This One Italian Girl

Weekend Recap – Flowers and Fundraisers

Nov
21

This weekend was actually a pretty relaxed one.  Friday I officially got all of our invitations in the mail.  That was exciting.  Now we just wait for the responses to start coming in.  I also picked up a few of the bridesmaids dresses.  It was really cool to see them in the correct color this time, because the girls first went to try on dresses they didn’t have the right color in the store.  I absolutely love them and I can’t wait to see them on the girls!

Saturday wasn’t supposed to be very busy but it turned into a busy day.  The fiance and I have semi-opposite work schedules.  Well not really opposite, but we just don’t get to see each other very often during the week.  He works from 10am-10pm and I work a regular desk job.  So in the mornings we see each other for about 15 minutes while we are running around getting ready and half asleep.  Then by the time he gets home from work I am exhausted and already half asleep in bed.  The weekends are really our only time together.  And that’s just not enough for us.  So we are starting this new thing where we get up early and spend some time together in the mornings, whether it be taking the dog for a walk or having breakfast.  Saturday morning we got up early and took the dog for a walk AND had breakfast together.  It was quite nice.  This morning we actually got up early and went to the gym together.

 

After our morning walk I went to look at flowers with a friend of mine who is doing the bouquets for our wedding. She wanted to get a feel for what style and colors I like.  Once we had some things picked out I had to rush over to my future MIL’s school for a fundraiser she put on.  Every year around this time she usually has her students sell cookies to raise money for all their choir activities.  This year she decided to have a friend come and put on an hour-long Zumba class.  It was a lot of fun, and such a good turn out of people.  We had worked up quite an appetite from dancing so we all decided to go out to lunch.

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After lunch the fiance and I ran a couple errands, one of which included picking up my rings!  We ordered my wedding band last week but then I decided to have it, along with my engagement ring, resized to fit me better.  I’m not allowed to wear, or even see, the wedding band until the wedding day.  My fiance actually hid the box so I won’t be tempted.  Once we finished our errands we had to get home because my friend was coming over to hang out for the night.  She was coming from a Thanksgiving dinner with her Dad so she brought us a ton of leftovers.  It was all so yummy!  We spent the rest of the evening watching Christmas movies, making cookies and drinking hot chocolate.

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My friend ended up spending the night so Sunday morning we went out for brunch.  After we ate we stopped by the mall so she could try to find some shoes for the wedding.  By then we were all kind of tired and it was starting to rain, so we went home, turned on a movie and we all took a nap.  After our nap my friend went home and the rest of the day was the perfect lazy Sunday.  I stayed in my sweats all day and watched movies.

Weekend Recap – Wedding and Birthday

Nov
14

This weekend was full of celebrations.  There was a friend’s wedding and my Mom’s birthday.  Friday night was nothing exciting.  I spent the evening doing laundry and prepping wedding invitation envelopes with stamps and return labels.  Saturday night was the wedding and Sunday was my Mom’s birthday.

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Saturday morning I was planning to go for a run but instead had a lazy morning in bed with the fiance and the pup.  And I don’t regret it for one second.  Once we finally got up and out of bed we dropped the pup off at his parent’s house to play while we ran a few errands.  First we had to go do more laundry because he didn’t have any clean pants to wear for the wedding.  Then we went to the jewelry store and ordered my wedding band ring.  I had already picked one out last time we were there, but it was impossible to find the exact one again.  Since they all looked very similar, I picked out a different one that I loved and we ordered it.  Turns out it was a little bit cheaper too, which the fiance was happy about.

After that we headed to the mall to try and change the groomsmen’s vest for our wedding.  The vest we picked out has a subtle polka dot texture to it and the tie is striped.  I was worried this would be too many conflicting patterns and was hoping to change the vest to just a solid color with the striped tie.  Unfortunately, they did not have this option available in the color we want, so we have to stick with what we had.  We were going to head home but then realized that the fiance didn’t have any nice shirts to wear for the wedding that night.  So we headed over to Macy’s and picked out a nice shirt and tie.  By then we were starving so we grabbed some sandwiches and headed home to get ready for the wedding.

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We carpooled with my parents to the wedding which was only about 30 minutes away.  The ceremony and reception were both at the same place.  The ceremony was inside, cocktails and dinner were outside and dancing was inside again.  It worked out perfectly to have everything so close and the weather was great so it never got too cold.  They did have heat lamps just in case.  One really cool part of the reception was when the DJ got the entire party to do the mannequin challenge.  Which is when you hold a pose while someone walks around filming a video of it so everyone looks like mannequins.  At first I thought there’s no way you could do this with so many people, but it actually turned out really cool and I think will be a fun memory for the bride and groom to have.

I think my favorite part of the evening was when they started the dancing and the bride and groom were feeling pretty good after a few cocktails and started bouncing all over the room.  The groom got a little too close to the cake table and knocked over their wedding cake on the floor!  Thankfully it didn’t completely smash and they were able to salvage most of it, but needless to say there was no cutting of the cake after that.  Also, thankfully the bride did not see this happen.  We didn’t stay for all of the dancing because my Mom got tired, but it was fine by me because my feet were starting to hurt.

Sunday was my Mom’s birthday and we had a casual family dinner planned for that night.  Before that I had a few more chores to get done.  The fiance went golfing with his friend, but in the meantime I did our last couple loads of laundry and went shopping with my Mom to get a few things for the wedding.  Once the fiance was done golfing we went grocery shopping for the week and then headed back to my parent’s house for dinner.  Unfortunately, my sister-in-law couldn’t come because she was sick and didn’t want to get my Mom sick.  I feel more bad that she was sick on her best friend’s wedding and had to leave early.  But such is life.  For dinner we had pork chops, pesto pasta and a green salad with apple pie for dessert.  It was all delicious and we went home happy and full.

This week is the last full week before Thanksgiving.  I am excited because I feel like I could use a little break.  But also kind of scary because that just means we are getting closer to the wedding and time is going to fly by at the end of the year.  The wedding this weekend was the last one we will attend before our own wedding.  It was very surreal to think about myself in the bride’s position but also made me that much more excited to finally marry my best friend.

Mailing Invitations

Nov
09

Our invitations finally arrived last week!  Which means I’ve been frantically trying to get them in the mail this week in order to give our guests plenty of time to RSVP.  There is a lot more work that goes into mailing invitations than I realized.  First of all, because our ceremony and reception are at two different locations, we have multiple things to include with the invitation.  We have to include the invitation, RSVP card, directions to the ceremony, directions to the reception venue, nearby hotel recommendations, and a gate pass for the reception because it’s inside a gated community.  I’m tired and confused just thinking about it.

 

With the RSVP card I had to be as specific as possible because we need people to know exactly how many are invited.  We are maxing out the venue, so not many people are getting plus ones, unless they are married.  There is a spot on the card for them to then let us know exactly how many and who will be attending.  It was important to include all of this so they don’t assume they get to bring a date.  We also had to mention that the reception venue has a strict dress code, so people better not show up in jeans.  Which I don’t think would happen anyway, but we had to put it out there just in case.  We had to include a gate pass to help speed up the gate entrance process.  I am sure this is going to confuse a lot of people and most of them won’t even remember to bring the pass with them anyway.

 

A little trick I have learned along the way is to number the back of the RSVP cards and match it up to your guest list.  This is important because some people will forget to write their names on the RSVP card and won’t put their return address on the envelope.  If this happens you will have an easy way to figure out whose card it was.

 

The biggest task of all is going to be addressing all of the envelopes.  We went back and forth with the option of hand writing or buying stickers.  We bought a stamp for the RSVP return envelopes and stickers for the return address, but decided to hand write the regular envelopes.  Since my Mom has the best handwriting, and she has a lot of free time right now, she has so graciously offered to hand write them.  So this week has been a team effort to get them all completed.  I went over Monday night to print out the gate passes and put everything that needs to go in the envelopes together.  Tonight I will go over and help stuff envelopes, stamp envelopes and seal them up while my Mom writes all the names.  It is quite the team effort, but we are slowly making progress.  My goal is to have them in the mail by this weekend.  Then we just patiently wait for the responses to start coming in so we can create a seating chart.  It’s a never ending to do list.

Weekend Recap – Bridal Shower

Nov
07

This weekend was the last of my bridal showers.  It’s sad to see them over, but I think three was plenty.  Plus, that just means we are getting closer to the big day!  As always, let’s start with Friday first.  So Friday I had my second dress fitting.  The lady doing my alterations was going to take the dress in a little at the waist and bust, as well as hem the bottom and create a bustle in the back.  Friday afternoon I picked up my Mom and we headed to the bridal gown shop to try on the dress again and see if any final changes were needed before my last fitting, which will be next month.  We also ordered my veil while at the store.  I found a long veil with a lacy trim that looks absolutely perfect with my dress.  I’ve really been enjoying these fittings and getting the chance to try my dress on multiple times.  Each time I’ve tried it on I’ve loved it even more.  This time it fit me like a glove after the alterations and I am so excited to walk down the aisle in it.

Saturday morning I got up and took the pup for a nice long walk before the bridal shower.  This one was in town so thankfully we didn’t have to drive very far.  The theme for this one was a tea party, and they went above and beyond on the decorations.  It was absolutely perfect.  We had a variety of mini sandwiches, scones, and desserts for lunch.  They also had a few games to play.  One of the games was a memory game where I put on an apron filled with kitchen gadgets and walked around the room for everyone to memorize as many things as they could.  My favorite game was to guess my age in a variety of pictures over the years.  My Mom and I both got 2 wrong.  Oops.

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After the shower we went home to change and then went right back for dinner with our 2 good family friends that were both in town for my shower.  It was so nice to have everyone together again.  We used to all go camping every summer and spent every Christmas Eve together for the last 20 years.  One of the family’s moved down to LA a few years ago so we haven’t all been able to get together except for the few weddings that have happened since then.  We spent the night playing games and watching old home videos of our many camping trips.

 

Sunday we had no plans.  It felt so good to get an extra hour of sleep with the time change, but I still woke up early.  So I got up and made homemade funfetti doughnuts before anyone else was awake.  We couldn’t sleep in too long though because we had to get to Costco right when it opened.  We needed to sign up for a Costco membership in order to book our honeymoon for one of their travel packages.  While there, we decided to do our grocery shopping and grab lunch.  Then we came home, booked the honeymoon, and took a much needed nap.  Not a very long one though because we had an afternoon tee time for golf with my Dad.  We played at the local golf course and I actually did better than last time, so I was happy.  And I only lost one ball in the water.  Making improvements!  After golf we headed home, cooked dinner and then meal prepped for the week.  We spent the rest of the evening looking up fun activities to do on the honeymoon and watching a show on Netflix.  Not a bad way to finish off the weekend.

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Weekend Recap – Brew Crawl & Baby Shower

Oct
31

Another eventful weekend in the books.  And now it is almost November!  But more importantly – it’s my birthday today!  Happy Halloween!  It is an ongoing debate with my brother, but I swear I was a treat, not a trick.  Although he will never let me live it down that I ruined his trick-or-treating all those years ago, and I forever owe him candy.  I am 27 years old today.  Age never used to bother me, until last year.  I don’t know if it was the whole turning 26 and being kicked off my parent’s insurance for good that really makes you start feeling old.  Or just being closer to 30 rather than 20 now sounds old.  It is a weird feeling and I’m not so sure I like it yet.  But nothing I can do about it, so I might as well try and enjoy it.

Anyway, back to the weekend recap.  This weekend was supposed to start with a softball game on Friday, but yet again it got canceled because of the rain.  So we will try again this weekend.  Instead of softball, I carved pumpkins with my Dad and the fiance and I got a few wedding things done.  We selected the photos we want for our guest book, we ordered the pies for dessert, and we ordered our invitations.  Next on the list is to book the honeymoon.  After all that planning we treated ourselves to a nice dinner at Outback Steakhouse.

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Saturday morning I got up and went for a quick run since I took the last few days off.  But then I had to hurry and get ready to meet with a florist.  I took my Mom with me for help and we liked what we saw so we booked the florist.  Things are really falling into place.  After the meeting I had to hurry to meet up with the fiance and some friends for a round of golf.  We played an easy 9-hole course in town which was good for me, because I only play about once a year and rarely practice in between.  After golf we grabbed some lunch and then started getting ready for the brew crawl that evening.

My best friend met up at my place and brought the costumes.  We were dressed as thing 1 and thing 2 and the fiance was the cat in the hat.  The costumes turned out super cute, and the brew crawl was a lot of fun, as always.  Thankfully we live so close to downtown now that we were able to just walk there and didn’t have to worry about driving.  Once the crawl was over we got a pizza to go and walked back to our place for dinner.  By the time we got back and ate, everyone was exhausted.  I’m pretty sure we were all asleep by 10PM.

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Sunday morning everyone headed home and the fiance and I had to get ready for the next party.  One of his friend’s from college is having a baby and invited us to the baby shower.  The baby’s due date wasn’t for another couple weeks, but she had a little scare a few days ago and the doctor’s plan to induce her tomorrow.  It’s a good thing they were able to squeeze in this last shower before the baby comes.  The shower was really nice, but unfortunately we weren’t able to stay for the entire thing because my family was having a birthday dinner for me that night.  We did get to stay for lunch, dessert and a few games though.

That night my Mom cooked a special dinner for me that I requested – pork chops and Spanish rice.  For dessert was yellow cake and chocolate frosting.  All of my favorites.  We all had dinner, opened gifts and watched the world series game.  I’m not sure what I will do tonight on my actual birthday, but I’m okay with just taking it easy.  The fiance switched to an earlier shift so we will be able to have dinner together tonight.  Maybe carve some pumpkins and watch a scary movie if I’m lucky.

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October Favorites

Oct
28

I am sad to see October come and go so quickly.  It is one of my favorite months of the year.  Probably because of all the birthdays and candy that happen in this month.  October seems to be a popular month for my family to have babies.  Some of the birthdays in October include myself, my Dad, the fiance, 3 cousins, my Nonno, plus a few friends.  And I’m probably forgetting somebody.  It is crazy.  So October is always an exciting month.  The only good thing about it being over is that still means we have Thanksgiving and Christmas to look forward to.

 

Here are a few things I have been loving this month.

 

  1. Halloween decorations.  I have noticed more this year than ever before, that people are putting up lights on their house to decorate.  Like they would for Christmas, but with orange lights for Halloween.  And I am loving it.  Halloween often gets forgotten about with all the Thanksgiving and Christmas excitement.

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2. Customized sign.  We got this sign as a gift from my sister-in-law and I absolutely love it.  I was actually looking on Etsy to order something similar for myself once we got married, but now I don’t have to.  It is perfect and yet still kind of weird to think of myself with a new last name.  Still adjusting to that one.

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3.  Running.  Growing up I used to hate running.  Then in college I started running and fell in love with it.  Once I graduated, moved, and started a new job I got too busy and let my running slip.  I have been trying to get back into running this year, and this month has probably been one of the longest stretches that I have actually stuck with it.  And I am loving it again.  So hopefully I can keep up through the winter.

4.  Bridal/Baby showers.  This month I went to 2 bridal showers (1 was mine and 1 was a friend’s) and 2 baby showers.  It is so fun to get dressed up and celebrate love and life with other people that want to do the same.  I love all the silly games and delicious food.  It’s always a good time and just a good excuse to get people together.

5.  New kitchen stuff.  Although getting all these shower and wedding gifts makes me feel slightly like a spoiled brat, I can’t lie – I kind of love it all.  It has been so nice to have brand new stuff that actually works and I know we will get use out of for a long time.  We recently got a new knife set and the fiance has been so excited because all of our old knives were a collection of hand me downs and beyond dull.  Now we have a matching set and they work!  Plus all the new baking sheets and pans that aren’t rusty, the measuring cups that aren’t broken, and the dishes that actually match and aren’t chipped.  Everything in our kitchen was hand me downs, which worked while we were in college and started living together.  But now that we are growing up and will be hosting parties, it is nice to have matching stuff that will last a lifetime.  It is very exciting and makes us forever grateful that we have such amazing friends and family that are willing to help support us.

Book Review – The Silent Sister

Oct
26

I skipped last month’s book review because I didn’t actually finish the book.  But sometimes that just happens in life.  The thing with being in a book club is we end up talking about the whole book, which makes it hard for me to go back and finish it later when I already know what is going to happen.  I didn’t really love that book anyway though, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to me.  This months book was different though and I loved it!  I was bad and didn’t start it until last weekend, but it was so good that I finished it in 3 days.  It was a mystery book which are my favorites.  The book we read was called The Silent Sister by Diane Chamerlain.

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The book was about this girl, Riley, who grew up her whole life believing that her older sister committed suicide as a teenager.  Riley was only 2 years old at the time so she doesn’t remember anything.  Twenty years later, her Dad passes away and she is forced to clean out his house.  It is there that she starts finding evidence that life may have been very different than she thought growing up.  Her sister is still alive.  And she is not exactly who Riley thought she was.  Why has she been in hiding all these years?  Her parents are both dead and her brother hates their older sister for some reason, so Riley spends the majority of the book trying to figure out the truth about her family and her past.

The author goes back and forth between the perspective of Riley and her sister.  When Riley is narrating, the story is being told in the present with her trying to figure out what happened to her family and why her sister has been a mystery all these years.  When her sister is narrating, the story is being told in the past of how she left the family and made a new life for herself, but also not completely letting go.  It was those slight connections the sister held on to that led Riley to her evidence of still being alive.  The book had so many twists and turns that made it hard to stop reading.  Although some of them got to be a little unbelievable, it was still really interesting and a well written book.  If you like mystery books, especially ones that revolve around families, then this is the book for you.

Weekend Recap – Bridal Shower

Oct
25

This weekend was my second (of three) bridal shower.  I know what you’re thinking: “Three bridal showers, are you crazy?!”  Well, probably a little bit.  But I have a really big family and to avoid having a 50+ person bridal shower, we split them up into three.  Plus, I also have a really amazing family and they were all so excited to help throw these showers for me.  The first shower was mostly my Dad’s side of the family, this second shower was my Mom’s side and the third will be mostly friends.

The shower wasn’t until Saturday afternoon though, and some other fun stuff happened before that.  So Friday night my parents were supposed to have a softball game, but it turns out the other team forfeit.  Since my brother and sister-in-law were already in town for the game we all decided to order pizza and play games at my parents house that night.  We played this racing car board game that we got for Christmas last year.  My Dad is determined to win this game.  We have played a handful of times, and everyone has won except for him.  It kills him.  Sadly, his losing streak continues.

Saturday morning I got up early and went for a run.  I have been slowly getting back into running and I am really loving it.  I want to sign up for some type of race soon, but I know that as soon as I put pressure on myself to commit to training for it, that’s when I fall off the wagon.  So for now I just want to enjoy the running and see where it takes me.  Back to the story.  So after my run I had an appointment to get my hair done for another possible wedding style.  Last time I got it done it was more of a loose bun and this time I wanted to try a tighter bun.  I am really happy with how it turned out and I’m thinking this is the hairstyle I will be going with.

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First hair trial

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Second hair trial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After I got my hair done I had to race home to change and pick up my soon to be MIL and my Mom to head to the shower.  Three of my cousins hosted the shower for me and they went above and beyond on the decorations.  It turned out so cute!  They had a banner made with pictures from our engagement session, there was a mimosa bar, and the table decorations were adorable.  We played one game where they read a story about the me and the fiance where anytime they said left or right we had to pass a bag in that direction.  It was hysterical to watch my family get so flustered with their lefts and rights.  I ended up with one of the bags so I won a prize!  To eat we had Chinese food and they made homemade won tons for appetizers.  For dessert they made cupcakes and this delicious coconut-pineapple pudding thing.  And of course I got plenty of wonderful gifts.  I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family that supports and loves me like they do.

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When I got home from the shower, the fiance was just getting home from wine tasting with some of his old coworkers.  I could tell they had had a lot of fun if you know what I mean.  We all went inside and hung out for a bit before everyone started getting hungry.  We decided to walk downtown and eat at a local Mexican restaurant.  After dinner, the fiance’s friends left and my best friend came over.  The fiance went to bed because he had to get up and work the next day.  My best friend and I were planning to bake cookies and watch a scary movie, but then we remembered that this haunted house at the fairgrounds was still open.  So we went to that instead.  It was so much fun.  I don’t know why, but for some reason I like getting scared in haunted houses.  It freaks me out walking through them and I always scream, but for some reason I always go back.

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Sunday was the most perfect lazy Sunday.  I slept in and kissed the fiance goodbye as he left for work while cuddling the pup in bed.  Then my Mom texted me that my Dad was getting them donuts and coffee for breakfast and asked if I wanted one.  Um, of course!  So I got dressed and rushed over for breakfast.  The rest of the day was spent reading my book club book, taking the dogs for a walk, taking a nap, and having dinner.  After dinner I went back home to meal prep for us for the week and finished my book.  It was the perfect way to end the weekend.  I always like to relax on Sunday’s because it really lets me calm down before the stress of another week hits.

Rattle Cupcakes

Oct
21

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As I mentioned in a previous post I recently attended a baby shower where I made these mini rattle cupcakes.  I found the idea on Pinterest, and thought it was just too cute not to try.  Turns out we already had a dessert provided through the restaurant so it’s a good thing I made these mini so people still ate them.

I knew I wanted to do chocolate cupcakes because the Mom to be loves chocolate and I also wanted to color the frosting so that had to be vanilla.  I used this recipe for the chocolate cupcakes, which already included instructions for mini cupcakes at the bottom.  The recipe said it would make about 36 cupcakes, but I got about 44 out of it.

To make the rattles I bought short sticks – like the ones used for cake pops, life saver mints and purple ribbon.  We were going with a purple theme for this baby shower, but obviously you can use whatever color you like.  First I hot glue gunned the mints to the end of the sticks and let that set.  Then I tied the ribbon into bows on the sticks.  Once the cupcakes were cool it was time to assemble.  I forgot that the cupcake had paper liners so I had to figure out how to get the sticks to go through.  I ended up cutting little slits in the side of the cupcake papers to fit the stick through, which worked perfectly.

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Now the fun part – the frosting!  At first I was just going to do white frosting and top with sprinkles, but then I realized I didn’t have any purple sprinkles and I really didn’t want to go the store.  So I made purple frosting instead with no sprinkles.  To get the right color I just kept adding blue and red food coloring until it was the right shade of purple.  Then I put the frosting in a piping bag and made circles on top of the cupcakes.  And that was it.  It was not difficult to make, but I will say it was a long process.  The most time consuming part was gluing the mints and tying the bows.  But it was well worth it for how cute they turned out, and everybody loved them.  Such a cute idea!

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Weekend Recap – Bridal and Baby Showers

Oct
18

This weekend was full of showers, and not just the weather.  We did actually get a lot of rain this weekend.  It started raining on Friday which cancelled my parent’s softball game.  I was happy about that though because it meant we got to go out to a nicer dinner to celebrate my Dad’s birthday.  We all went out to a Mexican restaurant and shared a pitcher of margaritas.  After dinner we went out for frozen yogurt, even though it was freezing outside, then we went back home and opened presents.

Saturday it didn’t rain but it was super windy all day.  So windy that it knocked an umbrella over and shattered a glass table in my future in-laws backyard.  My Saturday morning was pretty lazy.  It started with puppy cuddles in bed, followed by breakfast and a walk.  Then it was time to get ready for a friend’s bridal shower.  Thankfully the shower was just in town so I didn’t have to go very far.

After the shower I went back to my parent’s house and did all of my laundry while making mini cupcakes for the next shower on Sunday.  I decided to make mini chocolate cupcakes and make them into baby rattles.  I think they turned out pretty cute.

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Sunday was the baby shower, but not until the afternoon, so I was able to have another lazy morning.  It rained all day Sunday so I wasn’t able to take the pup for a walk.  But I have been loving just staying in bed and having lazy morning cuddles.  Unfortunately I couldn’t stay in my PJs all day, so I got up and got ready for the baby shower.  We had it at one of our cousin’s restaurants and it turned out great.

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After the shower I dropped my Mom off, picked up the pup and headed home to spend the evening with the fiance.  He got home early from work so we went out to dinner and then cuddled and watched a movie.  My favorite thing to do on a rainy day.  This week is the fiance’s birthday so we are going to go out to dinner one night. Then next weekend I have another wedding hair trial and my second bridal shower.  Lots of exciting things happening this month!