Happy First Birthday G!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

G had an absolutely wonderful first year of life...in my humble opinion. He got to celebrate his first family wedding at just two weeks old; welcomed a new cousin just a month after arriving into the world; hit up a football game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City last fall; went on vacations to La Crosse, WI; Minneapolis, MN; St. Thomas & St. John, USVI; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Des Moines, Disneyworld, and Anna Maria Island, Florida; enjoyed too many walks and bike rides to count; and somehow managed to stay alive despite all of his big brothers scheming to get him alone and tackle him. A year to celebrate indeed! In honor of the day, I choose a party theme of Woodland ONEderland. Was this really a 'boy' specific theme? No. Was is something mom enjoyed decorating for? Yes. Did it fit our adventurous little one year old? Absolutely. G is notorious for eating all sorts of sticks, grass, leaves, sand, dirt and rocks, so a Woodland ONEderland was maybe the perfect theme for our little explorer!

To avoid completely missing the boys afternoon nap times or having the party run into bed time, I opted to have G's party right away in the morning. The boys LOVE breakfast food, and a celebration to start the day was the perfect decision. I kept the menu relatively simple with bagels & cream cheese, oatmeal bake, mini donuts, fruit, yogurt & granola, coffee and a mimosa bar for the adults, and of course...CAKE. 

One of my favorite DIYs of G's party was this frame holding all of the milestone photos of G's first year. I used an old frame found by mama J at Goodwill, deconstructed it, attached some twine and mini-clothespins found at Hobby Lobby, then clipped a picture of G from every month of his first year of life. So much fun!

G loved being the center of attention and having ALL of his relatives here to celebrate his special day, and was completely in his element. His favorite gift may have been a cellophane balloon on a stick that Aunt H attached to his gift bag, as he sat and played with it completely entranced for a long time before being convinced to open any of his gifts. Another HUGE highlight was this truck which he immediately took to, and had the BIGGEST smile of pure joy I think we've seen! 

The cake smash was quite literally a 'smashing' success, and the definite highlight of the day. G immediately dove right in, making just about the biggest mess that our kitchen floor has ever seen, and loved every. single. minute. of it. He did in fact eat probably about half of the cake once he realized it was something edible, and not just something to smash, and it was quite a delight to watch him shovel it in about as fast as he could probably thinking 'this is really good, I better eat as much as I can before mom takes it away!'. G had so much fun at his celebration, and we couldn't have asked for a better day to celebrate our little man's first birthday!

Party Sources

Sausage Pepper Egg Bake

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

After many years of making the same tried and true ham egg and cheese breakfast casserole, I've been on the hunt for a great sausage alternative to throw into the mix. Finally, I ended up combining a couple of different recipes to find the perfect mix, and now am happy to say, I'm done looking! The great thing about this recipe is, there is a bit of zip to it, so no more bland casseroles, and it's heavy on the protein, so a great option to keep the boys in my life filled up for longer than an hour. Go ahead and double it, using a 9x13 if you are feeding a crowd!

SAUSAGE PEPPER EGG BAKE | Yield: 4-6 servings | Total Time: 1 hr


1 lb mild sausage, browned
1/2 bag frozen shredded o'brien hash browns, lightly browned
1 C cheddar cheese
1 red pepper, chopped
8 eggs
1 C milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, cook sausage until no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl.

Add hash browns to the skillet and cook until lightly brown. Put hash browns in the bottom of a lightly greased baking dish. Top with sausage, cheese, chopped red pepper.

Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and milk. Pour over hash brown mixture.

*Cover and refrigerate now if you are baking later.

Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes. Enjoy! P.S. --> Leftovers heat up great!

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