Happy Today, To You

happy cake 2

While I will be celebrating a very special girl’s birthday this week, it dawned on me that we shouldn’t always wait until our own birthdays or someone else’s to honor our life or theirs.  That sometimes we should be just as happy about today, any day, that we wake up alive and well and present.  There are far too many people that we lose far too soon, whether they are strangers we learn the names of through news reports or social media, family members or an integral part of our circle of friends.  I baked a cake this afternoon to commemorate the impact that a certain woman who is on my mind has made on myself and so many others.  A woman that won’t see her next birthday, but one who should continue to be celebrated nonetheless.  So, happy today, to you and all of those you care for.

xo gina & pumpkin + rose

My Life Lately {As Told Through Photos}

Life has been moving pretty fast.  Somehow my little baby who has morphed into a little girl, will officially turn two years old at the end of this week.  She is the ultimate source of joy in my life and when I flip through the photos on my phone, I get to stop and stare at the perfect, small, round face that makes me so happy.  And I get a glimpse of the person she is quickly becoming.

best buds for life{Best friends}

ferris wheel front{EMMA}

fall colors{The changing leaves will never lose their luster}

ponytails at the park{Ponytails at the park}

reflections{Reflections}

pork bacon cheddar burger{Pork.  Bacon.  Cheddar.  Burger.  Enough said}

mama dada emma{Celebrating our littlest best friend in our favorite pumpkin patch}

inspecting lunch{Her ‘Doc’ tools come everywhere with us and therefore, even lunch gets a check-up}

popcorn cupcake{How sweet it is}

on the run{Beautiful girl on a beautiful fall day}

emmy and daddy kisses{Stolen kisses.  And ducks.  Always ducks}

Happy Monday!

Easy Like A Sunday Morning

Sunday mornings usually require a low-maintenance look.  And this time of year, a simple scarf can add a little bit of comfort and much needed warmth to any outfit, especially one that most likely includes a pair of simple, stretchy, black leggings.  I first discovered these leggings when I was pregnant with Emma, and have gone back to them ever since.  They are super soft and the perfect length.  And they are thin without being sheer.  I like to couple them with a favorite lightweight sweater and flat boots.  And throwing on a classic, buttery leather jacket always makes me feel instantly more polished.

easy like a sunday morning{ARITZIA leather mackage kenya jacket / THEODORA & CALLUM earth scarf / old JAMES PERSE cashmere waffle funnel neck sweater, similar HERE, HERE and HERE / old J.CREW tall flat boots, similar HERE / ISABELLA OLIVER easy maternity leggings}

Happy Sunday!

Something For Saturday: Chocolate Chip Cookie Cup Sundae

Just a little something for Saturday {or any day, if you ask me}.

chocolate chip cookie cup cover

There are a few desserts that are pretty much fail-proof, classic favorites, loved by all, and ice cream, of any flavor, and chocolate chip cookies, are usually two of them.

I had a few squares of pre-made, pre-packaged, pre-cut Nestle Toll House cookie dough left over in the fridge and as always, an abundance of ice cream choices in the freezer, so I decided to make something really quick and delicious.

choc chip cookie cup side

This mini sweet treat is great when served immediately like a sundae with an edible chocolate chip cookie bowl or when frozen for a few hours and enjoyed without a spoon, by digging right in, like an ice cream sandwich.

chocolate chip cookie cup bite

Things You Will Need:

  • Cookie Dough – I used two squares of pre-cut Nestle Toll House cookie dough for each chocolate chip cookie cup
  • Muffin Tin
  • Butter
  • Ice Cream of your favorite flavor
  • Chocolate Syrup or other toppings

cookie dough ball

Instructions:

1.     Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the cups of a muffin tin with butter, so it’s easier to remove your finished product.

2.     Form two pre-cut Nestle Toll House cookie dough squares into balls, enough to fill each muffin cup or as many as you want to make (or if you make your own cookie dough from scratch, make the balls a little bit larger than you would for one cookie).

3.     Fill each muffin cup or as many as you want to make with your cookie dough balls.  Using a small spice container or your hand, press down the middle and thin out the sides to conform to the shape of the muffin cup.

4.     Place muffin tin in the pre-heated oven and bake for 12-13 minutes or until golden brown.  When you remove the muffin tin, use the small spice container again to press down into the middle of the cookie while still warm, so that you can re-shape it.

5.     Let cool for 10 minutes and carefully remove your chocolate chip cookie cups.  Fill with ice cream and/or toppings of your choice and serve immediately like a sundae.  Or fill with ice cream and/or toppings of your choice and place in the freezer for a few hours.  Then, enjoy like you would an ice cream sandwich, no spoons required.

choc chip cookie cup top

Enjoy!

Carnival-Themed Second Birthday Party {Celebrating Emma Rose}

cover photo

Last year, we invited all of our family and friends to help Emma celebrate her first birthday, and it was awesome.  This year, though, we decided to just invite a handful of her little friends.  We got our first really cool day of the season that morning, but the sky maintained a bright blue and the sun was shining throughout the afternoon; all of the fall leaves were at their peak.  A perfect backdrop for an outdoor celebration at our favorite pumpkin patch and a beautiful day for one special girl’s second birthday party.

mama dada emma

This second year was definitely different in the way of photos…we couldn’t get the honoree to sit still for many shots, but watching her enjoy the day was priceless.

party overview

Pumpkins helped add a pop of color to several areas, like the tables, and they doubled as a way to help keep stuff pinned down on a breezy day.

corn stalks

Cornstalks, stacks of hay and vivid mums were a stark contrast against the blue, blue sky: just a few of fall’s finest things.  We loved the venue at Conklin Farm so much at Emma’s first birthday party last year, that we had to come back.  Chances are, we might return next year, too!

dessert table

dessert table 2

fabric garland

There were lots of seasonal treats to pick from, including the caramel dipped apples, homemade apple pie pops and apple cider donuts.  The fabric garland was a perfect mix of carnival colors and patterns and were a cheerful addition to the dessert table.

popcorn flowers

White hydrangeas tucked into paper popcorn boxes were a fresh way to look like the real deal and made easy centerpieces for each table.

kids table

These kraft paper gable boxes held sweets for the little guests to take home with them from the party.

apple cider stand

Fresh apple cider from the farm was a big hit.

donuts and pops

apples

Lollipops and an assortment of gumballs added color to the table and the goldfish were a perfect snack for little hands to grab.

cake close up

The cake was an ideal fit for the occasion.  The stripes mimicked a carnival tent and the blue and yellow were great complements.  I added store-bought star candles for the birthday girl to make a wish.

sneaking the cake

sneaking the cake 3

The birthday girl helping to place the candles on top of the cake and sneaking some of the icing in the process.

blowing out the candles

Hope both of their wishes come true.

dada emma gigi

Snuggles with family on a beautiful day.  Doesn’t get much better than that.

ferris wheel front

One of my favorite items at the party, these letters made the perfect back-splash for the focal point of this carnival-themed bash.

marquee letters

These marquee letters were battery operated and lit up with the touch of a switch on the side of each letter, making it super convenient to hang without a tangle of wires and cords.

ferris wheel side

Homemade vanilla cupcakes were topped with mini-marshmallows to look like bunches of popcorn perched on a bright red Ferris wheel.

popcorn cupcake

Emma Rose indulging in one of her favorite treats.

bean bag toss 3

Vintage clown bean bag toss was among the three games at the party.

bean bag toss

ring toss

This ring toss was easily assembled with an old crate and a few bottles of sparkling water.

hayride

The kids loved the hayride.

wheelbarrow rideWorn out from the party, these two opted for a ride in the wheelbarrow.

My Favorite Party Details From This Carnival-Themed Bash:

  • The Ferris wheel cupcake stand
  • ‘Popcorn’ cupcakes
  • The apple cider
  • Homemade apple pie pops
  • Vintage clown bean bag toss
  • Marquee letters
  • Red and white tent birthday cake
  • and MORE!

Vendors:

Stylist:  Pumpkin + Rose

Photos:  Pumpkin + Rose

Venue:  Conklin Farm, Montville, NJ

Cake:  Sweet Lucky’s Bakery, Morristown, NJ

Wine Crates:  {Available for rental through Pumpkin + Rose}

Popcorn Cupcakes:  Pumpkin + Rose

Red and White Striped Baking Cups:  Amazon

Tableware:  Candy Cane Red Paper Plates via Amazon & Pool Collection: Dots via Shop Sweet Lulu & Ruby Red Collection: Dots via Shop Sweet Lulu

Wooden Rainbow Stripe Utensils:  Shop Sweet Lulu

Paper Napkins:  Amazon & Pool Collection: Stripes via Shop Sweet Lulu & Ruby Red Collection: Dots via Shop Sweet Lulu

Paper Cups:  Ruby Red Collection: Stripes via Shop Sweet Lulu

Caramel Apples:  Whole Foods Market

Swirl Lollipops and Assorted Gumballs:  Amazon / Amazon

Vintage Glass Jars:  Shop Sweet Lulu

Apple Pie Pops:  Pumpkin + Rose

Small Hay Stacks:  Michael’s

Apple Cider Donuts:  Kings Food Markets

Apple Cider:  Conklin Farm, Montville, NJ

Food:  Tutto Fresco, Livingston, NJ

Ferris Wheel Cupcake Stand:  {Available for rental through Pumpkin + Rose}

Marquee Letters:  Michael’s

Fence Backdrop:  {Available for rental through Pumpkin + Rose}

Wooden Crate for Ring Toss:  T.J. Maxx

Vintage Clown Bean Bag Toss Game Boards:  InWithTheOld, an Etsy Shop

Carnival Bean Bag Toss Party Game:  Amazon

Vintage Style Popcorn Boxes:  Shop Sweet Lulu

Paper Gable Gift Boxes:  thefavorbox, an Etsy Shop

Fabric Garland Banner:  jpurifoy, an Etsy Shop

Birthday Girl’s Carnival Dress:  BabyThreadsByLiz, an Etsy Shop

Mason Jar Drink Dispenser:  World Market {Available for rental through Pumpkin + Rose}

end of emma bday party day

Lots of little moments from a happy day.  {Happy birthday, Emma Rose!}

Hope you enjoyed!