little cupcakes & apple juice

My youngest daughter turned four this week. Though we’ve spent her last three birthdays together, it still feels like yesterday we celebrated her first birthday while she was an ocean away. She doesn’t like cramped spaces or crowds or lots of noise (unless it is the normal noise of our home). For her birthday, her request was simple. She wanted ‘little cupcakes and apple juice and that’s all.” Her friend request included her sister, two cousins and two friends. One friend is out of state…but they got to celebrate together a little early.

I love the differences in my kids. My oldest daughter has a birthday coming up and her list includes basically everyone she has ever met – even those she has to describe to me because she can’t remember their names. She has also been planning crafts and decorations for her party for a good 2 months. She is definitely a ‘more the merrier and the louder the better’ kind of girl. Her little sister – the opposite.

So we kept it simple. A few decorations I had on hand. A couple little girls. A kiddie pool. Lots of open space free from feeling cramped and where sounds could be carried away.


She only took a lick of the frosting, but she sure was adamant we have cupcakes!

By nature, I tend to be more like my oldest daughter when it comes to party planning. I like decorations and lots of details. I like cute foods and all the little extras. I’ve learned over the years how different my kids are regarding what makes their birthdays feel like special days. As we celebrate their birthdays, we are really celebrating them and the things that make them beautifully unique. For my youngest – apple juice and little cupcakes with a few little girls. Simple, but full of love.


The glass bottles, straws, napkins, pinwheels and tassel garland are all from Shop Sweet Lulu. We originally used them for family pictures with our trailer (I’ll share those pictures later). I like to keep reusable party supplies on hand. Keeping simple and varied decorations on hand makes party prep quick, easy and much more affordable. The pink flower hanging from the tree is one I bought 7 years ago! I use it, fold it up and store it until I use it again.


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  • Southern Gal - A beautiful little party for a beautiful little girl.

  • Anniken - I like her style… And i like lots of decorations… But simple can never go strong as long as the company you have is good! My bot celebrated his 4th birthday with just 4 friends. And it was perfect for him. But my little girl is more like your oldefar girl. She wants big. Its funny to notice the differnce each kid has…

  • Jean - The picture of Daddy’s arm protecting the little girl’s candles from the wind and her happy, happy face — totally bringing tears to my eyes.

  • Mek - Love all these sweet lovely pictures! Happy Birthday Little One!

  • Annemieke - Congratulations Little One, a perfect party for a perfectly feisty little 4-year old. Why do I always get teary-eyed when I see her so very very happy? What a beautiful family you have Ashley!

  • Sarah - Happy Birthday to her. I guess the puppy was invited too. I ?? you and your sweet family.

  • Jess Z. - very cute! she is so sweet 🙂

  • Arlene - My third daughter is getting married in a week, and I must say that the differences between my girls continues be evident. What a joy to be a mom, yes?!

  • nicci - I LOVE THIS! It’s so refreshing to see a SIMPLE, yet fully enjoyed birthday fit for a little girl! It’s a great reminder that all of the “fluff” we copy form Pinterest is unnecessary, and what they really want it TIME & a few FRIENDS to enjoy their day! Thanks!

  • amber - She is precious. And I can’t believe she’s 4. Time is nuts. Happy day to your sweet girl!

  • Wilfried Fotoatelier - Beautiful pictures of the dad and the little girl. Thanks for sharing such natural pictures. 🙂

  • Jo Moseley - Okay, this little party just made ME cry! So much Joy and Protection (those big Daddy arms wrapped around his girl, lighting her candles, then protecting them from being blown out by the wind!). That whole thing makes me think of the Love we have from Our Father in Heaven!
    And, COURAGE! Wow, Little Miss has come so far! That straw in her mouth. The frosting. The smile on her face when everyone was singing Happy Birthday to You!
    Happy, Happy “4th” Birthday, to one of the most Treasured and Brave Girls I know! Your Party was Perfect! Great Job, Mama, on providing just the things your children need. Much Love, Jo

  • Kari - Still! Still after 3 years of hearing her- your- story, I tear up. She is beautiful, and she looks so happy. I’m happy for your family…

  • Carrie Rowe - Oh my goodness she’s getting so big!!!! Such a cutie.