Happy Birthday, Skylar!


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On Sunday we celebrated Skylar’s 4th birthday!

Birthday hat and plate on table

Young girl holding birthday hat to head and smiling

She couldn’t stop dancing and spinning once she put that party hat on!

Young girl playing with birthday hat holding it to head

Her actual birthday isn’t until mid-week and on Monday we are having a kiddie-party with some of her friends but this weekend it was just Scott, her, and me.

There were a few gifts from us and her relatives

Stamping kit

A stamping kit.  I would have loved this as a kid!  Thanks, Auntie C!

Close up of one stamp in stamping kit

Butterly stamp being used with purple ink

And a blankie from Grandma

Young girl smiling and holding new blanket

Saturday I picked up these

Packages of cookies a mini cupcakes

The extras are going to her friends’ house for the kiddie party.  Pawn extra sugar off on other children.

Close up of package of cookies

Close up of chocolate mini cupcakes

Close up of vanilla mini cupcakes

Skylar requested a chocolate cupcake and a cookie.

Chocolate mini cupcake and cookie on birthday plate

And she loved every bite!

Young girl smiling eating birthday goodies

And I loved being with her!  

Woman and child sitting next to one another smiling

It feels like just yesterday I was having her baby shower, which was only a mere 48 hours before I went into labor and Skylar decided to make her arrival.  She was in a hurry to make her debut in the world which left me no time to wash all those onesies I got at my shower, but I managed.

Young girl playing with hair wearing birthday hat smiling

We kept Sunday simple and low key because there is still a party on Monday, and more celebrating mid-week on the actual day of.  Plus, with kids, simpler is better. The chaos and over-stimulation and sheer excess factor that I see at many children’s parties is not something I relish.  She loved it more because it was small and quiet and we could focus on each other, the few gifts she had (and more will be doled out as the week progresses)….

…and of course, she loved focusing on these

Close up of mini chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles

It’s amazing how much she’s grown in a year physically, mentally, and in every aspect.  Here was her 3rd Birthday from last year.

Pictures From This Post

Young girl wearing birthday hat and white beaded necklace

While holding Daddy’s Hand and Grinning Ear to Ear

Young girl holding her dads hand smiling with birthday hat and necklace
Young girl and woman wearing birthday hats at table

And more photos from This Post

Young girl opening birthday presents on floor

It’s interesting to see what I made a year ago in that post.  It was Vegan White Chocolate Chocolate-Peanut Butter CupsVegan White Chocolate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups stacked on top of one another

One Vegan White Chocolate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cup on plate
Hand holding one Vegan White Chocolate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cup
Split Vegan White Chocolate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cup showing filling

I am glad you enjoyed the Microwave Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oat Snack Bars that I made from my last post.  Yes, those have been a hit here.  Let me know if you try them because they are so easy and fast to make.  Like 3 minutes fast and if you don’t have a microwave and prefer to heat your chocolate over the stove top, be my guest.  Deb and Charlotte already made them (using the microwave).  Thanks for the letting me know, ladies.

Microwave Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oat Snack Bars

Close up of one Microwave Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oat Snack Bar

Microwave Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oat Snack Bars

Dessert: If you want to make cupcakes at home, you could try Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing

And actually, these use pre-made brownies so they are really pulling a Sandra Lee.  Semi-homemade.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcake
Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing in muffin tin
Close up of one Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcake with White Chocolate Icing

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing


1. Best thing you ate or did over the weekend?

Celebrating Skylar’s birthday, being reminded that four years ago this week I had a baby shower, and that I gave birth to her four years ago.  She is the best thing that has ever happened to me, ever.  And ever will happen.

Ironically I have seen many blog posts this weekend about attending friend’s baby showers and I have cried some Hallmark tears.  Happy tears, of course. But as mom, watching the years pass and being marked with a birthday just make me appreciate where I’ve been, the gifts I’ve been given, and how blessed I am to have such a wonderful little girl!

2. Any memorable birthday party stories you care to share?

My 26th birthday was spent doing sunset yoga on the beach with Scott and my yoga friends.  We went inside for a vegetarian potluck and drinks.  Scott had ordered me a custom hot pink cake, and we stayed up until the wee hours with our friends talking, laughing, drinking wine, and eating cake.  It was an amazing birthday!

3. Do you use store-bought bakery items like cakes, cupcakes, or cookies?

I am a busy, full-time working mom and the time involved making cupcakes and cookies, with frosting, sprinkles, you name it, well, I have no shame in admitting I’d rather spend an hour or two at the park with her and buy store-bought cupcakes than stand in the kitchen just to say they are homemade.  She’s 4.  Who cares.  She doesn’t know the difference.

But of course, if you love to bake and have the time for it, make it from scratch at home!

P.S. If you’re just catching up on posts from the weekend there were:

See you later and have a great week!


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Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. Wishing Skylar a very very happy and fun filled 4th Birthday!!!
    :D :D :D
    Enjoy those cupcakes, they look soooooo YUM!
    I love birthdays, my birthday is my fave day of the year!

  2. 1. Hmm… best thing I did all weekend? Hang out with a very very good friend of mine :) We were almost inseparable this weekend!

    2. My mom always makes tiramisu for my birthdays (well, ever since it became my favorite cake lol). For my 7th birthday (my first birthday in the states) my parents threw me a traditional American birthday. It was so much fun! We bobbed for apples, did an egg toss, played pin the tail on the donkey, Simon Says, broke a pinata, and played in the pool. I can just remember running barefoot on the grass with my long pigtails :)

    3. Mmm I usually just make the sweets :) I don’t bake that often since I don’t have a big family and I only live with one other person, so anytime there’s an opportunity to share with more people I make a recipe that I’ve been wanting to make.


    p.s. Skylar looks so darling in all of the pictures. I love reading what you say about her :) The love a mother has for their child is so beautiful. And Skylar just radiates with life!

  3. I love this! We celebrated Nevaeh’s bday Sunday too :) I just posted a recap of it on my bloggie :) Gosh I love bn a mom!

  4. Just wanted to chime in and say Happy Birthday to Skylar!

    I am in love with those sugar cookies, I can’t even buy them I love them too much – I will just eat them all.

    Thanks for sharing pics of her birthday with us!


  5. Happy birthday Skylar! :)
    Your family is so beautiful- you guys have so much love for each other. It’s amazing.

  6. Happy birthday to Skylar!!! My little nephew is turning 4 too – on Thursday!!!! It is amazing how fast time flies!!! I am making cake pops for him to take to school to share with his classmates :-)

  7. Happy Birthday, Skylar! Your sweet, happy disposition shines right through the computer screen. Four already. Time goes way too fast for us moms.

  8. AHH happy birthday to Skylar!!!! she looks so happy!! she is always smiling and when your a kid you should ALWAYS be happy! she is going to be a STAR one day! :)

    I loved birthday parties! picking out the special outfit, and my dad always brought his video camera taking video of all of my friends wishing me a happy birthday! to this day I can watch home videos of my friends all wishing me happy birthday and being silly! i think that was the most memorable!!

  9. Aw, what a sweet little birthday celebration y’all had on Sunday! Happy Birthday, Skylar!!

    I must admit, i was a bit suprised to see that you bought store-bought cupcakes! But I am surprised in a good way. It’s hard to explain, because as a health educator I know how bad those things are (and addicting!) but it’s also important for kids to learn that sweet treats are eaten in moderation, on special occasions, etc etc. That’s what makes ’em a treat! Glad allowed you to have more special time with her :)

  10. So sweet! I bet you’re wondering where four years went :)
    When I was a kid, I wasn’t picky at all about birthday cakes – the more frosting, the better! One memorable cake was shaped like my golden retriever, although at my mother’s well-meaning but not so artistic hands, it turned out to be a very deformed, mutant dog. These days, I would kill for a homemade cake, but unless I’m making it, a girl can only dream :)
    Happy birthday to the wee one!

  11. Awww I totally forgot that her birthday was in late January too!! I remember this vaguely from last year…happy birthday Skylar!! Those pink frosted cookies are actually some of my favorites. The frosting is pure crack. I never really buy grocery store stuff, but real bakery cakes are the bomb. For my high school graduation party I had a cake good enough to make me cry…dark chocolate mousse cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream, from a patient of my dads’ who owned a bakery. It was massive and I loved having leftovers for awhile.

    Two memorable parties stick out in my childhood: the “pink” party I had at age 5, and the Titanic party I had for my 9th birthday. Both very fun for a little girl!

  12. I’m a bit behind in my commenting, but I hope she has a great birthday. Your picture with her is very sweet. She really is growing fast!

  13. No, no, not the clowns! Auggggggghh!

    I always take birthday requests. If they want home-made, they get home-made. If they want store-bought, they get store-bought. Which means I wind up baking about 75% of the time.

    For myself, I refuse to do any work on my birthday, so I usually splurge on a store-bought carrot cake. (Love the frozen 24-Karat Cake from Trader Joe’s.)

  14. Happy (early) Birthday to Skylar!

    *shudders at the clown decorations* They’ve always scared me and always will. ;)

  15. Happy birthday to Skylar–and congratulations to you! I often think that my birthday is more important to my mom than it is to me: it really takes her back to significant memories. On my birthday last year, I wrote a blog post thanking my mom for being so awesome. I hope that her birthday reminds you of how awesome you are.

    I always prefer to make stuff from scratch–can be obsessive about it, probably because of my allergies etc, but I totally agree that the love and quality time is more important than making every last bit yourself. Phil doesn’t care if it’s from the store, so sometimes I buy him things.


    1. Thanks Ela for this “On my birthday last year, I wrote a blog post thanking my mom for being so awesome. I hope that her birthday reminds you of how awesome you are.”–
      that is wonderful to say and read. And for you to realize and share :)

  16. Happy birthday to Skylar!!! :mrgreen:

    Love those chocolate cupcakes (and the white chocolate PB cups!)

    We always get our cakes from the bakery; homemade cakes just aren’t as fun, or convenient! hehe Or pretty, for that matter! lol!

  17. I think I want the exact same meal (aka desserts) for my birthday party this month – I might be in a sugar coma, but it’d be SO worth it!

  18. Wow, 4 already!?! Adorable pics! And wow on giving birth so soon after your shower – that’s crazy!

    1. Ate out and saw a great NBA game.
    2. We were supposed to have a little gathering with friends for my 30th birthday at a restaurant, but we went out the night before with the same group and drama broke out when a girl flirted with anothers husband and guys got too drunk and naughty. So only about half the friends showed up because they were either pissed at each other and/or hungover.
    3. Nope, I always make raw desserts now. I suppose I’d feel differently with kids.

    1. your #2…yea that sounds a little too hot to handle, too close for comfort type of situation. I am sure there are plenty of stories :)

      And your comment to me re the 10k super snazzy professional photography lenses…and being so close, i would have loved it!

  19. Happy Birthday Sklyar!! Looks like her birthday was a blast with many more good birthdays to come!

    :) Michelle

  20. Oh, AMEN on keeping it simple with kids. And a zillion congrats to Skylar, of course! Bought cakes? Yes of course, I don’t believe in being 100% anything. I’ll make something nice and homebaked when I feel like it, but not every time – that would feel like a chore! I try to buy something semi-okay (like low in additives, or organic) though, or something super cute that I would never have the patience to make myself anyway – like those cuteee cupcakes :-). The boyfriend got the kids these (in my eyes, haha…) disgusting store-bought dry-cakes the other day. Sigh. I think sugar is going to be a major issue if we ever have kids, hehehe. The kids loved them, though, so who am I to judge.

  21. Happy Birthday Skylar! She is looking so grown up. Looks like everyone enjoyed the low key celebration.

    Best thing on the weekend: more snuggling by the fire.
    Furnace is running, and parts are on order for permanent repair :)

    I was travelling in Singapore on my birthday, back in 1995. Spent the day with my cousins, aunt & uncle. Saw the sites, did some touristy type things, as well as a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant with a special dessert for me. Still don’t know what was in the dessert, but it sure tasted great at the time. Great memories too.

    Normally I don’t use / buy store bought items. However, over the holidays one of my bundt cakes flopped and I was supposed to be bringing dessert to a party. With nothing else on hand, or ready in the freezer, we swung by the grocery store on the way there. Dessert was 1 box of mandarin oranges and a small cheesecake. And me telling the story of just how badly the bundt cake exploded all over the oven. Messy stuff. Great story :)

  22. Awe! Happy birthday Skylar!!! She’s so tall and adorable! You guys look like you had a blast, and yes pawning of extra sugary stuff on the other kids is a good thing hahahaha.

  23. Happy Birthday to Skylar! Avery, I’ve been out of internet loop for a bit and haven’t had much time to regularly read your blog but I’m LOVING the new set up!

  24. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to SKYLAR!!! She really has changed a lot in a year at least from what I see, I’m going to make those choc pb bars the second I get home where my gf oats are waiting! Hope she has a good bday week.

  25. Happy birthday to Skylar!!! I can’t believe its another year. I think her birthday last year was one of the first posts I read here. :)

    And crazy bec my kiddo will be that big soon too. GAH!

  26. happy birthday skylar! i love to bake so usually thats what i end up doing :) best thing i ate over the weekend were collard wraps!! soo good

  27. I’ve always bought baked goods at the store, and not the sort-of healthy kind either! I have a friend who bakes and she offers to make things for my parties, so I think I will take her up on it, and try to provide some of my own as well.

    Moderation, though, right?

    Those chocolate oat bars look amazing, I’m off to check out the recipe!!!

  28. Kids—they grow up sooo fast don’t they! It’s painful and joyful all at the same time. :)

    I made another salad dressing *concoction* that was great this weekend!
    And this will sound creepy..but you have awesome teeth! lol

  29. Happy birthday sweet Skylar! She is just precious… I *love* the excitement that’s always so evident on her face!

  30. Happy Birthday Skylar! My oldest son is turning 12 this Wednesday. They grow so fast don’t they?

  31. Happy birthday Skylar!!!

    I went to Vegas on my 27th birthday with my 2 sisters and good friend. It was a great time, and one I remmber fondly, but not something I want to do ever again. I’m not a Vegas girl!

  32. I cried some Hallmark tears during YOUR post!! You and Skylar look soooo happy (and I’m sure Scott does too!)… it’s so great that you get to spend time together as a family and that Skylar has two amazing parents who love her. She is growing up so fast too- I feel like I can almost tell a difference from post-to-post.

    1. Awww, the fact that I made you cry too…yeah Hallmark tears are contagious I think. And she IS growing up soo fast, post to post even, i agree!

  33. Happy Birthday to Skylar! Averie, thanks for the quick, easy and wonderful receipe. I made these last night and me and my boyfriend loved them!!!! I work outside in the cold Colorado temperatures and I’m taking them to work for a pick me up snack. Thank you!!!!!

    Peace and Light

  34. Happy birthday sweet Skylar! And happy anniversary of the day you became a mother to you Averie!! PS. Those PB cups are delish – I made some! – but mine never turn out looking as cute as yours! Me = sloppy cook:)

    1. i know, the day i became a mother…it takes a mother to realize the significance in that day :)

      your PB cups are pretty I’m so sure of it! :)

  35. Happy Birthday, Skylar! All the treats on today’s post look so delicious. I am always drooling when I come over here. :-)

  36. Oh happy happy birthday to Skylar. I love that you guys did just a family party like that.

  37. Awwww, Happy Birthday Skylar!!!!!!! Birthdays are so much fun when you’re a kid– LOVE all of the pink and purple she has going on in her gifts and choice of food! :-)

  38. Happy birthday do your adorable daught Skylar, I just love her name too by the way. Birthdays I usually make sure I have some sort of Icecream cake because I’m an Ice-cream lover at heart. I usually head to Baskin Robins and get a Log Roll Ice cream cake kind of like the one here:


    Hope your weekend went well and you share a wonderful week with you daughter! :) Make sure you check out my 2 week love challenge for February it make just give you an even closer relationship with Skylar What can be better than that?! :)

  39. Happy Birthday to your sweet little girl! I can’t believe how big she has gotten! It seems so strange to look back just a year ago and see how much our kids change. I know you are like me and enjoying ever single bit of it!

  40. YAY! Happy Birthday Skylar! She is too sweet :) I loved how you said “she’s 4. who cares. she doesn’t know the difference.” about the cupcakes. So true! In the past 3-4 years I’ve had friends who have become mommies and I can see how the pressure to be perfect in every aspect is so huge and daunting. I love hearing your thoughts and attitudes about being a working mom – my mom was the same and I hope I can be like both of you some day!

  41. Happy Birthday to Skylar!!!!!! How nice you, Scott, and her just celebrated at home together and then will have a kid party too! I like that, I think its nice you do it that way! We do the same thing with Anthony ; )

    Those cookies are amazing! Anthony loves those! He always wants them , but I dont buy them alot because of there being so many in one package and nobody to pawn cookies on ; )

    So glad she had a beautiful day celebrating with mom and dad ; )

    She is grwoing up SO fast! Time flies!

  42. Happy Birthday to Skylar! She seems like the sweetest girl! I definitely prefer low-key birthdays. The years I tried to make extravagant plans, something always went wrong and the years that I kept it simple were much more fun!

  43. Happy (almost) birthday to Skylar!!! I think its awesome that you guys have your own at home celebration with just the fam. I used to love to get art supplies like stamps and color pencils as a kid. I haven’t had one of those iced cookies since I was a kid- but I used to go crazy for them!

  44. oh, enjoy your week of celebrations! we’re firm believers in birthday WEEK instead of birthDAY festivities! and yes, enjoy every moment – the time passes so quickly, children change so much.
    best thing this weekend – attending an interior design show with my friend.
    nothing wrong with store-bought treats. my mom used to make everything homemade, growing up, so store-bought WAS a real treat, when we got it! glad skylar loved her cookie and cupcake!
    have a great week with the fun activities!

  45. Happy Birthday Skylar!
    Time flies…doesn’t it? Before you know it, she’ll be 7….
    I’d totally do the store bought stuff! Kids don’t care, and it saves you time!

  46. Oh my goodness, tell Skylah I say Happy Big 4! She is absolutely precious! For my birthday over the summer, I made my own carrot cake and it was out of this WORLD. This weekend the best thing I ate had to be an avocado-based chocolate mousse, it was to DIE for, and I can’t wait to recreate it!! xoxox