Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Bridal Shower

No secret that 2014 was (and will continue to be) one of the best eras of my life. It was just a whole lot of feeling special, seeing so many faces of people I hold dear and celebrating the importance of relationships, family and love in all its forms. Awww, how horrendously cheesy! But it's true: I loved the year (2014 highlights here). And a day that stands out in particular was my bridal shower, thrown in May 2014. 
I know people often talk about how attending bridal/baby showers is largely a labor of forced love. However, I haven't ever felt that way when I've been in attendance. I like the fact that it's something new to do on the weekends. I like the set-up. I like the spirited food and drinks. I like the all the love raining down on the bride/mama-to-be. I've always enjoyed them. And though I was super awkward at first to have so much attention on me, I thoroughly loved all of this as the guest of honor. And all six of my Bridesmaids went above and beyond to ensure that I felt pretty dang loved that day (which is why I hosted a brunch when I first asked them! Seen here. It's a ton of work to be a bridesmaid!!). Let's get to the overflow of pictures (some real camera, some iPhone so varying levels of quality)...
^I had no idea what to wear for my shower and was actually out shopping the morning of in a state of panic. I tried on so many white dresses from various stores and purchased them as I went, never fully in love. Until, I came across this dress from Express and I was obsessed. It was a really nice cream color and reminded me of Priscilla Presley. So happy to have found it with no time to spare that day!
^The shower was held at my apartment complex, in the community room. About 30 minutes before the shower, the bridesmaids texted me and said it was ready. So I sauntered down the  hall and was greeted with a drink and a hug before other guests arrived.
^All my bridesmaids before the shower. I love them so dearly.
^I was oooohing & ahhhing over the whole room all day! The decor was so, so, so cute.
^Guests arriving.
^Time for presents. See my awkward body language on right? ha.
^Received family heirlooms from Jay's Stepmom.
^Cutest little helper. I also had both my late Grandmas there in my own ways. I wore my Dad's Mom's bracelet on my wrist & I did my hair in a way that reminded me in color and style of my Nana's culture (my Mom's Mom). Just my own little way of bringing a bit of them into the room. Miss them.
^Jay's Mom used my shower invite to put on a bottle of wine made with grapes from her property (which is where the wedding was held). How special is that?
^All the women from Jay's family in attendance- Aunts, Mom & Stepmom.
^Elena, Me, Tracy
^Girlfriends make the world go round.
^One of my favorite pictures of my sister and me.
^The MOB & MOG. So lucky to have them both!
^Fam-damily. Love these spirited women!
^If you don't realize my friend on the left is pregnant, my pose looks quite weird.
^Hanging around after, chatting it up.
^My favorites.
^Blurry but so cute. My wonderful MIL and me.

And where was Chandler during all this? Thanks for asking! With Jay gone during this time in Vegas at his Bachelor party, my Dad came and grabbed Chandler for a puppy playdate with the family dog Maddie.
^Ummmmm, cutest picture ever that my Dad sent me during the shower.
^My Dad brought an exhausted Chandler back to my house after and we surveyed the 'damage' aka bounty of gifts that took over our small spot.

And in conclusion... it was all the love from all these amazing women that made that day so spectacular.
Even this amount of time later, I still feel so happy reflecting on it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

5 Places I Really Want To Visit

Santorini Greece
I never drool harder over people's vacation photos than when I'm looking at images of Santorini. I have a hard time believing this place is even real. How I long to be the one blemish in this otherwise perfect landscape.

While Poland is adorable, stunning and looks/sounds like a total blast to explore- I must admit: I'm in it for the history. WWII unfolded some of its darkest hours within the confines of this country and I am yearning to visit it someday. I can imagine touring Auschwitz would not be easy, but I feel that it's something worth doing.

North Korea
Can you imagine how fascinating it would be to visit North Korea? I know that tourists are only allowed in certain areas at certain times and always with a government escort. However, I still think interacting with your guide, feasting your eyes on Pyongyang & seeing what a North Korean hotel offers would be an unrivaled experience.

New Orleans
I have traveled all over the United States but I have never managed to make it to the South! While I don't have enough time to list all the places I hope to go in that region (breaking into all the Georgia mansions and making the residents force-feed me tea on their front deck would be a start ...) but I feel an obligation to experience New Orleans first. I hear it's crazy. And fun. Which is basically how I self-identify anyway.

Giraffe Manor (Kenya)
And last but certainly not least is Giraffe Manor in Kenya. Have you heard of this place?!?! The first time I caught wind of it I immediately went to, assuming there was no way this little slice of heaven was actually real. But it is. It is. You stay at a lovely mansion on a palatial estate, eat lots of food, sleep in decadent rooms and on top of all that: Giraffes roam the property and brunch with your family [Moment of silence to acknowledge how cute that must be]. Needless to say, this destination is bucket list material. I didn't think mimosas could get any better until I saw a d*mn adorable Giraffe next to one eating a cookie out of a kid's hand while his loving family looks on over eggs. IS THIS REAL LIFE?!

What's a place you really want to visit?