Tag: <span>celebrations</span>


This was, by all accounts, a three alarm fire children’s party weekend. Evan and I hosted one for Sophia and we attended two others. To say that I would very much like a weekend to unwind is an understatement. I have vivid visions of pillows and blankets, lazy mornings, and fluffy buttermilk pancakes.


For the first time ever, Sophia had a clear vision for what kind of a party she wanted. “A mermaid party with a chocolate and vanilla cake, all our friends, and Alex…” said Sophia when we first spoke to her. I haven’t done too many themed child parties but decided that even I could tackle this one. Purple tablecloths, starfish, sea-shells, and pink and gold confetti set the stage for the tablescapes. I felt that though pretty, the sea-themed decorations would, on their own, will not have enough height to really stand out in the room. We decided that purple/blue and white hydrangea would add height and delicate femininity.

img_4424Hydrangeas, confetti, and balloons were mere decorations, but the real stars of the party were those who made time to come and celebrate Sophia’s BIG 5! Eliza, as we can see here, did not suffer greatly as the birthday sister. Not only did she get a few small birthday sister presents, but she was loved on by her aunt and uncle.


That’s a wrap. See you next year when we’re shifting to much smaller, more exclusive celebrations for the kids’ birthdays.

Life Moments


Long ago, I dreamed about birthday celebrations with balloons, a colorful cake, and a carousel. I don’t remember what my own birthday celebrations were like when I was young, but the dream I had for myself, Evan and I made a reality for Eliza. Our friends and family came together to celebrate Eliza’s big 2 and enjoy the glorious day that was Saturday. Until recently, Eliza had been very nervous about sitting on a pony while riding a carousel preferring to sit on a bench. That all changed on Saturday probably after she saw how much fun her cousins were having riding the different animals on the carousel.


Some details about the party: we held it at 10 AM to try and beat the heat. We served breakfast and cake/desserts choosing to sing Happy Birthday earlier on so as to not ruin anyone’s appetite for lunch. The venue had a carousel and mini golf providing ample entertainment for kids of all ages. Since the venue was so close to Philadelphia’s chinatown, we served fortune cookies with a custom fortune as our favors and the kids got those and a few other trinkets in a asian take-out container.


Eliza loved her party and Sophia carried off the role of the birthday sister with aplomb. In fact, Sophia has been a supportive birthday sister for a whole week as small celebrations and birthday presents trickled in for Eliza.


We spent the afternoon of the birthday party decompressing from all the festivities with a cold beverage and plenty of presents in hand.

It was hard to beat the excitement and fun of Saturday but we came close with a trip to a local farm tractor ride and all. We picked blueberries, peaches, and even some apricots. The girls loved the outdoors and we’re looking forward to making peach cobbler.


FriendsFamily Life Moments

Two. Eliza turned two yesterday. These past two years have been a whirlwind—a happy, chaotic, tumultuous whirlwind. Eliza is truly a little piece of sunshine. She has captured our hearts and souls and we love her to the moon and back, twice over.

We spent the day celebrating as befits a newly minted two year old. There were birthday pancakes with sprinkles and a candle followed by a luncheon with family and a homemade birthday cake.

This year, I opted for a strawberry cream cake which was a chiffon cake with macerated strawberries and a cream/cream cheese frosting. It was incredibly light, not too-sweet and tasted of June, of strawberries, and of family celebrations. Eliza, much like both of her parents, liked the frosting and the strawberries over the cake itself.

I would be remiss if I let on that we celebrated Eliza’s birthday over just one day. Two years apparently meant two celebrations and two cakes, too.

And because two is so big, we decided to capture this age, this magnificent little girl, and the day on camera.

This is two.

Dessert Flavors Life Moments Sophia Cooks

A reason to celebrate. This Sunday, we tossed aside our tanks, shorts and flip flops in favor of something a little more fancy. Evan’s cousin married a beautiful bride in a stunning dusk ceremony in downtown Philadelphia.

I do wonder what it is with Evan’s family—everyone they marry is Russian. True, Evan started the trend, but his sister and now his cousin have continued carrying this torch. It must be that they realized how close-knit and fun-loving Russians are. Whatever the reason, we’re only too happy to celebrate especially when the celebrating involves an elegant black tie gala.

As I sat back and took in the beautiful ambiance at the reception, I couldn’t help but look back to almost SEVEN years ago when Evan and I got married. It is hard to believe that it was that long ago when we said our vows to one another under our magical chuppah. Perhaps seven is not long, not when we look at our parents and grandparents, but it has been a busy, eventful seven. A Ph.D., a house, a daughter, another daughter a move, and more. Travel, laughter, tears of sadness and unbelievable joy. Low lows, indescribable highs and everything in between, everything together.

I didn’t circle Evan at our own wedding ceremony because, to me, it signified that my world revolved around my husband. I know now that it does and that’s how I like it.


Life Moments

Good times, good times. We spent this oh so very cold and somewhat precipitous weekend celebrating. We toured a house in the city and followed that with an impromptu Valentine’s celebration at Tria in Washington Square West. That’s living in the moment for us especially when you have willing and able babysitters. And because no Valentine’s day is complete after drinks for two, we made homemade chocolate truffles dipped in … more chocolate … for Sunday. Sunday was Evan’s Bubbie’s birthday and we were joining the entire family for brunch at home. Sophia and I decided that homemade truffles would be the best gift because, of course, who doesn’t like chocolate? And, who doesn’t like chocolate truffles made by their great-grand daughter?


There couldn’t have been a more perfect way to celebrate someone so dear to us.