Cassie’s 1st trip to the Happiest Place on Earth

Visiting Disneyland during the holidays, we already knew the place was going to be jam-packed. Prior to getting there my husband was telling me to prepare for long lines and a whole lot of waiting, pretty much he wanted us to brace ourselves for anything and expect the unexpected to avoid frustrations. I told him that this trip was all going to be about Cassie since its her first trip to Disneyland, all I wanted for her was to ride the “It’s a small world” ride and have a photo with Minnie Mouse, her all time favorite Disney character (so far).

Thanks mami for this trip, we had a blast and we could tell Cassie was sooo happy to be there based on the number of “Wows” she uttered all throughout the day.

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Ready in her Minnie Mouse outfit (without the ears yet in the picture)

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This ginormous Christmas tree was a sight to behold

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…We’re officially here!!!

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Why hello there Monstro the whale.

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T’was tempting but we skipped out on this one just because you can have Carousel rides elsewhere

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Oh, look who we bumped into—the Evil Queen.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Cassie’s 1st ride. The only reason why we made this her first ride was because it was the closest one to where we were at, at that time and it had the shortest waiting time. I’m glad we went that route because when we checked the Disney app the waiting time doubled. I guess this ride is pretty famous with kids.

If you’re taking a child around Cassie’s age (a year and 2 months), be prepared for dark moments in the submarine which might possibly scare him/her. Overall she was in awe with all the bubbles and the fishies and she loved it!

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While waiting in line

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Alice in Wonderland Ride

We didn’t necessarily have this ride as one of our “must-trys” but infant-friendly rides were limited and this had the shortest waiting time after the submarine ride so we went anyway. What it is, is a mini-roller coaster where you encounter the characters of Alice in Wonderland, which would have been perfect except that it was set in the dark and the characters were colorful with a neon-effect, giving them an eerie glow. Add on the Cheshire cat’s creepy grin to the whole scenario and you get a crying, creeped out infant. I feel like if we take Cassie 2 or 3 years from now, she’d love this.

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Turkey Legs and Pizza for Lunch

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Thanks tita an for taking care of Cassie so mommy could eat

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Cassie’s Disney’s #OOTD

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It’s a Small World Ride

Of course the line for It’s a Small World seemed endless but it actually went by pretty fast. Cassie ended up sleeping while we were waiting and I was dreading the fact that she would miss out on the ride. When we finally got on the ride, we took that chance of waking her up and I’m glad that we did because she was just in awe the entire ride. She woke up smiling to the little dolls moving and dancing and the “Its a small world” song on replay. “Wows” and a whole lot of pointing— that was Cassie. Looking at her, you could tell that she felt like she was in her own wonderland and that just made me and Marco happy, seeing that look on her face was priceless!

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Tito Mik helping out with the Cassie-carrying.

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…and the lines keep going and going and going

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Mickey’s ToonTown

This part of the park is literally like a big playground for kids where they can visit the classic disney characters’ house. We came too late in the afternoon and the lines were so long that we missed everyone except Goofy. We ended up going inside Minnie Mouse’s house and I’m pretty sure to Cassie that was a big blur but I knew she had fun while we were in there. At this point we still haven’t seen Minnie and I really wanted Cassie to have a picture with her since she is Cassie’s favorite, they directed us back to the front of the theme park and told us she’d be hanging out there until the start of the parade.

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Outside Mickey’s house

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Mickey’s Ice cream bar—a disney must-have

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Yay! at least we found Goofy. Good job tito mik and tita an for falling in line for cassie 😀

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Minnie Mouse’s House

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We finally found Minnie up front but Cassie wouldn’t wake up at all. She opened her eyes for a few seconds but went back to sleep, poor baby was really exhausted from today’s activities.

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Disney’s Electrical Light Parade

Everyone who visits Disneyland should really stay to watch this especially since they won’t be having this around forever. It’s not only fun for kids but its safe to say most adults enjoy this spectacle, I’m a bit sad that Cassie slept through the entire thing but on the bright side, Marco and I enjoyed the parade in peace ( no offense Cas).

Sorry my pictures below won’t do justice to the actual parade but at least we had most of it on video for Cassie to watch later on.

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Of course she woke up after the parade, She was in  a good mood too.

You’ve been good to us especially Cassie, thanks Disneyland. Till next time.

~Rhea

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Costumes, Candies …Cassie.

The Autumn season is quite enjoyable but what I really look forward to is the Halloween part of it, sorry to say I enjoy it more than I do Thanksgiving. It might just be the fun and the flair of Halloween that attracts me to it, nothing to do with the origins whatsoever. I’d have to admit it is tempting to enjoy the horror movie marathons they play on tv for the entire month of October, (I think I could binge-watch those) but for me its mostly the fun of dressing up or thinking of what or who you want to be for halloween. Halloween is an excuse to be a kid again, to allow your imagination to run free and play dress up; play pretend.

Technically, this would fall as Cassie’s first “real” halloween, I wouldn’t count last year since she was only a few days old when halloween came around. And it actually works that she’s an October baby, all the more reason to go crazy on her birthday. Haha. I can only hope that she grows up to enjoy the halloween festivities as much as I do—the costumes, the candies, the parties and all the works. I’m starting her young.

Here are Cassie’s costumes in a nutshell, although Mommy didn’t have time to DIY, I think we still came up with pretty good last minute costumes from her closet. Yes, we don’t repeat costumes.

COSTUME #1:

Frida Kahlo

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COSTUME #2:

Pebbles Flinstones

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COSTUME #3:

(this is pushing it but….) Native American Girl

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St. Angela Merici Catholic Church Trunk or Treat

Our church, St. Angela Merici Catholic Church held their annual Trunk or Treat and Cassie and I went as Mommy and me Frida Kahlos. Head dresses were DIYed by me ofcourse. We darkened our eyebrows but erased our unibrows, Marco said I was pushing it. Hahaha.

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Some of the car designs at church

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Grandmy, Mommy and Cassie after Trunk or Treating

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Halloween Town at Sugarland Town Center

Our first time to take part in Halloween Town and it was packed!  It could’ve been a more pleasant experience for us but I guess we just weren’t used to being around that many people and the lines were crazy long. Too long to wait for candies and freebies if you ask me. It was fun seeing all the kids in their costumes though, I’m a sucker for cute babies playing dress up.

We went as the Flinstones this year since I found a good deal from some mommy who was reselling her costumes as a family. Marco and Cassie fit perfectly in theirs although I had to make some adjustments on my costume, everything worked out. Not only are store-sold costumes over priced but they’re usually flimsy and the wigs are outrageously tacky, I had to wrap a scarf around it and pass myself as a  “posh” Wilma Flinstones.

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Cassie is grandy’s girl

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Look who we bumped into

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Pebbles “beautiful eyes”

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And…it’s this girl’s birthday so we had dinner at the Hibachi Grill per the birthday girl’s request

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Sienna Plantation Trick or Treat

I was running out of costumes for Cassie and on the actual day of Halloween I made her a feather headdress that matched one of her rompers and passed her off as a little Indian (Native American) girl.

I had a lot of left over candies  from Cassies birthday and decided to do a last minute buffet-style trick or treat table to make it look more enticing . Mom dressed up as a Chinese lady (yes, we definitely have Chinese blood so we’re not being racist) and she had to guard the table since some of the kids tend to get a lot more than they’re supposed to.

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The first ever pumpkin that Marco carved

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I joined in the fun and dressed up as well

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And this is what happened when the kids saw our halloween candy set-up

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A mommy and Cassie selfie before we took her out trick or treating

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 This little Indian girl is a halloween-naturale.

Who says the fun stops when you become parents? Marco and I are definitely am not out partying on halloween night like we used to but at least now I have two more people to dress up other than myself. Dressing up as a family is so much fun, I’m blessed to have a husband who is down for anything and let’s not forget, the CANDIES! I’m hoping Halloween is something my little family would look forward to in the years to come. Happy Halloween, my little Cassie.

~Mommy Rhea

For the love of PUMPKINS.

Happy babies make happy mothers and this trip literally just warmed my heart seeing my baby excited, amused and amazed all at the same time. I’m pretty sure she didn’t understand what “pumpkins” were but she could see there were orange things in different shades and different sizes and there were tons of them. She literally squiggled her way out of my grasp to get down. And just like that she went from one pumpkin to another, “pumpkin-hopping” if you want to call it that.

Ann and I found this Groupon for a trip to the pumpkin patch, for regular adults with no kids you’d probably say it was alright but for parents especially those with toddlers, this was more than “alright”. Little kids went crazy all over this place called Halter Inc. Pumpkin Patch. They had that and the petting zoo, and some mazes, a bunch of kids activities, bits of snacks they were selling to the kids and they even had a spooky trail. Overall I think Ann and I were just happy we got to take Cassie and Olivia to their first visit to the pumpkin patch and of course take a gazillion photos of them. Thank God for #momfriends, I honestly believe mothers in general are in dire need of that friend who’s also a mother, someone you can talk to about your kid 24/7 and won’t think that you’re slightly obsessed with your child (which I probably am, haha). This will suck a bit of Marco and I end up moving to a different state which reminds me, a shout out to our husbands Marco and Charles. The were every bit of a stage dad as we were stage moms and they were participating in every photo and not complaining. Thank you for giving in to our every whims and fascinations concerning the kids and making them come to life. You are deeply appreciated.

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Cassie demanded that I put her down.

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Fall is definitely in the air in this pumpkin patch.

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Surrounded by pumpkins—big and small.

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She had fun drumming on the pumpkins

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Prepping for our “Mommy and Cassie” photo, she didn’t want to stay put.

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“Daddy and Cassie” picture, not exactly what she had in mind.

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The obligatory family photo, She just wanted us to put her down already.

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CASSIE’S PUMPKIN PATCH OOTD #1

(BEANIE: Pumpkin Beanie from Olivia; Gymboree/ ROMPER: Fall Bubble Romper; Handmaid Ends/ SOCKS: gray knee high socks; Amazon/ MOCCASINS: Camel moccasins; Minetonka)

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Decisions, decisions, decisions. Cassie and Olivia trying to figure out which pumpkins to take home.

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Stage Moms.

Olivia and Cassie twinning in their matching pumpkin beanie.

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These babies got hot and took off their beanies.

After the pumpkin patch, we decided to call it a day. We didn’t stay for the animal petting zoo and although we wanted to ride their train, the “conductor” was nowhere to be found so we left. We bought a medium sized pumpkin with the tickets we got from the Groupon deal and with that Daddy carved his first pumpkin ever.


A few days after, we visited a local pumpkin patch with my mom, Marco and some of my siblings just because Cassie had so much fun with the previous one. The St. Catherine of Sienna pumpkin patch had a minimal selection compared to Halter Inc just because I feel like all the good pumpkins were purchased already.

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Happy Harvest y’all! A fall photo with my little baby.

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Marco says she looks like a little pilgrim. I’d have to agree. Haha

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A little possessive are we? Haha. My mom bought her a little pumpkin to keep.

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Cassie in her pumpkin carriage.

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Mommy, Cassie and Daddy

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Tita Jelly, Grandmy and Tita Nikki—Cassie’s very own cheering squad.

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Falling in love with fall colors—Shades of Red, Rust, Mustard, Orange, Maroon.

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CASSIE’S PUMPKIN PATCH OOTD #2

(BONNET:Reversible fall bonnet; Lovely Snap Dragon/ ROMPER: Maroon Boho Romper; Reddies Craft/ SOCKS: mustard knee high socks; Amazon/ MOCCASINS: Camel moccasins; Minetonka)

~Rhea

Cassie Turns One: Cassie and the Chocolate Factory

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The things we do for Cassie, Marco and I DIY-ed our version of the Wonka Factory Gates. In hindsight, we probably could have made this more sturdy but we didn’t foresee the wind that afternoon.

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We filled Cassie’s dessert table with assorted sweets—gum balls, chocolates, candies, cookies, anything and everything colorful. Of course we could not have a Wonka-themed party without actual Wonka candies.

Below are more detailed photos of the dessert table, my favorite part of the party.

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Marco and I tried to go in theme in our floral tops, purple coats and black top hats.

Trivia: Marco is wearing his old Joker costume that I recycled by sewing on a floral cloth to pass as Willy Wonka’s vest.

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Cassie’s Wonka Themed cake from My Dulce Cake, a local Houston cake shop that has been getting good reviews and has been featured in the Knot, Ruffled and the Food Network. Y’all should check them out!

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And this would have to be one of the best gifts ever…..thanks so much to the Quirays especially Marie for this labor of love, you are extremely talented (y’all should check her Etsy store). This completed Cassie’s dessert table and made it more perfect than ever!

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I even DIY-ed some Wonka Bars although none of them had the golden ticket. I’m actually glad I found some Wonka Bar wrapper printables online, I wrapped the Hershey’s bar with foil and wrapped the printables around it once done. It would’ve been easier if the Hershey’s bar had its old packaging.

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Rico’s neighborhood-famous French Macaroons, of course I had him Wonkafy them by coloring it purple. They were the first to go.

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Ninang Pauline’s contribution to the party, homemade Cookies and Cream Cake pops that was

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Framed some Wonka sayings from the movie and used some of them as part of the table centerpiece.

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This will have to do for “lickable wallpaper”, they’re edible and they’re on the wall. Haha.

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Last minute chocolate fondue, thanks to the Babas’ and the Vera’s for lending me your fondue machines even if we asked last minute.

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Fizzy Lifting Drink station

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Tried to take a photo before we could finish setting up the food table. Marco cooked Lengua, Chicken Anette (I honestly don’t know if I’m spelling that right) and made Cheeseball dip—they were all a hit. And we ordered Spaghetti, Barbecue and Egg rolls and the Almacens brought us Pancit (you guys are the best! thanks geng). The Wonka Bar Mocha Cake, which we used for her cake smash

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Cassie’s giveaways.

For Adults, I recycled her old baby food jars by painting the covers purple and sterilizing the actual jars. I then made my own personal template to wrap around the jars that included a picture of an Oompa Loompa and a chocolate bar. For the sizing of the printable, I randomly searched a water bottle template and pretty much just worked on it by editing the design. I filled up the jars with a mixture of Whoppers and M&Ms combined. I then made a small version of the Golden Ticket as her “Thank You” labels and attached them around the jars.

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For Kids, I used thesame picture of the Oompa Loompa but printed out bigger versions of them, cut them out and pasted them on purple gift bags that I bought from the dollar store. I printed out bigger versions of the Golden Ticket Thank You labels and pasted them on the gift bags as well. And since I was trying to go for certain look where it seemed like the Oompa Loompas were holding the Golden Ticket, I had to look for printable hands (or white gloves rather) online. It’s a good thing I thought about Mickey Mouse’s hands looking similar to the Oompa Loompas’ white-gloved-hands, so I just googled “Mickey Mouse hand” and it was a breeze from there. So yeah…those are Mickey Mouse hands. Haha.

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What was inside the goody bags: Shades that we passed off as Wonka goggles, Colorful bouncy ball that we passed off as an everlasting gobstopper, a bunch of wonka candies and a bunch of non-wonka candies.

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And my artist sister, Angelie (the one who painted Cassie’s tree in our room) pulled through and did an all nighter to finish the giant-sized Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Characters that we displayed in the hallway downstairs. Now it sits in the game room upstairs with the Wonka contract where the guests signed.

Below is a closer look at the characters. Colored Construction paper, colored pencils, pencil, scissors, glue and shading skills and voila…she wasn’t too happy with the outcome but artists are usually their own worst critic. Cassie and I loved it langga, thanks again for doing this.

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Veruca Salt

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Mike Teavee

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Augustus Gloop

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Violet Beauregard

Images were copied from the free online printables of Activity Village.co.uk . Printed some of these for the older kids to color as well.

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Here’s the Wonka contract image that I enlarged and stuck to a cartolina to serve as her guest book. Thank you Walgreens for being so efficient!

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I also made a snapchat filter in theme with Cassie’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Party. Of course I had to cater to my millennial siblings’ generation, haha.

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This little girl did not want to wear the birthday romper we got her. She probably found the tulle too itchy, its a good thing we got her this candyland tutu as back up.

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Daddy Marco as Willy Wonka holding my DIY Wonka Hat pull-a-string piñata.

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We had a bunch of younger kids as guests so I opted to make a pull-a-string piñata rather than the piñata that you whacked with stick.

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….And Olivia (or Mommy Ann rather pulled out the lucky string)

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Thanks to all the guests who made it to Cassie’s First Birthday. I wish we took photos with every single one of you guys but the crazy birthday schedule didn’t permit it. Thank you for showing our little girl much love on her birthday celebration.

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IVL would have to win Best Costume. She came in as an Oompa Loompa on point!

For Cassie’s photobooth, I just used the altar area close to my parents room and used the purple table cloth as a background. I enlarged some of the photos and printed them in color, stuck them to hard cardboard, cut them out then stuck some art craft sticks on them to make photobooth props.

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I transferred Cassie’s toys from upstairs and made a small play area in the living room for them to play in since most of her guests were infants. For the older kids, Marco and I rented a bouncy house and placed it in the backyard.

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Whew, we survived my Mr. Willy Wonka!

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Printed out Cassie’s monthly milestone photos to display in the cake smash area. The colorful candy themed balloons and the large purple #1 balloon were all ordered through Amazon. (my ever reliable favorite)

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We did Cassie’s smash cake with just us, family. It was a call I made a few days before her birthday celebration, I knew she was going to be a bit overwhelmed with all the activities and all the people in the party.

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And we opened gifts on her actual birthday just because we wanted her to do something special on her actual day. We would like to thank everyone who made it to her birthday celebration, thank you for your presence and your presents. Haha. And thank you to all those family members and friends who showed her love even across the miles by sending her gifts and most importantly prayers. And lastly thanks to all those who contributed and helped out to make this birthday celebration possible, Cassie probably won’t remember any of these but hopefully a few years from now she’ll see these photos and realize for people to go through all that trouble to throw her a birthday she won’t even remember, she must be really loved. We love you Cassie!

~Mommy Rhea

Of Texas and Teepees

This fascination of wanting to sleep in a teepee has been around for awhile especially since  it first came out on Groupon a few months back. The only thing with these deals is that they have a time period and even at a steal I didn’t want to purchase the Groupon until I could find someone to come with me, Marco and Cassie. The deal ended and I wasn’t able to convince my family or even friends to go, a constant struggle for people who live in the US—finding a “common” vacation schedule for everyone in the party even if it’s just a day, besides the Groupon was date specific so we couldn’t just randomly purchase it and use it anytime in the future.

A few months later, we finally found a family who wanted to make the trip with us—Charles, Ann and Olivia, it was like a family date! We were just going to pick a date when everyone was free and still push through without the Groupon. Well what do you know, as soon as I got a “go” signal from the Garcias to book for specific date they were free, Groupon brought back the deal and we ended up making the reservations at a discounted rate. God’s on our side, yep..this trip was meant to happen.

Reservation on the Guadalupe is one of Best Texas Travel ‘s unique vacation properties and it literally did not disappoint. I mean really people visit the place because they want to try and sleep in some place “different”, or probably because it “looks cool” vacationing in a teepee or whatever reason they may have. And I’m not going to lie, I looked at the photos before booking, it looked amazing and I was aesthetically drawn to the place. This is one time where aesthetics surpassed comfort and I didn’t mind but you know what, the place was comfortable anyway and I felt at home. It kinda gave me that “province-feel”, at night it was pitch black and early morning it was calm and serene, it literally felt like I woke up in my Daddy Pakong’s bukid.

I can go into detail about their amenities but I’ll let you check out the links so you could see for yourself. The place sleeps 6; it has 3 queen beds and a kitchenette with pots, pans, stove, grill and all utensils to use during your stay. Parking is limited to two per teepee but arrangements can easily be made with management. The best part is checking in and checking out— everything was done electronically, they send you a link to their app and you have to download it, that app will contain all the instructions, map, directions, digital codes for access to the teepee, the rest room and the tree house. (YES, digital meaning no KEYS!).

BOTTOM LINE is this place was an amazing breather for all of us and it DEFINITELY was worth the drive. ( It was a 3-hour drive from Missouri City, TX where we live, just in case you were wondering). I can keep going but I’ll let the photos speak for itself.

Day 1

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Here’s a picture of our teepee, Teepee #8, Rising Moon, with no filter.

We arrived an hour early before check in time so we decided to check out the common area first since we already had the codes for treehouse anyway. I know it has its cons but it felt pretty good not having to go through a front desk to check in.

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What’s across—other teepees and the treehouse, a common area for the guests.

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There’s an indoor dining area, as well as outdoors but it was too hot to stay outside.

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And a very comfortable living/ game area. I forgot to take pictures of the pingpong table downstairs.

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Similar outfits again. Mommy bought fringe moccasins to match Cassie’s.

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Daddy’s little love.

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The view of the area from the tree house.

Finally got to check our place out at 3pm, 30 minutes before the actual check in time and this little baby approves. We settled down while waiting for the Garcias to get there.

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When the Garcias arrived, of course we checked out the tree house and took our fill of outfit photos. Thank God for stage moms who can relate. Haha.

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We then checked out their direct access to the river, how convenient for tubing season.

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Found an old wooden bench swing by the river

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The Ramas-Mendezonas

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The Almacen-Garcias

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We spent the rest of the afternoon outdoors, the mommies played with the babies while the daddies took care of dinner, grilling.

By the time dinner was ready, it was dark so we headed up to the tree house instead of eating outside to avoid the bugs and enjoy dinner indoors in the comforts of “civilization” a.k.a A/C. haha.

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Thanks for dinner boys, you guys are the best.

Day 2

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Good Morning, New Braunfels. It was a cool, misty morning, like waking up in the bukid.

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Baby Shennanigans

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My little boho baby and her little boho outfit. Her little feather head dress c/o mommy of course. #PipandTumbleweed

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One last family picture with our teepee before leaving.

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Yay for camera timers and making group photos possible.

Look at Cassie and Olivia having a private conversation. Awww…

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The Garcias knew of a perfect place to have lunch before heading back to Houston but first, the outlet mall at San Marcos. It was hard to resist especially since it was on our way home.

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It was hard not to take a stroll after lunch especially when you find yourself in old Luling, Texas. Thank you for the lunch treat Garcias! It was a first for us to have barbecue at City Market and you’re right, they aren’t pricey and are one of the best.

This overnight trip was definitely a much needed R&R for all of us. Texas, you continue to surprise me with your hidden vineyards and unheard of teepees. Which part of Texas are we off to next? Can’t wait for my next family adventure.

~Rhea