Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Storybook-Themed Baby Shower

On the Saturday of MLK Weekend, my sister hosted a storybook-themed baby shower for her sister-in-law, Erica. Erica also happens to be one of my good friends from high school, and we would always joke around and say "Hey sister!" in the hallway since her older brother and my older sister were destined to be married one day (and they did, obviously, get married!). Now Erica is expecting her first baby in February, a sweet baby girl she and her husband have named Annabeth. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the shower!

L-R: Ashley, Rhonda (Erica's MIL), Erica, Mary Ann (Erica's mom), Cindy (my mom), and me.

Ashley made the cutest banners to hang over the food table to go along with the book shower theme. It looks like she just took a mixture of solid color and patterned scrapbook paper, folded it in half, glued a piece of paper with words to the inside to make it look like a mini-book, and hung it from the string with little clothespins. So cute and fitting!

As is the case with most showers, the food was delicious. And also the case with most showers, the guests either were being shy or weren't that hungry, so there were plenty of leftovers to go around! If we're being honest, that's one of my favorite things about helping to host a shower, leftover shower food. :) So here are a few of the things we had:

Ashley's creativity strikes again! She made these book cupcake toppers herself.

Erica's mom made her famous spinach pinwheel sandwiches, and I don't refer to them as "famous" for nothin'! The feta cheese (or is it goat cheese?) makes them creamy and delicious, and the little bits of jalapeno pack quite the unexpected punch. I am dying to get the recipe from her!

My mom made the punch, which I probably drank too much of and will now develop diabetes from it. It was so good!

Moving in to the living room where Erica opened her gifts, Ashley continued the book theme by displaying children's books on the mantle and on top of the media cabinet. Most of these books came from her kindergarten classroom, so this was the perfect shower theme for her to choose. She was already loaded up on supplies!

Ashley also had stuffed animals from popular children's stories spread throughout the seating area, which was fun for the kids who attended the shower.

A few of my favorite gifts Erica got...these precious UGA booties:

This shirt for her husband, Ryan, to wear at the hospital that says "Anyone can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be Annabeth's Dad!"

Goodnight Moon, my absolute favorite children's book. My mom did such a good job reading this to us when we were little!

I was so obsessed with Erica's diaper bag! Anything with yellow on it, sign me up!

And finally, I loved this monogrammed onesie with ruffles on the back. Too too cute!

Ashley did such a great job as hostess, writing down all the gifts for Erica to send out thank you cards and coming up with fun games for us to play, but I think the real star of the show was Brody, her miniature schnauzer. The little kids absolutely loved him!

By the end of the afternoon, I think we were all ready to pass out like this cutie.

To wrap up the shower theme nicely, Ashley made chocolate chip cookie favors for everyone to go along with the story If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. She took pride in the fact that she came up with that herself, and didn't find it on Pinterest! Gotta savor those moments! ;)

Have any of y'all attended a baby shower lately? It seems like all the girls I know are preggo right now!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Year's Wedding Weekend: Part 2

I'm back for Part 2 of Lauren and Caleb's wedding weekend recap! If you missed Part 1, you can catch up here.

Wedding Day (which was also New Year's Day) finally rolled around, and I don't think Lauren and Caleb could have asked for better weather. It was gorgeously sunny with a high of 75! Oh to live in Florida in January. Since we girls didn't have to get ready with Lauren until 4:00 that afternoon, Kyle and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and spend the first part of the day at the beach. We had a fun little date and topped things off with lunch at Mango Mango's before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the evening's events.

From there, Kyle dropped Jenny, Megan and me off at Casa Monica, where Lauren would be getting ready and also where the reception would be later that evening. Lauren looked absolutely stunning in her wedding gown, but I think my favorite part of her getup was her lace Valentino wedding shoes. I die!

After the girls were all ready to go and we successfully navigated Lauren through the Casa Monica Hotel without running into her groom, we did bridesmaids pictures in the courtyard of the Lightner Museum. (Photo below by Katie Weber Photography, Lauren + Caleb's professional wedding photographer.)

A few short minutes later, it was time for the ceremony to begin and Megan, Jenny and I took over our honorary bridesmaid duties of welcoming guests and passing out programs. (Photo below by Callie Bailie, Lauren's sister-in-law.)

The ceremony took place in the entry foyer of the Lightner Museum, and Lauren's oldest brother, Ben, conducted the ceremony as he is also a pastor. The entire ceremony was so meaningful, but these beautiful words of wisdom will always stick out to me: The wedding vows you are about to take are not about how you feel today, but how you will choose to act from this day forward. Amen! I think any married couple can benefit from that reminder.

After the ceremony, we took our time walking across the street to the reception at Casa Monica and paused to take some more photos in the Lightner courtyard.

Below is a picture of the exterior of the Lightner Museum, and then right below that the exterior of the Casa Monica Hotel. Gorgeous, right? I especially love that all the lights were still up. It was so romantic!

Once the brief cocktail hour was over, they opened the doors to the Flagler Ballroom at Casa Monica and we found our table. For dinner we had a choice between flank steak and salmon, but since it was a buffet I got a little bit of both! Don't judge! :)

The reception was an absolute blast, complete with a soul train and dancing to The Rockafeller Skank. It was very "Lauren" as she was a basketball player and loves her rap music!

At the end of the evening, the new Mr. and Mrs. Randall made their getaway through a tunnel of sparklers, and then rode off to their happily ever after in a horse-drawn carriage. They honeymooned in Costa Rica and I can't wait to hear about their trip!

All in all it was a fantastic weekend spent with best friends, and I wish we could get together like that more often. Now that Lauren and Caleb are married we have no excuse not to go on a Fab Five vacation! ;)

Up next, details on a library-themed baby shower my sister hosted for her sister-in-law, Erica. Get ready for some great ideas, y'all!


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