Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Gender Reveal Time!

So interweb, I think it's time to share...I'm having a baby! Will and I are so incredibly excited about all the fun to come!
 
With that comes the fun of a gender reveal. We decided it would be a great time to gather both of our families for a little fun, so we had a small get together to announce what we're having. I did some "research" on Pinterest and the interweb for some inspiration and found tons of ideas. People clearly like to share fun stuff like this and I loved all the cute ideas. We wanted to keep ours pretty simple so here are the items we focused on...
 
First, the entryway.
Gender Reveal Party Ideas
When guests arrived, we had them make their best guess as to what we were having and wear a pink of blue Mardi Gras necklace to announce that. Did I mention this was the last weekend before Fat Tuesday, so we were in the midst of Mardi Gras...more of that theme to come!
Gender Reveal Party Ideas
Also for fun we had guests guess how many candies (pink and blue Sixlets) were in our candy jar. We had them give an overall guess and then a guess of how many pink and how many blue.  It was pretty entertaining to watch some guests do some major math to come up with their answer. Some people even picked up the jar, tried to count the candies on the bottom, then count the rows of candy in the jar.
Gender Reveal Party Ideas
Then of course we had some snacks. I'd seen several beautiful tables of food at gender reveals indicating the mom-to-be's cravings so I thought I'd go with that. I didn't get a great shot of our food but I did get a shot of the sign listing out some of my cravings (most of which were featured). I hate that our kitchen renovation was scheduled to begin right after this but c'est la vie...
Gender Reveal Party Ideas
We played 2 "games" - The first is what I'd call the Balloon Game for lack of better title. We gave each guest a balloon and instructed them to blow it up as much as they'd like. We let them pick which color balloon they wanted too. They had no idea what we were doing and it was so much fun for Will and I to watch how big or small they made their balloon. After everyone had their balloon, we told them they had to put them under their shirt and pose for a picture with me. The looks on their faces when we told them that was pretty priceless...some people had big balloons! Here is one of my sister-in-law, Carrie, with me. Her belly is a bit bigger than mine...
Gender Reveal Party Ideas - Balloon Game
The second game was an old wives' tales game. I got it here if you want it. It's just a bunch of old wives' tales and you let the guests guess if the prediction is for a girl or boy. Then it's fun to let them guess what they think you're having after all of that. Some of the reasoning was pretty funny. No pictures of that, sorry!
 
Finally it was time for the actual reveal. Since it was the last weekend of Mardi Gras before Fat Tuesday, we decided it would be fun to depart from the usual reveal of cake with blue or pink icing inside or releasing colored balloons from a box. We went with a king cake and luckily have an awesome friend Genevieve in New Orleans (see more about our recent trip to visit her and her husband in New Orleans here) who shipped us an authentic, New Orleans bakery king cake. It was the perfect touch! In all my "research" I didn't find anyone who had used the king cake idea but we thought it was perfect given the baby inside and the timing. We added colored icing around the baby so the person who found it would be able to announce what we were having.
Gender Reveal Party Ideas - King Cake
We cut pieces and let guests choose their piece...we knew which one had the baby though so we were able to keep an eye on that guest, waiting for them to discover the baby and announce what we were having.
Gender Reveal Party Ideas - King Cake!
And we're welcoming...
Gender Reveal Party Ideas
...a sweet baby girl in June! We're so excited!
 
I also had 2 other mini gender reveals thanks to some very sweet ladies. The first was at work - we had Edgar's thumbprint cookies with pink icing (I could write an entire post about Edgar's thumbprint cookies...they are my favorite!).
Gender Reveal Party Ideas
And another gender reveal at my small group - we had Edgar's strawberry cake since it's not only delicious, it's already naturally pink for a baby girl! (and I could write another post about how delicious strawberry cake is...I crave it, pregnant or not). How cute is this cake?
Gender Reveal Party Ideas
Gender Reveal Party Ideas
I promise Edgar's isn't incentivizing me to mention their yummy creations, although I wouldn't be opposed to that...aheemmmm.

Many thanks to all the amazing gender reveal pins and blog posts out there. They provided some really fun inspiration!

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Little Trip to New Orleans

My husband Will and I recently took a quick trip to New Orleans to celebrate my friend Genevieve's birthday. Genevieve & her husband Greg are New Orleans natives and moved back there in the last few years. We've been down several times before and I went a lot with Genevieve before meeting Will. Anyway, Greg and Genevieve are the perfect tour guides, making sure we have plenty of fun things to do, see and of course, eat when we visit. The food is pretty amazing in New Orleans and they know all the best spots like only a local would. Whether you want crawfish, shrimp and grits, a po-boy or even a beignet, they can advise you on exactly where to go.
 
While on our trip, there were two places we ate that are worth sharing. The first was Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar on St. Charles. Check us out...sorry the lighting was weird!
With plenty of authentic Louisiana cuisine options to choose from, you're sure to find something just right. I went with the Shrimp and Grits. A classic I know, but they just can't be beat. With over-sized shrimp, perfect grits with a tasso cream sauce, these were perfection!
Shrimp & Grits at Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar 
Will got an Oyster Platter with several kinds of oysters including char-grilled and Angels on Horseback, which is lightly fried, bacon wrapped oysters. He said it was really good.
Oysters at Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar 
We also made a stop at one of the best places to get a Po-Boy in uptown - Guys Po-Boys - for shrimp po-boys and fries. This cash-only Po-Boy shop certainly isn't anything fancy but it's a great stop for a Po-Boy while you're in town. Located on Magazine Street, it's just down from plenty of shops and other eateries. It's probably best to plan on getting it to go because there are only about 3 tables in this small, corner lot establishment, but you'll be glad you stopped in. Whether you want a shrimp po-boy, or a roast beef po-boy, or even a gator po-boy, this is the place uptown. Sorry, no food po-boy picture...we ate it too quickly! Here's a pic of the outside of Guy's Po-Boys though:
Guy's Poboys in New Orleans 
One other really tasty thing we had while we were there was chocolate doberge cake. I'd never heard of it but it's a cake originating in New Orleans and made with many thin layers of cake, alternating with pudding between the layers. And it was to die for! So rich and satisfying. The one we had was from Gambino's. I started off splitting a piece with my husband but it wasn't long before I'd gotten my own piece. Look at all those layers!
Doberge Cake - pudding between the layers!
All in all, we had a great trip, food and all, and can't wait to make a return visit sometime soon!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Subway Sign Flop

Sometimes projects just don't work out the way you expect them to. Sometimes they just flop. It's an unfortunate risk you take when trying out something new, but it's worth the risk. I mentioned I'd share the flops along with the successes from the beginning and here's a good one.

Last year I pinned this Auburn subway sign. I loved it!
Auburn Subway Sign
I am a big Auburn fan (and a grad, War Eagle!) , so having a subway sign with the Auburn fight song sounded pretty amazing. Making it myself sounded even better.
 
I'd also pinned this
Subway sign
and this
Subway sign
so I thought it seemed pretty straight forward and decided to try it. I purchased a few different fonts of stickers in different sizes to give a little interest. I also used my friend's Cricut and sticker paper to create some of the phrases I still needed after buying stickers. The stickers ended up being more expensive than I expected. In hindsight, I should have used the Cricut for all the letters and should have used contact paper. Reading through several tutorials gives me this conclusion.
 
I painted the entire canvas with orange acrylic paint, the color I wanted the letters to be, and then drew marks at the same point on each side, connecting them with a ruler so my lines would be straight. Then I applied all the stickers. Look how nice it looks!
Subway sign flop
I should have noticed how un-sticky the stickers were here...it was a sign of what was to come. Next up, spray paint. I carefully applied the spray paint as evenly as I could and then let it dry. Time to peel...and that's when I knew this was a flop. Lots of the navy spray paint bled through where stickers were not sticky enough, and the colored stickers (see pink W below) also bled onto the orange.
Subway sign flop

Subway sign flop
 So this one didn't work out. I think in hindsight, using a Cricut and contact paper would be the way to go. I'll try again one day! Anyone have any tips other than contact paper and a Cricut? Anyone had similar flops?