3.06.2015

Glam Coral & Gold Baby Shower

Happy Friday readers!

Another snow day over here for me!

I am so so so excited to be sharing Erin's baby shower with you today. The shower was a huge success, if I do say so myself. I felt so happy to be able to shower Erin, who has become one of my best friends in the last year or so. She is such a giving person, so it was nice having a chance to give back to her! I am apologizing in advance for the massive amount of pictures:  Anna, a fellow hostess and blogger (see her blog here), had a fancy camera and took some beautiful pictures of the event. Most of the pictures in this post are hers and the difference between them and the ones I took on my iPhone is huge.

If you recall from Friday's post, we pulled from Erin's nursery inspiration board (see that on her blog here), when planning the shower. We were going for a baby chic vibe with coral and gold as the main colors with blue & white accents.  I found this gorgeous, Kate Spade-esque invite on Paperless Post (highly recommend, by the way), and we used that as a springboard for our planning.

And now, without further adieu, welcome to Erin's baby shower...

Anna wrote the welcome message on the chalkboard free-hand!

These balloons were ah-mazing and came from Bargain Balloons. I did not realize how big they were going to be, but the size made them all the more fun!


Anna even managed to get Erin's and Ryan's pups, Cotton and Mallie, in a pic!

In this same main living room, I made a "Baby Girl" banner for the mantle and also got pictures of Erin and Ryan as babies from the soon-to-be grandmommies. I put them in gold Dollar Store frames and they were a huge hit!




Adjacent to the living room is the dining room where we set up the drink station and food table.


 The drink station included a bubbly bar with champagne (we also had sparkling cider on reserve for the Mama-to-Be), juice, and berries, as well as lemon water.  The "CHEERS" banner was initially used in Anna's wedding, but also fit our theme perfectly.


On the table, we used Target wrapping paper as a runner and also decorated with the framed shower invite and pom poms that Sam, another hostess, made for the event.


We served my pimiento cheese ham biscuits (recipe here), tomato tartlets, chicken salad bites, pasta salad, fruit skewers, and mini cupcakes.







The real showstopper on the table, however, was the cake. I ordered through The Cupcakery of Richmond, a company started by my former teaching mentor, and cannot say enough good about Karen and her fabulous cakes! 


We served classic chocolate, classic vanilla, and red velvet mini cupcakes. The topper cake was peanut butter chocolate, Erin's favorite, and was for Erin and Ryan to share later.


The giraffe was incredible (and so stinkin' cute)! Erin is freezing it with hopes of keeping it for baby girl's first birthday cake! 



Karen also made cake pops for the event which we placed by the front door as favors.



The last area of the shower was Erin's sitting room where we had the gifts. The sitting room is off the kitchen and we placed the only activities of the shower in the kitchen en route to the gift table.


We put out diapers and sharpies for guests to write funny or inspiring notes on diapers for Erin & Ryan to read during late-night changes. We also put notecards out for guests to write their address. While Erin opened her gifts, we recorded them on the back of notecards to make writing thank you notes a breeze.


We used the round table in Erin's breakfast nook as a gift table. Sarah, another hostess, made the most beautiful dotted backdrop for the table out of scrapbook paper. She used a circle craft puncher and hot glued the circles to fishing line.



Erin was so gracious and excited while opening gifts that it made showering her all the more fun.



She got quite the loot!


This book she received was absolutely hilarious and
 would make a great gift for a new mom with a sense of humor!

 After gifts, Erin gave guests a tour of the beyond gorgeous, nearly completed nursery. Erin is going to do a full blog post of the nursery on her blog Attention to Darling,  but I couldn't resist sharing a sneak peek of the crib and these precious little Lillies!


And, of course, we had to conclude the shower with some pictures!

Erin with all of her hostesses!


Group Pic

After the guests left, Erin also showered us hostesses with gifts as a thank you! I am absolutely in love with the Stella & Dot earrings she chose just for me!


And once the boys got home from a day of bar hopping, things got pretty silly...

True Story: When I made this my cover photo on Facebook, my
god-brother asked if I was having a baby! Bahahaha, not anytime soon!

Have you ever hosted a shower before?

Have a great weekend!

3.04.2015

Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll-Ups

Happy Hump Day readers!

This week has really been dragging along for me. I hope yours has been better!

Today I am sharing an extra yummy recipe I created last week: Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll-Ups. Those that follow along on Insta already heard me rave about this meal once, so now I am excited to post the recipe.



I initially got the idea for the meal from this recipe, however, took it in my very own direction!

Ingredients (serves 3-4)
8 chicken breast tenderloins
4 slices of Prosciutto (I may double this next time I fix this...)
Fresh Mozzarella (I just bought a ball and sliced it)
Fresh Grated Parmesan
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed, if frozen)
1 egg, beaten
Salt and Pepper
Other seasoning optional (I also used an Italian herb blend seasoning)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Rinse chicken and cut away excess fat. Dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
3. Cut prosciutto slices in half, to the shape of chicken tenderloins, creating 8 pieces total.
4. Slice mozzarella into small, but thick slices.
5. Place  prosciutto and mozzarella on chicken tenderloins and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


6. Roll chicken tenderloins up, tightly.


7. Flour a cutting board and roll puff pastry out on it. Slice puff pastry into 8 slices (I find using a pizza cutter is a great way to do this!).


8. Roll the puff pastry around chicken roll-ups, pressing down at the seam to seal.


9. Coat with beaten egg and season as desired (I sprinkled with an Italian herb blend seasoning and pepper).

10. Cook in a greased baking sheet at 400F for approximately 25 minutes or until puff pastry becomes golden brown and chicken is cooked through.

11. Enjoy!

It made for a great, light meal 
when paired with caesar salad!

What's been cookin' in your kitchen lately?

What are your go-to light meals?

Have a great day!

3.02.2015

RdV Vineyards

Happy Monday readers!

Did y'all have a good weekend?

Ours was jam-packed, but super fun nonetheless! Erin's baby shower was a huge success (post coming Friday) and last night we had friends over for dinner. Today is definitely going to be a struggle, as I am worn out!

Today I am excited to be sharing our Valentine's weekend visit to RdV Vineyards with you!

As y'all know, we typically keep Valentine's Day pretty low key. We still did that this year, however, Bryce surprised me with a tasting and tour at RdV Vineyards on the day after Valentine's.

We had an 11:00 am tour and enjoyed the scenic, snowy drive.

This was our view upon arrival!

The architect behind the gorgeous building was Neumann Lewis Buchanan. You can see more detail of his work at RdV here. The silo pays homage to the agricultural tradition of the region.


When we arrived we were asked to keep our coats on, as the power was out (if you recall we had also lost power the night before), and were greeted with champagne. I was absolutely in awe of the design of the space. It was obvious that every single detail was purposeful and planned. I especially couldn't get enough of the orange tulips mixed with the rustic cowhides an skull above the fireplace.




While we sipped on champagne, we were told the history of RdV. Named for its founder, Rutger de Vink, RdV first debuted its wine in 2008. Rutger has a background in the marine corps and business, but felt a calling to winemaking in 2000. Shortly after that he "pestered" Jim Law, the father of winemaking in Virginia to take him on as an apprentice. After his apprenticeship and a trip to Bordeaux the next step was finding the perfect place. The biggest factors were a slope, because of the amount of rain we get in Virginia, and a poor soil. Grapes thrive in what would usually be considered terrible growing conditions. You can see the slope in the first picture of the post and I will talk a little bit more about the soil in a minute.


After learning the story of the vineyard and finishing our bubbly, we embarked on the tour. Our first stop was the fermentation room.


Next we headed to the cellars, or "cave." While we were en route, we stopped right by the display you will see below. RdV sits on granite soil, which is key to the poor soil conditions I mentioned above. Here you see a soil sample of the granite. These 7 samples actually comprise one sample that has been broken apart. From left to right you will see the progression of the granite that was closest to the surface to the granite that was deepest in the ground.


Being that the power was out, our cave tour was candlelit, which actually added a romantic touch for Valentine's weekend.


At one end of the cave, they leave the granite "soil" exposed. This is not only for aesthetic purposes, but also provides a good gauge for what is going on in the soil. They can see factors such as moisture by taking a quick peek at this granite.


Our last stop on the tour was this lab-like room where the winemakers taste and make the blends each year. Eric Boissenot, a world-renowned winemaker, was so impressed by RdV that he travels from Bordeaux each year, free of charge, to work specifically with RdV on their blends. 


And finally, our last stage of the tour was actually getting to experience and taste the wine. We returned to the "tasting salon" where a beautiful spread had been laid out.


Rutger set out to make not a world class Virginia wine, rather a world class wine that just so happens to be made in Virginia and he most definitely hit the mark. Their two wines, the Lost Mountain and Rendezvous, are both red blends. The Lost Mountain is Cabernet Sauvignon heavy blend and the Rendezvous is a Merlot heavy blend. Bryce and I both typically prefer cab savs, but were surprised to like the Rendezvous best. 



After RdV we decided to make a stop at Linden, Jim Law's vineyard, and also Glen Manor, a vineyard founded by another of Law's apprentices. 



As you can probably guess, I slept like a baby on the car ride home!

If you are interested in learning more about Virginia wine making, and Bryce's adventures in viticulture, you can read his one and only guest post on the topic here!

Are you a fan of wine?

What vineyards are your favorite?

Have a great day!