Ansley turned eleven (ELEVEN!!) on September 15, but on the 14th we celebrated with a baking party. She came up with the guest list, and I went to planning. You probably know that I love to plan parties, but even more than that, I love what it conveys: you are valued and cherished, you are important to us, and you are so very loved.
When the girls arrived, they went on the porch to decorate chef's hats. They used coffee filters and cupcake liners to make flowers and used letter stickers to put their names on the band. They turned out so cute! I was wearing one so they had an example of what it might look like.
Then they came inside where each girl had her own personalized apron. Of course I had to take a picture of them in their cute aprons and hats! Adorable, right?
The silly shot. You always have to get the silly shot.
Then we got started. The first thing they did was make chocolate chip pumpkin bread. Each girl got a turn dumping in an ingredient (that was already measured and set out) and mixing. Once everything was added, one of the Mamas poured them in mini loaf pans and we popped them in the oven. Each girl got to take home her own loaf of chocolate pumpkin bread.
Then we pulled out the birthday cake, because I thought if I waited much longer the girls might be too stuffed. Ansley loves cookie dough, so I used my chocolate chip cookie recipe to make big cookies, and then made a cookie dough icing to go in between. Ansley loved it, and thought it was delicious. This photo is during the singing of happy birthday.
As I was thinking about how to orchestrate this party, I decided that it would be rather complicated and difficult to have the girls mix and make everything. So, I went with actually making the pumpkin bread, and then decorating everything else. That's where the fun is anyway, right? So first up were sugar cookies to decorate with colorful icing and fun sprinkles. Each girl had milk or strawberry lemonade. But I say milk goes best with cookies!
Then they decorated mini donuts, either with powdered sugar and sprinkles or glaze and sprinkles. Make your own parfaits came next, with crushed oreos, whipped cheesecake, raspberry and chocolate layers. Last, there was melted chocolate to dip pretzel rods in and cover with sprinkles. Each girl had a to-go box to pack up their goodies and take them home.
Then it was time to open presents. Ansley received some very sweet gifts from friends who know her well!
Paige gave Ansley a gift that was apparently an inside joke between them, and they were in hysterics. I snapped this shot because, even though I had no idea what they were laughing at, when people are laughing hysterically you can't help but laugh, too.
We went outside for good lighting, and the girls wanted to do a pyramid. Sure!
It was such a fun day, and Ansley definitely felt loved and celebrated! Happy 11th birthday, Ansley!