My Bridal Shower!

What a wonderful day!

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My sister (who is also my maid of honor) and my mom have been working for months to plan this special day for me. I’ve seen the two of them whispering and I’ve been shunned out of various rooms in my parents house the past few times I visited my family in St. Pete, so it was wonderful to see all of their hard work and planning come to fruition!

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They planned my bridal shower at the Tuscawilla Country Club, located in Winter Springs.


Ryan’s mom and I headed over to the country club together just before 11 a.m.

After hugging my mom and sister hello, I immediately noticed these delicious lookin’ little beauties.

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My mom made these devil’s food cupcakes with whipped pink frosting which were light and delicious!

My sister was quite crafty when planning the event and clearly spent a lot of time on the cute little details.

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Her little table markers were oh-so-Martha Stewart! 😀

My mom and sister also handmade the favors for all of the shower attendees.

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Not only were their cookies adorable, but they were also very tasty!

They even made a special bridal one for me which I absolutely loved.

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Aside from my sister, Laurel was my only bridesmaid who was able to make it to the shower (everyone else lives in Chicago, Texas or Iowa) and she showed her true bridesmaid prowess when it came the the “How Well Do You Know the Bride” trivia game.

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Laurel and I lived together our sophomore through senior year in college, so it was no shocker she had nearly every answer down pat!

The trivia game was one of four games my sister planned for the shower. We also had a great time with a purse scavenger hunt, name that famous duo challenge and a trivia game involving questions she asked Ryan ahead of time that I had to guess the answers to.

Of course a portion of the shower was dedicated to present opening.

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If you can believe it, that was the gift table before my friends arrived! Clearly my mom, Ryan’s mom, Ryan’s grandma and my aunts took this shower seriously. 😀

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I received some seriously amazing gifts (Hello, KitchenAid Mixer!!!). Everyone was so unbelievably thoughtful and kind to bring something for me and Ryan before our wedding and I felt very blessed.

We had quite a time loading everything into my car!

The funniest gift was saved for last…

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What in the world???

Well, it’s Jezebel, of course!

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Isn’t she awesome?

Jezebel was made completely of handy household and kitchen items including an ironing board, mop, spatulas, sponges, a colander, apron, dish towels and more!

In the midst of all the game-playing, chit-chatting and gift giving, we also enjoyed a delicious lunch.

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I had a turkey and hummus wrap with fresh fruit which I inhaled! Apparently my morning run with Sadie sparked my appetite!

I also sipped on a mimosa before lunch which was fantastic.

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Mimosas should be an evening staple if you ask me! They’re too good to only enjoy in the morning.

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I was sad to say goodbye at the end of the brunch, but I was so thankful for the love I felt from my friends and family all afternoon.

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(Thanks, Minda, for driving all the way from Jacksonville!)

Once everyone was gone, Ryan’s mom and I drove back to our apartment to say hello to Ryan and his mom’s boyfriend. I had to head out pretty quickly because my mom, sister and I had an appointment at the bridal boutique where I brought my dress to pick up my sister’s bridesmaid dress!

I absolutely love my bridesmaid dresses!

My sister tried hers on and it looks amazing. I don’t even think she’ll need any alterations made! Sch-weet!

I’m finally back at our apartment and it feels amazing to be chillin’ on the couch. I have a feeling that’s exactly what the rest of the night will entail. Present unpacking can wait… 😉

See ya bright ‘n’ early in the morning!

Jacksonville on a Tankful

Our local news station in Orlando always does neat specials on daycations you can take in the state of Florida. They call the segment “Florida on a Tankful,” since you can enjoy the entire daycation on one take of gas.

Today we did our own little daycation on one tank of gas and drove allllll over Jacksonville!

Before loading into the car, we headed downstairs for the hotel’s complimentary breakfast.

Oatmeal + Cottage Cheese + Honey Nut Cheerios

Like yesterday, I enjoyed a bowl of oatmeal and the top of a yummy cheese muffin.

Sweet Cheese Muffin

I also split a Belgian waffle with my sister.


With full bellies, we headed over to the Mayo Clinic hospital so I could tour the place where my mom had her surgery.

I was so impressed with the design of the hospital and how the hospital felt very non-hospitaly (that’s a technical term 😉 ). As someone who is terrible with all things medical, the lack of a hospital smell really stuck out to me.

Jacksonville Tour

After our brief tour, we piled into the car to drive around Jacksonville. My family actually lived in Jacksonville from 1986 – 1991 and my sister was born here in 1989.

We drove around our old neighborhood and stopped by our old house!

Our Old House

The house is actually for sale at the moment, so we were able to peek in all the windows without looking like total creep-os. 😀 We even checked out the back yard and the pool!

Our next stop was the St. John’s River, where I apparently caught an eel while fishing when I was a toddler.

Walkin' to the River

Smiling by the St. James River

The weather today is beyond gorgeous! There’s practically no humidity and the breeze feels fantastic against your skin. We definitely took advantage of such a nice day and headed out to the beach to walk around for a bit as well.


Eventually our hunger got the best of us and we headed to The Homestead Restaurant for Mother’s Day Brunch.

The Homestead Restaurant

We all opted for the buffet and filled our plates to the brim.

My Plate

The food definitely had that home-cooked flava!

For dessert I enjoyed a small slice of carrot cake, the icing off of a piece of chocolate cake and a small slice of key lime pie.

Carrot Cake

I think I overdid it a bit at brunch because my tummy felt a little sick after brunch. I was really hungry when we arrived at the restaurant and I don’t think I paced myself very well. Don’t you worry, I feel much better now!

Animal Crackers De-Coded

Thanks to all of you who weighed in on the Animal Cracker debate!

You guys seemed as confused as my family did! Answers for the mysterious cracker ranged from a rhino to a sheep to a llama to a wild goat! You all had me laughing. 😀  

Special thanks to Tess for providing this link. It seems as though the cracker in question was actually a hippo!

Heading Back

I’m about to hit the road for Orlando.

I’m sad to be leaving my family but I am super excited because Ryan’s hiking trip concluded a bit early and I’ll be seeing him, Sadie and his dad this evening!

I hope you’re all enjoying a wonderful Sunday.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there. 😀

Guest List Grand Total

This morning I was up a little before 6 a.m. because Sadie was acting like a nut job all night.

In the middle of the night my mom let her out to go to the bathroom and she would not stop barking. We think there may have been some birds or a critter in our backyard, but whatever it was Sadie did not think it belonged there. Sadie spent the rest of the night curled up with me, tossing and turning. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep so well!

Though waking up before dawn on the weekend isn’t exactly ideal, it did give me a chance to get a quick run in before the hustle and bustle of the day began. I even got to try out my new Garmin!

Garmin Forerunner

Unfortunately I had it set up to report my statistics in kilometers, so I didn’t really understand my pace very well! I like my miles. 😉 I converted my statistics when I got home and found that Sadie and I covered slightly more than 5 miles.

Meeting the Pastor

After a quick breakfast, Ryan and I headed out to meet with Pastor Dean, a potential officiate for our wedding at his home in Dunedin, Florida.

Pastor Dean and his wife were wonderful to meet and seemed like such genuine people. Plus, Pastor Dean was very open to incorporating our ideas into the ceremony. I think we found another winner!


When we arrived back to my parents’ house, we had a big brunch waiting for us.


Before we sat down, my dad handed everyone mimosas to enjoy!

Mimosa Man

Dad + Daughter + Drinks

I filled my plate with all the goodies, and went back for seconds of the ham and thirds of the hash browns.

My Plate

Guest List

After brunch, we printed off our list of everyone in the world we would like to invite to the wedding and discussed everything thoroughly to get to a final number we are all comfortable with.

Our grand total… 155 people!

The total is definitely more than we initially thought we would have on our list, but it’s not as outrageously huge as it could have been. It feels good to have all of our guests on paper!

How many people came to your wedding? If you’re not married, do you want a big wedding or a small wedding?

From Paris to the ’80s

What a fun and adventurous day!

After breakfast, we visited Paris… in the form of my sister’s sorority’s Parisian mother/daughter brunch.

(Notice the Eiffel Tower in the Background)

When we arrived, we were greeted by her smiling sorority sisters who showed us to a yummy buffet of tasty sandwiches, desserts, fruit and more.

My Plate

I went back for fifths (yes, fifths) of the seven layer bar dessert squares. I flippin’ love those things!

Leslie and Me

Swinging and Smiling

After the brunch, we changed into casual clothes and headed to Do Art, an art studio nearby to paint some pottery.

I selected a chips and dip platter, while my mom and sister opted to paint mugs.

My Chips and Dip Platter

My Mom's Mug

Leslie's Mug

With Our Creations

My sister will pick up our goodies in a week. Apparently when the pottery gets fired up, the colors will really pop! I can’t wait to see the final product.


Once our pottery painting was complete, we hit the road for Orlando to pick up Ryan for a dinner at Park Plaza Gardens in Winter Park.

Park Plaza Gardens

We decided to try Park Plaza Gardens, a rather expensive restaurant usually, because they are currently offering a menu featuring items from their 1980s menu at the original 1980s prices. Score!

Before ordering, our waiter brought us a basket of bread that we devoured.

Bread Basket

Since the prices were amazing, my mom, sister and I ordered lobster while Ryan opted for the filet mignon.


We also shared a la carte sides of onion soup, asparagus and sweet potatoes.

The Dessert Lady

Dinner was delicious and we were very tempted to order dessert at Park Plaza Gardens, but we decided to hop in the car and head downtown to pay a visit to The Dessert Lady instead.

When we got there we were overwhelmed with so many decadent choices on the menu. When we spotted the sampler option our eyes lit up and we knew we had a winner.

We decided to enjoy one slice of carrot cake, bourbon pecan pie, Neapolitan cake and peanut butter pie and split them between the four of us.

The Dessert Lady's Dessert Sampler

We all agreed that the pecan pie (served with cinnamon ice cream) and the peanut butter pie were the stand outs.

Huggin' Outside the Dessert Lady

Ryan and My Sister

The Dessert-Lovin' Ladies

Today definitely ended on a sweet note! 🙂

Since today was filled with girly fun, we’re letting Ryan control the remote and are hanging out watching the NBA playoffs before heading to bed in a bit.

See ya in the mornin’!