Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting around....over the years....

This year marks the fifth September in a row that we've vacationed in Hilton Head, SC. Our first trip here was to celebrate Sophie's 1st birthday at the beach with our families. We liked it so much that we've made it our annual sojourn. Each year I notice that we get around a little differently as Sophie gets older. So I looked back through photos of each year and made note here of the progression. My girl is getting so big.....


My parents bought Sophie this little car for her first birthday. It was perfect for the beach. We took turns pushing Sophie back and forth from our condo to the beach and, of course, she loved it!

I also attempted to take Sophie on short bike rides riding in the back child's seat. It worked out okay except the helmet was constantly sliding down and covering her face. She would never even cry and I wouldn't notice until I turned around and saw it.


This was the first year we rented the cart that attached to the back of the bike. It worked out so well because we were also able to stash all of our beach gear in the storage spot in the back. Sophie would be as happy as a clam riding to the beach with a little snack and the wind in her face.

There were also a lot of side trips in the car. This was often Sophie on the ride back home....


In year three we did a lot of long bike rides. We loved it. Dad usually took Sophie in the seat on the back of his bike. Sophie often ended up like this.....zzzzz.....


During our fourth year at Hilton Head, I noticed that Sophie rode on Daddy's shoulders a lot. Ooohh, Alain's poor back!

As we ventured out a lot this year as well, Sophie spent a lot of time in the car. As long as she had snacks and some good tunes, she was happy.

This was also the first year that we rented a small bike with training wheels for her. She loved it, of course. But we couldn't go far and she had to be heavily supervised.


This year Sophie rides her bike proudly and independently. She LOVES it. So much so that she doesn't want to go anywhere in the car. Who can blame her? She rides it to the beach/pool every day but we also do little bike rides here and there.

She's come a long way, baby.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

Why do I love Pinckney Island? Let me count the reasons....

1.) The marsh is naturally very beautiful.

2.) There is an abundance of wildlife, with the main star being the ibis (pretty sure that's what they are!).

3.) You might even encounter one of these crossing the road in front of you...

4.) A butterfly can capture your attention for a ridiculously long amount of time and make you take a crazy number of photos!

5.) This is what the road in front of you looks like.

6.) These gorgeous yellow flowers are everywhere.

7.) The best part? For a moment you almost forget that you're not miles away from civilization!

For me, Pinckney Island is one of the highlights of our family's annual Hilton Head vacation.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sophie's Five Year Old Interview

In continuation of our annual tradition, below is Sophie's five year old interview. My questions are in bold and any explanation by me is in parentheses.

What's your name? Sophie

How old are you? Five

What's your favorite color? Green

What's your favorite food? Mac & Cheese and Cucumbers

Who are your favorite friends? Rex and Davis

What is your favorite thing to play? With the baby sister

What's your favorite animal? Funshine (formerly Blue Man, her stuffed blue elephant)

If you could hop on a plane and go anywhere in the world, where would you go? New York City

Do you have a favorite letter? N, R and D. Is there any reason in particular you like those letters? Yes, my favorite friends start with those letters. (Nathan, Rex and Davis)

What's your favorite number? 7, 4 and 5

Do you like school? Yes, a little bit.

What's your favorite book? Where's Waldo is my favorite "find book". And Ladybug Girl Goes to the Beach

What's your favorite word? duck

What's your favorite song? Party in the U.S.A.

What's your favorite thing to do? Watch the baby sister play.

What makes you happy? Ice cream

What would you like to be when you grow up? A doctor and a veterinarian, to take care of pets and people, even kids.

When you close your eyes, what do you see? My drawer (points to her bedroom at the beach), the one with all of the clothes.

In typical Sophie fashion, she asked to add some of her own questions. Her questions and answers are below:

What is your favorite pet? Dog, hamster, bunny and cat

What is your favorite treat? Ice cream

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mad Men was robbed.

I did not watch the Emmy's this evening. Too much other stuff going on. But I just checked out the news to see how Mad Men fared. Hmmm. I was not surprised to read that the show itself won for "Best Drama". Well yeah. Duh. But the show didn't win a single other award. BOO!!!

Still, here's a photo of Jon Hamm on the red carpet to cheer up all you Mad Men fans out there!!!

{Image via}

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How The West Was Done

Sophie turned five at the beginning of September yet I started planning her party sometime in January/February. I knew her party would occur shortly after her little sister's birth so I had to start early. I came up with the theme and then slowly started collecting ideas, props, etc.

Sophie was rather fascinated with the Toy Story 3 movie last Fall. She especially loved Woody and Jessie. Since I don't do commercialized parties, I suggested we have a Cowgirl/Wild West themed party. As it turned out, I really liked this theme because it was easy to put together and rather inexpensive. The color theme was red and blue so I was able to reuse a lot of our July 4th party goods. I found inspiration from so many sources.

Without further ado, here are my favorite party details....

The Western Town (inspiration found here). I loved this idea and was committed to carrying it through....even when it meant going to Lowe's at 6:00 AM (gulp!) to collect the boxes. My Dad ended up painting the cowboy cutout ~ thank you, Dad!!! Sophie also painted a desert scene which we ended up putting on the wall of the saloon.

Sophie's photoboard. I do this for all of Sophie's parties. I think it's fun for people to see and for Alain and I to be reminded how much our daughter has grown....

The dress-up table. I have to admit that I rarely saw the kids wearing their hats, bandanas, etc. It seemed to me that they liked the badges the best.

The "Pin the Badge on the Sheriff" game. I had a lot of fun painting this. It was so therapeutic. And the cowgirl's attire is modeled after Woody's. Can you tell?

Our simple and rustic dessert table.

The Cake. My friend Elizabeth is so talented. I sent her this image and she created the amazing delicacy you see here.

One of my favorite party details is the cowboy-themed bunting I made. I love handcrafted party decor! I hung the bunting from a neighbor's old window that I picked up off the curb on trash day. This is the first time I've used it but I know there will be plenty of other uses!

I picked up this "whiskey bottle" at our local Strawberry Farm where they were giving them away for free. I wasn't sure what I would use it for but I thought it fit the theme well. So it served as a flower vase. In hindsight I wish I'd put some vinyl "XXX" letters on the front. The kids wouldn't know any different but the adults sure would.

Cowgirl Cookies. We used the Bakerella recipe. YUM.

Good ole' classic Rice Krispies Treats. Otherwise known as "haystacks". Inspiration for the food labels from here.

The Flower Wagon. Once we'd selected the party theme, this was one of the first decor items I picked up. Hobby Lobby. Where else?

Another Hobby Lobby find were the cow-print balloons. LOVE those! They were perfect for this party!

The Coloring Table. Because art/drawing/coloring is one of Sophie's most favorite things. "Wanted" coloring sheets from here.

The Eating Table. A simple red&white checked tablecloth, some mason jars and white daisies....

For me, one of the major highlights was the food. I LOVED THE FOOD at this party. We served veggie chili (made by Alain), cole slaw and mac & cheese (from Mac's Speed Shop) and cornbread (from Fresh Market). It was so delicious. I've never been that happy to eat leftovers for three days in a row.

Lastly, this was Sophie shortly after the party ended. She crashed hard on the couch. I'll take that as a sign of a successful party!
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