Meagan's Sex & the City Shower

5.28.2010
Recently, Meagan wrote to me about her amazing bridal shower and I just had to share, especially because the theme was Sex & the City - what could be more timely with the new movie coming out?!

Hey Lauren!  
I hope all is going well with new motherhood :) My bridesmaids threw me the most amazing shower this weekend and they put so much hard work and thought into it, that I just had to share.

I work for On Location Tours, the company that runs the Sex and the City Hotspots Tour (www.screentours.com).  The girls decided to bring a little NYC to York with my Sex and the City themed bridal shower.  

I have included some info below and have attached some pics (photo credits: Katlyn Wolfgang).  I was just so appreciative of all the work my friends and family did, so I wanted to show the world all their hard work!

Thanks!
Meagan


The event began with a mystery text instructing the bride to go home and look in her closet.  There she found a little black dress, hot pink accessories, and instructions to await her transportation that would arrive at 5:30pm.


At 5:30pm a taxi cab (how New York!) pulled up to take her to the shower destination, where she was met by her father, her future father-in-law, her brother, and her bridesmaids' fathers, who had been serving as valets for the evening.


From there, she was welcomed to the SATC-themed bash by her bridesmaids and their accommodating hubbies, who dressed in tuxedo tees and served food and drink at the party.



No SATC-related detail was left out - Guests' stiletto'ed invite asked them to don the apparel of their favorite SATC character and a "costume contest" was later held, with the bride acting as judge.

    Upon arrival, guests were instructed to select name tags indicating which SATC-character they most identified with: Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda

      Hot pink and black were, of course, the colors of the evening. Flirtinis and cosmopolitans were the signature cocktails, served in hot pink martini glasses.

        Table centerpieces were comprised of black feathers, hot pink hydrangeas, and "diamonds," and a pink-and-black New York City skyline cake was baked using the Magnolia Bakery recipe and was adorned with a Manolo Blahnik and pearl necklace


          Throughout the evening the Sex & the City Movie soundtrack was played in the background, and as prizes for the night's various games guests received copies of the Sex & the City Movie DVD.
             

            The bride received a SATC-themed gift from her bridesmaids, which included a gift bag for each character... each filled with character-appropriate lingerie (think conservative and classy for Charlotte; leopard print for Samantha)

              Floating candles in the pool provided the perfect ambience for a perfect evening filled with fashion and fun.


              It sounds like your shower was absolutely fabulous, Meagan - what amazing friends and family you have! Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

                HGTV Feature

                5.27.2010
                Thanks to HGTV for featuring Violet's nursery in their Whimsical Bedrooms for Toddlers article! It was so fun to see her space on one of my favorite sites:




                There are a ton of other great nurseries/children's rooms featured in the article as well. Definitely worth checking out!

                Violet's First Week of Life - NICU

                I apologize ahead of time for another long and wordy post, but it's important to me to get these thoughts and memories down in writing before I forget them.

                Most parents head to the hospital knowing that labor and delivery can have unexpected twists and turns, but I doubt that most consider the fact that their baby could end up in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit - I certainly didn't think much about this possibility. I had hoped to have Violet placed on my chest, where we would immediately try to breastfeed. I pictured us going to our recovery room as a happy little family, where I could roll over and see my baby any time I liked, hold my baby anytime I liked, and feed my baby anytime I liked. This was not our story.

                While I did get to hold my baby for a few brief seconds immediately after her birth (for which I am incredibly grateful to my midwife), due to her meconium aspiration she was quickly taken to triage and ultimately to the NICU. I had some small experience with this due to the fact that my nephew was in a NICU for some time due to infection and meconium aspiration, but still the scenario didn't really enter my thoughts as I prepared to give birth.

                When I finally was taken to see my little girl, she was hooked up to so many tubes and wires that I was afraid to touch her, let alone hold her. At first I wasn't even sure if we were allowed to hold her. That is one thing about having your baby in the NICU - I really felt like I had to ask permission to do anything but look at my little girl - which is a really strange feeling.


                Our first visit with Violet was brief, as it was late, I had just given birth, and was absolutely exhausted. Luckily, on our visit the following day, we were asked by a sweet nurse if we would like to try Kangaroo Care (K-Care) with our baby. She explained that it can help baby's progress to have skin to skin contact with mommy and daddy. We of course immediately agreed! I can't begin to describe how absolutely amazing it felt to hold her in my arms again:



                Daddy did K-care also:


                Violet had received some x-rays at this point, and things were looking good. Her lungs had been affected, but not significantly, and we were told that she was improving. We were absolutely elated at this news and hoping to have our baby home as soon as possible.

                The following day brought a lot of firsts. Violet got her first parent diaper change from her daddy:


                She took it easy on him the first day - no poopy diaper yet! Later that day her breathing tube came out and she received some of her mommy's first pumped colostrum through her feeding tube (which was now in her nose so that we could possibly try breastfeeding!)


                That evening we got to try breastfeeding for the first time. It went great - she latched well and had a strong suck. Unfortunately I was a little torn up from the pump (I'll save that story for later), so it hurt a little, but other than that it wasn't as bad as I expected. Unfortunately the Hubster only had one personal day left and wanted to save it for Violet's home coming, so he had to go home that night to rest up for work the next day. It was really hard for him to leave, but I'm so glad he saved his last day to come home with us.

                Luckily, my mom came to stay with us that night in his place. I don't know what I would have done without her. Every three hours the NICU would call up to my room in Maternity, and we would wake up and trek down to the NICU (about a five minute walk) to feed Violet. With my stitches and still recovering from giving birth, I have to say that it was utterly exhausting. The nurses kept trying to convince me to take a break and let her have formula, but I wanted to be with my baby and nurse her. Every time I saw her sweet face, it was totally worth it.

                Since Violet was doing so well with nursing, they removed her feeding tube the next day, and she was down to just the IV and electronic monitors. It was so nice to see her beautiful face without tape and tubes!


                Here's a pic with my mom, Mamaw, Violet, and me - four generations!


                My dad and the Hubster's parents visited that day as well:



                She looked much happier with her face free and we even saw a few smiles:


                That evening, we were given the amazing news that if things continued to go well, she would most likely be discharged the next day. We also were offered to room in at the NICU overnight, which was a Godsend. My legs were incredibly swollen at this point, and I didn't know if I could keep making the trek from Maternity. Before bed we gave Violet her first parent sponge bath and learned to swaddle her. It was such a great feeling to have her little bassinet right next to my bed.

                On Friday - our final day in the NICU - we were really put through the ringer. We woke up early and Violet had her car seat test. She had to sit in it for an hour with her oxygen levels above 90. Unfortunately they would periodically dip to the high 80's. We were afraid we'd have to take her home in a car bed, or worse, leave her in the NICU. Luckily the pediatrician decided that since we lived so close she'd be fine in the car seat, with the caveat that we not take her on any long drives for a few weeks. We had an infant CPR class, went over baby care procedures with the NICU nurse, and had her evaluated by the pediatrician. We finally fed her one final time, bundled her in her car seat, and took our baby girl home! I took a parting shot of Violet's space in the NICU:


                I can't say enough how amazing the nurses and doctors in the NICU and hospital were - we were so blessed to have such good people taking care of us and our little girl during our short stay. Despite that I can honestly say that the only thing I will miss about the NICU are the K-Care chairs. They are hideously ugly, but incredibly comfortable. I tried to convince the Hubster to pack one into the Rav4, but for some reason he didn't think the hospital would appreciate that. Otherwise, I hope to never see the NICU again (except maybe for their yearly reunion).

                I often sit at home looking at my beautiful baby and think about how lucky we really are - there were so many tiny babies in there whose parents had to go home without them. I just can't imagine that feeling. Some will be in the NICU for weeks or even months. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of these babies and their parents and I wish for them health, happiness, and home as soon as their little bodies will allow for it.

                Etsy Finds...

                5.26.2010
                I think that etsy may be the devil. I could browse that site for hours! Luckily blogging about my finds helps me to resist the urge to buy everything in sight. Here are a few things I'm loving:

                This little tie and suspenders onesie is to die for:

                Via


                Adorable print:

                Via


                Little Orange Monster T:

                Via


                Organic baby bib:

                 Via


                Personalized hoop:
                 Via


                Handknit dress:
                 Via

                I could go on, but it wouldn't be healthy! If etsy was around when my Grandma was still crocheting up a storm, I think she'd be a billionaire...

                Rachel's Master Bedroom

                5.25.2010
                Recently, Rachel wrote to me for help with her master bedroom makeover:

                Hi Lauren,

                Here are pics of my master bedroom:

                I wanted to do something with the fireplace. I am thinking of putting the TV over the fireplace and possibly putting built ins on the wall with the fireplace and a window seat. I want an upholshered bed, new night stands and an area rug. I can reupholster the chair or get a new one. I also want to take the large armoire and move it downstairs, but I have clothes in there that I need to store. I also need a new paint color and I was thinking white bedding, a duvet and sheets. Then I can change out the pillows. 
                I am in to neutrals - beige and whites with touches of color in greens and blues ( not bright). I am excited to see what you come up with!
                I have three boys 9,7 and 5 that ruin things so take that into consideration!
                --
                Best,

                Rachel

                What a great space, Rachel! I love the fireplace in the room. Here's what I came up with:




                • The group of three mirrors would go above the headboard in a horizontal row.
                • The bird prints would flank the window and drapes (two or three on each side).
                • The tall dresser would replace the oversized armoire and would be placed to the right side of the bed to balance out the door on the left.
                • I love your idea of placing the television above the fireplace and adding built ins on either side. You could go with white or a dark wood for the built ins.

                Bed - Amazon
                Rug - Overstock
                Herringbone Pillow - Velocity Art & Design
                Robin Linen Pillow - 2Modern
                Nightstand - Glam Furniture
                Paint - Behr Sea Salt 
                Table Lamp - Crate & Barrel
                Chair - Macy's
                Set of 3 Mirrors - Pottery Barn
                Tall Dresser - Crate & Barrel
                Blue Silk Drapes - West Elm
                Linen Drapes - West Elm
                Bird Prints - Ballard Designs
                Plant - Crate & Barrel
                 

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