Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wanderlust (part 2)

"He who returns from a journey is not the same."

July 2012- Flat Rock, Asheville, Hendersonville, North Carolina

In Mid July Bailey, Sunni, and I took a 10 hour road trip to Western North Carolina to see my Aunt and Uncle. The cool 60 degree weather was a welcome relief from the humid, 90 degree summer we came from in Louisiana.

Sunni is an amazing car rider!
We hiked and toured waterfalls.


Looking Glass Falls, Pisgah National Forest
High Falls in Dupont State Forest
This is the waterfall where they shot The Last of the Mohicans.

We also saw the Biltmore House.

From Flat Rock, I continued my road trip to Eastern North Carolina with Sunni. I was meeting up with Ben and Lori to go stay at her family's beach house in the Outerbanks in Emerald Isle. From there we toured some other fun cities in NC.

July 2012- Emerald Isle, Bath, Beaufort NC

Ben, Garrett, and Hannah ran a 5k in Beaufort
(Lori and I don't run)
My favorite stop in Beaufort is The Old Burying Ground. Pictured above is the grave of a little girl buried in a barrel of rum.
According to the Coastal Guide Beaufort, NC Webpage, the story is as follows:
  In the 1700's an English family came to settle in Beaufort. As the daughter grew, she begged to see her homeland in England. Finally, her father agreed to take her with him on a trip to London. Her mother did not like the idea but was finally persuaded by the little girl. The father promised to return his daughter home to Beaufort without fail.

After visiting London, the girl fell sick and died on the return voyage. It was the custom to bury at sea, but her father had made a promise. He purchased a barrel of rum from the captain and sealed her body in it in order to bring her home for burial.

Sunni loves the beach!
"My love affair with water runs deep into my soul. The serenity as intense as the tides ebb and flow."


"The waves of the sea help me get back to me."

 "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea."
"People don't take trips - trips take people."
On the ferry to Bath, NC- the 1st town in North Carolina

St Thomas Episcopal Church, the oldest church in North Carolina
For the most part of the trip, we stayed and hung out at the beach house.

BFF's- Sunshine Rainbow and Penny Lynn

Please notice none of the dogs are sitting on the ground!

Lori and Ben found out they were expecting McNugget (due very soon on March 25!!)



Remember today is the last day if you want to take advantage of Shutterfly's offer !!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wanderlust (Part 1)

Wanderlust- a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world

2012 was a year of travel for me. If I could, I would spend my last penny on travel because I think that it is that important! Early in 2013 I received a promotional offer for a big discount on a photo book from Shutterfly. I love the idea of documenting trips and important moments in photo books! It is so much better than having to cut up my precious photographs to put in a scrapbook!

I am going to share with you some of the photos and quotes from my 2012 Year of Travel Shutterfly photo book.

If you are interested in making your own photo book, here is a link for up 50% off of a photo book or they have some other promotions running on other items. You should go check out Shutterfly! Unfortunately, this promotion only goes through tomorrow, 2/27/13 at 11:59 PM.

Shutterfly up to 50% off!

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."

January 2012- Ocracoke, North Carolina

"What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies."

Ocracoke Island is an island off of the Outerbanks in North Carolina. I love that the beaches are protected so there is no development on them. There arent rows of hotel beach chairs or stacks of beach houses and hotel buildings lining the beach. It is just beach for miles. The village of Ocracoke is very close and you can ride a bike or drive the short distance to the beach. Having clear and open beaches is totally worth the short commute to the beach from your beach house or hotel!

This picture was taken in Hatteras, North Carolina. The shelling is awesome in the Outerbanks.

"Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving."

February 2012- New Orleans, LA

We stayed in New Orleans for a few nights over Mardi Gras weekend in 2012. It was a blast. The feeling that you get on Mardi Gras day in the city is sort of that "feeling alive" feeling. The sights and sounds and attitude and culture make you feel like you are a part of something. Even if it is just for a few days.


June 2012- Fort Morgan, Alabama

We were at the beach for my 25th birthday this year.


"Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere."


June 2012- Ben and Lori (and Penny) come to visit me in Louisiana from North Carolina


"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."

Swimming at our camp in Mississippi on the Bogue Chitto River

Global Wildlife Center

St Francisville, LA

UCM Museum- Abita Springs, LA


"The real voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
As I am going back through the quotes and photos I selected for my book, I realized that there are way too many to include in one post. I will save July-December for another post (or two).
From July to December in 2012 I traveled to:
Flat Rock, Hendersonville, and Asheville, NC visiting family with my sister Bailey
Raleigh and the Outerbanks with Ben and Lori- Emerald Isle, Beaufort, Bath, NC
Palm Springs, Santa Monica, and Los Angeles, California
Dallas, Texas
Destin, Florida
and back to Ocracoke for New Year's!
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lori's Storybook Baby Shower

The moment I found out that my good friends Ben and Lori were pregnant I knew I wanted to throw Lori's baby shower in North Carolina! I tossed around a lot of ideas over the months that I had to prepare, and I ultimately decided on a Storybook Theme. This worked out very well since they were not finding out the sex of the baby, and of course since we are all three teachers :)

The internet was full of ideas for a storybook baby shower so I tried to combine my favorite ides plus a few of my own into Lori's shower.

The details:

We planned Lori's shower for February 16. This was the Saturday after my week off for Mardi Gras break. We did this so I would not have to take off of work to travel the almost 900 miles to North Carolina. My original plan was to fly up, but when I checked the airline tickets they were very high due to everyone leaving New Orleans after Mardi Gras. This was a blessing in disguise, because I was able to complete many of the small details and bring them with me when I drove to NC.

Book Page Wreath

I tore apart two old paperbacks that I was finished reading to make this wreath. I found a tutorial online, and then edited it to make it my own. The pennant on the front says "Once Upon a Time". One of my best friends from high school is very crafty and helped with some of the little details that I am not so good at and she made the little detailed pennant for the wreath. I bought an inexpensive wooden "M" at Michael's and covered it in yarn to hang in the center of the wreath.

Katharine also helped me make this L+B= Me banner. I was very pleased with how it turned out, especially after we added the baby pictures of Ben and Lori beneath it. I found the pre-cut scalloped burlap card stock pieces at Michael's and then used a stencil to paint the letters onto the squares. I used the same thick yarn that I covered the center of the wreath with to hang it.

Bunting Banners
I bought some pre cut triangle pennants at Michael's to use as a backing to this storybook banner. I went to Goodwill and bought two large children's books for 39 cents a piece. It was kind of hard to rip apart the cute stories, but it definitely paid off with how cute the banner turned out! I centered the pictures I wanted on the card stock and used Mod Podge to paste them on. The first banner that hung on the stairs was a nursery rhyme book, and the second banner that hung around the kitchen island was Winnie the Pooh.

Lori really wanted the same marble cake that she had for her wedding at her shower. I was really pleased with the rustic look of the mint colored butter cream frosting.

Katharine made this adorable mini bunting banner for the cake!

Around the house I scattered small frames with different quotes about reading or actual quotes from books.


All of the food had corresponding children's books to go with it. This was a really fun detail! Once again, Katharine made the cute little cards that accompanied all of the books and food items that labeled the food using images and characters from their book, and I attached them to little blocks so they would stand up.

Beverages- Miss Spider's Tea Party
Utensils- And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait Bar- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Chocolate Chip Cookie Tarts- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Blueberry Cheesecake Bites- Blueberries for Sal
Sausage Balls- Ten Fat Sausages
Pigs in a Blanket- The Three Little Pigs
Deviled Eggs- Humpty Dumpty
Ham Croissants- Green Eggs and Ham
Pepper Jelly and Crackers- Bread and Jam for Frances
Meatballs- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Tomato Tarts- I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
Pasta Salad- Strega Nona


The card with the Moon Pie favors said, "We are Over the Moon You Could Join Us! Please take one."

In the shower invitations I included the following poem asking each guest to bring a book instead of a card.

Although cards are nice, 
They're only read once or twice. 
A book is a treasure 
That lasts forever. 
So instead of a card to be put aside, 
Please give Baby McDonald a book with your name & wishes inside. 

I wanted to stick completely to the theme, but I couldn't resist "Name that Celebrity Baby". We also played "Finish That Nursery Rhyme" 

It unexpectantly snowed the day of the shower, but that didn't slow many people down from coming to celebrate Baby McNugget with us!

Lori and I always seem to match, even though we don't plan it!

I loved these puff balls that were hanging above the cake table and the colorful ones in the kitchen!

Cake table with baby pictures and the sign in book

So happy I got to do this for my sweet friend!