Monday, September 22, 2014

Melissa's Bridal Shower

I'm determined to be back to blogging this week! I've missed documenting 2 months of Natalie's life and it's making me depressed! Hopefully there's still some people out there following along, and if not, then there's always my mom and mother-in-law to read this! Natalie is 10 months today, and I have a few great posts lined up this week as I start to get back on track!

But first: The countdown is on till my little sister's wedding on October 4th. If you haven't been following on instagram, I've been busy with her wedding festivities and wanted to update on all the fun-ness! Two weekends ago we had her Bridal Shower. It was held at the same place as mine, Buckeye Tavern in Macungie, PA.

I was pretty happy with how this hat came out. My mom and I decorated a cowboy hat for Melissa to wear with flowers, wheat, and tulle.

It was a great hat and looked so good on her - unfortunately it was HOT (I tried it on and felt 10 degrees warmer in just a few minutes!) so she didn't wear it the whole time. Oh well.

For our first game we did a little ice breaker game. Each person got one or two cards that had an answer and a non-corresponding question. You then had to find the person who had the matching question to your answer and answer to your question.

For example, someone may have gotten a card that said "A: Ruger and Lily.  Q: Where did Melissa and John meet?" So they would  have to find someone who had a question that matched with "Ruger and Lily", which in this case was "What are John and Melissa's dog's names?" and someone else had a card with the answer "Hummels Bar". Once you found a match, that person had to write the answer/question and sign their name on your card.

The second thing we did was the panty poem. I had seen this at a Bridal Shower before and loved it, and it was a big hit! Here's the poem we ready while referring to a clothes-line of various panties hanging on one of the walls.
The bridesmaids have a secret to share 
About our little bride 
She is obsessed with underwear 
And that we cannot hide 

So for our little panty queen 
We gathered up some twine 
And working as a friendly team 
We made a panty line. 

 Melissa, these undies are to last you 
All throughout your life 
And John will be pleased to say 
He has a sexy wife! 

So listen up to hear about 
Your lifelong panty plan
These underwear, we have no doubt 
Will last your whole life span 

The first are for your wedding day 
Of course they are pure white 
We know John will shout, "Hooray!" 
When he sees these on you that night 

The next are for your honeymoon 
They're sexy and all lace 
We hope you'll leave your hotel room 
'Cause Tennessee's a gorgeous place! 

And for your first Christmas 
As you kiss under the mistletoe 
Wear these green little undies 
And you will be sure to glow! 

On Valentine's you'll wear this pair 
Before you hit the bed 
Cuz Cupid's arrow in the air 
Shoots tushies that are red 

After a year has passed you'll face 
Anniversary number one 
With these you'll surely have a blast 
'Cuz leopard's so much fun! 

Then when the time is right for you 
And don't be saying, "Maybe" 
You'll wear your little pink or blue
In honor of your baby 

And when your years of wedding bliss 
Become the big 2-5 
Don't worry - you'll just slip this on 
 To keep the sparks alive 

When finally you're old and gray 
 With these you can't go wrong 
 'Cuz sorry Melissa but at that age 
You just can't wear a thong! 

After that, it was time to eat! We had a full county buffet with chopped ranch salad, pulled pork, salmon ranchero, bbq chicken, corn on the cob, corn bread, baked beans, tomato bisque, and baked potatoes. Everything was really delicious!

After we ate, played the newlywed game. I had asked John for his answers prior to the party and then we played to see how many matched - Melissa got 15 out of 20 correct! Not too bad! I think I picked too easy questions :)

Then it was time to open her wonderful gifts!

And what Bridal shower would be complete without the ribbon hat?

3 of Melissa's Bridesmaids weren't able to make it, but this is Shannon, Me, Melissa and Jess:

The ladies of the family - 3 generations!

The cake was AMAZE-BALLS. Seriously, one of the best cakes I've had in a long time, and I'm so mad I didn't just have my parents bring this cake from PA to Natalie's Baptism because it was So. Much. Better. The Bakery Nook in Egypt, PA has been my mom's "go to" bakery for many years now, and we're always so pleased with their cakes. Marble Cake with chocolate filling and buttercream frosting. Oh...and decorated perfectly for the occasion!

Dragonfly Soaps was back at it again (they've done favors for both my bridal and baby shower and again for this shower - we really can't get enough of these handmade soaps!) Jacqueline, who owns the shop, does such a great job of individualizing each order. We told her what we wanted for these and she came back with something even better than I could have imagined. My sister is about as country as they come, and her fiance used to be a dairy farmer, so the milk n' honey soap with the phrase "Udderly in Love" was perfect for them. On the back is said "He is the milk and she is the honey"

Natalie was very well behaved during the shower, thanks in part to my mother-in-law who pretty much was left in charge of her for the party. (Thanks Judy!)
I was busier with things than I thought I'd be and she was a big help in taking care of Natalie. Natalie peed while she got her diaper changed 2 times during the shower - thank GOODNESS I brought a ton of extra clothes - so it wasn't a problem. Natalie even got her own thank you from Melissa regarding the incident. (p.s. yes - her thank you's have already been sent out!)

Next up: We head to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for her Bachelorette Party!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

You should probably feel sorry for me....(JK...sort of)

I've been so MIA - this summer has given me one swift kick in the you-know-what, I've been so busy! The good news is, I lost 5 pounds without even trying (but that was before I made 2 dozen pumpkin chocolate chip cookies last week, so that may not be true anymore....)

Anyway we've had lots of great visitors, and still have more visitors heading their way to us this weekend. It's turned our lives upside down - for the better....but still way way upside down. So here's what's been going on:

Natalie is on the move. I.E. she crawls everywhere. She crawls fast, she's constantly busy, constantly moving OH!...and she basically sounds like she's being murdered any time I leave her alone in a room. This makes going to the bathroom, showering, or getting a glass of water extra fun...*sarcasm*......

Demolition has started on our new house and the renovation/addition is underway (Did I ever even really talk about this??!!) I'll explain all this in more detail later on. But this means I have to spend time picking out things like windows, fireplaces, tile, faucets, lights, doors, door handles, flooring, kitchen, etc. etc. etc. Basically every single thing that goes into a house....It's exciting, but daunting and the little pieces of my day that used to go to blogging, reading, showering, eating, general living, is now going to house stuff.

As you know I take a LOT of pictures. a LOT. Mostly on my phone, but oftentimes with my really good canon dslr camera. I had been really good about backing up my photos to both my computer and an external hard drive every 3 weeks for the past year. Well, I slacked off this summer. With vacation, visitors, craziness, I hadn't backed up my pictures since the end of June. So yesterday I took an hour to really organize, and take all the photos from my phone and camera and do a backup. I had 5 videos left on my phone to move over to my hard drive before doing a full system back-up. All of a sudden Natalie, who was sitting very contently in my lap, moved her feet, got them tangled in the wire and caused the hard drive to drop on our tile floor. I really didn't think anything of it at first, but then I plugged it in and it didn't work. As I type this, Chris is trying very hard to recover the data, and has already asked our IT friend to take a look at it this weekend - but I think the photos are gone. Everything I've taken with my good camera this summer: Natalie's Baptism, two baby showers, the wedding we were at this past weekend, and house demolition progress is gone. Just. Gone. Cue tears, mental breakdown, panic attack, pretty much full-throttle meltdown for the past 3 hours - total hormonal teenager style type of's been a night.

Sooooo that's been great. In other news: I did a guest post for I Guess I'm Due last week! Here's the link where I talk about what I'll do differently the Next Time Around.

I think I will be taking the rest of the month off from blogging. I need a few weeks where the blog isn't hanging over my head, making me feel guilty every night when I don't have a post ready. I will hopefully be back at it again after Labor Day. I still have to do an 8 month update, that is, if I can recover the photos...sigh...

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and if you've learned anything here today: Always back-up your photos!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Southampton Recap: Natalie's First Vacation!

In the beginning of July, my parents took us out to Southampton for 3 days for Natalie's first vacation! This was our first time vacationing in the Hamptons, and since we are only a quick 1 1/2 hour drive away, we were eager to see what Southampton was like. It was a very nice and relaxing vacation, and I was surprised by how not crowded it was. Even though we were there during the week, I just expected summer-time crowds all day, every day. I guess most people out in the Hamptons stay at their big, expensive, summer houses most of the time, so we didn't have to deal with lots of traffic or big crowds at all!

We stayed at the Southampton Inn, and the setup was absolutely perfect. Nice, big, clean rooms and a great setup with connecting rooms so my parents could come back and forth to help with Natalie. 

In addition to this being Natalie's first vacation, it also marked a TON of other "firsts" for Natalie: 

First time at the beach, touching sand, seeing the ocean, etc. etc.: We were the first people on the beach on our second day of vacation, and basically had the whole beach to ourselves. The water was coooold, but Natalie enjoyed touching the sand and getting her feet splashed! She also fell asleep while I was nursing her - which I realized was probably in part because we use an ocean waves sound machine in her room at night. She probably thought it was nighttime in her nursery with the ocean sounds!

First time in a swing: This made me sooo nervous, but she was fine. She seemed a little bit uncertain about what was going on, I'm not sure she loved it, but we'll keep trying :)

First time sleeping in a hotel room: Natalie wouldn't sleep in the pack n' play on vacation. I would get her down in it each night, but she would wake up as soon as she'd move or turn over, and honestly, I couldn't blame her. The "mattress", if that's what you can call it, is basically a piece of cardboard and not comfortable. It was clearly different from the nice mattress she's used to, and she just wasn't comfortable. She was happy to play in here during the day though!

Sooo, this little lucky lady got to sleep with Mommy and Daddy for 3 nights! Luckily, she transitioned back to her crib quite easily when we came back home, but we're looking into getting a better mattress for her pack n' play for future travel needs.

On our last full day of vacation we drove waaaaaaayyyy out to the tip of Long Island to Montauk. I enjoyed this drive because it was scenic and I was able to see allll of the Hamptons on our drive out there: Bridgehampton, Amagansett, Sag Harbor, Easthampton, Montauk. These were all towns I've been hearing about but never saw or could picture for myself. Our first stop was Gosman's Pier, where we ate at Gosman's Restaurant.

No trip to Southampton is complete without a visit to Tate's Bake Shop. We enjoyed some iced coffees and cookies on their outside patio.
On our way back we stopped at Duck Walk Vineyard for a brief wine tasting and bought a few bottles of wine. I always loved Duck Walk, and it was nice to partake in a good wine tasting again! Like I said, this vacation was very relaxing and enjoyable and Natalie was so good the whole time! I actually think we took this trip at the perfect time because it was right before she started crawling. I don't know if a vacation with her right now would be as easy and enjoyable, because all she wants to do is constantly be on the move and go, go, go!

Natalie is such a lucky girl to go on such a fabulous first-ever vacation! Thank you mom and dad for a wonderful getaway and amazing memories for all of us and for Natalie. (Good thing there are pictures, because she's never going to remember this trip anyway!)

How do you vacation with a baby? Does your baby sleep in a travel crib? Do they end up in the bed with you? Finally,- are you back in the hotel room by your child's normal bed-time or do you keep them up later than usual?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hay Rosie Creamery Datenight

A few weeks ago, Chris and I went on our second How About We? (which is now called You&Me Concierge) date to Hay Rosie Creamery in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

First, we got a tour of the facility (which is literally the size of my living room - and no, I don't have a huge living room). I was amazed at all they could do in such a tiny little space! Hay Rosie pasteurizes their own milk, before making their ice cream. They have a different lineup of ice cream flavors every single week.

When I asked how long the shop had been open she answered "3 weeks". We were all shocked! This place was brand-spanking new, I felt so cutting-edge! After the tour, we went back out to the "tasting room" where we were offered a flight of 4 different ice creams to try. Our options were: Lemon Bar, Bananas Ferrari, Bruce Wayne, Mascavado Caramel, Brownie Batter Brickle, and Bonfire at the Beach.

This was a LOT of ice cream to try, and it was all amazingly delicious! 

We each got to take a pint of ice cream home! We chose Bruce Wayne (champagne with peaches) and Bananas Ferrari (Bananas Foster), which were our favorites. I soooo wish I lived closer to this place so I could try their ever-changing menu of flavors!
I would love to make my way over there again to try their amazing ice cream and unique flavors! I'm enjoying You&Me Concierge (formerly How About We?) because it's forcing us to get out and explore areas of NYC that we otherwise wouldn't explore on our own, and all the planning is done, we just have to show up! Crown Heights, Brooklyn was VERY nice! My only regret was not going in sooner for dinner, and since we had our little ice cream pints, we felt we had to rush back home to get it in the freezer afterward!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jessica's Baby Shower

Back in June, Natalie, my Mother-In-Law, and I attended Chris's cousin, Jessica's, Baby Shower at Douglaston Manor, NY.

It was nice that Natalie was able to attend with me, and this marked her first official shower! (well..besides my baby shower, which she was "technically" at). She was a hit...of course.

Douglaston Manor was a beautiful venue for the occasion. There was a full array of appetizers out when we arrived, and then we were served a three course meal with penne a la vodka, salad, and a great selection of entrees. I had the salmon, and it was great!
We had mimosas and wine, and after our meals cake was served along with a full ice cream bar and various cookies!

I loved this adorable forest animal cake!

A DJ provided music throughout the afternoon. Jessica got to share a dance with her dad - the soon-to-be new grandpa.
Then they had the kids of the party wrap Jessica up like a present before she opened her own presents! It was pretty funny, and they did a very thorough job!
We can't wait to see if Jessica and Sam have a boy or girl, but even more so, we can't wait to meet our newest little cousin and addition to the family! Good Luck Jessica, only a few more weeks to go!