Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summer is almost over...

I say this every year before school starts....WHERE DID SUMMER GO?! I feel like we just got out of school and tomorrow we have Superintendent's conference day. Kids come back on Tuesday September 6th. Now, I know there are schools that have been back for 3-4 weeks already but they also get out about 4-5 weeks before us!

I have been slacking in the blog department but it makes me wonder if people even read it anymore. Haha. I have been busy with various things for my friends' many weddings this year. My last post was about Olivia's tropical themed bridal shower and then four days after that, we went on a cruise to the Bahamas.

I love cruising (this was only my second). I don't get sea sick and I just find it fun. Olivia hadn't been on one in years, Jade & Sarah and I think Amanda never went on one and Shannon has been on two (just went on one in April). We went August 4-7 because it was literally the only weekend this summer we could all get together. Insanity. I would have liked to go longer but with having to take off multiple days from work for weddings and such, we decided this was the most feasible.

Shannon and I are the co-maids of honor so we had been researching it since February. We looked into Royal Caribbean (Shannon has been on 2 of their cruises) and Carnival (I went on it). We decided to go with Carnival because of the price, again thinking of buying dresses, doing hair/makeup for weddings, hotel fees, etc. Let's just face it, 2016 is not a fun year for any of our wallets!

We chose to go on Carnival Victory out of Port Canaveral, Florida. I went on the Carnival Miracle with my ex four years ago out of NY so I was excited. We took a 6am flight down that morning to Orlando and met up with Amanda and Olivia. Jade and Sarah were already down there visiting Sarah's grandma so they met us on the ship.

Our cruise was a short 3 day to the Bahamas (Nassau was the only port of call). We hadn't even left the port yet when I slipped on the ship and banged my head. I had two drinks already (got a drink package---so worth it) and it started raining when we decided to run to go get food. Rain + flip-flops = bad idea. My head had a nice bruise on it for a few days.

When we were in Nassau, we went to Señor Frogs and walked around for a while but then decided to get back on the ship. It was SO hot. Last time I went there four years ago, our weather was like cloudy so it wasn't that bad but we just didn't want to be in the heat anymore.

Friday night we dressed up (all of us in black and Olivia in white) and went to a club on the ship.

Saturday we spent the day laying out and in the casino just relaxing. It was nice but I wish I had a longer time to relax.

Overall, I was not AS impressed with this ship as I was with the miracle. My friend Amanda's food came out wrong every night (she preordered it because she is dairy free) and then Saturday night, we had to wait 2.5 hours in line at guest services for Shannon and Olivia to resolve an issue with their card. It took that long because there was ONE person working the desk. I definitely was not impressed overall (it didn't seem to flow) and now want to try Royal Caribbean.

It was definitely fun to hang out with my girls and can't wait till we are all reunited (with Heather too! The missing bridesmaid) in October for the big day!

Drinks to celebrate the start of vacation! 

The insane waterslide on our ship! 

The elevators! 

I loved the signs inside Señor Frogs! 

Amanda, Sarah, Jade, Olivia, Shannon and I

Amanda, me, Shannon

So thankful New Paltz brought us together! 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Olivia's Tropical Themed Bridal Shower

The current theme to my life is "27 Dresses." 2016 is the year of weddings, bridal showers and bachelorette parties for me. It's convenient that many of my friends decided to get married this year. And for the most part, the weddings are spread out!

Yesterday was my friend Olivia's bridal shower. Her wedding is my 4th for 2016 (and I am in one 6 days before hers in another state!). Olivia has been one of my best friends since we met at New Paltz. She is just one of the sweetest people I have ever met and I love her family.

Shannon and I are her co-maids of honor. Including us, there are 4 other bridesmaids and we all went to school at New Paltz. :) They say you go to college and you meet your bridesmaids. Well, Olivia also met her future husband there!

Shannon and I helped Olivia's mom plan the shower (along with Olivia's aunt). Since Olivia and Marc are going to Hawaii for their honeymoon, we thought of doing a tropical themed shower. There was a lot of work that was put into it but I would do it all over again. I love being creative and bringing Pinterest ideas to real life!

The frame I made them

Cocktail cards & Advice for the bride & groom! 

Shannon & I always told Olivia at her bridal shower, we were going to do a giant cookie just like in Bridesmaids. We were originally going to bake it, but for time purposes and our sanity (because we have so much going on), we just did a cookie cake. SHE LOVED IT! 

The beautiful bride!

The bride!
The tropical banner in the background I got from this seller on Etsy. PDF, printed, laminated and assembled! (Found it on Pinterest originally)  

Another shot of the banner!

This was one of my gifts to Olivia. I had a personalized sign made for them with their wedding date. I found it from this seller on Etsy. SO beautiful in person!  I highly recommend!

When she opened this gift from her mom, she started crying. It's the perfect cake topper! A bride & groom, plus 3 black cats. Olivia and Marc have 3 black cats. What would have made it more perfect was if one of the cats on the topper had only 3 legs, like one of their cats. 

Her chair!

We did things a little differently with games. Everyone started off with 7 raffle tickets (we had 7 prize baskets). Each time you wrote an advice card or drink recipe, you got a raffle ticket. If you won first place in a game you got 6 tickets, 2nd place got 4 and 3rd place got 2. At the end, we picked out a winner and they went home with the basket! We had a wine basket, 2 beach themed baskets, 2 spa baskets, a kitchen basket and a chocolate & coffee basket. So much fun! 

The beautiful bride & her mom! 

Shannon made this sign! 

My neighbor loves to bake and I had her make these tropical themed cake pops. They were a huge hit! 

Olivia, Me, Shannon (the other co-maid of honor) and Amanda, another bridesmaid!
More gift baskets! 

Thankful that New Paltz brought us together! 

The beautiful bride-to-be & I! 
The happy couple! 

I know that their wedding on 10.21.16 will be a blast!