Thursday, July 31, 2014

Family Vacation: Western Night

For our second night on the beach we had Western Night! The first day at the house the guys are usually exhausted from driving down (we leave at 2am so that the girls are sleeping in the car = less bathroom breaks and 'are we there yets') so it's usually a bit more low key. Dinner and an early night. 

Our second night, however, everyone was amped up for a theme night. Especially Zoe. For Western night the guys organized dinner while the girls planned the activities. They started it off with peanuts in the shell and chips and salsa. The main course was absolutely delicious western BBQ burgers with BBQ sauce and fried onions. They nailed it. It's safe to say any night Jeff and Kyle are on food duty, they will grill.

Pre-dinner snuggles with Grandma
For the activities, my mom had purchased inflatable horses for horse races and a horse cutout for 'pin the mustache on the horse' - a hilarious game that did not exist prior to this night. We also had a saloon door cut out for pictures. After dinner we went for a walk to the ice cream shop in the middle of the island, our first trip there in full costume but certainly not our last, and people were thoroughly confused. We thought it was hilarious.


Tough cowgirl

All in all - night one was a huge success! Zoe was a big fan of this one. Up next: Luau night!

We had to have fake mustaches for at least one night
Don't miss Luau nightZombie night, Medieval Times and Award night.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The fastest week of the year...

That's really how it feels. We look forward to this week all year and then it's over! 

Every year, my whole family heads down to North Carolina for a week of beaching and relaxing. Several years ago, my niece starting joining us which necessitated a few changes. Namely, we have added in theme nights. We started theme nights last year with a fiesta, under the sea night, fourth of July and Hollywood night. You can read more about those themes here. Yes, we know we are super nerdy - deal with it.

This year we went with:

and a bonus Medieval Times night

Last year we had each couple responsible for one thing each night, which resulted in a lot of extra food. This year, we went with a team approach so three people were on the 'Food team' and three people were on the 'Activity and Decorations team' each night, with Zoe floating in between. This way everyone got to work with different people each night and they could coordinate ahead of time to reuse items from last year and reduce food waste. It worked out incredibly well. I could fill pages with each of these nights, so I figured I'd do a separate post on each. 

For now, here are a few pictures of the view from the beach house. Heaven on Earth.
View from our bed
The bay side offers the best sunset views
Proof that my dad went in the water this year
Our dock
Morning run on the beach (ignore my shadow..)
We were there the week after a hurricane hit so we had hit or miss weather
Dance lifts in the living room!
We've also decided on our themes for next year! 

Pirate night
Slumber Party
NASCAR night 
Family Olympics

Let the planning begin!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pink Velvet Cupcakes and Mini Ombre Cake

We are back from our annual family beach trip! Such a fantastic week, I can't wait to share the details. The theme nights were so much fun and we've already selected the themes for next year. Now we're trying to get back in the swing of routine a little bit more tan and a lot more relaxed. I'll do some posts about the vacation, but before we left we had to celebrate my sister-in-law to be, Rose's birthday! 

Love this girl!

We have some pretty set-in-stone birthday traditions. We always celebrate at my parents house with dinner and the birthday boy or girl gets to pick the dinner and cake. My mom even has certain pictures she gets every single year (seriously, we checked and they go all the way back). For this year, Rosie requested the cupcakes I made for her Superbowl party! I was so excited to revisit that recipe, but I couldn't do bright blue, orange and green cupcakes, so we went with pink instead. 

Rosie loves animal print so these liners were a must
I also didn't want to just make cupcakes. I wanted to get our traditional cake picture and have something for her to cut into. Looking through my local kitchen store, I was able to find a small cake pan and decided to make a tiny little ombre (kinda) cake to go with the dozen cupcakes. It wasn't a total success - it looked more like a giant cupcake - but boy was it delicious! Pretty sure Rosie had a wonderful birthday, but we certainly enjoyed celebrating her! 

For all of the 'kids' birthdays this year, my parents gave us a long weekend away in the mountains on a beautiful lake. It's the perfect gift for this group, another vacation together! We can't wait.

For the full recipe head over to the Superbowl cupcakes post

Sort of cute

Loving my new piping tip
Yummy cake!

My favorite girls


Oh this loverly lady


Can't wait to share pictures of the vacation theme nights. Everyone truly outdid themselves this year. Until then!