An Uncomplicated Life Blog

Monday, May 20, 2019

Airplane Theme Party Ideas

An airplane themed birthday party is perfect for young kids and easy to host

Henry turned five on May 16, and I think that's when the shift officially starts: when birthday parties start being for and about the child instead of the parents. I wrote this post on Henry's first birthday party four years ago, and this one on Otto's lumberjack themed first birthday party. Without question, those parties were for us as parents! Sure, there were kids there. But we had friends over who didn't even have kids stop by too, and plenty of food and alcohol for all. The parties were so much work that I vowed I wouldn't throw another big party until my child was old enough to ask for one and tell me who they wanted to invite. Well, low and behold, Henry asked for a party this year, and also had names of his friends at school whom he wanted to invite. He met my criterion for hosting a party! Since the boy loves airplanes, we decided to host it at an airplane museum and make it airplane themed. These are all the airplane themed party ideas we implemented for his fifth birthday bash. *affiliate links used*

I definitely did NOT want all these kids (we had about 50 people show up to this party) running around my house. In mid May in Texas, it could be either hot or rainy or both or have just rained, making our backyard a mud pit... And then all those rascals would track mud all over my house! Nope, I'm a fan of hosting a party at a location. Sure it's a tad more expensive, but you don't need to clean before or clean up after, and that's a major win in my book. We picked out the plane museum at Dallas Love Field because they have a play area for the kids to run off all the sugar. It's indoors so it can rain or be 95 and humid or both. His friends could bring their siblings and they'd have fun too - I absolutely can't stand it when a birthday party invitation is only for the child listed and no siblings can come, but parents are expected to stay and monitor their child! What are we supposed to do with the siblings?! Obviously, with four kids close in age, we can't attend those parties and it makes all family members welcome to any party we host, because we understand the struggle.

Cloud balloons
Airplane balloons
Something that was cool about the flight museum was that we could still be in charge of decorations. This is great because 1) it keeps costs down. Ever notice how expensive those "all inclusive" packages are at various children's play areas? Sure it's nice to not *have* to do anything but write a check but holy cow, they pan out to like $50 a head per kid for a slice of pizza and a piece of dry cake. No thanks. 2) we got to keep creative control over what decorations were used so that Henry's personality could come out. In an Amazon Prime age, it's easy to find affordable decorations for whatever party theme you want, and find just the style you're looking for too.

Here are links to the stuff we picked out:
plates napkins, cups and flatware (I'd also recommend getting additional plates and napkins as people use more than one of those!)
party favor bags
favors for the party bags - little airplane gliders
photo props/table decorations
Our cake and cookie designer (if you live in Dallas, use her - she is absolutely fabulous!)

All the party ideas and supplies you need for an airplane themed birthday party, great for toddlers, young kids and first birthday party themes
Like it? Pin it!

The airplane theme was fun for a 5 year old birthday party, and the location was great! I highly recommend hosting a party AT a location instead of at your house if you want to keep messes down. When you can bring in all your own decorations, food and cake, it also helps to keep the costs down. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Blackberry Sangria

This recipe is delicious for parties and perfect for warmer summer months

I never understood why people liked blackberries until I moved to Texas. When blackberries are in season here (spring to early summer) they are so. good. I mean, probably my favorite berry, and that's saying a lot from someone who doesn't much care for fruit! I'm a red wine lover, but in the hot spring and summer months, I want a cold beverage, not a room temp spicy red. This is the best of both worlds! Plus it looks fancy, so this blackberry sangria is even more fun to serve at a dinner party than simply popping open a nice bottle of red. If you want a delicious way to enjoy red wine in the summer, you've got to try this blackberry sangria recipe!

I'm not a real big fan of sweet drinks, so for me the key to this recipe is using a mid-grade bottle of wine (not cheap but not total junk either) that's fruity but on the dry side. A lighter cab or a Pinot Noir would be great. Everyone had their own idea of what "mid grade" means in terms of wine, but for me it's one that retails for $12-$15. Twelve if it's on sale, more like $15 if it's full price. But if mid-grade wine is more expensive to you, by all means, get what you're used to! I don't really like cheaper wine, although I know stores like Trader Joe's sells it for much less than that, and they have a decent selection of wine. Don't go using the two buck chuck on this recipe though! In fact, if you're older than college age, just don't buy or drink that stuff ever. Yuck.

Now that it's clear I'm anti-super-cheap wine, let's get to this recipe! Here's how you make blackberry sangria:
- one bottle of light(er) red wine (such as Pinot Noir)
- 1 cup blackberry brandy
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- one apple, cut into thin slices
- 2 pints blackberries; one package kept whole for garnish, the other muddled (mushed and mashed up)
- large pitcher
- ice

Blackberry sangria made with red wine is light and refreshing
Like it? Pin it!

Mix all the ingredients together but hold back on one package of the blackberries. Put in the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours. Serve over ice, adding a few of the fresh blackberries for garnish. The key is letting the sangria get cold but also giving it enough time for all the flavors to develop and steep together. That's it! This blackberry sangria is so simple, yet so tasty and refreshing on a hot summer day. Enjoy!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Mother's Day Weekend

How we celebrated Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all my American mamas! Not that it doesn't apply to non-American moms, I just don't know when your national Mother's Day is, so... You know. This was my first Mother's Day as a mom of four kids and let me tell you, I needed a break. The twins have been teething and had their first colds this past week, Henry was sick as a dog (none of my kids have ever had a fever that high before) and my husband was in Oklahoma for work so I was single mommin' it. Pretty sure there were tears on everyone's part every single day and I fake threw away half of my older boys' toys. It was a doozy of a week for sure, so I was looking forward to a day off this Mother's Day weekend! Here's how we celebrated.

My husband and I are really pretty funny/lame/awesome about gifts. We both usually just send each other links of what we want. Sure, there's no surprise but a) I don't like surprises, I'm a type A planner and b) I always know I'm getting what I want! I had been eyeing these tanzanaite earrings for months, but their price point wasn't as simple as "hey I love these, I'mma buy them!" Nope, they're a special occasion level price tag. Enter Mother's Day. Tanzanite is Otto's birth stone and I have a band of pave set tanzanite on my wedding set for him, so it was a perfect Mother's Day gift. I grabbed the link and texted it to hubby.

When it arrived, Otto - who loves ALL THINGS SPARKLY AND RAINBOW AND UNICORN - knew that it was a special gift for mommy. My husband must have told him that there was something sparkly in the box for mommy, because as soon as hubby got busy with the twins as we got everyone ready for bed two weeks ago, Otto runs and finds the box my husband had hidden and gave it to me. "Mommy, there's something sparkly in there for YOUUU!! Open it, I wanna see!" Well, he didn't have to ask me twice. I knew what it was already, so what was the point in waiting for the real Mother's Day? Nope, there was none, so I went ahead and opened it and ooooh'ed and ahhhhhh'ed over how sparkly and pretty they were with Otto. Henry is indifferent to sparkles. As a mom of only boys, I'm so so glad I have sweet sparkle-loving Otto to gush over pretty things like jewels and manicures with. God bless that sweet boy.

Otto says these are, "very booty-ful mommy!" I agree.

Fast forward to actual Mother's Day. Now, I find it funny that Father's Day is usually a family celebration with a BBQ or cookout. But for Mother's Day? Frankly, all we want is to be left alone! And after the week that I had, I was in the same boat as just about every other mom. I wanted some peace and quiet and sleep. And maybe some breakfast tacos. And 57 mimosas.

Rainbow flowers (complete with a princess wand, because Otto picked them out), heart donut and homemade gifts

The twins were up two or three times (we've been in a sleep regression for over three months now... Having twins is a blast like that) so sleep was a bit of a joke, but I did get to stay in bed until nearly 10am! Then I was woken up by two bouncing, excited, sugar-filled toddlers. They were so excited to show me the rainbow flowers they had picked out, balloons, cards and a homemade gift. It was sweet how excited they were to show me everything... Then promptly take the balloons to play with them themselves, haha!

Think I could get these kids to sit still when there's helium present?! Think again

Hubs then took all four of them out of the house so I could drink my coffee in peace and quiet. I used the time to work on this post, answer some emails and schedule some social media. Glamorous? Probably not, but I enjoyed working in a quiet home! I drank two cups of HOT coffee and filled my essential oil diffusers with my favorite scents, and worked in peace.

Happy Mother's Day to me times 3! Don't worry. It was 78% ice. Seriously.

I hit up a 3pm yoga class, then met everyone up for an early dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I enjoyed three jalapeno margaritas and laughed while Henry ate mac n cheese with his hands (you've never seen a kid love mac n cheese as much as this kid) while Otto enjoyed the ethnic fare. In case you were wondering, yup - Otto is still my good eater and Henry, while getting better, still lives off dairy and carbs. And is still my skinniest child. Go figure! The twins aren't quite to the stage where they can sit in high chairs yet, but they're both very content chewing on spoons and watching us eat from their car seats, which makes for a pleasant, albeit quick, meal out.

Did you catch the shots I posted to Instagram of me when I became a mom each time?

View this post on Instagram

I’ve been a mom four times over. I’ve had singletons and multiples. I’ve had two c sections and two VBACs. I’ve breastfed and formula fed. I’ve sleep trained and on-demand fed/held all night. I’ve kissed countless boo-boos, given too many high fives to count, laughed until it hurt, and cried alone wondering where my sanity went and when it will come back. No matter how you decide to mother, being a mom is the hardest job on the planet. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms giving the job their best shot, every single minute of every single day. It’s a thankless, exhausting job, but trust me - you’re doing it wonderfully and beautifully! . . . . . . . #happymothersday2019 #happymothersday❤️ #motherhoodlens #motherhoodunplugged #motherhoodrising #motherhoodinspired #mynameismama #twinmom #twinmommy #boymomlife #momof4 #momof4boys #birthphotography #csection #csectionmom #vbac #vbacsuccess #birthstory #beautifulmoments #beautifulmom #welovemom #happymothersdaytome #mothersdaylove #iammom
A post shared by Lifestyle Blogger | Paige (@anuncomplicatedlifeblog) on

After getting the kids to bed and finally getting a shower after that hot yoga class, hubs and I watched Game of Thrones then called it a night, because Monday was coming... See what I did there?! Nerd alert, I know. It was a great day! I got time in my bed, hot coffee, work in peace and quiet, Mexican food and Sunday HBO shows. Not to mention, four beautiful boys who call me mommy and the very reason I get to celebrate this special day. Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow mommies!