A Beachy 3rd Birthday

If you recently saw my Instagram pictures, you know that we celebrated Emma turning three a few weeks ago, on July 24th.  I’m still not sure why I never shared anything about her 2nd birthday and the ‘totally awesome twos,’ but I didn’t.  It has been a blast to watch her grow into a little girl over the past year, and makes me a little sad knowing she’ll be too big for me to hold sooner than I think.

Emma & me

I do want to give you a little glimpse at what last year’s birthday looked like.  If you saw my Crunchy Christmas post, you know I’m big into homemade gifts along with trying to be non-plastic.  I know that’s not always realistic but I can dream.  I’ve also been trying to make/sew something for Emma every year with my trusty sewing machine…which is already late this year.  My inspiration came from Sherry at Young House Love, who is much more adventurous at making their daughter Clara things like quilts!  Someday, Jess, someday…

In the meantime, I leave the building up to Josh and my dad, and last year’s play kitchen is STILL going strong.  The boys at her party were even going crazy over it, so much so, that the oven ‘glass’ no longer exists.  That’s okay, it’s easier to get the cookies out through the door rather than having to open it every time.

play kitchen from Ana White

In keeping with my little tradition, I once again made Emma her birthday cake, just like the past two years.  Ya’ll know how I feel about sugar, especially for one-year-olds birthdays, so the first year was a Hummingbird cake (pre-paleo), the second year was a strawberry cake–as requested by Emma, and this year was 2 cakes.  She initially requested another strawberry cake, which I was all ready to make if I could find that dang recipe, but she got a bit creative when she told me what she wanted on it.  I was asked to put strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, chicken, sardines, pork chops, etc. on there.  Gotta love kids and their creative minds!

I did settle on this Watermelon Cake that was going around Pinterest like crazy!  It came out much better than I expected, especially with the coconut cream frosting, so much so, that we sat there dipping all kinds of fruit in the leftovers.  Get the recipe here.

Paleo watermelon cake

The second cake recipe was literally found the day before her party.  I was on the hunt for a yummy and not too extensive recipe for a paleo birthday cake, but was getting tired of searching.  Ya’ll know I love to bake/cook but this mama is tired in her 3rd trimester so I was looking for cheap quick and easy.  This Paleo Chocolate Birthday Cake from Paleo Spirit was DELICIOUS!  I made two, along with another regular gluten-free cake, and surprisingly had a whole cake left over.  The frosting was crazy good and we just finished the second one this week.  Get the recipe here.

Paleo chocolate birthday cake

This year we went with a beach theme (since that’s how her room will look) and held it at the pool in the neighborhood next to ours, which was nice for clean-up and giving the kids something to do in this dad-gum Texas heat!  Her first two parties were at our house and it just got too hot with that many people/kids running around.

Emma & Peyton

As you can guess, the gifts are a bit crunchy, or so I think.  I learned after her first birthday that I wasn’t okay with ALL the toys she got, so I did something that probably wasn’t very PC, but I’m cool with it.  When I sent out the Evite, I mentioned a list of items Emma would love: clothes/jammies, shoes, books, money for college, and attached a wish list from Amazon.  Was that wrong?  Maybe.  But, for her 2nd birthday we got clothes out the wazoo which helped for the upcoming year along with some college money.  This year we got some clothes, some college money, and some toys, which I know she was happy about.

I also requested this desk from Ana White be made for her big girl room, which was lovingly crafted by my dad.  I love that I have two men in my life who are handy with the steel if you know what I mean with woodworking.

desk from Ana White

If you saw my post about Dave Ramsey, you know we are big followers of his principles, so since I knew he had a financial learning kit for kids starting at 3, I nonchalantly suggested his Financial Peace Junior to my mom.

financial peace juniorShe came through with that along with another I See Me! book.  If you haven’t checked these out, go there stat!  They are the coolest, one of a kind books I have ever seen.

I See Me! book

All in all it was a great birthday.  While I know I was pooped afterwards, and so was Josh who smoked meat all day, my parents were a great help.  I hate that they are four hours away in Austin, but I love it when they come up, since my mom will clean and all I have to do is cook and my dad keeps Emma occupied…I am so thankful for grandparents!

Emma on her bike

So, here’s to another year with one of the sweetest, most beautiful little girl I know.  I can only imagine what this year will bring and promise to keep you all posted…especially when she becomes a big sister.

2 thoughts on “A Beachy 3rd Birthday

  1. OMG, she’s soooo big compared to when we first saw her at the GF Expo (about two years ago?), in Dallas. What a pretty girl! Tks for sharing with us!
    Have a great week! xoxo

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