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Last Saturday, Colton turned two. The week before that, we celebrated with his friends at home. And I’m just now posting about it.

Colton has adored Curious George for quite some time, and I decided long ago we’d have a Curious George “themed” birthday party. Going into it, there were two things I knew: I wanted to use the more vintage, hand-drawn George (rather than the much more cartoony movie version), and I didn’t want everything to scream George. To that end, I settled on using red, blue and yellow as my main colors, and also decided on using polka dots. Polka dots are happy and fun, plus I found a great vinyl table cloth on clearance.

After doing some Etsy browsing, I found a seller with some two-inch punches from an old Curious George book, which I happily snapped up. Could I cut up a book? No. But I sure could buy a cut-up book! These were absolutely perfect – there were tons of pictures of George, and the Man with the Yellow Hat, and I think they were a great touch on my photo banner.

When Caroline visited, way back in February, I mentioned I thought I would take photos of him in a monkey costume I had snagged on clearance for this coming Halloween. She said, “we can run outside and take them now!” Since Caroline is by far a better photographer than I am, I jumped on that opportunity. I popped five in Dollar Store frames, spray painted red with paint I already had, and displayed the rest above the cake.

I briefly thought about making a cake, but my icing skills are completely lacking, so I paid a super talented friend to make one for us. All I did was give her my cake plate, Curious George ornament, and direct her to my Pinterest party board. She totally nailed it, and I spent zero time thinking about it, working on it, or stressing about it.

Quite possibly my favorite birthday picture. He was totally thrilled to be sung to.

We served fun, easy, loosely themed George food, like Chef Pisghetti’s Pizza, George’s 100 Dozen Donuts, a jungle fruit tray and individual banana puddings.

Colton’s birthday shirt was another Etsy find, and all three of us love it. When I showed it to Hubs before ordering it he said, “you’ll get that off of him when it falls off.” The quality is awesome, and George is fuzzy, which is a fun little touch.

Colton had a wonderful time with all of his friends (he asked for them to all come back the next day too), and I had a great time planning and decorating. And the end of the day, a happy birthday boy is the best thing I could ask for.

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Colton turns one on Thursday, but it seems like he’s already one since we threw him a party with all of this friends in attendance this past weekend.

Waving to his adoring public.

I wanted to do some sort of over-all theme, but I also wanted to do something that was simple, easy and didn’t break the bank. And then I fell in love with some simple monogrammed cupcake toppers, and the theme was set – “C.”

Simple and sweet! I slpurged on that candle, but I fell in love with it!

Along with the cupcakes I had my chalk board plate with a candle in the shape of a one, goodie bags, and all of Colton’s monthly photos. Since he wasn’t officially one yet, I just subbed in one of the fabulous photos Caroline took.

Putting all my chalckboard paint to good use!

I used the cardboard from the cupcake stand package to make a chalkboard sign for the door since it already had a nice hole in it for hanging. I can’t wait to use this again for something else!

Colton's birthday banner with his gifts from his wonderful friends.

I made Colton’s birthday banner totally with felt. The letters are ironed on with Heat n’ Bond, and the individual squares were made into pockets and then sewn about a half an inch in all around. The cutting was a bit time consuming, but it really was quite simple to make; I plan on using it for lots of birthdays to come.

Food!

The most inexpensive and impactful  were the paper C’s hanging over the dining room table. Five sheets of paper, thread, tape, scissors and a couple of nap times spent cutting and hanging were all it took. I also used a “c” stamp on the bottom 6 inches of the paper table cloth to further drive home the theme. Plus, all the food started with the letter c – cherry tomato, celery, cucumber, carrot, croissants, chicken salad, cheese, crackers, cantaloup, and cheerios!

Colton was a begrudging cake eater. It took us a long time to convince him to try it, and finally had success when we let him hold a fork and fed him with one as well. He ate about a third of his cupcake, but seemed less than enthused about it.

We hung balloons up outside and the birthday boy had a great time playing with them.

Yes, this is the only picture of us together from the whole day.

Special thanks to Sarah for giving me this shirt from her “free clothes to a good home” pile. I love it!

Last weekend, my dad and I both celebrated our birthdays! I live a fair distance from all of my family, so it was a real treat to have my parents and grandparents come visit Hubby and I so we could all celebrate together.

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The best part? My mom brought her fabulous lasagna and oft coveted “Cake.” My mom makes this cake twice a year; once for mine and my dad’s birthdays and once for my brother’s birthday. Its a simple yellow box-cake for the actual cake part, but the icing is some chocolate, cooked on the stove, fudgey icing. Love on a cake is what it is.

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For the most part though, the birthday celebrations were low-key. Mostly we spent time as a family, showed my grandparents around my new hometown, and made a trip to one of the coolest salvage stores I’ve been to (more to come on that!).

As for the gifts? My grandmother brought me two hosta, an azalea rhodedenrum, two flowering plants for my pot by the front door and some money. My parents brought me CAKE and some money. Hubby got me the flowers you see by my grandmother’s head, some M&M’s (yum!) and a new TV.

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We bought a 32-inch Vizio flat-screen from Wal-Mart. Nothing particuarly cutting edge, but much better and bigger than what we had. Wal-Mart had the best price by far (we checked all the electronics stores in our area before buying), and as I watch Lost each Wednesday night, I consider it money very well spent.

Wednesday was Hubby’s birthday! Happy 26th honey! Because his birthday was in the middle of the week, and because I’m going out of town this weekend, we celebrated with Hubby’s family (parents, brother and sister-in-law) Saturday.

Hubby’s family all went in together and bought him a three burner gas grill! He’s wanted one for a while now, so he is really excited. I can’t wait to grill kabobs, veggies, hamburgers, and, of course, steaks! Is it spring yet?

I got Hubby our new media cabinet and Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. And I made him a cake. His request was for “chocolate, chocolate and chocolate.” So I made him this cake, but used dark chocolate cocoa. Its a tasty, moist and easy cake — I liked it better than the cake I made last year, which required melting chocolate and all kinds of stuff.

dsc03644I had a hard time splitting the two layers in half, so I’m obviously not going to be invited to the Food Network anytime soon. Good thing life’s not all about looks, right? And icing hides a multitude of sins.

dsc03645See? You can’t tell where the giant crack in the top layer is, can you? Gotta love a rich, chocolaty icing!

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

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Contact me at longbrakeliving@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.