Officially introducing… Leo Wilder!
While things have been quiet on the blog, they’ve been anything but at home. Leo came around at 4:23am on January 12th – a whole TWO months ago now. He was a week early and a peanut, weighing in at 7lbs, 7oz (compared to Lucy’s 9lbs, 1oz), and measuring 20.5”. His personality so far is exactly what I expected from my pregnancy… loud and quite fidgety. He’s also a total mess, with bodily fluids spewing from both ends, and often simultaneously. Noise covered in dirt, they say. Quite a different ride than my little independent hobo princess who keeps correcting me when I tell people she’s four. “Four and a HALF!” she explains. Silly me. She was just my little baby… the one who slept through the night at 6 weeks (sigh).
A few weeks ago, I co-hosted a bridal shower for my sister-in-law Beth. I’ll admit that I’m not a huge fan of weddings and all the hoopla that goes along with it, but I really wanted to help host a special and unique event for Beth. She’s helped me so much with watching Lucy and being a big sister when I needed one most. She’s literally one of the nicest people on the face of the earth. Seriously, like, all the time. It’s really annoying, but I love her anyway…
What started as a semi-potluck brunch somehow escalated into a French-themed cocktail party. Rightly so, I’ll admit, because Beth has always had a soft spot for la Paris ever since a trip post-high-school. Also, I’m pretty sure a cocktail party is what her extremely classy mother would have put together for either of her daughters’ bridal showers. So I pushed my sappy wedding critic aside, and pulled out my resources to help my fellow (five!) bridesmaids put together an event so very… Beth. It was fun yet elegant and the food exceeded my (already high) expectations. I just had to share the results.
In the wondrous age of social media, the five of us – hailing from New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida – were able to keep in touch throughout the preceding months. We kept a private Facebook page to keep in touch, share documents, and vote on menu items, craft ideas, etc. Pinterest was also quite handy to throw a bunch of ideas together and see what worked best.
With so many crafty ladies, I arranged a craft day where I literally pulled out any and every tidbit of ribbon, tissue, and paper to assemble a resourceful (aka free) arrangement of decor. Amidst tissue poufs and tassels to paper- and ribbon-wrapped glass vessels, we reminisced about our own weddings – the good and the bad. (Mine was definitely allowing my mother to “just pick up some flowers” for the church. I’m glad I have a sense of humor because multi-colored mums on a kelly green carpet might throw another bride into a fit of tears.) The arrangements were easy as pie to assemble before the event – a fellow bridesmaid and I cut fresh, local cherry blossoms and forsythia in bloom to fill the vessels, lemons gave a pop of yellow about the place, and I drew up some pretty labels to identify the French menu and cocktails.
The food was amazing! I was utterly impressed with not only the presentation and quality, but the custom menu so perfectly created. Justin Lingl from Root Catering Co. had spent time in rural France teaching English (and gathering culinary inspiration) so he was more than happy (and experienced) to craft a cocktail party menu for us. Baked goat cheese dip with handmade herb crackers, gougeres, crostini with olive and asparagus tapenades, veggie tartlets, and freshly broiled croque monsieurs and forestieres – each equally delicious. He paired the dishes with French-inspired, yet crowd-friendly, cocktails (and mocktails) including a basil lemonade, mojito, and a few Kir Royale varieties.
For dessert, Justin recommended his friend Tish Smith, owner of Foam Floaterie, an ice-cream and soda shop in Philadelphia with delicious and experimental pairings of homemade goods. Despite my own fondness for ice cream and floats, she is quite adept with all manners of baking and suggested a more authentic French cookie platter – citrusy madeleines, meringues topped with chocolate and sea salt, and limoncello macaroons. With our bellies full of Root Catering’s savory dishes, I was surprised so many had room for dessert – those cookies flew off the plate so fast, I barely had time to snap a photo! The perfect end of the evening was a delivery of fresh brews from my family’s Harvest Coffee Roastery.
The shower was so nice and simple. We used what we had and put on a great show. Beth loved it so much, she’ll be borrowing some of the ideas for the wedding itself – handwritten flags and markers, simple arrangements in pretty glassware… I’ll be sure to share photos after the big day next month!
I hope you each had a wonderful holiday, or in the least, survived. I was too busy doing next to nothing and loving it to wish you happy holidays from the Adjemians (that’s uh-GEM-ee-uhns, for the 98% that stumble on the name). Just kidding! After wrapping up my thesis on December 5th, I spent the holidays with some much-needed bonding time with family and friends. We even made a last-minute trip to New Hampshire to surprise a friend for his birthday on New Year’s Eve. I’m shocked at our spontaneity, and hope it’s a sign of things to come in 2013.
Here’s an obliging Instagram roundup of our holiday season:
- Above: Foraging at my father’s house for wreaths + boughs
- Top Row: Harvest Coffee with all the trimmings / Lucy gets a ” ‘tar” from Santa / Branch trees to add festivity to my sister-in-law’s hotel suite.
- Middle Row: Tom carries the tree home from a local shop… / with a little help… / and ta-da!
- Bottom Row: Pink snow bunny slumber / Snow couple + the photo-bomber / New Year’s Eve breakfast at the Friendly Toast in Portsmouth, NH