Pirate Birthday Party: Treasure Chest Cake

Treasure Chest Cake

I can’t claim this idea from Family Fun, but I can point you to the video tutorial!

A few thoughts: Making this cake was slightly frustrating….but then again, it could’ve just been me. My cake was a little too crumbly and caused me issues when I tried to frost it. Possibly humidity and summer heat?  Putting the cake in the freezer for a little while probably would have helped….but it was too late by the time I realized this, so I marched on through. The top kept sliding off the back and didn’t have the open treasure chest look I was going for (and the original picture showed). But, in the spirit of making things work, I just kept adding gold coins until it looked better. In the end, the birthday boy was happy and that’s the only thing that matters!

Treasure Chest Cake 2

Other Pirate Birthday Party Details: Message-In-A-Bottle Invitations, Shark-Infested Water Jello Treats

Pirate Birthday Party: “Shark-Infested Water” Jello Treats

What’s a Pirate Birthday Party without a little danger & suspense? How about some “Shark-infested Waters” on the high seas?!

Shark-Infested Water Jello Treat

The “Shark-Infested Water” Jello Treats are super easy to make! This was one of Jonah’s favorite parts of his party…probably because he helped make them!

You will need:

  • Blue Jello (This treat takes two steps, so you’ll need atleast 2 packages depending on your desired servings.)
  • Gummy Sharks (I actually found these at the Dollar Tree in the candy section)
  • Clear cups (I used Chinet Cut Crystal 9 oz. cups)


  1. Make blue jello according to the package. I used the “quick-set” method since I wanted the first layer of the jello to finish quickly.
  2. Pour jello into clear cups halfway to your desired serving size. Place in the refrigerator and wait until the jello layer is “set”.Blue Jello
  3. Once the first layer of the jello is set, place Gummy Sharks on top. Shark-Infested Water Jello Treat
  4. Prepare second layer of blue jello according to the package. Pour on top of the gummy sharks and first layer of jello. (I guess this part could be optional, but I wanted the sharks to be in the jello. You’ll also notice, I forgot to take a picture of the final outcome. Sorry!)
  5. Refrigerate overnight or until jello is “set”.
  6. Serve to the pirates!

A few tips:

  • A few of my gummy sharks kept wanting to flip over on their backs and float. To fix this, I let the jello start to set halfway and start to get thick. Then, I flipped them  over to their belly. This seemed to do the trick and they finally stayed put.
  • Another thing to try to avoid the gummy sharks from moving too much is place the gummy sharks on top of the first layer of jello before it is completely set and hardened. This might have worked better than my method mentioned above, but I didn’t think about it until after it was too late to fix.

Other Pirate Party Details: Message-In-A-Bottle Invitations

Pirate Birthday Party: Message-in-a-Bottle Invitations

I wanted something unique for Jonah’s Pirate Birthday Party invitations….and I think I was successful!

Message in a Bottle Invitation

These Message-in-a-Bottle Invitations were easy. The part that took the longest was collecting the Root Beer bottles since I’m the only one that likes Root Beer at our house.

You will need:

  • Root Beer bottles
  • Invitation printed on 8 1/2 X 11″ paper
  • Lighter (optional for burned edges)
  • Small Twine
  • Brown Tags or cardstock to make your own
  • Marker


  1. Drink the root beer and clean the bottles. Let them dry. (Be the cool mom and serve Root Beer Floats for dessert to get this done quickly :) )
  2. Type your party details in a basic word processing program. Pick a “pirate-y” font and add in some pirate phrases for fun! (My example is below)Pirate Party Invitation
  3. Print (I used cream printer paper left over from resumés.)
  4. Optional: I chose to burn the edges to make it look old and worn. Go slow. I found a lighter worked better than a candle. Use caution and do this over a sink of water in case you get out of control. Please be careful!! Disclaimer: Do this at your own risk. I’m not held liable for any damage you incur.
  5. Roll up the invitation tightly and place inside the empty bottle.
  6. Make tags with names and attach to the bottle with twine.
  7. Deliver! We snuck over to the houses and placed the bottles on everyone’s porch. Luckily everyone lives close by!

Here is what our invitation said:

Arrrrrr you ready to party?

Captain Jonah is turning 4!

The ship sets sail: July 23, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.

X marks the Spot: Captain Jonah’s backyard

Wear a bathing suit & bring a towel.

RSVP by July 16th or walk the plank

Come back tomorrow to see more of Jonah’s Pirate Birthday Party!

Sneak Peek

Jonah’s birthday party is coming up. I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of something we’re working on…

poker ships

poker chips 3

poker chips 4

Hmm….I wonder what that could be? Any guesses? The party turns out glorious in my head…


There’s just something about being a cousin…a connection.

Even if you’re not together often, you pick up right where you left off.

Your hearts share a language.

No one has to tell you that you’re family or teach you how to be a cousin…it just comes naturally.

Sure, you fight over toys or who will hold the caterpillar, but at the end of the day, none of that matters…

because you’re cousins.

cousins http://happybrownhouse.com

My sweet Jonah,

You may never fully understand why Mommy holds this picture of you and your cousin Cassidy so dearly. While I hope there are many, many more moments captured between you two, today I’m thankful for this one. This picture is proof that God is at work in our midst. Right there in the middle of the splash pad on a hot summer day…Holy Ground. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3) for He alone is worthy of praise (Psalm 145). While I want to shield you from every kind of emotional pain, I know I can’t. But know this…we have a Redeemer who heals. He is capable of bearing the weight of our burdens (Psalm 68:19)…even the the hurts we think we’ll never be able to recover from. God is faithful! He sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6) and He restores things once broken by our sinful human hands (1 Peter 5:10). My sweet son, I hope these words are written on your heart and you understand them one day…but mostly, I hope you experience God working in your midst and the forgiveness flows like water from a fountain.



{Linked to Finer Things Friday}

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!


Over Memorial Day weekend we took Jonah to his first “official” ballgame! We’re lucky to have a Minor League team in Chattanooga, which is great for summer fun! We chose a night that would have fireworks after the game for an extra special treat. I’ll admit, we weren’t sure how he’d do with the fireworks. In the past he’s been ok, but you never know when loud noises might overwhelm a preschooler. Jonah started to cover his ears, but quickly changed to clapping and cheering with all of his might… Pure joy.


Truth be told, the group sitting in front of us was even more entertaining than the ballgame. Can you picture a large group of teenage girls from Poland at a baseball game in Tennessee? They were hilarious! We couldn’t understand a word they were saying, but they were typical teenage girls…going in groups to the bathroom/concession stand, taking pictures of innocent bystanders and making fun of them in their language, primping, and boisterous laughter all around. It was a night to remember!


Note to self: It’s too stinkin’ hot to go to a ballgame when you’re 26 weeks pregnant and the temperature reaches 96 degrees. Also, sitting on a bleacher seat is not a good idea. Ice cream in a “hat bowl” will help make up for it…even if you have to share it with a 3 year old. :)

It’s a…..

photo credit: OscarandOllie via Etsy


Jonah is pretty excited about his little brother! (And we are in awe that he called it.)

Yay for hand-me-downs!