Goody Bags for a Two Year Old’s Birthday Party

When William turned one, I did a post on first birthday party favors (swag bags!).  It got a good response, so I decided to do one for William’s second birthday, as well.  Goody bags can be pretty tricky.  I knew I didn’t want to fill the bags with junk as I hate receiving those.  (Seriously, who needs more junk at their house?)  I also didn’t want it to be filled with candy because… well, they’re toddlers, and I find that unnecessary.  So what could I put in the party favors that would be useful, not too expensive, and toddlers would like?

goody bags for a two year olds birthday party

William’s second birthday party was at a gym, so I didn’t feel the need to make his goody bags themed.  That helped since I wasn’t limited at all with what could go inside.  I had about 25 kiddos at his party.  I used clear treat bags; these cost hardly anything and I like that you could see inside them because the kids (or parents) could choose which color of some of the items they want.  Not that it’s a big deal, but choice is nice if possible.

party favor

The main item in the goody bags were bath crayons from Nuby.  These alone could have been the party favors as I feel like they’re pretty substantial.  Nuby has AWESOME bath toys (and other products!), but these bath crayons are especially fun and perfect for toddlers.  William is very into coloring and drawing right now, so bringing crayons into the bathtub is so much fun!

nuby bath crayons

Don’t worry, mommas!  These Nuby bath crayons are easy to clean!  In fact, William has just as much fun wiping away the crayon as he does drawing with them!  (It’s easiest and best to wipe up right away… which William is very happy about!)  Even my niece and nephew who are a few years older than William appreciated these bath crayons.  One pack lasts us a long time, especially when I give William just one crayon at a time to use.  Amazon and Babies R Us both have tons of Nuby bath items, in addition to lots of other great products!

party favor back

Other items in goody bag:

Stickers! What kiddo of any age doesn’t like stickers?  I put a sheet of sports stickers (William’s favorite!) in each goody bag.  Sometimes when we’re out to dinner, I will bring a sheet of stickers for William to play with.  It keeps him busy and is good for his fine motor skills when he works to peel off each sticker.

Pop Toobs!  Again, something else that is so great for toddlers and older kids.  You can pull them apart and they become really long and then push them back together again.  They make a funny noise when you do this.  You can twist them and attach them together if you have more than one, or you can make a circle with just one.  It’s awesome because they really foster kids’ imagination as they can get creative with them.  Pop Toobs come in all different colors, too!

Bubbles!  Another all kid favorite.  I got “Birthday Bubbles” from Bubble World, and they’re extra fun because the top has a little maze with a tiny ball.

Snacks!  Giving out a snack is always a good idea since everyone needs to eat.

earth's best snack bars

Like I said before, I didn’t want to put in candy, so I chose Earth’s Best Organic Sunny Days Snack Bars.  These are great since eight come in a package, so just a few boxes were necessary.  William is a picky eater, but he loves these bars.  Some other reasons why these bars are wonderful:

  • Made with real strawberries
  • No hydrogenated oils – no trans fat
  • Made with no Genetically Engineered Ingredients
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Contains calcium, B Vitamins, iron, and zinc

Snack bars are perfect to throw in your bag for an on-the-go snack.

So I’d like to think I did a pretty good job with William’s second birthday goody bags.  Several parents told me they appreciated and loved everything in the party favors!

party favors

What are other good ideas for toddler party favors?

Disclaimer – Nuby and Earth’s Best provided their items at no charge in exchange for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Surprise 30th Birthday Party

This weekend.  Wow!  I’m speechless.  And anyone who was at my Surprise 30th Birthday Party will tell you the same thing.  So here’s how it went down.  I had lunch plans on Saturday, and Stephanie told me that Audrey had been talking about playing with William all week.  I dropped William off at her house.  She wasn’t there, and Phil said she was just out grabbing food.  I went to the restaurant, was led to a room, and SURPRISE!  20 of my closest friends and family members were there.  I was shocked, to say the least.  And speechless. I think I’m still in shock.

30th birthday party

I have absolutely no idea how my mom pulled it off.  This has been a crazy past couple of weeks, yet somehow she managed to plan a surprise birthday party and execute it so beautifully, as she does with any event she hosts.  I’ve got a few snapshots to share with you, but really no pictures can capture the love I felt from my family and friends who came out to celebrate me.

First of all, these:

personalized m&ms

Yes, they are personalized M&Ms with William’s face on them!  The back read, “We love you!” and “Mommy’s 30th B-day.”  Everyone went home with a tin.

My mom (and my sister) know how to decorate.  I missed that gene.  In fact, the owner of the restaurant asked my mom if he could take pictures of how she did the room for their catering menu.


She had large mason jars filled with different cake, cookie, and brownie mixes at every place.  These were part of the party favors.  I got birthday cake cookies, of course!

Linking up with Katie and Erin.

The rest of the party favors:

party favors

Mini mason jars with Hershey kisses and chocolate covered pretzels.  A mini chalkboard with Happy 30th Birthday, Lindsay! and two dozen beautiful roses, and a cutout dance photo of me when I was little also decorated the table.

The appetizers the ladies munched on while waiting for my arrival:


The Surprise 30th Birthday Party was held at Cooper’s Hawk.  The food and service is AWESOME!  The place settings:

place setting

Personalized menu cards and all.

A shot of my playgroup mommas:

playgroup moms

It’s amazing to have a strong group of ladies with babies close in age.  Not only because it’s nice to be able to relate to other mommas with children going through similar phases and ask questions, but also because our babies will grow up together.  I’ve loved getting to know these women over the last year and a half and am excited for our friendship to continue.

My sister Stephanie:


The one who does anything for anyone at the drop of a hat.  She took all the pictures and as usual I was jealous of her outfit (maybe I can borrow it? lol).  Really truly though, I admire my sister for so many reasons.  Despite our sisterly bickering, she is there no matter what.  She’s an amazing sister, daughter, friend, mother, wife, photographer, and more.  And she’s crazy smart.  Whenever I tell that to people, they tell me I’m smart, too.  And I’m always like, no but she’s REALLY smart.  And she is.

These three women:

steph mama mom

These are the most important women in my life.  They’ve made me who I am today and they inspire me to be a better woman everyday.  They’ve always been there for me, during hard times lifting me up and celebrating even the smallest accomplishments.  Strong women have been present in my family ever since I can remember with my great Grandma Rose and each of these three ladies carry on the tradition.  I only hope I can grow into half the women they are!

Mom, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  This party, while completely unnecessary, meant so much and was such a warm reminder of how much I’m loved.

To my friends and family: Thank you.

Here’s to my thirties! xoxo

Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you?

it was a good day

….and just like that, I’m 30!  Yesterday was a whirlwind of a day.  It was the first day of school which is always hectic and crazy busy.


I’m excited for what the new school year brings and eager to get to know my students.  All 24 of them.  Big class with lots of energy!  It took the majority of the day just to get organized with all the school supplies.  Today, we begin academics.  No wasting time!

There was a special delivery for me at school…

chocolate covered cookies

Chocolate covered Oreos were such a fun and delicious surprise!  Best friends ever!

When I got home, I had another surprise waiting…


Fresh flowers from one of my very best friends!

The day was wonderful.  My team ordered lunch and got birthday cake ice cream sandwiches.  I was given heartfelt gifts and a pizza cutter which only a select few of you will understand why that’s so funny.  I was showered with tons of love from everybody that matters most and then some.  I have a lot going on right now, so it was really nice to hear from so many people.  Words speak volumes.

After school, William and I headed over to my sister’s house because she wouldn’t let me not do anything on my thirtieth birthday.

steph birthday

Even if it’s “just” pizza and cookie cake (hey, nothing wrong with that!), she made sure I felt special on my birthday.  Sisters are amazing, but especially mine.  Always going out of her way for other people, as if her life isn’t busy enough, there’s always time for me.

And birthday crowns.  Definitely should be mandatory for all ages.

birthday crowns

Thanks for all the love. xoxo

I’m 30

Well, today’s the big day.  I’m 30.  Birthdays are funny, aren’t they?  At first, you look forward to them so much, count down the days, drag out the celebration, and get excited to turn the next number.  Then you go through a phase where you’re ok with birthdays, but they’re just not that exciting.  And eventually, I do believe, you don’t want to celebrate your birthday or have anyone know how old you are.  I’m in the middle right now.  It’s my birthday today and it’s the big 3-0.

1 year old

First birthdays are way more exciting than thirtieth birthdays.

I don’t feel the need for a big party or any sort of celebration.  It will feel nice to receive the love and kind words from my family and friends, and that’s all I need.  I feel pretty lucky right now in my life.  I’m healthy, my baby’s healthy, and I’ve got the greatest support system ever.  I have a good job with coworkers who have become some of my closest friends.  My family would do and does anything at the drop of a hat.  And my friends know exactly what I need without speaking any words.  Life is good.

Is it always good 100% of the time?  No, of course not.  And you know what?  This has been a tough year.  It’s been the best year since William was brought into my life, but it’s certainly had its hardships.  Being a mom is the most rewarding yet challenging job.  I could go on and on about that, but I know my fellow momma friends hear me there.

1year love

30.  What’s to come this year?  Who knows.  There’s no telling what the future holds, but I’m welcoming it with open arms and an open heart.  I’ve always been a strong believer in everything happens for a reason.  We may not know or understand the reason during a challenging time, but in the end, it’ll all be worth it.  Good things happen to good people (and bad things also happen to good people, but there must be a reason for it!).  So what do I want as I turn 30?

I want to do better in the world and be the best version of myself possible.  I want to practice patience, show love, be compassionate, and spread kindness.  Because the world needs more of that.  In my thirties and beyond.

It’s the first official day of school today and these are the morals I want to help instill in my students.  Kids are never too young to learn patience, love, compassion, and kindness.  It’s up to us to show them the way, guide them through, and live by example.

1year black and white

Because someday they’re going to grow up, and they’ll get to make their own decisions.

Maybe I am feeling a little emotional as I start this new chapter in my life.  But it comes from this overwhelming sense of gratefulness as I reflect on where I am right now and who surrounds me.  I’ve had it pretty good, these last thirty years, and I’m eager to see what this next part brings.

first birthday

Here’s to 30!


Baby + Aviator Sunglasses = Babiators

All photos in post by Ashley at A Family Affair Photography

As you know, baby William’s first birthday party had a Red Carpet theme, complete with an actual red carpet set up for a photo booth.  Yes, red carpet and a photo booth for babies.  It was adorable.  Babies were dressed up.  Paparazzi, I mean a photographer, was present.  There was live entertainment.  Swag bags were handed out.  It was the first birthday bash of the century.  Ok, maybe not that far, but for the 15 babies (and their mommas!) that were in attendance, it was really fun!

Babiators was a huge sponsor of the swag bags as they donated the most adorable baby sunglasses to ensure each little babe was decked out in style.  Baby + Aviator Sunglasses = Babiators.  Amazing.  I had this great vision of getting each and every baby styled in their Babiators on the red carpet for an adorable photo, and then maybe a group photo of all the babies and their stylish shades.  Clearly I’m a first time mom and my expectations were way.too.high.  Many babies wouldn’t keep the sunglasses on for more than a few moments (which was enough to get a couple cute shots!).  Many babies including my baby William who is supposed to be perfect an do exactly as I say! Ha! (KIDDING!)

babiators william

Hey, mister! Keep them on!

The girl babies were much better at keeping them on for an extended period of time.  Maybe us boy moms just have to get used to the boys not listening?  Hopefully not for many more years.  Regardless, we did get some ridiculously adorable photos of many of the babies with their Babiators…. on or off.  And lots of babies got more used to the Babiators the more they wore them.  Many of my friends have been texting and Instagramming photos of their littles sporting their stylish shades.

Babiators are SAFE as they provide 100% UVA & UVB protection, DURABLE as they have flexible frames and shatter-resistant lenses, GUARANTEED as they replace them if lost or broken, and AWESOME with ten great colors and two sizes! They also have polarized Babiators, Aces (sunglasses for kids 7-14), submariners swim goggles (so cute!!!), rocket packs, and rx glasses.  They’ve got you covered!

Pictures from the party for your viewing pleasure:

babiators elli

fancy miss elliana

babiators wolf

cool mr wolf man

babiators jackson

Jackson wore his Aces (Babiators for ages 7-14) almost the entire party

babiators zoey

silly miss zoey

babiators gia

sweet miss gia

babiators carly

pretty miss carly

babiators cora

stylish miss cora

babiators shoot

and handsome mr william

Don’t forget to use code ItzLinz30OFF to get 30% off during the month of June! STOCK UP and shop now at!

Do you own [an adult] pair of aviators? What color would you get for your baby?

First Birthday Party Favors | Baby Swag Bags

When you’re planning a kid’s birthday party, you mustn’t forget about party favors!  Actually, there’s a debate among parents whether or not party favors are really necessary or not, as some kids come to expect something when they go to a birthday to celebrate someone else’s birthday party, but let’s save that debate for another day.  When I had William’s first birthday party, I knew I wanted to have party favors of some sort.  William had a Red Carpet Event theme for his 1st birthday party.  Some themes lend themselves easily to party favors, and I knew I did want to try to stick to the theme if at all possible. Hmm…

Baby Swag Bags!  Yes, William’s first birthday party favors would be baby swag bags!  Now what do baby swag bags entail?  Well, I wanted to include items that would actually get used by the babies.  No junk.  Mom-approved.  Most of the babies were all around the age of one, maybe a few a couple months younger or older, but mostly the same age, which helped in planning what would be given as party favors.  So what do you put in baby party favor bags?

what to put in first birthday party favor bags

photo (and others in post) by A Family Affair Photography 

Before we get into the actual contents, let’s talk for a quick second about putting the bags together.  I bought very inexpensive clear bags and closed them with the twisty ties that came with them.  My sister printed labels that were similar to William’s invitations and my mom attached ribbon.  (They always know how to make things look way better than I do!)  It was simple, yet it showed what was inside, and looked cute!

partyfavor bags

Ok, funny story:  So I put these together at my house and my dad stopped over and brought them to his house.  To my mother’s dismay, they would not stand straight up (they did when I put them together – promise!), so she made my older brother Jason untie them all and fix them.  Clearly they look better this way.  My mom always has the touch that’s needed and is so attentive to even the smallest details! Thank you, Mom!

party favor bags

Definitely better!

Alright, let’s get to the goods!  All of the items were donated by the wonderful companies who I very carefully hand-selected to be part of William’s special celebration.  They knew the importance of putting together party favor bags that would be baby and momma approved and would actually get used!  The items I chose can be bought in bulk which is perfect for parties and keeps the cost down!

What do you put in first birthday party favor bags? Aka SWAG BAGS

Nuby Wash or Toss Straw Cups

nuby sippycup pack

I’ve always been a fan of Nuby from their teethers to their bath toys to their sippy cups.  All babies use sippy cups, and I’ve learned that many parents buy hundreds (slight exaggeration) of sippy cups to find the “best” one or the one that their child will drink from.  Also, there is some discussion between the spout vs. the straw sippy cup, but some speech pathologists believe that straw sippy cups help children strengthen their muscles in their face and in their mouth which is beneficial to proper speech. (Another debate for another day.)  I went with the straw sippy cup instead of the spout because at some point in time babies will learn how to drink from a straw, and my personal opinion is the earlier the better.

Linking up with Katie today!

nuby sippycups

These Nuby Wash or Toss Straw Cups are perfect for party favor bags for several reasons.  For one thing, they come in packs of four in the colors you see above.  (Another reason I liked using the clear bags was so parents could choose which color cup they wanted!)  These cups are easy to hold, have snap on straw lids, are BPA free, and are sturdy enough to reuse… or inexpensive enough to toss.

Baby Mum-Mums


A box of Baby Mum-Mums is just a few dollars and contain 12 individually wrapped packages with two mum-mums in each.  Mum-Mums are great for six month olds all the way up to toddlers.  (They actually have toddler mum-mums, but this baby version works for both!  My niece Audrey still loves “sharing” William’s mum-mums!)  Mum-Mums come in several flavors; I added three packs to each party favor bag.  Baby mum-mums are a good first food as they help babies work on their eye-hand coordination and dissolves easily.  Even though William knows how to eat, I still give him them if we’re out and about.  They also work well as a cracker to use with dips or spreads for babies. (This is how I introduced peanut butter to William!)

Baby Mum-Mums are baked with no preservatives, contain no artificial colors or flavors, and are gluten, egg, and peanut free.  See? Perfect for all!

Earth’s Best Organic Pouches

earthsbest pouches

We’ve been long time fans of Earth’s Best!  We started with their oatmeal and then moved to some of their jarred baby food.  Now, we’re a fan of their pouches.  They come in many different flavors and are perfect for on the go.  Even moms who make all their own baby food, uses pouches from time to time.  I put just one in every baby’s favor bag and many of my friends exclaimed how much their baby enjoyed the pouch!

Yet another reason why I love all three of the aforementioned brands and products is that they can be found easily in retail stores or online.  They are carried anywhere from Walmart to Target to Whole Foods to local groceries.

The last part of William’s party favor bags didn’t actually go inside the bags…

babiators box

They had their own special box because I wanted parents to be able to pick which color Babiators they wanted, and I wanted them to get their baby’s picture taken with the Babiators on the red carpet!  Babiators are literally the cutest baby sunglasses ever…

babiators sunglasses

Baby + Aviators = Babiators

Babiators are SAFE as they provide 100% UVA & UVB protection, DURABLE as they have flexible frames and shatter-resistant lenses, GUARANTEED as they replace them if lost or broken, and AWESOME with ten great colors and two sizes! Cool, right?!

They also have polarized Babiators, Aces (sunglasses for kids 7-14), submariners swim goggles (so cute!!!), rocket packs, and rx glasses.  They’ve got you covered!

Now if only I could get baby William to keep his stylish shades on for longer than a half a second…

babiators shoot

Every swag bag, red carpet event, and baby definitely needs Babiators!

Get 30% off with code ItzLinz30OFF during the month of June! STOCK UP!

Mommas: What did / will you put in your baby’s party favor bags?  Other good ideas? We’ve received books and musical shakers which were also awesome!

Baby Red Carpet Event | First Birthday Party

All photos from Ashley at A Family Affair Photography – St. Louis people, Ashley is a fabulous photographer with a kind heart and creative eye! I highly recommend her!

Two months after his first birthday and one month after his birthday party is the perfect time to share William’s Baby Red Carpet Event | First Birthday Party pictures, yeah?  I’ll make up for it with cuteness overload.  Ashley gave me 300 images. Yes, 300!  And those are the one’s she edited!  I will say, it was SO nice having her there to photograph everything. Not only do I have beautiful pictures that we’ll treasure forever, but it was awesome to leave my camera behind and truly be in the moment. Plus, there were a lot more candid shots than I would have gotten, too. Without further ado, William’s Baby Red Carpet Event | First Birthday Party –

1 year old

William is ONE!  Big thanks to Stephanie for setting up the red carpet, so all the celebrity babies could have their pictures taken by the paparazzi and their parents.

first birthday

Happy baby, happy momma.

hair brushed

Those eyes though!

getting dressed

Getting dressed.

getting dressed1

Adorable outfit from Janie & Jack.


Custom birthday sign that we’ll use every year handmade by a dear friend. Birthday board from Board and Loving It.

mom dad

Big thanks to my mom and dad for hosting William’s first birthday bash!


My mom did EVERYTHING for the party.  All the decorations, organization, planning, baking, etc. She’s amazing. William loves his Yaya.

birthday hats

Every party needs party hats! My sister made these labels (they also went on the party favor bags) and my mom got party hats and attached these.

1st birthday cake

A Star is Born! Theme of William’s life.

partyfavor bags

Party favor bags aka SWAG BAGS.

birdseye view

So many babies. So much fun!


music time

Music was the entertainment, and Katie did a great job! She brought tons of instruments, and all the kids were so engaged! St. Louis friends, if you need someone, she’s awesome! Email me for details.



Being one is hard work! Getting sleepy from all the excitement.

cake smile

First time having cake!

cake mmm

cake on floor

The plate is more fun to play with than the cake!

pops giving cake

Pops wanting William to taste the good stuff!

red carpet


first birthday party group

babiators shoot

Rockin’ the Babiators. Get 30% off with code ItzLinz30OFF during the month of June!

birthday kisses

Happy birthday, baby William!

A Star is Born

Over the weekend, we had William’s first birthday party.  My mom and sister basically did everything and it was absolutely amazing.  Full blog post coming with all the details, but for now here is an incredible collage the photographer, Ashley of A Family Affair Photography put together for me:

first birthday party

The theme was Red Carpet – A Star is Born.  Everything down to the last detail was perfect, and I’m already obsessed with the photos.  I can’t wait to see them all!

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Birthday sign and balloons is a must for every party!

The birthday festivities were on Saturday, so Sunday was open and it was gorgeous in St. Louis.  William and I went to the Earth Day festival with some friends.

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We made sure to check out the Chipotle exhibit – Fresh vs Processed Food.  It was cool and pretty disgusting to see the difference between Chipotle’s ingredients compared to fast food.  Long story short? Chipotle serves REAL food with REAL ingredients. FRESH. Another reason (one of the many!) why Chipotle rocks!


While at the Earth Day festival, I discovered St. Louis’s first local kombucha brewery – Companion Kombucha.  I bought a cup of their ginger kombucha – it was AWESOME!  My friend had the lavender which I didn’t love as much as the ginger. They also have an elderberry that I’d like to try sometime, but they didn’t have it available yesterday.

William rocked his Babiators.

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Well, for a few seconds while the photo was snapped.

Linking up with Katie and Erin today!

Later in the day, I went out for a short run in the beautiful sunshine while testing out my new CSX Champion compression socks.  And then I busted out dancer’s pose.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

Because, why not?  Sunshine makes me happy. So does yoga.  And my baby.

What made you happy over the weekend?

birthday eats

So maybe this is the third birthday post I’ve done this week.  After today, I’m done!  Promise.  And if you missed the first two…

  • itz my birthday! – 28 facts about yours truly mostly from the weekend
  • birthday cake all day – I pretty much ate birthday cake flavored foods and drinks all day long on my birthday.  Seriously.

Today this post focuses on the food part of my birthday.  Oh, how we all love food, am I right?  Especially when itz decorated with sprinkles.  So let’s begin.

Breakfast: Birthday Cake Protein Smoothie

birthday smoothie

Muscle Milk Cake Batter protein powder from  (Use code VAJ523 to save $$!).

I showed you that picture yesterday, but had to show it again since it was breakfast on my birthday.  And yes, sprinkles are a must!

Lunch:  Build Your Own Salad from Dave & Tony’s


My wonderful co-workers bought me lunch and we ordered from Dave & Tony’s.  Itz a local burger joint, but you can build your own sandwich or salad.  I went with the salad with grilled chicken, caramelized onions, cucumbers, roasted peppers, and black beans with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  Delish.

* Linking up with Jenn at Peas & Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday *

Dinner: Stuffed Chicken, Sweet Potato Fries, & Steamed Broccoli


This meal was cooked by my lovely sister Stephanie in honor of my (and my husband’s) birthday.  It was phenomenal!  The chicken was lightly coated in Italian bread crumbs and stuffed with spinach and goat cheese (baked, not fried!) and the sweet potatoes were seasoned with cumin, brown sugar, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.

My sister set a beautiful table and even made menu cards.  Check it out:

birthday table menu

Who knew that 28 called for such fancy dining?  And if you like pictures of ridiculously cute babies, you should probably check out her Facebook page – Stephanie Cotta Photography – I mean there’s a reason she has over 12k fans!  If you think her dinner menu and table are gorgeous, wait til you see the images of the little babes!  She also leads newborn mentoring workshops and has created a newborn posing guide.  Definitely worth looking into for newborn photographers looking to improve their photography / business.

Dessert: Birthday Cookie Cake – I showed you that picture yesterday, so today I’m going to show you someone <<cough cough Audrey Rose>> with sneaky, sticky fingers!


That little Aud Paud!  She kept sneaking over there, wiping her finger through the icing, and popping it in her mouth as she turned around with that cookie-eatin’ grin on her face!  Then, she was sitting on my lap when I got a piece of cookie cake and the little monster went face first right into my slice and licked/bit my cookie cake from the top! #icingfiend!

What’s the best part of cookie cake – the icing or the cookie?

birthday cake all day

Thank you all for the sweet birthday messages yesterday!  I feel so loved as I was totally flooded with phone calls, texts, comments, tweets, e-mails, and all sorts of messages.  You sure know how to make a girl feel special!

Itz no secret that birthday cake is my all time favorite flavor in any and everything, so yesterday I basically ate it  Seriously though, I did.

Starting at six o’clock in the morning, I kicked off my birthday with a hot cup of birthday cake tea from David’s Tea.  My girl Meg bought me a canister of this last year for my birthday.  Itz especially awesome since we don’t have a David’s Tea here in St. Louis.

birthday tea

Can you see the freeze-dried sprinkles in there?  Unbelievable.  I add a dash of vanilla almond milk and itz birthday cake in a mug.  Great start to the birthday!

Once I got hungry for breakfast, I obviously made myself a birthday cake protein smoothie.  Lindsay commented on my post yesterday that I should make myself one and my smoothie was literally in the blender at the time!  Us Lindsays are always on the same wavelength and full of good ideas! 🙂

birthday smoothie

I order the Muscle Milk Cake Batter protein powder from  (Use my code VAJ523 to save money on your first order!).  Sprinkles are definitely a necessity in this smoothie.

If you think the birthday treats in the morning stopped there, you’re totally wrong.  I got to school to put some last minute touches on my classroom and my co-worker Kristen brought me a pastry from Pastries of Denmark!


I’m not sure the name of it, but it was ridiculous whatever it was.  The main part was a very dense and delicious macaroon while the bottom was dipped in chocolate.  It was topped with a thick cream and fresh raspberries.  Mmm!  I offered to share, but no one wanted any, so…. I had to eat the whole thing by myself.  Darn.

Oh, and I almost forgot – on Sunday night when we celebrated our birthdays with my in-laws, they treated us to cupcakes and birthday party ice cream!

birthday dessert

The treats still didn’t stop there.  My sister Stephanie hosted a lovely birthday dinner for Jonny and me.  My parents are out of town, so she took the reigns and did a fabulous job!  I know it took awhile to prepare as she, like my mom, attends to every last detail.  I mean she even made dinner menus!  I’ll show you more pictures tomorrow of the food and the meal; for now I’ll give you our typical sisters pictures.


I’m so lucky to have a seester like you!  And well done on the cooking, too!  Sometimes Steph jokes about her cooking abilities, but the whole evening was no joke!  Wait for tomorrow til I show you her masterpiece!

I feel incredibly blessed to celebrate my birthday with my grandparents.  They have always been a huge part of my life and I know they always will be.  They are the most amazing people I know, simply put, and are as full of life as they are with love for all of us.

mama papa poppy

Mama, Papa, and Poppy – I love you so much!  Thank you for your constant support in everything I do: the blog, teaching, cooking, working out, and more!

And since today’s post is focused on birthday cake all day I’ve got to show you our birthday cake from last night.  It was a chocolate chip cookie cake.  The green and orange is incredibly significant as Jonny went to the University of Miami and is a big fan obsessed; his eyes literally lit up when he saw the cake.  Group shots:


So much birthday love!  Thank you to everyone who helped make my 28th birthday so wonderful.  Much love to everyone!

How do you like to celebrate your birthday?  With family?  With friends?  At a restaurant?  At home?  At a bar?