Minnie Mouse Bridal Shower or Disney Bridal Shower

May 28th, 2014 in Parties

My sweet neighbor friend and I threw a bridal shower for another beautiful woman in our neighborhood. She is a big Disney fan, and was proposed to by her now husband in Disneyland. So we wanted to do something to match that at her shower. LISTEN! It was so hard finding a cute, not overly DISNEY done, or not little kid looking decor. I wasn’t going to post this party. But then I thought, it could really help someone out one day!

I got the easy end of the deal and was in charge of invitations, farming out food assignments, and the games. My friend did all the decor, she did such a beautiful job I had to post some pictures.

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If you email me any additional questions on this Minnie Mouse Bridal Shower or Disney Bridal Shower, I won’t have the answers to them. Since I didn’t do the decor, and don’t have any downloads for you. But hopefully this gives you a guide to a beautiful Disney themed shower. Good luck to you!

Easter 2014

May 9th, 2014 in About Me

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My girls did not look like this on Easter. But they were in these dresses. This was their Easter hello to family that I never sent. We used to make lots of videos for family, their birthday and things. But then I noticed I would send them and they were never watched. Except for the ones sent to grandparents, of course, they never get sick of grandkids!

MVI 3716 from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.

Easter I spent cooking! I was in a cooking mood. My sister mentioned pita sounded good and there is a famous pita bread recipe in the family. So I told her to bring that and I would make the fixings. I went overboard on the fixings, but I was in a cooking mood. I made three different meats for gyros, with three different sauces. I made hummus, greek salad, greek rice, and greek potatoes. It was enough for five families but there were only two. I tend to do this. I think it is a sign that more of the Brown family needs to live close by. Of course then I do it overboard on cooking and don’t want to cook for two weeks after that. But I really do have fun, in the moment, making meals like these. I had never made Greek before, or lamb, it was fun to do.


My sister brought an Easter egg hunt for the kids and I for some reason tried to slap mustaches on them. The babies loved it. Then when I asked my little niece their age to do it she totally wanted to as well.




My table was GORGEOUS. Me, myself, and I said that to my head. This is probably why my mother in law needs to live closer, she would have appreciated the table.



And I mean, COME ON, look at these cookies. I made them all from scratch. Lie. I bought them all myself. Truth. One of my special talents is, I know where to BUY the best things.


My sister brought the famous Brown chocolate peanut butter eggs. Oh my goodness which reminds me, there is still one in the fridge. Could it still be good? I must figure this out.

We ended with a Christ walk, which none of the babies were into. And the adults chose talking inside. But the older girls and I had a fun time. I just put some events of Christ’s last week into bags with a scripture. We took turns going from bag to bag taking things out. It ended with a bag with a picture of Christ in it for them. Which I think they promptly all lost in 3 minutes.


But you know what? Sometimes I do things that I love for ME. Me, myself, and I. Mich, ik, yo, ek, eu, ben, moi. Because raising this family is a lot of work. And if I want to spend two days making greek food, decorate a table that makes just me feel good, and buy lots of beautiful easter cookies. That is fine with me, it doesn’t bug me a bit, and it makes raising this family of mine fun for me.

Easter Bunny

May 9th, 2014 in About Me

Tyler and I got into a tiff before Easter. I was telling him that I was so glad we weren’t doing the Easter bunny anymore. That even though it was hard last year, that I had done it, I had not celebrated the Easter bunny. I remember it being a very different Easter. To which he replied that I had never done that. That at the last minute I felt bad and left something out from the bunny. I was convinced that he was crazy. He was convinced that I was just trying to save face. Which I wasn’t, I clearly remember not doing it. Last year we did have a better Easter, for a good 7-10 days before Easter we remembered Christ in many ways. The whole day had a very different feeling. To my credit, THAT did happen and the same with this year.

So this Easter when I sat down the girls to remind them that we were focusing just on Christ this year. After a full week of talking about Christ’s last week of life. Cameron looked at me with her FOR REAL sad eyes saying, “YOU MEAN WE AREN’T GETTING ANYTHING, NOT ANYTHING FROM THE EASTER BUNNY? IS HE NOT REAL?!” Lots of sobs. Then I stalled. More importantly then I remembered I was having deja vu. Oh dang it all, Tyler was right, we did celebrate the Easter bunny. Because last year Cameron had done the same thing. So on Easter Eve I suddenly remember I had ran around the house finding something that could be considered a present. So I whispered in her ear this year before she went to bed. I reassured her I was being crazy and I had decided that I would let the Easter bunny leave something little for her. So then again I was scrambling around the house trying to find something he could leave. The only chocolates I could find with mocha flavored chocolates I had picked out of a bag of assorted chocolates.

Maybe the way it had turned out for the past two years was ok. We don’t talk about the bunny until the night before. I spend no extra money, it is very low key, and he only leaves something little.

But NEXT year, next year, he is gone. When the two older ones are old enough to hear he was just something funny to do. And before the two babies even remember who he is.

Right? Hopefully if I remember.

Birthday & Spring Break Week

After our jam packed weekend I decided I just wanted to be alone with my girls. So I like a horrible mother took them out of school for a week to hang out with me. We stayed downtown at the Grand America and did our favorite things. Eating at bakeries, being lazy at a nice hotel, walks, parks, museums, and interesting classes.

The older girls attended a fun class for half of the day, then the other half we played. They were lucky, so lucky, I want their life…to attend a U of U art class, Natural History Museum science camp, and an engineering camp at the Leonardo. We even picked up two friends to do that last class with them.


During that time the babies and I napped, walked around parks, and ate late breakfasts. We went to museums where they could walk around as slow as they wanted with no one whining. One day Tyler came and we went to the zoo. One day all we did for a couple hours is walk around SLC pretending to be dogs. They had sticks and I played fetch with them for way too long. It was borderline odd.


Not all of it was pleasant. Everytime we went swimming my newly potty trained girl had to poop. Foot in the water. Screaming to go to the bathroom. So then all 4 girls have to get out because they are all so young. We all squish in bathroom. Walk back. Put foot back in water. Screaming to go back to the bathroom. Repeat, I am not exagerating, 5-6 times per pool trip.


Back to pleasant. We ate at all of my favorite places, it is good I don’t live right in Salt Lake like I wanted when we moved back.

I even got a date night in. One night my sister in law came and watched the girls in the hotel. Then the next night I watched her girls.

It was a beautiful time at Grand America for the birthday. Part of the time. The other part of the time I forgot how hard it is to go on vacation alone with four kids. And I cried a bit. Grand America is such a beautiful place to stay. Look at our view! And that snapshot from their toy store!



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Calm Afternoon at Memory Grove Park

After the busy day of a birthday and a baptism, Tyler requested a quiet day with just our little family. He even came up with a plan, which does not happen, ever. So I knew it must be important to him. He took us to Memory Grove Park downtown. It was a simple and calm rest of the day.

When we pulled up the pink trees were just magical, and the little petals were raining down.

Then for dinner we ate at an Indian restaurant. Indian is the food that everyone in the house gets excited for  and is always safe to eat at!







Abby’s Baptism Day Luncheon

April 29th, 2014 in Parties

I wanted to show you a few of the snapshots from Abby’s baptism day luncheon. That flower 8 in the pictures is from Lane and May Studio on Etsy. I will use it for all my girls’ baptisms I decided.

To answer some inquiries, Abby’s dress is from an Etsy shop in another country that has actually closed. I would suggest though if you are looking for a dress like that style to look at Etsy, Mini Boden, and Zara. 

I just ordered lunch from a local Italian deli. But I did make Abby’s very favorite drink from scratch, lavender lemonade. She was so excited to have that special drink at her lunch.

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Abby’s Baptism Day

April 29th, 2014 in About Me, Learning

Abby’s baptism day was so sweet, simple, beautiful, pure, and perfect for her. We sure did miss her grandparents on a mission, and family that lives far away. But everyone that lives close by was able to come and she was just so happy.

We prepared for her baptism day by using this binder:

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I had everyone (man I hope I did not forget anyone) in her life that had been baptized write her a letter. To tell of their baptism experience, or to give her advice, things like that. She read through those for a few weeks leading up to her baptism. Also in it were FHE lessons, poems, journal entry pages, lots of different things. I think I have posted a bit more about it in the past here. She had her meeting with the Primary president and the bishop. She even took notes during the bishop interview, oh my goodness, isn’t that adorable? We had a special prayer that morning, her and I. And we danced on the front lawn. She also went on an outing with her daddy the night before. I tried to have everything ready to go and prepared so the morning could just be CALM. Other than some screaming from her little sisters, it was pretty calm.

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Abby stood in the hallway greeting all her guests. Man that is one of the things I adore about her. She is such a good friend, she really is. She is so friendly, thoughtful, fun, well-mannered. She is the best girl to have on your side.


I could tell she was a little nervous. Not horribly, just a little. That is another thing I adore about her, she sure is brave. When she is confidentially brave I just burst with pride.


For her baptism she had her Grandpa Willden and Uncle Ryan as the witnesses. Tyler dunked her deep! Oh my goodness, it made everyone laugh. But she went under for sure. When I went back to the bathroom she just had the best grin on her face. She just gave me kisses and hugs and told me how much she loved me. Then when we were walking out she said, “I’m just so excited, I’m just so excited. I mean I FEEL SO HAPPY!”

Man that girl, I just love her.

Then she sat with her Daddy waiting to be confirmed. In the circle was her Grandpa Willden, Uncle Ryan, Great Grandpa Willden, Great Uncle Stephen Willden, and Uncle Winston. Her blessing was beautiful. Here are a few notes I took: Use your talents to bless others’ lives. Find ways to use the gift of the Holy Ghost to serve and help those around you. Look at the example of the Savior and love those around you. To understand who you are, a daughter of Heavenly Father. Remember to look at others the same way. Use your personality as a gift to help others’ lives.

Then during her baptism luncheon she just sat with her guests and talked and talked. She has such a beautiful happy day. I was thrilled for her.

I get to do this next year with Cameron! Can’t believe it.

Slurpieful Earth Day

April 28th, 2014 in About Me

I texted my sister one day that I was having such an awfully hilarious day that I would blog it for her to read. Here you go, wish granted: 

Sometimes I don’t do age appropriate, smart things with my children. I really enjoy going to museums, trying to attend classes, etc. I dream of the day where all four of my girls can do these things with me. I have found myself lately trying to force this future time span of my life.  It has not turned out well, but I still find myself doing it.

For instance, one woman should not take a 1, 2, 6, and 7 year old to the movies. Sure maybe the 2, 6, and 7 year old. OR even a small baby that has a good demeanor with the three others. But a 1 year old that likes to terrorize with a smile everything around her, don’t bring that one.

But it was Earth Day! And we always go to see the Disney Earth Day movie. Usually we are the only ones in the theatre. I am guessing most children are not excited to just watch animals for an hour and a half in documentary style. Of course I have the most intelligent, trendy, children. Duh.

I decided this on a whim as we were passing the theatre. Saw on my phone a showing was playing in 10 minutes. But no one had eaten lunch, no problem, movie theatres have food, right?


(goodbye date budget)

80 dollars later, I had the tickets and lunch for everyone.


Because obviously I do not recall the ages of my children and how to make smart decisions.

But it was an empty theatre, we could do it, even noisily if we wanted.

I should have walked out when the 2 year old that is a potty training emotional mess had dumped half of her slurpie into my lap.

I should have walked out when the 1 year old dumped her slurpie DOWN THE BACK OF MY HEAD.

I should have walked out when the 1 year old fell down the movie stairs then dumping the last of her slurpie all the way down the stairs and on top of her head.

I should have walked out when 3 out of the 5 of us were now dressed in crusted slurpie goodness.

But, did I mention how everything cost 80 DOLLARS?

SO I sat through that whole movie, yes I did.

Then without any embarrassment I walked next door to the cupcake shop covered in slurpie. I needed to emotionally eat something immediately. So I ordered us cupcakes and we ate them outside on the lawn.

When then a huge rainstorm fell upon us.

Which washed away that slurpie crustiness. And I just sat there in the rain eating my very watery cupcake. I ordered no one to move until we finished every crumb. And we did.


(I should also mention to my sister that while writing this that the 1 year old has written all over the wall in pen. Everywhere, pen. Because one should not blog when all her kids are awake. And when dinner dishes are everywhere. And nothing has been picked up during the day. But I’m taking the day off. After I srub off this pen.) 

I do love these little terrors of mine, I do, I do.


Shae’s 3rd Birthday

April 27th, 2014 in About Me, Parties

Shae’s birthday fell on Abby’s baptism day. Since neither of them seemed to mind I set up both parties in the house. In the living room it was a My Little Pony party and in the dining area it was a baptism luncheon.

Shae is very interested in birthdays. All year long she is so thrilled for everyone’s birthdays. But she also patiently asks, “Shae’s birthday?” She has been waiting and waiting. Now that hers is done she is asking who is next. I told her it was Grandma, so now everyday she wakes up and asks about Grandma’s birthday.

I love that Cameron asked us to start this breakfast in bed tradition last year. It ends up being my girls’ favorite thing. Look how healthy this breakfast is! Chocolate milk with piles of donuts! I love that this tray my grandfather made it and that it has their birthday flowers to decorate it.

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Reagan and Shae stayed in that bed for quite awhile eating their little hearts out.

Then we opened presents before the craziness of the day started. I’ll link to where you can buy the dresses and the blocks because I was so happy with those presents. Something to read, play with, pretty, and to read.

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Her birthday cake featured RAINBOW DASH! Who she pretends to be. She will stand on the couch and say in a low grumbly voice, “I’m RAINBOW DASH!” Then she will pretend to zoom off in the air.


Every time I brought up her birthday I would tell her about her cake. She would reply with, “and a cupcake?” No sweetie mommy is getting you A CAKE, but I got the same reply. So I bought one single cupcake on that day and of course, it is all she wanted.



Man I think these other kids of mine are just going to get recycled birthday parties. Doesn’t this one look familiar?




Her attendees were her sweet sisters and cousins. Other than Mason not being there, everyone was there that she wanted!

Happy Birthday to my sweet angel.



Shae’s Third Birthday Photos

April 27th, 2014 in About Me

Shae hates the camera quite a bit, even more than my husband. When I get out my camera she cries. I don’t get it! I don’t have time to get it out very often and its not like it takes more than 2 minutes. I don’t have time for anything more than that.

So of course when I got her hair all did and her birthday suit all on her. This was the result:


Happy….uh….birthday? I did get one shot where she only looks like she is in semi-pain.


And then of course when I told her we would go in and watch a Pony show I did get a few sly grins.


So later on I tried again…


And at the park on her birthday I tried one last time…


FINALLY! A winner…


What a beautiful little girl I have.