#Army Birthday Party

I love a good themed party, and my friend, Emily, hit it out of the park with an Army birthday party today for her son! Her detailed decorations & Army themed activities were too good not to share! Check it out…

IMG_2697[1]

to Caleb, our favorite 7 year old!

After getting supplied with dog tags & military helmets and issued their toy weapons, these Army recruits got camo-ed up with a little face paint & posed for their enlistment photos at the Army photo booth. Some paint & stencils turned plain cardboard boxes into  military crates & a American flag made the perfect backdrop. (Photo booths are such a fun way to document just about any occasion! Jotting down an email address for each guest before they pose would allow you to send them their picture at a later date so they can have a lasting memory of the event. No matter what the age group, everyone needs the chance to let loose every once in a while & play a little dress-up!)

IMG_2707[1]

No Army party is complete without a timed playground obstacle course & military pinata to keep those soldiers supplied with sugary treats!

IMG_2706[1]

After all that training, the hungry recruits headed down to Caleb’s Mess Hall. When it comes to themed parties, it’s all about those details… Cute little tags turned civilian food military grade… cheese bombs (cheese balls), gun powder (pixy sticks), army rope (twizzlers), camo ammo (chocolate rock candy). Who needs expensive bottle wrappers when you can grab a roll of decorative duck tape for the same cute effect? I’m going to be using this idea at the next party I throw! Plastic Army men make adorable, easy, & inexpensive cake & cupcake toppers. After some green Kool-aid, pizza, chips & dip, grapes, cheese chunks, & apple slices, these recruits are ready to go finish their basic training.

IMG_2696[1]

Even the inside of the cake was camo, almost too cute to eat, almost… I may or may not have just documented myself cheating on my diet :/ Sigh… via Pinterest I found a good camo cake tutorial & a camo cupcake tutorial with an easy way to camo up the icing as well. Click the bright green for links to those blog posts if you’d be interested in making one of these for a man, big or small, in your life!

IMG_2703[1]

Time for a quick group photo before they finished off the fun with a water balloon grenade fight 🙂

IMG_2693[1]

I can’t forget the youngest recruit & little sister of the birthday boy, the adorable Miss Calayla, who was much more worried about her slice of pizza then posing for her photo shoot. LOL

IMG_2711[1]

The recruits were sent home with fun survival kits thanking them for reporting for duty to help celebrate this special boy’s birthday! 

Fun-filled, memorable Army birthday party… Mission Accomplished!! Hoped you enjoyed this party theme idea as much as I did! 🙂

 

 

 

#Mema’s Famous Carrot Cake

Happy Valentine’s Day! First of all let me apologize for not getting to as many Valentine’s crafts & recipes as I’d hoped. If you like me, you are a full-time mom & work as well, you know how hectic life can get. Add a sick kid, Valentine’s day parties at school, helping your child make valentines for their classmates, a much-needed date night, & a candy gram fundraiser to your already busy everyday life & you just can’t fit everything you planned in. I will be doing a Valentine’s Day post later today, but while I’m waiting for my turn in the shower (one bathroom with 4 people in the household = nightmare), I thought I’d share one of my absolute favorite desserts of all time! My Mema is famous for her carrot cake! Everyone wants her to make one for their birthday! Everyone wants seconds and will fight over the last slice if necessary! It’s just that damn good (Excuse the language, but the situation called for it!). If you’ve read my blog before, you know that my love hates veggies & most fruits. Getting him to eat anything remotely healthy is a chore, more like a puzzle to be solved. I’ve started finding ways around it like pureeing veggies before putting them into recipes. Having said that, when we first started dating, I assumed carrot cake would be a definite no for him, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! It has a full pound of carrots in there, but it is so good that even he can’t get enough! I always make my family little “I love you” baskets full of their favorite candies as well as non-food treats like Itunes cards, nail polish (obviously only for the girls), a movie they’ve been wanting, etc, but this year I decided to make my hubby one of the coveted carrot cakes to have all to himself! Home-made gifts are always the best anyways!

IMG_2611[1]Beautiful huh?! Now on to the recipe…

Mema’s Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 lb. carrots (peeled & grated)

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Grease 3 round cake pans
  • Line cake pan bottoms with wax paper then grease the bottoms again
  • Sugar the greased pans
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  • In your large mixing bowl, mix oil & sugar
  • Add eggs
  • Slowly add dry ingredients, a little bit at a time, with the mixer still going
  • Add your grated carrots & mix until they are distributed nicely
  • Divide evenly into your 3 waiting cake pans
  • Bake for 30 minutes
  • Cool for 10 minutes in the pan
  • Carefully flip your cakes on to cooling racks
  • Remove the wax paper & allow to cool completely

While those are cooling, it’s time to make the frosting…

Cream Cheese Frosting with Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine (softened)
  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional 1/4 cup for decorating the top)

Steps:

  • Whip all frosting ingredients minus the nuts in a small mixing bowl
  • Slowly add in your pecans
  • Frost between layers & on top of your cake
  • Add those extra chopped nuts on the top

IMG_2609[1]

Mine was for Valentine’s Day so I used a large heart cookie cutter to add a pecan heart to the top of mine to make it extra fancy. This cake is gorgeous to look at, super moist, & just a confectionery delight but was completely made & assembled in about an hour, a great cake for both experienced & beginner bakers! Believe me your family or whoever you make it for will be completely impressed by your culinary skills! Now to let you in on this weird little family secret to make this cake even more delicious… make it ahead of time, completely assembled, & freeze it until 30 minutes before you are ready to serve. I’m not sure what scientific process happens to that carrot cake in the freezer but it is pure magic. If and I mean a big IF there happens to be any leftover cake, I eat it straight out of the freezer! So say you read this and are like “I’ve tried carrot cake before, but it isn’t my thing,” then you didn’t have my Mema’s carrot cake! I’m so spoiled that I can’t even look at store-bought or restaurant carrot cake; it just isn’t the real deal & should be eliminated from human consumption from now on! Try this recipe! Let me know what you think! If my directions weren’t clear or if you have any questions, I’m here to help! Ok time to get ready to head to my dad’s & cook dinner for the 7  family member that were able to get off today My hubby has to work ;( but we did have a very nice date-night last night!

IMG_2632[1]

Love, love, love him!! ❤