This past weekend was one of showers here in Chicago: rain showers, my friend Kira’s baby shower, more rain showers and my other friend Kristen’s bridal shower.
The shower was hosted at Carnivale, a vibrantly decorated restaurant with delicious Latin fusion food. The shower’s theme, “You are my sunshine” was such a cute gender-neutral idea (they aren’t finding out the gender until the baby is born!). Of course we played some fun baby-related games and the prizes were mason jars filled Garrett’s famous “Chicago Mix” popcorn decorated with “About to POP!” labels. I love how they incorporated something local into the prizes. Small jars of lemon jelly beans brightened the look of the table (the multiple mimosas didn’t hurt either!) and were a nice post-party treat to enjoy at home.
The cake was from Sweet Mandy B’s and embarrassingly enough, I knew it the second I tasted it – their cakes are my absolute favorite.
It was wonderful to celebrate the third mama-to-be in our group of five. I am so excited to meet the third “junior” edition to our group in October! The five of us girls met at work around 2007/2008 as unmarried / unengaged ladies. Thinking about how much life has changed and yet somehow stayed the same over the past seven years brings a smile to my face. Even though in one week none of us will work together anymore, we still get together to celebrate every birthday, Christmas (woot woot — Secret Santa!) and each other’s life milestones.
Later that day my husband and I met up with friends at Big Star – a restaurant in Wicker Park serving up Mexican street fare such as tacos (I heart tacos), guacamole and queso fundido (holy deliciousness). Thanks to the recurring rain showers (and popularity of Big Star), we ended up waiting quite a while but eventually got seated with the promise that it would soon be raining again within the hour. It is incredible how concerns of getting rained on diminish after a margarita or two!
By the way, this beauty to my left is Rachel. She has a blog of her own – check it out: http://rzrantsandraves.blogspot.com/
And then it was Sunday and time to get ready for the bridal shower of my other dear friend, Kristen. She is the fifth in our group to tie the knot and I couldn’t be happier for her and her soon-to-be-mister. They are such a wonderful couple, balancing each other in every way. I can’t wait for their wedding day, now less than 5 weeks away!
As a bridesmaid in her wedding (and therefore fellow planner for the shower) I’m a little partial, but I loved how the shower came together. Beyond the lavender décor, delicious authentic Italian cuisine and beautifully hand-crafted cookie favors, Kristen felt special – and isn’t that the goal? I feel like many of us, myself included, get a little carried away with the perfectly executed Pinterest-clad party. Don’t misunderstand, I am indeed a fan of perfection in case you hadn’t gathered – but at the end of the day, knowing your guest of honor felt loved and appreciated is all you can ask for.
But for realzies, check out these cookies – they are amazing! And no, sadly I cannot take credit for these bad boys.
Side note: if you are helping setup for a party, don’t wear your new 5 inch heels. Bring flats and change into them later (live & learn).
Alright, alright, I’ll wrap it up… Like I said, summer weekends in Chicago are usually pretty packed and this one was no exception. Was it a little hectic? Yes! Am I dragging a bit on this yet again rainy Monday? Yuppers. But I loved it. Ten years from now I’m willing to bet I’ll be dying to go to a fun wedding with all my friends, or celebrate a glowing bride-to-be in a room full of joyful, smiling women. This a special phase in my life that will pass and be replaced with another – of which I plan to equally celebrate and enjoy.
Cheers! And enjoy your summer celebrations, all!