. I think those are going to stay up for a while!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Vacation to the Dominican

These first few photos are from my phone. The above photo is the larger part of the resort we stayed at called Barceló Bavaro. We stayed in the adults only portion which was maybe a 10 minute beach walk away.
We did our best to ask people to take our photo since we aren't usually that good about it.

This is the restaurant that was literally right outside our room. Having a buffet within 10 walking feet is incredibly dangerous! There were 9 restaurants in the resort and since we only had 6 nights, we missed out on a few.

iphone photos don't do it justice but always such a beautiful sky at dinner time.

One of the restaurants was more authentic Mexican. They brought Jason a plate of peppers. He kept trying them all and didn't get hiccups. That's the only way I know if Jason ate something spicy, he gets immediate hiccups. Well there was this little green pepper that Jason hadn't tried yet. The couple sitting next to us tried that little pepper first and said how spicy it was. Well since Jason had tried all the other ones without problem, he took a big bite. And then....Hiccup!!

A view from the pool

We had just perfect weather. Maybe a bit windy a day or two but honestly, nothing to complain about. It feels and looks like paradise.

One of the infinity pool views

I saw fresh coconuts at the bar one day and decided I needed one. It was good, although luke warm coconut probably isn't as good as if it was maybe over ice but I had to try it!

Another before dinner photo. Or a before our 7th meal of the day photo. Do you want to eat....or eat?

The day we left was Valentines Day.

Jason was required to wear pants and closed toe shoes to dinners but it was actually nice and cool as the sun went down.
End of the iphone photos.

I brought my back up camera on the trip and borrowed a stock lens to have on hand. Although the stock lens was telephoto because I knew the whole reason I was bringing it was to get some pictures of the whales!! So we started off the day on a bus to get to the airport to take a small plane to the peninsula of Samana.
There's our 12 person plane.
I was cracking up. Maybe it was my nerves. Tiny plane problems.
Headphones are a must. Those tiny planes are loud.
We were only a mile or two up so you were able to get a good view of the land/water.
We were flying right IN the clouds. They were just beautiful. And surprisingly not a lot of turbulence.
Of course these photos don't do it justice either but it was just beautiful to be flying in these large popcorn clouds.

We then hopped back on the bus where our tour guide who spoke English, Spanish and German, talked us through our day trip. We had all three languages on our small tour so he had to explain everything three times. He did a great job.

We were first introduced to their culture and some of the foods/produce they have there. We bought a block of chocolate after having the best hot chocolate I have ever had.

We then got on a horse (or maybe a donkey) and were assigned a guide to walk with us the 45 minute trip to the waterfall.
A lot of people were swimming but I wasn't so sure I was willing to swim in foreign water.

One of the locals easily climbed up the side to jump off

We enjoyed a nice lunch after coming back from the waterfall

We had my camera, a digitial waterproof camera and then our iphones, so I collected all these photos into this blog, so some of them are completely out of order.

Jason's horse wasn't thrilled about our walk that day. It may have had half the I.Q. of my horse. And Jason's saddle was broken, so I don't think he is as happy as he looks here.
It was very muddy and hilly so I think riding a horse for me was much better than walking.  especially since they gave you generic rubber boots if you weren't wearing appropriate shoes. Thank goodness Jason and I wore tennis shoes. Those boots did NOT look appealing, people complained about how hot they were.
When we got to the waterfall there were quite a few locals trying to make a few bucks by having you pose with their birds.

This is right when we got on the boat to head out for whale watching.

We were able to get so close to the whales. There are  a lot of rules about how close you can get and how many boats can be on the water by the whales.

You can see the bright green area which is part of their face and underbelly
These humpback whales migrate from about January to March so it was perfect timing for us!!

Sometimes we were lucky enough to be able to see two at once.

One of them was a show off and was splashing and showing off his/her under belly and fins.

probably the best picture I got!

After the whales we went to a little island and relaxed on some chairs on the beach. I could have fallen asleep. So relaxing!
Its been a while since Jason and I went on a relaxing vacation with just the two of us (other than our mission trip when we had to sleep in separate buildings) so it was incredibly nice to relax and know the kids were well taken care of by Grandma and Grandpa. Hands down my favorite part was seeing the whales. It's all so surreal when you are watching them and everyone oooh's and aahhh's like you would if you were seeing fireworks. And you knew when their backs got really arched that you were going to see their tail pop up out of the water. Just amazing! I can cross that off my bucket list now! My least favorite part was riding in the 8 person plane to get back to our resort. That was just a bit too tiny for me. But of course it was totally worth it!!
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