Friday, June 26, 2015

birthdays and beaches

time for another bulk recap!

summer kicked off with back-to-back birthday weekends and a baer wedding by the beach: 

[29 may - 31 may] first up was kavin's 40th birthday--FORTIETH!--semi-surprise beach weekend. jade found us a house in point pleasant, nj that was able to accommodate 15 adults, 3 kiddos and was just a couple blocks from the beach. did i mention there was also a pool (albeit freezing), a fire pit, and room for (regulation) corn hole??

the peech trio and sean and i got to the house early friday, so we had a little time to explore. started things off with a seafood lunch at shore fresh seafood followed by a long stroll along jenkinson's boardwalk, where kavin won an awesome talking olaf doll (all our childhood arcade and carnival game time TOTALLY paid off), and the obligatory vacation ice cream cone. 
as the rest of the birthday house crew started arriving, i put out a few 'welcome cups' filled with mini goodies like assorted trader joe's trail mix, homemade snickerdoodles, and some mini essentials like sunscreen, antibacterial, and mints. (don't worry, the kids got a little something too: sand buckets with snacks, bubbles, and a character cup.) naturally we needed to have some pre-dinner snacks. with all the food that everyone brought, we were definitely not lacking in the snack department; i thought it'd also be nice to have something a little more substantial, so i put together some ricotta crostini. toppings included basil pesto, chilled roasted corn, and mini heirloom tomatoes. the tomato and pesto combo was the standout. simple and flavorful. for dinner, we ordered an obscene amount of pizza, which ended up working out since leftovers became late-night snacks and the next day's lunch ;) oh, and let's not forget dessert(s)--brownies and pseudo chocolate chip cookie shots with vanilla ice cream.
saturday morning sean and i started bright and early by making breakfast. on the menu were fluffy buttermilk pancakes with canadian maple syrup, bacon, and tater tots. eggs were also boiled and a box of joe purchased. this was only the second time i've ever made pancakes, and i sorta miscalculated the amount of batter i'd need, but the pancakes were a major hit! credit goes to joy the baker's dad's recipe; i am definitely keeping this on file. after breakfast we all packed up for some beach time. the morning started off a little foggy, but it soon cleared up and we were treated to what i think was ideal beach weather--sunny but not hot with the occasional breeze. the rest of the afternoon was split between beach, boardwalk, and backyard. lots of corn hole was played; i got a turkey of 'roundies'! ::flexing arm:: after some more lounging around, we got ready for an early dinner at woodchucks bbq and ice cream from hoffman's. back at the house i served up a chocolate birthday cake...let's just leave it at that :T the rest of the night was fairly mellow--cards, wine, chatting--that's what a day at the beach will do to you~

sunday was departure day. we kicked things off with a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and more tater tots. the remaining snacks were divvied up (so much fruit and so many bags of chips); with everything cleaned up and packed we all went on our ways. fittingly, as we arrived in brooklyn, a major downpour signaled the end of our relaxing beach weekend. nevertheless it was a super fun weekend spent celebrating an awesome person.

[06 june] the second birthday celebration was abby's second birthday picnic in the park. i can't believe this little girl is already TWO! she is as happy as ever, full of giggles and silliness, and is the best combination of chatterbox, actress, dancer, and daredevil. (did i mention that she gets cuter every day too?) ::explosion of auntie love::

we needed a big birthday dealio for abby--a prospect park picnic with friends and family, catered lunch (thanks, mee thai!), GIANT bubbles, bouncy balls and bubble wands for all, corn hole, and costco sheet cake decorated with ("illegal") mini balloons.
the week prior to the picnic abby was vacationing on 'the island' so i had lots of time to work out details for the party. initially kavin and i wanted to cook everything (we were thinking bo ssam, bbq pulled chicken, etc), but once we realized there'd be over fifty guests we (smartly) nixed the idea. instead we opted for catered apps and mains with a couple large homemade salads and assorted snacks. minimize work, minimize stress ;)
i took charge of the homemade stuff. we decided on two salads that would be easy to serve and are tried-and-true favorites: green israeli couscous salad and "use a spoon" chopped salad.
and as for baked goods, i decided on an assortment of cookies: vanilla bean confetti cookies (recipe courtesy of jtb), snickerdoodles (recipe from smitten kitchen), and strawberry jam thumbprint cookies (recipe from miette). i'm noticing now that none of these had chocolate, hah. i guess i wanted to avoid any potential melting situations...and was subconsciously scarred from the chocolate cake from the week before. the cookies were a huge hit, especially the snickerdoodles, and a lot of people took them home as post-party treats. i still feel a wave of happiness when people like the stuff i make :) cookies for everyone!!!
what was scheduled as a 2-3 hour party turned into a full-day birthday bash in the park. we had a prime setup with nearby trees for shade, and the weather was perfect (although the morning had us worried with a small shower and gross humidity, both of which cleared by noon). there was plenty of delicious food and tons of wonderful people to share in the festivities. all in all, another fantastic birthday weekend!

[11 june - 14 june] let's go to CABO! baer's getting married!!!
this was the first time in mexico for both me and sean, and we were beyond excited to be there for baer and jeanna.

the wedding was on friday so we had a little time before and after to soak up the sun and sights. are tacos and booze considered "sights"?


the wedding itself was beautiful and baller, tons of fun, hot (it's okay if EVERYONE is sweaty, right?), and exactly what a cabo wedding should be.


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