cruise night + dq = perfect summer night

it was a wonderful summer evening. the rain held off; it was the perfect temperature, warm, and sunny. hc and i decided to hit another cruise night, this time in downtown downers grove.

we headed out in the early evening and found a parking spot right at the start of the show. hc drooled over the first car we saw. leave it to me, to not even know what kind of car it is! hee.

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[hc’s car of choice]

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[it was soooo bright i couldn’t even look up!]

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[cruising]

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[we got one!]

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we started to stroll down the street, looking at car after car. it was very relaxing and chill. we were both hungry and it was great because a lot of the vendors set up shop out on the sidewalks! we were able to use our nose to find our food! pizza was on my mind, i saw a man walk by with a slice and that was what i wanted! we walked a bit more and found the pizzeria serving their slices outside. yum.

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[pizza on the go]

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[yum]

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[daddy daughter]

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grace wasn’t feeling the pizza so we walked a bit more and, of course, she wanted a hot dog! hc had dinner with me and then he had dinner with grace. we also pit stopped into a pet store and they had kitties for adoption! i begged hc for one but that was a no go! boo.

while we were sitting down and eating dinner, we decided that we would stop at the dairy queen on our way home! yay!

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[hotdogs]

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[admiring]

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***

dairy queen, here we come!

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[decisions, decisions, decisions]

i got a cone. simple. tasty. perfect. i actually could have gotten a smaller one, i didn’t realize a medium cone was so much ice cream! but nonetheless, it was delicious. we sat outside in the great weather to enjoy our delectable treats.

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[soft serve me some good ice cream]

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[guess what they are eyeing??]

as we were relaxing with our desserts, a family walked up with a boxer. grace and hc were intrigued. he was a cutie. they bought him a cone and he chowed it down. it was so adorbs. he ate it down to the bottom and gulped down the last bit of his cone. it was so fun to watch!

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[a boxer ready to eat his cone!]

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[yum, yum]

it was a very lovely evening together. we had a great time observing all the cool vehicles, getting a chance to eat greasy food, and finishing it off with some sugary treats. all in all, it was a successful evening full of not so good foods for you! hehehe.

here’s to checking off some more good stuff on our summer list!

xoxo

p!nk aunties

p!nk aunties kt and kar came to visit us!

i was awaiting for miss olive to awake so we could head out to brunch. i am unfamiliar with the restaurants around the ‘burbs. we had so many favorites in the city {oh, my lovely city} and it was always so easy to pick a place! so, these moments are a lot of trial and error; picking a place, rating it, and moving on to the next.

the restaurant of choice? labriola bakery and cafe. it was quite busy when we got there. grace and i perused the menu while we waited for kt and karen. it is a place where you preorder and then sit down. grace and i drooled over the bakery displays. we wanted one of everything! after a few minutes, katie and kar finally showed up. we squealed and gave lots of hugs. we excitedly gabbed and kt and kar were just loving olive. o started fussing a bit, so i pulled her out of her car seat and karen went nutty over her!

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[kt, o, and kar]

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[oh em gee…s’mores cupcakes]

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[*drool* i want one of each please]

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[macarons + delicious buttery cookies]

we ordered our entrees, i got the california turkey on multigrain and grace got a bowl of chicken noodle soup and mashed potatoes. we went and found ourselves a table and waited for karen and kt to finish their order. it was a little awkward because it was busy so they weren’t clearing the tables right away. so, we nabbed a table with dirty dishes on it but it wasn’t cleaned up right away. kinda annoying, since we really wanted to sit down and settle in {i mean, i had a baby in my arms, drinks, a stroller to situate, grace, and the diaper bag!}.

we were served our meals but miss olive wasn’t cooperating. i had to hold the fussy missy so i only ate my chips ๐Ÿ™ ย but that didn’t stop us from yakking nonstop! we were catching up with so many good things; love, life, relationships, kids, friends…ya know, all the good and not so good bits that makes life go round.

after noshing on our meals, we headed over to the bakery to get something sweet. we looked at the dessert cases but had briefly forgotten about the gelato! it was on the other side of the restaurant, karen mentioned it, and grace’s eyes just lit up {of course!}. we scurried over and grace chose the hazelnut gelato and started wolfing it down.

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[cali sandwich and savory chips]

we packed up and headed on our way out, back to our place. once we got home, i had to feed olive and then we got down with the tour. i showed them the entire inside {and, of course, explained our remodeling plans} and walked them around the outside of the house. it was such a beautiful day!

karen soooo wanted to hold olive. i said, “go ahead! anyone can hold her, it’s about if olive will let you hold her!”. i gave karen some advice…i said to just take her. don’t gingerly grab for her. just aggressively take her and distract her. most people cautiously take her and she senses fear ๐Ÿ˜‰ so, grab her she did. olive happily sat in karen’s arms!!!!! it was a miracle! i called kar the baby whisperer. not since o was a newborn had she let an unfamiliar face hold her. olive was happy as a clam in karen’s arms! i was amazed and excited. i want people to enjoy holding miss olive and it was pretty awesome to see this! i was loving it myself…although karen might have been loving it more than me! she was over the moon holding olive!

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[grace, karen, o, and kt]

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[karen the baby whisperer]

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after touring around the house, we came inside and chatted up a storm. karen insisted on me opening olive’s present. it was soooo sweet of them! they bought little o the most adorable outfit! a putty colored knit cardigan and chambray embroidered dress from peek and the cutest, softest, stretchiest pink headband from nordstrom! it was so sweet and thoughtful of them. i love, love the outfit and i can’t wait for miss olive to wear it!

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[a gift from kt + kar]

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[the cutest outfit from nordstrom!! love + love peek]

after opening up her gift, kt really wanted to hold olive too! i gave her the same advice and olive was just a doll! she let kt hold her too! wow. it was a record. olive was loving her p!nk aunties and they were loving her back!

http://peekkids.com

[katie super excited to be holding olive!]

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[doting on olive]

after our non stop gab fest, kt and kar had to go. wah, wah. we were sad. we were having too much fun with them! grace was loving them {she said they were soooo nice!} and so was olive. we walked them out to their car, wished them safe travels, and waved goodbye.

we had such a blast with them! kt and kar, hurry back! little miss olive is missing her aunties!

xoxo

sunny funday

our sunday funday consisted of great weather, warm temperature, church, brunch, furniture shopping, and long walks {a summer to do!}.

after mass, hc, olive, and i took a lovely stroll to our brunch restaurant of choice, frances. we love eating there and for some reason, after the 9:30am mass, there is always outdoor seating {any other time, there’s a wait}! we love brunching alfresco on sunny sunday mornings!

olive happily sat in her stroller while hc and i enjoyed a delicious brunch. i ordered the lox sandwich and hc ordered a spicy egg thingy breakfast. as usual, i wolfed down every delectable bit of it.

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[going for a walk]

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[olive in her beloved bugagoo]

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[trekking along on this beautiful day]

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[eating alfresco]

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[me and my babes]

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[lox and bagel]

after a very relaxing time outdoors, we strolled our way back to the car. we were in debate of hitting a spot in the city to walk around a little bit more {and shop, of course!} or heading back to oakbrook to do some outdoor shopping there. we decided on the latter because we wanted to furniture shop and it was more convenient because all the furniture shops there were consolidated, therefore it was easier!

we hit a bump in traffic {perfect timing for baby o to take a nap!} and finally made our way to the mall. it was so darn lovely out! we nabbed some starbucks {of course} and hit all the furnishing stores. we were mainly shopping for side chairs. we need a few {some for the kitchen area and maybe some for the living room} and exchanged ideas on color, style, and size. oooohhhhhh, the options! it’s a lot fun until you have to really decide on what you are going to buy!

we found a piece or two at crate and barrel and restoration hardware but i am also a fan of online shopping. it’s a bit more difficult that way because you can’t see it live…the way it feels, sits, and the dimensions, but i love gaining ideas that way to help with the decision process and clarifying the aesthetics.

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[bar globe at restoration hardware]

anyhoo, the day was perfect. i loved seeing familiar faces at mass, being outside enjoying the beautiful weather, and spending time with my lovely family.

it was a happy sunday funday!

xoxo

happy eight months!

happy eight months olive!

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[photos taken on 7.27]

weight: tbd

height: tbd

well, well, well. baby olive is eight months old! oh my! she has had many great moments. as you can tell, there’s no more lying around and letting mama take some photos of her. yeah, this babes wasn’t having it, so we got some smiles and giggles while she was sitting up!

big milestone? she’s ‘crawling’!!! yes, she is doing a strange, gimp crawl. she scoots around, she does a two step crawl, she sits up, she turns a 180, she crawls with one leg bent and underneath her! but let me tell you, she gets from point a to point b in no time. at the beginning of her seven month, she was pushing around on her tummy and moving backwards everywhere, now she is totally mobile. oooohhhhh boy.

she loves to grab at everything! everything. her favorite object right now, our media console. she loves to slide the glass door open and pull out each book, one by one. we put the books back and slide the glass door shut and she shimmies back over to it and does it all over again. oy. she likes to grab for anything that isn’t her toy. how is that possible?! it’s like she knows she shouldn’t touch it, so, yes, that will be the object she will lunge for. i’ll put toys in her path but she will ignore each one of them so she can get to that tape measure that she isn’t allowed to play with.

she’s eating like a champion. she has graduated to eating her solids three times a day! i just love reading her cues, i could tell she wanted more and more she got! she loves all sorts of food. broccoli, carrots, peas, bananas, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and so forth. we try to mix it up for her every week so she can get a taste of something different and experiment with different flavors and textures. this little piggy doesn’t say no to any food!

she is still a sleeper! there was one day this past month where she randomly woke up at 4:45am. she was crying out and sometimes she does that in the middle of the night and it’s usually for a few seconds and it passes. this particular morning, she cried out and cried out. i walked into her room and consoled her on the rocker, after that she was happy as a clam but she was definitely not going back to sleep! overall, miss olive is a solid sleeper. she goes to bed to around 9pm and typically wakes up around 7am. she still naps 2-3 times during the day for an hour or two each time and is rock solid sleeping at night.

she has gotten so smiley with us. i love it. she will break out in a wide grin and it just melts my heart! another fun fact? she will grin ear to ear when you point a camera in her direction and say cheese! it’s so cute. she smiles on cue when someone is taking her picture! so funny.

her favorite, favorite program? baby genius nursery rhymes. it’s so ridiculous how much she loves it. she just lights up when we turn it on the tele. she goes into a trance and is mesmerized by all the songs, cartoons, and animals that she sees. it’s our go to when we want her preoccupied. we’ll sing along with all the songs and she smiles in happiness. thank goodness for baby genius! it entertains her, teaches her, and keeps us sane!

oh, how amazing it is to see her grow and see her little personality come alive.

little olive, we are so in love with you! you are an awesome little girl and you bring such joy into everyone’s life everyday. we love your laughs, giggles, and grins. we love seeing you getting bigger and stronger every day. we love your crazy curly hair, your chubby legs, and the funny noises you make!

we can’t wait to see you hit some wonderful milestones next month! we love you so!

xoxo

flashback friday

today takes us back to july 2012.

hc and i drove up north to visit grace. it was a beautiful summer night. we picked the kiddo up and went out to dinner near a downtown area somewhere, um, i don’t know the towns up there at all! after that, we knew we wanted to swing by a cruise night {we spied one on our way to dinner!}.

we walked around the beautiful area and admired all the cool classic cars. It was a pretty large showcase of vehicles that evening and hc and grace really enjoyed examining each one.

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it was a lovely summer evening spent with the family, doing a fun summery type activity!

i hope you have something fun planned up your sleeve this weekend. it’s going to be a warm weekend…maybe some pool time? zoo time? or just some cool down time with popsicles!

whatever it may be, enjoy & revel in it. happy friday y’all!!!

xoxo

commitment ceremony

our longtime friends, pete and ken, were married!

hc had met them years ago when he lived on the ‘bend’. we’ve become very good friends with everyone on that little strip of houses. they all have been to our wedding and so forth. over the years, we have kept in touch and have been able to hang out with them several times a year, whether it’s a summer night in the backyard or a holiday party over the winter. they are truly a great group of people!

we were so excited to receive the invite to pete and ken’s commitment ceremony a couple of months ago. it was such a cute idea…a balloon you can blow up with their invite information on it. so cool.

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we dropped off olive at my parent’s house for the evening and headed on our way to the city. traffic was totally fine and we cruised there. we got there a bit early, found an awesome parking spot {right next to the building}, and headed our way in.

they had a door lady who was checking everyone in. we were waiting patiently when ken came busting out of the doors. we said our jubilant hello’s, checked ourselves off the guest list, and trekked our way in.

we entered into the event space and we were wowed by the bright, colorful decorations! they had pinwheels all over the place and the sweetest, funniest pictures of themselves. ken had worked so hard on all the picture banners hanging from the ceiling. he printed out each picture and framed every single one of them. they had pretty little flower centerpieces on all the tables and they also had matching table cloths, runners, and plate ware.

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[festive decor]

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[picture banners]

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[lisa – the fab party planner]

right after we got there, we ran into lisa {one of the cool people on the bend} who helped pete and ken coordinate this whole event. she basically was their day of coordinator. she did such a wonderful job! everything ran so smoothly and perfect.

hc and i hung out and chatted it up with ken for a bit. the rest of our friends were still on their way {apparently there was an accident and a concert at wrigley that was causing traffic delays}. one group arrived and the crazy fun began! carrie, dave, nancy, pat, and pete made it there right after us. we were so excited to see them. they are such a fun bunch and i was glad to be able to hang out, i don’t get to see them as often as hc does.

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[flower centerpieces]

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[me and the groom]

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[ceremony outdoor space]

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[carrie, pat, nancy, hc, dave, and pete]

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[cute photos of the couple]

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[the gals]

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once all the guests arrived, the ceremony started. it was so sweet. pete was walked down by his brother and ken was walked out by his daughter. ooohhhhh, they were so emotional. it was quite endearing. before they started, they were already in tears…i think it got everyone going. i started to get weepy too. they exchanged their vows through quivering voices, exchanged their rings, and were pronounced husband and husband!

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[walking of the grooms // pete with his brother and ken with his daughter]

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[vows and exchange of rings // husband and husband!]

they had us shake maracas once they were announced! it was fantastic! you could tell pete and ken were so relieved! they were a bit anxious leading up to the ceremony and once it was over, they were so happy, and then the partyย really began!!!!

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[we shook our maracas once they were pronounced husband and husband!]

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[carrie being super silly!]

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[darrin and bethany…she’s eight months pregnant]

the food was served and we noshed until our bellies were full. they had chips and salsa, tacos, coconut shrimp, empanadas, ribs, and much more. we socialized while we ate and mingled around a bit.

unfortunately, we could not stay very long. my parents were watching little odog and she goes to bed early, but so do my parents! it was so hard for us to leave. we were hanging out with people we don’t get to see very often and we wanted to stay to continue the celebration of pete and ken’s union!

after the food, the party continued upstairs in the building’s other deck. everyone relocated and that’s when we said our goodbyes. we were so sad to be leaving but we needed to get home to relieve my parent’s from their babysitting duties.

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[the food being served!]

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[wedding cake]

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[ken’s wedding band]

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[the after party upstairs!]

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[we finally snagged a pic with pete]

it was absolutely wonderful to be able to celebrate pete and ken’s relationship that evening. we had such a swell time partying it up with all of our friends. thank you to the fabulous couple for letting us share in this special moment in your lives…we love you guys!

xoxo

hb gracie!

it was grace’s birthday! we trekked our way up to dick and jane’s house to celebrate grace’s day. when we got there, the kiddos were on the boat with gramma and grandpa, tubing. olive, hc, and i chilled at the house until they returned. once they got back, jane started to whip up some dinner.

while we were waiting, everyone was playing with miss olive. as soon as olive saw her sister grace, she was nothing but smiles. she loves her sister! grace is the only person who can make olive laugh and laugh.

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[olive loves her sister!]

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[hb gracie!]

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[daddy with his girls]

jane made spaghetti, meatballs, and sausage. i decided on the pasta and meatballs with a pound of parmesan cheese, please! we sat down for dinner, while olive {miraculously} played on the floor by herself! we were pretty impressed, i love seeing her change and grow and how she is now so content with entertaining herself. so, she scooted around, grabbed at her toys, and gabbed out lout while we downed our dinner.

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[marbled birthday cake]

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[papa, daniel, olive, grace, and hc]

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[spaghetti and meatballs]

gramma made marbled cake with chocolate frosting for grace! her cake was adorned with m&m’s and different colored sparkler candles. we lit them up and sparks started to fly from each one…a very fun, pretty sight for everyone. we sang happy birthday to her and then her dad tricked her into getting up from her seat…he gave her a birthday spanking! every year she falls for it!

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[olive singing happy birthday to grace!]

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[make a wish! grace couldn’t get all the candles blown out!]

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[birthday spanking!]

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[cake and ice-cream]

she opened up all her gifts and then we had to jet! i felt bad we had to leave right away but we were behind schedule. we were suppose to leave at seven, due to olive’s schedule, but we ended up leaving at eight. i was not a happy camper…i’m adamant on sticking to olive’s schedule. it takes an hour or more to get home and i knew she would fall asleep in the car. baby girl goes to bed at nine…that meant we would be home after nine, she would be sleeping that entire hour {when she should be awake!}, we still needed to give her a bath, and i needed to feed her. she ended up staying up later because she wasn’t tired {because of the nap} but all was well in the end.

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[opening her gifts]

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[she’s outgrowing me!]

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happy birthday grace! it was fabulous to be able to celebrate it with you. happy twelve years little lady. here is to many more wonderful celebrations!

xoxo

pickles and ice cream baby shower

this cute little shower idea is to die for! i love how adorbs it is. such fun little details and delectable sweet treats to serve your guests.

i love how the theme plays off of stereotypical ideas of when a women is pregnant. pretty decor, fun theme, and very cute ideas! a pretty in pink party that would be entertaining for all your guests.

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[showers ahead! beautiful table spread]

i love the hanging parasols. such a whimsical touch to any event space. the gorgeous centerpiece is filled with my favorite flowers…garden roses and peonies. so beautiful and romantic. each setting has lovely light pink napkins, pink hobnob glasses, and champagne for each guest.

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[craving station]

how cool is this?! wine, ice cream, hot sauce, chocolate, pickles, fruit, sushi, and pasta. an odd mix that sounds so right…to a preggo lady! i remember the days when i was pregnant, if i wanted something to eat, i wanted it now. or i would eat the weirdest combos. for example, i would eat ice cream and then spicy doritos. yup. one after another.

or fruit was my biggest craving. i needed fruit everything. whether it was fruit juice, fruity gummy bears, fresh fruit, popsicles, whatevs. it always hit the spot! so, whether it’s what is pictured above that you display or whether you want to personalize it to the momma to be and her cravings…create a table spread that’s unique to her!

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[pickles and ice cream]

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[what are you craving for today?]

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[champagne for your guests…served in a lovely hobnob pink glass]

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[juice box for the mom to be]

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[strawberry and champagne cupcakes]

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[chocolate bars]

decadent cupcakes and bittersweet chocolates make for great endings.

this shower is so darling…i love all the feminine details and how cute the theme is! it’s a perfect idea for any momma to be. add in some savory entrees and voila, you have yourself a perfect baby shower.

{planned by karson butler events and photographed by anne robert photography}

unlicensed daycare

i was finally able to meet austin! my friend dawn just had her fourth, yes fourth baby! austin is seven weeks old and quite the guy! at his one month appointment, the little dude was over thirteen pounds! oh my gosh! i said to dawn…,”what will he weigh at his two month?!” he probably is as big as olive! olive is probably a little over sixteen pounds and she is almost eight months old!

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[baby austin]

we arrived at dawn’s house and walked into craziness. jodi was already there with jett and dawn’s other three kids were running amuck. we said our hello’s and i pulled olive out of her car seat, we walked over and said hi to little austin. he was quite content in his swing, such a calm baby.

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[playtime]

i put olive on a cute furry beanbag dawn had in the family room. she was quite happy sitting there for awhile. kaitlyn and savannah came over to play with her. they were so good with her! they were sweet, gentle, and really got olive engrossed in playing with them.

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[my cutie pie]

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[kaitlyn and olive]

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[such a cute pic with kaitlyn and savannah]

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[i love this!]

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[injury = popsicle]

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[jett icing his boo boo]

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[jodi wanting so much to hold olive!]

we chatted up a storm while the kids whirled around us. dawn and i had a lot of catching up to do. i do miss seeing her! we had gotten very close over the years of knowing each other {over 10 years!} and we have become good friends!

we were in awe over life and it’s changes. how, when dawn and i first met, she was just married with no kids…jodi and i not married yet, living life ‘single’, and look at us now! all of us happily married, with kids, and closely connected in life.

after a bit, dawn whipped out a bunch of food. she’s so cute, she said she is up so late most nights…she has to do something, so out came a wonderful spread of food. she also stated, what could she make that was easy to eat since us mommas would probably have one hand available, if we are lucky! so, it was a lot of easy finger foods and quick, light bites…perfect!

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[finger food for quick noshing]

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[dawn, olive {curiously watching}, and moi]

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[yum]

of course, olive was in nooooo mood to have anyone hold her…oh, that babes. savannah soooo wanted to hold olive. she was so sweet towards her. both kaitlyn and savannah, such great little girls, they were both wonderful with little miss olive. they entertained her, played with her, loved showing her some fun toys to engage her; it was so cute to watch them together…it just makes your heart melt.

andy, dawn’s hubby, came home for lunch. it was awesome seeing him! he’s such a great guy…i’m glad we got to chat it up for a bit. he was a bit bummed leaving…i mean, c’mon…we were partying it up at their house! of course he didn’t want to leave the craziness!

andy tried playing with olive…oh em gee…it freaked her out! it was hilarious. i was over in the kitchen, cleaning up olive’s bowl and spoon {i had just fed her solids}, and andy scooted his way over to olive and she just freaked out! such a sensitive baby!

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[andy trying to play…and scaring olive : / ]

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[savannah sooooo wanted to hold olive]

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[olive loving her new toy from the family]

dawn gifted olive with some pretty sweet treats. she gave olive a few adorbs outfits, play toys, and this wonderful, wonderful wooden alphabet abacus. olive loooooves it. she played and played with it and still plays with it. it totally entertains her. she spins and spins the wooden blocks around and around.

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[smiley selfie]

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[savannah took this pic! jett was not happy!]

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[olive finally letting savannah hold her…so sweet]

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[my lovely friends]

after noshing, playing, chasing, chatting, feeding, and getting a second to relax, it was time to go. the hours just flew by! before we knew it, it was late afternoon {we arrived late morning} and we had to go! we needed to meet the hubs to be on our way to another gathering…we’re always on the go. oy.

it was such a lovely afternoon with the ladies and the kids. oh, times like these i just cherish. these become the best moments in life. it’s amazing how life evolves and you find happiness in the simplest things.

happy day my lovies.

xoxo

perfect evening

we finally coordinated a date to have matt and johann come visit us! it was quite the debacle last time they tried to travel out here to see us. on their way here, it rained heavily and flooded the streets! they were stuck ๐Ÿ™ they were on the road for over three hours and weren’t moving anywhere. we were so bummed but everything turned out for the better…the following week, they were able to come visit us on a beautiful evening and danielle was able to join us!

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[olive and momma]

matt and johann brought us a housewarming gift and something for miss olive! they gifted us with a beautiful wood wine rack from a cute little boutique in chicago and gave olive an adorbs little onesie from hazel.

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[a sweet little gift for olive]

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[fun bicycle card…so fitting!]

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[the adorbs onesie…how accurate]

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via tandeminlove.com

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beer was the drink of choice this evening. although johann switched it up by making some old fashioned cocktails for hc and himself {with the guidance from me! i make it for hc all the time!}. hc whipped up some cheeseburgers and chicken on the grill. he also made his delicious cauliflower and broccoli specialty…yum.

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[old fashioned…cheers!]

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[cheeseburga…cheeseburga!]

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after dinner and many amusing topics, i served the decadent dessert! i am in love with this tres leches cake from a local grocery store down the street. it is soooo stinkin’ yummy! i could eat slice after slice if it didn’t have any fat and calories ๐Ÿ˜‰

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[tres leches]

johann was so good with olive…oh he loves babies. after dinner and desserts, i put olive on her play mat so i could clean up a bit and johann beelined for her. he played with her, entertained her, and was just loving her. so cute!

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[johann just loves olive…he loves babies]

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[guncles doting on olive]

after relocating to the living room, relaxing after a full meal, and putting olive down, the clan had to go. it was soooo good to see them. we love them so much! such great friends and we were so happy to finally host them at our new home. it was a perfect evening.

xoxo