Sunday, September 30, 2018


Cadence & her friends from school decided to all go to Homecoming together. . . no boys, just friends hanging out.  Cadence isn't allowed to date until she is 16 so it works out better this way.  They had SO much fun.

For dinner they went to Panda Express.

And then they went to Cadence's friend's house for nails, masks, hair, & make-up.  They had WAY TOO MUCH FUN.

But they looked beautiful for the dance.

After the dance they went to Steak & Shake (in their dresses) & got some milkshakes.

It was a really fun night for all of them.  It's so weird having a daughter this age.  I still remember going to these dances in High School both with & without dates.  I just can't believe I'm old enough to have a kid that age.  It's crazy.  ha ha ha.  But Cadence is beautiful & wonderful & I'm SO happy she's got really good friends who like to have fun together.  

It was a night she will never forget.

A Very Magical Harry Potter Party

For Taya's 11th birthday party, we did a Harry Potter birthday.  After all, it was on Harry's 11th birthday that he learned that he was a wizard.

We hand made invitations inviting all the guests to attend Hogwarts.  I printed them on paper bags (from the grocery store), ripped them, & sealed with with a Hogwarts wax seal.

Taya & I then made owl balloons to attach the invites to.

All of her invitations were delivered via owl.

For her cake this year, we decided to do SORTING CUPCAKES.  Once I baked them, I hollowed them out & put colored M&M's inside based on the 4 house colors.  Red - Gryffindor, Blue - Ravenclaw, Yellow - Hufflepuff, & Green - Slytherin.

I put the tops back on & frosted them so you could not see what color was in each cupcake.

But when you bite into them, it reveals what hogwarts house you belong to.  I got Slytherin.

We decorated the house with all the random Harry Potter things we have.  This is my 3rd Harry Potter party so I still had quite a few party items lying around, plus my girls' bedroom is all Harry Potter so we had fun putting decor around the house.

I made my kitchen into a wand station.  I usually make the wands for these parties, but Taya is my crafty little girl.  She really wanted to make her own wand this time & wanted her friends to make wands too.  So we did.  We gave them wooden dowels, worked a glue gun to add details, & let the girls paint them exactly how they wanted them.

I found a great witch hat at the dollar store here & scrunched it up & hand sewed it to make it look like the sorting hat.  The kids got to wear the hat as they bit into their sorting cupcakes.

My favorite class was POTIONS class.  I put different colors of food coloring on plastic spoons, then covered it up with baking soda to hide the color.  Add a little glitter for magic.

Then I filled some clear cups with water or white vinegar.  The girls each got to pick a spoon & a cup.  Then they stirred as fast as they could to reveal a color.  The cups with vinegar exploded.  They got a kick out of it.

Depending on what color their potion "turned into" determined what they got to do.  Some potions were rewarded with treats, while others were actions like hiccuping every time the word Taya was said.

Taya was SO excited for her party.  She could hardly wait for her friends to arrive.


We also had our Hogwarts scene setter on our front door.  Taya loved the idea of Azkaban pictures so we took those in front of the castle background.

And of course, you can't go to Hogwarts without riding the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 3/4.

We had quills & coloring pages set up as the guests arrived.

And Trek got creative with the Azkaban pictures.

We also posed with friends for a few fun pictures.

Wand making was first.  The girls LOVED this.  Girls are just so into crafts at this age.  It was fun seeing their creativity.

The thing that cracked me up the most was that my two teenage daughters who were working the glue guns were more into it than the 8-11 year olds.  Talk about serious wand making.

After Charms Class (wand making) we went to Transfiguration Class.  Transfiguration is magic that turns one things into another.  We transfigured out guests into Harry Potter characters, animals, & household objects.  The first round we put Harry Potter characters on their backs & they had to ask yes or no questions until they figured out who they had been transfigured into.  The second round we did animals, & the third was household objects.  They did a really good job at asking & answering questions.

After Transfiguration we did Potions which was the favorite of the whole party.  They loved seeing what color they could get.  They all were wanting "exploding" potions, but there were only 4 of them.

After classes we went to the great hall & sang happy birthday to sweet Taya.  She enjoyed being the center of attention.

Then each of the guests were sorted into their houses by biting into their cupcakes.  Taya was THRILLED to be a Hufflepuff.

We also had butterbeer which is a Harry Potter favorite of mine.  I use a VERY simple recipe:

1 cup cream soda
1 teaspoon caramel syrup (the kind starbucks uses in their shots)
whipped cream
drizzle of caramel ice cream syrup
& a sprinkle of edible glitter

Taya's got a great little group of friends here.  We just love the kids here in Alabama.  They are so sweet.  We are lucky to be here & to have such great friends.

Happy Birthday Taya.  May this year be full of magic & wonder for you.  We love you.

And after all was said & done, Cadence & Lorien (my almost 16 & almost 14 year olds) were back at it in the kitchen with their VERY SERIOUS wandmaking.  ha ha ha.  Some kids never grow up, & I hope it stays that way.