Thursday, April 18, 2013

Welcome to the Wild West! Cowgirl & Cowboy 5th Birthday Party

For her 5th birthday, Lila requested a cowgirl and cowboy party. From the moment she saw Toy Story 3 in the movie theater, Lila has been fascinated with cowgirls and cowboys. She would often be seen with red cowgirl boots and taking on her alter ego, "Woody." She insisted on being called Woody so much that in notes home from daycare she was sometimes referred to as Woody instead of Lila. This alternative identity worked to my benefit during potty training as one day she declared "Woody doesn't wear diapers!" And she never wore diapers again.

Lila as her alter ego "Woody."
(Note- this was not taken at Halloween.)
While she no longer calls herself "Woody" and her infactuation with Toy Story has settled down, she is still a cowgirl at heart. This year, she can be seen in her full cowgirl getup complete with pink boots!
Yee haw! This city girl is pure country at heart.
We had a lot of fun with her birthday party theme, starting with the invitation.

We held the party in a real "saloon." We totally took over the place with a posse of twenty-two little bandits. I honestly don't think that the guys at the bar have ever seen such a rowdy bunch! We might have even scared a few out. In the midst of a spirited line dance to "Cotton-Eyed Joe," being the mild-mannered, law-abiding mom that I am, I had to check with the manager "are you sure we aren't being too loud?" She just laughed.

For the party food, we served yummy appetizers for the adults-- spicy buffalo wings, nachos, chili, veggies with ranch dressing, and mini corn on the cob; iced tea and lemonade for the drinks. The kids were given a special menu with a choice of hotdog, hamburger, or grilled cheese.

The decor was red and blue. Each of the children got a cowboy / cowgirl hat, bandana, and balloon.

The goody bags were simple brown paper bags with red and white ribbon. Inside were Fort Knox Gold Coins or Gold Nugget Bubble Gum, a Wooly Willy Wanted Game, Cowtail Candy, and Cow and Horse Stickers. As an added treat, my husband found rock candy sticks, which were a hit!

As a party game, we played "pin the tail" on the horse (specifically "bullseye" the horse).

One of the best parts of the party was the surprise celebrity guest--
Jessie the Cowgirl!!!
It's Jessie!!!
Let's have a hoedown! Yeeeeee haaawwww!!!

For dessert, we had a chocolate cake (which I decorated with a picture of Jessie) and red velvet and vanilla cupcakes. YUM!

Make a wish, Lila!
Planning Lila's parties each year really allows me to satisfy my desire to be creative. Once there's a theme in place, there are so many cute things to be done to make the party unique and fun. Lila and her friends had a great time and I believe the parents did too!

Members of the notorious party posse-- Elisa, Lila, Clara, and Sarah.

Now it's time for Lila to mosey on yonder to see what sort of adventures her 5th year brings!

I tip my hat off to Lila-- she's an awesome 5 year old with a whole lot of spunk.

Happy Birthday, Cowgirl!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Protein-Packed Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Summer is coming which means I am hitting the gym a little harder. We all know that protein intake is an important part of a strength training and fitness routine. As a vegetarian and busy mom, I usually have to supplement my protein with whey or casien powder. At my last visit to the Vitamin Shoppe, I decided to try a different protein powder from my norm that was on sale- Cytosport Complete Casien in chocolate.

When I opened the tub and took out a scoop it instantly reminded me of chocolate cake mix. (Maybe because I'm dieting I have chocolate cake on the brain??) When I mixed it with water it was too thick and sweet for my taste. The baker in me decided it was time to experiment. The result is the recipe below. Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins that are delicious and nutritious!

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 3 scoops of chocolate casien or whey
  • 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup of gound flax seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup of creamy all natural peanut butter
  • Approximately 1 cup of skim milk (add until the cake mix is fully moistened)
  • A couple handfuls of mini dark chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl (except the milk). Combine wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Stir and add milk until the mix is fully moistened. Add chocolate chips. Grease muffin tins with cooking spray and spoon in batter. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Makes about 20 muffins.