Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Photo Dump Wednesday: Easter 2017

Easter this year was fun. We stayed in the area and celebrated with J's family. 

The weekend before, we went to a local mall to take pictures with the Easter bunny. We thought for sure that JAE would be scared of the bunny but instead, she was VERY eager to meet him and sit next to him. She wanted to cut in line but we made her wait. 
When it came time for her to take pictures with the bunny, she was really happy! Check out the following pictures.




She wasn't thrilled that she had to leave but the bunny gave out jelly beans so that helped. 


After pictures with the Easter bunny, we decided to walk around the mall for a bit. JAE went with J to go get her diaper changed so JOE decided she wanted to take a selfie with me. I love that she is still at an age where she thinks I am cool to hang out with. I pray this lasts for as long as possible :-).



Then she wanted to take a picture of me. Since she always takes great pictures, I often let her.
By the way, I'm wearing a tee from AyoBE Boutique. This is a must have for the upcoming season. 



I didn't get a chance to post this picture of JAE enjoying her birthday present from J and I. She LOVES it!!! We definitely got it right this year. 





With each passing day, amid the current climate of the world, I find myself holding on more to God's goodness and trusting him to see me through any challenges. 
These earrings are a reminder to Cling to the Cross. They are chic, beautiful and can be a reminder to others as well. You can preach the word without even saying a word!





The earrings are lightweight and pair very nicely with any outfit you have on. 



We got to celebrate JAE's birthday on her real birthday. Since she isn't big on sweets, we just got her a single cupcake and her favorite candy to sweeten her new year. She tried and tried to blow out her candles but her sister and I had to help her a bit.





During the day on her birthday, she visited a local jump park and thoroughly enjoyed it. 



That evening, we opened the presents she received from her party the Saturday before. She loved everything!



JOE and JAE's child care provider worked with them to make this beautiful Easter themed bunting. I absolutely LOVE it!



On Saturday, J had to work. But I didn't want to lose my exercise goal of 10K or more steps 6 out of 7 days of the week. So I decided to take the girls out. 
I am an allergy sufferer BUT JOE insisted I take the below picture for her. My eyes and ears and nose itched all day afterwards but it was nice to see the smile on my daughter's face.





I went shopping for the girls' Easter dress on Saturday after J got home. Yes, was very last minute. Blame it on a busy schedule. 
Anyways, I kept going back and fourth between dressing the girls in the same thing or something complementary. Finally, I decided to video chat with JOE and she told me she did NOT want the same dress as her sister. 
So I got them different dresses. Keep scrolling for pictures from Easter morning. I think she made the right decision.



I made some Kale chips at home as an option for healthier snacks and a requirement for one of my kids. These are so delish and so easy to make. JOE ate 2 batches that day and asked for more the next day. Thankfully, they only take about 20-minutes from start to finish.




I have been doing well on my exercise regimen but haven't been seeing a solid loss week to week. So I decided to go back to what worked for me over 10-years ago when I lost close to 40-lbs. 
At the time, I used weight watchers but I didn't want to start anything that'll require me trying to figure out and count points. So I went to Atkins. I got this book back in 2003. I successfully lost some weight while on it but didn't stay on it because I just wasn't committed enough. 

Fast forward 14 years and I am ready to make a solid change. I started back on Atkins last week Friday. The first few days were painful! I was addicted to sugar and honestly, felt the withdrawals physically. However, it has gotten easier in the last 24-hours (day 4 and 5) and I am excited because the scale has been going in the right direction. 
I log my goals and accomplishments on Instagram so if you are interested, feel free to send me a friend request on Instagram.



Easter Sundar marked our 6th wedding anniversary. I am so thankful to God for the man I married. A man who believes in me and supports me and loves me just the way I am. 
The time has gone by so quickly but it has not dulled our feelings towards each other. 
Cheers to many more years together.
Here is a picture from our Nigerian ceremony. An oldie but goodie. One of my favs.



On Sunday, we all got ready and made it out the door earlier than usual because we figured the church will be packed. I am glad we did. 
Before leaving though, I wanted pictures! Being a blogger mom and all :-).

Both girls wore different dresses and I loved both their dresses.




I paired my dress with one of the newly listed headbands from AyoBE Boutique. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these headbands. They are colorful, fun to wear and very comfortable. I have worn one everyday since I made them last week. 
Go check them out. I'm sure you'll want one for yourself!




Check out JOE with her hands out like a princess. She loved her dress that much :-).



After we took pictures, we were about to leave but then JOE said she wanted to take a picture of us to mark our special day. 
We were rushing to leave early but we obliged her and I am glad we did.




Car selfie on the way to Church!




After Church, we recorded our Sunday Family Chronicles on our way home. Then I cooked our lunches and some dinners for the week before we all got a quick nap and headed over to J's folks for Easter dinner. 
We had a great time. Especially the girls. They thoroughly enjoy hanging out with their grandparents. 
Check our JAE in her grammy's rocking chair. 



PS: She had on dress shoes for Church but when we went to leave for J's parent's, she said she didn't want those shoes. She wanted these instead. Yeah...my very decisive child.




We didn't celebrate our anniversary on Sunday because we already had a full day. Instead, we decided to take the following day off and celebrate. I'll blog about that next time. 

Have a fabulously blessed week and remember to be nice to strangers!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Photo Dump: A Princess Elena of Avalor Party on a budget

My llittle JAE turned 2 on Monday. HOW??? I still remember going into labor with her. I still remember her quick delivery. I still remember so many things from her first week home with us. The time has FLOWN by!

J, JOE and I threw her a Princess Elena of Avalor themed party and she thoroughly enjoyed being princess for a day. Truth be told though, she bosses everyone around the house every day :-D.
I pinned a lot of items on Pinterest but since life happens, I didn't get a chance to finish it all. So a lot of what I did is what you'd consider "semi-homemade". In other words, I just built on the base. 

A few days before JAE's birthday, her custom birthday cookies arrived. These cookies were once again a big hit. They looked and tasted delicious. I got them from Jackie Chews and they arrived on time. I plan on ordering from her for other celebrations we have. She is professional and very talented!



For the gift bags, I included a noise maker ($2), some M&Ms (bag was $8.65, a Butterfly fan (Elena theme) - $5.37/12, a kids compact mirror (Elena theme) $6.99/12 and a bubble bottle (Elena theme) $7.96./12.
For the M&Ms, I simply printed out a picture of Princess Elena and added a message on the side. 
Then I had JOE color each in red or blue. Those were the theme colors. My baby did a great job!



A few weeks before the party, I cut up Esteban (character from Princess Elena) mustaches and tiaras. I then stapled them to the gift bags. I already had the paper at home so there was no additional cost. 
Also, the bags were left overs from JOE's PJ Masks party last year so it was nice to not purchase new ones.


For JAE, I couldn't find 2T Elena dress for her from the Disney site or any other sites. BUT I did find a 2T costume. Instead of looking for a dressy dress, I just looked for a costume. I did this for JOE's birthday a couple of years ago and decided to try it again this year and it worked. The dress was $23 from Amazon.
For the tiara, I didn't want to spend a ton on her tiara so I purchased a set of tiaras from Amazon. It came as a set of 4 for $7. I then used red nail polish to pain the biggest stone and 2 side stones. It worked PERFECTLY!


I made red and blue vanilla flavored chocolate covered pretzels. I have never used the vanilla flavor before so when I found it at Wal-mart, I was really excited to try it and it tasted REALLY good! I had 3 before I was done making them :-D.
Each bag of the chocolate melts was $1.50. I didn't use the full bag. The container of pretzel rods was $4.50


We decided that instead of having the party somewhere else, we would have it at our home since it allowed for more flexibility.
So we got a deal through Groupon. We used this company for JAE's Sip & See a couple of years ago and they were just as professional to work with. And definitely a great deal. 
We also got a cotton candy machine. The total for the bounce house (12-hours of use) and the cotton candy machine came up to about $165.


I purchased the butterfly from Amazon. It was $12.17


J and I set up everything the morning of and then I got to cooking while J ran some errands with JOE. JAE was supposed to sleep but we had no such luck so I ended up listening to her babble while I cooked.





I wanted a Mexican themed party since Elena is Disney's first hispanic Princess. I looked on Pinterest for ideas and came away with a few. 
I made chicken quesadillas. This was a 4-ingredient item and was wicked easy to make. Basically, you use cut up chicken breast, add taco seasoning, add sliced bell peppers and then cook. Then after it all marinates for a bit, you throw them on the tortilla, add cheese on there, throw another tortilla on top and just let it all melt together. 
Then slice and enjoy! It was ALL GONE!


I made some chicken wings as well. 


And made some sweet BBQ meatballs in the crockpot. The meatballs are EASY! Get frozen meatballs, put them in your crockpot, add grape jelly and a bottle of BBQ sauce. Stir occassionally. I left it on low heat for 3-hours and then kicked it up to high for about half an hour and it was ready to be served.


I picked up some On the border tortilla chips and salsa. 


The cake was SIMPLY DELICIOUS! We used the same place we used for JOE's first birthday. To save some money, instead of them making the tiara, I gave them one of the ones that came in the pack JAE's outfit. Worked GREAT! Plus kids don't like fondant so why spedn $49 (what we were quoted) for a tiara when we could just get one that would be taken off?



The dessert table.


My favorite part of the birthday celebration was JOE singing the Princess Elena birthday song to JAE. JAE smiled the entire time and it was just so cute!


And other pictures from the festivities.



Me and my girls. I was so busy throughout that I didn't get to take a proper picture with them so I had J take a few pics after the celebration.




After everyone had left, I decided to get in the jump house with the girls and we all had a great time. Then it was time to clean up. 




The next day, we were all VERY tired. So much so that everyone slept until almost 8am. So we decided to watch our Church service online and then head to the mall for the girls to take pictures with the Easter bunny.

I'll stop here and continue next week :-). 

Hope you had a fabulous week! Thanks for reading. Have an awesome weekend and remember to be kind to strangers!

AyoBE

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