Tag Archives: birthday

Healthier Mini Mason Jar {Birthday} Cheesecakes

Healthier Mini Mason Jar Cheesecakes | Mama Papa BubbaYesterday, when I told Gracen that we’d be celebrating Papa’s birthday soon, the first thing she said was, “We need to make a cake!”  Then she went on about painting him party hats and getting 3 pink gifts, but I digress.  Originally, I was thinking about doing two cakes.  Something delicious and wildly unhealthy from Pioneer Woman for Brad, and something wholesome, wholewheat, and sugar/butter-free for Miss G to enjoy.  Buuuuut, when I thought about doing a cheesecake for Brad (one of his favourites), I realized that I could probably do a modified version that would suit everyone’s needs since cheesecake is mostly just cream cheese. My main obstacle was coming up with a yummy crust without using the usual graham wafer/sugar/butter combo, but I played around a little bit  and I’m happy to report and it turned out really well.

As for the cheesecake itself, I wasn’t sure about it at first.  It tasted good fresh out of the oven, but it was light and bubbly instead of thick and dense the way proper cheesecake is supposed to be.  In the words of my husband, it tasted “healthyish”.  I had come to terms with the fact that I’d have to do some recipe revamping in the future, until we tasted it again tonight.  After sitting in the refrigerator overnight, it had densed up significantly and was actually really good!  Good enough to make again, that’s for sure.

IMG 8983Here’s the lineup of ingredients my little sous chef and I used to make our mini mason jar cheesecakes…  Sour cream, cream cheese, lemon zest, pure maple syrup, pure vanilla, almonds, an egg, and coconut.  Plus the mini mason jars themselves, of course.  5 of these little jelly jars works perfectly with this recipe.

Crust makingTo make our crust, we added some coconut, some raw almonds, a little bit of pure maple syrup, and a little bit of pure vanilla into our food processor and blended until it was thick and sticky.

CrustThen we scooped the crust mixture evenly into our 5 jars, and Miss G used a cork to flatten them out.

IMG 9007IMG 9010This was the end result.

CheesecakeWith our crusts ready to go, we switched our focus over to the actual cheesecake part.  First, we added our room temperature cream cheese and egg into our mixer and beat until smooth.  

IMG 9023Next we added our sour cream, pure maple syrup, pure vanilla, and lemon zest, and mixed again.

IMG 9029Baking is ridiculously fun, wouldn’t you agree?

IMG 9033IMG 9037With our cheesecake filling prepared, we poured the mixture evenly into our 5 mason jars.

IMG 9052Then we placed them into a high-walled baking dish, filled it halfway up the jars with hot water, and baked the entire thing.

IMG 9066When they’d finished baking, I topped the ones for Gracen and I with stewed blueberries…

IMG 9058And the birthday boy’s with deliciously naughty Nutella.  Of course the options are endless really…  Fresh berries, shredded coconut, sliced bananas, or mini dark chocolate chips would all make yummy toppings too.  

The biggest perks to these little desserts is that they already come in a storage container, they’re super easy to hand out at parties, and they tuck easily into picnic baskets and backpacks for a treat on the go.

Healthier Mini Mason Jar Cheesecakes

{adapted from this recipe}

  • 5 4 oz. mason jars
  • 1/3 cup of raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 250 grams of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2.5 tablespoons of pure maple syrup

Blend almonds, coconut, maple syrup, and vanilla in a food processor until thick and paste-like.  Divide the mixture equally into 5 mini mason jars and use a cork to create a flat, even crust.

In a mixer, combine the cream cheese and egg until smooth.  Add in the sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and pure maple syrup and mix again.  

Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly into the 5 mason jars.  Place the jars in a high-walled baking dish, fill it with water until halfway up the jars, and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

Allow to cool on the counter.  Top with toppings of your choice before or after refrigerating overnight.



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{Birthday} Balloon Bath

Balloon BathThis is ridiculously easy way to amp up the bath time fun, but it may just be Gracen’s favourite of all time.  I wish I had a video of the shrieking, jumping, splashing, and balloon batting just to illustrate what a hit it was.  Lucky for us, our tub has sliding glass doors, so the crazy was at least contained. ☺

IMG 5947I decided to try this tonight for Gracen’s half birthday, but it make a great regular birthday bath, and would be just as well received any day of the year I’m sure.

IMG 5951Just fill up the tub nice and full, add some bubbles and a bunch of balloons (I think 10 is a good number if you want it nice and full) and let the fun unfold.


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Cupcake Colour Matching Felt Board Game

After seeing how Lindsay from The Little Red Horse turned my felt board DIY into an awesome birthday gift (check it out here), I decided to *borrow* her idea and whip up something similar for one of Grae’s little friends whose party we attended this weekend. (Thank you, Lindsay!)

I liked the idea of  a creating a colour matching game, but wanted to try something different than ice cream cones this time around… Something a little more October birthday-ish, so cupcakes it was!

IMG 0779All I did was cut out cupcake tops (with a candle attached for gluing purposes), cupcake liners and candles in coordinating colours, and little yellow flames.

IMG 0784Then, using Aleene’s OK To Wash-It glue, I attached the coloured candles and flames to the cupcake tops.

IMG 0781Voila! An easy little felt board game that allows munchkins to practice colour matching by pairing up the tops and bottoms of the cupcakes.

Sadly, I didn’t take a photo of the finished product, but the felt board looked exactly like Gracen’s, said “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” across the top, had two of the felt cupcakes in the middle (because the little boy was turning two) and said “JACKSON” (the little boy’s name) across the bottom.  We also included the rest of the alphabet, the other cupcakes, and a jack-o-lantern face designing game each in a little bag separately.  

Gracen loves her felt board, so she was very proud to give one to her little friend come party time. ☺

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Trickin’ People

IMG 5513Today, while at IKEA, Gracen got to choose something special to buy with a little bit of birthday money she received in the mail. Her choice? Several items for her tickle trunk, including this lion hat and nose/mouth piece.

While wearing her new lion costume in the the checkout line…

Gracen:  Grae Grae lion!  ROAR!  (giggles)  Grae Grae trickin’ people.

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Gracen is TWO: A Birthday Interview

For me, a big part of being a mama is creating special memories and traditions that your children will hold dear always and perhaps one day, pass onto their own children.  With that being said, a birthday tradition we are starting this year is conducting video recorded birthday “interviews” of sorts.  As the years pass by the questions will change and grow just as our little girl will… Here’s what she had to say on the day of her second birthday.

From her interview, I put together this so we’ll have something a little more concrete to add to her baby book:

Grae s 2nd Birthday Interview ♥

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IMG 8843IMG 8838I will readily admit that filling Miss G’s room with balloons late last night while she was sleeping in a room / pack and play she doesn’t sleep well in in the first place was maybe not my best idea… However, watching her march through them with glee this morning as I sang her Happy Birthday cancels out the fact that  I’ll be operating on very little sleep and a whole lot of coffee today.

Happy second birthday to my darling Gracen Audrey Marie.

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On the Last Day of Being One

Tonight, on the eve of my little angel’s second birthday, I did my best to savour the seemingly insignificant moments that make up our everyday lives together.  The little things… The squeal of excitement she lets out when jumping into the bath.  The fact that she insists on running around the house naked and giggling as soon as she exits the tub. The way she received her new footie jammies as though she was the luckiest little girl in the world. The delight she got out of bursting into Grandma’s backyard in her pajamas when it’d normally be bedtime. The little gallop she’s mastered and saves for times of excitement. The tight hug I got in exchange for a little playtime as the sun was going down… All of the little things that make our happy, sweet hearted little lady her.

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IMG 8831IMG 8821With a camera full of photos and the grass sufficiently brushed off her pajamas, we headed inside, and slowly made our way through her usual bedtime routine.  Tonight, when she asked for just one more story, I read it to her more than happily. We snuggled a little longer than usual, sang our normal bedtime songs twice, and when she asked for “More kiss!” each time I had almost closed the door, I went back, again and again… Because tonight is the last night my little girl is one and these little moments pass by all too quickly.

Tomorrow the shiny new world of two opens up, and if it’s anything like this last year’s been, I’ll continue to wear my heart outside of my body, a proud mama watching her baby grow up into the most wonderful, kind-hearted little girl imaginable…  And for that, I’m so very lucky.

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I don’t know how this happened, but somehow we’re amidst party planning Miss G’s second birthday. Good LORD.  The first year flew by, and this one has gone by even more quickly.  *sigh*

With just over a month until our little lady officially turns two, we headed out into Manmaw Charlotte and Poppop’s backyard this afternoon (yay for being back in the Okanagan!) to snap a photo for this year’s birthday invitation.

She was such a good sport and with a little help from Papa’s crazy attention-grabbing dances, we were able to get a bunch of shots I love.  Here are some of the outtakes…

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IMG 7224IMG 7205IMG 7230Ironically, we ended up using the afternoon’s most candid shot on the invites.  With the help of a free printable I found online, Brad designed a beautiful two-sided invite that will be perfect for her backyard picnic themed party.  (Can’t wait to share it closer to the big day!)

Although I have mixed feelings about this whole my-girl-is-growing-up-before-my-eyes thing, I’m so excited about all of the little projects planned for this week’s vacation. Invites, decor, favours – I love it all.

Perhaps a couple of sneak peaks are in order?

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Happy 30th Birthday, Papa!

IMG 1556Today Bradley turned 30 (I love the couple of months a year that we’re the same age). We’re pretty low-key about adult birthday celebrations around here, but to celebrate, Miss G got to stay up late to have a family dinner and open a couple of little presents once her Papa got home from work.

IMG 1555This may have happened too… Her first ever taste of a chip.  *Gasp!*

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Out for Papa’s Birthday Dinner

Tonight we headed out with Grandma Charlotte and Uncle Brett for an early birthday dinner for Bradley (he’s celebrating a big one in just a couple of days).  He decided upon a restaurant not too far from our house, called Burgoo.  We’d tried to eat there a little while back, but with a half hour wait and an antsy, hungry munchkin in tow, it just wast our night.  So this time we planned ahead…  Although they don’t take reservations on weekends, we arrived early, put our name on the list, and took a little stroll down Main Street.  And let me tell you – it was worth waiting for!  In fact, it was so good, that if you live in Vancouver, live near Vancouver, or ever visit Vancouver, you need to visit this joint.  With a cozy, rustic atmosphere, friendly servers, and an amazing menu filled with delicious comfort foods, you’ll be planning your next dinner out as you’re walking out the door.  Here are a few {poor quality} photos from our dinner out…

IMG 1459Papa and his little lady.

IMG 1460Manmaw, Papa, and Grae.

IMG 1465Uncle Brett and Grandma Charlotte.

IMG 1462Miss G enjoying the most delicious-looking Gooey Cheese Griller  and Sunset Corn and Chicken Soup.

Happy {almost} birthday to Bradley (a.k.a. Papa).

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