Monday, September 24, 2018

Eight is Great!

Choosing a place and theme for your birthday party and how many people to invite is such hard work when you're a party animal eight year old with  lot of friends. Do you go to the park and invite every friend you have? Do you choose one friend for a special activity? So many options. Gemma spent a long time debating and deciding what to do for her eighth. In the end she finally settled on a cupcake decorating party loosely based on the Netflix show "nailed it" with 10 friends.
We made loads and loads of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes to prepare for the Sunday afternoon party. Everyone she invited was able to attend so with  sister and birthday girl we had a party of 11.
We set the table up with all the supplies they might need to decorate cupcakes within a certain theme. 
 We scoured the internet for pictures to go on our inspiration boards.  The first round was "summer fun" theme and the second round was "animals" themed.
 We made personalized aprons for our guests in case things got messy.
 Gemma did a lot of helping and made a sign for the door.
Finally we are all set and ready for guests to arrive. 
Each guest found their spot and got ready for instructions on how to play.
 We revealed the inspiration board for the first theme. Each round they could decorate 2 cupcakes. They could either copy one of the designs on the board or make their own creation with the toppings provided.
On your mark......get set....... decorate!
Everyone took their decorating very seriously.
Gemma did a camp fire one with pretzel sticks as logs and marshmallows roasting.
Liv did a beach with a teddy graham sunbathing by the sea under his umbrella.
Lily did the sea as well with graham cracker crumbles as sand.
 Our second round of decorating with animal theme was pretty successful too. Look at Scarlett's darling chicken.
Once both rounds were complete each girl had a box with her 4 cupcakes inside for her to bring home. Judge Gemma went around and gave out a spatula trophy to each girl for a different category that represented her cupcakes. There were best use of toppings, most professional looking, most original design etc.

Then one final cupcake could be decorated any way you desired because this would be the cupcake you get to eat when we sang happy birthday to Gemma.  The girls own theme turned out to be "more is more" because they really piled on the toppings to these cupcakes. 
 Sabina didn't want to miss out on any one option so she LOADED her plate up.
Then we all sand Happy Birthday to Gemma!

After devouring a cupcake and making a disaster of the table we managed to wrangle them for a group photo. 
Not that we really got one good one out of the mix!
All the contestants winning designs on display all packaged up and ready to go home. It was a great party and everyone had a blast.
Of course opening your gifts is a pretty good time too! We had cousins over for pizza and more cupcake fun that evening.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

A whale of a tale

Lily's girl scout troop had a fun event on the calendar to go whale watching in Newport Beach thanks to Scarlett's family who owns a whale watching boat business. Gemma had a birthday party to attend that day so she and Alex stayed back home. Everyone carpooled down to Newport on a gorgeous sunny day. Of course we had to ride the ferris wheel while we waited. 
Then we loaded up the boat and off we went. We were just the right size group that they were able to get us our own private tour on one of their new super speedy boats.
We saw tons of dolphins and they just swam all around and long with us. You could even kneel down at the side of the boat and put your hands in to try and touch one.
The boat ride ended up being 3 hours long!!
Lily got to take a ride on this boat this past summer when she spent a weekend in Newport with Scarlett and her family so she knew what a blast it was.
They took turns sitting up front and rode it like a roller coaster.
The wind really did a number on you when the boat was going at 40MPH.
We were actually turned back toward the docks thinking the whales weren't going to make an appearance when they got a call on the radio that one had been spotted. First sighting of the day.
The captain turned the boat around and away we went. Whales..... spotted!
A local celebrity, they see this whale around here almost every day. 
Heading back at the end of our wild adventure.
One last stop to see the sea lions by shore.
Then back on dry land all in one piece. We will have to go again when Dad and Gemma can come.