We experienced the nicest day in Idaho in over 180 days on Easter. The Boise area actually broke a record from the 1800s about most consecutive days under 60 degrees. Even when it did start to creep into the upper 50s, intense wind always made it less pleasant to spend time in! You don’t know how APPRECIATED that sunshine was! Brynnley and I celebrated Easter with a beautiful brunch at my parents’ house and then spent as much time outside as we could.
On Saturday I had a girlfriend come over for a little brunch together while we watched the newest episodes of Love is Blind. I have to say, I am not a reality TV junkie. My TV is typically always just rewatching Friends and Gilmore Girls episodes on repeat. But there is something about the (totally ridiculous) Netflix show Love is Blind that always hooks me. My friend Nicole and I bond over our mutual love/hate relationship with the cringy show that we can’t look away from.
I’ve had a wheel of French Brie cheese in my fridge from Costco for a bit and I needed to find a use for it. Obviously I took to Pinterest and searched “brunch recipe with brie.” I found some really pretty crostinis with melted brie, apple butter and honey. Then I remembered a recent photo I’d seen from a restaurant that used shredded hard boiled egg on top of avocado toast and I immediately wanted to recreate that as well. I decided to just make both, using crostini as my base for a few different tiny toast varieties.
French baguettes are less than $2 at the grocery store. You can slice them into whatever thickness you want your toast, and lay them out on a lined baking sheet. I sprayed them with olive oil and popped in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes. Even if they don’t have quite as much of a golden glow as you’d like, I wouldn’t cook them longer than 10 minutes. They really crunch up. A few of mine were overcooked and we joked that we needed subtitles on our show because we couldn’t hear the words over the sound of our chewing!
For our tiny toast toppings, we had mashed avocado, sliced cherry tomatoes, shredded hard boiled eggs, thinly sliced apple, cherry jam, brie cheese, honey, balsamic vinegar, and everything but the bagel seasoning. I made one of each variety and went back for seconds! You have to try this brunch idea for your next girls get together. They were SO CUTE and tasty and it really wasn’t much effort to throw together.
I’m currently in the middle of two intriguing books. April is my turn to host book club, and I picked Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes. I loved Me Before You, which is a movie now if you aren’t interested in reading the book. As you know, I’m always in the middle of an audiobook and a physical book at the same time. Somone Else’s Shoes is my audiobook right now, which I usually listen to on 1.3x speed to get through it a little faster. Sometimes they just talk so slow! But the narrator is British and one of the characters has a THICK cockney accent which I already can’t understand so I have to put it back to normal speed. It’s so funny that she is speaking English, my native language, and it is still so difficult to grasp what she’s saying. Sometimes I’m listening in my car and I just giggle because it truly sounds like someone speaking a foreign language haha.
The physical book I’m reading right now is The Younger Wife, which my friend Rebecca sent to me in her birthday present for Brynnley which was so sweet! The next episodes of Love is Blind don’t come out until Friday so I should be able to get in a few more chapters tonight and tomorrow ;)
It’s almost time to pick out my seeds and plant my vegetable garden again! This will be my third spring/summer growing a little veggie patch in my backyard garden box and I’m excited for Brynnley to be old enough to come water it with me and watch everything grow. She will at least be able to share some fresh picked blackberries with me! Those are my mini updates for this spring so far, and I will leave you with some Easter cuteness until my next post. :)
The last weekend of February we celebrated our baby girl’s first birthday with a little party at our home, themed “Brynnley’s First Rodeo!” I found lots of cute western decor on Etsy and Amazon, along with the CUTEST little birthday outfit you ever did see.
Brynnley’s birthday was Thursday, February 23rd. We hosted her party that Saturday with family and handful of friends. I also asked a local photographer who has shot some family photos for us to come capture the day so that I could leave my phone put away and just enjoy the party and my girl!
The toughest decision was picking a time of day for the party because Brynnley’s sleep/nap schedule can still be a bit unpredictable. She typically wakes up between 7:30-8:30am. Her first nap is just based on whenever she starts acting sleepy or grumpy, usually 10:00-11:00am. Sometimes it’s a 2-hour nap and other times it’s a 35-minute nap! The afternoon nap just adjusts to about 3 hours after she wakes up from her first nap. Giving our guests a month’s notice with a party start time seemed tricky, like there would be a 50% chance of her actually being awake during the party time. So I played it safe and planned the party at 5pm when I knew she would be awake no matter what. That meant that we would need to provide dinner, another aspect of the party that Zeb and I didn’t want to be stuck manning the kitchen or the grill, so we also outsourced dinner to our local Idaho Pizza Company. I had premade a bunch of snacks and sides earlier though!
We had lots of pizza, plus “tractor tires,” “hay bales,” “cowboy pasta salad”, and a “vegetable patch.” All served with pitchforks and shovels, of course. ;) The pasta salad recipe was SO YUMMY! It included ranch dressing and barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown mustard, crumbled bacon, ground beef, shredded cheese, green onions and cherry tomatoes. I really enjoyed the BBQ sauce flavor in this pasta salad, if you’re looking for something different to try!
Brynnley wore the most adorable pink cowgirl hat with her pink tutu and a onesie that I made with a friend’s Cricut. Her onesie said “My first rodeo”, and I also made my husband and I coordinating shirts that said “Not my first rodeo” in matching pink. I’d never used a Cricut machine before and was so impressed with how much it is capable of!
We ordered cupcakes from Albertson’s bakery in soft pink with little fondant horseshoes on top. We got Brynnley her own little smash cake, though I knew my baby is such a picky eater that it was unlikely she would dive in face first like I wish she would! She likes to poke foods, but she is very hesitant to actually try anything new. Unless it is a potato or a hunk of meat, any new food on her plate is met with skepticism. Add to that the fact that 25 people would be in our living room watching her, and it was unlikely that the smash cake would in fact be smashed.
I wanted to preserve her cute outfit for the rest of the party, so I stripped her down to her diaper and a cute little birthday crown before I put her in her highchair. I used half of a highchair banner that came in a party decoration pack on Amazon, and then I made extra tassels to add to it. I ended up actually just hot gluing the banner and tassels to the highchair because it’s the only way I could get them to stay tightly along the edge. Thankfully the hot glue pulled off easily the next day during clean up, leaving the highchair good as new!
Luckily it was pretty easy to clean her off with just a wet burp cloth and get her back into her party clothes! She hung out with her grandparents and friends until it was time to open her presents.
For the sake of not taking 3 hours to open all of her gifts, Zeb and I did most of the unwrapping and Brynnley showed off her clapping skills throughout the evening. It was so cute to watch! She’s such a ham and did not mind having an audience at all. She loves to clap for herself and wave to everybody!
We had such a fun time with our little western-themed party to celebrate Brynnley’s first trip around the sun. Let me know if you want links to any of the party decor items if you’re planning a little first rodeo of your own!
This list that began 365 days ago has added to a year full of memories and gotten me outside of my comfort zone. 🤍
Tonight I’m celebrating a new decade, and I don’t feel like I need a list to commit to plenty of content worth sharing for the coming years. ☺️ Looking back, I know that I wanted to “make the most” of my twenties as I closed out this chapter of my youth. Moving forward, my thirties are all about becoming a parent and raising babies with their own special memories!
I tried to pick a favorite list item but I can’t, there are so many good ones! It’s been so fun to look back on all of them today and appreciate where this past year has taken us. The days are long but the year is short :)